Archive for November, 2013

Emeralds, Hard to picture!

Friday, November 29th, 2013

Emeralds, Hard to Picture!

Over the last few years, there have been many pictures of celebrities in stunning Emerald pieces of jewelry in the press. They always look very impressive and exotic reminding one of all that is glamorous and luxurious. Now taking pictures of individual loose Emeralds is a whole different challenge. In fact, Emeralds are the hardest stones to take pictures of, a picture that truly represent what you see in real life. One reason being, that digital cameras have a hard time capturing the dynamic range of greens that exist in Emeralds, as do monitors or screens in displaying them.

LCD color GamutThis is a CIE XYZ color system xy chromaticity diagram. The areas enclosed in dotted lines represent the range of colors human beings can see with the naked eye. The ranges corresponding to the sRGB, Adobe RGB, and NTSC standards defining color gamuts appear as triangles connecting their RGB peak coordinates. The color gamut of an LCD monitor’s hardware can be indicated using similar triangles. An LCD monitor is not capable of reproduction (display) of colors outside its color gamut.

Next, most gemstone images are taken with telephoto macro lenses which compress (flatten) the image, visibly bringing any inclusions throughout the stone together into a single plane, and thereby appearing more heavily included in the image than in person.

The biggest factor that indicates the fineness of Emerald is its clarity and this is always graded and judged just with the naked eye. Taking a close up picture of an Emerald in reality is magnifying its every small inclusion by a factor of 30 or more. In other words, a close up picture will not be a fair representation of what your naked eye will see. These limitations are truly a challenge when trying to determine the quality of the stones by looking at pictures of Emeralds. Most pictures of Emeralds you see in magazines and brochures are heavily corrected, just to do the stone justice.

Keep this fact in mind when viewing Emeralds on websites and remember that they are always much nicer in person; making them some of the least photogenic of gems!


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Opals Are Making A Comeback

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013


The AGTA Spectrum jewelry competition just celebrated their 30th anniversary. The amazing range of entries each year give a clear indication of what is at the forefront of fashion and style, establishing trends and setting the tone for the year to come. This year’s selection included a beautiful range of pieces many featuring Opals as their main gemstone, including many varied combinations of other complimentary colored gems. A more playful approach was present in the designs, which highlighted the unique multicolored nature of opals.

We always recommend pulling out the blue, green and yellow’s present in most opals with bright Tsavorite and Sapphires. Rich, vivid and bright gemstones like that truly complement the existing colors present in finer Opals.

Majestic Black Opals, fiery Crystal Opals and lava orange Mexican Fire Opals, multicolored flashy Ethiopian Opals are all wonderful points of inspiration in themselves, an amazing nature’s painter’s palette. Add a few accent stones and a beautiful frame of precious metal and presto! You have a masterpiece to offer your color loving audience. Check out our website for our beautiful offering of Opals and other gems.

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Unheated Gemstones

Friday, November 15th, 2013

unheated gemstonesThroughout history, miners and cutters of gems have worked tirelessly to improve and enhance the beauty of their final products, developing new faceting styles as well as treatments for the gem rough. Heating gemstones is among the oldest developed technique that is still currently used with most gem material.

Some gem varieties are never heated, simply because they do not really respond to heating. These gem varieties include the whole garnet family, spinels, chrysoberyls, alexandrites, peridots, opals, emeralds and chrome tourmalines.

Among the gem varieties that are regularly heated like corundum, which includes, all rubies and sapphires, there are certain stones that are left unheated. This mainly is due to the fact that these stones would still be as saleable at a profitable market price without heating. These stones are far and few in between and make up a very small portion of all stones sold, understandably always at a premium.

It is very important to handle unheated gems differently, since they have never been exposed to high heat. We have heard of a few unfortunate times when the fact that the sapphire was unheated was not mentioned to the bench jeweler and being exposed to the torch had changed the original color of the gem. (Especially in unheated yellow sapphires) Another incident we have heard of a few times has involved customers wearing their natural gemstone jewelry to tanning booths and the radiation changing the color of the gemstones. So remember to tell your customer not to wear their jewelry there and in hot tubs!

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