London Blue Topaz, “The Gem of Finishing School”

Day 8 of the Gemstone Wishlist for Tuscon:

London Blue Topaz is a beautiful Gemstone which has to be meticulously groomed into perfection, like a bonsai tree. London Blue Topaz is a natural gemstone (Topaz), but gets its color from a multi-step irradiation process.  Although, Topaz comes in blue naturally, the shade is usually very very faint, so irradiation for enhancement is accepted industry wide. The biggest benefit of the process is most definitely, affordable Glamour. Topaz comes in some larger crystals, it is easy enough to work with and very easy to wear because of its hardness.

As this is the Gemstone Wishlist, ordinary London Blue Topaz would not be on the list because it is not “rare” or “exotic,” What I am looking for is a massive unattainable in any other gemstone look (like over 25 Carat single stones…Yes, Elizabeth Taylor size.) Check out what these designers are doing with large London Blue Topaz:

John Hardy:

Kostantino:

        

Ippolita:

Cathy Waterman:

Kyanite, “The Gem with a Day Job”

Day 7 of the Gemstone Wishlist for Tuscon:

Kyanite, “The Gem with a Day Job”

Kyanite, which is Greek for “Deep Blue”, is a gemstone most typically blue to green in color with a very occasional blue-purple shade. The mineral itself is not rare but cut and polished stones are.  In truth the gemstones are so rare when you google: “Kyanite Jewelry” you will not find much.

My favorite designer, and really one of very few Fine Jewelers, working with Kyanite is Emily Armenta who crafts exquisite pieces of wearable art with Kyanite.

Kyanite makes it to Gemstone Wishlist not because of its unique color as it can be sometimes mistaken for sapphires, but for the actual properties of the stone. (Oh yes, I did it, I am going there…It’s about to get geeky here.) I am completely enamored with the poetic existence of Kyanite, (now bear with me as this is going in a very round about direction.)

Science: Kyanite as a mineral is most frequently used for industrial purposes. It has a unique reaction to heat, in some instances Kyanite is ground up and added to mixtures which would otherwise shrink, (ie. Porcelain, concrete ect.) because Kyanite doubles its own size when heated to just the right temperature.

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Belief: Generally people, seem to find peace and serenity in the blue Kyanite Crystal formations, saying that it absorbs negative energy.

Practice: Feng Shui practitioners uses Kyanite Crystals in homes and offices to bring calm to chaotic situations and even use it during meditations when times get particularly tough.

Practice: Ellegedly (although I do not yet feel comfortable enough in the source), Some people used to tie Kyanite into the ends of the hair, which was said to be able to guide a person as a compass.

Blue kyanite necklace rough blue kyanite shard pendant -choose your own

(Buy these from GypsyTribeJewerly on Etsy.com)

The Poem I see:

There is a stone which leads a double life, one as an industrial worker,

The other as a the focal point and inspiration of Fine Jewelers,

A mineral which instead of melting under fire, expands to its true potential,

A stone which stifles negative energy and offers peace to its neighbors,

A crystal which functions as the guiding light for the future,

A moral compass.

Sound like any phenomenal women you know?

 (My Mama, My Grandma, Ms. Meriweather, JoAnn, Laura Hope)

Make your own deductions about Kyanite as a gemstone, Start at:

 Geology.com

Emerald, “The Original Diva Gem”

Day 6 of the Gemstone Wishlist for Tuscon

emerald

Emerald, “the Original Diva Gem”

Monday, Every American was focused on the inauguration and all fashion eyes fell on two things Michelle Obama’s Bangs (OMG! Why did no one think of those sooner??? Fab!,) and The Reigning 1st lady of Song Beyonce and the order of thoughts, for me at least, went:

1)      EARRINGS!!!

2)      Perfect blonde curls.

3)      Song.. yeah sounds great.

4)     And as @OscarPRgirl put it:

“I mean could we not get a full length shot of B? who is running this?”

And No, She was not Lip-Syncing, If she were she would not have needed to remove her ear piece. Get it together people, It’s period.

But back to the earrings! Emeralds, Yes! The same choice Cleopatra would have made in Ancient Egypt!

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Instant glam, and sooo on trend as The Pantone color of the year is….. EMERALD.

Most people know what an Emerald is, considering it is one of the “Big 4” Precious Gemstones (Diamond, Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald), and most people also know that the best Emeralds hail from Columbia. But Emeralds have a much richer history than that, Emeralds were mined in Egypt thousands of years before even Cleopatra (Although, she claimed them as her own and made them one of her signature luxuries.) Emeralds have always been adored by the elite from all across the globe from Africa to South America (the long way around of course.)

The name Emerald comes from “Esmeralde” which is Old French for “green gemstone,” and the Old French Translation came from the Greek word “Smargdos” which also means “green gemstone” (I know, it isn’t very original but it is a unique enough stone not to need more clarification, since true green is a difficult color to come by in natural gemstones.) Green is a difficult color to find in gemstones because of the chemical composition required (but that is boring… unless you are really interested in which case you can look on gemstone.org and find that it has to do with Chromium and Vanadium.)

Columbian Emeralds are regarded as the most impressive and valuable Emeralds in the world, because of the specific shade of green they display, however Emeralds are actually found all over the world. Emeralds can be found in Brazil, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Madagascar, India, Russia and even in North Carolina USA. In this way, Emeralds are not particularly rare, however, the perfect Emeralds we see on Red Carpets and at Inaugurations are each one in a billion.

Although Emeralds are not the softest or most delicate stones cutting them and maintaining size can be an issue due to they’re likelihood to cleave. When looking into an Emerald, you can almost always see tiny lines or striations, this is expected and accepted by consumers and collectors alike, (the Columbians even say you should see a “Fine Garden” inside Emeralds), but these characteristics are the weak points along which a stone is likely to break or shatter. These characteristics and the absence of them are what make Emeralds so precious. The perfect Emerald, with the ideal shade of rich Green and a tidy fine garden can easily earn more per carat than a diamond of the same carat weight.

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Seeing these Columbian Goodies on Angelina Jolie, who has somewhat adopted them as her own signature stones, is enough to make any Gem lover abandon the pinks and reds of Valentine’s Day for a little something sparkly and green.

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For more Gem Nourishment Visit:

Emeralds @ Gemstone.org

Constance Crashes and Burns Sometimes

Constance Crashes and Burns Sometimes

Sometimes I Crash and Burn inside the Giant Jewelry Box 😦

I apologize. I know I said I would post daily a new stone… but I honestly didn’t think anyone was looking… until I got hate mail.  You could easily ask anyone of the educators I ever had and they would tell you that turning in homework on time was never my strong suit. But I promise to do better since this is after all my career and obsession and love affair all in one and consequently I should be able to go on for days, which I can so long as I sit down. Let’s just say I owe you Day 4 and Day 5 still which I will make up soon, and get on with today’s post.

Natural Zircon, “The Most Imitated Gem”

Natural Zircon

Day 3 of the Gemstone Wishlist for Tuscon:

Natural Zircon is commonly confused with the diamond synthetics that high-jacked its name (Cubic Zirconia, or CZ). The copy stone is just about as close to Natural Zircon as Snookie is to Selma Hayek…

  

…but you would be surprised at how many fights I have with people (even in the industry) about the difference. (This is literally a problem, which I frequently address in emails that read something like this: Dear EVERYONE,

…I have recently requested samples to be made using White Zircon, which is a NATURAL gemstone NOT to be confused or supplemented with CZ a.k.a. Cubic Zirconia which is a completely synthetic stone. This is a costly mistake for which we could all get into a great deal of trouble for with our customers and the US government. Please be sure to differentiate!…)

The most disappointing thing about the total and complete identity theft is that Natural Zircon is an incredible gemstone with very unique properties and a rich history. The name Zircon is derivative of the Arabic words for golden colored, “Zar Gun.” This name was given because, although Zircon comes in as many colors as diamonds, and most people know them as a supplemental stone for diamond (which is probably why cubic ZIRCONia was the name chosen for fake diamonds. ß this also makes everything that much more confusing), the most common color is a beautiful golden or honey color.


Hailing only from the Eastern Hemisphere, Zircon can be deciphered fairly quickly if you know what to look for; it sparkles a great deal more than most gemstones because of its internal crystalline structure, which in a way functions as a set of mirrors to almost double the amount of actual facets seen with the naked eye.

All said, I will be going after a beautiful piece of honey to mahogany colored Natural Zircon at the show and luckily (this is probably the only positive side of this gemstone being confused with CZ) there is a lack of appreciation for Zircon in commercial markets so I should be able to snag one for a more than fair price now before everyone wakes up and realizes what great stone Natural Zircon is. (I get a certain sense of satisfaction in this, which I imagine is similar to one which an inside trader must get just before the market skyrockets :)! )


Earrings From Erica Courtney:

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For more information on Zircon check out what gemstone.org has to say:

Natural Zircon @ gemstone.org

Kunzite, The Sultry American Gem

Day 2 of Gemstone Wishlist for Tuscon:

Kunzite

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This Gemstone doesn’t need a lot of talking up, you might say all it needs to do is wink in the candle light 😉 because The rare pale purply-pink color is enough to get most people’s attention.

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This Unique stone, is often considered an All-American beauty, found in the USA and named after a famous American! Kunzite was originally found in Southern California, in 1902, and is considered to be a rich part of the Tiffany & Co. History as it was identified and named by a Tiffany’s Gemologist George Kunz. Kunzite is a stunning lilac to powder pink colored gemstone and gets its coloring from Manganese. Like any fair skinned beauty, the sun is damaging to the color of this gemstone, so it is best at cocktail parties and late night rendezvous (I know right, how sensually perfect.)

Tiffany & Co. even used this collector’s size 175.00Ct + Kunzite, in this Necklace, for its 175th Anniversary in September of last year.Image

Here are some other incredible Kunzite pieces from Tiffany & Co.:

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And One Stunning Kunzite and Amethyst Necklace from Van Cleef & Arpels:

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If you must have more Kunzite in your life check out this more scientific profile on gemstone.org:

http://www.gemstone.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=129:sapphire&catid=1:gem-by-gem&Itemid=14

And if you are looking to buy… be prepared to pay a pretty penny for this beauty of the night 😉 (Oh Stop…I’m Sorry I couldn’t resist.)

Zultanite, The Sultan of Gems

Day 1 of  The Gemstone Wishlist for Tuscon

Zultanite “The Sultan of Gems”, is an incredibly rare and relatively new Gemstone. At first glance you may not be able to put a finger on what color it is. That is because it’s a member of the elite class of natural ‘color changing’ gemstones. Meaning the color changes as it reflects different light sources. The range of color is mesmerizing as it shifts from rich blush champagne hues, through golden yellows into kiwi greens.

One of the most rare gemstones on earth, Zultanite comes from only one mine in the Anatolian mountains of Turkey, once ruled by the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire. Zultanite, takes it’s name from th

ose same 36 Sultans.

Aside from Zultanite’s impressive rarity, color display and cultural richness, it is also a leader in ‘Green’. Diamond and Gemstone mining can be extremely harsh on the environment, some of which is unavoidable but the Zultanite mine takes a special interest in recycling water to avoid soil contamination and planting 10 trees for every one cut down. Furthermore, since the stone is sold only in its natural complexion, (no chemical, radiation or other enhancements are ever done to the stone), the overall carbon footprint of each polished Zultanite is significantly lower than most gemstones.The mining company, Ottoman Gems also takes a major stance on equality, hiring women and men alike for fair labor prices, and education, donating supplies and learning tools to local schools.

If you are not convinced on why Zultanite is the at the very top of my Gemstone Wishlist, check out the amazing things these Couture Jewelers are designing around Zultanite:

—Stephen Webster—

—Erica Courtney—

And now that you are totally hooked and enamored go visit the site for yourself:

http://www.zultgems.com/