AZGem Gems

January 2015


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The World's Most Useful
Gem & Jewelry Monthly Newsletter

Written by Carolyn Doyle for customers of
The Dorado Company

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Usable Gems... and a little opinion.


Exceptional Diamonds Recovered In 2014



Exceptional diamonds recovered in 2014 is the subject of this month's feature article. I have followed industry news reports with interest as these impressive and unusual diamonds have been dug from deep mines in the African continent.

Exceptional diamonds recovered in 2014 include a few fancy colored diamonds, and an unusually large white diamond.

As in past years, the Cullinan Diamond Mine in South Africa has produced most of the notable diamond crystals Mother Nature yielded in 2014.

The Cullinan Diamond Mine was established in 1903 as the Premier Diamond Mine. It was renamed the Cullinan Diamond Mine in celebration of the mine's 100 year existence. It earned its place in history with the discovery of the Cullinan diamond in 1905, the largest rough gem diamond ever found at 3,106 carats.




Petra Diamonds Ltd acquired the Cullinan mine in 2008. Petra is a diamond mining group with a diversified portfolio, including ownership interests in eight producing mines in South Africa and Tanzania, and an exploration program in Botswana.

As with most South African diamond mines, the Cullinan mines a kimberlite pipe (ancient volcano).At the earth's surface, this kimberlite pipe covered thirty two hectares (one hectare equals approximately 2.5 acres).

This mine is one of the world's most celebrated diamond mines and is a source of large, high-quality Type II gem diamonds.


Diamonds occur in nature in two different types…Type I and Type II

Type I diamonds contain nitrogen, and are the more common type found. Type II diamonds do not contain a measurable amount of nitrogen. Type II diamonds are usually white, gray, brown, or pink… or very rarely blue, red, or green.

The occurrence of D color (colorless), internally flawless diamonds in Type I is known... however, the most sought after diamonds are Type II Flawless diamonds. Type II diamonds have superior optical properties and have a superior overall polish to Type I diamonds.




In January, 2014 this press release was issued by Petra:


Recovery of an exceptional 29.6 carat blue diamond

Petra Diamonds Limited announces the recovery of an exceptional 29.6 carat blue diamond at the Cullinan mine in South Africa.

The stone is an outstanding vivid blue with extraordinary saturation, tone and clarity, and has the potential to yield a polished stone of great value and importance.

Blue diamonds are among the rarest and most highly coveted of all diamonds and the Cullinan mine is the most important source of blues in the world. This stone is one of the most exceptional stones recovered at Cullinan during Petra's operation of the mine.

In February, the sale of the 29 carat blue diamond was announced.


29.6 carat blue diamond sells for US$25.6 million

Petra Diamonds Limited announces that the exceptional 29.62 carat blue diamond recovered from the Cullinan mine in South Africa in January has today been sold, following a highly competitive sales process, for US$25,555,555 (US$862,780 per carat).

The diamond was bought for Cora International NY through the South African company Golden Yellow Diamonds.

Johan Dippenaar, CEO of Petra, commented:

"This sale result affirms this stone as one of the most important blue diamonds ever recovered. An additional allure is the diamond's heritage from the Cullinan mine in South Africa, which is well known as the source of many of the world's most spectacular diamonds, including the two main diamonds in the British Crown Jewels, and which is the world's most important source of very rare blue diamonds."




In June, discovery of another exceptional blue diamond was announced.


Recovery of a 122.52 carat Blue Diamond at Cullinan

Petra Diamonds Limited announces the recovery of an exceptional 122.52 carat blue diamond at the Cullinan mine in South Africa.

The stone will require further analysis in order to assess its potential value and upon completion of this process, Petra will be in a position to evaluate its optimal route to market. The diamond will therefore not be sold before the end of the Company's current financial year (30 June 2014).

The rarity of a blue diamond of this magnitude sets it apart as a truly significant find. Cullinan is known as the world's most important source of blue diamonds and since Petra acquired the mine in 2008, it has continued to produce a number of exceptional blues


Upcoming Sale of the 122.52 Carat Cullinan Blue Diamond

Petra Diamonds Limited announces that it will shortly commence the viewing process for the sale of the exceptional 122.52 blue diamond that was recovered in June 2014 at the Cullinan mine in South Africa.

The viewing process will open on Monday 18 August and will close at 11am CAT on Friday 12 September 2014, when offers from prospective buyers are to be submitted.

Appointments to view the stone in Johannesburg can be made by contacting Greg Stephenson, Petra's Group Marketing and Sales Manager, using the contact details below.



In September, Petra announced the 122 carat blue diamond sale


122.52 carat Blue Diamond Sales and Beneficiation Agreement

Petra Diamonds Limited announces that the 122.52 carat blue diamond recovered from the Cullinan mine in June has been sold for a value equivalent to US$27.6 million (US$225,269 per carat) to a beneficiation partnership comprising Petra (15%) and its polishing partner (85%) (who wishes to remain undisclosed). The polishing partner will settle its 85% of the agreed rough sales partnership value, being US$23.5 million, immediately and Petra will record this sum as revenue in its Q1 FY 2015 results.

The stone will be cut and polished and upon sale of the polished, Petra will receive its 15% share in the proceeds, after beneficiation and related expenses.

Johan Dippenaar, CEO of Petra, commented:

"We are pleased to have concluded this arrangement which records an excellent sales value for the rough stone, and also gives Petra exposure to the uplift in value post beneficiation. We look forward to providing the market with further information on the stone's journey at the appropriate time in the future."



Also in September, Petra announced recovery of a significant white diamond...


Recovery of a 232 carat White Diamond at Cullinan

Petra Diamonds Limited announces the recovery of an exceptional 232.08 carat white diamond at the Cullinan mine in South Africa.

The stone is a D colour Type II diamond of exceptional size and clarity, and is a magnificent example of the large, high quality diamonds for which the mine is known - see the 'Notes to Editors' section for more information.

The Company will update the market when finalised on the expected timing for the sale of this stone, which is expected to be in the second quarter of this financial year.

In October, the sale of the 232 carat white diamond was announced.


232 carat Cullinan white diamond sells for US$15.2 million

Petra Diamonds Limited announces that the exceptional 232.08 carat white diamond recovered at the Cullinan mine in South Africa in September 2014 has today been sold for US$15,219,219 million (US$65,577 per carat) to Diacore, a multinational diamond company.

Johan Dippenaar, CEO of Petra, commented:

"We are delighted to have achieved the sales result for this exceptional white stone, which is an outstanding example of the very high quality, large diamonds produced at Cullinan."



Petra also released photos of a 16.39 carat fancy pink diamond in September. This stone was recovered at the Williamson Diamond Mine in Tanzania. The posting of the photos was not accompanied by a press release.

Exceptional diamonds recovered in 2014 presumably also occurred at other mines in Africa and elsewhere, but the ones listed here seem to be the most notable, and garnered the most media coverage, sparked by the Petra press releases.


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Photo Information


Top - Petra Diamonds CEO Johan Dippenaar holding the exceptional 29.6 carat blue diamond recovered in January 2014

Next - Cullinan Diamond Mine

Next - Close-up of 29.6 carat blue diamond

Next - Petra Diamonds CEO Johan Dippenaar holding the exceptional 122.52 carat blue diamond recovered in June 2014

Next - Close-up View of 122.52 Blue Diamond

Next - Recovery of an exceptional 232ct white diamond

Next - 16.39 carat pink Williamson diamond - September 2014

Next: - Gem special offer - HESSONITE garnet, a January birthstone

Next - Industry News - AGTA GemFair logo

Next - Dealer Product Image - Blue Spinel and White Topaz Ring in Sterling Silver

Last - Dealer Program Image - Pink Spinel and Sterling Silver Earrings



$1.99/Mo. for 12 months of Economy Hosting at


A Google search for links or images using keywords such as petra diamonds or african diamond mines can return some very interesting information and websites.




Gem Offer



Here is this month's special gem deal. 


Gem:     Hessonite Garnet... a January birthstone

Color:     Cinnamon

Quality:     Nice commercial quality gem

Shape:     Cushion

Cut:     Native cut in Madagascar, checkerboard top

Dimensions:     9 x 7 mm

Weight:     3.24 carats

Price:     $32, plus shipping ($5)

Send me an email (with anti-spam) (carolynatazgemdotcom) and tell me that you want this fine gem.

We have other  shapes, sizes, and shades of blue topaz available.

We keep gem prices low by buying quality gemstone rough worldwide, and having the rough material cut by our gem cutters in Asia.


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Gem Industry News


AGTA GemFair™ Tucson Buyer Pre-Registration Ends January 9th


image credit: American Gem Trade Association


The American Gem Trade Association has announced the deadline for pre-registration for buyer badges at the 2015 AGTA GemFair™ Tucson. The deadline is January 9th, 2015. If you haven't registered to attend the AGTA GemFair™ Tucson 2015 yet, please go to to complete your registration today!

If you do not have your registration form in prior to this date, you will be able to register and pick up your badges onsite in Tucson.

If you attended AGTA GemFair™ Tucson as a buyer in 2014, you are automatically registered for 2015.

All registered buyers in the United States and Canada will receive their badges in the mail in mid-January for the show, which runs from February 3rd – 8th, 2015. International companies and guests can pick up their badges onsite. It is important to note that the AGTA is working through all of the current registration applications and you will be notified when yours is complete.

We have attended the AGTA GemFair™ Tucson and the GJX Gem Show every year of these two shows existence. We also visit a few of the many other shows scattered around Tucson during the days we are in Tucson.

We will not be going to Tucson in mid-January this year for Jump Start... there is just too much going on around here.

The AGTA and GJX shows are important events. Industry news, trends, current market prices, new sources, and other information is available at the shows. Plus, we get to visit with old friends, and make a few new ones.




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Jewelry Dealers


wholesale jewelry


Now is the time!... time to take a week to recharge before you begin thinking of replenishing your depleted inventory.

Also, Valentine's Day is coming. Gift occasions don't stop. Birthdays, anniversaries, and many other reasons to buy nice jewelry at a great price just keep on coming.

If this business wasn't so enjoyable, it could turn into work.

Be The Quality Jewelry Discounter.



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Jewelry Dealers Program


jewelry dealers program


Do you enjoy jewelry and gems?

Do you enjoy talking with friends and friends of friends?

Could you use an extra income source?

Take a look at our great Jewelry Dealers Program.



Carolyn Doyle

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