AZGem Gems
February, 2005
The World's Most Useful
Gem & Jewelry Monthly Newsletter

Written by Carolyn Doyle for customers of
The Dorado Company
and other visitors to the website who subscribe.


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Usable Gems... and a little opinion.


Color Change Gems


Color change gems are the subject of this month's newsletter, the fourth in a series on optical phenomena gems.

Color change gems do just that... they change color under different types of light.

This change can be dramatic. For example, a green gem when viewed in daylight becomes a red gem when viewed under some artificial light sources, including the common light bulb.

This optical phenomena is also known as the "alexandrite effect" because it was first observed in alexandrite (the chromium containing variety of chrysoberyl).

Alexandrite has a distinguished history: it was discovered in 1830 in Tsarist Russia. Since the Russian imperial colors were red and green, the gem was named after Tsar Alexander II on the occasion of his coming of age.

For the next 150 years alexandrite was certainly the most famous and expensive of the rare gems.

But... in 1987 a new find of alexandrite was made in Brazil. The Brazilian alexandrite shows a striking and attractive color change from raspberry red to bluish green.

Since that time alexandrite has also been found in Sri Lanka, Magascar, and Zimbabwe. As a result, alexandrite is somewhat more available and affordable.

Other gem varieties, including spinel, tourmaline, garnet, and sapphire can exhibit this unusual optical phenomena... and different color change combinations.

By way of example, here's an orange-to-pink color change sapphire.

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Industry News...

Hope Diamond was once the French Blue

Researchers using computer analysis have  concluded that the Hope Diamond was cut from a larger stone that was once part of the crown jewels of France.

This French connection had been suspected for the famous diamond, but the new technical research and analysis shows just how it would have fit inside the larger French Blue diamond, according to Smithsonian gem curator Jeffrey Post.

The deep blue Hope Diamond is the most important gem in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History's gem collection.

The study helps confirm what has long been suspected... the Hope Diamond was originally a 115-carat stone found in India in 1668. That stone was sold to King Louis XIV of France. The king had it cut into the 69-carat French Blue. The French Blue was among the many crown jewels that disappeared during the French Revolution.

Just about twenty years later a large blue diamond was put up for sale in London.

This stone was purchased by Henry Philip Hope, hence the name Hope Diamond.

The beautiful gem eventually was bought by jeweler Harry Winston, who later donated it to the Smithsonian.

Even at its current weight of 45.52 carats the Hope Diamond is the world's largest blue diamond.

Post said existing sketches of the missing French Blue diamond are quite detailed and allowed preparation of a computer model of that stone.

After using the sketches and analysis to make a computer model of the French Blue, and modeling the Hope Diamond, researchers "virtually placed the Hope back inside the French Blue" Post said.

"It turns out it actually fits perfectly in only one way, but at that orientation, when you saw how it fit, you could see why it was cut the way it is," Post said.

"They cut the corners off the French Blue, changed slightly the angle of the bottom facets, and that produced the Hope Diamond," he said.

You can read more at 


I hope you noticed our new addition... advertisments.

It's another small source of revenue for us (gotta keep those gem prices down) and possibly another resource for you. We're not sure who will be advertising, since we don't control that. I'm guessing on-line jewelry sales sites... and maybe even other gem dealers.

I hope the ads will be useful to you.

We'll be adding ads to many of our pages as we remodel and freshen our web site.


Jewelry Dealers

The Tucson Shows were great as usual. Attendance was up this year. And they were buying.

Our cutter from Sri Lanka made several large sales while we were at his booth to drop off sapphire rough. (He'll take the rough back to his lapidary factory in Sri Lanka and facet the stones for us.)

We only visited a select few shows, as is our custom. It's just not possible to work through all of the shows, so we go to the ones where we have prearranged business... and one or two more. 

There were more than forty different shows going on in various locations scattered around town this year. The number of shows keeps on growing


Are you making up heart pendants, stud earrings and other jewelry for Valentine's Day customers? Now is the time! Talk it up, and make those sales.


Also, be sure to check out that great $10 book called Make Your Content PREsell.

The book's wisdom will help you be more effective.


Jewelry Dealers Program

Do you enjoy jewelry and gems?

Do you enjoy talking with friends and co-workers?

Take a look at our great Jewelry Dealers Program.

Carolyn Doyle

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The Dorado Company
P.O. Box 8232
Scottsdale, AZ 85252-8232