Back issues of the
AZGem Gems newsletter can be accessed by clicking
To enquire about gems or jewelry...
Usable Gems... and a little opinion.
March Birthstone Is
The March birthstone is aquamarine.
This month we continue our
series on birthstones that will provide
answers to questions like...
if I don't like the color of my birthstone?"
if I can't afford my birthstone?"
Aquamarine is the blue (or sometimes blue-green variety of
beryl. And, as we've talked about before, the beryl gems include emerald,
morganite, and several other gem stones.
Click on the box...
and have Google start putting money in your bank account!
Aquamarine is affectionately known simply as aqua to its many
admirers. I'll use both names in this piece.
Aqua is a great jewelry stone. Its hardness (7.5 on the Mohs scale)
and durability makes it a good stone for a ring, as well as for
earrings and pendants.
Aqua is named for its color... the color of seawater. It is
often heat treated to drive out any hint of green, and "improve
choices do those few individuals have who don't care for the color
of aquamarine? a few choices, depending on your budget and taste.
occurs in several saturations of blue, as shown in the photos included
above. The price of aquamarine goes up as the color deepens
of the popularity of the pure blue aquas, it can be difficult to find
this gem in its blue-green color... but its not impossible.
stated earlier, the price of aquamarine gems and jewelry increases with
the strength of the blue color. If you like the pastel variety (and
most ladies do), the price is very reasonable, usually in the $25 to
$100 per carat range.
aquamarine is also very affordable.
blue aquas can easily run several hundred dollars per carat.
can occur in relatively large, clean crystals that yield large gems. As
you would expect, gem size also is a determining factor in the market
price of a particular gem... and not just the total price. Larger
stones often fetch a higher price per carat.
a two carat gem priced at $40 per carat would cost $80. But the same
quality gem in a five carat stone may be priced at $75 per carat.
This larger gem would cost $375.
Aqua is a popular gem, even for those not born in
At the Dorado Company we have aquamarine
and unmounted gems as well. Send me an email if you're looking for an aqua
ring or pendant stone.
A Google search for the keyword phrase aquamarine
jewelry returns a number of listings and ads for vendors specializing
in production run jewelry pieces.
Gem Industry News...
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA)
is generally regarded as the premier educational institution serving the gem
The GIA also operates highly respected gem
identification and grading labs which many gem dealers (and especially diamond
dealers) depend upon for tough, reliable grading and certification.
For the past several months allegations that
a few diamond dealers have been bribing GIA
lab employees to misstate diamond grades has been growing.
The jewelry, diamond, and colored gem stone
industries are very concerned, and have been demanding that the GIA deal with
its problems with a strong hand.
GIA officials recently released the following
While we will not comment on any specific
aspects of TheWall Street Journal article other than to point out
the factual inaccuracies, we want the diamond and jewelry industries as well as
the public to know that the Gemological Institute of America operates with the
highest ethical standards, and they can and should continue to have full
confidence in GIA’s laboratory operations and the reports we issue.
Over the past several months, GIA has
communicated openly about the actions we have taken to uncover the facts related
to the ethical violations and the measures we have implemented to ensure that
nothing similar can happen again. As we have reported previously, after
completing nearly 100 interviews and reviewing over 100,000 documents spanning a
10-year period, the independent investigators concluded that any violations of
GIA’s policies were very limited in scope. In addition, we have taken a number
of steps to enhance our already stringent laboratory procedures and controls,
and we continue to monitor our processes with great diligence.
However, in order to dispel any lingering concerns, we are offering free
verification of any GIA-graded diamond.
We realize that GIA and the entire
industry suffer greatly when a few dishonest players damage the reputation of
the honest majority. In addition, inaccuracies in reporting and
misrepresentations by the press do a disservice to all, including the public at
large. The Wall Street Journal article from March 8th
erroneously states that the “Gemological Institute of America fired four
employees it accused of accepting bribes from diamond dealers as part of an
inquiry into inflating the grades of stones.” This statement is not true. The
employees were terminated, following an extensive investigation conducted by
independent counsel on behalf of a Special Committee of GIA’s Board of
Governors, for violating GIA’s Professional Ethics and Conduct Compliance
Statement. We have therefore requested that the paper publish a written
correction to set the facts straight.
GIA is currently implementing many
positive changes designed to prevent such ethical lapses by a few isolated
individuals from occurring again. We are working to further strengthen the
numerous procedures and controls we have in place to safeguard the integrity of
the grading process. GIA’s mission for 75 years has been to ensure
the public trust in gems and jewelry by upholding the highest standards of
integrity, academics, science, and professionalism through education,
research, laboratory services, and instrument development. We
believe strongly in this mission and are continuing to take the appropriate
steps that will enable us to serve the public even better in the future.
Have you and your inventory recovered from the
Christmas season yet?
Now's the time to be building up that inventory
The price of gold shows no signs of going
back down, so if you weren't able to hedge by buying up mountings and
findings a couple of years ago, you probably should be buying what you