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Usable Gems... and a little opinion.
Apatite Is A Gem
Apatite is a gem, but its a "new" gem.That's
why some of you had not heard of it before last month's issue.
Apatite is a new gem only in the sense that it has only
been promoted as a jewelry stone for a few years now.
So, let me introduce you to this beautiful gem. First
we'll get the technical stuff out of the way...
Apatite, like most gems, is a
mineral crystal. Actually it can be any one of three minerals. depending on the predominance of either
chlorine, fluorine, or the hydroxyl group (don't ask).
if you really want to know, in this case the hydroxyl group is one oxygen atom and one
hydrogen atom bound together as a single unit and forming part of a single
fluorine, or hydroxyl ions can freely substitute in the crystal
lattice, and all three are normally present in most crystals.
The three variations are usually considered
together due to the difficulty in distinguishing them.
Common apatite is widely distributed in all rock types; igneous, sedimentary and
metamorphic, but is usually just as small grains or fragments. Large, well
formed crystals suitable for faceting as gems have been found in Burma
(Myanmar), Brazil, Africa, Madagascar, Mexico, and a few
Gem apatite is relatively rare.
Apatite occurs primarily in yellows, blues and greens. The recent
availability of the neon blue to blue-green variety from Madagascar has
increased the use of this use in custom jewelry . The color of this gem rivals the famed Paraiba
tourmalines, at a fraction of the price.
Apatite has a hardness of 5, and is not suitable for everyday wear in a ring.
It is most often used in earrings, pendants, and special occasion rings.
Apatite is a beautiful gem, as you can see in these photos. The top photo shows some of this material in rough form from our stock. The
marquise photo above shows a faceted blue apatite.
Green apatite can be seen in there photos. We have these gems in stock from
our Madagascar company.
Apatite gems in this gorgeous green shade are my personal favorite of all the
available colors. For
more information on sizes, shapes, and very reasonable prices send me an email.
A Google search for the keyword phrase apatite gems returns a number of
internet listings and ads for additional information and photos.
Gem Industry News...
Tucson Gem Shows
The Tucson Gem Shows continue to grow, in popularity with exhibitors and
buyers, in attendance, in size, in sales, and in the number of different shows.
This year we focused our efforts on selling our Madagascar gem rough. (This
is a real change. In past years we were buying rough in Tucson.)
This did allow us to visit with old friends and catch up on the their
business and family happenings.
As usual, the various exhibitors were experiencing mixed results. Some
reported strong sales, while a few reported anemic sales... to the point
they complained of not even covering their expenses.
The strongest sales seemed to be in the shows restricted to members of the
gem and jewelry industry.
Click on the box...
and have Google start putting money in your bank account!
JVC Says Synthetic Isn't Cultured
The Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC), acting on behalf of 10 other industry
associations, has petitioned the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to ban the
use of the word “cultured” when referring to synthetic gemstones.
The FTC publishes the Guidelines for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter
Industries (“the Guides”), which outline what practices are considered
deceptive or fraudlent – and therefore subject to legal prosecution – under
the Fair Trade Act. The JVC is asking the FTC to add the term “cultured” to
the list of terms that are unfair or deceptive when used to describe
manufactured products like synthetic gemstones.
The JVC argues that calling a synthetic gemstone “cultured” is confusing
to consumers because it suggests that the product is grown in nature with
The association is specifically targeting the use of the term “cultured
diamond,” although the measure would apply to all laboratory-created
The industry associations supporting the JVC’s petition are: American Gem
Society, American Gem Trade Association, World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO),
Cultured Pearl Association, Diamond Council of America, Diamond Manufacturers
and Importers Association of America, International Diamond Manufacturers
Association, Jewelers of America, Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of
america, and the World Federation of Diamond Bourses.
that the Tucson Gem Shows and Valentine's Day are in the rear-view
mirror, we can all take a small breather, and then focus on
We must also continue servicing our customers, recruiting to
new customers, and generally growing our respective businesses.