AZGem Gems
March, 2007

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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.


Apatite Is A Gem


neon blue apatite rough


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).

Okay, 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 molecule.

paraiba blue apatite marquise

These chlorine, 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 other locations.

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.

green apatite oval green apatite rough

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.




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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 human intervention.

The association is specifically targeting the use of the term “cultured diamond,” although the measure would apply to all laboratory-created gemstones.

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.



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Jewelry Dealers

wholesale jewelryNow 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 building inventory.

We must also continue servicing our customers, recruiting to new customers, and generally growing our respective businesses.


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Jewelry Dealers Program

Do you enjoy jewelry and gems?sapphire ring

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