AZGem Gems
July, 2004
The World's Most Useful
Gem & Jewelry Monthly Newsletter

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

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Usable Gems... and a little opinion.

 

Beryl Gem Stones

Beryl gem stones make up an important group of gems for  jewelry.

Some members of the beryl gem stone family are well known... and some are almost completely unknown.

Chemically beryl is a beryllium aluminum silicate, and is colorless unless traces of other elements find their way into the gem crystal as it was formed in the earth.

These colorless beryl gem stones are called Goshenite, and are relatively rare.

Luckily, the crystal structure of beryl allows for the integration of various other elements, which in turn cause different colors.

Beryl is a relatively hard gemstone (7.5 to 8 on the Mohs hardness scale) and is very suitable as a jewelry stone.

Emerald is the best known and most popular beryl gem. This rich green gem owes its pleasing color to traces of chromium or vanadium.

Emerald is the May birthstone.

Emeralds are produced in several countries, including Colombia, Brazil, Pakistan, Zambia, and soon Canada.

Emeralds typically have numerous dark inclusions and voids.

Aquamarine is also well known. This blue (and sometimes blue-green) gem can occur in large sizes.

The color is caused by tiny amounts of iron in the gem.

Aqua, as this gem is affectionately known occurs in numerous locations, including Brazil, Nigeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the USA.

Aqua is also quite popular, and is the March birthstone.

Morganite is the pink variety of beryl, and is named for J. P. Morgan.

Morgan, a famous financier, was also a gem enthusiast. When pink beryl was discovered in the early 1900's (near San Diego), Morgan is said to have financed the mine development and marketing of the gem.

The color is produced by trace amounts of manganese.

This beautiful, soft pink to peachy gem has always been in short supply in the gem market, but that's now changing.

Morganite is rapidly gaining a following among those who appreciate jewelry. New deposits have been located in Madagascar, and the gems are reaching the market.

Morganite is produced in Madagascar, Brazil, and the USA.

Several years ago a promoter started marketing morganite at the Tucson Shows as pink emerald.

The name emerald is closely related to certain shades of green in the eyes of the gem industry and the public.

Because of this, most gem dealers at the shows objected, resisted, became irritated, and were vocally hostile to this attempt to redefine emerald... and the marketing campaign collapsed.

Among the less well known, but still beautiful beryl gems are...

Heliodor, the yellow (or sometimes greenish-yellow) variety of the beryl family.

The color is produced by traces of a combination of iron and uranium.

Bixbite, or red beryl. This is the rarest form of gem beryl.  It is found only in two mines at one location in Utah.

Currently both mines are closed, and the supply of bixbite is limited to a few dealer's old stock.

Because of the rarity (and mining expense, I suppose) bixbite is the most expensive member of the beryl family.

A few years ago an attempt was made to market bixbite as red emerald. The gem industry resisted this marketing effort, as it had with the earlier pink emerald campaign.

Golden beryl is just that, a rich golden color. This color is produced by trace amounts of uranium grown in the crystal.

Green beryl is pastel green. It derives its color from traces iron.

Goshenite, heliodor, golden beryl, and green beryl are relatively inexpensive.

Beryl gem stones other than emerald and bixbite can be found with only small or no inclusions.

You can pick up a beautiful and unusual gem at a real bargain price.

We have emeralds, aquas, morganite, and golden beryl gem stones in stock. Send me an email about the gem you're interested in and I'll tell you what I have in stock that day.

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Deliver-My-Mail

Are you getting all of your mail? When you send mail is it being delivered?

We all know that Spam, or junk e-mail, is a huge problem and that it must be controlled until we can kill it and eliminate this problem from our Inboxes. 

But suddenly we have another problem... your Internet Service Provider (ISP) may be throwing out e-mail that you want and need to receive.

Go to http://deliver-my-mail.sitesell.com/az.html and help eliminate this problem.

If you know people doing business on the internet, or with a website for their small business, please send them this information. It's important to be sure that legitimate mail gets delivered.

Thanks!

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Industry News

Here's an interesting story from the AP...

182 Carat Diamond Found

By PAUL FOURNIER, Associated Press Writer

CONAKRY, Guinea - There's lucky: Finding a diamond when you're a young miner sweating it out in the west African forests of Guinea. And there's too lucky: finding a 182-carat stone, that everyone starting with the government of Guinea wants a piece of.

Result: the stone four times the size of the famous Hope diamond was tucked away Monday deep in the vaults of Guinea's Central Bank, no pictures, please.

And the 25-year-old miner who found it, if not exactly in hiding, was making himself scarce. No interviews, please.

State radio in impoverished, mineral-rich Guinea announced the find last week. Guinea mining industry officials confirmed Monday that the newly dug-up stone though not flawless was a fortune in the rough.

"It's a quite brilliant diamond, of good enough quality despite having numerous veins. One thing is certain it's worth millions of dollars," a top official with the Aredor mining company, Guinea's biggest diamond operation, told The Associated Press.

The Guinea gem is four inches by 1.2 inches high roughly the size and shape of your average computer mouse.

The Hope diamond, by contrast, is 45.52 carats.

The largest diamond ever found, the Cullinan, was a gawdy bowling-ball size beauty at 3,106 carats in the rough.

Free-lance discoveries of big diamonds in west and central Africa typically touch off fierce, fast-buck feeding frenzies, pitting the finders and first-round buyers against would-be moneymakers higher up the food chain.

Finders, terrified, have been known to flee into the bush rather than dare bring their find to market.

In Congo in 2000, the government confiscated a 265-carat stone and jailed its local buyer for a month, freeing both only after massive public protests. That stone eventually went at auction in Israel for an industry-estimated, unconfirmed $13 million to $20 million.

Industry officials and diplomats in Guinea on Monday would discuss the find here only on condition of anonymity.

The 25-year-old, who was not identified, struck his shovel on the stone at a dig in southeast Guinea, bordering Ivory Coast and Liberia.

Authorities gave few other details of the diamond's first hours and days in the light. It was clear, however, that the rock's time with its discoverer was brief.

By Monday, the gem was in the capital, Conakry, behind steel doors at the guarded Central Bank.

The young miner had no choice, a Western diplomat said he might have been killed if he hadn't turned it over to the authorities.

An Associated Press reporter, visiting the area of the find, was unable to locate the young miner.

Diamonds, along with aluminum ore and gold, are among the top exports of Guinea, a resource-rich but virtually undeveloped country whose people live on less than a dollar a day.

The Aredor mining company, using heavy equipment in high-dollar operations, turns up an average of 30,000 carats each year.

Small-scale miners like the 25-year-old, with no more overhead than the cost of a spade, produce 300 to 400 carats a year here.

The 182-carat stone came from a site owned by the government, and leased to miners.

Miners are believed to slip many smaller finds into their pockets, taking the stones out for smuggling and avoiding the government and any cuts it would take.

Especially since it was found on government land, the gem's discoverer may have believed bypassing Guinea's officials too risky in this case, experts said.

Authorities were to inspect the stone later this week and offer an official estimate. The finder if luck holds would likely receive an undetermined percentage of that, industry officials said.

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Jewelry Dealers

Are you making up new pieces of jewelry to rebuild and upgrade your inventory depleted by holiday sales? Now is a good time to work at this fun and vital task.

We've recently received some new emerald, morganite, sapphire, peridot, and chrome diopside from our cutters.

As usual, all these gems are in sizes appropriate for center stones in  rings  and pendants.

Send me an email for information on gems that interest you.

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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
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