AZGem Gems
August, 2006

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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.


August Birthstone Is Peridot



The August birthstone is peridot.

This month we continue our series on birthstones that will provide answers to questions like...

"What is my birthstone?"

"What if I don't like the color of my birthstone?"

"What if I can't afford my birthstone?"

Peridot is a gem created in nature through the combining of two minerals...  fayalite and forsterite.

The word peridot is pronounced pair-a-doe, rather than per-i-dot.

Peridot is a magnesium-iron-silicate (Mg, Fe)2SiO4 , often associated with traces of nickel and chromium.

Click on the box... and have Google start putting money in your bank account!

Peridot comes in a bright, fresh, spring green, sometimes tending to a golden hue. Technically, the color is described as yellowish- green, but that description misses the beauty of peridot.

The pure yellow and brown variations of olivine aren't true peridot.

This of course, means that August babies can only choose among variations in hue and lighter/darker stones.

Peridot is mined commercially in the Hindu Kush mountains along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, in Myanmar, and on the San Carlos Apache Reservation in Arizona. San Carlos provides the most stones to the gem market.

Smaller occurrences of peridot are mined in several other countries.

Peridot has a hardness in the range of 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs hardness scale... more than adequate to be a good jewelry stone.

Peridot occurs in a range of sizes, from microscopic to more than 100 carats.

The Egyptians prized peridot gems more than 4000 years ago, and it's popularity has spread worldwide in modern times.

The source of the Egyptian gems was probably the island of Zebirget (St. Johns) in the Red Sea. This source is no longer in commercial production.

Peridot  ranges in price from a very reasonable $25 per carat to several hundred dollars per carat, depending on stone size and quality. 

I am most familiar with the San Carlos gems, partly because this location is only about 100 miles from my home.

Only San Carlos Reservation residents can mine San Carlos peridot. Traditionally, it's a family affair, with whole families visiting Peridot Mesa to pry the rough stones from the sides of the mesa using hammers, screwdrivers, and other small tools.

Several years ago a local entrepreneur named Charles Vargas began mining an area of the mesa with a back-hoe. This, of course, caused a great uproar among these highly traditional people.

Assurances to residents and tribal leaders that traditional family mining areas would be avoided calmed the uproar.

Charles went on to establish a thriving, vertically integrated enterprise offering high quality gems, jewelry by native artists, and mineral specimens directly to the public.

His purpose was to bring the benefits of the reservation's natural and human resources back to his people in the form of jobs and money.

The August birthstone is peridot, and chances are your peridot will have come from San Carlos.

I have several nice peridot gems and earring studs in stock at the moment. Send me an email to get details on several that are ready to ship.

A Google search for the keyword phrase peridot jewelry  returns a number of listings and ads for vendors specializing in production run jewelry pieces.





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Gem Industry News...


Affluent consumers prefer the Internet

Have you ever heard of the Luxury Institute? According to their website...

"The Luxury Institute is the uniquely independent and objective research institution that focuses solely on the top 10 percent of America's wealthy."

Anyway, they recently published findings of some research that reveals more of those with a net worth of $750,000 or more, and an annual income of at least $150,000, prefer to buy luxury goods online.

The Luxury Institute's survey reveals that "the Internet has become the channel of choice for wealthy consumers in dealing with the firms that serve them."

38 percent of respondents in the "Enhancing the Customer Experience of the Wealthy 2006" survey prefer to purchase luxury goods online, versus 33 percent who favor face-to-face transactions. Similarly, in services, 37 percent of wealthy consumers want to close the deal online, compared to 30 percent who prefer buying in-person. Twenty percent prefer making purchases of both goods and services via the telephone.

Well, I could have told them that!

But, if they surveyed the rest of us, they would have discovered that we also buy things like gems and jewelry online.


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Jewelry Dealers

Are you rewarding your customers with discounts or freebies when they send you a new customer?

These simple gestures will keep the old customers sending you new ones.


The price of gold is still around $635 per ounce, so if you weren't able to hedge by buying up gold mountings and findings a couple of years ago, you probably should be buying what you need now. It just keeps going up.


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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
Scottsdale, AZ 85252-8232