AZGem Gems
September, 2003
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.


Gem Origins - Australian Diamonds

Gem origins are of interest to many gem fanciers. This is another in our occasional series highlighting gem producing countries and regions.

This month it's back to Australia, a major player in the diamond industry, as well as the colored stone trade.

Within the last twenty years Australia has become a major source for diamonds. This came about as the Argyle Mine was discovered,  developed, and brought into commercial production.

Have you noticed how colored diamonds are now  being promoted? The Argyle is well known for yielding natural colored diamonds. 

In addition to whites, the most (and best) pink diamonds are mined here, along with pleasing variations of yellows and browns (cognac, champagne).

Most Argyle diamonds fluoresce blue under ultra-violet light. This comes in handy when separating the gems from the ore.

The Argyle mine is the largest producer of diamonds in the world. As with most diamond mines, the source is a kimberlite pipe.

A kimberlite pipe is the core of an ancient volcano. Think of it as the volcano's plugged-up plumbing.

The chemical mixture present in the active volcano, along with heat and pressure, created the conditions needed for diamonds to crystallize in the pipe as the volcano cooled.

Over eons the volcano eroded away until the volcano disappeared, scattering diamonds, rock, and gravel down the slopes . However, the rest of the volcano's core was still there at, or just below ground level.

Diamond mines are often discovered by prospecting washes upstream until the kimberlite pipe is located. This technique led to the discovery of the Argyle deposit in northern Western Australia, some miles southeast of Derby.

Most of Australia's commercial diamond mines are in the states of Western Australia and Northern Territory, but other diamond prospects are being pursued in several location throughout Australia.

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Industry News

One of the largest diamonds ever discovered was recently unearthed in Siberia.

Lemon yellow, internally flawless, and 301 carats, it sounds like an incredible stone. It was mined by Alrosa, the Russian diamond monopoly.


Jewelry Dealers

Now is the time to build your inventory for the coming season.

You should be buying...

  • finished jewelry pieces
  • loose gems
  • mountings
  • gold chain

You can buy some finished pieces from us or one of the other suppliers listed in your dealer information.

You know how to buy a loose gem from us and a compatible mounting from a listed manufacturer and have your trade shop set the gem to make a custom piece.

You should also have a few gold chains in stock. Look in your dealer info for a supplier... or check with me. Send an e-mail to

P.S. If you want to build a profitable website, I recommend SBI!


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