AZGem Gems
October, 2006

gem stone and jewelry newslettergem stone and jewelry newsletter

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.


October Birthstone Is Opal


october birthstone is opal


The October birthstone is opal.

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

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

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

A great deal can be told about opal just by defining some commonly applied opal terms...

First is what I'll call precious opal. A precious opal gem exhibits several colors in a display known as play of color. This is what most people visualize when they think of opal.

Play of color, or fire refers to the flashes of rainbow colors seen as a precious opal is moved.

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

Flash opal refers to a stone where flashes of color appear and disappear at various spots as the gem is moved back and forth.

In a harlequin opal the color display is in angular patches, all in contact with each other like a mosaic.

In a pinfire opal the color is in the form of tiny dots, set close together.

In a peacock opal many colors appear in the same gem resembling the display of the tail of the male peacock.

Boulder opal is a thin layer of precious opal naturally adhering to brown ironstone host rock.october birthstone is opal

Jelly opal looks like jelly and exhibits play of color.

october birthstone is opalMexican opal, or fire opal is transparent to translucent red or orange. These stones may also come from Brazil. The name refers to body color. Most of these stones do not exhibit play of color.

Are you confused yet? For clarity, we'll avoid the term "fire opal" entirely from here on.

Peruvian opal is a nearly translucent blue or pink stone found in Peru. It lacks play of color because the silica spheres are arranged randomly.

Common opal is a low quality form of opal... no play of color, and no beauty. One variety of common opal is called potch opal.

Assembled opal refers to natural opal affixed to other materials. Doublets and triplets are assembled opals. Why have assembled opals? For strength as a jewelry stone... and for affordability.

A doublet contains a slice of precious opal glued to a baseopal triplet of common opal, glass or other material. A triplet contains a slice of precious opal glued between a base and a quartz crystal or glass top.

It's hard not to like the color of opal, the October birthstone. The gem is unique because opal offers many colors at once.

Opal occurs in several basic body colors, such as pink, blue, black, and white. In addition, precious opal exhibits that optical phenomena known as play of color .

This type of opal is made up of microscopic spheres (150 to 300 nanometers) of silica with water trapped between the spheres.

The amount of water is small... between 3 and 20 per cent, according to the accepted gemology literature. Opals should never be allowed to freeze or dry out. In the case of solid opal, an occasional light rinsing in fresh water is recommended by this same gemology literature.

The October birthstone is opal, and opal is beautiful.

 I have several nice triplet opals 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 opal jewelry  returns a number of listings and ads for vendors specializing in production run jewelry pieces.





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Gem Industry News...


Business As Usual After Coup


According to reports from gem industry members on the scene, the recent coup in Thailand has had negligible effect on the gem industry in that Southeast Asian country.

Coups are common in Thailand, although this is the first in about 15 years. Between 1971 and 1992, there have been nine coups in Thailand.

One gem trader described the military takeover of the government as "almost a non-event."

Many in the gem and jewelry industry were recently in Bangkok attending the Bangkok Gems & Jewellery Fair, which was held September 13-17.

The Thai military said Tuesday night it had dismissed the government of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, the controversial telecommunications tycoon turned politician, and declared martial law, after surrounding the Government House with tanks and troops in what the media is reporting as a bloodless coup. Shinawatr was in New York attending a United Nations meeting. He is now in London.

Thai army chief, Gen. Sonthi Boonyaratkalin, who orchestrated the coup, promised on Wednesday, in a national address, that the military has no political or economic interests and plans to return power to the people.

He promised to step down in two weeks, saying he would appoint an interim premier to run the country until parliamentary elections are held under a new constitution in October 2007. Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who has a great deal of influence in the country, said he supports the coup.


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Jewelry Dealers

Are you building inventory? Christmas is coming fast.

It's easier to sell a piece of jewelry than a loose stone and a mounting from a picture.


The price of gold is still around $600 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 now be buying what you need now... as you need it.

Platinum is at an amazing $1144 per ounce. So if you're like us, you're not selling much platinum jewelry.


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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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