AZGem Gems
December, 1999
The World's Most Useful
Gem & Jewelry Monthly Newsletter

Happily written by Carolyn and Fred Doyle for customers of The Dorado Company,
and other visitors to the website who subscribe.


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This Month's Usable Gems…

Chlorine Attack!

Your gold and silver jewelry can be seriously harmed by exposure to chlorine. You know, bleach, numerous harsh cleaning agents, pool water, and even drinking water.

Chlorine can turn your silver jewelry black. It's an oxidizing effect, so strong that it may require a professional jeweler's buffing machine to remove it.

It's worse for the alloys in gold jewelry. Here chlorine attacks the nickel and copper components of the alloy, and eats at them. This is called corrosion stress cracking. It can be especially harmful when it weakens those little prongs holding your gemstones into your ring!

Pure 24K gold is not damaged by chlorine. But... it's also very soft and subject to serious wear. That's why we use alloys.

18K gold is more durable, and it retains that rich gold color. But it is 25% alloy, and somewhat subject to chlorine attack.

14K gold is the most popular for fine jewelry. It represents the great compromise... a balance of durability, color and affordability. 14K gold is 58% gold and the rest is alloy metals. It is more vulnerable to chlorine attack than 18K.

10K gold is highly subject to attack. Don't even spell b-l-e-a-c-h while wearing 10K gold jewelry!

There are a few simple precautions that you can take now that you know the facts. You should avoid exposing your jewelry to harsh cleaning chemicals, especially bleach and other solutions containing chlorine.

Most commercial jewelry cleaners are made with chlorine-free water. You can find the formula for making your own fine jewelry cleaner in our AZGem Gems newsletter for November, 1999. Oh, please remember to always thoroughly dry your jewelry between cleaning it and putting it away.

Some people remove their gold jewelry when taking a shower, but others declare that to be too much trouble… that it diminishes their enjoyment of the jewelry.

You get to decide where to draw that fine line with your fine jewelry.


A New Tourmaline Discovery

Those familiar with tourmaline know it to be a beautiful, lively, desirable, and durable gem.

Technically, tourmaline is a family of closely related minerals. They share a common crystal structure, but have a grand array of chemical components. The result is a gem that occurs in every imaginable color. The pinks, reds, blues, and greens often seem to possess a unique vibrancy.

In early 1999, a new occurrence of highly desirable pink tourmaline from Nigeria was introduced to the world. The Dorado Company offers a very affordably priced selection of these beautiful and exotic gems. While we have been selling these gems to our customers since they were first introduced, some gem dealers have been holding their stones, waiting for the deposit to be mined out... and for the price to shoot up to the $1000 per carat retail range.

Now, a new deposit of this gem has been discovered near the original find. And it produces the same high-quality gems as the first deposit.

This is bad news for those waiting for the supply to wither and the demand to increase. But it's good news for us! The price will undoubtedly increase moderately as the stone becomes better known, but not as much as anticipated. By the way, you can still buy this gem from us at last February's price by clicking on the link above.


Emeralds In Canada

A few years ago it was diamonds being discovered in northern Canada. Today it is emeralds.

It's too early to know the quality of the stones and the extent of the deposit. Hopefully, we will have a new source for emeralds within a couple of years, to fill the demand and keep prices affordable.


Diamond Treatment

All of the publications serving the gem and jewelry industry are talking about a new process that enhances the color quality of diamonds.

Colorless diamonds are the most valuable, except possibly for a few famous fancy-colored gems. The General Electric Company has developed an industrial process capable of reducing the traces of yellow and brown found in certain diamonds.

We'll cover this subject in more detail next month, so until then…


…please, visit me anytime at for a great selection of colored gems at great prices, or at for the best deal in a birthstone earring gift.

Carolyn Doyle

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The Dorado Company
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