The Weekly Dozen Review October 31, 2016

This is an affiliate review page.  I am not personally selling these stones, nor do I have them in my possession.  After being a gem cutter for 24 years I have a good eye for stones that stand out and deserve special attention.  Any and all warranties are between you and the seller.  I hope you appreciate my perspective.

Natural Swiss Blue Topaz   12mm x 10mm  Elongated cushion with a checkerboard crown.  Weight 7.0 ct  AAA quality.  This stone was irradiated to bring out the blue color.  Topaz is a hardness of 8 on the Moh’s hardness scale and wears very well.  This stone requires diamond 512eknvmepl__sl500_sl135_paste to polish and the polishing process is time consuming.  I love topaz for it’s beauty and durability.  This stone will give you years of pleasure.

Amethyst  All natural 10 mm square cushion.  AA quality.  Weight 3.95ct.  Heat treated for clarity and color.   Amethyst is a member of the quartz family and is a hardness of 7 on the Moh’s hardness scale.   It wears well and is a great accessory for 51n7muxqcjl__sl500_sl135_purple clothing.  The February birth stone and a great stone for starting your collection.  Amethyst is one of the first stones I ever cut.

Citrine  Golden color citrine.  Also a member of the quartz family.  It has a hardness of 7 on the Moh’s hardness scale.  It wears well in rings and a great stone to start your collection.  This is a 12 mm square cushion.  AA clarity.  Heat treated.  Weight 7.4 ct.  It has a lovely checkerboard crown.


Black Opal Cabachon  Natural opal in a pear shape with great colors and a design like a painting.  However, this painting was done by Mother Nature.  Weight 4.35 ct.  A nice size:  10.7 x 18.1 mm x 4.2mm H.  Great colors.  No heat treatment.41krgipzxyl__sl500_sl135_

Tanzanite Cabachon  Please don’t consider this to be a lowly stone because it’s not faceted.  This cab is a great color and a real “looker”.  A great size:  18.5mm x 14mm x 10mm.  You won’t have to squint to see this one!  African of course; and all natural.  Oval shape.  23.45 ct.  Good quality.  Cut in Brazil.41mxvhilhql__sl500_sl135_  Nice luster.

Morganite  GSL certified Peach colored oval.  13 x 11 x 7.56 mm  Weight 6.42 ct  All natural Brazilian morganite.  A member of the beryl family with a hardness of 7.5-8 on the Moh’s hardness scale.  Wears well in rings.  A great size that shows off it’s depth of color.515tizajlfl-_sl500_sl135_

Tanzanite  A gorgeous violet blue oval from the famous “D” Block mine in the Merelani Hills of Tanzania.  Some of the best stones have come from this mine.  This stone is IF quality.  Internally flawless and did not need heat treatment.  Out of the ground in this beautiful color with no brown in it!  8 x 10 mm  Weight 2.74 ct.  A hardness of 6-7 on the Moh’s hardness scale.  I have recut several tanzanites for customers that wore them down in rings.  Because this stone is IF and not even heat treated I would not recommend it for a ring.  Put it in a box for your collection or a pendant.31sxpwzhmul-_sl500_sl135_


What is Andalusite?

Andalusite is a semi-precious gemstone that was originally discovered in Andalusia, Spain.  Hence the name.  After the original discovery more deposits were found in the United States, Brazil, and Sri Lanka.  Brazil being the main source today.  When faceted it is quite beautiful and it can show three different colors.  This ability is referred to as pleochroism.  Colors are olive green to flesh tones and red.  Also yellow to green to red.  It has a hardness of 6.5-7.5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.  This makes it suitable for jewelry with one exception.  It is slightly brittle and when in rings you need to be very careful.  I would not recommend it for daily wear.  A pendant or earrings, or a set with pendant and earrings is safe to wear without breakage.  Faceted pieces usually weigh between 1 to 2 carats.  Larger pieces do come along, but they are rather scarce these days.  Expect to pay several times more for 2.5 carats and up.  Andalusite is in my opinion very affordable and it would give you something different that you don’t see every day.  I have included some photos that might give you wardrobe ideas if you wish to have the stone set.

More to come:

This is the first post of what will become a series of posts informing you of various gemstones that you may not be familiar with.  All lovely stones that you can add to your collection.  I will also include well known gems and try to make you aware of some variations not common in the market place.  For example:  You may not be familiar with the word corundum.  Corundum is the gemstone family name that includes sapphire and ruby.  Till next time; stay well and happy!s-l225 andalusite-gem-206381b andalusite-gem-390747a

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Buy Gemstones on Line

Spessartite Garnet
Spessartite Garnet

Colored Stone Grading                                                                

Today I’m going to talk a little bit about the grading of colored stones.  The different gemological laboratories all have a grading system similar to that of diamonds.  Color, clarity, cut, and weight are the main concerns.  It takes knowledge of the system and experience to be able to understand the complexity of their systems.  In short; it’s difficult!  It’s broken down into 3 “types” of gemstones first.  Then there are clarity gradings, grading for different shades, and color saturation.  50% to 70% of the value is based on the color.  A stone with great color and inclusions could be worth more than a stone of better clarity.  If the stone is eye-clean; which means you can’t see any inclusions with the naked eye; you will be happy with the stone.  I overheard a customer at a gem show talk about “Killer Color”.  He was correct.  The most important thing is color.  After that you want a good cut and polish.  A symmetrical stone. Nothing lopsided.  Buying on line today is safe and reliable.  Just make sure that the dealer certifies the authenticity of the stone and guarantees that it is natural.  Not man made.  Make sure the return policy is liberal so you have time to inspect the stone and truly decide that you are happy with it.  Look at it  often over a period of a few days and think about how or IF you want it set.  The selection on line today is truly wonderful.  Enjoy looking.  You can spend hours just looking without the pressure of a sales person.  It’s a virtual museum of beautiful gemstones!

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