John and Laura Ramsey report: Fabulous New Blue Diamond Found

Just last week it was reported by Petra Diamonds Ltd. that they have found what they’re calling an “exceptional” rough blue diamond whose uncut weight exceeds 122 carats. Wow!

As we reported recently, a cut and polished blue diamond just recently sold for a record sum—it seems that this new stone will break that record.

Even while it is still in rough speculation, it’s likely that the cut stone out of this piece will fetch in the neighborhood of $100,000,000. That’s one hundred million dollars.

Petra has apparently examined the piece and has declared that it is of exceptional clarity. The color is a nice but not as deep a blue as the Hope diamond.

As a gem cutter I have looked at the photos of the rough piece and speculate that it might be cut into a pear shape. It would be nice to hold it in my own hands and look at it from every angle and then guess as to the cut into which it might be fashioned.

We’ll keep abreast of this story and let everybody know the outcome—the cut and the final price.
Diamond

John and Laura Ramsey report Gem News—

Exciting news this year in a world seeming somewhat depleted of fine colored gems: two great finds…

First, there has been found what may be a 50 ton boulder of Jadeite in Hpakant, Burma.  Depending upon what could be the final weight of the boulder and the quality of the jadeite therein a possible several billion dollar rock.  Yes, that’s billion with a “b.”

Also reported to be found is a new pocket of rubellite tourmaline in Brazil.  The mine—the famous Cruzeiro mine.  All the rough has already been sold.  The find was in the 10’s of millions of dollars.  Already sent off to the ends of the world.

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Ruby and Pink Sapphire—between the lines with John and Laura Ramsey

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Ruby and all colors of Sapphire are simply different colors of the same mineral: Corundum. Hooray for Corundum—without you we would be missing a lot in the gem world.

Ruby is red corundum colored by chromium, and Pink Sapphire is pink corundum colored by a little less chromium than Ruby. The difference is this: Ruby has a little less than 1% chromium and Pink Sapphire generally has about 1/2 of that.

Now, here is where it gets interesting. What happens in the gems that don’t know enough to fit squarely in one camp or another? Well, some Pink Sapphires get close to red and some Rubies have apparently had a brush with Clorox and come up a little pale to be considered “red.”

Some of the best fun we’ve had was in the late 90’s when we would buy some of the more pale Burmese Rubies that were cut a little chunky on the bottom in what they call a “mixed cut.” The mixed cut would have a heavy rounded bottom in an effort to conserve color. We would buy these, cut the bottom to a “brilliant” bottom pretty much like a diamond is cut, lose a bunch of color and have the prettiest, darkest hot pink sapphires we’ve ever seen.

Sometimes things that are between the lines of common definition are the best!

Pink sapphire ring


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© Ramseygems.com, Inc., 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from John and Laura Ramsey is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to johnandlauraramsey.com with appropriate and specific links back to this original content.

John and Laura Ramsey talk about Tanzanite and Tsavorite

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A couple of gems that we really love come from East Africa. Our first trip overseas together as young marrieds was to East Africa in early 1977. We were early adopters to East African gems and Tanzanite and Tsavorite were on our list even back then. We were dealing directly with miners in the region. As you can see from the photo there is a good reason the entire population of the earth immediately fell in love with these two gems.

While it is normal for Tanzanite to occur in larger sizes it is quite unusual for Tsavorite to come in larger sizes like the 6 carat gem in the photo. This is especially true for larger sizes in good colors. Some times Tsavorite is too dark or too light in the larger sizes. The piece featured is a “Goldilocks Just Right” color. If you haven’t added these two beauties to your collection you might want to save up. They’re worth it!


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© Ramseygems.com, Inc., 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from John and Laura Ramsey is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to johnandlauraramsey.com with appropriate and specific links back to this original content.

John and Laura Ramsey talk about Pearl for June

Image of a white pearl in a shell on a white background.Most people are very familiar with the pearl as one the birthstones for June. Alexandrite and Moonstone are the other two gemstones. Pearl, with its variety of color and shapes, is an organic gem loved and treasured for centuries. It is said that the Romans built armies from the sale of a single pearl while poems abound about its transcendent beauty.

The pearl was selected as a birthstone for June by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912. Not only can you select your favorite pearl as a birthstone, you can also receive a pearl for your 3rd, 12th and 30th wedding anniversaries. The allure of pearls is far reaching.

Pearl is considered to be organic since it is formed inside mollusks such as oysters and the mussel. An irritant, perhaps a bit of sand or a stone, can get inside the shell. Nacre is then secreted around this irritant creating a lustrous substance. Layers upon layers overlap to create an iridescent luster. A pearl can take up to 8 years to be created. Principal oyster beds are in The Persian Gulf, the Indian Ocean primarily along the coasts of Sri Lanka and India, as well as the Red Sea. Japanese pearls are found near the coast in salt water. Polynesia coasts and Australia produce cultured pearls.

Types of pearls are extensive ranging from the natural to cultured (when the irritant is placed by man inside the living oyster), to baroque, Biwa, blister, black, Freshwater pearls, seed and mabe pearls. China and Japan cultivate freshwater and cultured pearls. Freshwater pearls also occur in the rivers of Germany, Austria, Scotland, Ireland, France and the USA (Mississippi). Colors range from white and creams to pinks and iridescent black.


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© Ramseygems.com, Inc., 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from John and Laura Ramsey is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to johnandlauraramsey.com with appropriate and specific links back to this original content.

The World’s Most Expensive Tourmaline: by John and Laura Ramsey

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Back in 1987 when we were all getting excited about the Nova Era alexandrite find in Brazil, there was a new find of tourmaline in Paraíba, Brazil.

Paraíba is in what Brazilians call the Nordeste (Northeast).  Looking at a map of South America Paraíba is a small Brazilian state that sticks out about as far East as any part of the continent.   The Nordeste is a generally dry area (they grow cotton in the Nordeste [does this remind anyone of Arizona and cotton]).  Apparently the Nordeste is in the rain shadow of South America.  If you also look at the shape of South America and Africa you can see that Paraíba fits nicely into the area of Africa now known as Nigeria.

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John and Laura Ramsey on Alexandrite

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Pearl is a great birthstone for June but Alexandrite is the excitement. With the advent of Chinese fresh water pearls, pearls have become almost too available. On the other hand, true, natural Alexandrite is, and will seemingly always be—rare and hard to find.

Currently the most available and yet quite nice material is from India, from the state of Andhra Pradesh. The color change can be quite nice and yet quite affordable by comparison with material from Russia or Brazil.

Be sure any Alexandrite you buy, of significant size or price, has been certified by a properly accredited appraiser or gemologist. For more information on Alexandrite, click here to read our previous blog post.


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© Ramseygems.com, Inc., 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from John and Laura Ramsey is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to johnandlauraramsey.com with appropriate and specific links back to this original content.

Emerald’s Whole Family is Fun

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Emerald is a variety of the mineral beryl. Emerald is the vibrant green variety of beryl usually colored by Chromium. In other colors beryl has other names. The blue color for beryl is aquamarine. Pink and peach beryl is Morganite (as shown in the photo above, featuring Morganite in its rough-uncut form, straight from the mine). Yellow and golden beryl is heliodor. Red beryl is Bixbite and so far has only been found in Utah. Colorless beryl is called Goshenite.

Chemically, beryl is a Beryllium-Aluminum Silicate. As mentioned, emerald gets its green color from Chromium. There has been an addition to “emerald” of green gems colored by Vanadium but the classic emerald look comes from Chromium rich beryl. Interestingly, the red in ruby is caused by Chromium as well. Emerald is a type 3 gemstone according to GIA terminology and therefore can be expected to have eye visible inclusions.

To read more about the history of Emerald, click here >


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© Ramseygems.com, Inc., 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from John and Laura Ramsey is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to johnandlauraramsey.com with appropriate and specific links back to this original content.

SUNKEN TREASURE

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All the recent media hype over the possible discovery of Columbus’ sunken Santa Maria has renewed worldwide interest in sunken treasure.

According to several archeologists, the remains found off the north coast of Haiti is “amazingly significant.” Watch a video of the find here >

Aside from the Santa Maria, among the most sought after wrecks is that of the San Jose. A Spanish Galleon, the The San Jose was reported to have been sunk off the coast of Cartagena, Colombia by a British warship in 1708. Aboard the San Jose was a fortune in precious metals and emeralds. Most impressive here at Gems At Large is the vast fortune in emeralds. Some estimate the total fortune of gems, silver and gold at over $10 billion USD.  Now that is a fortune!

All our best—  John and Laura Ramsey


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Birthstone Spotlight: December Tanzanite, Zircon, or Turquoise

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Having a December birthdate I’ve always been interested in the birthstone for my month. My first experience with a birthstone came from my dad’s trip to Texas back in the way back day. He stopped in Arizona along the way and bought me a turquoise ring. Wow! That was cool. I don’t remember the year but it was a number of decades ago. I am guessing I was all of 6 years old or so. It was a cool ring in the Southwest Native American style. I began to learn about birthstones.

The tradition I was taught as a young person was that December had two birthstones: zircon and turquoise. Well that tradition has had some issues.

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