John and Laura Ramsey write: More Record Prices—Ruby this time….

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Just recently an important Burmese ruby and diamond ring was sold at Christie’s in Hong Kong. While the diamonds surrounding the ruby were nothing to discount all accounts of the sale referred to the ruby as if it were all by itself in the ring.

Counted alone the ruby went for a per-carat record of just over USD $550,000 per-carat. At 6.04 carats the total came to almost USD $3,333,000.00.

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John and Laura Ramsey write: “World Record Sapphire”

Fitting into the theme of world records being set for gems and jewelry the spring auction late in April by Sotheby’s saw a new per-carat record for a sapphire. The gem is recorded as being a 28+ carat Kashmir gem. According to the auction house the proceeds of the sale are going to charity. With a total price exceeding $5 million USD the per-carat price was over $180,000.
In the lore of colored gemstones Kashmir sapphire is the bench mark. The purity of the blue in Kashmir stones is indeed stunning. Traditionally the Kashmir stones are said to have slight haze but that seems to vary from piece to piece. After spending months maybe years of my life in Thailand (ruby/sapphire central for the world) and seeing gem after gem I would have to say that a fine Burmese sapphire can be every bit as lovely. Some traditionalists may want to disagree but that is just fine. To a true lover of gems they are all like a family—each member is wonderful on their own and for their own unique characteristics.
For instance, about 10 years ago or perhaps a few more there were some fabulous blue sapphires from Madagascar which were certified as untreated. Many of these gems were absolutely stunning. A great Ceylon stone is also beautiful. In fact many of the most famous sapphires are Ceylon stones residing in the important state collections of the world.
Group of  blue sapphire shape with clipping path

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 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.

John and Laura Ramsey Talk About Emeralds

Columbian emeralds rawWith emerald being the birthstone for May, it is always fun to get back into thinking of emerald green and the renewal of spring.

The appreciation of emerald goes back centuries. Holy scriptures of East Indian by the Vedas wrote in Sanskrit of emeralds and their promotion of good luck and good health.

While emeralds are appreciated the world around, certain cultures prize them more than others. As spring unfolds here in the Pacific Northwest it is easy to appreciate the color green and the gem world’s best known representative of green: the emerald.

Learn all about emeralds in one of our previous blog posts >


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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.

A Tribute to Evelyn H. Lauder

Evelyn_LauderI wanted to write a blog post about a dear lady I was lucky enough to come to know: Evelyn Lauder, the visionary Founder and Chairman of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (established in 1993).

John and I have been proud to donate some of our gemstones in jewelry over the years to help raise money for Breast Cancer Research. That is how I met Evelyn Lauder—daughter-in-law of the cosmetics giant Estee Lauder—in my hometown of New York City. We quickly discovered we had many things in common, including a love of photography, and both of us had written several books—Evelyn’s “An Eye for Beauty” was my favorite.

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Find Everything You Want to Know about Gems and Jewelry from John and Laura Ramsey

If you’ve been searching for a place to find facts about gems and jewelry, look no further than the expertise of John and Laura Ramsey. Their many years of experience in the gem and jewelry business enable them to provide honest, reliable, easy-to-understand and interesting facts about gemstones and jewelry.

Their sole mission? Education. If you visit their main Ramseygems.com website, you’ll notice it is not a sales website—because their goal is not to conduct transactions.  Their passion is to educate as many individuals and gem collectors as possible about identifying quality gems and jewelry.