Sunday, July 10, 2011


Jade has been treasured for thousands of years and has a great significance culturally. The stone is considered pure and enduring to help a person with their spiritual aspirations as well as sensuous and luxurious to help with remaining down to earth. We use the term “jade” but this is really a generic term for two distinct minerals which are nephrite and jadeite. These two minerals look similar and feel similar but because they have separate chemical compositions they are really classified as separate species.


Color is jadeite’s most important value. We usually associate it with green but it also comes in lavender, red, orange, yellow, brown, white, white, black and gray. The most desirable color is a specific shade of green referred to as Imperial Jade. Imperial has a very pure and vivid color and will look very intense even from a distance. Imperial green jadeite is very rare. Lavender is the second most valuable color. In order to be more valuable it needs to have a very saturated color. If a lavender is pale , or if they have blue in them has a lower value. We are also starting to see more black jadeite on the market. In Jadeite no matter what color it needs to be evenly distributed and uniform to be more valuable. As far as the transparency of the stone goes it can range from completely opaque to a semitransparent. We rate the best transparency in jadeite as semitransparent. The finest quality jadeite is usually cut into cabochons to be used in rings. Jadeite as all stones have treatments both those that have been around for a long time and are accepted and some that have caused a great deal of concern. Jadeite has three different types depending on the treatment. Type A is done by dipping the piece into melted wax after it is cut and polished to improve luster and to fill surface imperfections. This is a very traditional treatment and is extremely common and does not affect value. Since the mid 1970’s there has been a treatment where jadeite is soaked in hot acid for long periods of times to leach out any undesirable colors. This does compromise the durability as it can become brittle. In order to improve the luster of this treatment it is then filled with paraffin wax which makes it more attractive. This type of jade ite is referred to as Type B. This treatment should be disclosed to the consumer. The final type of jadeite type C often is type B that has been dyed. The problem is that these colors often fade, so knowing this makes it easier when buying a piece to negotiate a fair price.


Nephrite is a less expensive than Jadeite as nephrite is not as rare. One of the factors in a gemstones value is its rareness. Also you do not see the same color green as with jadeite and that will reduce the pricing as well. Nephrite also comes in many colors, yellow, red, brown, white, gray, black and sometimes blue. It has lovely colors and a great toughness so it is wonderful for carvings. Nephrite carvings were once reserved for royalty. Nephrite is really an excellent price alternative for jadeite. You should look at the other quality factors the same way you do Jadeite. Although many carvers will work with the uneven colors to add to the value of their piece by using it in their design.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Ruby is one of the most significant of the colored stones. We find that they are mentioned in the bible and associated with beauty and wisdom. In the Sanskrit language ruby is called ranaraj which is King of the precious stones. Ruby is from the gem species corundum. Ruby is the most valuable of the corundum and they get the highest price per carat of any colored stone on the market. Rubies are also very popular and much of that is due to their hardness. Ruby rates 9 on the Mohs scale. Because of this rubies are perfect for frequently warn jewelry.

Color- Color is the factor that most affects a rubies value. The color of a ruby ranges from orangy red to purplish red. The best rubies have a vibrant, pure red to slightly purplish red. Medium to medium-dark tones are the most preferred as long they don’t get dark enough to have a negative effect on the brilliance. The opposite is if a stone has too light of a tone it becomes a pink sapphire.

There are many trade terms used to describe rubies. The problem is that these terms can be misleading as to the origin of the stone. It is very difficult to tell the origin of a stone. When you hear the term Burmese ruby it refers to rubies from what is now Myanmar. The term Burmese color has been used to describe the finest-quality stones no matter what the origin of the stone is. These rubies will have a red to slightly purplish color.

It is rare to find fine quality rubies that are over one carat and rare. You can find commercial quality rubies in these sizes . Almost all rubies today are heat-treated. This is done to help develop the color or even intensify it. Sometimes it can help the clarity by removing or making the inclusions look less visible. The jewelry trade accepts that heat treatments to enhance the color of a ruby. You should assume that a ruby is heat-treated unless you have evident that it has not been.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Colored stone inclusions continued again

Needle- A long thin inclusion that can be solid crystal or hollow tube and it might be filled with liquid or gas.

Silk-Groups of fine needle inclusions. This type of inclusion can create very attractive stones. An example of this is a star stones and cats eye stones.

Fingerprint- This type of inclusions is exactly as its name sounds. It forms a pattern that often resembles a fingerprint. Also they are like a fingerprint in that no two are ever the same. They are actually a partially healed fracture plane. Droplets of fluid were trapped in the crystal before it stopped growing.

Feather-This is the general term for a break in a stone. The term includes any separation or break in a stone. It includes cleavages, parting and fractures if they have not been healed by the natural process. This can be a serious inclusion as it can affect the durability of the stone. If the feather is large this really becomes an issue.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Colored Stones Inclusons continued

Included crystal-A mineral crystal that is trapped within a gem while it is growing. This crystal can be the same crystal as the gem it is trapped inside. It can also be many shapes such as angular or rounded. It can also be different colors, light, dark, transparent or opaque.

Negative Crystal- This is a space that might have liquid, gas or both inside a gemstone. It resembles a mineral inclusion but does not have the mineral. You see these in the beryl gemstone like an emerald.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Gemstone Quality

Blemishes- these are irregularities or clarity characteristics that are on the surface of a polished gemstone.

Inclusions-Inclusions are clarity characteristics that are inside a gemstone. They can reach to the surface of the stone.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Marketablity of Gemstones

Are you starting to shop for the holidays.  Stay tuned for a series of articles about gemstones

There are five factors that affect the marketability of a gemstone






The first thing you should consider is the nature of the inclusion. Think about how much the particular inclusion will affect or even threaten the stones durability. A large feather in a soft stone is much more important than a fingerprint in a hard stone. Next you want to think about size. A large single inclusion is often more important than if a stone had many small inclusions. The number of inclusions is important but may not always be negative. However, in large numbers small inclusions can reduce clarity, reduce brilliance and therefore reduce value. The position of the inclusions within a gem matter as well. Brilliant cuts will conceal inclusions better than step cuts. Also inclusions are easier to see under the table face than under a crown facet. The last thing to think of is relief and this is an important one. It is how noticeable the inclusion is against the color of the gemstone. An inclusion where the color is a contrast or darker than the gem is going to be more visible than one that is large but colorless. If the inclusion is very noticeable in the gemstone it can lower the value of the stone considerably.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Energizing your First Chakra

If you need to reenergize your base chakra you can try some of the following:

Take a warm bath.

Get a massage or have an aromatherapy treatment.

Go out into nature; touch a tree and feel a connection to the earth.

It is possible to have excessive base chakra emotional energy and you can try the following suggestions if you want to rid yourself of some of this energy:

Describe your strong feelings by writing them down. Don’t judge yourself; just write. When it is done, destroy the writing.

Try running, drumming or even dancing to music that has a strong rhythm. This will keep your energies flowing in your body while releasing the excess energy to relieve tension and anxiety.