All About Sapphires

Overview

Sapphire is one of three varieties of corundum found in the world. The red variety commonly referred to as Ruby, and the lesser known pinkish orange variety, as Padparadscha. The name Sapphire is then referred to any other color outside those falling under Ruby or Padparadscha. The most commonly known and cherished blue variety has been adorned for centuries, representing nobility, royalty and faith of many throughout the world; however, hues of green, yellow, purple, and even orange are just a few of the other colors that are also labeled as Sapphire. The blue variety of Sapphire has a rich history in folklore, art, and most prominently, among royal families throughout history, and even attributes its name from the Persian word, Safir, which is derived from Greek, meaning blue. Found on nearly every continent, ranging from countries of India, Pakistan, Thailand, African, and even the United States, just to name a few, mining operations today are some of the most prominent among prospectors and site holders of any gemstone.

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What Qualifications Should Credible Jewelry Appraisers Have?

Appraisers are part of a niche group of experts that form just a small, yet very critical aspect of the jewelry industry. Our skill sets derive from years of industry related experience, ongoing studies involving new and advanced scientific procedures, extensive research of market fluctuations and fashion trends that affect production cost and material value, to intercommunication with larger research labs and organizations to keep up on legal guidelines for correct disclosures within the context of what is used in most circumstances as legal statements and documents. Bias aside, we must be experts in almost every key role within the vast and often convoluted jewelry industry in order to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information to our clients.

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Magical Machines?

There has been a growing trend among many gem and jewelry professionals that there is a mystical box that laboratories use that will, at a moments notice, produce the results of any gemstone, revealing its identity, treatments, or even where in the world it may come from. Since most testing is done behind closed doors, I thought it would be helpful to shed some light on what actually happens when gemstones undergo analysis. Although this short article isn’t meant to provide a comprehensive step-by-step, it will give the reader a better idea of the various tests that are involved and why a seemingly simple analysis can take hours or even days to complete.

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What is Spectroscopy?

Spectroscopy is the science of analyzing the way light breaks into its component colors. By analyzing these different colors, we are able to determine a number of very specific properties in the gemstone being studied. Depending on the type of spectrometer we use, the varying test results will help determine not only the chemical makeup of the gemstone itself, but specifically, where it gets its color from, whether the gemstone is synthetic or natural, if it has been treated, and even what part of the world it is from.

(See below for varieties of Spectrometers)

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The Ongoing and Critical Need for Laboratory Identification

It goes without saying that we are in a rapidly increasing technological era. Our capabilities in the broad world of science increase exponentially each year in fascinating ways. The gem and jewelry industry certainly is not left orphaned in that world of development. In the past couple of decades, our trade has witnessed the progression of imitations more closely relating to their natural counterpart, highly advanced synthetic diamonds and colored stones, and an abundance of treatments that have left even the most shrewd Gemologists scratching their heads in confusion.

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I’ve Been Duped! What Do I Do Now?

More frequently than we care to see, as appraisers, from time to time, we are faced with the absolute worst part of our job: Having to utter those words, “I’m sorry, it’s not a real diamond.” or “It’s only worth “X” of what you paid.”

Not only is it personally devastating to break this news to hard working individuals, who are typically buying jewelry for what is often supposed to be a special occasion, it is completely maddening to often learn that the misrepresentation of the product is purposely done so by the retailer, and that they are fully aware they are selling something completely inferior to what they are claiming it to be. Not only is it unethical, it probably goes without saying that it is 100% illegal. Regardless of disclaimers and disclosures on the sales receipt or a lab report provided to the buyer after the sale, not explicitly disclosing treatments, accurate qualities, and the material being sold is just plain fraud. Unfortunately, many consumers do not take the time to get an independent opinion from a professional who does not have a vested interest in the buying/selling aspect of the item in question; they’re just giving their objective, professional opinion.

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All Gemologists Are Not Created Equal

The word Gemologist, has long been a very obscure title, that, for many, brings up a big question mark. Since many who are shopping for gemstones and jewelry may hear this term come up from time to time, I thought it would be helpful to give this subject a bit more clarity, since there are many functions not shared from one type of Gemologist to the next.

Read on to learn the difference between a Sales Gemologist, Lab Gemologist, and Research Gemologist.

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22 Important Questions to Ask Your Insurance Company

Having your valuable jewelry insured correctly is not a simple matter to undertake. In our experience, asking the following list of questions of your insurer will give you the information you’ll need in order to make the best and most informed choice of insurance type and carrier.

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