In our newsletter this month:
Many of our customers are gemstone collectors, so we get numerous requests for rare and unusual stones. Finding these gems is far from easy, even given our location in Thailand and the extensive contacts we've established over the years. But some months we get lucky and have opportunities to buy some unusual stones. Last month, for example, we found interesting specimens of 15 different gemstone varieties that we've never stocked before.
When we started our online business 5 years ago we carried about 40 different kinds of gemstones. At the time we thought that was an impressively wide range. But now we have 119 different varieties in stock. We continue to search out the rare and unusual.
Among the unusual varieties we found recently is idocrase, a brilliant olive green gem from the mineral vesuvianite. Idocrase is not only rare, but transparent specimens that can be faceted count as very rare indeed. Most gem-quality idocrase is opaque with an appearance similar to jade. Recently some very fine transparent specimens have come from Tanzania and Kenya, and we were lucky enough to buy a small amount.
Another rare green gem is tashmarine diopside, a bright green form of diopside from Tajikistan. Many people are familiar with the chrome diopside from Russia, a saturated green that is so deep that it can only be cut in small sizes without becoming overly dark. The much brighter tashmarine diopside can be faceted in larger sizes.
We've had a number of requests for larimar, an unusual green-blue variety of pectolite found only in one location in the Dominican Republic. Due to limited supply, it is very hard to find outside of the Caribbean region. Fortunately, we've found a small lot of excellent pieces.
Among our recent acquisitions are some unusual cabochons. These include violet charoite, a recent discovery from Siberia with a distinctive swirling pattern; gaspeite, an apple green nickel carbonate from the USA; hemimorphite, a rare zinc silicate from the Congo that occurs in a vivid blue with white banding; hematite, one of the few gems with a metallic luster, and one of the densest materials in the gemstone world; and lepidolite, a lilac-gray or rose-colored lithium-bearing mineral of the mica group from Mexico.
Rare and Unusual Gems
There are rare gems and then there are very rare gems. High quality sapphires in very large sizes are very rare indeed. This 20.83 ct. blue sapphire from Madgascar displays superb color saturation and brilliance with outstanding clarity.
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Happy gem hunting,
Your friends at GemSelect
- First Published: April-01-2009
- Last Updated: October-21-2014
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