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: December 2007 Newsletter: Gift Ideas for the Holiday Season

GemSelect Newsletter - December 2007

In our newsletter this month:
Top Grade Pink Gemstone
Top Grade Pink Gemstone
Gift Ideas for the Holiday Season Back to Top

We receive a lot of email at this time of year asking us for gift suggestions. So we've collected some of our best ideas for this month's newsletter. We hope this makes your holiday shopping just a little easier.

If you're looking for a very special gift, a good place to start is with our top grade gems. Our staff select the finest pieces from our inventory for this group, so if you want our personal recommendations, you'll find them here. Not everything in this group is expensive, by the way; we include particularly fine examples of many inexpensive gems as well as our finest sapphire, tourmaline and spinel.

A personalized gift is always appreciated, so you may wish to consider a birthstone or anniversary stone. You can make your choice by month or by signs of the zodiac. There are recognized alternative choices for many months as well.

Another nice gift idea is a matched pair of gems. Well-matched pairs are actually quite difficult to find, but we buy our gems in volume and our staff spend a lot of time going through parcels of gems to put together matched pairs. We've made it a bit of a speciality and we typically have as many as 500 matched pairs in our inventory, with around 30 gem types represented. Click here to see all our matched pairs.

Matched Sapphire Pair
Matched Sapphire Pair

If you're looking for an inexpensive but unique gift, consider a gemstone carving. We have interesting figurines in a dozen different gem types, even some in sapphire and ruby. The carved turtles are a particular favorite and they are a traditional symbol of longevity here in Asia.

If you'd like to purchase a large gemstone but are looking for something fairly inexpensive, have a look at our huge selection of cabochons. These are popular with collectors and make nice mementoes as well as stunning jewelry. We currently have over 25 types of cabochons in our stock.

Finally, we are often asked what are the best value fine gemstones today. Everything seems to get more expensive every year, but in our opinion the finest value gems are tourmaline, spinel, spessartite garnet and zircon. This year we're recommending tanzanite as well, since we were recently lucky to buy some very fine pieces at an excellent price.

At this time of year we take special care to make sure our customers receive their orders promptly and reliably. We've shipped gemstones to more than 70 countries and we've become experts at international shipping. So here's some advice to take the worry out of ordering an important gift online.

We strongly recommend FedEx for all holiday gifts. It's fast (3 to 4 days to nearly anywhere in the world) and you can track your shipment online so you'll know exactly when it will be delivered. It is remarkably reliable as well. Just make sure your give us your correct address and provide a telephone number in case of any problems with delivery.

Please note that loose gemstones may be imported duty-free to the USA, but FedEx shipments to other countries may be subject to tax and duty. If you're unsure about the situation in your country, please email us and we'll advise you about the quickest and cheapest shipment method.

A final note: We cannot ship gemstones to France by FedEx due to customs clearance issues. Registered mail is the best shipping method to France, so please be sure to order early!

Each month we focus on one of the lesser known gemstones. This month's featured stone is apatite.

Apatite from Madagascar
Apatite from Madagascar

Apatite, a stone seldom found in jewelry stores and virtually unknown to the general public, is beloved by collectors for its many different colors and forms. Only with the recent availability of the neon blue-green variety from Madagascar, has its jewelry use increased. The color of the best specimens of this type rivals the famed Paraiba tourmalines, but apatite is not quite as hard, so it is not recommended for rings that are worn daily.

We have apatite from Madagascar in a range of greens and blues, including a number of pieces in the popular neon blue-green. To see all of our apatite gems, click here.

Customer Questions Back to Top

Every month we answer questions of general interest from our customers. Please feel free to send your questions or suggestions to our support team at help@gemselect.com!

Question
What is the most durable gemstone? SK, USA.
Answer
Many people would answer "diamond", since it is the hardest of all the gemstone materials. But there is more to durability than just hardness. For example, diamond has perfect cleavage, meaning it can be split with a single blow. Corundum (ruby and sapphire), while not quite as hard as diamond, has no cleavage, a property it shares with spinel. Some other gems that are quite hard, such as emerald, typically have internal fractures which are filled by oiling, and thus these gems require special care. For more information on caring for your fine gems, please see our information pages on caring for gemstones and cleaning gemstones.
Question
When you give gemological information for each gem, you include something called "color of streak". What does that mean? Why is it important? Thanks, for your answer, DN, New Zealand.
Answer
The streak test is one of the many methods used to identify gemstones. Each gemstone has an inherent color, that is, it's true color unaffected by any impurities. The color of a mineral when powdered is called the streak of the mineral. Crushing and powdering a mineral eliminates some of the effects of impurities and structural flaws, and is therefore a diagnostic test for some minerals. Streak can be determined for any mineral by crushing it with a hammer, but it is more commonly obtained by rubbing the mineral across the surface of a hard, unglazed porcelain material called a 'streak plate'. The color of the powder left behind on the streak plate is the mineral's streak.

Keep up with our new arrivals before they hit the newsletter by joining our thousands of fans and followers on our social networking pages. We love interacting with our customers - you can visit us on Tumblr, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest!

To ensure you can receive our emails, please be sure to add help@gemselect.com to your list of safe contacts, or you add us into your email address book! Please feel free to contact us with any questions, comments and queries! We respond to each and every email we receive.

Happy Gem Hunting!
Your friends at GemSelect

  • First Published: December-01-2007
  • Last Updated: October-24-2017
  • © 2005-2017 GemSelect.com all rights reserved.
    Reproduction (text or graphics) without the express written consent of GemSelect.com (SETT Company Ltd.) is strictly prohibited.
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Size and Weight

Gems are always measured in Millimeter (mm)

Dimensions are given as;
length x width x depth,
except for round stones which are;
diameter x depth

Select gems by size, not by weight!
Gem varieties vary in density, so carat weight is not a good indication of size

Note: 1ct = 0.2g

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