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GemSelect Newsletter - February 2010

In our newsletter this month:
GemSelect Search Engine Back to Top

As our website has grown to include over 20,000 gemstones and more than 500 pages of gemstone information, we want to make it easier for you to find what you're looking for. In the last year we've made major improvements to the navigation on our site with the addition of our 'shop by' menu system. But one of the things we discovered while researching how people use is that a surprising number of people prefer to type their request into the search box rather than use the menu system.

Conventional wisdom in user interface design is that it is always better to let users navigate by pointing and clicking rather than typing. But the use of clever search engines like Google may be having an effect on that behavior. With a good search engine you can often find exactly what you're looking for with the right search phrase, without having to click your way through a series of choices. Typing is more work, but if it takes you right where you want to go, it may well be worth the effort.

To that end, we've recently enhanced our text search capabilities, especially for finding gemstones. You can search by gem variety, color, size, weight, clarity, price and country of origin, and any combination of these. Just enter your search string in the search box, which can be found on the right-hand side of every page.

Here are some examples:

  • sapphire
  • blue sapphire
  • unheated blue sapphire
  • round blue sapphire
  • 6 mm round blue sapphire
  • 7x5 mm oval blue sapphire
  • 1.5 carat sapphire
  • $100 cabochon sapphire
  • Madagascar sapphire
  • sapphire, ruby pairs
  • 2 mm sapphire lots
  • VVS blue sapphire 5 mm round

When you enter a size or weight, we will show you all the gems that match your search, plus or minus 4%. If you need to search for a weight range, such as sapphires between 1.5 and 2.0 carats, you'll need to use our 'shop by weight' option.

You can also use the search for finding information on rare gems that we might not have in stock, such as benitoite, bixbite or uvarovite. Additionally, you can easily find reference material, such as our charts for refractive index or density, our list of calibrated gem sizes, or the list of birthstones by month.

In fact you can search for any term or phrase to do with gemstones. If we don't have an exact match, we'll give you a short list of pages from our website that include your search phrase and you can choose the most relevant.

Rare and Unusual Gems Back to Top

Each month we feature a rare and unusual gem from our inventory. This month we would like to present a very large deep blue sapphire from Madagascar:

Deep Blue Madagascar Sapphire
Deep Blue Madagascar Sapphire

Deep blue sapphire is one of the most classic of colored gemstones. They are especially rare in large sizes because the large stones tend to be too dark or lack brilliance due to poor clarity.

This 5.95-carat oval from the Diego Suarez region of Northern Madagascar is deep blue, but not so deep that it turns black under artificial light. With a clarity grading of VVS, it displays considerable brilliance and scintillation. This rare sapphire would make an outstanding ring set in white gold or platinum with diamonds.

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!

Do you have any rubies that have NOT been glass-filled? If so, how do I find them? Thanks for your help. JP, Norway.
Yes, we do have quite a number of rubies which have not been fracture-filled, at the last count there were over 160 pieces. They include rubies which have heat-treated only, as well as some completely untreated rubies from Mozambique that we recently acquired. Click the link to see all of our non-fracture-filled rubies.
I bought some gems at an estate sale and left them with a jeweler to check. He wasn't in when I picked them them up but he left me a note that said the gems are "paste". Can you explain? GG, USA.
We're sorry to tell you that the news may not be good, though it may depend on the age of your stones. The term "paste" is the traditional term in the jewelry business for gems created from cut glass. Today paste is created for inexpensive costume jewelry and has a very low value. But during the 18th and 19th centuries, there were jewelers such as Georges Frederic Strass who designed extraordinary paste jewelry for the court of Louis XV. That jewelry is very valuable today. So if your paste gems are antiques they could indeed be valuable.

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!

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Happy Gem Hunting!
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