GemSelect Newsletter - November 2008
Unless you happen to live in Chanthaburi, Thailand or Jaipur, India, the best priced quality gemstones are only found online. You'll not only find the best prices, but also, you will see the widest selection. The only tricky part is that you have to make your selections based on photographs. And that can be a challenge.
Our high quality gemstone photos have always been a distinguishing feature of our website. We photograph each and every gemstone we sell - not a simple task when we have more than 10,000 gems in stock. We also shoot each gem from 3 different angles, so you can get a good sense of the cut and proportions.
One of the virtues of still photos is that they can provide a lot of information. A still camera with a macro lens can get very close to the subject, so that very fine details can be seen. A good gemstone photo can be almost as detailed as looking at a stone under 10x magnification with a jeweler's loupe.
However, still photos have their limits. It's hard to capture the brilliance and luster of a gemstone in a still photograph. Gems reflect light best when they are moving. Many gems are pleochroic and display different colors from different angles. The multiple colors of tourmaline, in particular, are tough to capture with a still camera.
For a long time we've wanted to include video clips on our website to give our customers a more true-to-life experience of our gems. But high quality video was simply too slow for the Internet, and we didn't want to lower our quality standards or slow down our website. Recent innovations in video compression, combined with faster Internet connections, are now making it practical for us. Starting this month you will start to find video clips on our gem detail pages.
If you have the industry-standard Adobe Flash Player installed, you'll see a video window when you visit a gem detail page that has a video clip. Just click the start button to play the video. If you don't have Flash installed, our detail pages will show you our still photos. If a video is available, you'll see a "play video" button. Click on it and you'll have the option to install the Flash player. Or you can just click here to install Flash.
We'll not only be shooting videos of many of our new gems, but we'll also be adding videos for selected items in our current inventory. We're still perfecting our video production.
We add hundreds of new gems to our inventory every day. We also add new content to our website every month, in the form of articles and reference material.
Recently we've added new articles on topics, including seeing gemstone stars, identifying country of origin, gems from Pakistan and rocks as gems. If you've wondered why you don't see Kashmir sapphire for sale, read our new article on the most famous sapphires in the world. Click the link to see all our gemstone articles.
Each month we focus on a rare and unusual gem from our inventory. This month we feature a rare green zircon from Sri Lanka.
Natural zircon is typically golden brown, orange or reddish-brown. Blue and white zircon gems are produced by heat treatment. But the rare green zircon is a special case. The green color occurs naturally, but only in a few places in the world, principally Sri Lanka and Burma. In some zircon gems, radioactive uranium and thorium cause a partial disruption of the crystal lattice. Most of these so-called metamict zircon materials are not clean enough to be cut as gemstones. However, some green specimens are an exception, and are highly prized by collectors. This 3.64 carat zircon from Sri Lanka displays a strong, slightly yellowish green with good clarity and excellent luster.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org!
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Happy Gem Hunting!
Your friends at GemSelect
- First Published: November-01-2008
- Last Updated: June-29-2017
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