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GemSelect Newsletter - September 2006

We're nearing the end of the long rainy season here in Chanthaburi, Thailand. It's been an unusually wet year, but so far we've escaped the devastating floods that have hit some areas in the north of Thailand. We'll be glad to see the sunshine again and enjoy a few months of pleasant weather before the heat returns in March. Many people are surprised to know that we actually have seasons here in the tropics. We have 3 seasons; hot, really hot and wet.

The weather may be dreary in the rainy season, but it's a good time to get some work done and we've been very busy here at GemSelect, finding great value gems for our customers and enhancing the website to save you time as well as money.

If you haven't visited recently, here's a summary of some of the important improvements of

Credit Card Payment Options

We now accept credit card payment through WorldPay. We searched long and hard to find the best international payment partner, and WorldPay is working out very well for us and our customers. WorldPay is part of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, the 5th largest banking group in the world. For those who prefer to use PayPal, we will continue to support that payment option as well.

Sort Features

We've added new search and sort features to help you find the exact gems you're looking for. We know that it can be fun just to browse through pages and pages of interesting gems. But sometimes you want to be able to find something specific and it's useful to be able to sort gems by type, color, shape or size. Look for this new drop down menu on the gem pages:

GemSelect Search and Sort
GemSelect Sort Features
Calibrated Gems

If you make jewelry, or are buying a stone to have a jeweler set for you, you may want to buy a stone in a "calibrated" size to fit standard jewelry mountings. We've added a calibrated size chart, with links to all the calibrated sizes for the various gem shapes. We also show the calibrated size for all relevant gems when you view the detail page for a particular gemstone.

Gemstone Information

Last, but not least, we've added detailed information pages for almost all of our gem categories, with fascinating facts on the unique characteristics, history and physical properties of each type of gem. If you've ever wondered about the refractive index of spinel or the specific gravity of zircon, you can find it on our info pages.

New in Gems

Chanthaburi may be a small city, but it happens to be the center of the world as far as colored gemstones are concerned. It's estimated that up to 80% of the world's supply of ruby and sapphire passes through Chanthaburi. In the last few years, the trade in semi-precious stones here has increased dramatically, especially with African stones that are cut here in Thailand.

Excellent buys this month include:

  • Cornflower blue sapphire from Madagascar:
  • These gems have good color saturation, are eye clean, and are available in round shapes (perfect for earrings) weighing up to 1 carat. It is hard to find sapphires this nice at this price, anywhere.

  • Fire opal from Mexico:
  • These gems are unusual, translucent opals, available in yellow and orange facet-cuts. They are very affordable stones.

  • Zircon from Cambodia:
  • Chanthaburi is close to the Cambodian border and we've acquired some superb Cambodian zircon. These gems range in color from golden-orange to blue. Zircon is well-known for its brilliance. You won't find zircon of this quality at this price anywhere in North America or Europe.

    This Month's Birthstone

    The traditional birthstone for September is sapphire. Those born in September have a good excuse to buy this classic jewelry stone, which is hard-wearing and never out of fashion. At any given time, we stock 1,000 or more sapphires on, in 24 colors and a dozen shapes. We have lots and single gems weighing up to 20 carats, from Thailand, Sri Lanka, Burma, Africa and Madagascar.

    Customer Questions

    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!

    You really do have an amazing assortment of gems on your website, but occasionally I need a particular colour or size you don't have listed. Do you take special orders? FN-S, UK.
    We are always glad to hear from customers who are looking for colored gemstones that we don't have in our stock. Please email us at and we will do our very best to find what you're looking for. We buy new gems almost every day.
    Hi, I was shopping on your website recently and put some items in the shopping cart. Then I got called away for something (OK, OK, I was shopping from work) and I didn't come back for 2 days. But I was surprised to see that the items were still in my shopping cart when I came back. This is except for one item, which had disappeared for some reason. Could you explain how all this works? Thanks! AJ, USA.
    Websites sometimes seem to work in mysterious ways. When you put items in your shopping cart, they'll stay there for 5 days (unless you check out, of course). The items in your cart are still available for others to buy until you click the "checkout" button. So if you've left items in your cart, there's always a possibility that something may be sold. Sorry about that! We have so many one-of-a-kind items that we need to work this way in order to be fair to everyone. However, if you have one or more items that you're planning to buy, we are always happy to reserve them for you. Just send an email to with your request and we'll put the items on "hold" for you.

    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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