Ammolite – The Fashionable Fossil

If you’re intrigued by the origin of gemstones, then you’re probably going to love ammolite. Ammolite is iridescent fossilized ammonite shells found in Southern Alberta, Canada.


The Phenomenal Properties of Gems

All gemstones are gifts of nature. But what about when certain gems glint or glow with subtle hues that defy description? Different light conditions can turn a dazzling gem into a phenomenal one.


Peridot Buying Guide

Known to Egyptians as the “gem of the sun,” the yellowish green peridot has been treasured since the earliest times, and is the birthstone for August. It’s thought that this gemstone is 4.5 billion years old, as it’s found in meteorite remnants dating to the solar system’s birth.

If you’re shopping for August’s birthstone, our Peridot Buying Guide offers tips and advice on what to look for, particularly as it relates to cut, one of the most important factors in a peridot’s appearance. 


History of Cultured Pearls, Part Two: The South Seas and Tahiti

In the past century, pearls have gone from some of the most expensive and rarest objects to jewelry that many of us can afford.

How this happened and what the future holds is a fascinating story. In part one of our series on cultured pearls we discussed how three Japanese men created techniques to produce the first akoya cultured pearls, which gave birth to the modern cultured pearl industry. Today, we dive into South Sea cultured pearls, Tahitian cultured pearls, and the rise of China as a leading cultured pearl producer.

Ready to set sail and learn about these treasures?


Emerald Adventures in Afghanistan

Buried deep in the Himalayan foothills of Afghanistan lies a bountiful supply of rich, deep green emerald, and the promise of seeing these beautiful rough gems lured Andy Lucas, GIA manager of Field Gemology in Carlsbad, to this scenic but beleaguered land.

Lucas travels around the world gathering details of the mine to market story for GIA education courses and its scientific publication, Gems & Gemology. And this time, his destination was the remote emerald mines of Panjshir Valley.  The valley’s name means “five lions,” a tribute to five spiritual brothers who once lived there. When he arrived, he found a rugged land with spectacular vistas.


Ruby Buying Guide

The color of love, anger, passion, fury, vibrant red ruby is July’s birthstone. It makes an ideal romantic gift, not only for those who celebrate July birthdays, but for all women. However, ruby can command the highest per-carat price of any colored gemstone. These stunning red gems are consistently breaking auction records, as demand for ruby continues to rise.

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