What You Wanted To Know About Gemstones But Were Afraid to Ask!

Gemstones are those beautiful rocks or stones, gems that come from the earth. Yes, some are made in a laboratory by man, but I prefer the ones made by Mother Earth. To understand that they may have taken billions of years to get to the point they are when a miner extracts them from the ground, simply amazes me! Heat, cold, pressure, and all sorts of chemicals all play a role together to create these lovely baubles.

Without going into all of the science behind geology and gemology, we will stick to the simple basics about gemstones. All gemstones have a Species and a Variety. The Gem Species is a broad gem category based on chemical composition and crystal structure. The Gem Variety is a subcategory of the species based on color, transparency, or phenomenon. To translate, think of the Species being a Dog and the Variety would be a specific breed of dog. A different Species would be a Cat. Get it?

The Species Quartz is one of the most important minerals on earth and makes up one of the most popular gemstone groups in the world of colored gemstones. It is an attractive, durable, and inexpensive gemstone that can either be cut or carved into many forms and sizes. Quartz is the second most abundant mineral found in Earth’s continental crust, second only to Feldspar. A fascinating Variety of Quartz is Ametrine. Ametrine is the result when Amethyst and Citrine, both Varieties of Quartz, grow together into one crystal! Some other Varieties of Quartz include Carnelian, Rose Quartz and Smoky Quartz.

Four Peaks Amethyst
Four Peaks Amethyst
Ametrine Rough
Ametrine Rough
Citrine
Citrine

 

 

 

 

Carnelian
Carnelian
Rose Quartz Crystal
Rose Quartz Crystal
Smoky Quartz
Smoky Quartz

 

The Hope Diamond and A Dog Named Mike

Gemstones have been cherished for thousands of years. There are gemstones that have been known since ancient times and there are gemstones that were discovered less than 50 years ago. Gemstones have been found in tombs dating back Before Christ, found in royal collections, found in buried ruins, found in streams, and found deep within the earth. Why do we love them so? There are so many reasons why; historical interest, family heirlooms, birthstones, metaphysical properties, color, worth, or even ‘just because’.

Examples of historical interest would be the Hope Diamond and the Black Prince’s Ruby in England’s Crown Jewels. The Hope Diamond started with Louis XIV in France. Then it was known as the French Blue. Over the centuries it was stolen and cut and stolen again and re-cut. One of the first American’s to own the Hope Diamond was Evalyn Walsh McLean. McLean was a very flamboyant lady who often lent the Hope Diamond “to friends to wear, including her Great Dane, Mike”!* In the English Crown Jewels, the Imperial State Crown has many significant gemstones on it, but the Black Prince’s Ruby is actually not a Ruby at all! In the beginning it was thought to be a Ruby, but after testing it turns out to actually be a Red Spinel. To this day it is still referred to as a Ruby.

Hope DiamondBlack Princes' Ruby (Spinel)

A majority of families have a piece of jewelry that has been handed down over the years. Most likely the ladies engagement ring and/or the wedding band. Some recipients have the piece re-designed to make it more contemporary, like the fashion of the day. Others keep them as is, as more of a keepsake. Many people wear gemstone jewelry because it was given to them as a gift, they bought it for themselves because they liked it, it has their birthstone in it, the stone is their favorite color, or they are suffering from a aliment and believe the metaphysical properties could help relieve that aliment. But why should a dog wear a gemstone collar? Let’s take a look at our families.

Reports are showing that young couples today are waiting to have children and are having fur babies instead. Yes, fur babies. They are named that for a reason. As any dog lover knows, the dog is an essential part of the family, no longer the family pet. Not just to young families, but to all families and the dogs are becoming even more spoiled than they ever have been. Didn’t know that was possible right? Society changes all the time and what do they change? The easiest changes to note are the current fashions that are worn. We are now wearing computers on our wrists, arms, or legs. We were not doing that 50 years ago. Dogs were not wearing gemstone collars 50 years ago, but they also were not referred to as fur babies 50 years ago.

Our fur babies should wear these collars for the very same reasons why we wear gemstones. As a gift for the dogs unconditional love, to be unique and stand out in a crowd, the color looks great on them, or it is their birthstone (or adoption stone). They can even wear it for the metaphysical properties!

When you really think about it, is there really a reason dogs shouldn’t wear a gemstone collar? I think not!

* Gemological Institute of America, Diamond Essentials, Version 11/2008, chapter 3, page 13.

Fun Time Had At The Tucson Gem Show!

When I say the Gem Show I am really not stating it correctly because the “Tucson Gem and Mineral Show” actually consists of 45 gem and/or mineral shows happening all at the same time in Tucson. It is the LARGEST colored gemstone show in the WORLD! When driving around Tucson, you see tents everywhere, with few spaces for parking. What that means is you pick the show(s) you want to go to and find a parking place near by and walk the rest of the time.

My friend and I started at the AGTA (American Gem Trade Association) Show at the Tucson Convention Center. This show is THE show and not open to the public. The benefit of getting into this show was that once you had a badge from them, you could then get into any of the rest of the shows easily. It ended the next day so it had to happen then or wait until next year. This is the show where you find all of the “high” (and I mean HIGH) end stones and jewelry. Row after row of diamonds, rubies, sapphires etc. Frankly if you were looking for a specific stone, say an emerald, and you didn’t have anyone to recommend a vendor, you would be shopping all day long in just that show because there were so many vendors and literally tons of stones to choose from. This picture shows just part of all of the booths that were there.

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I was very excited to actually see and touch Red Beryl! I had only read about and seen pictures of Red Beryl. It is very rare and very expensive. It is mined in Utah and current market pricing is approximately $10,000/Carat! The gentleman I spoke with was surprised that I knew it to be Beryl and not Rubies. He said he was getting tired of explaining to buyers the difference. Of course I read the little sign in the case stating it was Red Beryl! I did take his card, a girl can dream can’t she?!

I did see a ton of turquoise beads, but 99% of them were extremely to small for Gem Lady Treasures collars. I did find a couple of strands of 10mm square Sleeping Beauty Turquoise that was incredible, however at the price he wanted, it was not even close to the price I needed to keep our collars at their current prices. The Sleeping Beauty mine is located in southern Arizona and from what I understand it is currently closed. Depending on who you ask, it is either all mined out or just closed. What makes Sleeping Beauty Turquoise so wonderful is the beautiful blue color and the complete lack of matrix (veining) in the material.

Another booth that I had a lot of fun at was full of ‘necklaces’ made from rough gemstones that were partly polished. The stones were graduated and threaded. They would need to be re-strung with knots in-between the stones (to protect them) and then a clasp added. She had so many different and beautiful colored gemstones. She could tell that I was a gemstone lover at heart and started showing me her really good stuff (read: $$$$$). She pulled out an Aquamarine ‘necklace’ and I fell in love. Aquamarine is my birthstone so I have a great fondness for the stone. This necklace was a beautiful deep blue, a far cry from the washed out blue you so commonly see. It was very difficult but I left the necklace with her – but I did take her card!

On our way out, we stopped by a small exhibit of The Smithsonian Muesums National Gem Collection. A couple of displays that caught my eye were a dish full of Natural South Sea Pearls and my fav, The Logan Sapphire. This 423 ct sapphire from Sri Lanka is one of the largest faceted sapphires in the world. It is surrounded by 16 ctw of diamonds. A true beauty!

In our next blog is the Gem and Jewelry Exchange (GJX) Show!

 

Gem Lady Treasures; Our Story

In April of 2015, the sweetest dog, Lady Lacy Marie went to Heaven. I was, and still am, head over heels in love with her. Even though I have always had dogs, there was something so very special about her. One month to the day of Lacy’s passing, I was talking to a good friend of mine and he asked me, “Why wasn’t I making gemstone dog collars?”. My professional life was in the fine jewelry industry and I have a love of colored gemstones, so this was a great question. Plus to create it in Lacy’s memory made it the perfect idea.

1798167_10201905627815621_1515577296_n   Lady Lacy Marie

Lacy had always loved jewelry like I did, but I could never find her cute, blingy collars that were well made in her size. Just because she wasn’t a small breed (she was a Dalmatian), didn’t mean that she didn’t want to be a Princess! I made her several necklaces that she could wear with her collar and she did receive many compliments on them, but somehow it still wasn’t exactly what we both wanted.

Sir Nathan Thomas (Dalmatian/Lab Mix) has come into my life and I am full of love for him as well. He is the model (when I can get him to hold still) and product tester for Gem Lady Treasures. As a matter of fact, he is still wearing the very first Gem Lady Treasures collar I made.

Sporting his new GLT Collar!   Sir Nathan Thomas

Gem Lady Treasures now has two main collections, In The Ruff and Haute Dog. In The Ruff uses gemstones such as Crazy Lacy Agate, Labradorite, Sodalite, Unakite, and of course Dalmatian Jasper. The Haute Dog Collection uses Amethyst, Apatite, Aquamarine, Carnelian, and Moonstone, Rose Quartz, and Ruby Zoisite. Our gemstones will constantly be changing depending on what is available. I always use natural gemstones, meaning that there are no treatments added by man. There may be an occasion when I will have a treated gemstone, however it will be noted in the item description for full disclosure.

Our dog collars are labor intensive, high quality, and full of love. Truly a new and unique product! Times have changed and our pets are now our fur babies. An entire new world has opened up for dogs and their parents. Gem Lady Treasures would love to be apart of that new, exciting world!

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