Sell With a Story: Aquamarine

Aquamarine has long been considered a divisive stone; you either love them or love to hate them. With its unique color — non-replicable in nature — Aquamarine could be the enigma we all seek.

aquamarine
Shop Aquamarine in our Notable Gems™

Historical Background

Adopted as March’s birthstone in 1912, Aquamarine has had varied uses throughout the centuries. Two thousand years ago, Emperor Nero used thin slices of Aquamarine to aide in his poor vision. Fast forward to the 1450s. The Germans, famous for precision gemstone cutting, used thin slices to create the optics they needed to cut gems and developed the earliest eyeglasses. The Germans called ‘eyeglass/glasses’ die brille, and many thought this name came from the mineral beryl.

By 1550, the Spanish believed that Aquamarine directly related to the fountain of youth based on stories passed from the Egyptians on down to Ponce de Leon who happened to be a great storyteller. Perhaps it was because this gemstone has long been thought of as a stone of the sea, protecting sailors under Neptune’s watchful eye. No matter which fabled tale engages you, Aquamarine conjures great appreciation from many.

As a Beryl family member, which includes gorgeous green emeralds and pink morganites, Aquamarine comes in soft blue and greenish-blue shades. Categorized as a type 1 stone, most Aquamarine are eye-clean which is important because its tonality and saturation reveal even the smallest inclusions, lowering its value.

aquamarine
Shop Aquamarine in our calibrated offering

Heat-Treated vs. Non-Heat-Treated Aquamarine

Historically, the jewelry industry has two camps regarding the value of heat-treated Aquamarine — those believing the treatment lessens the stone’s value, and those who think it increases a stone’s value. Let’s explore both. 

First, it’s important to point out that most Aquamarine are heat-treated. It’s considerably more challenging to find un-treated stones, although a prolific hoard coming from Brazil will make it easier. These new stones have colors and clarities that need no help. 

Those who prefer a greenish aquamarine will generally find it in the “treated has less value” camp. Heating Aquamarine does not tend to change the color, but it minimizes impurities that cause the greenish hue, leaving behind a pure, crystal clear pastel blue. Those preferring this easy to identify blue believe that heating increases value. Neither camp is wrong; it merely reflects a difference of opinion. But identifying your camp will help you sell these subtle gemstones.

Selling Aquamarine

Letting a customer know that a stone is heated right up front, that it is an industry-wide practice and is irreversible, can help you gain credibility – not all jewelers disclose this treatment.  It also allows you to look and feel like the expert as you explain that removing stone impurities reduces the underlying greenish colors making the stone the much desired sky-blue.

The same holds true for letting a customer know that the Aquamarine they prefer is an unheated natural gem with its color just as the Earth produced it. It would not hurt to add that due to the rarity of un-heated stones (remember, heating is standard practice), a beautiful natural aquamarine’s value can go up. Also, explain what impurities exist in Aquamarine. Vanadium, one such impurity, has an intense teal color that not only increases the value but also can give the Aquamarine the passing look of a Paraiba, a color well suited to current trends.

The Value of Aquamarine

No matter the camp you reside in, understanding the why behind a gemstone’s value can help you sell in the way that makes the most sense for you and your associates.

If you need help understanding more about the stones we offer within Stuller Gemstones™, please reach out to our experts. We are happiest when helping you succeed.

Happy Selling.

aquamarine and diamond ring
Item #s: 123821, 72145, 123530


Want to know how you can implement striking and colorful gemstones to your jewelry case? Check out one of our previous blogs for inspiration!

Explore These 6 Gemstone Selections for Colorful Engagement Rings




Sell with a Story October 2020

Sell With a Story: Black Opal

handful of black opal
Photo by Vincent Pardieu/GIA.

A sunset, tropical waters, watercolor paintings, Holi color clouds, the galaxy. You might be asking, “What do these have in common?”

If you have ever seen an opal, you likely already know. Considered one of the most colorful stones available within the industry, opals show many colors all in one wearable stone.

All About Black Opal

Moody and mysterious, black opals are fitting for an October birthstone. They have a dark body color with a gorgeous play of color that spans the spectrum. The benefit to a dark body color is that the colors pop off the darker background and scream at people to look at them.

Notable Gems Black Opal

The rarest and most valuable type of opal —  black opals —  are found at Lightning Ridge in New South Wales, Australia. No one really knows where Lightning Ridge got its name; however, allegedly a farmer, his trusty four-legged companion, and his flock of sheep were struck by lightning, aiding in the ridge getting its name.

Perhaps that’s fitting. Lightning Ridge black opals can be as dark as midnight with a play of color that’s akin to a night sky lit by bright flashes of lightning.

Technically Speaking

Opals have some technical words that are associated with them and them alone:

  • Play of color: The flashes of color you get when you rock and tilt the stone. This phenomenon is created by the internal structure interacting with light.
  • Body color: The background color, the palette in which all the colorful flashes lie.

At Stuller, we grade our calibrated gemstones based on the darkness of the body color. Gray body color will be graded as AA quality whereas a dark gray or black body results in AAA quality.

Calibrated Opal

Each black opal in Stuller Notable Gems™ is hand selected to represent the best features or a quality that’s unique to that stone, whether that’s body color, pattern, shape, or something else.

What Makes an Opal Valuable?

All other things equal, the play of color and the stone’s pattern determine an opal’s value.

Play of Color

A vibrant red opal has a more expensive price tag as it’s incredibly rare. The more red visible when you tilt and turn the stone, the more expensive the opal. Follow the spectrum backward for values: blue, at the opposite end of the spectrum, is the most common and therefore the least valuable; yellow, in the middle, is valued as such.

Play of color that is visible from one angle or only on part of the surface drops the value of the stone. The play of color should be spread across the whole stone, even if it changes in pattern type.

Notable Gems Opal

Pattern

It seems strange to think that the pattern of colors on a stone would aid in the value that it holds. However, when you think about it in terms of rarity, it makes more sense. There are three major types of patterns that hold sway on value, each represented by a corresponding look and rarity factor:

  • Pinfire: Very small patches or dots of spectral color.
  • Flash: Large areas of play of color.
  • Harlequin: Large, distinct, usually angular patches of play of color with touching edges.

Harlequin is quite rare, especially when you get a full range of colors, which makes it considerably more valuable. Pinfire is very common, making it less rare and therefore less valuable — even when the pinfire play of color is red.

Opals for October

The extraordinary shapes and unique ability to match and highlight any color makes black opal a go-to for designers wanting to create one-of-a-kind jewelry. The dark palette and eye-catching explosion of color make black opal a customer favorite for those keenly aware of the attention they will get — social media, here they come.

Notable Gems Black Opal

Try having a few loose in your store this month (it is the October birthstone, after all!), and it’s sure to lead to conversations about what black opals are, where they come from, and how customers can add one to their wish list.

At the very least, you get to have a lively, gemstone-positive conversation that can open the door for future questions. And your customers will think of you as the gemstone expert!

Happy selling!


Shop our selection of calibrated black opal cabochons, or discover a unique black opal in Stuller Notable Gems™




Sell With a Story: Tsavorite, Demantoid, and Mint Green Garnet

What do pomegranates have to do with garnets? Garnet’s name comes from the Latin word granatum, meaning “pomegranate.” More specifically, garnet refers to the vibrant red seeds of the pomegranate fruit — but while Rhodolite and Mozambique garnet may be the most widely known shades, garnet actually comes in a rainbow of colors. As it turns out, January’s birthstone is quite versatile, having a shade for each Capricorn and early-bird Aquarian.

This Sell with a Story, we’re focusing on three varieties that will have you and your customers green with envy: tsavorite, demantoid, and mint green garnet.

Tsavorite Garnet

Tsavorite comes in vibrant green hues, with some individual gems even rivaling emerald. For this reason, it is considered an alternate birthstone for May.

tsavorite garnet

Most tsavorite gets its color from vanadium. But a deposit in Kenya’s Kuranze area yields tsavorite with chromium, giving them exceptional color with hints of blue.

Tsavorite has a long, rich history since its 1961 discovery. Visit Sell with a Story: Tsavorite Garnet for the in-depth analysis.

 

 

Demantoid Garnet

Demantoid garnet is among the rarest garnet varieties. Renowned for its rich hue, demantoid garnet ranges from lush, vivid green to a striking yellow green that’s reminiscent of peridot.

demantoid garnetThe finest of these gems come from three mines in Russia’s Ural Mountains. Demantoid Garnet has been found in other countries — Namibia and Madagascar — but the gems from Russia are the finest. Remarkably, demantoid garnet boasts a higher dispersion rate than diamond.

 

 

Mint Green Garnet

Mint grossular garnet is also known as mint garnet and, sometimes, Merelani mint garnet — named for being discovered in Tanzania’s Merelani Hills.

mint green garnetThis gem has a refreshing, pastel green color that hides a shocking secret: when exposed to ultraviolet light, it transforms from green to fluorescent pink and orange! This is thanks to the trace amount of chromium locked away in mint garnet’s molecular structure.

 

 

How to Care for Garnet Jewelry

  • Garnet is rated “good” for everyday wear.
  • Avoid exposure to heat and sudden changes in temperature.
  • To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.
  • Never use a steamer to clean garnet jewelry.

The green garnet varieties are prized as gemstones of creativity, positive energy, self-confidence, and success. Who wouldn’t want a piece of garnet jewelry?


 

Shop garnet gemstones on Stuller.com.




Sell With a Story: Blue Zircon Gemstones

Blue Zircon combines a gorgeous teal color with fiery brilliance akin to diamonds. In fact, for centuries, people confused colorless zircon with diamond.

Shop Blue Zircon gemstones on Stuller.com

Deceptive Appearances

However, diamonds aren’t the only thing zircon gets confused with. Many consumers think zircon is the same gemstone as cubic zirconia, largely due to its name.

In fact, famed gemstone genius George Frederick Kunz was so enamored with zircon, he tried to rebrand it with a new name: starlight. (No, “starlight” didn’t catch on.)

The mistaken perceptions surrounding zircon stop consumers from enjoying its sparkling beauty — which is a shame, because blue zircon, one of December’s three birthstones (the other two being turquoise and tanzanite), is a gorgeous gemstone despite its lesser-known status.

To Age with Grace

Zircon’s physical history stretches back literally billions of years. In 2014, a blue zircon no larger than a grain of sand was found in the Jack Hills of Western Australia. Testing revealed this tiny zircon dated back 4.40 billion years — making it the oldest mineral on the planet.

Introducing: Planet Earth

Zircon crystallized from the boiling magma that characterized the Hadean, Earth’s very first geologic eon, back when our planet was three things:

  • Very hot.
  • Very unstable.
  • Only 165 million years old.

Amidst the heat and chaos, some zircon crystals had the good fortune of capturing tiny atoms of uranium-238, which would later help scientists date these billions-years-old zircon beauties.

Enter U-238

Typically, we use carbon dating to estimate the age of ancient objects. Alas, it measures only 70,000 years into the past. With uranium-238, we enter a vast ancient realm.

We know that half of uranium-238 atoms decay into lead after 4.47 billion years. To date the Australian grain of zircon, scientists measured the number of lead atoms and the uranium-238 atoms. If the atom ratio is equal, the age is 4.47 billion years. It there are slightly more uranium atoms than lead in zircon, the age is 4.40 billion years.

Top Shade

At its purest, zircon is colorless. But with trace amounts of other elements, other zircon colors emerge. Since blue remains the most popular color, more had to be created — and researchers discovered how: heating. When brown zircon is heated, it turns into beautiful blue zircon.

Making the Cut

Zircon has high birefringence, so cutters must orient the table to the optic axis. If not, zircon’s natural facet image doubling will make its interior appear fuzzy. Round zircon is often given a “zircon cut,” a brilliant cut with an extra row of facets on the edge.

Stone of Virtue

Zircon is endowed with incredible powers of self-improvement. Its abilities are so good, it has been called the “stone of virtue.”

Among many other things, zircon can:

  • Promote unions of the mind and body.
  • Increase stamina and perseverance.
  • Secure safe passage for travelers.
  • Heal injuries and soothe pain.

 

We offer hand-selected blue zircon in our Notable Gems™ collection and also calibrated zircon in the shapes, sizes, and shades you need to attract customers drawn to this teal-hued beauty.




Sell With a Story: Pink Tourmaline Gemstones

Make no mistake. Pink Tourmaline gemstones are honored to be October’s birthstone. But in all her beauty, grace, and style, she has far greater ambitions. No, she doesn’t want to rule the world. She does want to find her way into every woman’s jewelry chest.

And her savvy plan begins by playing to her strength — incredible colors ranging from light purplish or peachy pink to richer fuchsia and magenta. She offers a tempting range of feminine shades that capture subtlety, sophistication, and high fashion with broad appeal to many women’s styles. Her bold ambition requires your cooperation.

So create a special place for her in your case and introduce her by name. One look and your customers will fall in love with Pink Tourmaline gemstones.

Identity Crisis

Tourmaline wasn’t identified as a separate mineral species until the 1800s. Prior to that, it was used as a gemstone for centuries but was known by many other names. Green Tourmaline was thought to be Emerald; Blue Tourmaline was Sapphire; Pink and Red Tourmaline were Ruby. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that its name comes from a Singhalese word meaning “mixed or many colored stones.”

Only In America

It is the American dream: Two young miners walk into a thriving jewelry business that sold only precious stones. They brought fine Green Tourmaline found at the Mount Mica Mine in Maine. The year was 1875 and the business is Tiffany’s. This particular day, the stars aligned in their favor. They met directly with Charles Tiffany and Tiffany’s resident gem expert, 20-year-old George F. Kunz (he was a Vice President by age 23). Kuntz fell in love with the Tourmaline and, true to American style, convinced Charles Tiffany to buy them. Thus began Tourmaline’s journey to worldwide appreciation and popularity, and Tiffany’s rise to world leader in introducing new colored gemstones.

The Pink Tourmaline Pillow

In the 1890s, Tourmaline was discovered in the Mesa Grande area of San Diego County, California. The stones were particularly fine Pink and Red Tourmalines. They could surely have sold widely at home or abroad but most flowed to China and in particular, the Chinese Dowager Empress, Tz’u His, who placed her orders through Tiffany’s. Her passion for Pink Tourmaline knew no bounds and the finest of these Pink and Red Tourmaline were carved or faceted to her liking by her highly skilled stonecutters. Tz’u Hsi died in 1908 and was laid to rest on a Pink Tourmaline pillow.

All Was Lost — Then Found!

Between 1902 and 1910, Imperial China purchased 120 tons of gem-quality Pink Tourmaline. Then in 1912, the Chinese dynasty collapsed following the Xinhai Revolution. San Diego miners had grown so dependent on China’s huge demand, their businesses collapsed as well. And that would seem to be the sad ending of a great triumph. After decades, new miners acquired some of the mines believing fine quality stones could be found. Their faith paid off. One mine, Tourmaline Queen, produced stunning world-class “Blue Cap” Tourmaline that combines brilliant Blue Tourmaline over rich Pink Tourmaline. The American Museum of Natural History called these gems “the find of the century.” They are extremely rare and hold legendary appeal for collectors.

Far Flung

Today, Pink Tourmaline is mined in many locations worldwide: Brazil, Madagascar, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, Burma, and a host of African nations including Mozambique, Nigeria, and Botswana. Fortunately you can find them easily in our selection of Calibrated Stuller Gemstones.

Pink Purpose. Pink Promise.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Jewelry set with Pink Tourmaline makes a beautiful tribute for all who support a patient, have survived, or are in a fight for their lives.

Powered By Pink Tourmaline Gemstones

However good your life is, with Pink Tourmaline it’s going to be a lot better. Just wear it and enjoy—

  • A strong stabilizing influence on friendship and love.
  • Amplified psychic abilities.
  • Increased energy.
  • Greater self-confidence and understanding.
  • Calmer nerves and more tranquil sleep.
  • Improved concentration and creativity.

You receive all these powers and Pink Tourmaline’s incredible beauty. Wow! Sounds like a deal to me.


How do pink tourmaline gemstones sell in your store? Are they a hit? Let us know in the comments section below.




Famous Pearls Blog Header

Sell With a Story: How are Pearls Formed?

How are pearls formed? Discover pearl’s allure perfect for June and far beyond—

 

To limit pearls to June birthdays would be a lot like limiting water to streams and ponds. Pearl beauty, appeal, and style — whether freshwater or saltwater — finds its way into almost every woman’s wardrobe. And thanks to cultured pearls, developed in the early 20th century, most women can afford them.

Pearl Personalities

Like most other gemstones, pearls don’t fit neatly into one particular category. Their subtle, luxurious beauty boasts multiple personalities to suit the many customers who choose them.

How are Pearls Formed Beauty Shot Pearl Strand
  • Pearls are feminine, fun and flirty, a personality typified by trending pearl fashion jewelry. Think of Sarah Jessica Parker’s style in Sex in the City.
  • Pearls are classic simplicity — the strand and studs worn by any woman who appreciates an understated look. Think of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
  • Pearls are sophisticated — a long, lush strand of fine large pearls looped around the neck or a multi-strand necklace perhaps clustered or twisted, with or without a diamond or gemstone adornment. Think Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast At Tiffany’s.
  • And last but not least, pearls are extravagant and spectacular. Try one-of-a-kind designer styles accented and interwoven with diamonds and gemstones. Think of Rihanna draped in strands of pearls or Elizabeth Taylor wearing La Peregrina.

A Moment in Time

Imagine that moment millennia ago when mankind first encountered a small wondrously luminescent object. Was it round, oval, teardrop or baroque? It had no name, only its shape, color, and dazzling luster. Was it a stone? It didn’t look like one. It appeared almost alive. Yes, it was beautiful and unusual; surely it had some greater purpose.

We can surmise that since that moment, pearls have fascinated us. One pearl carbon dated to 5,500 BCE — more than 7,500 years ago — was buried with its owner. In all likelihood, older ones exist and sooner or later someone will find them.

How are Pearls Formed Valentines Day Jewelry Trends Classic Pearls

So, How are Pearls Formed?

The story of pearl formation sounds much like a fairytale in which the heroine is perceived as a threat and shut away from the world with no obvious possibility of redemption. So, how are pearls formed? Here’s how the tale unfolds.

Each pearl begins when an irritant somehow enters an oyster or other bi-valve mollusks. On perceiving the threat, the mollusk reacts to protect its soft inner tissue. It encapsulates the irritant with successive translucent layers of nacre, smoothing its surface so oyster and irritant can coexist. As far as the oyster knows, the irritant will be there permanently.

Then miraculously, someone opens the mollusk to find a treasure of great beauty. The once disdained “irritant” emerges as a pearl and enters a world of love and appreciation to live happily ever after. The end.

I don’t think so.

We can’t just leave this story for pearls. Let’s apply it to our lives too. After all, don’t our biggest challenges and ”irritants” develop our greatest strengths and bring inner beauty to light?

Pearls in History

With so many pearls available today, it’s hard for us to understand the rarity of natural pearls, particularly those of any size. They are so rare that for millennia they were the most coveted gems. To have one was to possess beauty of incomparable value. Only royalty and other wealthy individuals had any hope of ever owning pearls.

The Hope Pearl

The most famous natural saltwater pearl weighs 1,800 grains — 450 carats — or 4-ounces. It once belonged to the owner of the Hope Diamond. Currently, it is in the British Museum of Natural History.

La Peregrina

This one is a perfectly pear-shaped pearl weighing 223.8 grains (55.95 carats). Its famous owners included Prince Phillip II of Spain, Joseph Bonaparte — who stole it from Spain, British Marquis of Abercorn, and finally in 1969, Elizabeth Taylor, gifted to her by Richard Burton.

The Mary Tudor Pearl

Now known as the Pearl of Kuwait, it is often confused with La Peregrina. They are both pear-shaped. The Mary Tudor Pearl weighs 258.12 grains or 64.5 carats. It was owned by Isabella of Portugal; her daughter Joanna of Austria; Joanna’s cousin, Phillip II of Spain; and Mary Tudor of England.

Alive With Beauty

Living organisms — bi-valve mollusks — create pearls. As such, they have a presence, a vitality that attracts the eye with mesmerizing beauty. Their luster emanates from within, giving them a spiritual allure.

Some historians have proposed that pearls were first used and sought after for their spiritual powers and only secondarily for their value. Perhaps they were, but frankly, I find that hard to believe. When something combines rarity with beauty, it’s valuable no matter what the use.

Pearl Power

Both ancient India and China gave rise to astounding pearl myths of their origins and powers. Vedic texts relate that pearls were born of Earth’s water and Heaven’s powers, each fertilized by a lightning strike. Pearls were considered “daughters of the Moon,” reflecting her luster.

In today’s youth-oriented culture, we would all do well to buy pearls and lots of them. In 17th and 18th century BCE, the Babylonians believed that pearls had life-giving qualities including the ability to restore youth.

To Look Their Best

What do pearls have to do to stay beautiful? They need to be worn often. If stored in a hot, airless environment, they can dry and crack. Pearls need oil from the skin to enhance their luster and color and after each wearing, they should be wiped with a damp cloth to remove hairspray or other damaging chemicals.

How are Pearls Formed Classic Pearls JCK trends

Still can’t get enough pearls? Check out our Pearl Center on Stuller.com for detailed info on everything you wanted to know about pearls. And don’t forget to share these stories with your customers. The more storytelling you can share with them, the better!




Emerald Gemstones Sell Story Header

Sell With a Story: Emerald Gemstones

Let’s go back to the Emerald City of Oz and forget about clicking the heels of our ruby slippers. Let’s click our emerald slippers instead as we enter the realm of emerald beauty. This irresistible force has long exerted a powerful attraction on the rich and famous, from the rulers of ancient India to today’s A-List celebrities on the red carpet.

Of all emerald devotees, Cleopatra is probably the most famous. Her passion led her far beyond jewelry. She wore emerald encrusted robes — a luxury by any standard. And she gave loose emeralds as gifts to visiting dignitaries, all of them men. They, too, appreciated the beauty of emerald gemstones.

Did You Know?

Emerald gemstones were sold 6,000 years ago — circa 4000 BCE — in Babylonian markets. Where were they from? We don’t know. But between 1000 and 3000 BCE, one of the earliest emerald occurrences was discovered in Upper Egypt near the Red Sea. This later became known as “Cleopatra’s Mine.”

Good Luck Jewelry Emerald Social Share

Shop emerald jewelry on Stuller.com

“The Green of Growing Things”

The name emerald comes to us from the Greek word, smaragdos. The origin of smaragdos could be either the Hebrew word izmargad or the Sanskrit word marakata, meaning “the green of growing things” — fresh, vivid, radiant.

I like the Sanskrit version. It communicates the lush range of emerald hues from a yellow-green to a deeper blue-green. Think of the first leaves of spring and follow this verdant trail to the richer shade of spruce green. Along the way, you embrace a world of growth that reflects emerald gemstones and their mesmerizing power.

Kermit Was Wrong — Way Wrong!

Kermit the Frog famously sang “It’s not easy being green.” But when you’re admiring emerald gemstones, you realize he had it all wrong. In addition to their famous beauty, extraordinary powers have been attributed to emeralds through the ages. Read these and you’ll realize that all of your customers need to have emerald jewelry. The more the better!

  • In 4th century BCE, the Greek philosopher Aristotle wrote that emerald gemstones increase its owner’s importance in presence and speech during business transactions, gives victory in trials, and prevents epilepsy.
  • Throughout history, many cultures believed emerald enhanced fertility and fidelity: not a bad combination.

By the Middle Ages, emerald’s powers had increased.

  • Emerald could keep a woman chaste — but not a man!
  • They could reveal truth and falsehood.
  • They acted as an antidote to spells, enchantments, and demons.
  • Emeralds could foretell the future if worn on the left side — but not the right.
  • They made people more intelligent and honest.
  • A high-quality emerald would change hues to alert its wearer of danger.

The Irish have always had a special relationship to emerald, too. After all, Ireland is often called the Emerald Isle. And what did the Irish believe? (Full disclosure: I’m half Irish). They believed Emerald bestowed good luck and perhaps a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Famous Emeralds Over Time Social Share

One of Our Emerald Stories

We keep our Stuller Gemstones™ inventory well stocked with emerald gemstones in all shapes and sizes you need. But every now and then, a customer has an unusual request. So our Special Order experts go to work.

Some time ago, we were asked to find a 7.33ct emerald. No big deal? Wrong. Because the customer wanted it un-oiled. As you know, pressurized oiling of emerald is universal as a way to make standard surface fissures less visible.

The only way to find an emerald that isn’t oiled is to find a very high-quality emerald with no surface fractures. If the color is equal to the quality, the price is astronomical. This one was $25,000 per carat.

So if one of your customers requests an un-oiled emerald or any shape, size, and quality not in our inventory, trust our Special Order experts to find it for you.

Learn more about our Special Order Services on Stuller.com

The World’s Largest Emeralds

  • 7,052-carat uncut emerald crystal from Columbia, privately owned
  • 2,205-carat carved emerald vase in the Viennese Treasury, Austria
  • Claimed world’s largest carved emerald, a 1,558-carat emerald named “1492” displayed in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburg
  • 1,965-carat uncut Russian emerald displayed at the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History
  • 1,862-carat uncut, un-named emerald from Hiddenite, N.C. privately owned
  • 1,796-carat emerald crystal store in the Banco Nationale de la Republica, Columbia (the largest of five un-named emeralds there)
  • 1,759-carat Guinness Emerald Crystal also in the Banco Nationale de la Republica, Columbia

By comparison to these, the world’s most famous emerald — the 1,383.95-carat uncut Duke of Devonshire — seems relatively modest. It was mined in Columbia and is now in the British Museum of Natural History.

Good Luck Jewelry Emeralds

Shop emerald gemstones on Stuller.com


Have a favorite story about emerald gemstones? Share it with us by leaving a comment below!




SWAS Diamond History Blog Header

Sell With A Story: Diamond History

Diamonds remain one of the most fascinating and dynamic substances on Earth. Their unique molecular structure makes the hardest materials known to man. And when polished, of course, their brilliance is beyond compare.

 

Here’s a bit of diamond history to help you sell with a story.

Meet “Lucy”

To help customers understand the heat and pressure required to create a diamond, consider “Lucy,” a white dwarf star only 5.87 trillion miles, or 50 light years, from Earth. That may seem like a great distance, but in terms of the universe, Lucy is actually quite close. After all, she’s in our galaxy.

Discovered in 2004, astronomers playfully named her after the Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” and you have to admit that “Lucy” is easier to remember than BPM 37093— her technical tag.

Diamond History Star in Space

So what is Lucy? She began as a blazing star like our sun with a core temperature of approximately 27,000,000°F. She couldn’t stop shining and over billions of years, she burned herself out. The result? She’s 5 million-trillion-trillion pounds of pure crystallized carbon or, from a jeweler’s perspective, a 10 billion-trillion-trillion carat diamond. Lucy is a cosmic diamond, and for now, at least, the largest in our galaxy.

  • Astrophysicists say it would take a loupe the size of the sun to grade Lucy.
  • These days, her surface temperature is only 12,000°F.

Lucy’s Earthly Counterparts

Earth’s diamonds are smaller — just a little — but their formation still requires several billion years of intense heat and pressure. This is only available 100 miles below Earth’s surface. There, the carbon molecules bond equally in all directions to create the hardest substance on Earth.

This is all very impressive, but that’s not why we love them. We love them for their sheer beauty, extraordinary clarity, and for their fire embodying those vast years of heat and pressure. We love them because they sparkle and astonish.

2018 diamond outlook 3 stone engagement

April’s Birthstone

You could say that those with April birthdays hit the jackpot. The allure and mystique of diamond history casts a legendary spell.

According to lore, diamond imparts balance, clarity (naturally), and abundance. It increases inner strength, provides the wearer with better relationships, and did we mention it symbolizes eternal love?

More Diamond History

Today, diamonds are mined in Botswana, Angola, South Africa, Russia, Australia, Indonesia, Canada, and the United States. But where did they first see the light of day?

We can’t be certain, but the first historical mention of diamonds occurs in a Sanskrit text from 4th century BCE India. Diamonds had been found along the rivers and streams of ancient central India perhaps 5,000 years ago.

They were called “Hirakamani,” “Heera/Hira” and “Vajramani,” names that ranged in meaning from “King of Gems” and “Thunderbolt Lightning” to “indestructible.” Clearly, the Indian people had the right idea and wasted no time making the most of their discovery.

The 4th century BCE documents record diamond trading, taxes, classification, and diamond experts. They knew the value of this beautiful stone and respected the need for expertise in selecting the finest.

Fast forward 1,700 years to 14th century Venice. It was here that gemstone cutters began to develop the art of diamond cutting and their value soared.

Zale's Tales Diamond Tweezers

Storied Stones: The Sancy Diamond

Stolen from India in the 14th century, this 100-carat pale yellow diamond passed back and forth among Europe’s royalty for centuries. It was owned by Charles the Bold, Phillip II of Spain, the King of Portugal, and many more.

At one point, Elizabeth I owned it and secretly pawned the diamond to finance a Dutch war against Spain. Nicolas Harlay de Sancy acquired the diamond. Elizabeth I wanted to buy it back but failed, and it was only when Sancy went bankrupt that he sold the diamond to James I, Elizabeth’s heir to the throne. The diamond was pawned multiple times, disappearing at one point for 25 years. Somewhere along its lengthy path, the Sancy was re-cut to 55.232 carats. Eventually the wealthy American, William Astor bought it and it 1976 his family sold it to the Louvre.

The Sancy Diamond Worthy

The Sancy Diamond • Image Courtesy of Reuters

Stuller Diamonds

Stuller offers a full range of diamonds to fill virtually any need you can anticipate. With certified Stuller Diamonds™, you can provide your customers with the assurance they need for what might be one of the most important purchases of their lives. Each serialized stone comes with a grading report that offers peace of mind. Need something smaller? Our melee diamonds will fit the bill. And since Stuller uses an independent GIA® lab, you know that what you’re getting from Stuller is the real deal.

Diamond History Loose Stones

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Sell With a Story: Aquamarine

“Aquamarine happens to be one of the most popular gemstones of them all.”

 

Most Americans choose blue as their favorite color. So it’s no surprise that aquamarine exerts a powerful allure that reaches far beyond its status as March’s birthstone. In fact, Aquamarine happens to be one of the most popular gemstones of them all.

All About Aquamarine

Like the seawater for which it is named, the stone’s airy shade has a dreamy feel that’s cool, calming, and ethereal. In gemstone lore, aquamarine induces calm in all who wear it. Could there be a more appropriate stone for today’s woman in our high-powered world?

Pantone Living Coral Jewelry Trends Under the Sea Color Pairings

Pantone agrees. Check out their color pairing suggestion above. Pantone’s Under The Sea palette reflects how coral reefs exude warm, nourishing shelter that embodies a kaleidoscope of colorful sea life. Luckily for aquamarine gemstones, they complement Living Coral perfectly and fit right into the nautical theme. Find more Pantone Color of the Year Pairings color here.

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Today, most of our aquamarine is mined in Brazil and other South American countries, but this was not always the case; a number of Asian countries have large aquamarine deposits, Afghanistan among them.

During the 1980s when Russia and Afghanistan were at war, aquamarine prospectors would locate a good site and erect tents over it. The Russians would bomb the site, thereby saving the miners weeks of digging. How’s that for ingenuity at work?

The San Pedro Aquamarine

In the late 1980s, three Brazilian prospectors discovered a meter-long aquamarine of exceptional clarity and color. They accidentally dropped it, breaking it into two pieces, one of them two feet long. They sold the pieces, and the two-foot piece weighing 60 pounds found its way into the hands of connoisseurs who realized its importance.

Eventually, it was sold to a German Brazilian consortium. One member was the distinguished gem cutter Bernd Munsteiner. Word had spread of its existence, and getting it safely out of Brazil proved a challenge. It finally reached Munsteiner. He spent four months studying it and six months cutting and faceting it into 10,363-carat obelisk that is 35 centimeters tall and 10 centimeters wide at the base.

Today the Dom Pedro, as it is called, sits in the Smithsonian Institute. It was a gift from collectors Jane Mitchell and her husband Jeffrey Bland.

Famous Aquamarine Gemstones

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Sell with a Story: Amethyst Uses & Benefits

Amethyst Uses | February’s Birthstone

When we think about amethyst, its extraordinary color comes to mind. For February birthdays, that color is purple — a rich, sumptuous, radiant purple. A royal purple.

From its earliest discovery, amethyst’s sumptuous shade has cast a spell, one that bewitches even today. Its gorgeous hue represents royalty, passion, daring, fashion, and dreaminess.

Most amethyst came to Europe all the way from Brazil. It was scarce, very expensive, and considered a precious stone. At times, it was even more valuable than diamonds. Then in 1799, large amethyst deposits were found in Russia’s Ural Mountains, and amethyst’s price declined. Still, only the wealthy could afford it.

Today, amethyst is plentiful and modestly priced. Yet, its allure remains whether featured alone or accented by a wide array of gems— everything from pink sapphire, emerald, and diamond to citrine, peridot, and morganite.

Amethyst Uses and Benefits Sell with a Story

Its Name

Though most sources refer to the Greek meaning of amethyst — “away from drink” or “not drunk,” — both its Arab name, al-hilma, and its Hebrew name alhama, mean “dream stone.” To wear one meant you would dream, though it’s unclear whether or not you had to wear it at night!

Historically Speaking

Our most ancient amethysts come from Minos, an island in the Aegean Sea, and they date back to ca. 3100 B.C. They are polished cabochons set in gold, a combination that remains popular to this day.

Amethyst uses and its royal lineage begins in Egypt’s 12th Dynasty. An amethyst and gold heart scarab was discovered in the tomb of Amenemhet II, 1919-1885 B.C. Amethyst beads were found in the tomb of King Tut. Cleopatra herself wore an amethyst ring engraved with the image of the Persian god Mithras.

England’s oldest Crown Jewel is an amethyst worn in the 11th century by Edward the Confessor. Queen Elizabeth I had a highly prized amethyst necklace, and to this day, superb amethysts decorate coronation regalia.

Catherine the Great of Russia had a passion for amethyst so intense that she sent thousands of workers into the Ural mountains to search for deposits. Fortunately for us, but unfortunately for her, large deposits were found in 1799, three years after her death.

Amethyst uses and benefits Gemstones Jewelry

The Passion of Purple

Purple is a combination of red and blue in different proportions to achieve different shades. Making purple required great skill and was a long, difficult, and costly process. The stunning result that yielded a wealth of shades was available only to those who could afford it: kings, nobles, priest and magistrates around the Mediterranean. Thus, amethyst uses date back to royalty’s obsession with purple; it was the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

Over time, purple became associated with daring change: women’s suffrage, feminism, counterculture, and free expression.

Today, purple is for everyone. Stuller offers a large assortment of genuine and imitation amethyst in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. You can find the perfect stone for the customer who appreciates everything that amethyst conveys— artistic expression, stunning sophistication, and free-spirited joyfulness.

Amethyst Uses and Benefits Gemstones

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Have a favorite way to feature birthstones? Heard any unusual stories about amethyst uses and benefits? Share with us by leaving a comment!