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Sapphire Gemstone Information


Sapphire gemstones were referred to as hyacinths – specifically the blue variety – in ancient times. Later, their color was likened to yet another flower: the cornflower, an evocative term that is still used today and signifies a very desirable hue of blue sapphire. The word “safir,” from both Hebrew and Arabic roots, means blue, yet sapphires come in almost every color, such as yellow, pink, green and purple.

Sapphire is the September birthstone, but those born in other months also take pleasure from its classic charm and beauty.

Sapphire Facts

  • Sapphire is a variety of the mineral species corundum as is ruby. They virtually share the same chemical composition.
  • Sapphires in colors other than blue are referred to as “fancy colored sapphires” and are best described by their color, such as “yellow sapphire.”
  • Sri Lanka and Burma (Myanmar) are sources for sapphire, yet a more recent source, Madagascar, is also said to produce fine blue sapphires. Other sources include Australia, Cambodia, China, India, Kenya, Laos, Nigeria, Tanzania, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam.
  • Sapphire is a very durable gemstone, along with ruby it’s second only to diamond, with a hardness of 9.0 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.
  • Sapphire gemstones are faceted into all shapes. Star and cat’s-eye sapphire, two of the varieties sporting unique optical phenomena, are fashioned as cabochons. Some other sapphires change color in different types of light; these phenomenal sapphires (showing special optical characteristics) are considered collector’s gems.


Sapphire Treatment

  • Sapphire is often heat treated to improve both clarity and color. Any treatments should be disclosed to the buyer.

Synthetic Sapphire

  • Sapphire can also be man-made, meaning it is manufactured in a lab rather than mined, and this fact should be understood by the seller and clearly disclosed to the buyer.

Sapphire Care & Cleaning

  • To minimize scratching and wear, store each piece of fine jewelry separately in a soft cloth or padded container.
  • Sapphire jewelry is best cleaned with warm, sudsy water and a tightly woven microfiber or other soft cloth.
  • Bring all your fine jewelry to Gary’s Gem Garden at least twice a year for a thorough cleaning and inspection.
  • See our full guide to jewelry care and cleaning.


Content © GIA. Image © Robert Weldon/GIA

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Gem Miner’s Jubilee Gem and Jewelry Show

Gem Miner’s Jubilee Gem and Jewelry Show Features PA Geological Survey Group Display


NEWS PROVIDED BYMid-Atlantic Gem and Mineral Association 

Jul 23, 2019, 09:37 ET

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  • Gary will be at this show this weekend.

LEBANON, Pa., July 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The Gem Miner’s Jubilee, the Mid-Atlantic’s premium bead, mineral, gem and jewelry show, will be hosting its 22nd annual event at the Lebanon Valley Expo Center, August 16th – 18th, 2019, 80 Rocherty Road, Lebanon, PA 17042. The Jubilee is a major production in the gem show circuit and an international event with vendors from around the world, both wholesale and retail.

Several artisans are available to do work on the premises including wire wrapping, stone setting and jewelry repair.

Visit http://www.gem-show.com for updates, admission discounts and additional information.

This year’s featured demonstration will be the Pennsylvania Geological Survey group which will arrange a display focusing on the minerals and mining history of local Cornwall and Grace Mines and staff will be available for providing information and answering questions. The Central Pennsylvania Rock and Mineral Club and Tuscarora Lapidary Society will also be a source of educational demonstrations.  To add a little flavor to the show,  Boyd’s Cardinal Hollow Winery will offer free samples of their unique wines from their top selling Whiskey Mead which is fermented in Bourbon barrels to their tongue toasting Jalapeno Wine sold by the bottle.

Hours are 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. Handicapped accessible and free parking. Admission is $6 and free for children under 12.

Gem Miner’s Jubilee and Holiday Shows are a yearly exhibition and sale of some of the foremost products & collectibles of Earth’s treasures. The three day August show and a Holiday Gift Show in November provide an opportunity to meet source dealers bringing the finest collections available.

For Information, contact:  Teresa Schwab, (301) 807-9745

SOURCE Mid-Atlantic Gem and Mineral Association

Related Links

https:/www.gem-show.com

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Guide to Buying Diamond Jewelry

What you should know about diamonds when you visit the jewelry store

jewelry-diamond-ring-600x300

Rare and fascinating, mysterious and magical, the diamond has ignited romantic passion throughout history. The word alone conjures up a thousand images of rare, precious, desirable, beautiful, sparkling tokens of love. This guide from Jewelers of America details what you should know when buying diamonds or diamond jewelry for yourself or someone you love. 

One of the most important aspects of buying quality diamond jewelry is where you shop. A trustworthy jeweler or jewelry store, like members of Jewelers of America, will walk you through the jewelry shopping experience and take you on an educational journey about diamond information. 

The information in our diamond jewelry guide is intended to help you browse for diamond jewelry in advance of your purchase and understand the basic diamond quality factors so you can feel comfortable starting a dialogue with any jewelry salesperson.

A Diamond’s Unique Characteristics

Diamonds might not be the rarest gemstone known to man, but they have a set of unique characteristics that sets diamond jewelry apart from other gemstones and gives them a value beyond price. When considering a diamond jewelry purchase, a jeweler might first inform you of these special features of a diamond:

Unique Beauty 

The beauty and inner fire of the diamond has made this precious gem prized for centuries. Each stone, like its owner, is endowed with a personality and character uniquely its own. 

Durability

A diamond is the hardest substance known to man (ranking 10.0 on the Mohs Hardness Scale) and is resistant to deterioration. When cared for properly, diamond jewelry can be worn every day and passed on as an heirloom to future generations. 

Enduring Value

Gem-quality diamonds have consistently retained their value, and most often have increased in value, after years of being worn and enjoyed. 

4Cs of Diamonds

There are four factors that determine the value of a diamond, collectively known as the 4Cs of Diamonds: CaratClarityCut & Color. The Diamond 4Cs are so important to selecting the perfect stone for you that we cover them indepth. Go to our guide on the diamond 4Cs >

Where to Buy Diamond Jewelry

Since expertise in the grading, selection and sale of diamonds takes years of training, always purchase diamond jewelry from a professional you can trust. Choose a retailer who has demonstrated a commitment to professionalism and has an established reputation. Ask if the jeweler is a member of Jewelers of America. Our members commit annually to a Code of Professional Practices, so you can buy jewelry with confidence.  Search our “Find a JA Jeweler” directory, or look for the “J” logo on company’s door or website. 

The jewelry store experience should be relaxed and fun. The best jewelers are passionate about their craft and love sharing their knowledge with customers. They will show you a selection of diamonds and be able to explain the subtle differences in grade and value. The knowledge and expertise you gain in the jewelry store will guide you in choosing the perfect diamond for a lifetime of wearing pleasure. 

A big plus of establishing a relationship with a jewelry store near you is that they will be there for your future purchases, repairs or custom design needs. 

Caring for Your Diamond

Diamonds may be the hardest substance known to man, but they still can be damaged, abraded or scratched. Use the following guidelines to ensure your diamond jewelry retains its beauty for years to come: 

  • Don’t jumble your diamond jewelry with other pieces, because diamonds can scratch other jewelry and each other.
  • Keep your diamond jewelry in a fabric-lined jewel case or in a box with compartments or dividers.
  • Don’t wear your diamonds when doing rough work. Even though a diamond is durable, a hard blow can chip and damage it.
  • Diamonds look best when they are clean, revealing the diamond’s fire and brilliance. Clean your diamonds regularly using commercial jewelry cleaner, a mix of ammonia and water, or a mild detergent. Dip the jewelry into the solution, and use a soft brush to dislodge dust or dirt from under the setting.
  • Keep diamond jewelry away from chlorine bleach or other chemicals that can pit or discolor the mounting. Do not wear your diamond jewelry in chlorinated pools or hot tubs.
  • See your professional jeweler (Gary’s Gem Garden) at least once a year to have your diamond jewelry professionally cleaned and checked for loose prongs and wear.


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2019 Show Schedule

Please be advised that more information will follow for each show on Facebook, Instagram and our Website! Please feel free to email us also at info@garysgemgarden.com. Thank you for your patronage!

March 8-10         Virginia Beach, VA     http://treasuresoftheearth.com/events/virginia-beach-convention-center/

March 15-17        Richmond, VA     http://treasuresoftheearth.com/events/richmond-raceway-complex/

March 30-31        Plymouth Meeting, PA at the Lulu Temple

April 13-14           Freeport, Long Island, NY    http://www.kaleidoscopegemshows.com/

April 27-28           Franklin, NJ    http://njesa.org/index.html

July 19-21              Virginia Beach, VA    http://treasuresoftheearth.com/events/virginia-beach-convention-center/

July 26-28             Mattituck, Long Island, NY

August 16-18       Lebanon, PA    https://www.facebook.com/GemMinersShows/

August 30-
September 1        Freeport, Long Island, NY    http://www.kaleidoscopegemshows.com/

September 12-15    Richmond, VA   http://treasuresoftheearth.com/events/richmond-raceway-complex/

September 19-22   Ocean City, MD    http://treasuresoftheearth.com/events/powell-convention-center/

September 27-29   Franklin, NJ   https://www.facebook.com/AnnualFranklinSterlingGemMineralShow/

October 11-13        Cherry Hill, NJ   https://www.facebook.com/sjmineralshow/

October 26-27         Freeport, Long Island, NY   http://www.kaleidoscopegemshows.com/

November 1-3        Oaks. PA

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Amethyst – February’s Birthstone

amethyst gemstone february birthstone

Amethyst gemstones have captivated humankind for centuries. The lilac-to-deep purple hues were once reserved for royalty or religious figures who wore it as a symbol of their important stature in society. Its lore comprises several claims to mystical powers, including that it would convey strength and wit to those who wore it. Amethyst was also associated with Bacchus, the ancient Greek god of wine, and wearing it was thought to keep the drinker sober.

Amethyst comes from many places around the world and is a gemstone everyone can enjoy. It is the February birthstone, but those born in other months also take pleasure from its charm and beauty.

Amethyst Facts

  • Amethyst belongs to the quartz species and is related to rock crystal, citrine,  and agate (a variety of chalcedony).
  • Russia was a classic source for amethyst. Current sources include Brazil, Bolivia, South Africa, South Korea, the United States, Uruguay and Zambia.
  • Amethyst is a fairly durable gemstone with a hardness of 7.0 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.
  • Amethyst gemstones can be cut into many shapes and sizes, often as cabochons or beads, and is also carved for ornamental use.
  • Nature produces a variety known as ametrine, a combination of amethyst and citrine. This gem is purple and yellow and is frequently cut to show its division of color or in a way that mixes the colors, forming interesting medium dark to moderately strong orange, and vivid to strong purple or violet hues.

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Ammolite Gemstone Information

ammolite gemstone

Ammolite is celebrated globally for its naturally captivating rainbow colors and layers of vibrant iridescence. Ammolite originates from prehistoric marine fossils that date back 71-million years and received official gem status as recently as 1981 by the World Jewellery Confederation. Feng Shui experts believe its colorful display awakens positive energy and stimulates creativity, energy, wisdom, intellect and wealth. Wearers and collectors call ammolites “gems of enlightenment.” 

Color

Ammolite’s luminous qualities rival the black opal for color and fire. Ammolite reflects a rainbow’s worth of colors (red, orange, yellow, blue, green, purple and more), and the luminous color spectrum in each gem is unique. Browse ammolite gemstone jewelry in our Jewelry Gallery.

Origins

To date the only source of ammolite is in Alberta, Canada.


Durability

Naturally, ammolite is a soft gemstone with a 3.5-4 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. A protective spinel crystal is often applied to protect the ammolite gem, increasing the hardness to 8.5.


Enhancements

Ammolites are not generally treated. It’s all-natural color is its most distinctive feature.


Care & Cleaning

  • As with most gemstone jewelry, you want to minimize scratching and wear, so store each piece of fine jewelry separately in a soft cloth or padded container.
  • Ammolite jewelry is best cleaned with warm, sudsy water and a tightly woven microfiber or other soft cloth. 
  • Most importantly, take all your fine jewelry to a professional jeweler, like a local Jewelers of America Member jewelry store, at least twice a year for a thorough cleaning and inspection.
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January Birthstone – Garnet

Garnet gemstones are among the most diverse of the gemstone groups, because it encompasses different species and varieties. Garnet varieties are extraordinarily diverse in color, and some rare varieties exhibit phenomenal characteristics, such as a star effect (aster-ism) or a color-change effect when viewed under different lighting. The deep, red varieties of garnet have been compared to pomegranate seeds, and in fact, garnet is a derivation of the word “pomegranate.” 

Garnet is the January birthstone and may be celebrated in its many varieties, providing an array of choices for gemstone enthusiasts. 

Garnet Facts

  • Garnet varieties and species come in a rainbow of colors, such as red, orange, yellow and green.
  • Tsavorite (green) garnet was named for the region where it is mined near Tsavo National Park in Kenya. Yellowish orange to bright orange spessartine garnet is named after Spessart, Germany, where it was discovered. Russia is an important source for demantoid garnet. Other sources of garnet include Brazil, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and the United States.
  • Nature also produces “collector” garnets. Star garnets are found in India, the U.S. state of Idaho, and Sri Lanka; a rare form of iridescent andradite garnet is found in Mexico; and garnets that change color in different light are found in Kenya, Madagascar and Sri Lanka.
  • Garnets have a hardness of 6.5-7.5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.
  • Garnets can be faceted or carved as cabochons or beads.

Garnet Treatment

  • Garnets are rarely treated because of their natural clarity and color. Any treatments should be disclosed to the buyer.

Garnet Care & Cleaning

  • To minimize scratching and wear, store each piece of fine jewelry separately in a soft cloth or padded container.
  • Garnet jewelry is best cleaned with warm, sudsy water and a tightly woven microfiber or other soft cloth. Avoid steam cleaning.
  • Take all your fine jewelry to Gary’s Gem Garden at least twice a year for a thorough cleaning and inspection.
  • See our full guide to jewelry care and cleaning.
  • Information from Jewelers of America Website


Content © GIA. Image © Robert Weldon/GIA

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New Holiday Hours

Our holiday hours are changing this year!

The last week in November we will keep our regular hours! Holiday hours will start on December 1st as follows:

Holiday Hours 
Starting  December 1st – December 24th

Monday – Wednesday 10 am – 6 pm
Thursday & Friday 10 am – 8 pm
Saturday 10 am – 6 pm
Sunday 12 pm – 4 pm

December 24th we will be open until about 4 pm.

 

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November Birthstone

Topaz-gia-600x300

Topaz gemstones are often confused with citrine or smoky quartz; however, the colors we appreciate topaz for have a wide range ­– from pink to orange, red, purple, brown, yellow and even colorless. The name for this gem dates to biblical times, and its meaning has evolved over time. Its name likely derived from the island of Topazos, in the Red Sea, where Romans found yellowish gems.

Topaz is the November birthstone, but those born in other months also take pleasure from its warmth and beauty.

Topaz Facts

  • Topaz is a mineral species that occurs naturally in a broad color range, including various reds, pinks, purples, yellows, oranges and browns. More rarely, blue material is found.
  • Brazil remains an important source for topaz. Other sources include Australia, Madagascar, Mexico, Burma (Myanmar), Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the United States.
  • Topaz is a fairly durable gemstone with a hardness of 8.0 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.
  • Topaz can be cut into many shapes and sizes, often as faceted gems or cabochons.

Topaz Treatment

  • Topaz is commonly heated to change some of the yellow and reddish brown topaz to create pink gems. The vast majority of blue topaz on the market is irradiated, and heated. Another form of treatment common to topaz is surface coating, which results in many colors. Any treatments should be disclosed to the buyer.

Topaz Care & Cleaning

  • To minimize scratching and wear, store each piece of fine jewelry separately in a soft cloth or padded container.
  • Avoid prolonged exposure to bright light as some stones may fade.
  • Avoid the use of ultrasonic and steam cleaners.
  • Topaz jewelry is best cleaned with warm, sudsy water and a tightly woven microfiber or other soft cloth.
  • Take all your fine jewelry to Gary’s Gem Garden at least twice a year for a thorough cleaning and inspection.
  • See our full guide to jewelry care and cleaning.

Content © GIA. Image © Robert Weldon/GIA

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OCTOBER BIRTHSTONES

Individuals born in October get to choose between two birthstones—tourmaline and opal. Each gem then unveils nearly limitless possibilities, as each one comes in a rainbow of shades and color combinations.

In fact, both of October’s birthstones came to earth through a journey involving rainbows, according to legend.

Between tourmaline (whose color depends on trace elements in its chemical makeup) and opal (which diffracts light to show a play of multiple colors), October’s birthstones offer a full spectrum of gems to suit anyone’s personal tastes.

The name “opal” originates from the Greek word opallios, which meant “to see a change in color.” The Roman scholar Pliny used the word opalus when he wrote about this gem’s kaleidoscopic “play” of colors that could simulate shades of any stone.

Opal’s characteristic “play-of-color” was explained in the 1960s, when scientists discovered that it’s composed of microscopic silica spheres that diffract light to display various colors of the rainbow. These flashy gems are called “precious opals;” those without play-of-color are “common opals.”

Dozens of opal varieties exist, but only a few (like Fire Opal and Boulder Opal) are universally recognized. Opals are often referred to by their background “body color”—black or white.

Opal’s classic country of origin is Australia. Seasonal rains soaked the parched outback, carrying silica deposits underground into cracks between layers of rock. When the water evaporated, these deposits formed opal. Sometimes, silica seeped into spaces around wood, seashells and skeletons, resulting in opalized fossils.

Since opal was discovered in Australia around 1850, the country has produced 95 percent of the world’s supply. Opal is also mined in Mexico, Brazil, Honduras, Ethiopia, the Czech Republic and parts of the U.S., including Nevada and Idaho.

The water content of opal can range from three to 21 percent – usually between 6 and 10 in gem-quality material. This, combined with hardness of only 5.5 to 6 on the Mohs scale, makes opal a delicate gem that can crack or “craze” under extreme temperature, dehydration or direct light.

Wearing opal is well worth the extra care, though. For centuries, people have associated this gem with good luck. Though some recent superstitions claim that opals can be bad luck to anyone not born in October, this birthstone remains a popular choice.

 

Click on link for  more great information about opals and tourmalines; https://www.americangemsociety.org/page/octoberbirthstones

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