Witnessing Erosion in Action…!

[re-post from 06/11/2018]

Witnessing Erosion in Action!

A small part of the sandstone cliff breaks and falls into the Colorado River in the natural process of erosion.

The sandstone in the Grand Canyon area is believed to have been deposited between 200 million and 2 billion years ago in what would have been warm, shallow seas.

Plate tectonics then led to the uplifting of the whole region into the Colorado Plateau approx 2 miles high, some of which is slowly being eroded away here.

Nature continues the process of Creative Destruction, turning mountains into mud, into beds of sandstone, into raised plateaus and slowly back into mud.

This, combined with magma from deep within the earth, occasionally leads to conditions that are favorable for mineralization, giving us the beautiful crystals and gems that we love and cherish…

From Change comes Beauty 🙂

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Color Change Sapphire, from Rough to Cut

CCSapphire_rough_24.51cts_combined_3

[re-post from 11/18/2017]:

Two gems for the price of one!

Working on this phenomenal piece of Color Change Sapphire rough, from the Umba Valley, Tanzania, which is currently 24.51cts after some sawing and fashioning.

Completely natural with no treatments of any kind. This gem is blue in florescent light and turns to purple in incandescent light.

One of our favorite stones to work with, when we can get our hands on a gemmy piece.

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CCSaphire_briolette_15.0x10.0mm_12.24cts_combo

[re-post from 05/29/2018]

Two gems for the price on one!!

Phenomenal blue to purple change in this 12.24cts Color Change Sapphire, briolette cut, 15.0×10.0mm.

Scroll across to see its color in daylight, or better yet come and see it in person at AGTA 900 in Las Vegas….!

Natural, untreated from the Umba Valley Tanzania. The image on the left is under florescent light and on the right is the same gem under incandescent light. This gem displays flashes of both colors in daylight, which can be considered a third color.

Small inclusions that are eye-visible don’t significantly affect the price when it comes to phenomenal gemstones like these – the beauty and strength of the change is far more important.

Sizes above 5cts with good change are very rare.

Sapphires and Rubies are the same mineral – corundum. When corundum is red it is called ‘Ruby’; when it is any other color it is called ‘Color” followed by ‘Sapphire”, e.g. Blue Sapphire or Pink Sapphire.

Corundums are found all over the world with principal mining locations being Sri Lanka, Burma, Madagascar, Thailand, Australia, Tanzania, Kenya, USA (Montana).

Sapphires are September’s birthstone and their variety of colors offers so much choice! They also celebrate the 5th and 45th Anniversaries.

www.colorfirst.com

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Hydrophane Opal from Ethiopia

[re-post from 03/05/2018]

Mesmerizing play of color in this Opal Rough from Wollo, Ethiopia. Natural, untreated.

This is very select rough that is in the initial stages of processing. Next it will be sawn and/or roughly ground to remove the surface clays.

Then the stones will be rough preformed to orient them to display the best play of color for each piece.

This part is tricky since this is hydrophane opal. “Hydrophane” means the stones absorb water when they are in contact with it and turn colorless!

And you certainly need water when sawing, preforming or faceting stones. At that point the opals look transparent to translucent and much of the play of color is lost. Good thing it’s only temporary! The opals dry over a period of a few hours (and sometimes longer) and the beautiful play of color appears again! Phenomenal!

They will then be cut and polished into cabochons with various shapes. The last stage is final quality control before being offered for sale.

www.colorfirst.com

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Select Gem Rough

[re-post from 02/10/2018]

Juicy rough that looks like candy makes us hungry!!

Clockwise…alluvial natural peach, pink, yellow and chartreuse zircons, alluvial natural pink, peach and red zircons, alluvial spessartite garnets, and alluvial purple garnets. All these stones are natural and untreated.

Scroll across to see the individual pictures. These stones have been selected from large parcels and are of the very best quality for each group.

Next they will be clipped or sawn where necessary to produce clean, blocky pieces.

After some initial rough preforming to determine final shape (e.g. oval, cushion, round, trillion, etc) they will be fashioned into full preforms ready for faceting.

Some of them will be chosen to make matched pairs, layouts or suites where possible.

Once they are faceted, polished and inspected for quality control they will go through the final grading process before they are ready for sale.

The process from mine to market is elaborate and it takes experience to produce fine quality finished gems.

www.colorfirst.com

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A small part of the journey from mine to market…

Umbalite rough to preformed
Umbalite rough to preformed

Showing a select piece of Umbalite Garnet rough and in its rough-preformed state, 14.36cts currently
Natural, untreated from the Umba Valley, Tanzania
Like many of our gems, we work with this material from the rough, sorting and grading it for color, size, shape and clarity, before faceting it into different cuts and qualities. ▪
The next step would be final preforming followed by faceting and polishing, before final quality control and grading.
The process from mine to market is elaborate and it takes experience to produce fine quality finished gems.
See this and many more Umbalite Garnets at AGTA 1205, Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall, May 30 – June 3.
Umbalite is a trade name for a pinkish-purple garnet from the Umba Valley, Tanzania.
It is a relative of Rhodolite and Malaya garnets – usually being a mix of Pyrope, Almandine, Spessartine and occasionally Grossular Garnets.
Almost all gem garnets are a mix of two or more species.
Pure Garnet would be colorless; it is the trace elements that give garnets their colors. For example, iron and chromium creates reds and greens; vanadium creates greens and manganese creates pinks and oranges.
Garnet is the birthstone for January, celebrates the 2nd anniversary and comes in almost all colors of the spectrum including the rare color-change.
Lots of choice for January birthdays!
www.colorfirst.com ▪

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