Moldavite is often referred to as the "gem that fell to earth". This material is believed to have formed when a shower of meteorites fell in what is now the Czech Republic within a one hundred mile area around the Vltava River, which was once called the Moldau, and from which Moldavite gets its name. These stones are actually tektites and Moldavite is a one-of-a-kind tektite. There are many theories where Moldavite originated and the inability of science to resolve the issues with one conclusive explanation of the true origins of Moldavite causes it to remain one of the great mysteries of the gem world. Nonetheless, Moldavite isn't often faceted into gems (usually it is left in it's original form or used for carvings - plus the very unusual form of the "rough" stones doesn't make for very good yield when it comes to cutting stones), and this is a good size stone for the material. The stone has a Heart Brilliant cut, and would make for a beautiful piece of jewelry. There are some slight inclusions, which is par for the course for these stones.
Clinozoisite forms an isomorphic series with Epidote and Zoisite, and is a relatively rare gem in the world. This stone has a distinct color for Clinozoisite with a blending of yellow and a slight green color, but truly does not show any pleochroism like Epidote, which is one of the better ways to tell that it is truly Clinozoisite. The stones/crystals from Pakistan are actually well documented material, and probably some of the best gem grade Clinozoisite to hit the market in recent years. The stone is only very slightly included with a Square Emerald cut.
Gypsum certainly is not a rare species, but facetted gems are definitely hard to find. The incredible softness and perfect cleavage of the mineral makes for some very difficult cutting, and only highly skilled gem cutters can facet a stone like this one. This Octagon cut gem has only very slight inclusions, and is essentially colorless. It is a very impressive stone for the size considering that very few are ever available over a few carats.
This stone gets its name from the Greek, words "tria", three, plus "phylon", family, because it was thought to contain three cations (Fe, Li, Mg). There have been crystals of Triphylite found in South Dakota up to 6 feet long !! Most of those crystals are opaque and wouldn't be well suited for cutting gems. Brazil is one of the few places that produces gem quality Triphylite and this stone is a a very good size gem for the material. It is very very slightly included and has a very pleasing almost dichroic appearance as it looks somewhat greenish grey one direction, but shows hints of a brownish orange in another direction. It reminds me of Axinite stones that I have seen from Baha. The stone has an Emerald cut, and would make a great addition to any rare stone collection. Enjoy.
Sapphire is one of those gems that comes in virtually every color of the rainbow. With that said, the most recognizable color of Sapphires by far is blue. I've seen literally every shade of blue known to man exhibited in Sapphires, and they are still some of the most popular, durable, colorful and highly sought after gems on the planet. This stone has a beautiful "royal blue" color which shows up well in strong light. The stone is very slightly included and has an Oval cut, which is common for Sapphires.
This is super rare collectors stone. When is the last time that you can remember seeing a faceted stone of Aragonite? With the exception of the Czech specimens, Aragonite is rarely found in facet grade material. This stone is a wonderful, very very slightly included gem with a beautiful Octagon cut. These gems are very difficult to find these days, and stones this size are not common.
About two to three years ago there was a substantial discovery of what are some of the finest red, gem quality Chondrodites found in recent memory. The crystals were not terribly large, but they were fine quality, and showed a deep orange red hue within. This particular stone was cut from a broken crystal that we purchased two years ago. It is gem quality, make no mistake, but does have some slight inclusions. When viewed in the sunlight, the color is a very rich red with slight orange overtones. The stone has an Oval cut, and is simply a great example of this extremely rare and highly sought after material. I have seen some of these stones selling for up to $500 per carat overseas recently.
Achroite is the colorless variety of Elbaite Tourmaline, and is not found is great quantity from any locality. Colorless Tourmaline is an indication of the purity of the material as there are little no to imperfections in the chemical formula to create the color. This is often the case with many gems as impurities (chromaphores) actually allow the stones to have their vibrant hues. This stone is an impressive Achroite gem that is virtually eye clean with an Oval cut. You don't see many of these stones on the market these days (especially with over 10 carats with this clarity), and it would make a great addition to any Tourmaline suite to show the diversity of colors (or lack thereof) for this highly popular gemstone.
There are only a few localities in the world that produce gem quality Lazulite. About 10 years ago, there was a limited find of Lazulite crystals in Pakistan, and they were some of the most unique (and largest) Lazulite crystals ever found. These days, Pakistan produces virtually no Lazulite, so the value of the top crystals and stones is on the rise. This beautiful stone is virtually eye clean, with an attractive mix of yellow and bluish green colors. The stone shows distinct pleochroism when rotated on different axis. Most people are probably familiar with the dark inky-blue Lazulite crystals from Rapid Creek, Canada, but these crystals are often too dark to produce stones that don't appear "black", so to find any gems, even if they're small, with bright color like this, is a real treat. The cut on this stone is a Pear cut.
Taaffeite as a mineral species is incredibly rare, and facetted gems are becoming more and more difficult to obtain. IT IS THE ONLY GEM SPECIES I KNOW OF WHICH WAS DESCRIBED FIRST FROM ITS BEAUTIFUL ROUGH, LONG BEFORE A CRYSTAL WAS FOUND! Purple material remains among the most rare of all gems today despite decades of hunting. Taaffeite (the correct name is actually now Magnesiotaaffeite-2N�2S) is one of the great rarities in the gem world. This stone is from the TYPE LOCALITY for the material, and it is a superb quality gem. The clarity and size make this more than just collector quality, it's top notch! Taaffeite is very similar to mauve colored Spinel, and the original stones were actually all sold as Spinel (which can still happen to this day), but it is the characteristic birefringence of Taaffeite which now allows gemologists and gem dealers to identify the material and prevent it from being labeled as the much more common Spinel. This stone is a very attractive, purplish-pink color, virtually eye clean, Marquise cut gem. The fact that this stone is over 1 carat is weight makes it truly collector quality, and a very worthwhile stone. Every rare gem collection needs a top quality Taaffeite like this stone in their collection. For future reference, it is most likely that in the gem trade the name "Taaffeite" will mostly likely continue to be used instead of the more cumbersome (though correct) Magnesiotaaffeite-2N�2S.
GEM: 1.8 x 1.8 x 1.4 cm (25.5 carats) I love this set because its a rare instance to match the significance in both specimen and gem! The specimen is a superb example for this classic locale because it is large, complete, and very well colored. the gem is HUGE for what it is unusually clean, and is said to be by those who know more than I one of the best cut Mexican apatites. It is VERY impressive in person and look smor elike fluorite, for the color and clarity - you would not guess aapatite at first. And yet, the colors here are a dead-even match and i know the man who cut it. BOTH STONES ARE MORE GREEN IN PERSON< THAN YELLOW AS THEY APPEAR.
GEM: 1.0 x 0.8 x 0.5 cm (3.55 carats) At one time, rhodochrosite stalagtites from Argentina were readily available at rocks shows around the country. Today, good ones with little damage and rich color are quickly disappearing from the market. This stalagtite has what you want as a specimen collector - very nice sharp crystal terminations along the outside. Inside, the stalagtite has nice richly colored, concentric growth lines, typical of the better pieces from this area. Some bruising present along the outside of the stalagtite on rear faces, but it displays well and is much better than what we normally see around. I recently found a nice cut stone for the locality - unusual because this material is mostly 100% opaque and a stone this large, with such translucency, is rare. The stone is valued at $150 (my cost) or more only but is a nice accent!
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