Video game inspired jewelry including diamond Fairy Companion Zelda themed stud earrings, and diamond Pixel Sword Necklace of Light pendant by designer Soulbound. All photographs courtesy of the designers. Labradorite scarab, diamond, and coral carved earrings by Lito Fine Jewelry. Carved malachite and diamond leaf stud earrings by Brent Neale.
Tsavorite garnet and gold pot leaf ring by Andrea Fohrman. Sorellina Lady Jane locket made from white onyx, diamonds, and yellow gold. Anubis ring and pot leaf ring photos by author, all other photos courtesy of the designers. Top to Bottom, Left to Right: Little H pearl pendant with inset turquoise, ruby, seed pearl, and gold grain.
Turquoise, mixed color tourmaline, and diamond hoop earrings by designer Panchoo Jewels.
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Dichroa bracelet by Yael Designs with turquoise and diamonds set in 18k rose gold. Malachite, diamond, and gold earrings by Sorellina. A stack of bezel set gemstone and inlaid turquoise rings from designer Jaquie Aiche.
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Malachite cabochon Starburst Necklace by designer M. Spalten Fine Jewelry as seen at Premier. Little H, Yael Designs, and M. Spalten Fine Jewelry photographs courtesy of the designers. When talking trends with stones, we typically thing about transparent stones or using intentionally included stones as being in vogue. In Vegas, opaque stones aggregates were getting the spotlight. Fashion forward and classic designs both made use of turquoise, malachite, lapis, agate, labradorite, and more! You may notice a few examples of these stones in the afforementioned trends.
Lapis scarab and ruby couture collection ring by Vram. Rhodonite Coffin Drops from the collection of designer Victoria Young. All images are courtesy of the deisgners.
The Luck of the Opal: A History
While hunting down some old photos from Tucson gem and mineral shows of the past, I stumbled upon this blog post I wrote back in Before I had this blog up and running, I knew I wanted to create fun and informative posts that brough a little of the analog handwriting, doodles, polaroids back into the digital world. For Jaimeen Shah, owner of Prima Gems , the story is no different. Growing up in India with his brother, father, uncle, and grandfather all working in jewelry and gemstones, the assumption was that Jaimeen would follow suit and join the industry.
With a passion for computer science, Jaimeen saw himself pursuing a different path. At 18, Jaimeen left his home in Jaipur to get a degree in computer science in Bombay, the city where he had spent his formative years.
So, at the age of 21 Jaimeen headed to Tanzania to oversee the mining operation. Jaimeen is enthusiastic and detailed in recounting the experience of his first summer in Tanzania. Listening to his account of this sink-or-swim experience, all the while knowing that it led him to founding Prima Gems makes the story all the more intriguing.
Upon reaching Arusha in summer , Jaimeen was loaded into a van with two armed guards, a cook, and the provisions they would need while at the mine seemingly, a lot of potatoes. During the weekends, he would live at the mine. As a vegetarian, that meant he would eat fried potatoes for three meals a day, while his employees enjoyed hunting their food in the bush.
Work was sunrise to sunset sifting through the buckets of material brought out of the mine. This process repeated itself all summer. When confronted with this lifestyle, most people go one of two ways: they love it or they hate it.
Lucky for us, after this first experience Jaimeen fell in love with the gemstones and the industry. For three summers during his school years Jaimeen traveled to Africa to work for his uncle. With some of the rebel left in him, he told his family that while he wanted to work with gemstones, he did not want to work for the family.
As he transitioned from rough supplier as part of a mining operation to dealer, he still felt like a miner. When put in the position to buy parcels of rough, it pained him to ask for lower prices, remembering what it was like to be at the mine working all day only to uncover a handful of good stones. But it was working in this position that he learned the importance of competitive pricing, since he was no longer the top of the supply chain of the materials he was dealing in.
By the same token, these experiences solidified the importance of paying people fairly in order to maintain a customer base. Left Rosecut sunstone lined up in a display box for an upcoming tradeshow. He started from the very bottom of the waiting list, but after calling Mary Lou at AGTA every week, his efforts paid off. Just before the Vegas show, Mary Lou had found an eight foot by eight foot space near a fire exit where Jaimeen could set up. A piece of advice that has stuck with him came from a conversation he had with Bill Larson.
Jaimeen marks this conversation as a turning point in his goals for Prima Gems. These tourmaline beads and this impressive bi-color Tourmaline come from the same mine production and are an example of how Jaimeen likes to partner with mines on their full production.
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What Jaimeen is most proud of is his ability to partner with mines to transform full productions of gemstone rough into salable goods. He works with his brother in Jaipur to polish, tumble, or facet the rough he buys into a range of goods from beads to rose cuts, faceted goods to exceptional oneof a kind stones.
He sees his part in this process as creating added value for parts of the production that would go overlooked.
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Even while spending his days surrounded by gemstones, Jaimeen is still excited by the stones that come across his desk. His favorite color is green and, unsurprisingly, his favorite gemstone is Tsavorite garnet. Green elicits an emotional response from Jaimeen.
Back when he was studying computer science, his grandmother would tell him to take breaks from staring at the screen. Her prescription was to take ten minutes every hour and look out at the trees. This exercise created a love of the lush fresh green hues of the mangroves in him. To this day, when a new parcel of faceted Tsavorite comes in, Jaimeen will pick out a piece in the perfect Tsavorite green hue to keep in his personal collection. Looking through his personal collection both reveals some mind-boggling stones and a few that appear more benign.
When Jaimeen told me it was Zoisite I was shocked. Having seen pink Zoisite plenty of times, I had never seen a stone this saturated without any hint of grey or yellow to interfere with the pink hue. The story behind how he acquired the stone was equally thrilling. As he was getting into the car in Arusha to head to the airport after a buying trip in , one of his dealers approached him to show him a stone.
The rough was beautiful and pink but with a touch of yellow that Jaimeen knew he could cut off. Bottom: The pink Zoisite Jaimeen bought in Tanzania on his way to the airport and a pink Zoisite crystal of similar color. Another two stones in the personal collection that have important significance to Jaimeen are two Mahenge Lotus Garnets.
One is peach and the other is muted rose pink. The Lotus Garnets represent his hard work. While everyone wants to avoid making costly errors, for Jaimeen these events are learning opportunities. Bi-color sapphires aka parti sapphires or parti-color sapphires are essentially sapphires with color-zoning — uneven distribution of color in the stone. Unlike the color zoning in a single color sapphire, bi-color sapphires are the result of the zoning of two colors in a single stone which is a result of changing conditions and trace elements during the formation of the sapphire in the earth. You may have encountered color-zoning in a standard blue sapphire.
Typically it will look like varying thickness of blue and colorless lines or occasionally in a hexagonal shape. I first encountered these stones through lapidary artist Jean-Noel Soni topnotchfaceting a couple years ago. Jean loved embracing the duality of colors in the African material he was cutting. At the time this approach to bi-color sapphires was new to me.
Over the past year I have seen many jewelry designers and gemstone dealers embrace distinctly bi-color sapphires. While bi-color tourmalines have been celebrated for their multi-colored looks for many years, the bi-color sapphire counterparts are just starting to get attention. I asked gemstone dealer Caleb B. Learn more below! Q: When did you first see the bicolor faceted sapphires enter the market? For those that are unaware, Parti Sapphire is the trade term for sapphires exhibiting multiple colors.
Heated stones can still show multiple colors but it is a shame that for a long time sapphires have been heated in an attempt to remove zones of color. Sapphires that show multiple colors are so unique and striking with natural beauty. Bing Site Web Enter search term: Search. Ad Feature.