The Finest American Gemstone – Montana Sapphire

Back to talking about gemstones!! Explore the wonders of Montana Sapphire. Jonathan and Brecken discuss the early beginnings and the lore behind America’s finest gemstone.

Transcription of the podcast.

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[00:00:00] Brecken: I don’t know, like what I do for Parlé, did I answer that okay?

[00:00:04] Jonathan: Yeah. I thought that was one of the best answers.

[00:00:06] Brecken: Oh, I just made up my title.

[00:00:11] Jonathan: Yeah, but you make fun of me and my title. You totally called me out. “I think on your business card, it says Vice President, I guess when you’re the owner, you can make up your own.” I was like, all right.

[00:00:40] Brecken: Welcome back to another episode of Gem Junkies. I’m Brecken,

[00:00:44] Jonathan: and I’m Jonathan,

[00:00:45] Brecken: and we are in the throngs of Tucson right now.

[00:00:48] Jonathan: Yeah.

[00:00:49] Brecken: So it’s super exciting. So we are at a AGTA right now. Super excited. If you are in Tucson, come on down to booth 417 in the AGTA gem hall, and you can come meet us.

[00:01:04] Jonathan: And we’ve got pins.

[00:01:05] Brecken: We’ve got swag! Yeah.

[00:01:08] So today we thought it would be super fun to talk about

[00:01:12] Jonathan: Montana Sapphire.

[00:01:14] Brecken: Montana Sapphire, which I’m crazy about it.

[00:01:16] Jonathan: Yeah, it’s awesome, and it’s very close to us. It’s only a four, four and a half hour drive.

[00:01:21] Brecken: It is, and it’s something that last year we decided to start carrying again.

[00:01:27] Jonathan: Right.

[00:01:28] Brecken: We used to carry it way back when. Mostly Yogo.

[00:01:31] Jonathan: Mostly Yogo, but now we’re more towards Rock Creek. So, 1865, that’s the original finding of sapphires in Montana by gold prospectors.

[00:01:44] Brecken: Right, they were going up the rivers trying to find gold and discovered gold and sapphires. A lot of the gold miners hated Sapphire because it would clog their sleuth box when they were trying to reclaim the gold. Out of the rivers. Yeah. And they just would throw it, they would just chuck it, chuck it, chuck it, chuck it. They didn’t know what it was. Yeah. And they thought, and then once they did discover what it was. They thought it wasn’t very valuable because it was pale color, right.

[00:02:16] Like pale in color. And so they just would chuck it away, throw it away and they’d get angry, it would clog all their equipment. And who knew.

[00:02:26] Jonathan: Those darn sapphires.

[00:02:28] Brecken: But it really, so the gold rush in Missouri happened 19 or 1870s to about 1890s is when a ton of gold was pulled out of the Missouri river in Montana.

[00:02:43] Jonathan: Yeah. Um, and then in the 1890s, there was a discovery in the Rock Creek area.

[00:02:52] Brecken: Mm-hmm .

[00:02:53] And so the funny thing is the gold rush sent, miners up every little river in Montana, trying to find gold and the Rock Creek find, they found absolutely no gold, but they found Sapphire and they found sapphires in all spectrum of colors.

[00:03:15] So yellows, greens, oranges, purples, blues, even red.

[00:03:21] Jonathan: Yeah, and the mining was really prevalent from about 1890 to the 1930s and they estimate there were 65 tons of Sapphire were recovered and it supplied the Swiss watchmakers until synthetics came about in the 1930s.

[00:03:41] Brecken: So it was sent by the ton to Switzerland. Used as for watch bearings.

[00:03:47] Jonathan: The first mention about Rock Creek and literature was mentioned in 1901 by George Kunz. And he had seen the gemstones in jewelry at the Paris expo that was made by Tiffany and Company in 1900. And he said, quote, “that it was of unusual brilliancy and at no other known locality has so great a variety of rich colors in corundum gems as in Rock Creek Sapphire.” And that’s the great thing about Rock Creek compared to the other sources in Montana is, it has a huge variety of colors. It has pinks and greens and yellows and oranges and blues.

[00:04:26] Brecken: Most start out their life pale in color

[00:04:29] Jonathan: pale or green

[00:04:29] Brecken: Or green. And that is why heat treatment is so important for the Rock Creek sapphires. It intensifies the colors and it removes the cloudiness and silk in the gemstones.

[00:04:40] Jonathan: Yeah. So about 30% can stay in their natural color of pink, blue, blue-green, and green. And about 70% of it needs is green or slightly brownish and that’s what gets heat treated. So the great thing about Rock Creek is it has quite a bit larger Sapphire crystals and they range [00:05:00] from two millimeters in size up to about one inch, which would be around 30 carats. So they produce some quite large pieces. And that’s kind of up to about, I think about 20 carats.

[00:05:15] All right. Okay. So Rock Creek was mined by. It was mine since the 19 hundreds, early 19 hundreds. All the way up till the 1930s and then in the 1930s. And it was all done by hydraulics. And so they didn’t have equipment. So the hydraulics, they basically get a big pond of water going. And then they’d flush that water down and through a big hose until it had enough pressure. And so they were only able to mine the very narrow bottom of each of these gullies. And so they missed tons of sapphires.

[00:05:51] Brecken: As evident by the large supply, we’re seeing come out of Rock Creek right now.

[00:05:55] Jonathan: So in 2014, Potentate bought 90% of the Rock Creek area

[00:06:01] about

[00:06:01] Brecken: 3000 acres.

[00:06:04] Jonathan: It’s a huge, huge amount. So not only Rock Creek, but also Eureka Gulch. And so now Potentate is mining that and that’s where all this new material is coming from.

[00:06:14] Brecken: And I think this is the first time in the history of the Rock Creek mining area, that one company has owned so much land and been able to make it really commercially viable.

[00:06:27] Jonathan: Yeah. And their goal is to be the largest gem producer in all of America, of the United States.

[00:06:36] Brecken: I was reading a little bit about it and their whole thing is that mining in Rock Creek, the sapphires occur near the surface. So it’s not like a deep underground mine. So it makes mining costs much lower. So they’re able to go in there and I mean, mining in the US is not an easy thing to do. There’s tons of rules and regulations that are put in place in the US to keep people safe. Everything like that, which adds to the cost of mining. So to be able to viably mine, Sapphire in the US is exciting. And it’s because they’re close to the surface of the ground. They don’t have to tunnel.

[00:07:19] Jonathan: And Potentate also is working really hard to be environmentally friendly. So they do, they use all recycled water. So they don’t use any of the creeks or streams in Montana.

[00:07:29] They actually use, they have their own ponds.

[00:07:32] Brecken: Keep the waterways clean,

[00:07:34] Jonathan: keep the waterways clean and then any ground that they disturb. They’re fully reestablishing it. And then also old disturbed ground, like back from the 1890s clear through the 1930s, all that disturbed ground. They’re actually reestablishing that as well.

[00:07:51] Brecken: Oh, so they’re going back and cleaning up.

[00:07:53] Jonathan: So they’re cleaning everything up. So it’s a really, it’s a really great company to be associated with.

[00:07:57] Brecken: That’s cool. And they’re a Canadian company.

[00:07:59] Jonathan: Yeah. Yeah. Potentate’s owned by a Canadian company that also has mine, diamonds and gold and

[00:08:06] Brecken: wow. Now Montana Sapphire, and there is very little waste of the gemstones that they find. Most of them are marketable. So 12 about 12% they leave as fancy colors as they’re found. And then, after heating about 80% of the sapphires become a what you would call a “market desirable” color.

[00:08:28] So something someone desires to own. Color that’s not, you know,

[00:08:33] Jonathan: and it’s all a documented chain of custody. So they’re using a selected group of Sapphire cutters and polishers with reputable jewelry manufacturers like us. So there’s just a small, they’re trying to keep a small group because they don’t want any funny business being done to the Sapphire.

[00:08:51] Just natural and light heat treatment and they do all the heat treating themselves. So they’re doing all of that and then selling the rough after it’s heat treated.

[00:09:00] Brecken: I am super obsessed with it. I’m wearing some right now.

[00:09:02] Jonathan: Yeah. It’s beautiful.

[00:09:03] Brecken: We just finished a group of jewelry. And when I saw the set, I was like, “Hmm, I need that. I have to have that.”

[00:09:12] So the twins like it, I was talking to Olivia this morning and she said, “Mom, what’s in your necklace.”

[00:09:18] And I said, “Well, that’s a Montana Sapphire” and she said “Is that different than Sapphire?”

[00:09:23] I said, “No, it’s the same thing as Sapphire. It just comes from Montana.”

[00:09:28] And she said, “Oh, where’s Montana.”

[00:09:30] And I said, “Well, it comes from about four hours away.” And she’s not following any of this, but she likes it too.

[00:09:37] Jonathan: And then there is another mining area in the Rock Creek area. And it’s the Gem Mountain Mine.

[00:09:46] Brecken: It’s the 10% that Potentate doesn’t own

[00:09:49] Jonathan: but it’s really cool. You can actually go there as just a consumer and you can even make a reservation on their website. Gemmountainmines.com I believe. And you can make a reservation for you and your family to go up there and they bring down sapphire rich gravel in buckets, and you can buy the buckets and then they teach you how to actually sort.

[00:10:10] Brecken: So you’re not really digging it out of the ground, which no would be totally unsafe.

[00:10:14] Jonathan: but you still have to do all of the sorting and safety. And people have found some really, really big sapphires. And if you go on either GIA’s website or Gem Mountain’s website, you can see a couple of videos that talk-

[00:10:26] Brecken: We’re taking a field trip this summer.

[00:10:28] Jonathan: We have to, when it’s warm, for sure.

[00:10:30] Brecken: Cause it’s not warm right now, but, and I mean, they don’t mine in the winter, do they?

[00:10:35] Jonathan: No, no. It’s open from labor day through Memorial day.

[00:10:41] Brecken: Okay. Yeah. So we’ll hit it up this summer. Take a little road trip with the twinies. They can go find their own Montana sapphires.

[00:10:48] Jonathan: So then probably the most well known

[00:10:52] Brecken: Sapphire from Montana would have to be Yogo. Yeah.

[00:10:55] Jonathan: Which was first discovered in 1895 by,

[00:10:59] Brecken: by another gold prospector,

[00:11:00] Jonathan: Jake Hoover.

[00:11:03] Brecken: He and two other gentlemen formed a mining company. They were going to mine gold and raised about $40,000 to get this up and running.

[00:11:14] And in three years, with this mining company, they found $700 in gold. So I’m gonna guess they weren’t that successful gold miners, but what they also found were some blue pebbles and a lot of other miners in the area just discarded them. Just kind of threw them off to the side.

[00:11:33] Jonathan: And so of Hoover’s partners, Hoover was the only one that collected them, and he kept collecting them and putting them in a cigar box. And eventually he took that cigar box and didn’t know what these bluestones were and he sent it to Tiffany and Company. And that’s when George F Kunz figured out that it was sapphire.

[00:11:49] Brecken: Yeah. And George Kunz said that it was one of the finest precious gemstone ever found in the United States. And that’s because Yogo, Sapphire is pretty free of inclusions.

[00:12:02] Jonathan: It’s very clean

[00:12:03] Brecken: and a beautiful blue color. Without any need of heat treatment

[00:12:07] Jonathan: and it ranges from a beautiful cornflower blue, which is what it’s most well known for, but it does range in color from cornflower blue, all the way to a deep violet.

[00:12:16] Brecken: Yeah. So do you know how much he sold that box of Sapphire that he collected that little cigar box?

[00:12:22] Jonathan: Oh, I’ve heard the number before

[00:12:23] Brecken: he sold it for $3,750, which is. Five times what he made from gold mining.

[00:12:30] Jonathan: But still doesn’t recoup the $40,000 that he,

[00:12:34] Brecken: No, so he, of course they scrap the gold mine and they start just mining Sapphire and Hoover in a few years, decided Sapphire mining wasn’t for him. He sold it to his partners. He sold his share to his partners for about $5,000. And then two months later they were sold again, the partners sold out to a British company for a hundred thousand dollars.

[00:13:01] This guy didn’t have good luck. $40,000 in a mining investment. And he made $700 from gold. And then, so it just wasn’t his day, but he did discover it. So yeah.

[00:13:12] Jonathan: Yeah. So, and so they owned eight of the 14 stakes in the Yogo Gulch area. And so it sold to a British company, Johnson Walker and Tolhurst, and that became known as the English Mine, and then six other stakes that were bought out that were claimed.

[00:13:29] Brecken: Hoover actually deemed them unfit for mining, right?

[00:13:33] Jonathan: Yeah. because they were steep and Cliffy. And so that became the American mine and so millions of carats were mined out of the British mine and very little out of the American mine.

[00:13:44] Brecken: Yeah. So the british were actually very successful in mining the Yogo sapphires.

[00:13:49] Jonathan: Millions of carats.

[00:13:50] Brecken: Millions and millions of carats. And it is actually considered the most successful endeavor ever in Yogo Sapphire mining. Unfortunately for Americans, it was all shipped to London. And then sold in Europe, but it wasn’t sold as American Sapphire. It was sold as “Orient Sapphire.”

[00:14:10] Jonathan: Right. Because it was worth more.

[00:14:12] Brecken: That’s because that name made it worth more, even though it wasn’t true. The Americans were not so successful because like Jonathan said rugged cliffs…

[00:14:23] Jonathan: Well, and they didn’t really know what they were doing because eventually the mines combined in 1913 and they sold the American mine

[00:14:29] Brecken: well, the american mine went bankrupt.

[00:14:31] Jonathan: Well, but then they sold it for $80,000. And then the English mine found over $80,000 in sapphires in the first year. Just cleaning up their old tailings. Not even mining. Just cleaning up tailings. So they obviously didn’t know what they were doing.

[00:14:46] Brecken: No, they recouped the cost of purchase in one year, just going through the tailings before they even actually had to invest in mining

[00:14:54] Jonathan: And then 13 million carats were mined in the early 1900s with the [00:15:00] two mines combined that was used for jewelry, watches, and then the ones that weren’t good for jewelry or watches were sold for abrasives for steel. And it’s kind of interesting that this was one of the few mines that was allowed to keep operating during World War II during shortages of fuel and steel because of the fact that the,

[00:15:20] Brecken: it was deemed necessary for the War effort, for the abrasives.

[00:15:24] Jonathan: So it’s kind of cool.

[00:15:25] Brecken: They used all that to cut through metal and then,

[00:15:28] Jonathan: No, actually that was World War I not II.

[00:15:30] Brecken: Yeah World War I

[00:15:31] Jonathan: Sorry, World War I, and then a flash flood destroyed the whole mining area 1923.

[00:15:36] Brecken: Yeah. It’s kinda sad story in 1922, you really see the expansion of synthetic sapphires into the market. And that’s when they start using synthetics for watch bearings and abrasives. They don’t need natural stones anymore. And the cost of the natural stones is so much higher. So that means now all of the Yogo Sapphire its only value is as a gemstone.

[00:16:02] And then in 1923, like Jonathan was saying, there was a flash flood that came through and it destroyed all of the above ground mining structures. So it washed everything away. And the British company that owned it just. Said, you know,

[00:16:17] Jonathan: “we’re done.”

[00:16:18] Brecken: “We’re done.” there’s, it’s, you know, not gonna be profitable anymore because it’s only for gemstones and jewelry and there’s really no use.

[00:16:26] Jonathan: And then it sold and sold and sold and sold and sold

[00:16:30] Brecken: and sold.

[00:16:31] Jonathan: And, and so a bunch of people have tried and nobody really has ever been able to reestablish that Yogo mine.

[00:16:38] Brecken: It’s almost sad that all of the stones went over to Europe and weren’t sold as Yogos. I mean, they are, they are truly beautiful. They’re, they’re free of zoning. So you don’t see a lot of color zoning in them.

[00:16:55] Jonathan: They’re just beautiful blue.

[00:16:56] Brecken: They are. The one thing is they’re pretty shallow.

[00:17:00] Jonathan: And small.

[00:17:02] Brecken: And they’re, they’re usually so small most of them they say are

[00:17:05] Jonathan: under a carat

[00:17:06] Brecken: Yeah, a 10th of a carat, generally. We have it and we sell it, but mostly as clusters, melee, as little pieces of melee.

[00:17:14] Jonathan: Beautiful, beautiful clusters.

[00:17:16] Brecken: But they’re saying that in the early days in Yogo, the veins, the Sapphire veins were 20 feet wide.

[00:17:27] Jonathan: Wow.

[00:17:27] Brecken: Yeah. And now they’re eight inches to 10 inches wide.

[00:17:32] Jonathan: Geez.

[00:17:32] Brecken: Yeah. So you can see how and they’re very deep in the ground. So this is tunnel mining. This is very deep in the ground now. And it’s really not like I was saying earlier. What makes the Rock Creek so successful is that it’s shallow. It’s close to the surface, which makes it more economically viable. Where Yogo really isn’t.

[00:17:56] Jonathan: Pit mining versus tunnel mining. There’s a huge difference in cost.

[00:18:00] Brecken: Yeah. And there are, I mean, there are a few people that own claims at Yogo now, and that are mining it, but it’s really just a it’s few and far between very few and far between, and you don’t get much material out of it. It’s not something that not everyone can have a Yogo Sapphire.

[00:18:18] You know? And so most of it is sold exclusively in Montana.

[00:18:23] Jonathan: So, uh, there’s been some really cool studies and videos done both by Potentate and by GIA. So we’ll post some links to those on our blog. So you can check those out so that you can kind of see what this country looks like. It’s really beautiful country up in Montana.

[00:18:39] Um, it’s kind of halfway between Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park. So it’s kind of halfway in the middle and it’s just, it’s really beautiful and it’s really interesting videos and they’re well done. So, uh, we’ll, we’ll post some links to that so that you can check those out.

[00:18:53] Brecken: And I’m just excited about, you know, the opportunity to sell gemstones American gemstones from four hours away.

[00:19:01] Jonathan: Yeah, it’s really cool.

[00:19:03] Brecken: And the color’s cool. I think I can say my favorite color in the Montana is probably the most prevalent, which is like a blue-green,

[00:19:14] Jonathan: the teal.

[00:19:14] Brecken: Yeah, kind of bi-color almost look where you see some blue, some green loving it. Obsessed. I need a 20 ct one. It’s not gonna happen. Jonathan’s telling me never. Maybe I’ll mine it this summer,

[00:19:32] Jonathan: Maybe

[00:19:33] Brecken: All right. Well, I wanna thank you guys so much for tuning into another episode of gem junkies. I’m Brecken

[00:19:39] Jonathan: and I’m Jonathan.

[00:19:40] Brecken: And if you are in Tucson, come see us

[00:19:42] Jonathan: Booth 417.

[00:19:43] Brecken: Yep. Booth 417 at the, a AGTA gem fair. And, if not, well, we’ll see around somewhere else and you can see what we do in our real life.

[00:19:55] Jonathan: On Facebook or Instagram at Parlé Gems

[00:19:59] Brecken: at Parlé Gems. All right guys. See you later.

[00:20:01] Jonathan: Bye.

The Lore and Legends of Zircon

The month of December brings a range of blue birthstones — Turquoise, Tanzanite, Blue Topaz and our subject for today Zircon.  Zircon is commonly seen in its colorless and blue state yet, this stone offers a wide range of colors and folklore behind its history.

IMAGE SOURCE

Zircon gets its name from the Persian word zargon meaning gold-hued.  Gold-hued you ask? Zircon can be found in an assortment of earth tones of gold/yellow, browns, green, orange, and red.

5 unique qualities about Zircon:

  1. HIGH REFRACTIVE INDEX:  Zircon is classified as an “over the limit stone” based upon it’s high refractive index.  Other stones that have a high refractive index are garnet and diamond.
  2. HIGH BIREFRINGENCE: All that sparkle you see if due to the gemstone’s high birefringence.  As light hits the stone, the light splits and creates a doubling effect hence, MORE SPARKLE.  Who doesn’t love a little more sparkle?  Often people confuse Zircon in its colorless form for diamonds due to is sparkly appearance.
  3. HIGH SPECIFIC GRAVITY: Zircon is really dense and heavy for its size.
  4. RADIOACTIVE:  Zircon contains trace amounts of uranium. (Don’t worry it’s not harmful.) Over time the crystal structure begins to break down. Minerals that break down are metamict. Zircon is partly amorphous from the radioactive impurities. Gemologist categorized Zircon into three different categories based upon how much radioactivity has occurred. 
    • HIGH: Full crystal structure, no breakdown, and exhibit high/normal properties.  
    • MEDIUM: Mid-range physical properties and some crystal damage to the crystal structure, 
    • LOW: Extensive damage, low SR, low RI and often the double refraction isn’t evident.  The stones are usually green.
  5. BRITTLE:  Zircon is a brittle stone due to the heating process.  It’s hardness rates at a 6.5 to a 7.5.  It can easily be chipped so jewelry made with Zircon should be worn with caution. These pieces are recommended for special occasions and not everyday wear.
Assortment of Zircon stones

HEATING

Heating is commonly used to add more brilliance to gemstones but heating Zircon can restore the crystalline structure to the stone.  This can return the physical properties to a normal/high quality.

The heating method is what transforms Zircon from its natural, earth-toned hues to either its colorless or blue color.  There are two forms of heating:

  1. CHARCOAL:  The stones would be surrounded with charcoal for a few hours for the color process to take place.  
  2. AIR: The stones aren’t packed as they are in the charcoal process.  The process produces strong yellow, oranges, and red stones.

Stones that didn’t respond to the heating were subject to additional round(s) of processing until the desired color is achieved. 

Excalibur the Sword by Howard Pyle 

LEGENDS

  • It is said the Zircon was used in the hilt of Excalibur
  • A recommended amulet for travelers as protection against the plague and injuries.
    • When the stone begins to lose its brilliance and grow pale/dull that the plague was near.
  • Helped with lightning strikes
  • Sleep aide
  • Assures cordial reception upon hotel check-in if wearing zircon

Head over to the podcast and hear more in-depth details about Zircon! 

Green & Hairy Grossular Garnet Gooseberry

This week on Gem Junkies

“Grossular Garnet”

Known to the jewelry market as Tsavorite or Mint Garnet

One of many siblings in the Garnet family- Grossular is famous for its green variety

 

This is a parcel of Mint Garnet as found in Tanzania. This photo was taken by Brecken while her and Jonathan were visiting the mines where we receive gemstones from as featured in our collection, “Sharing the Rough”

                              A look down one of the mine shafts in Tanzania. Finding Grossular Garnet is often an indicator of Tanzanite,                                               which “Tanzania” is well-known for. Another photo courtesy of J&B’s trip to Africa.

 

Since the color is reliant on the amount of trace minerals found, the color of each individual gem can fall somewhere on a spectrum of yellowish-to dark green-to a blueish green. This graphic is courtesy of http://www.navneetgems.com/tsavorite-color-chart-navneet-gems/

Featured next to each other for comparison is one of our “Mint” and “Tsavorite” varieties (also pictured is our “purple” garnet). Our Mint takes on the lighter shade with more of a blueish hue, whereas our Tsavorite contains a very rich green.

 

Two pieces from our line “Sharing the Rough” in their finished form, where the color difference is even more prevalent. You can find these pieces in our collection at https://www.parlegems.com/collection.php?id=3&collection=Sharing+the+Rough

Cinnamon Garnet- otherwise known as “Hessanite” Image is courtesy of https://www.orissagems.com/hessonite_rough.htm

 

 

That’s all for this week. But if you want more content, and access to some never before seen content, then join our Facebook Group “Gem Junkies” and stay connected with us!

Turquoise- If it’s good enough for Marie..

Thanks for tuning into the latest installment of Gem Junkies.

Thanks to popular demand we covered a very special gemstone this week- and a new one for Brecken’s shopping list!

Turquoise has a long and exotic history spanning world-wide. Different cultures and societies discovered and utilized this treasure for different purposes- creating some insane stories and lore to go along with it, too.

The Aztecs would use them as entire face masks to represent the Gods they worshiped.

Photo courtesy of http://www.mexicanamber.org.uk/turquoise.php

In ancient China, you wouldn’t want to go anywhere without your Turquoise crown (own stone for the less royal) since Turquoise was believed to counteract evil forces and make the wearer brave and invulnerable.

Photo courtesy of https://djcadchina.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/jewellery-and-traditional-beliefs/

 

A gift to Napolean’ second wife, Empress Marie-Louise and became known as ” Empress Marie-Louise’s Diadem” a diadem being a structure that encircles the head, usually three quarters of the way around with an opening in the back.

Photo courtesy of https://4cs.gia.edu/en-us/blog/famous-birthstone-decembers-turquoise-empress-marie-louise-diadem/

Turquoise from the Sleeping Beauty mine in Arizona- known for the Robin’s Egg blue color.

Photo Courtesy of https://www.durangosilver.com/sleeping-beauty-turquoise.html

A variety of Turquoise with the webbing (and without) and in Jonathan’s favorite Avocado color!

Photo courtesy of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._state_minerals,_rocks,_stones_and_gemstones

 

Some Parle turquoise designs in the making. We have been re-inspired to add this vibrant blue beauty to the mix, and with our fav Opal!!

You can find out more about Turquoise by going to https://www.parlegems.com/lore.php?color-gemstone=Turquoise

Seduce him with those big Pearls, girl

Welcome Gem Junkies!

Have you listened to this week’s podcast?

We left off with the world as our Oysters, and came right back to that Oyster to uncover the wonderful world of Pearls.

This imagery follows our first part of this two part series. Check out the links below the images to learn more!

        An interpretation of Cleopatra seducing Marc Antony by slipping her Pearl earring into a cup of “Vinegar” before drinking it. Pearl was thought of as an aphrodisiac, and this is how our girl Cleopatra shoots her shot to protect her empire from being overthrown.

This image was taken from http://www.grantsjewelry.com/the-real-story-about-cleopatras-banquet-and-that-pearl/ website, but was originally created  Jacob Jordaens in 1653, and appropriately named “The Banquet of Cleopatra”

A breakdown of the anatomy of an Oyster. Here you can see where the bead will be implanted for cultured Pearl formation.

Here you can see how the bead is surgically implanted into the Oysters for nucleation.

The Oysters are then placed on lines, or in nets while the Pearl is being formed. This process varies for the different species, and is monitored by the Oyster farmers.

The moment of truth for this Tahitian Pearl- a black Pearl emerges from the Gonads of an Oyster.

A non exhaustive list of Pearl shapes- not all Pearls are created round!

Photo courtesy of http://www.russellandballard.com/knowledge-builder/pearls/

One of our Freshwater Cultured Pearl ring designs

Shop our Pearl Jewelry

Perido or Peridon’t

Hey Junkies, here for your weekly dose? Well we have something that’s subtle, yet special. You probably know by now we mean Peridot! Lets go on a little journey to a time long, long ago, and to a place far, far away from Idaho.

1st Stop:

Zagarbad, the mysterious, “disappearing” island where Peridot can be found.

Photo courtesy of 

Next we visit a time in history where there was enough space in the world to “cast away” our enemies, and literally never hear from them again, (I mean could you imagine?!)

Pharaoh casting away all of the snakes

 

Next we take you on a ‘wild’ color wheel ride where you can see this particular type of gem is limited in color variation. Everyone has a crazy green lady in their family, right?

Photo courtesy of https://ancient-origins.net/myths-legends/ancient-snake-deities-gods-ancient-mythology-006282

 

Color range of Peridot

This next one is for Brecken, who insisted i include the lily pads, and well, they are pretty.

Photo courtesy of https://jewelry-secrets.com/Blog/peridot-gemstone-august-birthstone/

 

Brecken’s fav Lily Pad inclusions.

Photo courtesy of http://theonlinejeweller.org/lily-pad-inclusions-peridot/

 

This is what they mean by “nodules”- pockets per say where you can find smaller amounts of Peridot all nestled up.

You can find Peridot in small amounts in the nodules of Basalt rocks

Photo courtesy of https://hiveminer.com/Tags/olivine%2Cperidot

 

Alright, this is pretty metal. Looks like something they would right ANOTHER super hero movie about. Can we ever get enough super hero movies? (yes)

Jonathan’s fav peridot in a meteorite

Photo courtesy of https://reddit.com/r/woahdude/comments/1u676k/pallasite_metorites_contain_olivine_also_known_as/

 

Last stop but not least, Parle’s vault where I found a more than worthy piece of Peridot jewelry to photograph. They really are beautiful.

 

The Tanzanite Diaries

Welcome to the Tanzanite Diaries

Take a peek at all of the pictures from this week’s episode.

 

 

How Tanzanite usually looks coming out of the ground before it has been heated.

Photo courtesy of Venus Tears https://www.venus-tears.jp/sg/blog/2016/06/30/tanzanite-the-fifth-king-of-the-gem/

 

After it is heated you can notice the shifts in colors from shades of brown and yellow to violet and blue. 

Without any heat treatment this type of Tanzanite will appear violet, blue, and green. We call it Peacock Tanzanite

The saturation of color depends on how large the gem is, the larger it is the more color it displays, and the richer the color is. 

Ruby in Zoisite- We said it was a cute elephant!

 

You can find Tanzanite in only one locale- Tanzania, specifically in the Merelani region where you can also find our Mint Garnet.

 

Shades of Tanzanite

 

Shop our Tanzanite Jewelry

 

 

Thanks for listening to the POD! Let us know if you have any questions, and check out our new FB Group where we post all of these images, Podcast updates, and Parle shares. We want to create a community of Gem Junkies and share our love of gemstones and jewelry to help designers, retailers, and enthusiasts alike!

 

Until next week- Gem Junkies

Hi-Ho Hi-Ho, Off to Mine Tourmaline We Go.

Welcome fellow Gem Junkie!

This week we discussed Tourmaline, and as we have said before this is a complicated and beautiful gemstone that comes in every color, and sometimes more than one! Have a look.

 

 

Like we said, everything but the kitchen sink. Photo courtesy of http://navneetgems.com/tourmaline-wholesale-multi-pink-green-indicolite/

 

 

The most commonly found Tourmaline- Schorl- ‘Skroll’- photo courtesy of https://www.crystalclassics.co.uk/product/schorl-tourmaline-with-albite-and-quartz/

 

Watermelon Tourmaline- Don’t forget the rind! Photo courtesy of https://auction.catawiki.com/kavels/14965741-beautiful-polished-watermelon-tourmaline-slices-14-25-ct-3

 

The coveted Paraiba Tourmaline- Photo Courtesy of https://www.gemselect.com/other-info/paraiba-tourmaline-info.php

 

As promised, the Namibian Tourmaline Jonathan picked up.

A Parle one-of-a-kind Bi-color Green Tourmaline piece. 

Shop our Tourmaline Jewelry

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