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austopal austopal1

Australian Opal is a semi-precious gemstone rating 840/1000. Fairly common. Black opals with intense red color splashes are considered the most valuable gemstones. 'Pin-fire' Australian opal has star like crystals and is sometimes rare depending on its fire. Opal is usually cut as a caboshon or rounded and polished oval. Australian Black Opal has great 'fire' and florescence. Red and blue opal from other mines such as Yowa can also be very expensive and rare. Clarity is opaque which is the most common. Black opal often has a dark underside or back. Australian Opal is very soft so care is needed in handling. Inclusions are cracks and chips. 'Potch' is the dead material between the crystals and the opal is not considered valuable if in excess. Australian opals are usually not treated although some are coated and filled. Internal inclusions are usually 'potch'. Clean crystals are common. Some opals are cut very thin and glued to a backing. These are flat and called 'duplets' or 'triplets' and are far less valuable. Be sure to check 'thickness'. Size of gem exponential to price. Australian Opal will usually be in many settings of many stones such as rings, necklaces and broaches. Prices subject to noticeable variation due to fashion trends on local markets. Usually of white or yellow gold. Look particularly for rings in clear gem 'closed' settings due to the fragile nature of the gem. Gem value: please submit your form.

MARKET NEWS:
Most arrive at the Asian markets after being cut in Asia due to the cheaper cutting prices in throughout Asia. Best colors probably sold on Australian soil with the lower grades elsewhere. Full color red/green/blue cabs are high value if 'lightning ridge' or 'black'. Opals from Yowa in southern Queensland are a mix with many designs (pinfire, flash etc.} and are not quite as expensive. It all depends on the color and fire. Opals from South Australia can be of the milky variety and these days vie with some Ethopian opals which are becoming more plentiful.

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Milky Opal is a semi-precious gemstone rating 990/1000. Fairly common. Milky Opal with intense primary color splashes are considered the most valuable gemstones. The best varieties come from Cooper Peddy in Australia although Africa produces some good specimens. Milky Opal is usually cut as a caboshon or rounded and polished oval. Less valuable are the white opals with less fire. Milky Opal has varying 'fire' and florescence. Clarity is opaque which is the most common. Milky Opal is very soft so care is needed in handling. Inclusions are cracks and chips. 'Potch' is the dead material between the crystals and the opal is not considered valuable if in excess. Internal inclusions are usually rare. Clean crystals are common. Size of gem exponential to price.Milky Opal will usually be in many settings of many stones such as rings, necklaces and broaches. Prices subject to noticeable variation due to fashion trends on local markets. Usually of white or yellow gold. Look particularly for rings in clear gem 'closed' settings due to the fragile nature of the gem. Gem value: please submit your form.

MARKET NEWS:
Not the most expensive opal but has a market niche. Australia and Africa the main supply with most gems cut in Asia. Best has the most color. Any gemstone with red always beats the others.

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Mexican Fire Opal is a semi-precious gemstone rating 990/1000. Fairly common. Mexican Fire Opal has many types from the clear bright orange/red to opaque opalescence. The opal variety with intense primary color splashes are considered the most valuable gemstones. The faceted orange opals will sometimes have flecks of other colors. The most valuable specimens are the most vibrant in color. Mexican Fire Opal is usually cut as a caboshon or rounded and polished oval although faceted stones are cut as well. Mexican Fire Opal has varying 'fire' and florescence. Clarity is transparent to opaque. Mexican Fire Opal is soft so care is needed in handling. Inclusions are cracks and chips. Mexican Fire Opal is not considered valuable if dull or lifeless. Internal inclusions are usually rare. Clean crystals are common. Size of gem exponential to price. Mexican Fire Opal will usually be in many settings of many stones such as rings, necklaces and broaches. Prices subject to noticeable variation due to fashion trends on local markets. Usually of white or yellow gold. Look particularly for rings in clear gem 'closed' settings due to the fragile nature of the gem. Gem value: please submit your form.

MARKET NEWS:
Have seen some nice pieces in cabs and some faceted. Needs a good orange. Not expensive.

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African Wello Opal is a semi-precious gemstone rating 920/1000. Fairly common. African Wello Opal with intense primary color splashes are considered the most valuable gemstones. The best varieties come from Ethiopia although some other areas produce good specimens. These opals are usually more transparent than the Australian varieties. They often appear brownish and need good light to produce their colors. African Wello Opal is usually cut as a caboshon or rounded and polished oval. Less valuable are the pin-fire opals with less fire. African Wello Opal has varying 'fire' and florescence. Clarity is semi-transparent to opaque. African Wello Opal is very soft so care is needed in handling. Inclusions are cracks and chips. 'Potch' is the dead material between the crystals and the opal is not considered valuable if in excess. Internal inclusions are usually rare. Clean crystals are common. Size of gem exponential to price. African Wello Opal will usually be in many settings of many stones such as rings, necklaces and broaches. Prices subject to noticeable variation due to fashion trends on local markets. Usually of white or yellow gold. Look particularly for rings in clear gem 'closed' settings due to the fragile nature of the gem. Gem value: please submit your form.

MARKET NEWS:
Mostly recent market arrivals with great flash color, sometimes in a clear setting. Will be in demand as makes nice rings. Good investment depending on future supply.

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Maw Sit Sit is a semi-precious gemstone rating 870/1000. Fairly common. Maw Sit Sit has jade like color with dark specks and shapes. The brighter the green the more valuable. Usually mined in Burma Maw Sit Sit is mostly cut and polished in a variety of shapes as well as being used in carvings. Caboshon or rounded and polished ovals are common. Maw Sit Sit has varying 'fire' and florescence. Clarity is opaque. Maw Sit Sit is somewhat soft so care is needed in handling. Inclusions are cracks and chips. Maw Sit Sit is not considered valuable if dull or lifeless. Internal inclusions are usually rare. The dark patches are not considered inclusions. Clean specimens are common. Size of gem exponential to price. Maw Sit Sit will usually be in many settings of many stones such as necklaces and broaches. Prices subject to noticeable variation due to fashion trends on local markets. Usually of silver or yellow gold. Look particularly for necklaces and broaches. Gem value: please submit your form.

MARKET NEWS:
Used for carvings and general uses. Nice color with bright green the best. Comes from Asian hinterland so only gem quality usually gets to the gem markets. Prices fair. Invest in good detailed carvings.

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Moonstone is a semi-precious gemstone rating 850/1000. Fairly common. Moonstone has a silvery blue hue that appears ethereal or moon-like hence the name. The better the silver/blue glow the more valuable. Moonstone is usually cut as a caboshon or rounded and polished oval although faceted stones are sometimes cut as well. Moonstone has varying 'fire' and florescence. Clarity is semi-transparent to opaque. Moonstone is soft so care is needed in handling. Inclusions are cracks and chips. Moonstone is not considered valuable if dull or lifeless. Internal inclusions are usually rare. Clean crystals are common. Size of gem exponential to price. Moonstone will usually be in many settings of many stones such as rings, necklaces and broaches. Prices subject to noticeable variation due to fashion trends on local markets. Usually of silver or yellow gold. Look particularly for rings in clear gem 'closed' settings due to the fragile nature of the gem. Gem value: please submit your form.

MARKET NEWS:
Not a lot for sale although orders are easily filled. Usually sold in parcels for the jewelry trade.

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Pearl (cultured) is a semi-precious gem rating 940/1000. Fairly common.The most valuable pearls occur spontaneously in the wild, but are extremely rare. Whether wild or cultured, gem-quality pearls are almost always nacreous and iridescent. Pink, champagne and black are the most valuable common colors although blue and purple are sometimes found. The ideal pearl is perfectly round and smooth, but many other shapes (baroque pearls) occur. The finest quality natural pearls have been highly valued as gemstones and objects of beauty for many centuries. Fine pearls do not have any flaws or spots in the nacre: it has an even, smooth texture. Clarity is opaque. Pearl is very soft so care is needed in handling. Irregular shapes are not so valuable. Cultured and natural pearls can be distinguished from imitation ones by a very simple test. Take the pearl and rub it (gently!) against the edge of a tooth. Cultured and natural pearls will feel slightly rough, like fine sandpaper, because of the texture of natural nacre. Imitations will feel as smooth as glass because the surface is moulded or painted on a smooth bead. Pearls can be bleached, dyed, irradiated and/or coated to enhance appearance.Pearl will usually be in many settings but necklaces and multiple settings are most common. Prices subject to noticeable variation due to fashion trends on local markets. Gem value: please submit your form.

MARKET NEWS:
For the jewelry trade and collectors. Matching pearls are of course the top as well as the perfect round. Large gems - large price.

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Jade is a semi-precious gemstone rating 980/1000. Fairly common with the exception of 'Imperial Jade' which is very rare, expensive and not considered here. Best from Burma. In general, the value of jade is determined according to its color and the intensity of that color, the vivacity and texture, and its clarity and transparency. Likings for particular colors vary very considerably from region to region and culture to culture. In green jade alone, the connoisseurs differentiate between seven main qualities, from the intense, even green of imperial jade, via apple green and spinach green, all the way to the lighter and to more heavily speckled shades of green. In the Far East, on the other hand, pure white or a fine yellow with a delicate pink undertone is highly esteemed. Jade is mostly cut and polished in a variety of shapes as well as being used in carvings. Caboshon or rounded and polished ovals are common. Jade has varying 'fire' and florescence. Clarity is opaque. Jade is somewhat soft so care is needed in handling. Inclusions are cracks and chips. Jade is not considered valuable if dull, lifeless or streaky. Internal inclusions are usually streaks or dark patches. Clean specimens are common. Size of gem exponential to price. Jade will usually be in many settings of many stones such as carved pieces, necklaces and broaches. Prices subject to noticeable variation due to fashion trends on local markets. Usually of silver or yellow gold. Look particularly for necklaces and broaches. Gem value: please submit your form.

MARKET NEWS:
There are many types of jade with many prices. At the markets we mainly see carved green jade which is well priced depending on the carving. Can also buy utensils of various shapes in green or off-white jade. Imperial jade rarely seen.

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Lapis Lazuli is a semi-precious gemstone rating 990/1000. Fairly common. The best raw stones still come from the steep Hindu Kush in the north-east of Afghanistan. Intense, even ultramarine or cobalt blue is the most valuable. Lapis lazuli is an opaque rock that mainly consists of diopside and lazurite. Lapis Lazuli is mostly cut and polished in a variety of shapes as well as being used in carvings. Caboshon or rounded and polished ovals are common. Lapis Lazuli has varying 'fire' and florescence. Clarity is opaque. Lapis Lazuli is somewhat soft so care is needed in handling. Inclusions are cracks and chips. Lapis Lazuli is not considered valuable if dull, lifeless or streaky and should always be protected from acidic substances, and it should not be exposed to too much sunlight. Finely distributed crystals of pyrites which shimmer in gold and look like sequins will increase the value of the gemstone, whilst a restless, rough or blotchy grain will reduce it. Clean specimens are common. Size of gem exponential to price. Lapis Lazuli will usually be in many settings of many stones such as carved pieces, necklaces and broaches. Prices subject to noticeable variation due to fashion trends on local markets. Usually of silver or yellow gold. Look particularly for necklaces and broaches. Gem value: please submit your form.

MARKET NEWS:
Can sometimes purchase large uncut stones. Cut and polished stones that are matched are the most desired and highest price.

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Cat's eye beryl is a semi-precious gemstone rating 950/1000. Fairly common. Only chrysoberyl can be referred to as "cat's eye" with no other designation. The popular chrysoberyl come in many nuances between lemon and greenish yellow, and in honey colors and shades from mint green to brownish green, and are mostly found in the gemstone deposits of Brazil, Sri Lanka or East Africa. "Milk and honey" is a term commonly used to describe the color of the best cat's eyes. The effect refers to the sharp milky ray of white light normally crossing the cabochon as a center line along its length and overlying the honey-colored background. The honey color is considered to be top-grade by many gemologists but the lemon yellow colors are also popular and attractive. Cat's eye beryl is usually cut as a caboshon or rounded and polished oval. Cat's eye beryl has varying 'fire' and florescence. Clarity is transparent to opaque. No treatments known. Inclusions are cracks and chips. Cat's eye beryl is not considered valuable if dull or lifeless with white streaks or spots. Size of gem exponential to price. Cat's eye beryl will usually be in many settings of many stones such as rings, necklaces and broaches. Usually of silver or yellow gold. Look particularly for rings in clear gem settings due to the nature of the gem. Gem value: please submit your form.

MARKET NEWS:
Mostly the lemon yellow variety in the market place with reasonable prices. The ones with most fire the best. Size for rings most important for average buyer. Collectors large sizes and best fire. Buy in packets of 100-200 cts.

starsapp1 starsapp2

Star sapphire is a semi-precious gemstone rating 760/1000. Star sapphire are gemstones that display a six-ray star that seems to glide across the surface of the gem when the latter is moved. Fairly common. Best color is vivid, bright blue with a well defined regular star.The distribution of color is often uneven, in stripes and spots. A Star sapphire with a perfect star is rare. The star is best visible when the star ruby is seen in a single light source such as sunlight and spotlight. Cutting is very important to exhibit the star effect in sapphire. They need to be cut into medium to high, domed cabochons to get the perfect star effect. Dull specimens usually too dark or cloudy. Green, grey or black sapphire is not as valuable. Some rare specimens can have double stars. Clarity is opaque. Normally, Star sapphire are available in the sizes ranging from 1 carat to 15 carat. Internal inclusions are common in this naturally mined gemstone and may include silk, crackling or random rutile. Lesser specimens are sometimes heat-treated, diffusion-treated or irradiated to enhance color. Size of gem exponential to price. Star sapphire will usually be in many settings of many stones such as rings, necklaces and broaches. Usually of silver or yelllow gold. Look particularly for all items with open settings. Heritage and classic settings worth closer examination. Gem value: please submit your form.

MARKET NEWS:
Many available of all types with the most expensive the blue star. Long regular stars the best. Grey black star sapphire also available. All cabs and sold in packets up to 300 cts. Individual stones are the best an most expensive. A few pinks seen. Irregular shapes, color banding not valuable. Darker gems not so desirable but in good supply.

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Best color is vivid, bright red with a well defined regular star. Rating 660/1000. The distribution of color is often uneven, in stripes and spots. A red ruby with a perfect star is rare. As a general rule, pink star rubies have the best stars. The star is best visible when the star ruby is seen in a single light source such as sunlight and spotlight. Cutting is very important to exhibit the star effect in ruby. They need to be cut into medium to high, domed cabochons to get the perfect star effect. Fine ruby has superb 'fire'. Dull specimens usually too dark or cloudy. Some rare specimens can have double stars. Clarity is opaque. Normally, star rubies are available in the sizes ranging from 1 carat to 15 carat. Internal inclusions are common in this naturally mined gemstone and may include silk, crackling. Lesser specimens are generally heat-treated, diffusion-treated or irradiated to enhance color. Size of gem exponential to price. Star ruby will usually be in many settings of many stones such as rings, necklaces and broaches. Usually of silver or yellow gold. Look particularly for all items with open settings. Heritage and classic settings worth closer examination. Gem value: please submit your form.

MARKET NEWS:
Rarer than the blue sapphire stars but often more included and irregular or dim stars. The best of the best expensive and sold individually. Mostly for collectors. Sometimes by-product of ruby heated rough that is unsuitable for faceting. As with star sapphire. Darker gems not so desirable but in good supply.

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