Professional Jeweler Archive: True Blue

May 2000

Gemstones & Pearls: New Products

True Blue

A fashionable favorite

Universal, traditional and comforting, blue is a perennial fashion favorite. Though sapphire is the classic blue gem, there are many others for customers who want to make a personal statement or would like a specific shade. Here are some entries in the blue palette to consider.

Aquamarine, Latin for sea water, is a member of the beryl species. Medieval sages believed it cured ills affecting the eyes and lungs.

Blue spinel is hard to find larger than 5 carats. Registering an 8 on the Mohs hardness scale, this gem is suitable for daily wear in any type of jewelry.

Chalcedony, once believed to drive away bad spirits, is available in a wide range of colors and patterns, making it popular with jewelry designers.

Indicolite, a species of tourmaline, ranges from dark violet blue to green blue.

Iolite ranges from light to dark blue and violet and is strongly pleochroic (showing different colors from different angles). Depending on the viewing angle, it can appear gray, violet, yellow or even colorless.

Iris agate is semitransparent to translucent with iridescent colors. It’s most commonly carved into objets d’art.

Lapis lazuli, mined in Afghanistan for more than 6,000 years, is typically opaque and ranges from medium to dark blue. It was once considered a cure for sadness.

Moonstone, according to Hindu mythology, is made of solidified moonbeams. The internal structure scatters light and creates a phenomenon known as adularescence, reminiscent of a shimmering moon.

Opal’s play of color is caused by submicroscopic spheres stacked in a grid pattern that breaks light into spectral colors.

Sapphire, though it comes in a variety of colors, is best-known as blue. For customers who like tradition with a twist, recommend a star sapphire, which possess needle-like silk inclusions that reflect and scatter light, creating a six-rayed star.

Tanzanite was found in Tanzania in 1962 and is still mined only there. Tanzanite is heat-treated to produce light to dark violet blue and blue purple. You and your customers should take special care because tanzanite is sensitive to thermal shock and has the potential for cleavage. Pendants and earrings are good choices for everyday wear.

Topaz, a lower-cost blue alternative, is heat-treated for blues that are more intense than aquamarine.

Turquoise, the national gem of Tibet, has been around since 5,500 BC. It’s available in a wide range of sizes and is used mostly for beads, cabochons, carvings and inlays.

Zircon is one of the few colored gems with visible dispersion. Supply has increased in the past few months thanks to new finds in Madagascar and traditional sources such as Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Vietnam and Cambodia.

White displays will add drama to the icy feeling of blue gemstones. Or mix contrasting pastel shades – such as pink or orange – to show how these gemstones work with the colors of today’s apparel.

– by Lorraine M. Suermann

Necklace is set with cabochon tanzanites and strung on three rows of pink freshwater pearls.

De Vroomen, London, England; (44-171) 837-4914, fax (44-171) 837-2891.

Sterling silver is accented with 14k gold and square blue spinel.

Stahl Design USA, Providence, RI; (888) 655-6736, fax (401) 722-9765.

18k gold ring with a 6.90-ct. cushion-cut aquamarine and 0.79 carat of diamonds is $11,800 suggested retail.

Suna Bros., New York City; (212) 869-5670, fax (212) 869-5922.

18k white and yellow gold SignatureFit™ self-sizing ring features an 8.37-ct. oval checkerboard-cut aquamarine and 0.60 carat of diamond pavé. Suggested retail, $19,000.

JFA Designs, Irvine, CA; (949) 263-9909, fax (949) 263-9910

Turquoise Mileado bracelet is crafted in 18k gold and is $9,500 suggested retail.

Tamara Comolli Fine Jewelry Collection, New York City; (212) 570-6065, fax (212) 570-6720.

Goccia earrings are made in 18k gold with sapphires. Suggested retail, $2,500.

Bulgari, New York City; (212) 315-9000, fax (212) 541-8060.

18k bangle bracelet has a cushion checkerboard iolite and diamond pavé.

Raymond Mazza Co., Brightwaters, NY; (516) 968-6693, fax (516) 968-6561.

18k gold ear wires have 18.26 carats of turquoise; the matching ring has a braided shank and is set with 6.03 carats of turquoise. Suggested retail, $1,060 for the ear wires, $700 for the ring.

Timeless Gem Designs, Los Angeles, CA; (213) 488-9668.

Crafted in 18k white gold, each piece of this suite has baguette diamonds and aquamarines. Suggested retail, $5,750 for the necklace, $1,500 for the earrings, $975 for the ring.

Irina, New York City; (212) 929-8800, fax (212) 929-0928.

18k yellow gold gem drop pendant features a lapis heart and 0.60 carats of diamonds set into the slide, which hangs from an 18k gold woven chain. The heart is removable. Suggested retail, $2,500 for the slide, $2,200 for the gem drop, $1,800 for the chain.

Barbara Westwood Designs, Monument, CO; (719) 488-8083, fax (719) 488-8180.

3.20-ct. cushion-cut aquamarine is set in 18k white gold ring with 0.30 carat of diamond accents. Suggested retail, $2,420.

Kim Koch Designs, Mequon, WI; (414) 241-8244, fax (414) 241-1360.

Sapphire and diamond earrings are $42,000 suggested retail.

Ellagem, New York City; (212) 398-0101, fax (212) 302-0153.

18k white gold necklace features diamond and sapphire flower stations. Suggested retail, $5,500.

Deborah M. Blohm Designs, New York City; (212) 371-7875.

Blue topaz set in 18k white gold ring and earrings have diamond accents.

Rina Limor for J.R. Gold Designs, New York City; (212) 922-9292, fax (212) 922-2992.

18k white and yellow gold necklace and earrings feature aquamarine with diamond accents. Suggested retail, $7,740.

Hiroko Sato-Pijanowski, Ann Arbor, MI; (734) 668-6670.

Pearl and 18k gold necklace has 44.23 carats of tanzanite, 4.82 carats of diamonds and 32.10 carats of sapphires. Suggested retail, $250,000.

LeVian Corp., New York City; (212) 575-0318, fax (212) 944-7734.

Crafted in 14k white gold, this suite features blue topaz and pink tourmaline accents. Suggested retail, $199 each.

Van Dell, Providence, RI; (800) 556-7354 or (401) 943-2100, fax (401) 944-9970.

Handmade platinum ring is set with a 9.80-ct. carved light blue sapphire. Suggested retail, $14,000.

Cathy Carmendy, Santa Monica, CA; (310) 396-3120, fax (310) 399-5902.

Platinum and 18k gold ring is set with a 6.49-ct. oval tanzanite and 0.90 carat of G/H, VS oval diamonds. Suggested retail, $19,100.

Gemtech International Corp., New York City; (800) 436-3236, fax (212) 354-7797,

18k gold ring from the Jungle Dreams collection boasts an 8.08-ct. aquamarine cabochon.

Conni Mainne, El Cerrito, CA; (510) 559-7823.

18k gold hinged bangle bracelet is set with an 11.82-ct. oval tanzanite, 0.56 carat of channel-set VVS diamonds and five-star opal corn inlay. Suggested retail, $32,000.

Kabana Inc., Albuquerque, NM; (800) 521-5986, fax (505) 843-9624.

Chubby pear-shaped aquamarine pendant features diamond accents in white gold.

Hubert, Los Angeles, CA; (213) 627-0234, fax (213) 627-0659,,

18k yellow gold ring cradles a blue topaz cabochon.

Cherie Dori, Sunrise, FL; (800) 226-8816 or (954) 741-0711, fax (954) 741-0901.

6.11-ct. heart-shaped Ceylon sapphire is set in platinum and surrounded by 1.94 carats of diamonds.

Precious Gem Resources Inc., New York City; (212) 688-6700, fax (212) 688-2747.

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