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Gems

Diamond

Rare and fascinating, mysterious and magical, the diamond has ignited romantic passion throughout history.

The word alone conjures up a thousand images of rare, precious and desirable sparkling tokens of love. Created 3 billion years ago, deep within the core of the earth and brought to the surface by volcanic eruption, most diamonds sparkling on fingers today are more than 100 million years old. No other gift says “I love you, now and forever” like diamonds.

Only the world’s hardest substance could endure the incredible journey that began 3 billion years ago, about 250 miles underground. Enormous heat and pressure, over millions of years compress carbon atoms into diamonds. Then few survive as they are forced toward the surface by volcanic eruption. So rare are they, that for centuries only kings could wear diamonds.

How rare are diamonds?

  • Less than 1% of women will ever own a diamond over 1ct.
  • It costs $10 million to identify a location of a diamond mine and then $1 billion to open it. Fewer than 1% of all deposits located in the last 25 years have contained enough rough diamonds to make mining economically viable.
  • About one ton of ore must be mined to locate 0.5ct of rough diamond.
  • Only 20% of recovered diamonds are suitable for jewelry. The rest are industrial stones used for cutting and grinding.
  • The process of turning one rough stone into a jewelry-ready gem, which includes planning, cutting and polishing often involves a dozen highly skilled specialists and can take four to six months.
  • Colorless diamonds are very rare. Flawless diamonds are so extremely rare that most jewelers never see one, during their entire career.
  • The record of $165,000 per carat was set in May, 1995 at a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva by a private collector who paid $16.5 million for the “Star of the Season” a D-color, internally flawless 100.1ct diamond.

Ruby

Ruby is all about passion – penetrating the heart with color and fire like no other gemstone.

Unmatched in legend and seldom rivaled in beauty, it combines the energy of light with the power of fire into a single breathtaking scarlet colored gem. Recognized as the world’s most valued gemstone for centuries, ruby holds the undisputed title as the "King of Gems."

Ruby possesses a color like no other red gemstone. At its finest, the purity of its burning crimson hue inspires us with love and desire. The most sought-after rubies are pure red or red with a very slight pinkish undertone.

How rare are rubies?

  • Ruby has been recognized for centuries as the world’s most valuable gem.
  • Far rarer than diamonds, ruby is found in only a handful of mines worldwide.
  • Madagascan rubies are mined at a high altitude deep within an impenetrable jungle. A helicopter or grueling 11 hour trek on a muddy trail through dense mountainous rainforest is how one reaches the mines.
  • The US banned the importation of Burmese ruby due to human rights violations by the ruling junta.
  • Ruby crystallization occurs over millions of years, deep underground.
  • Fine ruby above 2 carats is exceptionally scarce.
  • The record of $425,000 per carat was set in Feb, 2006, by a London jeweler who paid $3.6 million for an 8.62ct ruby.

Emerald

Emerald, with its rich green reflecting the colors of spring, has been treasured for thousands of years as an emblem of rebirth and enduring love.

The favorite of Pharaohs, prized by the Mogul rulers of India, and coveted by the royal houses of Europe, no other green gemstone can rival the emerald’s luxuriant green hue, entrancing beauty and eternal popularity.

Emerald is a highly prized and always included gem. Its internal characteristics, or “garden” are its fingerprint, giving each a personality and validating it as truly a natural gem. In fact an emerald found to have no clarity characteristics is instantly suspected of being either a synthetic or simulate. Pure green emeralds are the most desirable.

How rare are emeralds?

  • Emeralds have been held in the highest esteem since ancient times. Emperors and monarchs craved them, while Cleopatra gifted them to cement ties with her closest allies.
  • Top quality, fine emeralds are more valuable and scarce then diamonds.
  • The trace elements found in emerald are located at different levels of the Earth’s crust. Strictly speaking, emeralds should not exist. Only a tectonic shift, incredible pressure and a few million years can create an emerald.
  • Most emerald mines are located in countries with unpredictable leaders and political structures. Graft, corruption, strikes and deplorable conditions hamper production.
  • The most famous emeralds are housed in museums such as The Smithsonian and the New York Museum of Natural History.
  • The record of $50,500 per carat was set in April, 2008, at a Dubai auction, by a private collector who paid $858,000 for a 17.02ct Columbian Emerald.

Sapphire

Sapphire, beloved for centuries as the ultimate blue gemstone has long been associated with the sky and heavens.

Ancient Persian rulers believed the earth rested on a giant sapphire and its reflection colored the heavens blue. King Solomon wooed the Queen of Sheba with Sri Lankan Sapphires. A gift of a blue sapphire symbolizes a pledge of trust, loyalty and devotion.

Velvety blue, liquid blue, cornflower blue – sapphire ranges from pastel blues to the depths of midnight blue, with those in middle of the color scale most coveted. When selecting Sapphire, personal preference should be your guide.

How rare are sapphires?

  • Revered by humanity for thousands of years, the Greeks and Romans wore sapphire from at least 480 BC.
  • Though mined in several countries, top-quality fine blue Sapphire remains extremely rare.
  • The finest Kashmir blue Sapphire is mined at an altitude of 16,000 feet in the Himalayas.
  • In Thailand’s Bo Ploi jungle valley mine, 50 tons of soil must be moved to unearth just one carat of Sapphire.
  • At Ratnapura, Sri Lanka’s primary gem bed, miners descend 100 feet through snug shafts to extract Sapphire by hand.
  • Due to depletion, production has been cut at the Australian mines that for the last 30 years produced 70% of the world’s Sapphires.
  • The record of $135,000 per carat was set in April, 2007, at auction by a private collector who paid $3.064 million for a cushion cut 22.66ct blue Kashmir Sapphire.

Rainbow Sapphire

Just as rose is a family of flowers that grow in assorted colors, Sapphire is a family of gems that nature endowed with a brilliant array of colors.

And she scattered this gift throughout the world. Bright pink and yellow sapphire is mined in Madagascar, glowing orange and green in Tanzania, rich purple is found in Brazil and deep blue and red shades are dug from East Africa. Known as “Fancy Color” or “Rainbow” Sapphire, when set by a true craftsman, they are simply stunning.

Rainbow Sapphire is just as beautiful and rare – or even rarer – than it’s better known blue cousin. The clearer and more vivid the color, the rarer the gem. When selecting Sapphire, personal preference should be your guide.

How rare are rainbow sapphires?

    Revered by humanity for thousands of years, the Greeks and Romans wore sapphire from at least 480 BC.
  • Green and purple sapphire are the rarest colors and very fine quality is quite rare.
  • In Madagascar, one of the world’s largest sapphire deposits covers just a few square miles.
  • On average, 50 tons of soil must be moved to unearth just one carat of Sapphire. 
  • In Sri Lanka miners descend 100 feet through snug shafts to extract Sapphire by hand.
  • Due to depletion, production has been cut at the Australian mines that for the last 30 years produced 70% of the world’s Sapphires.
  • Most rainbow sapphire jewelry contains gems mined from several countries.

Gold

Gold, a most precious metal, dates back to the dawn of mankind.

All great civilizations built up treasuries of the lustrous metal, reserving golden objects for their most important rituals and rulers. Gold coins and artifacts displayed in the world’s museums attest to the metal’s enduring beauty and importance. Whether it is sunny yellow or glistening white, a gift of gold jewelry says love and permanence as eloquently today as in all the ages past.

Gold is universal. It combines the basic characteristics of beauty, rarity, purity and history to create a uniquely treasured possession. It is the oldest form of wealth. Ancient Egyptians equated gold with the sun, the giver of life, and reserved its use for pharaohs only. Gold is also impervious – nothing effects it. Gold left in water for 1,000 years will be just as shiny as the day it was placed there. Which is why gold jewelry lasts forever and is handed down through generations. Gold never goes out of style.

How rare is gold?

  • All of the gold ever mined in the entire world, since the beginning of time, would fit inside two Olympic-size swimming pools.
  • Millions of years and tremendous pressure are required to turn magma (molten rock) into gold.
  • The gold jewelry worn today is between 1-3 billion years old.
  • Only 3.5 parts per billion of the Earth’s crust is gold.
  • Gold is no longer found in nuggets by prospectors, it is has become to rare.
  • Its is more common to find a 1ct diamond than the equivalent gold nugget.