Thursday, August 26, 2010

Beryl Gemstone - The Mother of all Gemstones

Beryl is the common name given to a group of gems having a similar chemical composition.

Beryl has a hardness of 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs Scale and has a hexagonal crystal system. Beryl is found in many places including Colombia, Africa, Brazil, Russia, Pakistan and California. Other than Jewelry Gemstones Beryl is also the main source of Beryllium which is combined with copper to make high quality resistant wires. It is also used in nuclear reactors, space shuttles.

Beryl jewelry can be cleaned using warm soapy water and then thoroughly rinsed. Though Beryl does not scratch or damage easily It is not advisable to clean beryl stones in ultrasonic cleaners.

Aquamarine is a light bluish green form of beryl. The name of this stone is derived from the Latin word 'Aqua" which means water and 'mare' which means sea.The color of this stone is as a result of the iron content in the stone.

Bixbite is the red form of beryl. It is an extremely rare gemstone and Utah is the only place where bixite can be found. This stone is named after Maynard Bixby who discovered this stone in the year 1904. The red color of this stone is as a result of the manganese content in the stone.

Emerald is the most famous of all beryls and is green in color. The name of this stone is derived from the Greek word ' smargus' which means green gemstone.The green color of this stone is because of the chromium and iron content in the stone.

Goshenite is a form of beryl that does not have any color. This stone is named after 'Goshen' in the US, the place where it was found first.

Heliodor is known as the yellow from of beryl. This stone name is derived from the Greek words 'helios' and 'doros' which means gift from the Sun.The yellow color is due to the iron content in the stone.

Morganite is known as the pink form of beryl. The color of the stone is due to manganese and iron content in stone. Morganite got its name from the American Banker J.P. Morgan.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Surat diamond industry to float Rs1,000-crore company to buy raw diamonds

The Rs65,000-crore Surat diamond industry which is gaining momentum after the global economic downturn plans to form a Rs1,000-crore company for the purchase of raw material for its units directly from the mining sources, thus doing away with the role of brokers.

The new company which will be known as Surat Diamond Sourcing India Limited (SDSIL), will procure diamond roughs, the raw material for the cutting and polishing industry directly from the mines abroad, a top body of traders said yesterday.

"The proposed company is likely to have a corpus of over Rs1,000 crore with contributions of Rs1.08 crore each from nearly 500 members, who shall be the founder shareholders, and another 1,000 members who will pay Rs54 lakh each," Surat Diamond Association president Rohit Mehta said.

Mehta said the company will be soon incorporated under the Companies Act and registered with the Registrar of Companies. The shareholders will be issued shares of Rs10 each. The founder-shareholders shall have voting rights, while those paying Rs54 lakh will enjoy all benefits of being a shareholder except voting rights.

At present the diamond industry is getting the raw material from the world's rough diamond hub Antwerp in Belgium, and Dubai. The Surat traders believe that they often get cheated by the middlemen during the deals.

SDSIL will directly bid for procurement of rough diamonds from mining firms in Canada, Russia and Africa, and will sell it through a tender system to its members. With this SDSIL hopes to compete with other players by directly dealing with global majors like De Beers, Alrosa, Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and others.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

6 ct. Fancy Blue Diamond

A flawless blue diamond represented by Sotheby's Hong Kong sold at auction for $7.98 Million U.S. Dollars to Moussaieff Jewellers of London. The 6.04 carat, internally flawless blue diamond fetched a record breaking $1.32 Million U.S. Dollars per carat making it the most expensive diamond per carat in history. The previous record price paid for a fancy colored diamond was the $926,000 per carat which was paid for the "Hancock Red" in 1987. Moussaieff Jewellers has a reputation for aquiring extremely rare and costly gemstones.

Blue diamonds have long captivated the rich and powerful -- shimmering with a certain dark mystique. The famous "Hope Diamond", a 45.52 carat grey-blue beauty, was passed down through the ages by King Louis XIV of France, Marie Antoinette and American heiress Evalyn Walsh McClean among others. It now rests in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. The selling price for blue diamonds is often ten times the price for white (colorless) diamonds of similar quality.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Hancock Red Diamond

April 28, 1987: A 0.95 ct Fancy purplish red round brilliant-cut diamond, now known as the Hancock Red, sold at Christie’s in New York for $880,000 fetching $926,000 per carat. The price paid for the Hancock Red set a new world record per-carat price for any gem sold at auction and fetched more than seven times the previous record mark for a diamond ($127,000 per carat, paid for a 7.27 ct pink diamond in 1980). Despite eye-visible inclusions, the Hancock Red commanded such a hefty price due to its exceptionally rare natural color.

The diamond was put up for auction by the heirs of a Montana collector, Warren Hancock, who reportedly had purchased it in 1956 for $13,500. The Hancock Red was one of his several fancy-color diamonds that had been mined and cut in Brazil.

The record price fetched for the Hancock Red in 1987 set a record which was not surpassed until October 2007 when Sotheby's sold a 6.04 carat fancy blue internally flawless diamond at auction for $7,981,835.00 U.S. Dollars which is a stunning $1.3 Million U.S. Dollars per carat!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Diamond Inclusions

Inclusions play a major role while judging the quality of a diamond. Their presence can reduce the value of a diamond. Among the four Cs, clarity determines the stone’s purity. Any kind of internal impurity is termed as Diamond Inclusion.

The various types of diamond inclusions are:

Mineral and Crystal Inclusion: Diamonds may have slighter crystals inside them. These crystals can be smaller diamonds or some other mineral. They are intent within the stone during its formation. Though they are referred to as inclusions, sometimes they can actually create the diamond look more appealing.

Pinpoint Inclusion: They are minute crystals inside the stone which degrade its clarity. They are so small that they need to be viewed under magnification. When several pinpoints gather at the same area of the stone, it appears to be more distracting and hence makes the diamond look dull.

Cloud Inclusion: When several tiny crystals or pinpoint inclusions are grouped together, it emits cloudy and hazy appearance hence developing a cloud in the stone.

Needle Inclusion: Long and thin crystals are termed as needles in diamond inclusions. They are similar to pinpoint inclusions except for their shape.

Feather Inclusion: These are inclusions which actually look like feathers or fractures. Although small feathers are harmless but if they reach the diamond surface then they can probably result in its breakage.

Knot Inclusion: When an included crystal extends to the diamond’s surface, it is termed as a knot. They are a higher risk to the stone as they make the diamond less durable.

Cavity Inclusion: It is large opening in the stone and is also called as a crack which is relatively bigger in size.

Cleavage Inclusion: It is quite similar to cavity inclusion but appears to be a straight crack without any kind of feathering. This can be quite hazardous for the stone since if hit at the right place, the diamond can split down.

Girdle Fringes, Bearding Inclusion: They are hair-like lines which usually develop during the cutting process of the stone. They appear around the girdle and extend from the surface towards its internal part.

Grain Lines Inclusion: They are also called as grain lines and are formed during the formation of the diamond. These lines are formed due to irregular crystallization.