The Jeweler's Eye
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I am a jewelry designer and gemologist. I love creating beautiful heirloom jewelry for clients all over the world. In this blog, I feature many of my designs and current projects as well as articles about colored gemstones, diamonds and antique jewelry. As a historian and lover of antique and estate jewelry, I am often inspired by jewels from the past.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Demantoid Garnet

Demantoid Garnet - 1.50 carats Cushion

This is a stunning Demantoid Garnet that has an incredible vivid green hue with subtle flashes of yellow. It also displays excellent fire and brilliance which are trademarks of finer quality Demantoid.

The finest demantoids are found in the Ural Mountains of Russia which is also the historical original source for this intense green garnet. Demantoid is also found in Namibia and Arizona.

Demantoid is a variety of the Garnet Species Andradite and always occurs in some type of green. The green hue can vary from a yellowish Green (similar to Peridot) to a strong pure green (like emerald). Stones with a lighter body color and leaning towards the yellowish Green hue may also present an array of rainbow colors known as fire. This fire is caused by high dispersion, even greater than what is seen in diamonds. Dispersion or fire is the result of white light reaching the surface of a prism (such as a cut gemstone) and being split into the many spectral hues of light seen in the visible spectrum. What we see is a rainbow effect of colors.

When examining colored gemstones, gemologists also look for clarity features (such as inclusions). Generally, the more inclusions seen in a gemstone, the lower the grade. However, with Demantoid, there is a particular type of inclusion that is much sought after and can actually increase the value of this gem. Such inclusions, known as Horsetail inclusions, are actually byssolite and chrysotile fibers (a form of asbestos crystal). These needle like inclusions can appear as curved golden threads that resemble the tail of a horse.

Gemologists like myself enjoy finding horsetail inclusions in demantoid because they are proof that the gem is natural and a demantoid. Collectors also admire the horsetail inclusions and actually prefer to purchase stones with nicely formed horsetail shaped inclusions.

I just love the rich green hue of this Demantoid as well as it's beautiful cut. This cushion cut has some extra facets at the North, South, East and West positions forming extra points that add a dynamic line to the shape.

This gem would be fabulous in a custom ring design either for a Man or a Woman. The unusual shape and strong color of this demantoid are just perfect for a unique design. The price for this rare beauty is $5,400.

If you would like to add this gorgeous demantoid to your rare gem collection, or perhaps let me create a custom jewel to feature this spectacular garnet, please send me an email.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Mandarin Garnet

Mandarin Garnet is a very special type of Spessartite Garnet from Namibia. In finer qualities, it displays a vivid orange hue that is reminiscent of Mandarin Oranges. Being a redhead, I am a big fan of Mandarin Garnet and search for stones that exemplify the classic vibrant orange hue of this Namibian beauty.

The above Mandarin is a gem I purchased because of it's fabulous color and exceptional cutting. It is a trillium shaped concave facetted cut that has just the right color combined with a dazzling array of brilliance.

And this spectacular gem is au natural .... meaning it has not been heat treated or enhanced. It weighs 3.12 carats and measures 9 mm .

Here's a picture of how the gem looks against the hand.......just gorgeous, don't you agree?

I think this stone is perfect for an exciting custom ring design but I can also see it featured in a striking pendant or necklace design.

When I purchase gemstones for my inventory and designing box, I look for stones that have exceptional color and cut....but I also seek out stones that have unusual shapes and styles of cut. My design ideas are often inspired by the gem itself and I like to build a jewel that focuses attention on the unique qualities of the gemstone.

This Mandarin Garnet is available and the price is only $2,850. If you are a fan of Mandarin Garnet and would like to purchase this stone and work with me on a custom made jewel, please send me an email.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Spessartite Garnet Medicine Wheel Gem

4.18 carats Spessartite Garnet Medicine Wheel

This is a vibrant Spessartite Garnet from Nigeria, cut as a Medicine Wheel. I just love the brilliant orange hue of this dazzling gem, combined with the unusual facetting that creates a dramatic pattern.

I am often inspired to create a new design when I find a striking stone, such as this 4.18 cts Spessartite. The notches at the four points along the circumference would look lovely set with small triangular or round yellow sapphires, diamonds or tourmalines. What a fabulous combination !

The size of this spessartite (9.4 mm) would work best as a pendant, however, a ring could also be created with this stone, for someone that enjoys larger scale ring designs.

Another great feature of our Spessartite Medicine Wheel is that it is completely treatments of enhancements, which in the gemstone world is quite an accomplishment !

If you find this striking spessartite enticing, it is available through our website gallery for $4,885.

There are endless design possibilities for this fabulous gem and I would love to help you create an exciting jewel featuring our Medicine Wheel Spessartite. Just send me an email to discuss options.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


1.83 carat Benitoite - Fancy Trillium Shape

This is a gorgeous Benitoite I purchased a few years ago. The color was breathtaking, the fire intoxicating and the shape mesmerizing. Benitoite is one of my favorite gems, not only because it is so rare, but also because it can be seen in deep blue hues with subtle flashes of fire caused by an optical property known as dispersion.

Benitoite (pronounced "beh-NEE-toe-ite") is a rare gem that was first discovered in 1906 along the headwaters of the San Benito River in San Benito County, California. This small region is the only source in the world for gem quality Benitoite. Because of its rarity and beauty, Benitotite was adopted as California's state gemstone in 1985.

Benitoites have often been mistaken for fine blue sapphires and spinels due to their rich blue-violet colors. Benitoites tend to be found in smaller sizes with gems larger than one carat being the exception. Larger gems with rich color and exceptional quality are greatly prized by collectors.

My designs are often inspired by the gem itself and this lovely Benitoite is a great example of that. I designed a simple pendant with an antique flair, hand crafted in platinum then hand engraved with an Art Deco style pattern I call "Engraved Elegance". I added a few small diamond sprinkles to contrast with the rich deep hue of this Benitoite.

I hope you like the result of my love for this rare gem and the design it inspired.

This pendant has already been sold, however, I often work with clients seeking rare gems like Benitoite and help them purchase something truly special for their collections. I have to admit that being a "gemologist geek", one of the best aspects about my job is working with rare and unique gemstones.

Here is another fabulous Benitoite I sold a while back to a collector. This truly was a specialy stone.....musuem quality in terms of size and color.

If you would like to purchase a fine quality Benitoite, please send me an email to discuss options and pricing.