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  March: Aquamarine  
  Aquamarine has lovely attributes of good health, love, youthfulness, and hope.  Sailors believe in its protection.
 
 
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Top Buys at the Tucson Show

1.  Forgotten stock: It’s not the stone that matters, but the number of years it’s been sitting in a safe. “Find stock that has been in a vendor’s inventory for a while,” suggests Pala Gems’ Jason Stephenson.

2.  Small stones: Some vendors insist that the smaller the gem, the bigger the deal—especially stones sized from melee to 2 cts. “From a value standpoint, look at the 1 to 2 carat round and square cushion cuts,” says Sheahan Stephen, owner of Sheahan Stephen Sapphires in Portland, Ore. “These are a good value in terms of price times quality.”

3.  Aquamarine: The color has been hot all year and is fairly abundant, thanks to sources in Brazil and Africa. Bill Barker, owner of Barker & Co. in Scottsdale, Ariz., is bringing plenty from Madagascar. “It’s not heat-treated and has a very natural pure-blue color, whereas most aqua has some green in it,” he says. Per-carat prices range from $5 (yes, $5!) to $1,000. 

4.  Ethiopian opal: While this material isn’t new, rumor has it that the Ethiopian government soon may get more involved with the gem’s export, and that’s never a good thing. “That means prices are going up,” says Shane McClure, GIA’s West Coast lab director.

 

5.  Danburite: Originally found in Danbury, Conn., this brown stone can at first glance appear underwhelming—unless you’re talking about some of the new orangey-yellow material found recently in Tanzania. Production is reportedly small, but it’s intriguing to Jerry Romanella of Commercial Mineral Co. “We’ll see if it makes an impact,” he says. —JH




 

   

2014 is the year of the Horse

ay goodbye to the Snake: The year of the Horse begins on Jan. 31, 2014, according to the the Chinese Zodiac. Expect plenty of the traditional equine sightings, but as opposed to last year’s snake, the horse can be interpreted in many ways in terms of fashion—based not only on the animal itself. Aside from the horse silhouettes and flowing depictions of a wild horse’s mane—beautiful in its own right—we can also play with equestrian equipment: horseshoes, bits, saddles, and riding boots. Sophisticated and rich, dressage fashion comes in and out of popularity but never out of style. So to jump-start the Chinese New Year, here are five horse-related jewels for 2014.

 

 





 

 

   

 



Top Emerald Miner Targets Colombia Grappling With Gemstone Mafia


Gemfields Plc, the world’s top emerald producer, is scouring for assets in Colombia where the government is seeking to halt a drop in output and prevent a new mafia war in the country’s colored-gemstone heartland.

“Colombia’s got some wonderful emeralds,” Chief Executive Officer Ian Harebottle said in a telephone interview March 25. “We’ll move there when we find the right asset.”

Colombia, the setting of the 1984 movie Romancing the Stone starring Michael Douglas about a hunt for a giant emerald, is looking at ways to improve security and attract investment into an industry traditionally dominated by feuding clans, which has seen annual production slump to 2.6 million carats from 9 million carats over the past decade.

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