Much has gone on in the last couple of months and I had found it difficult to write so I am behind in my blog. As I sit and write this latest installment it is April 27. It is my Dad’s birthday and although he passed away a few years ago, this year I do not find my thoughts as sad as in other years. I now find myself remembering good times and family times.
At the beginning of March, I took a holiday to the Dominican Republic with my beautiful youngest daughter. It was a time of fun and sun for the two of us- a break we were both in need of. The ocean was gorgeous, shades of blue and green like Larimar, their national stone. Did you know the origin of the name comes from the name “Laura” (discoverers daughter name) and the Spanish word for sea (Mar). It is a hydrated sodium calcium silicate w manganese and copper.
In other words it is a variety of pectolite and is quite soft at 4.5-5 on Moh’s scale of hardness. When quality grading it is done according to colouration and intensity of colour as well as contrasts in the stone. One thing to remember is the colour is photosensitive and may fade with time if exposed to too much heat and light
Having a very busy appraising month in March I was pleased to be a guest lecturer at George Brown College in Toronto for the Jewellery Arts students. It was a pleasant time discussing “Valuing Period Jewellery” with people just starting into their careers in this ever changing industry. The Canadian Gemmological Association was well represented that day with Lee Rock, Instructor-George Brown College, Anita Beardwood-interested third party and photographer and myself. It was nice to see my two friends that day.
I always smile with the birthstone for April being a diamond. In my life, I have 2 sons, one brother and of course my father all born in April. No Girls! What happened to “Diamonds are a girls best friend”? I told my men that it means that they are suppose to buy me diamonds……..it didn’t work!!
Diamonds-that magical mystical stone that we use to symbolize eternal love. sounds nicer than crystallized carbon doesn’t it? But that is what diamond is, and with the imagination and mathematical precision of the cutter, these pieces of crystallized carbon keep us entranced. Diamond is the hardest mineral at 10 and with the properties of light reflecting and refracting that keep it bouncing and splitting into spectral colours creating fire for our eyes, it is no wonder we believe it should symbolize eternal love. Diamond also comes in a wide range of colours, with the same properties as the traditional variety, but some small element has mixed with carbon during growth which causes the varieties of colour we find. Mother Nature is amazing!
I can say that now as I think Spring is finally in the air. The cold, wet long winter in Canada is over (hopefully) and it is time to look forward. So what do I see for May?
Usually I would be jetting off to Scotland for the Scottish Gemmological Association annual conference but sadly that is not the case this year. I send my hello’s by blog and wish the SGA a great conference–post lots of pictures please.
I look forward to a continued busy time with appraising–I love to hear the stories behind the jewels as much as I love to look and describe in order to protect your jewellery. This year one of the hottest trending colours is green, so people born in May are at the height of fashion!
Emerald being the birthstone creates a wealth of opportunities for taking part in this trend. Emerald like Aquamarine is part of the beryl family, and a relatively hard gem at 7.5-8 on Moh’s scale. It should be noted however they can be brittle and thus care should be used when wearing them. Emeralds may have oiling or resins applied to them, to fill in surface reaching cracks. When looked after properly, will help stabilize the stone and as long as this is disclosed down the chain of sale will be acceptable to the industry. If you are seeing whitish cracks on the surface it is usually because the oil or resin dried out. Avoid heat, steam and ultrasonic cleaning if you love your emerald.
I hope you have a fantastic month and I welcome any questions or suggestions about gems for future blogs.