Storefront on Jeweler's Row in Philadelphia

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

AGTA GemFair

Perhaps the largest and most colorful gathering of jewels and jewelers in the world occurs every year at the American Gem Trade Association's GemFair in Tucson, Arizona.

Every year tens of thousands of attendees travel across the globe to buy and sell precious gemstones in every hue, tone and saturation.  It is, in fact, the largest trade show in the world specializing in semi-precious stones.

Rarer gemstones such as Black Opal from Australia, fine Aquamarine and Tourmaline from Brazil, and the highest quality pearls and jade from Asia are among the most coveted items up for sale.  However, gemstones are not the only draw.  This year, for example, new CAD design and 3-D printing technologies are on display.

This year, buyers are actually able to purchase a fine gem, create a custom CAD design for the gem, and have a 3-D model of the design printed for them to take home ALL IN THE SAME DAY!

In this way, the AGTA Tucson show is not only a great resource to buy/sell gemstones, but an opportunity to try out the latest and greatest in design technology and see if it makes sense for your business!

Our website does not exactly offer the level of custom design that is available at GemFair, however you CAN build your own custom engagement ring and have it shipped directly to your house.  Try it here!

Design Your Own Engagement Ring

and as always...visit us at our homepage to learn about our nearly 70 year history!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

All About Amethyst

Amethyst is the birthstone for the month of February.  It is one of the most recognizable gemstones due to it's unique purple color and its relative abundance in nature.  Amethyst is actually just the name for the purple variety of Quartz, which is the second most abundant mineral in the earth's crust.

 Amethyst's typical hue ranges from a light pinkish violet to the vivid purple most people associate with the gem.  However, Amethyst is commonly color "zoned" so several different tones/saturation of violet and purple may appear in a single crystal.  Gemstone cutters are trained to cut rough amethyst crystal in a such a way that the finished gemstone looks consistent in color.  In rare occasions, the hue of a quartz crystal can change completely from one end of the crystal to the next, resulting in bi-color gems such as Ametrine a combination of the quartz varietals Amethyst and Citrine. (Pictured Below)

Amethyst has been worn as a gemstone for thousands of years.  The word amethyst actually comes from the Greek for "not intoxicated" as they believed that the stone prevented drunkenness.  Drinking vessels were often carved out of Amethyst in hopes that it would prevent them from becoming drunk.  There is also documented evidence of Egyptian's carving intaglios out of Amethyst crystals, and medieval soldiers wearing carved Amethyst amulets due to the belief that they had healing powers.  

Most of the Amethyst mined for jewelry in today's marketplace is located in the Minas Gerais region of Brazil, which is famous for it's large stock of a variety of different precious and semi-precious gemstones.  Other locales that produce a large amount of Amethyst crystals include Uruguay, Russia, Zambia, South Korea and the United States.  Below is a picture of an Amethyst boulder before and after it is cracked open. 

While not a terribly valuable gemstone due to it's abundance in nature, Amethyst is still coveted all over the world for its gorgeous purple color and it's cultural significance as the traditional birthstone for the month of February.  It can occur in very large sizes so it is popular as a gemstone for cocktail rings and large pendants as well as mother's rings and fashion jewelry.  

Visit us online at to view our large selection of settings.  All of which can be customized to accommodate an Amethyst.