I have three rules when it comes to buying gems for me:
1. I have to love love love the stone: I see a lot of stones every week. More than most gemdealers, because I get around more, and I don’t specialize in a particular region, or particular stones. So if the stone does not absolutely blow me away, I won’t keep it.
2. It has to have a high resale value: I’m not made of money, and I don’t really allow myself expensive gemstone treats. What stops me is this: could I buy a new refrigerator for this stone? Fix the roof? Then what on earth am I doing buying that gem. In short, what I buy has to be something I could sell for the same or more if I need cash.
3. I have to actually be able to wear the gem. Many collectors buy stones just to look at them (and of course some stones are too valuable or too fragile to set). I’m not one of them. My stones have to be wearable, durable, and look pretty on me (be strongly colored, vibrant and match my skintone). I’m not wearing gems to show them off, I simply want to enjoy seeing them.
So, what gems do I own?
Sapphires: that’s what I love the most. I have some Burma studs, Burma pear shaped dangly earrings, a Ceylon that I wear every day, a smaller one for a pendant and I kept a pair of the Ceylon old miners that I had on Etsy in December. I also have a pink sapphire, a 4mm round Burmese (nice saturated color).
Ruby: I only have one, a Burmese 4mm round. And some earrings (3mm danglies on hoops). It’s just not my color. I will set the ruby as a stacker one day, in yellow gold.
Emeralds: I have a few of those, all Columbian, all from D. I have a pendant, earrings, and a couple of rings. Brazilian emeralds are not my thing, they’re too dark.
I don’t have much else. Some aqua, some of the cushion Burma spinels I sell, and a pair of old mine pink tourmalines. I also love green tourmaline, but it ends up getting upstaged by emerald and tsavorite, so for some reason I never keep it in the end. Tsavorites I love but I don’t actually own any (yet).
And what is my Christmas present? A beautiful, 1.7 carat, cushion cut Mahenge spinel. In November, I had a trillion piece set in yellow 14K for a customer – my metal of choice – and I was just floored by how it came out. So yesterday, I had to see the East Africa dealer to memo out more of the stuff (if you noticed I sold all of the Mahenges in the last few days). For fun, he showed me a few pieces that were in the 10-15 carat range, costing in the neighborhood of $100,000 and more. But I wasn’t planning on taking out a second mortgage. J
Then I played around with the 1-2 carat parcels, and the piece in the photo jumped out. It will fit perfectly into a yellow gold emerald cut bezel I already have, and will make a very prominent ring. I can’t wait!
|My Mahenge Spinel|
And when I got ready to pay my – over $1000 – tab (I also bought some Chrysoberyls and smaller Mahenges), J. the dealer, had added a little gem jar to my bag. With some gorgeous Tanzanian Rubellite garnet. And what garnets those are! They actually have a slight color change effect, more purple in daylight and more wine color in evening light. This garnet actually looks almost better in evening light, which is the exact opposite of what one is used to. Larger rubellites can also get expensive, and this piece has exquisite cutting. I will prong set the largest one, I just don’t know what it will be exactly. Probably a pendant. Thanks J.
|Mahenge Spinel and Tanzanian Garnet|