Thursday, November 9, 2017
This month we present you with information about the warm and inviting gemstones of the fall. This season evokes the beautiful colors of the falling leaves. The beautiful oranges, burgundies, and yellows conjure up many feelings and memories of fall leaves, sunsets over the mountains, pumpkins and cornucopias. In celebration of autumn, we take a moment to appreciate some fall-hued gemstones, courtesy of the experts at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
Citrines are a variety of the mineral quartz crystals commonly found in igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks. Citrines are commonly found in shades of yellow, but they can appear in an orange shade called Madeira.
Citrine is the gemstone for the zodiac sign of Scorpio, and the gemstone given for the 13th and 17th wedding anniversaries. In ancient times, citrine was worn as protection against bad skin, evil thoughts, snakebites and even the plague. Mined mainly in Brazil, citrine is often found in larger sizes, due to its affordable price, and it is easy to find.
Fancy sapphires are a variety of the mineral corundum, and come in orange, as well as other colors. An especially alluring orange-pink color is called padparadscha, after the lotus blossom. According to GIA gem experts, padparadscha are very rare and range from pastels to more fiery shades of orange.
The finest authentic padparadscha sapphires are usually very expensive, on par with their blue counterparts. Sri Lanka and East Africa are two major sources of orange and padparadscha sapphires.
Fire opals are known as an anomaly in the gem world. Mined in Australia, opals are usually smoothly polished in a cabochon (domed) shape and are opaque (not see-through). But the fire opal is often found in a fantastic orange color, cut in a faceted manner, and is mostly transparent in better quality facet-grades.
Spessartine garnet is one of the most appealing of all the orange-hued gemstones. According to GIA’s colored stone experts, it is prized for its bright orange-yellow to yellowish-orange color, with some of the best — and most sought after — examples mined in Southern California, at the Little Three mine, near Ramona. High-quality spessartine has more recently been mined in Namibia and Nigeria.
Mandarin garnet is also known as bright orange spessartine. Found in Namibia in Southern Africa, the rich color of the Mandarin garnet makes it a popular choice with orange gemstone lovers. Although relatively inexpensive in small sizes, larger stones—which rarely exceed 10 carats — can be very expensive.
Topaz gems are another gemstone found in various colors, including yellow, dark blue, pink, red, and light green, but they truly glow in orange. Fine orange and “imperial topaz” (orange with a hint of red) are among the rarer colors of topaz, and their higher prices reflect their scarcity. This unusual shade is mostly found in Brazil.
Whatever type of gemstone you prefer, keep in mind that there’s no right or wrong when choosing. The important thing is to do your research on the particular gemstone that you like, and look for a jeweler. Make sure the appraiser is educated by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America), ensuring professional expertise in the valuation of our fine gems and precious metals. Also make sure the pawn shop or jewelry store is a member of the National Pawnbrokers Association.
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