Gemstones at Kamuela Goldsmiths

Along with opals, Kamuela Goldsmiths features a wide collection of rare, beautifully cut, highest quality gemstones from around the world. These include the “Big Four” precious stones: diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds, as well as pearls, tourmaline, garnet, tanzanite, and others. Many of these latter can be worth more than the Big Four stones as a result of scarcity, individuality, and a variety of other factors. All can be inlaid or designed by Marc into beautiful gold and platinum settings that enhance their natural cut and color in necklaces, rings, bracelets, pendants and other jewelry. Here is some information about some of the fine gemstones you will find at Kamuela Goldsmiths:


A ruby is distinguished and known for its fiery red color. Beside color, it is a most desirable gem due to its hardness, durability, luster and rarity. Transparent rubies of large sizes are even rarer than diamonds; and flawless rubies exceed all other gems in value. Rubies must be transparent to possess gem value. The ruby is a red variety of the mineral corundum; sapphire (see below) is the other gem variety of corundum. The color of ruby ranges from bright red to dark reddish-brown. Ruby from Burma is famous for its exceptional coloring. However, Burmese ruby rarely exceeds several carats; large flawless Burmese rubies can be worth millions of dollars. Most rubies on the market are from Thailand, and these rubies have a brownish hue. Ruby is faceted into many styles of cuts.


Sapphire is the most precious of blue gemstones. It is a most desirable gem due to its color, hardness, durability and luster. The most valuable color of sapphire is cornflower blue but it comes in a variety of colors. The word “sapphire” in its plain context refers only to blue sapphire, unless a prefix color is specified. Sapphire gems displaying asterism are known as “star sapphires,” and if transparent are especially prized. Uniformity of color is an important factor in a sapphire’s value. The blue variety is most often used in jewelry, but the yellow, pink, and orange stones are also popular. The cost of natural sapphire varies depending on their color, clarity, size, cut and overall quality as well as geographic origin, which can be from various countries in Asia, as well as Africa and the United States.


Emerald is the green variety of the mineral beryl and the most famous and favored green gemstone. Its beautiful green color, combined with durability and rarity, make it one of the most valuable gemstones. Deep green is the most desired color in emeralds. The more pale the color of the emerald, the less its value. These gems are notorious for their flaws or jardins; in fact, flawless stones are very uncommon, and are noted for their great value. Many of the world’s emeralds are mined in Colombia, Brazil and Zambia.


Tourmaline is the most varicolored of all gemstones. It occurs in all colors, but red, green, and multicolored are its most famous gem colors. Scientifically, tourmaline is not a single mineral, but a group of minerals related in physical and chemical properties. The multicolored stones are truly a gemological wonder, as their beauty and uniqueness are unparalleled. All colored tourmaline gems display pleochroism, meaning their color changes when viewed at different angles. In some gems, this effect is hardly noticeable, while in others it is strongly apparent. Gemstone cutters must take this into account when cutting a tourmaline, so the finished gem brings out its best color. Brazil and African countries are the primary source of tourmaline today.


Garnets are often thought of as dark red gems. Garnets, however, have a great color variation and also include red, orange, yellow, green, purple, brown, black, pink and colorless. Garnet is not a single mineral, but a group of minerals closely related in physical and chemical properties. The individual minerals of the garnet group are called “garnets” and there are six types of garnet used as gems. Some varieties of garnets are known for changing colors in incandescent light. Much of the garnet mined today comes from the U.S., China and Western India.


Tanzanite is an extraordinary gemstone and, like black opals, it occurs in only one place worldwide – Tanzania where it was first found in 1967. It is this gemstone’s fantastic deep blue color which runs from ultramarine blue to light violet-blue, as well as its exclusivity that gives it such a strong appeal for jewelry. Tanzanite is not especially hard and cutting the stone is a challenge for even the most experienced gem-smith. Tanzanite has an unusual, captivating aura and seems to personify elegance and individuality.

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