Saturday, November 29, 2008

All That Glitters Website Changes and Info for December 2008

It's the end of the year already. Time to think about holiday gift buying and what the New Year will bring. Retail jewelry stores have said that sales are down, and this is not only due to the fact that people are wondering about the economy, but most stores carry the same items and people are tending toward something different. Those jewelers/goldsmiths that are holding their own have been offering their customers something unique that cannot be found in every store, shopping network, mall, etc. All That Glitters is known for not only the unique, unusual and exclusive, but also price; such so, that most cannot compete - we travel the world to find not only gemstone rough, but faceted gems at their source and have contacts around the world constantly looking for us. Sadly to say, we turn down 99% of their offerings because of the quality and price - too low in quality for All That Glitters' inventory, and if a fine gem is offered, the pricing structure is such that we cannot offer a good value to our customers, whether they be other wholesalers, goldsmiths, stores or the public. Please consider us for your holiday purchases - a unique person deserves a gemstone or a piece of jewelry that is as unique as they are...

We would like to welcome two new customers to the All That Glitters Family - they live in Finland and New Zealand. Though a large percentage of our sales are to the trade and within the United States, we always enjoy working with the global community that have found us online. We hope that they will find our gemstones worthwhile in quality as well as price, and hope that our prompt individual service is to their liking. As our small business manager said years ago - with one purchase, we should have a life long customer. Once again, to our new international customers - Welcome and Enjoy Visiting the All That Glitters Website for learning more about gemstones as well as for future purchases!

Here are the changes to look for on the All That Glitters website for December 2008:

This Months Special: 3.91ct Neon Yellowish-Orange Spessartite/Mandarin Garnet

Gem News: Paraiba Lawsuit Dismissed

There has been a court battle going on over using the term Paraiba and whether this term must refer to the bright neony blue Tourmaline from that particular state (Paraiba) in Brasil (or even a particular mine in that state) or whether 'similarly' colored material, with similar elemental composition but coming from other countries could indeed be called Paraiba.

We have our own thoughts on this - visit our Gem News Page to read more...

Newly Faceted or Photographed Gemstones:

We have a Burmese Spinel that was recut by our Master Cutter. A large beauty!

10.15ct Neon Blue Apatite from Madagascar faceted by our Master Cutter - custom cut named: Kitty Kat "Kut"

A very rare unique Tourmaline, which is both a Bicolor and a Cat's Eye, has been photographed. We recently saw a similar one and the wholesale price was twice that of the All That Glitters' price. This difference in price means a savings of $2,514 off the wholesale price for the All That Glitters' customer who wishes this unique piece. Note that this gemstone has been photographed and may appear in a second edition of gemstones when it hits the shelves sometime in 2009. (This is also the initial public offering for this unique gemstone and the price may increase in the future if not sold - currently priced to move!)

A few more pieces that were newly photographed and available in the recent past include:

1.10ct Certified Demantoid Garnet

1.18ct GREEN Sapphire

A link to:

Custom Designed, Hand-Made Sterling Silver with Rhodium Plating Jewelry set with All That Glitters' Gems

Large Faceted Diaspores - many recently photographed - Faceted by our Master Cutter who has won a number of awards for his faceting skills, as well as an award back in about 1995 as well as this year for faceting a spectacular Diaspore. For our fine Diaspores, he is our one and only cutter!

Currently in the Cutting Process by Our Award Winning Master Cutter:

Sometime within the next few weeks, we expect our Master Cutter to return two Neon Blue or Teal

Madagascar Apatites, as well as an Oregon Sunstone that we unearthed during our October Oregon Sunstone

Digging Expedition!

30+ Photos of Gemstones from the All That Glitters Inventory to Appear in Gemstone Book:

Yes, in the upcoming second edition of a gemstone book, All That Glitters may have up to (or even more!) 30 photos of gemstones appearing in that book. Why? We are known for the unique, unusual, exclusive, high end gemstones and what better for a book to show the cream of the crop, as they say... Most of these gemstones are available currently in our inventory. For those that have been selected, you will see the following indication:

(Photographed for possible publication in an upcoming book on gemstones!)

A good number of our gemstones have been in publications such as Gems and Gemology Magazine by GIA, Jewelers Circular Keystone (JBT), Cedar Wings Magazine (published as an inflight magazine in the Middle East where all photos of gemstones/rough in the article came from the All That Glitters' Inventory!), and many more. There are collectors out there who desire to collect gemstones that have been published and seen throughout the world. Many people enjoy sharing their personal gemstone treasures with others, whether it is an unset gemstone in a collection or set into a piece of jewelry, especially when they can pull out a magazine, an article or a book on gemstones, open it up and show the article on the actual gemstone they are displaying!...

Paraiba Lawsuit Dismissed

There has been a court battle going on over using the term Paraiba and whether this term must refer to the bright neony blue Tourmaline from that particular state (Paraiba) in Brasil or whether 'similarly' colored Tourmaline with similar elemental composition from other countries could indeed be called Paraiba.
You can read more of the lawsuit and learn more about the controversy by visiting the link below:

My take, as owner of a gemstone business for over 28 years and having purchased some of the original Paraiba back in 1989/1990 is as follows:
I believe that the term Paraiba should refer to the material coming from the state of Paraiba in Brasil. It has been known to be found from one major mine, the Sao Jose da Batalha Mine specifically, but I understand a few other local mines occasionally have produced similar material. Not only did this area produce the bright vivid neon blues, but unique greens, purples, purplish blues were produced. Heating some of these colors can produce the neon blue. We sold a large Sapphire blue Paraiba Tourmaline, purchased in 1989, to "Paraiba Bob". We guaranteed that it came from this famous locality. Paraiba Bob heated it using his proprietary methods, and produced a bright turquoise blue, proving at that time that the material was indeed Paraiba as we had indicated. The value of this gemstone increased 5 fold - wholesale.

We had another 5+ct, true green blue or blue green Paraiba gemstone, with small inclusions throughout. We sent this to AGTA and after paying a hefty fee, the origin report read - Tourmaline from Paraiba, Brasil; again, we already knew of the origin but a cert from AGTA would put all doubts to rest. We sold this gemstone to a collector and investor at under $1000/ct. Note that small fine neon blue Paraiba from the original find, that is mostly clean will sell for (or was selling for within the past 5 years), $14,000 per carat, and that was for about a two carat stone, possibly even smaller. We bought melee (2mm) for the making of a championship ring for a national football team at $1000/ct about 7 or more years ago. The prices of the true Paraiba have always been high and only climbed once the original source supply started to dwindle.

I also feel that the term Paraiba could be applied to those Tourmalines coming from that state and that have an unusual color or are of original colors that originated from the original strike. Of course, the blue green piece that was certed would fall into this category. Simple everyday green tourmaline or even decent blue Tourmaline from the state of Paraiba, could be called "Tourmaline from Paraiba", as calling it simply Paraiba when it looks like Tourmaline from many other localities of the world. Calling regular Tourmaline Paraiba, would be misleading to not only dealers but to the public which has been very confused about the term Paraiba, and has been "taken for a ride" by many overseas businesses claiming Paraiba if it meant a quick sale and more money...

For those Tourmalines with bright Windex blues, neon blues, vivid neony greens, etc. coming from Mozambique, Nigeria, Namibia, etc. I feel they should be called Paraiba-Like Tourmaline. This indicates color associated with the original Paraiba strike of very bright blues and greens. I don't believe that elemental composition should really come into play because a Tourmaline contains Copper or Manganese. Certs are being seen for gems from Mozambique and other places where the gemstone contains Copper. This would then be Cuprian Tourmaline but business immediately call it Paraiba Tourmaline as soon as they find out it contains Copper, since this was a determining feature of the original Tourmaline from Paraiba State. The pinks and purples from Mozambique frequently contain Copper, and most people are calling them Paraiba. Paraiba Pink? At best, they can obviously sell it as Cuprian, as it indeeds contains Copper and that nomenclature would be correct. All That Glitters has many Tourmalines from Mozambique that are Cuprian - in the blues, pinks and especially the purples. We don't call it Paraiba; we don't call it Paraiba-like; if not certed, we are not even calling it Cuprian, though we know that the colors we have will cert out as containing Copper! The funny thing is, or to put it into perspective, the ironic thing is, that there are neony blues and greens in Tourmaline coming from Mozambique (and other countries) that looks as if they would contain Copper. The stone glows and that is what one expects from Paraiba/Paraiba-Like material, but when tested, there is no Copper to be found! So, do you pay $1000's of dollars more for a stone where the cert shows Copper and pay far less for the same colored gemstone that does not contain any Copper at all or a low percentage? Why is one paying tens of thousands of dollars for a Copper bearing Tourmaline when one might be able to find one that looks exactly like the one with Copper, but actually contains no Copper? We would sell the Tourmaline at the same price, if they had the similar colors, regardless if it was certed as Cuprian or not. Color is driving our pricing, regardless of the origin or the fact that there is Copper....

Another thing should be said - many people in the business/trade believe that all those other Paraiba wanna-bees just don't have that saturation, the intensity, that glow or that pop as a true Paraiba. They come close, but when placed side by side, many times the wanna-bees just don't match the original!

To summarize my current opinion, and opinions are rampant out there and many people are out to cash in on the Cuprian/Paraiba terminology:
1.) Paraiba Tourmaline should come from the state of Paraiba, Brasil and have an intense color, such as the neon blue people are familiar with. Bright greens also exist.
2.) If the state of Paraiba is producing the standard colored Tourmaline, one can just call it Tourmaline from the state of Paraiba.
3.) Bright Neon Blue or Green Tourmaline from other countries, whether containing Copper or not, could be called Paraiba-Like Tourmaline.
4.) If a Tourmaline contains Copper, it would therefore be called Cuprian, but doesn't necessarily reflect the origin of the gemstone and doesn't immediately mean that one calls it Paraiba. Cuprian Tourmaline comes in blue, green, pink, magenta, purple and possibly other colors.
5.) If one wants to begin naming gemstones not based on their origin, but their elemental makeup, inclusions, etc. this could become the next great debate. As labs are starting to determine origin of gemstones, it is only a matter of time before similar charatcteristics, inclusions, elements, etc. that were thought to only occur in one area of the world, start to show up in other areas. Many gemstones had similar origins around the world while they were growing, so this would not be unexpected. Taking this into account, and the fact that labs want to call Cuprian Tourmaline of bright blue, Paraiba, regardless of the country of origin, the next step could be calling Ruby from Africa, Burmese Ruby or Sapphire from Montana, Kashmir Sapphire. It wouldn't surprise me one bit, if origin reports of some gemstones from famous localities, were mis-identified as to their country of origin because they had similar inclusions, characterics, etc. that were expected of that locale, but were actually from very different origins/countries.

People, as well as many in the trade, might be confused between Paraiba Tourmaline, Paraiba-Like Tourmaline and Tourmaline from Paraiba, as I would like to define it, but it is perhaps even more complicated out there in the real world. The best bet is to trust those that one purchases from. Our receipts indicate what one is buying - one of our return policies is a Life Time Guarantee policy if the item is identified as not what it was sold for. An educated consumer is one who will benefit from the Paraiba Dilmena.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

All That Glitters Website Changes and Info for November 2008

Back from a trip out to Oregon to dig Sunstones and to visit Goldsmiths in California. Both of these undertakings were successful. We are hoping that we will have the story for the search of Oregon Sunstones in Next Month's Gem News. The story and photos will also be a permanent page and can be accessed from our Photo Gallery page. Unfortunately, our Compact Flash Memory Card has issues and images from the trip are in limbo and could possibly be lost. We are making attempts at recovering the images.

Here are the changes to look for on the All That Glitters website for November 2008:

This Months Special: Jim Kaufman Signed and Numbered Itarsia

Gem News: United States Bans Ruby and Jade Imports if Origin is Originally Burma (Myanmar)

See Blog text below...

Newly Faceted or Photographed Gemstones:

We will be visiting our Master Cutter shortly, and hope to leave some Neon Madagascar Apatite, Oregon Sunstone as well as a Burmese Reddish Spinel that we might recut! These will be posted when completed...

United States Bans Ruby and Jade Imports if Origin is Originally Burma (Myanmar)

Fine gemstones such as Sapphire, Ruby, Spinel, Peridot and Jade, as well as others, may be found in the country of Burma (now called Myanmar). The U.S. has recently enacted a ban on Ruby and Jade originating from this country. This is to supposedly curtail money from getting into the hands of the ruling government, which has been known to oppress their own people - many will recall how violent the government reacted to protests by students and monks not too long ago.

This is all well and good, assuming that one does not purchase from the gemstone auctions that are held by the government. These funds would literally be controlled by the government and would therefore support the government. However, those purchasing at these auctions are most likely the very large world players, and many would probably not even be from the United States. Many smaller dealers purchase their "Burmese" gemstones through sources other than the governmental auctions. These gemstones are usually found by an individual miner and/or their family, and the rough is sold surreptitiously behind the governments back, and therefore the government receives no funds - BUT, the small miner, his family/children support themselves with the funds received from the occasional piece of rough that might be found. Gemstones frequently make it from these miners over the border in to Thailand, where they are then faceted (many being heat enhanced also) and sold. This provides income to not only those poor miners living under the repressive regime in Burma, but also benefits those involved in the trade within Thailand. If a general ban shuts down this source of small income for both those living in Burma and Thailand, many people will be worse off than before.

All That Glitters and most others dealing in gemstones in the U.S., would not purchase gemstones directly or knowingly if they had passed through the Burmese Governmental Auctions.

In items that we have recently read, it is very strange what the U.S. government bans and doesn't ban. For instance, there seems to be U.S. corporations and businesses that are doing business in Burma. The U.S. Government has not mandated they stop doing business, but have only requested that they stop. Has this business been halted? Of course not.

We sent an email to an American living in Thailand who is also in the gemstone business. Our inquiry was on the most recent gemstone ban by the U.S. Government. Our associate had the following to say - "The ban is only on Jadeite and Ruby. Pretty stupid! Previously there was a ban on Americans buying ruby in Myanmar. The new ban broadens the restriction to Burmese Ruby and Jade where ever it is coming from...It would be nice if our government had a clue of what they are doing. ".

To obtain more information on this most recent ban, you can follow the
link below:
US Ban on Burmese Ruby and Jade