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Information about Placing an Order

Color is the most important and complex to grade. Color is made up of three components, hue, saturation and tone. Color will be graded on a scale of 1 to 10 taking these three factors into consideration. Clarity is graded on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being loop clean under a 10X loop.

Clarity is graded on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being loop clean under a 10X loop.

10 = Loop Clean
8 = Eye Clean
6 = Slightly Included
4 = Moderately Included
2 = Heavily Included

Values between are used when the stone is either a bit cleaner or less clean. It's very rare to find any stone score a 10 for clarity. 8 and higher makes for a very nice stone. Brilliance - will be a combination of Cut, Sparkle, light return, Proportion and Crystal.
Graded on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. Total Quality Rating - Is the combined score of these 3 with a possible best score of 10

1-5: Low end commercial
6-7: Better quality commercial
8-8.5: Fine quality
8.5-9.5: Very fine quality
9.5-10: What the trade calls "gem"

Why choose a custom cut Precision Gem over a typical commercial stone?

Many people have never seen a properly cut stones. Once you do the difference is very apparent. Most stones commercially sold are what is known as "native cut", meaning they are cut in the land they are found in. Most often this cutting is done on Jam Peg faceting setups. While this style of cutting is very fast, it is not very accurate. In larger cutting houses, the work is done on an assembly line type process, where one worker will only dop stones, then pass them to the next that shapes them, then passed to another cutter who polishes. The workers are paid by the number of pieces they produce and the weight. To maintain the maximum weight they will cut stones with angles below the critical angle for the stone. This causes the stone to "window" (see image below).
But windowing is just part of the story. Most commercially cut stones are not symmetrical, the facets don't meet correctly at sharp intersections, the girdles are not polished, and the polish used is not very fine. Usually the polish is only a 14,000 grit or less. I use 60,000 or higher on all my stones.

Gemstone Information

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Amethyst is the birthstone for February. These stone are durable and can be used most any jewelry application. Amethyst is a member of the quartz family and has a hardness of 7. Colors range from a light purple pink called Rose d’France to deep purple with red flashes.

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Apatite is very attractive stone, but is a bit on the soft side. These stones are best for pendants or occasional wear rings. Make sure that the jeweler you have set an Apatite has worked with these stones before, and NO STEAM!!!. Apatite is very heat sensitive.

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Aquamarine is a member of the Beryl family, as is Emerald and Golden Beryl. Aquamarine is the birthstone for the month of March, and is used all types of jewelry applications. It has a hardness of 7.5 and wears very well. The medium deep blue stones are the most sought after. Unless noted, none of these Aquamarines have been heated. Heating is common to remove green and turn the stone more blue. Often inexpensive greenish blue aqua is heated to produce a more valuable blue color.

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Citrine is a member of the quartz family, and is the birthstone for November. Like all crystal quartzes, the citrine has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale and is thus, to a large extent, insensitive to scratches. It won't immediately take offense at being knocked about either, since its cleavage properties are non-existent. The name is derived from the color - the yellow of the lemon - , although the most sought-after stones have a clear, radiant yellowish to brownish red. Most citrine gemstone have been heat treated.

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Emeralds are a member of the Beryl family. These stones are found in South America, Africa, parts of Asia and even America. Emerald is the birthstone for May. Hardness of 8. Very difficult stone to photograph well.

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Green Garnets

Green garnets are some of the most beautiful and unique gemstones. Many people have no idea that garnets can be green. These garnets are found mostly in East Africa in the countries of Kenya and Tanzania. The dark greens are called Tsavorite Garnet, since they were originally discovered in the Tsavo Park area of Kenya. The lighter Merelani Mint garnets are found in the same area of Tanzania as Tanzanite. These stones make a very nice alternative to emerald, as they are much more durable. Also on the page, although not exactly green are the Mali Garnets. These gems are a mix Andradite and Grossularite garnet, and have a very high dispersion, so they look like a diamond when cut well. Garnet has a hardness is from 7 to 7.5. Garnet is the birthstone for January.

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Red Garnets

Red garnets include Rhodolite Garnet, Pyrope Garnet, Umbalite Garnet and Chrome Pyrope (Ant Hill Garnets). Garnets are great stones for any jewelry applications. They have a hardness of 7 to 7.5, wear very well, and are attractive. Often overlooked since commercially one typically only sees the brownish red Almandine garnets, better quality well cut stones make brilliant center stones. Red garnets are "ladies of the night", and look their best in incandescent light. Under florescent light, and especially those CFL bulbs they do tend to close up and take on some brown.

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Orange Garnets

Several types of garnets are available in various shades of orange. These include Spessartite, Malaya, Hessonite, and other Grossularite Garnets. Garnets are the birthstone for January, and a bright orange stone is a nice change from the more commonly seen red stones. Garnets have a harness of 7 to 7.5. The Malaya garnets often have a strong color shift, where as the Spessartine maintain the same color in most any light, however all will look the strongest color in incandescent light.

Color Change Garnet

Color Change Garnets are very unique stones. The color change in seen when viewing the stone in incandescent light compared to daylight or florescent light. While every garnet does display some color change, these are pronounced. I basically have 2 types, the first change from a reddish to bluish color, and the others go from a pink bronze to golden brown. The hardness of garnets is 7 to 7.5, and Garnet is the birthstone for January.

Move over the image to see the color change.

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Oregon Sunstone

Oregon Sunstone is mined in eastern Oregon USA. Sunstone is in the feldspar family and is a Labidorite containing copper. In some stones this copper is very visible and called "shiller". Typically these stones are carved or used to cut cabs, occasionally if it isn't to pronounced the stone can be faceted. The color ranges from almost colorless to red and green, or even a mix of red and green.

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Peridot is the gemstone for August. Peridot has a hardness 6.5 to 7 and is used in may pieces of jewelry. The finest colors are an apple green with out a brown or yellow modifier. Some of the best peridot is found in Pakistan and Arizona. Peridot is a type II gemstone.

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Ruby is the birthstone for July, and is the red member or the corundum family. Rubies are one the rarest and most prized of all gemstones. Rubies on this page are found in Burma and Africa. The Burmese rubies have a warm glow, while the African stones have clearer crystal. The Lake Baringo Rubies from Kenya are a lighter color with a touch of purple (Shown). These stones have very intense color and are popular with collectors. Ruby has a hardness of 9.0 and is good for any jewelry application.

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Sapphire is the birthstone for September and is given as gifts for the 5th, 23rd and 45 wedding anniversaries. Sapphire is the non-red variety of corundum. With a hardness of 9.0 sapphire is the second hardest natural mineral. Blue is the most popular color sapphires, but they can be almost any color including yellow, green, white, pink, orange, brown and purple. Sapphires can exhibit a color change.

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Spinel is becoming a more and more popular gemstone. The colors range from blue, red, pink lavender and just about every color in between. Spinel has a hardness of 8 which places it just below sapphire. A fantastic stone for rings worn everyday. Most of my spinels are from the Morogoro area of Tanzania.

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Tanzanite is found only in Tanzania in the foot hills of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Tanzanite is a birthstone for December. A bit soft, with a hardness of 6 to 7. Most stones are heated to produce the blue/purple colors. Occasionally the stones are found blue, and I'll leave them alone an not heat them.

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The colors of tourmaline are almost endless. Most of the tourmaline I cut will be either from Africa or Afghanistan. Popular types of tourmaline are Rubelite (red), Chrome Green, Paraiba, Pink and Bi-color.
Tourmaline has a hardness of 7 and a good stone for most any type of jewelry use. Pictures is a fine concave cut green/blue tourmaline from Afghanistan.

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Zircons are found in many places throughout the world, and in many colors. Most of these stones will be from East Africa, except for the blue zircons and a few from Nigeria. Most zircon is heated, as are all blue zircons. Many of the honey brown stones respond very well to just a gentle heating, turning them a lighter brighter color such as the yellow stones from Tanzania. Zircon is the birthstone for December and has a hardness of 6 to 7.5 If zircons are cut in a certain orientation, you will see a strong doubling of each facets.