Month: March 2021

Gem Focus March 2021: Pearls

A lustrous image of a white round object with subtle iridescence is the first thing that comes to mind when the word “pearl” is mentioned. The rare product of oysters from the vast oceans or unassuming mussels of rivers have always mystified human beings. Until pearl culturing was understood and studied over 100 years ago, many civilizations created divine stories about pearls and their origin. Technically, a reject of a bivalve, natural pearls are celebrated as a beautiful gemstone, not only due their rarity but also for their minimum processing for jewelry. Even though, pearl culturing gave access to much more common and affordable products. Iridescence, specifically “orient” for pearls has been one of the most desirable features of a pearl regardless of origin.

Diamond Treatments and Pricing

Determining pricing for treated diamonds can be a great challenge. The focus here is on the history and pricing trends of modern-day diamond treatments. Four are in this group including laser drilling, clarity enhancement, high pressure high temperature (HPHT), and irradiation.

Diamond Market

The fall turned out surprisingly well for most in the diamond market. It was definitely a come from behind victory. It had been a very tough year due to the evolving nature of the COVID-19 virus. Restrictions imposed early apparently caused a pent-up need to spend on luxury items. The travel industry was the big loser and their loss was our gain.

Scapolite – Fluorescence

I first reported on scapolite as a rare stone becoming part of the jewelry landscape back in the September/October 2009 issue (Volume 28, Issue 5). The mineralogical prop- erties are being repeated below for reference. (Ed. Note: subscribers can log in to the website, go to News and Cur- rent Publication, and search on the archives—Scapolite— to find this article in entirety.)

Colored Stone Market

No Tucson show does not mean no business. Market is currently benefitting from little competition from outside our sector. The appetite for gemstones is expected to continue to flourish throughout the year. Competition may return next year. The real story in color is outside the big-3.

What is USPAP…and why should I Care?

Every assignment provides us with a new opportunity to be a better appraiser. Whether or not you choose to write appraisals in compliance with USPAP, as appraisers, we should share the same desire to act ethically and competently to protect the public’s trust in the profession we love.

Behind the Design – Derek Katzenback

For our series on innovators in jewelry design, this month we are focusing on multiple AGTA award winning artist, gem cutter, metalsmith, and gemologist Derek Katzenbach owner of Katzenbach Designs. Located in Maine, it came as no surprise that Derek has a special passion for working natural Maine tour- maline.