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Precious opals in Australia may shed light on the origin of the surface of Mars

by Touchstone Gems 2. June 2014 19:20

Opals and Mars

Could gemstones provide evidence of the origin of the geology of the Earth and of Mars? That may be the case, according to work by researchers in the United States and Australia.

Meanwhile, research on how precious opals were formed in Australia could provide astrobiologists with insight as to what may have happened on the surface of Mars, says Sydney University scientist Patrice Rey.

Precious opal is predominantly found in the red earth of the Great Artesian Basin in central Australia, within 50 meters of the surface.

Rey says it has long been a mystery why there was so much precious opal in the Great Artesian Basin, but almost nowhere else on Earth. He thinks it is because the Great Artesian Basin was once filled by the Eromanga Sea, which at its peak covered about 60 percent of the Australian continent.

Rey discovered that opal, was the result of a process in the drying out of the Eromanga Sea which began approximately 100 million years ago. This weathering is unusual on Earth, however it has been seen on Mars, which would suggest that it shares some other features with the Great Artesian Basin, including types of rocks, a similar history of flooding then drying out, mineralogy and color.

"It costs billions of dollars to send rovers and orbiters to Mars," Rey said in media comments. "Therefore, looking right here on Earth for ancient and modern analogs to Mars' environment is key to carrying on research in greater detail and explore the role biology has in weathering processes."

The Tucson Effect: Gem Pricing, April 2014

by Touchstone Gems 2. May 2014 20:00

JCK

Published on JCK (http://www.jckonline.com)

The Tucson Effect: Gem Pricing, April 2014

 

By JCK Staff - March 28, 2014

Gemstone markets in the United States remain positive. Dealers have had an opportunity to digest information regarding buying and spending patterns in Tucson and are generally confident about the direction the market is going. Reports from the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show in early March were also mostly upbeat, with both fine colored gems and diamonds reportedly in high demand.

 

Price increases for popular sizes and qualities in the classic gems continue to drive interest in lesser-known gem materials. Agates, opals, garnets, beryls, diopside, and a host of other affordable gems are selling well.

 

One trend identified during the Arizona gem shows in February is the strong interest that retail jewelers are showing for gems mined in North America. There are quite a number of stones produced domestically, mostly in smaller quantities, which makes the allure of American gems even more appealing. Retailers will find stable markets for Montana sapphire, Four Peaks amethyst (mined in Arizona), garnet from Arizona and Idaho, and agate of various natural colors and varieties (found in Oregon and Utah, among other locations). Expect the “made in America” focus to be strong at JCK Las Vegas.

 

 

 

Source URL: http://www.jckonline.com/2014/03/28/tucson-effect-gem-pricing-april-2014

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Coloured gems are the hottest Trend of the Decade!

by Touchstone Gems 10. July 2013 18:46

Latest statistics are reporting that jewellery buyers are looking for attractive prices. How attractive? Based on the most recent results from jewellery events, the top jewellery designer lines focused on silver jewellery featuring small fancy colour melee stones selling for just under $500.00 retail! This is a testament to the fact that buyers are younger than ever before and younger generations seem to prefer coloured stones over plain white diamond. Surprisingly, many of the world's wealthiest people are now investing into coloured stones instead of gold or diamond, proving that the colourful trend has gone viral, especially in the Asian Market. China is quickly developing into one of the biggest coloured stone markets, with a huge increase in demand for top-grade, quality coloured gems.

Ian Harebottle, CEO of Gemfields, claims “he sees coloured gemstones and diamonds as complementing each other, rather than in competition with each other.” Seeing that coloured stones are the trend of the decade, we're seeing more and more unique designs from well-known brands, but nothing makes us happier than seeing local jewelers show off their craftsmanship.

Larimar Cabochon Gemstone We encourage all of our readers to support the coloured gem trade and help keep the coloured stone industry in the hands of our local jewelers and not corporations, CEO's and Wall Street.

The gemstone industry is thriving and will continue to grow faster than the rate over the past couple years, so there is no better time to start looking for coloured stone bargains than now!

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