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Pala International’s Featured Stones – 2015

Featured in Pala’s Gem News. See previous:

Amongst the more desirable rough and cut gem minerals is the iconic Himalaya Mine bi-color tourmaline. San Diego County has been referred to as a "gem basket." Seeing is believing. The classic tourmaline crystal form and the striking color banding have made these a must-buy for the dedicated collector.

This month we offer you both: a crystal that has in it a beautiful center section showing the gem potential, and alongside it the finished gem. Production at this location has been sparse and availability is now difficult to obtain. This is a rare opportunity.

Tourmalines photo image
Tourmaline var. elbaite from the Himalaya Mine, Mesa Grande District, San Diego County, CA. Rough (Inv. #22831) measures 7.5 x 1 cm and the 11.32-carat cut stone (Inv. #22814) measures 1.6 x x 9.2 cm. (Photo: Mia Dixon)
Tourmaline photo image

Interested? Call (phone numbers below) or email us to inquire. [back to top]

This month we feature not only one, but two world class pezzottaite pieces from Madagascar. This is a truly rare collectible gem that was only identified in 2003 by Dr. Federico Pezzotta in Madagascar at the Sakavalana Mine. A newcomer to the gem world with extremely intense and saturated colors unlike any other, it is one of nature's rare beauties. Pezzottaite is a cesium (Cs) rich member of the beryl group. Pezzottaite is in the trigonal crystal system, while beryl falls into the hexagonal system.

Pezzottaites photo image
Pezzottaites from Madagascar: An 8.20-carat cabochon cat's eye measuring 12.8 x 12.5 mm and a 4.80-carat kite shape measuring 14.7 x 10.4 mm. Both are new to Pala's inventory. (Photo: Mia Dixon)

We just recently picked up the cat's eye pictured above at this summer's Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines show and Pala International's Bill Larson pulled the kite shape out of his personal collection to offer it on the market. Pezzottaite is often included in large sizes, and in the cat's eye those inclusions lined up well enough to create a nice chatoyancy. The faceted gem is huge for the species and represents some of the best color to be found. See more on pezzottaite at Gemdat.org.

Interested? Call or email us to inquire. [back to top]

This month we feature a stunning yellow sapphire from Sri Lanka. This intense 6.40-carat sapphire exhibits the best qualities of yellows from this dominant source of fancy colors. Fine yellow sapphire can range from pastel yellow to intense golden varieties with a stronger orange component. Demand for yellow, purple, green, white, and many variations of sapphire hues has increased as curiosity beyond the standard blue and red (ruby) varietals has surged. With so many unique colors of sapphire to explore, the market has been growing and appreciating. Our yellow sapphire is featured below with a golden mountain lily flower, which was recently plucked from above the Mountain Lily mine here in San Diego County, where Pala International is currently mining.

Sapphire and Lily photo image
Not a mellow yellow. The 6.40-carat yellow sapphire from Sri Lanka rests next to a mountain lily taken from the hills of Pala International's Mountain Lily Mine. (Photo: Mia Dixon)

Interested? Call or email us to inquire. [back to top]

Our featured stones for this month hail from the Kladovka Mine in the Ural Mountains of Russia. These stunning demantoids were mined in 2004 but only recently cut by master Marty Key. The 2.57-carat round is the finest green of this material's production.

Demantoid Suite photo image
Russian quintette. From back left, 1.56-ct trillion, 2.57-ct round, 1.72-ct cushion, 0.76-ct pear shape, and in front a 1.63-ct round. Click to enlarge. (Photo: Mia Dixon)
Miners photo image
The thinkers. Mining demantoid is back-breaking work—at least for some. These miners are working the Kladovka Mine in the mid 2004. (Photo: Bill Larson)
Carl Larson photo image
Finders keepers? Will Larson, left, in 1997 at the Karkodino Mine. He was finding demantoid garnets alongside Russian miners. (Photo: Bill Larson)
Demantoid photo image
Peek-a-boo. A green demantoid emerges from its matrix. From the Kladovka Mine, 2004. (Photo: Bill Larson)

For more on demantoid garnet, see "Reds Turn to Green: Russia's Stunning Demantoid Discovery" on Palagems.com.

Interested? Call or email us to inquire. [back to top]

This month we feature some highlights from the Joe Kast Collection. This collection exhibits a full spectrum of colors from the corundum family and a strong selection of emeralds as well.

Please call to hear more about this important collection—or see it in person at the Las Vegas show.

Kasting call. (From center, then clockwise from top) Golden yellow sapphire from Sri Lanka, 6.40 ct, 12.1 x 9 .1 mm cushion; unique green sapphire from Sri Lanka, 6.18 ct, 10.2 x 9.9 mm cushion; very fine emerald from Colombia, 2.66 ct, 8.9 x 8.4 mm emerald cut; intense purple pink sapphire 1.90 ct, 7.2 mm round; pigeon's blood red ruby from Burma, 2.08 ct, 7.3 x 6 mm cushion; exquisite padparadscha from Sri Lanka, 1.25 ct, 7.2 x 5.2 mm oval, brilliant blue sapphire 4.04 ct, 8.5 mm round. (Photo: Jason Stephenson)

Interested? Call or email us to inquire. [back to top]

April 16, 2015: Ruby from Burma

This month we feature a corundum from Burma that lies somewhere between ruby and pink sapphire.

Ruby photo image
Pink ruby, 2.51 carats, cushion cut, unenhanced, 8.48 x 6.88 x 5.07 mm. Inventory #22464. (Photo: Mia Dixon)

There are certain stones that hit the market that are too vibrant and rare in color to be able to quickly attach a pink sapphire label. They posses qualities that pull them toward that of a ruby but are not the classic, more pure red color. You hear the term pink ruby thrown around occasionally and question the validity, but when you actually see stones like this you start to understand why the term was born. This month's featured gemstone is truly a pink ruby, a shocking blend of pink and red that is completely unique. Just as a fine padparadscha is a delightful blend of pink and orange, this gem blends the best of pink and red.

Interested? Select the inventory number above, call or email us to inquire. [back to top]

This month we feature a spectacular chrome green tourmaline from Tanzania.

Although copper seems to be the most sought-after chromophore in tourmaline these days, chromium is an exotic player that produces some amazing green hues in tourmaline. Chrome tourmalines outshine your average greens with elevated grassy-to-intense-evergreen hues. These exceptional greens can easily be mistaken with the tsavorite garnet varieties, as they are found in similar areas of east Africa and can be identical in color. Our featured stone exhibits all the best qualities of chrome tourmaline: electric green hue, flawless interior, and a highly brilliant cut.

Chrome Tourmaline photo image
Trillion Green. A 4.36-carat chrome tourmaline, 10.75 x 10.52 x 6.42 mm. (Photo: Mia Dixon)

Interested? Call or email us to inquire. [back to top]

This month we feature a pair of exceptional pumpkin-orange spessartites from Tanzania. This impressive pair weighs in at 16.52 carats total weight and are perfectly matched with ideal-cut cushion faceting.

Spessartite Garnets photo image
Spessartite garnet from Tanzania, 16.54 tcw, cushion cut, 11.7 x 10.6 x 7.5 mm. Inventory #21636. (Photo: Mia Dixon)

Spessartite (aka spessartine) has seen quite a change in the marketplace. Demand has continued to go up as collectors expand into the more rare varieties of garnet. There are still some spessartites from the long exhausted Nigerian deposit on the market, but inventories are diminishing and prices are rising. The new Tazanian deposit has started to fill in the gap on spessartite supply with a range of sizes and beautiful mandarin and pumpkin colors. The material tends to have some clarity issues but we have seen some cleaner stones popping up recently. We have a large selection from both deposits and even a few from Namibia and San Diego County. For more on this material, see our Spessartite Buying Guide.

Interested? Select inventory number above, call or email us to inquire. [back to top]

This month we feature an exceptional blue zircon from Cambodia. Weighing in at 36.11 carats, this zircon is quite a large specimen, as most blue zircon are found under 5 carats; over 10 carats is quite rare for this type of color. Not only is the size impressive but the color hits the sweet spot for zircon. The swimming-pool blue is reminiscent of a fine paraiba and invites you to dive in. Blues of this size are often too dark or off-color. The strong doubling shows up more in the photo than in hand, but it's a good optical tool to identify zircon.

Zircon photo image
Wonderful large, clean blue cushion-cut zircon from Cambodia, 36.11 ct, 17.89 x 15.89 x 12.69 mm. Inventory #22357. (Photo: Mia Dixon)

Our new supplier continues to bring in beautiful zircons, and the last lot yielded this rare beauty. We continue to hold good stock in blue zircon with a wide variety of shapes, sizes and matched pairs. Check out our previous post on the blue zircon connection.

Zircons photo image
Nice Pair! A sample of the great new selection of blue zircons at Pala International. Rounds range from 6.4 to 8 mm, cushions are 9.8 mm. (Photo Mia Dixon)

Interested? Select inventory number above, call or email us to inquire. [back to top]

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