Kashmir Sapphire

November 30, 2006

Came across this interesting snippet of news a few days ago.  If you are interested in mining for the most sought after sapphire in the world, you may be interested in this upcoming tender:

Global tenders for sapphire extraction in Jammu and Kashmir

The problems of mining in such an area are obvious but perhaps the rewards would be very great for someone with the right experience and the ability to work cooperatively with the locals.  Our hope is that the people of the area benefit from these plans rather than see the wealth disappear without consultation or involvement in the scheme.

Genuine Kashmir sapphires are renowned for their beauty and for being very difficult to obtain – perhaps the difficulty of supply might change for the better.

cheers for now from Aussie Sapphire


Newsletter Dec’06

November 25, 2006

Hi all,

Plenty of time left for shipping all your needs for the perfect Gemstone Christmas.

New stock:  After being asked time and again we have decided to offer full Mine Run Sapphire,the real thing with no specials removed, just $5 AUD/ ct.  Unbeatable value for the serious Gemstone enthusiast.  More mine run parcels of quality Tourmaline, Spessartite, Emerald have also been added with  small parcels at large parcel prices – check them now as next stock will be dearer.  Just check out the new Parcels of Rough category.

We have also added more great individual sapphire rough including some very affordable pieces – still great quality so take a look at these new items.

Christmas special is a 20% discount on all our handmade Gold Jewellery.  A great gift idea for the special person in your life.  Truly unique one off designs at 40-50% off  High Street Retail prices.

Andrew’s Christmas picks:  If you cant see anything above, try these super deals:

  • Gem carat electronic scales just $36 AUD – weighs to 0.05 carats, great value, warranty etc.
  • Diamond powder for faceting  20cts just $26 AUD Hard to buy this cheap – proven quality.
  • Bag a beauty fossicking wash, great for young and old,fun and find guaranteed!! (Aussies only only sorry, overseas buyers look at the concentrated gravel). Check our Fossicking link.  Have fun!

Dont forget free Shipping for combined purchases over $100 AUD – just enter free_shipping in the box at the checkout (Redemption Code) to redeem this offer.

In the TRADE ?  Dont miss out on possible further discounts, ask today.

We have been spending a lot of time listing new products so please take a look – I am sure you will find something of interest.  Courier delivery is available so plenty of time to arrive before Christmas.

cheers for now from Aussie Sapphire


Website Problems

November 22, 2006

Just a short note to alert website visitors to some problems on our website with display of images.  Have managed to get small images showing but still having problems with large image pop-ups.  We are working on the problem right now and hope to have things back to normal asap.

In the meantime, if there are any items that you would like access to large images for, just email us and we will arrange this.  Please bear with us while we sort this problem out.   If you know of any other little glitches, please let us know and we can try to solve them while we we are troubleshooting.

thanks for your patience from Aussie Sapphire

UPDATE (23/11/06): I think we have this problem sorted out now (hopefully).  All images should be now displaying normally.  If you see a glitch, please let me know so I can chase it up.  Sometimes computers can be very frustrating !!

Black Spinel: Dark Star

November 17, 2006

Just came across this article in Modern Jeweler on Black Spinel:

Black Spinel: Dark Star

The article points out the benefits of using black spinel as a superior alternative to onyx or diamond and highlights some jewellers/dealers who have already discovered this fantastic gem.

“Braunwart (Columbia Gem House) is convinced many jewelers will resist the temptation to be onyx-wise and spinel-foolish. “The large difference in quality should outweigh the small difference in price,” he says”.

Here at Aussie Sapphire, we have been trying to tell the story of Black Spinel for some time.  So far, the feedback is very encouraging and we hope to see even more demand for this wonderful gemstone in the future.

Aussie Sapphire can supply black spinel at very competitive prices:  Retail price =  $6.50 AU/carat for faceted stones < 1 ct in size and only $4.90 AU/carat for faceted stones > 1 carat makes this a very affordable alternative.  Wholesale discounts are available to trade buyers.

Please browse our extensive range of black spinel calibrated gems – not everything is listed so please contact us any time to discuss your requirements.

cheers for now from Aussie Sapphire

Christmas Sale on Gold Jewellery

November 12, 2006

clip8_7b.gifThose stuck for Christmas present ideas need look no further.  Aussie Sapphire is offering a fantastic 25% off our already discounted internet prices on all Gold Jewellery.

We have just received some new pieces in 18k white and yellow gold – these look fantastic and would make someone special very happy.

Here is a lovely 18k Ring with sapphire and diamond

Aussie Sapphire - 18k White Gold ring with sapphire and diamond

Click here to see more Gold Rings

These Triangular Sapphire & Diamond Earrings look great!

Aussie Sapphire - Sapphire & Diamond Earrings

Click here to see more Gold Earrings

Last example is our Sapphire/Diamond Circle Pendant

Aussie Sapphire - Sapphire & Diamond Circle Pendant

Click here to see more Gold Pendants


Hope this has given you some gift-buying inspiration.  These discounts will last until Christmas Eve but remember, these are one-off pieces so dont wait too long.  If your tastes run along more practical lines, please view our range of other products including rough and faceted gems, blank jewellery settings, gem storage and lighting and more.

NEW:  Fossicking at home with our Bag a Beauty Sapphire Gravel and Concentrated Gravel packs – check out the Fossicking section for more information.  Great gift idea!!

Cheers for now from Aussie Sapphire

Gem of the Month – Yellow Topaz

November 12, 2006

imperial.jpgYellow topaz is also known as the modern birthstone for November.  Although now probably overtaken by the more commonly used Citrine, Topaz is a particularly lovely gemstone which is deserving of more recognition in its “precious” form.

Photo at left from is a good example of Imperial Topaz from Mineral and Gemstone Kingdom

Gemmology Matters:   Natural Topaz is a fluro silicate with the chemical formula Al2SiO4(F,OH).  It is found in a variety of colors including brown, red, orange, pink, sherry, yellow as well as colourless.  Often the shades from yellow through to red are termed “Precious Topaz” with particular colour combinations described as “Imperial Topaz” – those gems denoted as Imperial and the very rare red varieties command the highest prices.  The definition of Imperial Topaz colour (reddish-orange?) can be quite complicated – see this Gemology Online thread for more discussion on this subject. 

sherry_topaz.jpg This example of a sherry coloured topaz crystal is from John Betts Fine Minerals (Gem Crystals catalogue) – this specimen is from Pakistan and shows the hexagonal crystal habit of topaz very clearly.

Green and blue topaz are naturally very pale, the very bright colours often found in jewellery today are the result in irradiation treatment – Sky Blue, Swiss Blue and London Blue are names used by the gem trade to refer to the depth of color.   See our Blue Topaz article for more information.   Please note that surface colour coatings are becoming more common in Topaz – starting with the multi-colour version of Mystic Topaz, but now also used to create other colours such as pink.  Gems treated in this way should be treated with care to avoid damaging the colour coating.  These types of gems should be far cheaper than naturally coloured stones so be wary when purchasing brightly coloured Topaz and ask about enhancement treatments first.

The principal sources for topaz is Brazil – also found in Sri Lanka, Russia, Australia, Africa, Mexico and Pakistan.  Topaz is an excellent gemstone for jewellery with a hardness of 8 – although it has perfect cleavage which may present some danger when setting in jewellery.  For this reason, topaz should be treated with care and protected from hard knocks.

Mythology and Lore:   While the blue variety of topaz is for those born in December, yellow topaz is the modern November birthstone.  Topaz may be given to celebrate the 4th, 19th and 23rd wedding anniversaries.

Most of the mythology for topaz relates to the yellow variety as natural blue topaz is quite rare and pale in colour.  The Egyptians believed that topaz was coloured with the golden glow of Ra – the sun god.  The importance of Ra made topaz a very powerful protective amulet for the faithful.  This link with the sun was also found in ancient Roman culture where topaz was associated Jupiter, also a God of the Sun.

Topaz was once thought to strengthen the mind, increase wisdom, and prevent mental disorders.  It was also thought to guard against sudden death.  Legend says that topaz has the power to dispel all enchantment and help improve eyesight.  The ancient Greeks used the gem to increase strength and make its wearer invisible in times of crisis.  Used in medicine in ancient time, topaz was said to cure insomnia, asthma, and hemorrhages.

imperial-topaz.jpg This imperial topaz photograph is from the Palagems Topaz Buying Guide which also has some excellent information on the famous Ouro Preto mine in Brazil (see link below).

Alternatives in Yellow:  The range of colour in Precious Topaz brings to mind the amber gold of fine cognac, the blush of a ripe peach and all the colours of a setting sun.   While its cheaper cousin, Citrine, is commonly used these days and is an alternative November birthstone, it is slightly softer and does not have quite the complexity of colour that is present in a particularly fine Topaz.  Sapphire is also found in yellow – while beryllium treated yellows now abound in the marketplace, a fine golden yellow sapphire of natural colour can command very high prices. 

Links of Interest:

Aussie Sapphire does not currently have any topaz in stock – we do have a small supply of good yellow sapphire (natural and basic heat only – no beryllium treatment).  None of this is currently listed but we invite you to contact us directly if you are interested.

cheers for now from Aussie Sapphire

Website Re-organisation

November 4, 2006

Just a quick note to alert our regular website visitors to a slight re-organisation of our categories.  Where our gold jewellery was once all listed together, we have split these into three new categories for Rings, Pendants and Earrings.  All of these new categories are accessible from the main Jewellery Catalogue which is a good spot to start exploring our range. 

We have some fantastic new items (some in 18k white and yellow gold) in stock now with lots more to list so we definitely recommend you take a look through these catalogues.  We have chosen some of our best blue sapphire for these pieces and we are thrilled with how they turned out. 

Aussie Sapphire - 18k Yellow Gold Ring with Sapphire & DiamondHere is just one example: – this 18k yellow gold ring features a 0.59 carat sapphire with 0.5 carats of diamond – four round diamonds squaring the sapphire with smaller accent diamonds channel set along the split shank.

This would make a fantastic gift for someone special – it looks fantastic !

We have more items to list and hope to do this over the next week.  More cut black spinel and a great new batch of sapphire cutting to sort through including some unheated sapphire.  Lots more to do so better get back to the grindstone – stay tuned here for more announcements.

cheers for now from Aussie Sapphire