Posts tagged gemstones
Visiting the Home of A Unique Gem - Blue Zircon

We've been in Cambodia for a fair bit of time now, part of the reason we've not been updating much.

It's VERY hot over here. Though nowhere nearly as humid as Singapore, the Sun seems to scorch through everything. It's almost as if there is a giant magnifying glass over the city, focusing the rays upon us.

Be that as it may, this is home to a unique gem - one found nowhere else on Earth - Blue Zircon.

Not too long ago, this brilliant gemstone was practically unknown in the gem world. Since its introduction at the major gem trade shows, however, demand has soared.

We are fans of blue gems and the Blue Zircon of Cambodia is especially eye-catching. With a refractive index higher than even that of diamond, it has a brilliance and fire that is unrivalled.

To get the blue colour, rough zircon (coloured anything from brown to red) is heated and then allowed to cool. As with all things in nature, this process produces unpredictable results. The resulting zircon may become yellow, colourless or, hopefully, blue.

What's special about Cambodia's Zircons is that they are the only ones that can turn blue. This phenomenon is, as yet, not fully understood.

Blue Zircon

Having been to a number of gem shows and exhibitions, we are noticing a trend that is slightly disturbing.

The Blue Zircon we are seeing now is getting deeper and deeper in colour - to the point where it looks more like London Blue Topaz than anything else. Likely, there is a new 'cooking recipe' in town and there is even the possibility of other chemicals being added to the new rough.

We much prefer the 'old' Blue Zircon, which has a slight hint of green and looks MUCH better than the over-saturated stuff we are seeing now.

It seems that, once again, someone has taken things too far. Yes, high saturation of colour is desirable in coloured gems, but there is such a thing as too much.

If history is anything to go by, there will be some disclosure report at some point (or maybe there already is one), hopefully in the near future, that reveals what this new process is and what its nature is, as well as how stable this new colour is.

That said, we are confident that 'old stocks' of Blue Zircon will rise in prices as they become more desirable than their oddly artificial-looking new variants.

The Last Gem Buying Session Before 2018

Just a few days ago, I received a message from one of the gem sellers I've been working with.

He's from Sri Lanka and has been in the gem industry all his life, continuing the business from his father. He happened to be in Singapore for the next few days and asked if there was anything I needed.

I told him that I had a few people who are interested in viewing and, possibly, purchasing some gems. As they were available, we I set up a meeting and we looked at the gems he had with him. 

His trip to Singapore was a short one this time so he didn't bring too many this round, though he assured us that he will bring more on his next trip - likely some time in January.

Let's see if we can have our next workshop coincide with his visit.

Gem Buying
Gem Buying 02
Royal Blue Sapphire
Everyone is Going Online... Including Us

With only 1 month before Christmas, many of our friends are beginning to shop for presents. However, a quick look at retail spaces will tell you how little foot traffic most areas are getting.

Where did everybody go? Online, of course.

Shopping online is gaining a lot of traction. After all, who has time to trudge through crowded shopping malls at this time of year? With the advent of tech and falling costs of doing things through online outlets, it's inevitable that online marketplaces are going to overtake retail. Hang on. They already have.

As a result, we are going to be looking at placing our products on different online marketplace platforms.

Also, we are going to attempt to get workshops video-ed and uploaded to online course marketplaces. Udemy and Coursera come to mind.

We will still be holding live workshops because learning to deal with gems requires hands-on practice. We have secured our venue. Now, it's a matter of setting dates.

Online
Updates On Our Next Workshop!

In the past week or so after the Gem Fair, we've updated the website with new pictures and information. There are still some minor things to change but let's focus on some other things.

We are currently in the midst of planning our next workshop. We are talking with the company that runs a venue that we think will be conducive for the workshop.

Based on feedback, our next workshop will be the one on Basic Gem Knowledge, followed by the one on Getting a Good Deal.

We'll also be sending invitations out to register for the workshop so hang on to your hats!

Ruby in Marble
One Day of the Singapore Jewellery and Gem Fair to Go!

Exhibiting at the Singapore Jewellery and Gem Fair 2017 has been a blast!

Apart from meeting many new faces, we had a few visits from familiar ones, and we got to give our signature talks (related to our workshops) over the 4 days.

Speaking about Gems of Star Wars

Which means that there is only one more day and one more talk to go!

Thank you for coming to visit us at Booth G114 and we hope that you learned something useful from us as well as enjoyed the Gem Jar Juniors (and Classics).

Amethyst for Gem Jars

We feel a little sad that the event is coming to an end but we will cherish the opportunity to rest tomorrow, which will give us a chance to update our site and social media properly.

In the meantime, we are about to go back to Event Halls A and B to meet more of you and to make an impact on the gemstone industry.

Q&A After Talk at SJGF2017
We are Exhibiting at the October Singapore Jewellery and Gem Fair!

We will be exhibiting at the upcoming Singapore Jewellery and Gem Fair from 27 - 30 October!

Not only that, we are partners with the organisers to provide Gem Jar Juniors as door gifts for all visitors to the SJGF!

Of course, we are still keeping some surprises for you at our booth - G114.

So, come any time from 11 am - 8 pm (5 pm on 30th Oct) and say 'Hi!' You'll be glad you did. :)

Gem Jar Juniors 04

 

 

Coming Soon: New Gemstone Pictures

Based on our earlier experience, we found the photographing of gemstones and jewellery to be a pretty delicate art.

To make the process easier, we've recently invested in a new macro lens, so we can get sharper, more up-close shots.

Once we've done our tests and done up our set-ups properly, we'll be updating this website with new, improved pictures.

Until then, stay tuned!

A Trip to Myanmar?

We are planning to go to Myanmar in September this year. Though it'll only be a few days and we are attending a conference, we hope to have the opportunity to explore the city a little and possibly visit some of our native dealer friends.

We aren't too sure about what to expect but that's all part of the fun, isn't it?

As the date draws closer, we'll be doing more research and may get a few gem hunting orders. As always, if you're looking for something in Myanmar, do let us know!

Being Part of the Singapore Jewellery and Gem Fair 2017

We were recently approached by a representative from the organiser (UBM) for the Singapore Jewellery and Gem Fair. As a side note, UBM also organises the gem fair in Hong Kong.

The representative - let's give him a mysterious name - Mr. R, asked if we'd be interested in exhibiting at the upcoming fair in Singapore from 27 - 30 October. He also asked if we would like to present a speech or workshop at the fair.

It was quite an opportunity and we sought more information, which Mr. R very kindly provided.

Exhibiting at the show was not prohibitively expensive, especially for a Singapore-registered company, but it did have quite a cost. Mr. R agreed that partnering with another exhibitor and sharing the space could work.

To that end, we brought an offer to a gem dealer friend who may be interested in exhibiting in the upcoming fair. We aren't sure about the logistics on his part but we offered to help where we can.

We offered some topics that may interest the participants at the upcoming fair - along the lines of the curriculum and the book that we've written (though not yet published) - and Mr. R said that he'd get back to us once the team has confirmed the programme and theme of the show.

It looks like an interesting few months leading up to the fair and we look forward to being a part of it!

We Found a Unique Blue Chalcedony from Taiwan!

Sometimes, the gems appear in front of the gem hunters, even when they are on their off-days.

While exploring the streets of Hualien, we came across numerous posters and shop signs advertising ‘blue precious stone’. Typically, this phrase refers to blue sapphire. However, here, it is the local name of a very unique type of blue chalcedony – of a colour that is found nowhere else in the world – one that is similar in hue to the much-prized Paraiba tourmaline. 

Blue Chalcedony Taiwan 01

Through speaking with a shop owner who had been in the business for over 38 years, we learned that, due to the immense rarity of this gem-quality blue chalcedony, it is hardly exported and not commonly known outside of Taiwan.

Consequently, prices are constantly going up as supply dwindles and mines become exhausted – a common story when it comes to rare gems.

With a little further research, we learned that this type of blue chalcedony has slightly different tones, depending on which part of the country it comes from. The colours range from a sea green colour akin to green beryl to a blue-green like Paraiba tourmaline to a green-blue similar to Persian turquoise to a deep blue like that of Cambodian blue zircon. 

As with all other types of chalcedony, this type is translucent to opaque and, true to type, the more light it allows through, the more highly prized it is.

We settled on two specimens for our collection – one more green and the other more blue. We hope to return to Taiwan in the near future to explore using this unique gem in a limited series of our jewellery.

If you’re interested in knowing more about Taiwanese Blue Chalcedony, or want to know how to get hold of some, you can contact us at:

friendlysmile@loupinjewels.com

Taiwan Blue Chalcedony Piece