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Posts Tagged ‘gemstones’

IMGP1080, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

I picked up some beautiful red Rubellite tourmaline at the 2011 Bancroft Gemboree yesterday. This fellow had 2 grades, the lesser grade he was selling at $40/carat and by weight the specimen that I picked out amounted to $64. Admittedly the color was not quite on a par with the higher grade, but there was less in the way of inclusion and the cut was of good symetry and deep so no light was spilling out a window.

I initially decided to go hardball and said that if he wanted to go $40 for the specimen it was sold, but he did not so I went away for a few hours, thought about it and came back and gave him his price. I suppose the value was what I was willing to pay for it and I really love red tourmaline.

You can see the gem that I bought on the tray to the left of the picture.

All in all, some of my favorite vendors were missing from this year’s venue – in particular Alpine gems and a couple of the cut stone dealers that I have so enjoyed in the past, also the better gem vendors seemed more evenly distributed between the upper and lower venues with what seemed a bigger focus on fossils than in the past. I was pleased to see the CGA presence and I had a discussion with my former tutor who advised me that the likelyhood of finding a natural alexanderite of the size that I mention was very slim indeed (with reference to a specimen that I had recently viewed but was unable to clearly see inside because I was in a rush and was yet to clean it).

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Buying beads in Bancroft

gemboree1 027, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

Rock enthusiasts of Ontario and surrounding regions – it is now less than a month to go before the Bancroft Gemboree. I try and make a point of attending each year as does my wife Maggie.

One of the trends that I see emerging at the gemboree is its increasing focus on semi precious beads. Beads have a long and fascinating history; they were amongst the first forms of adornment and also, because of their value, experts soon found a way to make simulations – the Romans were experts at various cleverly crafted fakes.

Myans and Olmecs were big on beads. In having visited the Jade Museum in San Jose we saw some amazing examples. Because of the labour involved in crafting beads of nephrite and other tough materials the bigger the bead found at a burial, the more important the person is assumed to have been.

What follows is a small quote from my book on Ontario’s rock and mineral deposits – just a tease in recognition of the trend …

” Himalayan shepherds sometimes find etched agate beads lying in their fields. The cultural origins are unknown, though the finds are considered a good omen as the bead is thought to be a talisman that will protect its wearer from disaster. Known as dZi beads, they are believed by locals to be petrified insects, or possibly beads that the gods had dropped due to their imperfection. Very few are found in perfect condition and in light of their supposed insectivorous nature, dust must first be thrown over the bead if you are to capture it in your hand. To simply grab it without the “dust tossing precaution” means that you risk the possibility of it wriggling away”.

If beads interest you , consider checking out Maggie’s online bead shop at http://www.maggiebeads.etsy.com – she sells various beading kits and ships within 1 working day.

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