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Archive for May, 2007

Aquamarine Rough

Posted May 31, 2007 By AussieSapphire

Have just found some time to list some of our aqua rough.  There is a large range of sizes available and prices start from $10 AUD per carat.  This means we have some very affordable pieces (around the $70 mark) up to some large investment pieces that may never be cut (over $1400).  Something to suit every budget here.

See our current selection in aqua rough here or browse our Imported Rough catalogue.

Colours range from good medium blue, paler blues to the classic greenish-blue of unheated aquamarine.  All material is supplied as fully natural and unheated – we believe the range of colours present in the parcel confirms this.

We have not listed all the rough in this lot so if you have specific requirements, just email us any time.

cheers for now from Aussie Sapphire

 

“Within the Stone”

Posted May 25, 2007 By AussieSapphire

“Within the Stone” is a book of photography by Bill Atkinson showing the incredible beauty of gems and minerals hiding within – the photography is spectacular but the project is raised to another level by the addition of specially commissioned literary pieces to complement the images.

Came across this from a very interesting and wide-ranging blog – Dark Roasted Blend which shows just a few of these amazing photographs among lots of other interesting stuff. 

malachite.jpgpink-stone.jpgblue-gemstone.jpg

These photographs are truly beautiful and the book would be a great addition to your library.  Check out the website link above to learn more.

cheers for now from Aussie Sapphire

Black Star of Queensland

Posted May 20, 2007 By AussieSapphire

blackstarCame across this Toronto Star news article recently about the “Black Star of Queensland” to be shown at the Royal Ontario Museum from June 2007.  See the ROM press release for more about the upcoming exhibition.

This is the first time that this rare beauty has been on display since 1969.  The black sapphire was found on the Queensland gemfields on Klondyke ridge in 1935 by 14 year old Roy Spencer and supposedly used as a door stop for many years by the father Harry Spencer (source Gemfields.com). 

The rough crystal weighing an incredible 1165 carats (over 230 grams) was kept in the family for some years but was purchased in 1947 by the Kazanjian Brothers for almost $18,000.  Harry Kazanjian studied the stone for some time before cutting it into a 733 carat star sapphire - at the time of cutting, the gem was valued at $1 million dollars.  This was a good investment in more than monetary terms as the Kazanjian family said that it brought them good luck and held on to the gem for many years because of its beauty.  When purchased by the present owners in 2002, the stone was valued at more than $100 million. 

Star sapphires have been highly valued by many cultures as a “stone of Destiny” with the three bands of the star believed to represent faith, hope and destiny. The English explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton always carried a large star sapphire as a talisman to bring him influence and good luck in his travels. Star sapphires were also believed to help ward off ill omens and the Evil Eye.

The star phenomenon in sapphire (and other gems) is known as “asterism“.  Although diffused star sapphires are widespread in the market and very cheap, good quality natural star sapphires are rare and accordingly command a premium price.  As always, price will be governed by colour, clarity, size and quality of the star – smaller opaque types can be very affordable while superior quality specimens will be priced accordingly.

Diffused star sapphires are quite easy to spot as while the star is usually very distinct, it has an artificial look that is quite obvious.  A natural star will seem to float inside the stone with a life of its own – beautiful and precious.  See this thread on the Gemology Online forum for some spectacular examples of asterism in a variety of gems.

Magazine Article

Posted May 16, 2007 By AussieSapphire

Had a journalist come to visit us a couple of months ago – some may be interested in the final result…

A Day In The Life of a Sapphire Miner
Notebook Magazine – Linda Peatling

It was a bit of fun chatting to the team on the day and we now have a few nice family photographs so was worth giving up some time for.

Speaking of mining, we have a bit of nice sapphire rough put aside which we hope to list very soon.  We have secured another parcel of mixed colour tourmaline of slightly smaller size than the last lot – as soon as it arrives later this week, we will start putting some parcels together for people.  Have not listed any yet as the addition of the new lot should make this material better value for buyers.  We are extremely pleased with the quality and price so keep an eye on announcements about this so you dont miss out.

cheers for now from Andrew and Leah (Aussie Sapphire)

2007 Celtic Festival

Posted May 9, 2007 By AussieSapphire

The Australian Celtic Festival is over for another year but there is no doubt that this year’s festival was the best yet.  Fantastic weather, big crowds of visitors and incredible entertainment added up to great fun for everyone.

as2.jpgAussie Sapphire had a great weekend of trading with lots of interested visitors and plenty of purchases.  Luckily we were quite close to the main stage so we got to hear some great music from the feature performers as well.

paula.jpgOne of the feature performers this year was Paul Anderson – an incredibly talented fiddler in the true Scottish tradition.  This guy was great so have a look at his artist profile on tradmusic.com if you would like to learn more or buy his music.  Click on the image to see a short video clip of him in action (~14MB so fast connection recommended).

Of course there were pipe bands and highland dancers in abundance but the Australian Celtic Festival at Glen Innes offers much more.  The historical reenactments are always a big favourite with the crowds with a variety of eras on display - here is just a selection of photos:

42ndhighland.jpgromans.jpgmed_couple.jpgceltw.jpg

From left to right – 42nd Highland Regiment, Spanish 9th Roman Legion, Irish House of Conmara (nobles and warriors).

gipb.jpgThe pipe bands were excellent including our own Glen Innes Pipe Band (pictured at left).  Attending this year was the Southern Scenic Waimatuku Highland Pipe Band – very impressive name with a performance to match.

All in all, it was a great weekend.  We were flat out talking to visitors and customers but did get a chance to take a few photographs of the fun – hope you enjoyed seeing just a few of them.  Mark your diary for the Celtic Festival on the 3rd/4th May 2008 – we’d love to see you next year.

cheers for now from Andrew and Leah (Aussie Sapphire)