Jewellers' Network

Category: Gemstones

We’re Not Sympathetic Towards Synthetics!

There is definitely cause for concern in the gemstone industry. Recently, we’ve noticed a marked increase in the number of synthetic and fracture-filled gemstones being brought in for verification after they’ve been sold as natural and untreated.  

Known as Verneuil, these simple synthetics have been around since the late 19thCentury and were first accepted as synthetic in 1902. Unfortunately for those of us in the gem trade, the synthesising process has got better and better over the years, making synthetic stones increasingly difficult to identify. The earlier synthetics, which is what we’ve been seeing a lot of in the lab recently, are happily much easier to spot – if you know what to look for. Fracture-filled rubies, for example, often have more glass filling in them than actual ruby! In the industry, these are known as “composite stones.” Continue reading…


Ancient Egyptians mined them in Egypt and as their national gemstone it was known as the ‘Gem of the Sun’.

A symbol of strength bringing happiness, good cheer, attracting love, improving eyesight and freeing the mind of envious thought are just some of the mystical wonders of this gem. Continue reading…

Tanzanite Imitations Cultured Pearls

BY Craig Thomas (FGA)(GD)(AJP) Head of Laboratory A.G.L.

Ever since man has valued gems there have been those that try to deceive potential buyers with imitation gems, and tanzanite is no exception. So let’s take a look at some of the potential candidates as tanzanite imitations. Continue reading…

Be Ahead Of The Game!

Tanzanian President John Magufuli ordered his military to build a wall around his country’s Tanzanite mines. This is apparently in response to an increase in illegal mining, smuggling and other irregularities.

Continue reading…

J.P.P.E – The Birthstone of July is Ruby

The Ruby is considered the Gem of Royalty thought to bring Good fortune, courage and passion to its wearer. The ruby is the most valued gemstone.

The Burmese Ruby with its warm bright deep red colour with a slight blue hue is often call the ‘Pigeon blood ruby’ where the name is derived from the colour of a white pigeons eye and not by its blood as commonly believed. These Rubies are usually the most valuable and sought after. Continue reading…

There’s A Gem Lab On Your Stoep!

For some reason, many South Africans labour under the misconception that if something comes from overseas, it must be better than anything we can buy here. We love knowing that something is “imported,” which means it must automatically be more luxurious and desirable. I personally can’t understand this. South Africa has a wealth of knowledge and skills that produces an incredible variety of quality goods and services – all at a fraction of the price of the imported stuff. Continue reading…


The word Emerald is derived from the Greek word “Smaragdos” which means “green stone”. The Emerald is a member of the Beryl (beryllium aluminium silicate) family. Elements of chromium in the crystal produce the colour, while inclusions in the stone create what is called the jardin, or garden, of the emerald. Continue reading…

It’s Time To Invest In Yourself

Well, there’s no denying that summer is now behind us, and we’re heading full speed into autumn and winter. A couple of the more traditionally hectic periods on the jewellery calendar – such as Christmas and Valentine’s Day –  are behind us for the moment, so you should have a little more time and energy on your hands right now. Continue reading…

Ethiopia: A New African Treasure Trove

First printed in ‘Gems and Jewellery’

Cell: 082 490 0219   |   Tel: 011 465 0208
Email:  |   Web:
Address: Suite 8, 4th Floor, Block E, The Pivot Office Park, Montecasino, Fourways, JHB Continue reading…

Quartz Crystals by Arthur Thomas


Fellow, Gem-A(GtBr)  /  Graduate gemologist GIA (USA)  /  Certified Evaluator (SA)
Email:  /  Tel: (011) 784 0172  /  Cell: (082) 469-6024 Continue reading…

J.P.P.E – April Birthstone – Diamond

The Birthstone of April is diamond. For these lucky ladies they get a gem that’s 58 times harder than anything else in nature but the allure of diamonds is mostly because of its lustre that sparkles and dances in the light. As a wedding ring it symbolizes the strengths of a happy marriage with eternal love.

The largest rough diamond discovered was the Cullinan diamond, weighing in at 3106 carats. Continue reading…

Join Us On Our Jewellery Valuation and Basic Gem ID Courses

These days, we’re noticing that insurance companies are getting much stricter when it comes to jewellery valuations. You really don’t want to do your clients a disservice by incorrectly valuing their jewellery, only to then have the insurance company query that valuation in the event of a claim being made. Continue reading…


Aquamarine, birthstone of march is from the family of beryl which is a harder gemstone and makes it suitable for everyday wear.

The name aquamarine was given because of its beautiful pastel blue and hints of green and is reminiscent of the seawater.

Continue reading…

Costly Gem ID Errors

Misdiagnosis is never a good thing. When you go to a doctor, you expect to have your symptoms identified – and you want the right treatment for what ails you. A mistake can be frustrating – not to mention extremely expensive.

Misidentification can be just as expensive in the gemstone world. I’ve started seeing more and more costly mistakes being made by people trying to identify gemstones without consulting a professional. The thing is: testing gemstones is not always a straightforward process. The refractometer readings simply can’t distinguish between natural and synthetic stones. Continue reading…

Mineral Crystal Rock Trade Fair


February Birthstone – Amethyst


If you are fortunate to have a birthday in the month of love then Amethyst with its purple colours that range from a blend of deep violet and red to lighter lilac hues, will make a stunning birthday gift.

It is said to be the stone of Saint Valentine, who wore an amethyst engraved with the figure of his assistant, Cupid and it’s said that the signet ring worn by Cleopatra was an amethyst, engraved with the figure of Mithras, a Persian deity symbolizing the Divine Idea, Source of Light and Life. Continue reading…

2018 Courses – New Beginning

2018 Courses – New Beginning

The value of a gemstone is tied to a number of factors. Telling what these are takes knowledge and many years of experience. A gemstone is only worth what it can be sold for, and that depends heavily on whether its authenticity can be proven. The best way to prove the worth of the stones you’re selling is to ensure each one is certified by an internationally recognised professional certifying body. Including a printed certificate of authenticity with your gemstones means you’ll be able to close more sales – and for a higher value.  Continue reading…



Spinel, composition magnesium aluminium oxide, occurs in the same deposits and exhibits the same hues as the aluminium oxide gems ruby and sapphire so that for centuries it was confused with them. 

This was the case with the fine 170ct cabochon cut red spinel set above the Cullinan II in the Imperial State Crown of England. This is a stone with a long and chequered history. It was first recorded in the mid-fourteenth century as belonging to Abu Said, the Moorish Prince of Granada. Continue reading…

Feldspar by AGL


Over 50% of the earth’s crust is made up by a large group of rock-forming silicate minerals that we call feldspar. 

The name was derived from the German word ‘feldspat’ meaning ‘field rock’. Feldspar has many uses from ornamental stone carvings, granite counter tops and fine jewellery pieces to its use in the production of glass and ceramics as well as a component in some paints, plastics and rubber. In 2010 alone, about 20 million tonnes of feldspar was produced. Continue reading…

JPPE – Tanzanite


Found only in Tanzania, this African gemstone has a beautiful range of colours, from deep blue to light blue and lilac, indigo and violet. Continue reading…