Well, I survived my weekend of gemstone ID at the Gem, Jewelry & Mineral Show. Actually, I more than survived… I had a great time! I saw a variety of stones, and there were only one or two that I couldn’t firmly identify, both due to the stone’s setting not allowing me to get a good refractive index reading. (Definitely, loose stones are easier to work with.)
Among the many things I saw:
- A gentleman with an amazing collection of raw diamonds, in every crystal form — octahedron, cubic, and even some macles (a flat triangular diamond; a twinned crystal. Extremely difficult to cut, as the planes of weakness change direction halfway through, due to the twinning.)
- A trillion-cut synthetic alexandrite, BEAUTIFULLY cut.
- A rock crystal quartz gem with one of the brightest, nicest bull’s-eye interference figures I’ve ever seen. The bull’s-eye only occurs in quartz; it positively identifies the species. (It was supposed to be a topaz. I bought it off the owner, for my own collection.)
- A strand of “jade” beads, that were actually quench-crackled, dyed quartz. (Oops. Well, this wasn’t the AGTA show, was it…)
- A lot of blue topaz. Got pretty quick with the topaz ID…
- A really amazing cluster of phenakite crystals (which I managed to get onto the refractometer without breaking anything.)
It was a blast to talk to people about their stones and jewelry, and make new acquaintances — stone dealers, and even a fellow gemologist! I’ll definitely do it again next year.