Rare and Colour Change Gemstones |
LindsayB 's Best of Winter 2021.
As a jeweller I get to see a lot of gorgeous coloured gemstones on the workbench. Nearly every colour of the rainbow is represented in some way in the different gemstones available on the market today. But there are certain stones are not seen so often. Some of these are what we call bi-colour- with flashes of two different colours in them as they move in the light (eg. bi-colour tourmaline, ). Others only change in certain light- so they may appear a different colour from day to night, or under fluorescent lighting (eg. Alexandrite or colour-change garnet).
They have almost magical colour-changing abilities in different lighting, that never ceases to captivate me as I set them in gold and silver. Usually, these are stones used for one-off or one of a kind (OOAK) piece of jewellery, due to their special nature and often rarity, so it’s always extra special to have them. All shown are natural gemstones and untreated.
So here I share some of my current favourites with you…
Alexandrite - Colour Change Alexandrite from Tanzania
One of the most fascinating and best-loved colour change stones has to be Alexandrite. Also known as colour change chrysoberyl, the photo shows a particularly gorgeous gemstone, mined in Tanzania and showing a textbook colour change from grey/ green, to blue and orangey red, depending on the light.
Teal Garnet - Rare Colour Change Garnet from Kenya
I’m a fan of colour change garnets. The fine teal blue garnet in the photo was mined in the Taita district of Kenya, as part of a new colour change deposit, found in early 2009.
There’s a true colour change from natural daylight to incandescent (lamp) light, to fluorescent or LED light.
In just a year this new deposit was virtually mined out- which can happen with alluvial deposits. So a 1 carat, as shown in the photo are very rare.
Diaspore - Rare Red Bi-colour Turkish Diaspore, Turkey
Currently the rarest diaspore, this ‘red’ diaspore was only discovered in 2020. It has a pink colour under fluorescent light, with pink and green running through it. The green section is colour change- turning to a pinkish-red under incandescent (lamp) light.
Red diaspore has only ever been found in Myanmar (Burma) before this and was not gem grade, being too small to cut. The main Diaspore mines have recently closed, due to depleted deposits, so it is unlikely that this type of gemstone will be available again for some time.
Black Welo Opal - Neon Flash, Pear Cut Opal, Ethiopia
Opals can have the most stunning flashes of colour in them, and none more so than this gorgeous black welo opal with brilliant fiery neon flashes. These opals are striking, and really catch the light when worn as jewellery. Revealing their multitude of colours as their wearer walks around a room. One of the finest opals I’ve had on the bench.