Loose Gemstones

AGTA Amends Code of Ethics-ICA

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I just got this and this is news that you need to know about if you are in the Wholesale Gemstone Industry.

AGTA has made some amendments to their code of ethics.

Even if you are not an AGTA member, in lawsuits the AGTA code of ethics has been used as a ‘benchmark’ for what each wholesale gem dealer should be doing.
More importantly, it is a VERY good code of ethics that every wholesale gem dealer



Afghanistan is a well-known gem producing country accommodating some of the oldest mines in the world. The four main gemstone-producing areas are Badakhshan, Jagdalek, Nuristan, and the Panjshir Valley. Afghanistan is known to have exploited its precious and semi-precious gemstone deposits. These deposits include aquamarine, emerald and other varieties of beryl, fluorite, garnet, kunzite, ruby, sapphire, lapis lazuli, topaz, tourmaline, amethyst and varieties of quartz. Corundum deposits (sapphire and ruby) in the country are largely exhausted, and very little gem quality material is found.



Pantone Inc. is a corporation headquartered in Carlstadt, New Jersey, best known for its Pantone Matching System (PMS), a proprietary color space used in a variety of industries, primarily printing, though sometimes in the anufacturing of colored paint, fabric, and plastics.
The idea behind the PMS is to allow designers to “color match” specific colors when a design enters production stage, regardless of the equipment used to produce the color. This system has been widely adopted by graphic designers and reproduction and printing houses.



Opal is the National Gemstone of Australia. It is a hydrated amorphous form of silica with a structure that makes it diffract light and take on many colors. Precious opal ranges from clear through white, gray, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, magenta, rose, pink, slate, olive, brown, and black. Of these hues, the red against black are the rarest, whereas white and green are the most common. It varies from opaque to semitransparent.

Precious opal shows a variable interplay of internal colors whereas Common opal, called “potch”, does not have this quality. The term “opalescence” is used to describe this unique and beautiful phenomenon, play of colors.



Emerald means ‘green gemstone’. It is a variety of the mineral beryl (Be3Al2(SiO3)6)
colored green by trace amounts of chromium and sometimes vanadium. Emeralds are fascinating gemstones. They have the most beautiful, most intense and most radiant green color, the emerald green.

Emeralds occur in hues ranging from yellow-green to blue-green, with the primary hue being green. Yellow and blue are the normal secondary hues found in emeralds. Only gems that are medium to dark in tone are considered emerald; light-toned gems are known instead by the species name green beryl.



Amethyst is a purple variety of quartz (SiO2) that owes its violet color to irradiation, iron impurities and the existence of trace elements. It occurs in primary hues from a light pinkish violet to a deep purple and may exhibit one or both secondary hues, red and blue.

Natural amethyst is dichroic in reddish violet and bluish violet, but when heated, turns yelloworange, yellow-brown, or dark brownish. It may resemble citrine, but loses its dichroism, unlike genuine citrine. On partial heating, amethyst can result in ametrine.



Topaz can be finished into an almost limitless variety of jewellery due to its versatility. It is a silicate mineral of aluminium and fluorine. A good hardness and availability in desirable colors makes Topaz one the most popular gemstones.

The most valuable colors of Topaz are the golden orange-yellow type and the dark pinkish-red and orange-red colors. Value increases with a deepness of color in orange and reddish hues. Blue is the most commonly used color of Topaz in jewellery making.

Beryllium treated Blue Sapphires


Blue Sapphire is a variety of the mineral Corundum in blue. Other two gem-varieties of corundum are Ruby (red) and Padparadscha (pinkish orange). Although blue is their most well-known color,sapphires may be colorless or even found in shades of gray and black.

Natural gemstones are taken out directly from the treasures of the earth, washed, polished and cut into appropriate shapes. Then they are directly sold in the market keeping their originality intact without
any treatment.


Antique hairpin set with Bohemian pyrope garnets from the Czech Republic, now in the collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
Red garnet is one of the most common and widespread of gems, found in metamorphic rocks (which are rocks altered by heat and pressure) on every continent. But not all garnets are as abundant as the red ones. A green garnet, tsavorite, also occurs in metamorphic rocks, but it’s rare because it needs unusual rock chemistries and special conditions to form. (http://www.gia.edu/garnet-description)

Blue Topaz

Imperial topaz and diamonds set in rose gold pendant
97.5-carat topaz
Designed by Lester Lampert of Lester Lampert, Inc.

The Imperial topaz in this pendant is 97.45 carats—the largest owned by any museum in the world.

The name supposedly refers to a tradition in the Ural Mountains of Russia, where shades of pink, orange, and red topaz (the rarest) were reserved for the family of the Czar.
The ancient Greeks believed that topaz gave them strength. In Europe during the Renaissance (the period from the 1300s to the 1600s) people thought that topaz could break magic spells and dispel anger. For centuries, many people in India have believed that topaz worn above the heart assures long life, beauty, and intelligence. (http://www.gia.edu/topaz-history-lore)

Many consumers are not aware that a blue topaz is caused by treatment. Blue is not its natural color. Also, topaz has many colors, which includes pink and purples that rival the finest fancy sapphires. Fancy sapphires have a mixture of colors that are not often found in a jewelry store.

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