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American Golden Topaz - GemSelect

World Famous Gemstones: The Great American Topaz

One of the most famous gemstones in the world hails from America! It currently resides in the National History Museum of Washington D.C's Smithsonian Institution and is indeed one of the most breathtaking gemstones in the world.

So, what is this spectacular gemstone you ask?

Well, it is known as - 'The American Golden Topaz'! The monstrous yellow topaz weighs 23,000 carats and it is the largest-known cut golden topaz in the world! In fact, the American topaz gemstone is so large, it took a master gem-cutter, by the name of Leon Agree around two years just to cut and polish the famous renowned gem into its current 172 faceted cushion shape from a rough which weighed approximately11.8 kg! After it was finally completed, the gemstone in its final shape ended being larger than the average size of a human head!

Gems and Jewelry of Sri Lanka - GemSelect

The Precious Gems and Jewelry of Sri Lanka

Formerly known as Ceylon, Sri Lanka is known in the trade as the "Jewel Box of the Indian Ocean" and rightfully so. Sri Lanka is a small pear shaped tropical island that lies just below India's most southern tip and since ancient historical times, it has been one of the most abundant sources for many of the world's precious and semi-precious stones. 

 Blue Sapphire

Perhaps one the most famous of Sri Lanka’s claim's to fame is the cornflower blue 'Ceylon Sapphire'. The sapphire from Ceylon is arguably one of the most desirous of blue sapphire origins available today. But Sri Lanka is more than just a source for just fine sapphire. Today, Sri Lanka is known to yield a variety of both popular and rare gem types, including ruby, topaz, amethyst, garnet, alexandrite, danburite, taaffeite, quartz, zircon, sphene, moonstone, fluorite and chrysoberyl cat's eye. 

A Review of Tashmarine Diopside by GemSelect

About Tashmarine Diopside

Tashmarine Diopside is an extremely rare gem-quality variety of brilliant yellow-green diopside that was recently discovered in the regions of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and some small remote areas of western China. The diopside gemstone family is mostly known for its chromium-rich variety and its chatoyant variety from India. The rare material known as 'Tashmarine diopside' is a 'non-chromium' variety colored mostly by iron that results in much lighter and brighter colors than that of chrome diopside.

Since Tashmarine Diopside is relatively new to the market and considered quite rare, it's very hard to acquire. In fact, we've only had 3 pieces over the past few years which all sold within a few days after putting them on offer! Here is a video of one of the gemstones specimens we were lucky enough to get our hands on -- but is now in the hands of a private buyer!

More Tashmarine Diopside - Fancy Concave Cut 

When buying Tashmarine Diopside, make sure small stones are deeper in color and bigger stones are lighter in color. Tashmarine is very rare in large sizes, so expect to pay premium prices for weights over 5 carats, especially for eye-clean stones. Like chrome diopside, larger stones tend to get darker in color, so buying smaller stones usually will get better color results.

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About Amethyst and Citrine Geodes

Amethyst and Citrine Geodes - Info and Buying Guide

Citrine Geode

Most of the amethyst and citrine geodes available today come from Brazil. The process for geode formation and mineral crystallization can take over 130 million years! With amethyst and citrine geodes, transparent crystals of macrocrystalline quartz can vary in color depending on the exact level of iron content. In specimens which form with lesser iron content, crystals will lend a violet to purple color (amethyst geode); and geodes which form with higher iron composition will result in the attractive golden 'citrine' color.

Amethyst Geode

When it comes to citrine and amethyst geodes, citrine is generally considered the rarer of two. Some (not all), amethyst geodes can be heated to produce golden citrine colors, but heated citrine geodes tend to exhibit more reddish tones than unheated citrine geode specimens.

When it comes to buying citrine and amethyst geodes, personal preferences are usually the main factors, but there are also a few other guidelines and 'points' to take into consideration. As with all colored gemstones, color is usually the most important criteria when it comes to value, but even so, many buyers actually prefer lighter violets over deep purples, or refreshing lemony-yellow color versus a deep Madeira orange. Besides color, the size and shine of the geode's crystal points are both important factors to consider. Points can range in size from extra small to extra large, and for most collectors, somewhere in between is most preferable. Geodes with medium-sized points and uniform arranged crystals tend to increase value, even though both large and small points are still very much in high demand.

Geodes with smooth and well shaped crystals are valued for their ability to reflect more light. Amethyst and citrine geodes with banded line formations are also highly valued. The line formations are typically the result of the layered formation of agate, a type of chalcedony quartz. Geodes can be found in a variety of interesting shapes; some of the most popular geode shapes include rounded, cylindrical and 'cathedral' or church-steeple shaped nodules. When it comes to geode shape, preference comes into play. Tall and deep geodes pieces are popular for pendants, while shorter, rounded geodes may be better suited for other types of jewelry or ornamental design. Lastly, geodes are commonly found with other mineral inclusions. Unlike most colored gemstones, inclusions are usually welcomed. Inclusions of calcite or fluorite can make for very interesting crystals, especially for those looking for unique pieces to add to their collection!

Gemstone Cutting Styles Illustration

A compilation image showing some of the many different colored gemstone cutting styles seen today. You can read our article with more details about gemstone cuts and anatomy here.

Violet Blue Tanzanite

Tanzanite is a rare violet-blue form of zoisite, a mineral that was recently discovered in 1967. Tanzanite earned its name after being discovered in Tanzania, Africa. To this day, East Africa remains the only source for tanzanite and the supply of high grade gem specimens is quite limited.

Tanzanite is a gorgeous gemstone and so the immense popularity of tanzanite is not surprising at all. Originally the gem was known by the more pedestrian name, "blue zoisite", but tanzanite is rarely blue in nature. In its natural state, Tanzanite is a rather common shade of brown, and the violet blue is produced through low level heat treatment. Tanzanite can be quite delicate and soft compared to other hard-wearing gems. In fact, tanzanite's hardness level is actually very similar to emerald; it is rated a 6.5 - 7 on Mohs scale and possesses delicate cleavage. Despite being delicate in comparison to other gemstones, it is still more durable than steel (slightly softer than quartz), and the rich color of Tanzanite is so unique that it can only be rivaled by the finest blue sapphire.

Despite its natural beauty, not all Tanzanite is considered exceptionally valuable. The determining factors of value are like that of all gems -- color, clarity, cut and carat.  However, in the case of Tanzanite and colored gemstones, color is often regarded as being the most important factor, outweighing almost all the other considerations. Tanzanite is classified to be a ‘Type I’ gemstone by GIA (Gemological Institute of America), distinguishing that Tanzanite is normally eye clean. Thus, clarity is rarely an issue reported with Tanzanite. Tanzanite can occur in gold, green, violet and blue, leaving a very wide color range to evaluate.  Color saturation levels can also be quite varied, with some stones being quite pale and others being preferentially deep.

Evaluating the grade of tanzanite is extremely important, but unfortunately there isn’t a straight-forward approach or standard used for Tanzanite grading. Since people often refer to "Triple A" or "Double A" grade tanzanite, this may come as a bit of a surprise, but these terms do not carry any official definition with the gem trade. Without a doubt, the largest producer of tanzanite is a company called TanzaniteOne. TanzaniteOne introduced a unique color grading scale in partnership with a well-known non-profit subsidiary, known as the Tanzanite Foundation. They graded gem color using standard terms, such as "exceptional", "vivid", "intense", "moderate", "light" or "pale" and described color as being "violet-ish blue" or "bluish violet".

Since there is no way to accurately determine the difference between "exceptional" and "vivid", TanzaniteOne’s grading scale is very unlikely to be adopted by gemological laboratories. Despite technicalities, one virtue of this grading evaluation scale is that it does aid in distinguishing why certain colors are graded above others. Generally, tanzanite is more valuable when its color leans towards blue as opposed to violet and when the color is more saturated. Although many buyers do prefer violet-ish colors, or lighter tones, deep blue tanzanites will command the highest prices in the market.

Cushion Cut and Old Mine Cut Gemstones

Cushion Cut and Old Mine Cut Gemstones

As of the last few years, cushion cut gemstones have grown significantly in popularity. In fact, the demand for cushion cut gemstones has grown exponentially beyond the ability to supply them!

A cushion cut shape can be described as something between a rectangular and oval shape. Some are squarish in proportion - rather than featuring truncated corners like Emerald Cuts, corners are rounded and smooth. Many jewelers and designers perceive the cushion cut as a distinctively modernized cutting style, but on the contrary, it is actually quite the opposite. The history of the cushion cut renders it as a classic, perhaps even antique cut-style. Only recently has it undergone a revival as more and more jewelry-lovers are getting bored of plain oval and round gemstones -- now they're beginning to seek gemstones with more interesting and eye-catching shapes in order to create new and interesting original jewelry designs.

Cushion cut gemstones were incredibly popular, especially from 19th century through the early 20th century era. The 'cushion cut' we know today is based off an older cutting-style, known as the 'Old Mine Cut'. The 'Old Mine Cut' was cut square with rounded corners - usually very deep and with a high crown, large facets and a proportionately small table.

Today's modern cushion cut usually is sort of a mix between an Old Mine Cut and a Modern Oval Cut. A cushion cut usually has an open culet rather than a keel line like seen with most fancy trillion stones. Cushion cut gemstones are not cut for fire and brilliance like some of the more modern 'diamond' cuts. Instead, Cushion Cut gems are cut to maximize luster and  bring out the color in gems -- and with colored stones, color and luster are the most important factor for consideration such as vivid blue gemstones, or even rare green collectors gems like ruby-in-fuchsitegreen cat's eye actinolite and the strongly pleochroic gemstonesgreen enstatite and green kornerupine. Cushion-cut gems offer a classic land romantic look.

Shop Cushion Cut Gemstones now at GemSelect -- Reviews from Verified Customers can be viewed at our Bizrate GemSelect Reviews and Ratings page!

A review of Rare Umbalite Garnet by GemSelect

About Umbalite Garnet

Umbalite Garnet is a rare mixture of almandite-pyrope, with slight traces of spessartite garnet. Garnet derives its name from the Latin words ‘granum’, which means grain, or ‘granatus’ meaning pomegranate. Garnet is also the birthstone associated with the month of January.

Umbalite garnet is named after the Tanzanian valley of which it was found -- Umba Valley. It was first discovered in 1978 and the production of this variety has been very irregular since its discovery. Because of umbalite’s rarity, they are highly prized by gem collectors.

Umbalite Color
The primary difference between umbalite garnet and the closely related rhodolite is its unique color. Umbalite is a lighter, pinkish purple color as a result of spessartite traces. The most desirable umbalite are those that are saturated and well-balanced. The unique and differentiating color of umbalite is most noticeable in smaller specimens, this is especially true because all garnets tend to appear darker when found in larger sizes.

Umbalite Cut
Umbalite has excellent fire and dispersion, so they are most often found faceted, but cabochons are still very popularity found.  Round, oval and cushion cuts are most popular, but any cut that maximizes brilliance and minimizes color darkness is acceptable.

Umbalite Hardness
Umbalite, like all garnet, is very durable and resistant due to its excellent hardness (7.5 on Mohs scale).

Umbalite Treatment
Like most garnets, umbalite is typically un-enhanced and traded in its natural state.

Umbalite Garnet Metaphysical Beliefs and Alternative Healing
Garnets carry many beliefs and powers and have been used since the Bronze Age. Garnets are believed to relieve skin inflammation and regulate heart and blood flow. Garnet is known to heal, strengthen and protect those who wear it and it can also alleviate the symptoms of depression.
Caring For Your Umbalite Garnet
Garnet can be cleaned with warm water and a mild soap. It should only be wiped with a soft cloth or brush and properly rinsed well to ensure soapy residue is removed. Garnet can be cleaned with an ultrasonic cleaner (with exception to demantoid garnet), but caution should be while doing so. Garnet should not be steam cleaned and should not be exposed to harsh chemicals, such as hydrofluoric acid, which can cause erosion.  Extreme temperature changes can cause fracturing, so garnets should avoid any extreme heat.
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Your friends at GemSelect

Checkerboard Cut vs Rose Cut Gemstones

Checkerboard Cut vs Rose Cut Colored Stones

What's the difference between a checkerboard cut and a rose cut gemstone?

Rose cut gemstones typically are cut with flat bottoms and a faceted crown -- imagine a faceted crown without a pavilion and this is essentially a rose-cut. Traditionally, rose cuts were faceted with triangular shaped facets, but nowadays, many rose-cuts will be faceted with square or angled 'diamond' shapes. Traditionally, rose cut stones were also round shaped, but now, you can find many fancy cut gemstone shapes including baguette rose-cuts, emerald rose-cuts and oval rose-cuts. With black or opaque gemstones, the rose-cut is very popular.

Rose Cut - above

A checkerboard cut gemstone features a standard faceted pavilion and a faceted crown and table. Usually, the facets are square like a 'checkerboard', but you can find them with many different faceting shapes. Many people feel that checkerboard cuts are only used to hide inclusions or to hide windowing, but in fact, that is not always the case. In many cases, the checkerboard cut is simply done to make something interesting and unique. Very rarely are gems cut to emphasis the crown. With lighter colored, transparent to translucent gemstones, checkerboard-cuts are more often seen rather than rose cuts.

Checkerboard Cut - above

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Some Colored Stone Ideas – Red, Green, Black and White Gems

If you want the perfect look, consider colored gemstones as the perfect complement to your outfit.   A drab dress can be dramatically transformed into a statement with a unique piece of jewellery and what could be more unique than a custom-made accessory.

When it comes to jewellery, less is more. One or two well-chosen pieces of jewellery will not only cheer you up, but it will also be a timeless addition to your jewellery box.

You can customize your jewellery by choosing the shape, size, cut and colour of the gems and whether to set them in silver, gold or platinum.  Additionally, you can choose a classic, vintage or modern style, chunky or delicate, to suit your body type.  For example, a shorter neck suits a more delicate necklace, whereas an elegant long neck can wear more bold designs.  You can even collaborate on the design and try your hand at being creative.  Choosing the gems and imagining the end product is all part of the fun.

GemSelect has a wide range of colored stones available, such as citrine, opal, star sapphire, star rose quartz and tiger’s eye and more.  We have over 120 gemstone varieties in many colours, sizes and price-points, meaning that there is something to suit every taste and budget, from precious to semi-precious stones.

Deep greens and reds are classic colours this year.  Green is a symbol of nature and fertility.  When we contemplate greenery, we think  trees and earth, so green is a good choice of colour this time of year. You can choose from green gems such as emerald, tsavorite, green sapphire, turquoise, peridot and malachite.

Red is a colour of warmth and love, it also represents the blood of Christ.  A classic colour that never goes out of fashion is deep-red.  So a dress of this colour would be well complimented by red gems that include spinel, ruby, almandine and garnet.  What adds to the beauty of these gems is that they range from delicate pinks to vibrant crimson and deep dark clarets.

Black and white gems also add a nice simple sparkle to a colourful outfit, so you can let the colour speak for itself, rather than overdoing it with a rainbow of brightness.  They also tone down bright colours to add balance to a look.  Black gems include black opal, agate, spinel, tourmaline and the interestingly white-flecked snowflake obsidian.  Cololess or white gems include sparkling topaz, sapphires, moonstone and beryl.

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If you have any comments or suggestions just drop us a line or send us a message on any of our social sites.
Happy gem hunting!

Your friends at GemSelect

SETT Company Ltd Chanthaburi - GemSelect

About SETT Company Limited

Many people wonder if GemSelect is affiliated with SETT Co., Ltd of Chanthburi, Thailand.

Well....The answer is yes! SETT Company is our official registered business name. We legally do business and are registered in Thailand with the Department of Commerce as SETT. Co. Ltd., registration number 0205546002849.

Our website domain is and to our customers around the world, 'GemSelect' is a name easy to remember when you need colored gemstones. We did previous sell on Ebay under the username SETTGold before moving over to our official website, so many of our customers who have been with us for years may still know as SETT.

In any case, we hope this clears up any questions for those interested and you would like more details about our company, you can visit our page here:  We even have a photo of our staff if you're interested in seeing and meeting the people servicing you! Meet the GemSelect Team at And as always, be sure to visit for all your colored stone needs.

All the best in colored gems,

Read GemSelect Reviews from verified customers on Bizrate, the only review website supported by Shopzilla and Google's Seller Review 5 star ratings program. Read more about Google's verified ratings program.

You can also read GemSelect Customer Reviews at ReviewCentre, the UK's number one review website, and ResellerRatings, one of the web's most trusted customer review platform.

Rare Color Change Alexandrite - GemSelect

About Color Change Alexandrite

Color Change Alexandrite is one of the rarest of all colored gemstones in the world. Alexandrite is famed for its ability to color change, typically from green in daylight to red under incandescent light. Alexandrite is rarely found in larger sizes; anything over 1 carat is a rarity and is easily more valuable than sapphire, ruby or emerald similar in weight comparison.

Alexandrite is a variety of chrysoberyl and so it has an excellent hardness of 8.5 on the Mohs scale, placing it right behind sapphire and ruby. Alexandrite is colored by chromium, the same element responsible for the red in ruby and the green in emerald. It is the chromium which gives it the emerald-green hue when viewed under natural daylight.

Watch the video below to see the color change affect:

To shop and view Alexandrite gemstones, visit us at You can review the largest selection of colored stones online. Click here to view only Alexandrite stones.

We hope you enjoyed our short introduction to one of the worlds rarest gems! Please feel free to comment or send us any questions to our email:

All the best in gems,

GemSelect Emeralds - A Brief Introduction to the World's Most Popular Green Gemstone Emerald Gemstones

Emeralds are the traditional birthstone for the month of May and are certainly the most radiant of green gems available on the market today. In addition to being commonly exchanged at 20th and 35th year anniversary benchmarks, the gifting of Emeralds to celebrate one's 55th wedding anniversary has also become a cherished timeless tradition (for those lucky enough to reach this milestone). Emeralds have a relatively good level of hardness, but caution should always be taken since they are prone to cracks developing from excessive natural inclusions.

The finest quality emeralds are typically found in South America, with Columbia and Brazil being the most famous of origins. Quality emeralds are also source from Southern Africa, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Russia. Top graded emeralds are often much more valuable than diamonds of comparable quality. Today, most emeralds on the market have been treated one way or another, usually with epoxy resin or oils to enhance the color and transparency of surface cracks, both of which are known to be quite common and accepted when dealing with emeralds.

At, we have the finest precious and semi-precious gemstones available. All of our loose colored gemstones are guaranteed in stock, available and ready to ship. Visit us today for the largest selection of loose gemstones from all over the world.

Tourmaline Gemstones: A Brief Introduction by GemSelect Tourmaline Gemstones

We have the finest precious and semi-precious gemstones available. All of our loose colored gemstones are guaranteed in stock, available and ready to ship.

Available in almost every color and shape, tourmaline gemstones are often mistaken for other various precious colored gems. They are one of the most versatile and favorite gems among jewelers, because they possess such a great level of hardness and durability. Tourmaline’s natural qualities allow this gemstone to be commonly traded without any needed treatments or enhancements, like we often see with other similar varieties of precious stones.

Tourmaline gemstones are found all over the world including America, Africa and Tanzania. It’s also very common to find tourmaline cut as long bars, octagons and baguettes because of the special multicolor variations that tourmaline crystals can encompass. The longer cuts allow the unique color traits of tourmaline to be preserved long after the production process. Watermelon Tourmaline is the most highly-prized variety of tourmaline, which can easily be distinguished by vivid pink-red bands and green streaks.