The world of diamonds and gems can often be confusing and difficult to navigate. We’re here to help! The Misfit Gem Lab is a series with new episodes monthly(ish) where we share our gemmological knowledge in hopes to create educational resources for you to be able to help your clients better!
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You will recognize Josh as the token gemologist from previous Misfit Gem Labs episodes. Josh is in fact a real life gemologist, and he's here to elaborate on Part 1 of our last episode on heat treatment in sapphires - the reasons behind heat treatment, some of the history of these treatment methods and the different techniques used to heat sapphires.
Read the full transcript here.
Geographic origin plays a big part in the appearance of gemstones, and sapphires are no exception! First discovered in the 1800s, the majority of Montana Sapphires were deemed too imperfect to be used in fine jewelry and were used primarily by the American watch industry. Did someone say “imperfections”? Imperfection is our middle name! (Literally, everyone on staff ... it's in our contracts.) It wasn’t until recently that people began to embrace the natural, wild beauty of these stones. Sapphires from Montana are known for two things: their color—ranging from striking and bold, to soft, unheated pastels; and their inclusions—often displaying hexagonal color-zoning, parti coloring, or silky sheen caused by rutile, a mineral that gets trapped inside sapphires during the growth process. Sapphires are often heated to enhance their color and dissolve rutile, but unheated stones preserve their natural appearance and, when rutile appears in high concentration, a silky sheen. Although the majority of sapphires mined in Montana end up heated and under one carat, Misfit Diamonds has one of the largest collections of unheated Montana sapphires over 1.00ct. Browse our Montana sapphires!
What exactly is a Misfit Diamond? It won’t take you long browsing our online catalog to notice that we carry a lot of unusual looking diamonds, unfamiliar colors and shapes, often with whole worlds trapped inside. These oddballs tell stories that are unlike any other, and stand out from crowd, allowing for some remarkable jewelry creations. A diamond’s misfit-ness is highlighted by its inclusions. You know them as "those little wispy things" or "those peppery bits," but more formally, some examples of diamond inclusions are: feathers, internal fractures that have a feathery appearance; clouds, groups of microscopic minerals; or other minerals and crystals - at times even diamond crystals. Commonly, the black spots in diamonds have been thought to be carbon; however, we're setting the record straight! The black spots are rarely carbon, but are usually other black minerals usually pertaining to the amphibole or pyroxene groups (which are really just fancy words for other rocks). Find your unique Misfit.
If you’ve ever wondered what it looks like here at Misfit Diamonds when you order a diamond or a sapphire, A Circadian Chronicle of Corundum (with Carlo Constantino) is a glimpse into the journey from order to delivery. Okay sure, it might not always be via vintage-typewriter-transcribed-paper-airplane letter, but when a jeweler orders a stone through our online store or by email, that stone is automatically removed from our online inventory and pulled manually by our staff. If they are looking for something that isn’t on our webstore, they can reach out and make a request based on their specific needs, after which our team will select any available options and correspond accordingly. Once the client has selected their stone(s), we ship it out and wait to see their creation on social media!
Stones in this short: Montana Sapphires, Australian Sapphires, Sri Lankan Sapphires