Joopy Gems Prasiolite Rose Cut 10mm Round

Gem of the Week is White-Not-Quite (and definitely not green amethyst which isn’t a thing)

  • Joopy Gems Prasiolite Rose Cut 6mm Round
  • Joopy Gems Prasiolite Rose Cut 6mm Round
  • Joopy Gems Prasiolite Rose Cut 8mm Round
  • Joopy Gems Prasiolite Rose Cut 8mm Round
  • Joopy Gems Prasiolite Rose Cut 10mm Round
  • Joopy Gems Prasiolite Rose Cut 8mm Round
  • Joopy Gems Prasiolite Rose Cut 10mm Round
  • Joopy Gems Prasiolite Cabochon 4mm Round
  • Joopy Gems Prasiolite Rose Cut 4mm Round

I have noticed a phenomenon over the years, whereby people tend to buy the same stone the same time. It’s not a trend thing and it can only be by chance, but it is noticeable. Like one week, everyone’s at the London Blue and the following week it’s citrine. This week it is the turn of pale, pretty, unassuming prasiolite. When I started out, this used to be called green amethyst, until the Federal Trade Commission called time on this practice, pointing out quite correctly that amethyst came in one colour: purple and so therefore it was a misleading and inaccurate name. So, hence, prasiolite became the name for this stone. Don’t tell anyone but I do sometimes put ‘green amethyst’ in brackets because I’m sure there are people out there who still have no idea what prasiolite is, and certainly you will see this name used a fair bit in the trade. You also sometimes see it referred to as green quartz. It is a particular thing; amethyst which has been heated, and not just any amethyst either. Only amethyst from certain locations will turn green on heating; from some mines in Brazil and a few other places. You can see this with the settings below, from the gorgeous architectural styles of Janine Decresenzo and Parts of Four to the malchite surround of the Goshwara pendant and the pairing of the Joon Han earrings with the yellowish green tourmaline.

It is, as I say, a rather unassuming stone, so it does deserve a bit of love. It has the splendid clarity you’d expect from quartz, and its colour varies from a light yellowish to bluish green. It can be very pale indeed and as it gets smaller, it gets consequently lighter. I don’t think of it as a centrepiece stone but I’ve seen it used in that way quite a lot recently and what’s great about it is that it is a bit of a chameleon stone – it tends to take on the colour of what it surrounding it, or the metal it is set in. Set it in silver, and it will bring out the cool, almost bluish tones; set it in yellow metal and it will appear more gold. Surround it with darker green to emphasize the colour, or purples and blues to make it look more blue. I like it set in oxidised silver; I think the black does a lot to bring out its colour, as in the Yoki Collections pendant and Hagerskan’s The Cone Ring.

To check out our selection of prasiolite stones, please click here. We have new stocks of 10mm rose cut coming in soon!

Dopamine Dressing Lite

  • Joopy Gems Pink Tourmaline 3x4mm rose cut pear
  • Joopy Gems Tanzanite 3x4mm Rose Cut Pear
  • Joopy Gems London Blue Topaz 6mm Round Cabochon
  • Joopy Gems Lapis Lazuli 8mm Rose Cut Cabochon
  • Joopy Gems Rose Quartz 6mm Cabochon
  • Joopy Gems Light Pink Tourmaline 3mm Round Cabochon
  • Joopy Gems Citrine Rose Cut 4mm Round Cabochon
  • Joopy Gems Rhodolite Garnet 6mm Rose Cut Cabochon
  • Joopy Gems Tsavorite Garnet 6x4mm Rose Cut Pear

This is the buzzword, well, buzz-phrase really of the season. It refers to the idea that dressing a certain way can make you feel good. Obviously this is going to mean different things to different people, but it has been defined this season as meaning bright, mood-boosting colours. I love the idea of this; and in fact, I am a big fan of colour in my surroundings – I love a yellow sitting room; a red dining room; a blue bedroom. I’m just not sure I can go to bright pinks, oranges and acid greens in my clothing. My pale, English skin won’t take it! The fashion mags are saying, don’t put too many different colours together, which seems like sensible advice; keep it to one or two colours.

To me, it seems a much easier trend to wear in jewellery form, as most coloured stones are bright and saturated and that’s how we like them! Think of a juicy pink tourmaline, or a glowing yellow citrine; a vibrant green peridot or a velvety purple amethyst. Garnets like drops of blood and lapis the colour of a summer sky. And these can look amazing when put together, six or seven colours in the same piece.

Below, from left to right: I love the mismatching riot of colour in Grainne Morton’s Rainbow Multilayer Balance Victorian drop earrings, the joyous technicolour tribute to Bowie in Jennifer Loiselle’s Let’s Dance Earrings, and Nardi’s knuckle duster of coloured stones. Bottom centre is one of my favourite designers; Suzanne Kalan with her rainbow choker. Any of these would be an instant mood-booster!

Apatite Mixed Cut Gemstone 8x6mm Oval

Apatite is The Sincerest Form of Flattery

I’m talking about apatite of course, although you might be mistaken for thinking that you were looking at some sublime pieces of paraiba tourmaline. Apatite actually takes its name from the Greek ‘apate’ which means ‘to deceive’, which really is the perfect name for it. It is a shade of gemstone that is just very unusual, very hard to find and which really only has paraiba as a similar colour. Bright, neon aqua, it is a beautiful stone in its own right, although it is a lot cheaper than paraiba. It’s also a lot softer; at 5 on the Mohs scale, its going to scratch fairly easily and even break, so it should really be reserved for either special occasion jewellery or be put in settings where it’s not going to get rough treatment. If you’re going to put it in a ring, it’s probably not for everyday use or for, ahem, doing the washing up in. It’s hard to cut, hard to polish and so it would be easy to dismiss this stone, but one look at it and you’ll be lost, I promise. Treat it nicely and you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking gem. There’s plenty of lower grade material on the market, and this is lovely in its own right; it makes for a very nice dark blue to teal opaque stone. But the transparent material is the most eye-catching and as it grows in small crystals, larger stones are pretty rare.

Interestingly apatite is part of a group of minerals that is abundant in nature. It’s found in the human body as tooth enamel and bone, and in rocks from the moon. It’s also the world’s most common source of phosphorus, and so some forms of apatite are used to make fertilizers and chemicals. When I read that I had to check it, as it seems so extraordinary. I’ve been selling apatite for a long time now and it is a very steady seller. Even though it is unusual, I think the colour is so beguiling that people don’t worry so much that they haven’t heard of it.

Below you can see what I mean. The stunning blue of the Kat Florence ring, the bright popping colours of Nikos Koulis’ apatite, pink tourmaline and agate earrings and Poppy Jewellery’s apatite and tourmaline pendant. I suppose if I had to guess I’d say the bottom stone was the apatite, but I could not say for sure!

The oval mixed cut apatite stones in the header image are now available on discount at around £35 per stone; an absolute bargain! To check out all of our apatite, click here

Sphene, it’s Sphecial.

If you think that sphene makes you sound like you have a speech impediment, you can always go for its alternative name: titanite. Either way there’s a good chance that you have never heard of this incredibly beautiful, unusual and lively stone. Sphene has more fire than a diamond; its dispersion – that is, its ability to separate white light into the colours of the spectrum – is higher than a diamond. This fire is obvious to the naked eye and is even more extreme under incandescent light. It is hard to describe the colour of this stone as it has strong pleochroism and will change colour according to the angle it’s being viewed but think autumn leaves, many-coloured and flashed through with oranges and yellows. Most sought after is a bright, chrome green. It’s hard to find it completely clean; it normally will have needles, mistiness and veils but this in no way detracts from the beauty of this most unusual stone. It’s soft – 5-5.5 Mohs, which means really it’s best for necklaces and earrings, maybe you could get away with an occasional use ring, especially if it’s in a protected setting, but do give it a go, you’ll be amazed.

Sphene was discovered in 1785 but not named until 1801, with the name deriving from the Greek word for ‘wedge’ – which is not the most romantic entymology, and also I’d have thought a name that applies to quite a lot of crystals! Its alternate name, titanate, derives from the presence of titanium in the mineral. It’s always been considered a bit of a collectors gem, due to its scarcity but if you’ve never used it, give it a try. It really is unique.

I currently have sphene rose cuts in 3mm-5mm including half sizes, and you can find it all by clicking here

Joopy Gems Green Tourmaline Rose Cut Cabochon 5mm Round

5 Alternatives to Emerald and Why They *Might* be Better

Yes, it’s May and the birthstone for this month is emerald and it’s time for me to do my customary post about emerald alternatives. Not that I have anything against emerald per se, I don’t want the Emerald Appreciation Society on my back, but I just think that there are many alternatives to emerald that are both cost-effective and just as beautiful, and less likely to break on setting, or in general use. I’m always surprised by emerald engagement rings, for example, as emerald is a brittle and often included stone, prone to breakage. Not a great ring stone. Why is it often so brittle and included? The jury is out; it could be that that is just how it grows; it could be an artefact of how it is mined, which is often using explosives. Because it is such an included stone, some 95% of emerald is routinely fracture-filled, either with oil or resin. It’s completely accepted by the trade, and it should be disclosed to the customer on purchase so if you are buying emerald, make sure you are clear about this.

Here’s a few alternatives, ranked according to my personal opinion! I’m not talking about imitations and synthetics here; simply what might you use if you want a green stone and want to get a bit more bang for your bucks.

5. Peridot.

It’s a bit too yellow to be a particularly convincing substitute, and it can have a bit of an oily lustre but it is the most affordable untreated green gem, and it has in the past been mistaken for emerald. It is speculated that Cleopatra’s famous emerald collection was in fact peridot. It isn’t particularly difficult to find clean quality up to around 6mm; after that it gets a bit harder to find clean quality and whilst its characteristic lily-pad inclusions are rather beautiful, you also often get small, black mineral inclusions which are less appealing. I have clean quality up to 6mm but my 8mm stones are sprinkled with these tiny black inclusions. It is possible to get clean quality at this size, but expect to pay around 5 times the price. Peridot looks particularly beautiful with gold, which draws out the warm, gold tones. It isn’t, however, a great ring stone as it is rather soft – 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale – and it doesn’t take much for facet edges to become abraded. It’s iron that causes its attractive yellowish-green tones and most of it comes from China and Arizona in the USA. You have to be a bit careful with it – plunging in cold water after soldering can crack it and ultrasonic cleaning can wreck it. Below you can see how the warm gold of the setting picks up and complements the warmth of the stones.

4. Chrysoprase

This will substitute for translucent emerald – the kind you often see in polki cuts and beads. The kind of emerald that is used for this is often very included and often has those blackish inclusions. The colour and lustre can be poor, so lovely chrysoprase can be a good option if you want a brighter colour and cleaner look. Chrysoprase means ‘golden apple’ in Greek, and indeed, its best colour is a zingy apple green with just a touch of yellow. This stone is coloured by nickel and makes fantastic earrings. Again, it is really complemented by yellow metal settings but it is also quite soft – 6-7 on the Mohs scale, so is best suited to earrings or pendants that don’t get a lot of rough treatment. These two earrings below are a perfect example of the kind of clean, opaque material with that lovely emerald-like blue-green shade.

3. Chrome Diopside

This is an excellent choice as it is a stone that is not routinely treated and tends to display much better clarity than emerald. A fantastic, saturated green with great sparkle, it is coloured by the same elements as emerald; chromium or vanadium. In some cases this may be too good, as it tends to look dark in larger sizes; it needs careful cutting to maintain a good, open colour. The flip side of this means that it retains good saturation even in small sizes. It is pretty soft – 5.5-6 on the Mohs scale and so is not really tough enough to make a good ring stone. This also means that facet edges will abrade over time. Below you can really see the density of colour even in the tiny studs on Isueszabo’s stud earrings.

2. Tourmaline

Tourmaline comes in a dazzling array of colours, which makes it an excellent option. Although some green tourmaline shades quite yellow, the brighter grass greens are lively enough to make an excellent alternative. High quality chrome tourmaline certainly can rival emerald and tsavorite. Highly regarded as a stone in its own right, it is coloured by the elements iron and possibly titanium, and the brightest green stones contain traces of chromium and vanadium, like emerald. Measuring 7-7.5 on the Mohs scale, it’s the hardest so far of our potential substitutes and can be used with care in rings. Bot of the earrings below demonstrate the colour shade range that tourmaline can display and I love the arrangement of the different colours.

1. Tsavorite Garnet

In my view, the best option. Like tourmaline, garnet comes in an array of colours, although it’s possible that this is not quite so well known. For many, garnet refers to the dark and dusty jewellery belonging to your grandmother. The green versions of garnet are tsavorite and demantoid, and the most appropriate of these as an emerald alternative is tsavorite. It’s not the cheapest, but it’s vibrant green, it’s not hard to find in clean quality and as it is garnet, it also has great brilliance and fire. Yes, fire. Garnet is often so dark that you can’t see this, but with tsavorite you often can. Its colour is caused by the element vanadium, like emerald, and indeed the colour can often rival that of emerald. It’s one of my favourite stones and at 7-7.5 on the Mohs scale it can make a ring stone. You can see how beautiful it is both in the larger rings stone below left and in smaller stones on the right.

Click individual titles for links, or to view all my green stones, click here

Everything Teal is Awesome!

  • Joopy Gems Australian Sapphire Polki
  • Joopy Gems Australian Sapphire Rose Cut Round 6.5mm
  • Joopy Gems Australian Sapphire Polki
  • Joopy Gems Australian Sapphire Rose Cut Round 4.5mm
  • Joopy Gems Australian Sapphire Rose Cut Round 6.5mm
  • Joopy Gems Australian Sapphire Polki
  • Joopy Gems Australian Sapphire Rose Cut Round 6.5mm
  • Joopy Gems Australian Sapphire Rose Cut Round 5.5mm
  • Joopy Gems Australian Sapphire Polki
  • Joopy Gems Australian Sapphire Polki
  • Joopy Gems Australian Sapphire Polki
  • Joopy Gems Australian Sapphire Polki
  • Joopy Gems Australian Sapphire Rose Cut Round 4.5mm
  • Australian Sapphire Rose Cut Round 6mm

Australian sapphire is popular. Otherwise known as teal sapphire, I know this partly because when I took delivery of stocks of it in calibrated rose cuts and polkis, it pretty much sold out immediately. It’s not hard to understand why – I generally struggle to keep stocks of anything in the teal colour family as it is found in so few stones – tourmaline is the other main stone which displays this colour, and even Santa Maria Aquamarine a bit, and they are all very popular. The Australian sapphire has something extra, however, as it is very often parti-coloured, displaying blues, greens and yellows in the same stone, making it appear pleochroic, shimmering and completely unique. It isn’t pleochroic as such – which is seeing different colours from different angles according to the light properties of the stone, it is actual colour-zoning within the stone. You can see this below in Lindsay Lewis’ Sway Ring Set – the blues and greens across the stone – I also love the orientation of this stone – so unusual.

It’s a fairly recently popular stone, too. When it is dug out of the ground, it can appear dull and rather dark. It is often filled with so much silk that it can appear oily. It requires heat treatment and sometimes bleaching to bring out its beauty, and traditionally it is treated in Thailand, where conrundum treatments have long been a speciality. You can get it in blue shades, but more common is the green-blue, and more rarely it comes in yellows, or greenish yellows. I’m seeing it more and more in jewellery as the market is becoming more used to it, and it makes an economical and unique alternative to bright blue sapphire.

Below right, you can see the silk in the Eden Philippa ring, giving it a lovely velvety appearance, and on the left is Melanie Katsalidis’ Elevate ring, the clean setting showcasing beautifully the the colour variation of this beautiful stone.

I have sold out of most of my calibrated stones, although I do have some 5mm rose cuts – including a lovely yellow and green one – plus some rose cut freefoms (polki). To shop all of my Australian sapphire, click here

Aquamarine, Tourmaline, Emerald

My June newsletter is out and I have a whole bunch of beautiful new stones. The ever-popular Santa Maria aquamarine I now have in an array of sizes and half sizes from 3mm to 8mm, rose cut green tourmaline and emerald, plus there’s free standard shipping for the whole month of June. My newsletter is always the first place to find new stock announcements, offers and sales and sometimes these are newsletter exclusives. You can read this months by clicking here and you can sign up at my website.

Joopy Gems Yellow Diamond 4mm Rose Cut Rond

Sunshine on a Rainy Day

Which is how I see the Pantone colours this year. When I first saw ‘Illuminating’ and ‘Ultimate Grey’ I’ll admit I thought they were a bit uninspiring. I’m still not sure that grey is actually a colour. However, actually I think they work really well for jewellers, not least because they can refer to either your setting metal or your stones. Gold for yellow, white metals for grey. Then with stones, the choice is not huge but it is particularly beautiful with a flexible price range.

At the more inexpensive range there is lemon quartz with a cool, greenish overtone. This is a great stone for having cut in large sizes as it isn’t hard to find clean specimens and the carat price is reasonable even for large stones. Citrine runs from pale straw through to a deep almost orange-yellow and I think looks awesome with white metals. Golden rutilated quartz would often work, and these stones can be real showstoppers. More unusual stones might be tourmaline which again will come in any shade from pale yellow to deep gold, yellow beryl, which is often quite light or chrysoberyl. I have introduced some yellow diamond rose cuts in my shop; clean yellow diamond is very expensive but the included variety still offers plenty of glitter without making a hole in your pocket.

Grey stones can be simple grey moonstones; a very underrated stone that is really wearable and flexible; it just goes with everything and has an understated beauty, especially when combined with the chatoyancy that glides across the stone. Grey pearls can be pricey Tahitian or inexpensive freshwater varieties and there are all varieties of haematite, specularite and agates as well. I also have some lovely speckled grey diamonds, which like the yellow have amazing brilliance.

Below from left, I love Sarah Alexander’s multi-gemstone earrings; the mixed gemstones in different shapes and sizes and the use of colour. Natalie Perry’s ring is a pefect example of a non-traditional diamond ring, and I do prefer this style, with more included stones and irregular shapes; so much more exciting than the classic diamond solitaire. Sarah Alexanders silver and vermeil earrings demonstrate how you can work these colours using just metals and I love the chunky styling of Maviada’s white gold and citrine earrings; lovely big cabochons set in pleasingly rounded and chunky white gold.

To shop all of my Pantone 2021 themed stones, click here

Diamond Bright

My newsletter is out for this month and there is a cornucopia of new stock listed, plus look, a cool 10% off your order! I have yellow and grey diamonds, apatite, Santa Maria aquamarine, labradorite, rainbow moonstone and a lot more. Newsletter subscribers are always the first to know, and popular lines always sell first, so why not sign up at my website, You can read the newsletter here and you can see all of my new stock here.

Zircon (is not the same as cubic zirconia)

Snappy title, I know! But I think that is the first thing I need to say about it. Cubic Zirconia is a synthetic diamond substitute – and I’m not a snob about it, it is very nice and sparkly and firey. However, zircon is a natural gemstone, dug up out of the earth and it actually comes in a variety of colours – red, blue, green, amber and yellowy, pinky browns. Some of these are natural, and some via treatment. Clear zircon has a brilliance and fire that matches diamonds – and in fact has been used as a substitute – however it is easily distinguished as it is doubly refractive and much softer, so you’ll see abrading along facet edges on older pieces. The second thing I want to say about it is that I don’t understand why it isn’t more popular. I’m not alone in this, as you can see the fire even in the coloured stones, and it is a really nice and not too expensive stone to work with. The most common colour is a sort of bright blue – like a light version of London Blue Topaz, and I have stocked this in the past. However, new in stock I have natural brown coloured zircon and I just love it. It’s kind of like a champagne diamond without the price tag! It’s hard to describe the colour, it’s a lovely, warm pale pinky-brown and I have it in 2mm, 3mm and 4mm rose cuts.

Below you can see some examples – the pink of the tourmaline and peach of the moonstone in Nak Armstrong’s earrings lends the zircon a glowing warmth, whilst the silver on Stone Fever’s ring allows the colour to sing. I love the Yael Designs ring, and it’s surprising because if I saw that ring I’d myself assume it was a topaz or even a sapphire, but the fire that you’d get from a zircon that size would be quite something.

To shop my range of zircons, click here.