Tomorrow is African Gem Safari at TVSN, and we’ve got some brand new gems to showcase! We enlisted our Gem experts to give us the low down on our new treasures.
Get ready to discover the rare beauty of African Spessartite, brilliant orange gemstones from Namibia and Nigeria. While Spessartite has been around for less than 200 years, colors discovered in Africa in the 90s, combined with Spessartite’s excellent brilliance and durability have seen demand for this popular jewelry gemstone increase. Displaying a beautiful variety of intense orangey hues, ranging from deep-orange to bright mandarin and rich golden-orange, African Spessartite is valued for its colorful brilliance, a characteristic of its high refraction. A variety of Garnet first unearthed in the mid-19th century, Spessartite is named for the locale of its discovery, Spessart in the German state of Bavaria. Namibian Spessartite is from the Outomongu Mine located near the Kunene River. Since 1994, Nigeria has become one of Spessartite’s most important sources and is mined at Iganna in Nigeria’s Oyo State. Plagued by sporadic production and a lack of gem-quality crystals, Spessartite remains expensive, rare and difficult to obtain. It is also one of the few gemstones that are not enhanced.
On-air at 3:30pm!
Introducing Antsirabé Labradorite, a rare gemstone with a beautiful metallic sheen. A Feldspar closely related to Moonstone and Sunstone, Labradorite is named after Canada’s Labrador Peninsula (Isle of Saint Paul) where it was first discovered in 1770 by travelling Moravian missionaries. Antsirabé Labradorite’s is an opaque to slightly translucent smoke gray gemstone with a beautiful metallic colored iridescence or schiller, aptly called ‘labradorescence’. Labradorescence is the colorful ‘play of light’ caused by the gem’s structure (i.e. lattice distortions) breaking up light into its spectral colors. Normally blue, labradorescence can also be golden, green, purple or red. Highly desired, Antsirabé Labradorite is from Madagascar, a premiere source for fine quality Labradorite. Named for its locale, Antsirabé Labradorite’s key quality considerations are the brilliance and conspicuousness of its attractive labradorescence as well as optimal lapidary. First reported in 2007, Antsirabé Labradorite comes from Soamiakatra in the Antsirabé District of Madagascar’s Antananarivo Province. Always scarce, especially in its fine qualities, Labradorite is one of the most coveted varieties of Feldspar.
On-air at 5:30pm!
Balloch Tiger’s Eye
Tune in to experience Balloch Tiger’s Eye, a rare, yellow and golden brown banded Quartz from South Africa. Named for its resemblance to the eye of a tiger, Balloch Tiger’s Eye is prized for its exceptional quality, displaying beautiful, alternating rich yellow and golden brown stripes with a fine golden luster. The best known variety of Cat’s Eye Quartz, Tiger’s Eye’s oriented fibers create the cat’s eye effect (chatoyancy, single bright reflective line of light). Deft lapidary is absolutely critical, as the raw crystals rarely reveal their chatoyancy. Displaying an excellent luster, Balloch Tiger’s Eye is carefully finished with a superior polish into attractive smooth domes. A durable gemstone well-suited to everyday wear, Balloch Tiger’s Eye is from the Balloch Mine in the Pixley ka Seme District of South Africa’s Northern Cape Province. Established around 1995, the Balloch Mine is noted for producing Tiger’s Eye of a fine quality. The most popular Cat’s Eye Quartz and one of the world’s most coveted gemstones, Balloch Tiger’s Eye is challenging to consistently obtain.
On-air at 11:30am!
A color variety of the mineral Corundum, Ruby is a truly mesmerizing gemstone with a rich history, potent symbolism, and a popularity spanning over 2,500 years. Tanzanian Ruby is far rarer than Diamonds, displaying intense bright reds that embody the color of love, passion and romance. Named from the Latin ‘ruber’ (red), Ruby remains highly coveted and one of the world’s most expensive gemstones. Tanzanian Ruby displays intense bright reds with a medium tone and saturation that are the marketplace ideal. Transparency and inclusions affect Ruby’s color and subsequent beauty, making experienced lapidary that negates color unevenness due to zoning (location of color in the crystal versus how the gem is faceted) and excessive windowing (areas of washed out color in a table-up gem, often due to a shallow pavilion) absolutely critical. Our Tanzanian Ruby is predominately from a deposit discovered in 1992 located 60 kilometers west of Songea town in Tanzania’s Ruvuma Region, but we also have a very exclusive and limited selection of loose unheated, natural Rubies from the famed Winza deposit in Tanzania’s Dodoma Region. One of the world’s hardest gemstones, Tanzanian Ruby is an excellent choice for everyday jewelry.
On-air at 2:30pm!
Say ‘hujambo’ (hello in Swahili) to Zawadi Sapphire, a beautiful, natural gemstone from Kenya with a rare golden sheen. A true ‘gift from the earth’, Zawadi Sapphire embodies a gem’s quintessential ideals: unique beauty, genuine rarity and everyday durability. Aptly named Zawadi Sapphire (‘zawadi’ is a Swahili word meaning ‘gift’ from the earth), this gem is also known as Golden Sheen Sapphire. Relatively unknown, Zawadi Sapphire is a beautiful, opaque gemstone characterized by an attractive bronze, golden sheen that shimmers across the gem’s dark chocolate body color. Due the opacity of Zawadi Sapphire, a superior polish that maximizes luster is critical. It took over one and a half years to develop the lapidary for Zawadi Sapphire, which required trial and error to correctly orientate and polish the crystals. Only discovered in 2010, Zawadi Sapphire is mined in Kenya close to the border with Somalia. The mine is ostensibly depleted, yielding no good quality rough in almost two years. Zawadi Sapphire has mainly appeared free size, making calibrated gems suitable for jewelry exceedingly rare. With close to 99 percent of all Ruby and Sapphire enhanced, Zawadi Sapphire’s unique beauty is totally natural and not treated in anyway.
On-air at 1:30pm!
We hope you enjoy the stunning selection of gems hand-picked by our jewellery team! Make sure to tune in all day tomorrow for your chance to win one of five incredible black diamond pendants. You can find all the details tomorrow morning on our website and on-air from 8:30am AEST tomorrow!