Tucson Gem Shows Day 4

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The fourth day of our Tucson trip was filled with gemstones in the raw, commonly bought by lapidaries (stone cutters) for cutting and polishing. They are usually sold in bulk by the gram, kilo or the bucket.

A pile of rough Aquamarine (below). From the Latin words for “sea water”, legend holds that the captivating blue-green aquamarine came to be in a mermaid’s treasure chest, thus earning it the distinctive title of the “sailors lucky stone”. Aquamarine evokes the purity of crystalline waters, and the exhilaration and relaxation of the sea. It is calming, soothing, and cleansing, and inspires truth and trust. It is the birthstone for March.


Many rough stones are stored in water or sprayed with water bottles to give a glimpse of what their true color will be once cut and polished, like this chrysoprase and azure malachite:


Uniquely, opals like these always contain water- usually between 2% and 6%. Therefore, opals must receive some kind of moisture from their environment to keep them  in good condition. These opals are stored in water in glass jars for sale to show the fiery light within the opals AND also to prevent cracking and ensure they retain their color. 


A table of rough malachite (left) and rough ruby-in-zoisite. Geologically, reddish pink rubies grow inside the green zoisite (right).                     



An example of high quality, exquisitely colored rose quartz, including one HUGE specimen!        



Behind Eva in the HUGE plastic bucket are thousands of rutilated quartz specimens. Check out the close up on the right:



And of course, it wouldn't be the Tucson Gem Show without huge citrine and amethyst. Check out these beauties:



More Tomorrow!



Liz & Eva


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