By David Brough
Gemmologist Helen Molesworth, choosing from listings on the Gembridge digital trading platform, has selected a superb 6.10-carat Mozambican ruby, an exquisite 5.44-carat padparadscha sapphire, and a magnificent 170.07-carat Tanzanite as her special gem picks for Christmas.
Helen, Gembridge’s Head of Business Development, explains what makes these three gemstones really special:
6.10-carat Mozambican ruby
“For many of us in cooler European climes, Christmas means cosy: the warmth of fires, and comfort of candles, and a feeling unique to this special time of year. If I could pick one stone to speak for this sentiment, it would have to be a ruby, and one with warm glow at its heart.
“This gorgeous gem, currently on Gembridge through Berr and Partners, has all that, plus some. Coming from Mozambique, it formed in one of the geologically oldest African gem belts in the world, which is, conversely, a relatively new and highly respected origin for these rare rubies.
“And its combined qualities are superb. The colour is a vibrant red with classic pink tones; its clarity exceptional for a ruby of this size, exhibiting only a couple of crystals sitting within that lovely and rich treacly roiling structure; and perhaps my favourite part of all, its make: slightly asymmetric at the base, it spreads like a much larger stone, with a wonderful width of face that I personally adore.
“Ruby has long been known as the King of Gems, as the most valuable and sought after gem for centuries. This special stone is a rightly regal example, combining all the majesty and warmth of this special season.”
5.44-carat padparadscha sapphire
“For those of you gem lovers who already know a thing or two about sapphire, you’ll already know that padparasdcha is a special sister variety to (blue) sapphire, and all its multi-coloured family, including of course ruby. Uniquely, it is also the only combined colour variety (mixing up both orange and pink) with its own name, and highly prized for its subtle pastel colours as much as, if not more, than its gauche and gaudy neon neighbours.
“Originally from the island of Gems – Serendip, Ceylon, and now modern day Sri Lanka – padparadscha takes its name from the Sinhalese for lotus flower, the water lily on the ponds of Ceylon. A delicate and beautiful balance of pink to orange, for many padparadscha signals a sunset or sunrise, the papaya or grapefruit; and our gem here, is the perfect peachy ‘Sunset’. This colour bracket means it’s a rare find, and well balanced eye clean ‘pads’ are like the proverbial hen’s teeth.
“Today more have appeared in African localities such as Madagascar and Tanzania, but this one –bright, clean, unheated and with the origin of all origins that is Sri Lanka as its source – is a superb example of this legendary stone.
“Offered by Crown Color on the Gembridge site, this pretty pad is an amazing addition to their superb online shopfront. Looking for something classy and exceptional this Christmas, a wonder to behold in years to come? Look no further than this little angel of a gem.”
“Just wow. Talk about a Christmas cracker. And perfectly timed with the gem of December being our deep blue darling of the African bush, the mesmerising tanzanite.
“This spectacular and sizeable treasure is one of my favourite jewels currently on Gembridge, through the success story that is Mimo Gems, and is also arguably one of the more impressive tanzanites out there right now.
“Weighing in at a whopping 170 carats, this is less the winter robin and more the Christmas turkey egg, needing a sizeable palm to nestle into.
“Tanzanite – the dark blue to purple variety of zoisite – is a relative baby in the gem world, discovered only in 1967, just like another notable newbie, tsavorite. And like its green garnet tsavorite sister, tanzanite originates in the East African bush, on the Tanzanian border around the region of Tsavo National Park. Isn’t it ideal when gem names totally make sense?
“Tanzanite is a tad softer than sapphire, for example, but can come in superb sizes and as clean as a whistle. Think the deep blue sea, and you’re getting there. And in this example, it’s the size of an ocean, as clear as the depths, and as mesmerising a colour as you could ever expect in a blue of the natural world.
“Another reason I love tanzanite? I too was born under African skies, not so far from the Merelani hills, which created this marvel millions of years ago. We think that in Africa spotting the Big Five is rare? Find me a flawless tanzanite of this size and this depth of colour and this cut, and I won’t show you a lion, I’ll show you a unicorn.
“From the whole team at Gembridge, a very happy, and sparkling Christmas to you all.”
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