We must also mention that garnets and spinels remain in the core collections of many brands. Sources such as Nigeria, Mozambique, Ke- nya and Tanzania are the top sources for these high quality stones. Among the more unusual choices was a pink opal shown at Chaumet, star sapphires and rubies at Cindy Chao and incredible rhodonites and fire opal at Cartier. Swing ring with diamonds and a 5.
Chromaphonia necklace in 18K gold, 22 baroque emerald beads from Afghanistan Brooch in pink opal, with 18K gold, sapphires, tanzanites and mint tourmalines by Chaumet. Sotheby's sold a Conclusion The results from the recent auctions were mixed. Many speculate the declining US stock market was responsible for the weak auctions.
Others contend many of the goods were dealer's stones and the reserves were too high. Two carat or larger Burma rubies are still not available. Production of blue sapphire seems adequate. There is a trickle of unheated Mong Hsu, Burma ruby material available. The goods are small from. This is due to the fact the crystals have a blue core running through the material.
The only way to extract any material that does not need cooking is to cut off the ends. This ultra rare material should be considered a collectible item or a perfect gemstone to mount in jewelry for the person who wants an unheated Burma, but does not have the funds for a Mogok. Burma spinel production is dismal. We remain bullish on these goods. Smuggling ColoredStone magazine reports the best Burma material is being smuggled out via commercial airlines. Gems fly out of the country in luggage of dealers who have paid officials to look the other way.
The county is stratified into a small upper class of military rulers. The ruling elite take a piece of the smuggling action. Most are small, top quality gems that are easy to conceal. The goods end up in Singapore or Hong Kong, therefore bypassing the Thai dealers. The less expensive, bulkier gems still travel the land routes to Thailand. They utilized a new law, the Foreign Drug Kingpin Designation Act, to go after international drug kingpins.
The law has been criticized by civil libertarians and some business groups concerned that innocent people could be named and would have little opportunity to clear their reputations and free up their assets. Khun Sa will have his US assets frozen. Internet Unlike most other Asian countries, the internet is banned in Burma.
The government fears the net will allow dissent to flourish. Of the 48 million people inside Burma, only 50, have computers. If you have a modem, you could get years in jail. Only wealthy foreigners and Burmese officials have email access. Karens The Karens remain in a stalemate with the Burmese government.
Approximately , Karen refugees remain inside Thailand in about 12 camps. Another , are internally displaced within Burma. The Karens want a self-ruled Karen state within Burma. Fighting in April sent thousands of Karens into Thailand and negotiations between Burma and the Karens have been halted.
Twins The twin year-old boys from Burma who command the rebel group, God's Army, have temporarily laid down their arms and are devoting themselves full time to Christianity. Johnny and Luther Htoo are now living in a Christian ethnic Karen village in Burma about 20 miles from the Thai border.
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They have been on the run since late January and have shaved their heads to try to avoid being recognized. Critics in the United States and in the region say American military advisers will be drawn into the broader war between the guerrillas and the government and it will become another Viet Nam. According to US satellite imaging, cocaine production in Colombia has more than doubled in the past five years. It is estimated Colombia now grows or processes more than tons of cocaine a year, or some 90 percent of the world's supply. In many parts of Colombia, the army and the police fear sending in spray planes and helicopters to eradicate the fields because the aircrafts draw ground fire from the Marxist guerrilla forces that thrive on the drug trade.
The principal rebel group, the 15,strong Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, has been fighting the government since the mid's, financing their war for most of that time with kidnappings and extortions. The guerrilla war is turning into a drug war over cocaine and heroin.
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The self-sustaining insurgency has no foreign power backing the guerrillas. It is a merger of criminals, narco-traffickers and insurgents. It was the first time in the month-old peace process that the government has called off talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia FARC , aimed at ending the long-running war that has cost 35, lives in just 10 years. The talks were to start on May 29 with ambassadors and delegates from 21 countries, including the United States and Europe.
No resumption date was announced. The move followed the murder of Elvira Cortes, a year-old dairy farm owner, which sparked outrage from the Roman Catholic Church bishop and senior justice officials. Cortes and a police bomb disposal expert died and three soldiers were maimed when the "necklace bomb" exploded after nearly nine hours of efforts to defuse it.
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In April, , FARC leaders issued "Tax Law ", saying they would step up their campaign of kidnappings and extortion against the rich. The very features that contribute to the beauty of an individual gem are being burned away, leaving a stockpile of homogenized stones that imitate fine quality but will never stir the passion in the hearts of dealers who know the truth.
Rarity-the trait that made fine gems so alluring-has practically disappeared. Garnet and Peridot are examples. If consumers begin to demand unheated gemstones, their popularity may jump, a situation sure to affect pricing.
Spinel is another gemstone that so far has escaped treatment. Many gem dealers agree that it isn't well understood by jewelers or consumers. Confusion between natural and synthetic spinel may have contributed to its underpricing today, but, like garnet, it could be a gem of the future. The same mineral as moonstone. However, these gemstones do not look anything like moonstone. Sunstones are mined in the high desert of Oregon in a volcanic lake. The trace element that colors the material is copper. This copper creates schiller, or a metallic glitter effect, in most stones.
Sunstone is also mined in India, but its schiller is created by hematite. Feldspar is The greens go from a "light to kelly green". Everyone, including the collectors, is searching for reds that look like Burma spinel or ruby. The reds are similar to top, flame orange, Burma spinel. Ideally, these stones are clean and bright with no brown.
The rarest color is a blue-green that is described as having an "iridescent glow". Oregon Sunstone also occurs in bi-colors and tri-colors. Finally, Sunstone sometimes occurs with a color change or a color shift. A desirable color shift is from green to red or red-green to red. The key advantage to Oregon Sunstones may be that they are an all natural, American gemstone. These gemstones are not heated, oiled, or irradiated.
This may assist in marketing the gem to a treatment-weary public. This stone may be an interesting speculation for the collector who has everything already.
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