News

  • Opals- Linking the Red Centre to the Red Planet?

    The red centre of Australia produces 95% of the world's opals and until recently scientists struggled to explain the origns of the precious stone. However, it is now believed that opals may provide astrobiologists with insights into the mysterious geology of Mars, the red planet.

     

    Glittering in vibrant colours, opals are a beautiful gemstone and will add a unique, yet elegant touch to your jewellery collection. Lawson Gems has a stunning collection of ethically sourced opals embedded into lovely jewellery pieces as well as unset opals.

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    Lawson Gems' White Opal Pendant is a beautiful Australian opal that sparkles an array of silky natural colours, creating an elegant and distinctive piece.

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    Lawson Gems also has a stunning collection of unique Unset Opals.

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    Lawson Gems' Opal Gold Ring is a truly beautiful piece, a stunning soft cabochon (solid) opal set into 9ct yellow gold ring.

    Opals are predominantly found within 50 meters of the red earth surface of the Great Artisian Basin in Central Australia, yet the reasons why they are found here has been a long mystery. Professor Patrice Rey, a University of Sydney associate explains, "We did not know its origin, why it forms at such shallow depths or why it can be found in central Australia and almost nowhere else on earth." Rey believes the precious stone was created as a result of the drying out of the Eromanga Sea, which at its peak covered about 60 percent of Australia; from Coober Pedy in South Australia to Lightning Ridge in northen New South Wales.

     

    This drying out process, which began approximately 100 million years ago, is bizarre weathering for Earth and has been described as an “extraordinary episode of acidic weathering.” However, this weathering is not unusual on Mars, suggesting connections between the planet and the Great Artisian Basin. Furthermore, these connections would also suggest the basin shares additional characteristics with the Mars, inclduing types of rocks, a similar history of flooding then drying out, mineralogy and color.

     

    NASA discovered non-precious opal deposits on Mars in 2008. "If you look at Mars and the red centre, they share similar characteristics," Professor Rey said. "They went through the same weathering process, so potentially precious opals might exist there." These opal deposits indicate that Mars could have been wet for a billion years longer that initially thought. Thus, these findings could signifcantly impact the possibility of life on Mars if these findings are confirmed by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). Dr Scott Mundie of John Hopkins University explains, "Water may have existed as recently as two billion years ago. It extends the time range for liquid water on Mars, and the places where it might have supported life."

     

    Sending rovers and orbiters to Mars seems like a reasonable approach to answering the long anticipated myteries of the red planet. However, Rey explains that the answers could be here on Earth, "It costs billions of dollars to send rovers and orbiters to Mars. Therefore, looking right here on Earth for ancient and modern analogs to Mars' environment is key to carrying on research in greater detail and explore the role biology has in weathering processes."

  • Hong Kong Host’s Two Dazzling Jewellery Shows

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    Saturday the 9th of March marked the end of the spring’s largest jewellery show, the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show and the Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem and Pearl Show.

     

    The Hong Kong International Jewellery Show held from March 5 to 9 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre exhibited finished jewellery products to prospective buyers and showcased beautiful pieces from around the world. Whilst, the Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem and Pearl Show held March 3 to 7 at the AsiaWorld – Expo presented a specialised trade platform for diamonds, loose gemstones and pearls.

     

    The growing popularity of jewellery shows in Hong Kong led to the introduction of a new scheme for the event, “two shows, two venues.” The presenters of the event, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), believe that this scheme will provide a platform towards further expansion for the growing number of exhibitors and buyers wanting to participate in the event.

     

    The show featured exhibitions such as the Hall of Extraordinary, the Hall of Fame the brand new T-Gold International Hall and the Hall of Fine Diamond. The seemingly endless halls jewellery and gems weren’t all the show had to offer! The two shows also hosted a range of different seminars and events. The “TREND FORECAST for Season 2015+: Consumer Attitudes, Focus on Jewellery and Diamond Products” presented by TRENDVISION Jewellery and Forecasting Creative Director, Paola De Luca, was the true highlight of the week. All in all the two shows allowed attendees interesting insight into the world of jewellery and provided a better understanding of market trends to exhibitors and buyers.

  • 118.28ct Diamond Sets Record Price

    Weighing a massive 118.28ct, the  oval cut D colour flawless diamond has become the most expensive colourless  diamond ever sold at auction. The rough 299ct diamond was mined in Southern Africa around two years ago and because
    it is only recently cut the buyer will have the opportunity to name the stone.

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  • Coloured Gems Outperform Gold in China Jewellery Exhibition

    At the Shanghai International Jewellery Exhibition held in September, coloured gemstones outperformed gold.

    More people went to see the exhibits showcasing jewellery with coloured gems – from rubies and sapphires to tourmalines and jade. As a result, sales figures increased by five or six times compared to last year.

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  • Caring for Gemstones

    Caring for gemstones will not only help maintain their durability, it can also help to retain their beauty and brilliance far into the future.

    When cleaning gemstones, put the gem in a bowl of water, with two to three drops of dish detergent, and use a soft toothbrush to clean the back of the stone. After this, rinse the stone and then pat it dry using a soft cloth. An ultrasonic cleaner can also be used to clean certain gemstones and plain gold jewellery, along with other metals such as silver and platinum, but it could damage other gems and those with lots of inclusions.

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  • Ancient Skeletons Adorned with Gems and Jewellery Found Across Europe

    400-year-old skeletons decorated in gems and jewellery were hunted and found across Europe by Paul Koudounaris, an art historian.

    The skeletons were found in church crypts and are thought to be Christian martyrs.  In the 16th century, they had once rested in Roman catacombs, but were later dug up and sent to various churches in Europe. The skeletons replaced the relics that were destroyed following the Protestant Reformation.

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  • All About Garnet

    Garnet comes from the Latin word granum, which means grain. Garnet is usually a deep red colour, but it also comes in other colours, except blue. Different lighting can change the colour of some garnets and may even display stars.

    Pyrope garnets have a blood-red colour, whereas rhodolite garnets are purple-red. Almandine garnets are red, orange or brown. Grossular garnets come in red, orange, yellow and green, but they can also be colourless. Spessartite garnets have a deep orange colour, and demantoid garnets are green, which is rare.

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  • A Guide to Ornamental Gemstones

    Ornamental gemstones are non-transparent minerals and rocks, with a variety of colours, textures and patterns. On the Mohs scale, the majority of these stones have a hardness of seven or less.

    The following list takes a look at what makes ornamental gems valuable and attractive:

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  • Sapphire, September’s Birthstone

    Sapphire is the birthstone for September. The gemstone was popular in the Middle Ages and remains so today.

    In folklore, sapphire can protect people from harm as well as envy. During medieval times, a clergyman would wear a sapphire gemstone, as it was seen as a symbol of heaven. Common people believed that sapphires offered blessings from heaven.

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  • A Buyer’s Guide to Buying Spinel

    Spinel is one of the world’s most famous red gemstones. It comes in different colours, with red and pink being the most prominent in the jewellery industry.

    Valued Colours

    Spinel has often been mistaken for ruby or sapphire due to its vivid red or blue colour. This makes red and blue spinel two of the most valuable colours. Mauve or lilac spinels can also be very attractive.

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