Josh’s farm is located on the atoll of Ahe located 350 miles north east of Tahiti in the Tuamotu Islands. Unlike Tahiti, which is a volcanic island, the Tuamotus are true atolls, flat ribbons of coral surrounding a large center lagoon. Conditions in this far off island group are perfect for the culturing of the Pinctada Margaritifera, the parent mollusk of the black pearl.
20% Price Drop in Small Sizes:
According to Josh, all is not well in paradise. Once more, over production has led to a crash in pearl prices at the source and many farms are in financial trouble. You may remember a similar crash in pearl prices about five or six years ago. The last time we were able to offer fine black pearl strands at bargain prices and consumers lapped them up.
Another exceptionally knowledgeable source tells me that the oversupply is mainly in the smaller 8-10mm sizes, pearls in the 11mm+ range are hard to come by and prices are actually higher. At the March GIE auction in Papeete asking prices were high and very little sold. Most lots sold privately, post auction, at prices much lower than the advertised floor prices allowing GIE to claim a successful sale. Pearls in the 8-9 and 9-10mm sizes have dropped approximately 20%.
Don’t expect to see these falling prices right away. Prices at the Las Vegas Gem Shows should reflect the prices on older stock. Unless there is a rebound, these price cuts should trickle down by this fall. Stay tuned...
By Richard W. Wise, G.G.
Gems & Mines of Mogok
by Ted Themelis
Hardcover 352 pages
Self published 2007
For gem enthusiasts, Mogôk is the Holy Grail. This beautiful remote valley together with Afghanistan’s Sar al Sang, is the oldest continuously productive gem district on earth. If there is anything you didn’t know about the gems or geology of Mogôk that was not covered in his previous volume, Ted Themelis’ new book "Gems & Mines of Mogok" has got you covered.
Themelis’ previous book Mogôk, Valley of Rubies and Sapphires published in 2000 focused on the history, people and as the title suggests the fabulous ruby and sapphire produced in the valley. In this new book Themelis turns his attention to the Geology, Mineralogy, Crystallography and mining of the diverse gemstones and minerals found in the Mogok Valley. The book is profusely illustrated with charts and maps of tectonic models and geological models, satellite images together with topographic and geological maps.
Themelis starts right off in Chapter 1 with a comprehensive historical overview of the geology of Mogok replete with a proposed model of the tectonic evolution of the region accompanied by an imposing array of illustrations: a Timetable of Rocks and a two page color Geological map of Mogok, photographs of geological features and rocks divided by type; igneous, pegmatitic, metamorphic. In short, a geologist’s compendium coupled with a rock hound’s field guide to the region.
Most books in this category focus on ruby and sapphire, skipping lightly over the many rare and interesting gems and minerals produced in this complex geological environment. In Chapter 5, Themelis profiles and provides photographs of some sixty gem species and varieties, everything from amblygonite to zircon. In appendix D he provides a handy gemological property chart of the twenty-one most important gemstones complete with refractive index and other key identification criteria. (above right: 8513: 2.09 Natural Mogok Burmese Ruby from the R. W. Wise Collection)
There is something for everyone: For the lab gemologist, photomicrographs of inclusions and descriptions of ruby, sapphire and peridot; for the mineral collector, descriptions and images of a large number of mineral specimens by sub-regions; for the ruby-sapphire aficionado an illustrated discussion of origin determination; for the crystallographer a images and illustrations of crystal habits. Appendices cover treatments of Mogok ruby and sapphire, Burmese gem-jargon, a list of gem mines with latitude-longitude followed by a nine page bibliography.
The book is an awesome, genuine tour de force, buy it! Better still, buy both volumes for $199 and Themelis will throw in a free CD. www.themelis.com . For immediate delivery in the U. S. contact: Mr. Bill Dunn at Hypatiagem@aol.com
Take a boat ride across an exotic lagoon. Visit a black pearl farm and learn how black pearls are farmed and graded.
Follow me on gem buying adventures in the pearl farms of Tahiti. Visit the gem fields of Australia and Brazil. 120 carefully selected photographs showing examples of the highest quality gems to educate the eye, including the Rockefeller Sapphire and many more of the world's most famous gems. Consider my book: Secrets Of The Gem Trade, The Connoisseur's Guide To Precious Gemstones.
“Wise is a renowned author... He’s
done a marvelous job of this first book, monumental work, a tour de force...My recommendation: Buy this book”.
Charles Lewton-Brain, Orchid
whether you like to know what the best colour is in Tanzanite, or how to grade a Diamond, you will find it in this book. No other book I read before dealt with this topic is such detail as Richard Wise's masterpiece."
A. Van Acker, FGA
Amazon June 2005
Midwest Book Review
Only $35.95. Read a couple of chapters online: www.secretsofthegemtrade.com.
Buy it on Amazon: www.amazon.com