By Jennifer Heebner, Editor in Chief
With AGTA GemFair Tucson just weeks away, many members are packing up parcels of new gems for display and sale. Columbia Gem House is no different, and the Vancouver, Wash.–based cutter and wholesaler gave AGTA a preview of offerings that will be on display in booth #1117 on the GemHall floor.
Among the new offerings are Montana Sapphires starting at 1 carat and larger sizes.
“It’s extremely difficult to come by this size in any quantity,” explains Natasha Braunwart, brand and corporate social responsibility manager. “We get a lot of requests for 1 carat and larger Montana Sapphires, and the supply hasn’t been able to keep up with the higher demand. However, we’re bringing more than 200 gems in the 1–5 ct. range. Some of it is new rough and some was mined years ago. This material is from a contact that we’ve worked with over the years on various gem projects specifically in relation to Montana Sapphires.”
Next up are two new carving collections—“Occult” and “Celestial Zodiac.” There are just six gems available for sale in each motif offered, all of which are based on customer requests. Once they’re sold out, Columbia will have a preorder list. All gems are “hand carved by people—there’s no laser carvings,” says Braunwart. Gems in both collections are available to start in clear quartz.
Motifs in the “Occult” collection include skulls, snakes, moths, and more, while looks in the “Celestial Zodiac” line feature actual signs, not constellations. Think rams, scorpions, goats, balancing scales, and the rest you expect.
Finally, Columbia is pleased to offer Alexandrite melee. “It’s arguably one of the most exciting additions,” says Braunwart, adding that the material will be available in expertly calibrated diamond-cut gems in the 1–3 mm size.
“Finding brilliant-cut Alexandrite melee is exceedingly rare because the only place producing right now is Brazil, and Brazil is producing very little today,” she says. “You will find some bigger one-of-a-kinds, but rarely will you find calibrated brilliant-cut melee.”
Other new gems include watermelon Tourmaline, moss Agate (“So much moss Agate—it’s one of our most requested gemstones,” says Braunwart), and Australian Sapphire, which is more plentiful than the variety from the U.S.
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