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Kelli

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What are the most sparkly gemstones, in reference to brilliance and dispersion. How do garnets, spinels, tourmalines, zircons, etc. add up? Most jewelry stores I know of only sell crappy stones. I love what I see online here, but you can''t tell sparkle from still pictures and I''d want my stones to really have flash. Are there any colored gems that can give diamonds a run for their money?
 

Kismet

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Barbara Smigel wrote a nice article on dispersion here.
 

Kelli

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Thanks Kismet! It''s weird though, I think I''ve heard on several occasions that chrysoberyl can be a real sparkler, but it''s listed under "low" dispersion. I know so many other factors go into it, including how it''s cut.

I wish I could see more stones IRL. I found a local gemologist today that said he had thousands of stones, but I hate bothering people when I know I have no intentions of buying yet. I could go in there and browse for hours, but unfortunately that doesn''t fill up my pockets enough to actually buy things. Luckily I can browse on PS as long as I want and satisfy my inner addict!
 

coatimundi_org

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Well, there is luster and there is dispersion. I like stones that have both. Stones with high dispersion that I adore are sphene, sphalerite, and dematoid garnet. Those 3 also have high refractive indexes, but sphalerite is too soft and not tough enough for jewelry application--sphene and demantoid lack hardness as well. I love garnets in general for the high RI and some have very nice dispersion--Mali garnet is another. Mali garnet can definitely give yellow diamond a run for the money.
 

Lady_Disdain

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Date: 2/11/2009 2:21:56 PM
Author:Kelli
Are there any colored gems that can give diamonds a run for their money?
There are coloured stones that will leave diamonds behind: sphene, sphelaerite, demantoid, etc. Unfortunately, the first two are very soft (pendant only, if you are brave enough to set them).

However, gem type alone isn´t enought to guarantee sparkle. Good cutting and few inclusions are very important.
 

coatimundi_org

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Date: 2/11/2009 3:14:21 PM
Author: Kelli
Thanks Kismet! It''s weird though, I think I''ve heard on several occasions that chrysoberyl can be a real sparkler, but it''s listed under ''low'' dispersion. I know so many other factors go into it, including how it''s cut.
Chrysoberyl has high hardness, but lower dispersion--you won''t see a lot of fire(spectral colors), but the high RI combined with high hardness give these stones great luster.
 

Kelli

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Thanks guys. I believe it was brown eyed girl in another thread that talked about tourmalines being bright and happy stones, and spinels being moodier and darker but changeable. I guess those are the types of descriptions I would love to hear. I know sphene and spheralite are nice and firey but too soft. There seem to be a lot of tourmalines, spinels, and garnets being purchased right now. I''m looking forward to treating myself to one in a few months when my bank account isn''t so empty and I love hearing peoples'' descriptions of their stones. Thanks for any input:)
 

Kelli

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Date: 2/11/2009 3:20:48 PM
Author: coatimundi

Date: 2/11/2009 3:14:21 PM
Author: Kelli
Thanks Kismet! It''s weird though, I think I''ve heard on several occasions that chrysoberyl can be a real sparkler, but it''s listed under ''low'' dispersion. I know so many other factors go into it, including how it''s cut.
Chrysoberyl has high hardness, but lower dispersion--you won''t see a lot of fire(spectral colors), but the high RI combined with high hardness give these stones great luster.
Thanks for the explanation!
 

TanzyFan

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Hmmm...

Well genuine Zircon has Beautiful Brilliance, but you have to be a little more mindful with it.

Good Sphene is great. Looks Electric. Greens and Oranges in the same stone, but a bit tougher to find clean.

I like some of the new Spinel Discoveries. The Vivid Pinks and Reds.

Those are a couple that I like. Sparkly :)
 

yingh

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I had a sphene once and tried to set it as a pendant by a local jeweler - it chipped. Never tried again. But the dispersion indeed is fascinating!


Date: 2/11/2009 3:16:29 PM
Author: Lady_Disdain

Date: 2/11/2009 2:21:56 PM
Author:Kelli
the first two are very soft (pendant only, if you are brave enough to set them).
 

innerkitten

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Thats what scares me about zircons. I love the way they look but I''m pretty hard on my jewelry.
 

Brown.Eyed.Girl

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Date: 2/11/2009 3:29:04 PM
Author: Kelli
Thanks guys. I believe it was brown eyed girl in another thread that talked about tourmalines being bright and happy stones, and spinels being moodier and darker but changeable. I guess those are the types of descriptions I would love to hear. I know sphene and spheralite are nice and firey but too soft. There seem to be a lot of tourmalines, spinels, and garnets being purchased right now. I''m looking forward to treating myself to one in a few months when my bank account isn''t so empty and I love hearing peoples'' descriptions of their stones. Thanks for any input:)

lol I''m in a descriptive mood today. I''m now classifying stones as being outgoing or shy
 

cellentani

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Date: 2/11/2009 3:16:16 PM
Author: coatimundi
Well, there is luster and there is dispersion. I like stones that have both. Stones with high dispersion that I adore are sphene, sphalerite, and dematoid garnet. Those 3 also have high refractive indexes, but sphalerite is too soft and not tough enough for jewelry application--sphene and demantoid lack hardness as well. I love garnets in general for the high RI and some have very nice dispersion--Mali garnet is another. Mali garnet can definitely give yellow diamond a run for the money.
Okay, I''m a complete dork here, but coati, does RI have to do with luster classifications like adamantine, sub-adamantine, sub-vitreous, etc.? When Kelli asked for sparkly stones, I thought she was asking about luster rather than dispersion. It''s possible to have a very sparkly stone without much dispersion, right?
 

shaunrice

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I have a 10.5 carat oval blue zircon i wear every day, and it is as sparkly as a blue diamond. A well cut alexandrite flashes like no tomorrow, but finding a good one to look at is an EXTREME challenge lol!
 

T L

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Some soft stones like sphalerite and sphene have a great deal of dispersion. It''s a pity they''re so soft. Sphalerite is incredibly beautiful in clean cut crystal.
 

FrekeChild

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I stick with my spinels. The lighter the color, the more sparkly it seems to be. But I think that cut will make it or break it with any variety of stone type. My almost black spinel throws rainbows, sure, but those baby pinks and my gray have tons of rainbows shooting out of them. However, my silvery topaz--reflects light like crazy. That may have something to do with it''s size (7.41cts).

But my tourmalines and garnets, and sapphires, while they reflect lots of light and sparkle when light hits the facets...they just don''t compare to the rainbows that come off of the spinels.

But Sphene is amazing.
 

Brown.Eyed.Girl

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Date: 2/11/2009 8:29:13 PM
Author: FrekeChild
I stick with my spinels. The lighter the color, the more sparkly it seems to be. But I think that cut will make it or break it with any variety of stone type. My almost black spinel throws rainbows, sure, but those baby pinks and my gray have tons of rainbows shooting out of them. However, my silvery topaz--reflects light like crazy. That may have something to do with it''s size (7.41cts).


But my tourmalines and garnets, and sapphires, while they reflect lots of light and sparkle when light hits the facets...they just don''t compare to the rainbows that come off of the spinels.


But Sphene is amazing.
I agree. My spinel sparkles like crazy outdoors, and picks up a TON in incandescent light. But then again, I find that my garnets sparkle a lot too - esp. in low light. I haven''t really tested my lighter garnets in direct sunlight though
 

Kelli

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THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU EVERYONE! This is exactly the stuff I was looking for. When I say sparkle, I guess I really mean any kind of sparkle. I love fire (or dispersion) but if a stone has a lot of luster or throws lots of white light, I''d be ok with that too. The only decent colored gemstone I have is the malaya garnet in that crooked LOGR setting. It sparkles pretty, but the color is so dark that I think some of it gets lost. I''d love to see a Mali garnet in person. I''ve seen plenty of sapphires, but none of them were sparkly. Of course, none of them were really good sapphires either. I haven''t seen many tourmalines, and I''ve NEVER seen a spinel. I wonder if there are any videos on colored stones like there are for diamonds?
 

FrekeChild

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Kelli, there are a few spinel videos on Youtube if you search. I know there are some that are from Jewelry TV or whatever and a couple of some spinel from Mr. Stair...
 

ma re

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OK, so "sparkle" can be:

- brilliance; the ammount of white light reflected in the stone''s interior
- dispersion; reflections of light in spectral colors i.e. fire
- scintillation; the degree to which individual "sparks" appear from within the stone (i.e. "dance" of light)
- luster; the "feel" of light reflections and the ammount of light relfected of the facets, usually exterior (associated with hardness, R. I., tone of color and the quality of polish)

Any of these factors is influenced by a number of things. Diamonds are most often cut as brilliants and with a reason - brilliant is the most brilliant of all cuts. But colored stones most often come in other shapes. And if a stone is cut with no equal lenght to width ratio (oval, pear, marquise etc.) it will never be as lively (as scintillating) as those cut in shapes like rounds, trillions or hearts of the same degree of precision. Not to mention that the degree of precision usually found in colored stones is light years away from that found in diamonds and the same goes for the attention given to polishing. Color also makes a diference. As you''ve seen with your malaya, darker stones don''t reflect that much light eventhough they can be very scintillating. So if you''d like a stone that gives off a nice white reflection from the facet, pick one with pastel color. Precision of cutting, size of the stone and the cutting style have IMO much more to do with this than R. I., cause I''ve seen an emerald cut blue topaz that could almost blind you if the sun would hit one of it''s large facets. It''s because it is light enough in tone and has facets that are large enough to show good brilliance eventhough the material itself doesen''t do that good of a job at "slowing down the light". In strong, vivid colors, you can''t expect as much brilliance or dispersion, but they can still be scintillating, just like dark ones. One more thing - when it comes to luster I don''t think you can find something with such reflections as diamonds have, in colored stones (especially exterior ones), but it is possible to find some that can match diamonds in dispersion, scintillation or brilliance.

P. S. Here is a proof that R. I. is not of much importance, cause even from a photo, you can tell this diamond isn''t very scintillating


P. P. S. The way diferent stones sparkle can be "studied" by watching tv shopping channels. That''s one of the rare benefits of actually having them on tv
 

Kelli

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Thanks for taking the time to explain all of that mr. ma re.

As much as I love sparkle, I also LOVE emerald cuts (at least I love them in diamonds). I haven''t seen as many emerald cut colored gems I like, but someone on pricescope has an EC blue zircon set in platinum that I think I absolutely breathtaking. Too bad I can''t remember who. But I only love the ones that really do play with light well and give those big giant flashes. It''s so hard to tell from a picture what stones will perform like that and which ones won''t, but I do see how sticking with the lighter colors would help. I''m sure SIZE helps as well.

Anyway, thans again for your help eveyone! Learning about this stuff is fun:)
 

Edward Bristol

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Golden-red-yellow-green sphenes are a MUST-SEE for anybody who loves sparkle. Nothing compares to sphene in candle light. Unbelievable!

We have set many sphenes (or “titanites” as we call the Pakistani and Afghani sphenes) in the last years. They all survived, except one set by a “new” goldsmith and we replaced the stone.

I hope local jewelers do get more acquainted with setting other than diamond and sapphire in the future. There are sooo many great gem varieties available now.


 

Kelli

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I''d love to see one IRL. They look magnificent even in still pictures!
 

LD

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As an owner of several Sphene rings (worn with great care) I agree with everybody else that the fire is without doubt unbelievable! I have a couple of Sphalerites too that are fascinating and it''s like looking at a mini volcano! WOW!
 
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