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Removing A Ring Stuck On A Finger


removing a ring

How To Remove A Stuck Ring On Finger

A ring stuck on a finger is quite a common problem. Jewelers sometime used a cutter with a sharp curved edge to cut it but the ring will be damaged.

I have gone through a number of clips on YouTube on how to remove a ring stuck on a finger.

This is by far the best shot clip.

Emerald – The Supreme Green Gem



The timeless appeal of emerald can be summed up in three words written in the year 50 AD: “Nothing greens greener.” Roman historian Pliny the Elder was explaining the desire for the supreme green gem not only in Rome but throughout the ancient world.

Cleopatra, Egypt’s tempestuous female monarch, was as famous for wearing emeralds in her time as Liz Taylor, the actress who played her in a 1969 movie, is for wearing diamonds in ours. Mummies in ancient Egypt were often buried with an emerald on their necks carved with the symbol for verdure, flourishing greenness, to symbolize eternal youth.

Islamic texts describe the Garden of Paradise as carpeted with emerald. The Moguls of India, including Shah Jahan, the builder of the Taj Mahal, loved emeralds so much they inscribed them with sacred text and wore them as talismans. Some of these sacred stones, called Mogul emeralds, can still be seen in museums and collections today.

The Incas had an emerald goddess, a fabulous emerald the size of an ostrich egg. In tribute they sacrificed her children: smaller emeralds that were presented to the goddess.

Because the rich green color of emerald is the color of spring, it has long symbolized love and rebirth. As the gem of Venus, it was also considered an aid to fertility.

emeraldThe emeralds the ancients adored, from mines in Egypt and perhaps what is now Afghanistan, were nowhere near as beautiful as those mined today. The modern emerald bounty began almost five centuries ago when Spanish explorers arrived in the new world. Montezuma presented Cortes with a staggering emerald crystal much larger and finer than any ever seen before.

The Spaniards spent years searching for the source of the fantastic green gems. They found it finally in what is today Colombia. In our century, several more emerald El Dorados have been discovered. While Colombia is still the world’s largest and most famous emerald-producing country, Brazil and Zambia have emerged as major sources for this gem. As could be expected, emeralds from each of these countries possess their own distinctive characteristics. If you are buying mainly or solely for color, Colombian stones have the highest reputation. However, the finest Brazilian stones rival those of Colombia for color. If clarity is your primary concern, Zambian stones are renowned for their crystalline appearance and have a rich, robust green to boot.

van-cleef-arpels-colombian-emerald-ring1Emerald is most often cut in a rectangular step-cut, which is now popularly known as the emerald cut. Smaller sizes are also found in rounds, ovals, pear shapes and marquise cuts. You may have to look a while for an unusual shape in a larger size. Due to their rich color, emeralds are also spectacular when cut in a smooth-domed cabochon cut.

Emeralds, among the rarest of gems, are almost always found with birthmarks, known as inclusions. Some inclusions are expected and do not detract from the value of the stone as much as with other gemstones. However, you should look to make sure that fissures do not go too deep into the stone so that it might be weakened enough to break if it were hit accidentally. The fissures that are characteristic of emerald are traditionally filled with oil or resin to make them less visible to the eye. You should assume that your emerald has been improved in this way unless it has a laboratory certificate indicating otherwise: such rare stones command a considerable premium.

Gemologists can detect the presence of fillers when a stone is examined under a microscope. But it’s nearly impossible to identify the agent without the aid of very expensive equipment that only a handful of labs in the world can afford. For this reason, most gem labs note that an emerald has been enhanced, but can’t say with what medium.

Nevertheless, the trade generally divides enhancement agents into two categories: natural and man-made. Understandably, many dealers dislike the idea of using a man-made substance to beautify a natural gem. Since emeralds have such a long and rich tradition of connoisseurship, these dealers feel that only traditional substances should be used: natural oils and resins such as Canada balsam or cedarwood oil. However, these natural oils, over time, dehydrate or leak out. That’s why most in the trade now rely on longer-lasting man-made substances like epoxy resins for emerald face lifts. No matter which substance is used, the end result is the same: less obvious inclusions, and more life in your emerald.

Avoid cleaning emerald with hot soapy water or steam and never clean an emerald in an ultrasonic cleaner because the oil or resin could be removed or damaged, making fissures more visible. Emeralds are durable gemstones with a hardness of 7.5 to 8. However, emeralds with many inclusions should be treated with some care and be protected from blows.

Clean emerald with mild dish soap: use a toothbrush to scrub behind the stone where dust can collect.


Acknowledgement :

o  Adapted from AGTA at





The Emerald Mines of Panjshir Valley


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Emerald dealers in Panjshir Valley, Courtesy:

Emerald mines in Panjshir Valley, Afghanistan could bring $US1bn in bounty every year.

Four thousand meters up in the Hindu Kush mountains, there is a deafening blast as the ground begins to shake. “Green is the color of Islam, so we believe that emeralds are a gift from Allah,” said Saifuddin Safayee, a grizzled 32-year-old with a thick beard who has been mining here for 17 years.

Map of Panjshir Valley, Courtesy:

Among the snow-capped peaks above Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley, thousands of miners are burrowing deep into the mountains, hunting for some of the world’s finest emeralds.

“The potential is enormous,” according to Guy Clutterbuck, of CGM Dublin, an emerald merchant who first visited Panjshir in the 1980s. “They are just scratching the surface. They have only been mining for 30 years. Perhaps, with proper administration and the right infrastructure in place, it could benefit the entire country”

The underground emerald mines in Panjshir Valley, Courtesy:

Some believe that one day Panjshiri emeralds – as well as deposits of rubies, sapphires and lapis lazuli in the country’s east and north – could form the basis of a much bigger, legitimate gem industry in Afghanistan.

The emeralds mined from these few barren hillsides – scene of some of the worst fighting in the Soviet-Afghan war of the 1980s – are sold for about $US200 million ($189.8m) a year, experts say. But almost all of the stones are smuggled out of the country uncut to Pakistan and India, yielding virtually nothing in terms of tax revenue or extra jobs if they were cut and marketed in Afghanistan before export.

One insider claims that if the industry were managed properly, the emeralds produced in Panjshir could be worth five times as much – $US1 billion a year – and that is before the introduction of new mining methods and technology that could boost production drastically.

A rough emerald on a matrix rock, Courtesy:

“Panjshiri stones are very beautiful – very transparent,” Vincent Pardieu, a French gemologist from the Gemological Institute of America who is working on a certification scheme for Panjshiri stones, said.   In his view, they compare favorably to emeralds mined in Colombia and Zambia – the other main centers of production.

Either way, hunched at the mine-face without a helmet and only an oil-fired lantern for light, there is no doubt that mining in Panjshir is tough, dangerous work for which most miners earn little.  “I have been working here for 24 years and found $US20,000 of emeralds,” Mohammed Momin, 40, said. “But for the past two years I have found nothing.”

Most miners are lucky if they earn $US100 a month. Others fare desperately worse, killed by collapsing tunnels, rock-falls and blasting accidents.

In contrast, big profits can be earned by the 20 or so Panjshiri kingpins who dominate the trade, as well as the smugglers and foreigners who buy rough stones and have them cut or made into jewelry in Sri Lanka and Bangkok. These can be sold for millions of dollars in some of the most exclusive shops on Bond Street or Fifth Avenue.

Military hardware left by the Russians in the Panjshir Valley, Courtesy:

In Panjshir, where the skeletal remains of Russian tanks and armored personal carriers litter the valley floor, miners still use old Russian munitions for blasting – a highly dangerous and barely controlled technique that can damage the emeralds. “They are too powerful so they shatter the stones,” Mr Pardieu said.

But the local miners carry on. “We put our faith in Allah,” Mr Safayee said. “Mining for emeralds is not easy, but with his help – Inshallah – we will find them.”

Adapted from, article by Robin Pagnamenta

Ref :,,,,,

Emerald from Afghanistan


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Emerald from Panjshir Valley, Afghanistan, Source :

In the gemstone world, Afghanistan is most famous as the source of the world’s finest lapis lazuli. Lapis come from the Badakhshan province of northern Afghanistan, where it has been mined continuously for over 6,000 years.

But Afghanistan has important reserves of other gem varieties as well, though only a few have reached the international market. Thus far we’ve had stock in Afghani kunzite, morganite, turquoise and serpentine. But we’ve been waiting to see specimens of the high quality ruby, emerald, tourmaline and spinel that are said to be found in Afghanistan in small quantities.

We’ve now had our first chance to buy emerald from Afghanistan, and we’re very impressed with the quality of the material. Though the stones are fairly small, the color is exceptional, on par with the very best Colombian and Zambian emeralds. But what makes the Afghani material unusual is the excellent transparency. Most emeralds, even very good quality stones, are heavily included and have tiny surface-reaching fissures that require fracture-filling with oil or resin. The Afghani emeralds we’ve found have been certified as untreated and are exceptionally clean for emeralds.

The Panjshir Valley in Afghanistan, Pic source:

Emeralds are mined in the Panjshir Valley in the Hindu Kush mountains, about 100 km northeast of Kabul. The deposit was reportedly first discovered by a Russian geologist in 1970, and mining has been carried out at as many as six different mines. The emeralds occur at an elevation of 3,000 to 4,000 meters and the mines are accessible only by foot.

It is estimated that about 1,000 miners are employed working the emerald mines. Though the mines are ostensibly under government control, most mining and selling is done by local tribesmen. Afghani gems find their way to market via Pakistan and most of the trade is carried on in the Peshawar market just across the border.

While the present hostilities and war-like conditions in Afghanistan have made mining and transportation of the gem materials difficult, the need for capital appears to have actually stimulated mining operations. Gem dealers have noticed that greater amounts of fine quality lapis lazuli are available now than at any time in recent years.

Original Source : Adapted from the March 2011 newsletter of

An Impressive Sapphire and Diamond Brooch


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A Burmese Sapphire & Diamond Brooch

An impressive Sapphire and Diamond Brooch was sold for $7.1 million on May 18, 2011 at the Geneva Magnificent Jewels at the Christie’s auction.

Set with a cushion-cut sapphire, weighing 130.50 carats, to the openwork rose-cut diamond surround and collet-set old-cut diamond frame, mounted in silver and gold, 6.0 cm.

Accompanied by report no. 58361 dated 31 January 2011 from the SSEF Swiss Gemmological Institute stating that the sapphire is of Burmese origin, with no indications of heating; and a letter indicating that ‘Its saturated blue color, poetically referred to as ‘royal blue’, is due to a combination of well balanced trace elements in the stone, typical and characteristic for the finest sapphires of the Mogok gemstone tract’ and that ‘The described sapphire exhibits an outstanding purity’

It is also accompanied by another report no. 11020001 dated 7 February 2011 from the Gübelin Gemlab stating that the sapphire is of Burmese origin, with no indications of heating; and an Appendix indicating that the sapphire ‘possesses a richly saturated and homogeneous color, combined with a high degree of transparency, and a finely proportioned cut.’

Source :

A Nick on a Faceted Mogok Ruby


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A Mogok Ruby Ring

Hello Arthur

My mother bought a big ruby faceted stone from Yangon in Myanmar last year.  The stone was at least 3 over carats and the dealer told her that it was a Mogok Ruby.  She paid a very high price for it.

She sent to a jeweler for setting, whom we know very well.  The ring was set together with diamonds surrounding it.

My mother was quite happy with the setting.  I looked at the ring with a loupe and found out that there was a small chip in one of the facets.  I have seen the stone before it was sent for setting and there was no chip on the table.

We sent it back to the jeweler and argued with him that he had chipped the stone.  But the jeweler said that the stone was already chipped when it was sent in.  He refused to reimburse us with anything at all.

Now we are not on talking term with the jeweler and my mother said that she will never go back to the jeweler again.  What do you think?

Sophia, Manila

Hi Sophia

Different countries may have different trade practices on jewelry setting, but the universal rule is that the jeweler is not responsible if the gemstone/s is broken or damage, or if there is a nick on the table or any fractures that may appear later after the stone is set as a jewelry.

The jeweler will exercise due care in the setting of the jewelry but accidents may happen that the stone may fracture in the course of setting it into the gold or silver casing.  In the event that the stone is fractured, the most the jeweler can offer is that he will not ‘charge’ you for the workmanship or for the work done on the casting and return the ‘broken ’stone to you.

Perhaps the stone may already has a fracture or a nick on the table and during the in-take of the stone at the counter this is not noticeable by the jeweler counter staff.

Another scenario can be the nicks and indents on the stone’s table are being glass-filled.  You and the jeweler may not have noticed it before.  Hence, when the blow-torch with an initial temperature of more than 700oC hit the stone during setting, the temperature would have melted the glass filling.

You may perhaps claim some money back in terms of workmanship.  I do not think that you have any legal recourse against them.  During the in-take of the stone the jeweler will have to issue you a receipt to acknowledge that he has accepted your order.  At the back of the receipt, all the terms and conditions apply, including that the jeweler is not responsible for any damage/s caused to the stone during setting.

A Arthur Lau


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