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3+ Carat Alexandrite on shopping TV


Susan and I enjoy watching some of the shopping networks for gems &
jewelry. Last night, one had a 3+ carat alexandrite. From what we
know, this is unheard of. Has there been a new discovery, perhaps in
Africa, lately?



Rick- A few years ago we set a 2.47 alex in platinum and 18 kt. So
I’m guessing that 3 cts. isn’t out of the question.

There’s a pic of it on our web site. Six years ago it was $60,000.00.
I’m guessing that the shopping network wasn’t asking that much.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer


Hi Rick,

Not sure why you’ve made this assumption. Alexandrite in 3 carat
sizes is readily available if you have the money.

I recently had a call for a five carat stone and was able to find a
selection from which to choose.

Wayne Emery


While 3 carat alexandrites are rare they show up in that size and
larger occasionally. I don’t know what sources would be “new” to
your way of thinking but alexandrite in occasional large sizes has
been coming out of both Madagascar and Tanzania for over a decade

There are also somewhat recent alex discoveries in India and a number
of large high quality stones have been found. Brazil still produces a
few nice alex’s from Hematita, mostly small, but I know of a 3.10 ct.
gem currently on the market. Sri Lankan alex is known to occur in
quite large sizes. There appears to be practically no alex coming
from the original Russian mines in the Urals but is
difficult to obtain. If there are other sources I’m not aware of

Rick Martin


One tv shopping website specializing in only jewelry and gems SWEARS
they sell no lab grown stones unless labeled as such, and boasts
they are the “worlds largest seller of loose faceted gemstones.” They
sell vast quantities of loose faceted parcels daily, from 20 cts to
500 cts, sometimes for under $1 a ct. Many of the stones are topaz,
but I have gotten 3 color changing stones that fit the alexandrite
specs. I have not tested them, and the people who have recieved them
have no clue what they many be getting as sadly they are unfamiliar
with the amazingness that is real alexandrite, so I guess it’s a ‘pig
in a poke’ as granny would say. I’d be curious, though, and if it’s
beautiful, do as the lady says: "have fun and make lots of jewelry"
and price it accordingly.


FYI folks- if you have been buying stones from dealers and suppliers
you have been paying TOO much. Why? I am shooting myself in the foot
but there are some deals you wont believe on the net. Rubies,
sapphires. tourms, other colored gems are available at UNbelievable
PRICES. I’m letting you figure out where. WC PS that Alex was
probably a lab job. -read the fine print when you shopand yes
African mat’l has been flooding the market with Thai cutters and
dealers offering the deals


Rick-- it’s not all that unusual to find alexandrites in the 3 ct.
size-- to find one that’s worthy is the rub. Sri Lankan alexandrites
can be large and clean, but they often have a very brownish cast and
moderate or weak color change.

Even though the vendor may represent the stone as “Gem Gem Gem” or
some such rhetorical blandishment, the words don’t really matter,
it’s the actual quality that counts. Actual price will tell the tale
as to the quality of the stone. For example, from the Gem Guide, 3
ct. alexandrite in commercial quality can range from 600 to 2500/ct
wholesale (before deducting for cut) while extra fine can hit
10,000/ ct and more, with good to fine ranging between 2500 to
7500/ct wholesale.

For a short course in colored stone grading, check out my website
for our unique colored stone grading system,

For Alex, take a look at the page on grading phenomena,


Curious, I went to HSN (.com) and they only had a few melee. Went to and a search for alexandrite brought up tanzanite - guess we
know how competent they are…;}

Jewelry TV had quite a bit, but the genuine stones
are well under a carat and run in the $500 and up range. The large
stones - 3 carats and the like - all state clearly that they are
Russian lab grown…


The price of the stone is a good indicator of whether the stone is
natural or not.



Just as an aside regarding shopping for jewellery from a shopping
channel, I have seen quite a few such channels, but one of the UK
channels is in a different league to the others. It’s called “The
Jewellery Channel”. They started up in the US also, a couple of
years ago, but it didn’t take off there.

They only sell natural gemstones - no synthetics or simulants at all

  • guaranteed. I have bought jewellery for myself and my girls, and
    presents for other people. They make everything in-house, in their
    factory in Thailand, including cutting the gemstones - hence them
    being able to sell them at reasonable prices. Their 9K jewellery can
    be fairly junky, as it’s mass produced and mass finished, then set
    with stones. There have been occasions when there have been stones
    missing from the pieces being shown, and there have been a couple of
    times when the stones in the 9K range have been rubbish (but
    normally they’re good - it’s pot luck with the lower end stuff, but
    you can send it back if it’s bad). Having said that, their jewellery
    on the whole beats the junk in many high street chain stores, hands
    down, and so do their prices. However, their 18K range, platinum
    range and their gemstones are much better quality than the 9K range.
    Their in- house cutting is never going to beat or rival that of the
    world’s top gemstone cutters, but the cutting isn’t bad either, and
    the quality of the rough they use, means that the gems you end up
    with are extremely good quality for the price you pay. The company is
    also a sight holder at the Tanzanite One mine, so their tanzanite
    (which is always at least AAA quality on 18K or platinum pieces) is
    outstandingly good. They also sell alexandrites with good colour
    change and of good clarity, but they fetch quite a price usually.

As an example, this evening, they sold an 18K white gold tanzanite
and diamond pendant with 18K white gold chain. The tanzanite was AAA
quality - very vivid in colour (with no treatment apart from the
usual heat treatment to turn it blue from brown) and was 9.25ct in
weight. There was almost a carat of diamonds over twenty five stones
(G/H colour, SI1 clarity) surrounding it. The pendant sold for less
than 3000 UKP!!! The tanzanite alone was worth far more than that,
had it been sold through the normal channels. They can only do that
because everything is done under one roof in Thailand, and because
the company is a sight holder. If they had to buy the gems via a
chain of dealers, then the price would be far higher. I’ve priced up
tanzanite elsewhere, and I’ve bought tanzanite from a trade fair,
but the channel’s prices cannot be beaten. I have now taken to buying
the occasional piece of jewellery just for the stones contained
therein - the gold and any diamonds are a bonus. They also sell loose
stones. I have my eye on a Columbian emerald from them one day, as
they are absolutely gorgeous! All their products come with guarantee
cards and valuations by independent jewellers usually far exceed
what’s paid. I’m not sure whether or not this is the sort of thing
Walter was referring to in his post the other day when he was talking
about paying too much for gemstones if you buy from dealers, but
other jewellers do buy jewellery and gemstones from the channel.

Incidentally, I’m not very popular with them (even though I’ve been
a good customer), because I do like to heckle, and if the presenters
make any mistakes regarding gemstone such as stating
it’s a different cut to the one shown, or accidentally misrepresent
anything while I’m watching such as treatments, then I’ll email them
to tell them so. You can email them while they’re live and if they
like your comments, they’ll read them out - I’ve had lots of fun
with that in the early hours of the morning, with a particular
presenter who has a good sense of humour. We played guess the
gemstone the other night, when he was selling a ring, but nobody at
the channel had a clue as to the identity of the stone, so I emailed
them to tell them it was larimar, and we had quite a conversation and
a giggle. But conversely, I’ve had managers ringing me back and
apologising for misrepresentations that I’ve pointed out, and
assuring me that they’ll change they way things are worded. I have
now noticed that they’re disclosing treatments much more than they
used to, such as the fact that most of the rubies in their 9K range
are fissure filled - not saying it’s because of me, but you have to
keep them on their toes. Such things were sometimes previously
omitted by the presenters, but the treatments would be disclosed on
the guarantee cards, as they must be disclosed by law.

As with anything, you have to know what you’re buying, and roughly
what it’s worth. You can pay more than something is worth (with the
lower quality stuff), but generally, if you go for the right pieces
or stones, then you can net some real bargains.

Just a happy customer - no affiliation. Incidentally, when their
computer messed up my husband’s order for my Christmas present a
couple of years ago, and failed to deliver an 18K diamond eternity
ring, he called them up on Christmas eve, really upset and they had
a courier drive the best part of 300 miles to deliver it door to
door. Customer service and their reputation mean a lot to them. Not
all jewellery-selling shopping channels are rubbish.

Sorry for the long post!