A Variety of Colored Stones from Mayer & Watt
Mother-and-son team Laurie and Geoffrey Watt (Mayer & Watt, Maysville, Kentucky) noted that while there were plenty of customers at the AGTA show this year, the formula for success was a wide selection of materials and competitive pricing. Their booth had a selection of what was hot this year: the highly sought-after gray zircon, as well as pink and blue zircon; fancy colors of Montana sapphire; Ethiopian emerald from Shakiso; electric pink spinel from the Mahenge deposit in Tanzania; and a wide variety of garnet colors, such as true purple garnet from Mozambique. Gray spinel was one of the most popular stones this year for a wide variety of jewelry applications, including engagement rings. Mayer & Watt had one of the best selections of actual achromatic gray spinel, with no stray hues of blue, green, or purple (figure 1). The true purple garnet offered by Mayer & Watt and a handful of other vendors at AGTA and GJX comes from a single small source discovered in 2015 in Mozambique (figure 2). This garnet lacks a pinkish cast, unlike less expensive pinkish purple material coming from Tanzania.