Gem News International Gems & Gemology, Spring 2019, Vol. 55, No. 1

A Variety of Colored Stones from Mayer & Watt

Trillion-cut gray spinel from Myanmar.
Figure 1. An 8 mm 2.01 ct trillion-cut gray spinel from Myanmar. Photo courtesy of 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.

Purple garnet from Mozambique.
Figure 2. This purple garnet from Mozambique is a 1.25 ct hexagon measuring 6.1 mm. Photo courtesy of Mayer & Watt.

Jennifer Stone-Sundberg is a research scientist at GIA in New York, and a technical editor of Gems & Gemology.