We Take 2nd Place in the Jewelers of America's CASE Awards!

Our in-house custom designer, Sharon Curtiss-Gal, takes home the second-place award in the 2019 CASE Awards, held by the Jewelers of America (JA). The JA is a national trade association for businesses serving the fine jewelry marketplace, and the CASE Awards are the premier annual jewelry design competition.

Sharon Curtiss-Gal competed among 54 jewelers in the competition, and claimed the second-place CASE Award in the Jewelry up to $2,000 (retail value) category for a custom-crafted 14K rose and white gold necklace featuring an Australian opal (1.20 ct) and diamonds.


All entries were evaluated by a panel of expert judges to determine a winner in each category. “Jewelers of America is honored to showcase the exceptional craftsmanship and creativity of jewelers, like Sharon Curtiss-Gal, whose designs demonstrate the remarkable jewelry available from JA-member stores nationwide,” says JA President & CEO David J. Bonaparte.

Congratulations to Sharon!

Blue Zircon - Real and RARE

To this day, people are still surprised to discover that Zircon is in fact a real gemstone, not to be confused with Cubic Zirconia, a synthetic stone that has been used to imitate diamond.

In actuality, Zircon is a natural gemstone found a variety of colors, from soft rose hues, to golden yellows, reddish-browns, clear as well as greens and blues.

Zircon is noteworthy because of it’s very high dispersion. It is right up there next to diamond as far as dispersion is considered, meaning its crystal formation creates a high amount of sparkle. Zircon is also a fairly durable stone but it is brittle. So, as opposed to wearing down and becoming smooth, it is more likely to chip due to impact.

Blue Zircon necklace, designed by and found exclusively at The Gem Vault.

Blue Zircon necklace, designed by and found exclusively at The Gem Vault.

The Zircon gems we carry in store are primarily mined in Cambodia, but are also found in Burma. Many of the colored varieties have been enhanced by heat treatment.

Again, while Zircon is frequently mistaken for a synthetic stone, it is in fact a natural gem dating back to antiquity. It is also the true, original birthstone for the month of December.

Because Zircon is relatively rare, many common jewelers default to using the more widely available Blue Topaz. Topaz is much more readily available, and its Blue tones are also created by treatment, primarily radiation.

At The Gem Vault, we think there is no finer gift for a December baby than a real Blue Zircon gemstone or piece of jewelry!

25% OFF New Diamond Jewelry For The Holidays!

Tis the season for gifting your loved ones with items as precious as they are! We’ve just stocked our showroom with new pieces of jewelry featuring white, black and chocolate-colored diamonds!

And, we’re having a 25% Off SALE on all of these items starting NOW!

Visit us in-store to snag your favorite at 25% OFF, or contact us via phone or email!

Peridot: A Gem of Prosperity and Good Fortune

Peridot has been August's primary birthstone for quite some time, but because the Peridot gems seen at most common gem or jewelry stores includes more murky and dark gems, many August babies have remained unaware of just how stunningly beautiful their birthstone can be! 

Peridot and 18k Gold Ring from The Gem Vault

Peridot and 18k Gold Ring from The Gem Vault

Peridot (pronounced pair-uh-doe) is the gem variety of Olivine. Olivine, is not exactly a mineral on it's own; rather, it is composed of two minerals - fayalite and forsterite. Fayalite is an iron-rich mineral which is what contributes to Peridot's attractive yellowish-green color tones.

Peridot and Diamond custom earrings designed by Jason Baskin at The Gem Vault

Peridot and Diamond custom earrings designed by Jason Baskin at The Gem Vault

Peridot is found in a relatively narrow range of tones, from a brown-green color to yellowish green to a crips, pure apple or lime-y green. 

Peridot Rough at The Gem Vault

Peridot Rough at The Gem Vault

The word peridot comes from the Arabic “faridat,” which means “gem”, but some believe it’s rooted in the Greek word peridona, meaning “giving plenty.” Perhaps that’s why peridot is associated with prosperity and good fortune! 

Olivine image courtesy Wiki Commons Media.

Olivine image courtesy Wiki Commons Media.

Peridot has also been associated with light. In fact, the Egyptians called it the “Gem of the Sun.”

For many years, most Peridot was mined in the United States, specifically in Arizona as well as New Mexico.  In relatively recent years both China and Pakistan have been producing a great amount of this gem, with many stones of fine quality. 

Fine Peridot Rough at The Gem Vault

Fine Peridot Rough at The Gem Vault

Here at The Gem Vault we have always carried Peridot in the finest of colors, cut and clarity. We love to see the look of amazement on the face of jewelry lovers who have never seen Peridot in it's finest quality, when they realize how gorgeous this gem can be!

On Thursday, August 16, 2018 7-8pm join us at "Inside The Vault": our monthly gem talk series where we show specimens of minerals, rough and fine cut gemstones and talk about their properties and current value or production.

Get more details for any of our posted events on our Facebook page! 

Sapphires In Every Color of the Rainbow

Each month we hold an evening event in our store where you can come in and learn about a special, natural gemstone or gemstone family.  Our most recent was on all the colors of Sapphire - every color of the rainbow!

If you missed it, you can sign up for our email list or follow us on Facebook to stay in-the-know about future "Inside the Vault" Gem nights at The Gem Vault. Learn a bit about Sapphire right here...

Image from GIA.edu

Image from GIA.edu

Sapphires are precious gemstones, formed from the mineral corundum.  All sapphires are a variety of the mineral corundum, available in all ranges of colors from blue, purple, black, green, pink, yellow, and white (or clear).  Each unique color is the created when certain trace elements are present during the formation of the stone.     


Blue sapphires are the most popularly recognized color of sapphire, with the shades of blue varying from light to dark. Some gemstone lovers prefer a light cornflower blue stone, while many love to see a deep, rich velvety blue. 

The blue color in a blue sapphire comes from the minerals titanium and iron. The higher concentrations of titanium in the sapphire, the more color saturation.  

Image from Lotus Gemology

Image from Lotus Gemology

Sapphires can also be found in a range of pink hues, from pale pink to vivid, intense magenta. Often the deep pink or reddish hues of a sapphire are created by the presence of the trace mineral Chromium.

With such a range in pink hues, these sapphires look great in a variety of metal colors. Seen below both the white gold and rose gold hues of metal in these custom earrings complement the pink stone very well. 

Custom design from The Gem Vault

Custom design from The Gem Vault

Purple/violet sapphires are similar in color to pink sapphires, but darker and always with purple or violet as the dominant color.  Purple and violet sapphires receive their color from the elements vanadium and chromium. 


Yellow sapphires also come in a variety of shades from light canary yellow to deep, rich golden hues. This color tone is related to the presence of Iron.  The yellow sapphire is an excellent substitute for a more-expensive yellow diamond, and often just as beautiful.  Set in either a cool white metal or a warm yellow metal, this stone is classic looking and elegant.  

Green sapphires also derive their colors from iron and can range from deeply-saturated green to blue-green tones, or pale, crisp pastel green.  

Image from GemSociety.org

Image from GemSociety.org

Padparadscha sapphires are the rarest of all the colors, with a stunning peachy-pink, or orangey-pink hue. They are absolutely beautiful and almost no other colored stone compares to this unique mix of pink and orange. “Padparadscha” is an ancient Sanskrit word used to describe the color of a tropical lotus flower, a unique tone captured in this rare gem.

White sapphires are the purest as they contain no trace elements which would otherwise provide color.  They can be a great substitute for a diamond, as they are quite durable and have great sparkle, though their refraction is lower than diamond.

DON'T FORGET!  Please sign up for our email list or follow us on Facebook to stay in-the-know about future "Inside the Vault" Gem nights at The Gem Vault!  

Tanzanite: A Rare And Beautiful Gemstone

Discovered in 1967 in northeast Tanzania, and christened "Tanzanite" by Tiffany & Co in 1968, Tanzanite is a remarkably beautiful gem whose mineralogical name is "Zoisite", specifically Blue Zoisite. 

Design by Sharon Curtis-Gal of The Gem Vault

Design by Sharon Curtis-Gal of The Gem Vault

Tanzanite, was named as such because the only deposit that produces most of these Blue Zoisite gemstones is found in northern Tanzania.  It wasn't until the 60's that enough of it was discovered in order to make it a commercially popular gem. And it took decades more for it to gain even more widespread popularity. 


As mining went from small-scale digging to major commercial operations, Tanzanite became more readily available, but it has always remained a rare gem. In fact, Tanzanite may only be accessible for a limited time: our current lifetime. 

Design by Jason Baskin of The Gem Vault

Design by Jason Baskin of The Gem Vault

It can be easy to forget how limited some gems are. But now the famous Paraiba Tourmaline deposits are mined out; The Russian Demantoid Garnet deposits are mined out. Very little or no material remains available from these gemstone deposits.  And Tanzanite is close behind. 

Tanzanite Gemstone.jpg

At The Gem Vault we do our best to always have a few fine specimens of each colored gemstone in-store or accessible through our network of international stone dealers. Tanzanite won't be around forever, and is one more unique gem we recommend collecting now before it's too late! 

Learn All About Garnets 'Inside the Vault'!

For decades we've specialized in rare colored gemstones and minerals, in addition to the award-winning custom jewelry work we offer.  If there's a color gem specimen in the world, we know all about it!  

Image from GIA.edu

Image from GIA.edu

Starting January 2018 we'll be hosting in-store Gemstone presentations called 'Inside the Vault', and this month we're talking all about GARNET.  

Join us on Thursday January 18th from 7-8pm in our showroom!

Garnet is the January birthstone, but many people do not realize that garments come in almost every color of the rainbow.  Typically the deep red birthstone you see offered by most jewelers and retailers is the most widely available variety of garnets, known as almandine.

Rare Mali Garnet from The Gem Vault

Rare Mali Garnet from The Gem Vault

The garnet family is comprised of many closely related mineral species that vary in color, refraction (sparkle) and chemical composition.  At The Gem Vault we always carry or can bring in the more unusual varieties of Garnet, including: 

  • Tsavorite - A fine rich green
  • Spessartite - Sparkling orange or red-orange
  • Mali - Yellow-green champagne-like hues, with intense sparkle
  • Rhodolite - Pinkish-purple or rose-colored
  • And many other members of the garnet family!  

Join us Inside The Vault Thursday January 18th at 7pm, and save 25% on all garnet jewelry throughout the month.

Click here to bookmark this event on Facebook!

The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show

Every year in early winter the largest gem and mineral show in the world comes to Tucson, AZ bringing industry experts together from across the globe.

And, every year our own Jason Baskin makes his trip out to the show, and he brings your requests with him, giving you access to the BEST fine gems and minerals from around the world!


Jason has been going to the Tucson show annually for decades. The show is a massive playground of fine cut gems, beads, mineral specimens, fossils and much more. 


Jason knows his way around the entire show and touches base with some of the world’s finest gem and mineral dealers and industry friends.  So, if there’s something you’ve been looking for, let us know and Jason will find it for you. 


The show begins on January 27th, so please send us any requests via our contact form by Sunday, January 21st so we can be sure to have you on our list! 


Happy gem hunting!

NEW Award-winning Custom Jewelry, with TWO First Place Awards!

We recently entered six different custom jewelry designs to the Jewelers of America's CASE Awards, and took First Place in two categories, as well as two honorable mentions.

The winning pieces, designed and crafted in our Flemington, NJ shop, went on to be displayed at the JA's annual show in New York City.

Now, our winning pieces are on display in our showroom for viewing or purchase. Take a look...

First Place in the $10k-50k category

This custom 14K white gold necklace features a 5.89 marquise-shape Brazilian Paraiba Tourmaline cabochon plus 17 small paraibas and fine diamonds. This piece was hand built in our Flemington, NJ shop. Designer & Jeweler: Sharon Curtiss-Gal

tanzanite gem vault nj

Honorable Mention in the $5k-10k category

Fine 4.87-carat Tanzanite marquise with pave set diamonds set in a 14K white gold hand-engraved ring.  Designer & Jeweler: Jason Baskin

opal gem vault custom jewelry

First Place in the up to $2k category

A 14K white gold jellyfish pendant featuring a 2.12 fine Ethiopian opal and diamonds. Hand built in our Flemington, NJ shop. Designer & Jeweler: Sharon Curtiss-Gal

custom jewelry nj

Honorable Mention in the up to $2k category

Necklace featuring 17 fine Watermelon Tourmaline slices from Brazil, plus 11 faceted Pink and Green Tourmalines in 14k yellow gold. Hand built in our Flemington, NJ shop. Designer & Jewelers: Jason Baskin & Carol Demarco

All of these award-winning pieces and the rest of our custom designs will be on-display in our showroom. If you are interested in any of these pieces, Contact Us!