1. Imperial zircon. Peach or apricot in its finest color resembling padparadscha sapphire, malaya garnet and its name sake imperial zircon. All of these gems that look like imperial zircon are 5 to 50 times as expensive and cannot match zircons brilliance. The finest come from Tanzania and Mozambique. 2. Blue zircon. This zircon comes from Kampuchea, formerly Cambodia and like the imperial zircon this gem has diamond-like brilliance. Greenish blue in color and fairly available to gems of 3 carat size. Prices have escalated in the last year and increases will likely continue. 3.Red and pink spinel. While ruby red is exceedingly rare the pinks are available from several sources most notably Tanzania and Vietnam. Purity of color and excellent brilliance add to the desirability of this gem. 4. Tsavorite garnet. Many feel that the green of tsavorite garnet is more beautiful than emerald. With its higher clarity and greater brilliance tsavorite outshines most green gems. Only available from East Africa this exquisite gem was discovered by Campbell Bridges and the business is carried on by his son Bruce. 5.Ethiopian Opal. The most recent discovery in the gem trade Ethiopian opal may well be the most important gem discovery of the last 40 years. Vivid color, large size, high purity and the greatest durability of any opal. 6.Rhodolite garnet. The violet red color of garnet, rhodolite in its finest qualities has a beauty that rival the finest sapphire and exceeds the beauty of similar colored tourmaline and spinel. A particular variety called umbalite and those sometimes called grape garnet are highly desirable. 7. Apatite. Although lacking the durability to make it a mainstream gem, the apatites from Madagascar hit the blue green to green blue color range of the now famous and extraordinarily expensive Paraiba tourmalines. 8.Rose de France Amethyst. In its finest pink color this material mimics both morganite at a fraction of the price and fine kunzite without the fading issues. Difficult to hit the top lavendar pink color. This material has come from Brazil for two short periods of time over the last 40 years. Currently of limited availability. 9. Peridot from Pakistan. For the last 15 years a superior color of peridot has come from high in the Himalaya Mountains in Pakistan. Not your typical yellow green that turns those born in August away from wanting to own their birthstone. The pakistani peridot is a rich blue green and I personally find that it is one of the most beautiful gems that I cut. Currently competition for fine gems has made the supply very limited. 10. Alexandrite-like Garnet. With a color change identical to that of the rarest birthstone alexandrite this garnet is a bargain at a fifth the price. Several sources are currently producing including Kenya and Tanzania but the premier source is Bekily, Madagascar. www.moregems.com

By Steve Moriarty