2005, SRI LANKA
In 2005 I started a business in Sri Lanka to complement my Internet business in Australia. Travelling to Sri Lanka regularly, I quickly became familiar with the country's reputation for gemstones, particularly sapphires.
At that time, Sri Lanka was still embroiled in its long running civil war. Foreigners, except for UN observers, were rare. But the people were, and remain, extremely friendly and welcoming.
I traveled to Sri Lanka every six weeks, staying for one to two weeks. Each trip I would visit the local gem merchants and look for a unique gift I could bring back to Australia for family or loved ones. Pretty soon I became well known by the traders there, and over the years built up strong relationships with mine owners, gem cutters and gem exporters.
Friends began to ask if I could also bring back gemstones for them for special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries. I also instituted a sales reward program for my staff, where sales achievements were rewarded with sapphire 'bonuses'
After several years, friends of friends were inquiring about getting stones as well. Which I was happy to do, but it still remained a hobby to my main business.
About a year after starting the Sri Lanka business, I started transiting via Bangkok and taking a day or two stopover to break op the otherwise 19 hours of travel to get from Perth to Colombo. It wasn't long before I discovered the gem markets in Bangkok – undoubtedly the world capital of coloured gemstones. While Sri Lanka rules for sapphires, the Bangkok market rules for every other type of coloured stone.
In addition, Bangkok has excellent goldsmiths. All of the jewelry you will see on my site has been customer manufactured in Bangkok.
In 2013 I sold my Internet business in both Australia and Sri Lanka and, after a long overdue holiday, began to convert my gemstone hobby into a full time business. My first step was to take the GIA Gemologist course in Bangkok to get the backing of formal, highly respected, training to complement the industry knowledge I had acquired over the preceding eight years.
I now travel to Thailand, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and recently Vietnam to search the markets for beautiful stones. I love the travel and I love finding rare and unique gems.
Recently I have uncovered a source of a particularly rare and unique, but not yet well know, type of sapphire – Gold Sheen Sapphire. Because of its current obscurity, the price for this stunning stone will represent an excellent investment.
My goal with SJW Gems is to give you the best, most beautiful gemstones I can find, tested in my own lab, at a price far below anything you would expect to pay elsewhere. I try to adhere to my personal motto of 'twice the size at half the price'.
I only buy stones that I like, and would like to have in my personal collection. So, I am happy to offer my personal guarantee that if you are ever dissatisfied with your purchase from me, for whatever reason, I will buy the stone back from you at the same price you paid.
Skills and Techniques
Gold Sheen Sapphire is a variety of corundum. It is sapphire with hematite, ilmenite and magnetite inclusions. The Wikipedia article for Gold Sheen Sapphire can be found here:
Gold Sheen Sapphire colours range from gold, brass and copper tones. The gem is excellent in low light, often displaying flashes of gold and copper. In strong white light or direct sunlight, fascinating geometric patterns become most apparent. All cabochon cut Gold Sheen Sapphire displays asterism to some degree, most from weak to medium six arm star. Gold Sheen Sapphire will often display an ‘aurora’ effect, so named because the light emitted from the gem emulates the Aurora Borealis. Some rare Gold Sheen Sapphire also display a vivid blue colour, while even rarer are pink-bronze, greens, and most rarely reds and purples.
WHERE DOES IT COME FROM? - Gold Sheen Sapphire was discovered from a mine in Kenya in 2009. This is the single known source of Gold Sheen Sapphire in the world. The total yield from the mine was 25 tonnes. The mine was depleted in 2012. It has taken several years to develop the cutting techniques to display the gemstone to the best effect. Cutting an polishing is done at the cutting factory in Bangkok, Thailand.
WHO DISCOVERED IT? - Gold Sheen Sapphire was discovered by Mr Tanzim Khan. Mr Khan has 25 years experience in the gem industry and is a respected gem cutter and trader of rough and cut stones in Bangkok.
CERTIFICATION - The following gemmology labs have certified Gold Sheen Sapphire: