Loose Tourmalines

I had the opportunity to shoot a lot of Ambassador Gems’ inventory this year, and needless to say it was a blast! With specialties in zircon and zoisite, Ambassador Gems also sells tourmaline, sapphire, ruby, garnet, and more. Pictured above is a pair of oval tourmalines. We photographed some of the inventory in boxes, as shown, and some of it floating on a white background, depending on what flattered the gems most.

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Here are a few of the shots I took for the talented Ailin Richards of her tourmaline & diamond ring in yellow gold. I love the way the gold wraps around the tourmaline, and think the angles we decided on turned out perfectly for the piece.

Beryls of Fun


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BERYLS OF FUN?! Are you kidding me?! I really go above and beyond for you guys.

Anyway, when I got a package at the office from DeBella Fine Gems & Jewelry Arts last week, I pulled out this ring and thought to myself “Wow, that’s a big citrine” – only to discover that, of course, it’s a golden beryl. More specifically, a 75ct. golden beryl flanked by more beryl, of the aquamarine variety. Also in the package was this lovely chrome tourmaline pendant that would be incredible for a holiday party, IMO.

I always shoot Joe De Bella’s stuff on a white background (my favorite), then render it onto a more ivory/beige background (his favorite) to go up on his website. He also uses the photos in a slideshow which plays on the TV in his boutique after hours. As with all my clients, I store Joe’s photos on a shared Dropbox folder, which his graphic designer also has access to. And because the photos are already clipped (in other words, the piece is digitally separated from its background), the designer can easily use them on any color or background of ad that he’s working on.

The Quad


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This is a pretty sweet stone, right? What’s unique about it? It’s not a bi-color, not a tri-color, but in fact a quad-color tourmaline. It starts as a deep purple, shifting briefly to a medium blue, then switches gears to a classic tourmaline-pink hue before it deepens into a lovely rubellite color at the end. It’s also a healthy 36+ carats.

Greg Chatham and Bryan Lichtenstein, owners of Ambassador Gems, specialize in really. cool. stones. Blue zircon, tanzanite, all varieties of garnet and tourmaline…their vivid, candy-colored collection is exciting to see whether you’re into colored stones or not (I mean, really though, who’s not?).

Also, Lindsay Jane, talented jewelry designer for Ambassador Gems, took home 2nd place in the AGTA Spectrum Awards’ Classical category for 2016. Her cushion halo ring with to-die-for claw prongs holds a stunning 6.26ct Padparadscha sapphire, & I am thrilled to have a chance shoot it in the near future. A huge congratulations to their team!

Competition Photography




One of the hazards of working with a photographer who is also a gemologist is that she may actually weep upon seeing pieces like this. 122ctw of multi colored tourmaline in this incredible necklace, a 25ct crystal clear aquamarine, and a 17mm pearl ring with diamonds set everywhere diamonds can be set…it’s hard to choose a favorite. (Jk, it’s the aqua. This photo set unfortunately does not show just how huge it really is on the hand).

At any rate, gem ace Joe De Bella of DeBella Fine Gems & Jewelry Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico killed it with these designs. It’s always a pleasure shooting the incredible, often untreated, colored gems he sends my way, and these were particularly exciting as the images will represent his pieces in a design competition entry. Good luck, Joe!