This wonderful antique piece from Scotland was brought to the CGA booth at the Ancaster Show in 2011. The purple stone is actually glass, which is not unusual for this type of jewellery, but the 'foot' is a falcon claw, as evidenced by the structure of the hair-like feathers when viewed under the hand lens or microscope.
This roughly 8-mm long, roughly oval, violet-purple pearl is faintly circled and shows a few pits and signs of a fracture. It displays no orient, and none of the terrace-like structure typical of nacreous pearls. It was found many years ago inside a shellfish (of unknown identity) that came from an area off the coast of Mexico near Mazatlan. The pearl is not available for further testing, but a possible source is Mytilus californianus.
Scottish jewellery can be quite distinctive, and this wonderful antique shepherd's broach seen at the 2014 Bancroft Gemboree is no exception.
Here's the Scottish shepherd's broach again, seen between crossed polarizers. Note the shadowed cross, which stays fixed as the stone is rotated. This is a "false uniaxial figure" not uncommon in glass.
A huge hexagonal crystal of blue beryl (a.k.a aquamarine) from Quebec was on display at the Bancroft Gemboree in 2009.
A new Canadian company under the name Auralite 23 Mine is currently producing rather large clusters of amethyst crystal from a site vaguely described as "north of Thunder Bay". Most material is coated with a thick yellow crust.
The Aurealite 23 Mine produced this fascinating cross-section of amethyst showing coloured growth zoning and a wealth of inclusions. Just think about what was happening during the growth of this crystal!
Although the crystals from the Auralite 23 Mine may not look like much from the outside, the inclusion-scape visible in polished pieces should keep any photomicrographer or gem-enthusiast occupied for a good while.
This string of sapphire chips seen at the Ancaster show in 2013 appears to be made up of offcuts from a sawing operation.
This Lapis Lazuli simulant was brought to the CGA booth by a dealer at the 2013 Bancroft Gemboree.