Kusam MalholtraKusam Malhotra Owner of K & K International in Vienna, VA. was a vendor at the 2015 AGTA GemFair™ Tucson, Booth #1100. K&K International has been a premier source of rare colored gemstones, fine diamonds and custom-designed jewelry for over 30 years. Whether you are an avid collector looking for the rare piece that has eluded you for years or a gem enthusiast who is always in the market for something new and cutting edge.

Fine Blue Sapphire

Fine Blue Sapphire – 7.23CT

T: 703-288-9500/9501 – F: 703-288-9594

Kusam discussed Wholesale Natural Colored Gemstones and shared some beautiful Gems from the K & K collection.

Imperial Topaz should contain Orange, Red or Rich-Golden color as a Primary while a Precious Topaz may be a high-grade yellow or an intense natural unheated blue.

Imperial Topaz

Imperial Topaz – 12.89CT

Precious Topaz

Precious Topaz – 16.02CT

Sapphire gemstone is a variety of the mineral corundum. Trace amounts of elements such as iron, titanium, chromium, copper, or magnesium can give corundum respectively blue, yellow, purple, orange, or green color. The major fancy sapphire color categories are padparadscha, pink and purple, orange and yellow, green, and colorless and black. Each category has its own color range, causes of color, and market. The fancy sapphires that people in the trade call padparadscha are very beautiful. They typically have a high per-carat value, too—much higher than other types of fancy sapphires.

Orange Sapphire - 3.11CT

Orange Sapphire – 3.11CT

Bi-Color Andalusite

Bi-Color Andalusite – 7.27CT

Andalusite is a strikingly beautiful gem. The most valuable stones have greenish to reddish pleochroism. Andalusite is not plentiful on the market and is mainly in demand with collectors.  Large cuts are rare.



Ruby is of the mineral Corundum as is Sapphire. The red color is called Ruby. Chrome imparts the Redness to Ruby. The top qualities are as red as you can imagine: a saturated pure spectral hue without any overtones of brown or blue.

Although there is a lot of treated colored stones out there, Natural “untreated” stones are available and demand the highest price. Always get a certificate from a LAB as treatment in colored gemstones must be assumed unless a certificate proves it is natural.

K & K International is a proud member of the American Gem Trade Association “AGTA” – AGTA Website

AGTA represents the leading colored gemstone and cultured pearl wholesalers, industry professionals, colored diamond dealers, estate jewelers, manufacturers and retailers. The AGTA has become the voice for the colored gemstone industry. Two of the most significant contributions to the trade have been the creation of the AGTA Code of Ethics and Principles of Fair Business Practices and the Gemstone Information Manual (G.I.M.). The Code of Ethics (one of the first introduced in our industry) is required reading for all prospective AGTA Members. Once a Member has joined, the Code of Ethics holds the Member to high standard of professional business practices and a higher standard of enhancement disclosure than that required by the Federal Trade Commission.

AGTA Gemstone Enhancement Chart

AGTA Gemstone Enhancement Codes

AGTA Disclosure Video

Overall, pricing was up 25% to 40% on all colored gemstones, even poor quality stock, and significantly up on Fine Quality Gemstones. A – AA – AAA Quality gemstones has no meaning other than as a marketing/sales ploy as these terms have no gemological basis. Just as “semi-precious” is somewhat misleading as it suggests that some gemstones have inferior value. Years ago, most people considered Ruby, Emerald and Sapphire as the “precious” gemstones and all others as “semi-precious.” In truth, all natural colored gemstones are rare and precious and their prices are determined by the availability and quality of the gemstone.

Colored gemstones are judged by their beauty and rarity. The same “four Cs” that establish quality in Diamond are used for colored gemstones: cut, carat weight, clarity and most importantly, color.

Cut: All gemstones must be cut well to attain their maximum potential for beauty. Quality cutting is what produces the brilliance and scintillation that captures the eye of the beholder.

Clarity: Gemstones contain characteristic inclusions that provide proof of their natural origin. Those inclusions should not be so visible that they detract from the beauty of the gemstone.

Carat Weight: Obviously, larger gemstones are rarer. However, some gemstones, such as Amethyst and Tourmaline, routinely occur in very large sizes while others, such as Ruby and Sapphire, rarely occur in sizes above 2 to 3 carats.

Color: The more pure and vivid the color, the more valuable the gemstone. With colored gemstones 3 parts make up the color grade. Hue, Tone & Saturation. Hue is the color, Tone is the grayish or brownish mask to the hue, and Saturation is the strength of the color.

Courtland LeeAdditionally;

Courtland Lee, DCGIA’s resident Geologist and Miner, was a vendor at the 2015 Tucson International Gem Show.

Courtland Lee's Booth at the show

Courtland Lee’s Booth at the show

Courtland displayed a number of items, beads and Mineral Specimens made from the Maryland State Gemstone, the Patuxent River Stone as well as petrified dinosaur teeth.


Meeting Summary and pictures by Charles Marts – Secretary DCGIA

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