Larry Pereg has appeared on-air as a gemstone expert since 1996 in the United States and Europe. He has logged many thousands of miles travelling the globe while working in the gemstone industry. Countries he has visited in his extensive career include the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Israel, Thailand, China, India and Tanzania! He has been in a mine 1,000 feet underground when rough was discovered and describes it as "an awesome experience." Larry earned his bachelor's degree in Education from The State University of New York.
Sapphires with JTV Exotic Gem Expert Larry Pereg
I’m often asked, "What is your favorite gemstone?" To be honest my birthstone is amethyst, and I love it. I was actually in the mine in Ametysta del Sol in Brazil, when beautiful Amethyst geodes were discovered, but that's a story for February.... And after being in the gemstone business for 30 years, and developing the respect I have for all the people involved with bringing us these gifts of nature, I really can’t decide what my favorite gemstone is.
What is a treat is to be able to celebrate a different gemstone each month with the Jewelry Television customer! As you know the birthstone for September is sapphire. It is the most popular gem on Earth. Maybe it’s because it’s blue; maybe it’s the luster, it’ durability--hard to say. I think it’s just a beautiful iconic stone.
We've found sapphires in a number of exotic places--from Kashmir to Australia, from Thailand to Ceylon (Sri Lanka), and what’s extraordinary is that they are different and unique depending upon where you find them. Unfortunately, the supply of sapphires from some locations has become difficult or impossible to get. The Kashmir material has been depleted completely and the Thai Kanchanaburi mines are also not producing very much at all. At Jewelry Television, we are very fortunate to have access to a wide variety of sapphires, a Royal gemstone if ever there was one.
For the longest time we thought of sapphires as blue, and only blue. The fact is sapphires come in a number of beautiful colors--pink, yellow, and green to name a few. Most of these fancy colors came from Sri Lanka, but then an amazing thing happened in 1998. In the very small sleepy village of Ilakaka in Madagascar (where there was a population of 40--that’s right 40--in 1998) pink sapphires were discovered. The global reaction was immediate and overwhelming as gemstone miners and families descended upon the region. Today the population of little Ilakak is over 60,000. This is one example of how explosive the gem business is.
There's more blogs to come on sapphire during the month of September. Stay tuned to Jewelry Television and jtv.com as new jewelry and sapphire loose gemstones are added daily to our inventory.
- Larry Pereg
Learn more about sapphire in the JTV.com Learning Library.