It is Friday! It's a beautiful, sunny day here in Seattle (rare) and time to review the week's news.The Gem Updates:Miss America 2010 picks Amora Gem:
I'm happy to announce that Miss America 2010, Caressa Cameron, has decided to go with an Amora Gem H&A round for her center stone (over diamond) - this will be a 9mm/3ct Amora Gem. The wedding is not for a bit so we have time to get production underway, etc. but happy to make that announcement. More details on this in the future, but for now, a great endorsement.Amora Gem will be available in Turkey:
We've got a new distributor who will be carrying Amora Gem for Turkey (Istanbul, etc) once production is underway, so we are continuing to add to the countries where Amora Gem will be available.6 weeks and counting…US patent status
For the US, CTHR now has six weeks left to respond to the US Patent office prelim ruling…I do expect them to respond if for no reason than to simply delay their patent being removed, but wanted to track that status in our blog. They have until July 30 to respond.Melee Amora Gem:
We are working on a possible robot to cut exclusively melee (small sidestones < 4mm in size). Unfortunately the cost here is looking extremely high, so we're trying to see if we can find a middle ground in terms of the robots capability vs. final price. But, the net is we do hope and plan to expand the H&A rounds so that it covers the entire gamut from potentially as small as 1mm - 10mm+. Waiting list for Amora Gem:
As we get closer to actual sale of Amora gem, we are planning to create a waiting list so those customers interested can enter what cut/size you are after which will help us guide intial production. H&A rounds will still be first though
We'll have more details on that by August.BTD General updates:All new message board software coming:
Our message boards have clearly continued to grow, and so by this Fall, we will be moving to a completely new message board platform that has a whole host of additional features that should help make using the boards even easier and more informative. Such features include:
- dedicated mobile interface (nearly 27% of message board viewers are reading via phone or tablet). Thus, it will autodetect and offer a mobile optimized screen.
- separate space for articles. Rather than having a bevy of 'stickies' for posts that are more informational than discussion, we'll simply have articles to read.
- dedicated blog space. The Amora Gem blog will move to this space, and you can create your own blog as well here…this way, viewers can readily read just the blog posts (and view comments below if they wish) rather than having to find the blog posts within a long thread as it is currently.
- dynamic translator - the new software has the ability to translate posts into various languages…so while it might a bit 'robotic' in terms of translation, the net is it will make our forums available to an even wider audience.
- profile picture gallery - each user can create their own gallery as part of your user account, for you to post and show your jewelry directly.
Anyway, the upgrade should result in a tremendous improvement in terms of ease of use and new features. The only bad news is that it is likely we'll have to 'freeze' the boards for several days while we make that transition…but we'll provide plenty of notice before this happens and try and make it as quick as possible when it is underway.Ring Explorer - alpha release by July 15th:
We're planning on putting RingExplorer out for limited public use by July 15th (an alpha release). Thus, you'll soon be able to test it out in person and provide your feedback as we continue to refine and improve it.Misc:The Fundamentals of Matter, continued! :
After a long hiatus, I wanted to wrap up todays post with a continuation of this topic.
Since we've covered how atomic composition and atomic structure define the properties of all matter in our universe, and we understand how hydrogen atoms formed all other atoms, it's time to take a look at some actual atoms and then see how it is that they interact with light to create color (or lack of color).
First up - atoms, in person. It has only been in our lifetimes that scientists have been able to actually 'see' atoms and thus lets take a look at some of the main players involved in gems - boron, nitrogen, carbon and silicon.
Below is an actual image of boron and nitrogen, in the form of hexagonal boron-nitride.
While the photo may not look impressive, this was taken in 2010 and was quite a scientific feat to be able to image an atom as small as boron (done at Oakridge Natl Labs in Tennessee) as that was the first time ever.
The main items to note - the larger white dots are Nitrogen, the smaller darker dots are Boron.
And note how they form a hexagonal crystal structure, with a repeating sequence - Nitrogen, boron, Nitrogen, boron - a crystal is simply atoms arranged in a constant pattern.
With a minor change in structure, these same atoms form the second hardest material on the planet - *cubic* boron nitride, second only to diamond (cubic carbon).
In hexagonal structure, rather than cubic, this is actually very soft and equivalent in many ways to graphite, which is carbon's hexagonal equivalent.
Thus, you can see how while the atoms can be the same (atomic composition), the properties can be very different based on how the atoms are arranged (atomic structure).
Similarly, but at a lower resolution, here is an atomic image of Amora Gem:
The atomic structure is different and in this case, the whiter atoms are Silicon, and the darker ones are carbon. (Amora Gem is roughly the 3rd or 4th hardest material on the planet, for reference...we'll get into atomic structure and hardness/strength later).
Now that you've seen some actual atoms, its' time to start understanding how atoms interact with light to create color (and colorlessness).
You note the images of the atoms above are all black and white - this is because they were taken using electrons rather than light waves.
Light waves are actually much larger than atoms and thus instead of beaming photons/light waves to see atoms, to get the ultra-small resolution required you have to beam electrons (which are smaller than atoms) to image them…and thus black and white rather than color.
The main item of note though, is that color of an object is thus created when light waves in the visible spectrum, interact with free electrons of the atoms that make up an object. The atoms themselves don't have a certain color inside them (i.e. boron atoms are not blue even though they create the blue in blue diamonds) - rather they create color by their electrons absorbing and interacting with visible light. And how their electrons interact varies depending on what configuration and structure a given atom is in.
So if we need visible light to make an object have color, what is visible light made of exactly?
Here is visible light, in it's full spectrum:
Each color is actually a certain frequency of light waves and what our eyes can detect is roughly 400nm to 700nm in frequency.
(It is interesting to note that many insects for example see into the ultraviolet range where our eyes cannot…and so sometimes plants that look plain and drab to us, are actually super vibrant and colorful to insects because they can see colors we cannot…)
What's important to note, is that white and black are not actual colors, but are actually created - white is an even mix of all the main colors, and black is the absence of color (or effectively, the absorbtion of all colors). And by mixing the percentage of Red/Green/Blue, you can then create the other colors as below:
And that in fact is how your eye functions to see color - you have cones that detect Red, Green and Blue light waves in your retina:
As those cones are triggered, in varying degrees, by visible light of various frequencies bouncing off of an object, you see a blue sapphire (because it reflecting light waves in 450-475nm and thus activating blue cones in your eye), a red ruby, and in the future, a colorless Amora gem
With that, we've seen atoms, we know what visible light is made of and how we perceive color when seeing…so a good overview.
In a future post, we'll finally start delving into the details of visible light + electrons and how they interact to create our colorful world and the color/colorlessness properties of various crystals and gems.
Hope you have a great weekend!