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Discover Beautiful Gems at COLOR First


fancy colors...bright colors...gemmy colors...


COLOR First – when we look at a gemstone the most striking aspect of it is almost always COLOR. We’re almost certain that COLOR is what attracted humans to stones in the first place, thousands of years ago, while they were out hunting or gathering. And that’s why we decided to name our company COLOR First.

While the early humans would have brought back the colorful rocks or pebbles to their caves to simply look at, play with, or adorn in simple forms, the modern human prefers their gems to not only be colorful but also sparkly. That’s where the cutting process plays a big role, to turn sometimes unremarkable but rare pieces of the earth into beautiful gems.

COLOR First specializes in fine colored gemstones. We like to start with rough material from source locations all over the world, but primarily from Africa, and in particular East Africa. That is the region we know best, where we started working with and learning about gemstones more than three decades ago.

The rough gemstones are sorted and expertly graded, preformed into various shapes and then faceted to our high standards. Our aim is to produce a gem that maximizes the beauty inherent in the rough stone. Sometimes that means wasting a lot of material -  however, the final result achieved almost always makes it worthwhile.

We have over 36 years of experience in the business and strive to offer high quality gems at excellent value for money. COLOR First specializes in natural Zircons in all colors, Garnets in all colors including Tsavorite, Umbalite and rare Color-Change Garnet, Tourmalines in all colors as well as Spinels, Sapphires, Aquamarines and Moonstones.

Please join us in your quest to learn about and discover a true gem for yourself. Click on the links to learn more about the gemstones we work with, see pictures of mining locations, the importance of treatment disclosure, and the trade shows where we exhibit our products.

Enjoy the website – we hope you find the content useful. We appreciate your valuable time and welcome your feedback. Thank you!


color your world with fine gemstones...go color!

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Phenomenal and total Color Change in this Color Change Garnet trillion, 5.5mm, 0.57cts. When you want the best of the both worlds….!! Natural, untreated. ▪ ▪ The image on the left is under florescent light and on the right is the same gem under incandescent light. Scroll across for the individual images. ▪ ▪ This gem displays flashes of both colors in daylight, which can be considered a third color. ▪ ▪ See Color Change Garnets at AGTA 103 in Tucson, AZ. ▪ ▪ From Kamtonga, Taita-Taveta district, Kenya. A ranch hand was digging a pit latrine in early January 2009 and came across some unusual looking stones just a few feet below the surface and showed them to one of the local gem brokers. ▪ ▪ What followed is the classic tale of mining rushes. Hundreds of small-scale miners descended upon the area from nearby mines and started producing material which was initially mistakenly identified as Alexandrite! ▪ ▪ Color First was on location less than 3 weeks after the first strike and picked up some of the finest material produced. We wrote the article on it in Colored Stone GemMail June 2, 2009. ▪ ▪ One of our favorite stones to work with, especially when it displays colors like this fine gem. ▪ ▪ Like most garnets these are a mix of different species - in this case Pyrope, Almandine and Spessartine, same as Malaya Garnets, which are classified as Pyralspite by gemologists. ▪ ▪ The trace elements vanadium and chromium are responsible for the color change. ▪ ▪ Garnet is the birthstone for January, celebrates the 2nd Anniversary and comes in almost all colors of the spectrum including this rare color-change material. ▪ Lots of choice for January birthdays! ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ #COLORfirst #Gems #Gemstones #Garnet #ColorChangeGarnet #Pyralspite #BlueGarnet #JanuaryBirthstone #2ndAnniversary #NaturalGems #Untreated #UntreatedGems #NoHeatGems #Trillion #Phenomenal #AGTATucson #AGTAGemFair18 #TucsonGemShow #TucsonGemShow2018 #AGTA #BuyAGTA #AGTAMember #AddMoreColorToYourLife #GemstoneLover #Sparkle #Faceted #GemGram #Gemology #InstaGems #InstaJewels

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Zircon Suite, 6.0mm rounds 

our signature creation - all 10 colors of natural zircons, in one suite!




Blue Zircon Crystals

Beautifule Blue Zircons in their natural, uncut forms!

Natural Unheated Umba Sapphire Rough, 3+cts size each

sapphires come in many colors...not just blue!

Multi Color Zircon Suite - Necklace, Earrings & Bracelet, 4.5-8.9mm rounds; 138.79cts total

an amazing spectrum of colors!


Pink Tourmaline, 5.31cts

Tourmalines - available in many shapes, sizes and colors!

Purple Garnet rough from  Mozambique - new find 2015/16

the most purple garnet ever found!

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