Royal Lavulite is an actual jewel. Also known as Suglite and Royal Azel, this deep purple-to-gray/lavender colored gemstone is very rare and valuable. It's found in Japan, India, and South Africa, where the largest deposits are located.
The Hunter Jet Star 6000 is actually the Vector W2, manufactured by Vector Aeromotive as a concept car in 1978. It went into limited production in the early 80's but the company ceased production on all its car models in the mid-90's, eerily paralleling its fictional counterpart's woes.
Although this episode is first in time and shows how Steele and Holt met, the first episode filmed was Tempered Steele. The creator Robert Butler said on a DVD commentary that the network wanted to see a "sixth episode" to see if the concept worked as a series.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
This episode was a rare case of life imitating art. The case ended when a businessman was caught trying to steal rare jewels to finance his fledgling card company. The very month this show aired, John DeLorean was arrested for allegedly trying to buy large amounts of cocaine to help finance his struggling car company.