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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy Holidays

This will be my last posting of the year as I am in the midst of finishing up my year end stuff and getting ready to go on a muchly needed vacation in January. I will be closed until January 18, 2012. I am posting a picture of my last custom job of the year as well. My customer had bought the pair of spectrolite carved moon faces from me last year for Christmas and brought them back this year to have them made up into earrings. I thought they really came out pretty neat. They were designed to be worn with a pin she owns of mine that had a similar moon face in it.

I am hoping to recharge my batteries a bit. I have worked seven day weeks almost all year and I'm pretty much worn out. So some time sitting in a hot tub, looking at the Pacific Ocean, the stars, mountains, and whales and sitting in front of a fire enjoying some of my favorite tequila will be a welcome respite. I hope to come back with some fresh perspective on my work and look forward to producing some new designs this year.

I may write a posting while on vacation but I'may also be too relaxed to deal with it.

As an aside I'd like to mention that my older son got named as one of Forbes top 30 under 30 in the arts at the end of this year. We are very proud of how successful he has been. His name is Ryan Sullivan and if you Google Forbes 30 under 30 on the web you will find him listed there.

So I hope you all have a great New Year and I look forward to seeing you all in the new year!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Montana Sapphire Earrings

I made this pair of earrings up over the weekend and they have some unusual gem materials in them. I had the opportunity recently to purchase some Montana sapphires (yes they come from Montana!) from the collection of Henry Shawah, a wonderful local jeweler who passed away about a year ago. Blue Montana sapphires usually have a very different type of blue color than most other sapphires. They tend to be somewhat lighter in color, with slight green overtones and usually accent someone with blue eyes wonderfully, because the tone is closer to that in the eye color. But.....they sold yesterday so if your sweetie has blue eyes we'll have to look at some other stone options........

Monday, December 19, 2011

New Pieces

New moonbeams necklace with all natural, unheated orange sapphires.

Another new picture tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

3 Postings in one day.

Here's one more picture of a new pair of earrings. They have natural color Umba orange sapphires, blue sheen moonstones and are 22k and 18k yellow gold. Please be sure and read all three postings today. I don't understand how the opal one got misplaced (it must have been the computer!!!).

For my new readers here is a link to my blog directory:

This article is a recent one that somehow got a date of September 2010 on it and didn't show up recently.It should have followed the 11/10/11 post.

In my last posting I told you about some boulder opals I had just gotten in and that I was pretty excited about having some new material to make earrings with. I also told you a few postings ago that if you wanted my new designs, you really had to get in here quickly. This week I put out three new pairs of opal earrings. The ones at the top of the page are boulder opal and rubies in 18k and 22k gold. And I'm sorry but you can't have them because I put them out on Wednesday and they sold on Friday.

The pair below this paragraph have the really spicy pair of boulder opals I was talking about in the last post and my assistant Katy got a really pretty amazing picture showing some of the astounding color flash in the stones. This pair will not last long either.
And I also just put out the pair pictured below this paragraph as well this week. This is one of my comet series of earrings (although I have customers who say they are my bug earrings). These stones were not boulder opal splits, but a larger stone that I had cut in half (and that retained its color properly).

The following is a blog post I started quite awhile ago on opals. It talks a bit about opals in general and white opals specifically. I'll get something up soon that discusses black opals.
If you asked me what my favorite colored stone was I would have a really hard time choosing between sapphires and opals. Admittedly they are completely different types of stones but they both move me in a myriad of ways. And opals, without a doubt, have a slight edge simply because they aren't just ONE color but they are MANY colors. Some of them have ALL the colors. I mean, what more can you ask for in a gem material? Well okay, they could be a whole lot more durable and they could hold up better over time, but still they are just so fascinating. And they have so many colors!!!

Well actually the nice opals have so many colors. For many of you opal means those ugly white stones that have some specks of greens, blues or reds in them. But that just means you haven't seen any of my boulder opals or the astronomically priced black opals that show up occasionally. So what the heck are opals anyway you might ask? And I'm glad you asked because I intend to tell you what they are. They are beautiful!!! Ooops sorry I was actually going to get scientific here.

Opal is an amorphous, hydrous form of silica. Basically what that means is that it has some water in it. The amount of water, and the crystallization of it, will effect the opal in a variety of ways. It is believed that the play of color comes about because of the diffraction of light and slight variations of refractive index from a large amount of spherical, regularly arranged particles of silica and from the voids between. Okay enough science. It's great to know this but it doesn't amount to a hill of beans when you want to own an opal!

There are actually a variety of types of opal that are available. The ones most people may be familiar with are white opal, boulder opal, black opal, crystal opal and fire opal. All of these are broken up into even more varieties but it isn't really that important for a non gemologist to know.

White opals, the most common of the opal family, are opals that have a white (sometimes described as milky) body color with flashes of color scattered throughout. There is a huge amount of this material available but much of it is either so milky that there isn't much play of color or there just isn't much color in it to begin with. This is not to say that there isn't some beautiful white opal out there. I have owned, at various times, many fine pieces with strong color flashes throughout the stones, but generally speaking because the background is white the colors simply don't show up that well. Often if you coated the back with black ink (or set them with black behind them) you could see a lot more colors. If this is being done to the opal, however, it must absolutely be disclosed to the customer as it is a misrepresentation of the goods if it isn't revealed. I never did this with stones that I sold, unless it was going into a custom piece for someone and they specifically requested it, but it was always pretty amazing how much of a difference you would see in the play of color when it was done.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It's Christmas Time

First of all I love my new iPad. What does this have to do with jewelry? Nothing really but if you don't want to give your loved one a wonderful piece of jewelry than an iPad should be next on your list. Oh, I'm sorry I'm supposed to be talking about jewelry. Well this is a great time to come by my store (especially if you want to pass on a few hints to your significant other) because 80 hour weeks seem to get my creativity running at full speed. I have gone from new lows in stock on pendants and earrings to new (oh okay just recent) highs. I am creating five or six new pieces a week lately. Good thing: fun new pieces! Bad thing: no time to write long blog entries. So on top is a new take on an old design with emeralds and on the bottom is a new take on a new design with South Sea black pearls and diamonds. More pictures coming soon probably with no dialogue. Come in and see them while I still have them. Oh and forget about buying that great nuggety strand of black South Sea Keshi pearls that I showed you here: because they're gone already!

For my new readers here is a link to my blog directory:

And this is a list of some of my favorite articles in the past:

Saturday, December 3, 2011


You know it's really quite amazing the way our society has changed thanks to the computer age. Everything is at our fingertips all the time. If you need to check the weather it's right on your phone, or your Ipad, or your PC. Want to see how the stock market is doing? It's right in front of you on your home page. Want to see when that book you ordered will arrive, just look at the site where you bought it, use the tracking number and hey, it's on the truck right now for delivery! But with all of the good things that we get out of this instant age we live in, a few not so good things tend to creep in.

Let's take for instance your ability to review your credit card charges instantaneously on line. I mean this sounds like a great thing. You can check for fraudulent charges, see if the monthly utility payment has gone through yet, etc. But, if you're married, and you share the cards, and you check your online account all the time, then it becomes just about impossible for your partner to SURPRISE you with a present. And this is the time of year when we all like to give and get presents. And I always thought half the fun of it was that surprise factor. So how about if we all take a break from looking at those accounts on line for a month (at least the shared ones) so that you might really look like the people in some of those television commercials who look surprised when they get that nice little box filled with some wonderful new memories for you!

Why, you might wonder, am I writing this now? Because, sure enough, one of my customers lost the element of surprise when his wife checked the accounts today.

The ring pictured above is 18k gold with a .41 ct. "E" color, VS1 clarity ideal cut Lazare Diamond.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fun Custom Work

I always enjoy custom making jewelry for my customers and I enjoy the challenge of trying something new or different. But if I am to be completely honest I really like it the most when the customer already likes my style of work and wants me to do something for them that is reflective of that because that is what is most fun for me.

A few months ago a couple who are one of my oldest (in terms of being customers not in terms of age!) customers came in with a pile of diamonds. His mother has been in the process of selling off and passing on her collection to her three children and she had given them a platinum necklace with approximately 360 .15 ct. diamonds in it. The children decided they were each going to make up some jewelry with it to wear at her upcoming birthday party for themselves, and I believe some of their children as well. So my customers had 119 diamonds (almost 20 cts. in total) that they wanted me to play with. They didn't ask me to use all of their diamonds but as many as I thought would work in the suite of jewelry they were commissioning from me. They wanted a pair of earrings, a bracelet, a pin/pendant and a ring. They also picked out some beautiful blue sheen moonstones I had gotten recently to use in the earrings and one for the bracelet.

We discussed general parameters and ideas for the pieces. For the earrings I wanted to do a larger version of something I had done years ago for another customer with a lot of dangling diamonds. The bracelet I thought should be done as separate, unique links with the diamonds on them. For the pendant we looked at a piece I had out in the case with a moonstone in it for a general idea. The ring was a bit different though in that they looked at a regular design I do ( but they wanted a waving row of diamonds set into it. Because everything was being hand built from scratch this was a huge job in terms of my time. I started with the earrings and had them look at them before moving on to the next jobs. While I had a pretty good idea of where I was going on the pendant and bracelet, I had no idea what I was actually going to do for the ring until I actually began building it.

What I was happy about with this job (besides the fact that I just really enjoyed making them and the results!) was that I was able to tie in all of the pieces in different ways so that they were both a set but unique items. While you can't see it in the photos there was a distinct stripe of orange through the middle of each of the moonstones (especially visible in the one in the bracelet). This led me to think about things in terms of two sides/designs. So on the bracelet I took the square pieces and cut them in half and set them each up a little differently. If you look closely at the pendant you'll note there is a distinct design shift midway (diagonally) through the piece. The diamonds in the ring created two distinct sides. although the design on either side was similar. I wanted the customers to be able to enjoy them and look at them and see different things going on each time they did. After all that plain old Tiffany style engagement ring is going to look exactly the same no matter how many times you look at it. You'll never see anything new. But no matter how much time you spend with one of these pieces they'll never get boring.

The four pieces are pictured here. I managed to get 103 diamonds into them which I thought was pretty good. They were picked up this morning and I'm happy to say my customers were thrilled (and they said they would write a comment here so I'm hoping they will back me up on that!) Okay, okay so not all of you are fortunate enough to be given 120 diamonds to play with. But even if you only have a few I'm always happy to make something up for you!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Boulder Opals

I love opals, but I am particularly fond of the boulder opals that I specialize in. There are a variety of different types of opals with white opal, black opal and boulder opal being the best known of a somewhat larger grouping. Boulder opal is opal that is naturally backed or surrounded by the boulder, or rock, material that it is found in. One of the reasons I like it so much is that the darker background (usually the rock, or boulder, material it is found in is brown) brings the colors of the opal up beautifully. You also can get pieces that have seams of opal running through larger pieces of boulder than can be quite unusual. We once owned a piece like that which had a rather striking opal part that looked exactly like a portrait of Bette Davis, and which we ultimately sold to a guy who had a thing for Bette Davis.

One of the other things I always liked about boulder opal was that I used to be able to get, on a regular basis, what are known splits. These are pieces of boulder that have a seam of opal running through them and when they are cut along the opal seam, you end up with a matching pair of stones. Usually these were cut in a way that left the peaks and valleys in the material matching so you could actually fit the two pieces together if you put the opal parts next to each other. The colors also usually matched better than material that was simply cut up into pairs because it was the same seam of opal for both halves.

Unfortunately, a number of years ago, the availability of boulder opal splits dropped tremendously because most of the better opal material was being bought up by the Asian market which has always had an appreciation for (and the money for) finer stones and opals are big sellers over there. For the last 4-5 years it has been a struggle to find any better material in splits, no matter what the size. It reached the point where I had been forced to simply buy bigger pieces of boulder opal and have it recut into pairs. The problem with this, however, is that as with most colored stones, colors often read more distinctly, and stronger, in larger sized stones. Opals, with the vast variation in the color of each piece, is particularly like this and sometimes when we would cut the larger pieces down into smaller pairs, they didn't read nearly as strongly as the one larger piece did. This often not only meant that they weren't as pretty but also that I couldn't charge as much for all the pairs together as I would have for the larger piece (the price of which was not reduced to me so this was somewhat problematic).

So finding pairs of opals has been a growing issue for me, along with my top quality diamonds. However, I have just come into a number of pairs of opals through a variety of means. I saw my opal dealer about a month ago and I did find one larger piece that we were able to cut into two very attractive stones. Then a few weeks ago I was bemoaning the lack of boulder opal splits to a dealer I work with who never carries opals and he brought out a box of stones he was trying to sell for a jeweler who had retired recently. Lo and behold there was a beautiful pair of splits that I bought and had recut into slightly smaller pieces.

Yesterday however, my regular opal dealer called and told me he had managed to find 3 pairs of beautiful splits that a fellow dealer had and he wanted to know if I wanted to look at them (knowing full well that I was so desperate that not only would I look at them but it was a pretty sure thing I would buy them). They showed up today and I did buy all three pairs. None of them are large and they are all pretty but one of the pairs is absolutely smokin' hot! They have some beautiful flashes of orangey red, greens, blues and they are absolutely unique. I plan on setting them up into earrings in the next few days and if you'd like to get first shot at them, check in with me and see if they're done yet. By the way the larger stones I had recut are also in process and will be part of my comet series of earrings (well some people call them bugs---they're like the ones at the top of the page).

Opals are notoriously hard to photograph as the colors often float across the top and are routinely different depending on the angle you are viewing them from but I'll try to get some more pictures posted of the new goods as soon as they are done.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Trust Your Jeweler (So He Doesn't Get Fat)

As some of the long term readers of my blog know, I have advised people in the past to go to jewelers that they trust, jewelers whose designs they like, and that are willing to offer a good range of options and warrantees. I usually advise this because it's easier to work with someone like this. But additionally if you like their style and quality of work and design, you know you'll get a nice piece of jewelry that will look good and you'll enjoy over the years.

So if you come in to work with a designer like me, you should be willing to put yourself into their hands to some extent. I have more than 30 years of experience designing and making jewelry so I usually have a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn't. Now this doesn't mean that if you have imagined up some design that you want me to execute, you can't ask me to do it, but it does mean that you have to be willing to take some of my advice on what will look good and work well within the parameters of the design. This particularly becomes the case if you are asking me to alter an existing design of mine for you. (Yes I am going somewhere with this.)

So I recently had a young couple come in with their diamond and they decided on one of my simpler designs in which there is a very plain band that comes up and loops around a prong setting. It rises up slightly as it goes around the setting. Pretty straightforward and at times I have made it with both very small and huge stones and pretty much everything inbetween, but I almost always show it with a fairly small (quarter carat) diamond in it. Anyway, the couple's diamond was quite a bit bigger and I offered to make up a model (because I was going to have to anyway since the band was going to be made in platinum) for the customer to look at ahead of time. As I usually do, I made it up the way I thought it would look best given the design and size of the stone. However, when the customer came in she decided that she wanted me to raise the metal up around the stone setting higher because it was a much bigger setting. I'm here to make you happy, so even though I thought it looked fine the way it was, I boosted up the metal that wrapped around the setting and sent it off to be cast.

Well about three weeks after the ring was picked up my customer walked in again and, in a very humble way, asked if I would take the sides of the setting back down to where it was originally. Because I want you to be happy with a ring you're going to wear all the time, I agreed to do it immediately, even though ultimately I had to actually start from scratch with the original model and recast the entire piece (platinum is a very persnicketly metal and doesn't take kindly to a lot of changes being made). The final piece looked great and was exactly as I had first wanted it to be, and the customer seemed to be thrilled with it. Apparently she was so thrilled that she brought along an apple pie as a thank you gift, something that was totally unneccesary. And now I have to eat the whole thing, because I hate to throw good food away!

Morals of the story: If you like what your jeweler designs, trust them to make it right. If you want your jeweler to live a long and healthy life don't make him too fat!

Pictured above is a variation on my best selling ring but this one is narrower with a prong setting and a .41 ct. ideal cut Lazare Diamond, "E" color, VS1 clarity.

Friday, October 28, 2011

A brief followup to yesterday's post.

So for those of you who read yesterday's posting and said: "Ha. That guy is just making those things up about selling his new stuff so quickly.", I just wanted to let you know that the new opal earrings shown in yesterday's post sold today. You just have to be quick if you want something new.

Pictured above are some new black South Sea keshi pearls I got in recently. Interested? Don't wait!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New Jewels

If you are a regular customer of mine, it behooves you to keep an eye on my blog. This is where I am posting pictures of my new pieces as they come out. The reason it's advantageous to you is that if you actually want to own some of my new pieces (and this becomes particularly important to those of you who might be looking for Christmas presents) you really have to move quickly if you see something you like. For a variety of reasons the new designs I put out sell much faster than anything else. The South Sea pearl earrings in this recent posting: have already sold to one of my regular (and nicest) customers. Sometimes the new stuff sells so quickly that I don't even have time to get a picture taken of it (well one that someone else takes given my photographic skills).

Obviously one of the reasons new pieces sell so quickly is because my regulars already have a lot of my older designs and when they see something new it moves them. But the other reason is that I'm always excited when something new comes out and (yes I still get excited when I make something new) I tend to show the new stuff more. So even when I get new customers in who might not have seen my work before, I will often show the newest pieces first.

Then there is the other strange thing about retailing, which is that even if I don't show the newer pieces to someone who is in the store for the first time, they often gravitate towards the new items. It's another thing about retailing I just don't understand. It is somewhat akin to my lack of understanding why certain designs seem to cycle into the customer's minds at the same time. Last week I had two different customers come in with diamonds they wanted reset from a variety of pieces they owned and they both picked the same design (something akin to this one here: Now I hadn't sold a set like this since last Christmas and then in the same week I sell two of them! I have this happen with other designs as well. I have some rings that languish for years and then suddenly in a month I'll sell three of them! Perhaps it's something in the water...........

I have a few requests of anyone reading these pages. One is that I'd love for you to become a follower (although for some reason, in a recent change to the system, blogger has stopped showing my list of followers---I'm working on that). The second is that I am always happy to hear both comments from you and suggestions for future topics (and yes I STILL am working on a posting on opal).

Pictured above are 18k and 22k yellow gold earrings with boulder opals.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Problem Solving

Half of my job has nothing to do with making jewelry.  It has to do with problem solving.  I have now been in business for so long that many of my customers have aged a bit and sometimes the actual functinality of pieces can become challenging.  One of my older (both in how long she's been coming to me and in age) customers loves pins and she has quite a few older ones, many of which I have worked on over the years.  However her fingers are no longer as agile as they once were and she has a terrible time manipulating the pin stems, especially when they are short.  A short pin stem is hard to get into a piece of material and then fit into the clasp mechanism and close the clasp.  So one of the things I have tried to do for her over the years is to extend the length of the pins so she can manipulate them easily.  Recently she came in with a piece I had worked on previously.  But the somewhat longer pin stem we had added to it originally was no longer functional.  So she wanted me to devise a solution for her that would allow her to put the pin on more easily.

When she was here I immediately said fine, I can just add a bigger piece behind it and put a longer pin stem on.  But when I actually sat down with the piece I realized it wasn't quite that simple.  First of all because of both my prior work, and possibly other prior work, I could no longer remove the cameo to do work on the piece and hope to get it back in, looking right, and set properly.  So I couldn't solder it onto anything because the heat from my torch would have ruined the cameo.  Additionally because there were open elements of the design that I really didn't want to lose I couldn't just simply attach it to a big piece of flat metal.  So my first thought was to cut out a rectangle, the size of the pin, in the middle.  So I did that.  Only then I had to figure out how I was going to attach the pin to my larger piece of metal without using solder.  At first I considered using rivets but there was no area on the pin that I either wouldn't have ruined trying to rivet (riveting involves hammering a piece of wire down onto a piece) or ruined the design by drilling holes through it for the rivets. Finally I figured out that I could use a prong like attachment to hook it on. This would resolve a number of issues: 1) I wouldn't have to use any solder to attach the piece. 2) I wouldn't have to destroy any part of the original piece to attach it.  3) It would actually get the job done (something always important in my book).  

So if you look closely at the picture (one of mine, apologies) you will see that I ran four prongs up inside the border of her pin and bent them over to hold her pin in place.  So no solder, a bigger pin, and hence much longer pin stem, and success.  And given what I had to work with it looks consistent and pretty.  Can't ask for much more than that.  In this case, it wasn't about making jewelry, just figuring out HOW to make the jewelry.  And now you know why I charge what I do!!! 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Good Diamond Cutting VS. Great Diamond Cutting

As many of you know by now I like to sell ideal cut Lazare Diamonds for most of my diamonds.  I like them because they are always true ideal cuts with very little variations in the cuts.  A lot of what you see online and available elsewhere are diamonds that are called ideal cuts but really don't have the exact angles to qualify as ideal cuts.  The name has become abused and misused everywhere.  However a cutter's art can go far beyond just making sure the angles the stone is cut to are proper. 

I got in a pair of quarter caraters from Lazare the other day for a ring I was making up with an orange sapphire in the center.  I routinely do a Diamond Grading Report for stones that don't come in to me with a laboratory certificate so that when I do an appraisal for my customer on the piece I have proper documentation.  Now with many of the diamonds I sell today this is not always an easy task. Because the clarity grades I am working with are so high, it often takes me awhile to find any inclusions in the stones.  But Lazare is a strict grader and if they say something is a VVS stone, there is usually something there.  VVS clarity stones usually have extremely small pinpoints or other very difficult to locate inclusions in them.  A VVS1 stone is only a step down from a flawless diamond so there really is going to be very little inside the stone to identify it.  A VVS2 stone will have something a little bit larger but still something incredibly difficult to locate.  So my two stones were both VVS2 clarity stones.  It took me about 10 minutes to locate a small inclusion near the culet (the point at the bottom of the stone) on one of them.  But the other one I spent a vast amount of time  looking for anything.  Now if it had been a VVS1 stone I would have said that Lazare was erring on the side of caution and it might really have been a flawless stone, but this one was a VVS2 so I knew they had to have seen something in the stone. 

With stones like these I usually use extremely high magnification to find any inclusions and then back off to 10X to see if I can still see them (10X is the magnification all diamonds are graded at).  I looked at this stone, backwards, forwards in all different types of lighting and just kept getting more and more frustrated.  You should note that with stones in these clarity ranges, you really don't want to mistake a piece of dust for an inclusion, and diamonds are natural dust collectors, so nonstop trips to my steamer to continually clean the stones is part of the process.  Finally after close to a half an hour with the microscope I happened to catch a glimpse of something on the pavilion (bottom) of the stone again near the culet.  Looking at it more closely I finally realized that there was a tiny black needle like inclusion running right up one of the facet junctures. Because it was on the facet junction it was just about impossible to see.

Okay so what does this have to do with cutting a diamond?  Well pretty much everything.  Because of where the inclusion was placed, along a facet junction, it became virtually invisible.  Another cutting operation that pays less attention to this kind of perfection would have allowed the inclusion to end up wherever it was going to.  The stone probably still would have been a VVS2 clarity grade but the inclusion would have been much more visible.  This is one of the subtle differences between good diamond cutting and great diamond cutting.  Which would you rather have:  a VVS2 clarity diamond that has an inclusion right smack dab in the center of the table (albeit tiny) and immediately visible, or a VVS2 clarity diamond that it takes a trained gemologist a half an hour to find the one inclusion in the stone?

Diamonds are not all created equal and diamond cutters have vastly different skills.  Lazare Diamonds uses cutters with great skills and that will always make a difference in the final product. Please think about this when you go out to buy that next sparkly bauble!

The picture above is one of mine (apologies as always).  I made this version of my moonbeams necklace a number of years ago. It has an orange sapphire and diamonds in it.  Usually I do a lighter weight version of this but I had this one in the shop the other day and thought I'd grab a picture of it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

On Selling Your Jewelry (Again)

As I said yesterday, this entry is a rehash of a number of articles I have written about selling your jewelry.  Not a day goes by anymore that I don't get at least one person, and often as many as five or six, into my store trying to sell something.  This isn't just because the economy has been a little soft and some people need some money but also because the high gold prices have led to a larger than usual knowledge about how selling your scrap gold can generate money.  Now obviously I am a jeweler and my storefront clearly identifies me as such.  And today, many people think that as a jeweler, I must not only sell jewelry, but also buy it.  Unfortunately in my case, that simply isn't what I do. I have never had scrap, or jewelry, buying as a part of my business plan. I am a jewelry designer, and SELLER, and that is what I do.  This doesn't mean that there aren't a ton of "jewelers" who buy jewelry, just that I don't do it. 

The one thing I am happy to do for my customers is give them a scrap credit for old jewelry towards something new I am creating for them (or that is in the case).  I don't have a problem with this as it is simply another form of payment. And with today's somewhat high gold prices often a commercial chain purchased 10 years ago can lead to a credit well over what was originally paid for the piece at retail.  But I am not in the business of buying and scrapping gold, nor am I in the business of buying old jewelry and reselling it. 

So let's talk about this business of selling your jewelry once again. There are, as I see it, three separate issues to be dealt with in selling your jewelry.  The first is a straight gold (or platinum) issue.  Gold has been at all time highs recently and it is possible to actually sell some commercial jewelry for more than what was paid for it at retail. This is truly a first in terms of this business.  Unless you bought something years ago when gold was fixed at $35/ounce there was almost never a case where you could sell something you bought at retail to someone for scrap and get more out of it than you paid for it. The reason for this is because everyone in the chain has to make money on what they sell.  So a gold refiner has to make money on refining and producing gold for someone like a gold chain manufacturer who has to make money on their processes and machines when they sell the chain to a middle man who then sells it (at a profitable markup) to a retailer who than must resell it again at a profitable markup.  This routinely meant that if you tried to scrap a chain shortly after you bought it, you would get nowhere near the price you paid for it.  However, because of the extreme heights that gold has reached in price today, it has, in some cases reached the point where in fact you cannot only scrap your gold jewelry for what you paid for it but often for more than you paid for it.

The second issue has to do with selling the gemstones that may be in your jewelry, including diamonds, rubies, sapphires, etc.  Unfortunately a vast quantity of jewelry produced and sold in this country has absolute garbage in it in the way of gemstones.  The vast majority of those tiny diamonds and other stones in pieces are pretty much junk.  This is so much the case that many scrap buyers don't even bothering removing stones from pieces---they just send the jewelry into the refiner and the stones are burned out and usually destroyed.  It isn't even worth the time often to remove the stones, no matter try to resell them.  So if you have a piece of jewelry you are going to scrap and there are small stones in it, don't expect to get paid a penny for them.

 The other problem is that even if you do have high quality stones in them, many of the people buying gold for scrap these days have no clue of what they are looking at unless the stone has some significant size to it.  Now if you do have a more significant sized stone in the ring it may be possible to get an offer made on it.  Diamonds of better qualities, 1/2 ct. and up should generate some money (although prices have not risen on gemstones the way they have on gold so it is unlikely that you will get back more than you paid for the stone originally---or even close to it).  There are a few things to remember when trying to sell your gemstones. The first is that, unlike with metal at the moment, this is not a seller's market.  People are dumping jewelry right and left these days so the normal midrange to lower quality goods that most people own in this country are in abundant supply.  The buyers must be able to make enough on something they buy from you so that they can 1) sit on the goods until they are actually able to sell it and 2) make a profit on it when they do sell it.  Often the buyers are reselling the stones to wholesalers as they have a better chance of selling the goods.  If this is the case the person who buys it from you has to take a price far lower than the wholesale price because the dealers are paying less than wholesale on their normal goods (so that they can sell it to a retailer and everyone makes money on it).

I always believe that you maintain the most amount of gemstone value by holding onto it and putting it into a new piece.  Admittedly, if you are in need of money, this isn't a solution but if you are simply scrapping things you aren't wearing anymore and feel like taking advantage of the high gold prices, hang onto your stones. 

The third issue is a little trickier when it comes to getting rid of your jewelry. This involves pieces that might be worthy of bringing to an auction house like Skinner's in Boston.  Generally speaking I would only encourage this if you have true antique pieces in good shape, or significant gemstones.  What do I mean by significant gemstones?  These would be diamonds of exceptional size, color, clarity and cut (probably over 2 carats and VS or better clarity grades) or larger emeralds, rubies or sapphires of exceptional quality.  Despite what most of you think about your pieces, you probably don't own one of these stones but that isn't always the case.

 The baby boomer generation is also just starting to see their parents passing on family heirlooms.  This does sometimes mean that pieces passed down through generations are becoming available to people who see no immediate or long term use for them.  Unique pieces of note or with historical significance should be looked at by a qualified appraiser who could direct you to the appropriate place to sell them.  When I see customers with large quantities of jewelry they have just inherited come in, I usually try to divide the stuff up into three piles: junk, stuff to scrap with a gold buyer, and stuff to go to an auction house.  Most of the time there is very little to go to an auction house.  The advantage of using an auction house is varied.  For one thing, if pieces have true historic value they will be able to tell you.  Secondly, the buyers pay the premiums to the auction house.  Thirdly you can set minimum sale prices for stuff (although I would always advise you to listen to the auction house on this---they know what stuff goes for and what it will yield and they don't base it on the fact that it was your grandmother's piece and that you remember her wearing it when you were a child).  Fouthly you have the chance of generating a return far higher than scrap value in some cases. 

What I haven't discussed again here is the issue of actual yield on gold scrap.  But the following is a posting that will help you with that:

The pin pictured above is an old piece I made that I recently came into a picture of.  It is a sunstone with orange sapphires in 18k and 22k yellow gold. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011


The pendant pictured here was made using a jewelry technique known as reticulation.  Reticulation is one of the more enjoyable, but random, things that can be done with metal.  Although certain gold alloys can be reticulated, the way I do it is to use a traditional 800/200 mix of fine silver and copper (sterling silver is 925/75 fine silver/copper) to actually make the pieces and then I have the ones (or parts of them) that I like cast in gold. Long ago when I first started doing reticulated pieces I had to make my own reticulating alloy to work with.  Now, since a lot of the oddball techniques that I have been doing for 40 years have become more mainstream, my refiner actually offers a reticulating silver to work with.  The process is time consuming in that you have to heat and pickle (throw the metal in an acid bath) repeatedly (10-20 times) so as to build up a layer of fine (pure) silver on the surface. This means that the melting point of the surface metal is higher than the metal underneath it.  After the heating/pickling process is finished, the piece of metal is then heated until the metal underneath begins to melt.  If you're lucky you can actually exercise some control over how the metal moves as the molten metal begins to fold up on itself but the top layer remains somewhat rigid.  If you're not lucky you can still get a lot of interesting results.  And if you're really unlucky it doesn't work at all and just rolls up into a molten mass of metal.  (Try this for a tongue twister: rolling molten mass of metal!) 

Once the silver piece is finished, I usually cut out the shape I want (sometimes the actual shape of the piece I want, sometimes a larger one that I can cut into smaller pieces).  Then it goes off to my casting company who make a mold of the piece and send me back some nice cast ones in 18k or 22k yellow gold.  The pendant above was made up because I had an old customer come in recently with some reticulated earrings I had made awhile ago and he wanted a matching pendant.  I made one for him and put the one above out into my cases.  I'm also currently in the process of trying to come up with some reticulated wedding bands for the cases.  I haven't gotten the metal doing quite what I want yet (I have a few of those rolling molten masses of metal lying around) for the rings but as soon as I do I'll get a picture posted. The picture above, incidentally is thanks to my new assistant, Kady, who it turns out is far more skilled than I am at photography (well just about everyone is more skilled than I am at it, but Kady is quite good and has a part time job actually doing some photography work as well). 

I haven't been writing for awhile because I have continued to be swamped with work.  However there is some end in sight and I am hoping to get a few new articles up soon. I plan on doing another one about selling/scrapping your jewelry as it seems to be a constant topic in the store these days, and I still hope to get an article on opals up.  Actually I have some new opal earrings that Kady took a picture of for me that would make a nice heading for it so let me see what I can do.  I also have some new South Sea pearl earrings made up that I have a nice picture of as well---they'll be headlining whatever the next article is about. 

The piece pictured above is 18k yellow gold with four .03 ct. ideal cut, "E" color, VS clarity diamonds.  Come by the shop if  you want to see it in person. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Why am I in this business?

Gold prices soar! The market sinks! The market rises! Gold prices plummet! It's the new world we seem to live in. Personally I have a theory that it is the speed with which information is available and the speed with which stocks can be traded that is actually accounting for most of the wild swings we're seeing in the marketplace. Fifty years ago it would have taken weeks before financial news from Asia would have impacted our stock market. Now the news is there within seconds and the traders respond seconds later. Good news/bad news/no news, it's all become fodder for a market that no longer seems to be driven by the basics of sound business management, supply and demand, etc. but is actually driven by traders out to make a quick buck and news from a media that obsesses over far too many things. The real problem is that the economy of any country doesn't turn on a dime this way. It takes years to get into a downturn and years to get out. But everyone wants it all to happen instantly because that's what we're used to now. With a click of a button you can order almost anything and 24 hours later it's in front of you. Need a new book? Download it in a minute or two. Want to see a movie? No need to go to a theater. Turn on your television and there it is. My personal belief is that the economy has actually been improving for well over a year now but it has been a slow and incremental recovery. I think the doomsayers are wrong. But then if I really knew what was going to happen I'd probably be rich and retired in Big Sur California, and I am most assuredly not doing that!

My business in particular has been rocked by some of the market machinations because I work with the world's current favorite money maker: gold. Personally I'm faring well because, as always, I offer a quality product backed with stringent guarantees and I do stuff that is different than what most other jewelers are doing. But I think there is another reason why I'm doing well: I had a young couple in (I'm sorry but all of my customers seem young to me these days) today. He had been in before looking at engagement rings and this time he brought his intended in to look. He told me that he had watched the video that is on my website and also is available on this blog off to the right if you're reading this. He told me that one of things he liked about it was that I was obviously enjoying myself while I was making the jewelry. And I think that is what makes a big difference. I DO actually enjoy making jewelry. It's why I'm in this business to begin with. I mean, sure, I like talking to all the unique and varied people who come into my store, and like anyone who sells for a living, I enjoy that process as well but really, in my heart, I'm a real jeweler: I MAKE jewelry. And I have always enjoyed MAKING jewelry. And that is one of the biggest reasons I am in this business. Come on by and see what I've been making lately!

Pictured above is an 18k yellow gold and garnet pendant.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Summer is ending

I haven't had much time to write lately. Between trying to catch up from being on vacation (the work before and after vacation always does me in), getting a little stock made (tax free day is coming), and just the normal business in the store I haven't had a lot of spare time. But this time of year is perfect for stargazing so my thoughts have turned once again to objects located in the far reaches of outer space. Hence the pin that I have posted a picture of here. Once again my apologies for my photographic skills. You really can't see how stunning the boulder opal is in this picture but trust me it's a real beauty. As usual in my comet pin series this one has a name: "As the Opalian ship neared light speed the slipstream became quite vivid". I spend way too much time reading science fiction books these days apparently.

I have had more people in looking for engagement rings recently. A constant topic that seems to come up is the issue of ring size. If the intended knows they are getting a ring soon then it might be possible they have proactively gone ahead and gotten their finger measured at a jeweler. Unfortunately most of the time, the proposers are trying to surprise their intended so they don't know what the ring size is. Routinely I get them in with rings their intendeds wear on their right hand. This may get me in the general range but almost all people's hands are different sizes. Usually the dominant hand is larger than the other so if you are right handed your right hand will be larger. USUALLY. But not always. So I still won't have a real idea of what the size is. Sometimes I have found that the proposer (and this is usually guys) has no clue of even what size in general their partner's hands are. So a first step might be to actually look at their hands. Get an idea of whether they appear large or small, whether the knuckles are much bigger than the rest of the finger, are the fingers long or short? These are all first steps. They still won't actually resolve the issue but it's a beginning. Things like trying pieces of string on their finger while they are sleeping will NOT work. String stretches. Metal doesn't.

So what are you supposed to do when you haven't got a clue what their ring size is? Well my best suggestion is buy your ring from someone like me who includes resizing in the original cost of the band. Most jewelers will actually do this for you but many of them don't have in house bench jewelers so you may have to wait awhile to get it resized (never a good thing in my book---when someone gets an engagement ring they want to show it off!). Since I do the work myself, and I'm attuned to the need to get that ring on the finger I always try to get them resized overnight if it is at all possible. Admittedly, occasionally that isn't possible. Rings that have stones going all the way around the band may need to be made up from scratch and that can take some significant time. But generally speaking most bands should be able to be resized overnight.

Or you could always bring them into the process, especially if you're getting something unique, but I know that is not always quite as much fun. But people, please at least spend a little time looking at your loved ones hands. They're usually nice to look at anyway, and you'll be holding them for quite some time so you may as well know what they look like!

Besides the new pin, I have a new pair of blue sheen moonstone earrings out and a new pair of maw sit sit earrings out. More is coming. Stop by and take a look if you get a moment. And remember tax free day is coming (and those of you who have bought from me before know what that means---emails will be out shortly).

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I realized the other day that many of you who are new to my blog may not want to read the whole thing in order to find out some of the information pertinent to your own particular needs. So I am making a handy dandy little list here of some of the subjects I have covered and the blogs related to them. However some of my more interesting posts don't actually fall into these categories so you might still want to look around a little. I hope this helps. Pictured above is a new 18k yellow gold and rhodolite garnet pendant that just went out today.

On Custom work:

On Engagement rings:

On Appraisals:

On selling gold for scrap:

Some of my favorite articles:

On Security:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I have returned from a very pleasant two weeks off. I actually can't recall the last time I had two weeks off. I believe it was at least 15 years ago. This is something to think about when contemplating starting your own business. It always involves MORE work not less work than if you are employed by someone else. We spent one week on Martha's Vineyard this year and had a wonderful time sitting on the deck of the house we rented and looking out at the water. Actually there was a wonderful view of one point of the island rising out of the water and I plan on making up one of my mountain rings (like the one in the lower right here) with the view. We also ate enough lobster to last a lifetime, including the one in the picture here, that weighed 8 pounds! So my batteries are recharged and I'm starting to work on both my custom jobs (if you have one in house right now and you are reading this thank you for your patience!) and on some new goods for the case. I have continued to sell quite a few pieces out of the cases and they are looking a wee bit peaked at the moment so I hope to have some new pictures soon of some new work.

In the meanwhile, however, I am posting another picture here of a custom job I did about a year ago that I had the opportunity to photograph recently. The neat thing about this particular ring (which you can't clearly see from my picture) is that there were two angles on the band that allowed me to bead set diamonds at different angles. The center stone is a .77 ct., "F" color, VVS2 clarity, ideal cut diamond. For this piece I hand built a model in silver and then had it cast in platinum.

On another note, gold prices have continued to rise. While I don't buy gold for scrap, I will take it in towards custom work I do for you or towards pieces in the case. It's a good time to look at all those old pieces you bought that you don't wear anymore and think about whether it might be a good time to get something new that you will wear.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Vacation Time Woo Hoo!

Well I have managed to survive until my vacation. I have had a tremendous first half of the year and I feel quite positive about the second half as well. I would prefer, however, not to work seven days a week for the next six months as well. I have been bringing in some part time help occasionally but I feel it's important that the customers get my designs, as I make them up, and it's hard to impart some of that to other jewelers. So I will be forced to continue working some of those long weeks it looks like. Kathy and I have, however, been discussing a long term plan where I take off a significantly larger amount of time on a regular basis. So you may find that there will be more periods when the store is closed. As always, if in doubt, call ahead to check on my hours (although I can pretty much assure you that I will be here the entire month of December!). By the way if you come by in the next few weeks you may see people in and out of the store as Kathy's non profit is still in full operation. Please don't confuse this with the store being open for business.

I have posted another picture I took of the last piece made for the cases for the first half of the year. It is an 18k gold ring. The diamond is a fantastic stone (which you can't tell from my, as usual, poor photography skills) but it is not a Lazare Diamond. As I explained in a post recently I have been having a terrible time getting stones in the sizes I need from them. It is a .31 ct., "D" color, VVS2 clarity. It comes with two certs: one from the American Gem Society (AGS) and one from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). The AGS is a much better gem lab for cut grades. They have been issuing them for years and rely much more strictly on true Tolkowsky ideal proportions (you can read about this in previous posts). Actually they are stricter graders in general. They gave two other stones with GIA certs lower color grades (as well as lower cut grades which is why I didn't keep them). Lazare Diamond sells true Tolkowsky stones as well so these stones are equivalent to a Lazare Diamond. It is a stunning stone (in person). Might be worth a trip in to see it. But please wait until I'm back from vacation (July 16).

Hope you all have a great Fourth of July!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


What's in a pearl? No, I mean quite literally, what is in a pearl? Virtually all pearls today are cultured, meaning that they have been started by man in some way. One hundred and fifty years ago there were only natural pearls. Divers would go into the water pull up a bunch of oysters and, if they were lucky, find a few pearls. But in the 1920's the world's major natural pearl producing regions were fished out and production of natural pearls basically came to a halt. As it happens, at about that same time, a couple of Japanese gentlemen happened to perfect a method to produce a pearl by inserting a bead nucleus into an oyster and having the growth form around it. These were the world's first salt water cultured pearls.

For quite some time the size was somewhat limited because the oysters that grew in the colder waters around Japan weren't large enough to produce much of anything over 8 mm round. However over some time it was recognized that in the South Seas there were much larger oysters available that could grow much larger pearls.

So what's in a cultured salt water pearl? Actually a round bead nucleus made out of shell makes up approximately 95% of the total pearl size. The actual pearl growth is usually quite thin (and got thinner over the years as production time was decreased due to demand). Consequently most of the pearl is actually starter material.

Natural freshwater pearls had been known about for quite some time too. Actually the Mississippi River produced a large number of pearls over the years, although overfishing reduced the yield dramatically over time. In the 1960's the Japanese however, also figured out a way to produce freshwater pearls by inserting mantle tissue from another mollusc into a mussell instead of a bead. Many of you probably remember (or still own) the rice shaped pearls that were produced in some rather large quantities over the years by the Japanese. I always enjoyed using freshwater pearls because they were unusual shapes making them far more interesting in rings, pendants and earrings than a traditional round pearl.

However as always time marches on and things change. Japanese labor got quite expensive. Some of the best freshwater pearl producing lakes in Japan got too polluted. So the Japanese exported their pearl expertise to China. China is a huge nation and they have a tendency to do things in a large way. Once they began producing freshwater pearls they began producing so many (and so cheaply) that they flooded the market, prices plummeted and quality suffered dramatically. In the meanwhile however, the Japanese salt water cultured pearl production of round pearls was falling rapidly.

So the freshwater producers saw a new area opening up and began to attempt to produce perfectly round freshwater pearls, which they achieved. Initially only available in very small sizes, over the years they boosted the size until they were able to produce perfectly round freshwater pearls in the same size range as the Japanese cultured pearls had been.

And then they began to look at other, alternative production methods, which brings us to the picture above (apologies as always---it's my own photo). The picture is of two strands of bead nucleated freshwater pearls I just purchased. In other words they are now putting round bead nuclei into freshwater mussels and producing pearls. Admittedly they are baroque (odd shaped) at the moment but it is pretty obvious where they are heading. Of course, I have always liked the odd shapes so these are working fine for me. But someday they will have perfectly round freshwater bead nucleated pearls and I'll have to begin the search for something else.

In the meantime, these two strands are very reasonably priced and way, way more interesting than those boring round pearls your grandmothers used to wear. Come on by and see them (or better yet send your significant other in with a credit card in hand)!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Rarity of Gemstones

People today often think that everything can be bought for a price. In some cases this is actually true. But what people forget about, especially when dealing with a natural product like gemstones, is that many of them are finite (and in some cases extremely finite) resources. I have been seeing a huge increase in prices across the board on my gem materials. The top color, top clarity, ideal cut diamonds that Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers sells are becoming harder and harder to come by. I have had a standing order with Lazare Diamonds for stones under a half carat in my quality range for the last three months and they have only been able to come up with one stone for me. I have had to start looking elsewhere to try to fill in with the types of goods that I believe are truly rare and that I think it's worthwhile for my customers to own. Diamonds in general have seen a significant spike in price recently but my super rare goods have gone up even more than the bread and butter goods that most jewelers use. One of the reasons for this is that high quality material is being sent overseas to Asia where there are now more buyers than ever and where quality is the first thing they want (as opposed to many Americans who only care about size). But there are additional factors. Rarity, of course, is one of them, especially in the better goods. People are also demanding better environmental practices as well as fair trade type practices. These things all cost the companies mining the goods more money so you have to expect the prices to rise from these factors as well.

Colored stones (again in the better qualities) are also experiencing significant price jumps. An example of this is a stone I recently pulled out of a piece of my wife's that she was no longer wearing. It was a 2.90 ct. purple/blue colorshift, unheated, natural color sapphire. When I took it out I realized that the stone was horribly cut on the back (my standards 15-20 years ago were not quite as rigid as they are now). So I sent it off to my cutter and he recut the back so that it was a much better looking stone. I ended up with a 2.73 ct. oval stone that is quite magnificent. I sent it off to my sapphire supplier to get an idea of current pricing on something like it. Now honestly I have no idea what I paid for it, who I got it from or even exactly when (although based on the age of the piece it was in, 15-20 years ago is the general time frame). I also know that while I have no qualms about spending money on beautiful gems for my wonderful wife, there was no way I spent anywhere near what the stone is going to be put out for now that it's been refashioned and readied for sale. The asking price on this beauty is going to be in the $9-10,000 range. When I purchased the stone the asking price would probably have been in the $2500-3500 range. My sapphire dealer told me that there is so little of this kind of material (especially untreated material) coming into the marketplace that the prices have just skyrocketed. Now this isn't a complete surprise to me because it's very similar to the material I already sell and I have been watching prices rising rapidly on it in the last few years. But it certainly gave me some perspective on what is really going on in the gem world. A computer 15-20 years ago that cost $3000 would cost you less than half that today thanks to technological and production advances. Not so with a nonrenewable resource.

The piece pictured above is also an example of material that is too pricey today or simply nonexistent. I have been unable to find any black South Sea round mobe pearls for over three years; either because it isn't being produced anymore or again because the Asian market is sucking it up. So I couldn't make a pendant like this one for you at ANY price. I simply can't get the material.

So now, as well as the price of metals having skyrocketed, the stones are beginning to as well. It might just be the time to get out and buy that piece that has been on your wish list for a few years before it just gets more expensive!

Friday, June 17, 2011

I"m back from the missing in action!

I know, I know it's been awhile since I wrote anything. I'm happy to report that it was mostly because I have been so incredibly busy here. April and May were both tremendous months for me, and while I always love the income, I had been working seven day weeks since the beginning of February. It has finally quieted down a bit and even though I always love more business (more business=more money eventually) the slowdown is allowing me to attempt to catch up on all of the work I've been running behind on (and that I need to finish before I close for vacation in July) and I've actually been able to reduce down to only six day weeks (and you guys all thought working for yourself is easy).

A few of you may also know that I came down with Bell's Palsy 3 weeks ago today (a compression of the nerve that controls one side of your facial muscles) but I'm happy to report that I have about 90% of my face back already (this is on the extremely short end of normal recovery periods which usually don't even start until about 3 weeks out and often runs much, much longer). I attribute it to my good attitude and tequila!

In the meanwhile I've had a number of successful engagement rings go out there. A young man who recently bought an alexandrite engagement ring from me (an absolutely stunning stone---and I'm not always a big fan of them) proposed in his underwear and she said yes (he emailed this to me---I'm not kidding). Perhaps this is a little reminiscent of a certain Congressman's recent infidelities, but my thought is that the ring was so stunningly beautiful that the young woman didn't even notice he was on his knees in his underwear. He claimed that it was because of the heat, but I think there might have been other reasons. I just heard from another client that an emerald engagement ring I made up for him (and yes I repeatedly warned him about the fragile nature of emeralds in rings but it was what he wanted) was successful as well although no underwear was mentioned in his email. Again, I must attribute it to the wonderful ring, but I have to give the proposers some kudos for being smart enough to use me for their jeweler.

A few posts ago I also talked about a young gentleman who had a problem with an engagement ring he bought elsewhere. A diamond had fallen out almost immediately and then they had charged him for the replacement. You can see that posting here. Well he came back in again because, guess what, the diamond had fallen out again (although they didn't lose it this time). So beyond what I had already suggested to him about attempting to recoup some of his money, I suggested that perhaps this ring design just wasn't going to work. So he, and his lovely bride to be, picked out a new ring of mine in platinum which they picked up recently. She was so thrilled with it that first they brought me a box of chocolate macadamia nuts and then a gift card for Starbucks (both wise choices as I consume a lot of both chocolate and coffee) which really wasn't necessary as I had been paid for my work, but I was delighted to see it made her so happy.

Anyway I have posted a picture of a new pendant I made up recently. It was taken by me with my phone as the young gentleman who was doing most of my photos is no longer with me. I apologize for the quality. But the piece is 18k yellow gold with a blue sheen moonstone, part of a batch of these stones that I got recently. They are very attractive moonstones and I have sold a number already. I also have come into some orange sapphires just this week that are all natural color, unheated stones in the 1-2 ct. range from the Umba Valley region. They came out of an old collection that my sapphire supplier came upon recently. It's worth a trip in to see what I got (I have a nice pair of rounds in this too).

I hope to get one more posting up before my vacation. See you soon!