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Thursday, July 26, 2012

On Strange Gem Materials

Pictured above is a new pendant I made recently and it has a title ("A gold stream oozed out of hematatia"). For those of you who know me a bit, you are aware that I make up new imaginary planets for different gem materials (hence the title). So what is this material? Well apparently not even my gem dealer was aware of the proper name (I believe). It was sold to me as hematite after magnesite but after doing a little research I believe it is actually hematite after magnetite. The word "after" means that at some point there was magnetite there but it chemically morphed into hematite over a period of time. As a gemologist I am always intrigued by materials like these. I don't get as much opportunity these days to work with pieces like this (it wouldn't exactly make a good engagement ring stone!) but occasionally I see something I like and can see the possibilities for it. It's hard to see in this picture but the gold wire in the center does actually come out from a hole near the top of the stone. There is a .10 ct. ideal cut, "E" color, VS clarity diamond at the top as well.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

On listening to your loved ones

So I had a young woman come back into my store for the third time today. She had on an engagement ring she had just gotten from her lady love. Unfortunately it wasn't one of mine! Truly unfortunately it wasn't one of mine because she had been lusting after this one of mine. Not only had she been lusting after it but she had brought her partner in to see it, she had used it as a screen saver, and she "thought" she had been pretty clear that it was the one she wanted. Alas and alack, not quite clear enough unfortunately. So in 5 or 10 years they will come back in and I will attempt to take the diamond she got and put it into a similar design.

So the question becomes how do you clearly express to your partner that THIS design is the one you want??? And it isn't an easy one to answer. I mean, this young woman had done everything she could think of to convey that, if someone was going to propose to her, that this particular ring was the one that she wanted. Now admittedly, it might have been that I was a bit more expensive than the one the partner chose.

But, I believe it was more that, for some reason, her partner may not have been listening closely enough. I'm somewhat used to this with guys because, let's face it, basically they're clueless when it comes to women, but I think that women should have a somewhat clearer idea of what they want for their partner in life. And when the partner pretty clearly points out what they want, I kind of think they should be listening.

Of course I think guys should be listening as well because it's always upsetting to hear someone express disappointment in what they receive as one of the most important pieces of jewelry they will ever get. I mean, if you get a 33rd birthday present you're not thrilled with that's okay (you can always exchange it!)---but an engagement ring is a piece that says: YOU ARE THE PERSON I WANT TO SPEND MY WHOLE LIFE WITH so this is what I want you to have to represent it! And if you're not listening to the person to begin with then....where are you going anyway???

Now I'm not saying, by any stretch of the imagination, that these two young women are not meant to be life partners, anymore then the guys who don't get it either. Everyone has different things they value in a partner and understanding and appreciating what is most important to you is critical in a relationship. Someone may be perfect in so many other ways that it's easy to overlook certain things. And we shouldn't forget that we all have different tastes and, inevitably, our own tastes will influence what we buy.

What I am saying is that the most important part of our intimate relationships is that we should make an attempt (hey even after 25 years I don't always get it right either but I try) to LISTEN to our partners about what it is that will make them the happiest. Because after all, what we all really should want to do is make our intended, or our already committed partners, as happy as possible because that is what being in a relationship is all about: MAKING OUR PARTNERS HAPPY (well without completely losing ourselves!). Why bother being in love if that isn't the case?

My job as a jeweler is to make YOU happy. But if you aren't listening to your significant other, I might make you happy but not your significant other happy. And if they aren't happy, I can assure you that you aren't going to be happy. So let's try to listen up folks!!!

The picture above is of a custom piece I made for a customer using her design idea, coin, and spinels (personally I would have used a somewhat higher quality, more regularly sized and colored stones). She wanted me to do a Tudor rose on the bail to match the one on the coin . I cut out the base piece and then had my hand engraver do the details on the rose. Yes it's a very strange piece but I get asked to do all sorts of things and I just like people to see all the possibilities.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

New Earrings

These are one of the new pair of earrings I put out recently. When I found these black pearls I was instantly taken by their intense luster and color. However they were a bit smaller than I usually use in my black pearl designs (especially the ones like this) and I wasn't sure how I was going to use them for quite awhile. But I knew I had to do something with them and this turned out to be it.

Apparently it's a good time to propose as my engagement ring business continues to be quite busy. So I sold a number of my diamonds this week and had to get some in to replace them. Fortunately I managed to grab two of the Lazare Diamonds that were slightly under a half carat before they could send them off to Asia where the customers tend to be much more interested in the top color, top clarity diamonds that I sell. But I was also able to get in a .58 ct. "E" color, Internally Flawless stone as well that is simply stunning. While I have occasionally gotten in larger flawless stones for specific customers, this is the largest one I've ever just put out in my stock. This is truly a special, exceptional stone.

Speaking of diamonds there was a new report in my gemological journal that just came out describing the new process being used to synthesize diamonds. They have been able to achieve with this process very high clarity and top color diamonds in larger sizes than ever before. It is still possible for gem labs to positively identify these stones but it does mean that there is even more of a reason for you to know who you are buying your diamonds from. Lazare Diamonds has been a DeBeers sightholder for a long time and they work directly with some mines as well. They know where their merchandise comes from and they know exactly what they are selling. However, while at the moment most of the synthetic diamonds are being laser inscribed identifying them as such, wherever there is a great deal of money to be made, people will do all kinds of illegal things. Laser inscriptions can be removed and attempts will be made to pass the stones off as naturals. Some of the larger diamond dealers may not want to bother paying to have all of their stones checked and some material may slip through. So again, it is more important than ever that you know who you are buying from.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I'm back from vacation and into the full swing of things again. I left with a huge pile of work in my folder so I'm going to be bogged down for a bit. I was working 7 day weeks up to the vacation and may have to go back to them now that I'm back. I'm never sure how much rest I actually get when I take time off because I have to work so hard on either end of it. We spent part of the week at home and went to Martha's Vineyard for four days as well. It is still early in their season there but I couldn't get much of a feeling from the merchants how things seemed to be going other than that it wasn't bad. It looked a little quieter on the streets of Edgartown to me than in past years but this time we were actually staying in Edgartown so it might have just been that I was there more of the time so it didn't contrast to the quiet on the ends of the island. Certainly the summer traffic jams were still there! I managed to eat lobster every day we were there and we brought some home too for our first night back! I'm finished I think for a month or two. That was about as much lobster as I need for awhile. If any of you should be heading to the island I can't recommend this place enough for eating and drinking: L'etoile.

I do have pictures of a couple of new pairs of earrings that I just put out but I wanted to post a custom pair of earrings I finished just before my break for Heidi, who is not only a great person but coincidentally has great taste in jewelry! They are pictured above and have diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds in them. I made them up to go with a ring I made for her recently (although the ring didn't have the emeralds as I view them as a no no in rings).

Marriage proposals seem to be in the air. I've had a number of young gents in, during the last two days that I have been back from vacation, looking at engagement rings. I always love selling engagement rings. It portends the start of something so wonderful in life: the uniting of two people to form a family, hopefully for life. I also love knowing that I've played a role in it.

If I keep writing I'm going to have some unhappy people waiting for their custom jobs so I have to keep this one short. In the next few days I'll post the newest earring pictures.