The holidays are upon us and I always like this time of year. Not just because I'm a retailer and usually sales are higher but because it's always a good excuse for me to spend more money on new things for the store. I enjoy spending money, especially when it's on beautiful things, and my sources always try to have some new merchandise ready for the season. But since I make everything I sell, I'm not talking about new lines of jewelry. I'm talking about new gems. My primary gemstone supplier has sent me the usual batch of goods I get to put out for the holidays including some magnificent tourmalines, tanzanites and sapphires.
But equally important are some of the strands of pearls and beads I get in this time of year. I got two particularly striking strands of huge Chinese keshi freshwater pearls. The strand pictured above is one of them. The center pearl on this strand measures an astounding 1.25" x .75". Every year the Chinese freshwater pearl producers are able to make pearls that are larger and larger. Not all of them have the luster and quality of the ones I have as I'm notoriously fussy about the quality of the product I buy. But if you come in to see me, you can be pretty much assured that any of the pearls, or beads I carry will be the highest quality available in that range of goods.
Another relatively new product on the market are Ethiopian opals (a strand is pictured below). This is from a new find and the material is finally starting to be available a little more readily. Pictures never do justice to opal material because it is so hard to get the lighting right to bring out all of the colors, but this material positively glows when you look at it.