Brides are choosing colored gems, and they
are doing it more and more. Colored gems are appearing in modern bridal jewelry
as featured center stones,... as well as accent gems.
Brides are choosing colored gems in
preference to diamonds, or sometimes as a complement to a center diamond. It
works well either way. Often the diamonds are incorporated into the bridal
ring's design to provide contrast and sparkle, in other words to accent the
colored gem and precious metal components of the piece.
Many of us think of this as a modern trend...
and it is. But this modern trend harkens back several centuries to the fashion
of Europe, especially Eastern Europe. Before Indian diamonds, and then South
African diamonds, became readily available in Europe, colored gems were often
used in bridal jewelry... by the rich and powerful who could afford such
In those days, the crown jewels - or
even the family jewels - were primarily colored gems and natural pearls.
Today, we hear of the fine blue sapphire and
diamond Princess Diana engagement ring being given to Kate Middleton (Why isn't
she known as Princess Catherine?). And we hear of singer Jessica Simpson's ruby
and diamond engagement ring. And we hear of other high profile people joining
Unless we have a connection to a person, or are in the business
and observe what other ladies are wearing, we may not recognize that many
regular folks are also opting for bridal jewelry featuring colored gems.
A significant number of people choose to
incorporate a ring guard (wrap, enhancer) to complete the wedding set. The ring
guard may be set with small colored gems, or diamonds, or both. Many others
have opted to employ the one ring as their engagement/wedding ring, or add
a simple band.
Brides are choosing colored gems such as
rubies, sapphires in traditional blues or gorgeous shades of pink, in noticeable
numbers, but other quality colored gems are also popular. Amethyst, topaz, and
spinel are also popular choices.
These rings are being worn daily, so
durability is an important consideration. All of the gems mentioned here possess
the durability, and boast the purity and range of colors to give a couple a
variety of gems to choose among.
Top - The Princess Diana and Kate
Middleton engagement ring. The center stone is an oval shaped, 18 carat
blue sapphire, surrounded by sixteen round, white diamonds.
Next - A ruby and diamond engagement ring, worn with a
Next - A ring guard set with diamonds, ready to nestle
the engagement ring.
Next - An engagement ring featuring a pear shaped amethyst in royal purple,
surrounded by white diamonds.
- An 18 inch strand of large, baroque fresh water pearls with
Lower - The Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort, new home of
America's premier jewelry industry trade show.
A Google search using keywords such as spinel hardness or
famous spinel gems can return some very interesting
information and websites.
Readers have requested that I offer a special deal on a
different gem in each newsletter. As you can see from this month's special
offer, I've now been asked to sometimes feature an easily affordable finished
We keep gem prices low by buying quality gemstone rough
worldwide, and having the rough material cut by our gem cutters in Asia.
In the case of these pearls we took advantage of an Asian
tradition... a sale to the first customer of the day is a good omen. We saw
these quality pearls at a trade show several years ago. We came back the next
morning... and purchased a large number of strands at a great price.
This month's featured item is an eighteen inch strand of very
large fresh water pearls. These baroque pearls are affectionately known as
"potato" pearls, a reference to their shape.
Fresh water pearls
Very good lustre, quality stringing and knotting
Size: 18 inch strand
Price: $16 per strand
Send me an email (with anti-spam)
and tell me that you want these casual pearls. This price is what we paid for
them 10 years ago. I can only sell 10 strands at this price.
For those who missed out on the April
special, I now have received several matched pairs from the cutter. The
April feature was a matched pair of flawless and colorless (white) zircons,
the recognized natural substitute for diamonds.
Gem Industry News
JCK Las Vegas 2011
The re-invented JCK Vas Vegas jewelry trade show was a real hit with the
people I've spoken with. They love the new facility, the layout( (once they
understood it) and the vendor groupings.
There seemed to be an "Ask Me" information person on every corner,
according to an attendee I know. She said "That made getting around the
new layout a breeze."
is a time for planning. Budgeting, inventory, sources and designs are all
planning basics. Do you also consider larger questions?
How do I keep my customers business... how do I keep them excited about my
jewelry designs and prices, and happy with my personal service? How do I attract
Plan now to keep your business growing.
With the price of gold extremely high, we must all consider alternative, more