Thursday, May 10, 2018

LAS VEGAS – A New Trip, New Adventure, Last Chance to Snag Our Loaner Gems

It’s that time again!  In a little less than 3 weeks I’m leaving on my trip to the AGTA and JCK Shows in Las Vegas for more gem sourcing.  As always, I am happy to take pre-orders for gems so please email us if you are interested!
What's New this Year: 
I’ve set up an appointment with Sergey, my Russian demantoid connection, who will be exhibiting at JCK. He’s bringing more smaller sizes of demantoids for me this time, especially 2mm and 2.5mm, and I’ve also requested some in the 4mm range as that seems to be what most of what you guys are interested in.  But I’m also switching out larger pieces I had on memo.
Same with Dudley Blauwet, my contact for Ceylon sapphire and Burma spinel.  Expect some fresh inventory there, and please do tell me what you are interested in so I know what to source.  Kornerupines are not likely to be refreshed, I’m going to have to make do with what I have here as there’s no new material on the market.  Last time I checked with Steve from New Era Gems in April, all the rough had been sold.  I know one supplier that still has some but I will only get them on request as everyone is holding on to what is left, now that interest in this rare gem has gone up.
Regarding spinels, I still have Vietnamese and Burmese materials that I held back from the last trip and you’ll see these put up on sale starting Memorial Day weekend.
Emeralds: I have neglected those a bit as of late, and plan on stocking up!  There will definitely be Colombian materials, and if I can manage, some of the bright green Afghani gems too!
Tourmaline: A new shipment of Namibian materials has arrived with my supplier already, you will see some of those in the shop soon...
Benitoite: With the renewed interest I am seeing in my shop, I am gunning for more slightly larger pieces as well as more melee sizes.
Red Beryl: Haven’t had those lately but some untreated melee sizes are coming up.
Paraiba: Again, a new shipment is expected and I have an appointment already, but this shipment is very small.  However, I am still holding back some stock acquired earlier.  So for now there is still stuff, just not as much as before. 
Lastly, there’s been an interest in more precision cuts lately, and you will definitely see those in the shop. 
Now, one other thing that’s important.  As you probably know, some of our inventory is on memo – on loan, that is, from other suppliers.  That material gets switched out periodically, suppliers want back what doesn’t sell, and there’s no point in it sitting in my shop.  So what I thought I would do this time is supply you with the list of these for you to decide if you’d like any before they go “back home”.  Gems are on sale till Sunday and then once again starting memorial day.  There will be a flash sale in the meantime on some older inventory, but not on anything on this list.
 
Enjoy and stay tuned on our social media channel for news and videos!

What is Retail and Wholesale Pricing – Really? An Unofficial Opinion

You must have asked yourself this question as well.  What (on earth) does it mean when someone tells you that their pricing is wholesale, or retail for that matter?  Technically, “wholesale” pricing just means the price charged to a wholesaler (from a manufacturer, for instance), and “retail” pricing means the price charged to retail clients (for example, from a wholesaler).  But how much is that?
When you consult web resources for various markup formulas, you will see that how much more you should charge is somewhat subjective.  Aside from your production and overhead costs – which can be high if you own a brick and mortar shop - and your expected earnings you also have to look at the competition for your product.  As a result, some companies double their total costs, some companies triple them.  In the wholesale industry, a markup of twice the total cost is a good average.  By contrast, if you are a well established and highly regarded retail outfit, like Cartier or Tiffany’s, you can charge even more than triple – though don’t forget that those companies also offer an exceptional sales experience as well as exceptional and reliable products with a good resale value.  When you are the “iddy biddy” neighborhood store or Etsy seller, your markup has to be lower.  My jewelry markup is about 2.5 times the production cost, not including overheads or what I pay my assistants (so closer to x2 if that’s figured in).  Sometimes it’s less, sometimes a little more.  Luckily, I don’t have a brick and mortar store to maintain, so my overhead costs are lower – and I do pass these savings on to the buyer.  My production costs are higher however since I do small volume and production is in the United States.
How does markup work in the gem trade?  Here’s what I have learned in the past almost 10 years in gem and bead buying. 
Wholesalers, by which I am going to mean gem dealers and members of the trade such as the ones that vend at AGTA, GJX and other gem shows, or those who work via internet and phone only, have less than a double markup on average.  Unless their gems are specialty cut or one of a kind, your average run of the mill stuff is priced closer to 30-50% up, at least for parcels.  For individual gems it can be more since that requires processing (boxing, measuring, making labels, etc).  It’s not necessarily much higher, however.
Shot of our friends @primagems at the AGTA Wholesale Show in Vegas. Photo taken from Ganoksin Blog 
Retailers, by contrast, have to figure in more customer service such as photos, internet listings, as well as one on one service.  And since they are more likely to sell one stone at a time, they have to figure those costs in for each stone, not for a parcel or larger amount.  Most of my buyers purchase one stone at a time, a pair, or a few small stones, from my shop – they never buy parcels.  That means that I need to process gems by the piece (pretty much), doing measurements and photos for every single stone.  At a wholesale show, when I buy from parcels, I do this work as the buyer, not the seller, and I can also buy (and often do) a bunch of gems from the same parcel, which are then weighed and priced together.  That is more work for me, but less work for the seller, hence the lower markup. 
In short, the difference between wholesale and retail has more to do with the quantity of gems purchased and the labor provided for that quantity.  It is less a matter of formula – even less of a matter of whether or not a buyer has tax ID.  So when I get a query for a “wholesale” price from a jeweler who wants to get one stone under $100, I am far less likely to provide a discount than I would be for a loyal retail client who has spent thousands in my shop but who is not a wholesaler or jeweler.  By the same token, if a retail buyer travels overseas to a gem mining location but intends to only buy a couple of gems , and will only make one purchase, that individual is just as unlikely to get a wholesale price overseas as they would be here.  In fact, they are more likely to be ripped off due to inexperience and due to the fact that many less developed countries have no buyer protection.
Prices for gems are also strongly determined by supply and demand.  Real estate is the best example for a comparison.  The same house, brick for brick, or plank by plank, can cost $50,000 in location A and $500,000 in location B, where the value of the parts is insignificant as a factor in the price difference.  Rather, it is that nobody wants to live in location A and everybody wants to live in location B.  And when supply of housing is not unlimited (it seldom is), prices go up.  In order to determine if one pays too much for a house, or in order to determine what an asking price should be, one studies not the house in isolation but the house compared to other houses like it in the same market.
A fun illustration showing the wholesale (large quantity) vs. retail (small quantity) dynamics 
It is the same in the gem industry.  For some gems, supply really is nearly unlimited (i.e. Brazilian amethyst, white topaz).  In those areas prices might just be determined by labor and other overhead costs.  For any gem where supply is not unlimited but there is a demand – so exempting rare gems that nobody wants to buy – the price very much depends on how many similar gems there are and how these are priced.  In short, gem dealers study the competition for their gems and will price according to what the market will bear.  Often that is not as much as one hopes, but at times, it is also rather shockingly high.  Cobalt spinel is a case in point.  For some rare gems, there is just sufficient demand but almost no supply that the price is just about only a matter between what the seller wants and what the buyer will pay.  Large Benitoite is a good example.
Cobalt Spinel from our Etsy shop
Also, prices can fluctuate when an area is mined out but demand is still high (i.e. Mahenge spinel, Mahenge Malaya garnet).  Or prices can jump up fast when demand goes up and then level out when it is discovered that supply is not that bad (this is often the case with sapphire).  Sometimes prices start out low, then demand increases suddenly and the prices jump drastically, then the market is saturated and prices drop back down (I believe that Grandidierite is an example – I am going to verify this on my next trip to Africa).  Sometimes there are government restrictions, civil unrest,  a change of government etc, and all this will affect pricing, which can end up being quite volatile when we are looking at small amounts.  Current examples are a recent shift in government in Tanzania, export issues in Mogok (affecting ruby and spinel) and export problems with Russia (affecting demantoid).
What should you take away from this?  When you shop, study prices on the internet, as best you can, look at gems in person at gem shows or wherever opportunity presents itself, but also work with someone you trust – we all have to do that, not just you as retail buyers but also us in wholesale because you can’t always test everything, and large amounts of money and product have to change hands safely.  In the final analysis however, for me it is easiest to work with an educated customer for a smooth and easy transaction.  “The more you know…” as they say on TV.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Sapphire Treatments: What Matters and What Doesn’t  (By Yvonne Raley and Inken Krause)

Every month I give sapphires to my lab to certify that a sapphire is unheated, which is essential for my business, and important to my customers especially when they buy more expensive gems.  But determining that a sapphire is heated is not as easy as one might think.
First of all, what is the purpose of heating a sapphire?  Heating can improve the clarity of a gem, remove zoning, and intensify color.  With high enough temperatures (about 1700 degrees Celsius) you can also melt the silky inclusions in a sapphire.  When sapphires are cut, the friction created by the cutting wheel subjects the sapphire to some heat already (though in most cases, at that point the sapphire has already been heated) but this is rarely if ever detectable in a lab.
How do you determine heat treatment?  The first test to apply is to look at the inclusions of the sapphire under 10x magnification.  In the simplest case you see silky inclusions and fine dusty inclusions.  If those look undisturbed – read: not melted – then you can assume it is not heated.  This takes some practice of course, but in principle anyone can learn to do this (having a darkfield loupe helps because it provides nice lighting from the back). Feathers and jellyfish-like inclusions are also good indicators, it is only a bit more difficult to judge whether those are undisturbed. For a neat search engine of typical sapphire inclusions, go here: http://www.ruby-sapphire.com/ftir-intrigue.htm
According to Lotus, "in this sapphire from Sri Lanka, evidence of high temperature heat treatment can be found in this moirĂ©-patterned fingerprint. The once-lovely lacy pattern of liquid droplets is now besmirched by circular “explosions,” where the pressure from heating caused ruptures in the icroscopic negative crystals,..." (Photographed by Richard Hughes)Hughes, R.W., Manorotkul, W. et al. (2017) Ruby & Sapphire: A Gemologist's Guide. Bangkok, Lotus Publishing, 816 pp.; RWHL*.
However, this method is insufficient if the original gem is too clean to have enough inclusions in the first place: not every sapphire has enough inclusions and you need those to make your determination.  
A loupe clean gem therefore requires further testing.  A common second tool is a spectral analysis.  Heating a sapphire at high temperatures removes water from it.  A spectral graph will show the water content as a peak, and if this peak is lower, this is interpreted as the water having been eliminated by heat.  (https://assets.thermofisher.com/TFS-Assets/CAD/Application-Notes/D10280~.pdf)
There is a human factor here, however, as the strictness of interpretation here may vary from lab to lab.  In most if not all reputable labs, several people will look at the same gem and only if all conclude that they do not think they see evidence of heat will the gem pass as unheated.  GIA and Gubelin are examples of labs that always have 2 gemologists assess a gemstone 100% independently from each other, before examination results are compared and discussed, before potentially seeking advice from additional colleagues; at those two laboratories, the examining gemologists also do not know the client's identity.
Now, let me turn back to the original question, does it matter if a sapphire is heated or not?  Generally, 99% of sapphires on the market are heated, and heat treatment is standard.  According to AGTA standards, however, this must be disclosed on the invoice – in part because it can and usually does affect prices.  Heated sapphires can be up to 30% cheaper than unheated ones.  Sapphires that do not need heat treatment are much rarer than sapphires that do – or rather, sapphires that can be improved with heat treatment are the most common. 
In terms of integrity or safety for setting, however, it doesn’t matter that a gem is heated.  The treatment is permanent, durable, and does not otherwise affect the gem. (Inken and I actually differ a little on this assessment but I think this is the most common view).
As to our own shop, we try to carry mostly unheated gems, to which we have very good access.  Cecile Raley Designs specializes in the unusual gem – not the run of the mill stuff – so it makes sense for us to seek out unheated sapphires whenever possible.
Before closing let me add a quick note here about beryllium heated gems (industry calls this “Be-heat” and according to newer standards, this must be disclosed during a sale): this type of treatment requires heat treatment with beryllium, which reduces the blue tones in a sapphire, therefore it is used on yellow, orange or padparadscha like colors, but not on blues or pinks.  To detect beryllium, a 10x loupe is usually also sufficient since Be-heat leaves characteristic inclusions that are not like the natural inclusions of a sapphire – they are described as “little blue halos” in industry. 
Beryllium Heated Sapphire
Here’s a quick link to a very interesting article on a synthetic Padparadscha sapphire: http://www.lotusgemology.com/index.php/library/articles/327-padparadscha-or-pretender-an-unusual-pink-orange-sapphire
(Inken Krause sells antique jewelry at https://www.einhoerning-jewelry.com.  She specializes in unheated ruby and sapphire.)

Thursday, March 15, 2018

What Color is this Gem – really? Commonly Asked Color Questions and Difficult Answers

Nature doesn’t make it easy, does it?  Is it a ruby or a sapphire?  Is the Paraiba more greenish or more blueish?  Does the tourmaline have a sooty appearance in indoor lighting?  Is the color change on this garnet complete and does it change from a teal blue to a purple or a teal green to a red?   Does the sapphire have secondary hues of violet or purple?  Does the spinel glow, does it have open color?
As a gemstone seller, I have faced all these questions  and more.  Just last week I got a request for a round matched pair of 5mm gems – seafoam color.  When we finally sorted out what seafoam green meant, I realized I would have called that a lighter teal blue-green, and my idea of seafoam was more greenish than hers (maybe we were thinking of different vacation spots, lol).  Which is fine, there’s lots of disagreement on color names, as is evidenced when you get color samples for repainting your wall at Home Depot or Lowes. 
Does this sapphire have secondary hues of violet?
Seafoam colors, or mint?  Both?
Which, if any, of these tourmalines is seafoam color?
Is this paraiba more greenish or more turquoise?
Do you think this paraiba is blue or turquoise?
GIA has developed a helpful color reference booklet and chart. Below is the link to the booklet: https://www.gia.edu/doc/ColDiaChartBklt.pdf
Another question I often face is about extinction – this happens at least twice a month, no joke.  How much extinction is there, is it half the stone, or the entire stone, the top half or the bottom..?  All my photos are taken in natural lighting with the light coming from one direction (namely outdoors).  I’ve tried taking photos with the lighting behind the stone but that doesn’t look good.  In order to avoid half of the gem looking dark, I have to go outside in the afternoon, put the stone on my outdoor table with the lighting directly behind me.  But sometimes that provides too much light and no amount of correction fixes it (it’s also rather cold in the winter and we don’t like losing stones in the front yard).  And ANY oval stone (and many pears) will look dark on one side if the light is not directly behind you.  Lightboxes have not worked for me, artificial light doesn’t work for many stones (i.e. mandarin garnet looks washed out, mint garnet looks too gray).  So you make do and hope that your additional description sheds more light onto what the stone looks like – pun intended. This can backfire if the description and the photos are too far apart.  Needless to say we spend oodles of time doing photos and listings, so at times trying to get it just right, especially with cheaper gems, takes more time than I can charge for the gem.  Nobody wants to pay $25 in photography time for a $10 gem.
Does this Burmese spinel have extinction? Open Color?  Left photo: indoor natural lighting coming from the right, right photo: outdoor natural lighting from behind the camera.

Does this Mahenge spinel have extinction?  Left photo: indoors natural lighting from the right.  Right photo: outdoor natural lighting from behind the camera.

Here are some additional challenges to accurate representation of gems:
  1. Monitors vary and not everyone knows how to balance out the colors when they get a new computer (there’s a function for this in the control panel, under color management).
  2. Cameras differ and so do the programs you can use to color correct photos. My Motorola photos do not look like the pictures I take with my Nikon, my older iPad basically sucks. My old “Picasa” software is no longer supported and I really liked the way it color corrected.
  3. Natural lighting conditions vary from place to place and season to season, and with the weather. My Tucson and Las Vegas photos are usually much brighter than my New Jersey photos. Dimmer winter light often brings out grey casts in sapphires, tourmalines and spinel. Showing color change requires very artificial conditions that do not obtain in most homes (i.e. fluorescent and LED lighting do not show color change, and dark regular incandescent light doesn’t show much color in the first place). Dudley Blauwet always tells me which Kelvin value (the unit of measurement used to describe the hue of a light source)  can be seen in particular areas in Sri Lanka and that those conditions are different from over here.  Well that’s very informative but doesn’t provide much practical advice on what to do, neat travel locations excluded.
Paraiba in direct sunlight taken in Tucson, AZ
Morganite in indirect sunlight taken in Tucson, AZ
Paraiba taken indoors without natural lighting
  1. Color vision differs from person to person. I don’t just mean that some people are color blind, I mean that most of us do not see everything on the color spectrum. If you want to freak yourself out, try one of these color vision tests online: http://www.color-blindness.com/ishihara-38-plates-cvd-test/#prettyPhoto
  2. Historical gem classifications and chemical ones do not overlap. We already know that most bright red rubies from old crown jewels are actually spinel, which can often be found in the same deposits. But it also used to be thought that ruby and sapphire were two different minerals. So when you get borderline colors, you have to make an executive decision as to which is which.  And even depending on where these distinctions are made (i.e. India or over here) you get different classifications, which in turn affect price.  The recent Madagascan rubies I got from Dudley Blauwet evidence this.  Dudley told me he had a hard time deciding where to draw the line to pink sapphire, but knowing that he’s better at this than I am, I kept his classifications.  This doesn’t mean that GIA would agree, however. And many labs use different color names for their classifications.  For example, a "purplish pink" ruby at GIA is a "pinkish red" ruby at AGL and Gubelin.  And a GIA "red ruby" is a often "pigeon blood red" at GRS.  So if you want your ruby to be pigeon blood red you can't give it to GIA.  One almost gets the sense that these gems change color as they travel.  However, the difference in terminology has to do with what each lab considers the scientifically correct color term.
What's the color of this ruby?
  1. Finally, here’s a real doozy for you. Some color names are trademarked. So “grape garnet” cannot be used in a description of purple Mozambique garnet, unless you are Parle jewelry.  You can only call it “purple garnet” or “grape colored garnet” (which is, incidentally, the same gem).  “Mint” garnet is currently in the process of facing the same fate, so in future I will have to say “mint color” or “light color tsavorite” or light “grossular garnet.” “Lotus garnet” is already the trademark for Malaya garnets.  So gem colors can be trademarked just like cuts, i.e. “Asscher”.   
So what can a prospective buyer, and especially one that is new to colored stones, do?  You can always ask a vendor for clarification on the description, ask for additional photos or a video, and last but not least, you can look at some well known shops in the retail world and make price and quality comparisons.  Swala, Pala, Gemselect, Wildfish, and many others have good photos and descriptions that are helpful for price and color comparisons.  And of course, you should go to gem shows in your area, if possible, or even just some shops that have a few colored stones, and start looking.  The more time you spend looking at things, the better you get at making judgments of your own.
What are the colors of he two sapphires on the left?

Gem Lab Reports: Some FAQs

As you’ve probably noticed, Cecile Raley Designs provides certificates with certain gems, or we offer to provide one upon request.  With more and more requests for certificates coming in, it’s time to review what these reports do for you and when you should get them. 
Gem Identification: This is probably the single most important thing a lab report can do for you.  A gem ID provides you with certainty that the gem you bought is what you thought it was.  It tells you that the gem is not synthetic or lab grown.
Specifications: A lab report also gives you the details about the gem, its shape, weight, cut, measurements, color, and variety (i.e. the sapphire variety of corundum).
Treatment: Not all treatments are mentioned in a lab report, or need to be.  Whether treatments are mentioned depends entirely on the gem and this can get complicated very quickly. Basic treatment, i.e. heat treatment of a sapphire, must be disclosed.  But this is not the case for an aquamarine or a tourmaline.  Why? In part this is because it cannot actually be determined if an aqua or tourmaline is heated.  The heating process does not leave any trace on these gems. Treatment is also disclosed if it can affect the value.  So, for instance, if a ruby is glass filled it has little to no value and if it is totally untreated it has high value. Note, however, that to detect different treatments, different techniques are needed.  Heat, glass fill, or surface enhancements like oil can be detectable under the microscope but it’s not possible to detect if borox was used in diffusion treatment.
Origin: Origin in gems is often very hard to determine and it is not always certain. Only fairly broad origin regions can be determined, not the actual mine or town where a gem came from, and for different gems different methods are needed.  Essentially one determines origin by identifying other trace minerals in the gems and locating its origin.  Alternatively, as with Russian demantoid, the types of inclusions can be a tell-tale sign of the origin.  With some gems, diamonds for example, origin cannot be determined at all.  We only know that certain colors, such as pink, mostly originate from a specific location, Australia in this case. And diamonds come from just about everywhere!  By contrast, other gems (like grandidierite and kornerupine) have only one known origin. It is also important to point out that gems under 3mm in size cannot be tested for origin (AGL won’t provide any reports for them at all).  These stones are too small to yield useful readouts, or to have any identifying inclusions.

Value: Most labs do not provide a value of the gem on their report.  Gem values constantly fluctuate so there’s no point in trying to nail it down.  Only appraisal labs, such as GAL, give you a value.  GIA, AGL and EGL do not.  The point of providing a value is to give an insurance company something to go by in case the gem is lost or stolen.  It’s not really to show the client that they got a good deal (or a bad one, for that matter).  And how is the value determined?  Gem labs find out the value by referencing quarterly price tables that list approximate values.  These values, in turn, are based on reported sales.  Price lists are only available for the most common stones.  For uncommon materials, the lab has to do research, i.e. looking at comparable gems on the internet or calling other labs and asking them if they have recently seen or valued a gem of that type. 
2013 Rapaport Diamond Report. You can find more information here: http://www.diamonds.net/Prices/RapaportPriceGuide.aspx
Sometimes, there’s no comparison base at all.  Cobalt spinel, grandidierite, benitoite and kornerupine are just some gems that have no prices available for comparison.
What does a lab report cost? The cheapest report I know of is the GAL mini cert which costs about $40 retail, and $80 for the full report.  The AGL gem brief is $70 for smaller stones, and a prestige report with origin is $220.  And if you have a gem pair each gem costs separately.  AGL won’t put both on one report.  GIA starts at $160.  AGL and GIA have a turnaround period of 3-4 weeks, GAL is faster – at least for me they are because I give them a lot of my stuff.
And now for the most important question: Should you get a report at all?  I would say no if your gem cost you less than $500.  We US sellers are bound by law to provide you with the merchandise we advertise so if anything is not as promised we have to take it back, and if fraud is suspected, we are in trouble.  Plus, lab reports can increase the asking price for a gem because the time and money of the report will now figure into the price.  This is especially true for  AGL and GIA reports.
That said, when you buy a diamond, it should pretty much always be certified, at least if it is more than half a carat.  This is for a different reason, however.  Diamonds are easy to identify, so you don’t need the report for that (you can get a diamond tester instead, or hold it to a flame if you suspect it’s moissanite – it will change color).  But because diamonds are expensive, a report, and in particular a GIA report, which is a very strict grading, provides you with assurance that you are paying the correct price.  While diamonds are not traded on the commodities exchange, they do have fairly fixed values, determined by the Rapaport diamond sheet.

Tucson Treasures: News from the Gemstone World

We did go overboard this year.  I bought SO MUCH STUFF and it will take me weeks to release it all on Etsy.  But let me get out a couple of news items for you first, and then I'll give you an overview at least.
1. Tanzania. With a new government in place since last fall, there have been a lot of export restrictions in an effort to stop corruption and black market trading.  My friend Jochen from Jentsch Minerals had to pay a lot of extra fees to export his crystals, Steve from New Era Gems didn't get his entire shipment out, and reports I heard from other vendors are that there were restrictions on all gemstone rough exports.  But the situation is slowly straightening itself out - Tanzania lives off the gemstone trade after all.  I don't know further details, but we may have to expect some slowing down of exports for a few months.
2. Mogok.  There are travel and mining restrictions in Mogok as well so there's been difficulty exporting rubies and sapphires.  At Tucson most sellers seemed to have older stock.
3. Russia.  While there are new finds of Russian demantoids, it is still very difficult for Russians to export their goods.  Shipping gems is illegal, they have to be set in jewelry, so people have to travel with their inventory and then keep it abroad.  
Disclaimer: I haven't done any serious research online to determine more details about what is really happening in Tanzania, Mogok and Russia, but my main interest is always to find out which gems are flowing freely and which aren't so I know what to stock up on and when.  So take this information as vague and subject to change.
Purchases.
1. Paraibas: I bought some but mostly I bought before I got to Tucson.  The situation is roughly the same as the past couple of years.  Prices have not increased drastically but there's also very little product.  I got smaller single stones (2-3mm), some cabochons, and that's more or less it.  What I have left has to be priced individually so it will trickle out slowly.  Also watch for some slices coming out.  
Paraiba 1mm Melees
2. Kornerupine: I got almost nothing so you won't see much more in the shop.
3. Burma spinel: I got some more melee, not a ton, and I did get that larger cushion single and cushion pair, which matches.  Those were really nice buys despite the price.  Very neon color.  I got the cushion on the first day actually, both purchases were old stock.  In other spinel news, I also have some old Vietnamese material (no longer on the market) - a precision cut pear, and a larger suite of 8x4mm pinks to lavender color.  
Cushion Spinels
Vietnamese Spinel Ombre
4. Demantoids: I stocked up on some medium sized pieces and pairs (not many), and I will be listing stuff in the 1-4K category, which I didn't really have before.  I also got some super bright melees, 1.5mm and 1.3mm.  I didn't list those yet.  I went back for more but they were sold out the first day.  I also have a couple of ombre layouts that would work in my 2mm hexagon settings.
Opal & Demantoids
5.Sapphires: watch for more 2.5mm purples (2 and 3mm are gone already), more purple singles, a pink pair, blue pairs, and a little more in terms of blue singles.  I also have yet to list my unheated Madagascar pink sapphire/rubies - they have a super saturated color and are smaller rounds at 2.5-3mm.  I also have some very strong saturated pink sapphire melee (1.5-1.7mm)..  The ruby pair I have listed is also awesome.  I have a small pair of baguettes also not yet processed.
Pink Sapphire & Tourmaline
Blue Spinel & Pink Sapphire
6. Benitoite: that almost sold out from under me but I secured some melee, ombres and two smaller rounds on the first day.  
7. Tourmaline: I have more Namibian pieces, especially blue pairs, I got some Afghan mints, some lovely old mine Zambian yellows, 4mm and one 5mm rouind pinks, pink pear pairs, other green rounds (blue green to mint green) and some precision cuts.  
Canary Tourmaline & Grey Spinels
Yellow Zambian & Pear Shaped Pink Tourmaline
Afghani Tourmaline & Marquis Shape Paraiba 
And to tie up loose ends, watch for more of the following: 4.5mm mali garnet, sphene, grey spinel, opal pairs, zircon (blue), precision cut aqua (mostly sold out though), Afghani emerald (small pairs), one nice round blue spinel, 
Precision Cut Tourmaline & Round Burma Spinel
Precision Cut Tourmaline & Peridot
Blue Zircons & Grey Spinels
Boy that IS a lot of stuff.  No wonder I am broke:)