Thursday, May 18, 2017

TIME for VEGAS: The Next Gem Shopping Trip – Pre-Orders Now Open!

Yippie – it’s gem shopping time again.  In just over 2 weeks, Cecile Raley Designs departs for the JCK and AGTA shows in Las Vegas!  I’m going to start the shopping by doing absolutely nothing  in Mandalay bay for a couple of nights

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Earring News: More ear wire options for existing new designs

You might have seen some of the new leverbacks that I offer in my shop - either as stand alone or to be added to another earring design.  So it's time to go over all the options I have, metal colors, and some prices to keep things organized.  (Note that a lot of these prices are new, and therefore higher.) This will help you create more custom pieces.....

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Monday, April 10, 2017

Why I Source only Colombian Emeralds?

It’s been quite some time since I’ve written about emeralds, but with Emerald month coming up I should return to this favorite gem of mine.  There are three well known locations for emeralds: Zambia, Brazil and Colombia.  I pretty much source only Colombian emeralds although I can get all three if needed.  Zambian emeralds are often.....

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

How to Get Inspired

With spring just around the corner and winter being ridiculously mild this year, it's time to think about some inspiration for jewelry and wedding season. Here are some tricks and tips of how I come up with new ideas.....

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Friday, February 10, 2017

Tucson Treasures

I got back from Tucson Tuesday night and the very first thing I did was sleep.  First on the plane (1 hr the first leg, 2 hrs the second leg) and then 10 more hours at home.  My assistant Debbie, who was with me till Saturday, took Sunday-Tuesday off to recoup.  Yesterday, I got my little treasures from Brink, thanks to Prima Gems who did the transport for me together with their (considerably larger) inventory.

Tucson was amazing this year.  As many of you know, I stumbled upon a couple of dozen of boxes of Demantoid at Dudley's booth the first day, and I sold out three days in a row.  Spurred by the interest, I also bought a larger piece, .77 cts, a couple of larger pairs and a larger 5mm round from a Russian seller at the GJX.  They come from the Ural mountains.  Not sure I'll share the .77 piece - it's apple green, absolutely perfect in color, horsetail inclusions and everything. But the 5mm is on Etsy, and some 3.2 and 4mm pieces are available if there's interest.  Dudley also had more spinel melee, some more reddish ones, of which I still have some 3mm and 4mm pieces - nice open color, very bright.  He backfilled with a little of the older cobalt spinel material, and he explained to us why the stuff is so rare at this point.  He also backfilled on kornerupine, which I am selling out of at a rapid pace.  In general, some of the new stuff has been flying out the door this week, which made me rather happy.  Oh and there's a little bit more of the Kenyan tsavorite, also old stock.

Red Spinel, Burma, 3mm

Russian Demantoid 4-5mm

Russian Demandoid 6mm, .77 Cts, Perfect Color

Vietnamese Cobalt Spinel

Tanzanian Kornerupine

A new find - not yet released on my website, is what Dudley called "Chrome-Beryl" from Pakistan.  A light blue-green color, chrome beryl is not exactly aquamarine and not exactly green beryl.  It has the chromium content of beryl, ruling it out as an aqua, but it is too blue to be a beryl color.  Some of the pieces are bi-color. Dudley bought out the entire find, and I grabbed a bunch.

Speaking of beryl, I spoke at length to Monte from Equatorian Imports, who specializes in red beryl. Below is a little interview with him, explaining why they use the clarity enhancement process on most of their stones.  He convinced me to try working with some melee and so I've listed them on Etsy.  The color is gorgeous - and since there is no more mining in the area, there's not likely to be much once he is sold out.

Chromium Beryl
Chromium Beryl

While I was talking to Monte, I ran into Richard Wise who has just come out with a new Edition of his book, Secrets of the Gemstone Trade.  I bought a copy and interviewed him on the new book to share with you.

Red Beryl

I also got some more pyrope garnet from Arizona, I have 4.5mm pairs still available and 3.5mm rounds.  And I saw some gorgeous Nigerian Indicolite - one princess cut pair is on Etsy already, another longer pair is coming up.  There is a bit more Cambodian Zircon available (I suggest the pair shapes in my shop which need better photos if I have time), mostly rounds.  And I have some additional tourmaline.  There were no new shipments of the lagoon color, at least not for now.  I saw a seller at GJX who had it but he charged more than I charge on resale, so there was no point in getting any.

Pyrope Garnet
I bought some more paraiba melee, several more pairs in the 2.5-3mm range.  And a larger parcel of 2mm that can be used for melee.  I have another cabochon coming up as well.  Generally I found the paraiba to be a bit slim pickings.  Same with tourmaline in general.  I bought and sold two pairs of elongated pear shapes, and I have one more that's indicolite color (this will be on the more expensive side I'm afraid).

Paraiba Cabochon
Paraiba Rounds 3mm

Paraiba Princess Pair
From a Thai seller that I've worked with a few times, I got nice sapphire melee (listed), ruby 3mm (sold), lavender sapphire melee (2mm, 3mm), a ruby marquis and some pear shapes (coming up).  The marquis fits the Cleo ring.  I also got one slightly bigger ruby.  I HAD a matched pair but one fell under the heater during the photo session and we are still looking for it.  Bummer because that was an amazing pair.  (Shortly before I moved I found a ruby underneath my deep freezer that had been there for about 2 years, so you never know when that turns up).

Sapphire Melee
I found "my" benitoite dealer at the Inn Suites - he sold me those ombre layouts before.  I have more ombres available - I'd love to do one in my new five stone hexagon pendant.  And I have 1.5mm, 1.8-1.9mm and 2mm melee.

Benitoite Melee

Benitoite from California
On the more unusual side, I brought back a twin star sapphire, a reddish orange kyanite, a Vesuvianite, a little bit of Triplite, Mexican Danburite (white), a dumortierite cabochon (I can barely spell that!), and next week I am getting another shipment from Dudley!

Double Star Sapphire, Ceylon

Dumortierit in Quartz from Brazil

In sadder news, there will be no hauyne in the near future.  As I shared on FB already, there was an accident on the mining site in Germany (a small field near Idar Oberstein, which is the only place in the world where it has ever been found), and since then the owners of the property have not let anyone on to the site. My German seller, Juergen, who lives nearby, hopes to change that in the near future but right now it is uncertain what will happen.  Juergen had completely sold out in Hong Kong and the Israeli dealers from whom I got a big parcel last year didn't come to the show.  They specialize in Vietnamese spinel and there was not enough material this year to feature it.

Dudley said he might have a little more hauyne and he promised me to look next month when he gets home.  Juergen said he had some more rough and he would email me when it was worked up.  If either of these come through, I will let you all know.

All in all though, aside from the lost (and found) cell phone charger, the lost (and found) rental car key that turned up in my pocketbook the day after we had left the rental in the parking lot of El Churro's and taken an Uber back, a delayed arrival flight, a hotel booking confusion that forced us to drastically downsize for a night (I'd rather skip the details), and a forgotten passport coupled with a nearly missed flight, the trip went perfectly smoothly.  And it was totally worth it all, too!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Tucson Prep

For those of you who travel "vicariously" with me to Tucson to hunt for gems, here's a little more of a breakdown of what I have now, what I am looking for, and what kinds of purchases I am arranging.

Let's start with what has been my main draw, and my personal favorite - Paraiba tourmaline.  I've done a count on my melees and I have adjusted all the quantities in the shop to reflect what I have left.  I have arranged with the melee sellers to buy some more on my first day in Tucson and they are holding back the parcel.  But each size (1, 1.3 and 1.6mm) only has a few carats left.  The sellers have informed me that they cannot get more.  So for those of you still planning projects, let me know what you need and/or buy them at the beginning of the sale - I have to pay for these up front and prices are high so I can't simply buy them out.  I can also get 1.8mm but they are about $80 or so each which is why I haven't stocked them.

I will also be able to get some more 3mm rounds similar to the pair I had up a couple of weeks ago. I've already called ahead for those and have arranged for a few to be held back.  However, there are only 5 or 6 pieces.

3mm Paraiba Pair

I've already met with the other dealer from whom I usually buy my Paraibas here.  They gave me first dibs on the freshly cut material (all from their old stock of rough).  I bought some small ovals and marquis, a few greenish cabs, a blueish cab, and some rounds in the 4mm range.  I am processing those already and will be releasing them later in the week.

Paraiba Princess Cut Suite ($2000/ct x .30 ct for the suite)

3x2mm Paraiba Ovals ($1500/ct)

Hauyne (hauynite): again what is online reflects what I have, except for a few 2mm pieces.  That dealer should definitely be in Tucson and he knows me as well.  But his prices are higher than what I had stocked last year in Tucson because last year, I was lucky enough to buy out a mixed parcel (1mm-1.8mm) of about 15 carats.  That's the parcel I have been selling from all year and that's drawing to a close.  The "larger" pieces come from the German dealer, and I can restock on melee, but expect them to be closer to $1400/ct, and for finer goods, $2000/ct.  Forget anything larger than 3mm, but I can get a few 4x3mm ovals, that's about the largest size.

Paraiba Round $1600/ct (.35ct round shown)

Marquis +/-4x2mm ($1400/ct)

Cobalt spinel: from what I can tell, that material is off the market.  The true blue anyway.  It was much rarer than Paraiba, and the yield is now next to nothing at astronomical per carat prices.  So unless Dudley has a little left that I didn't buy yet, the best piece is still the one in my shop.  There's a small Israeli company, two brothers, that will be at GJX - they might have stuff because they collect on location, just like Dudley.  They have a lot of Vietnamese material.  Also, if anyone is interested in the lilac and light purple spinel pear pairs, or other shapes, please inform me ahead of time.  I can't stock that material, it is too expensive, and I cannot memo from them.  This company exhibits once a year only, only at GJX.

Paraiba Cabochons, .8 and .48 cts ($600/ct)

Sapphire: I love to stock and I can memo good Ceylon material, matched pairs, color changers, purplish, cornflower blue, royal blue.  The largest selection is in ovals, but there are many good round pairs available in the 3.5-5mm size.

Other tourmaline: I always look for nice saturated pinks, blueish greens, and indicolites.  But I don't have a regular source for any of them, and the lagoon colors only come through my NY seller.  There haven't been any recent shipments though some new stuff is expected in the next few months.  That location is kept fairly secret and the production is very small.

Burma spinel: I wrote about this last time. It is on my list, as well as the other rare stones. If you have any interest in bixbite, demantoid, benitoite, and other rare stones, please let me know ahead of time. I have to be very careful with funds, and I need to know who wants what before I buy.  My company is  not big enough to purchase large inventory.  Maybe some day:)