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6 Jewelry Superstitions and How to Use Them to Your Advantage

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With Halloween right around the corner, we’ve decided to explore a few jewelry superstitions and how to use them to your advantage. After all, there’s nothing more powerful than storytelling and emotion to sell jewelry. We sought inspiration from our friends in the Jewelers Helping Jewelers Facebook group and were blown away by their fascinating tales!

Here are six jewelry superstitions and how to use them to your advantage–

1. Pearls Produce Tears

One of the best-known jewelry superstitions warns against wearing pearls on the wedding day. Supposedly, pearls forecast tears in a marriage.

Other stories suggest pearls only bring tears if you buy them for yourself. Therefore, it’s best if you receive them as a gift. Another source claims pearls should never be whiter than the wearer’s teeth

Here’s the Takeaway:

First and foremost, pearls are meant for frequent wear. Wearing them often enhances their luster and color. Don’t store them in a hot, airless environment. They can dry and crack. After each wearing, wipe pearls with a damp cloth to remove hairspray or other damaging chemicals.

And what about selling pearls to a bride for her wedding day? Chances are she doesn’t know about the superstition or doesn’t care. For generations, brides have made pearls tradition so sell her the most beautiful pearls you have and wish her the best!

Jewelry Superstitions Stuller Pearls

 

2. Asian Diamond Folklore

In areas of Southeast Asia, tradition advises against buying or wearing diamonds with deep, black inclusions. Such imperfections may bring bad luck and great misfortune to the wearer and their loved ones.

Interestingly enough, some of the earliest recorded mentions of diamonds come from ancient Indian literature. Diamonds were associated with purity, cleanliness, and tied to the Hindu deity Indra – King of all Gods. The Sanskrit word for diamond is varja, which translates to “thunderbolt.” So it makes sense, that only the most brilliant, radiant diamonds would suffice. Perhaps this ideology has made its way into modern culture since some Southeastern Asian cultures focus more on Clarity than the other 3 C’s.

Here’s the Takeaway:

Know your audience. If you better understand your customer’s culture, you can readily accommodate their requests. In addition to such intriguing mythology, use this backstory to promote higher-quality diamonds, especially to the appropriate audience.

 

3. Jewelry to Ward Off Evil

In some cultures, evil eye jewelry is worn when babies are born. This mysterious symbol wards off the malicious evil eyes of admirers casting ill intentions on the newborn child. The eye offers protection and good luck, too. Turquoise can supposedly protect against the evil eye as well.

It’s also believed silver jewelry keeps bad spirits at bay. Some cultures look to silver for protection against evil forces. And perhaps this superstition holds some truth. Silver has antibacterial attributes and was used throughout history to cure infections. Consider the term silverware. Silver was used in utensils and other tableware because of its germ-killing properties.

Here’s the Takeaway:

While you may not have an evil eye pendant in your cases, you almost surely have sterling silver. Not only is sterling silver affordable, but it also carries interesting historical context and will drive bad juju away. Here are our suggestions for trendy, yet affordable silver jewelry.

Jewelry Superstitions Stuller Silver

 

4. The Opal Omen

Perhaps the most popular of all jewelry superstitions, many consider opal a talisman for bad luck to all except those born in October. Some say another exception exists for opal received on special occasions. Like pearls, you should never buy opal for yourself.

Rumor has it that opal earned its bad reputation over a century ago when quality Australian Opal began to threaten diamond commerce. Diamond traders made up falsehoods about opal to make the stone less desirable. Their efforts may have paid off since we still hear about the opal omen to this day.

Here’s the Takeaway:

This one is tricky. We would recommend offering opal to anyone with an October birthday. However, when customers want to gift themselves with a celebratory birthday opal but hesitate because of the superstition, just tell them the truth! Explain that diamond traders spread nasty rumors about opal over a hundred years ago and how they’re really just misunderstood gemstones seeking compassion and acceptance.

5. Hold Back Heirloom Jewelry

Some jewelry superstitions warn against handing down heirlooms to new brides and grooms, especially if the diamond came from a rocky relationship. Supposedly, heirloom jewelry from a failed marriage could impart negative energy onto the new relationship, thereby dooming the new union.

Moreover, in the wedding tradition, “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue,” if that something borrowed is jewelry, the items lent should come from a happy marriage. This folklore claims that borrowed jewelry carries the sentiment of the marriage from which it came (i.e. bliss, tragedy, anger, etc.).

Here’s the Takeaway:

Some jewelry companies capitalize on this superstition. In a JCK Online article entitled, “Do Customers Care If Their Diamonds Are New?” a new business concept is emerging around unworn diamonds that are new to the market.

If you’re a firm believer in heirloom jewelry, perhaps this superstition presents the opportunity to rework handed-down jewelry into a new, custom creation.

6. Sober Up With Amethyst

Ancient Greek mythology tells of amethyst’s powers to hinder intoxication. The Greeks drank from goblets made of amethyst to help them stay sober. Interestingly enough, amethyst translates to amethystus, which means not intoxicated.

One Grecian story explains how Dionysus, god of wine, desired a young mortal named Amethyste. She hoped to remain chaste, so she prayed for protection and was magically transformed into a white slab of quartz. Frustrated and thwarted, Dionysus poured his wine onto the quartz, staining it a deep purple hue. Thus, Amethyst was born!

Here’s the Takeaway:

We’re not exactly sure what’s the spin on the one. Perhaps amethyst really does protect its wearer from intoxication. Let us know your jewelry superstitions about amethyst in the comments below.

Jewelry Superstitions Stuller Amethyst

A very special thanks to the folks on the Jewelers Helping Jewelers Facebook group for sharing their jewelry superstitions to inspire this post!

 





5 Gemstone Superstitions and How to Use Them to Sell More Stones

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Not too long ago, we explored six jewelry superstitions and explained how to use them to your advantage. This time, we’re back to discuss five spooky gemstone superstitions just in time for Halloween!

 

Remember, storytelling sells. Perhaps the gemstone superstitions below will help to seal the deal on a few gemstones and jewelry items in the weeks to come.

1. Perilous Pear Shapes

Pear-shaped Diamonds and gemstones have soared in popularity lately, especially since big celebs like Cardi B and Paris Hilton each received enormous pear-shaped engagement rings. But some claim that pear-shaped stones aren’t cut out for engagement ring center stones. It’s been rumored that pear-shaped stones — since they resemble teardrops — will lead to a marriage full of tears.

Here’s the Takeaway:

This gemstone superstition is nothing to cry over. I say it’s bogus! Plus, no one specified which type of tears will be shed. So, here’s a better spin: pear-shaped Diamonds and gemstones will bring a lifetime of happy tears to any marriage.

Gemstone Superstitions Pear Shaped Diamond

2. Jade the Protector

In China, Jade carries centuries of gemstone superstitions. It’s had a long association with encouraging and understanding dreams. It’s also said to grant unique access to the spiritual world, opening “a bridge between earth and heaven.”

Jade bangles are commonly worn for protection and can shield away negative energies, too. Even further, Jade is said to crack as it absorbs any harm aimed toward its wearer. Therefore, a cracked bangle is rendered helpless and no longer fit for protection.

Here’s the Takeaway:

Chinese culture has a spiritual connection to Jade gemstones that stretches back thousands of years. Until recently, the Chinese valued fine Jade more highly than Diamonds. And many still do. Why? Jade gemstones symbolize status, spirituality, purity, and health.

Offer to take in any cracked Jade bangles and gemstones while replacing them with new, unharmed Jade jewelry. Then, see what you can make of the old Jade fragments. Perhaps you can use them in your lapidary practice or incorporate them into other jewelry applications.

3. Sway From Blue Sapphire

According to Hindu astrology, Blue Sapphire or Neelam represents Saturn and is an incredibly powerful stone. But legend holds that the stone is only meant for certain people. For some, Blue Sapphire will bring fortune beyond measure, good health, and a lifetime of prosperity. But for others, the stone will immediately cast darkness and chaos.

So, the only way to know its effect is to test the stone. The wearer should spend a few nights with the Blue Sapphire under their pillow. If they have good dreams and positive vibes, the stone’s a keeper! If they experience nightmares or bad fortune, they should return the stone at once.

Here’s the Takeaway:

Our best advice is to be mindful of other cultures and traditions. If a customer purchases Blue Sapphire jewelry and returns within a few days, try your best to work out a mutually beneficial solution.

With that said — along with all the other gemstone superstitions — most myths are baseless. After all, there are countless Blue Sapphire engagement ring examples, starting with Kate Middleton and Princess Diana.

Gemstone Superstitions Turquoise Ring

4. Turquoise = Togetherness

Turquoise reaches across geography, religion, and culture in its famed gemstone superstitions. Some Turquoise has a fine matrix in a web-like pattern and of course, it’s called Spider Web Turquoise. The matrix is prized for many reasons— including the belief that it absorbs evil.

Turquoise is also said to bring happiness and good fortune to those who wear it. It can keep husbands and wives together and also, when given with good intentions, it is said to remove any bad blood between the giver and its recipient.

Here’s the Takeaway:

Turquoise seems to embody all that is good when it comes to healthy relationships. So for wedding traditions, suggest Turquoise as the something blue piece of the bride’s wedding-day wear.

5. Leery About Life Diamonds

We’ve saved the best gemstone superstition for last! Years ago, Stuller’s CAD/CAM department received a Life Diamond to incorporate into a custom-designed piece. What’s a Life Diamond, you ask? This is a Lab-Created Diamond grown from the ashes of someone who has passed on.

Over the duration of the CAD/CAM project, the Life Diamond spent nearly two weeks in the department. During those fourteen frightful days, chaos ensued. There were countless software crashes and mysteriously lost CAD files. 3D printers malfunctioned as they built models of nothingness. Wax models went missing, only to reappear, then vanish again. Lights flickered in the hallways.

Here’s the Takeaway:

While the story above sounds like a stretch, it’s based on true events. In fact, we’ve even modified our policies to discourage any Life Diamonds in the future.

Why? Because Life Diamonds are irreplaceable. If the stone is chipped, lost, or altered, there’s no way to reconcile any damages to such a one-of-a-kind stone. So for that reason, take great care if you’re ever tasked with working with a Life Diamond.

Gemstone Superstitions Life Diamond

Do you have goosebumps? Are you afraid of any of these gemstone superstitions? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. And feel free to share your own superstitions, too!




The Not-So-Simple Guide to Buying Stylish Jewelry for Men

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Gone are the days where a man’s jewelry selection is limited to a single wedding band and nothing more. Your customers may have heard that jewelry isn’t really a guy’s thing. Well that, my friends, is nonsense. Vikings wore jewelry. Kings wore jewelry. In fact, pretty much every significant man in history wore silver and gold. So don’t let naysayers be a discouragement. Guys wearing gold is a tell-tale sign of a confident, distinguished, well-dressed male.

Strangely enough, when it comes to stylish jewelry for men, the only rule is that there are no rules. So rock that right-hand ring like a grizzly guy. From fathers to bachelors, from hipsters to old-timers and everyone in between, men should never feel out of place while wearing their favorite piece of jewelry. Heed my fashion advice below if you will, but also take it with a grain of salt. Because after all, fashion rules are made to be broken.

Stylish Jewelry For Men Watch Two-Tone Band

Here are a few tips on how to sport stylish jewelry for men

 

Watch Out!

Going on an interview? Wear a watch. Have important meetings scheduled for the day? Wear a watch. Wondering how much longer until lunchtime? Check your watch. From nobles to shipmates to railroad conductors, timepieces are essential accessories for guys on the go. Watches are an ideal entry-level way to incorporate stylish jewelry into any wardrobe.

Try This:

Collect multiple watches. Wear a smartwatch for daytime activities. These puppies will track your exercise and wellness while keeping you in touch with your emails, texts, and important calls. Adding a SmartWatch Adapter to multiple watchbands lets you swap between different color and textured watchbands. Also, every guy needs a classic chronograph counterpart. Wear a traditional analog watch with a suave cowhide band on dinner dates and nights on the town.

Steer Clear:

One minute you’re checking your phone for the time, and an hour later you’re stuck scrolling through Facebook. Stop looking at your phone for the time! Get in the habit of wearing a watch like the real gentleman you are. And large-faced watches are out. Try wearing a low-profile, sleek watch; it takes a big man to wear a small watch.

Join the Chain Gang

Chains are the quintessential stylish jewelry choice for men. In fact, you probably already own one or two. They look great with a t-shirt and jeans, as well as button-down shirts and slacks. Silver is fine, but you should own a yellow gold chain too. There’s something about yellow gold jewelry that drives the ladies crazy.

Stylish Jewelry For Men Chains

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Try This:

Keep a staple chain in your neckwear collection. Find what works best for you and wear the heck out of it! Add a standout pendant that holds meaning to you, whether it’s a cross, engraved dog tag, or unique token. Then, try wearing that necklace over your necktie to your next formal event—you’ll surely turn heads (in a good way).

Steer Clear:

Stacking chains are perfectly fine, but keep it simple Mr. T. I pity the fool who overdoes their chain game with too many chains stacked around their neck. And remember, the larger the pendant, the more gall it takes to pull it off. Maybe skip those gaudy pave’ neckpieces unless you’re scheduled to star in a music video.

‘Sup with Signet Rings

Signet rings are hugely popular right now. Celebs like Nick Jonas and Donald Glover are wearing signet rings left and right on the red carpet lately. These rings look great with decorative stamping, diamond and gemstone accents, engraved initials, or just plain with a special finish.

Try This:

Hear me out— signet rings work great as pinky rings. Sure, it’s an unconventional move. But it’ll be the first thing people notice when they meet you. So own it—go big or go home!

Steer Clear:

This rule is easily contested, but I suggest no more than two rings on the same hand at once (unless you’re stacking them—then maybe three rings on the same hand, max).

Try Texture

For thousands of years, we’ve treasured silver and gold for their beauty and rarity. And the enduring value of these precious metals further enhances their appeal. Go beyond the simple wedding band by trying these rings that celebrate metal’s texture, form, and finish.

Try This:

The top-left piece is a sterling silver cuff. This bracelet is a manly choice whose silver finish will patinate beautifully over time. Don’t be afraid to stack these rings too.

Stylish Jewelry For Men Texture Ring

Shop Stylish Jewelry for Men on Stuller.com


What type of stylish jewelry for men is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below. Then, tag us in your favorite pieces on FacebookInstagramPinterest!




How to Make the Perfect Jewelry Store Music Playlist

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Jewelry store music — yes or no?

 

We’ve received this question many times before. Maybe you’ve even asked yourself, “Should I play music in my store?” The answer is always yes. Let carefully curated jewelry store music be an influential weapon in your branding arsenal. Think about it— music is powerful. It bridges the gap between two strangers who previously had nothing in common. And isn’t that your goal? Turn strangers to friends and loyal customers by creating a comfortable retail experience.

Set the mood

A store without background music feels cold and unwelcoming. Consider social spaces like restaurants, malls, pubs, festivals, etc. When people gather to connect and mingle, there’s almost always music present. In fact, music has been proven to stimulate parts of the brain that affect emotions, helping to foster human interaction, learning, and more. Years back, in a study conducted by Marketing Professor Ronald E. Milliman, research demonstrated that background music could significantly affect the purchasing behavior of restaurant customers. And this concept surely rolls over into the retail environment as well. Plus, background music helps to mask sales conversations you wish to keep solely between you and your customer.

Keep it light

If your jewelry and decor are the visual elements of your branding, music is your tone. It sets the beat of your store’s environment and subtly lets customers know who you are, influencing their mood and state of mind right when they walk through your doors. Use your jewelry store music to connect your store’s overall vibe. Set the tempo. Just like heavy metal or gangsta rap gets you going during workouts and exercise, jewelry store music with slower tempo sets the pace of shopping patterns. Smooth beats will inspire customers to take their time wandering around and browsing your selection.

 

Here are a few suggestions for jewelry store music playlists that can work well for you.

 

Choose a platform

Okay, we admit it. You have many choices for music streaming platforms. The list below only includes the biggest names; there are plenty more available options. If you’re looking for free music, local radio is the way to go. Heck, vinyl has resurfaced as the retro way to texturize the sound of your favorite albums. Explore the options below, or skip down to find platform-specific tips and recommended stations for your store.

  • Spotify
  • Pandora
  • Apple Music
  • iHeart Radio
  • Sirius
  • Amazon Music
  • YouTube
  • Google Play
  • Personal Collection
  • Local Radio

Pick a genre

Ultimately, it’s your store. So you have the power to play whatever music you want. But your customer base should heavily sway your selection. General safe zones include love songs, 70s and 80s throwbacks, upbeat jazz, and indie/soft rock.Jewelry Store Music Turntable Record

Platform-specific tips

Spotify

Unfortunately, Spotify does not allow filtering functionality when it comes to explicit music. However, try searching retail safe playlists — there are dozens. Another cool Spotify feature lets you follow others’ music profiles. This could enable you to connect with other jewelers and listen to their store playlists, allowing you to tackle new jewelry store music together.

Try these Spotify stations:

  • Your Favorite Coffeehouse
  • Happy Folk
  • Happy Days
  • Afternoon Acoustic
  • 80s Smash Hits
  • Timeless Love Songs

Pandora

Pandora offers both a free and paid subscription music service. The platform lets you filter explicit content for retail-appropriate music streaming. Simply access your settings, then click content settings and uncheck explicit content. It’s that easy!

Jewelry Store Music Pandora Content Settings

Another cool Pandora feature lets you build your own variety using numerous artists and songs. Simply go to My Stations, open the station you wish to modify, then click + Add Variety. The more artists, albums, and playlists you add, the more varied your music selection will be.

Jewelry Store Music Pandora Add Variety

Try these Pandora stations:

  • Hipster Cocktail Party
  • Moody Blues
  • Country Love Songs
  • Café Del Mar
  • Jazz Covers Pop
  • Frank Sinatra

Apple Music

Love ’em or hate them, Apple dominates the technology space. Their iTunes Music Library completely changed the industry, and that application is now called Apple Music— a popular option for streaming jewelry store music.

Try these Apple Music stations:

  • Chill
  • Alternative
  • Essential Dinner Party
  • Cocktails & Crooners
  • Essential Jazz Vocal
  • Motown Classics

SiriusXM

Sirius brings that same music you enjoy in your car to your show floor through its online streaming player.

Here are a few popular SiriusXM stations:

  • Watercolors
  • KLOVE
  • The Groove
  • 70s on 7
  • 80s on 8
  • 90s on 9

Amazon Music

Let’s face it, most of us have Amazon Prime. And if we don’t, we know someone who does (and maybe borrow their account for free 2-day shipping from time to time). With a Prime membership comes access to Prime Video and Amazon Music. Take advantage of the perks with unlimited music streaming.

Google Play

Google Play is another option for music streaming. And as an added perk, you’ll get access to YouTube Red too (since Google owns YouTube) for unlimited and uninterrupted music and video streaming.

One last idea

Consider your employees in your jewelry store music selection. They’re good people. They’re always eager to help customers and work day in and day out for an honest wage. Have mercy on their ears. Hearing the same songs over and over, or even listening to the same genre all the time will drive them to the brink! Here’s an idea: ask each one of your staff members to come up with their perfect playlist. Then, alternate your playlists each day to get a varied, well-curated music selection. Your employees will be overjoyed to play their part, leading to a perky, happy staff.


What does your jewelry store music playlist sound like? Does it affect sales? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic. Tell us all about it in the comments below!

 

Here’s a treat: Visit Stuller.com/bridgeplaylist for a handpicked playlist with all the diamond, silver, and gold songs we could find!

 




Introducing Living Coral: Pantone 2019 Color of the Year

Pantone 2019 Color of the Year Living Coral Blog Header

“An animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge”Pantone Color Institute

Living Coral: Pantone 2019 Color of the Year

The color experts at the Pantone Color Institute have announced Living Coral — a warm, orangey-pink coral hue — as the Pantone 2019 Color of the Year. This bubbly shade expresses excitement and light-heartedness amid our era of digital interconnectedness. Living Coral can stand alone to make a bold statement while also blending well with muted tones, cool blues, and deep greens. This year’s Pantone 2019 Color of the Year is versatile and very topical.

From runway fashion to playful accessories, coral is literally embedded in the fabric of our culture. Its color generously complements every skin tone and complexion. We’ve noticed Living Coral in consumer packaging and graphic design trends, too. Apple even released its latest iPhone XR in a spot-on coral color. The most heavily-impacted industries, it seems, are the cosmetic and interior sectors, where Living Coral fits comfortably among a range of color palettes.

Pantone 2019 Color of the Year Living Coral Quote

Living Coral in Jewelry and Gemstones

“We’ve seen a lot of coral lately— from runway apparel to interior design applications that will parallel seamlessly to the jewelry industry. What’s unique about Living Coral is that it serves as a pop color while still versatile enough to mix with muted color palettes as well. Stuller will be able to associate a range of coral-toned stone shades and types to complement the Pantone 2019 Color of the Year. Below, I’ve pulled together a collage of imagery that illustrates Living Coral and how well it blends and even pops within its colorway. Emerald greens, deep blues, and golden tones are great contrasting elements that shine nicely against a coral color palette.” — Maren Rosen, Vice President of Merchandising

Pantone 2019 Color of the Year Maren Rosen

Complementary Coral Gemstones

Pantone 2019 Color of the Year CoralCoral Gemstones

Did you know red coral forms from a marine species called rubrum corallium. That’s right! Coral is organic, created by tiny skeletons of marine critters. With its soft glow and vibrant hues, coral gemstones perfectly replicate Living Coral’s exuberance.

Pantone 2019 Color of the Year Padparadscha Sapphire

Padparadscha Sapphire Gemstones

Padparadscha comes from the Sanskrit name for lotus blossom. This exotic gem is rarely found in nature and is mined from Sri Lanka. Chatham’s lab-created sapphire exhibits the strength and sparkle brought forth by Living Coral.

Contrast Coral with these Colors

Pantone 2019 Color of the Year Green TourmalineGreen Tourmaline

From olive to emerald to clover, green plays politely with Pantone’s hot new coral color. May we suggest green tourmaline to accentuate your next coral clothing or accessory?

 

Pantone 2019 Color of the Year Smoky QuartzSmoky Quartz

Living Coral looks great next to balmy, organic shades. Try Smoky Quartz as an understated, sophisticated pairing with Pantone’s Living Coral.

 


What are your thoughts on the Pantone 2019 Color of the Year? Do you absolutely love it? Let us know your view in the comments below!




Sell With a Story: Famous Red Spinel Gemstones

SWS Famous Spinel Gemstones Blog Header

Consider spinel gemstones the tricksters of the gemological world. These stones have pulled off countless high-profile cases of mistaken identity. Since they form in a range of colors — including deep red and blue — spinel easily posed as rubies and sapphires for centuries. But just because spinel gemstones aren’t made of Corundum, does that make them less spectacular? Of course not! In fact, you’ll find red spinel in the crown jewels of many of history’s most powerful monarchies.

 

The Crafty Impostor

Spinel gemstones come in a variety of colors like pink, red, orange, blue, purple, brown, and black. And since spinel grows in the same geologic conditions as Corundum with similar bright red and deep blue hues, it’s no wonder why they’ve been mistaken for rubies and sapphires for centuries. However, their chemical compositions differ. Spinel gemstones have isometric crystal systems while Corundum’s are hexagonal. These varieties are distinguishable by their optical properties as well.

Sourcing Spinel

From the Greek word for spark or thorn, spinel has enjoyed the spotlight since ancient times. Spinel gemstones were often called Balas Rubies, as many originated from the Badakhshan mines near Afganistan in the Hindu Kush mountains. Even Marco Polo wrote of this famed ruby and spinel mine as early as 1300 AD, reporting, “The stones are dug on the king’s account, and no one else dares dig in that mountain on pain of forfeiture of life as well as goods; nor may anyone carry the stones out of the kingdom.” From early on, it was clear these famous red spinel gemstones were reserved for royalty.

Famous Red Spinel Gemstones

Black Prince’s Ruby

One of the most famous red spinel gemstones in history, the Black Prince’s Ruby (which is actually a red spinel) has quite a legacy. The stone was gifted to Edward of Woodstock, known as the Black Prince, back in the fourteenth century. The red spinel even made its way onto the battlefield riding atop King Henry V of England’s battle helmet. Richard III supposedly wore the stone at the Battle of Bosworth where he was slain.

Famous Red Spinel Gemstones British Imperial State Crown

These days, the 170-carat Black Prince’s Ruby rests atop the Imperial State Crown— one of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom and worn by Her Majesty the Queen during official ceremonies.

Imperial Crown of Russia

Famous Red Spinel Gemstones Imperial Crown of Russia

Beginning with Catherine II and ending with Nicholas II, Russia’s Great Imperial Crown features a large red spinel weighing 398.72 carats. This is believed to be the second-largest spinel in the world.

The Timur Ruby

Famous Red Spinel Gemstones Timur Ruby

The Timur Ruby is actually, you guessed it, a red spinel. This 352.5 carat stone was owned by Asian conqueror Timur in the fourteenth century. It was then given to Queen Victoria in 1851 by the East India Company and is now part of the British Crown Jewels.

Imperial Crown of Austria

Famous Red Spinel Gemstones Austria Imperial State Crown

This crown was constructed in 1602 for Rudolf II, the Holy Roman Emperor. It was part of the Habsburg lineage as well as the Austro-Hungarian Empire until 1918. Red spinels are strewn about, along with zircon and pearls.


Shop spinel gemstones on Stuller.com

Famous Red Spinel Gemstones Shop Stuller




Your Monthly Guide to October Jewelry Store Planning

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Luckily, we’re here to help you with your October jewelry store planning. From the large selection of products your customers want this season to our services that add a helping hand, you can turn to Stuller to help you prepare. Take the time this month to decorate your store, strengthen your brand, and stock up on essentials. Steer your October jewelry store planning toward creating a solid foundation for your busy holiday operations.

October Store Planning Autumn Holiday Prep

October Jewelry Store Planning is Crucial – Holiday Season Quickly Approaches!

Score with Store Decor

Clean your cases

As you and sales staff place and retrieve merchandise, your glass cases get smudged. Set up a routine, so your sales staff does this when they’re not working with customers. And be sure to shine the pieces that have sat in your cases all year.

Accent your showcases with colorful pillows

These are perfect for displaying chain or bracelets while adding depth and dimension. Create a focal point with bold, visual props. Alternating colors and visual elements throughout your store will create a bold effect.

Combine natural textures

Weave in textures to resemble rustic, autumn terrain. Use tree bark, fallen leaves, and evergreen foliage to give natural life to your showcases.

Round up your associates

Hold an after-hours autumntime decoration party. Carve pumpkins, fill mason jars with candy corn, and spray paint pinecones to incorporate into your store’s decor.

Set the scent

Favorite fall scents ranked from great to good are as follows: vanilla hazelnut, warm apple pie, sweet cinnamon pumpkin, fresh pine needles, hickory clove.

Pump the brakes!

It’s too early to blast Christmas music. But you’re right on queue to build out your spooky Halloween playlist for your store. Plan for contemporary jazz and upbeat coffee shop tunes throughout November. But as always, Black Friday calls for an all-out Christmas music marathon! Here’s more on how to create the perfect jewelry store music playlist.

October Store Planning Displays Showcases Holiday

Prepare with Proper Packaging

Order your custom imprinted packaging

Your custom imprinting order should be placed far in advance to avoid any hiccups. Order soon to ensure delivery for the holidays. And be sure that you order enough — no one wants to run short during the busiest season.

Branding is important

Branded packaging works 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Customized totes are the easiest way to keep your store in your customers’ minds long after the sale.

Make your mark

Stuller can add your store name and logo on a wide variety of our packaging, including paper boxes, custom polishing cloths, and personalized ribbon. Now’s the time to stock up for the holidays!

Offer a tissue

Stuller also offers custom-printed tissue paper to match your customized totes and foil-printed ribbon. Available in 75 different colors to match any store’s brand and decor, tissue paper with your store’s name and logo printed on it is the perfect addition to your customized totes.

Gift your loyal customers

Offer a small token of appreciation for their patronage. Offer them a complimentary jar of customized Klean Karats® jewelry cleaner. They’ll remember the gesture when it’s time for Holiday shopping.

Stock up on gift wrap

Let each gift this season allow your store to look its best. Stock up on gift wrap to impress the recipient before she even opens the package.

October Store Planning Packaging

Holiday Season Stockings

Stock up!

The sooner you begin stocking product for Christmas, the better! Even if you sell these items before Christmastime, you’ll have enough time to replenish before the holidays, with more cash in hand and better inventory turnover.

Note your best sellers

Make sure to note what sells best in your store. Reorder these bestsellers quickly and have a backstock as well.

Don’t forget about metal

Products like preform and solder are two necessities for this time of the year. Between last-minute fixes and resizing after the holiday, you’ll be ready.

Cover your bases

Don’t get caught unequipped to handle custom holiday requests. Be sure you have the findings on hand to make their dreams come true. Stock up on laser wire. Keep in mind that polishing consumables will be crucial in the last few weeks.

Find the right stones

Let us do the work for you. We can match stones to your specifications, and our team of diamond and gemstone experts will ensure you receive the best for the impending holiday.

Order new tools now

Is your bench equipped for any piece a customer might throw at you? If not, order new tools now so you’ll have them. Remember, large and heavy tools take longer to arrive.

Stock last-minute gifts

Don’t forget add-ons for your countertops. Keep items like jewelry chests, cleaner, and other supplementary items near the counter for quick upsells. Gold-plated roses make great gifts, too!

October store planning stock up findings holiday prep

There you have it— your guide to October jewelry store planning. How are you preparing for the holiday season? Let us know in the comments below!




Sell With a Story: Black Onyx Gemstones

SWAS Black Onyx Gemstones Blog Header

Ominous and opaque like an October midnight, black onyx gemstones are uniquely renowned for their jet-black luster. Unlike more obscure semiprecious stones like, say, hematite or fluorite, there’s something instantly recognizable about onyx. Its name is used to brand businesses, loyalty programs, software, bands, and heck, it’s even a popular pet name. Onyx is nearly as iconic a label as diamond or platinum. So, what is it about onyx that makes it so well-known? Perhaps the answer is surprisingly simple.

What makes black onyx gemstones so popular?

A variety of chalcedony, onyx is a cryptocrystalline form of quartz. It stems from the same family as agate, bloodstone, carnelian, chrysoprase, and sardonyx. In fact, it’s a variant of agate, comprised of parallel back and white colored bands. Onyx is traditionally darker in shade, while its sister stone, sardonyx, has white bands with red and brown coloring.

So, if onyx comes in multiple color varieties, why are black onyx gemstones so well-known? Perhaps it’s the stone’s murky opacity that sets it apart. Few others are as dense, edgy, and commanding. It stands alone for a bold and richly self-assured look, while dramatically complimenting brilliantly colored gemstones or metallic silver and gold finishes. Its versatility and affordability bring the stone to the forefront of fashion. Yet sadly, true black onyx gemstones are extremely rare; most on the market are artificially treated.

SWAS Black Onyx Gemstones Loose

Shop black onyx gemstones at Stuller.com

The origin of onyx

Stemming from a Latin word of the same spelling, Onyx derives from the Greek word for “claw” or “fingernail.” Legend holds that while she was fast asleep, Cupid mischievously clipped Venus’ fingernails, leaving them strewn about on the sand. And since the deities never die, these divine clippings were eternal, morphing into stone and thus— producing onyx. Today, the stone is unearthed in many regions of the world, with major sources in Brazil, Madagascar, and Uruguay.

All throughout history

Mentioned in the Bible multiple times, onyx traces back nearly 5,000 years to Second Dynasty Egypt, where it was used to make bowls and other items. Ancient Romans carved reliefs into sardonyx and used them as seals, claiming the wax wouldn’t stick to the stone. It’s also been used for centuries for intaglio and cameo engravings, with its white striations adding depth to the carvings.

SWAS Black Onyx Gemstones Casino Monte Carlo Columns

The atrium in the Casino de Monte Carlo • Source

In architecture and decor

Like marble and granite, onyx is used in exquisite décor and architecture all around the world. The atrium inside the Casino de Monte Carlo in Monaco features 28 exquisite columns onyx columns (see above), while the Hôtel de la Païva in Paris features a yellow onyx staircase. Onyx slabs are sometimes backlit and used on countertops and wall décor in contemporary lobbies and manors. The result is a geological masterpiece.

SWAS Onyx Backlit Hotel Lobby

Backlit Onyx Lobby Feature Wall • Source

Onyx Superstitions

Because of its popularity, black onyx gemstones carry a sinister reputation. The stone was used in mourning jewelry during the Victorian Era to convey somberness and grief. Some believed black onyx gemstones would bring death to those who touched the stones, while others claimed it brought on nightmares, misfortune, and sorrow. It’s also used to ward off the Evil Eye in India.

Wear and Care

Rated “fair” for everyday wear, avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Onyx Benefits

Onyx is a protector stone. Roman warriors carried sardonyx to give them strength and courage in times of war. Black onyx gemstones are also said to:

  • Bring recovery from fallen relationships and unrequited love
  • Increase stamina
  • Ease childbirth
  • Dull sexual and emotional desires
  • Connect with those who have passed on
  • Help its wearer make wiser decisions

Shop black onyx gemstones at Stuller.com

 




Your Monthly Guide to August Jewelry Store Planning

October Jewelry Store Planning Notebook Header
With August upon us, the summer doldrums are finally coming to an end. While some markets thrive from summer tourism, others have seen a slump over the past few months. But at last, the kids head back to school while vacationers wind down and return to their work lives. By this time next month, we’ll be knee-deep in holiday preparation. So if your store feels a bit sluggish today, no worries. Consider this the calm before the holiday storm.

 

In fact, focus this month on laying the groundwork for a successful holiday season ahead. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.” Take the time this month to organize your workspace, strategize, and adjust inventory.

Here are a few ways to steer your jewelry store planning to create a solid foundation for your busy holiday operations—

Organize Your Space to Maximize Productivity

Optimize your workspace

Organize in a way that works best for you. Assign each tool a designated space and label its location so you can easily spot when anything is out of place. For more suggestions on how to organize your bench, click here.

Tidy up!

Look over all the loose ends lingering around your store. Send your scrap to our Metal Clean Scrap program to generate cash, a Stuller credit, or a combination of both. Learn how to maximize your gold recovery returns here.

Declutter

Purge the old books and files you no longer need. You’ll be glad once the busy holiday season rolls around.

Jewelry store planning organized bench mike menard

Mike Menard of Menard Fine Jewelry shows us how he keeps his bench tidy and tools in place

If Business is Really Sluggish:

Use your downtime for painting, restorations, and store repair. Revamping your store’s appearance will make passersby take a second look! And jump-start your fall cleaning efforts. Here are a few pointers on how to freshen up your store.

Strategize – Begin Your Store Planning Now

Start with your business plan

If you don’t have a written plan in place, now’s the time to get one started. Let’s walk you through business planning fundamentals. 

Map out your marketing campaigns

Arrange and execute photography/videography that will carry you through the next few months. Want a shortcut to professional photography? Join Stuller First®. Its low flat rate shipping gives you a very profitable advantage, and among its benefits, you get access to our Marketing Image Portal, a vast resource of professional photography. As always, our marketing materials are yours to share. If you want to shoot your own images, get picture perfect inspiration from @everandeverbridal, @theknotrings, and @oliveavejewelry on Instagram.

Plan an event

August and September are ideal months for customer events. Try a Rocks on the Rocks party or host your own Stackable Session to foster lasting customer relationships.

If Business is Really Sluggish:

Read a book. No really, read a book! Choose from the wide selection that can help strengthen your business practices. We love Malcolm Gladwell’s work, especially David and GoliathThe Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier is quite thought to provoke, and so is Competing Against Luck by Clayton M. Christensen, et al.

Jewelry store planning August strategy

Situate Inventory for the Holiday Season

Clean your cases

As you and sales staff place and retrieve merchandise, your glass cases get smudged. Set up a routine, so your sale staff does this when they’re not working with customers. And be sure to shine the pieces that have sat in your cases all year.

Dare to design

Use CounterSketch® or Matrix® to create fresh new designs that will drive your holiday traffic.

Stock up!

It’s never too early to begin producing Christmas stock.

If Business is Really Sluggish:

Inventory and re-count your whole store. This will give you a good idea on exactly what you’ve got heading into the holiday season. If you have inventory that hasn’t moved for quite some time, hold a summer sale with modest markdowns to attract transactions.

What’s on your list for August jewelry store planning? We’d love to hear your feedback on this post. Let us know what you’re thinking in the comments below.




2018 Bench Jeweler Workshop Wrap-Up

2018 Battle of the Benches Patrick Dobbs Blog Header

At the end of March, Stuller welcomed more than 200 jewelers to the 2018 Bench Jeweler Workshop. The atmosphere was electric! The show floor buzzed with tradeshow-like energy. Live product demonstrations highlighted big brands like Asiga® 3D Printers, Orion™ Laser Welders, and Best Built Engravers, to name just a few. The back to back class schedule included basic diamond grading, social media photography, working with platinum, and many more.

Watch the official Bench Jeweler Workshop 2018 Recap

Meet the Experts

Stuller welcomed industry experts onto the show floor to flex their skills and share their expertise.

  • Master Engraver Sam Alfano, best known for his intricate designs, precise detail, and flawless execution, demonstrated his talent using a GRS® engraver on the demo floor.
  • Manufacturing Maven Dana Fawbush, known for his custom jewelry designs and manufacturing practices, showed onlookers the ins and outs of setting in platinum.
  • Master Goldsmith Jason Chandler from the Portland Jewelry Academy brought metal forming alive on the show floor using the latest techniques.
  • Goldsmith Kelly Williams, owner of K.W. Goldsmith and creator of Whiplash Designs, exhibited her hand engraving skills in real time. Here’s a sample of her incredible work.

 

The 3rd Annual Battle of the Benches® Competition Begins!

Meet the Contestants

2018 Bench Jeweler Workshop David Adamson

David Adamson

2018 Bench Jeweler Workshop Patrick Dobbs

Patrick Dobbs

2018 Bench Jeweler Workshop Craig Farley

Craig Farley

2018 Bench Jeweler Workshop Jyothi Forman.

Jyothi Forman

Read all about the Battle of the Benches competitors and their extensive skillsets here

Day 1: From CAD to Complete

2018 Bench Jeweler Workshop David Adamson Round 1

David Adamson

2018 Bench Jeweler Workshop Jyothi Forman Round 1

Jyothi Forman

2018 Bench Jeweler Workshop Patrick Dobbs Round 1

Patrick Dobbs

2018 Bench Jeweler Workshop Craig Farley Round 1

Craig Farley

2018 Bench Jeweler Workshop Brian Clark Round 1

Brian Clark

To enter Battle of the Benches, participants had to submit a qualifying CAD design to catch our attention. Then, to begin the competition, each competitor brought their designs to life in real time. With a crowd of onlookers and distractions at every turn, our five challengers forged stunning masterpieces.

And the winner is . . . Craig Farley

After nearly thirty minutes of deliberation, the judging panel named Craig Farley’s creation the first day’s winner. His contemporary East-West design featured a dazzling oval-cut Swarovski Peridot center stone. The split shank design with beaded and diamond accents landed the top spot. This intricately crafted design was completely on-trend.

Breaking News!

When the competition is live, anything can happen! After an intense first day, defending champion, Jyothi Forman fell sick and couldn’t compete. Enter: Brian Clark, Master Jeweler from All American Jewelry Designers, Inc. The standby competitor was rushed to the show floor to fill Jyothi’s spot.

2018 Bench Jeweler Workshop Brian Clark

Day 2: Parts & Pieces Challenge

Day two of the 2018 Bench Jeweler Workshop required challengers to build a piece of their choosing from an array of raw materials. The competitors could create their designs using any tools on the demo floor. Equipment ranged from fully-stocked model benches, laser welders, engravers, plating units — everything they needed. Contestants were hard to track down as they whisked about the demo floor completing their tasks.

2018 Bench Jeweler Workshop Patrick Dobbs

Patrick Dobbs

2018 Bench Jeweler Workshop Criag Farley Round 2

Craig Farley

2018 Bench Jeweler Workshop Brian Clark Round 2

Brian Clark

2018 Bench Jeweler Workshop David Adamson Round 2

David Adamson

And the winner is . . . Patrick Dobbs

Having competed in this competition before, Dobbs was able to learn from his experience to improve his performance. After fumbling to complete his piece in the 2016 competition, Patrick knew what was necessary to dominate this year. From the onset, he reminded himself, “make it simple, make it beautiful, make it easy to complete” (especially going up against such talented competitors). His winning design combined an organic form with beaming diamond accents and a large Swarovski Blue Zircon center stone.

Day 3: The Finish Line Challenge

In today’s fast-changing jewelry industry, CAD is arguably the most powerful tool in a jeweler’s workshop. So it’s only appropriate that the final challenge hinged on building a contest-winning CAD design. The instructions read:

“A few weeks ago, the world recently celebrated International Women’s Day. The day recognizes the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
While there are women in our personal lives that have impacted all of us, your task is to create a statement ring, necklace, or bracelet for a well-known, prominent woman. 

It can be a historical figure, or someone currently paving the way for future generations to flourish.
You can design for any well-known iconic female you choose.” 

Patrick Dobbs 2018 Bench Jeweler Workshop CAD

Patrick Dobbs

David Adamson 2018 Bench Jeweler Workshop CAD

David Adamson

Craig Farley 2018 Bench Jeweler Workshop CAD

Craig Farley

2018 Bench Jeweler Workshop Brian Clark CAD

Brian Clark

Each of the competitors came up with a unique design for the iconic lady of their choosing. David Adamson used RhinoGold to create his CAD design, while the other three competitors used Matrix®.

  • Patrick Dobbs created a contemporary blue sapphire ring for the late Princess Diana.
  • David Adamson designed a piece inspired by unity and togetherness for Michelle Obama.
  • Craig Farley devised an intricately-beaded necklace for the ancient Egyptian ruler Cleopatra.
  • Brian Clark’s creation was in honor of Dolly Parton who pioneered the Imagination Library program.

And the winner is . . . Patrick Dobbs

Patrick set out to create an exciting concept for this project. “I had the hardest time coming up with it [his design]. I came up with it by thinking about the Elton John song [Candle in the Wind]. And that’s where I came up with the whole idea and thought process. Then I was off and running!”

Grand Champion: Patrick Dobbs

2018 Bench Jeweler Workshop Champion Patrick Dobbs

“It was a tough decision because they were all amazing,” said Battle of the Benches judge, Angela Busby. “The competitors gave their all, and it definitely showed in the final product.” In the end, the judging panel named Patrick Dobbs the 2018 Bench Jeweler Workshop Champion of the Battle of the Benches Challenge.


Special Guests

In Good Company 

2018 Bench Jeweler Workshop In Good Company

Stuller welcomed Adam Voss and his team to the 2018 Bench Jeweler Workshop to film the fifth iteration of Stuller’s In Good Company mini-series. The film crew shot live demos and interviewed Workshop attendees, including Brian Barnes (pictured above).

Watch the In Good Company mini-series here

Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology 

2018 Bench Jeweler Workshop Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology

Patrick Dobbs represented the Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology. Over twenty students visited the 2018 Bench Jeweler Workshop to experience the tools, training, software, and expertise Stuller offers. “I wanted to draw attention to the school — one of the finest jewelry schools in the country,” Patrick explained. “I went to school there, and it’s where I got all my knowledge. I’m on the board and helping with the curriculum. So I just wanted to make sure people were aware of this school still.”

A Special Thanks

A very special thanks to Swarovski Gemstones for donating the stones used in the Battle of the Benches competition.


That’s a wrap — the 2018 Bench Jeweler Workshop was a roaring success! Did you attend? Which seminar was your favorite? How was the experience overall? Tell us in the comment section below.