Stuller’s Year of the Wedding: Rescheduled Dreams Come True

We can all agree that 2020 was not the perfect year. With a global pandemic, the wedding industry certainly took a hit in every way possible – postponed weddings, held-off engagements, restricted celebrations, and more. But the fine jewelry industry has responded with new ways to help make dreams come true. We expect 2021 to be a year to remember.

According to the 2020 Brides Magazine American Wedding Study, 66% of survey respondents made the difficult decision to postpone their wedding. While some weddings might look different this year, brides are focusing on what is most important and jewelers will no doubt have a starring role in their customers’ ‘happily, ever after.’ We know you will be there for couples embarking on new, married lives and we want to be there for you. To kick things off, we are declaring 2021 as Stuller’s Year of the Wedding™.

This year is aimed at providing you with everything you need to make all your customers’ dreams come true. From top selections in our ever&ever®, 3C, and designer bridal collections to the tools, materials, and resources necessary to create a memorable custom experience, Stuller is your destination for all things wedding. Head over to Stuller.com/YearOfTheWedding to kick off this year’s celebration of love finding its way!

Product Selections

Our team has curated collections of classic, contemporary, and on-trend products your customers will love. Browse engagement rings, wedding bands, and stackables with the touch of a button.

SHOP ENGAGEMENTS

SHOP BANDS

SHOP STACKABLES

Marketing Resources

We have crafted a collection of photos, videos, and other marketing materials that are free for you to use. Throughout the year, we will be uploading fresh content to assist you in your marketing efforts.

ever&ever® Selling Solution

Enjoy access to a complete bridal program featuring high-quality, completely customizable prototype rings. Becoming an authorized ever&ever® retailer will not only give you access to our best 3C customizable designs, but you also have additional monthly marketing assets at your disposal. For more information on ever&ever®, visit our website at Stuller.com/everandever.

CAD/CAM Services

Not only do we have a vast selection of finished jewelry for you to offer your customers, but we also have solutions that cater to your customization needs. Whether you need assistance in designing, prototyping, casting, setting, or finishing, our CAD/CAM team is ready to help you create a one-of-a-kind, custom design experience for your customers.

Much, Much More

Stuller is the one-stop-shop for jewelers, providing you with everything you need for a successful new year. Our ethically sourced diamonds and gemstones, recycled metals, quality tools, and innovative design technology are at your disposal. We are moving on from 2020 and ready to help you make Stuller’s Year of the Wedding™ one to remember.

Cheers to 2021!




Kicking Off the Holiday Bridal Season

Ready or not, the holidays are here. Christmas is just 44 days away and we are ready to ship you everything you need to deliver on every customer’s biggest wish. And with holiday romance in the air, what could be more on target than holiday engagements?

This is the fourth episode in our Holiday Learning Series, and this week, Senior Director of Bridal Alex Stuller delves into what is hot and happening in bridal fashions. CLICK HERE to enjoy her presentation on the most exciting new and popular trends.



New & Popular Engagement Styles

Yellow or white gold: what are brides choosing? Yellow has come back strong in both bridal jewelry and jewelry overall. It is also Alex’s favorite, so she is showing several styles in this rich shade. Alex also mentions customers’ trend towards larger center stones and CTW — wonderful for them and you! Here are the dominant trends. It is also worth saying that fancy diamonds are very much in fashion. Watch for triangle, marquise, pear shaped diamonds, and more.

Art Deco

Art Deco has been emerging as a trend over the past few seasons. Now it has come into its own, and our designers have met the challenge. We love the fact that these designs communicate extravagance and restraint. You will discover the halo-style below on page eight of our October Bridal and Bands brochure.

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Updated Classics

Timeless looks never go out of style, yet each generation adds its own special touches. Look for hidden gallery details such as elegantly understated hidden cross solitaire. From the top, it looks like a classic, and from the sides, it takes on a deeper meaning. The split-shank solitaire shown has been updated with sculptural detailing on the shank and gallery — luxurious touches that win hearts.

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Favorites from 2020

We have watched these styles fly out the door, and because many are flexible 3C designs, customers have a world of options. They can change the stone shape and size and choose from at least 13 metal qualities. You will see this stunning double infinity style on page 40 of our holiday brochure — an outstanding engagement choice. And you will notice that the accented style below features rose-cut diamonds, beading, and claw prongs — all important trends.

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Showstoppers

These designs will stand out and start conversations with everyone your customer knows. Yes, she’s definitely engaged. There is no denying that. And what could be more appropriate to a wintry proposal that this fabulous snowflake design? Its gorgeous dimensions sparkle with round and marquise accents that delight the eye from every angle. Does she prefer something dazzling and edgy? The asymmetric beauty will steal her heart away with its emerald cut center (or oval) and its bouquet of marquise and round accents.

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Stackable Anniversary Selling System and A&E Selling Systems

Irresistible stackables continue to take center stage, allowing each bride to build her unique look. And the best part? The more bands, the merrier. She can add to her stack for her anniversary, birthday, Mother’s Day, the holidays, or just because she feels like it. Our prototype Stackable Anniversary Band Selling System and our new Anniversary Band ($499) and Eternity Band ($399) Selling Systems let her try on many designs to find the one she loves — and give her ideas for future purchases.

And because these selling systems feature prototypes, you can offer her all these choices without investing valuable inventory dollars.

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Trends in Men’s Wedding Bands

Gone are the days when men’s wedding bands were predictably plain. Today men have many more choices, and they love it. Sometimes it takes him longer to choose his style than it takes for her to choose her engagement.

Classic bands

Classic hand styles still hold sway over a significant percentage of the band market, but today you are just as likely to see them with special finishes, laser patterns, or both. And do not forget engraving. If you have not tried our Classic Band Builder experience, now is the time to try it. Customers can watch as you make each change and try as many options as they please until they arrive at the one they want.

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3C Diamond Bands

Diamond bands have returned in a big way, and our 3C designs let men choose the stone shapes and sizes and the metal quality to achieve the right look. We offer a wide range of choices so they will be sure to find the one they want.

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Contemporary Metals

This contemporary metals trend continues strong as grooms look to them for personal statements and durability. Is he a rock climber? These are the bands to show him. They can choose from tungsten, titanium, cobalt, stainless steel, and our two new additions: tantalum and silicone. We are extremely excited to offer tantalum, a rare metal that can be both engraved and sized — highly unusual for contemporary metals. Silicone bands have a price that cannot be beaten and offer customers the unusual choice of 10 colors: black, gray, maroon, green, navy, royal, yellow, and various stripe combinations. Yes, they do come in women’s sizes.

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ever&ever® Bridal Program

No discussion of Stuller bridal would be complete without mentioning our extraordinarily successful ever&ever® bridal program featuring our flexible 3C designs so couples can customize to their hearts’ content. Alex closes her presentation by previewing ever&ever’s®enchanting new holiday video, which is part of its exclusive marketing assets.

If you are interested in this program, contact a bridal program specialist at 800-877-7777, ext. 2528 or visit Stuller.com/everandever.


Extended Holiday Hours

The holidays can bring a lot of stress, so we’re here to take some of that stress away. When you’re in a holiday quandary, we’re here to help.

Our customer experience team is currently available from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Central. On the Saturdays between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, we’ll be here for you from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Central.




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Feature Friday – Alix Gonsoulin

Alix Gonsoulin Come Home Project

Alix was a part of the Come Home Louisiana campaign in 2014 – an initiative from the State of Louisiana to get natives to return home to find career opportunities.

Big City Dreams

In 2007, one year after graduating from Loyola University in New Orleans, I decided to take a leap and move to New York City. I moved without a job and only had a place to live for six weeks.

Although it was a scary plunge, it was extremely exciting! I had to force myself in an unfamiliar place and work hard to make my way. My first job in New York was with a small jewelry company. Although we sold to large retailers like Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, we had a very small operation, and I learned a lot in a brief period of time.

From there, I eventually went on to work for Alexis Bittar, a high-end costume jeweler known for his hand-carved Lucite jewelry. Working in the NYC’s fashion industry taught me strong work ethic and introduced me to the world of wholesale jewelry manufacturing. I was the Product Development Manager within the design department, acting as a liaison between our designers and local factories abroad. Annually, we released three full collections with over 300 styles per season. I loved being a part of an amazing design team that produced innovative work every year.

Back to Cajun Country

After living and working in the jewelry industry for almost five years, I had no plans to leave the big city. Although I loved Louisiana – my home state – I didn’t see the career opportunities available. It was not until one of my best friends, Maren Rosen, introduced me to Stuller. Maren had recently moved back from NYC to Lafayette to begin working at Stuller. She raved about the company and all it had to offer, eventually persuading me to visit Stuller’s facility.

Upon entering the building, I knew it was a great career opportunity. Four months later, I moved home to Lafayette and began working at Stuller within the Fine Jewelry Merchandising Team. I was able to continue the jewelry career I loved while living nearer to my family!

I started off as the Director of Diamond and Gemstone Fashion. After almost three years, my responsibilities expanded to include managing all of Fine Jewelry. I found that merchandising was the best way to get the lay of the land at Stuller. As a merchant, I was involved in all aspects of product life: from pricing, inventory, product development, and buying to marketing.

Watch Alix Gonsoulin in Stuller’s PD&D Department Overview

Alix Gonsoulin: Creative Design Director

After four years, with my solid foundation, I wanted a new opportunity and landed back in the design department. My true passion has always been creating product, so stepping back into the design world was refreshing. I now help to guide our design team as the Creative Design Director. In this role, I help take concepts all the way through the product development path at Stuller.

Our mission within the Product Design and Development department is to produce a consistent flow of new products for our Findings, Bridal and Fine Jewelry teams. We are responsible for producing manufactured products that are on trend and relevant to our customers. And I absolutely love what I do! I am extremely lucky to see product progress from concept to finished pieces, then eventually sold to our customers.

My team here at Stuller truly inspires me. I’m surrounded by some of the most talented conceptual and CAD designers in the industry. Not only that, an amazing manufacturing team supports. They transform our digital concepts into stunning physical pieces. Everyone on the team brings different skills to the table, and I love seeing how our visions and effort form into pieces of jewelry.

As someone who heads the Product Design Department, I’m directly responsible for making sure our customers have a variety of products to offer to their customers. I want them to be able to service anyone that walks into their store by providing exactly what they need. This means continuously developing products, especially in our more versatile 3C product offerings.

Home Sweet Home

As much as I love to travel and explore new places, I also love Louisiana and all it has to offer. Louisiana is a magical mix of sincere people, creative communities, delicious food, and never-ending liveliness. I often find myself with family and friends, enjoying the communal festivities. Whether we’re on a boat ride, at a local festival, or watching one of my favorite Cajun bands, there is so much to do that is unique to our area. Another amazing thing about being back home in Cajun Country is my proximity to my huge family. My mother is one of 17 kids – so you can imagine how far my family tree grows.

Alix Gonsoulin Siblings Family

Alix Gonsoulin and her siblings

Sweet, Sweet Memories

For my 30th birthday, about 40 of my friends and family gathered dressed as our favorite Louisiana festival kings and queens. We celebrated the Shrimp and Petroleum Festival, Rice Festival, Crawfish Festival, Frog Festival – the list goes on and on! I’ve always loved dressing in costume. And to gather a group of friends together, all in costume, was a blast! We toured Cajun Country on a bus, stopping at local bars and music venues along the bayous and rivers of our community.

Alix Gonsoulin 30 Birthday Celebration

Nearly 40 friends gather to celebrate Alix Gonsoulin

Looking Forward

The biggest change I’ve seen in the jewelry industry is digital innovation. As an industry, we have made leaps and bounds over the past 10 years discovering how to be more efficient at making jewelry. And what’s most impressive is that I don’t see that momentum slowing down anytime soon. We constantly challenge ourselves as a company and an industry to come up with the next widget that will help to serve our customers.

So Here’s My Advice

Always listen, learn, and ask questions. Take as many risks as you can and don’t be afraid to fail!


We’re thrilled to introduce the fabulous Alix Gonsoulin to you. Find more faces of Stuller here.




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Sell With A Story – Famous Alexandrites

How rare is Alexandrite? It’s very rare to find a stone five carats or more with strong color change. Optimum color ranges from a rich bluish-green in sunlight to a gorgeous red-purple or purple-red under incandescent light. Take a look at the 17.08 carat Whitney Alexandrite now in the Smithsonian.

 

Whitney Alexandrite

Smithsonian Alexandrite • Source

Gifted to the Smithsonian by Coralyn Wright Whitney, this is one of the finest examples of Alexandrite. Sadly we don’t know much about its history other than the fact that it emerged from the Hematita Mine in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Exactly when, we don’t know. Its remarkable size and color make it almost impossibly rare. Whitney herself was a research professor at the University of Washington. On retirement, she pursued her childhood passion for rock hunting going so far as to get professional degrees from GIA. As you can imagine, she was well aware of this Alexandrite’s value.

The 65.70 Carat Alexandrite

Alexandrites Smithsonian

Sri Lankan Alexandrites • Source

I’ve read in multiple sources that the Natural History Museum in London, England, is home to the 65.70 carat Alexandrite shown on right (accompanied by two smaller stones), one of the largest faceted Alexandrites of Sri Lankan origin. However, I can find no mention of the stone on the Natural History Museum website. It appears a bright olive green in sunlight and a brownish red in the evening. Many Alexandrites from Sri Lanka have less saturation which makes the color change less intense. Regardless, this is a highly valuable stone wherever it resides.

The Largest Faceted Alexandrite in the Guinness World Records

I happened on this record quite by chance. Somewhere in Japan, a wealthy person or fantastically fortunate rock hound owns a faceted Alexandrite weighing 141.92 carats and measuring 34.42 x 27.38 x 15.00 mm (1.35 x 1.07 x 0.59 inches). Keep in mind that the largest Alexandrite to emerge from Russia was 30 carats, and most stones weigh less than a carat. I wish I could find an image of this Alexandrite to share, but I’ve had no luck. We have no idea about the stone’s origin or where and how the owner acquired it. If it has excellent color, its value would exceed $100 million dollars.

Speaking of AlexandrAlexandritesite

Last week I spent a couple of hours in our Diamonds & Gemstones department taking a look at our new Black Box Gemstone® Alexandrites. They’re impressive. We have five stones — oval and cushion — over 2.0 carats (one oval is 3.19 carats) with strong to medium strong color change. We also have sizes close to or larger than 1.0 carat in several shapes including a 1.41 heart-shaped stone.

What would they look like in settings?

I got so caught up looking at the Alexandrite that I decided to digitally set several in flexible 3C designs*. Keep in mind that these images don’t show the actual stone. I used an approximate size and included the stone number. Enjoy!

*We created flexible 3C designs for calibrated sizes. Each setting allows for some size variation, but if the stone’s measurements lie outside that, the design can be modified by our CAD/CAM Services or your CounterSketch® design technology.

Alexandrites White Gold Oval RIng

Style 71761 set with Alexandrite 307138 (8.85 x 6.80) 2.24 carats

Alexandrites Rose Gold Emerald Cute Engagement RIng

Style 122827 set with Alexandrite 291078 (7.52 x 5.50) 1.57 carats

Alexandrites Rose Gold Milgrain Engagement Rings

Style 71885 set with Alexandrite 269143 (6.03) 0.99 carat

Alexandrites Oval Halo Yellow Gold Ring

Style 71952 set with Alexandrite 307136 (10.07 x 7.26) 2.80 carats

Have you created designs for stunning Alexandrites? Please share your story with us.




Trend Alert: Hearts to Hold

Hold on to the Heart Trend

It’s crunch time! Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and if there’s one thing you’ve learned from years past, it’s that you’ll get your share of last minute customers. You better be ready. They’ll need your help to pick out a perfect last minute gift. Here are tips.

JCK News predicts the heart trend will resurface as a leading style in 2017, so heart-shaped designs are hot for Valentine’s Day and beyond. If you have engraving equipment, personalization adds a thoughtful touch and makes their present unique.

What was once a youthful fad has become stylish and sophisticated via 2017’s emerging heart trend. Even more, many of the heart-inspired pieces below combine other trends like symbolism, negative space, pavé settings and precious pearls. Here are our favorite picks for innovative heart-shaped jewelry that is sure to impress all the ladies in your customer’s life.

For Wives

 Think outside the box with this heartbeat necklace

Pave with Diamonds Add the negatives

 

 For Mothers

Find more options for family jewelry here

Add the negatives Timeless pearls

 

For Daughters

Available in youth and adult sizes

Timeless pearls Sweet symbols Add the negatives

 

Items featured in header: 86053 • 68662 • 67533 • 2388


Do you absolutely love the heart trend? How do your customers respond to heart styles? Will this be the defining trend of 2017? Share your thoughts below!

 

Metal minimalist jewelry is another hot trend this year. Browse our favorite pieces here.  




Dreaming of a better way to sell?

Gary Baines, Executive Director of Product Design & Development, has a super-focused mind, a whole lot of energy, and an awesome British accent. He spends his time navigating between designers, product managers, and production as he oversees the birth of each new design.

Born and raised in Leeds, England, he’s a long way from home but closer than ever to the passion that brought him into the jewelry business at 17, when he became apprentice goldsmith.

Design is his realm, and within it, he has many areas of expertise, including virtual design. Naturally, he’s at the heart of our flexible 3C products that are having a big impact on our industry. I sat down to chat with him about 3C’s power.

Elizabeth Raffel: I love our 3C product. Tell us about it.

Gary Baines: For starters, it’s a fantastic sales tool, something jewelers used to dream about. They can make real-time design changes while the customer watches — metal quality, stone shape and size, and stone type and color. With each dynamic change, they have the immediate power of dynamic pricing, which is a huge asset.

The jeweler can show customers different styles in many different configurations until they find the combination they love. Then he submits the order to our CAM Services department. Ten days later, the jeweler receives the customized design.

ER: In other words, all this can be accomplished in one visit.

GB: This is a crucial point because any time a customer leaves your store, there’s the possibility she’ll buy something elsewhere. With 3C product, the customer sees how the customized style will look, knows the price. and gives approval.

ER: You said the magic word: customized. That has a new importance in today’s market.

GB: The truth is that the custom option has always been a highly attractive. The issue was affordability. Our 3C designs bridge the gap between the desire for a custom ring and its affordability.

ER: Millennials really lucked out. They want to express their individuality.

GB: That’s true. Our 3C collection meets their need to create their own unique look.

ER: I find the number of variations in each style mind-boggling.

GB: It truly is. Each one represents well over 1,000 variations.

ER: Before this technology, accomplishing 3C would have taken how many masters?

GB: At least 1,000 for each style. That’s a whole lot of masters, especially when you consider how quickly the collection is growing.

ER: So what makes 3C tick, or will you have to kill me if you tell me?

[We both laugh]

GB: I can tell you it’s powerful propriety technology that does amazing things. I helped develop it, and I’m still fascinated to watch the re-configurations appear in a matter of seconds. It’s really a jeweler’s playground; drawing customers into the design process, letting them participate. The best part is combining this incredible technology with Stuller’s high-quality metals and production abilities. The whole process flows together.

ER: And it’s just part of how Stuller.com works, so it’s free, right?

GB: Absolutely. The 3C collection meets a jeweler’s greatest needs. It lets him say yes to just about every customer request. Let’s put it this way: The 3C experience is at the vanguard of our industry. Other companies are trying to do it, but no one does it as fully and effectively as Stuller.

ER: So will Stuller’s future be dominated by 3C?

GB: No. It will play a growing role, but traditional manufacturing will always be strong simply because some designs require metal mold or casting. Look at the new diamond accented bands and our Next Generation halo-style designs. They’re from our metal mold team, and they’re really exquisite.

ER: I love both of those collections. They’re very sophisticated, distinctive looks.

CB: Well that’s another factor in choosing the 3C approach. Does the style have potential for broad appeal? Or is it more focused on a particular consumer?

ER: Do you want to say anything else to our customers about 3C?

GB: If you haven’t used 3C yet, jump in and try them. See all the combinations you can achieve. And show them to your customers. It’s a service you can offer them. It helps them discover what they want. And for customers who want more customization, all 3C styles are available in CounterSketch® — but that’s for another conversation.

ER: I’ll definitely get back to you about that. I can’t keep you from your work any longer. Thanks.

Need more information on 3C? Check out this video below, or click to view our website:

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