Sell With a Story: Black Opal

Sell with a Story October 2020
handful of black opal
Photo by Vincent Pardieu/GIA.

A sunset, tropical waters, watercolor paintings, Holi color clouds, the galaxy. You might be asking, “What do these have in common?”

If you have ever seen an opal, you likely already know. Considered one of the most colorful stones available within the industry, opals show many colors all in one wearable stone.

All About Black Opal

Moody and mysterious, black opals are fitting for an October birthstone. They have a dark body color with a gorgeous play of color that spans the spectrum. The benefit to a dark body color is that the colors pop off the darker background and scream at people to look at them.

Notable Gems Black Opal

The rarest and most valuable type of opal —  black opals —  are found at Lightning Ridge in New South Wales, Australia. No one really knows where Lightning Ridge got its name; however, allegedly a farmer, his trusty four-legged companion, and his flock of sheep were struck by lightning, aiding in the ridge getting its name.

Perhaps that’s fitting. Lightning Ridge black opals can be as dark as midnight with a play of color that’s akin to a night sky lit by bright flashes of lightning.

Technically Speaking

Opals have some technical words that are associated with them and them alone:

  • Play of color: The flashes of color you get when you rock and tilt the stone. This phenomenon is created by the internal structure interacting with light.
  • Body color: The background color, the palette in which all the colorful flashes lie.

At Stuller, we grade our calibrated gemstones based on the darkness of the body color. Gray body color will be graded as AA quality whereas a dark gray or black body results in AAA quality.

Calibrated Opal

Each black opal in Stuller Notable Gems™ is hand selected to represent the best features or a quality that’s unique to that stone, whether that’s body color, pattern, shape, or something else.

What Makes an Opal Valuable?

All other things equal, the play of color and the stone’s pattern determine an opal’s value.

Play of Color

A vibrant red opal has a more expensive price tag as it’s incredibly rare. The more red visible when you tilt and turn the stone, the more expensive the opal. Follow the spectrum backward for values: blue, at the opposite end of the spectrum, is the most common and therefore the least valuable; yellow, in the middle, is valued as such.

Play of color that is visible from one angle or only on part of the surface drops the value of the stone. The play of color should be spread across the whole stone, even if it changes in pattern type.

Notable Gems Opal


It seems strange to think that the pattern of colors on a stone would aid in the value that it holds. However, when you think about it in terms of rarity, it makes more sense. There are three major types of patterns that hold sway on value, each represented by a corresponding look and rarity factor:

  • Pinfire: Very small patches or dots of spectral color.
  • Flash: Large areas of play of color.
  • Harlequin: Large, distinct, usually angular patches of play of color with touching edges.

Harlequin is quite rare, especially when you get a full range of colors, which makes it considerably more valuable. Pinfire is very common, making it less rare and therefore less valuable — even when the pinfire play of color is red.

Opals for October

The extraordinary shapes and unique ability to match and highlight any color makes black opal a go-to for designers wanting to create one-of-a-kind jewelry. The dark palette and eye-catching explosion of color make black opal a customer favorite for those keenly aware of the attention they will get — social media, here they come.

Notable Gems Black Opal

Try having a few loose in your store this month (it is the October birthstone, after all!), and it’s sure to lead to conversations about what black opals are, where they come from, and how customers can add one to their wish list.

At the very least, you get to have a lively, gemstone-positive conversation that can open the door for future questions. And your customers will think of you as the gemstone expert!

Happy selling!

Shop our selection of calibrated black opal cabochons, or discover a unique black opal in Stuller Notable Gems™

New. Trendy. Affordable. And Full of Diamonds!

petite pavé dangles

When is very small something BIG? We couldn’t be more excited than to introduce our new Petite Pavé Dangle Collection.

What are petite pavé dangles?

They’re sparkly and dainty dangles — all 6mm or less — set with diamonds (and some with gemstones). Customers can add them to chains, earring hoops, bracelets, and any other creative ideas that delight.

And they are irresistible not only because of their petite perfection but also because they have an average petite price point of $60. What’s more, all dangles come in the three most popular 14K color options: white, yellow, and rose.

petite pavé dangles and endless hoops
Slide dangles onto our endless hoops for an easy customized look.

But how do you properly display such tiny beauties? They could get lost in a case. To keep them together and show them to their best advantage, we designed a new Magnetic Charm & Dangle Display that goes so perfectly with our dangles. It’s easy to set up and, once in your case, lets the petite pavé dangles practically sell themselves!

By incorporating the magnetic feature in our new charm and dangle display, you have endless customization options to create the display look you want. As they sell, you can easily adjust the arrangement until your reorders arrive.

We’ve also curated three assortments that pair perfectly with the displays. Designed to inspire multiple sales — first and last initials, month and day of a special event — these assortments offer endless possibilities:


You’ll love them all! And when it comes to closing sales, each of these petite wonders performs like a dynamo.

Learn more and shop the collection at Stuller.com/PetitePave.

Sell With a Story: Tourmaline Gemstones

Every design can benefit from a well-placed pop of color — and there’s perhaps no gemstone better suited for this than tourmaline. With its clean lines, elongated crystals, and range of colors, tourmaline gemstones are just what you need for eye-catching, vivid center stones.

A more contemporary design might use a tri-color (sometimes referred to as parti-colored) tourmaline. At the same time, a classic style can get a sweet makeover with a less traditional color, such as mint tourmaline. No matter the aesthetic you’re going for, tourmaline likely has what you need.


Colorful Tourmaline Gemstones

As tourmaline has one of the largest color ranges in the gemstone world, it is a great fallback for an alternative color option. Imagine these scenarios:

A customer says, “I want blue, but I don’t want a traditional sapphire.”

What can you offer? Blue tourmaline.

“I want yellow, but something more extraordinary than citrine.”

What now? Yellow tourmaline.

“I want something that is entirely unique that no one else will ever have.”

You got it — tourmaline!

You get where I’m going with this. Tourmaline has all the colors of the rainbow and offers some gorgeous colors. But they have so much more going on than just color alone.

Tourmaline gemstones are found on every continent of the world, although the most beautiful ones come from South America and Africa. Some would argue that stones found in the United States hold a particularly beautiful place and certainly lend to a Made in the USA theme. But no matter where it’s from, the quality of tourmaline is based on its overall appearance, and each color has a different expectation.


Paraíba Tourmaline

Paraiba should be bright and lively with a crisp patina of copper color. It can range anywhere from a turquoise blue to a radiant green and many shades in-between. If it’s the color of Windex, you are on the right path!

Perhaps most famous of all hues for tourmaline is pink — hello, October birthstone. From deep and broody to bright and cheerful, pink tourmaline offers the end consumer a plethora of colors that will fit even the pickiest of tastes. But remember it’s much harder to get with a clean crystal, so prep your customers ahead of time.

What About Inclusions?

Personally, I never avoid talking about inclusions in stones. They make the gem unique, and if they are not distracting or in a place that could make for easy damage, I celebrate them. A perfectly clean crystal in tourmaline is rare. And, as the industry knows, rarity directly affects the dollars.

Rubellite Tourmaline

Rubellite, the trade name for red tourmaline, includes purplish-red, orangey-red, and brownish-red shades. As their name (get it — ruby?) suggests, Rubellite tourmaline is the red variety.

It’s always best to clarify a gem’s modifying colors with your vendor, if they don’t offer it in the description. Some within the industry use Rubellite to refer to a pink stone. It doesn’t have to be perfectly red, but it needs to be more red and bubblegum pink to get the designation of Rubellite.

Indicolite Tourmaline

If pink is the most well-known color of tourmaline, blue is likely the least. Indicolite tourmaline comes in some pretty interesting shades, from true navy to intense teal. Generally seen with darker tones (although not always), Indicolite has recently become a trending sensation. It’s an affordable blue alternative, and many come with eye-clean crystals in amazing cuts and shapes.

For Something a Little Different…

Watermelon and bi-, tri-, and quad-color tourmaline are the oddballs of the tourmaline family, blending colors in striking and unusual ways.

Watermelon tourmaline is generally seen in slices that show the green outer rim with a spirited pink center.

Bi, tri, and quad colors are just that: stones that show multiple colors within a single stone and are often found in many shapes and cutting styles. I find the long, lean emerald cuts a particularly interesting way to showcase the subtle flow of colors. A new twist on the understated bar necklace? I think so!


From color range and crystal shapes to captivating juxtapositions and brilliant colors, there are stones I often revisit for inspiration. There are some things that are just endless pools of ideas. And I hope tourmaline gemstones will become your new inspiration, too.

Shop Stuller’s calibrated tourmaline, or check out the unique tourmaline available in Stuller Notable Gems™

Sell With a Story: Spinel Gemstones

GIA has said “Spinel is a good candidate for the title of ‘History’s Most Underappreciated Gem.’” And it could not be truer. Throughout history, Spinel has had a privileged yet unknown heyday. It appears in everything from the British Crown Jewels and the Austrian Imperial Crown, to the Russian coronation crown for Catherine the Great in 1762.

Famous Spinel

The largest Spinel in history is part of the Iranian National Jewels — still currently used to back the Iranian currency. Known and valued by the crowns of the world, Spinel have been found and pilfered as the spoils of war. The now-known ‘Black Prince’s Ruby’ — alas, a perfectly red Spinel — was given as payment to Edward, Prince of Wales, for a victorious battle in 1367.

Historically, this gemstone has been confused with corundum (ruby and sapphire). Why? Mostly because it is regularly found in the same mines and because it comes in similar colors. What makes Spinel distinctively different? It is a singly refractive stone, while corundum is doubly refractive.

As far back as the 1300s and 1400s, the largest and most valuable crystals in corundum mines were proclaimed ruby or sapphire (depending on color) when they were actually Spinel. They simply didn’t have the tools to tell the difference (I’m looking at you, refractometer).

So, what makes spinel so captivating?

Shades of Spinel

Begin with the crisp nature of the stones and its alluring shades of color. Then throw in the limited supply, and you have yourself a gemstone that is as tempting for customers as it is valuable. Unfortunately, it tends to be overlooked because few customers know the facts.

Red is the most sought-after color, but cobalt blue runs a close second for its rarity and intensely bright blue color, getting its name from a small deposit of cobalt in the crystal structure. This gemstone can be found in many colors:

  • Orange
  • Purple
  • Gray
  • Black
  • Pink
  • Blue
  • Green (rare)
  • Yellow (rare)

This makes Spinel a perfect option for any color occasion!

Technically Speaking…

In an age of ecological awareness, Spinel’s beauty comes entirely from nature giving it a significant advantage with certain customers over a treated stone such as corundum. The most valuable spinel have no eye-visible inclusions, but this is overlooked with rare colors. You can also expect beautiful makes and cuts with a stone that takes an excellent polish.

In most colors, stones under two carats are relatively easy to find. But those larger than two carats can be much more difficult depending on the color. It’s nearly impossible to find Cobalt Spinel in larger sizes.

This gemstone all but sells itself. Coming in a broad range of colors from cobalt blue to true ‘ruby’ red and nearly everything in between, it has become a bit of a cult favorite. And it’s as durable as it is hard, measuring an 8 on the Mohs scale, which makes it great for everyday wear.

Shop Spinel Gemstones on Stuller.com in our calibrated gemstones or in our Noble Gemstones™ collection.

Having trouble finding something specific? Contact our Special Order Gemstones team! Within 48 hours, they can get back to you with more information about finding that special gemstone.

How to Market Family Fashion Jewelry to Female Self-Purchasers

Family Fashion Jewelry Blog Header

There’s a huge segment of customers out there who take delight in buying jewelry for themselves. These self-purchasers are usually middle-aged, established in their careers, and are likely mothers and grandmothers.

And is there anything stronger than a mother’s love? She adores her children and grandchildren, so why not offer family fashion jewelry to honor those dear to her heart? After all, self-purchasers treat themselves with personal gifts, and nothing is more personal than her beloved family.


Mother's Day Jewelry Personalization

From L to R: 86980653575861308709165342652002868008679712306512383451895123834652586653445653574


Here are a few ideas to help market family fashion jewelry to self-purchasing women.


1. Allocate Proper Case Space

To appeal to self-purchasers, start by allocating proper area for personalized and family jewelry. Often, this jewelry category doesn’t receive enough space in the case. Remember, a small spread is all you need to make a big impact! She’ll stop right in her tracks when she sees on-trend personalization and family fashion jewelry in your showcases.


2. Hit Every Price Point

Every customer is different. Try to accommodate the style and desire of every mom out there. Be sure your selection shows a range of price points— from metal initial necklaces to Diamond-accented family rings. Stuller strives to offer an assortment of personalized and family jewelry that will fit the style (and budget!) of every self-purchasing customer.

3. Feature On-Trend Family Fashion Jewelry

It’s easy to incorporate trendy design accents into your family fashion jewelry lineup. Women have fallen in love with bar necklaces. Take this trend to the next level with family jewelry bar necklaces, as shown below. Also, interesting gemstone cuts are super hot right now. Feature exciting shapes like baguettes, marquise, trillions, and more in your latest family jewelry designs. Browse our full selection of family fashion jewelry on Stuller.com.

4. Promote Personalized Fine Jewelry

From traditional monogram necklaces to script nameplates, she’ll treasure these very personal gifts forever. Offer personalized items for first-time mothers who are looking for a way to celebrate the birth of their newborn blessing. Or, suggest moms purchase multiple pendants to layer all her children’s initials on one chain! Browse our array of personalized jewelry on Stuller.com. 

Have you figured out creative ways to market family fashion jewelry to self-purchasers in your area? Let us know your tactics in the comments below.

Zodiac Gemstone Jewelry to Align Your Mind and Body

Zodiac Gemstone Jewelry Blog Header

Birthstone jewelry is incredibly popular when looking for unique ways to express one’s birth month. But did you know there are unique zodiac gemstones too? Here, we’ve paired each zodiac sign with a complementary gemstone to help reveal its wearers’ hidden powers.

Zodiac Gemstone Jewelry All Gemstones

Wear these special zodiac gemstone jewelry combinations to align the mind and body.


AquariusZodiac Gemstone Jewelry Aquarius Symbol (January 21 – February 19) | Sapphire


Aquarians tend to struggle with their innate aloofness. They have a tendency to shy away from others, sometimes keeping away from the group. This is where sapphire steps in. One of sapphire’s strongest powers, the stone inspires its wearer to truly express themselves to other people. When an Aquarius channels sapphire’s deep energy, they’ll feel free to express the friendliness and positive nature within.

PiscesZodiac Gemstone Jewelry Pisces Symbol (February 20 – March 20) | Amethyst


Typically considered one of the most artistic signs, Pisces paired with amethyst will boost inner creativity beyond imagination. The stone evokes original and creative thoughts when needed most. As a sensitive soul, a Pisces will also find solace in amethyst’s power to soothe and calm emotions. When a Pisces has their amethyst with them, these idealistic and compassionate beings are unstoppable.

Aries Zodiac Gemstone Jewelry Aries Symbol(March 21 – April 20) | Ruby


Since Aries are renowned for their impatience, rubies serve as the perfect pairing for them. These deep red beauties aid with decision-making, self-confidence, and negotiation. Look toward this stone to help an Aries get through frustrating situations with ease. Zodiac gemstone jewelry with ruby center stones will give strength to its wearer, allowing them to make the best decision to please all parties.

Taurus Zodiac Gemstone Jewelry Taurus Symbol(April 21 – May 20) | Honey Topaz


Since avoiding conflict and being a good friend are two life goals for a Taurus, honey topaz stands as a match made in heaven. Topaz is said to bring good luck and protection from many problems— from unfortunate accidents to interpersonal conflict. Wearing zodiac gemstone jewelry with golden topaz allows a Taurus to unlock their inner peacemaker and repel drama. And, if worn constantly, honey topaz can introduce strong friendships into a Taurus’ life.

Gemini Zodiac Gemstone Jewelry Gemini Symbol(May 21 – June 21) | Citrine


Geminis are adaptable and friendly to everyone. This is why the energetic stone citrine is ideal for these motivated souls. Citrine invites positive energy into any situation and brings peace to interpersonal relationships. By wearing this bright and shiny stone, a Gemini will approach others with optimistic energy and confidence to create successful, healthy relationships with whomever they please.

Cancer Zodiac Gemstone Jewelry Cancer Symbol(June 22 – July 22) | Moonstone


Cancers tend to be very emotional and anxious souls, standing apart from the crowd and having trouble understanding why they feel the way they do. This is why moonstone zodiac gemstone jewelry is perfect for them. Moonstone helps to balance emotions and strengthen intuition. This stunning stone is said to help Cancers relieve their stresses and fearlessly move forward in life with resilient and creative minds.

Leo Zodiac Gemstone Jewelry Leo Symbol(July 23 – August 23) | Garnet


Natural born leaders, Leos need help seeking guidance from others as a result of not wanting to compromise their pride. This is when a Leo should turn to zodiac gemstone jewelry with garnet accents. This deep red beauty is rumored to give whoever wears it the power to see what others may not, allowing Leos to lead their pack with confidence. Garnet is also known to grant courage to its wearer to make the right choices. Once a Leo unlocks their inner leadership with garnet, they’ll take on the world.

Virgo Zodiac Gemstone Jewelry Virgo Symbol(August 24 – September 23) | Emerald


Constantly seeking perfection, Virgo’s downfalls include their judgmental and critical tendencies. In moments like these, a Virgo can turn to emerald for help. Emeralds can easily transform negative energy into positive energy. When someone lets them down, a Virgo should channel emerald’s powers to help them approach a situation with an optimistic lens. Virgos are also well-known for being intelligent creatures, making emerald’s memory- strengthening powers a Virgo’s best friend.

Libra Zodiac Gemstone Jewelry Libra Symbol(September 24 – October 23) | Peridot


Libras tend to struggle with their self-confidence. Peridot’s golden hue can come to the rescue when Libras want to restore the way they think of themselves. Ancient legends credit this stone with freeing the mind of negative thoughts and bringing happiness to its wearer. When things are unbalanced, a Libra tends to blame themselves for the situation. Instead, they should turn to peridot to help mend the situation.

Scorpio Zodiac Gemstone Jewelry Scorpio Symbol(October 24 – November 22) | Aquamarine


Scorpios want nothing more than making a bold statement. And aquamarine can help them do just that! Nicknamed the courage stone, Aquamarine helps fight against fears and allows wearers to express themselves more freely. These powers are also good for Scorpios who constantly teeter between their genuine and secretive sides. Aquamarine’s inner truth powers help Scorpios find the strength to be their authentic selves.

Sagittarius Zodiac Gemstone Jewelry Sagittarius Symbol (November 23 – December 21) | Spessartite Garnet


Sometimes, Sagittarius signs can be incredibly careless. Their confidence can quickly turn sour and they often have trouble seeing the bigger picture. Spessartite garnet aids these strong-willed souls to look closer at the details and gain deeper knowledge when it matters most. When a Sagittarius lacks focus and stability due to their adventurous and impatient nature, spessartite garnet brings them back down to earth.

Capricorn Zodiac Gemstone Jewelry Capricorn Symbol(December 22 – January 20) | Green Tourmaline


There are many reasons why Capricorns pair perfectly with green tourmaline zodiac gemstone jewelry. Due to its shape, green tourmaline has been a versatile and adaptable stone throughout history, which is perfect for the hardworking and practical Capricorn. This stone will also prevent Capricorns from being closed-minded with its properties of acceptance. So when a Capricorn is having trouble accepting something they’re new, turn to this zodiac gemstone to adjust accordingly.