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New Styles Added to Modern Brilliance® Collection

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First released last fall, Modern Brilliance® is a curated collection set exclusively with lab-grown diamonds.   The pieces include earrings, necklaces, rings, and bracelets and are available in 14K white, yellow, and rose gold. This summer, we are excited to include new additions to the collections.  

We spoke with Product Manager Alisse Gregson about the collection as a whole as well as some new pieces recently added to the offering. 

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Alisse, tell us a little about Modern Brilliance®.

Modern Brilliance is a curated collection of both essential and on-trend fine jewelry and bridal jewelry set with lab-grown diamonds. This collection goes beyond traditional jewelry options to offer brilliant looks at an affordable price.

What about our collection makes it better than other lab-grown diamond collections?

The Modern Brilliance Collection sets itself apart from other competitors by offering a more expansive assortment of lab-grown diamond jewelry. It is a curated collection that offers a range of finished fine jewelry, including earrings, necklaces, rings, and bracelets, as well as bridal styles, including semi-set engagement rings, and fully set eternity and anniversary bands, and ring enhancers. All of which are available in 14K white, yellow and rose gold.

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Are there any price benefits for shopping the collection?

This varies, but lab-grown diamonds cost less than natural diamonds. Depending on size and quality, the styles within this collection can range between 30-40% less than a comparable item set with a mined diamond.

Why a lab-grown collection?

With the ever-growing popularity of lab-grown jewelry in the industry, coupled alongside the current economic climate, consumers will not be rushing back to purchase expensive jewelry right away. Therefore, the need for affordably priced diamond jewelry is more relevant than ever. Our mission is to simply offer essential, in-demand lab-grown diamond jewelry at accessible price points.

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How does it work? Is there a buy-in?

There is no buy-in or minimum required to purchase this collection. It is simply to offer in-demand lab-grown jewelry at accessible price points for customers who are looking to save money and explore all options.

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So what’s new with the collection this summer, Alisse?

As we mentioned earlier, the collection now includes a bridal assortment, and we are excited to add these new pieces! Modern Brilliance’s Bridal collection includes semi-set engagement rings along with fully set eternity and anniversary bands, and ring enhancers.  You can check out the bridal assortment of the collection here.

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Take a look at a few of the stacking options you’ll find in the collection.

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Click here for a look at our blog post introducing the collection.


What are you favorite new pieces from Modern Brilliance? Let us know in the comments below!




GIA Melee Anaylsis Services Celebrates Second Anniversary at Stuller

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Congratulations to Stuller on its 2nd anniversary of hosting the GIA melee analysis laboratory service at their Lafayette, LA facility. GIA has evaluated more than 5.9 million melee stones for Stuller through this service, giving greater confidence to their customers and – ultimately – to jewelry consumers.

“We are proud to have collaborated with Stuller for the past two years, bringing this fully automated service to their operation site while maintaining the independent, objective analysis the industry and consumers count on,” said Thomas M. Moses, GIA executive vice president of laboratory and research.

Separating natural diamonds from laboratory-grown gemstones and simulants provides the quality products that Stuller clients have come to expect while furthering GIA’s mission to protect consumers.

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Check out the video below for more on the GIA laboratory:


Check out our 2018 blog post about the opening of the GIA Melee Analysis Laboratory here.  




Stuller Welcomes On-site GIA Melee Analysis Service

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GIA (Gemological Institute of America®) brought its gemological expertise right here inside Stuller’s facilities in Lafayette, Louisiana. Thanks to a pioneering strategic service arrangement, Stuller will begin offering melee screened by the GIA Melee Analysis Service for diamond parcels coming through the building. GIA staff will screen melee on-site as they independently operate the GIA-owned system in a dedicated, secure space.

Why GIA Melee Analysis Service?

“GIA® is the most trusted gemological authority in the industry,” reports Stanley Zale, vice president of diamonds and gemstones procurement. “Therefore there is no one better than GIA for Stuller to rely on to deliver on our commitment to represent the product we are selling correctly.”

Launched in December 2016, the GIA Melee Analysis Service applies GIA’s decades of research into natural, treated and synthetic diamonds. Their advanced system quickly and accurately separates natural diamonds from simulants, synthetics, and HPHT treated natural diamonds. And while their technology screens, it sorts and color grades (D-to-Z) natural diamonds. GIA Melee Analysis Service will test all Stuller round melee in sizes 0.9mm to 4.0mm.

On Monday, April 16, Stuller officially commenced using the GIA Melee Analysis Service with a ceremonial ribbon cutting with Thomas M. Moses, GIA executive vice president and chief laboratory and research officer, and Stuller president Danny Clark. See below.

GIA Melee Analysis Service Ribbon Cutting

What this means for your business

Now more than ever, diamond and gemstone authenticity is of great concern in this fast-changing industry. So, to address the ever-present issue of lab-grown/synthetic and treated diamonds mixed into melee parcels, Stuller will employ GIA’s automated service to analyze and sort our melee diamonds quickly and accurately. The service can screen 1,800 to 2,000 stones per hour, enabling Stuller to deliver diamonds promptly while ensuring integrity.

“Locating our service within Stuller’s premises allows GIA to rapidly and efficiently analyze a higher volume of melee diamonds, helping to protect the consumer and ensure their confidence in the most prevalent stones in the market,” said Thomas M. Moses, GIA executive vice president of laboratory and research.

GIA’s mission to serve the public brings end-consumers the quality and assurance they’re due. And by working with GIA, Stuller mirrors those values to deliver diamonds with integrity and certitude we can stand behind.

GIA Melee Analysis Service

Shop Melee on Stuller.com

 




Charles & Colvard Presents: What Is Moissanite?

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Moissanite (\ˈmȯisənˌīt\): the name given to a naturally-occurring, lab-grown mineral composed of silicon carbide. Moissanite’s chemical and optical properties cause it to radiate unparalleled fire and brilliance, making it one of the most durable, yet affordable gemstones available today.

 

What are the Origins of Moissanite?

Moissanite is one of the rarest minerals found in nature. It was discovered in 1893 when a Nobel Prize winning chemist, Dr. Henri Moissan, found crystals in a meteorite crater in Arizona. Moissan spent years trying to recreate those crystals in his laboratory. Unfortunately, he was unsuccessful. It wasn’t until the late 1990s that scientists in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina discovered an innovative thermal growing process to create silicon carbide crystals in a laboratory. These processes have allowed Charles & Colvard to create and cut some of the most beautiful and brilliant colorless gems. Today, the American Gem Society recognizes moissanite as a gemstone distinguished from other white stones like diamond, white sapphire, and cubic zirconia.

What is Charles & Colvard’s Forever One Moissanite?

Charles & Colvard is dedicated to creating new standards in the fine jewelry industry. Forever One™ is the epitome of created moissanite and is the result of over 20 years of continued innovation. Their premium moissanite brand redefines luxury and is available in two color grades: colorless (D-E-F range*) and near-colorless (G-H-I range*). Forever One D-E-F moissanite is a much-desired colorless grade, while Forever One G-H-I moissanite is near-colorless with a slight icy hue. Each is cut from the same high-quality material with similar optical properties, bringing a unique look and differentiation from other gemstones on the market today. Regardless of which one you choose, moissanite’s brilliance will never fade or change over time.

*Charles & Colvard’s color grades are based on the Gemological Institute of America’s diamond color grading scale.

Charles & Colvard Moissanite Cushion Halo

What are Moissanite’s Physical Properties?

1. Brilliance

The chemical structure of moissanite allows it to slow down, bend, and redirect light better than any other gemstone. On the Brilliance Refractive Index, it measures at a whopping 2.691 – making it the world’s most brilliant gem.

2. Toughness

The toughness and durability of a gemstone is tested on the MOHS scale of mineral hardness. This qualitative scale characterizes the hardness and scratch resistance of various gemstones and minerals. Moissanite ranks second only to diamond, meaning not only is it a tough gemstone, but a durable one that can stand up to daily wear.

3. Fire

Fire, or dispersion, marks a gemstone’s ability to split light as it passes through the stone, creating a rainbow-like effect. Moissanite has a fire dispersion measured at 0.104, nearly 4X greater than any other popular gemstone.

How is Charles & Colvard Moissanite Created?

Charles & Colvard has worked tirelessly to redefine the way they produce their beautiful, man-made gemstones. For more than two decades, Charles & Colvard’s scientists have been researching and developing an innovative process that elicits brilliant and unique gemstones. The creation process is lengthy, complicated, and expensive, which means the output for each gem can be limited. In fact, it can take two to three months just to create a single gem! Their manufacturing process and many years of experience make them today’s leading source and global distributor for created moissanite. They are dedicated to creating better products and developing better techniques to enhance moissanite’s stunning brilliance.

Charles & Colvard Moissanite Craftsmanship

Why Should I Consider Moissanite?

Charles & Colvard Moissanite requires no mining to reproduce, meaning it’s both environmentally and socially responsible. Moissanite is grown in a controlled environment, so its origins are traceable and meet some of the highest environmental standards. Even though moissanite is recreated in a lab, it’s an affordable gemstone and costs a fraction of a comparable diamond. When you decide to buy moissanite, you are making a conscientious choice to purchase an ethically-sourced and sustainable gemstone. Choose Charles & Colvard moissanite to reduce the negative impact on the earth and change the environmental standards set by the fine jewelry industry.

Download a FREE Bench Jewelers’ Guide for tips on working with moissanite. 


If you are interested in this superior, conflict-free gemstone, we encourage you to discover the revolutionary brilliance of Charles & Colvard moissanite for yourself at stuller.com/moissanitebenefits/.




Zale’s Tales: Lab-Grown Diamonds

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As I’m writing this, I’ve been back from Las Vegas for only a few days, and I think I’m finally settling back into my regular routine. A week at JCK is not a soothing experience, and the fact that I barely ever make it outside seems to be the least of the craziness. But all in all, it was a week well spent!

Of course, the primary reason we attend is to meet with our customers — to share with them what’s new at Stuller. Just as important is to learn from them what’s new in their world, so we can better serve their needs. Interspersed with all of that were numerous educational sessions and industry updates.

 

Lab-grown diamonds are still one of the hottest topics. It’s something we are addressing in multiple ways here at Stuller:

First, we offer lab-grown diamonlab-grown diamondsds starting from about ¼ carat on up. This is simply part of our product selection to help jewelers meet consumer demand.

The other aspect is the diligent effort we, along with the industry at large, are taking to ensure the integrity of the global diamond supply chain by thoroughly screening and detecting undisclosed lab-grown diamonds (ULGD’s). We’re undertaking many combative efforts in this regard, with more exciting news and updates to come.

Shop lab-grown diamonds on Stuller.com

I attended an industry-wide meeting about this the day before JCK opened, conducted a daily afternoon update at our booth for our customers, and participated in numerous conversations with a myriad of customers, competitors, and industry news organizations. What I’ve found is that the industry continues on its journey towards responsible sourcing, with the colored gemstones industry being the next hurdle to be tackled under the leadership of the Responsible Jewelry Council. Stuller is proud to be a member of the RJC, and we look forward to working with the industry to bring responsible and sustainable business practices to the entire industry supply pipeline.

The various industry organizations were also in full swing. From the Women’s Jewelry Association to the Diamond Empowerment Fund to Jewelers for Children, there was seemingly no end to the celebration of good works and opportunities to pick up market news and intelligence.

See Stanley’s live lab-grown update from JCK Las Vegas 2017

 

Women in the Industry

It all makes the old days of the summer JA New York show seem quaint. Back in the day, before the Javits Center, the summer JA New York show was THE industry buying event. Buyers floated between the Hilton on 6th Ave. & 52nd and the Sheraton a block away on 7th Ave. You could walk another block to the Carnegie Deli for lunch, though there always seemed to be a corned beef sandwich available for a customer at an exhibitor’s booth at the show.

We’ve evolved since then and come a long way as an industry since those days. Back then, the show was in New York because that’s where the jewelry industry was. Who could have imagined the geographical diversity we have today?

But that change in diversity is much more than geographical. Not only were there no female members of the 24 Karat Club of NY back then, women were not even welcome at the annual dinner in January.

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Maren Rosen

Lab-Grown VP Findings Fabricated Metals & Tools

Tammy Kidder

Today I am proud to count Maren Rosen and Tammy Kidder among my talented co-workers. Maren is our Merchandising Vice President for Jewelry and Bridal, and a board member of the Women’s Jewelry Association. Tammy, our Merchandising Vice President for Fabricated Metals and Tools is an incoming member of the 24 Karat Club of the Southeastern US, as well as the Vice President of the Louisiana Jewelers Association.

We’ve come a long way, and the world continues to change. In order to stay current, we all have to adapt and change with the times. The next generation of professionals is here and it’s up to all of us to pass the knowledge, insights and even some of the traditions, all while learning along the way.


Speaking of lab-grown, check out this informative infographic detailing the basics of lab-grown diamonds.




Zale’s Tales: Diamond Cutting

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I started learning about diamonds and diamond cutting as a teenager, working in the old Zale New York office at 450 W 33rd St. Because Zale was a DTC Sightholder, from the late 1950s to the mid-1980s, we were fully engaged as diamond manufacturers.

My Early Diamond Cutting Days

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Dodecahedral rough diamond

In the New York office, we received the rough and then determined how best to take each stone in order to maximize its value. Because we were mostly cutting rounds from octahedral and dodecahedral rough, we would saw the goods in our factory at 450 West, where we had about 120 sawing benches. That is how I began my diamond education — over the summer when I was 17.

 

 

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Octahedral rough diamond

In the days before Galaxy machines, we would assess each rough stone by eye and then mark it for either sawing or cleaving. To mark the rough, we would touch a fine point dip-pen to a metal coil that had been dipped in a small bottle of India ink, and then draw a line, as fine as possible, for the Sawyer. Learning how to draw the fine line took a while, and my first stones seemed to be covered in ink! But, in time, I could draw a line as fine as a laser.

 

The Blocker first cuts the four top corners and the four bottom corners of the diamond. Next, it goes to the Girdler for bruting in order to make it round. Then, it goes back to the Blocker, who would make the stone in 8/8 cut: eight top facets (four top corners and four bezels) and eight bottom facets (four bottom corners and four pavilions). If you compare diamond cutting to building a house, blocking is akin to the framing.

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My old ink bottle holder, with a metal coil, for marking rough diamonds. Thank you, Howie!

 

Most of the rough would be sawn, but some were bolles (the Flemish word for ball, a rough stone from which you would only get one polished diamond). On those, we would mark the table for the Blocker.

Lastly, the diamond is finished by the Brillianteer, who applies the stars, top halves and bottom halves (the final painting and wiring on your new house).

Tricks of the Trade

I learned about rough and diamond manufacturing from an old-school expert named Howard “Rocky” Rothwax. Howie was a piece of work, but he really knew rough diamonds. He was an expert’s expert. He was also a cousin of the famous NYC Judge, Harold Rothwax, a.k.a. “The Time Machine” because of the long sentences he would hand down. But I digress.

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Diamond cutting benches

The same bench that would saw a rough diamond, using diamond powder mixed with oil applied to a copper blade, would also put the groove in a blocked out heart shape. You just needed to replace the thin copper blade with a wedge-shaped blade. Our factory in San Juan, PR, would block the diamonds after we sawed them in NY, and then send the hearts back to us for grooves. Then, we would send them back to San Juan for brillianteering.

That summer I grooved a lot of hearts in addition to sawing a lot of rough. So I’ve always considered myself a groove aficionado. Yeah, that and $2.75 will get me a ride on the subway.

The Graff Venus Diamond

It was exciting to see the recent announcement that Graff had cut the world’s largest D flawless heart shape diamond. 118.78 carats! It’s a beautiful, historic diamond! Now, far be it from me to second-guess Graff, but if you ask me…I would have gone a hair deeper on the groove. I’m just sayin’.

What makes the Graff Venus especially cool is that it is also a Type IIA diamond, meaning it is virtually devoid of nitrogen and nearly all impurities. Type IIA diamonds are rare. They make up about 2% of all mined diamonds. Sometimes they’re called Golcondas, referring to the original diamond finds in India, which yielded stones of exceptional color and clarity. Read more on the Golconda mines here.

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The Graff Venus

I recall a magnificent type IIA rough of a little over 40 carats that I saw in the late 90s. It was cut to about a 28 carat D, FL briolette and cut in a style which so perfectly mimicked 19th-century faceting arrangements that not even experts could discern that it was a new diamond from South Africa and not an original Golconda.

Interestingly, at this point in time, type II diamonds also make up 100% of all lab-grown diamonds. So it’s wild to consider that the Graff Venus would not pass the basic screening that jewelers find necessary to use in order to ensure sure they aren’t confronting a non-disclosed lab-grown diamond. In fact, it’s downright ironic that the most beautiful diamonds are so similar to lab-grown diamonds in their appearance. So we all need to remain vigilant and screen for lab-grown diamonds, and when we do sell a lab-grown diamond— disclose, disclose, disclose! And as Phil Esterhaus would say, let’s be careful out there.

Maybe next time I’ll write about why you would never ask Howie Rothwax to bring you a cup of coffee from the break room. You’ll just have to remain in suspense until then.

P.S.

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Howie Rothwax

A conversation with Howie Rothwax:

Me: Asking a technical diamond question

Howie: Responding with a technical answer

Me: Got it. Thanks.

Howie: Do you follow what I’m saying?

Me: Yes, thanks

Howie: But do you follow me?

Me: Yes

Howie: But are you following me?

Me: Yes, yes. I’m following you.

Howie: Stop following me

Me: Oy