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Gemstones for All: Five Gemstones for Men and Women

Brooches, Chains. Pendants. Rings. Gentlemen have a number of accessory options available and adding gemstones to fashion choices only allows for additional self-expression. Conventional wisdom would lead you to believe that gemstones are only features of women’s accessories and jewelry. But, times are changing, and developing trends would suggest otherwise. Gemstones do not belong to just women – or just men for that matter. Gemstones are for everyone.

New Fashion or Timeless Trend?

If you follow celebrities, influencers, and trendsetters, you’ll begin to notice what seems like a new fashion trend: gemstones! Gemstones are starting to make more of a statement for men as well – young and old – accenting rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, brooches, and more. But this androgynous trend is far from new. In fact, men from all backgrounds and from all over the world have been using gemstones in fashion throughout history dating back to the discovery of the earliest pieces of jewelry.

Gemstones have a rich history in fashion, each with their own story to tell. Let’s dive into five gemstones that make for excellent, powerful additions to men’s jewelry.

Ruby: Power and Boldness

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The color red symbolizes humanity’s strongest emotions of passion and fury. It is the color of our greatest desires, the blood that gives us life, and a symbol of battle. Such emotions and ideals are reflected in the energetic ruby. Ruby has been thought to provide all manner of virtues, such as vitality and invincibility in battle.

Often a favorite among gemstones historically, ruby is just as in demand today, with its value as prominent as ever. Ruby, a power move in fashion and bold choice in life, fits in well among unforgettable gold jewels. People are drawn to its color and the feeling of success and influence it brings.

Amethyst: Every Day is Regal

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A bold and popular gemstone, amethyst has quite the history as a gemstone carrying great meaning. Due to its color, amethyst has been associated with the Greek god Dionysus (also known as Bacchus by the Romans), the god of wine. According to legend, amethyst was once connected to sobriety, sound mindedness, and protection. Because of this belief, warriors would make small cuts in their skin and place pieces of amethyst in the wound. The stones would inadvertently enter the bloodstream and as they blocked veins the warriors would seem vexed or drunk due to restricted blood flow. When the stones would dislodge, they were magically cured and attributed the “curing” to the power of the amethysts.

Throughout history, amethyst has been used to adorn royalty and religious figures. To this day you can still find amethyst as the chosen gemstone of bishops and even British royalty during the coronation. Amethyst is a noble symbol. Its color inspires power, boldness, and confidence.

Sapphire: Wear Your Style

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Although they come in many shades and colors, the classic blue found in sapphires is one of the most distinguishable among gemstones in the world. From light and serene to dark and inky, there is a shade of blue for everyone. Truth, sincerity, and allegiance inspire those that choose to don sapphire. Sapphires can be found throughout history all over the world aiding in their steadfast following.

While most think of the iconic blue sapphire, these gemstones come in many colors and the options are endless. Each kind of sapphire is unique and worthy of appreciation, as are the people who wear them. Sapphire is noble and vibrant making it an excellent choice to accent stylings for all.

Emerald: Green with Envy

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Ambitious and lively, emerald’s notable green color is associated with opportunity and growth. Emerald is often connected to thriving landscapes, which ties in the virtues of relief and truth.

From Egypt and the Incan Empire to parts of Europe and Asia, the authority has a history of valuing the emerald. Emerald is a very calming, but powerful gemstone that makes for a great addition to anyone’s fashion statement.

Opal: Make a Statement

The magic of mystery strikes with the colors reflected in opal. Looking at opal, it is clearly not a traditional stone, but that does not detract from its intrigue. Historically, many have marveled at opal and found its colors inspiring. Others have associated it with the supernatural and the gift of prophecy.

Certainly unorthodox, opal’s rich kaleidoscope of colors is for those that wish to stand out and make an impression. Opal symbolizes hope and encouragement. Making a statement is the true magic this gemstone brings to the wearer.

Gemstones for All

Gemstones carry history and meaning. It is in this history you can see that they have a place with everyone. Man. Woman. Young. Old. Fashion and accessories are an expression of self and as time goes on jewelers will begin seeing more variety in those who are looking for ways to express those personal styles.

The gemstones mentioned only scratch the surface of stones used in modern fashion around the world. Other gemstones, such as tourmaline, garnet, and chrysoberyl, also make excellent gemstones for men and women. While Stuller may not carry every gemstone you might need, we are here to help you find exactly what you are looking for. You can special order gemstones through our network of sources.

Visit Stuller.com/specialorder to make a request.




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

Pattern

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™




Sell With a Story: Red, White, and Blue Stones

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There are few color combinations as iconic to the United States of America as red, white, and blue. Creating a color collection as classic as little pinwheels this time of year is super easy with many gemstone options in a plethora of shades encompassing red, white, and blue.

Below we break down four variations to add a little interest to your cases.

Iconic with a Twist – Red Spinel, Moissanite, Tanzanite

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When you think of marketed colored gemstones, Spinel is a relative newcomer to the scene. Having been around for many centuries, but consistently overlooked; the bright, crisp colors are starting to find a new cult following. The ‘Black Prince’s Ruby’ aka a gorgeous Red Spinel currently housed in the British Crown Jewels, is a prime example of the stunning red color available from Spinel. Partner that with a clean, classic, sparkly Moissanite and the deep blue-violet you get from Tanzanite and you have yourself an iconic display with a twist. Remember, the color draws customers in but the story, those little details that set your store apart, closes the sale!

Eclectic & Unusual – Red Zircon, Opal, Lapis

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Maybe you are looking for something just a little different or something that stops your customers in their collective tracks to bend down and look a little closer. Red Zircon with its powerful sparkle will do just that (who says diamonds get to have all the fun?). Partnered with the ever-loved Opals and the bold blue of Lapis, you have yourself a lovely blend of patriotic colors that will surprise and delight. The little gold flecks that dot Lapis work well with the earthy tones of Red Zircon and the play of color you get with Opal partner well with everything (because who does not love Opal!?). This eclectic combination helps customers see color in ways that they perhaps have not seen before, opening the imagination for unusual pairings.

Downright Playful – Garnets, Moonstones, Chalcedony

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For those of you with a boutique wanting to play with the summery trends, look no farther than cabochon cut stones. With an eye toward curves, brilliant Garnets, ethereal Moonstones, and the ever-graceful Chalcedony (pronounced: cal said knee) make for a gleaming collection of nationalistic colors. And added bonus with these beauties, they have known origins making them right on trend for those sustainable, ethical customers. And since the same group usually wants something unique but still Instagram worthy, cabochon cut stones in reds, whites, and blues are sure to be a home run, with colorful little bubbles gleaming on their phones.

Luxury, all the way – Ruby, Diamonds and Blue Sapphires

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…the bigger the better. Encompassing three of the four ‘majors’ stones, sorry Emerald no green in this pride, Ruby, Diamond, and Blue Sapphire are sure to leave your customers feeling patriotic and proud. Ruby has such a rich tone and when partnered with the smooth blue of Sapphires you have a winning combination. Add Diamonds to the mix and you get a pop of sparkle comparable to fireworks– the best of all worlds. If you are feeling ever so adventurous and in the luxury market, add a blue Diamond to the mix. Simply irresistible and an always appreciated solution Ruby, Diamond, and Blue Sapphire can be found in all shapes, sizes, and budgets.

Call our gemstone specialists and they will share all the fabulous red, white, and blue options that can be paired together for a beautiful 4th of July showcase display and celebration. Happy and safe Independence Day to you and yours!


What’s your favorite red, white, or blue stone? Let us know in the comments below!




2020 GRAMMY Awards Roundup: Jewelry Trends

Did you catch the 2020 GRAMMY Awards last night? Most importantly, did you spot all the bling the celebs were sporting?! Spoiler alert: the jewels were HOT!

 

2020 marked the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards show, which aired last night, January 26. The lovely Alicia Keys graciously hosted the GRAMMYs for the second consecutive year. However, hours before the show began, the public received word that beloved basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash. Many celebrities used the event as a platform to honor Bryant.

On a lighter note, we saw a lot of modern fashion looks, as well as a lot of simplicity. GRAMMYs jewelry was a mix of stunning and simple — a trend we may expect to see throughout 2020. A lot of celebs chose the “less is more” route, while others were decked head-to-toe in jewels.

 

Here are the hottest 2020 GRAMMY jewelry trends—

Dazzling Diamonds

We saw a lot of diamond fashion last night. Tyler, the Creator kept it classic in diamond studs, while Lizzo showed off an elegant diamond necklace stack. Luckily, these diamond trends are timeless, and can be easily replicated using classic diamond styles.

 

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On the contrary to these classic pieces, Camila Cabello and Billy Porter decided to let their diamonds shine bright with chunky chokers! Rock this trend by layering multiple diamond necklaces.

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Pretty in Pearls

There were quite a bit of celebrities that rocked pearls last night. Gwen Stefani displayed a beautiful, simplistic pair of diamond and pearl earrings. Stay on-trend by keeping a pair of accented pearl earrings in your jewelry box.

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We saw beauty influencer Nikita Dragun and model Shaun Ross adorned in pearls last night from head-to-toe. Let me just say that I am OBSESSED with this look! While we may not be rocking pearl outfits every day, we can support the pearl trend with an interesting necklace or a more timeless staple.

 

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Gorgeous Gemstones

 

Shawn Mendes, FKA Twigs, and Tess Holliday were seen showcasing some colorful gemstone fashion! Shawn wears a delicate diamond and emerald necklace, FKA Twigs flaunts a diamond-accented opal necklace, and Tess boasts some statement ruby earrings. Follow this 2020 trend easily by incorporating more color into your jewelry collection.

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Honorable Mention

We saw some minimal yellow gold styles last night, one of my favorites being singer/songwriter Brittany Howard (she’s my celebrity idol, so naturally I had to add her on here). Amp up your looks by including dainty yellow gold bands or chic earrings!

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What were your favorite 2020 GRAMMY jewelry trends? Let us know in the comments below!


Photos from

https://www.vogue.com/vogueworld/slideshow/grammys-2020-red-carpet-celebrity-fashion

https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/awards/8549241/2020-grammys-fashion-best-red-carpet-looks-photos

https://www.eonline.com/photos/30118/grammys-2020-red-carpet-fashion/991685

https://celebmafia.com/gwen-stefani-grammy-awards-2020-2294027/




Sell With a Story: Famous Opals

In the world of opals, Australia is the supreme ruler. Exaggerating? I don’t think so. About 90% of gem quality opals come from the continents two opal-rich areas: Coober Pedy in South Australia, the world’s largest source of gem quality opals, and Lightning Ridge, New South Wales, home to the world’s largest known deposits of black opal. All of the famous opals shown below come from these sources.

 

Famous Opals Underground jewelry store

 

An interesting fact about Coober Pedy

As a result of scorching summer temperatures, most homes, stores, and hotels get built underground and in caves called “dugouts.” Many tourists come for this unique experience. Coober Pedy even has an underground jewelry store, see left (source). Now that is the ultimate unique selling point.

 

 

 

Aurora Australis

Famous Opals Aurora Australis

The Aurora Australis • Source

In 1938, a miner discovered Aurora Australis at Lightning Ridge, New South Wales. Believed to be the world’s most valuable Black Opal, the miner dug it from an old sea bed, and it has the distinct impression of a starfish on its back. “Aurora Australis” displays dominant red, green and blue colors against a black background. It weighs 180 carats and measures 3 inches by 1.8 inches. Both its size and strong, vibrant colors make it rare. Australian opal specialists Altmann + Cherny purchased the opal in a semi-rough state, then cut and polished it. Seeing its full magnificence, they named it “Aurora Australis “after the bright southern lights in the night sky.” It is valued at $1,000,000.

 

Andamooka Opal or The Queen’s Opal

Famous Opals Andamooka Opal or The Queen’s Opal

The Queen’s Opal • Source

In 1954, the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth II visited Australia. The South Australian Government wanted to present Her Royal Highness with a gift to honor the occasion. They trusted Altmann + Cherny to find an Australian opal of exceptional beauty and quality. The famed jewelers selected the finest gem opal ever mined at the Andamooka Opal Fields, and John Altmann personally cut it into six stones and polished them. He chose five of them to create a necklace and earrings for the Queen and cuff links for HRH Prince Phillip. The necklace became known as the “Andamooka Opal.” In 2009, Claire Altmann visited Buckingham Palace. The jewelry was on display, so she had the opportunity to see the magnificent opals her father had worked on 55 years earlier. John Altmann always maintained it was the finest opal he had ever polished.

 

 

Famous Opals Black Prince Opal

Black Prince Opal • Source

Black Prince Opal

Found in Lightning Ridge in1915, “The Black Prince” was originally called the “Harlequin Prince.” Weighing 181 carats, it has a flag pattern one side while the other side is red. A wealthy American serviceman bought it in England and donated it to the New York Museum of Natural History. Later, the “Black Prince” became part of the collection at Forest Lawn Memorial Cemetery, Los Angeles.

 

 

Famous Opals Red Admiral Opal

The Red Admiral Opal • Source

 

Red Admiral Opal

Discovered during World War I near Lightning Ridge, the Red Admiral weighs 51 carats. Its extraordinary beauty features a dominant red pattern equally visible from all angles. Turned on its side, it resembles a Spanish dancer in a red ruffled dress. The opal has similar markings to a Red Admiral butterfly, and so received that name. In my opinion, the opal is more beautiful!

 

 

 

Famous Opals Fire Queen Opal

The Fire Queen Opal • Source

The Fire Queen

In 1906, an opal miner found the Fire Queen at the Angledool Diggings, near Lightning Ridge. The rare and remarkable stone weighs 6.5oz or about 900 carats, yet the miner had trouble finding a buyer because people didn’t understand the stone’s value. Eventually, he sold it for just $300. The Fire Queen changed hands several times and by 1928, it as in the gemstone collection of the Chicago Museum, valued at $80,000. In the 1940’s, J.D. Rockefeller bought the Fire Queen for $150,000 adding it to his prestigious family gem collection. Today, it is back in Australia. Its singular beauty with its high-domed the red and gold center opal makes it one of the most famous opals.

 

 

 

Famous Opals The Virgin Rainbow Opal

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The Virgin Rainbow

Considered one of the world’s most beautiful opals, The Virgin Rainbow is the opalized fossil of a long extinct belemnite, a water creature that lived 248 to 65 million years ago. The belemnite gives it a “pipe” shape. Weighing 72.65 carats, the Virgin Rainbow is 63.3mm long and has spectacular color. In September 2003, John Dunstan discovered it at Three Mile Fields, Coober Pedy.

 

 

Famous Opals Halley's Comet Opal

Halley’s Comet • Source

Halley’s Comet

Halley’s Comet holds the Guinness Book of Records top spot as the world’s largest uncut black opal “nobby,” or uncut nodule. A group of opal miners known as the “Lunatic Hill Syndicate,” found the massive stone on the Leaning Tree Claim at Lightning Ridge. The discovery occurred around the time Halley’s Comet appeared in Australian skies. It weighs 1982.5 carats and measures 100 x 66 x 63 mm. Halley’s Comet was for sale in 2005 for AUD $1.2 million.

 

 

The Royal One

Famous Opals The Royal One Opal

The Royal One • Source

The miner who found this extraordinary stone goes by his first name only, Bobby. He was about to retire after 40 years of opal mining — he had even sold his tools! — when someone asked him to look through one last bucket of rough. And there it was: a blue glint among the rubble. He spent two years chipping away with a dental drill, removing the opal’s rocky husk. His efforts revealed a spectacular 306-carat gem quality opal, primarily blue with a vivid green that appears to float and flash across the surface.

Bobby held onto the Royal One for a total of 14 years, keeping its existence secret for fear of thieves. Finally, in 2013, he entrusted it to Katherine Jetter, a top Australian jewelry designer who lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She specializes in Australian opal designs. It was for sale for $3 million, but I can find no record of its purchase. Any buyers reading this?

 

Need Opals?

We carry calibrated sizes of genuine white and fire opal. Black opal is scarce so we stock lab created stones. But if you want genuine black opal for a special gift, our Special Order Services can find it for you.




What to Wear on Summer Vacation

We all deserve a few days off! And with summer in full swing, it’s likely you’ve booked your trip and are already counting down the days. Though you may dread packing, time draws near to your relaxing getaway. Which vacation jewelry will you bring to compliment your sundresses, shorts, and sandals? Here are a few tips and suggestions on what to pack this summer–

DO

  • Bring your less expensive jewelry. Leave your finest pieces at home and only pack jewelry that you could absolutely live without just in case something gets lost along the way — especially true if you have kids.
  • Speaking of misplaced belongings, be sure to pack your jewelry in your carry-on when taking flight. Checked luggage is more likely to get lost in the netherworld between flights, so keep your valuables nearby.
  • Try this jewelry roll for transporting your vacation jewelry. This nifty case rolls

    up nicely, keeping your valuables discreet and well-organized. And let’s face it, if all your jewelry doesn’t fit in this case, you’re not packing for vacation, you’re moving away – which isn’t a bad thing.

  • Pack funky pieces with eccentric flair. Vacations are all about escaping the norm, so adorn yourself with jazzy jewelry that allows you to be whoever you want when touring uncharted territory.
  • Wear lots of sunscreen. But beware, its oiliness may cause rings to slip right off your finger.

DON’T

  • Again, don’t bring your most expensive jewelry or any piece you aren’t ultimately prepared to lose. You might want to leave your three carat engagement ring home and in its place, wear a simple silver band.
  • Don’t pack your vacation jewelry in Ziploc bags. Your jewelry needs to breathe in a cool, dry place that’s well ventilated. See the jewelry roll mentioned above.
  • Don’t wear your jewelry in the pool; Chlorine can damage jewelry. Even if you’re only sporting it poolside, be sure to thoroughly clean your adornments afterward and dry them well.
  • Salt and sand aren’t good for your jewelry, either. Sand is abrasive. It can degrade metal finishes and scratch softer gemstones. Also, salt corrodes jewelry, especially rose gold which contains copper alloy.
  • To be safe, remove your jewelry before hanging out near the water.

 


 

Whether you’re planning a trip abroad, to the beach, or just dreaming, here are a few pieces with vacation appeal.

 

Australian Opal

 Vacation Jewelry Sydney Australia

Tahitian Pearls

Vacation Jewelry Tahiti French Polynesia

 

Tibetan Turquoise

Vacation Jewelry Tibet

 

Chinese Nephrite Jade

Vacation Jewelry Chinese Pagoda

 

Indian Bangles

 Vacation Jewelry India


Where will you be traveling this summer? Let us know in the comments below. And for more gemstone jewelry, check out Gemstone Engagements for the Next Generation.