3 Fundamentals for Small Business Saturday Success

The holidays are fast approaching, and customers are looking for the perfect gifts for those special people in their lives. This also marks some of the most highly anticipated shopping events inching closer. While Black Friday may be most talked about, the following day can bring even more shopping excitement and meaning.

Ten years ago, Small Business Saturday was created by American Express to support small businesses in communities across the U.S.  This year, it falls on November 30, and it’s a huge opportunity to promote your brand and build your business while encouraging your community to shop locally. 

So, how can you get in on the excitement? Here are three focus areas to help you achieve Small Business Saturday success!

1. Get the word out with FREE Marketing Tools 

Use Stuller First® to your advantage

If you’re a Stuller First® member, you have exclusive access to our Marketing Image Portal, a large bank of professional photos and videos. Use these images in your promotions for the big day.

Need help accessing the portal?  Click below:

Keep an eye on Stuller’s Facebook page

Liked a photo or video on our Facebook page? It’s yours! Our social media is YOUR social media. We’re always posting new products and valuable content to share. Tease your customers with the latest trends they can find at your store to leave them wanting more.

Coordinate community efforts

Offer to share promotional posts for your fellow local businesses and request they do the same for you. When you band together and support each other, your reach expands exponentially. Also, the support doesn’t have to be for one day only. Make it a year-round effort for an added community bonus!

Use free marketing tools from American Express

These additional assets will boost your print and digital marketing efforts. The best part— they’re easily personalizable for your business! Sign up ASAP and start promoting your store’s event to jumpstart your Small Business Saturday success.

2. Create an Experience

Partner with local businesses

It’s important to cross-promote your event. Need ideas? Perhaps you can join forces with a local bakery to offer a sweet treat to those who enter your store. Or, partner with a local nail salon for discounted manicures with ring purchases. Be creative! These small perks bring more customers into your store while creating a memorable gesture that goes a long way.

Beef up your visual appeal

Display promotional and new products front and center. Take liberty in creating unique displays to catch the eyes of window shoppers and draw them into your store.

Hold promotional contests and drawings

You can do this yourself, or, let this be another excellent opportunity to partner with local businesses for giveaways, etc.

 

3. Stock Up and Pare Down

Get your inventory in check

Stock up on new items for those potential new customers walking in your door. Did you wait until the last minute? No worries — we’ve got you covered. Most Stuller items are in stock and available for next-day delivery. But act fast to beat the Holiday rush!

Eliminate inventory

Those pieces collecting dust are perfect promotional items for giveaways, drawings, and contests. Or, pair them with best-sellers for a one-day-only bundle deal.

 


These tips are just a few ways to kick off your holiday season and bring Small Business Saturday success to your store. Right now, your top objective is to promote, promote, promote on social media, in print, radio, television, and on your website.

If you want your customers to show up in droves, make them aware that something special is in the works.

 

How do you plan for Small Business Saturday success? Share in the comments section below, and let’s make it Small Business Every Day!

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on November 16, 2015 and has since been completely revamped for accuracy.




Citrine Gemstones SWAS Blog Header

Sell With a Story: Citrine Gemstones

Affordable and fashionable, Citrine’s warm yellow shades captivate the viewer. The color reminds us of aspen trees in the fall — a vivid orange-yellow so intense it takes your breath away. This is the brilliant, energizing shade of Citrine we love, as do many other fans of this mesmerizing gemstone. What better way to celebrate November birthdays than with a spot of the sun? Citrine gemstones also celebrate the 11th and 13th wedding anniversaries and anyone born under the Gemini sign.

 

SWAS Citrine Gemstones Beauty Shot

Shop Citrine gemstones on Stuller.com

Fall for Citrine Gemstones

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that we celebrate such radiance at a time of year when the sun grows pale and is often obscured. Or, perhaps you’d like a reminder of rich fall foliage? Choose Madeira Citrine in shades of deep earthy red — a perfect complement to neutrals.

Shades of Meaning

The intense orange-yellow of Citrine gemstones remind us of saffron, a shade holding great meaning in the Eastern traditions. It has long been associated with spiritual enlightenment and inner peace. Buddhist and Hindu monks wear robes this color as part of their spiritual practice. I’m definitely pursuing inner peace, but I’d rather wear a ring, pendant, and earrings set with Citrine!

Yellow citrine gemstonesActually . . .

Citrine is quartz, the second-most abundant mineral in the earth’s crust, and it’s not usually considered rare. Yet, natural Citrine is indeed rare. Today, most Citrine is Amethyst heat-treated to achieve Citrine’s sunny hues. Because Amethyst and Citrine are both quartz, they can grow together in the same bi-color crystal we know as Ametrine.

What’s in a name?

For centuries, Citrine was called Topaz because the colors are similar and they were both found on Topazios, an island in the Red Sea, off the Egyptian coast. In 1556, German metallurgist and father of modern mineralogy, Georg Bauer, published an article referring to Yellow Quartz as “Citrine.” The name comes from the French word “citron,” which many think means lemon. At that time, it actually referred to a large fragrant citrus fruit that was one of the four original citrus fruits. (The others are pommelo, mandarin, and papeda.) Though “citron” is not lemon as we know it, its thick bumpy rind boasts a beautiful rich yellow. While researching, I came across several alternative names for Citrine. One is the imaginative “Bohemian Topaz” and the other, “Cairngorm,” is an ancient Celtic name used in Scotland.

To the point

Thousands of years before it became “Citrine,” these gems adorned tools, weapons, and jewelry. It was popular during the Hellenistic period in ancient Greece and can be traced back further to Egypt and other parts of ancient Europe where it was often associated with burials. Its popularity grew through the ages. By the 17th century, it was discovered in Scotland and quickly found favor with Scottish weapon makers who used it to adorn dagger handles. Some were so enamored of its qualities they made the dagger blade from a single large Citrine crystal.

The Queen and Citrine Gemstones

From the early days of her long reign, Queen Victoria had a passion for gems found within her realm, and she had the means to make them her own. Considering that her kingdom included India, she could choose to her heart’s content. Yet of all these treasures, her favorite was Citrine with its sunny exuberance.

Perhaps this was because she loved Scotland, and Citrine deposits had been found there. In 1852, she and her beloved consort, Prince Albert, built Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands. She commanded that all visitors to Balmoral wear full Highland plaid attire that included kilt pins and other jewelry. And what was the finishing touch? The jewelry had to be adorned with Citrine, her favorite gemstone.

Emotional Pull

We all know emotion plays a major role in buying jewelry. We see the beauty and we want it. Yet sometimes we need an extra impetus to buy. For instance, I already have a lot of jewelry, but I can come up with amazing justification to buy the next piece. On more than one occasion, simply hearing about a gem’s power has tipped the scales to make the purchase. This is ironic because I’m scientifically oriented and may not actually believe it. But I believe in the gem’s beauty and the promise of more is too tantalizing to resist.

Radiant Power

We attribute many gifts to Citrine. Here are a few.

  • It protects against a variety of evils from snake venom to wicked thoughts. This encouraged people to wear or carry it.
  • It helps heal the heart, kidney, digestive tract, liver and muscles.
  • It imparts joyfulness, youth, and vitality. Are you kidding? We all want this.
  • It promotes creativity and enhances personal clarity. This is another winner.
  • And it eliminates self-destructive tendencies.

In other words, this is one purpose-driven gemstone.


How popular are citrine gemstones in your store? Tell us what your customers want in the comments section.




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Sell with a Story: Rubies

Who can resist the luscious red of Rubies? Their vibrant color commands attention and garners more than a lingering look. Those with July birthdays have every reason to celebrate their special gemstone. And since it is the “King of Precious Gems,” Ruby enjoys a passionate following from many devotees.

SWAS Rubies Group Gemstones

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Love, Courage, and Devotion

This sounds like a recipe for a great marriage, yet ruby symbolizes all this and much more.

Through history, Ruby has embodied all of life’s intensity: power, passion, and love. Kings, princes, and the wealthy sought rubies for their exquisite beauty, rarity, and prestige. In medieval times, many Rubies were not set in jewelry but simply admired for their intoxicating shade.

Ruby was the very essence of wifely devotion, a fire burning within enduring challenges and temptation. It also had the power to warn its owner against danger — perhaps someone was trying to steal the Ruby!

Ancient warriors implanted Ruby beneath their skin believing it imparted both courage and invincibility. Not a bad combination to have on the battlefield. Others thought it bestowed perfect safety, cured diseases of the blood, and denoted both integrity and generosity.

Wow! That was a lot of responsibility, even for the King of Precious Gems.

Today, we’ve toned down our Ruby expectations. It symbolizes love, romance, and — especially recently — appears as a center stone in engagements like those featured here.

Peak Hue

Ruby was first mined about 3000 BCE in the ancient Burmese region around Mogok. There, the finest Ruby was described as having the color of pigeon’s blood. This is a vibrant medium red with secondary purple hues— and those purple hues are very important. The Burmese set Ruby in pure gold because of its intense yellow color. This canceled out the blue in the purple undertones and produced that most rare occurrence: a visually pure red.

To this day, the “pigeon’s blood” remains the most valuable Ruby color. So much so that large, transparent Rubies command higher prices per carat than diamonds of the same weight. Read on.

Sunrise Ruby

Named after a poem by Rumi, a 13thcentury Sufi poet, the Pigeon Blood Burmese Sunrise Ruby is an extremely rare 25.596-carat gem of the finest purity. In May 2015, it set an astounding record for a colored gemstone, selling for $30 million USD to an anonymous buyer. This price was three times the previous record for a Ruby and is the most expensive one sold to date.

SWAS Rubies Gemstones Shot Caliper

Savvy Marketing?

Ruby and Sapphire are both corundum. Color separates them with Ruby’s hue resulting from trace elements of chromium. In fact, the more chromium, the deeper the shade. Historically, Ruby included all shades of red from light rose — a pink — to the blood red. The lighter hues were once termed Female Rubies while the darker were Male Rubies.

Today in Asia, these lighter reds are still considered rubies. In North America and Europe, these light Rubies are called Pink Sapphire. The change is fairly recent happening the late 19th to the early 20th century. Here’s why: a vibrant medium-red Ruby is the preferred and most valuable color. This color made the lighter Rubies less valuable. But these lighter Rubies, however, are very beautiful and deserve their share of value. So, by creating Pink Sapphire, there was no need to compare it to Ruby. Pink Sapphire has its own category and its own standards. That sounds like savvy marketing to me!

Rubies Hate to Lose Weight

Actually, it’s not the precious gemstone that resists weight loss. It’s a simple fact that larger Rubies are rare, so gem cutters are on a mission to preserve weight. The result is an amazing array of scientific and artistic techniques that remove as little weight as possible while cutting it strategically to maximize the color and sparkle.

SWAS Rubies Gemstones Beauty Shot

Did you know?

Because of Ruby’s crystal structure, oval and cushion cuts show it to greatest advantage. But Rubies are beautiful in many other shapes. In addition to oval and cushion, our Stuller Gemstones™ feature round, antique square, emerald, pear, marquise and heart-shaped Rubies. In other words, you have wonderful choices.

Ruby Sources

Rubies were originally found in the country we now call Myanmar, and it remains a major source of the precious stone. Rubies are also mined in other Asian and African locations, including Thailand, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and Mozambique.


How popular are Rubies in your store? Do you have a special sales technique for Rubies? Share your thoughts in the comments section.




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Sell With a Story: How are Pearls Formed?

How are pearls formed? Discover pearl’s allure perfect for June and far beyond—

 

To limit pearls to June birthdays would be a lot like limiting water to streams and ponds. Pearl beauty, appeal, and style — whether freshwater or saltwater — finds its way into almost every woman’s wardrobe. And thanks to cultured pearls, developed in the early 20th century, most women can afford them.

Pearl Personalities

Like most other gemstones, pearls don’t fit neatly into one particular category. Their subtle, luxurious beauty boasts multiple personalities to suit the many customers who choose them.

How are Pearls Formed Beauty Shot Pearl Strand
  • Pearls are feminine, fun and flirty, a personality typified by trending pearl fashion jewelry. Think of Sarah Jessica Parker’s style in Sex in the City.
  • Pearls are classic simplicity — the strand and studs worn by any woman who appreciates an understated look. Think of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
  • Pearls are sophisticated — a long, lush strand of fine large pearls looped around the neck or a multi-strand necklace perhaps clustered or twisted, with or without a diamond or gemstone adornment. Think Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast At Tiffany’s.
  • And last but not least, pearls are extravagant and spectacular. Try one-of-a-kind designer styles accented and interwoven with diamonds and gemstones. Think of Rihanna draped in strands of pearls or Elizabeth Taylor wearing La Peregrina.

A Moment in Time

Imagine that moment millennia ago when mankind first encountered a small wondrously luminescent object. Was it round, oval, teardrop or baroque? It had no name, only its shape, color, and dazzling luster. Was it a stone? It didn’t look like one. It appeared almost alive. Yes, it was beautiful and unusual; surely it had some greater purpose.

We can surmise that since that moment, pearls have fascinated us. One pearl carbon dated to 5,500 BCE — more than 7,500 years ago — was buried with its owner. In all likelihood, older ones exist and sooner or later someone will find them.

How are Pearls Formed Valentines Day Jewelry Trends Classic Pearls

So, How are Pearls Formed?

The story of pearl formation sounds much like a fairytale in which the heroine is perceived as a threat and shut away from the world with no obvious possibility of redemption. So, how are pearls formed? Here’s how the tale unfolds.

Each pearl begins when an irritant somehow enters an oyster or other bi-valve mollusks. On perceiving the threat, the mollusk reacts to protect its soft inner tissue. It encapsulates the irritant with successive translucent layers of nacre, smoothing its surface so oyster and irritant can coexist. As far as the oyster knows, the irritant will be there permanently.

Then miraculously, someone opens the mollusk to find a treasure of great beauty. The once disdained “irritant” emerges as a pearl and enters a world of love and appreciation to live happily ever after. The end.

I don’t think so.

We can’t just leave this story for pearls. Let’s apply it to our lives too. After all, don’t our biggest challenges and ”irritants” develop our greatest strengths and bring inner beauty to light?

Pearls in History

With so many pearls available today, it’s hard for us to understand the rarity of natural pearls, particularly those of any size. They are so rare that for millennia they were the most coveted gems. To have one was to possess beauty of incomparable value. Only royalty and other wealthy individuals had any hope of ever owning pearls.

The Hope Pearl

The most famous natural saltwater pearl weighs 1,800 grains — 450 carats — or 4-ounces. It once belonged to the owner of the Hope Diamond. Currently, it is in the British Museum of Natural History.

La Peregrina

This one is a perfectly pear-shaped pearl weighing 223.8 grains (55.95 carats). Its famous owners included Prince Phillip II of Spain, Joseph Bonaparte — who stole it from Spain, British Marquis of Abercorn, and finally in 1969, Elizabeth Taylor, gifted to her by Richard Burton.

The Mary Tudor Pearl

Now known as the Pearl of Kuwait, it is often confused with La Peregrina. They are both pear-shaped. The Mary Tudor Pearl weighs 258.12 grains or 64.5 carats. It was owned by Isabella of Portugal; her daughter Joanna of Austria; Joanna’s cousin, Phillip II of Spain; and Mary Tudor of England.

Alive With Beauty

Living organisms — bi-valve mollusks — create pearls. As such, they have a presence, a vitality that attracts the eye with mesmerizing beauty. Their luster emanates from within, giving them a spiritual allure.

Some historians have proposed that pearls were first used and sought after for their spiritual powers and only secondarily for their value. Perhaps they were, but frankly, I find that hard to believe. When something combines rarity with beauty, it’s valuable no matter what the use.

Pearl Power

Both ancient India and China gave rise to astounding pearl myths of their origins and powers. Vedic texts relate that pearls were born of Earth’s water and Heaven’s powers, each fertilized by a lightning strike. Pearls were considered “daughters of the Moon,” reflecting her luster.

In today’s youth-oriented culture, we would all do well to buy pearls and lots of them. In 17th and 18th century BCE, the Babylonians believed that pearls had life-giving qualities including the ability to restore youth.

To Look Their Best

What do pearls have to do to stay beautiful? They need to be worn often. If stored in a hot, airless environment, they can dry and crack. Pearls need oil from the skin to enhance their luster and color and after each wearing, they should be wiped with a damp cloth to remove hairspray or other damaging chemicals.

How are Pearls Formed Classic Pearls JCK trends

Still can’t get enough pearls? Check out our Pearl Center on Stuller.com for detailed info on everything you wanted to know about pearls. And don’t forget to share these stories with your customers. The more storytelling you can share with them, the better!




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Sell With a Story: Emerald Gemstones

Let’s go back to the Emerald City of Oz and forget about clicking the heels of our ruby slippers. Let’s click our emerald slippers instead as we enter the realm of emerald beauty. This irresistible force has long exerted a powerful attraction on the rich and famous, from the rulers of ancient India to today’s A-List celebrities on the red carpet.

Of all emerald devotees, Cleopatra is probably the most famous. Her passion led her far beyond jewelry. She wore emerald encrusted robes — a luxury by any standard. And she gave loose emeralds as gifts to visiting dignitaries, all of them men. They, too, appreciated the beauty of emerald gemstones.

Did You Know?

Emerald gemstones were sold 6,000 years ago — circa 4000 BCE — in Babylonian markets. Where were they from? We don’t know. But between 1000 and 3000 BCE, one of the earliest emerald occurrences was discovered in Upper Egypt near the Red Sea. This later became known as “Cleopatra’s Mine.”

Good Luck Jewelry Emerald Social Share

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“The Green of Growing Things”

The name emerald comes to us from the Greek word, smaragdos. The origin of smaragdos could be either the Hebrew word izmargad or the Sanskrit word marakata, meaning “the green of growing things” — fresh, vivid, radiant.

I like the Sanskrit version. It communicates the lush range of emerald hues from a yellow-green to a deeper blue-green. Think of the first leaves of spring and follow this verdant trail to the richer shade of spruce green. Along the way, you embrace a world of growth that reflects emerald gemstones and their mesmerizing power.

Kermit Was Wrong — Way Wrong!

Kermit the Frog famously sang “It’s not easy being green.” But when you’re admiring emerald gemstones, you realize he had it all wrong. In addition to their famous beauty, extraordinary powers have been attributed to emeralds through the ages. Read these and you’ll realize that all of your customers need to have emerald jewelry. The more the better!

  • In 4th century BCE, the Greek philosopher Aristotle wrote that emerald gemstones increase its owner’s importance in presence and speech during business transactions, gives victory in trials, and prevents epilepsy.
  • Throughout history, many cultures believed emerald enhanced fertility and fidelity: not a bad combination.

By the Middle Ages, emerald’s powers had increased.

  • Emerald could keep a woman chaste — but not a man!
  • They could reveal truth and falsehood.
  • They acted as an antidote to spells, enchantments, and demons.
  • Emeralds could foretell the future if worn on the left side — but not the right.
  • They made people more intelligent and honest.
  • A high-quality emerald would change hues to alert its wearer of danger.

The Irish have always had a special relationship to emerald, too. After all, Ireland is often called the Emerald Isle. And what did the Irish believe? (Full disclosure: I’m half Irish). They believed Emerald bestowed good luck and perhaps a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Famous Emeralds Over Time Social Share

One of Our Emerald Stories

We keep our Stuller Gemstones™ inventory well stocked with emerald gemstones in all shapes and sizes you need. But every now and then, a customer has an unusual request. So our Special Order experts go to work.

Some time ago, we were asked to find a 7.33ct emerald. No big deal? Wrong. Because the customer wanted it un-oiled. As you know, pressurized oiling of emerald is universal as a way to make standard surface fissures less visible.

The only way to find an emerald that isn’t oiled is to find a very high-quality emerald with no surface fractures. If the color is equal to the quality, the price is astronomical. This one was $25,000 per carat.

So if one of your customers requests an un-oiled emerald or any shape, size, and quality not in our inventory, trust our Special Order experts to find it for you.

Learn more about our Special Order Services on Stuller.com

The World’s Largest Emeralds

  • 7,052-carat uncut emerald crystal from Columbia, privately owned
  • 2,205-carat carved emerald vase in the Viennese Treasury, Austria
  • Claimed world’s largest carved emerald, a 1,558-carat emerald named “1492” displayed in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburg
  • 1,965-carat uncut Russian emerald displayed at the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History
  • 1,862-carat uncut, un-named emerald from Hiddenite, N.C. privately owned
  • 1,796-carat emerald crystal store in the Banco Nationale de la Republica, Columbia (the largest of five un-named emeralds there)
  • 1,759-carat Guinness Emerald Crystal also in the Banco Nationale de la Republica, Columbia

By comparison to these, the world’s most famous emerald — the 1,383.95-carat uncut Duke of Devonshire — seems relatively modest. It was mined in Columbia and is now in the British Museum of Natural History.

Good Luck Jewelry Emeralds

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Have a favorite story about emerald gemstones? Share it with us by leaving a comment below!




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Sell With A Story: Diamond History

Diamonds remain one of the most fascinating and dynamic substances on Earth. Their unique molecular structure makes the hardest materials known to man. And when polished, of course, their brilliance is beyond compare.

 

Here’s a bit of diamond history to help you sell with a story.

Meet “Lucy”

To help customers understand the heat and pressure required to create a diamond, consider “Lucy,” a white dwarf star only 5.87 trillion miles, or 50 light years, from Earth. That may seem like a great distance, but in terms of the universe, Lucy is actually quite close. After all, she’s in our galaxy.

Discovered in 2004, astronomers playfully named her after the Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” and you have to admit that “Lucy” is easier to remember than BPM 37093— her technical tag.

Diamond History Star in Space

So what is Lucy? She began as a blazing star like our sun with a core temperature of approximately 27,000,000°F. She couldn’t stop shining and over billions of years, she burned herself out. The result? She’s 5 million-trillion-trillion pounds of pure crystallized carbon or, from a jeweler’s perspective, a 10 billion-trillion-trillion carat diamond. Lucy is a cosmic diamond, and for now, at least, the largest in our galaxy.

  • Astrophysicists say it would take a loupe the size of the sun to grade Lucy.
  • These days, her surface temperature is only 12,000°F.

Lucy’s Earthly Counterparts

Earth’s diamonds are smaller — just a little — but their formation still requires several billion years of intense heat and pressure. This is only available 100 miles below Earth’s surface. There, the carbon molecules bond equally in all directions to create the hardest substance on Earth.

This is all very impressive, but that’s not why we love them. We love them for their sheer beauty, extraordinary clarity, and for their fire embodying those vast years of heat and pressure. We love them because they sparkle and astonish.

2018 diamond outlook 3 stone engagement

April’s Birthstone

You could say that those with April birthdays hit the jackpot. The allure and mystique of diamond history casts a legendary spell.

According to lore, diamond imparts balance, clarity (naturally), and abundance. It increases inner strength, provides the wearer with better relationships, and did we mention it symbolizes eternal love?

More Diamond History

Today, diamonds are mined in Botswana, Angola, South Africa, Russia, Australia, Indonesia, Canada, and the United States. But where did they first see the light of day?

We can’t be certain, but the first historical mention of diamonds occurs in a Sanskrit text from 4th century BCE India. Diamonds had been found along the rivers and streams of ancient central India perhaps 5,000 years ago.

They were called “Hirakamani,” “Heera/Hira” and “Vajramani,” names that ranged in meaning from “King of Gems” and “Thunderbolt Lightning” to “indestructible.” Clearly, the Indian people had the right idea and wasted no time making the most of their discovery.

The 4th century BCE documents record diamond trading, taxes, classification, and diamond experts. They knew the value of this beautiful stone and respected the need for expertise in selecting the finest.

Fast forward 1,700 years to 14th century Venice. It was here that gemstone cutters began to develop the art of diamond cutting and their value soared.

Zale's Tales Diamond Tweezers

Storied Stones: The Sancy Diamond

Stolen from India in the 14th century, this 100-carat pale yellow diamond passed back and forth among Europe’s royalty for centuries. It was owned by Charles the Bold, Phillip II of Spain, the King of Portugal, and many more.

At one point, Elizabeth I owned it and secretly pawned the diamond to finance a Dutch war against Spain. Nicolas Harlay de Sancy acquired the diamond. Elizabeth I wanted to buy it back but failed, and it was only when Sancy went bankrupt that he sold the diamond to James I, Elizabeth’s heir to the throne. The diamond was pawned multiple times, disappearing at one point for 25 years. Somewhere along its lengthy path, the Sancy was re-cut to 55.232 carats. Eventually the wealthy American, William Astor bought it and it 1976 his family sold it to the Louvre.

The Sancy Diamond Worthy

The Sancy Diamond • Image Courtesy of Reuters

Stuller Diamonds

Stuller offers a full range of diamonds to fill virtually any need you can anticipate. With certified Stuller Diamonds™, you can provide your customers with the assurance they need for what might be one of the most important purchases of their lives. Each serialized stone comes with a grading report that offers peace of mind. Need something smaller? Our melee diamonds will fit the bill. And since Stuller uses an independent GIA® lab, you know that what you’re getting from Stuller is the real deal.

Diamond History Loose Stones

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Don’t see what you need? Call our diamond sales team today at 1-800-877-7777, extension 540.




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Sell With a Story: Aquamarine

“Aquamarine happens to be one of the most popular gemstones of them all.”

 

Most Americans choose blue as their favorite color. So it’s no surprise that aquamarine exerts a powerful allure that reaches far beyond its status as March’s birthstone. In fact, Aquamarine happens to be one of the most popular gemstones of them all.

All About Aquamarine

Like the seawater for which it is named, the stone’s airy shade has a dreamy feel that’s cool, calming, and ethereal. In gemstone lore, aquamarine induces calm in all who wear it. Could there be a more appropriate stone for today’s woman in our high-powered world?

Pantone Living Coral Jewelry Trends Under the Sea Color Pairings

Pantone agrees. Check out their color pairing suggestion above. Pantone’s Under The Sea palette reflects how coral reefs exude warm, nourishing shelter that embodies a kaleidoscope of colorful sea life. Luckily for aquamarine gemstones, they complement Living Coral perfectly and fit right into the nautical theme. Find more Pantone Color of the Year Pairings color here.

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Today, most of our aquamarine is mined in Brazil and other South American countries, but this was not always the case; a number of Asian countries have large aquamarine deposits, Afghanistan among them.

During the 1980s when Russia and Afghanistan were at war, aquamarine prospectors would locate a good site and erect tents over it. The Russians would bomb the site, thereby saving the miners weeks of digging. How’s that for ingenuity at work?

The San Pedro Aquamarine

In the late 1980s, three Brazilian prospectors discovered a meter-long aquamarine of exceptional clarity and color. They accidentally dropped it, breaking it into two pieces, one of them two feet long. They sold the pieces, and the two-foot piece weighing 60 pounds found its way into the hands of connoisseurs who realized its importance.

Eventually, it was sold to a German Brazilian consortium. One member was the distinguished gem cutter Bernd Munsteiner. Word had spread of its existence, and getting it safely out of Brazil proved a challenge. It finally reached Munsteiner. He spent four months studying it and six months cutting and faceting it into 10,363-carat obelisk that is 35 centimeters tall and 10 centimeters wide at the base.

Today the Dom Pedro, as it is called, sits in the Smithsonian Institute. It was a gift from collectors Jane Mitchell and her husband Jeffrey Bland.

Famous Aquamarine Gemstones

Shop our supply of gorgeous aquamarine on Stuller.com


Have a favorite way to feature birthstones? A favorite story about aquamarine? Share it with us by leaving a comment!




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Sell with a Story: Amethyst Uses & Benefits

Amethyst Uses | February’s Birthstone

When we think about amethyst, its extraordinary color comes to mind. For February birthdays, that color is purple — a rich, sumptuous, radiant purple. A royal purple.

From its earliest discovery, amethyst’s sumptuous shade has cast a spell, one that bewitches even today. Its gorgeous hue represents royalty, passion, daring, fashion, and dreaminess.

Most amethyst came to Europe all the way from Brazil. It was scarce, very expensive, and considered a precious stone. At times, it was even more valuable than diamonds. Then in 1799, large amethyst deposits were found in Russia’s Ural Mountains, and amethyst’s price declined. Still, only the wealthy could afford it.

Today, amethyst is plentiful and modestly priced. Yet, its allure remains whether featured alone or accented by a wide array of gems— everything from pink sapphire, emerald, and diamond to citrine, peridot, and morganite.

Amethyst Uses and Benefits Sell with a Story

Its Name

Though most sources refer to the Greek meaning of amethyst — “away from drink” or “not drunk,” — both its Arab name, al-hilma, and its Hebrew name alhama, mean “dream stone.” To wear one meant you would dream, though it’s unclear whether or not you had to wear it at night!

Historically Speaking

Our most ancient amethysts come from Minos, an island in the Aegean Sea, and they date back to ca. 3100 B.C. They are polished cabochons set in gold, a combination that remains popular to this day.

Amethyst uses and its royal lineage begins in Egypt’s 12th Dynasty. An amethyst and gold heart scarab was discovered in the tomb of Amenemhet II, 1919-1885 B.C. Amethyst beads were found in the tomb of King Tut. Cleopatra herself wore an amethyst ring engraved with the image of the Persian god Mithras.

England’s oldest Crown Jewel is an amethyst worn in the 11th century by Edward the Confessor. Queen Elizabeth I had a highly prized amethyst necklace, and to this day, superb amethysts decorate coronation regalia.

Catherine the Great of Russia had a passion for amethyst so intense that she sent thousands of workers into the Ural mountains to search for deposits. Fortunately for us, but unfortunately for her, large deposits were found in 1799, three years after her death.

Amethyst uses and benefits Gemstones Jewelry

The Passion of Purple

Purple is a combination of red and blue in different proportions to achieve different shades. Making purple required great skill and was a long, difficult, and costly process. The stunning result that yielded a wealth of shades was available only to those who could afford it: kings, nobles, priest and magistrates around the Mediterranean. Thus, amethyst uses date back to royalty’s obsession with purple; it was the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

Over time, purple became associated with daring change: women’s suffrage, feminism, counterculture, and free expression.

Today, purple is for everyone. Stuller offers a large assortment of genuine and imitation amethyst in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. You can find the perfect stone for the customer who appreciates everything that amethyst conveys— artistic expression, stunning sophistication, and free-spirited joyfulness.

Amethyst Uses and Benefits Gemstones

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Have a favorite way to feature birthstones? Heard any unusual stories about amethyst uses and benefits? Share with us by leaving a comment!




SWAS Garnet Gemstones Blog Header

Sell With a Story: Garnet Gemstones

Romancing the Stone

Try to imagine a world without stories. You can’t? Join the club. Stories shape everything we experience, learn and imagine. We love to hear them and share them. Stories tap into emotion and help build relationships. Good stories are re-told many times.

This makes storytelling a powerful sales tool — especially with gemstones that have such rich and colorful pasts. Throughout history, people have schemed to get them. Endured great hardship to find them. Used them to bribe. Killed to claim them and married to receive them. Repaid debts with them. And many famous gemstones were gifts of love, alliance, and extravagance.

Some gems came to people from the gods. All have been the subject of ancient lore — many imbued with magical or mystical properties that resonate to this day. When a customer is attracted to a particular stone or shade of that stone, there’s usually a story behind it. Let them tell you that story then share your own stories about the gem.

Sharing stories with customers helps you make an emotional connection and build trust, so essential to closing the sale and creating long-term customers. As an add-on, the chances are good that when customers show the jewelry to friends, they’ll share their stories and mention your name.

Each month, we’ll highlight stories related to that month’s birthstone. Read them for fun, for interest and to share with your customers.

Garnet Sell with a Story Gemstones

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Beguiling Garnet Gemstones

Imagine sitting by a fire on a cold January evening. As you snuggle into a fluffy throw, you glance at your hand letting your eyes linger on the warm radiance of a stunning garnet ring in 18K yellow gold. Could you have chosen a more perfect piece of jewelry? Only if you’re also wearing a garnet necklace and earrings. Let’s face it: garnet goes with January whether it’s your birthday month or not.

A Quick Look Back

We have a garnet bead necklace found in an Egyptian tomb that dates back to 3,000 BCE. In ancient Greece, Plato had his portrait carved on garnet, and the ancient Romans used garnet to carve signet rings. And by the time of Pliny (23 to 79 CE), it had become one of the most widely traded gems.

In Roman times . . .

What do pomegranates have to do with garnets? More than you might think. Garnet’s name comes from the Latin word granatum meaning “pomegranate.” More specifically, garnet refers to the vibrant red seeds of the pomegranate.

Hue’s Next?

Though the name “garnet” embodies the stone’s predominant shade, over the centuries, we’ve learned that garnet refers to a group of silicate minerals of different colors. In addition to orangey red Almandine and pinkish red Pyrope, I’m fascinated by Spessartite, a reddish orange, and Tsavorite, a vibrant green garnet, named after Tsavo National Park in Kenya near where it was discovered.

Oh yes, and one more

The rarest of all garnets is the brilliant highly-saturated green Demantoid or Andradite. The finest of these gems come from three mines in Russia’s Ural Mountains. This remarkable gem boasts a higher dispersion rate than diamond. Demantoid Garnet has been found in other countries — Namibia and Madagascar — but the gems from Russia are by far and away the finest. Their price is similarly steep which means they remain the domain of gem investors.

Garnet Gemstones from the rough

Garnet Gemstones from the rough

Yellow takes garnet up a notch

Any shade garnet looks beautiful in white gold or platinum. But to achieve the spectacular, set them in yellow gold, preferably 18K.

Mozambique or Rhodolite?

When selecting garnets on Stuller.com, you can see that Mozambique garnet has the warm “blood red” shade that most people associate with garnet, while Rhodolite has a luxurious raspberry hue. Both combine almandine and pyrope in different ratios. Mozambique has a 1:1 proportion of almandine and pyrope. Rhodolite is 1:2 ratio with two parts of pyrope — a pinker gem. Our garnet is mined in East Africa, India, and Sri Lanka and is available in a full range of shapes.

Irresistible Garnet Gemstones

With garnet supplies plentiful, prices are reasonable, and garnet’s brilliance makes it appear more expensive than it is. There are no known treatments for garnets.

Biblical Garnet

In the Jewish Talmud, a ‘Midrash’ (story) about the “Great Flood” records that a radiant red garnet safely steered Noah’s Ark through the thunderous storms and endless rain. And it is believed that Garnet is one of the stones God gave King Solomon.

Protection and Healing

Centuries of explorers and travelers carried it for protection on journeys far from home and crusaders set garnets in their shields, armor, and buckles believing its protection would stop bleeding. Throughout North, Central, and South America, native tribes wore it to ward off evil influences and spirits.

True love

Today, as in the past, Garnet is most prized as the stone of romantic love and passion reflecting creativity, positive energy, self-confidence, and success. What woman wouldn’t want a piece of garnet jewelry?

Caring for Garnet Gemstones

  • It measures 6.5-7.5 on the Moh’s Scale of Hardness, making it durable and resistant to everyday wear.
  • Clean Garnet using warm, soapy water and a soft brush. You can clean most Garnets in an ultrasonic but not all of them, so use it with caution.
  • Keep Garnet away from eroding chemicals such as hydrofluoric acid and avoid drastic temperature changes that may fracture the gem.

SWAS Garnet Gemstones Group Shot

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How Your Jewelry Store Layout Affects the Shopping Experience

With a lengthy background in retailing and store design, I’m always looking at how to improve a store’s environment. And I’m always amazed at how easy it is for store owners to forget how to look at their stores from a customer’s viewpoint. With independent jewelers having to compete against big box stores and the internet, it’s more important than ever to examine their jewelry store layout and create an EXPERIENCE that wows jewelry buyers and makes them want to return again and again!

Quick! You’ve got 9 seconds!

Most research says that you’ve got exactly nine seconds to engage a customer’s senses when they enter your store. If your store is a somber, vanilla-looking box, exactly which senses are you engaging? What emotional reaction are you creating— besides a yawn?

But don’t despair! I’m here to give insight into your jewelry store layout that will take you out of the dark to in the know—

1. Crank up your jewelry store music

Music makes the world spend money, and there is ample science to back this up. If your customers can overhear each other, they are less likely to ask questions or stick around for very long. Does your store sound like a funeral home? Or, does it scream, “Stay! Have fun and relax?” No, you don’t have to play rock and roll, but you should have something upbeat that also reflects your personal brand. For instance, if you do a lot of custom work for millennials, play some indie music, preferably by local bands. If your store is more traditional with an older clientele, feature upbeat jazz music. The truth is that the playlist matters less than the ambiance you create. So break out the stereo and pipe some tunes through the speakers.

2. Make it cozy

Is your store casual and inviting or stuffy and intimidating? If it’s the latter, you can solve things pretty easily by adding a lounge area into your jewelry store layout. This allows to relax and sit down with a water or soft drink (or beer or splits of champagne)! Husbands with a cold drink in hand are less likely to grouse about hanging out in a jewelry store while their wives shop. And speaking of your female clientele, add a full-length mirror to give your customer a great view of herself with all her bling on. Let her have that moment!

3. A layout that sells

The U-shaped jewelry store layout of the past just spins customers in and out of your store. Incorporate transition zones for different types of jewelry. Create a bridal area, for instance, and a customization center, too. With subtle zones, you’ll encourage customers to browse and discover everything you have to offer.

When planning your jewelry store layout, keep in mind that most customers naturally turn right as they enter a retail space. So think carefully about what merchandise you position there. Perhaps that’s where you put your fantasy items or bridal. To create more space to explore, try pushing your cases against the walls and remove the glass from the front to allow customers to touch the merchandise. This won’t work for high-end live product, but it works great for less expensive items. Which brings me to the next big point . . .

4. Reach out and touch some bling

Today’s shoppers should be encouraged to touch your merchandise. Seriously. Research bears it out: The more they touch, the more comfortable they are with the item, the more likely they are to buy. Why do you think Apple has been so successful?

Now you may be thinking, “What! You want me to have merchandise on display for customers to touch?” Well, yes. It doesn’t have to be the high-price-point pieces. Put a monogram kit on the counter, or place a birthstone kit near the register. Not only are these great impulse purchases, they’re also unique opportunities for your customers to feel the jewelry.

What about bridal? If you’re like most independent jewelers, bridal is a crucial component of your business. But studies show that with consumers, there’s an unwritten five-ring rule. That means that they’ll ask to try on just five rings before they decide they’ve bothered you long enough. But with ever&ever® bridal prototypes featuring beautiful designs cast in alloy and set with CZ, your customers can try on up to 160 rings without bothering you to take a single piece from the case.

Jewelry Store Layout ever&ever Display

5. Color me engaged

Yes, color is easy to change. But the wrong colors can set the tone for a snooze fest. Boring hues are the visual equivalent of a lullaby. If you have some money to spare, hire a commercial interior designer to advise you on the right wall colors. Consider adding some texture in the form of wall coverings. This small investment could completely change the look and feel of your store.

6. Keep it fresh

Adhere to the M&M merchandising philosophy. Movement = Money. Did your customers see the exact same merchandise in the exact same spot one month ago? If so, move it! Lay out a plan for your in-case displays and change things up weekly. Also, be sure to schedule all holiday themes at the beginning of the year and stick to the calendar.

7. Join the 21st century

Bring technology to your sales floor. Have iPads readily available with access to other merchandise you do not have in stock. Stuller Showcase is the perfect tool to help you capture a sale when you don’t have something in your cases. You can show every Stuller product with your markup! This is the ideal virtual inventory. Partnered with 3C items, you can give your customers exactly what they want, usually the very next day. There is no better way to secure a sale when you don’t have the physical product in your store.

Jewelry Store Layout iPad Stuller Showcase

8. Dress the part

This is a touchy subject, but very important. Does your sales staff’s appearance seem unapproachable and uptight? In today’s world, and especially among millennials, professionalism does not equal a suit and tie. We are, after all, in the fashion industry. So let your employees express themselves in a tasteful way that reflects your store’s brand.

Really, the right jewelry store layout creates a successful store environment and is the easiest ways to bring new life to your business. It’s also the most neglected. But now you know how to fix things. So roll up your sleeves, paint your walls, move your cases, and pipe in some tunes. Then stand back and watch your customers enjoy the experience of shopping (and buying) in your store.


What’s your jewelry store layout design strategy? Have you employed some of these techniques? Or do you have some other cool ideas? Share with us in the comments below!