Here at the Jewelry Exchange, we love us some color! All of it, whether it’s subtle or vivid, we’ll take it. There are so many options to choose from in gemstone jewelry, and different things to take into account based on a client’s coloring, personality and lifestyle.
We also like learning more about gems and we have a fantastic resource in our local gemstone dealer. So we’ve asked her some questions to give us more insight.
So in the world of gemstones, you must have to travel to track down the best gems. Where are some of the places you’ve been?
A great thing about coloured gemstones is that they are found all over the world, making the travel possibilities endless. I’ve been to the largest coloured gemstone show in the world which happens to be in Tucson, Arizona. Here, suppliers from all over the world bring their stones to sell; many are directly from the mines and cutting centers. I’ve also been to Hong Kong which is the largest jewellery show in the world with a very spectacular coloured stone section. I have travelled to both Thailand and parts of Africa but not specifically for the gem business, and I look forward to going back for that single purpose. Bangkok, Thailand is the largest coloured gemstone cutting center in the world and eastern Africa is extremely rich in gemstones so trips to these places would be amazing learning opportunities. Sri Lanka is another major source for gemstones that we are planning on visiting very soon.
What are the trade shows like, for size, amount of vendors, variety available etc?
They are huge! The Hong Kong show boasts 3500 vendors and the Tucson gem show takes over the whole city with over 50 different venues and shows. The world of coloured gemstones is always evolving as old sources become depleted and new ones are found, or even as new gemstones are discovered, so attending these shows is such an important learning tool for those of us in the industry.
What’s the coolest gemstone you’ve seen? If it was yours, how would you have it set – as a ring, pendant etc?
This is a difficult question because it seems every year I have a new favourite gemstone. One of the most wonderful things about coloured gemstones is their diversity and I am always finding new and interesting facts about them that excite me. For example, many people only know Sapphire to be blue, but amazingly the stone comes in all colours of the rainbow. Another stone that has made my favourite list in the past is Tanzanite. Not only for its beautiful, rich blue-purple hue, but because I find it amazing that the stone is only found in one country in the world. Garnet is another favourite of mine because it comes in such a wide variety of options. Many people know it to be red but it also comes in a large variety of other colours including a beautiful green that can rival Emerald, vibrant oranges, and there is even a colour-change variety.
Personally, I love rings as I find they are a focal point that everyone notices, and I love to be able to look down and admire them myself as well!
Stay tuned for the rest of the questions next week, including the largest gemstone she’s ever seen.