Experts Eye the Future

January 1999

Gemstones & Pearls:News

Experts Eye the Future

Noted gemstone personalities share their views on the future of colored gems in your store

William Boyajian, President
Gemological Institute of America, Carlsbad, CA
"In a world bombarded by color, fashion and design, I can't think of a more appropriate product to adorn oneself with than a fine colored stone. Customers are looking for things new and different, casual and intimate, beautiful and affordable. The world of colored stones fills all those roles. The key to success in merchandising and selling color, of course, is product knowledge, and that comes through a commitment to proper training and lifelong learning. I am convinced any progressive jeweler looking for a niche in the next decade should look to colored stones."

Richard Drucker, President
Gemworld International, Northbrook, IL
"The retailer who overlooks color overlooks a chance for profit in the new millennium. Diamond margins are small and getting smaller. Gemstone pricing is more subjective, and beauty plays a much greater role in the profit potential. Margins for color are far greater because the millions of colors available prevent narrow price ranges. Greater subjectivity in grading and pricing translates to less competitive pricing, especially on fine-quality gems. A consumer interested in green could purchase a beautiful peridot for less than $100 or become a collector with a demantoid costing several thousand dollars. The jeweler must make the consumer a collector."

Edward Gübelin, Author, Gem Expert
Gübelin Laboratories, Lucerne, Switzerland
"We need to have effective publicity of gemstones very soon, and we definitely need better books, mainly to give the public a far better education about gemstones. The trade must find a way to present gemstones in articles which belong to human culture and education instead of only [displaying] them in jewelry pieces or as investments. In the face of the pecuniary crises humanity has experienced in the past and will suffer in the future, we have to emphasize the importance of gemstones as true gifts of nature and essential parts of our culture."

Alice Keller, Editor in Chief Gems & Gemology
Gemological Institute of America, Carlsbad, CA
"First and foremost is the issue of deception. Unless the colored stone community – producers wholesalers and retailers alike – makes a concerted effort to identify treatments and properly disclose them to the public, our current crisis of confidence with the consuming public will only get worse. The good news is that gem identification research is more active than ever. At Gems & Gemology, we are seeing the major laboratories working well together as well as individually to address the critical issues."

John Sinkankas, Author, Cutter, Owner
Peri Lithon Rare Books, San Diego, CA
Since my serious interest in gemstones began in the 1940s, we have found more gems – in places such as the Himalayas, where we once thought they'd run out. There are more Himalayas to be explored! It used to be that serious mining searches were for metals and base metals. Now serious mining involves gems too. We have a lot of ornamental gemstones in jewelry today, inexpensive pieces maybe, but super-imaginative. At the turn of the century last time, Art Nouveau was born – and some of the most imaginative jewelry possible came out of that period, often using simple, ornamental gems."

Hans Stern, Owner
H. Stern Jewelers, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
"Having a design concept in jewelry is the future. A gemstone that stands out in design ties in with our roots and millions of years of history. With today's globalization, more people know about colored gemstones than when I started my business more than 50 years ago. The color, variety, quality, sizes and shapes available allow the jeweler to give his customer something unique, personalized and affordable."

– by Robert Weldon, G.G.

Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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