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January 2000


Gemstone Intensity

Big rings, interesting cuts and a rich tapestry of color choices ride the cresting wave of fashion

Though colored gemstones have been around forever, a renewed interest in color in apparel and consumer products (think Apple's iMac and Nokia's phones) should help make colored gems big sellers in 2000.

A strong economy and educated consumers contribute to the interest in color. "People are aware of it, they know what's available to them and they can afford to buy better color," says Lillian Reilly, production manager of Kimberley Diamond Co., New York City.

As consumers become more sophisticated about jewelry, they learn about gemstone enhancements. You can ease any fears through education. "The mood has loosened a bit," says Glen J. Engelbrecht of G.J. Designs, Sarasota, FL. However, the fear isn't completely gone, says Richard Mason, president of Barnett Robinson, New York City. "It still exists when buying higher-end gems, especially really fine emerald," he says. Counter this resistance by thoroughly explaining all gem enhancements.

The Colors

Rubies and sapphires are selling better than ever. In fact, sapphire has become a must-have gem thanks to its availability in better qualities, affordability ($500-$700 per carat) and less-controversial treatments than used for other gems.

For the rest of the colored gemstone offerings, yellow and orange gems lit up fall fashion magazines and are expected to continue in popularity through spring. Concentrate on apatite, aquamarine, beryl, chalcedony, citrine, garnet, Mexican fire opal, peridot, rhodolite, rubellite and all other colors of tourmaline. These gemstones are more adaptable to fashion-forward jewelry because they are affordable in larger sizes.

The use of multiple colors in the same piece of jewelry will not carry over from 1999 to 2000. Consumers want classic simplicity. "Mixing just two gemstone colors such as blue and green keeps it simple and interesting," says Mason. More than two colors is a big no, say the style-setters.

The Shape

The emphasis on fancy cuts and shapes influences sales in the trade and to consumers. Because gemstones such as chalcedony are available in larger sizes, lapidaries are becoming more creative. "Uncalibrated gemstones used in designer jewelry are becoming favorites," says Engelbrecht. Faceted cuts, such as the checkerboard-brielle, a diagonal checkerboard cut, draw interest, says Reilly. Other popular cuts include cushion and checkerboard or a mix of the two.

Trillions and opposed bars are gaining in popularity. And emerald cuts dovetail well with the styling of the '20s that's experiencing a renaissance. In a turnaround, more designers are creating settings to fit these cuts, rather than having gems cut to fit a setting.

The Style

The return of understated designs coupled with the continued popularity
of platinum helps ensure that simple, classic colored gemstone jewelry styles will transcend fashion. "Simple bands or engagement rings, three-stone rings and straight-line bracelets all show increased popularity," says Mason.

Cocktail rings will continue to hold interest as the trend for bigger, bolder jewelry escalates. Expect a revival of cluster rings, especially those with a
simple floral theme.

by Lorraine M. Suermann

21.15-ct. pink topaz is surrounded by 8.79 carats of diamonds set in 18k gold featuring a Sabi finish. Suggested retail, $251,820. The 18k ring at left features a 3.13-ct. ruby surrounded by 2.65 carats of diamonds ($213,558). Second from left, the 18k ring has a 2.94-ct. ruby and 2.94 carats of diamonds ($142,630). The 18k ring at right features a 4.60-ct. pink sapphire surrounded by 2.06 carats of diamonds ($146,918). Henry Dunay, New York City; (212) 768 - 9700, fax (212) 944-0308.
Each handmade platinum setting features a Colombian emerald surrounded by diamonds. Total weight: emeralds, 35.90 carats; diamonds, 29.75 carats. Neli Gems Corp., New York City; (212) 319-9598, fax (212) 319-9647.

18k yellow and white gold ring is set with 1.28 carats of brilliant - cut diamond pavé circling a 7.86-ct. red spinel set in a half bezel. A pastel blue sapphire crowns the patented Signature Fit ring with diamond pavé. JFA Designs, Irvine, CA; (949)263 - 9909, fax (949) 263-9910.
One-of-a-kind hand-fabricated 900 platinum ring is crowned with a 4.04-ct. cushion-cut rubellite tourmaline from a new mine in Nigeria. Bezel-set on the sides of the ring are 0.35 carat of blue sapphires, 0.30 carat of yellow sapphires and 0.32 carat of round diamonds. This ring is from the City Rhythms collection. Keystone, $6,800. Ellie Thompson & Co., Chicago, IL; (312) 263-2264

Crafted in 14k gold, this one-of-a-kind slide pendant features a 10.30-ct. amethyst and a 3.11-ct. pear-shaped peridot accented with 0.20 carat of diamonds. The amethyst is cut by Chris Remmen and can be removed from the slide portion of the pendant. Suggested retail, $1,300 for the top, $4,100 for the bottom. Customers can supply their own gems for a custom piece. Barbara Westwood, Monument, CO; (719) 488-8083, fax (719) 488-8180.
18k gold floral necklace is set with 6.11 carats of rubies and 1.05 carats of diamond pavé links. Keystone, $10,000. Barnett Robinson, New York City; (800) 223-0240 or (212) 682-1086, fax (212) 682-1848.

Sterling silver ring is set aglow with a citrine. Matching necklace and earrings are available. Zebra Design Inc., New York City; (212) 382-4216.
18k gold brooch features a 101-ct. emerald - cut yellow beryl, 2.0 carats of diamonds and a pistachio Tahitian cultured pearl. Suggested retail, $22,520. Susan Sadler Fine Jewelry, Tulsa, OK; (918) 743-1048, fax (918) 743 - 1068.

Tears of Joy reversible 18k gold drop pendants are available in a garnet/citrine or topaz/tourmaline combination. KWM Exclusives for Tamara Comolli Fine Jewelry Collection, New York City; (212) 398-8662, fax (212) 398-8665.
Sapphire, ruby and emerald line bracelets feature flower or heart-shaped clasps glistening with diamonds. Suggested retail, $14,000 each. Ella Gafter for Ellagem, New York City; (212) 398-0101, fax (212) 302 - 0153.

Designed by Stuart Adelman, this slide pendant features a 9mm x 7mm rhodolite cabochon with 0.18 carat of diamonds. Suggested retail, $1,525. Artelle Designs, Minneapolis, MN; (800) 936-3456 or (612) 926-8163, fax (612) 926-5420.
8-ct. chalcedony cabochon is bezel-set in 18k pink gold flanked by 0.90 carat of diamond pavé set in domed white gold shoulders. Suggested retail, $1,850. Color Craft, New York City; (800) 321-5807 or (212) 840 - 1924, fax (212) 869-4216.

18k gold Petite Fleur necklace features a cable wire with four flowers of pink, yellow and blue sapphires and ruby. Each flower weighs 0.58 carat. Available in grande size and in platinum. Deborah M. Blohm Designs, New York City; (212) 371-7875, fax (212) 426-5677.
Platinum necklace is set with 85.11 carats of oval sapphires separated by 21.02 carats of diamonds in the popular "X" motif. Suggested retail, $300,000. Precious Gem Resources Inc., New York City; (212) 688 - 6700, fax (212) 688-2747.

Hand-fabricated Temple ring holds a bezel-set 4.34-ct. holly agate and 0.59 carat of rubies in 18k gold decorated with granulation. Suggested retail, $5,600. Kent Raible Jewelry, Tiburon, CA; (415) 389-8885, fax (415) 389-0305.
Handmade platinum and 18k gold ring holds a 6.30-ct. emerald-cut tanzanite flanked by 0.83 carat of emerald-cut diamonds. Sug- gested retail, $14,350. Gemtech International Corp., New York City; (800) 436-3236 or (212) 354-7788, fax (212) 354 - 7797. 

18k yellow and white gold rings feature emerald-cut amethyst, peridot and citrine with diamond embellishments. Rina Limor for J.R. Gold, New York City; (800) 999-0583 or (212) 922-9292, fax (212) 922-2992.
14k white gold rings from the Ze collection feature 9mm x 7mm aquamarine and amethyst that are emerald-cut with buff-top and radiant cut along the back. Both have 0.50 carat of diamonds. Suggested retail, $1,650 for the aquamarine, $1,975 for the amethyst. Also available in platinum. I.B. Goodman Co., Cincinnati, OH; (800)543 - 1945 or (513) 241-1206, fax (513)721-3833.

18k white gold aquamarine collection comprises a ring with 0.58 carat of diamonds ($2,280 suggested retail), a stick pin with 0.31 carat of diamonds ($1,492) and a triple-strand necklace with 0.60 carat of diamonds ($2,556). Susan Michel, Flushing, NY; (718) 591-3722, fax (718) 380-3835.
18k white gold snowflake necklace is set with aquamarines. Irina, New York City; (212) 929-8800, fax (212) 929-0928.

Reversible ruby and diamond flip ring is crafted in 14k gold. Duelle Express, a division of Prisma Express Inc., Los Angeles, CA; (877) 438-3553, fax (213) 489-7803,
Cuff links feature black onyx in 14k gold with mother of pearl endcaps. Suggested retail, $310. Dolan & Bullock, Providence, RI; (800) 556-7812, fax (401) 943-4230.

18k gold ring contains one postage stamp-cut 8.60-ct. amethyst and 0.08 carat of diamonds. Suggested retail, $2,500. Glen J. Engelbrecht for G.J. Designs, Sarasota, FL; (941)365- 2577, fax (941) 951-6658,
Platinum laveliere pendant from the Cathedrals collection features a 1.68-ct. tanzanite drop. Suggested retail, $2,300. Christie Frantz, Berkeley, CA; (800) 468 - 8900, fax (510) 525-7782,

An assortment of rings (from top): 2.10-ct. oval ruby flanked by 0.77 carat of diamonds set in 18k gold and platinum, 3.27-ct. oval sapphire with 0.80 carat of diamonds in platinum, 3.06-ct. emerald with 0.97 carats of emerald-cut diamonds in 18k gold and platinum, 7.46-ct. cushion-cut tanzanite and 0.78 carat of round diamonds in 18k gold and platinum, 7.50-ct. oval peridot flanked by 0.54 carat of round diamonds in 18k gold and 8.20-ct. cushion-cut pink tourmaline with 0.80 carat of diamonds in platinum. Kimberley Diamond Co., New York City; (800) 223-4104 or (212) 227-3155, fax (212) 791-7731.
Yellow gold earrings feature channel-set round diamonds with pear-shaped tanzanite drops. Izi Creations, New York City; (800) 948-4749, fax (212) 688-8976.

Bracelet from the Montage collection has 8 carats of princess-cut blue topaz and a toggle clasp. Suggested retail, $2,395 in 14k, $2,995 in 18k. Also available with peridot, citrine, amethyst and rhodolite garnet. John Atencio Designs, Denver, CO; (303) 830-7733.
14k gold ring features a 4-ct. pink tourmaline and 4mm green tourmaline with 0.12 carat of diamond accents. Suggested retail, $1,260. Heartwear Designs Ltd., Southfield, MI; (810) 569-3775, fax (810) 569-8806.

Floral brooches from the Gemtique collection feature a rainbow of gemstones. Aaron Shum Jewelry Ltd., Hong Kong; (8522) 334-2299, fax (8522) 334-7427,
14k white gold cuff bracelets are set with pink rubellite or a mix of blue topaz and aquamarine. Each cuff has diamond accents. Raafty II, New York City; (212) 221-8539, fax (212) 575-9531.

14k gold freeform Australian boulder opal doublet is designed to wear with on an omega chain. Suggested retail, $990. Idaho Opal & Gem Corp., Pocatello, ID; (800) 635-9800, fax (208) 233-0120.
Rings from the Jellybean collection have cabochon oval and cushion-cut pastel tourmalines in 18k pink gold. Mimi So, New York City; (212) 354-1407.

Brightly colored cockatoo features a diamond head and feathers totaling 0.58 carat, a ruby eye and collar, and a tsavorite and sapphire body weighing 4.50 carats. Suggested retail, $3,698. LeVian, New York City; (212) 575-0318.

Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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