Professional Jeweler Archive: Cuts Above

June 2004

Gemstones/New Products

Cuts Above

Fancy shapes resonate with buyers

Customers will be mesmerized by the fresh look of fancy-shaped colored gemstones. Hand-chiseled and etched gems, rough irregular nuggets, simple cabochon cuts and highly faceted briolettes get raves in aquamarine, morganite, tourmaline, chalcedony and mandarin garnet. “People like these gemstones because they are affordable in larger sizes – bigger is still better as customers respond to scale in jewelry,” says Arlee Kasselman, designer/owner of Arlee Kasselman Jewelry Design, Scottsdale, AZ. “We’re selling more one-of-a-kind and limited-edition pieces because people are looking for fresh, unique, versatile jewelry.” Price resistance? “If the quality of the stone and design is there and the color is good, this jewelry always sells no matter the price,” says Kasselman.

– by Lorraine M. O’Donnell, A.J.P.

point of $ALE

Susi Altman, store manager at Hyde Park Jewelers, Denver, CO, offers selling advice for fancy-shaped colored gemstone jewelry:

Know your goods. What is the gemstone, where did it come from and what shape is it? This might seem elementary, but just because it’s purple doesn’t mean it’s amethyst – and you don’t want to stumble in front of a customer ready to buy. Know that ethnic looks are usually more casual. Diamond and pearl accents with colored gems add value and make the piece more dressy.

Tell a story. Ask the designer to include a statement with each piece of jewelry explaining what inspired it. Designer pieces are often handcrafted and interesting.

On display. When merchandising unusual gemstones, concentrate on using a unique display. Natural elements such as rice, sand, shells or even translucent tile take the jewelry off manufactured displays and into a natural atmosphere. Or if you must use a neck display, for example, soften it with a draped scarf. Avoid using black velvet pads to show colored gemstones because the color will loose its vibrancy.


18k matte gold rings from the Lola collection feature gemstones in pink, yellow, blue, green and purple with diamond accents.

Judith Ripka, New York City; (212) 244-1230, fax (212) 244-4560.

Black onyx heart pendant has an oversized sterling silver bail extending from its core and hangs from a 16-in. rope necklace. Suggested retail, $110.

B.A. Ballou, Providence, RI; (800) 775-7099,

Bracelet features princess-cut diamonds and sapphires set in a checkerboard pattern.

JB International, New York City; (212) 997-3205, fax (212) 997-3209.

Green and blue beryl slides, chrysoberyl and aquamarine gems and sterling silver stations combine to form this necklace and earring set. Suggested retail, $395 for the necklace, $95 for the earrings.

Arlee Kasselman Jewelry Design, Scottsdale, AZ; (480) 998-9720, fax (480) 998-9703.

Platinum and 18k gold ring is set with a 1.78-ct. oval tanzanite and 0.14 carat of G-H/VS diamond accents. Suggested retail, $5,950.

Claude Thibaudeau Montreal, Montreal, Canada; (877) 397-9411, fax (800) 644-5077.

8mm Chatham-created orange sapphire Flower Piercette is set in 14k gold with 0.05 carat of diamonds. Keystone $670.

Artelle Designs, Minneapolis, MN; (800) 559-0044 or (763) 559-0044.

Aquamarine is set in SignatureFit® rings that adjust to fit over swollen knuckles.

JFA Designs, Irvine, CA; (800) 621-7082 or (949) 263-9909, fax (949) 263-9910,

From the Palermo for Color Craft collection, this 18k gold ring features a 17-ct. trillion-cut sky blue topaz and about 0.25 carat of VS diamond accents. Suggested retail, $1,500.

Color Craft, New York City; (800) 321-5807 or (212) 840-1924, fax (212) 869-4216.

Copyright © 2004 by Bond Communications