Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Gone Fishing

Shopping for gemstones is like going on a fishing trip. Half the fun is the adventure and the beautiful surroundings. The other half, of course, is the catch. Although Asia is changing by the day, there is still beautiful small fishing villages left if you look for them. Now when I go to Hong Kong, I stay in such a village, Mui Wo, on the opposite side of the island where the airport and gem show exist. There are few cars, fresh seafood, and great trails for hiking.

The catch for me is the fine gemstone. Gemstones that are too included, small, too large, or expensive are "catch and release". Unlike fish, putting them back does not breed more, so when the right gemstone comes along, it has to be a "keeper". The excitement is still there when I find the keepers. Here are a few of our new finds.

1. Burma moonstone: We can't get enough of this beautiful material. Not too high, pieces around 5cts. with two beautiful large over 10ct size. A parcel of 6 to 7mm rounds that are as blue as the Burma material gets, with all the brilliance. Check out our Burma inventory on our website.

2. Green moonstone: As green as I have seen for the past 3 years. This material is getting very scarce and for the price, should be stashed away until the perfect design or customer comes along. Don't be caught short-most of what we see today is a gray/green, these are the old blue/green.

3. Spinel: Remember all the times when you should have bought something because three years later it doubled in price. Well now is the time to buy spinel. The product is still new enough to the design world (even though it has been around for a century), to be reasonably priced yet the red, hot pinks and blues are 30%less than corundum. We now have beautiful matched sets of the hot pink Tanzanian spinel.

4. Blue sheen moonstone: 7 new pieces over 8cts. the cleanest, bluest I could fine. We have recut to produce matched pairs and now have a collection of clean 9mm rounds for suites, pairs, or singles.

Photos will be up on our website soon, but if you can't wait, give us a call and we'll ship them to you

Why is it that when gold, silver, houses, and gemstones are at their highest price, people invest more then ever? We are offering an opportunity to buy low and sell high for those who really want to take advantage of a rising market. Boston gems has partnered in the purchase of a collection of Ceylon sapphires that will be available to our customers at a great savings. An individual bought these stones as a part time gem dealer more than 10 years ago and has been forced to sell the parcel at a very reasonable price. We have gotten reports on some of the gemstones and can guarantee their quality. These are great sizes between 3-8 carat and they are mostly ovals and cushions. Keep us in mind if you have calls through out the season.

All too often we are impressed with the price more than the beauty of the product. Boston Gems enjoys being able to offer our customers really beautiful gemstones for very reasonable prices. Moostone is one of the most beautiful gemstones in the world, but also one of the least expensive. If the public ever realized just how rare large clean moonstones are, the prices would be ten times what we offer. For example, we purchased a parcel of Bamboo Moonstones on this trip. This material is only found in Burma, it is extremely limited in quantity. For those not familiar with this variety of moonstone, there are bamboo like inclusions found within the material which are caused by the natural internal twinning of the moonstone. These gemstones generally have a bluer adularescense than the usual Burma material. We are the only supplier of this material in the United States, and currently have a large selection of 5 to 10 carat peices.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Smart Jewelry Show was very bright.........

Don’t look now, but I think we have an upward economic trend happening. It’s not as quick as the fall, but down is always faster than up. Gravity works against us in more ways than just climbing a mountain; and if we can continue this analogy, we are climbing Mt. Everest after a free fall from 35000 feet. Make sure to bring along some oxygen!

Tucson was good, a solid improvement for the majority of the vendors over last year, but no one was sure if this was a precursor to this year’s business. Happily, Chicago proved to show the same trends, a significant increase in the number of shoppers and the total number of invoices written. Inventories of the unusual have to be replaced, and those of us who carry reasonably priced, beautiful gemstones are doing better--not great, but better. Be grateful for the little things.

Chicago is “my kind of town”. The show is 2 miles from downtown, so any hotel is close. Great restaurants, shopping and music are within walking distance from most of the downtown hotels, so after the show you can choose a great meal without waiting 45 minutes for a table, your spouse will have had a great day shopping at The Rack (Nordstrom’s), or the Jazz Record Mart (the largest jazz and blues record store in the world), or take the fantastic river tour of some of the finest architecture America has to offer. In fact there is so much to do that many of the vendors stay extra days to enjoy the city and visit those “salt of the earth” mid-westerns. Like Tucson, this show is enjoyable for the customer, the vendor and anyone who wants to come along. I strongly encourage you to come next year if you missed this year’s show.

Moonstone and labradorite are still our strongest sellers. We recently received a new parcel of some of the largest, cleanest labradorite we’ve had in years. These pieces range from 15 to 20cts in size. I think some of the older European gem houses are cleaning out their vaults to encourage sales, and we are the benefactors of their spring cleaning.

Another great find for us was a parcel of the Tanzanian hot pink spinel at a very reasonable price. We have 5mm rounds, matched pairs of cushion, round, and trillions all from $300/ct and up.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tucson or Bust

I think I can speak for most gem dealers when I say that if 2010 Tucson GemFair was anything like 2009, there would be some tough decisions ahead. Thank you all for making it a VERY solid show for us and many others. 2010 is at least starting with “pop” if not a “bang”!

Many retailers and designers used a lot of their overstocked inventory accumulated through the years to keep themselves afloat in 2009. We are very lucky to own the kind of inventory that not only doesn’t smell bad or go moldy when it’s old, but it usually gains value. Holiday sales were strong enough to have buyers coming to Tucson with expectations to replace stock with something new, exciting, and with not too high of a price point. This was the perfect formula for moonstone, our stone of choice. We had 26 feet of nothing but moonstone, but it was moonstone like no one has ever seen. Dividing the cases by origin gave everyone who stopped by an education on source, quality, and quantities available. To confirm our suspicions, 2010 gave us the largest number of sales ever in Tucson. We may not have had the largest dollar figure, but 30% more people bought from us than ever before. This means more designers, manufactures, and retailers will be showing moonstone than ever before. If you haven’t tried it…..you should.


The big question when we get home (other than “how was the show”) is always, “What gemstone was the highlight of the show? What stone stood out from all the thousands of gemstones at show?” This year it was definitely SPINEL.
Spinel, like the economy goes in cycles, and is usually related to ruby market. Even though spinel comes in almost every color, the reds are prized. In the late 70’s it starting to become popular because Burma ruby was scarce. Then the Mong Hsu mine was discovered in Burma, and with a little extra heating, there were enough rubies to supply demand and spinel once again went into the closet.
It has tried a few small comebacks, but has always remained the gem dealer’s favorite gemstone. The public has never quite realized the beauty they are missing. Today we have a new spectacular find of the hotter than hottest pink spinel from Tanzania that just cannot be ignored. It is incredible that this color comes out of the ground with NO enhancements from a laboratory. This gemstone pops in any light, any case, and any metal, anywhere. We have some great photos on our website. Check it out.