Definitely pretty rocks

    ...I have never found "precious stones" to be all that
interesting. I like agates, and jaspers, and yowah opals; stuff
that has color, plus pattern, and sometimes even variety of texture
going for it. 

Don, doesn’t this come back to the subject of “perceived value”? My
few clients ask me for Tanzanite lately and of course the red,white
and blue will always be popular. I wouldn’t be able to sell agates,
japer, etc. Do you use silver or gold? Who purchases these items?
Perhaps with time, as my skills increase, I will reconsider.
Although if a rock jumped out at me, I would probably not hesitate to
add it to my “collection”.

Jon, Montreal

Jon, the quote you included was actually Lee’s I believe…not
mine…but I have no problem answering it.

I agree that we are discussing ‘percieved value’ here since so much
we deal with in the jewelry trade is ‘percieved value’. Real value
is also a consideration but can be skued by false shortages,
advertising, or any number of gimmiks. Diamonds are still called
rare…in reality they are plentiful but the cartel continues to
keep the value high. Tanzanite was/is the subject of
advertizing…little does the public know that it is of the
silicate/epidote family and is actually quite soft (6 to 7). Thus
it is not a good wearing stone. Don’t get me wrong, I long to cut
and look at Tanzanite. It is indeed a beautiful stone.

How about a nice blue lazuli, or a purple sage chalcedony, or maybe
a nice holly blue chalcedony if one wants blue? There are hundreds of
red jaspers, carnelians/sards, cinnebar, etc for reds and no end to
white stuff. They may not be faceted but still can be quite

I work in both silver and gold…whatever tickles my fancy for a
particular stone. Who buys it? People who enjoy color, form,
contrast, big stuff, little stuff, fancy and plain stuff. In short,
its like the old construction saying…,“build it and they will
come”…only its…" make it and they will buy". Most of my stuff
is commission anyway and that gives me a lot of leeway in influencing
my clients. What I make to satisfy my own artistic(?) needs tends to
be simple stuff, usually accent on a large or unusual stone. It helps
that I cut my own stones. Thus, as I cut, I consider how it might be

Hope that clarifies things somewhat?! Unfortunately, nothing in
this trade is pure black and white because we deal with a fickle
world but it is part of our job to educate our clients about the
realities of the business as well as try to make a living.

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut1