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What's selling? What's a good value?

All, I have not sold a stinkin’ colored gem all year with the
exception of pearls. Usually I would be dreaming about a trip to
Tucson about now, but at this rate I won’t need to go. So, is there
a gem right now that is really selling well? I am really asking
this to the retail trade. (I have a question for wholesale
suppliers below) I understand that turquoise is very trendy right
now. Not that turquoise fits in with my style of work, nor do I do
trends, but, being as isolated as I am from the retail trade, I find
this subject fascinating.

To all you wholesale dealers, what gemstones are there out now that
are a real value? If I were a gemstone collector and wanted to add
to my collection, what would be a real steal right now? I know
tanzanite went through the roof a few years ago and then plummeted
in the wake of 9/11. Has it recovered? Are there other stones that
are getting a lot of press lately?

Just wondering.


Hi Larry,

noticed a lot of beaded type necks or leather cords with pendants.
The pendants are either nuggets, carved flat stone of some type, or
shell with a painted abstract design or flowers. To see what is
trendy, is to walk in New York City and check out some of the
vendors who are selling jewelry on the street. I saw a vendor in
front of a well known trendy restaurant in New York City who was
selling necks with leather cords and beads with the hand painted
design on a shell pendant. The same necklaces are selling in
Nordstroms, Bloomingdales, and Neiman Marcus department stores.
Check out Neiman Marcus’ current catalogue.

As far as colored stone sales, I have noticed an interest in light
blue stones, such as aqua and turquoise. I have personally seen an
interest in Rutilated Quartz sales. Collectors might take an
interest in unusual pieces of Rutilated Quartz.

Drusy is still out there strong, and I think collectors might be
interested in geodes with unusual colors that are beautiful and hard
to find.

Just my own observations.

Diane Sadel

Coincidentally, in this mornings (Sat. Oct 26, 2002) newspaper, The
Record (Bergen County, NJ local paper), there was a large article
in the Shopping section on hot gemstones selling. The article
indicated that turquoise would be very popular through the fall,
possibly longer. The paper stated that a local jeweler apparently
has some very old turquoise that was mined in Iran before the mine
was closed 30 years ago.

The article also stated that styles in chunky necklaces are popular.
Coral, carnelian and citrine are also popular. The public
relations coordinator for the Jewelry Information Center in New York
City, Amanda Berg, commented that lapis will be the next stone to
sell strongly. There was a picture of a faceted Lapis Necklace
with the article, however it really looked like iolite to me.

Diane Sadel

HI: I have been having some really good luck with a stone I find in
the mountains, Ellensburg blue or blue calchadoney that reflects a
red hue and seems to intensify in color when the body heat rises. It
Is observable and unique to the stone. Ringman John

Hi Larry, I sell around the NYC area and have been having a very
positive response to aquamarine when mixed with other bluish, solid
colored stones, especially amazonite. The thing is, also, that they
are in bead form - not set stones. I sold tons of large bead
turquoise over the summer. There is still some interest in it, but
haven’t been using it just so I don’t get stuck with it at the end of
the trend - I don’t care for it that much myself. Reds are supposed
to be very popular this winter and into spring and summer - shades
from pink quartz to garnet to carnelian. I am also getting a very
good reaction to garnet/pink tourmaline/iolite combos that have a
romantic touch. I have also heard something about lapis gaining in
popularity (I hope so - I love it and just made a new line using it
with 18k).

The set stones that seem to be popular now are rings set with one
very large stone that could be almost anything. And a large pendant

  • simple with one large stone or ornate with many in an ethnic or
    vintage style - would also be trendy right now in reddish to amber
    shades, or green to aquamarine shades. Leather is also very hip -
    you can try transferring an unnoticed pendant to a 1/4 strip of brown
    leather and see if it gets a reaction that way.


Reds are supposed to be very popular this winter and into spring
and summer - shades from pink quartz to garnet to carnelian. 

I’ll echo Jill’s comment. I’ve heard and seen that red coral is
going to replace turquoise as the next “hot” trend. Not that I
recommend chasing trends, but you asked! :wink:

Not really the typical red Mediterranean coral I usually think of.
More the Tibetan style of large red coral beads, although I have seen
strings of small branch coral as well. Most of this material did not
begin its life as red coral, if you get my meaning. More geared
toward “costume” wear… mail order catalogs, trendy department
stores, and such.

Something interesting I saw was someone who had taken some of the
larger Tibetan red coral beads and sliced them into disks <gasp!>,
which he polished and set like stones. He says they were genuine
beads, and they looked it, but who would slice up something that
valuable and spiritual?

All the best,
Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)