Last updateTue, 13 Feb 2018 11pm

Diana Jarrett

The Story Behind the Stone: Can you say Chrysophrase?

Jarrett-AprilChrysophrase; oh sure, that’s easy for you to say. But can you spell it? That’s where many a jeweler trips up. Spelled chrysoprase, chrysophrase or chrysoprasus, this opaque gemstone variety of chalcedony owes its lively hue to small quantities of nickel. Find this stone in tints ranging from apple-green to deep green. The darker varieties of chrysoprase are also referred to as prase. Got it? Me neither.

Yet, this ancient material that once adorned office accessories or found its way onto book ends in aristocratic libraries has found a new fan base. Jewelry collectors have verged away from transparent gems exclusively, and now see the allure of opaque stones like chrysophrase.

Not relegated to artsy-craftsy cottage industry jewelry makers, this verdant stone is accented with quality diamonds, and mounted in fine karat gold. Like other opaque stones, veining and slight differences in color make this gem as unique as the designer who works it into an original design.

Jarrett-April-1Retailers are more and more seeing the wisdom in adding opaque stones to their inventory. This way, customers with a yen for the unconventional yet beautiful jewel will be able to consider these lovelies. And since Pantone, Inc. pronounced the upbeat emerald green as the color for 2013, it’s the ideal time to promote this gem.

Award winning trade journalist and gemologist Diana Jarrett is a Registered Master Valuer Appraiser and a member of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA). She’s a popular speaker at conferences and trade shows. Jarrett writes for trade and consumer publications, online outlets, Color-n-Ice blog, and at www.jewelrywebsitedesigners.com. Contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit her website at www.dianajarrett.com, and/or follow her on Facebook and Twitter (Loupey).


The Story Behind the Stone - The Geology of Glamour

Highly traditional jewelry has given way to a preference for the individualized look amongst today’s jewelry collectors. One-offs from big name designers are the rarified domain of deep pockets. But savvy retailers who want to offer a unique experience to their customers seek out exotic stones to accomplish this mission.

The Story Behind the Stone: Tempting with topaz

Perennially favored, blue is a universally adored gemstone hue. It brings to mind the open skies as well as pristine seas. No wonder cruise line passengers and others gravitate to it on their jewelry shopping excursions.

The short list for desirability in all colored stones with serious collectors includes hardness and its ability to produce an outstanding brilliance. The priciest blue hued stones include sapphire, spinel, diamonds with or without heat treatment, and tanzanite.

The Story Behind the Stone: East meets West in a clever turn

Jarrett-JanAn eye-shaped gemstone, known as the Marquise cut, is not a new stone shape. In fact, it is thought to owe its delightful silhouette to Madame de Pompadour, the mistress of 18th century French King Louis XV. It is alleged that he commissioned this diamond cut to resemble his mistress’ beautifully shaped mouth.

For most of its long history, the Marquise cut gemstone has been placed in jewelry in a vertical orientation. Set in a ring, the Marquise cut with its slender shape and gracefully pointed tips at both ends tends to elongate a lady’s finger, creating an elegant look.

The Story Behind the Stone: Inside the artist’s mind

Collectors of designer jewelry are attracted to the distinct appeal of an item, the quality of its manufacture and very often the story behind the piece. Expert retailers will always find a way to engage their customer in the back story of an item that catches their eye.  Shoppers want validation that they have made the one-and-only right choice from all the jewelry available to them in their price range. The way to accomplish this is to give as much exciting background information about the stone, and the way the item was made, plus any other fascinating bits that assist the shopper in connecting with the item.

The Story Behind the Stone: Jewelry for art’s sake

Jewelers are always assessing and reassessing who their consumer is - and what demographic does their product line actually appeal to? Shopper’s tastes and buying habits are in a permanent state of flux. So retailers must regularly re-assess how their inventory appeals to their customers and be willing to make shifts in their buying patterns to accommodate market trends.

The Story Behind the Stone: Mint condition

Green beryl is called emerald. Or is it? An online search of green beryl -v- emerald will yield as many potential answers as search results itself. The naturally verdant gemstones were popular way before Cleopatra staked a claim and hoarded the colorful sparklers. Royalty has latched onto these lively stones ever since; adoring the insinuations that the color hints to new birth, spring, and life in general.