Last updateTue, 19 Mar 2019 7pm

Diana Jarrett

The Story Behind the Stone: Making this perfectly clear - opaque is a good thing

Rubies are sought after for their beauty, but also for their rarity and the difficulty in recovering them from their deposits. Natural ruby is found from opaque to almost completely transparent. It’s a rare thrill to see any ruby that fits into the almost transparent category, because quite simply the nature of this mineral doesn’t often allow that.

The Story Behind the Stone: Coming up green

Color trends forecaster Pantone Color Institute proclaimed 2013 to be the year of a verdant lush green called Emerald Radiant. Look for the vibrant hue to influence purchasing and lifestyle decisions for fashion and home. “It’s the most abundant hue in nature,” Pantone executive director Leatrice Eiseman said. “The human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum.”

The Story Behind the Stone: How they’re buying now

Retailers and e-tailers must navigate through often confusing and evolving shoppers’ trending patterns nowadays to strategize how to make a sale. Once you think you’ve got it down, and know how to reach your demographic, things change. Then you start again.

Never mind that you have to adjust your pricing in almost real time to salvage the ever shrinking margins for your inventory. Diamond prices and precious metals price fluctuations are indeed worrisome, but in the end, we still need customers to say yes to our product.

The Story Behind the Stone: Sliced, Asymmetrical and Adored

Riding the wave of fervent obsession with diamond slices, colorful gemstone slices and asymmetrical shapes have now found their way into pricey couture goods. There is no doubt that the interest stirred by skillful mountings set with unique sliced stones as a central focus is captivating. No two stones are alike, and their irregularities are further heightened when paired with classic diamonds in designer settings.

The Story Behind the Stone: Glisten to me

High gold prices have ramped up the ingenuity of jewelers who intend to stay in the game for the long haul. It’s highly unlikely we’ll see triple digit gold prices again. The longer we live in this new normal of high metal prices, the more designers and manufacturers must exhibit creativity in giving consumers what they want at price points they can accept.

The Story Behind the Stone: A brief history of the power cuff

A generation of women who came of age in the 1970s knew how to rock Wonder Woman’s iconic stance with crossed wrists ready to deflect bullets - all the while wearing some hot looking cuffs. Actually, cuffs predate popular culture. Both men and women from unrelated ancient civilizations wore some version of these wrist accessories. Beside their highly dramatic appeal, they could point to the social, religious or military status of the wearer.

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).