Skip to main content

Your Questions Answered

Happy summer! I hope you are all capturing the great weather in between smoke, heat, and torrential rains. We just did a show in Glencoe, Illinois where we saw old friends and clients and met lots of new ones. Many of you ask similar questions so here are some answers, which will likely stimulate more questions. I love questions.

But first, I want to give a special welcome to the new members of this list. It was such fun to meet you and I look forward to our new and upcoming jewelry journey. It is an honor to create something that clients wear all the time and I want you to know that each piece is made with love and consideration for comfort, durability, and beauty.

Q: Where do you find your stones? Do you cut them yourself?

Twenty-five years into the jewelry business, I have a global network of trusted dealers who are the sources for all the rocks you see in my booth or studio.  I’ve met dealers at the Tucson gem show and spread out from there via internet and personal connections.  The primary issue for me is trust and ethics. (Take a look at my newsletter/blog about trust entitled “On a Handshake.”) I have built long-term relationships with gem dealers and selectively add new ones. They know what quality levels I prefer and offer some beneficial buying opportunities.

What’s most important to me is that I’ve got the gemological education to assess and buy gems that suit my clients’ preferences or my own.  I love to bring you unusual examples of a species such as multi-colored sapphires, Montana sapphires, cat’s eye topaz, multi-color sunstone, and so much else.  I can focus on value for price, quality, and wearability. At this point, I buy from dealers who are transparent in their sourcing and give back to their client communities.

The color range of Nivitihigala sapphires

I do not cut my own gemstones. That is a fine art all by itself and I’d rather support the many lapidarists who bring out the magic in a rock by cutting it into a gem. Their new cutting technologies and exploration of gorgeous facet patterns make my work fun and give you a treasure that no one else has.

Next time, The Anatomy of Custom Jewelry Projects.

See you at Port Clinton in Highland Park IL the weekend of Aug 26-27 if not before.


NB: I am leaving for a pearl trip to Tahiti on September 1.  Call or email me now to discuss possible buying opportunities. I’m going to be seeing hundreds of pearls and strands and I’d love to get some for you that are unusual here at a better price than normal.

Orstadiusuntreated Nivitihigala mined and cut sapphire web