08172017Thu
Last updateTue, 15 Aug 2017 9pm

Konrad Darling

Word play

Konrad crystalPopularity in the world can be fleeting. One moment you’re on top, the next, forgotten. In rare cases, mystique drives popularity. Such is the case with padparadscha sapphire. Possessing a nebulous history and rarified color and beauty, the padparadscha sapphire remains an elusive “white buffalo” in the world of color gemstones.


America’s war on rubies and jade

Konrad rubyOn Sept. 14, 2016, President Obama and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Foreign Minister and State Counsellor of Myanmar, held talks on American soil as two democratically elected leaders, a far cry from the days of the military junta that ruled Burma (Myanmar) with an iron fist. During this meeting they discussed a real proposal of lifting the trade embargo on Burmese rubies and jade. While nothing is official (Editor’s note: On October 7, President Obama did officially sign an Executive Order lifting the ban on all gemstones and jade from Myanmar), AGTA CEO Doug Hucker is quoted in National Jeweler saying, “For Obama to make that announcement and for it not to happen would be shocking.” Once lifted, this would be the final victory of the long and strenuous relationship with Myanmar and the military powers that hijacked the country.

GMO gemstones

Konrad OctIn today’s world, products being grown in a lab can come with negative connotations. We think of genetically modified foods, for-profit farms creating seeds and now even diamonds. As consumers, this goes against our idea of nature’s production. This wasn’t developed in nature, therefore, I don’t want it. The idea that nature’s beauty could be created like Dr. Frankenstein’s monster isn’t palatable. However, the desires of consumers is always evolving and due to the variety of growth methods and brands, lab-created stones represent an adequate means for their requests.

How to sell color - part 2

Previously, I discussed the importance of education and trust for selling color. In this article, these concepts will remain crucial, while also discussing trends to follow and the best places to draw inspiration for your store.

How to sell color - part 1

Darling rubyWhenever I get to talk with customers at trade shows, as they ogle over the beautiful color in front of them, there is always a consistent mantra, “I like color but I just don’t know how to sell it.” The first part is always comforting, but the second part is what I want to change.

Not a girl’s only best friend

Darling headshotOne of my favorite shows on TV is ESPN’s series 30 for 30. They are mini documentaries about important historical moments in sports, with the tagline “What if I told you…” The directors proceed to present a story the audience believes they know, only to reveal there is more than meets the eye. I’ve always felt the jewelry industry should come up with an tagline about engagement rings: “What if I told you, diamonds weren’t always a girl’s only best friend…”

Morganite: The modern face of jewelry

Darling cushion MayTrends come and go as quickly as the seasons. Much like American culture, tastes in music, fashion and color are constantly evolving. And when they evolve, it pays to be on the current trend.

In the case of the jewelry industry, we are right in the middle of a morganite sensation. A stone mostly disregarded in the past cannot be ignored any longer thanks to internet trends and online retailers. Affordable and ranging in size, it is the perfect stone for new age consumers looking to be fashion forward and unique while remaining budget conscious.

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