In an increasingly competitive gemstone landscape where jewelry is abundant and prices are all over the map, it takes a lot more know-how to stock the pieces that can close the sale. We can show major brands that are stylish, but so can the store down the street. We can include individual designers, but getting quantity when we need it can be a challenge.
Each year Pantone delivers the color of the year, which may help us project what colors consumers will favor in 2024 – then again it may not. For the record Pantone, offers us Peach Fuzz for 2024, which can take a bit of interpretation to land on the exact tone they are projecting. Is it pale peachy-pink? Or is it the beige tint of actual peach fuzz? We don’t know.
Offering the Hard to Find
What we do know is that in a sea of brilliant gemstone options there are many that woo an avid collector. But if there is one word which causes the jewelry fan to stop in her or his tracks, it’s the pronouncement that something is rare.
In the world of jewelry, however (as contrasted to the more erudite rockhounds) a gem should be rare and beautiful at the same time in order to capture the heart of a collector.
Let’s take a peek at some stones that truly are rare – some more than others. Still they are worth keeping top-of-mind to engage your loyal customers. They expect you to guide them in curating a jewelry collection worthy of keeping and passing down to their heirs.
Alexandrite. Once called the “emerald by day, ruby by night”, this elegant stone originally found in Russia’s Ural Mountains is now sourced elsewhere, like Brazil. Stones from different global deposits often exhibit 2 different hues – rather than the classic green and red. No matter where this stone is sourced, it is endlessly fascinating to the owner and fortunate viewer who marvel that a stone can entirely change its color under different lighting.
Tanzanite. A couple decades back, promoters were telling us that Tanzanite was a ‘generational gemstone’. It is now a new generation, and this unusual variation of zoisite is still around. But it’s still rare, nonetheless. It can be found in one very small region in Tanzanite – and nowhere else. So, thinking reasonably, it will be completely mined out someday. The deposit is roughly 7 km wide by 2 km long, and that’s it. Besides its scarcity, Tanzanite is produced in a head turning blue-violet that is undeniably Tanzanite. Nothing else looks quite like it.
Black Opal. These natural gemstones have taken an upward trajectory in the last few years. There are of course so many opal varieties. They are divided into precious opal (with the dazzling play of color phenomenon) and common opal which exhibits a rainbow of colors yet without the opalescent play of colors. But black opals are the drama queens of this species. Radically colorful and highly sought after, black opal is hard to acquire – and its steep price tag bears witness to its rarity.
Red Beryl. Here’s another beauty that has limited quantities and is found in an unusually singular region of Utah. As the name suggests, this rosy stone comes from the same family of gem minerals that give us aquamarine and emeralds. Yet, it’s far less available and even when found, very few specimens are considered gem quality. The red rarity is a true collectors dream. Since there are not many large crystals of this stone, we’ve found it becoming the adored accent stone on custom jewelry.
Painite. If you don’t know about this stone, you should, tout de suite. Everybody it seems yearns for what they can’t have – and many rare stones offer the promise of finding something that no one else has. Since we’re on the topic of rare gemstones, we can’t miss this one, even though there are very few of them to be found – in the world. Painite is a lovely deep crimson gem mineral with a Mohs hardness of around 8 making it ideal for jewelry. But since few have been unearthed, you are forgiven for not being more familiar with the material. Thus far, this stone has only turned up in Myanmar (Burma), and Madagascar.
As you consider what to show your customers this year, make sure to offer some rare or hard to find stones for them. It will help your clients see themselves as true collectors, curating with intent. And positions you as the authority they need to keep close by to make their jewelry collection worthy of passing down to the next generation.