Monthly Archives: December 2011

Seven Expert Tips for Selling Color

1. Color Is Personal

When selling colored gemstones, remember that color is very personal. People are drawn to certain colors or shades that fit their personality or taste. For instance Sapphires come in all shades and even colors. Someone may prefer a light blue to a “royal” blue, even though the royal blue may be a more expensive and traditional color. Or maybe their birthstone is sapphire, but they don’t like blue! That’s why it’s important to let them know that most gemstones can come in a variety of different colors and shades.

Color is Personal

2. Color is a Powerful Psychological Trigger

Color creates strong emotions, which can sometimes mean the difference between loosing or making that sale, so you need to know the basics associations people make with certain colors. Reds have association with love, warmth, excitement and passion. Blues evoke feelings of power, professionalism, trustworthiness and calmness. Greens remind people of nature, life and money. Oranges bring feelings of affordability, creativity, fun and youth, while purples conjure royalty, luxury, fantasy and dreams. Since you’ve learned more about the personality of your customer by following the first step above, you can think of the emotions equated and better judge which color matches with their personality.

Color is a Powerful Psychological Trigger

3. More Rare Than Diamonds

Let your customers know that because gemstones are gathered from all corners of the world, each is a unique creation that brings with it a rich history blending the mystery of nature with the skill of man. When selling a colored stone or gemstone jewelry design, sell the fact that it is very unique and the color is everlasting.

Gemstones come from all corners of the world and are more rare than diamonds.

4. Don’t Be Afraid of Treatments

Be honest and straightforward about treatments and if you aren’t sure, you should ask your supplier. We all know that today’s consumer does more research and takes the time to educate himself or herself before they walk into your store. Most consumers are fine with treatments or enhancements in colored stones, but if they are not informed of it, they may feel they have been mislead. In fact, it is required by law to disclose any treatments to colored gemstones or gemstone jewelry. Remember that an informed buyer is a confident buyer and a confident buyer is a comfortable customer. There are many resources you can check, including this AGTA video on disclosure: or you can always call AGTA or us for specific questions.

Don't be Afraid of Treatments

5. Tell a Story About the Gem

Gemstones tell wonderful stories and can take you on a journey to an exotic location or a journey through time. When you gaze into a gem, you are seeing the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro or even ancient Egypt. Here are just a few of my favorite stories from the amazing world of gemstones:

Spinel: The British Crown Jewels contain some of the most famous and valuable gemstones in the world. One of the most famous gems in the world is the “Black Prince Ruby,” A 170-carat red gemstone set in the center of the Imperial State crown. If you have ever had the privilege of viewing this beautiful gem, you know its red glows as if on fire. But the Black Prince Ruby isn’t actually a ruby at all! It’s a fine red spinel. Throughout history, red spinel has been confused with ruby because it can be similar in color and is usually mined in the same areas. Spinel can be found in a variety of different colors with shades of red or blue being the most desirable. The most well known historical location for red spinel is Mogok, Burma and spinel of many colors have been found in Sri Lanka. Today new deposits of gem-quality spinel have been found around the world, including Tanzania. Despite spinel’s similarity to ruby, it’s more rare and, surprisingly, more affordable. That makes it particularly interesting to the collectors that know its story.

Paraiba Tourmaline: Tourmaline is another stone that can be found in a variety of different colors. Almost all of these varieties can be found in Brazil. In 1989 the most rare and expensive of all tourmaline was discovered in the state of Paraiba, in Brazil. These stunning neon blue and green stones soon became known as Paraiba Tourmaline. They owe their vivid blue and green coloration to trace amounts of copper found within them. Paraiba tourmaline is generally quite included, finding a clean one is rare in any size, but especially over one carat. Recently there has been a new discovery of tourmaline in Mozambique. This variety of tourmaline also contains copper and produced gemstones similar in color to Paraiba tourmaline. These new Mozambique tourmalines are not as saturated and vivid as the Paraiba material but are still very beautiful and unique, supplying the market with larger and cleaner versions that were previously not available. There has been much debate in the industry about whether or not these new copper-bearing tourmalines should be called “Paraiba” tourmaline. Gems from both regions are beautiful so it’s more a case of availability and personal taste.

The “Black Prince Ruby,” A 170-carat red gemstone set in the center of the Imperial State crown is actually a Spinel.

6. Show Celebrities Wearing Color

Colored gemstones are very popular in current celebrity fashion and bridal. The popularity of this new trend can be attributed to the recent actions of a few celebrities, most notably Kate Middleton.The princess-to-be was proposed to by Prince William and was presented with Princess Diana’s heirloom ring. This ring features a brilliant 18 carat blue sapphire center stone surrounded by 14 colorless diamonds. Some other celebrities that are using colored gems in their engagement rings are Jessica Simpson and Eric Johnson whose engagement ring has a 4 carat oval shaped ruby flanked by two diamonds. Many brides to be are rushing to get their own custom made rings with colored gems. Color is also hot on the red carpet! Check out some celebrity color trends here:

Jessica Simpson shows off her ruby engagement ring.

7. Ask Omi Gems!

We are always here to help if you need to close a sale! We have 5 generations in the gemstone business with over 75 years of combined experience. We can provide articles, insight, images of both rough and finished gems and mining areas, as well as advice about treatments or certification. We are even happy to speak with your clients directly. Feel free to call us anytime at 877.OMI.GEMS or email us at

Posted in Gemstones, Retail, Trends | 2 Comments
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Alexandrite – The Magic of Change

Alexandrite is one of the most amazing and rare gemstones ever discovered. It changes colors in different lighting, from hues of greens and blues in daylight to reds and purples in incandescent light. Alexandrite was discovered in April of 1834 in the Ural Mountains of Russia. It was named after Tsar Alexander II since it was discovered around the time of the future Tsar’s coming of age. Since red and green were the colors of Imperial Russia it quickly became the national stone of Russia, worn by royalty and nobility.

Fine alexandrite from Russia is very rare and only found in older estate pieces. In 1987 a new find of Alexandrite was discovered in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Although there are other areas where Alexandrite has been found, the new Brazilian source for alexandrite produces the finest gems seen since the 19th century. The most important factor in determining the value of an Alexandrite is the color change: the more dramatic the shift, the higher the value.

Alexandrite is a stone for connoisseurs and collectors but its story, connecting the mountains of Russia and the rainforest of Brazil, makes it an even more valuable treasure.

Alexandrite as seen in daylight has more blue to green hues. Photo by Geoffrey Watt

Alexandrite as seen in incandescent light has more red to purple hues. Photo by Geoffrey Watt

Alexandrite in its rough state.

A stunning 5.16 oval cut alexandrite displaying a rainbow of hues. 

Brazilian alexandrites were first discovered near Hematita in the Minas Gerais State of Brazil during 1987 and quickly gained high international acclaim for the outstanding degree of color change exhibited by these extraordinary gems. Since the time of the original finds, the production of top-quality material has been small and sporadic. Brazilian alexandrites are known for their combination of high clarity and exceptional color change effect under any light source.

Check out some of these rare pictures from the Alexandrite mine in Brazil:

Overlooking the Alexandrite mine near Hematita, Brazil. 

Layers of dirt are taken off the surface until the rough Alexandrite is reached.

Once back at the workshop, rough Alexandrite is painstakenly sorted and graded piece-by-piece.

Call or email us for Alexandrite availability or with any questions you have about this amazing stone.

Posted in Gemstones, Trends | 1 Comment
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