b'THE STATE OF RETAIL DIAMONDSJEWELRYCOLORED DESIGN STONESAre you seeing aJefferygrowing popularity for colored gem- Bollingstones from yourOwner and consumer base?Designer atJeffery B Jewelers Yes, but in an unusual way for me that Ive seen for the first timethe request for engage-ment rings. A lot of times, you think its because they think it could be less expensive, and its not the case. Theyre just very happy about having something different than a diamond. Thats been something new. Weve done a yellow sapphire, a green tsavorite, and I recently delivered an amethyst in an engagement ring with diamonds on the side.Q: When the pandemic hit, did you have to createor improve your digital presence, or did you already have one? A: I always felt that in a small business, the key is to be able to be extremely proactive in reaction to problems in the industry, and so I went right to work setting up this Zoom situation. I did some classes on Zoom and I immediately started to post on all social media that we were avail-able for Zoom meetings. Zoom helped us through the pandemic and Id like to start pushing it even more because I think I could spread out my customer base beyond the state of Colo-rado if I could do more Zooms. Q: Are your customers requesting higher-quality colored gems,Q:If you were to be reincarnated as a gemstone, which one even if it means acquiring a smaller stone?would it be and why? A: Yes and no. I think the attitude is al- A: Alexandrite (pictured at center) because of though lab-grown diamonds are veryits rare and unique properties, which are well accepted, when it comes to color,not widely known. It is also associated they are willing to downsize to knowwith qualities such as balance, harmony, theyre getting natural; natural colorand self-control, making it a desirable is more important than naturalgemstone to possess.diamond! Q: Every year, Pantone names aColor of the Year. This year, it is Viva Magenta. Does this annual announcement impact desirability? A: It does affect peoples thought processCushion-cut Brazilian alexandrite courtesy of Omi Gems,CONTINUING EDUCATION BYomigems.comof what color they like. I talked to a mar-keting guy about what this means, and how people look at it in the marketing world, truly looking at it big time. Continued on page 7270 STATE OF THE MAJORS 2023'