b'THE STATE OF RETAIL DIAMONDSJEWELRYCOLORED DESIGN STONESJohn How are you connecting with the next generation of colored gem- Ferrystone consumers, designers, etc.? Founder and CEO of Given that our industry is so richcolored gemstonein terms of information and theresmining companyso many layers and aspects to theProsperity Earthtrade, being transparent and focusing on education is extremely important. Q:What are the challenges for colored gemstones right now?A shot of Prosperity Earths demantoid garnet mine in A: The availability of rough supply. Thats not a challengeMadagascarfor us per se, because were the miner, right? A comment I hear repeatedly from designers, jewelers, retailers, and dealers is they cant replenish stock fast enough and/or atA: Over the next several years, companies that have a rich backstory the right price. and a strong ethos, be they jewelers or designers or miners such as us, are going to have really big success. Q:We lost a lot of people during the pandemic. What kind ofI believe the industry is becoming more savvy about transparency impact has this had on the colored gemstone supply chain and,and authenticity and is able to tickle out whos who, whos real and ultimately, prices? whos not, whos creative and whos notreally, really green pastures ahead for the gem industry. A: Prices in general are firmer and in addition to pricing as I men-tioned, supply is tight.Q: I f you were to be reincarnated as a gemstone,Theres definitely more of a premium for melee. I dont know ifwhich one would it be and why? thats something youve heard but [its the case] especially on the dia-mond side; diamond melee and the big cutting centers in India wereA: This is the easiest question to answer. OK, Id affected [by the pandemic]. 100 percent come back as a demantoid [garnet, [This is fueling a] very big push in substitution where color is be- pictured at right] of course and the reason being, ing used a lot more than diamonds, especially in melee, which I thinkI love my home. is a great thing for the industry as far as expressiveness, creativity, andI love the people who pulled me out of the ground, originality. the environment of northern Madagascar, and the associa-tion of the water, but also the incredible biodiversity and rich culture. Q:Do you want to make any predictions for our readersAll of that is intertwined in my existence as a gem. Not only that, but based on your experience in the industry?its also the most beautiful gem with the biggest smile and the most fire. Monica StephensonOrigin has been tied to value. Do you agree with this, or do you think a gems beauty President, Anza Gemsand quality should determine the value? and idazzle I look at gems as valuable in terms of how they came to market, how many hands touched that gem and were those hands properly acknowledged or compensated along the way?Q: Are your customers requesting higher-quality coloredgemstones even if it means acquiring a smaller stone? A: Tucson is a good benchmark because it was a great opportunity to interact with people so personally and really get their feedback. We deal with what comes out of the ground and a lot of our gems 72 STATE OF THE MAJORS 2023'