b'THE STATE OF RETAIL DIAMONDSJEWELRYCOLORED DESIGN STONESQ:W market was affected greatly. The prices of e lost a lot of people during the pan-demic. What kind of impact has thisgemstones definitely increased significantly had on the colored gemstone supplyand [even more so] in some areas compared chain and, ultimately, prices? to others.A: The pandemic had a great impact onQ: If you were to be reincarnated as amany ASM (artisanal and small-scale) gemstonegemstone, which one would it be and why? miners. We lost some of them and others were in a really badA:Sapphire (pictured above). I just love seeing a beautifully place, as there was little or no mining for a while and the access tocut and unusual sapphire. It makes me really happy.What price points are performingRon well?Sandor BENCH PROFESSIONALHeather: Because we have always beenCo-president,CERTIFICATION PROGRAMlocated at the street level in the NewA and C Gem York City Diamond District, and weTrading Corp.have an extensive inventory that is almost 40 years in the making, we have an incredibly diverse client base, ranging from the young bespoke designers to the old-school 47th Street diamond dealers.There is only one thread that seems to be consistent and that is, regardless of the price point, the clients are always choosing to work with fine, bright, quality colored stones.VALIDATEQ: Every year, Pantone names a Color of the Year. ThisHeatheryour skills. year, it is Viva Magenta. Does this annual announcementSandorimpact desirability?Ron: I dont think Pantone influences the colored stone market trends.Co-president, COMMUNICATEA and C Gem Color trends take many years to develop like the blue-green trend,Trading Corp.which we first noticed about six years ago when we began to get simi- your professionalism.lar color requests from a diverse array of clients.Q: What colored gems do you predict will become scarcegrayish blue would signal Thai material, and a cornflower or royalin the next five to 10 years?blue color would generally indicate a Sri Lanka/Ceylon origin. ThenDIFFERENTIATEMadagascar material appeared in the marketplace and was virtually Ron: If I had held onto the Paraba [tourmalines] I bought 20 yearsindistinguishable from the Sri Lankan sapphires.your business.ago, I would have far outperformed the stock market!Q:If you were to be reincarnated as a gemstone, Q: Origin has been tied to value. Do you agree with this prac- which one would it be and why? tice, or do you think a gems beauty and quality should deter-mine the value? Heather: Wow, it would be the tried-and-true classic royal blue Ceylon sapphire (pictured at Heather: Unfortunately, too many people both in and out of ourright)! There is something truly magical about a industry can fall prey to excellent marketing campaigns, which aregem that has stood the test of time and remainsJEWELERS.ORG/highly effective at promoting a specific brand or mine. one of the most desirable and recognizable of allBENCHCERTIFICATIONColombian emeralds are highly sought after in the consumerscolored stones.mind, but we have seen some of the most stunning, vivid green, clean emeralds come from Brazil where the mine uses only minor amountsRon: Simple, fine aquamarine (pictured at right) of oil to treat their gems.always makes me think of a beautiful Caribbean Sapphires used to be easily geographically identified by their par- Ocean, relaxing and inviting! Plus, Brazil is such ticular shade of blue.a special place, bringing so many special gems to A deep, midnight navy blue would mean Australian sapphires, athe world. 74 STATE OF THE MAJORS 2023'