Message from the CEO

Posted By: Douglas Hucker News,
Douglas Hucker

Celebrating Gemstones

Welcome to the second issue of InColor for 2024 (Volume 51). I hope you enjoy this magazine as much as I do. It's always a personal pleasure to know that, even after the many years I have been fortunate to be a member of this beautiful industry, I can pick up a magazine like InColor and learn so many things that are new and exciting. It reminds me of why I have been a part of this industry for so many years. Our purpose in this publication is not to be a rigidly scientific tome, but rather to provide a magazine that engenders and fuels the true passion we share for colored gemstones.

The wonderful article on Baltic Amber celebrates a material that has been regarded for centuries as a desirable article of adornment, a vehicle for trade, and a gemstone unlike any other. A gem that truly tells its story through all matters of life that have been suspended within its structure. Gazing into the interior of a lovely piece of amber can often give us a visual link to our past. It also reminds us that our fascination with gem materials has been with us since the dawn of civilization and grows ever stronger. But, because of amber’s strong appeal, it has also engendered many imitations and this article highlights the main reproductions and treatments and how to understand and watch out for them.

Even while we celebrate the evolution of jewelry making, I am often struck by how much we cling to yesterday for inspiration and enjoy how the past often shapes the present. In the 1st Dibs Jewelry Trend Report (see page 12 of Industry News) I was amused to see that the top trends are chokers, bows, serpents, signet rings, statement pearls, and tennis bracelets. That statement could have been pulled directly from a Victorian newspaper and been as relevant then as it is today. OK, not tennis bracelets, but you get the gist.

And, whether it is a dazzling new discovery as detailed in Cynthia Unninayar’s story on Caroline Chartouni and Kalim Korey’s new Madagascar sapphires, or an expression of how underappreciated garnets are in Lauriane Lognay’s Ode to Garnet, we need to constantly remind ourselves that our excitement over these beautiful objects is often a result of our personal understanding of the range of beauty available in the gemstone kingdom.

That understanding is the result of our efforts to study and stay abreast of what has been, and what is happening in the gemstone universe. This is critical to your success as a merchant of colored gemstones. My longtime friend (since 7th grade) and most respected colleague, Janice Mack, used to remind students in the GIA classes that we taught that “education leads to knowledge, knowledge leads to appreciation, and appreciation leads to sales.” Truer words were never spoken.

Your clients today often gravitate to certain gems that appeal to their esthetic sensibilities. Gemstones that help them express their individual persona. But they also appreciate a presentation that helps them understand the gems and make an informed purchase. Sure, they know ruby, sapphire and emerald. Decisions on these classic gems often revolve around understanding how value is established. But when venturing into spinel, tourmaline, fancy sapphires and the like, you need to put some effort into educating them about the gem’s unique history, where it comes from, how to care for it and its quality characteristics. Every gemstone has a story that combines with its innate beauty that helps customers truly appreciate what a special purchase they are making.

Please enjoy this issue of InColor. Read it from front to back, and then again, and draw from it the inspiration you need to be even more successful in your approach to gemstones. If you are a member of ICA, you are receiving this issue free as a member benefit. If you are not yet a member, please contact me at our office and let me make sure you never miss an issue.

Douglas K. Hucker