Now this is an exciting installment in this new book and is a topic that has always been close to my heart ever since I knew such a thing existed. Birthstones. Once my interest in Jewellery was triggered I started to wonder about Birthstones as being part of what one would need in order to make personal jewellery. So I went on the hunt for affordable sources.
Everyone loves jewellery and everyone likes to feel that they have something that is personal to them. And let’s face it, if you know the birthdays of your customers or just your friends, then it is always a great idea to find a personalized gift for them at gift giving time. And what better personalized gift could you pick up for them, but something that features their birthstone.
Not all birthstones are expensive – take for example opals. They are relatively cheap as compared to diamonds, rubies or emeralds. You can pick up opals of all hues and of course for varying prices as well. The ones that are dark in body tone are generally more expensive than those that are the lighter colours. There is a reason for this in that the darker bodied stones tend to be more brilliant in their display of colours. Black Opal would be the most expensive stone in this genre with prices coming in at more than $15000 Australian dollars per their carat weight.
There is the opportunity to buy simulated stones of course which would more than likely suit your budget better when you are a hobbyist Jewellery manufacturer. This just means that the stones are not genuine, but still have a pleasing aesthic appeal. When you use such stones, then it is important to make sure your customers do know that they are NOT the real thing. Many people are happy to have a simulated stone purely because of the price, but then you will always get the customers who would like the REAL stone and so you really need two sources of gemstones – one for simulated stones and the other for real stones.
Synthetic gemstones are grown in a laboratory and not in nature as are real stones. Manufacturers of synthetic stones use low cost materials to keep their prices as low as they can while enjoying a high production rate. While the results of these growths are still beautiful and often resemble the real thing, they are certainly nowhere near the beauty or value of the real made-in-nature stone.
Real gemstones are pieces of mineral crystals and come in a hard form as well as a soft mineral form. The soft mineral types are known for their sheen or other aesthetic value. The rarer the gemstone of course the more valuable it becomes. When such a crystal has been harvested, then they are cut and polished which allows their colours and shapes to be more enhanced for pieces of fine jewellery. Some jewellery pieces are made out of a certain rock such as lapis lazuli, or an organic material similar to a mineral but not quite – amber or jet.
Again the Internet is the best source for finding birthstones and because there are so many wholesale outlets that specialise in providing gemstones, whether simulated or real, the prices are usually very good in that they are very, very low. It is just your job to ensure the authenticity of the company to whom you wish to put your business their way. Make sure that what they advertise is what they advertise. Do not be fooled by real or fake. Do your homework.
Another thing to be careful of, is that with each order, you are absolutely sure that the stone you are using is exactly the birthstone you should be using to make the piece. Not being familiar with your market could cost you a lot of money. Each month is represented by a certain stone and it also depends on which tradition being followed.
I was fooled for a long while when I always thought that my birth stone was a peridot until one time I came across another birthstone being advertised in its place. I was quite upset, thinking that I had been led astray for many years, however, I found out that it all depends who is making the jewellery as to what their traditions are amongst their people.
You see, I didn’t know that August had 2 birthstones – that of the Peridot and that of the Sardonyx. Whereas the Peridot tends towards varying colours of green which lends itself to the other name they are called by and that is the evening emeralds, the sardonyx is more amongst the grey to white colours and is a silica mineral called chalcedony.
There are beautiful stories attached to these two birthstones for August, therefore, it would be interesting to follow them up in a another chapter later in this book.
So make sure, when you get your order from your customer, exactly which stone they are referring to when they order their August Birthstone. It could result in a terrible misunderstanding if the right expected one is not the one that they receive.
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