Monday, June 29, 2009

All That Glitters Website and Info Changes for June 2009

Here are the changes to look for on the All That Glitters website for June 2009:

This Months Special: Fossil Leaf From Oregon - 33 Millions Years Old

An interesting piece collected by the owner of All That Glitters on a fossil expedition to Oregon in 2007.

This Months Gem News: AGTA Andesine Disclosure and 'New Bling' Articles

Articles discussing the fact that all but the Oregon Red Andesine is diffusion treated and should be disclosed,and natural minerals/gemstones growing in popularity. (This also appears on our Blog)

Newly Faceted or Photographed Gemstones:

The World Of Gemstones Introduction - Now Available Online!:

The Introduction to The World of Gemstones, sponsored by All That Glitters, with the Host being the owner of

All That Glitters, can be be viewed on YouTube. This was the introduction to the tv show and originally aired in 1996/1997.

All That Glitters continues to thrive and has added another 13 years of selling to the trade/public, totalling almost 3 decades.

Currently in the Cutting Process by Our Award Winning Master Cutter:

There is nothing currently in faceting. Though many might think that companies are selling their inventory at lower prices due to economic

circumstances, fine gemstones and gemstone rough is not only holding their prices, but increasing. We haven't been purchasing

much rough as the very fine rough we seek is not available; and when it is, the prices for the rough are far higher than gemstones we currently have already faceted and available for sale! All larger important rough in our inventory has currently been faceted, and no other material is being re-faceted. Though we have some fine blue green, neony blue, teal and similar colors in Tourmaline from the Nuristan area of Afghanistan, we have sufficient gemstones already faceted and have no plans to facet this old and valuable material for the time being.

All That Glitters Encounters Variations of Southern Hospitality - also known as Stories On The Road...

We found ourselves in North Carolina once again, this June. There was not enough time to visit some of the award winning goldsmiths as we had in the past, even though that would have meant more sales.

We never know what to expect when visiting a store for the first time, and we usually peruse the cases to see if there are fine gemstones and unique settings/custom work. If there is neither and the store simply purchases from jewelry manufacturers in the U.S. or abroad, the only potential sale of All That Glitters gemstones would be to the owners or employees, assuming they wish gems for themselves/family and understand quality, color, size, cutting, clarity, polish, etc. Only a small percentage of retail jewelry stores have a background in gems, and understand the importance of the factors mentioned above. Custom jewelry stores and custom goldsmiths are stores that we seek out.

Story 1 - The Usual All That Glitters Visit
We stopped into a jewelry store that was new to us in Charlotte. I was personally skeptical, as this was a true cold call, with no background check as to the quality and capability of the store to handle high end gems or to create custom designs. Before even getting to see what was in the cases, I was approached by a gentleman and I explained who I was in a few sentences. I typically open up a small gemstone case showing 8 gemstones. If the person is the gemstone buyer or a person knowledgeable with gemstones in general, they will realize that what they are viewing is something very different than what one normally sees in the trade, and I will be asked to show them more. In this case, I was asked immediately to the back office so he could see what I had with me on this trip - something irregular as most stores think that All That Glitters has the simple, standard, everyday inexpensive gemstones that most dealers have when they come through their front door. Once the first case was opened, his eyes lit up and he was in awe of colors of gemstones that he had no idea were possible (in this case, greenish/teal Tanzanite, our Super Blue Tanzanite, Neon Apatite, Neon Tourmaline and even our Custom Designed Elegante Cut dazzled this viewer). He called some of the other store personnel in, as I continued to show quality gemstones far finer than he or the others had seen during their years in the jewelry trade. At one point, he mumbled under his breathe - "Jesus....look at that one". He then yelled out to the front, "Bob, come in here. There are things here that you have never seen before". Bob too was amazed and it continued like that for about another 45 minutes. The store purchased two gemstones where the rough had been photographed for a JCK trade magazine article, and another U.S. gemstone that might appear in a book on gemstones in 2010. Both gemstones were faceted by our award winning master cutter from rough that the owner of All That Glitters had personally selected over the years. This particular store intends on displaying their two gemstone purchases in the case, and it was explained to me that it doesn't matter if they sell or not - they are beautiful, and are a natural draw to other items for sale within the same case.

The above story is true and also happened in another store the previous year, just a block away from the store above! This is more of the norm when All That Glitters hits the road and visits jewelry stores. Many times we walk into stores, and never show the store anything in gemstones. Sometimes we just have a conversation; other times, we just walk out. In over a quarter century in the gemstone business, we know who our customers will be and it is fruitless to attempt to sell gemstones to a store if their clients would not be interested or able to afford finer quality color. Some stores may be surprised by sales, if they would just make an attempt and put a few unique and unusual pieces in the case. If they do not sell, it certainly is impressive and customers won't forget it. If the store does custom work, we do make an attempt to talk to the gemstone purchaser, a gemologist, the owner, etc. to at least show them one case of fine color and always leave a business card and literature on All That Glitters.

Story 2 - The Most Unusual All That Glitters Experience in 28 years!
This interesting story took place just prior to the above case, in Fort Mill, SC, on Main Street which I think was the older section of that town. I had found this store via the internet, a company claiming - "Specializing in Top Quality Custom Design Jewelry, Manufacturing, & Repair". Since I was on the other side of town for business, I thought I would stop in. The temperature and humidity was already increasing and it was not even noon time. This part of town had a charm reminiscent of many small downtown's of the past. I looked into the jewelry store window, noticed the store was small and what was to be expected from a store that hadn't changed much since the 1940 or 50s. From the front window, I was skeptical of whether they really did custom design work, as many use that term if they resize a ring or set stones! I walked in and it was nice to get out of the southern heat. I was greeted in the background by an older saleswoman and a younger man sitting in a seat wearing the typical visor that a person who repairs jewelry might wear. This is how the conversation transpired and I have done my best to paraphrase:
Salesperson and Owner: Good Morning.
ATG: Good Morning.
Salesperson: And how are you this morning?
ATG: Hot. It is good to be in an air conditioned store. It's already too hot out there.
Salesperson: If I can help you with anything, just let me know.
ATG: I am just looking right now. Thank you.
(looking to see what my thoughts are as to the amount and type of custom jewelry they 'might' do, and looking at the colored gemstones.
Made my way to the back where they were both located, the woman goes more to the back and the owner is still sitting on the chair. I am the only one in the store. I do not really see items in the case where I think that he would be interested in our colored gemstones. I am here, 1000 miles from the office, and think that I should clarify his custom work and show him something, because the bottom line is, one just doesn't know - and he could also recommend that I see someone else in the area!)
ATG: Do you do lots of custom work?
Owner: Some.
ATG: Any designing with CAD/CAM?
Owner: No.
ATG: Do work with a lot of color?
Owner: Some.
ATG: I am Allen Brown, owner of All That Glitters in New England and with an office also on the West Coast in California. We are known for fine quality colored gemstones, traveling and purchasing rough from around the world and we facet the rough in the United States.
(I give him a card, take one of his. I open a case containing 8 gemstones.)
Owner: (Doesn't even look at the gems, sits there with his arms crossed) I thought that was what you were about.
ATG: (consufed and unsure of what the situation is...)
Not something you normally can use or work with?
Owner: I don't like your attitude.
ATG: (flabbergasted as they say, as I had come in smiling and happy, and if no sales, still looking to learn more about the store, the owner and have a good conversation, though possibly somewhat brief).
I'm confused. Attitude? What did I do or say?
Owner: You didn't identify yourself.
ATG: Didn't identify myself?
Owner: You should have told me who you were.

Needless to say, his attitude didn't change any, and I went back into the heat, where I received real praise and true southern hospitality, as well as sales, just about 30 mins away in Charlotte.

Maybe I should have yelled out "Gemologist Walking" as I entered the door. What was he expecting? Shouldn't a person coming in to a store, look to see what is there, not just out of courtesy, but so things can be discussed if I should see something that I would like to comment on? I would think that if I did go right over to him and explained who I was, he would have complained that I didn't look in his cases and therefore, I wouldnt have even had to ask about whether he worked with color. Of course, if I based my judgement on what was indeed in his cases, I probably would have walked out, not introduced myself, but then I wouldn't have had this wonderful story to relate to others in my travels!

This was the most bizarre story of being on the road in years and what some feel is just unprofessional on his part and others say is unfortunate for him. I told this story to a custom goldsmith two days later. This gentlemans store has incredible gemstones and custom design work (and has purchased gemstones from All That Glitters with hopes of purchasing much more in the future). This man KNOWS his gemstones and we get along tremendously well because of that fact. He got a chuckle out of my story and said that some goldsmiths can be quite eccentric. I asked him about other local stores that I should visit, as he is a good resource for those businesses who would use ATG quality color. He did mention one goldsmith and chuckled once again about this particular goldsmith, as he is known to be quite eccentric/odd, and believes no one is a better goldsmith than he. I also smiled, because I had visited his store the year before, and though I did walk past the goldsmith going into his store(and never got to meet him in person), I had the 2nd most bizarre story in years when dealing with his young female salesperson...but that is a story for another time!