Are you a breeder and would you love to see you business grow as fast as your puppies grow? Gem Lady Treasures would love to help you do just that!
As a breeder you have a most unique position, a position that other businesses don’t have. You do not sell puppies, you give families the opportunity to grow their family. Society has changed over the past twenty years. Dogs are no longer possessions; they are four-legged kids – fur babies!
According to an article written for Bloomberg Business Week by Ben Crair on August 18, 2015, he stated, “The U.S. pet industry has more than tripled over the past 20 years.” In an article for Consumer Affairs on August 15, 2016, Sarah D. Young wrote, “Americans spent upwards of $60 billion on pet products last year, and that number is expected to climb by $2 billion this year.” As a breeder I am sure you have felt this change. The question is, are you taking advantage of this boom in the industry?
How can you enhance your buyers experience? How can you create a relationship with your clients to build a repeat business? How can you encourage your clients to refer you to others? This is where Gem Lady Treasures comes in.
I spoke with a Dog Mom who received a unique collar when she purchased her dog from a breeder. She told me that even though her dog has outgrown the collar, she has kept it because it carries such wonderful memories for her; not only of the adoption, but the breeder as well. Another Dog Mom told me that she received a special dog collar from the breeder of her dog as a first birthday gift. She was absolutely thrilled to receive such a wonderful and unexpected gift. In addition to her dog being remembered by the breeder, it bonded her more to the breeder. She also said that she has sent other families to that breeder.
As a member of the Gem Lady Treasures Breeder Program, we will work with you in selecting natural gemstones and a design that would be specific only to you. Another option would be to create natural gemstone dog collars using the stone of the puppies birth month or adoption month. The dog collars would then either be a gift to the puppies family at the time of adoption, or as a first birthday gift. This gift is what is going to bond your customer to you just as your puppy is going to bond to their new family.
Business today is all about building relationships with our customers. Building a strong connection with your clients is smart business, doing so with natural gemstone dog collars is a creative way to grow your business.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can discuss in depth how the Gem Lady Treasures Breeder Program can help you create that special bond and wonderful memories with your clients, as well as grow your business!
When I was thinking about writing a blog on this particular subject, I asked several of my gemological friends what was their favorite gemstone and why. The responses I received were surprising. Only a few people were able to narrow it down to one gemstone. Douglas Liebman, GG* and owner of an Estate Jewelry business claimed that Cats Eye Alexandrite was his favorite. “The reason being is that it combines the two most interesting phenomenon in gemstones; color change and chatoyancy (cats eye).” Cornelis Hollander, Fine Jewelry Designer, favors Paraiba Tourmaline due to its “most beautiful neon green colors” he has ever seen. Dana Hanna, owner of Scottsdale Sparkles admires Pink Tourmaline for its metaphysical properties. “The vibration of this lovely pink crystal brings an influx of love, joy and happiness into your life.” Everyone else had more than one. Shelly Sergent, Curator of Somewhere In The Rainbow, A Modern Gem & Jewelry Collection, stated that “I can’t answer that…impossible!!!” Shelly went on to say that she likes “bright or sultry gems that sing, dance and are sexy”.
There were a couple that could narrow it down to a favorite gemstone to collect and a favorite gemstone for a piece of jewelry. William F. Ashford, ADM FGAA – Qualified Jeweller, Gemmologist, and Diamond Grader in Australia stated his favorite for jewelry was the classic diamond due to its “eternal beauty, durability and rarity”. As an Australian Gemmologist William chose Fine Precious Opal for a collection piece. It “exhibits full spectral colours rarely seen in any other natural gemstone”. Fellow Australian Donna Bollenhagen, Gemmologist and Diamond Grader, loves Tourmaline for jewelry and Rainbow Lattice Sunstone to collect. As far as collecting is concerned, Marc Allen Fleischer, GD, AJP* and Curator/Online Editor of Fleischer Museum prefers to collect specimens. His favorite specimens are the different varieties in the species of Tourmaline. Marc states that “Tourmaline is quite complex in its chemistry and is the last to crystallize in a cavity/pocket. That is how you get those wonderful color zones as the ‘soup’ of liquids and gases mix.” he further says that cutting a tourmaline loses the “termination and the striations that are observed in a natural crystal.”
Craig Lynch, GG* and Certified Insurance Appraiser is the owner of Ouellet & Lynch. He prefers to separate his favorites by color. “Red = Spinel, Green = Tsavorite (Garnet), Blue – Kashmir Sapphire, Orange – Spessartite (Garnet), Pink – Spinel, Pink/Orange – Padparadscha (Sapphire) or Topaz”. Whereas January Gaul, GG* favors gems with lots of color and movement in them such as Agates and Jaspers. I as well have two favorites, the first being Red Beryl. Red Beryl is a very rare gemstone which is principally mined in Utah, but there are also a couple of mines in New Mexico. It’s red color has been referred to as gooseberry red, carmine red, and scarlet red. My other favorite is Bi-color Imperial Topaz.
So what do you see when you study these photographs? I see gemstones with intense color, gemstones with two or more intense colors, and gemstones with phenomenon. All gemstones that Mother Nature creates are beautiful in their own right, but thanks to these gemological enthusiasts and professionals we have been exposed to some very special colored gemstones. Maybe next time when you visit a fine jewelry store, you may spend a little bit more time looking at them!
*GG: Graduate Gemologist degree Gemological Institute of America
*GD: Graduate Diamond degree Gemological Institute of America
*AJP: Accredited Jewelry Professional degree Gemological Institute of America
There is so much information available for those who want to learn about diamonds, but not a lot about colored diamonds and colored gemstones. Did you know that a round brilliant cut white (clear) diamond is graded differently than a round brilliant cut colored diamond? When looking at diamonds for the purpose of buying, the Four C’s (Clarity, Cut, Color, and Carat) come into play. The most important ‘C’ depends upon the person looking at the diamond, what they like to see in a diamond. When it comes to a colored diamond, the most important ‘C’ is color, color is everything!
When a cutter is given a rough white diamond, it is carefully looked at to determine what shape it should be cut into, to save as much weight of the material as possible. When a colored diamond is cut, bringing out the color is the ultimate goal, even if it comes to forfeiting some weight to achieve that goal. Cutting colored gemstones is the same as cutting colored diamonds, sacrifices will be made to achieve the best color possible.
When scientists and gemologists look at color, they view it with three things in mind; hue, tone and saturation. Hue is the first impression of an objects basic color. Tone is the degree of lightness or darkness of a color, and Saturation is the intensity or strength of the color. In the fine jewelry industry, color quality and gem value are inseparable. Each gemstone is given a color range that is acceptable. For example the green color range for an emerald and the green color range for a peridot will be completely different due to the chemical makeup of the gemstone. Without going into all the detailed science behind colored gemstones, color in a gemstone is determined by what chemical(s) was introduced to the crystal when it was growing. Nitrogen will cause a diamond to be yellow, but not a sapphire to be yellow, that would be iron.
This is just a highlight on the intense subject of color. I didn’t even get into the complicated subject of color treatments. What matters to you, the consumer, is what YOU are looking for in a colored gemstone ~ buy what you like. Even though I am aware that the highest color value in a tanzanite is a deep purplish-blue, I purchased a pair of pale violet-blue tanzanite’s to accent an aquamarine I have. The more vivid color would have been to harsh next to the sea blue of the aquamarine.
Hopefully this will help you begin to understand why prices on colored gemstones are all over the place. If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line or you can check out http://www.gia.edu/gem-encyclopedia. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is world-renown for it’s education and research in the field of gemology.
I took a two month leave of absence from my job under the Family Leave Act to help take care of my parents when my Dad fell and broke his hip. At that time I was working a commission only sales job of Fine & Fashion Jewelry at a major department store. When I went back to work, due to returns while I was gone, my sales were in the negative. Due to working commission only, this meant that I had to dig myself out of the negative before I could start earning money again. Needles to say I was not thrilled to be working for nothing, so I left. This gave me the opportunity to continue to help my parents.
During this time Lady Lacy Marie passed away, it was such a heart wrenching event for me. The house was so empty without the pitter patter of her paws and her silly antics that always kept me laughing. After two months, even though I was still grieving for Lacy, I just couldn’t stand the loneliness anymore. This was when Sir Nathan Asscher came into my life. Even though I still missed Lacy, the minute Nathan walked into the house it became a home again.
He loved the fact that I was home with him all day as I was just getting Gem Lady Treasures of the ground. He loves being right next to me all the time. He wants to be close enough so that some part of him is always touching me whether it be his paw or his back while he is napping. But times are changing.
After nine months of constantly being together, I start a new position working with Estate Jewelry as well as Loose Diamonds and Colored Gemstones next week. Due to this, Nathan is now going to be home alone several days a week. I know that he will eventually adjust, but being the doting Mother that I am, I want to make the adjustment period as easy as possible for him.
I plan on playing the radio while I am gone to give him some noise. I also thought I would leave some dirty clothes in his favorite napping spots so he will have my scent. Other than that I am not sure what to do for him. I have thought about getting him a brother or a sister, but I don’t know if he would like sharing me with another Fur Baby. If anyone has any other suggestions, please leave them in the comment section. Any ideas will be greatly appreciated!
I know, I know, I have been talking about this fabulous bed that I am building for Nathan forever. My poor fur baby, it was supposed to be his Christmas present, then Valentines present. He has been such a good sport about it, napping in it when he can. The current status is that despite my best efforts and advice from the guy at Home Depot, it is not turning out as it should.
I painted the legs and attached them to the bottom of the bed, they turned out great! It was really pretty simple and so I had hopes that the rest of the bed would be as well. Silly Me! That was the last thing that went well. Originally I was going to miter the sides of the bed, but quickly eliminated that idea because my miter box was to small to make the proper cuts. Using L brackets I attached the backboard and then the side boards. Problem is that the side boards do not meet up cleanly with the backboard, there is a triangular gap (whine!). They are cut straight, but I am wondering if the wood is warped or something. I’m really unsure as to what I should do about it. I could leave them that way and change the way I was going to decorate the bed. Instead do something to either hide the issues or make them part of the décor. Of course both sides have different issues!
I did get the pillows done and Nathan now has his own teddy bear. He doesn’t really play with his teddy bear, but each night he carries his teddy bear into the bedroom, and everyday he carries it outside. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to rescue that silly bear from the sprinklers!!!
Only time will tell how this project will end up!!!
Probably the biggest misconception about our collars is that we purchase leather dog collars and then add on the gemstones. However convenient that would be, it simply would not give us the tight quality control that we like to have on our product. I order strips of a high quality belt leather in a natural color. Two different widths are used; a five-eights inch for the xsmall & small and a one inch width for the medium, large, & xlarge.
For the collar, I take the leather strips and first cut them to the length I need. I then bevel the edges, both top and bottom. The reason is that it is more comfortable for the dog plus it is a nice finishing edge detail. Holes are then punched into the leather for the buckle to use and for assembling the collar. There is also a wrap around piece of leather that needs to be cut, beveled, and holes punched. This wrap around piece is how the buckle is attached to the collar. At this point if the leather is to be dyed black, that is done all by hand. Even when wearing gloves my hands always have a significant amount of black dye on them afterwards! Some comes off with major scrubbing and polish remover, but it usually takes several days for my hands to be back to normal! After dying and drying for 24 hours, the leather is then buffed by hand and a sealant is put on. This is then allowed to dry for at least 12 hours.
When completely dry, I use a leather stamp to stamp the size of the collar onto the wrap around piece. I also stamp my makers mark “GLT” (Gem Lady Treasures) onto the tongue of the belt. Here again care is needed when using the stamps. I have a Wedium instead of a Medium as proof! Now the assembly begins with hardware that is all nickel plated solid steel. The roller buckle is placed into the middle of the wrap around piece, being careful that the side stamped with the size is to the back side. Once again I learned this the hard way! The end of the collar is placed in-between the wrap and a rivet is hammered into place. The first dee ring is placed in-between the top of the wrap and the collar piece and then another rivet is hammered into place through all three layers. The second dee ring is added and the final rivet is hammered home. At this point, what I refer to as a ‘blank’ is completed. A blank is a collar that is ready to be stoned. I try to keep a number of sizes in blanks in both the natural and black colors on hand. That way when an order comes in, and I don’t all ready have one made, all I have to do is add the customers desired stones. By doing this I can ship out the order as fast as possible so the customer does not have to wait long for their purchase.
Not that the process up to now is not fun, but it is at this point where I can see the final dog collar coming together. When I first added the gemstones to the collars, I did a ton of measuring, converting inches (collar width) to millimeters (bead size) and back. Making sure all of my math was correct I used a quilting ruler to mark where I needed to place my needle punches. The major lesson I learned here was that despite using calibrated stones, no matter how many times I measured, how accurately I measured, and how accurately I converted my numbers, the layout was always off in some manner. I finally learned to use the actual stones themselves when measuring. By laying them out in the pattern I desired, I was able to place my needle punches in accurately. This is such a crucial part because once a punch is made, it is there forever. A needle will not go through the leather without a hole made for it. The needle punch is much smaller than a hole punch, only large enough for a needle and thread to go through the leather. If a mistake is made at this point, it is a costly mistake. After all, you have the investment of the materials and labor into a piece that is no longer useable. I have a few of these ‘very exceptional’ collars – (NOT) hanging in a special location in my workroom. I keep thinking that at some point in the future I will be able to figure out a way to use them!
We currently have two Collections for our collars. The In The RuffCollection uses Crazy Lace Agate, Dalmatian Jasper, Labradorite, Sodalite, and Unakite. The Haute Dog Collection uses Amethyst, Apatite, Aquamarine, Carnelian, Moonstone, Rose Quarts, and Ruby Zoisite. Each of the two collections has its own design. In The Ruff has the oval gemstones laying horizontal whereas the Haute Dog Collection has the oval gemstones laying vertical. I decided on this to help separate the two collections and give my customers options. Whichever design I am using, the process is basically the same. For the Haute Dog Collection, I do a backstitch on the back of the collar and add a drop of adhesive to secure the backstitch. Then I pull the needle and thread through the needle hole, place in a knot (much like you would see on a pearl necklace), add a natural gemstone bead, place another knot and then down the next needle hole. I do not tie off after each bead is placed in because then the back of the collar would look messy with starts and stops of the thread and dots of adhesive. For the In The Ruff Collection, after securing the thread on the back, I come up through the needle punch hole, add a natural gemstone bead and then go back down the next hole. I come up again in the next hole and then place a knot. The natural gemstone bead is then added and the process is continued. In this layout, the knots are placed in-between each bead. Another thing that I should mention is that when stitching on the natural gemstone beads, the tension in the thread is very important! The thread needs to be as tight as possible so that the gemstones are on the collar as tightly as possible. This ensures that the gemstones won’t get caught on anything and accidently pulled off. After a quality control check our unique, handmade leather and natural gemstone dog collar is complete.
As you can clearly see, our Gem Lady Treasures Dog Collars are labor intensive and created with lots of love, and yes, blood, sweat, laughes and tears. Depending on which gemstones are used, they all have their own personalities. I sincerely hope that there is one in either of the collections that will suit you and your Fur Baby. If not, let us know so we can find the perfect gemstone just for you!!!
Gemstones are those beautiful rocks or stones, gems that come from the earth. Yes, some are made in a laboratory by man, but I prefer the ones made by Mother Earth. To understand that they may have taken billions of years to get to the point they are when a miner extracts them from the ground, simply amazes me! Heat, cold, pressure, and all sorts of chemicals all play a role together to create these lovely baubles.
Without going into all of the science behind geology and gemology, we will stick to the simple basics about gemstones. All gemstones have a Species and a Variety. The Gem Species is a broad gem category based on chemical composition and crystal structure. The Gem Variety is a subcategory of the species based on color, transparency, or phenomenon. To translate, think of the Species being a Dog and the Variety would be a specific breed of dog. A different Species would be a Cat. Get it?
The Species Quartz is one of the most important minerals on earth and makes up one of the most popular gemstone groups in the world of colored gemstones. It is an attractive, durable, and inexpensive gemstone that can either be cut or carved into many forms and sizes. Quartz is the second most abundant mineral found in Earth’s continental crust, second only to Feldspar. A fascinating Variety of Quartz is Ametrine. Ametrine is the result when Amethyst and Citrine, both Varieties of Quartz, grow together into one crystal! Some other Varieties of Quartz include Carnelian, Rose Quartz and Smoky Quartz.
Gemstones have been cherished for thousands of years. There are gemstones that have been known since ancient times and there are gemstones that were discovered less than 50 years ago. Gemstones have been found in tombs dating back Before Christ, found in royal collections, found in buried ruins, found in streams, and found deep within the earth. Why do we love them so? There are so many reasons why; historical interest, family heirlooms, birthstones, metaphysical properties, color, worth, or even ‘just because’.
Examples of historical interest would be the Hope Diamond and the Black Prince’s Ruby in England’s Crown Jewels. The Hope Diamond started with Louis XIV in France. Then it was known as the French Blue. Over the centuries it was stolen and cut and stolen again and re-cut. One of the first American’s to own the Hope Diamond was Evalyn Walsh McLean. McLean was a very flamboyant lady who often lent the Hope Diamond “to friends to wear, including her Great Dane, Mike”!* In the English Crown Jewels, the Imperial State Crown has many significant gemstones on it, but the Black Prince’s Ruby is actually not a Ruby at all! In the beginning it was thought to be a Ruby, but after testing it turns out to actually be a Red Spinel. To this day it is still referred to as a Ruby.
A majority of families have a piece of jewelry that has been handed down over the years. Most likely the ladies engagement ring and/or the wedding band. Some recipients have the piece re-designed to make it more contemporary, like the fashion of the day. Others keep them as is, as more of a keepsake. Many people wear gemstone jewelry because it was given to them as a gift, they bought it for themselves because they liked it, it has their birthstone in it, the stone is their favorite color, or they are suffering from a aliment and believe the metaphysical properties could help relieve that aliment. But why should a dog wear a gemstone collar? Let’s take a look at our families.
Reports are showing that young couples today are waiting to have children and are having fur babies instead. Yes, fur babies. They are named that for a reason. As any dog lover knows, the dog is an essential part of the family, no longer the family pet. Not just to young families, but to all families and the dogs are becoming even more spoiled than they ever have been. Didn’t know that was possible right? Society changes all the time and what do they change? The easiest changes to note are the current fashions that are worn. We are now wearing computers on our wrists, arms, or legs. We were not doing that 50 years ago. Dogs were not wearing gemstone collars 50 years ago, but they also were not referred to as fur babies 50 years ago.
Our fur babies should wear these collars for the very same reasons why we wear gemstones. As a gift for the dogs unconditional love, to be unique and stand out in a crowd, the color looks great on them, or it is their birthstone (or adoption stone). They can even wear it for the metaphysical properties!
When you really think about it, is there really a reason dogs shouldn’t wear a gemstone collar? I think not!
* Gemological Institute of America, Diamond Essentials, Version 11/2008, chapter 3, page 13.
When I say the Gem Show I am really not stating it correctly because the “Tucson Gem and Mineral Show” actually consists of 45 gem and/or mineral shows happening all at the same time in Tucson. It is the LARGEST colored gemstone show in the WORLD! When driving around Tucson, you see tents everywhere, with few spaces for parking. What that means is you pick the show(s) you want to go to and find a parking place near by and walk the rest of the time.
My friend and I started at the AGTA (American Gem Trade Association) Show at the Tucson Convention Center. This show is THE show and not open to the public. The benefit of getting into this show was that once you had a badge from them, you could then get into any of the rest of the shows easily. It ended the next day so it had to happen then or wait until next year. This is the show where you find all of the “high” (and I mean HIGH) end stones and jewelry. Row after row of diamonds, rubies, sapphires etc. Frankly if you were looking for a specific stone, say an emerald, and you didn’t have anyone to recommend a vendor, you would be shopping all day long in just that show because there were so many vendors and literally tons of stones to choose from. This picture shows just part of all of the booths that were there.
I was very excited to actually see and touch Red Beryl! I had only read about and seen pictures of Red Beryl. It is very rare and very expensive. It is mined in Utah and current market pricing is approximately $10,000/Carat! The gentleman I spoke with was surprised that I knew it to be Beryl and not Rubies. He said he was getting tired of explaining to buyers the difference. Of course I read the little sign in the case stating it was Red Beryl! I did take his card, a girl can dream can’t she?!
I did see a ton of turquoise beads, but 99% of them were extremely to small for Gem Lady Treasures collars. I did find a couple of strands of 10mm square Sleeping Beauty Turquoise that was incredible, however at the price he wanted, it was not even close to the price I needed to keep our collars at their current prices. The Sleeping Beauty mine is located in southern Arizona and from what I understand it is currently closed. Depending on who you ask, it is either all mined out or just closed. What makes Sleeping Beauty Turquoise so wonderful is the beautiful blue color and the complete lack of matrix (veining) in the material.
Another booth that I had a lot of fun at was full of ‘necklaces’ made from rough gemstones that were partly polished. The stones were graduated and threaded. They would need to be re-strung with knots in-between the stones (to protect them) and then a clasp added. She had so many different and beautiful colored gemstones. She could tell that I was a gemstone lover at heart and started showing me her really good stuff (read: $$$$$). She pulled out an Aquamarine ‘necklace’ and I fell in love. Aquamarine is my birthstone so I have a great fondness for the stone. This necklace was a beautiful deep blue, a far cry from the washed out blue you so commonly see. It was very difficult but I left the necklace with her – but I did take her card!
On our way out, we stopped by a small exhibit of The Smithsonian Muesums National Gem Collection. A couple of displays that caught my eye were a dish full of Natural South Sea Pearls and my fav, The Logan Sapphire. This 423 ct sapphire from Sri Lanka is one of the largest faceted sapphires in the world. It is surrounded by 16 ctw of diamonds. A true beauty!
In our next blog is the Gem and Jewelry Exchange (GJX) Show!
In April of 2015, the sweetest dog, Lady Lacy Marie went to Heaven. I was, and still am, head over heels in love with her. Even though I have always had dogs, there was something so very special about her. One month to the day of Lacy’s passing, I was talking to a good friend of mine and he asked me, “Why wasn’t I making gemstone dog collars?”. My professional life was in the fine jewelry industry and I have a love of colored gemstones, so this was a great question. Plus to create it in Lacy’s memory made it the perfect idea.
Lady Lacy Marie
Lacy had always loved jewelry like I did, but I could never find her cute, blingy collars that were well made in her size. Just because she wasn’t a small breed (she was a Dalmatian), didn’t mean that she didn’t want to be a Princess! I made her several necklaces that she could wear with her collar and she did receive many compliments on them, but somehow it still wasn’t exactly what we both wanted.
Sir Nathan Thomas (Dalmatian/Lab Mix) has come into my life and I am full of love for him as well. He is the model (when I can get him to hold still) and product tester for Gem Lady Treasures. As a matter of fact, he is still wearing the very first Gem Lady Treasures collar I made.
Sir Nathan Thomas
Gem Lady Treasures now has two main collections, In The Ruff and Haute Dog. In The Ruff uses gemstones such as Crazy Lacy Agate, Labradorite, Sodalite, Unakite, and of course Dalmatian Jasper. The Haute Dog Collection uses Amethyst, Apatite, Aquamarine, Carnelian, and Moonstone, Rose Quartz, and Ruby Zoisite. Our gemstones will constantly be changing depending on what is available. I always use natural gemstones, meaning that there are no treatments added by man. There may be an occasion when I will have a treated gemstone, however it will be noted in the item description for full disclosure.
Our dog collars are labor intensive, high quality, and full of love. Truly a new and unique product! Times have changed and our pets are now our fur babies. An entire new world has opened up for dogs and their parents. Gem Lady Treasures would love to be apart of that new, exciting world!