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Cecile Raley Designs — Gems

Custom Inspirations - Earrings

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

Custom Inspirations - Earrings

Do you realize that, as a retail business, I am already getting holiday advice emails from our industry?  Etsy, Manta, and even FedEx are sending around fact sheets on how to prepare for holiday business, or how to boost it.  For my own part I’ve never had a ton of it, probably because most of you are shopping for yourselves.  So maybe then I need to think differently – i.e. propose some ways in which you can get others to find you the perfect gift from my shop, either with a gift card or with starting early by planning a custom...

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My Trip To Tanzanian - Part II

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

Day two in Arusha, Tanzania. The day started with a visit to one of Jochen's suppliers, a long time dealer in gemstone rough, one of the richest men in Arusha who has also supplied to a few dealers I know here in NY.. T. who has to remain nameless for security reaons, is a White African native in his early 60s and like all the other dealers there, totally hooked on what he does. T. showed me a...

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My Trip to Tanzania

Posted by Cecile Raley on

We left for the airport at Antanarivo (Tana), Madagascar, in the early morning hours to catch the mid-day flight to Nairobi, Kenya with a connecting flight to Kilimanjaro (Kili), Tanzania. Travel involved a 3 to 4 hr car ride from Antsirabe to Tana, and then a meeting with the local mining office for export. An export fee is hashed out based on our purchases. It seems to be rather fluid and is...

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My Trip to Madagascar, Famadihana

Posted by Cecile Raley on

As I reported in my previous blog post, I got a very intimate sense of living in Madagascar when I was invited to an exhumation. The locals call it 'Famadihana': Turning of the Bones. This is the tradition of exhuming the bodies of the dead, which takes place every 3-7 years, depending on the family's wishes. The body is removed from the mausoleum or dug out of the ground. Bodies are wrapped in...

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Yvonne Goes to Africa

Posted by Cecile Raley on

Yes, this is really happening, a dream come true. On August 17th, in just a few days, I'll be flying first to Germany to see my mom and then to two of the world's most famous gem paradises: Madagascar and Tanzania. This trip has been in the planning stages for about a year. My friend Jochen Hintze from Jentsch Mineralien, a German geologist who travels to Africa up to 10 times a year, is going to...

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