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Cecile Raley Designs — mandarin garnet

Tanzania Part III - My Trip to the Mines

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

Tanzania Part III - My Trip to the Mines

On the final day of my Tanzania Trip, I had the most important and rewarding adventure of my entire trip: an excursion to one of the "local" mines. I have to put the word "local" in quotation marks because, despite being less than 80 miles away, it took 3 hours going and 3 hours going back. 98% of Africa's roads are unpaved, and for most of our trip we were on that 98%. We started early for my...

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Working With Color

Posted by Cecile Raley on

As you all know, working with colored gems is my specialty.  I love figuring out which colors go together, come up with crazy combos, and matching them to the right metal.  And I often get the following response: "I would NEVER have come up with that combo."

Actually, coming up with the right color combination is not as hard as you think. Here are some pointers for how to do it, followed by some of...

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Year End Survey

Posted by Cecile Raley on

As this year is coming to a close, I am reviewing what has worked and what has not worked for my shop. In the past year, I added a lot of gold jewelry and listed way more gemstones. That seemed to have been the way to go. My main sellers in gems were sapphires and spinel, my main metal was rose gold but the new platinum silver also did great. The hexagon line did very well, and I sold a lot of...

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Mandarin Garnet

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

I haven’t written much about Mandarin garnets because I don’t really like orange as a color, and so I’ve ignored this gem for a long time.  But now I think I didn’t do it justice.

Spessartite, the garnet group that Mandarin garnet falls under, has only been on the gemstone market for a little over 10 years. Although tiny amounts have been found in Germany, California, and Sri Lanka, among other...

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