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Cecile Raley Designs

Tucson: How to Shop Wisely at a Gem Show

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

The countdown is on: on Monday January 30th I leave for Tucson for the largest gem show, or rather, gem shows, of the world, ready to stock up on more goodies. I will visit the AGTA and GJX shows for the most part, but I also go to a couple of the smaller shows, notably the one at the Hotel Tucson City Center, where my friend Jochen from Jentsch Mineralien exhibits. That's more of a mineral show...

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Pave Setting - Hand Set versus Pre Cut

Posted by Cecile Raley on

I thought I'd devote this blog entry to my why my setter Pierre has lost his hair.  Or so he says: by hand setting my tiny little and very soft glittery colored stones into hard metal castings that aren't ready made for the fast setting type that is the standard nowadays.

Let's first talk about how stones are set for commercial jewelry production. With most rings and other pieces nowadays being...

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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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My Trip To Tanzania - Safari in Africa

Posted by Cecile Raley on

Of course, one of my days in Tanzania had to be spent on safari. Hiring a jeep and driver for the day is expensive: $250 plus gas and park entrance fee, which is $53 for whites and $5 for locals, or rather, for African blacks, since Honorine who is from Rwanda and Doreen who is from Kenya, also just paid $5. Instead of getting a jeep, we negotiated with a local driver who borrowed a minivan from a...

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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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