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Our Story

On the Meaning of "Family" in the Gem Trade...

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

On the Meaning of "Family" in the Gem Trade...

In the gem trade, the word “family” has a very specific meaning, not too dissimilar from what it has for the rest of us, it’s just not a biological one.  I don’t know if you’ve heard it said this way, but I have heard gem dealers say it here and there: “I have a "family" in Sri Lanka, or Madagascar, or Vietnam,” by way of explanation for why they can offer reasonably priced goods for that area...

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The Story of Cecile Raley Designs: Tucson, Africa and Colombia

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

The Story of Cecile Raley Designs: Tucson, Africa and Colombia

The year was 2013. I was driving to work, and just as I turned off the highway, a huge billboard came into view.  It read: “Mineral and Fossil show, Secaucus NJ.” Hm, I thought, I should check that out.  I went right on opening night.  As I strolled through the aisles, my eye fell on a really neat pile of tanzanite slices, and in typical fashion, I started to sort through them, not even looking up at the salesperson behind the table.  “Tanzanites,” a voice said, “no treatment, from my last trip to Tanzania.” The accent was clearly German.  I...

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Wish You Were There: Cecile Raley Designs Celebrates 10 years

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

Wish You Were There: Cecile Raley Designs Celebrates 10 years

It’s odd to have a celebration that has to be virtual as much as physical because most of our clients are too far away to just “pop” by the New York Diamond District for an evening soirée. But we think we pulled it off, and to the many, many, many of you that I have made virtual friends with over the years: I wish you could have been there! Instead, I'll try to give you a little taste of the event with some photos and videos. We rented an art-deco themed penthouse lounge for the event, and because the space was so...

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Ten Years of Cecile Raley Designs, who would have thought?

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

So you’ve heard us talk this up for a few weeks now, our ten year anniversary on Etsy, which was actually in August (so we are fashionably late).  We’re having our cocktail party bash on the 3rd of October at an art deco themed place in the diamond district, with our staff, former and present, makers, vendors and clients.  But let’s dial it back by, oh, say a decade, and look back at how this all began. I have to say, myself, that this entire jewelry and gem selling thing was a complete accident! 2007: I took a trip to...

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Our Own Christmas Story

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

Our Own Christmas Story

In the spirit of this season of giving, we would like to dedicate this blog to our friends in Madagascar, Tanzania and Kenya and express our gratitude for the support and hospitality they have offered us.  They have opened their doors and their hearts, freely sharing what they have in spite of their less fortunate circumstances.  My life has changed forever as a result of meeting them. Our Family in Madagascar About 15 years ago, my travel partner Jochen Hintze from Jentsch Minerals decided on the adventure of traveling to Antsirabe, Madagascar in the hope of finding interesting minerals.  In...

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