It’s high excitement for Becky Scheffler and me, Kevin Whitmore. We are the gemstone buyers for Rio Grande, and we are departing on our first ever trip to Morocco, to visit our supplier of amethyst. Amethyst is a purple form of quartz, quite popular, and named as the birthstone for people born in the month […]
Lakeview, Oregon lies at the center south of Oregon, very close to the California state line. The region is mineral-rich, and the terrain varies from majestic pine-covered mountains to wind-swept stretches of prairie grass and sagebrush. It is the home of the fire opal in Rio’s new American Mined™ gemstone collection. The Rio crew and I […]
I banged my head on the side of the pickup’s cabin as we bounced over an especially deep rut. Dave gestured off to the left, “You can see the claim over on that rise.” At that point, we left the teeth-rattling washboard county road and started down the trail to his mining site. This trail […]
Reports of undisclosed synthetic diamonds being sent in to GIA and other grading labs indicates that some people are striving to get false documentation to perpetrate fraud on the public. The De Beers Group of Companies has published a booklet titled, “Undisclosed Synthetics,” that gives their clients the information they need to be vigilant in preventing any synthetic diamonds from passing through them into consumer’s hands. Check out today’s post to learn more about this important consumer alert.
Nickel in jewelry? The general public is showing a growing interest in the nickel content of the jewelry they buy. As a result, more and more of Rio Grande’s customers are asking us about the nickel content in our findings and fabrication metals. This is understandable since a significant number of people have allergic reactions to nickel. Take a look at today’s post to learn more!
For hundreds of years, when it came to silver you had two choices: sterling or fine. Pretty simple. But Argentium changed all that. Check out this fascinating video featuring its inventor, Peter Johns, and Rio’s own Kevin Whitmore.
One question we’re often asked is where our gemstones come from, so I thought Rio Grande customers might like to know about an initiative we have been pursuing: buying gemstones from reputable firms and ensuring the production of those stones causes no human suffering. Here’s how we do it.
On The Studio today: We recently read that a diamond-grading lab reported getting over 600 synthetic diamonds without disclosure. You may or may not have heard something about this yourself but, either way, I urge you to read about it now. Diamonds are the life-blood for many jewelers, and any threat that the diamonds for sale in a store might be “fakes” could be a huge problem for everyone, be they a jeweler or a customer.
The supply of diamonds tends to be plentiful for small stones, but extremely tight on really big diamonds. Consider buying diamonds in off-target carat sizes to get more value! Our diamond experts are are always eager to help you find the best stone for your needs. Learn more about diamond demand & supply. . .
Shibuichi is a low-silver alloy that’s getting some buzz in the metalsmithing community. As you might guess from the name, it is a Japanese term. It translates to “one fourth,” which is a reference to the traditional Japanese alloy mixture that historically has been composed of 25% silver and 75% copper. Back in the days of the Samurai, Shibuichi was used to make ornaments for the katana (Samurai sword). . .
How does a jeweler know that he/she is choosing the right solder or flux for the job? There are so many confusing details related to soldering, brazing, and fluxes that I thought I’d ask our resident expert Mark Nelson to help me sort things out. . .
Would you consider buying a 1 carat diamond without a certificate? Most folks wouldn’t. Consumers rely on the objectivity of a third-party gem lab to tell them the properties of the diamond they’re considering. So it is especially damaging to know that some diamond grading labs don’t do an ethical job when grading the diamonds. . .