Before the sun was up, the Sturm Bros.’ Design Team, was in the air and on our way to Phoenix,AZ. Twice a year, we attend the Independent Jewelers Organization Conference, to keep our motivation high, our skills sharp and our showcases full of extraordinary jewelry and gemstones. We had a view of Downtown Phoenix and the picturesque mountains in the distance. A wonderful breakfast at 7:30 a.m. and some stimulating conversation with our table mates, jewelers from Tahoe and Arkansas, we then headed to training seminars. We studied the legal issues surrounding the growing market of Lab-grown diamonds, body language, and new marketing techniques. Our break for lunch was long enough to set outside and soak up a little sun. We returned to seminars in the afternoon about the similarities of baby boomers and millennials .
Sunday morning started early with a Church service, continental breakfast and opening session. Our key note speaker was Mark Shulman, a professional drummer, author, and speaker. Currently, Mark plays for Pink. He has drummed for Cher and Billy Idol in his long career. The Sturm Brothers, Jordan and Joseph, had an opportunity for a press photo. Mark emphasized the need for an extraordinary attitude to be successful, “Attitudes guides your destiny.” We ate lunch at TGI Friday’s, which was located inside the Arizona Diamond Backs’ stadium. #baseballdiamonds We sat by the window and watched them prepare the field for baseball season. Sunday was opening day for the buying room. The buying room is an expansive room the size of a football field. We walked and looked for the rest of the day. Our evening ended soaking our feet and bodies in the hot tub under a clear Arizona sky.
These pictures don’t do the buying room floor justice. This place is awash with chatter and clamor. It’s a sea of diamonds, gold and just plain old, “Wow!”
Meet Yosef, our diamond dealer. Yosef purchased new cuff links just for the show, two carrot cuff links. we enjoyed the pun. Yosef sells diamonds of all shapes and sizes. All of his diamonds are earth mined diamonds. Some might be heat/pressure treated but these beauties are dug from the earth. Diamonds come in sizes so small they’re called flea flickers because breathing on them can knock them to the floor and much, much larger like the one pictured with my thumb. Yes, that is an earth mined diamond as large as my thumb. It was over 4 carats. The weight of a carob seed was the original measure for 1 carat of diamond weight. Now, jewelers use .20 grams as the standard weight of 1 carat. #loosediamonds
Below are the men’s jewelry brands we investigated before we left Phoenix. Inox is a preeminent men’s line. Sturm Bros.’ will be expanding their showcase collection over the summer. Inox jewelry is stainless steel, silver and gold with elements of wood, Italian rubber, and enameled elements mixed in. The entire collection is rugged, masculine, and built for real-life wear. The last photo is taken inside the TGI Friday’s before we boarded the light rail back to the airport. We left in the dark and we returned in the dark, for it was after midnight when we boarded the shuttle in Kansas City. #inoxjewelry
I encourage you to look back in every week or so for additional blog posts about our trip. Later posts will be full of details about diamond, gems and jewelry in general. I might even share my experiences with packing cubes. Like the look of what we do? Stop in; we’d be happy to show you around and let you experience jewelry the way we do jewelry.
Until next time. —The Sturm Bros.’ Team
Downtown Excelsior Springs, MO merchants are gearing up for the 2019 Chocolate Tour. 400 ticket holding chocolate lovers will fill downtown eating, drinking, smelling and completely basking in the glory that is chocolate. At Sturm Bros.’ we love chocolate too, chocolate colored gems that is. This year Sturm Bros.’ will give each ticket holder a genuine 3 mm smoky quartz gemstone.
Smoky quartz is also known as cairngorm after the Scottish mountains where it was first discovered, the Cairngorm Mountains. Smoky quartz is the national gem of Scotland. The color range of this gemstone is from smoky-yellow to nearly black. The nearly black variety of smoky quartz is called morion and was a standard in Scottish mourning jewelry. There is a connection between the amount of radiation in the surrounding rock masses and the intensity and deepness of the color of smoky quartz.
Smoky quartz can be found all over the world with deposits in Sri Lanka, Spain, Switzerland, and the US. Maine, New Hampshire and the Pike’s Peak region of Colorado each have deposits of smoky quartz. Quartz is the most common single mineral in the earth’s crust and is found in igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rock. It is usually the last major mineral to crystallize in the molten rock as it cools. Gem quality quartz occurs most commonly in vein or geode deposits.
Extremely facet-able and occurring in a rainbow of colors, quartz is an amazing and versatile gem for jewelry. Imagination and quartz –nearly limitless.
Slow Fashion is a little sister of the Slow Food Movement. Both movements have similar premises, encouraging consumers to buy better quality less often, with an eye towards ethical production. Slow Fashion is at the center of Sturm Bros.’ creative process and business model.
The full name of the little store in Historic Downtown Excelsior Springs, MO is Sturm Brothers’ Custom Design and Fine Jewelry. Our middle name is Custom Design and custom is at the heart of the slow fashion movement.
Slow Fashionistas shop their closets, their mother’s closets and even their sisters before they purchase. Their eye is trained to what suits their tastes, color palettes and life styles. Trends don’t rule a Slow Fashionista; it adds spice to an already beautiful wardrobe. Inheriting three well worn rings from Aunt Lucy bring joy to these ladies. Why? Sturm Brothers’ Custom Design use creativity and craftsmanship to turn those three beloved rings into a new-to-her jewelry piece that the Slow Fashionista will wear for her lifetime.
After melting the precious metals, the jeweler shapes the band.
This ring has two bands.
The next step is to solder the two bands together and shape the boxes that holds the unique stone.
The beautiful new ring emerges from the “found” and inherited items.
Tassels are returning on the Fall Fashion scene. Last year the tassels were metal and generally on a long chain. This year tassels are making appearances on handbags, keys chains, earrings and necklaces. The featured leather tassels are in 3 lengths and 6 different colors. Made of soft, smooth Napa leather, these tassels are a fun and affordable accent.
Rare: 1 in 10,000 is the rate of occurrence of a natural colored diamond. You have a 1 in 3,000 chance of being struck by lightening in the United State and shark attack occurrence rates are 1 in 8,000,000..
Bold The bolder the better. Unlike colorless diamonds, the stronger the color the more valuable the diamond. The slightest color differences can impact price.
Unique Flaws or loss of clarity do not typically impact the value of a colored diamond. Collectors and designers prize these ‘imperfections’ because they add character and impact color.
Intense The strength of the color or saturation is defined by four grades. Fancy light, fancy, fancy intense and fancy vivid.
Natural Yellow Natural yellows are the 2nd most common of the colored diamonds. Brown being the most common. Canary diamonds are yellow diamonds. The term ‘canary’ is a trade name and isn’t a grading term.
Treated Yellow Fracture filling, surface coating, high pressure & high temperature, and irradiation are all treatments used to change or enhance the color of a natural diamond. An irradiated and temperature/pressure treated ‘nearly colorless’ diamond might emerge from the treatment yellow or green. Treated colored diamonds are not rare and are less expensive to purchase. However, treated diamonds are heat sensitive and the color can be altered if the treated diamond is heated during a ring sizing or repair. Ask the jeweler or the seller, if the colored diamond you are purchasing is natural or treated. The long term beauty of your diamond depends on this knowledge.
Available Pear Shaped – yellow – fancy and light fancy – natural colored diamonds are in stock and available for viewing, June 30th to July 7th. Prices range from $2000 – $3000 for these rare, certified diamonds.
Second Fridays bring the opportunity to enjoy the talents of artists and musicians in the beautiful downtown historic district of Excelsior Springs. Initiated by the Downtown Excelsior Partnership, local businesses have partnered together to bring an evening of fun that includes food specials, wine tastings and more.
Pictured above, Grant Decker performed live outside of the store during Second Fridays in May.