RICHMOND, Va., Jan. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The hottest new jewelry trend for 2012 has nothing to do with diamonds, which is good news for retailers and mid-market customers who can't keep up with the rising costs of diamonds and have watched the price of the famous stone skyrocket 40% in recent years. Leading catalog and online jewelry company Stauer (www.Stauer.com) forecasts that while gold and silver prices continue to break records, an up-and-coming pack of exotic colored gemstones have arrived on the scene, offering incredible value to consumers.
While diamonds have dominated for more than 100 years, today's economy demands a wallet-friendly alternative. Stauer achieves this through a unique business strategy-- buy more to get a price that other jewelers can't touch. Stauer buys these better quality gemstones one million at a time.
"Last year we purchased over a million carats of garnet," said Mike Bisceglia, president of Stauer. "That's in addition to more than 8 million carats of emeralds, rubies and sapphires purchased in recent years."
His mantra has helped Stauer become one of the largest sellers of classically popular precious gems. This strategy has also led to the surprising success of lesser-known gems. Unique color and affordability have combined to create a string of large-carat bestsellers that not even Bisceglia could have predicted.
Recent standouts for Stauer, all under $250, include:
- 2-Carat African Tanzanite Ring (found only one place on the planet)
- 6-Carat Helenite Necklace (made from volcanic dust from Mount St. Helens)
- 2-Carat Spessartite and Mandarin Garnet Ring (exceptional orange hues found nowhere else)
- 2 1/2-Carat Romanova Chrome Diopside Ring (aka "Siberian Emeralds")
"People expect to pay thousands for large carat stones with this much color," Bisceglia continued. "The truth is there are fantastic bargains for people willing to shop off the beaten path."
Instead of rubies, opt for the rich reds of Bohemian garnet, treasured by European royals for centuries. The same gorgeous green of gem-quality emeralds can be found in the peridot stones once coveted by Cleopatra. And, brilliant sapphire blues get a run for their money in the face of an expertly-cut London Blue topaz.
Founded in 2005, Stauer is one of the largest direct retailers of jewelry, watches and accessories in the United States with annualized sales over $200 million.