Besides highlighting jewelry and their designers, I wanted to set gemstones in the spotlights! We must not forget about them because they are an important part of jewelry making! Gemstone dealers and cutters are people I must share about, too.
Myself I love so many gemstones and cuts and shapes. I just won’t start naming them all though lol (is ‘lol’ still a thing?). I’m myself also drawn to the freeform ones. The more unusual shapes such as kites, shields, hexagonal…the more I love them! Gemstones can really be magical.
I do follow some gemstones cutters and dealers on social media, and one of them is Caleb B. Quashen. They’re actually a husband and wife duo whom you should follow on Instagram for drool-worthy gems.
Here is my Q&A with Caleb:
Who are you? What do you do?
We are Caleb and Kristen Quashen, a husband and wife team with a passion for the unique and unusual. We source and sell colored stones and unique diamonds direct from mines around the world.
What do you like about gemstones?
They personify individuality; whether it is an emotion or an aesthetic there is something perfectly fitting for everyone for anything. We believe that all material is usable, there is a purpose and place for all qualities.
How did you get into this business?
It was really something divine that aligned everything just right for me. I have been fascinated with crystals and specimens since childhood but chose a pretty “rocky” path for myself growing up. When I finally got my life together I worked my way up in the fitness industry and quickly realized I had been through far too much in life to end up feeling this unhappy every day with a career. I decided to walk away without a backup plan but had slowly been collecting some gemstones on the side. When the pressure of no income set in I sold off some of my personal collection for a profit in order to pay our bills and then reinvested in more. That was really the start of it and we have been incredibly blessed with connections and friendships in the Industry ever since. We are coming up on four years of being in business. We are trying to create positive change and spread love through gems and jewelry. It is firmly our belief that it is never too late for anyone or anything to have a fresh start and a new beginning. You’ll see this translates into the material we source and sell as well, we may stock and supply some high-quality investment type material but it really is not where our hearts are at. Hence why the majority of what we have is unusual and atypical to what the mainstream market tells us we should be buying.
Explain to us what ‘Ethically Sourced Obscure Gems’ means.
The more unique and unusual stones are generally the more we like them. We appreciate traditional colored stones and diamonds as well but the abnormal is definitely wear our hearts lay. We are a little out there and weird ourselves so that likely translates into the material we source. The gem and jewelry trade is already stocked full of traditional pieces, it is our goal to bring to light the vastness of quality and character that gems and jewelry can and do possess.
Traceable origins, fair pay, the ecosystem, integrity in dealings and transparency in our pricing structure are the fundamental traits of our business.
Where do you get your stones from?
We deal directly with select contacts and friends around the world. We have been incredibly blessed in our journey with getting connected to the nucleus of the gem trade. Whether it is a color change unheated sapphire from Batakundi, a 10ct no oil Muzo emerald or a half carat brilliant cut salt and pepper diamond, we have you covered.
What do you love most about your job?
The diversity, the relationships, being connected to other humans around the planet and the ability to give back.
What do people have to look for when shopping gems? How to choose a stone? Any tips?
Always buy what YOU find attractive, not what a jewelry store or advertisement pushes on you. Deal strictly with trusted sources that know what they’re talking about. If the seller is unfamiliar with geographical origins or treatments it is a huge red flag. You cannot price something if you are unaware of the facts that add or decrease value, to begin with. Treatments ARE okay (even though we don’t care for them) but it must be disclosed and prices should reflect as so. Most appraisals are inflated to make you feel like you’re getting a good deal. It is my opinion that ethically/responsibly sourced shouldn’t have enormous profit margin markups. Transparency is the backbone of “ethical” and “responsible”, to us at least. If possible, deal with sellers that are doing things to give back whether it be for the environment or mining communities. Those are just two examples but I think that the point is clear.
What’s your favorite stone?
Favorite stone is tough as there are subcategories within species that seem to be never-ending. Parti sapphires and anything with high brilliance but unique inclusions slays me though.
What’s your favorite cut?
I have to go with Asscher for standard cuts, I like anything steppy but custom cuts hold the key to my heart as well.
Bi- or tri-colored gemstones?
Uhm, both please?
Heat-treated or unheated gemstones?
Routine heat on your expected stones like sapphires and zircon is fine by me as long as it is disclosed. When you start turning gems in to science projects it is not my jam. We will never stock synthetic stones or stones surpassing standard heat treatment.
Caleb and Kristen not only have a vast inventory on most colors, cuts, shapes and qualities of colored stones and diamonds … they also can create your dream ring! They have metal smiths, CAD Artist’s, Engravers & Certified Gemologists on their team! So be sure to reach out if you have any desires or questions!
In the meantime, check out the video below of gorgeous rings:
All images and info thanks to Caleb Quashen | Video via Instagram