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Gem Junkies

Author: Parle Jewelry Design's Jonathan and Brecken Farnsworth.

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We talk gemstones- the science, the history, and the fashion of the industry. Hear from gemologists, jewelry designers, and jewelry enthusiasts as they delve deep into a world of color.
68 Episodes
Continuing with our series Gems of the US and up next we have California. A state that encompasses a plethora of gemstones we focus dabble about Spodumene, Tourmaline, and of coarse, it’s state gemstone--Benitoite. It's a big state so it is only fair to recognize these two influential gemstones. 00:00:00 Calimocho/ Kalimotxo 01:58:00 Cookie Monster + Wednesday Addams = Happy Halloween 03:24:00 This week –California 04:41:00 Benitoite 05:16:00 Its discovery 09:10:00 What is it? 12:44:00 Gemstone matrix and removing the crystals 14:40:00 You can visit the site it was discovered at 16:24:00 Cost of benitoite 17:28:00 All other minerals in California 18:10:00 Leading gemstone mined in California 18:47:00 All the Tourmaline colors 18:57:50 Rubellite Tourmaline 19:11:00 The Chinese connection 20:24:00 Spodumene = Kunzite 21:19:00 Highschool drama w/ Kunzite 26:30:00 Color fading 27:24:00 JP Morgan + George Kunz 28:07:00 Other California Gemstones 30:24:00 [SIDE NOTE] What is California’s ranking in the most hated states?
Working our way down the alphabet which means we’ve got Arizona and Arkansas up next. These two states bring a plethora of gemmy goodness. 00:00:00 Deck issues 00:58:00 “The United States” 02:10:00 Arizona & Arkansas 03:02:00 Arizona = Turquoise 03:20:00 Rich history in Arizona 03:37:00 State neckwear 05:15:00 First mined in 200 BC 06:06:00 Turquoise legends 06:35:00 It’s found throughout the state 07:31:00 Native American translation for turquoise 08:17:00 Usage with Native Tribes 08:49:00 Healing properties 09:50:00 Famous turquoise mines 12:21:00 Sleeping beauty 14:12:00 Kingman Mine 15:12:00 Other cool gemstones in Arizona 25:37:00 Alright, Arkansas 24:55:00 State gemstone = DIAMONDS! 25:05:00 State flag 25:23:00 Feb. 22nd, 1967 27:02:00 The geology of Arkansas 28:16:00 The discovery of diamonds 29:47:00 The largest diamond found in Arkansas 30:47:00 The start of Arkansas 34:11:00 The early 90’s 35:08:00 The appearance of the diamond in their rough 36:03:00 Average diamond findings 38:25:00 Other gemstones found in Arkansas
With so many people unable to travel beyond the US border and taking more local road trips we figured now was the perfect time to explore each state’s gemstone. To start things off we’re talking about Alabama and Alaska. 00:00:00 Who’s starting? 01:01:00 Alabama and Alaska . . . cue the states song 03:17:00 Alabama – Blue Star Quarts 03:26:00 Thought it would be something red 03:48:00 1990 04:04:00 But why? 06:23:00 How is it found? 07:32:00 Blue Star Quartz being an oddity 09:22:00 Is there any mining going on in Alabama? 09:55:00 The Lane Cake 12:16:00 Moving onto Alaska 12:43:00 Jade = nephrite jade To learn more about Jade listen to our episode “Stone of Heaven, Hello Jade!” -- 13:16:00 Native Alaskan Inuits and their use of jade 13:27:00 Where is Alaskan Jade found? 14:34:00 First non-native to rediscover jade 15:14:00 [Storytime] The legend of the Jade House. 18:27:00 Jade Mountain 19:36:00 About the man who made the Jade Lamp 20:45:00 [Storytime] The Jade Lamp 25:00:00 Another modern legend 25:27:00 Washington Monument 27:19:0 0 Other gemstones that are being mined in Alaska?
We’ve covered gold, silver, and platinum. But how do all of these different metals work within the components of jewelry design? We take you through each step of the process from molding to polish and talk about how these metals vary within each step of the process. To ensure we don’t overlook any details we brought in our production manager, Paul Hartman, to join in on the conversation. 00:00:00 Peeing in the pool 00:40:00 All about metals from a jewelry production standpoint 01:43:00 If you would like to get know more about Paul you can listen to his interview here: 02:13:00 Starting out at the beginning of the process – molding 03:17:00 Gypsum used as the investment 04:46:00 What is the casting temperate 06:06:00 Cleanliness 07:30:00 Is there a lot of difference in casting between the metals? 08:10:00 Why do we like using nickel in white gold? 10:41:00 Clipping off the tree 10:55:00 The trunk of the tree 12:48:00 Polish 16:11:00 How long is the process from casting to polish? 18:21:00 Setting 24:38:00 Plating 26:37:00 Durability of silver with tarnish on it 27:60:50 Black rhodium 28:38:00 [Story time] Cyanide bomb 24:43:00 Caustic chemicals involved with metals 31:23:50 What is the most important step in plating? 34:19:00 Wear and durability 36:17:00 Stone in place casting
What is denser than a diamond and is extremely ductile? PLATINUM. Once tossed away to be believed un-ripened silver that noble metal has become a popular choice in jewelry design. Learn about its discovery and its out of this world origins. 00:00:00 Dubba-dub-dub-dub 00:14:00 The game plan with the podcast 03:50:00 Garden Woes 05:54:00 So Platinum. . . how did it get its name? 06:13:00 Platinum’s discovery 08:22:00 Platinum group of metals 10:05:00 Studying the properties of platinum 13:36:00 First reference of platinum 15:12:00 The heaviness of platinum 15:47:00 Platinum is very ductile 16:19:00 Malleability 16:36:00 Durability 18:33:00 Melting point 19:43:00 Mining platinum 20:52:00 WWII 22:05:00 How did it get here? 22:43:00 The moon 22:58:00 Platinum in the Earth’s crust 24:19:00 Producing pure platinum 26:06:00 Platinum in jewelry 26:51:00 Other usages for platinum 27:28:00 Platinum vs. Gold $$$
Phenomenal Moonstone

Phenomenal Moonstone


Moonbeams and ocean reflections are just a few ways to describe the beauty of Moonstone. This week we explore the world of this translucent yet, opulent gemstone. 00:00:00 That’s an “I” 00:44:00 Moonstone 02:50:00 Why is it called moonstone? 03:43:50 The phenomenon, adularescence 04:31:00 What is moonstone? 06:36:00 Where does the name/word adularescence come from? 07:10:00 Quality factors 08:14:00 Moonstone has two cleavage planes 09:08:00 There are (2) types of moonstone 12:28:00 Moonstone is really a trade name 13:12:00 Where is moonstone found? 13:44:00 State gemstone of Florida 14:23:00 Cultural beliefs with moonstone 16:26:00 Ancient Rome 18:46:00 The lovers stone 19:25:00 The travels stone 20:34:00 Skincare For more information head to:
We’ve been away for 6 weeks and we’re all excited to be back at the office! Take a seat as we recap about our quarantine experience and explore the ancient world of Lapis Lazuli. Being one of the oldest gemstones mined, it has an extensive involvement with history and folklore that will lure you in. 00:00:00 Has it really been 6 weeks? 00:29:00 The COVID experience 08:53:00 Ok, we’ve got a gemstone for you—Lapis Lazuli 09:30:00 How long has it been around? 10:12:00 It is a rock! 11:27:00 Its gorgeous blue color 12:53:00 Translucency/ luster/ hardness 13:14:00 What it has been used for 13:23:00 Trade grades and mining locations 15:34:00 How long it takes to mine 17:14:00 A prized procession during ancient time 17:49:00 Citation and translation 18:30:00 Marco Polo 18:56:00 A LOT of history and lore associated with Lapis 19:01:00 Highly favored by the Egyptians 20:24:00 King Solomon 24:45:00 Using semi-precious stones for religious purposes = Egyptian's “Book of the Dead” 28:02:00 Ancient Rome 28:49:50 What it is like in the market today and things to be mindful about when purchasing
Courageous Chrysoprase

Courageous Chrysoprase


This week we're getting back to our roots and talking about a gemstone—chrysoprase. Its golden-green tone has a rich presence in history and folklore. We also explore its healing properties and its ability to be a beacon of courage through a time of change. 00:00:00 Social distancing 00:55:00 2020 has already had it's high and lows 06:38:00 What gemstone are we talking about? 06:58:00 The meaning of chrysoprase 07:37:00 Crystal structure 08:17:00 It’s colored by nickel 11:21:00 The finest color 12:13:00 This gemstone has a rich history 13:58:00 Storytime – negotiating a chrysoprase 14:47:50 First mention of it 15:07:00 Fun stories of chrysoprase 17:19:00 The stone of Venus 17:35:00 Healing/magical properties 18:20:00 To save those who were thieves, to be hung or beheaded 18:53:00 Romanian folklore 19:49:00 King Frederick VII 19:59:00 Saint Wenceslaus Chapel 20:32:00 Assist you to embrace your courage 21:15:00 Emotional balance
Brecken Meet Brecken

Brecken Meet Brecken


One of our goals with the podcast this year is to focus on career paths. Up next, is an interview providing another perspective in opportunities within the jewelry industry--journalism. We sit down with Brecken Branstrator, with National Jeweler, to learn a little more about her role as an editor and of course, talk about the name “Brecken.” 00:00:00 I’m so bossy 01:32:00 “Oh, you’re the other Brecken? 02:22:00 Brecken Branstrator for National Jeweler 03:25:00 How did you get your name? 04:48:00 What do you think the name Brecken means? 06:38:00 How did you get into the gemstone/jewelry world? 08:06:00 Take us through your average day? 09:03:00 What are your favorite things you’ve learned and/or wrote about? 10:04:00 Back to the name Brecken 11:15:00 Anything exciting coming up with National Jewelers 11:48:00 What does your day look like while at Tucson? 15:38:00 If I was going to do something else in the industry . . . 18:03:00 How did you feel growing up with that name? 20:20:00 What is your favorite gemstone? 21:35:00 What is your first memory of a gemstone or a piece of jewelry? 23:22:00 Where are you based? 26:16:0 0 Let’s talk about National Jeweler. How did it start? Website: Instagram: @nationaljeweler
In honor of #womensinternationalday and #womenshistorymonth we sit down with Jennifer Markas to learn more about Women’s Jeweler Association (WJA). We dive into WJA’s history, its mission and get to know Jennifer up close and personal. 00:00:00 Are we ready? 00:16:00 We’re going to Disneyland 00:57:00 Introduction to Jennifer Markas of WJA 01:58:00 Where id WJA start? 05:06:00 A common misconception of WJA 06:57:00 What does it mean to be a member of WJA? 08:26:00 WJA connect 11:17:00 What are some of the goals of WJA? 13:49:00 Equal pay 16:38:00 Young female designers 19:20:00 How do people get involved 20:23:00 What is going on in March with WJA? 22:08:00 How is it being promoted? 25:45:00 Tell us about yourself 30:11:00 What is your first memory of a gemstone or a piece of jewelry
We’re back with another interview from Tucson at the JCK show and continue to delve into the world of career paths within the jewelry world. Behind every brand is a marketing team that helps bring life to its story. We sit down with Ben Smittee, of The Smithee Group, to get to know a little more about him and his passion supporting the future of the jewelry industry. 00:00:00 Worse topic ever 00:29:00 Ben Smithee 01:20:00 What do you do in the industry? 02:57:00 First memory with a piece of jewelry or gemstone 05:50:00 A little background that brought you to support the jewelry industry? 12:45:00 Helping bring out the story that needs to be heard 14:58:00 Women’s Jewelry Association and involvement at the Tucson Gem Fair 15:06:00 What about Gem Legacy made you say “yes” this is soething you want to be a part of? 17:03:00 Gem Legacy providing its way to give back and telling its story. 20:34:00 Educating retail jewelers 22:33:00 Tell me about my twins
Education Through GIA

Education Through GIA


We regularly get asked, “What can I do with a GG? How do I obtain a GG?” We went straight to the source and sat down with Kimberly Overlin, the Dean of Students from GIA. We discuss the nuts and bolts about GIA (Gemological Institute of America), what it offers to students and review career paths that one can obtain. (Recording took place on the show floor of the AGTA Gem Fair. Some of the background noise was able to get reduce but not fully eliminated.) 00:00:00 Losing an episode 00:27:00 Live from the AGTA with Kimberly Overlin from GIA 01:09:00 Tell us a little bit about you and what you do for GIA? 02:44:00 You got your degree and then what? 03:41:00 The unique part of GIA 04:-2:00 When did you start working for GIA 05:11:00 No family background associated to jewelry and paving a path 05:53:00 Education being key 06:27:00 How does one learn/access more information about GIA 07:05:00 Opportunities for scholarship and financial aid 08:24:00 How to search for scholarships through GIA 09:08:00 Campuses 10:47:00 How did you get from recruitment to Dean of Students 12:34:00 Take us through your day 14:08:00 Carlsbad being a different type of campus 14:29:00 What are the career paths that you’ve seen happen? 19:08:00 What was your first memory of a piece of jewelry or gemstone? 23:34:00 Getting your GG through distance education 27:03:00 Why and how did GIA get started? 28:58:00 Value vs. Pricing 31:53:00 What was your first gemstone purchase after getting your GG?
In The Year 2020

In The Year 2020


2020 is in full swing and we thought it would be a good idea to give you an idea of things to look forward to from the podcast. 00:00:00 It’s Brecken! 00:06:00 Back from Hong Kong 05:43:00 What to expect this year 07:33:00 Delve into the world of less known/obscure gemstones 08:32:00 Speaking of Tucson . . .
We’ve been busy bees getting ready for trade show season but don’t worry Gem Junkies we haven’t forgotten about you!! For awhile we’ve teased about putting together an episode about birthstones and it’s finally come into fruition. From it’s early biblical beginning to its influence in the jewelry world we delve into its long history. 00:00:00 Take 2. Press Record. 00:24:00 Parle tradeshow line-up 01:28:00 Birthstones 01:49:00 How did it all start? 01:55:00 Biblical – Aaron’s Breastplate 04:27:00 What stones we set up in Aaron’s breastplate 06:50:00 How did we get from breastplate to birthstone? 09:14:00 A developed notion of switching out jewelry every month 10:27:00 Vedic astrological system associated to gemstones 11:25:00 Why are gemstones are connected to planets? 12:32:00 How do we get to the idea of a person always wearing and only wearing a gemstone corresponding to their birth month? 13:49:00 In 1912 – standardization of birthstones 21:05:00 The additions of birthstones 24:20:00 Chrysolite, what? Birthstones associated to zodiac sign. 26:45:00 Birthstones for mother’s jewelry 28:30:00 Parle Xmas story
Hello 2020!! For the first podcast of the year we sit down with Craig Danforth from Jewelers Mutual. With all the jewelry received over the holidays we talk about the importance of acquiring a policy for your jewelry, the history of Jewelers Mutual and of course, we get to know Craig up close and personal. 00:00:00 Sea Legs 00:42:00 Introducing Craig Danforth 02:09:00 First memory of a piece of jewelry or gemstone 02:50:00 Take us through your life 03:43:00 How did you get involved with jewelry 04:32:00 The silver run at @tiffanyandco 06:32:00 And then . . . @cartier 07:19:00 What was your favorite part about that job? 08:21:00 Working with GIA 10:52:00 Transition to Jewelers Mutual 11:36:00 The polar vortex of Wisconsin 12:39:00 The “Gem State” 13:01:00 What do you do for Jewelers Mutual? 14:10:00 The history of Jewelers Mutual 18:31:00 How do I insure this? 23:21:00 A care plan through Jewelers Mutual 24:54:00 How to learn more about Jewelers Mutual? 26:22:00 Jewelers Mutual’s involvement within the industry 29:12:00 The gem gallery at Jeweler Mutual 32:47:00 What’s your favorite gemstone?
If you’ve been wondering who is often laughing in the background when we’re recording a podcast it’s me, Stephanie Major. Hey Gem Junkies, I’m the producer and marketing coordinator at Parle. We thought it might be time to step up to the mic and for you all to get to know a little more about me. 00:00:00 Hey, @spencerpratt 03:34:00 Happy Birthday Abbey 01:39:00 [Going down a rabbit hole] A look back of the past 02:29:00 The interviews we’ve done 03:14:00 Which one was your favorite interview? 04:47:00 Another interview. . . Stephanie (our podcast producer) 06:41:00 I don’t wear a lot of jewelry 07:20:00 What’s your life story 10:19:00 10 years ago – A BIG YEAR 14:54:00 Never say no . . .fake it till you make it 16:00:00 How did you get to Pocatello 17:36:00 I am done with homeschool 19:11:00 Sh*!, what am I going to do? 21:08:00 A day in the life 22:56:00 A learning curve to get started 23:44:00 A week overview 25:45:00 A personal initiative 26:59:00 Brand Building 27:57:00 Changing the whole vibe 29:57:00 There’s another thing that you do . . .
It’s the season of giving and during this years Giving Tuesday we donated $1000 to Gem Legacy . Thus, it’s a perfect time to interview Rachel Dery of Gem Legacy. We learn about her childhood growing up in the gemstone industry and about Gem Legacy--a non-profit organization that help support communities closest to the mining source. If you would like to learn more about Gem Legacy you can head to or go to to make a donation today. Also, a quick apology for the intermittent audio issues. It’s our first time recording through zoom so we’re still learning about it. Thanks for you understanding. 00:00:00 The voices are calling 00:34:00 Rachel Dery with Gem Legacy 01:33:00 Tell us a little about you 03:00:00 The grassroots of Gem Legacy 03:55:00 How did it happen? 05:26:00 What are some of your initiative 06:59:00 The initiatives 08:00:00 Understanding what Gem Legacy is doing 10:47:00 Finding the opportunities of gemstones making a positive impact 11:53:00 Gemstone educational training 12:32:00 [Story time] Garnets from the sky 16:15:00 The gem cutting school 19:23:00 How it supports the country 19:54:00 What small amounts can do from a donation 24:18:00 There must be more within our industry to give back to the community 25:37:00 Sustainable giving 26:11:50 What are you most proud of? 28:00:00 Gem Legacy’s ability to adopt to the need 30:38:00 What is your first memory of a gemstone or piece of jewelry? 34:04:00 100% of donations goes back toward the initiatives
We made it to New York City in time for New York Jewelry Week and had an opportunity to talk shop with jewelry designer Julie Lamb. From her childhood beginnings in jewelry to the evolution of personal brand. We also have our special co-host @thirdcoastgems joining in the fun. (We apologize for the background noise. At least you get a little sense of the NYC vibe.) 00:00:00 Who is the alpha? 00:25:00 We’re in NYC w/ @julielambny and @thirdcoastgems 01:10:00 What is your first memory with a gemstone or a piece of jewelry? 02:14:00 Give us your life history 05:01:00 Looking at colleges with a metal studio 06:35:00 When did you decide to do you own thing? 07:24:00 Yes, Avon had jewelry 08:49:00 Seeing someone own a piece of your jewelry 10:45:00 Your relationship with @thirdcoastgems as a brand advocate 11:15:00 So you started your own thing? 15:29:00 You took all you learned in Julie Lamb 21:10:00 Your first launch 23:42:50 Nicknames 24:35:00 When did you start using gemstones? 27:17:00 Then came metropolis 35:04:50 We are in the business of selling not buying 40:42:00 What is the future of Julie Lamb?
From Cab To Brilliant

From Cab To Brilliant


Today we answer a fans question about gemstone cuts. By no means are we experts on how to actually cut/facet gemstones rather, we’ll discuss the evolution of gem cutting and the different cut styles. 00:00:00 50th Episode 01:01:00 Common Cold 02:15:00 Introduction of Gem Cutting 03:33:00 When do you think humans began cutting gemstones 04:37:00 Bruting 05:38:00 3000 BC 06:41:00 The oldest gemstone used in jewelry 06:59:00 Other gemstones that were easy to manipulate during this time 08:01:50 Middle Ages 09:30:00 Cabochons to harness magical properties 10:37:00 The hunt to get diamonds to sparkle 11:17:00 1380 12:00:00 16th Century 12:25:00 Bruting diamonds 12:55:00 The culet 13:33:00 Hello, single cut gemstone 14:53:00 The gemstone tells us what it can do 16:14:00 Cutting colored gemstones vs. diamonds 16:52:00 Face up shape 19:43:00 The parts of the gemstone 20:32:00 Brilliant cut/variation of cuts/faceting
Oh Curse You!!!

Oh Curse You!!!


Halloween is here and we couldn’t resist an opportunity to talk about cursed gemstones and jewelry. We go as far back to the legendary Hope Diamond, The Curse of the Delhi Purple Sapphire, The Black Orlov and yes, even a cursed opal. 00:00:00 Garlic Breath 00:41:00 Halloween Special – Cursed Jewelry 01:44:00 The most famous cursed gemstone – The Hope Diamond 02:35:00 It all began in the year of 1666 04:05:00 1678 – Louise the 14th = French Blue 05:02:00 Louise the 15th = Order of the Golden Fleece 05:47:00 Louise the 16th 06:13:00 When things start to go south 07:24:00 And then the stone disappeared 08:03:00 20 years later the Hope Diamond appeared 08:41:00 1812 – Sold to King George the IV and it’s transition to the Hope Family 09:19:00 16 years after the Hope Estate 10:29:00 Getting picked up by Cartier 10:45:00 Attempting to turn it lucky 11:49:00 No hope for the Hope Diamond 12:12:50 The final curse of the Hope Diamond 13:01:00 Cool qualities about the Hope Diamond 13:36:00 The curse of the Delhi Purple Sapphire (aka Amethyst) 14:08:00 A letter from Heron Allen to the future processor of the Amethyst 18:33:00 A curse opal 21:10:00 The Black Orlov
Comments (1)

joanna knowles

The spelling for the gemstone is Peridot..not Perido..that's why we call them peridot in the uk

Feb 28th
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