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About Becoming a GIA Graduate Gemologist
- Small, Family Run
- Luxury Women’s Fine Jewelry Boutique
- Environmentally Conscious
- Superior Quality, Fairly Priced and Ready to Wear
About the Diamonds Used in Our Jewelry
About Ethical Diamond Sourcing
About the Colored Gemstones Used in Our Jewelry
About the Metals Used in Our Jewelry
About the Goldsmiths Who Make Our Jewelry
About Insuring Your New Jewelry Purchase
About Our Website Availability
Hi, I’m Gordon, founder and lead jewelry designer of 100 East Fine Jewelry. Here’s a small slice of our family’s story. As a graduate Engineer, my first job out of college was designing buildings and equipment for a major auto maker. I loved the challenge of starting with a blank sheet of paper and an idea and one day seeing it come to life. It was quite a rush! As my career progressed, I moved away from hands-on design work into areas I found equally challenging and exciting. As an executive with a Fortune 100 pharmaceutical company, I had the opportunity to live and manage operations in Europe and Asia. This unleashed a love for travel and experiencing other cultures not only for me, but for our entire family. While living in Bangkok a new interest emerged; my fascination with colored gemstones. I embarked upon a journey to learn about gemstones which ultimately led to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), where I studied to become a certified gemologist. Next, I wanted to put this knowledge to work, which culminated in launching 100 East Fine Jewelry. Through this business, I’m lucky to combine my major passions – the creativity of designing, the beauty of gemstones, occasional travel and my love of family. 100 East Fine Jewelry is a very small company which couldn’t exist without the contributions of my wife and our three daughters.
The above photo shows our three daughters (left to right) Allison, Amy and Erin, followed by my wife, Anne, and me. We all feed off the energy and inspiration provided by our 6 granddaughters and one grandson. The entire family (yes, even the grandkids) contribute to the business in some way, whether it be large or small. Their ideas, creativity and formal education in art, education, finance, entrepreneurship and market research have helped mold the business.
Each piece we design has a story to tell. It may involve sourcing the gemstones, the inspiration behind the design or obstacles encountered while bringing the design to life. I love telling each story. If you’re interested in hearing it or learning more about gemstones, jewelry or jewelry-making, please feel free to contact me.
ABOUT BECOMING A GIA GRADUATE GEMOLOGIST
My fascination with colored gemstones grew into a desire to learn the science behind them. Why is one sapphire blue and another yellow? What’s the difference between ruby and garnet, both are red gemstones? I enrolled in Gemological Institute of America (GIA), world renowned gemology experts, to earn a Graduate Gemologist degree. There, I gained comprehensive knowledge of diamonds and colored stones, including:
- Use of gemological equipment to identify gemstone species and varieties
- Developing a knowledge base of gem material mining, conversion to finished gemstones and marketing
- Understanding characteristics and factors affecting gemstone value
- Developing expertise to grade gemstones, including identifying treatments, simulants and synthetics
Next, I needed to decide how I’d apply the knowledge I was accumulating. Many career paths are open to gemologists; from appraiser to gemstone wholesaler to jewelry buyer to pawn broker, etc. I ultimately decided to combine my expertise and passion for colored gemstones, love of design work and experience managing global manufacturing operations into designing and creating jewelry featuring colored gemstones. Thus, the concept of 100 East Fine Jewelry was born.
ABOUT 100 EAST FINE JEWELRY
I’ll start with a high level overview of 100 East Fine Jewelry: we’re a small, family-run, on-line only, ethics-driven, environmentally conscious women’s luxury jewelry boutique. We design and sell superior quality, fairly priced, ready to wear, one of a kind and limited edition colored gemstone jewelry pieces for the most discerning of customers.
I realize that’s quite a mouthful! Here’s some detail behind those words:
Small, Family Run – If you’re a committed supporter of small businesses, you’ve come to the right place! See the About Us photo. That’s us! We may be a small group, but we’re highly dedicated and committed to providing you with exceptional colored gemstone jewelry. We’re independent; driven by our family’s values. This benefits you and allows us to create jewelry that makes us proud. We don’t possess all the expertise needed to run this business alone. Instead, we augment our skill sets with the judicious use of expert service providers. We are laser-focused on jewelry design, material sourcing, quality control, strategy, compliance, accounting and sales. We utilize third party experts for consulting, jewelry making, website management, logistics and marketing.
On-line – We market and sell our fine jewelry on-line, period. We do not operate a brick and mortar retail store. This model is relatively new for luxury fine jewelry sales. Below, I’ll share how we decided on this model, but first, a little perspective on the current state of the fine jewelry industry.
The retail jewelry industry, like many modern industries, has been and continues to be, in a state of transition, driven by the internet and social media. For decades, jewelry was sold almost exclusively in person; in local brick and mortar jewelry stores. Retailers relied on foot traffic; with customers trying on jewelry before purchasing. With internet use expanding rapidly, a small, but growing consumer trend of purchasing jewelry on-line evolved. A few years ago, retail jewelry was even reported as the fastest growing category of online sales in the US. Digging a little deeper, however, finds this trend is more nuanced. Today’s online jewelry sales model is not a single model, but actually a compilation of a few different themes:
- A large segment of brick and mortar stores have websites, but strictly as a store locators and/or product galleries. They still rely on the old model of sales occurring in person, in-store or maybe over the phone. I liken this to replacing the Yellow Pages with the internet.
- Another large segment of brick and mortar stores have added ecommerce to their websites. These jewelry stores rely on a combination of in-store foot traffic and ecommerce for their sales. Their websites include a cart and check-out so you don’t have to visit the store to buy their products.
- Jewelry designers are also moving into the on-line direct sales arena. Many designers used to sell strictly through local brick and mortar retailers and/or their own physical stores. Some continue to operate in this manner, but created gallery-style websites which also locates a retailer who carries their jewelry. Some designers are taking it a step further. Their websites include ecommerce capability, which allows consumers to either find a local retailer or purchase directly from the designer’s site.
- Lastly, and by far the smallest group, is online-only retailers who rely solely on ecommerce from their websites.
We chose and continue to rely on the online-only model for a number of reasons:
- US online sales of goods as a percentage of total retail sales has grown steadily over the last 8 years. The new generation of luxury shopper has increasingly accepted the convenience of on-line shopping. A much wider selection of jewelry can be viewed without running from store to store. Our website is accessible 24 hours a day. You can shop from anywhere. There’s no fighting crowds, no rushing to get to the store before it closes and no high pressure sales people. If you want, you can call and speak directly with me, the actual product designer. We feel these advantages along with our liberal return policy will ease the concerns of many of you. If you don’t love the product, we’ll take it back. No questions asked.
- We’re located in Indiana, in the heart of the Midwest. Our designs are luxury priced and feature colored gemstones, not white diamonds. Our research indicates it’s difficult to attract a sufficient customer base strictly marketing our products close to home. We feel we need a larger, national reach which targets people living in more populous urban and suburban areas.
- Brick and mortar jewelry stores bring significant overhead, which adds costs and results in higher jewelry prices. Within the luxury jewelry category, we strive to provide premier products at fair prices. We feel the added overhead adds no value for the growing number of people who are comfortable buying online. This allows us to focus on outstanding service and quality.
- Lastly, our daughters all live at least a 3 hour drive from us. For most business activities, we can easily bridge this distance barrier using mail, email, text and phone. However, running a brick and mortar store would fall almost entirely upon my wife and me. After many years of working from an office, I don’t want to be tied down to a store.
Ethics-Driven – It’s easy to say you’re ethical. It’s another thing to actually conduct business ethically. I’ve yet to see a business advertise they’re unethical and proud of it! Being ethical, to us, is acting in a manner which promotes trust between us and all our stakeholders; customers, suppliers, government and regulatory agencies, etc. Our business is built upon operating at the highest standards of excellence or not operating at all. In a sense, it’s about treating others the way we want to be treated. However, ethics go beyond the golden rule, they’re about associating with like-minded people and organizations which challenge us to learn, grow and hold each other accountable. Accordingly, we affiliate with the following ethics-driven organizations:
- Gemological Institute of America (GIA) – Not only is GIA the world’s foremost authority on diamonds, colored gemstones and pearls and where I received my gemological education, they are a public benefit, non-profit institute. They are a leading source of knowledge, standards and education in gems and jewelry. We rely heavily on GIA for continuing education, non-biased gemstone testing and Quality Assurance benchmarks for jewelry making.
- Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) – JVC provides legal education and compliance guidance to the jewelry industry. When we joined, we pledged to comply with all laws applicable to the jewelry industry and to make accurate representations of the jewelry we sell. We take our promise to uphold the ethics and integrity of the jewelry industry very seriously. We are obsessed with properly displaying and describing our jewelry and their components in accordance with FTC Guidelines so “what you see is what you get”.
- American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) – AGTA is well-known in the gemstone and jewelry industries for maintaining the highest ethical standards and is recognized as an authoritative source on natural colored gemstones and cultured pearls. They strive to protect the natural colored gemstone and Cultured Pearl industries, related industries, and ultimately the consumer from fraud, abuse, misrepresentation, and deceptive advertising related to natural colored gemstones. We attest annually to our ongoing commitment to meet their Code of Ethics, which holds an AGTA Member to a stricter disclosure policy than required by the Federal Trade Commission.
- Gemworld International – This organization is focused on understanding and reporting on colored gemstone pricing. Additionally, they’re proponents of exacting jewelry appraiser standards and properly performed and documented independent appraisals of gems and jewelry.
- Rapaport USA - Rapaport USA is the leading resource for socially conscious jewelry consumers and members of the jewelry and diamond trade. Their goal is to provide ethical education for jewelry suppliers, buyers, first time or seasoned diamond buyers, social activists, students, and anyone interested in jewelry, trends, and ethical luxury.
Luxury Women’s Fine Jewelry Boutique - 100 East Fine Jewelry is a luxury jewelry boutique offering ready-to-wear earrings, necklaces, pendants, bracelets and rings for the most discerning women. We use precious metals (gold alloys, sterling silver and platinum) and extraordinary colored gemstones selected with my knowledgeable and discriminating eye in our jewelry. Accent diamonds are near colorless, VS and SI clarity, well cut and chosen for their fire and scintillation.
Environmentally Conscious - I’m troubled by the condition of the environment my generation is passing along to my children, grandchildren and subsequent generations. My concern is all encompassing; it’s not focused on a single environmental issue. Improving overall quality of life, I believe, must address all aspects of the environment. It means reversing climate change and improving air, water, forest and land quality, food safety and sustainability. That’s why each year we provide financial support to non-profit organizations whose primary mission is to positively impact the environment. After careful research, we contributed to such organizations as the World Resources Institute and Union of Concerned Scientists to further their efforts to influence and drive real environmental changes globally.
How is making and selling fine jewelry consistent with improving the environment? For thousands of years, humans have adorned themselves with objects made from precious materials. There’s no indication this will change. 100 East’s fine jewelry is made using precious metals (gold, sterling silver and the platinum family of metals) and valuable gemstones. Our fine jewelry has value. This makes it worth repairing when damaged, passing along as a family heirloom, sold as vintage jewelry, repurposed or recycled. Our objective is for the jewelry we make, or the materials it’s made from, not to end up in a landfill, but to last well into the future in one or more of the above environmentally friendly manners.
Superior Quality, Fairly Priced and Ready to Wear – Quality, Precision and Attention to Detail are synonymous with 100 East Fine Jewelry! Throughout my life and career, I’ve embraced the philosophy that quality should never be compromised for the sake of cost or expediency. Our quality standards are extremely high and our processes are designed to meet or exceed those standards. No matter an item’s price, the same set of quality standards apply. Each piece is rigorously examined at every step in the process, from concept to finished product, to assure it meets or exceeds our quality standards. We obsess over the details!
Each exceptionally colored gemstone we acquire is painstakingly examined in our lab to assure it meets our strict requirements. Our scintillating accent diamonds are tested and sorted either by hand or machine to assure they meet the rigid criteria required for the finished design. These carefully selected and evaluated gemstones are turned over to highly skilled goldsmiths who cast and finish the metalwork, expertly set each gemstone and assemble each piece to our high standards. Once a piece is completed, we give it one last thorough evaluation down to the finest detail.
By now, it should be clear we’re a low volume jewelry maker. Producing and selling in such small quantities has a cost. We don’t possess the negotiating leverage nor economies of scale of high volume jewelry makers in such business processes as materials sourcing, manufacturing, advertising, marketing, etc. However, we do have some cost advantages over larger scale jewelry makers. We incur much less overhead because we’re small and because we’ve chosen to market and sell on-line only. We also have less waste in our processes because one person follows a piece from design concept to final quality control, reducing the inefficiencies of miscommunications. We go to great lengths to price competitively by employing independent appraisers to help us understand the marketplace and by reducing our profit margins to keep our prices in line with other designers. Because of our smaller margins, we do not negotiate prices nor conduct sales.
All our products are finished and sitting in inventory, waiting for you to love them. We are proud of each and every piece of our jewelry and are confident you’ll receive beautiful, unique pieces to enjoy for years to come.
ABOUT OUR DESIGNS
Offering “women’s jewelry featuring colored gemstones” is a core element of our business strategy. This is such a general statement, we needed more specificity. Here are our guiding design principles:
- We use only bold and vibrant colored gemstones, not those with faded, washed-out colors.
- We design for women of all ages.
- We do not make mass-market jewelry. We want our designs to be as distinctive as the unique ladies who wear them. We limit our designs to one of the following categories: 1- One-of-a-kind pieces we won’t repeat in any form. The majority of our pieces fall into this category. 2- One-of-a-kind pieces with common design elements. Meaning, we’ll repeat the design, but vary the piece’s size, stone or metal type or color or any combination of these. We will not repeat any of those combinations. 3- Some designs may be made as identical limited editions, but never more than a single digit number of pieces.
- Our designs reflect timeless elegance; maintaining a delicate balance between classic and modern. We create jewelry designs to be enjoyed for a lifetime and beyond.
- Our designs will not be considered modest nor will we create flashy statement pieces that will quickly go out of style. We believe you don’t have to be a celebrity to wear spectacular jewelry. In the end, you could say our jewelry is “Tasteful fine jewelry you won’t have to brag about. Our jewelry will do the bragging for you!”
Inspiration for a design can come from anywhere. You name it, anything in my surroundings or life experiences can ignite that creative spark: a gemstone, travel, architecture, science, nature, shapes, colors and so forth. I never know what will capture my imagination. I can’t wait to see what’s next, though!
ABOUT OUR BRANDS
We create individual pieces of art designed to make any of life’s occasions more special. Despite being a small business, our products are differentiated into two brands; each geared to be worn in a different setting and with differing price ranges. We take great care to maintain brand integrity. Regardless of brand or price, each piece is designed with our unique blend of style, elegance, quality and use of color. The brands are:
100 East Brand - 100 East is our premium deluxe brand. It’s perfect for evening wear or that very special occasion. This unique and luxurious line is designed with a classic, yet modern look which sends a big message! The brand's focus is its highly desirable and oftentimes, uniquely cut colored gemstones. Diamond accent stones are used extensively and are carefully selected for their brilliance. 100 East brand diamonds typically are graded near-colorless with very slight inclusions. We primarily use 18KT gold, and occasionally platinum. The use of premium materials results in a higher price range for the 100 East brand.
Sas E Gems Brand - The Sas E (pronounced “Sassy”) Gems collection is our deluxe brand. Its casual chic look will make you appear both elegant and down to earth. It’s designed with fun and style in mind; understated enough to be worn every day, yet refined enough for a special evening out. Colored gemstones used in Sas E Gems jewelry pieces are more readily available than those used in the 100 East brand, but there is no compromise on their desirability and color. Diamond accents are used more sparingly or not at all in the Sas E Gems brand, but, when used, must still demonstrate exceptional fire. The diamonds are typically graded near-colorless with slight inclusions not affecting the diamond's transparency or brilliance. We primarily use 14KT gold and occasionally sterling silver or vermeil. Sas E Gems branded jewelry pieces are targeted for a lower price range than the 100 East brand.
Gordon's Curated Selection – In addition to our own brands, we offer a few select items from other jewelry designers. We call these Gordon's Curated Selection jewelry. Each item in the collection is hand-picked by me after a thorough evaluation. I only purchase items consistent in style and quality with our two brands. NOTE: Many GCS pieces don’t meet all the design criteria of the 100 East and Sas E Gems brands. Carefully read the Product Detail write-ups for each item. It’s important you know exactly what you’re getting. Remember, our no questions asked 30 day return policy applies to GCS items. Items in the GCS collection are just as stylish, but are in a lower price range than the Sas E Gems or 100 East brands.
ABOUT OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU
Internet shopping for fine jewelry can be confusing and even frustrating at times. We’re committed to remove as much uncertainty and anxiety from the purchase decision as possible. We do this a number of ways.
We put actual, authentic and professional photos of each jewelry piece on the website, intended to let you clearly see many of the intricate design details. We recognize laptops and mobile devices are not always capable of capturing the exact color or true glimmer of the gemstones, but it’s our hope our photos help you see the beauty in each design and the impeccable quality in every element of our creations.
Each jewelry piece is honestly and comprehensively described on its own product detail page. We provide pertinent factual data, including key dimensions, gemstone weight, rarity, color, variety and treatments (if any), metal material and quality and even special care of the piece. If you still have questions, you can reach us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you prefer, you can talk to me directly by phone or text at 812-202-2143. You’ll never have to worry about pressure sales tactics. Our job is to clarify and answer questions. It’s up to you to decide if our jewelry is right for you.
If despite all the above efforts, you purchase an item and it’s not what you expected, you can return it within 30 days for a refund. Refer to important details in the Terms of Sale section of the website.
ABOUT THE DIAMONDS USED IN OUR JEWELRY
100 East Fine Jewelry’s diamonds meet strict quality standards using the GIA standardized grading scale (see the Education section; “What are GIA’s Four C’s of Diamond Grading?”). Diamonds set in our branded jewelry are carefully selected to meet the standards set for the particular brand. We use only natural, untreated diamonds graded as colorless or near-colorless (D–J GIA color grades) with clarity grades in the GIA VVS1-SI2 range and with, at minimum, a good cut grade. These standards apply to all our 100 East and Sas E Gems branded jewelry.
Fancy colored diamonds we use (except black diamonds) are untreated natural diamonds selected for their color and overall appearance. Our black diamonds are natural, but are treated to create the unique black color. It is common for black diamonds to reveal minor surface imperfections without magnification.
Smaller diamonds (those weighing 0.25 carats or less) are extensively used as accent stones in our jewelry. All our small round diamonds are full cut, meaning they have 57 or 58 facets, unless specifically identified otherwise. Diamonds of 0.25 carats or less represent the vast majority of diamonds mined and cut in the world. Because of their small physical size and large numbers, it’s not practical to be as precise when grading their color and clarity as it is with larger diamonds. Therefore, color and sometimes clarity are shown as a range of the GIA scale.
Color and clarity grade designations you’ll see for the small diamonds used in 100 East Fine Jewelry items:
Color Designation Comment
D-F Colorless; may be used in our branded jewelry
G-H Near colorless; extensively used in our branded jewelry
I-J Near colorless; slightly more color than G-H; may be used in our branded jewelry
K-Z The remainder of the color designations; not routinely used in our branded jewelry
Clarity Designations Comment
IF-VVS Internally flawless to very, very slightly included; may be used in our branded jewelry
VS Very slightly included; extensively used in 100 East branded jewelry; may be used in Sas E Gems brand
SI Slightly included; extensively used in Sas E Gems branded jewelry; may be used in 100 East brand
I Included; not routinely used in our branded jewelry
ABOUT ETHICAL DIAMOND SOURCING
We purchase diamonds through vetted and trusted suppliers who adhere to the Kimberley Process, an international system to police the trade of diamonds and ensure they are from sources free of conflict.
ABOUT THE COLORED GEMSTONES USED IN OUR JEWELRY
In our 100 East and Sas E Gems jewelry brands, we use only natural colored gemstones; those produced by Mother Nature. The next set of criteria are color, vibrancy and appeal. We literally search the entire globe, painstakingly hand selecting gemstones with the perfect blend of hue, tone and saturation. Color vibrancy always wins. To find the perfect color for a design, we not only choose well known gemstones like diamonds, sapphires, rubies and garnet, but also lesser known varieties, such as peridot, spinel, sunstone and zircon.
Many natural colored gemstone species are commonly treated to enhance their color and/or clarity. We use many of these treated gemstones, but only if the treatment is considered permanent. Our Education section provides a list of gemstones likely to be used in our jewelry along with common treatments they receive. The actual treatments performed on the gemstones used in a given jewelry piece are disclosed in the item's Product Detail section.
We exclusively use cultured pearls (freshwater, Tahitian, akoya and South Seas) in jewelry we sell. No industry-wide standardized pearl grading system currently exists. However, our Education section contains some information about pearls you might find helpful.
ABOUT THE METALS USED IN OUR JEWELRY
We exclusively use precious metals in our jewelry:
- Gold - is the most malleable of all precious metals and perfect for use in jewelry. Our jewelry comes in 18k and 14k white, yellow and rose gold.
- Platinum - is enduring, strong and lasts a lifetime. We use at minimum 90% pure platinum alloys in our jewelry.
- Sterling Silver - for jewelry that lasts, we use a 92.5% alloy sterling silver. For centuries, this alloy has shown to be an ideal combination of durability and shine, while retaining the metal’s malleability and beauty for intricate and lasting designs.
We may occasionally offer vermeil, a combination of precious metals created by electroplating a yellow gold alloy onto sterling silver. We like vermeil for creating a two-toned effect of yellow gold accents on the white of sterling silver.
Learn more about these various metals by visiting our Education section.
ABOUT THE GOLDSMITHS WHO MAKE OUR JEWELRY
We do not manufacture our jewelry. The highly skilled goldsmiths who cast and polish the metals, assemble the components and set the gemstones in our branded 100 East and Sas E Gems jewelry pieces are located in the United States.
After an exhaustive search and evaluation of professional custom jewelry manufacturers, we selected 2 companies to work with. These companies have exemplary reputations for manufacturing and repairing high quality fine custom jewelry. We required they be philosophically aligned with us on ‘doing it right the first time’ and ‘attention to detail’.
ABOUT INSURING YOUR NEW JEWELRY PURCHASE
For your peace of mind, we recommend you insure your fine jewelry purchases against loss or damage, selecting coverage that’s right for you. We also recommend you retain the original invoice and product detail information from your purchase documents and take photo(s) of the item to support any future claim.
We go to great lengths to provide accurate and honest information about our products on our website and sales documentation. We do not provide product appraisals. While I am a GIA certified Gemologist, I do not possess the training and knowledge to professionally appraise jewelry. This requires specific education and certification from appraisal authorities, some of which are mentioned below.
If you desire another opinion on your jewelry purchase, we recommend you have the item appraised during the time period we allow for returns (carefully review the details in the Terms of Sale section of the website). However, be cautious when selecting an appraiser. No U.S. laws or regulations currently exist which establish education or certification requirements to become a jewelry appraiser. Just about anyone can hang a shingle and call him/herself an appraiser. Here’s what I recommend:
- Find an independent appraiser who does not sell gemstones or jewelry. This reduces the potential for bias in the appraisal. Independent appraisers run their own business and conduct appraisals for individuals, insurance companies, jewelers, etc.
- Select an independent appraiser who will perform the appraisal while you watch. This eliminates the possibility that gemstones could be changed during an appraisal.
- Carefully check the independent appraiser’s qualifications and look for affiliations with recognized appraisal societies. Societies such as Gemworld International, American Society of Appraisers, National Association of Jewelry Appraisers, International Society of Appraisers or American Gem Society help set industry standards and enforce them among their members.
What should you look for in an independent appraiser’s credentials?
- Gemological Certification: gemological training is important but is only a part of an appraiser’s education.
- Formal Education: courses or training in valuation science and appraisal methodology, theory, principles, procedures and ethics
- Professional Memberships: belonging to organizations such as those mentioned above which attest to the appraiser's commitment to keeping current on appraisal standards.
A professional independent appraisal is not free. Beware of anyone offering free appraisals.
ABOUT OUR WEBSITE AVAILABILITY
Our website is available to you anytime 24/7 from your computer or mobile device.
ABOUT OUR STORE HOURS
While the website is accessible 24/7, we are normally available to take your inquiries Monday through Friday from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm Central Time. We are also closed all major US holidays. We can be contacted via phone, text or email. If we’re not immediately available, we will get back with you at our earliest opportunity.