Brecken HeadshotThe science and natural history museums are some of my favorites.

When I was younger, my parents used to take my siblings and me to our local Natural Science Center every couple of months, and I couldn’t get enough of the fact that I was basically allowed to play while I was learning (and it goes without saying that I was also in it for the rock candy.)

So I was so happy when I recently heard the news that one fellow gem hound was donating a large sum of money to the Smithsonian exhibit that helps foster that exact feeling in others.

Last month, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History received its largest education donation yet: a $13 million gift from Coralyn Wright Whitney, a former college professor who earned her GG from GIA after she retired from academia, to support the museum’s science education center, Q?rius, pronounced “curious.”
Brecken HeadshotMy Rocks On series, which features a different gemstone every month, is one of my favorite projects to tackle. Not only does it often lead to me meeting new designers and gemstone dealers when I interview them about what’s trending and what’s going on in pricing of the stones, it goes a long way toward helping me learn about colored gemstones.
Brecken HeadshotEver since I started at National Jeweler and began learning more about the auction world as we covered results from Bonhams, Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and more, I’ve been intrigued by it. By what drives people to buy, why they’ll spend a certain amount, what ends up being really popular and what that means for trends.

Lots of big things have been going on for Etsy lately. The online marketplace for handmade goods officially launched its wholesale business last August, aiming to get its products in more stores around the country.

Then, just last week, it announced that it was making moves to become a public company.
I’m guilty of being one of those people who can easily get lost in cat/dog/really any animal videos on the Internet, or distracted by a pet’s Instagram or Facebook page for … well, we’ll just say a long time.

(You guys know Facebook-famous Boo, right? He’s so cute that he looks more like a stuffed animal than a real animal. And he’s also my favorite.)

You add a cute little pet to a jewelry Instagram account that already features beautiful pieces, and I can’t imagine a more perfect recipe for success.
Brecken HeadshotWe all know how important nomenclature is in the industry; having not only the correct name but one that is also well known helps increase awareness and understanding for the products and pieces that go into the jewelry we all love so much.

Last year, my trip to Tucson was the first work trip I took as part of the National Jeweler team, and boy was it a quick crash course in colored stones. Since then, I’ve been to a few other places, including Las Vegas, of course, for market week, and San Diego last year for Conclave, all of which were a blast. But Tucson is still one of my favorite trips to take because of all the cool things it has to offer and the massive amounts of stones you can see.

Brecken HeadshotI had almost forgotten how much I loved stones, minerals, and gems until I found myself at this job and in the fine jewelry industry. But it makes so much sense now.

I used to have a tumbled rock collection that I was obsessed with and would guard from my siblings with my life, and was always on the lookout for the best ones to add to my collection.
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Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.