London Blue Topaz, “The Gem of Finishing School”

Day 8 of the Gemstone Wishlist for Tuscon:

London Blue Topaz is a beautiful Gemstone which has to be meticulously groomed into perfection, like a bonsai tree. London Blue Topaz is a natural gemstone (Topaz), but gets its color from a multi-step irradiation process.  Although, Topaz comes in blue naturally, the shade is usually very very faint, so irradiation for enhancement is accepted industry wide. The biggest benefit of the process is most definitely, affordable Glamour. Topaz comes in some larger crystals, it is easy enough to work with and very easy to wear because of its hardness.

As this is the Gemstone Wishlist, ordinary London Blue Topaz would not be on the list because it is not “rare” or “exotic,” What I am looking for is a massive unattainable in any other gemstone look (like over 25 Carat single stones…Yes, Elizabeth Taylor size.) Check out what these designers are doing with large London Blue Topaz:

John Hardy:

Kostantino:

        

Ippolita:

Cathy Waterman:

Kyanite, “The Gem with a Day Job”

Day 7 of the Gemstone Wishlist for Tuscon:

Kyanite, “The Gem with a Day Job”

Kyanite, which is Greek for “Deep Blue”, is a gemstone most typically blue to green in color with a very occasional blue-purple shade. The mineral itself is not rare but cut and polished stones are.  In truth the gemstones are so rare when you google: “Kyanite Jewelry” you will not find much.

My favorite designer, and really one of very few Fine Jewelers, working with Kyanite is Emily Armenta who crafts exquisite pieces of wearable art with Kyanite.

Kyanite makes it to Gemstone Wishlist not because of its unique color as it can be sometimes mistaken for sapphires, but for the actual properties of the stone. (Oh yes, I did it, I am going there…It’s about to get geeky here.) I am completely enamored with the poetic existence of Kyanite, (now bear with me as this is going in a very round about direction.)

Science: Kyanite as a mineral is most frequently used for industrial purposes. It has a unique reaction to heat, in some instances Kyanite is ground up and added to mixtures which would otherwise shrink, (ie. Porcelain, concrete ect.) because Kyanite doubles its own size when heated to just the right temperature.

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Belief: Generally people, seem to find peace and serenity in the blue Kyanite Crystal formations, saying that it absorbs negative energy.

Practice: Feng Shui practitioners uses Kyanite Crystals in homes and offices to bring calm to chaotic situations and even use it during meditations when times get particularly tough.

Practice: Ellegedly (although I do not yet feel comfortable enough in the source), Some people used to tie Kyanite into the ends of the hair, which was said to be able to guide a person as a compass.

Blue kyanite necklace rough blue kyanite shard pendant -choose your own

(Buy these from GypsyTribeJewerly on Etsy.com)

The Poem I see:

There is a stone which leads a double life, one as an industrial worker,

The other as a the focal point and inspiration of Fine Jewelers,

A mineral which instead of melting under fire, expands to its true potential,

A stone which stifles negative energy and offers peace to its neighbors,

A crystal which functions as the guiding light for the future,

A moral compass.

Sound like any phenomenal women you know?

 (My Mama, My Grandma, Ms. Meriweather, JoAnn, Laura Hope)

Make your own deductions about Kyanite as a gemstone, Start at:

 Geology.com

Emerald, “The Original Diva Gem”

Day 6 of the Gemstone Wishlist for Tuscon

emerald

Emerald, “the Original Diva Gem”

Monday, Every American was focused on the inauguration and all fashion eyes fell on two things Michelle Obama’s Bangs (OMG! Why did no one think of those sooner??? Fab!,) and The Reigning 1st lady of Song Beyonce and the order of thoughts, for me at least, went:

1)      EARRINGS!!!

2)      Perfect blonde curls.

3)      Song.. yeah sounds great.

4)     And as @OscarPRgirl put it:

“I mean could we not get a full length shot of B? who is running this?”

And No, She was not Lip-Syncing, If she were she would not have needed to remove her ear piece. Get it together people, It’s period.

But back to the earrings! Emeralds, Yes! The same choice Cleopatra would have made in Ancient Egypt!

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Instant glam, and sooo on trend as The Pantone color of the year is….. EMERALD.

Most people know what an Emerald is, considering it is one of the “Big 4” Precious Gemstones (Diamond, Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald), and most people also know that the best Emeralds hail from Columbia. But Emeralds have a much richer history than that, Emeralds were mined in Egypt thousands of years before even Cleopatra (Although, she claimed them as her own and made them one of her signature luxuries.) Emeralds have always been adored by the elite from all across the globe from Africa to South America (the long way around of course.)

The name Emerald comes from “Esmeralde” which is Old French for “green gemstone,” and the Old French Translation came from the Greek word “Smargdos” which also means “green gemstone” (I know, it isn’t very original but it is a unique enough stone not to need more clarification, since true green is a difficult color to come by in natural gemstones.) Green is a difficult color to find in gemstones because of the chemical composition required (but that is boring… unless you are really interested in which case you can look on gemstone.org and find that it has to do with Chromium and Vanadium.)

Columbian Emeralds are regarded as the most impressive and valuable Emeralds in the world, because of the specific shade of green they display, however Emeralds are actually found all over the world. Emeralds can be found in Brazil, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Madagascar, India, Russia and even in North Carolina USA. In this way, Emeralds are not particularly rare, however, the perfect Emeralds we see on Red Carpets and at Inaugurations are each one in a billion.

Although Emeralds are not the softest or most delicate stones cutting them and maintaining size can be an issue due to they’re likelihood to cleave. When looking into an Emerald, you can almost always see tiny lines or striations, this is expected and accepted by consumers and collectors alike, (the Columbians even say you should see a “Fine Garden” inside Emeralds), but these characteristics are the weak points along which a stone is likely to break or shatter. These characteristics and the absence of them are what make Emeralds so precious. The perfect Emerald, with the ideal shade of rich Green and a tidy fine garden can easily earn more per carat than a diamond of the same carat weight.

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Seeing these Columbian Goodies on Angelina Jolie, who has somewhat adopted them as her own signature stones, is enough to make any Gem lover abandon the pinks and reds of Valentine’s Day for a little something sparkly and green.

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For more Gem Nourishment Visit:

Emeralds @ Gemstone.org

Constance Crashes and Burns Sometimes

Constance Crashes and Burns Sometimes

Sometimes I Crash and Burn inside the Giant Jewelry Box 😦

I apologize. I know I said I would post daily a new stone… but I honestly didn’t think anyone was looking… until I got hate mail.  You could easily ask anyone of the educators I ever had and they would tell you that turning in homework on time was never my strong suit. But I promise to do better since this is after all my career and obsession and love affair all in one and consequently I should be able to go on for days, which I can so long as I sit down. Let’s just say I owe you Day 4 and Day 5 still which I will make up soon, and get on with today’s post.

Natural Zircon, “The Most Imitated Gem”

Natural Zircon

Day 3 of the Gemstone Wishlist for Tuscon:

Natural Zircon is commonly confused with the diamond synthetics that high-jacked its name (Cubic Zirconia, or CZ). The copy stone is just about as close to Natural Zircon as Snookie is to Selma Hayek…

  

…but you would be surprised at how many fights I have with people (even in the industry) about the difference. (This is literally a problem, which I frequently address in emails that read something like this: Dear EVERYONE,

…I have recently requested samples to be made using White Zircon, which is a NATURAL gemstone NOT to be confused or supplemented with CZ a.k.a. Cubic Zirconia which is a completely synthetic stone. This is a costly mistake for which we could all get into a great deal of trouble for with our customers and the US government. Please be sure to differentiate!…)

The most disappointing thing about the total and complete identity theft is that Natural Zircon is an incredible gemstone with very unique properties and a rich history. The name Zircon is derivative of the Arabic words for golden colored, “Zar Gun.” This name was given because, although Zircon comes in as many colors as diamonds, and most people know them as a supplemental stone for diamond (which is probably why cubic ZIRCONia was the name chosen for fake diamonds. ß this also makes everything that much more confusing), the most common color is a beautiful golden or honey color.


Hailing only from the Eastern Hemisphere, Zircon can be deciphered fairly quickly if you know what to look for; it sparkles a great deal more than most gemstones because of its internal crystalline structure, which in a way functions as a set of mirrors to almost double the amount of actual facets seen with the naked eye.

All said, I will be going after a beautiful piece of honey to mahogany colored Natural Zircon at the show and luckily (this is probably the only positive side of this gemstone being confused with CZ) there is a lack of appreciation for Zircon in commercial markets so I should be able to snag one for a more than fair price now before everyone wakes up and realizes what great stone Natural Zircon is. (I get a certain sense of satisfaction in this, which I imagine is similar to one which an inside trader must get just before the market skyrockets :)! )


Earrings From Erica Courtney:

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For more information on Zircon check out what gemstone.org has to say:

Natural Zircon @ gemstone.org

Kunzite, The Sultry American Gem

Day 2 of Gemstone Wishlist for Tuscon:

Kunzite

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This Gemstone doesn’t need a lot of talking up, you might say all it needs to do is wink in the candle light 😉 because The rare pale purply-pink color is enough to get most people’s attention.

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This Unique stone, is often considered an All-American beauty, found in the USA and named after a famous American! Kunzite was originally found in Southern California, in 1902, and is considered to be a rich part of the Tiffany & Co. History as it was identified and named by a Tiffany’s Gemologist George Kunz. Kunzite is a stunning lilac to powder pink colored gemstone and gets its coloring from Manganese. Like any fair skinned beauty, the sun is damaging to the color of this gemstone, so it is best at cocktail parties and late night rendezvous (I know right, how sensually perfect.)

Tiffany & Co. even used this collector’s size 175.00Ct + Kunzite, in this Necklace, for its 175th Anniversary in September of last year.Image

Here are some other incredible Kunzite pieces from Tiffany & Co.:

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And One Stunning Kunzite and Amethyst Necklace from Van Cleef & Arpels:

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If you must have more Kunzite in your life check out this more scientific profile on gemstone.org:

http://www.gemstone.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=129:sapphire&catid=1:gem-by-gem&Itemid=14

And if you are looking to buy… be prepared to pay a pretty penny for this beauty of the night 😉 (Oh Stop…I’m Sorry I couldn’t resist.)

Zultanite, The Sultan of Gems

Day 1 of  The Gemstone Wishlist for Tuscon

Zultanite “The Sultan of Gems”, is an incredibly rare and relatively new Gemstone. At first glance you may not be able to put a finger on what color it is. That is because it’s a member of the elite class of natural ‘color changing’ gemstones. Meaning the color changes as it reflects different light sources. The range of color is mesmerizing as it shifts from rich blush champagne hues, through golden yellows into kiwi greens.

One of the most rare gemstones on earth, Zultanite comes from only one mine in the Anatolian mountains of Turkey, once ruled by the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire. Zultanite, takes it’s name from th

ose same 36 Sultans.

Aside from Zultanite’s impressive rarity, color display and cultural richness, it is also a leader in ‘Green’. Diamond and Gemstone mining can be extremely harsh on the environment, some of which is unavoidable but the Zultanite mine takes a special interest in recycling water to avoid soil contamination and planting 10 trees for every one cut down. Furthermore, since the stone is sold only in its natural complexion, (no chemical, radiation or other enhancements are ever done to the stone), the overall carbon footprint of each polished Zultanite is significantly lower than most gemstones.The mining company, Ottoman Gems also takes a major stance on equality, hiring women and men alike for fair labor prices, and education, donating supplies and learning tools to local schools.

If you are not convinced on why Zultanite is the at the very top of my Gemstone Wishlist, check out the amazing things these Couture Jewelers are designing around Zultanite:

—Stephen Webster—

—Erica Courtney—

And now that you are totally hooked and enamored go visit the site for yourself:

http://www.zultgems.com/

The Whale of all Rings & The Woman with a Blowfish Ring

While the majority of the jewelry I handle is fine fashion jewelry (meaning it incorporates genuine diamonds and gemstones), every now and then something fun and costume comes along and thoroughly delights me. This week’s find was a WHALE ring, (insert: love, confusion, happiness, disgust, whotheheckmadethis? And of course total obsession)!

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It’s the kind of ring most people would never dream of and yet never forget, which brings me to my point, I was trying to make a few posts ago: Jewelry is personal! It doesn’t have to be pretty to be great, it just needs to be you. Being you doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a fact about you either, like an initial, your zodiac, your birthstone, or anything else incredibly literal. Sometimes it just needs to be something you unexplainably are drawn to.

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onceuponatimence upon a time, I went to a bar in a chic little boutique hotel to meet an old friend of mine. My friend, though fabulous, was running a little late (which is impressive that she was later than I, because I am late for everything… so much so that a different friend of mine once told me she did not want to be my friend anymore because I was always late for dinners and lunches-needless to say we don’t really speak anymore). So I took up a seat next to a fabulous looking middle aged woman wearing great clothes and having her hair and makeup done splendidly (I gravitate towards women I think I might want to be like when I grow up).

There she sat drinking her ultra-sophisticated whiskey mixed drink (I don’t actually have a clue what she was drinking, but I have decided in my memory that whatever it was, was way more impressive and alluring than the Pyrate Rum I was drinking. Arg..-sorry I couldn’t resist), And just as she lifted her glass to her lips it happened… something sparkled (and we all know I can’t resist), so blurted out “wow what and incredible ring can I please see it?”

A little shocked, probably at the fact that I basically shouted in excitement (half at this ring which I couldn’t make out and half at the opportunity to talk to this woman whom I found totally enchanting), She turned to me nearly spitting out her drink, took a big gulp and said “Oh this, sure.”

To my surprise, (I mean total shock and aww!) the reason I could not make out what the ring was, is that it was BLOWFISH. I had never in a million pieces of jewelry seen a blowfish or even thought of one as anything, let alone a ring, especially not a Gold and Diamond ring, (we are talking like a 10 thousand dollar gold and diamond ring).

This was naturally intriguing to me and I proceeded to ask the woman 999 questions about the ring and her as a person, her profession and what she wanted out of life, eventually spilling into politics and all sorts of other topics which I inevitably forgot about (since it was at a bar), but I would never forget the Woman with a Blowfish ring. The beginning of the End.

Moral of the Story: be Unique in your choices and no one will ever forget you!

What is your most Unique piece? Is it Memorable?

The Diamond Finger Trap

As the samples for the new year roll into my office I find it part of my duty to try on Every single piece (I know my life is terrible; Pity me immediately.) Usually this works out well because mass market samples are generally my size exactly! But, when I say exactly, I mean… Exactly. There is one little problem with that and it usually starts with a ring with a thick band. (If you have ever played with a Chinese Finger Trap, then you may know exactly where this story is going.)

chinesefingertrap

There I am sitting at my desk covered in samples and I gravitate towards the super thick, ultra chic band with stars in it. (Now let me just say that after being in this industry for years now and I SHOULD know better, but I let the sparkly excitement go to my head.) I push the ring right on to my finger and there it is snuggly on my hand with no room to go anywhere. And it starts… Panic. Your heart has this inconvenient habit of beating really fast and extremely hard, when your finger sends a signal to your brain that it is trapped and may be severed from your body, (which is a totally irrational reaction to a ring being a little snug, but it is a finger and fingers don’t have brain of their own).

Fortunately, (or unfortunately that I have the same problem time and time again), I know how to deal with a situation like this and now feel that it is my obligation to share it with you as well. When you have a ring stuck on your finger and absolutely cannot get it off, don’t reach for the soap, the lotion, the peanut butter or shove your whole finger in your mouth, (while all of these things may or may not work, you then have the unfortunate need to get peanut butter out from behind, between, on top, and underneath your diamonds… yeah gross), instead reach for Windex. Windex works every time, and it does not leave disgustingness all over the ring which you obviously liked enough to force onto your hand.

Follow these Steps:

1)      Apply some Windex to points where your finger meets the ring.

2)      Twist the ring back and forth. Don’t pull because then you get that Chinese finger trap effect I was telling you about.

3)      When you feel the Windex has lubricated the full inside of the ring start to *Twist the ring toward the edge of your finger until you are able to get it over the knuckle.

4)      **Ta Da** Free Finger. Clean Ring. Happy You!

 

This Incident does also bring me to another issue- How to purchase a thick banded chic ring as seen in all the magazines as of late?

 

A Good rule of Ring:

thickbandring

The thicker the band of the ring the bigger the size needs to be. If the band you are looking at is twice the width or more of the band you normally wear opt for a full size up. If you have a tendency to swell, consider going two sizes up, that way on a bloated day you can still wear your ring, and on a slimmer day you can simply switch fingers for a really on trend look.

Fine Jewelry Fabulous in the Gym

Once upon a time in a land very near to here, people of all sizes and shapes celebrated a season of holidays with laughter, joy, and feasts. This was a very special season where everyone grew to their happiest plumpness, no matter their shape or size. The last holiday was a very special one where they all made new goals and resolutions to do all the things they always wanted to and be even better people in the year to come. The Beginning of the End.

 

If you are anything like myself or the other 50 bigillion people who say “this year I am going to get fit! It’s a New Year and I resolve to be sexier!” (first of all: good luck, as most of us fall off the wagon in less than a month) Here are some tips on being Fine Jewelry Fabulous in the gym:

 

DON’T: go to the gym looking utterly disgusting, if you feel bad about yourself while you are there you will only want to leave prematurely. The better you feel standing in ALL of those mirrors (since gyms always seem to be a giant 3-way mirror with largely unflattering angles. Or maybe it is just the stark comparison of standing next to a gym rat who live and breathes to be physically superior… L ) the better you will engage in your work out.

DO: Wear Diamond or Gemstone Studs to the Gym!! (when you have your hair pulled back in a ponytail and a pair of studs in you will feel like a million bucks which is proven to be good for your health.)

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MAYBE: Wear a 16” very small pendant or necklace. (not a long layering neck ornament that could get trapped in the treadmill and strangle you to death. That would be a terrible obituary. *Also, I say maybe because I for sure always do this but recognize that others may think its totally ridiculous…whatever I’m FJF!)

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MAYBE: Wear a tennis bracelet or diamond by the yard bracelet, if it is secure and depending on what kind of workout you are doing. (not a bunch of bangles, That’s just annoying to… EVERYONE. *Again, I only say maybe because although I never take off my tennis bracelets, I recognize that not everyone is comfortable with this.)

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DON’T: Wear rings. (your hands will naturally do really weird things like swell or shrink while your heart is pumping so much harder than usual. And if you are lifting weights, it’s a good way to hurt yourself or severely damage your Pretties.)

DON’T: Wear Perfume. (….just gross. Don’t do it!)

Obviously: If your workout is Krav Maga or any other martial arts/contact sport or maybe even a boot camp disregard this and follow their safety rules.