“I want to be the Pretty Tiara Girl!”

Constance Finally Gets her Tiara!

Constance Finally Gets her Tiara!

[Disclaimer: I am attempting to break my bad habit of writing posts and then waiting to re-look at them and edit them until the content is so old it is no longer relevant. That said I have decided to put myself on a time limit and simply submit my post to you all with no editing. very little editing.]

Like most girls, I have had an affinity for tiaras since as long as I can remember. However, the idea of having to marry someone (since obviously I already missed the whole be-born-into-a-royal-family boat) did not ever sit well with me. :/

So instead I decided to enter beauty pageants because I like many other young women I wanted a tiara that basically says “I’m Pretty!”

Unfortunately, I never win or even place in these things because who really knows how to actually be the prettiest girl in the room. It’s probably part luck and part… I don’t know something I obviously didn’t have any of the times I tried. The point is one day while I was pouting my sister reminded me that I am a Jewelry Designer and can always just design my own tiara, just like she did for a class project (I swear my sister is part 11 = part genius!) So I did, for Femme Luxe and it will be available for sale in Canada this week. 🙂

The Shopping Channel

Tiara for Femme Luxe Fine Jewelry

Tiara for Femme Luxe Fine Jewelry

Check out my sisters Crown she made for a class project using aluminum foil, cardboard and broken jewelry!

#ShesOnly11 #Genius

My sister is an 11 yeasr old Boss!

My sister is an 11 yeasr old Boss!

#GirlBoss

#GirlBoss

#Gemstalking 101

[Disclaimer: While the events of this story did actually occur, and do have quotations, it is safe to say that I probably am paraphrasing a little and may have forgotten the exact words, or order, or even some strange things in between and seeing as I was the only one present who is involved in writing this blog, it is obviously a one sided story.]

My very first #GemStalking moment was almost a total disaster! After walking around with my first batch of cards for an entire week, I almost had the courage to approach a girl wearing a beautiful two-tone rose cuff. From a distance I could tell it was made well and I wanted to see more….

cgjb.killercuff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

….And then I trip. So now I’m embarrassed because when you walk around NYC in heels everyone secretly hopes you will trip and fall on your face, and there is ALWAYS someone around to see. Maybe you think that is just something I am paranoid about and/or am totally making up, AND maybe if I wasn’t me and my luck wasn’t mine, you would be right. BUT YOU ARE WRONG! Just as I catch my balance and narrowly miss falling into the pile of trash they keep on our sidewalks for cityscape, I hear it and it’s not one of the voices I use inside my head. She says, “Don’t worry, they’re totally worth it!” and at this point I’m not totally sure if shes being sarcastic or not, but she is talking to me, (which is totally A-typical of New Yorkers and why I really wished we had gone to get a drink after and became really great awkward/strange friends, but I failed). So a little bit flustered I blurt out my whole story of how I have a blog and I’m trying to do this new thing where I ask strangers to let me take a picture of them and their jewelry, blah blah blah…. And she says, “Oh my god you totally should, they would be so excited! They would be like ‘Omg really? We just got here from Jersey…’” and then thinking maybe she knows them, and is just the one brunette friend lagging behind, I ask,

“Oh do you know them?”To which she light heartedly responds,

“No, I’m just being a bitch for no reason. I don’t know why I’m being such a bitch.” (And to be perfectly honest I didn’t know either… but I did know that I wanted her to be my friend.)

Then things got more awkward and there were street lights and I was going to turn south to escape the awkward, and the group of girls were going east, and the brunette girl was lost in the crowd somewhere, but I could still here her voice saying, “Uhh, it’s getting away!”

[At this moment in time I am starting to think that this “Brunette girl” is just figment of my imagination because this is ReDiculous.]

With the heckling of my possibly made up new friend, I change course and approach the blonde trio studdering something about a blog and blurting out “Can I have a picture?”

From this point, everything was fairly painless. Everyone was very nice. They all worked for Tom James, and said they felt my pain in approaching strangers in New York as its part of their jobs to bring in their own customers. (Shout out to custom clothier www.tomjames.com for hiring nice people!)

killercuff

After I got the picture and then walked a little to far with them for socical acceptability, I hurried on my and across Vanderbuilt Ave. towards Grand Central. And that when it hit me, Why did I not get her name, a picture of her with the cuff, and where she got it? Well….. Lesson Learned.

Luckily I am a proficient cyber #Gemstalker and was able to find more information via google images! It’s a collection titled Aimez by a company called Beaucoup Designs. (I reached out to them about doing a little piece on their collections etc. So if they contact me back, I will Another day, that iisn’t today.)

Athough you don’t seem to be able to retail purchase anything from the site, http://www.beaucoupdesigns.com/ has some really cute things and the cuff is appearantly a birth flower cuff for the month of June (Although it is entirely possible she just liked the roses, it’s crazy the things you can learn about someone from noticing the detail of what they put on their body, ie. Birth month flower cuffs). From an industry perspective, it is kind of brilliant to do birth flowers because so often zodiac/birth month things are tacky and largely unwearable. And, as a wholesaler, trying to convince major retailers to purchase 12 new skus that all script the months of the year is like trying to use the letter z in scrabble. But flowers, Flowers are great! People could just have more choices. You couls take your birth flower or just your favorite flower. (It’s different with zodiac signs. Wearing the wrong sign would be like borrowing someone’s name tag, which I can see a few reasons you might come to that point but they are all severely strange scenarios.)

 

Check ‘em out (in the privacy of your own home 😉 #GemStalking

 

 

 

“Is that an Engagement ring?… So then, dinner?”

[Disclaimer: While the events of this story did actually occur, and do have quotations, it is safe to say that I probably am paraphrasing a little and may have forgotten the exact words, or order, or even some strange things in between and seeing as I was the only one present who is involved in writing this blog, it is obviously a one sided story.]

I have lived in New York now for 1 year and 9 months and not a single person from New York has actually asked me on a proper dinner date. Until today. I was at the café downstairs from my office (which I go to at least once a day, either for coffee or lunch or both.) when a tall man said “Hi.”

I awkwardly responded, “Hi.” (he totally caught me off guard.)

As I proceed to look for a bag of chips or a drink or something so as to appear busy he says to me, “I saw you out of the corner of my eye.”

I respond with a flustered, awkward “Oh.” And continue looking for chips or something, but at this point I’ve forgotten and really want him to just turn around so I can remember what I was looking for and then sit down to eat because I’m hungry.

“What’s your name?”

(awkward pause as I think whether or not I should lie to this man, I would but I work right around here so god forbid I lie and then see him again NY is such a small place sometimes) “Constance”

“I’m Keith”

“Hi Keith”

Blog.NYCDate

Then I turn away and proceed to reach for a diet lime coke (I have acquired a new horrible habit of drinking diet sodas) but he (out nowhere) intercepts my hand and says, “Is this an engagement ring?”

Now, thoroughly shocked, I snatch my hand back and say, “No. Wrong hand.”

To which he responds, “Right… I mean some girls wear them on their right hand so I thought I would ask. Why do some women do that?”

“I don’t know. When they are married and move it over to the right to make room for their other ring on the left.” I’m now trying desperately to get out of the corner of this café and make a B-line to cash register, when he says,

“So then, dinner?”

“No thank you” and at this point I have maneuvered my way out of the corner and am backing away while simultaneously shaking my head no.

Blog.NYCDate.stranger“Lunch?”

“No. Sorry.” I continue shaking my head and backing away until I get to the cash register and head directly back to my office.

As soon as I got safely onto the elevator I realized that this form of awkward me is EXACTLY why no one asks me on dates and even if they do I probably don’t actually go. I know it was a strange reaction to a moderately attractive man in a café near my office, but that isn’t actually the part of this situation that perplexes me the most. In truth and hind sight, I am really disgusted by my answer to his whole “why do some women wear their rings on the right hand?” question.

You see the truth is, at that moment, I realized that I did have a decent amount of knowledge on engagement ring history, but I didn’t feel as though I was expert enough to give a full dissertation on the significance of fingers chosen and the cultural ramifications. (Not that this poor guy who I made out to look like a stranger offering a small child candy to help him look for his dog wanted a dissertation on the significance of engagement rings and their placement on hands.)

So here are the ‘cliff’ notes of my research:

  • The tradition of wearing an engagement or wedding ring on the left ring finger comes from the ancient Greco-Roman belief that there is a vein in this finger leading directly to the heart.
  • Some cultures (Polish, Greek, Indian, and Columbian to name a few.) wear engagement rings on their right hands because of the negative connotations of the left hand. (This dates back to Latin influence as the words for “sinister” and “left” are the same, which is also why many super religious discourage left-handedness.)
  • I found a source that Nigerians wear their engagement rings on their left middle finger to show that they are close to being married, at which point their left ring finger will become occupied. (small disclaimer: The site I found this on was a weird comment thread, and I am not particularly confident in my internet savvy, and I can’t seem to find again so if anyone could verify I would be greatly appreciative.)
  • Apparently, some left-handed women wear their Engagement rings on their right hand to avoid the wear and tear of dominant hand activities. ( I am left handed…. Never once crossed my mind.)
  • Some sources are still sighting that homosexual couples choose to wear engagement/wedding/commitment rings on their right hand but I liked this bloggers perspective, (http://www.ourlesbianmarriage.com/weddings/lesbian-wedding-rings/lesbian-commitment-rings/) which was basically that their relationships are no different than heterosexual ones so they too now wear their rings on the left ring finger.
  •  And some of us just don’t always have enough fingers to fit all the rings we want to wear…. So that could get confusing, I guess.

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Of course after thinking about it perhaps this poor man had just been lied to about self-purchased right hand rings by other uninterested women with enough couth to not simply shake their heads in fear and back away slowly.

The Beginning of the End

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.

signage

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

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.

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)!

photo (27)

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.