Arik Kastan Debuts New Styles at Couture 2017

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip ArikKastan Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

Arik Kastan and their team have been busy debuting some new designs and collections while out in Vegas for Couture. Buyers, press, journalists all hovered over their booth to get a glimpse of the new styles and fun gemstone combinations that still have people talking. As usual, Arik Kastan’s booth was one that couldn’t be missed when attending this year’s tradeshow.

If you missed out attending Vegas, we’ve got you covered in this installment–which is shown here on Gem Gossip, as well as all of Arik Kastan’s Newsletter subscribers. Be sure to sign up if you haven’t below!

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

A padlock on a thin chain is all you need for a night out in Vegas! This one has us telling our friends it is perfect in every way. Classic and cool for a modern woman who still likes a nod from the past.

Oval cluster padlock in emerald + diamonds, Price: $2,360


Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

We weren’t ready for how much of an impact we would bring to Couture with our green agate pieces! Comments like, “what stone is this, it is amazing?!” and “this green color is glowing!!” have really made us proud. This ring is one of our favorites.

Five-Stone Art Deco ring in green agate + sapphire, Price: $1,280


Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

Since we are on a green/blue kick, we’ve changed things up by using emeralds and turquoise. This earring style and gemstone combo are totally chic, and we could picture these on a summer getaway on a plane near you!

Deco Rhombus Drop Earrings in turquoise + emerald, Price: $1,830

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

To go along with the above earrings, we’ve created this ring which is sweet as can be! It is stack-ready and as we’ve said before, awaiting summer. Try wearing this one on your pinky if you’re wanting to do something more unique. Your friends will catch on.

Deco Lilac ring in turquoise + emerald, Price: $1,170

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

Feeling the summer heat over here in Vegas, which is why we’re opting to keep our necklace situation simple. We have been wearing the Aster necklace most of the week and it has brought the right amount of sparkle and femininity to our lives. Definitely our kind of Vegas vibes.

Aster Pendant in diamonds, Price: $1,830


Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

Before we head back to LA from scorching Vegas, we want to point out our Delilah ring because SHE’S CUTE. One of our most-requested rings during our trade show and we can’t wait to see these on your fingers!

Delilah ring in emerald + diamonds, Price: $2,200

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

We couldn’t wait to show off our newest vintage-inspired bow rings which debuted at Couture. And the newest gemstone color combo that had store and editors swooning–green agate and sapphires. Look out for them to hit the website soon! Can’t wait? Email [email protected]

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LOVENESS LEE AMMIL RING REVIEW 5/5 (3)

Imagine for a moment if Nature herself were your designer for a magnificent piece of jewellery. What kind of wonder would she create and would it be like anything you’ve ever seen before? Let me introduce you to the unique beauty of this Loveness Lee Ammil ring. With such vibrant hues, dynamic shapes, and organic textures, Loveness Lee Ammil ring is created with the help of nature and the skill of talented designer Loveness Lee to produce jewellery that is as colourful as it is unique.

“By collaborating with nature, I let it do the work for me – I am able to create naturally unpredictable shapes, colours and textures that cannot be replicated, which gives a special value to my collection.”

Design  3 Stars
Value for money 4 Stars
Showstopper 3.5 Stars
Durability 4 Stars
Craftsmanship 3.5 Stars
GEMOLOGUE SCORE 3.5 Stars
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Loveness Lee Ammil ring screams style and daring, and speaks to my passion for self-expression and jewellery that has a story to tell. A definite conversation opener, and a real statement piece with a poetic aesthetic, I love pieces of jewellery like this! Even Loveness Lee’s description of the ring made my imagination go wild!

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Ammil:  An Old English term for ‘enamel’ used for those warm winter days when the whole of Dartmoor is transformed into a glistening ice crystal palace. Ammil is the thin layer of ice that coats every leaf, twig, and blade of grass after a flash freeze. On the perfect day, the whole moor sparkles and glitters like a diamond encrusted landscape.

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Let me tell you a secret – serendipity is my favourite part of life. So, it was a happy moment when I got engaged in Venice a few months ago and discovered the word was engraved on my engagement ring. Serendipity plays a big part in the Loveness Lee design process and the shapes, colours, and textures that come out of it. Although consistently recognisable, it’s never predictable. Loveness Lee describes it as a ‘trans-natural’ concept created when nature, science, and art work together in harmony. The result is always unique and of course, serendipitous!

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Individually cast in bronze with applied patination, each Loveness Lee Ammil ring is gold plated to preserve the desired effect and finish. This ring was made in Loveness Lee’s London workshop using cuttlebone casting and patination to create a unique colour and texture in each piece.

Loveness Lee Ammil ring is available online for £375.

GEMOLOGUE by Liza Urla features exquisite global discoveries, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews – a celebration of fine jewellery, fashion jewellery and vintage jewellery.

*Photographed by Julia Flit. Styling and Art Direction by Liza Urla. All photos belong to GEM Kreatives for GEMOLOGUE.

Material on this website may not be copied, broadcasted or adapted without written consent.

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BINA GOENKA PRET COLLECTION FOR NET-A-PORTER PRESENTATION, ANNABEL’S

Bina Goenka brings her lavish style to NET-A-PORTER for her first online prêt (ready-to-wear) jewellery collection. Now everyone can enjoy a taste of her high jewellery online!

“We are so excited to be launching such an exceptional and unique brand exclusively to NET-A-PORTER, and to be able to showcase Bina Goenka’s pieces to our customers for the first time. The brand maintains an acute focus on creating only the finest works of art using the rarest of materials. We are delighted the collection will be included in our growing Fine Jewelry & Watch suite in time for the holiday season.”  Elizabeth von der Goltz, Global Buying Director, NET-A-PORTER

I was excited to see Bina Geonka’s daughter Avanti at the launch of the jewellery collection with the befitting name – Prêt. It was wonderfully presented in one of the opulent rooms of the newly refurbished Annabel’s in Mayfair London. With high ceilings and a luxurious decor, it was the perfect palatial setting to sit and have a pleasant chat with Avanti Geonka about her favourite pieces available online from the Prêt collection.

SHOP BINA GOENKA ON NET-A-PORTER:

I remember the first pair of Bina Goenka ruby earring studs I tried on. It was for one of my GEMOLOGUE features, The Jewels of… I loved the bold and innovative designs of her jewellery.

“I’ve not changed the way we make this jewellery collection, nor taken anything away. These jewels are made by the same hands that make our high jewellery pieces and I’ve used colour and precious gems, in them in a way that would usually be seen as the preserve of more ‘serious’ or ‘high jewellery’ collections. This feeling that the very best should be unattainable is something I set out to change in this Prêt collection, which is full of colour, and ravishing gems to be enjoyed every day.” Bina Goenka

Earrings have to be my go-to for jewellery. I just love them! But it’s important for me not to get so overwhelmed by the beauty of the design that I ignore the comfort level. Can I wear them all day and all night?

The remarkable thing about Bina Goenka Net-A-Porter jewellery is it’s gemstone and diamond jewellery made for everyday wear.

I’ve been craving rubies lately and these long ruby stud earrings are a dream! I confess, I’m in love with these earrings. Craftsmanship wasn’t wasted on these miniature pieces of art. And besides, long earrings suit women with long hair like me!

Just look at how illustrator Jo Bird captured my mood wearing these earrings. Adore her style! She’s so talented and it was lovely meeting her.

When I started GEMOLOGUE in 2009, you couldn’t find jewellery like this for sale online. But that’s all changed. Nowadays people spend hundreds and thousands of pounds online for jewellery like dreamy Buccellati and de Grisogono.

You can find a beautiful array of designs and designers to choose from online in my post, THE BEST PLACES TO SHOP ONLINE FOR JEWELLERY.

It’s exciting to see more and more high jewellery available to buy online. The Prêt collection by Bina Goenka, a self-taught jewellery designer, encapsulates an unconventional spirit, a fluidity and freedom in the essence and quality of her breath-taking designs in a wearable, everyday collection.

“I am very pleased to be working with NET-A-PORTER and to bring our jewellery to a completely new audience. For many years I’ve been making high jewellery pieces for private clients from around the world, but to date have never done a Prêt collection. I’ve relished the challenge of bringing high jewellery techniques and quality into these miniature works of art, and am excited that with the expertise and reach of NET-A-PORTER they will add a touch of high jewellery to people’s everyday wardrobes.”  Bina Goenka

Confident, precious jewels in a fresh, vibrant and contrasting palette of rubies, emeralds, mother of pearl, tiger’s eye, tsavorites, amethysts, and diamonds that you can wear every day.

Have you checked out the whole Bina Goenka Prêt jewellery collection on Net-A-Porter? Leave me a comment below!

I am extremely happy to announce that my new jewelry book – GEMOLOGUE: Street Jewellery Styles & Styling Tips – is now on Amazon. I’m so excited. It’s the first book of its kind solely dedicated to jewellery. 

You can sign up for GEMOLOGUE newsletter below and I also share  jewellery on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook  and Youtube if you’d like to connect, or feel free to say hello [email protected]

SHOP MY FAVOURITE JEWELRY ONLINE:

Click Product to Zoom Fred Leighton Cushion Cut White Topaz Collet Drop Earrings

Click Product to Zoom Fred Leighton Cushion Cut White Topaz Collet Drop Earrings

GEMOLOGUE jewelry blog by Liza Urla is a celebration of fine, fashion and vintage jewellery featuring talented jewellery designers, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews. This jewellery blog’s goal is to encourage and educate about jewellery online in a fresh and original fashion to inspire women and men across the globe in a fashion and travelling context.

Jewellery blogger, writer Liza Urla, the founder of GEMOLOGUE, is a London-based and NYC-educated gemologist, who has travelled to and lived in many countries. She is now one of the most influential digital jewellery tastemakers. Her jewellery influence has been acknowledged by Financial Times, The New York Times, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.

*Photographed by ….  All photos belong to GEM Kreatives for GEMOLOGUE.

Material on this website may not be copied, broadcasted or adapted without written consent.

The post BINA GOENKA PRET COLLECTION FOR NET-A-PORTER PRESENTATION, ANNABEL’S appeared first on Gemologue.

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GET THE LOOK: AS SEEN IN VOGUE BRAZIL

I am sure you haven’t forgotten my excitement about the making of Silvia Furmanovich jewellery campaign for the new Botanica collection in Sao Paulo. I was not only modelling but also art directing the shoot. I had an opportunity to create several striking jewellery looks from the stunning jewels of Silvia Furmanovich and I’m happy to say it was a hit!

This green Amazonia look is one of my favourite recent looks! You have probably noticed I have my hair loose all the time. Even though I never put my hair up, I absolutely loved this particular hairstyle. Inspired by divine Brazilian nature I felt it was in tune with 3 dimensional forms of Silvia Furmanovich earrings from the Botanica collection.

Here I am wearing one of the best Brazilian designer brand Paula Raia in incredible green hues – in line with Brazilian DNA of the shoot. The open back top has a beautiful and delicate design in light green colour, which goes perfectly with the skirts’s darker shade of green.

If I was asked what was my favourite design from Botanica SF, I would have a hard time answering. What I can say for sure is that I didn’t want to take off these 18k gold orchid earrings encrusted with diamonds and a rubellite in the center! Light as feather and carefully crafted with signature Silvia Furmanovich marquetry technique, they add a tropical touch to any look.

EARRINGS AND RINGS SILVIA FURMANOVICH

TOP AND SKIRT PAULA RAIA

One of these photos made it to Vogue and Bergdord Goodmans magazines. Can you guess, which one? Leave me a message in the comments below!

I am extremely happy to announce that my new jewelry book – GEMOLOGUE: Street Jewellery Styles & Styling Tips – is now on Amazon. I’m so excited. It’s the first book of its kind solely dedicated to jewellery. 

You can sign up for GEMOLOGUE newsletter below and I also share  jewellery on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook  and Youtube if you’d like to connect, or feel free to say hello [email protected]

SHOP MY FAVOURITE JEWELRY ONLINE:

Click Product to Zoom Fred Leighton Cushion Cut White Topaz Collet Drop Earrings

Click Product to Zoom Fred Leighton Cushion Cut White Topaz Collet Drop Earrings

GEMOLOGUE jewelry blog by Liza Urla is a celebration of fine, fashion and vintage jewellery featuring talented jewellery designers, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews. This jewellery blog’s goal is to encourage and educate about jewellery online in a fresh and original fashion to inspire women and men across the globe in a fashion and travelling context.

Jewellery blogger, writer Liza Urla, the founder of GEMOLOGUE, is a London-based and NYC-educated gemologist, who has travelled to and lived in many countries. She is now one of the most influential digital jewellery tastemakers. Her jewellery influence has been acknowledged by Financial Times, The New York Times, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.

*Photographed by Julia Flit. Styling and Art Direction by Liza Urla. All photos belong to GEM Kreatives for GEMOLOGUE.

Material on this website may not be copied, broadcasted or adapted without written consent.

The post GET THE LOOK: AS SEEN IN VOGUE BRAZIL appeared first on Gemologue.

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Pricing Strategy Tips for Jewelry Business Profitability

Pricing is every bit as important as the physical work itself. In some regards it is even more important than design ability because if the numbers don’t add up, regardless of how great the design and execution, the prospect for profitable success is limited. So, let’s dive in to the issue of price.

What is a Pricing Strategy?

Many people use a pricing formula, which is an essential part of setting prices, but, not all pricing formulas include a pricing strategy. A formula is an equation, whether simple or complex, and it entails adding up numbers and arriving at a selling price. And although a formula arrives at a selling price, that selling price may not guarantee profitability.

A pricing strategy is more comprehensive than a formula, and for a formula to be sound and profitable, it should be based on a strategic foundation. A pricing strategy includes more than just a formulaic equation of numbers; it includes a full accounting and understanding of what the numbers represent.

Knowing the numbers is the only way to make them add up in a formula that portends success as a business owner.

In the pricing formulas disclosed by many of this year’s applicants there were two noticeable categories which were lacking; the categories of profit and overhead. These are two areas we should examine in depth to determine what was overlooked or underestimated, and how to remediate that.

A pricing strategy requires a formula that ensures the selling price includes all the overhead and expenses of running the business and leaves nothing out of the product cost. In order to determine whether there is the ability to meet expenses, it is essential to know the actual production overhead costs of running the business.

Formulas

Many formulas are based on a multiplier or factor for simple markup of costs such as materials and labor. Here are two formula examples that were commonly used:

labor + materials x (a number or percentage) = selling price

labor + materials + packaging x (a number or percentage) = selling price

The multiplier or markup percentage in these formulas is supposed to provide revenue above the cost of materials and labor to cover overhead and provide profit, but very few of the formulas cited an actual estimation of overhead costs or an indication of a profit margin. Without knowing the actual cost of overhead, or factoring in an amount of profit, it is impossible to know if a multiplier is sufficient to the task of ensuring profitability.

So, here is the great reveal about the secret pricing formula…….there is no secret pricing formula!

A typical formula based on someone else’s numbers that is not tailored to your exact situation, may not be functional for your actual costs and expenses. So, to be certain a formula works for you, you really have to know your own numbers. First and foremost, is overhead. Understanding this number is vital.

Calculating Overhead Costs

Evaluating the overhead costs, accurately, is essential to creating a simple and effective formula.

Determining the actual overhead is not such a daunting task. Here is a simple approach I gleaned from my mentor, Alan Revere, when I took his Marketing Designer Jewelry class in 1994.

Add all the costs of running your business (aside from labor and materials) divide that total by the number of hours worked to determine the overhead cost per hour.

(overhead / hours = cost per hour)

This approach is simple, direct, approachable and effective. It is best to figure out annual overhead cost because in many locations monthly expenses vary throughout the year, so the annual total of all expenses provides the most accurate result and is easiest to calculate.

The average expected full time work schedule in the US is 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year. That adds up to 2000 hours for full time employment. Annual overhead divided by 2000 hours equals the overhead cost per hour to run your business. For every hour of labor, there is an hour of overhead cost.

It is important to accurately track the actual number of hours worked. If working part time or less than 40 hours per week, the overhead cost per hour is higher. Conversely, if working more than 40 hours per week, the overhead cost per hour is lower.

(This simple overhead cost analysis is based on an individual self-employed person with no employees. In the case of employees, divide the overhead cost by total number of employee hours to determine accurate hourly overhead cost per person.)

Simply put, labor is the time it takes to make each object. It is the hands on time of interacting with materials whether that is done entirely by the artist or done by employees or subcontractors.

Labor might also include design time, time spent on merchandising, packaging, display, administrative time, everything that goes into producing the completed work. In essence, labor is everything that is done to create a finished product.

Overhead is everything except materials (and labor) that goes into making the work. For each hour of labor, in house, there is an equivalent hour of overhead cost to provide the space and tools and equipment and infrastructure to be able to make the product.

Some people combine labor and overhead into a single figure in their pricing formula. That is an acceptable simplification – provided the annual overhead does not change from year to year.

For many of us, the overhead cost does change from one year to the next – utilities and taxes increase, costs of business supplies and services also tend to increase. For this reason I prefer to keep labor and overhead as two separate figures in my formula.

The starting formula is:

labor + materials + overhead = product cost

If you are not yet aware of what the actual overhead of your business amounts to, it is worth taking the time to figure it out, because, not doing that means you are just guessing what it costs you to be in business. If you file taxes, all the financial information you need is already there in your tax return; just add up the expenses and see what the real numbers say.

Now that our overhead is accounted for, we are still missing something – what about profit?

Is our business making a profit?

Calculating Profit

For a business to actually be profitable requires producing sufficient revenue to pay for everything it takes to make the work, and have something left over. If everything is paid for with the revenue generated, but there is nothing left afterwards, the business may be meeting expenses but it is not producing a profit.

Material Profit

There are two areas of profit for us to consider.  First is material profit. As visual artists, in order to make our work, the first thing we have to do is invest in materials. Since we are making an investment, we should be able to realize a profit on our investment. Material profit is a markup or percentage above our actual cost of materials intended to generate a return on the investment we make in the materials we use.

Profit on investment is a simple enough concept, but there is a strategic component to material profit beyond just the return on investment. Material profit enables us to acquire new materials and increase our product inventory.

At the beginning of business start-up, most of us will find it necessary to reinvest some of our personal earnings (wages) into materials to make new work, but this is not a viable path to long term business success. Our wages are what fund our personal overhead. This is what we need to pay for our residence, our rent or mortgage, our food, clothing, transportation, health and wellbeing, insurance, taxes, and all of the other personal expenses of an adult human. If our wages also have to provide new materials to support growth in the business, the potential for perpetuating growth is very limited.

Strategic material profit is what enables us to fund growth by providing the ability to replace the material used in the items that have sold, and purchase additional material to make added items without relying on spending our wages to acquire new materials.

Thus the evolving formula is now:

labor + (materials + profit) + overhead = product cost

Here are some examples of application of simple markup percentages to fund growth in inventory:

33% material profit = every time 3 items are sold, they can be replaced with material for 4 items.

50% material profit = every time 2 items are sold, they can be replaced with material for 3 items.

100% material profit = every time 1 item is sold, it can be replaced with material for 2 items.

As is evident in the percentages, the higher the amount of material profit the quicker inventory can grow. But, the successful employment of this inventory growth strategy is wholly dependent upon one important factor – proper use of the material revenue. In order for this scenario to work the funds must be directed towards replacing the used materials, acquiring new materials, and creating new work.

Like many of the numbers we need to determine how much material markup or profit we can realize, this is an individual decision. This decision is affected by several factors: volume of sales, length of time the investment is tied up in materials before it turns over, amount of value added content in design and execution that goes into the transformation of raw material to finished product, the perceived value, price point and placement of the finished work in the marketplace.

Business Profit

The second type of profit to consider is business profit. In addition to covering all the costs of doing business and paying for materials and labor, overhead and expenses, there should be some additional revenue for a business owner and entrepreneur. If all that is generated is wages, without business profit, there is again little room for growth and perpetuation of the business. We may be employing ourselves but we are not profiting.

So, how can we determine what is an appropriate amount of business profit, and where can we include it in the formula? The first step is identifying our business goals and objectives.

To make the next forward movement a business might require any of the following:

  • new tools or equipment to streamline process or increase productivity
  • additional education or technical development
  • hiring and training staff
  • moving to a larger studio
  • starting or expanding a promotional campaign

If we know we will need to buy a rolling mill, or take a workshop, or hire an assistant, we can assess the anticipated costs and factor them into our equation to help determine the amount of business profit required for the desired investment.

This takes projection forward to estimate the needs and plan the timeframe, and it also requires knowing the amount of the annual business revenue. Here is a hypothetical example:

Let’s imagine a new big ticket item such as a rolling mill or other assorted equipment will cost $2500, and we want to make the purchase within one year.

We will have to generate $2500 in business profit for our projected growth. We can proportion this as a simple percentage added to the product cost, determined by our gross annual revenue.

If annual revenue is $50,000 it will require adding a business profit of 5% to our pricing formula to generate $2500.

If annual revenue is $25,000 it will require adding a business profit of 10% to our pricing formula to generate $2500.

This is a simplified example, using a specific monetary objective as the determining factor of the amount of business profit needed in the next yearly cycle. There are other ways to assess what we need for sustained growth and development over the course of time. We might examine a three year or five year projection of growth and financial needs rather than just a single year. The numbers might also change depending on our business plan and short term or long range objectives. The important part is to get started by thinking about the next steps in the development of your business and what funding will be required.

The addition of business profit can be included as follows for our revised pricing formula:

labor + (materials + profit) + overhead = product cost

product cost + business profit = selling price

This pricing formula indicates a pricing strategy that accomplishes three important things for our business to grow and prosper:

  • include overhead expense in our product cost
  • provide a return on material investment to create new inventory
  • provide a fund for business growth

Utilizing this formulaic approach provides a stable foundation to developing a reliable and accurate pricing system. Once you know the actual overhead expenses, material profit markup, and business profit margin, you can reduce the formula to a simple multiplier and incorporate the numbers any way that suits you.

The most important thing is knowing the numbers! Investing the time to figure out your own individual numbers is the very best investment you can make towards ensuring your business is priced for profitability.

Judging the Halstead Grant

Being the guest juror for the 2018 Halstead Grant Award was quite an honor and an opportunity I thoroughly appreciated and enjoyed. It was also a very enriching and illuminating experience to be a member of the judging panel and review and discuss the well prepared applications of so many talented jewelry makers.

The Halstead Grant Award is a very unique competition; it is far more comprehensive than judging finished pieces of jewelry against one another in an assessment based primarily on design and execution. The application for the Grant involves a highly detailed in depth examination of each applicant’s business, including not only design and execution but also their marketing plan, production capabilities, financial and growth projections along with an outline of how they would use the award resources to make their next step forward in business development.

Looking behind the design and execution of the work to all the other aspects of what it entails to be a professional visual artist is where the potential for success, or otherwise, really starts to show through. With a thorough examination of the finer details of a financial plan, areas of weakness become apparent and overall viability as a business becomes evident, or not.

Among many of this year’s applicants and finalists there was a common deficiency that I was inspired to address, one that is both crucial and essential to the prospect of success or failure as a business – this challenge lies in the issue of pricing. We’d love to hear your response to this article in the comments below.

For more pricing strategy and business tips, we recommend:

Pricing Your Jewelry

How to Start a Jewelry Business the Right Way

5 Tips for a Successful Jewelry Business

Michael David Sturlin - HeadshotMichael David Sturlin is a renowned studio jewelry artist, goldsmith, writer, educator, and industry consultant. With over 40 years in the metalsmithing and jewelry industry, Michael has learned the ins and outs of not only jewelry making, but marketing your business and setting it up for success. He taught the Marketing Designer Jewelry class at Revere Academy for 10 years and hosts retreats at his Scottsdale studio each year. He recently served as the 2018 Halstead Grant guest judge.

The post Pricing Strategy Tips for Jewelry Business Profitability appeared first on Halstead Jewelry Blog.

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20 SPARKLY INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS TO BRIGHTEN YOUR IG FEED

There are so many inspiring Instagram accounts, but how not to get lost and choose the good one to follow if you’re a jewellery admirer or designer? I scanned my own feed and handpicked for you my favourite luxury Instagram accounts to follow. I would spend hours discussing jewellery and fashion with these people! What makes them ideal for your feed? Strong aesthetic and appreciation for creativity, travel, art and, of course, jewellery!

Here are my 20 aesthetic Instagram accounts to follow: best jewelry Instagram accounts like Boucheron and Silvia Furmanovich, industry enlighteners like L’École Van Cleef & Arpels,  jewellery advocates like The Adventurine and Gem Gossip, and fashion trendsetters like Chriselle Lim and Margaret Zhang! Scroll down to see all.

Maria Dueñas Jacobs

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Rainy day pick-me-up courtesy @glennspirojewels. This Jahanara ring is a 40.51 carat white diamond, color D, internally flawless, from the Golconda mine in India ✨ tag a friend looking for an engagement/diamond ring 😘

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L’École des Arts Joailliers

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🇫🇷 L’exposition organisée par L’École conte l’histoire des diamants acquis par Louis XIV auprès du négociant et voyageur Jean-Baptiste Tavernier en 1668 : une reconstitution historique de vingt diamants exceptionnels. . 🇺🇸 The exhibition at l’Ecole tells the story of the diamonds acquired by Louis XIV from the travelling merchant Jean-Baptiste Tavernier in 1668 : the reproduction of these twenty exceptional stones will be revealed here for the first time. . Entrée libre du 23 au 31 janvier / Free entrance January 23-31 du lundi au vendredi – 10h-18h / Monday- Friday – 10AM-6PM 31 rue Danielle Casanova 75001 Paris . Photo © @bureau_142

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Silvia Furmanovich

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“Do your practice and all is coming” – Sri K. Pattabhi Jois #RiadNour @adrianabittencourtstore

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Melanie Georgacopoulos

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Pearly details @burberry ! #lfw #lonfonfashionweek #pearlsinfashion

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SUITCASE Magazine

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FOMO? It’s never too early to start planning next year’s breaks. You know where to find the link… #SUITCASEtravels ⠀

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Peter McKinnon

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CANON EOS R. Used it extensively in the mountains for a week. Just posted my experience with the new camera and why I’m switching to it. Check out the new video on my channel! With the battery grip it almost looks like the 1dx2 doesn’t it! Ha. K see ya.

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Julia Flit

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These emeralds took my breath away! @harrywinston over £1m @jewelleryarabia2017 @gemologue #bahrain

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MATCHESFASHION.COM

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A new coat may come to define your look for the rest of the season, so make sure you choose well. In this week’s issue of #TheStyleReport, we explore how, and where, to find your own perfect piece. Head to the link in bio to read more, plus tap to shop 👌

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Margaret Zhang

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GROWTH STORIES film still 🎀🎬

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Etho Maria Haute Joaillerie

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So be curious. Swipe left to discover pieces from our Diamonds In Red Collection. Available in select @saks @neimanmarcus and @londonjewelers locations. You can also email us at [email protected] for more details.

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The Haute Pursuit by Vanessa Hong

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Through the veil #dohosuh

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The Adventurine by Marion Fasel

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The first big jewelry book of the season is by Liza Urla of @gemologue 📚 Click the link in bio to find out about the cool publication ‘Gemologue: Street Jewellery Styles & Styling Tips’ published by @accartbooksus – how Liza has seen the jewelry landscape change while she has been covering it for the last 9 years and what she wants to do next in her coverage of the jewelry world 🌎 Photo by Julia Flint, GEM Kreatives for GEMOLOGUE 💎 #jewelrybook #jewelryinfluencer

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Gem Gossip

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Day 19 of 20: #gemgossipjewelbox Photo from one of my favorites @jeanjeanvintage 💥

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Chriselle Lim

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Nothing is what it seems on social media. My last outfit photo I posted in this dress.. I got a flood of DMs and comments on “how do you look this good a week after giving birth?”. The fact is I don’t. I literally threw on this dress (that I’ve been waiting to wear after my pregnancy) for a photo and realized that it still doesn’t zip up. I still can’t wear pants… in fact I barely fit into my maternity jeans. Chloe keeps asking me if I’m pregnant again because of my belly. 99.9% of the time I’m in a nursing bra and a robe at home (with nursing pads sticking out all over the place.. like in this photo).And I’m totally ok with that… all good things take time and I’ve learned to love my postpartum body. 💪🏻 #1weekpostpartum

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Park & Cube by Shini Park

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Une Femme Est Une Femme—Style editorial: coming soon [DON’T SMOKE KIDS] photography @shini.park

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5 Inch and Up by Sandra Hagelstam

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Wore what might just have been the most gorgeous earrings I’ve ever seen at yesterday’s @messikajewelry #messikamovesnyc party hosted by @gigihadid ✨ Swipe to see the beautiful pair 💎 #MessikabyGigiHadid

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Boucheron

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Green leaves VS white ceramic This series playfully mixes the graphical and geometric aesthetics of Quatre with the wilderness of nature, which has always been an inspiration for Boucheron. #BoucheronQuatre

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FOR FUTURE REFERENCE

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Could not be more excited that our favorite @retrouvai lollipop rings are included in this year’s @wsjoffduty #offduty50! Thank you to @becky_malinsky for the 🍭❤!

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Valerie Desmurs

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Please do not message me asking me to wear your jewellery, shoes, garments against a retribution. I am NOT interested, this is NOT my thing and I am NOT a (paid) influencer. I only wear what I LOVE and would certainly not expect to be paid to wear what I LOVE anyway| I am very specific. And…I will never wear things I do not love ! No more messages, thank you | #notmything

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Wills Note Book by Will Kahn

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#willsnotebook @silviafurmanovich

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Feeling inspired? Then share YOUR most inspirational accounts that brighten your feed with me in comments!

I am extremely happy to announce that my new jewelry book – GEMOLOGUE: Street Jewellery Styles & Styling Tips – is now on Amazon. I’m so excited. It’s the first book of its kind solely dedicated to jewellery. 

You can sign up for GEMOLOGUE newsletter below and I also share  jewellery on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook  and Youtube if you’d like to connect, or feel free to say hello [email protected]

SHOP MY FAVOURITE JEWELRY ONLINE:

Click Product to Zoom Fred Leighton Cushion Cut White Topaz Collet Drop Earrings

Click Product to Zoom Fred Leighton Cushion Cut White Topaz Collet Drop Earrings

GEMOLOGUE jewelry blog by Liza Urla is a celebration of fine, fashion and vintage jewellery featuring talented jewellery designers, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews. This jewellery blog’s goal is to encourage and educate about jewellery online in a fresh and original fashion to inspire women and men across the globe in a fashion and travelling context.

Jewellery blogger, writer Liza Urla, the founder of GEMOLOGUE, is a London-based and NYC-educated gemologist, who has travelled to and lived in many countries. She is now one of the most influential digital jewellery tastemakers. Her jewellery influence has been acknowledged by Financial Times, The New York Times, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.

Material on this website may not be copied, broadcasted or adapted without written consent.

The post 20 SPARKLY INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS TO BRIGHTEN YOUR IG FEED appeared first on Gemologue.

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GEM TALK WITH KENZA EYZAGUIRRE, LUXURY PR & EVENTS MANAGER

The series of interviews with women and men who have personalities, story to tell and their own GEM style. They make it happen for themselves all over the world and follow GEMOLOGUE by Liza Urla.

Join me while I interview Kenza at the new Nobu Hotel Marbella, which is practically her home away from home. Kenza is a modern woman with Haiti-American upbringing, European heart and Parisian flair. She is a beautiful person with a kind soul and a passion for art. Her jewellery box is eclectic: from hand-made treasures from all over the world to one-of-a-kind pieces inherited from her family. Her impressive career journey from Chanel to Boucheron has made her into the woman she wants to be, and with Pippa Small for an aunt she is destined for greatness! But what really makes her a unique personality is her all-consuming kindness. Meet Kenza Carlson Eyzaguirre!

Name: Kenza Carlson Eyzaguirre
Alma Mater: American University of Paris
Occupation: PR & Event
Hometown: Marbella, Spain

LOCATION AT TIME OF INTERVIEW: Nobu Hotel Marbella. As for the restaurants in Marbella I love going to Serafina, beach clubs Chiringuito Ibiza and Marbella, MC Beach Marbella Club. My favourite shops are A concept, Lagoon, Ekseption Puerto Banus.

IN THE BEGINNING: I grew up surrounded by artists and designers in my family and therefore my passion for art and history began as a child. As well as my interest in jewellery, as my mother would design and create pieces at home and we have two well-known and admired gemologists in the family. In university in Paris I began studying art history, which was the ideal city to study it, as Paris itself is the best museum. From art history I went on to study marketing and international communications, which I thought would enable me to have a broad choice of career opportunities. My first internship was in Geneva at the UN and then I moved on to the luxury sector in Paris. From there I decided to take a break in Marbella my hometown for a few months and ended up staying. My friends from Paris, the Moretti brothers from the Moretti & Moretti gallery the biggest street art and pop art gallery in the world, decided to open in the Marbella Club Hotel. I was going to help them to take care of the gallery in Marbella, while they were in Paris, and I ended up staying with them and my unknown passion for street art began! I would like to eventually have my own concept gallery with rotating exhibitions of up-and-coming artists.

USA OR EUROPE: I prefer to live in Europe as it is so accessible to travel in between all the cities and I love the old world charm Europe has and history. The US is a fantastic place to visit and I love L.A. however, I prefer Europe to live. I grew up in Marbella always traveling back and forth with my mother to California until the age of 10 and then we moved to Tennessee were I studied in high school. At the age of 17 I moved back to Europe to study at American University of Paris.

PARIS: I lived in Paris for 17 years and after university went on to work for several luxury brands. Now I still go back three times a year during fashion week as the city is at its best during this time, the streets become a circus of colour and interesting characters! My favourite place is Hotel Costes, it has the best ambiance by far.  In winter I love the George V for tea, and the newly renovated Ritz. The rue Cler in the 7ème were I used to live is charming with the fresh fruit and vegetables stands and the best boulangeries, and Le Petit Cler a typical french bistro has the best cuisine! La salad nicoise and omlete au champinions and the fresh rhubarb and pear crumbles! The YSL museum foundation of Avenue Marceau is tiny, therefore more intimate with rotating exhibitions! St. Germain, of course, the Cafe Flor is a must and has one of my favourite tarte tatins! “Apple tart”. Assouline book shop just off of the Eglise de St. Germain is wonderful, I could spend hours there.

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MARBELLA: I was born in Marbella, but left as a child to the States and then to Paris. However, I would always come to visit for the holidays. One has the best quality of life here, wonderful weather, it is safe not overcrowded and the proximity to the mountains and sea is ideal! My favorite places here: La Tienda restaurant in La Virginia, it was one of the first restaurants in Marbella. It has kept its old world charm and Andalusian feel in a beautiful setting. It is very romantic and picturesque! I love Serafina restaurant in Puente Romano, delicious cuisine and you are in the middle of all the action of the plaza of the hotel. Marbella Club in the summer with its patio parties is great fun! They host studio 54 and flower power parties with fantastic decorations and costumes. MC Beach is another favourite, I love the turquoise colours of the beach club, it is my favourite colour. Celicioso the gluten-free cafe for the juices is the best!

VEGANISM: My mother has been vegan her whole life so as a child when I lived with her in the States I was used to eating a plant-based diet. For me its the norm, when I moved back to Spain and then Paris I started eating fish again as seafood in the Mediterranean is essential and so healthy, I honestly think a pescaterian diet is the healthiest, however about two years ago I became more and more conscious of our planet, the environment and sustainability and I cut out all fish and dairy, anything coming from an animal even honey. It is a personal decision of mine and I feel wonderful. I tend to eat raw vegan, nothing processed and no artificial sugars. In winter it is a bit harder so I have plenty of pumpkin, cauliflower soups, sweet potatoes and steamed vegetables. I am constantly researching information about ocean conservation, anti-plastic campaigns and veganism. I am also collaborating with the environmental projects with seminars and hospitality events, which I hope to do more of as I do believe it is the future and want help make the world a better place!

BOUCHERON: I worked for Boucheron in Place Vendome in the PR and marketing department which was a most rewarding experience as Boucheron is the oldest Haute Joaillerie House in France!

CORTO MOLTEDO: At Corto Moltedo back then (the son of the founders of Bottega Veneta), it was a new exciting pop up brand located in Palais Royal with funky 80’s inspired clutches and accessories. I was involved in the marketing and press relations for shoots and events we hosted in-house at the Palais Royal boutique. We had a fantastic Christmas party with his newest models designed with sequence and green and red python Susan clutches. Corto, the designer, has such a charm and way with people/ clients that once you meet him you become enamoured with his brand, he represents cool funk, the latest contemporary trends inspired by the underground music and art scenes resulting in cutting edge designs on classic models.

SHOP CORTO MOLTEDO:

CHANEL: I worked briefly for Chanel and then the buying office Mint on Rue St. Honore. I took care of the U.S. market for Saks Fifth Avenue NY.  At Chanel I worked at several of their boutiques on a temporary contract in client guest relations. During my experience I was able to learn about the intricate details that go into each design and the marketing behind the presentation and packaging is all about an experience unique to Chanel, which is what the customer stays with. Chanel is very smart in targeting the sensory detail of memory and emotion, so when a customer walks into a Chanel he immediately enters the Chanel world: the scent, the presentation, the packaging, the camellia etc. They are meticulous to detail. What most impressed me about Chanel was my interaction with the Asian Market, the Chinese and Japanese would queue every morning in front of the boutiques with a list of pieces they would purchase. They had no limits and the shops would keep track of each client allowing them only to purchase a certain number. It reminded me of a Luxury version of McDonald’s fast shopping, one stop and go. At Mint, the buying office located on rue. St Honore, I learned a tremendous amount of how the buying process and collection selection is made for big department stores such as David Jones Australia, Hudson Bay Canada and Sacks Fifth Avenue US and Mexico. I was in charge of the US market meaning I would organize the buying agendas/ showroom visits, shows and entire fashion week agendas for the US buyers during the four fashion weeks of the year in Paris. We collaborated with Vanity Fair in a few events with upcoming brand presentations and I was lucky to meet upcoming designers, who were just beginning at the time and now have made it big (Haider Ackermann for example, who I am a big admirer of).

ALAIA: I remember my first visit to the Alaia showroom in the Marais, he held a small fashion show luncheon I was accompanying the buyers, I was able to see first hand the labor behind each dress. Alaia himself explained the process behind each creation, what inspired him and then the creativity process itself. One’s perception changes completely, he was indeed a genius!

SHOP ALAIA:

PIPPA SMALL: I love spending time in London helping at my cousin Pippa Small’s beautiful boutique in Notting Hill. Pippa is most admirable as she is first of all an anthropologist and philanthropist. Besides her talent as a jewellery designer she is a UN ambassador for the protection of endangered indigenous tribes among many other humanitarian works she is a part of. Most recently she began a collaboration with Turquoise Mountain, the woman’s foundation in Afghanistan were she designed a collection with the local women, which she has managed to promote and sell wonderfully, all of which brings attention and aid to these most needy area of the world. Pippa’s designs are organic and pay reference to several different cultures, which she then is able to support with proceeds from her sales and collaborations with local craftsmanship etc. I am proud of her continuous devotion to supporting and promoting the talent of those areas of the world that are most in need of help.

SHOP PIPPA SMALL JEWELLERY:

PR: From the gallery project I started assisting the hotel group Puente Romano and Marbella Club with Event Organization, fashion shows, art exhibitions and PR and my work with the group grew to my current role. The group has since partnered with Nobu with two new Nobu Hotels: one in Ibiza, Nobu Ibiza Bay, and a Nobu Boutique Hotel within the Puente Romano resort. I helped launch as well the first private members club of Marbella, called the Owners Club, also located within the Puente Romano resort. I continue to do events and PR for exterior companies.

POWER COMES FROM: From positive people around me, who I gain inspiration from.

ART: I was in Art Basel Miami last year and will return this year with several more new pieces and artists I want to meet! I do like the classics such as Cezanne and then pop art by Andy Warhol. My favourite is the black cat stencil work by Hijak and Konny Steding’s Bridget Bardot, and bright colourful oil on canvas abstract paintings by my mother’s cousin.

GEM STYLE: My jewellery style is a mixture really, I love ethnic Jewellery from Mexico, Turkey and Bali, where I have acquired several pieces during my travels. I love the intricate craftsmanship. I do like bold pieces, but generally for my personal use I like fine refined pieces, mostly gold. Most of my jewellery comes from my mother, they are my favourite pieces! Gold and turquoise and aquamarine. And also the evil eye pendants are my top favourite pieces along with the Kenyan elephant hair bracelets my mother had copied in gold for my father, which I have inherited.

TOPSHOP OR CHANEL: I generally prefer Topshop type brands for everyday wear paired with refined accessories, such as a Chanel purse, Isabel Marant boots and Anine Bing Tortoise sunglasses! Anine Bing and Isabel Marant with Gucci, Haider Ackermann, Ralph Lauren and YSL! My favorite pieces are vintage handed me down from my mother, aunt and godmother.

FIRST JEWELLERY: My first piece of jewelry were gold Cartier stud earrings, when I was two months old. In Spain, where I was born, baby girls have their ears pierced being a few months old. Jewellery design is a passion of mine and I have made several pieces for my own wear and friends and I used to sell locally in a friend’s boutique. The stones indeed must stand out to me, pearls, crystals, semi precious stones, turquoise, etc..

MY EVERYDAY JEWELLERY: My mother’s gold flower ring with a white diamond is my favourite, I never take it off. She had it designed in Tehran, Iran when she was living there as a teenager. My Kenyan inspired elephant hair bracelet in gold designed by mother for my father, I never take off either. My grandmother’s turquoise ring we had redone and mounted in gold in Mexico and my cousin Pippas’s simple gold bangles with a turquoise stone are my second skin!

PERFECT ENGAGEMENT RING: Buccellati’s engagement rings, they are feminine and delicate. And one designed by myself, yet to be decided how.

ROLEX OR CARTIER: Cartier is my favorite for watches, I bought my first tank Cartier in Place Vendome after I received a bonus from my first fashion week work at the buying office. They are classic, always elegant and I always add colourful watch bands I change: red, green and turquoise!

MEN JEWELLERY: Watches such as Omega, Blancpain, Audemars Piguet, Patek, Rolex and in Spain the men wear colourful leather or string bracelets and the silver Kenyan elephant bracelets.

JEWELLERY AS AN INVESTMENT: Mostly investing in gold, primarily more so than stones.

FASHION JEWELLERY: I don’t really wear fashion jewelry.

PERFECT GETAWAY: Kenya. I went to Nairobi and Masai Mara to visit charity projects we help sponsor and it was really a life changing experience. The beauty of the Kenyan people, their strength and creativity was inspiring. Also the food was exquisite, unexpected for a vegan like me! They had the best fresh fruit and vegetables! My favourite places in the world: Ibiza, Paris, Los Angeles, Mexico and still many more places I have to travel to and explore!

A PARTY TO REMEMBER: The Enchanted forest Party in Ibiza this summer at a private villa in the middle of the island. It was incredible, the Ettore estate was transformed into a fairytale! With over 1,000 guests everyone had the most elaborate costumes, a laser light show in the trees, a bohemian artisan market was set up with food stands and amazing DJ’s!

MY WEAPON OF CHOICE: Kindness.

WILD WISH: To go to the Cannes film festival, the Met Gala, amfAR and burning man all next year.

What is your favourite piece  from Kenza’s jewellery collection? Leave me a comment below! Thank you!

I am extremely happy to announce that my new jewelry book – GEMOLOGUE: Street Jewellery Styles & Styling Tips – is now on Amazon. I’m so excited. It’s the first book of its kind solely dedicated to jewellery. 

You can sign up for GEMOLOGUE newsletter below and I also share  jewellery on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook  and Youtube if you’d like to connect, or feel free to say hello [email protected]

SHOP MY FAVOURITE JEWELRY ONLINE:

Click Product to Zoom Fred Leighton Cushion Cut White Topaz Collet Drop Earrings

Click Product to Zoom Fred Leighton Cushion Cut White Topaz Collet Drop Earrings

GEMOLOGUE jewelry blog by Liza Urla is a celebration of fine, fashion and vintage jewellery featuring talented jewellery designers, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews. This jewellery blog’s goal is to encourage and educate about jewellery online in a fresh and original fashion to inspire women and men across the globe in a fashion and travelling context.

Jewellery blogger, writer Liza Urla, the founder of GEMOLOGUE, is a London-based and NYC-educated gemologist, who has travelled to and lived in many countries. She is now one of the most influential digital jewellery tastemakers. Her jewellery influence has been acknowledged by Financial Times, The New York Times, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.

*Photographed by Anastasia Zanadvorova & Liza Urla. Styling and Art Direction by Liza Urla. All photos belong to GEM Kreatives for GEMOLOGUE.

Material on this website may not be copied, broadcasted or adapted without written consent.

The post GEM TALK WITH KENZA EYZAGUIRRE, LUXURY PR & EVENTS MANAGER appeared first on Gemologue.

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Halstead Lab Testing for Quality Control

Lab testing and quality control are extremely important to all of us at Halstead. We want you to buy sterling silver, 14 karat gold and gold-filled supplies with confidence that you won’t receive anything less than the federally allowed tolerances for precious metals.

The most common fear we hear from customers is buying findings as precious metal and then finding out they were fraudulent; for example, a “sterling silver” chain that ends up being base metal with silver plating. Many of our clients have experienced such an encounter in the past when they bought items from an unknown supplier at an event or ordered from a sketchy marketplace seller online. One negative experience can put you on guard for the rest of your career.

Halstead’s Quality Assurance

Seth Foreman, Halstead’s Purchasing Specialist, oversees our precious metals quality control. Each quarter, he selects a random sample of items to send for lab testing. We cycle through our  vendors so all suppliers and product categories undergo testing at regular intervals. Stock from new suppliers is extensively tested before it goes on the shelf for sale. Hilary Halstead Scott says,

“We take our responsibility seriously to be transparent and accountable when it comes to product quality.”

Many of our manufacturers perform their own lab tests for quality control, so this is often a second verification. Hilary says, “We source carefully from reputable suppliers. But, as the old saying goes – trust but verify.” We approach all our sourcing relationships as long-term partnerships. Quality control is just one area that we work on in cooperation with our manufacturers.

There are a small number of mills that process precious metal alloys or gold-filled into the wire, sheet and grain raw materials for manufacturers to purchase. This makes the quality control much simpler than if we were dealing with dozens of options and many more variables.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) oversees truth in advertising compliance and establishes the guidelines for precious metal sales in the United States. Over the years, we have only found a few cases of tolerance shortfalls. If something comes back below the FTC requirements, we pull the rest of the stock from shelves and send additional samples for testing. We then inform the vendor and ask them to independently investigate the problem on their end. We follow up with more frequent lab testing in the future to ensure it’s not an recurring problem.

Gold-filled metal is created by fusing gold with a base metal, typically brass, which means the outer layer can be polished too much and remove some of the gold. This is why we recommend you take care when polishing gold-filled material in your studio. A couple of times we’ve had vendors change their polishing media or process and it has had a negative impact on material. This kind of problem is easily solved as soon as it’s identified.

Sterling silver issues have occurred on items with extensive granulation, and therefore a lot of solder that brings down the pure silver ratio on the finished items. Other testing problems have been traced back to testing samples that still included internal steel springs, for example.

Lab Testing Basics

Two main tests determine the quality of precious metal. Both of these lab testing processes are considered highly accurate. Fire assay, widely recognized as the standard for gold analysis, melts the precious metal and concentrates it in a lead button. Once the metal is cool, it is separated from the lead and weighed. The second most common lab testing process is gravimetric, or wet chemistry. There are various material specific techniques in gravimetric testing, but they are all chemical-based reductions and precipitations of the precious metals in a solution in order to weigh the mass changes.

Melting Metal

Halstead uses Advanced Chemical lab testing for our quality control. Before each test, they will X-ray the sample to get an idea of what they’re testing. This is a preliminary step and x-ray is never relied on for a definitive result. Along with each material test, they also run a proof alongside it. These proofs are 99.9999% pure metal to act as a control so they know exactly what is happening with the sample.

If you are sending in samples for testing, it is important to remember to remove any non-precious metal parts such as stones, hinges, springs, or bezels made of steel or other metals. These can affect the results. Even after years of experience, we have still made this mistake from time to time. Items such as clasps, leverbacks, and hoops contain tiny steel components for mechanism durability over time.

At Halstead, we use both fire assay and gravimetric lab testing processes. If a result is suspicious for any reason, we will have a retest performed for verification. If you are submitting your own lab tests, make sure you send enough material just in case.

Are all Tests Equal?

X-ray fluorescence is frequently used for testing outside metallurgical labs because the equipment is easy to purchase and operate. By bathing the sample in x-rays, the equipment will measure the unique energy level given off in the light fluorescence by the sample.  This is non-destructive and quick, with results available in just minutes. However, Advanced Chemical does not recommend using the x-ray test for final results as they are not always as accurate as fire assay or gravimetric.

What do the Results Mean?

By nature, precious metals should have the following purity.

  • Sterling silver: .925 (92.5% silver)
  • 12/20 Gold-Filled: .025 (2.5% gold)
  • 14/20 Gold-Filled: .0292 (2.92% gold)
  • 14kt solid gold: .583 (58.3% gold)

Halstead Earring Findings

Any manufactured material is subject to minor variance between batches. The FTC established the following precious metal tolerances based on the National Stamping Act.

  • Sterling silver: .921 on unsoldered items, .915 on soldered items
  • 12/20 Gold-Filled: .022 on unsoldered items, .018 on soldered items
  • 14/20 Gold-Filled: .0262 on unsoldered items, .0192 on soldered items
  • 14kt solid gold: .58 on unsoldered items, .5763 on soldered items
Halstead Jewelry Chain

If a sample returns with .901 silver results, it is no longer “Sterling Silver.” A sample with .015 gold is not “gold-filled.”

If you would like to start testing your own metal, here is a list of labs to start your research:

  • Laboratory Testing Inc
  • NSL Analytical
  • Advanced Chemical
  • FAI Materials Testing

We want you to buy, create, and sell responsibly! To learn more about precious metals used in jewelry, read about the Types of Silver and Types of Gold most commonly seen in jewelry making.

References:

https://www.labtesting.com/services/nondestructive-testing/x-ray-inspection/

https://www.911metallurgist.com/blog/gold-fire-assay-process

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metallurgical_assay

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravimetric_analysis

https://www.mgsrefining.com/gold-refining-process/testing-methods/melting/x-ray-assay/

The post Halstead Lab Testing for Quality Control appeared first on Halstead Jewelry Blog.

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5 Reasons to Choose Laboratory-Grown Diamonds and Colored Stones

Laboratory-grown diamonds and gemstones are the perfect alternative to natural mined stones. They can make the perfect, and affordable, addition to your jewelry line – even sterling silver collections!

What are laboratory-grown stones?

Laboratory-grown stones are diamonds and gemstones created in a laboratory mimicking natural growing conditions. These exact processes can vary, but there are 2 main ones: High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). The “ingredients” for diamonds or gemstones are placed in a crucible and left to run through one of these processes until crystals have formed. This can take as little as 10 days or as long as a year! They have the same physical, chemical, and visual properties as a mined stone and to all but the highly trained eye will look no different than a mined stone. The main difference is usually seen in the price and/or color intensity. For some stones, the price difference between laboratory-grown and mined stones could be significant.

Creating a laboratory-grown diamond

Halstead Laboratory-Grown Diamonds

There are 2 popular processes to create laboratory-grown diamonds: High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). HPHT uses extremely high amounts of

pressure and extremely high temperatures to grow diamond crystals from diamond seeds. This combination of pressure and temperature mimics the Earth’s internal processes that create natural mined diamonds by allowing molten materials to dissolve a high purity carbon source. This carbon is then attaches to the diamond seeds and precipitates a large diamond.

In the CVD process, scientists expose methane gas to high-energy plasma radiation. This energy breaks the atomic bonds of the methane (CH4) and allows the carbon to attach to the diamond seeds. In this method, diamond growth occurs under much lower pressures and over larger areas.

Halstead now offers beautiful laboratory-grown diamonds from .015 Ct to .10 Ct in the GHSI color and clarity range. Halstead’s diamonds are created under the HPHT method.

Comparison: CZ, lab grown, mined natural, moissanite

The most popular alternatives to a mined diamond are laboratory-grown, cubic zirconia, and moissanite. When compared to CZs and moissanite, it’s easy to see that laboratory-grown diamonds and natural mined diamonds are nearly indistinguishable.

Creating laboratory-grown colored stones

Halstead Laboratory-Grown Gemstones - Ruby & Emerald

Scientists create laboratory-grown gemstones a little differently. They start with a naturally mined slice of crystal placed in a crucible chamber. A liquid mix of ingredients to feed crystal growth is put in the chamber then subjected to extremely high temperatures of at least 1,100 degrees Celsius. These chambers are then sealed for 6 months to a year under controlled conditions meant to simulate the conditions the stone grows in inside the Earth. Barring any lengthy loss of power, the gemstone crystals are nearly identical to one found in nature; sometimes they may even have better color saturation.

Halstead now offers laboratory-grown gemstones in Alexandrite, Sapphire (blue, yellow, white, and Padparadscha), Emerald, and Ruby.

How to describe and market laboratory-grown stones to customers

Some customers will already understand the benefits of a laboratory-grown diamond or gemstone. And some will actively seek out and only purchase laboratory-grown stones. If a customer is unsure about purchasing laboratory-grown stones, here are a few ways to explain their benefits.

Environmental impact of mining

Victor Mine - http://thegreenerdiamond.org/conflict-diamonds-2/environmental-impact/
Photo of Canadian Victor Mine from thegreenerdiamond.org

Mining of all kinds have come under fire for destroying local environments and ecosystems and the diamond industry is no exception. Land that was previously rich farm land has become littered with patches of abandoned mining pits. Soil erosion and deforestation have caused many local populations to relocate.

Pits used to mine diamonds can be up to a couple miles deep. It takes moving almost 2,000 tons of earth to find a 1ct rough diamond. Once mining operations cease, few governments have regulations to return the area to its original state. But it is nearly impossible to return the land and ecosystem completely back to normal.

Laboratory-grown diamonds take up far fewer of Earth’s natural resources and are far more likely to keep communities and ecosystems intact.

Mining labor conditions

Over half of the world’s diamonds come from African nations. Many of these populations live in poverty, with some earning less than $1 a day – even while mining for diamonds. These miners often work in unsafe conditions without proper tools and safety equipment. The risk of accidents, such as landslides or collapses, is extremely high for these miners. In addition, some reports state that as many as 46% of the workers at a particular mine are under the age of 16 and have left school to help their families by working in the mines.

Laboratory-grown stones are created in a scientific lab, providing a much lower level of danger for workers. It would also be very unlikely to have child labor in the process.

Diamonds and stones from conflict zones

Customers may have heard about “blood diamonds” or “conflict diamonds” but may not fully understand what this means. In many diamond mining countries, rebel groups use profits from diamond mines to finance their movements against their government. In reality, this also includes violence and human rights violations against many miners. The Kimberley Process was setup in 2003 to try and stop the trade of these diamonds by providing certificates for “conflict-free diamonds”. However, counterfeit certificates are not unheard of. This mandate also only takes into account diamonds whose profits are used to fund rebel movements. The narrow definition of conflict has allowed diamonds from mines with violence and human rights violations to be certified as adhering to the Kimberley Process.

Laboratory-grown diamonds are one of the few ways to be absolutely sure that a diamond has not come from a conflict zone.

Transparency and full disclosure

Laboratory-grown diamonds and gemstones ensure that a jeweler can provide full disclosure about a stone from start to finish. There are very few other ways for a jeweler to be 100% certain that a stone is truly conflict-free, created under fair working conditions, and as environmentally friendly as possible.

Beautiful heirloom quality stones

Halstead Laboratory-Grown DiamondsDon’t fear that a laboratory-grown stone won’t last as long as a natural mined stone! In some cases, they can be even more durable since there are fewer inclusions in many stones. It’s important for a customer to realize that just because a stone didn’t come from the Earth and take many years to grow doesn’t mean it’s not a beautiful stone worthy of passing down. To an untrained eye, most laboratory-grown stones will look exactly like a mined stone. It takes training and equipment to be able to detect differences.

Alternatives to natural mined stones, especially diamonds, are becoming more and more popular. As consumers realize the true price of their diamond, many are turning to guaranteed non-conflict stones. Don’t be afraid to help them find a way to have their sparkle and enjoy it too!

Shop Halstead’s selection of laboratory-grown diamonds and laboratory-grown gemstones.

The post 5 Reasons to Choose Laboratory-Grown Diamonds and Colored Stones appeared first on Halstead Jewelry Blog.

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MIKE JOSEPH DIAMOND NECKLACE REVIEW, COUTURE DESIGN AWARDS 2018

Can’t tell you how exciting it is to walk into a show like COUTURE Las Vegas, knowing you’re going to be trying on some of the most bold and daring jewellery you can find. All that diamond sparkle and glittering gold gives me a rush of adrenaline and my heart starts to thump-thump against my chest so loud everyone can hear it!

Well, today my happy jewellery lovers, I’ve found something sexy and fascinating to show you: a cool and sophisticated diamond necklace designed by Armenian jewellery Designer Mike Saatji of Mike Joseph Jewellery. Winner of the Couture Design Award for Best in Diamonds Above $20,000, you won’t believe the craftsmanship that went into this fascinating design.

Meticulously crafted from gold and diamonds by 14 craftsmen in the Mike Joseph Jewellery Bangkok workshop, this statement necklace took six months to finish. It is a work of precision and harmony, with 2367 diamonds (39.59 carats) balanced precisely with 18k gold chains. My favourite part is that it doubles as a choker. Simply remove the tail and you have another piece of jewellery you can wear with a variety of outfits and different occasions.

I love the simplicity of this design, yet it is a complex jigsaw puzzle of individual numbered pieces attached separately together. The effect creates a statement necklace with fluidity that gracefully moves and sparkles with your every movement.

The inspiration for this piece came to Mike Saatji one evening when he was enjoying a glass of wine out on a restaurant patio at sunset in Paris. He saw a lady wearing a beautiful vintage Hermès scarf and he loved the fall and folds of the piece. He sketched a rough design on a napkin and later met with his technical team to discuss how they could achieve such a daring necklace without compromising on comfort and wearability. The result is this bold, award-winning necklace I’m wearing now. Pure perfection.

Are you surprised, looking at the photos, how much work goes into a piece of jewellery like this? Let me know in the comment below.

SHOP MIKE JOSEPH JEWELLERY:

I am extremely happy to announce that my new jewelry book – GEMOLOGUE: Street Jewellery Styles & Styling Tips – is now on Amazon. I’m so excited. It’s the first book of its kind solely dedicated to jewellery. 

You can sign up for GEMOLOGUE newsletter below and I also share  jewellery on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook  and Youtube if you’d like to connect, or feel free to say hello [email protected]

SHOP MY FAVOURITE JEWELRY ONLINE:

Click Product to Zoom Fred Leighton Cushion Cut White Topaz Collet Drop Earrings

Click Product to Zoom Fred Leighton Cushion Cut White Topaz Collet Drop Earrings

GEMOLOGUE jewelry blog by Liza Urla is a celebration of fine, fashion and vintage jewellery featuring talented jewellery designers, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews. This jewellery blog’s goal is to encourage and educate about jewellery online in a fresh and original fashion to inspire women and men across the globe in a fashion and travelling context.

Jewellery blogger, writer Liza Urla, the founder of GEMOLOGUE, is a London-based and NYC-educated gemologist, who has travelled to and lived in many countries. She is now one of the most influential digital jewellery tastemakers. Her jewellery influence has been acknowledged by Financial Times, The New York Times, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.

*Photographed by Julia Flit. Styling and Art Direction by Liza Urla. All photos belong to GEM Kreatives for GEMOLOGUE.

Material on this website may not be copied, broadcasted or adapted without written consent.

The post MIKE JOSEPH DIAMOND NECKLACE REVIEW, COUTURE DESIGN AWARDS 2018 appeared first on Gemologue.

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