Jewelry Collection Stories: Kate of @LuxCharmJewelry

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This month’s Jewelry Collection Story comes from Kate of @LuxCharmJewelry and it is a good one! Kate is a full-time art teacher and part-time jewelry enthusiast and collector. You may already be following her on Instagram, but if not you must. Her collection is pretty amazing and her story may resonate with many of you. So without further ado, I give you Kate’s collection story:

I’ve always loved jewelry. I have early memories of playing “dress up” and “jewelry store” with my grandmother Louise. She kept her jewelry in the top dresser drawer. Oh how I loved looking inside those little boxes and seeing all the sparkly jewels inside! We would arrange her jewels on top of carefully arranged bits of pretty fabrics and embroidered handkerchiefs and take turns “shopping.” It was so much fun trying on her white dress gloves and high heels and playing with all those pretty things.

When I was around 10 years old, my dad started giving me jewelry every year for Christmas, mostly rings. One year, I received a topaz ring that had the most amazing shade of bright blue. I adored that ring! Another favorite ring given to me by my dad was a gold signet ring that he had monogramed with my initials. I think I was around 15 at the time. It’s a classic look that will never go out of style and one I wear often today.

One of my favorite early jewelry memories was when my family went out to dinner before my high school senior award night. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was about to win the top artist award in my class, and my parents bought me this beautiful southwestern sterling bracelet and turquoise ring to mark the occasion. For high school graduation, I received a large, modernist sterling and gold ring. At the time, I wasn’t into yellow gold, and these bold sterling pieces were among the most beautiful pieces I owned. Luckily, my parents have continued the tradition of gifting me jewelry for special occasions, and I cherish them all. These pieces help to serve as reminders of special times in my life. My sweet husband has also joined in on the tradition and I have received many beautiful pieces from him now over the years, including my very first (and favorite) Victorian bird bangle bracelet and my beloved antique turquoise and diamond halo ring.

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As a teenager, I was really into second-hand shops–mainly for vintage clothes and small decorative items, but eventually I started picking up inexpensive jewelry and odds-and-ends; like pendants, chokers, chains, etc. At about the same time, I started making beaded jewelry and even gifting and selling pieces to my friends.

Years later, I decided to try my hand at selling handmade jewelry on Etsy. It was a fun, challenging, and creative outlet. Those were the relative early days of Etsy, and I grew as it grew. I did this for a couple of years and slowly started incorporating more and more vintage jewelry components and findings into my pieces. Eventually, the competition increased and my enthusiasm waivered, so I put my shop on hold.

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My love affair with antique jewelry began about eight years ago when my mom and I were antiquing at one of my favorite stores in Richmond, IN. My mom fell head-over-heels for this old gold cameo ring. At first, I was like, “What? Cameos? Ugh, I don’t get it.” Then much to my surprise, my mom professed her life-long love affair with cameos, citing stories from her youth. The shop owner quoted her a low price and my mom quickly bought the ring. She wasn’t one to make fine jewelry purchases on our excursions together, so I was intrigued and wanted to know more. I couldn’t stop staring at this unusual reddish-orange cameo ring on our drive back home; I was fascinated by it. It didn’t look like the girly, pink cameos I was used to seeing. It was more masculine in style and the gold was a rich rose color. The shop owner estimated the ring to be about 120 years old.

To my knowledge, I had never seen a ring that old before and now I wanted one for myself! The more I researched, the more I realized what an amazing deal my mom got on that ring. Sure, it was more than I was used to spending on random antique mall purchases (about $85), but still affordable. This made antique jewelry seem obtainable to me for the first time ever. I started reading jewelry books, researching online, and educating myself on antique jewelry. I liked learning the history behind each piece. It’s a perfect fit for me– combining my love of history, research, sentiment, story, etc.

Inspired by my new passion and focus, I reopened my Etsy shop–selling only vintage and antique jewelry. I absolutely loved hunting for old jewelry, even cameos! Thinking back to that special trip to Richmond with my mom, I believe this was the critical moment that later turned this new interest into a full-blown hobby and part-time job for me.

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Today I have such a deep and sincere appreciation for antique jewelry; I tend to collect a little bit of everything. All in all, I tend to go more for Victorian, Art Nouveau, and Art Deco pieces. Rings are probably my favorite type of jewelry to wear and collect. I love everything from dainty to bold, statement rings. I also love antique bangles and Deco necklaces in all sorts of finishes, metals, and styles.

One of my favorite things to collect are watches. My favorite makers are Longines and Bucherer. I have everything from watch pins, watch rings, wristwatches, and pocket watches. And I really love long enamel watch necklaces. My love of watch necklaces probably began when I scored an amazing Bucherer red guilloche enamel watch ball necklace for $60 in a small, local antique shop. I later learned this was a remarkable deal for one with its original enamel chain in perfect condition. I’ve since added about 10 more to my collection over the years. I just can’t stop myself when I see a beautiful one for a good price. I have such a weakness for fine guilloche enamel-work.

In addition, I love bird-themed jewelry and have many bird bangles, lockets, etc. I tend to favor cool-color pieces in general (it must be the Pisces in me!). I am very fond of blue–sapphires, lapis, zircon, and turquoise to name a few. Pale lavender chalcedony, dreamy moonstones, and that particular shade of green commonly used in Art Deco pieces–are all personal favorites. I have a growing collection of snake rings, too.

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I enjoy shopping at small, local places best. The Midwest is a gold mine for antiques of all kinds. The big jewelry enthusiasts seem to live on either coast and being stuck in the middle has its advantages… lower prices and less pickers. But this seems to get harder every year. My favorite display cases and shops seem to be shutting down. The old dealers retire; some pass away. I think part of me has also wanted to open a brick and mortar shop, but the risks are scary.

Currently, I seem to have the most luck shopping at antique shows and online auctions. I’m always on the hunt for new pieces. I would love to own more niello jewelry, antique enamel bracelets, and gutta percha bangles inlaid with gold. I have a thing for portrait paintings but oddly, own no portrait jewelry. I interned at the National Portrait Gallery right after college and it’s a subject I’m really interested in. I would love to find the perfect emerald ring and more “name” or “initial” jewelry to represent the important people in my life.

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Recently I celebrated a milestone birthday (hello, 40!) and had been hunting for the perfect aquamarine birthstone piece of jewelry for months. Then it finally happened…a huge, honking, 14-carat, Victorian, pear-shaped aqua ring in 15K gold popped up on my Instagram feed. Its large size, unfussy setting, and perfect pale-blue color, stopped me dead in my tracks. A direct quote from the seller was, “a mesmerizing, dreamy, huge piece of magic.” Indeed it was. I sold three personal collection rings to make room for this special ring, the latest addition to my jewelry box.

Back when I started wearing, selling, and collecting antique jewelry, I was the only one I knew who did. I just bought what I liked and what I could afford at the time. It wasn’t until I joined IG a couple of years ago that I found other like-minded people who loved and appreciated old jewelry as much as I do. Like most sellers/collectors, I am searching for more high quality and unusual pieces nowadays. Lately, there seems to be more competition, more reproductions, and higher prices on the online auction sites, making it harder to “score” a deal. While I may not be selling forever, I know I will be wearing and enjoying my jewelry for the rest of my life. It brings me so much joy. Marking special occasions and making new memories with jewelry are so important to me. Jewelry has a way of keeping our memories alive…providing a tangible reminder… connecting us to the people, places, and significant moments we cherish in life. Happy hunting!

xoxoGemGossip

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Q & A with Heather B. Moore Jewelry

Heather B. Moore

Heather B. Moore’s story starts with love, laughter and family…and fittingly, just as her jewelry often depicts those words both literally and figuratively, she has brought personalization of jewelry to the highest level. After viewing the video displayed below, you see just how hands-on and multi-faceted her business has become. This interview also touches upon how it all came to be, in the most innocent of ideas and forms. Sometimes we are destined for a certain path and it seems as though Heather was meant to bring memories, quotes and cherished words to life through her jewelry designs. Each piece is heavily sentimental and often instant tear-jerkers. As jewelry enthusiasts, we know how special a personalized piece can be–but how about one that is in the exact handwriting of a loved one? Or an exact doodle from your once 5-year-old son or daughter? I know if and when I start a family, Heather B. Moore‘s designs will be first on my list for a little keepsake!

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We are currently developing an exciting new series based on personal empowerment called the Sculptural Series. Its foundation stems from personalized themes people were requesting for their designs, which usually fell into four common categories: strength, growth, wisdom, and healing. With that as our guide, we started the Sculptural Series to capture moments that feel personal while complementing our other designs.

While we are only launching with a limited selection, this is just the beginning. The world is full of wonderful symbols that have meaningful messages, and Heather B. Moore jewelry is excited to add more sculptural jewelry to the collection in the future.

Heather B Moore | Gem Gossip

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I only took one jewelry class in college. At the time my focus was cast glass, Venetian glass blowing, and steel work. My sister Wendy was an anthropology major and had moved to Kathmandu, Nepal where she lived with a jeweler’s family. That’s where I started getting interested in what she was doing! After college, I was working for an artist welding large-scale art installations across the country for Judy Pfaff. On the weekends, my sister Wendy used to ask me to make jewelry for fashion shows and low-budget movies in Los Angeles.

I started off doing chain work and handmade chain, which we still do today. I also integrated glass beads and stones within the chain, and while we still integrate stones into our chain, we moved away from glass beads to focus on precious stones.

In 2004, I started offering personalization on a number of pieces and everything grew from there. Our personalized collection was created on the foundation that timeless designs start with a blank canvas for our customers, then we collaborate to create the perfect piece. We have the capacity to create the steel stamps of people’s handwriting and children’s drawings as well as a wide variety of fonts and layouts.

I started collecting tools when I was 13. I grew up in the steel industry of Cleveland and loved going to my dad’s factories, so craftsmanship was something that I related to.

The first steel tooling stamps that I purchased were from a garage sale at an old machinist’s house. I carried those stamps around with me for 15 years before knew what to do with them! In 1991, I pulled out those stamps and decided to integrate quotes from my friends and family. I stamped them out onto the silver plaques and then framed it with a handmade cast glass frame.

In 1997, my sister Wendy was in a skiing accident and passed away. Before she passed I stamped a quote she gave me into a piece of metal: “I said to my sister and she said to me, come let’s play laughter together.” I remember loving the quote so much that I took the plaque with her quote off the wall, and I put it in my wallet. To this day I look at it and it makes me smile.

After moving back to Cleveland and receiving the Rising Star Award from the JCK trade show, I had an interview with Real Simple Magazine about why a designer from NYC would move to Cleveland.

During the interview the writer asked a series of silly questions like, “what kind of hair care products do I use?” and, “what is in your purse?” At first I was a little confused, but I pulled out my wallet and got the plaque of my sister’s quote, and they loved it. They photographed it and used it as the focal point of the article.

At the time, I was designing for bigger companies like Banana Republic and I was getting tired of doing trendy jewelry that was “in” one season and “out” the next. I thought it was interesting that they loved the little plaque so much, and that made me think about the unique stamps that I had in the basement, and I knew I wanted to make something for myself. So, I stamped my kids names on some silver discs, framed them in gold, and I created my first personalized necklace.

I fell in love with it because my kids would sit on my lap and flip through the charms and look for their names. That is when it hit me: personalization has more value than the material that it’s on, because personalization is forever. Telling your story is not a trend; it’s a keepsake, an heirloom, and one-of-a-kind… just like the person wearing it.

That is when I knew I was on the right track. I was putting something into the marketplace that I had actually created in 1992… it’s like it all became a full circle.

It’s amazing to think I was so young, but I’m also very proud to say that now we create our own stamps in our steel shop. It’s fun to have the opportunity to create special tooling for each individual customer.

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Left: the plaque Heather made, with her sister’s special quote Right: a necklace Heather wears almost everyday–it features her new Buddha charm


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I think my proudest moment was winning the Town & Country International Gold Award at the Couture Jewelry Show in Las Vegas.

This is a show where all designers get together and showcase their pieces to stores across the country. Town & Country magazine had sponsored the event, so it was super fancy that year. Most people were in black tie… but I didn’t know that! I showed up late to the party in flip-flops, jeans, a t-shirt and messy hair!

When I thought about designing something for the Gold category, I wanted something no one had yet documented. One topic that came up was that we had never documented someone’s letter, and I had the perfect one. It was a whimsical thank you note from my sister Wendy. She had sent it just days after Christmas and she spoke of the importance of family and new traditions. This was the first year I didn’t spend Christmas with my family because I was with my husband’s family in Canada, so it really hit home for me. It was the last letter I ever got from her. She passed away shortly after Christmas.

We stamped this whole letter on a big yellow gold cuff, with a rose gold frame on the outside and a green gold frame on the inside, then we covered the frame in diamonds.

We arrived late to the awards show party and had already begun to announce the winners, so we quickly grabbed a glass of wine and snuck into some seats just as the announcer said, “And the Gold Award goes to a designer from the city of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame…”

…I thought to myself, “Oh my gosh, there’s another designer here from Cleveland,” but then they called my name!

Heather B Moore | Gem Gossip

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In a broad sense, my hopes, dreams, and goals are to make sure I can continue to create beautiful pieces for people and documenting their stories. I love that we have the opportunity to work with customers hand-in-hand.

And with the sculptural collection, there are so many amazing symbols that empower people. I just love the direction we are going with that!

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I have so many pieces I love and adore! We have a wide variety of designs within the collection, and I truly love all of them. I have many iterations with my children’s names (Henry, Leo, Oliver and Coral). They are my proudest creation!

I have a yellow gold bangle with their names on it, a leather bracelet with with their names on it, and a necklace where they each have their own charm! I actually named the frames after them. The Henry frame is a braid like the Nantucket braided bracelets. The Leo frame has a granulation frame for him because he really loves the arts. Then there’s the Oliver frame. He’s really an organized child so I did a spiral frame for him. Coral’s got a bubbly personality, so her frame kind of looks like bubbles!

I like to wear my cuff bracelet that has my sister’s letter with jeans and a t-shirt, but I also wore it to the Beastie Boys black tie Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame induction.

My sister Halley and I both have a charm with Wendy’s phone number on it. She never had business cards, which we always thought was hilarious! We made it in green gold because her birthday was on Saint Patrick’s Day.

My new favorite necklace has a bunch of charms on it, and it’s a story about my boyfriend Jason and me. We went to high school together so I have one charm that says “You were worth the wait,” and another charm that says “Home is when I’m with you.” And I have a little single initial J charm for his name… and a diamond, of course!

I have a 4mm square cuff bracelet that grounds me–it says “When you look at life through the right lens, everything comes into focus.” Life certainly does throw you some curveballs sometimes… so that helps me through those challenges. The fact that I’m a photographer kind of makes it perfect! My dad gave me my first camera when I was 14 and then shipped me off to Africa with 13 rolls of film. I have been an avid photographer ever since.

I will end with this one:

I have this fantastic ring that has been dubbed “the hockey ring.” It’s my good luck ring for my boys’ games. If it’s not on my finger it’s in my wallet waiting for the next game. I did not put any personalization on it with words… and it’s really quite thick. We call it The Pope Ring at the studio! So when I’m photographing the hockey games (because all three boys are in hockey) if something happens like a goal or a good defensive play, I can bang on the glass with my ring, and I wont hurt my hand! Because of all the banging, overtime it has collected quite a few, great dents! It is essentially personalized from all the dents!

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This sponsored blog post was brought to you in collaboration with Heather B. Moore.

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The Top Jewels that Sparkled in Cannes, 2017

Rihanna Chopard All photos via Getty Images

The Cannes Film Festival is arguably one of the best showcases for the top international jewelry houses to showcase their finest and brightest gems and designs for the world to see.

This 12-day festival brings out the most exceptional designs and creations from the likes of Chopard to Harry Winston.

It’s where you can see leading ladies like Charlize Theron and Jessica Chastain as well as ingénues like Dakota Fanning and Rihanna parading down the red carpet in the latest couture gowns and decadent jewels.

Here are the best jewels from the most revered jewelry houses that were showcased on the festival’s red carpet.

CHOPARD:

The jewelry house has a deep history with the Festival as it’s been the official partner and designer of the coveted Palme d’Or trophy awarded to the most critically-acclaimed movie. This year, the buzz on the red carpet was their collaboration with music super-star Rihanna.

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Singer Rihanna wore emerald, rock crystal quartz and diamond earrings, a black nephrite and diamond bracelet with a 31.95-carat emerald, three emerald and diamond rings and a floral bracelet set with diamonds, all from the Rihanna Loves Chopard High Jewellery collection, at the premiere of the movie ‘Okja’.

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Model Adriana Lima wore a diamond bib by Chopard at the screening of the film ‘Loveless’.

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Actress Miriam Odemba wore a titanium and white gold necklace with kunzites, beryls, tanzanites and diamonds, and matching earrings, from the Red Carpet collection by Chopard.

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Karolina Kurkova wore a sapphire and diamond necklace from the High Jewellery Collection from Chopard at the premiere of ‘Based on a True Story’.

Actress Juliette Binoche wore platinum and diamond earrings by Chopard.

Actress Elizabeth Olsen wore diamond flower stud earrings by Chopard. We simply adore the placement of these earrings.

de GRISOGONO

This jewelry house showcased some of the best and boldest designs to hit the red carpet with their use of brilliant colored stones.

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Model Hailey Baldwin wore stunning drop earrings set with white and brown diamonds, and edged with citrine briolettes.

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Model Jenaye Noah wore a pair of exquisite de Grisogono chandelier earrings that glowed with oval-cut citrines from their Melody of Colours collection. A perfect compliment to her vibrant blue gown.

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This iconic jewelry house showcased their classic Serpenti jewelry and picked up major press when actress and model Emily Ratajkowski was photographed wearing their pieces both on the red carpet and on her personal Instagram.

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Model Bella Hadid wore a Bulgari High Jewellery Serpenti necklace and bracelet in white gold.

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Model and Actress Emily Ratajkowski combined two Bulgari necklaces, one comprised of pearls, rubellites and diamonds from the High Jewelry Collection and the other pendant necklace made with diamonds, emerald and rubies.

BOUCHERON

The design house had some of the most striking statement-making pieces to hit the red carpet at Cannes. Actress Salma Hayek’s necklace rendered us both breathless and speechless!

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Actress Salma Hayek wore the Baïkal necklace with a 78.33-carat Santa Maria aquamarine, moonstones, Akoya pearls and diamonds from the new Hiver Impérial High Jewellery collection by Boucheron

Model Laetitia Casta paired the Lumière de Nuit diamond and pearl earrings from Boucheron’s Hiver Impérial High Jewellery collection with her gown at the premiere of The Meyerowitz Stories in Cannes

De Beers

The classic diamond jewelry house is known for their slogan “a diamond is forever” .This year, Chinese movie actress and taste maker Fan Bingbing embodies the classic elegance of Hollywood that the brand is synonymous with as she modelled a coveted collection of jewels from the house.

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Fan Bingbing wore the Arpeggia five-line earrings, bracelet and Aria ring at the ‘Amant Double’ premiere.

Piaget

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At the closing of the 70th Cannes Film Festival, actress Jessica Chastain, Piaget’s International Brand ambassador since 2015, paired her show-stopping gown with earrings in white gold set with diamonds from Piaget’s new High Jewellery collection Sunlight Journey.

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Model CoCo Rocha wore earrings in white gold set with diamonds, blue sapphires and black opal from the new High Jewellery Collection Sunlight Journey.

Another noteworthy mention is model Naomi Campbell’s earrings, necklace, ring and cuff in white gold set with emeralds and diamonds from the new High Jewellery Collection Sunlight Journey.

Harry Winston

Known as the “jeweler to the stars” and Nicole Kidman’s ‘go to’ jeweler, Harry Winston notably had Nicole Kidman wear his jewelry on the red carpet. Best bet as she had the most films to debut on the Cannes Red Carpet this year.

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Nicole Kidman wore Secret Cluster diamond earrings, Sunflower ring and diamond bracelet by Harry Winston at ‘How To Talk To Girls At Parties’ premiere.

All above photos via Getty images.

This post was contributed by:

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Vegas Prep: Interview with Katerina of KaterinaPerez.com

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To close out our Vegas Prep week of interviews, I’ve asked fellow jewelry lover and blogger Katerina Perez to participate! She makes the journey all the way from London every year to partake in Vegas Jewelry Week, although last year she sent people on her behalf since she just had her first baby! Now he is one year old and Katerina is excited to be back. I met Katerina two years ago when we participated in the JCK Talks presentation together. It was awesome getting to know someone who does something similar and thinks about jewelry 24/7 like me. She is excited to be launching a brand new KaterinaPerez.com very soon, as she has been blogging since April of 2013. Stay tuned for that!

How many times have you attended Vegas jewelry week?

This is going to be my 4th time!


Biggest tip for Vegas jewelry week you’d give your rookie self on the eve of your first time going to Vegas?

Go and see newcomers first to discover new talent and then visit the established brands after.

Name five things you ALWAYS bring to Vegas Jewelry Week.

My smartphone, my camera, my business cards, a variety of nail varnishes and tons of moisturising lotion

One big difference from last year to this year?

This year I get to Judge The Couture Design Awards (so excited 🙂 !!

Favorite things about Vegas Jewelry Week.

The saturation of jewellery talent in one place!

Biggest pet peeve about Vegas Jewelry Week.

Constant fight with getting dry skin because of the amount of air conditioners. OR having to walk all the way to the reception at the Wynn and back when you realise your room key stopped working.

Weirdest thing to happen to you during Vegas Jewelry Week in the past.

Nothing weird happened for now, just lots of fun moments!

xoxoGemGossip

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Vegas Prep: Interview with Marion Fasel of The Adventurine

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We are excited to kick off a fun series this week on Gem Gossip — these next five blog features will get you excited and prepped for Vegas Jewelry Week, which is quickly approaching! I’ve asked five people–a mix of designers, editors, and industry insiders–to contribute their insights from this epic event that happens once a year. I’m asking for advice, tips, favorite parts, and much more! Whether it will be your first time attending or you are a professional (and can pack with your eyes closed), these interviews will pique your curiousity and you’ll definitely learn a thing or two! One thing is for sure, we all are SO EXCITED for Vegas.

We are starting the week out with Marion Fasel who is celebrating a big milestone in a few weeks–her online magazine The Adventurine turns one year old at the end of the month. She strategically launched the same day Vegas Jewelry Week began last year and has been covering all kinds of jewelry topics since then (many of which are pictured above). But don’t let the small digit fool you, Marion has been in the jewelry industry for over 25 years. Most notably, she was InStyle’s Contributing Editor of Fine Jewelry & Watches for nearly two decades, has written eight books, and has helped curate several museum exhibitions. It’s no secret I am her number one fan and have been continually cheering her on since I discovered her flipping through the pages of InStyle magazine. Let’s find out more:

How many times have you attended Vegas jewelry week?

I have been 12 times. I haven’t missed a jewelry week in Vegas since the Couture show relocated from the Phoenician in Scottsdale to the Wynn in 2005.


Biggest tip for Vegas jewelry week you’d give your rookie self on the eve of your first time going to Vegas?

I’d give my rookie self a fun tip and a few practical tips.

My fun tip is about gambling. I’d tell myself to gamble. You are in Vegas—some fun must be had. Then I would say, skip the slots. Go in the early evening to the Encore where it can be quiet and find a Black Jack dealer with an empty table. There are usually several. Tell the dealer, you don’t know much about the game but would like to learn. The dealers are incredibly knowledgeable and thrilled to share their tips. If you allow them to guide you about what “the book” says for your hand, you will win. Trust me on this. Just let them tell you how to play.

One practical tip, don’t let the bellhop take your luggage when you check in. Just take it to your room yourself. If you don’t, you have to wait for it. They won’t leave it in your room unless you are there. Sometimes they are fast, but sometimes they take a while which keeps you waiting in your room before hitting the trade show floor or doing anything your heart desires.

Drink lots of water. It’s the desert and you will get dehydrated even indoors.

Oh, and have a clear strategy for who you want to see. There are a lot of great jewelry designers there and you won’t be able to see everyone, so do a careful edit on your agenda and leave breathing room to explore. The time to explore is key.

Name five things you ALWAYS bring to Vegas Jewelry Week.

I wear heels so I bring Band-Aids. I bring my gambling budget, usually around $200. I bring loads of jewelry, because it’s a jewelry crowd and its Vegas so it’s fun to get decked out. Beyond that it’s pretty standard phone charger, camera, computer. I don’t travel light.

One big difference from last year to this year?

Well, last year I launched my online magazine TheAdventurine.com one day before the Couture show started. The timing was not a coincidence. It’s really the beginning of the formal jewelry season. You see how the trends and designers are shaping up at Couture. I wanted my website anniversary to coincide with the Couture show. I guess the biggest difference is now The Adventurine is humming away.

Favorite things about Vegas Jewelry Week.

Winning at Black Jack. I am kidding. Meeting a talented new designer or just seeing a great new collection from an established designer are my favorite things.

Biggest pet peeve about Vegas Jewelry Week.

It is a bit odd being indoors for a week. During the course of the show, it’s not usual for some people to never step outside for more than a few minutes on the terrace off the trade show floor or to walk to the taxi stand to go out to dinner. I try to make my way to La Cave as often as possible to sit in the outdoor café there for lunch, dinner or drinks.

Weirdest thing to happen to you during Vegas Jewelry Week in the past.

I won a Vespa at the Couture Awards. It’s probably one of the most wonderful and weird things that has ever happened to me anywhere. I actually like public speaking but when I went on stage to accept the scooter, I was so shocked and happy, I was virtually speechless.

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? Check out my coverage from last year

You can follow Marion –> @marionfasel & @theadventurine

Source: GossipGem.com

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Book Review – Jewellery design by Elizabeth Galton

If you have ever walked into a fashion, art or design school library, chances are that you would have come across the “Basics Series” by Ava Publishing.

If you have ever walked into a fashion, art or design school library, chances are that you would have come across the “Basics Series” by Ava Publishing. From Advertising to Typography, they have about 19 main titles and innumerable subtitles providing in-depth knowledge of all art, design, and fashion related industries. The Book “Jewellery design by Elizabeth Galton” is a part of the Fashion series (book no. 10) and is a must read for all jewellery designers, artists, managers, retailers and instructors.

The book is divided into seven main chapters which cover everything from the history of jewellery to jewellery styles and ethical practices, from research, Design development, realisation and marketing to introducing case studies of different jewellers, artists and designers from across the world. This 184-page book offers a 360 perspective of the jewellery industry making the reader want for more. Elizabeth gives an insight into the lives of jewelry designers like Stephen webster, Anne Kazuro Guinnet,Theo Fennell and Shaun Leane through expert interviews that offer real advice. Answers to questions like “What do you look for in a junior designer?” or “How do you identify a target market?” are particularly enlightening. Though this book was published in 2012, I think its valid even today. But I do hope for a newer edition soon discussing new media opportunities in design.

The first two chapters are set in a design school process based subject style with lots of input on fashion basics, terminology, fashion through ages and style identification. Discussion of the styles of various designers are thought provoking and opens up new vistas of thinking. You also get input on ethical design and fair trade policies.
The next chapter offers insight on basic design process methodology used by most designers. It talks about the need for trend research, how to create a mood board and discusses modes of research.

The fourth chapter begins with a description of a design brief and talks about how designers use them to ideate, generate forms and come up with concepts. The book talks about the importance of pencil or rough sketches, the requirement of technical drawings, how the final designs are selected and how they are converted into CADs for production. The chapter details range design, project management, recording and review of the collection in addition to CAD-CAM which I found fascinating.

Chapter five is a hodgepodge of sorts. It begins with jewelry management and details the roles of various people involved in the design, production, and marketing of jewelry. It also discusses hallmarking, sampling, pricing. Strangely, the author, here, talks about materials – gold, vermeil, sterling silver which feels very odd. Maybe a separate chapter focussing on materials would have been better.
Chapter six is all about presentation. It begins with inputs on photography, branding, look book and portfolio generation, packaging and branches on creating a web/virtual presence through PR and Social media marketing.the sequencing feels confused.

Chapeter seven details the various career aspects that a jewelry design aspirant might have and details grants available, schemes, awards and corporate projects. The book ends with a solid glossary, a fantastic list of references and a few more interviews. At the very end, we see a teaser from another Basics – fashion design series “working with ethics” which is quite thought provoking.

I am a very tough critic (my students would know!) and I hardly approve of anything but I love this book. I think that this book is for everybody (beginner or expert) who wants to be a part of jewellery industry as it provides invaluable input to self-taught artists who do not have a design background and sharpens the dull schooled minds with a dose of reality.
Where to buy:
Follow these links: Amazon.com (International) Amazon.in (India)

As this is a fantastic book resource, I didnt feel like sharing high res images of the pages of the book. Hence the dull cell phone pics. I hope that it wouldn’t deter you from seeking out the book. This book is now on my wishlist of things to buy as this particular copy is from the library 🙂

I hope you found it interesting
Cheers

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Rock Vault Amazes at Couture 2016

Rachel Boston Jewellery

Incredibly unique designs by Rachel Boston Jewellery, including some alternative bridal

Completed Works 3

The fluid, free-flowing designs of Completedworks are done in 18k yellow gold and are mesmerizing

Imogen Belfield

Newly crowned “Best in Gold” Couture Design Award Winner, Imogen Belfield, known for her “rockesque” designs

Jacqueline Cullen

Extremely cool Jacqueline Cullen Jewels are all done using Whitby Jet, yes just like the Victorian Jet jewelry from the late 1800s

Lily Kamper 2

These rings by Lily Kamper made me say, “WOW!” They are set with specially carved agates

Lily Kamper

And here are her signature necklaces done in Perspex and Marble set with end caps of 18k gold and gemstones, by Lily Kamper

RUIFIER

Was so excited to get to see RUIFIER’s designs in person! The colors and geometric shapes are everything!

Shimell & Madden

Shimell & Madden also blew me away–extremely modern, with lines and curves making up the collection. Love the matte finish and the multiple shanks.

Jordan Askill Completed Works 2

Photo on the left, Jordan Askill’s necklace made of rock crystal with a 3D panther carved out of white cacholong set on top. The photo on the right features more rings from Completedworks.

If you’ve ever wanted to sneak off, away from all the hustle and bustle of Couture, and be instantly amazed, refreshed and wishing you spoke with a British accent, I highly suggest checking out Stephen Webster’s jewelry initiative called Rock Vault. This mini-ballroom hosts eight highly talented British designers, all whom are bringing their insanely gifted skills to the US. As I strolled along to each designer and spoke with them about their creations and inspirations, it became clear as to why Stephen Webster started Rock Vault in the first place!

“Rock Vault is a jewellery initiative to support, showcase and promote Britain’s most innovative, fine jewellery talent. Curated by Stephen Webster, this unique showcasing initiative has been developed by the BFC to nurture the creative fine jewellery talent based in London. It gives these designers the opportunity to further develop their businesses, as well as exposure amongst both UK and international media and retailers.”

I felt positive vibes from every designer featured in Rock Vault–an overall sense of excitement and gratitude, radiating with pride for not only their work but to be showcased in Las Vegas at the Couture show. Above you’ll find some photos I snapped, at least one from each designer featured in Rock Vault. Here’s a little more about each designer:

Rachel Boston Jewellery: a young, talented designer born and based in London with a wild imagination. Nominated for numerous awards, including New Designer of the Year at the UK Jewellery Awards. I’m completely obsessed with her Anceps ring done in 18k yellow gold from her latest collection called CONTRA. Fun fact: Rachel got married in Vegas after the show! Congrats to her!!

Completedworks: Flowing lines, bold architecture, fluid shapes…Completedworks was on my list of “must-sees” for Couture since I began planning. Artistic Director Anna Jewsbury has a unique background in Mathematics and Philosophy, which truly defines the line. The Pillar collection is inspired by architectural ruins, like the classical columns, and they are done in white and black marble, jade set in 18k yellow gold.

Imogen Belfield: with a background in Fine Arts and Sculpture, one look at Imogen’s designs and you can see how that path has influenced her creations. Her fine line just recently launched, with each piece being carvings all hand-done, which take on the form of rocks. The gemstones she uses are quite unique as well–I was taken back by the hot pink stone in one of her designs–so cool! It is actually an extreme heat-treated onyx (you can see the neon pink color in the photo I took above). She also just won the Couture Design Award for “best in gold” category!

Jacqueline Cullen: precious Whitby jet–a prehistoric fossil which dates back 180 million years which is most well-known in jewelry form from Victorian mourning jewelry. Jacqueline creates contemporary pieces of jewelry using this now very rare organic material. Her designs are innovative and have graced the pages of magazines and celebrities alike.

Lily Kamper: her love for unusual material combinations and modern luxury define Lily’s aesthetic. Her iconic pendant necklaces made of marble and perspex are all hand cut. She also has a bridal line just as unique as her other designs and her newest collection features hardstone jewels set in 18k yellow gold.

RUIFIER: I’ve been following this brand for a few years now and so excited to finally see their collection in person! RUIFIER knows how to push boundaries and create really unique pieces. They also have a knack for choosing great color combinations and gemstones for each design.

Shimell & Madden: created by duo Luke Shimell and Emma Madden, this London-based jewelry line fuses high-quality craftsmanship with scientific design and universal concepts. Each piece looks as though it belongs in a museum, while at the same time, extremely wearable. I was instantly wowed by this jewelry line.

Jordan Askill: last but not least, this jewelry line is evocative, nature-inspired and jaw-dropping. From the gemstones used to the designs themselves, each part of the overall design is planned out with utmost precision. Jordan’s background working for Alexander McQueen and throughout the fashion industry helps embellish his journey as a jewelry designer. His work and accolades extend far and wide for such a young designer, I can’t wait to see what is next for him!

xoxoGemGossip

Source: GossipGem.com

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Florence Welch in Gucci Jewelry at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards

Florence Welch_Jewelry 3 Florence Welch_Jewelry 2 Gucci Flora ring in 18kt gold, blue sapphires and diamonds Gucci Flora ring in 18kt gold, diamond and blue sapphires Icon ring Le Marché des Merveilles ring with Bee motif in 18kt yellow gold

The Grammy Awards may have been almost a month ago, but this look is still buzzing in my head–and maybe yours too! And not just because one of the new Gucci rings features a bee, but because how perfect the Gucci dress goes with all four rings…and I was cheering when Gucci annouced Florence Welch as their latest ambassador. She is perfect for the job, as she is a magpie herself, wearing rings on every finger during her performances and stunning crowds with her jewelry choices. Creative director of Gucci, Alessandro Michele, is doing wonders for the brand–mixing his gothic revival style and love for adornment–making jewelry not just an accessory, but a focal point. And hey, if I could have both Florence and Alessandro in one room with myself, I think I would freeze up and not know what to say, because there’s way too much thanks and praise to be said.

The 58th Annual Grammy Awards took place on Monday, February 15th, 2016 at The Staples Center, Los Angeles and I was in California on my #JewelryRoadTrip, completely oblivious to what was going on in the real world. I would have loved to have seen this look live on the red carpet. Luckily, I received an email from Gucci’s PR and when I opened it, it was love at first sight. I had to make sure I posted this epic look on Gem Gossip, even if it were weeks later!
Florence Welch wore a Gucci Pre-Fall 2016 pale pink silk chiffon long sleeve gown with ruffle neckline, sequin trompe l’oeil belt detail with star, heart, moon and dragonfly embroideries with nude leather platform high heels with cat head detail. She completed her look with a Le Marché des Merveilles ring with Bee motif in 18kt yellow gold, an Icon ring in 18kt yellow gold with citrine quartz, London topaz, pink and green tourmalines and two Gucci Flora rings in 18kt gold, diamond and blue sapphires. Perfection.
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Gladiator Ring from Doryn Wallach Jewelry

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Gladiator ring

I’ve had this blog post planned for awhile now–couldn’t wait to share the amazing black diamond Gladiator ring that my sister-in-law received over the holiday from designer Doryn Wallach. Every time I was about to publish, something came up or another deadline was moved ahead, putting this sometimes to the backburner. I had finally decided that Monday would be the day to post, and as I sat Sunday afternoon typing up this very blog post, I heard the news of the untimely passing of Cindy Edelstein. I was incredibly saddened and completely in shock. In this day and age, with technology at our fingertips, and Cindy always being on the up-and-up of technology (heck, she was the only person I was following on Periscope who ever actually broadcast anything) I raced over to her Twitter page, her Facebook and Instagram because I just couldn’t believe it…I thought for sure she had just favored a tweet of mine or liked a post. This couldn’t be happening.

It was Cindy who introduced me to Doryn Wallach, whose incredible designs have now become a favorite and even became a part of my sister-in-law’s jewelry collection. It was Cindy who called me last year to tell me about my nomination for the WJA Award for Excellence. It was always her smile and embracing kindness we will forever remember and never forget. So many people in the jewelry industry are tremendously grateful for the work she has done throughout her career, including myself. I looked back to see what the last Tweet in which Cindy “favorited” of mine, and it was one from my wedding day–the one about getting married on the same date as my grandparents got married back in 1956. That’s so special, as she was. I will miss her.

*Seen above, the black diamond gladiator ring was made just for my sister-in-law within a matter of days for a special event, all thanks to Doryn Wallach.

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Ring Transformation with Zava Mastercuts

Lapis Transformation |Zava Mastercuts Lapis Transformation |Zava Mastercuts Lapis Transformation |Zava Mastercuts Lapis Transformation |Zava MastercutsUntitled Untitled Untitled Untitled

If you’re a collector, you know that auctions are one of the best ways of acquiring pieces. Sometimes auctions will group items in a “lot” where there are several items rather than just one. This happened to me a few times, where an item I was interested in was grouped with a few other pieces. In the past, I’ve won lots where I’ve kept the ring that caught my eye and sold the other items within the lot. In this instance, there were three rings within the lot from Skinner Auctions which I won. The main item I had my eye on was a very bold, geometric vintage ring set with two triangular amazonites and a rectangular lapis. One of the other items I figured I would sell (but ended up really liking it in person) and the last item (pictured above) I figured I would scrap for gold weight. Then of course, I saw it in person and kind of fell in love which it 1950s/60s awesomeness. What was bothering me about it most was not the design, but the main gemstone it was set with–a synthetic color-change sapphire. I thought a lapis would better suite the ring, both in terms of style and era.

Next task? Getting a gem to fit such a specific opening. Luckily Clay of Zava Mastercuts was able to help me out! He used the photo of the ring, plus my dimension measurements to custom cut a slab of lapis. You can see the progress above! Zava Mastercuts specializes in cutting gemstones by hand, each handselected and created for jewelry designers and private collectors from around the world! He has won numerous awards for his talent and has designed cuts for over 40 individual Spectrum Award winning jewelry pieces.

The next step was getting the beautiful new piece of lapis set in the ring! I had a local jeweler complete the task and once it was finished, I was completely satisfied with the outcome! Just what I had envisioned and now I can coordinate this piece with other lapis rings for a fun look. So glad to have saved this ring from being melted. I’ve learned it is important to take a look at pieces of jewelry and see if they need a mini-makeover before deciding to sell or melt. Worked out for this one!

Special thank you to Clay of Zava Mastercuts for the lapis.

ZavaMastercuts

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