Jewelry Collection Stories: Jennifer of @Dupkaspike

Dupkaspike Collection Dupkaspike Collection Dupkaspike Collection Dupkaspike Collection Dupkaspike Collection Dupkaspike Collection Dupkaspike Collection Dupkaspike Collection Dupkaspike Collection

To end out the year, our last Jewelry Collection Story comes from Jennifer, or as many may know her on Instagram, @Dupkaspike. Her collection is eclectic, heavily sentimental and so fun to look at. She captured her collecting essence perfectly in these photos. Now if only I can meet her one day and she them in person! 😉 …take it away Jennifer:

I can’t say that I have always loved jewelry, but I can pinpoint the moment when the love affair began. When I was 16, my Dad took me into Keil’s, an antique jewelry store on Royal Street in New Orleans, and bought me two rings. One was a mother of pearl cameo with an onyx surround, and another was a rose gold carnelian with a gold inlaid intaglio of a Rose of Sharon.

It was an important moment in my understanding of jewelry. My Mom was a big Southwestern jewelry fan (I’ve inherited her collection), but it wasn’t something that resonated strongly with me, though I admired it. I was drawn more to the sentimental, and to the personal.

I did not do a lot of collecting in early adulthood. My husband is Chinese, and so over the years and when we married, I received traditional Chinese 22k gold and jade pieces as gifts, which I look forward to passing on to my children. Traditional Chinese don’t really like lower-karat gold pieces and I liked history and sentiment; so we were in agreement that mall jewelry wasn’t really for me. The jade pieces are my favorites of these, as is a giant 22k dragon and phoenix ring.

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Over the years I have gravitated to certain genres. As an amateur painter, I adore portrait miniatures, and greatly admire the skill required to produce them. I don’t have many, but I’m always on the lookout for special pieces. Recently I acquired a large Georgian locket brooch, from CJ Antiques, surrounded by amethysts and plan to commission a portrait of my kids and dog. One piece I wear often I got from Duvenay, a pretty portrait of Marie Antoinette, with a diamond halo that was converted from a stickpin.

I’m a strong believer in personalization, so mostly every new piece I own has some engraving or dedication on it. When my kids were born, I bought heavy Tiffany Lucida wedding bands and had their names engraved on the outside and their birthdates on the inside. Similarly, I had their names and birthdates engraved on the inside of gemstone and diamond stacking rings. I have several stacking rings, which I love to mix with larger pieces. One set I wear all the time is two ruby keeper rings from Jewellery Hannah, as well as a giardinetto from Pocket of Rocks. Last year I worked with Hoard Jewelry on engraving to flat gold bands for them with personalized messages. One has the cipher of a “nonsense” love song my son used to sing to me as a child when he was barely verbal; only he and I understand it. He later told me that it was his love song to his Mom, and so of course my heart melted. Other antique engraved pieces of jewelry with dedications or initials I own are mostly amatory, including a Russian rock crystal locket with diamond initials on the face that once held hair; a tiny acrostic locket with engraving and locket space for hair; a large, double heart picture frame, and a banded agate mourning locket. A favorite bangle acquired from Lenore Dailey spells, “Dieu Vous Garde,” or “God Protect You.” I also have a locket with that motif. One of my very favorite pieces it is really quite special. I got it from Glorious Antique Jewelry. It is dated 1790 and has some interesting initials on the back, and a lovely message on the front, “Pour ma Sophie pour toujours ma petite cherie toût, 1790” which roughly translates to, “To my Sophie, you will always be my little darling, 1790.”

Dupkaspike Collection Dupkaspike Collection Dupkaspike Collection Dupkaspike Collection Dupkaspike Collection Dupkaspike Collection

I love LOVE, and as such can’t seem to stop seeking out pansy jewelry. I have several enamel and gemstone pieces—a pendant and pocket watch. Pansy jewelry of course was symbolic of the French for “ Pense à moi,” or “ Think of me.” Similarly a Georgian pendant brooch I find myself wearing often simply says, “ L’Amour,” and is decorated with two seed pearl lovebirds. A garnet and white enamel pendant reads in Latin, “ Dulcis Vita::Tibi Vita,” or “ The Good “ Life; Your Life.” One piece I have, ruby hearts with diamond wings, was acquired from Park Avenue Jewelry and I decided to convert it from a brooch to a necklace. I’m a strong believer that jewelry should be worn, and I realized that it would get a lot more use for me personally as a necklace. I got this piece as my mother was dying, and it will always be very special to me as a remembrance of her.

French St. Esprit pieces are also a love and I get a lot of use out of a French regional cross I found. One of the St. Esprits is probably late 18th century and makes a political statement, with its red and blue pastes. A favorite piece of mine is an 1835 rose cut diamond, gold and silver Halley’s Comet pendant (likely converted from a brooch) that I got from Inez Stodel.

xoxoGemGossip

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Beadfest beads

Hello folks, thanks for all the comments on Facebook, Instagram, blog and mail asking about my well being. I am truly grateful for your love and affection

Hello folks, thanks for all the comments on Facebook, Instagram, blog and mail asking about my well being. I am truly grateful for your love and affection. As my trip was very short (11 + 1 extra day due to time difference it was very hectic. Out of the 12 days, I spent 4 days travelling, 4 days at beadfest and 4 days sightseeing, apart from being sick for 9 of them (and still am with a horrible cold that refuses to go). But I don’t want to keep you guys waiting to hear about my adventures, and so, here is a short post on the beautiful beads that I saw at Beadfest Summer 2016, held at Oaks near Philadelphia, United states of America, between the 17th-21st of August (expo from 19th to21st)

This was my first time at Beadfest and first time in USA so before my Travel I had this question on my mind – what to buy at Beadfest? Why, Beads, ofcourse, people said, as it is literally in the name BEAD FEST”. I saw beads, a great variety of them and went around photographing quite a lot as well. Beads were available in every color, shape, size and material possible. It was like an exotic treasure filled cave.
Friends, who saw my instagram posts asked me if I bought them all, Sadly my answer is no. I visually feasted on them, but I didn’t buy any as most beads were from India or China and are available here at atleast half their respective fest prices and I was on a teeny weeny budget. But they were beautiful to see, and wonderful to touch and feel. Here are some of the bead pictures


Semi Precious Beads
I think there was enough Lapis Lazuli there to buy a small house in the countryside. Wonderfully blue and beautifully streaked, lapis was available in every shape possible – coins, nuggets, teardrops, rounds, and cabochons.

 

There was no dearth of semi precious beads like carnelian and agate either. I found lots of large agate slices in pastel colors and druzy agates in candy shades. Again just with regard to price (without thinking about quality) these were higher in price compared to even American web stores like Firemountaingems, beadaholique or even Autnie’s beads (which I consider slightly pricey). But they were extremely yummy to look at.


Pearls and MOP
There were 3-4 types of pearls available – real fresh water pearls, synthetic pearls, Shell pearls, and Swarovski pearls. Most of the pearls were from China or were being sold by Chinese vendors.

The MOP connectors were fascinating and they reminded me of the printed shell buttons that I used in my Valentine showers of love button necklace tutorial here

Glass
Most glass beads were Artisan made Lampwork beads or seed beads. I know that manufactured or recycled glass beads are not easily available in America, but I was surprised to see that the Indian vendors not carry them as well. I hope they do realise the opportunity and fill in the gap soon. The following picture was taken on Friday, when the expo was relatively free, I couldn’t take any pictures on the weekend as the lampwork booths and by extension the expo was quite packed with people.

 

Resin and Acrylic
Beadfest has something for everyone in terms of beads. While I saw individual beads being sold $12-$20, I also saw bunches of $3-$5 resin and acrylic beads and loads 1 dollar crystal strands.

 
 

I saw lots of different types of beads from across the world – African discs, Tibetan turquoise, Nepal cabs, beetle wings, and Afghan Coins. I recognised a majority of those materials I have come across them in Neena Shilvocks’s Caprilicious Jewellery blogposts previously. Oh Neena! You should have been there, you could have gotten all your favourite stuff at one place 🙂

Cabochons
There were multiple vendors selling Cabochons, but this particular booth was captivating as it had a huge wall of cabs. This image only shows a portion of their display which by itself is drool worthy.


Apart from these types of beads, there are also wooden beads and disks, enamelled beads, metal beads, and Polymer clay beads. If you are in America then beadfest is one of the best places to buy beads for the variety is just fantastic. A really big crowd comes out just to shop for beads at the expo. On Sunday afternoon, I saw and heard so many Indians (Tamil, Kannada and Hindi was spoken freely) that I felt that I was in Alwarpet or RA Puram in Chennai than in Oaks, Pennsylvania. South Indians are obsessed about quality and value and the fact that they were out there, shopping in large numbers only goes to show the quality of merchandise that was being showcased and sold there.

So what did I buy if not beads? To find out the answer to that question tune in later in the week to see my USA supplies haul.
PS: I have a small Giveaway upcoming for Readers in India – Stay tuned!!
I hope you found it interesting
Cheers

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Gem Gossip Visits Shamila Fine Jewelry in Seattle, WA

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While a majority of my Seattle #JewelryRoadTrip was spent in the downtown area of Seattle, I was able to change the scene up a bit with my next visit. Shamila Fine Jewelry has called Seattle home for several years, with a private design studio tucked away in Fremont–an artsy district, where the views are captivating and the inspiration is flowing. For Shamlia, her extensive travels and worldwide thinking have shaped her collections and it is no surprise that she has clients that live all over the globe. Her customers end up being collectors and obsessed with her pieces, with the first purchase never being the last! I’ve met Shamila at tradeshows in the past but had only seen a couple pieces of her work at a time – she always wears her gold stacking rings or a cocktail rutilated quartz ring. I was so excited to not only get the chance to see her collection in its entirety, but to also catch up for more than just a few minutes with this warm-hearted soul. She is one of those types of people that you want to be around, with a contagious positive spirit!

Shamila’s background is quite interesting, she was born and raised in Tanzania, then moved to Canada as a teenager where she had the opportunity to live in both Toronto and in Vancouver, and has since called Seattle home. This however, was not before spending an exciting year living in the West Indies, where a work assignment with the UN and the WHO sent her to the Island where wonders never cease – St.Lucia! She has lived in many parts of the world, as she describes herself as “comfortable out of her comfort zone.” Her studies brought her to the University of British Columbia in Vancouver BC, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology and International Affairs. In 2009 she apprenticed for many weeks in Instanbul where she learned from the best. Seattle has been a great place to call home for Shamila, as an easy gateway for her jetset life, ideal food destination for her foodie habit, and the weather pairs perfectly with her obsession with shirt dresses!

For Shamila, designing jewelry began as a hobby about 14 years ago when she first moved to Seattle. It started off with beads from a local bead store and when that didn’t satisfy her, she began looking for bigger and better. Shamila’s drive lead her to seek out rare stones, like specially Labradorite from Madagascar. Her hobby continually grew and brought her more and more happiness than she ever thought. Keyword here is hobby, so still this wasn’t a full-time thing for her. Alas, she was at a crossroads where many passionate people find themselves—choosing what you love vs. being realistic and sticking with her day job, she vividly remembers what made her decide to put everything on the line with jewelry. She says that choosing jewelry would be, “A career that would allow me to travel the world, to find beauty in the often overlooked, to make deep and lasting connections with those I worked with, while being able to give back on many different levels.” That was it—she was choosing jewelry, and yes, this decision came right at the brink of the recession. But she was ready for the challenge and it was the best decision she has ever made.

Inspiration abounds for Shamila when designing jewelry. She says, “When I am designing pieces I am thinking about who is going to wear them, sometimes the clients are such muses, especially when they are collectors, you get to know what they love and like. Quality is of utmost importance. I like to offer luxury in the details. The weight of the piece, the curvature of the shank, the subtle polish of the metal, the way the stones are cut, and how the light reflects off of them.” Design ideas pop into her head frequently, without warning. Travel is a huge inspiration, although there is a time and a place for these ideas. There is an art to holding onto inspirations and releasing them when they are ready. I think Shamila has mastered this, especially when she says, “Creating is not linear to me. It is like a careful yet chaotic orbit of paths; I just do what feels right for the stone and for the experience I am having at that point in my life.” All her designs are proudly handmade in Seattle. Having everything created locally is extremely important to Shamila and her objective, as well as keeping everything as ethically sourced as possible.

One thing I love so much about her designs is how she showcases the gemstone’s beauty above all else. A rutilated quartz is poised gracefully within a setting, while a labradorite is captured ideally to show off its unique labradorescence. Shamila loves using gems that are specially cut, which takes her collections to a whole new level.

Speaking of specially cut gemstones, her carved citrine and amethyst minaret stacking rings are what dreams are made of! A week later and I’m still thinking about them. If you’re unfamiliar with what a minaret is, it is found in Islamic architecture and is a distinctive feature, where prayer is called out–oftentimes similar to a tower. Shamila’s Lokum Lale Luxe collection features these minaret carved gemstones in different styles, not just rings! I’m wearing a few in the photos above, like the lariat necklaces and dangle earrings. I especially love the variety of gemstones that this carving style comes in–like Pyrite?! So amazing to see pyrite not only used in fine jewelry but carved into a shape like that. Other stones besides the citrine and amethyst include lapis, turquoise, black spinel, lemon quartz, London blue topaz, smokey quartz, chalcedony, rose quartz, carnelian, rock crystal quartz and green onyx.

Another collection that blew me away, Shamila’s stacking rings made of specially cut gemstones–round and square checkerboard, honeycomb and rosecut faceted stones. Pops of color are huge for accessorizing and these rings are ideal to pull off some colorful looks. These rings are the kind you just can’t have one of, so the more the merrier. I’ve stacked several in the photos above. They are so fun to wear and have a loyal, local collector base! Want something unique and gets people wondering, “What kind of gemstone is that?!” Then you HAVE to check out her Flèches d’Amour collection which uses rutilated quartz and rutilated topaz. Not many gemstones feature inclusions that make them even more beautiful than they already are! These gemstones are so unique and Shamila does a great job of enhancing their beauty!

I want to thank Shamila for welcoming me into her design studio and allowing me to learn about her as a designer, while experiencing her jewelry first-hand. I hope you are now familiar with her work if you weren’t already–and if you’d like to get a chance to see her designs in person yourself, she has many upcoming shows where she exhibits. Like this Saturday & Sunday in Glencoe, IL at the Glencoe Festival of Art…as well as August 13th & 14th in Los Gatos, CA at Los Gatos Fiesta de Artes. Be sure to continually check back on the EVENTS page of her website or sign up for her jewel-laden newsletter to know before anyone else! More dates, especially during the holidays, will be announced soon.

>> If you’re interested in any of the pieces shown, please contact Shamila.

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Game Colors bangle DIY

The 2016 summer Olympics in Rio are almost upon us and it gives me great pride to mention that a team of 120+ athletes will be participating from India. To paraphrase the Olympic Creed, life is all about participating and utilizing opportunities and fighting well to the best of our abilities and not just winning

The 2016 summer Olympics in Rio are almost upon us and it gives me great pride to mention that a team of 120+ athletes will be participating from India. To paraphrase the Olympic Creed, life is all about participating and utilizing opportunities and fighting well to the best of our abilities and not just winning. This message, or the Olympics spirit is conveyed by the five Olympic rings which represent wholeness, solidarity, and continuity. Designed by Pierre de Coubertin as a true international symbol, the Flag with five rings, in my opinion, symbolises fair play, sportsmanship and vibrancy of the rich world of sports.
Inspired by this upcoming event, I have designed a bangle with bands of blue, black, red, yellow, and green as a symbol of strength and support to the games. Join me in making one for yourself.


Olympics Colors bangle DIY

Materials Required
– Metal bangles in preferred size – 2
– 28g brass wire
– Liquid fusion Glue or Araldite
– Iced enamels medium
– Iced enamels relique powder in Carnelian, Pewter, turquoise, Chartreuse, Glitz gold
– Alcohol or patina inks in dark green, dark blue and yellow
– 2 part epoxy resin, mixing stick, cup, and wet wipes

Tools: Heat gun, paint brush, nose pliers, wire cutter, tile or any heat resistant surface


Method

1. Glue 2 metal bangles together and let it rest for a while. Alternatively, choose a broad bangle, as your base
2. Wrap 28g wire around the bangle, the wire must be in the same finish as the metal bangle. This is to provide texture and additional hold for the relique powders



3. Mark 5 equal (similar, I just eyeballed it) sections in the bangle. Each will be in one of the Olympic ring colors.
4. Apply medium to one section and sprinkle the relique powder on it. Wait for 5 minutes until it begins to dry and then move to the next section. Check my previous post on Iced enamelling for a quick how – to video.


5. Repeat until you complete all 5 sections. I did blue, black, red, yellow, and green as my sections.*
6. Place you bangle on a tile and using a heat gun slowly set the powder section by section. Be sure to turn the gun off a few times in between otherwise, it will get very hot.
7. If your powder bubbles and starts to flow, it means that you have applied too much binder and if no reaction happens then it means that you have used very less binder. The former cannot be corrected, but if you have applied less medium, to begin with, then you can give a thin coating on top as you are heating it ( when using the heat it tool only)
8. The relique powders are light colors so to get dark green, blue and yellow apply a thin coat of alcohol or patina ink on the set enamel and let it dry. I used gold as the base for yellow as it gives a beautiful soft shimmer to the bangle ( unfortunately it is not visible in the pictures)


9. Mix your two part epoxy resin as per your manufacturer’s instructions. After the initial five minute rest time, apply a thin coat on the bangle and let it cure for 48-72 hours. Clean up any spills before it cures hard.


Your chunky textured Olympics inspired bangle is ready to be worn when you cheer for your country. *In this bangle, I have only used the colors as seen in the Olympics rings and not in their exact order as I wanted it to be only my inspiration and I did not want to make an exact copy. I hope that I have brought out the symbolism of connectivity and strength of interconnected rings using the circular shape of the bangle and the wire wraps. This little something will not only help you to get into the Olympics spirit but its fashionable enough to be worn with multiple outfits long after the games are over.


I am not a “sports” person but I am excited about the Olympics and will be wearing this bangle that week. What about you? Do you have any plans to celebrate the games?
I hope you found it interesting
Cheers

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Jewelry Collection Stories: Angela of Gemstone Gypsy

Gemstone Gypsy Personal Collection Gemstone Gypsy Personal Collection

We are ringing in the New Year today with an inspiring and gorgeous Jewelry Collection Story from Angela, or what we may like to call her “Gemstone Gypsy.” I find her collection entirely intriguing and I love how sentimental and closely tied to her heritage many of the pieces are. Let’s get right into it:

“I’ve loved jewelry since I was a child. My maternal grandmother is a serious collector who worked for Tiffany and Hermes and taught me how to appreciate everything from major Victorian rings to beautiful Chanel costume pieces. She’s real, old New York – always in head to toe black, purple Chanel lipstick and Ferragamo shoes – and I idolized her as a child! I would sit with her in her apartment, riveted, while she showed me what things were made of and explained why they were valued. She really impressed upon me the importance of quality construction, too, and how to spot it. My paternal side is Brooklyn Italian, and they love their gold! So since an early age I had lots of adornment around me.

Anyone who knows me also knows that I’m hugely sentimental, so apart from the aesthetic aspect of jewelry, I love what it means in a personal sense. In the end, regardless of material, a piece’s value is truly in the story it carries, and what it becomes in the eye of the beholder. The simplest, most inexpensive thing can become hugely meaningful if it is loved or given with love, and I find that so magical.”

Above: My collection of vintage + antique yellow gold Italian/Catholic protection charms, shown on top of pictures of my grandmothers in Brooklyn in the early 1920s-30s. A Gold Rush-era gold nugget lock, American Victorian 10k carnelian cross, and Victorian goldfill locket.

Gemstone Gypsy Personal Collection

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Egyptian Revival Jewelry from Joden Jewelry

Joden Jewelry | Egyptian Revival Joden Jewelry | Egyptian Revival

Joden Jewelry | Egyptian Revival Joden Jewelry | Egyptian Revival

Egyptian Revival Jewelry from Joden Jewelers Joden Jewelry | Egyptian Revival Joden Jewelry | Egyptian Revival Joden Jewelry | Egyptian Revival

Distant and exotic civilizations inspired many creations during the early 1920s and onward to spur a movement called “Egyptian Revival,” which characterized the type of jewelry that was influenced by ancient Egypt. In November of 1922, the efforts of Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter culminated in the opening of the tomb of Tutankhamun, which was located in Egypt within the Valley of the Kings. Their incredible discovery was esteemed as one of the most valuable archaeological finds of the 20th Century! This completely enthralled and aroused much interest throughout the world. Although Egyptian influence had already begun decades prior, the Egyptian Revival movement was heaviest following that particular discovery. Prior to that, author Vivienne Becker explains, “Ancient Egypt had been a design inspiration throughout the 19th century, particularly in France, from the time of Napoleon’s campaign in Egypt in 1798, although the effect was really only felt in the jewelry world in the 1860s, following discoveries of ancient Egyptian ornaments by the French archaeologist Auguste Mariette, and around the time of the opening of the Suez Canal, by the Empress Eugenie, in 1869″ (Becker, Vivienne. “Five Rare Egyptian-Revival Jewels” Sotheby’s Magazine. November 2013.)

Pyramids, sphinxes, obelisks, palmettes, lotus flowers, scarabs, hieroglyphics, and hieroglyph imitations became all the rage in jewelry design and motif. Egyptian dieties like Isis, the falcon god Horus, the lion goddess Sekmeth and a few others also became popular. Ankhs symbolized eternal life and scarabs represented rebirth. The upheaval of Egyptian motifs actually paired really well with the Art Deco aesthetic at the time–things like Egyptian blue colored faience, lapis and carnelian inlay, colored enamel work, and bright yellow gold. Faience is a sintered quartz ceramic, like ancient pottery in a way, it was used to create scarabs and other Egyptian objects and amulets. Big names like Cartier, Boucheron and Van Cleef & Arpels followed suite and designed multiple piece during the early 1920s/30s typical of Egyptian Revival theme.

When I visited Joden Jewelry in July, located in Grove City, Pennsylvania, I was blown away by their extensive inventory. So many eras all in one place–so many niches for any and every collector. I knew they would have quite a collection of Egyptian Revival jewelry, and I was right! From micromosaics to real scarab beetles, and a few things in between–even spanning different time periods of the movement as well. These seven pieces featured from Joden Jewelry will enamor any Egyptian Revival collector, whether you’re just a beginner or have been collecting for years!

Round circular brooch featuring a micromosaic pharaoh: this spectacular piece was created using over 1,000 tiny pieces of thin, tile-shaped glass or stone to create this image of an Egyptian pharaoh. The gold surrounding frame holds the micromosaic which consists of a white background, Egyptian blue outline, and multitonal hues of reds, greens, and flesh-tone tiles. Price: $3,000 CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

Enamel and diamond winged pharaoh brooch: another unique piece of Egyptian Revival jewelry, handmade through and through, down to the dangling bell-shaped detail. The white and blue enamel are some of the Egyptian colors consistently used with revival jewelry. There are rose cut diamonds along the wings and a lovely pharaoh in the center. Price: $5,685 CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

Bloodstone scarab ring: scarabs are carved from many different gemstones sometimes even faience which is not a gemstone. Bloodstone is such a unique gemstone to carve a scarab into–you don’t see too many like that! It should be noted that this piece is finely detailed, down to the legs of the scarab being distinctly carved as well. The scarab is set using a pin through the stone and held in place with two small gold beads. The ring is currently a size 7.5 and done in 14k yellow gold–it can easily be sized up or down! Price: $800 CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

Intricate and striking micromosaic brooch: a masterpiece of tiny glass and stone tiles, this brooch has multiple elements of Egyptian Revival jewelry going on–the pharaoh is first and foremost, then the Etruscan detailing, followed by the motifs of serpents and hieroglyphics depicted throughout. The colors are bright and warm, and the black is a great contrast. This is an example of an earlier Egyptian Revival piece, taking its place during the Victorian Era. Price: $11,375 CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

Real beetle fringe necklace: if you want something that will surely strike up a conversation, this real beetle fringe necklace is an ideal piece! It dates back to the Victorian Era during which the first round of Egyptian influence began in the world of jewelry. There are 16 actual scarabs with iridescent green carapaces–and no two are exactly the same! I like to call these Cleopatra’s ornaments! CALL FOR PRICE/PURCHASE

Real beetle earrings: of course you must own the earrings if you buy the necklace–OR if you want to try out the real beetle jewelry look but don’t want something too large, these earrings are the right idea! They are handmade set in gold frames (of an unknown karat) and use wire to recreate legs and antenna that are visible from the front and continue on the backs. CALL FOR PRICE/PURCHASE

Double serpet scarab brooch: this is one of my favorites! Two serpents go head-to-head creating coiled tails, and encircling a scarab. I love the wings on this brooch–it is already such a powerful piece of symbolizism with the snake representing protection and the scarab representing rebirth and life, and the wings just make it that much more special. A strong piece with a story to tell! Price: $5,750 CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

10914719_926175334070052_7472495249124214406_o Joden Jewelry
144 South Broad Street
Grove City, PA 16127
[email protected]
800-747-7552
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Necklace Tutorials for you

In the last few months, I have been writing very many tutorials – of different skill levels exclusively for the Favecrafts blog.

In the last few months, I have been writing very many tutorials – of different skill levels exclusively for the Favecrafts blog. If you have done any surfing on the net for crafts or recipes or scrapbooking you must have stumbled on to any one of the sites by Prime Publishing like favecrafts or craftpaperscissors or allfreejewelry making. What a lot of you might not know that apart from curating content from great bloggers in different niches and publishing newsletters, that also have blogs that create and present original content.
I have had the good fortune of writing for these blogs a few times now and working with editors like Nicola Pryball, Kayla, Caitlin, Chris and ofcourse Simone hereself ,who first accepted my proposal to write for them.
I have only posted tutorial (links) to the shimmering Sunglasses pendant in my Mother’s day post and Upcycled bottle necklace so far in this blog so I thought of sharing two more with you today.

Lets start with necklaces
A simple, easy to make Draw String necklace with red shell talons, pink stone beads, carnelian beads and spacers. Dont let the summer sun scorch you – Have fun at resort or pool parties by being Tribal Chic- Learn to make this Spicy Tribal DIY Statement Necklace

tribal necklace
Mixed media mini keepsake book necklace – Mixed media mini keepsake books are all the rage now. They can be converted into jewelry, added to key rings or used as bag charms

I worked with MD metals brass sheet for this project. These sheets are great to be embossed – easy to texture and dont crack like how copper foils do and only require minimal pressure. Plus they lend themselves well to clean cuts so no or only minimal filling is required.

Based on my tutorial, I also created these cool key chains for my parents for their 35th anniversary. I embossed 35 years on the back with their names on the front.Since I wanted the key chains to be really usable (and water resistant), I first wrote a message on the paper inside, applied resin on the paper and wire wrapped them as it was hard to saddle stitch. I think that its a wonderful gift to share with your loved one with personalised messages.

What do you think? Would you try these tutorials?
I hope you found it interesting
Cheers

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Gem Gossip Visits The Eden Collective in Philadelphia, PA

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I’ve been such a fan of The Eden Collective since she first launched her Etsy shop back in 2013 which she started as a hobby. Not even two years later, her five-year plan has now turned into a budding business and she is transitioning to making antique jewelry her full-time gig! And it is not a bad gig, considering it is her passion and she has been surrounded by antiques her whole life–it is only fitting! Her taste in all things old and vintage is impeccable–every piece in her inventory is incredibly covetable and her natural knack for curating great pieces is perfect for her fans and followers who can’t wait to see what she finds next. I am right there with them! Whether it is a trip to Brimfield or a day spent bidding at auction, antique jewelry collectors are left clamouring at what she will bring to her online shop.

I couldn’t have been more excited to meet my virtual antique-loving friend and get the opportunity to see her inventory in person. Lining Philadelphia’s straight, gridiron streets, an iconic row house was the setting for our meetup. Built during the early 1900s and fully decorated and restored with treasures Eden has picked up throughout her life. I was greeted by her adorable dog Darla and a few of her cats strolled in from time-to-time. She had several trays full of rings, which immediately had my attention! One tray with all conversion pieces, one tray with engagement rings and alternative engagement options, and another tray with a wide variety of all-original antique pieces–like signets, large onyx rings, gemstone rings, REGARD rings, portrait rings, intaglios and lots of gorgeous agate pieces. I surely was in heaven! I got to try on some of her pieces and style a few different looks.

Eden is excited about her bracelets, rings, earrings and necklaces that are a part of her limited edition, original designs based on the pieces she has gathered over the years. Some great examples are her bug midi-rings and her Amor ring, which is cast in recycled 10k yellow gold with a warm rose tint, after a vintage ring found in Merida in the Yucatan Penninsula! More pieces are being added to the collection. She specializes in alternative engagement rings, not to mention customer service, with emphasis placed on the idea of repurposing and rediscovering the value of things once loved, giving them new purpose and new appeal.

The Eden Collective recently reached a milestone on Instagram, gaining 5k followers and is hosting a really great giveaway to celebrate. Up for grabs is a 10k gold Amor ring from Eden’s original designs collection. All you have to do to be entered is follow @theedencollective on Instagram, find the Giveaway photo and repost it, hashtag your entry #amor5000 and tag 3 friends! The contest ends at the end of this month!

Links to pieces featured above from my visit:

Rings:

14k yellow gold split shank antique Essex Crystal dog ring, Price: $1575

14k yellow gold oval onyx ring with rose cut diamond flower on top, Price: $850

14k yellow gold Victorian love knot coversion ring, Price: $585

10k yellow gold antique Australian boulder opal ring, Price: $495

10k yellow gold Victorian dendritic agate ring, Price: $275

10k yellow gold oval Turquoise conversion ring, Price: $475

14k rose/yellow gold Old Mine cut diamond engagement ring with side stones, Price: $1850

10k yellow gold onyx Odd Fellows foiled ring, Price: $425

10k yellow gold Victorian flower foiled carnelian ring, Price: $550

10k yellow gold Victorian turquoise cluster ring, Price: $425

Bracelet:

10k bi-color gold sweet Victorian flower bracelet, Price: $325

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Arik Kastan: New Designs, New Gemstone Combinations!

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Arik Kastan has been hard at work, designing and plotting their next move, and it’s a BIG one! The biggest and boldest designs yet, using the most sought after gemstones to date. Debuting in Las Vegas at the highly acclaimed Couture show last month, Arik Kastan and team are proud to give you the first official glimpse here and in your inbox this morning! (sign up at the bottom right corner of page)

What’s new?

New gemstone combinations:

Introducing Carnelian!

This semitransparent to opaque stone has an undeniable fiery orange color that is hard to not notice. We wanted to add a bold, pop of color and what better way to do it than introducing carnelian into the Arik Kastan lineup. Used in jewelry for over 3,000 years, we gave it a little modern flair by pairing it with turquoise. Carnelian is widely known for boosting courage and confidence and there’s no doubt our Arik Kastan pieces already do that on their own!

Smokey quartz paired with moonstone!

This combination gives a cool urban vibe with a color palette earthy and subdued. It will have you painting your nails in all shades of “nude” and easily transitioning to fall in no time! We’ve become obsessed and will gladly pass the torch. Smokey quartz is said to be very centering and can clear oneself of any negative vibes. Pair it with moonstone, which is known for aiding intuition and protection, and you’ve got your own winning team.

Turquoise paired with garnet!

A color combination quite frankly only seen in vintage and antique jewelry, we thought we had to bring back this deep, rich color combination! And the verdict is in–everyone is swooning over it. From editors, to stylists, and tastemakers alike, this is the hottest combo we’ve ever created. You’ll be sure to see it hitting your nearest Arik Kastan retailer soon. Turquoise is well known as a powerful healing stone and helps with self-acceptance. Paired with garnet, which is a powerful protecting stone, this combination has you feeling safe and looking gorgeous.

New designs:

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The “Mandala” ring:

Our inspiration for this new design brought together nature and the concept of spiritual wholeness. We created our own version of a Mandala, with a floral twist! Finishing it off with a bright gemstone pattern was fitting, with turquoise being our anchor color and accented that with colors of garnets for one design and carnelian for another. Garnets and turquoise gave off an antique vibe, so we decided on turquoise and carnelian for its boldness and newness. These circular rings represent a woman of today’s spiritual journey in a modern world.

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The “Nouvelle Marquise” ring:

Our navette-shaped rings have defined our brand and what better way to continue with our favorite silhouette than to recreate another version! This one holds nothing back–we’ve used a large turquoise cut in a marquise shape and decorated it with some rugged diamonds to give it the understated luxury feel. Bold enough to wear alone or amongst your everyday ring look, that is exactly what we were going for when designing this newest ring.

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Padlocks on dainty chains:

Arik Kastan’s signature padlocks are now available on thin chains, an addition that has made dainty jewelry lovers VERY happy! The new chain size allows for even more layering combinations and gives our beautiful vintage-inspired padlocks more prominence in the collection. So layer both the bold and the beautiful padlocks, with the delicate and intricate, for a dynamic look. Seeing all the fun, new arrangements everyone is creating has been delightful. Send us your Arik Kastan necklace look on Instagram, @arikkastan #arikkastan

>> See more at ArikKastan.com

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Six Gemstones You Might Not Know About But Should!

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With the goal in mind to give you a bigger dose of gemstone knowledge, we’ve teamed up with Amelia, who is also a Graduate Gemologist like myself, to provide some blog posts featuring gems. We are excited to have her on board and introduce her to all my readers. A little bit about Amelia:

Raised in Los Angeles and Woodstock, Amelia Kaminsky studied Russian literature and collage art at Hampshire College. After working in the fine art and jewelry industries in New York City, she went back to school to become a gemologist. A recent Nashville transplant, stay tuned for her Egyptian revival inspired jewelry line!

 

 

1. BIXBITE

Red Beryl

Mohs Hardness: 7.5 – 8

Refractive Index: 1.566 – 1.572

Specific Gravity: 2.66 – 2.70

Element: Earth

Chakras: Root, Heart

Where you can find it: Utah

Bixbite, also known as red beryl, is the rarest form of beryl and is found only in the Wah Wah Mountains of southwestern Utah. It was discovered by Maynard Bixby in 1897, and is often referred to as “red emerald” (emeralds are also a species of beryl). It’s beautiful and highly saturated raspberry red color comes from manganese and other trace elements within its crystal structure. It aids in all kinds of healing work, especially harmony and cooperation with others because it protects against negativity. Red beryl is an excellent stone for wedding or engagement jewelry because it stimulates passion, and nurtures affectionate, lasting love.

2. CARNELIAN

Carnelian Chalcedony

Mohs Hardness: 6.5 – 7

Refractive Index: 1.535 – 1.539

Specific Gravity: 2.60

Element: Fire

Chakras: Root, Sexual/Creative, Solar Plexus

Where you can find it: Brazil, India, and Uruguay

Named after the cornel cherry, carnelian is a light orange to dark reddish orange chalcedony. Chalcedonies are made up of quartz crystals that are too small to see with the unaided eye; this is called a cryptocrystalline aggregate. They are plentiful, semitransparent to opaque stones that are commonly used for carving and engraving, and have been used in jewelry for almost 3,000 years! Carnelian is an extremely warm and energizing stone, revitalizing the mind and body while stimulating creativity. It helps foster inner confidence and courage, and is especially helpful in aiding those who are looking to overcome difficulties or make positive life changes.

3. SUNSTONE

Sunstone Oligoclase Feldspar

Mohs Hardness: 6.5 – 7

Refractive Index: 1.539 – 1.547

Specific Gravity: 2.65

Element: Fire

Chakras: Sexual/Creative, Solar Plexus

Where you can find it: Oregon

There are many sunstone varieties, but I find Oregon sunstone to be the most spectacular. It’s a transparent feldspar with glittery copper inclusions called aventurescence, which create a reddish or golden sheen. This type of sunstone belongs to the species Oligoclase and is in the monoclinic crystal system. It’s a stone of light and energy, bringing luck and good fortune, assisting in the manifestation of prosperity and expanded self-awareness. Sunstone bestows strength, helping the wearer feel optimistic and enthusiastic.

4. WATERMELON TOURMALINE

Parti-colored Tourmaline

Mohs Hardness: 7 – 7.5

Refractive Index: 1.624 – 1.644

Specific Gravity: 3.06

Element: Water

Chakras: Heart

Where you can find it: Africa, Brazil, Russia, Sri Lanka, and United States

Tourmaline comes in just about every color, and while they all share the same basic crystal structure, each have somewhat different chemical and physical properties. They are allochromatic, which means trace amounts of various chemical elements cause its color. Generally, gem quality tourmalines are elbaites (comprised of sodium, lithium, aluminum, and on occasion copper) that form in pegmatites (an igneous rock where concentrated amounts of lithium of sodium are found). One of my personal favorites is watermelon tourmaline, also called parti-colored, which gets its name from its strong pink and green color zoning. Watermelon tourmaline is a stone of harmony, creativity, and love that assists in calming the mind and wild emotions. It works with the heart chakra to cleanse and remove blockages, as well as balance yin and yang energies. Watermelon tourmaline is also an excellent stone for connecting with nature and mother earth.

5. TANZANITE

Tanzanite Zoisite

Mohs Hardness: 6.5 – 7

Refractive Index: 1.691 – 1.700

Specific Gravity: 3.35

Element: Wind

Chakras: Heart, Throat, Third Eye, Crown, Soul Star

Where you can find it: Tanzania

In 1967, a Masai tribesman came across transparent blue crystals in the Merelani Hills of Northern Tanzania and showed them to a local fortune hunter thinking they were sapphires. By 1969, they had been identified as a new variety of zoisite, a mineral consisting of silica, calcium and aluminum and shortly thereafter Tiffany & Co. named it “Tanzanite”. Known for its strong trichroism, appearing blue, violet, and purplish red or colorless when observed at different angles, Tanzanite is usually brown if left untreated. In fact, 95% of all tanzanite on the market today was heat treated to improve its color! Tanzanite aligns the heart and mind, creating balance and harmony. Particularly effective when worn as jewelry, it helps the wearer feel more grounded and centered, preventing them from dwelling on emotional stresses.

6. CHAROITE

Mohs Hardness: 5 – 6

Refractive Index: 1.550 – 1.559

Specific Gravity: 2.68

Where you can find it: Russia

Element: Wind

Chakras: Root, Solar Plexus, Third Eye, Crown, Soul Star, Earthstar

Named after the Chara River in Siberia, Charoite is a rare silicate mineral discovered in 1940, but unknown to the outside world until 1978. Although a relatively new gemstone, it is often described as having an unnatural beauty; it’s distinct purple body color and swirling fibrous inclusions with sheen have led some to question whether it’s been enhanced or synthesized. Charoite is a stone of transformation, dispelling negative energy while summoning restorative energy. It promotes protection and healing, aiding in powerful dreams.

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