Ten Facts You Didn’t Know About Gem Gossip

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Above features every “logo” aka Banner I’ve had over the past nine years, from first inception until now. The evolution shows the progression and most recently we dropped our tagline which we’ve had since day one.

With each passing July, I sit and ponder the beginnings of my blog Gem Gossip–all that it has done and accomplished, and all the potential that lies ahead. It was nine years ago that I first started this website with the sole purpose of connecting with others that love jewelry as much as I do. I never imagined that I would be doing this full-time nine years later and creating my own path. And I have YOU to thank for all this–those who read my blog daily, follow my social media accounts, “like” my photos and send encouraging emails. Thank you. You truly don’t know what it means to me and I’m forever grateful.

To celebrate this year, I’m reminiscing like crazy and sharing with you some facts you might not have known about Gem Gossip! I thought this would be a fun and personal blog post, and I’d love to hear some interesting tidbits regarding YOU and Gem Gossip. Does a blog post stick out in your memory? How did you find or stumble upon my blog? Did I help you out in a way that I don’t know about? I’d love to know! You can email me, write it in the comments below, or share on Instagram–I’ll be posting this on there as well.

PS: There will also be a giveaway coming up, but I have to hit 160k followers on Instagram first, so stay tuned!

The Facts:

1. I started my blog as a result of moving to Tennessee–after uprooting from the only house I had ever lived in my whole life in Upstate NY to TN, I had a lot of time on my hands. I had no job, no car (I sold my car because I didn’t want to drive it 11 hours by myself lol), and knew no one in my new town. I finally decided to invest my time and energy into learning about my biggest passion I had been carrying around with me my whole life–JEWELRY!

2. I was in a long distance relationship at the time I started Gem Gossip. It was because of my ex-boyfriend who suggested I should start a blog about jewelry after I had constantly filled his inbox daily with long hyperlinks of jewelry that I thought was “really cool.” He told me he didn’t care about the jewelry and that I needed an outlet to share my passion with others who felt the same way!

3. The name “Gem Gossip” was conceived after a brainstorm session with my sisters on what to name my future jewelry blog. I knew I couldn’t have my URL be daniellemiele.com because NO ONE knows how to pronounce my last name. It had to be catchy, simple, relate to jewelry and easy to say. I was looking at my sister’s fashion magazines and saw one of the actresses from Gossip Girl on the front cover (that show was the most popular around that time). I whispered aloud, “Gossip Gem” … and then “Gem Gossip” and it all clicked!

4. One of my first emails I’ve ever received from a jewelry designer was from Carolyn Tyler, after I had featured some of her work on my brand new blog. Her email was so encouraging and the excitement that I felt from receiving positive feedback was worth more than gold to me in that moment. I will never forget that kind exchange.

5. On the flipside of that, I’ve received several negative emails over the past nine years. One that called me Southern white trash (I’m from NY, so nice try) and a few that poked fun of my features that included photos of me modeling jewelry. This is both alarming on many levels but also quite comical, in my opinion.

6. The first seven years of writing Gem Gossip were all done part-time on weekends or after work. I was a nanny for the very first year and a half when I moved to Tennessee, and then eventually worked full-time at an antique jewelry store for five years. I would sit behind a microscope Tuesday through Saturday, with a pile of jewelry in a room without windows and crank out appraisals…and then come home bursting with creative energy, not wanting to do anything else except work on my blog.

7. One of my first big writing gigs was for LoveGold–I had no idea at the time how much I would learn in such a positive way from the 2 1/2 years of working with them. I produced exactly 100 pieces of exclusive content for LoveGold and traveled thousands of miles. And I still can’t get enough of yellow gold.

8. I once had a meeting with a very prestigious celebrity stylist. After learning I lived in Nashville she asked me about my love of country music. I told her I hated country music and she kept saying, “So you don’t like Taylor Swift? Not even Taylor Swift??” and I was adamant about not liking Taylor Swift. It was then and there that I realized I could have easily changed my answer to better fit our conversation; for her to “like” me. But I didn’t. I am who I am and I’m not changing for anyone. It is a memory that still sticks with me to this day…and it was with me a few weeks ago when I had some big meetings in NYC.

9. My #JewelryRoadTrip project involves a lot of travel, appointment making and on-the-spot creativity when visiting stores and designers’ work spaces. My husband Matt usually is the photographer behind all my #JewelryRoadTrip features but there was one big trip he couldn’t make–all my Pennsylvania coverage. My mom ended up coming along with me and taking all the photos. She was SO nervous and wanted to do a good job. I think she did great and it is still such a memorable trip for both of us. It was one of the first literal road trips where we drove my Prius up from Nashville and across the entire state of Pennsylvania over the course of four days. My car surpassed the 100k mileage mark on that trip and we celebrated by eating Arby’s (my favorite road trip fast food place…wait, maybe I am white trash?? See #5).

10. One of my most proud moments was being a co-curator at the Doyle & Doyle Vault series, where the NYC-based antique jewelry store put on their version of a month-long museum exhibition. I chose the topic of Sentimental Rings and several of my personal pieces, including my grandparents’ wedding bands and my grandma’s engagement ring were a part of the exhibit. In order for her ring to get to me, my grandma had to mail me her beloved ring. We both were so nervous for this feat–I had been tracking the package every step of the way. On the day of delivery, it was pouring rain. My alerts told me it had been delivered at my doorstep, but it was nowhere to be found. I was having a full-on panic attack over this. I ran outside in the rain in search of the package. To my surprise, it was sitting on the stoop of my neighbor a few doors down from me. It wasn’t just any neighbor…it was our neighbor that we were in a fully committed “poop war” with. What could I possibly mean by this? Well his dog would go to the bathroom in our yard almost daily…so my husband would take the dog poop and put it on their porch. Dumbest thing ever, but we were totally into it at the time lol. I grabbed the package off their porch and ran back home. That day ended the “poop war” and they moved shortly afterward, so all crisis averted. (By the way, my grandma’s Italian handwriting is the reason for the incorrect delivery–insert Italian hand gesture meaning WTF).

xoxoGemGossip

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Vegas Prep: Interview with Marion Fasel of The Adventurine

Marion Fasel -- The Adventurine Marion Fasel | Gem Gossip Marion Fasel | Gem Gossip Marion Fasel | Gem Gossip Marion Fasel | Gem Gossip Marion Fasel | Gem Gossip Marion Fasel | Gem Gossip Marion Fasel | Gem Gossip Marion Fasel | Gem Gossip Marion Fasel | Gem Gossip Marion Fasel | Gem Gossip

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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Q & A with Dover Jewelry, A Leader in Antique & Estate Jewelry

Dover Jewelry | Gem Gossip Dover Jewelry has been my go-to spot for all things antique and estate jewelry since my very first purchase online EVER involving jewelry! If you don’t believe me, just read the blog post I wrote about the white gold, sapphire eternity band that I bought from Dover way back in 2008. That post was the second blog post written on GemGossip.com so it is ancient! 😉 The next blog post I wrote featured a diamond bypass ring that I fell in love with from Dover which gave me my original love and inspiration for my antique engagement ring. You can see the post here. It’s funny how rough and dicey those first few months of blogging were, but I was just starting out…trying to find my voice.

It is evident that Dover Jewelry has been on my radar for a very long time and their excellence in the jewelry industry reaches far beyond my eight years blogging, in fact Dover Jewelry has been in bussiness for over 25 years. Their collection and inventory exceeds all expectations and is constantly growing. I had to know more about this company, so I asked five important questions–hope you enjoy the interview!

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Our fascination with antique jewelry began in a small antique store, tucked away in one of Boston’s most affluent suburbs. And as reputations grow, so did ours – Dover Jewelry was the place to find that special piece, that necklace never duplicated in any of Boston’s most glamorous ballrooms or select intimate parties. Boston, the place of our roots, was good to us and we loved the city as we became increasingly more recognized and trusted amongst the “Bean Town” Elite. But, as our businesses became more and more successful, the draw of Miami’s exploding International Celebrity loomed on our horizon. No place was there more of a demand for beauty, craftsmanship and value. We could not ignore the force that drew us to the gateway of Latin America, and a center point of Fashion excellence like that of Downtown Miami. It was a decision that swept us upward and onward to international markets, exquisite finds and an ever increasing and appreciative clientele.

Dover Jewelry | Gem Gossip

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Dover is based in the heart of Miami’s diamond district, where our expert Jewelry staff maintains a passion for the rare and exceptional. We pride ourselves in our extensive knowledge and expertise of current market values of precious stones and metals around the globe. Growing our formidable team of over 15 employees provides the quality support and premium service our clients deserve. Our in-house Master Jeweler, GIA gemologist, videographers, selling professionals, globally procured buyers and experienced customer service team in the jewelry industry strive to provide our clients with a singular purchasing experience, 100% personal attention and satisfaction.

Dover Jewelry | Gem Gossip Dover Jewelry | Gem Gossip Dover Jewelry | Gem Gossip

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Dover Jewelry procures an extensive collection of unique estate items, retailing in excess of over 300 pieces per week. This rigorous turnover, allows our globally sourced team of buyers to allocate a steady selection of fresh and rare collections. From the halls of the most infamous trade shows in Miami, NY, and Las Vegas to the Grandest exhibitions in Hong Kong, Basel, France and Latin America.

Closer to home, we have the privilege of welcoming the most treasured collections from local families and celebrities who are looking for an unsurpassed level of discrete estate buying and evaluations. Those who have decided it’s time to pass their rare jewels along to someone who will love and cherish them as much as they once did.

Dover_Show Me Your Rings

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On one memorable occasion we were asked to go to New York to meet an elderly lady who had acquired a fabulous collection of fine gems dating back to her great grandmother. As with many immigrants at that time, escaping persecution from their Russian Homeland, any valuables were immediately confiscated and yet her grandmother knew that the survival of herself and her lineage was incumbent upon these precious gems which were sewn into their jacket linings in hopes of surviving the long migration to America.

Slowly, and with the supervision of our gemology team, we have been able to guide her on the most lucrative times to liquidate her collection in order to safeguard her heirs fortune, as did her great grandmother.

Dover Jewelry | Gem Gossip

This magnificent rare diamond antique brooch is handcrafted in solid 18k gold with a silver top. A fabulous composition of some 109 round old european cut diamonds approx. 7.00 cttw, G-H color, almost all VS clarity and 3 pinkish white natural pearls, approx. 5.5mm in diameter.

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It is difficult to say what sets us apart – perhaps it is our extensive search for true Antique and Estate Fine Jewels which is an expertise in itself. We revel in the craftsmanship and the flawless stones that distinguish the magnificent from the ordinary. And best of all is the value in which our buyers or sellers receive for their items.

To find those original rare items – that have been the basis for mass reproduction with other jewelers, requires a vast education in gemology, antique periods and the ability to instill trust beyond reproach with our customers. Dover Jewelry maintains the integrity, and “one on one” service of a fine locally based boutique establishment, coupled with global connections to service our customers in a worldwide marketplace.

Whether you are in the market for rare jewels, or a treasured memory of something your grandmother once wore, our collection represents a walk through the history of jewelry from the lacy, floral scrolls of the Edwardian period to the geometric cuts that characterize Art Deco baubles. Loyalty to these fine vintage pieces is often passed down through generations of a family, symbolizing a way of life and it is just that kind of enduring heirloom that is proving its worth in our collection today.

One of the great joys of fine jewelry is that the very best materials are completely timeless and although old jewels have been locked away in banks and boxes, we all know tangible treasures are far more fascinating. With this in mind, we invite you to experience our glittering array of antique gems. Not only to be viewed, but more importantly to be tried on, loved and brought sparkling back to life!

Dover Jewelry | Gem Gossip

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Dover Jewelry.

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Jewelry Collection Stories: Elizabeth Doyle of Doyle & Doyle

doyles meatpacking gems eliz fox ring1a a-eliz lockets1 Elizabeth Doyle Personal Collection >Sept. 24 2015 Presentation copy Elizabeth Doyle Personal Collection 2 Sept. 24 2015 Presentation Elizabeth Doyle Personal Collection 3 Elizabeth Doyle Personal Collection5

It all started with a love of jewelry–a similar beginning to a lot of collectors’ stories, but this passion was deeper, stronger and life-changing for Elizabeth Doyle. Add another sister to the mix–Pamela Doyle–and you’ve got yourself the most kick-ass sister duo to hit the antique jewelry scene. I’ve been a fan of their NYC-based jewelry store Doyle & Doyle since I first got into antique jewelry and getting a chance to meet and work with both sisters was a dream come true last year. Sharing Elizabeth’s favorite pieces from her personal collection is like unlocking a vault filled with years of travel and collecting, featuring pieces spanning several decades.

Elizabeth says, “For those of us who collect jewelry, looking through our collections is like looking through a scrap book. When I laid out my jewels to decide what to include in this exhibition, it was a flood of memories and emotions. Each piece marks an important event in my life, and they are all so varied. I have my baby bracelet engraved with my name. I can’t remember receiving it or ever wearing it, but nonetheless it is a prized memento of my childhood. Then there is my baby tooth necklace. It was designed (and sketched) by my son when he was five. The necklace is set with both his and his sister’s first lost baby teeth. They are, to me, the most precious and irreplaceable gems. Some pieces represent a turning point in my life (my ruby ring that was the first piece I was able to keep for myself from Doyle & Doyle) or even the moment when I learned something new and developed a new appreciation (my memento mori and mourning rings). For me, jewelry is a way to remember, a way to learn, a way to communicate, and a way to celebrate.”

The exhibit featuring pieces from her personal collection happened a week ago, but if you’re like me and don’t live in the NYC area, fear not! No need to feel like you missed out–above are some of the pieces that were on display at this enchanting event, all from Elizabeth’s personal collection with descriptions in tow. I love how every piece carries such meaning and is rooted in her life, even though the piece itself has an unknown past, it has a present with her.

If you’d like the full PDF featuring Elizabeth’s personal collection which was on display, feel free to email info@doyledoyle.com

To read about our collaboration from last year, click here.

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Six reasons we are not making money selling jewelry

How many of you (jewelry makers & sellers) have had great success selling jewelry this year?I do understand that success is very subjective term – so lets say success means good profits.

How many of you (jewelry makers & sellers) have had great success selling jewelry this year?
I do understand that success is very subjective term – so lets say success means good profits. From what I have been hearing in jewelry circles, friends, forums – both locally and internationally and going through my own accounts I can safely say that currently not many sellers are making great profits; some people are just breaking even, some havent sold anything this summer.

“This calls to question, reasons, why we aren’t making as much MONEY as we would like to make ”

This article in a funny, slightly sarcastic style attempts to take a hard look at the factors affecting jewelry sales and why we are not making as much money as we would like to make and if possible, how to rectify it. Read on!

Six reasons we aren't making money selling jewelry and how to change it

Six reasons we aren’t making money selling jewelry

and how to change it

#1: Economy – Ya ya money is tight, but economy today isnt very different from how it was 6 months back or 1 year back. Maybe, people spend more in the festive season rather than in the summer months, but does that mean that designers should scrap their summer lines and work only towards the festive season? No, we find other ways to make it work. We could run courses and teach people. We study the seasons and understand what they are are looking for in that period – Most people are vacationing in summer and are looking to buy Souvenirs, can you perhaps capture that market?

#2: Competition – too many cooks!!
Haven’t we all heard of the term, too many cooks, spoil the broth. It works well for the jewelry scene too. I remember a time when there were hardly 1-2 people in a city (in India) making good Designer costume jewelry. But now you can find one in every street. Also with the advent of Social media marketing using Facebook and instagram, Coat-Tailing happens all the time, where designers simply copy one another as soon as a style becomes a trend, thereby sending the Fashion cycle (that kept us sane all these years) for a toss. Teaching jewelry making which used to be a lucrative business a couple of years back is also on the decline due to too many folks teaching without really having any mastery over the craft. So what to do? Refer Point Three – Innovate!!

how to make innovative jewelry

#3 Lack of Innovation
3.1: Wrong products
Fashion is cyclical, meaning that what goes out of fashion today comes back once again. But that doesn’t mean that you keep selling the same product till it comes back in trend. Learn to read and understand forecasts and Keep up with the trends. Learn to separate personal likes and dislikes from your vision for the brand. If you design only based on what you like, you’ll be the only person wearing them. Understand what your clientele wants and design based on their requirements in your style. Make sure that your products are upto the mark and that the customers get a wee bit more than what they pay for. There is simply no excuse for having a bad or undesirable product.
3.2: Same old, Same old!
Yes, its good to have a unique selling proposition (USP) for your brand but it doesnt mean that you sell the same products, designs and concepts over and over again.People buy fashion products not based on needs, but wants, so boring old last season’s products drives them away. the way to create interest in your products is to constantly Innovate, make something new, original, that people cannot find elsewhere. They will come to you and buy from you. Do remember that new and unique doesn’t mean strange or weird, it still has to be desirable to your audience

how to price your jewelry

#4: Not Pricing it right
By Pricing a piece low, you can bring in a sale but it will hurt your chances in the long term. It is very difficult to reset your prices particularly when dealing with regular customers who will compare what you charged ‘last year’ or ‘two years back’ for that gorgeous piece they bough to what you charge now for a simpler design. You cannot antagonise them by arguing about branding, design, competition or inflation as they are the backbone of your business. However you must raise your prices slowly, yet steadily to make a profit. Therein lies your challenge.

#5 Wrong target market
Have you paused to consider who is your target market? Does it comprises of young stay at home moms in the age group of 25-35 or does it cater to teenagers? Is a corporate go-getter your ideal client or are you looking for potential brides to buy your jewelry? Everyone loves to design for the 18-24 segment as they are the most experimental in nature, but can they spend as much as 30 yr olds who have strong careers with good salaries? If you are stuck in this rut of not knowing who your clientele is, think again.Who said 50+ women don’t experiment? I can proudly say that a majority of my clients belong to the 40-65 age group. These are strong, gorgeous women who know what they want and don’t need permission or approval to look the way they want to. So pause for a moment and think, Who is your client?

how to sell your jewelry

#6 Last but not the least -You are not selling them! Duh!!
If you only create products and store them away safely in your cupboards, you simply will not make money. I am guilty of making this mistake as selling is not my forte. But to make money we need to sell and sell hard. Let friends and family know that you sell your designs. Keep your social media pages updated. I often get mails from readers of this blog on how to sell jewelry and where and how do I sell. There is no secret recipe my friends, I sell wherever possible, whenever possible. I have sold at trunk shows, jewelry parties, during festivals and family gatherings, at work, online, fairs and exhibitions. Sometimes I sell as lot and at other times I don’t. One simple trick I follow on social media is to write “For sale” as a caption on every piece that I have for sale. It removes ambiguity around the availability of the product and helps me sell more.

 

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Two Jewelry Designers Take-On Tucson Gem Show 2015

AGTA - Montana Sapphires AGTA - SAPP PARCELS Pueblo - Crystal Room Pueblo - Quartz Crystals GIGM - labordorite  GWL - Separtian Nodules GWL - faceted rosecuts large! Pueblo - Spanish Coral Room GIGM - Watermelon Slices GJX - ROUGH AFRICA Pueblo - ROugh copy GJX - Fantasy AQUA CUT AGTA - AMYTHEST NECK GJX - Fantasy Cuts

This year, instead of getting down knowing that the Tucson Gem Show and the Miami Antique Jewelry Show were nearly the same week, I made sure the fun gem hunting excitement was covered by some jewelry friends! First, we had Lori Leven do an Instagram Takeover while in Tucson, now we have a fun gem story featuring Chelsey Kantor and Jane Pope, both jewelry designers who decided to make the trip to Arizona together. Their insights are candid glimpses from a first-timer and second-timer checking out this legendary massive exhibition. If you are planning on going, this will be a great read to help plan your trip!

Take it away, Chelsey & Jane:

The Tucson Gem Show feels like the center of the gemstone and jewelry world. It is totally overwhelming, beautiful and inspiring. As we were told on our first day there – this is “heaven for pirates.” Gearing up for the show we did a bit of research. There is a list of over 30 shows on the Tucson Gem Show website! These happen all over the city. We knew of the main shows for wholesale only and then asked some friends who have been going for many years for some hints on what they recommend as “must-sees.” In 3 days we made it to only 7 shows! But with hundreds of vendors in each show we saw a lot!!!

DAY ONE:

Our first day was at the G&LW. This show is actually 2 shows in one – the holidome and the gem mall. It feels like a mini city on it’s own, composed of huge tents (and I mean like football field big!). There are all sorts of vendors – from finished jewelry, to parts, to pearls, to minerals, to fossils, to cuts stones of all shapes and sizes and beads! Do not forget the beads!! Sooo many beads!! We looked at a bunch of vendors…I was looking for turquoise and some cool new non precious stones and discovered Septaian Nodules! These are super cool concretions formed 50 – 70 million years ago, sort of like fossilized mud cracks, but actually the way they are formed is a mystery. Sometimes they are known as Dragon’s Stone. Jane was on the hunt for a bridesmaid earring and some pearls. She found some amazing faceted rose cut labadorite and sapphire sets for her bride to pick from.

At the end of day we had a burst of energy and decided to hit up one of the public shows, the Pueblo Gem & Mineral Show which is at a hotel. There are vendors set up in the courtyards, parking lots and inside hotel rooms. It has much more of a funky treasure hunt vibe! Your never know what you might see in the next room. There were giant crystals (like 7 foot tall Amethyst) and a room filled entirely with glowing quartz crystal balls the size of a ginormous balloon. There were crystal skulls and lamps and bathroom sets. An interior designer would probably go nuts here! There were also venders with rough and cut gem material. So fun to the crystals as they are grown by Mother Nature.

DAY TWO:

Our second day was big – tackle AGTA and GJX, the premier shows for designers and jewelers. Both have very strict entry policies and it’s no wonder–they are filled with top dealers in the world! The AGTA show (American Gem and Trade Association) is located at the Tucson Convention Center. There is a section for tools and a section for gems; they also display the year’s Spectrum Award winners. This is the place for lust-worthy gems. Tons of mega-sized diamonds and colored stones. There are also lots of melee, sapphire and diamonds! Both Jane and I bought gray diamonds to use! We looked at some beautiful Montana sapphires; they come in a wide range of blue, green, yellow and oranges, mostly small sizes and are still mined in Montana. We stumbled upon some huge Emeralds, a little bigger than our budgets this year.

As an added bonus there were some major fan girl moments–seeing some of my favorite designers like Ted Mulehing and Christian Hemmerle.

GJX (Gem and Jewelry Exchange) is right across the street and has some more variety with finished jewelry, gemstones, gem carvings and rough stones. The highlight is definitely the fantasy cut gemstones and Idar-Oberstein section. Idar-Oberstein is German town world renown for their lapidary work for over the last 200 years. We saw some amazing specimens, including the jaw dropping Paraiba cabochon and massive fantasy cut Aquamarine. There was also some beautiful tourmaline and topaz rough from African dealers and Jane found a gorgeous Emerald for a special project. We also discovered a gem called Diaspore. Mined now only in Bauxite, Turkey it is unique and rare color-changing gem, light-green in daylight and pinkish-orange in incandescent light.

DAY THREE:

Our third day was spent doing a little more exploring. We stopped by the JCK show and enjoyed the desert scenery up in the hills outside the main downtown. The JCK show is filled with beautiful jewelry collections from designers all over the world, not really our market but we were definitely inspired.

The last stop was The GIGM or Howard Johnson Gem Show – it’s of course at a Howard Johnson. Similar to the Pueblo show, the parking lots, courtyards and rooms are filled with lively vendors. There were more huge mineral specimens and tons of rough gems – crates of large black tourmaline chunks and steel drums of little rough aquamarine crystals. Plus fossilized Ammonites made into sinks and soap dishes, florescent pink and purple dyed geodes and the best rough and polished Labradorite chunks. We found the most delightful Brazilian stone dealer, who cuts beautiful Watermelon Tourmaline slices! Our bags were a bit heavier on the way home but we left wanting more and discussing plans for us next year!!

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Book Review – Fabulous Woven Jewelry

Ever since I started to work full time this year, I have lost my mojo to create jewelry collections.

Ever since I started to work full time this year, I have lost my mojo to create jewelry collections. Other than the knicks knacks I have been making for myself, I havent really done much (excepting a very small collection of leather and paper necklaces coming your way real soon).
The main reason for this slack, as per my self realisation is that I dont know what to do next. This was until I chanced upon some books on jewelry in my college library and I was transported to a whole new world that I never knew existed. One book that made such an impact on me was – Fabulous Woven Jewelry by Mary Hettmansperger.

Mary is a fiber artist who studied arts at the Indiana university and took a liking to making baskets. Exhibitions of her baskets slowly led her to experimenting with jewelry combining fiber and metal to create one of a kind pieces. In this book, she takes her readers on a journey – starting with her roots, through the materials she loves and uses; to the ideas that led to the creation of some of her unique products. Her work is couture, leaning towards Avant Garde but it is also a good example how such avant garde ideas and techniques can be used to create unique wearable pieces. Do check out Mary Hettmansperger work at her site

Materials Page

The book is divided into 8 chapters, with one chapter each on Plaiting, Twining, Looping, Knotting and Coiling. It begins with 2 detailed chapters on materials, tools and equipments detailing the kind of materials that are generally used in both basketry (like reed, raffia, black ash) and in jewelry making (like beads, wire and found objects). She also includes cord, thread and sheet metal in her description. Her tools section examine the different tools that it required to create these one of a kind pieces. Most tools recommended are basic, easy to find and inexpensive – something that we would already have in our tool box. Though this book is aimed at intermediate to expert jewelry makers, the first two chapters make it easy for beginners and amateurs to get into the groove.

Variations of the projects listed

Before I go into the details of projects listed in this book, I feel that I should answer a very important question – Who is this book for? In my opinion this book is for 3 types of people
1. Fine art or design students – who are looking for not just inspiration but also new techniques to explore
2. Mixed media jewelry or exhibition artists who are looking to add new skills to their repertoire and people like me who are asking – “What’s next?”
3. Textile or fiber artists who want to transition to making jewelry

This book is not meant for people who want to sell every piece they make and thereby want simple and easy to make and easy to sell ideas as these projects are very different and might not be accepted or worn by the traditional audience. This book, in my humble opinion is also not meant for people who have a difficult time translating abstract concepts but for those who could adapt alternate techniques to suit their needs

The reason I am stating this clearly is that I found many negative reviews for this book on various online book sites but I really liked it and was kind of surprised at those reviews. Yes the title could be misleading – the book is not about woven jewelry alone and it also has basketry projects. That’s when I understood that the book is targeted at a niche and is not for mass acceptance.

Example pages – Techniques and step by step tutorials

 

My favourite projects from the book

So why do I like this book?

– There are a wide variety of techniques used, some I am aware of and some very new to me which is super exciting.
– The book has both figures and photographs in the tutorials which is a huge plus for, I simply cant understand figures and I know many people prefer them to photographs
– She gives us many variations of one technique showcasing different takes on the same process
– The last chapter of the book showcases a gallery of stunning pieces that are very inspirational
– Last but not the least Mary not only shows us beginning techniques but also how to finish pieces and end cords that so many tutorials miss out on

Gallery Page

Book Details

Title: Fabulous Woven Jewelry: Plaiting, Coiling, Knotting, Looping & Twining with Fiber & Metal
Author: Mary Hettmansperger

Publisher: Lark Books NC
Publication date: 1/28/2006
Editor: Katherine Duncan Aimone
Copyright : Mary Hettmansperger and Lark Books


Summing up, This is not a new book, its been around for a while but it gives a very interesting take on what jewelry is. I highly recommend it to people who are interested in working with a range of materials and incorporating new techniques in their work. My only issue with the book is that its available at vastly different prices online (from $18 to $250) that makes me question my sanity. If you happen to find it in a book store or a website like Amazon with a good price grab it with both hands. I also recommend that you follow Fabulous Woven Jewelry book with Jewellery Using Textiles Techniques by Sarah Keay (Another super amazing book)

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Doyle & Doyle Presents, THE VAULT series featuring Gem Gossip

Sentimental Rings (1)

Some exciting news! Doyle & Doyle‘s latest creation, THE VAULT, an ongoing series of exhibitions of curated collections around a theme, has chosen myself as co-collaborator of their next installation! Both myself and the Doyle sisters have worked closely coming up with a theme and choosing the pieces that will be featured. The theme is Sentimental Rings, with pieces that fall within five categories – Birth & Childhood, Memento, Love Token, Courting & Marriage and Death & Mourning. I am so excited to see all the pieces in one place, both from Doyle & Doyle and my own personal collection.

This event will appeal to jewelry connoisseurs and insiders since it is showcasing some very interesting and rare pieces with the intellectual theme of “Sentimental Jewels” as it’s reflected through historical periods and pieces. The exhibit will run from October 9th to November 9th, with a private preview party on on Wednesday, October 8th at Doyle & Doyle, located in NYC’s meatpacking district.

Please join us as we unveil this showcase of rings–send me an email, there is limited space for the private preview party, but I would love to try and get everyone in!! Would love to meet you all!!

Details:

THE VAULT:

Sentimental Rings- From Birth to Death and In-between
October 9th – November 9th
Doyle & Doyle
412 West 13th Street
New York, NY 10014

Source: GossipGem.com

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Why You Should Buy Handmade Jewellery

Why should we buy handmade products, particularly handmade Jewelry? Or why do we buy them?

Why should we buy handmade products, particularly handmade Jewelry? Or why do we buy them? Is it because we want to own customised or niche products, or do we want to promote crafts as an industry? Is it because handmade is “in”? Neena of Caprilicious Jewellery , a NRI who has had a long love affair with jewellery, is here with us JewelsofSayuri to talk about her passion for jewelry and all things handmade. She understands that women need a varied diet of jewelry to match their moods, just the one style simply wouldn’t do.
Over to you Neena….

…. I am passionate about handmade. I buy, make, sell and wear handmade jewelry. People often look at the price and ask why each piece is more expensive than something they can buy in a large department store, or something produced en masse in a factory in the Far East, and why I bother to make jewelry in the first place. This post attempts to answer these questions.

I come from a fairly conservative Indian family in Bangalore, where the word jewelry is synonymous with gold and precious stones – I was allowed to buy silver bits and bobs by my mother as a young girl. She thought they were junk – and now I want to make jewelry out of polymer clay, which, let’s face it is a kind of plastic (shock, horror!!), wire, resin, sari fibres, and all sorts of found objects – nothing is rejected and everything is grist to my mill. My poor mother is finding my new found passion very difficult to understand

I noticed one girl at my last exhibition in Bangalore – she came with her mother in law who asked in a stage whisper – ‘Is this silver?? Then why is it so expensive’??
In actual fact, my prices are not high – but the perception is that it is not gold jewelry, so one should pay junk prices for it.


Each piece I make is about the time and effort that goes into it, it is about the skills I spend hours acquiring and honing, the magic that is sparked by my imagination without me being aware of when This generation of contemporary women are used to buying gold and silver, but are now coming over the idea of buying other stuff too, as long as it is stylish and how it happens, the love and care I take to ensure that the piece fits right, sits right and makes you look stylish and cool in your piece of one-of- a- kind jewellery. I have had to learn to take good pictures, IT skills to write and update my website, to engage with social media, and to write a weekly blog which is a dynamic and growing online history of my development as a jewellery designer/maker and a portfolio of my work. And this is all once I come home from my day job as a gynaecologist.


Buying handmade is a celebration of a community that puts a lot of love and effort into producing what is to us our ‘progeny’ – it is fabulous when you ‘like’ our photographs on Facebook – but when someone pays us the huge compliment of actually liking a product enough to put money down for it – that is the ultimate, fantastic buzz, and that’s what keeps us doing what we do best to make you happy – a win win situation!

Each piece is different, as unique as you who wear it, and me, the maker, and nobody else will have one. Handmade ensures that prices are not artificially lowered by bulk buying and scrimping by using cheap raw materials. Bargain priced mass produced goods are more likely to be cheap tat that has a very short life span.
Giving a handmade gift to your loved ones shows that you cared enough to have spent time on picking out a gift as individual as they are.
Your piece of handmade jewelry glows with the positive energy from the love that has been put into making it – a gift from the ‘handmade’ community to you.

About the Author

1-DSC_5041-001-1 copy.jpgNeena Shilvock is a Consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist by day and jewelry maker by night from Warwickshire (UK). She set up Caprilicious Jewellery ( Delicious Jewellery For The Capricious Woman) three years ago and her aim is to bring handmade statement fusion jewellery with a multitude of styles (one simply wouldn’t do!) that is affordable, contemporary, and cosmopolitan to her clients and to have a lot of fun while doing so. You can find her on Facebook too at Caprilicious Jewellery


[||||Thanks to:jewelsofsayuri blog|Special thanks to:jewelsofsayuri blog|Greetings to:jewelsofsayuri blog |Source: jewelsofsayuri|More at:jewelsofsayuri blog|

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Cycles of Life, Rings from the Benjamin Zucker Family Collection

1.c.damboise_f1_m 6.rothschild-diamond1-l 6.rothschild-diamond2-l 3.92-medieval-sapphire2-l 5.calendar1-l 4.226-mementomori-l 9.roman-ring-with-greek-inscription_l 14.gold-ring-with-hand-holding-a-heart_l 15.mourning-ring-of-lieutenant-colonel-thomas_l

Selected from the private collection of one of today’s leading gem dealers, experts, and connoisseurs, this exhibition of over 40 exceptional, museum-quality rings on view and for sale will detail the enduring allure of certain styles, settings, gems, and cutting techniques. Spanning from the 3rd century A.D. through to the later part of the 19th century each ring has its own story. Renowned for its breadth and depth in precious colored stones and diamonds, most of the Benjamin Zucker Family Collection has been on loan to the Walters Art Museum since 1985. Celebrating the timeless allure of rings as symbols of power, prestige, passion, and personal identity, many of these superb selections boast sterling provenances, including the de Clercqs and the Rothschilds.

Organized around themes encompassing the cycles of life from birth to death, the vast array of styles on display will include:

• Signet rings ranging from the 3rd-17th centuries

• Ancient Roman friendship and engagement rings

• Medieval Posy rings

• Renaissance and Baroque wedding rings

• Jewish marriage rings from the 17th-19th centuries

• Memorial and Memento Mori rings from the 17th-19th centuries

 

Exhibit is held at Les Enluminures NY from October 31 – December 6, 2014.

LES ENLUMINURES
23 East 73rd Street, 7th Floor, Penthouse
New York, NY 10021
tel +1 212 717 7273
Opening Hours: Mondays to Saturdays 10 AM to 6 PM

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