Q & A and Visit with Raquel Alonso Perez of Harvard’s Museum of Natural History

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My very last stop while in Boston, hours before my flight took off, I had planned the best parting gift–a visit to Harvard University’s Museum of Natural History! Sounds dreamy, right?! Well it is and then some. An entire room filled with thousands of minerals and gems is open to the public on Harvard’s campus, and Raquel Alonso Perez was there to give me a full tour, including some majorly fun behind-the-scenes stuff. I honestly think my one-on-one time with Raquel had taught me more in one hour than my entire Freshman year at college! I didn’t want to leave! I got to hold pieces of gold that came out of the ground looking like sculptures, play with rough diamonds, see some incredible gemstones, and the highlight of my day was getting to spend some time with the Hamlin Necklace–rare and notable because of its gigantic tourmalines it showcases, which are all from the same mine in Maine!

Raquel’s hospitality, warmth and passion to share with me what she does at the Mineralogical & Geological Museum was accepted with much gratitude and I had so much fun! Here’s some insight into what Raquel does, illustrated with photos from my visit! Enjoy!

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I serve as the Curator of the Mineralogical and Geological Museum (MGMH). Our collections date back to 1798! After 230 years of collecting, the MGMH is one of the oldest, largest and continuously operated mineralogical and geological museum, built for the nation and world-renowned for its fine quality collections, broad representation of species, unique occurrences and large number of type, described, and illustrated specimens. Our repository has become a true library of the earth with over 400,000 objects divided in 4 main collections: minerals, gems, meteorites and rocks. My role as Curator is to provide access to the world-class Earth Science collections at Harvard University, encouraging its use for teaching, research and public education. The favorite part of my job is research and all teaching and academic related activities, in addition to working with the dedicated team of people at the MGMH, the Earth and Planetary Science Department and the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture, HSMC, where our public gallery is located.

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In total, the museum has around 400,000 objects divided in 4 main collections: minerals, gems, meteorites and rocks and ore deposits. Only 3550 individual mineral specimens are on display at the Museum, 145 of these include a gemstone of the same variety. My favorite examples are in the wider variety of crystals and gemstones. For example, the beryls, we have a whole case of them displaying 40 specimens full of light and color. I also love the tourmalines, with all of the different kinds displayed with bi-color and watermelon elbaites from Maine, USA. As you can imagine, we have a strong collection of New England minerals, gems, and rare species. We receive a lot of donations, but we couldn’t display our entire collection, even if we wanted! Space is a major constraint, but not the only one. We also have to make hard choices about what to share in order to fulfill the Museum’s mission. Our museum is not only about highlighting aesthetics. We also need to prioritize the display of specimens that will also serve reference and research purposes.

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I am a geologist by training specialized in mineralogy, gemology, geochemistry and petrology. There are too many “logy’s” in there! These branches of Earth Sciences come together in a fascinating way, giving color and texture to the world we inhabit. In 2006 I completed my PhD at the ETH in Zurich, Switzerland, where I studied how the earth crust is formed, by comparing it with artificial rocks produced in the lab. After graduation, I took a short break to have my two children, Marco and Amaya, and returned in 2009 to professional life to work as a research assistant at the Earth and Planetary Science Department, Harvard University. A year later I was hired as Assistant Curator to take care of the rock collection at the MGMH and got appointed head Curator of the entire MGMH collections in 2011.

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I’ve always wondered why minerals acquire a color and not other colors. We know so little about the chemistry and the physics involved! My passion, stimulated by my daily encounter with Harvard’s amazing collections, is to uncover the story behind nature’s color choices! My work in the past 2 years has been focused in tourmalines and beryls. The most common color of elbaites from Main, USA is green but they also come in blue, yellow, pink, colorless and with many different hues and tones. With the use of non-destructive analytical techniques, I was able to determine the chemical distribution, trace element patterns and color correlation in a suite of elbaites from Maine, Hamlin Collection. In addition, this non-destructive dual-technique used in this study (Confocal Micro Raman Spectroscopy and LA- ICPMS, laser ablation-induced coupled plasma-mass spectrometry) has great potential to be applied to other gemmological materials to also distinguish provenance, natural versus synthetic materials and treatments. My current project aims to better understand the formation of emeralds, and is focused on the geology of the emerald deposit of Irondro, Madagascar. In fact, I mostly focus on rocks from Madagascar, which is a blessing, since the MGMH is quickly becoming the main repository of minerals, rocks and gemstones from this part of the world. I also benefit from the museum’s vast network. I sometimes end up requesting research material from friends, donors and supporters of the Museum from faraway lands! However, my main priority and where most of my work goes is into ensuring that the MGMH’s collections are curated according to the highest standards of museum best practices for their preservation in perpetuity and use by future generations. Digitization plays an important role to achieve these goals and our ambition to open them up to a wider audience, especially those concerning research, education and public outreach, which will result in an online database of our collections sometime in the fall of 2017.

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Every day, in the environment I am, could end up being a highlight and making you proud of the work you do, especially when it can impact other people life’s. I would like to share with you a portion of an e-mail I received from one of the female students attending my class at the Harvard Summer school as a beautiful example. “..Here again I want to say thank you for bringing me my best summer ever. I really enjoyed the lecture. Every time when listening to the lecture, I really feel I’m being educated and have more knowledge on mineralogy and gemology. The happiness of gaining knowledge is hard to express; it’s like seeing the moon coming out of the clouds and lighting up a street in the dark midnight. Also, I love the labs. I feel so good identifying minerals by myself, putting everything I learnt into use. I’m also fascinated by the gemstone experiments. I can’t wait to get a full set of tools and practice in the gem markets back in China. What I really want to appreciate is that for all your support for me to do more microscope experiments. I know that doing the experiment before class means you have to skip lunch, I’m really sorry. The experiment is so incredible, I never see those features before, and I couldn’t fully understand everything without doing the actual experiment. The image is fantastic. I gasp that people ever create those ways for examine stones. What I like most is the field trip. The behind the scene of the museum is awesome. I never thought that museum work would be so interesting. There are so many stories behind every collection! I also really really like the field trip to mine. You became my idol when you drove the van packed with all of us and fed us snacks. Working in the field is so different and I think I need more field work to really become a geology people. I sometimes feel so shame that I learned so much knowledge but still like a baby when put in the field. However, going to the field makes a lot of knowledge easier to understand. In the mine, when I saw you standing on the shiny mica mountain, I feel like you are one of the best women in the world—- a woman who could stand in the field with knowledge, and explore the earth, go right after the unknown, a kind of woman I really want to be. It is this summer that I, for the first time in forever, really willing to go to university; not because it is what everybody do, but because all the knowledge and skills I could get, all the resource I could access, and all the fantastic professors in the future I will meet to motivate my life..”

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My best piece of advice for anyone in general is to follow their passion, work hard, overcome challenges, focus and don’t give up! The combination of passion and perseverance will bring you where you want to be.

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WANT MORE? You can follow Raquel on Instagram —> @raquelalonsoperez

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Gem Gossip Visits M. Flynn Jewelry in Boston, MA

Come along with me as I take you inside M. Flynn in Boston!

M Flynn | Gem Gossip

Such a gorgeous selection of engagement & wedding — these are a mix of Anna Sheffield & M. Flynn’s own bridal designs, shop bridal

M Flynn | Gem Gossip

Getting the store tour from co-founder Megan

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some of Page Sargisson zodiac medallions, a best-seller

M Flynn | Gem Gossip

I’m wearing some pieces from M. Flynn’s estate selection, the necklace was created out of a collection of vintage hat charms!

M Flynn | Gem Gossip

I love the crystal chandeliers and white fixtures–it is its own jewel box!

M Flynn | Gem Gossip

Some more vintage pieces from their estate section: antique buttons turned into pendants, a scottie dog, and a stick pin converted into a pendant

M Flynn | Gem Gossip

The entire back wall is covered in crystals floating from invisible wire–it is quite magical!

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M. Flynn has all the right studs to create an epic ear stack, shop earrings — and loving the turquoise selection, Mociun + vintage

M Flynn | Gem Gossip

Turquoise has taken over a section of this case and we’re not mad at that.

M Flynn | Gem Gossip

A fun line of jewelry called Loquet allows you to customize gems and gold trinkets inside a rock crystal dome

M Flynn | Gem Gossip

Wearing rings by Misa Jewelry and necklaces by Page Sargisson

M Flynn | Gem Gossip

M. Flynn loves working one-on-one with clients to help them find the perfect piece!

M Flynn | Gem Gossip

I can’t get enough of these estate pieces!

M Flynn | Gem Gossip

The shop has been open since 2009 and is located amongst some amazing restaurants and walking areas.

M Flynn | Gem Gossip

Nautical, New England style fully represented in the Turk’s Head collection by AGA Correa

M Flynn | Gem Gossip

Fashion jewelry also lines the shelves of the shop, along with jewelry books and other jewel-inspired gifts

M Flynn | Gem Gossip

An up-close shot of the necklaces from Page Sargisson & diamond Misa Jewelry

M Flynn | Gem Gossip

Shop M. Flynn’s estate collection

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myself with the founders & owners of M. Flynn, sister duo Megan & Moria

M Flynn | Gem Gossip

Gorgeous crystal chandeliers are the perfect touch to the light and airy decor

M Flynn | Gem Gossip

Vintage charms found at M. Flynn

A dazzling curtain of crystals which doubles as artwork…all the best jewelry books one can fathom…flawless displays…sparkling jewelry of all kinds…and one mascot named Stu. This reads as the ultimate recipe for a beautiful, successful jewelry store, which happens to be a real-life place. It is called M. Flynn Jewelry and the shop is located in Boston, Massachusetts. I was lucky enough to visit the store on my #JewelryRoadTrip, where I learned all about its beginnings, what it has to offer, as well as the two sisters behind the namesake: Megan & Moria Flynn!

Opened in 2009, the store fostered the sisters’ love for all things sparkly. Elizabeth Taylor is a jewelry icon for all of the world, but for Megan & Moria, she is everything! They wanted to create a space where they can serve multiple needs for their clients and the store has evolved over the past several years, growing along the way. Their are a few important features of M. Flynn Jewelry–so let’s break down each one!

Their own line of jewelry: if you need classic, every day wear pieces the M. Flynn line is just what you’re looking for. Gemstone rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings make up the line, including bridal options as well. They also have a collaboration collection called the Gates Collection which they’ve created along with an interior designer/blogger that is highly popular–Erin Gates.

Designer jewelry: M. Flynn has been expanding each year, adding new designers they feel are a good fit for both their store and the Boston area. Some of the best selling and favorites are Adel Chefridi, Page Sargisson, EF Collection, Misa Jewelry, Mociun, Loquet, Kelly Bello, and more.

Bridal jewelry: An ideal destination for all your wedding needs, M. Flynn can create your dream ring! They also have a large assortment of finished pieces from their own designs, as well as top designer engagement rings from Anna Sheffield, Mociun, Misa Jewelry, and Page Sargisson. They also have a selection of men’s wedding bands too!

Estate Jewelry: All periods, all styles–M. Flynn loves it all, so if it is delicate and sentimental or retro and unique, you will find it here. Lots of rings, some earrings and necklaces, and a large assortment of charms. This section is ever-changing and always one-of-a-kind, so check back often!

Fashion Jewelry: I know Gem Gossip does not cover fashion jewelry at all, but it is noteworthy that M. Flynn does carry fashion jewelry–lots of different designers, such as Lizzie Fortunato, Pamela Love, and Alexis Bittar–and great price points for gift-giving season.

Gifts/Accessories: Who knew jewelry-related gifts were so fun?! Gem Water bottles, jewelry travel cases, fragrances, cards, candles, jewelry books…you name it, they have it! I need this store in my life during the holidays!

Custom design: Besides all the above amazingness, M. Flynn also can custom design your dream piece. Whether you bring in family stones or have nothing at all except for a few slight ideas, they are here to help with that. You will be loving the finished result and coming back for more.

Hope you enjoy browsing the above photos from my visit–I know you will have heart-emoji eyes while doing so. Megan & Moria are truly so nice and have such a passion for what they do–I also have major respect for Megan getting her gemology degree at GIA. Not many store owners do so and I think that’s amazing! Next time you’re in Boston, pop in and say hi–make sure to pet Stu for me!

M Flynn

40 Waltham St.

Boston, MA 02118

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Why Are Crystals & Healing Crystals So Popular Right Now?

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So much can be said about crystals and their role in the millennial mind. The mainstream’s relatively recent fascination with crystals is far-reaching and undeniably polarizing. There are those that think a crystal’s ability to heal is hogwash. Others go so far as to dedicate their lives to healing crystal’s seemingly magical powers.

Then there are people like me who fall somewhere in the middle. Don’t get me wrong, I am absolutely fascinated by crystals, and my collection is vast enough to need its own cabinet or two. I use crystals while meditating, and I even playfully ponder over the unseen “energies” different crystals emit.

But I’m still skeptical. Do I think holding a piece of rose quartz over your heart is going to heal a cardiac arrhythmia? No. Do I think every crystal sends off a different vibration? Not really. What I do know is that each type of crystal has a different composition and absorbs and refracts light (and radiation) in different ways — to put it simply.

Regardless of where you stand, the age of buying druzy crystals in mass numbers is upon us. Crystal healing has been around for centuries, but why all of a sudden are these specimens so in-demand? Skepticism aside, here are some reasons why crystals are so popular:

1. Crystals Are Helpful Meditative Aids:

A crystal doesn’t need to be unearthly magical to help with a simple meditation practice. If the crystal just so happens to emit an energy that helps you channel a goal, great. But that isn’t the point. So much of our own energy is channeled through our thoughts.

If we think a particular stone will enhance our intuition, chances are we’ll be seeing things more clearly. Whether it’s the stone’s work or just our mind, having a token to focus our attention on while meditating can help with the process of destressing.

2. Healing Crystals Lend to Personalized Spiritual Practices:

I’m not a New Age expert, but I do know that the culture developed as a means to explore spirituality for those that don’t fit into the confines of standardized religion. In a New Age practice, no one model that fits all. An individual explores varying belief systems and ideologies, then they practice a mixture based on works for them. One potential area of study is crystal healing, which is an ancient practice that has been around for thousands of years.

Many millennials that don’t easily fit into another religion are adopting this New Age model to help them through difficult times. Whereas some might find their solace in Catholicism, Hinduism or Islam, New Agers might find that same comfort through astrology or paganism.

A recent cultural shift to more New Age type thinking among millennials explains in part why crystal sales have been seeing a resurgence. Before you’re quick to agree or disagree, remember that with belief systems, you don’t necessarily see what you’re believing. If crystals bring someone closer to their spirituality and the universe and if crystals somehow make them a better person because of it, all the power to them. So long as someone’s beliefs are ethically okay and don’t infringe upon someone else’s beliefs, no judgements here.

3. Crystals are Absolutely Fascinating to Look At and Study:

Alright, so let’s get down to the reason why most of my jewelry friends and I are obsessed with crystals. They’re gorgeous! Most of the time they’re completely untainted. And they can grow under the most extreme yet specific conditions. They’re colorful, optically fierce, and exceptional little snowflakes. Okay, I’m going a little overboard, but you get the idea.

Crystals and gemstones that haven’t been dyed or altered in any way are such a profound testament to the beauty of earth and nature. Something as seemingly simple as rain pushing sediment into a mountain crevice can transform into an unworldly treasure millions of years later. Hello, opal! And that’s just one example.

The science behind crystals is vast, complex, and undeniably intriguing. And even when you fully understand the how, you still can’t help but be mystified when you come across an even more radiant and unusual specimen.

Whatever marketing or New Age trend that pushed the mainstream population onto crystals has only promoted what we gemology and geology fanatics have known all along. There’s nothing quite like a perfectly imperfect crystal.

Five Crystal Items You Can Shop:

Crystal Gifts | Gem Gossip

Crystals – Paperback by Jennie Harding

Agate Bookends

Crystal Cluster Amethyst Art

Wellness Gem-Water Bottle by VitaJuwel

Green and Blue Mineral Art Print

This post was contributed by:

Ageless Heirlooms Lauren Thomann | I: @agelessheirlooms | W: www.agelessheirlooms.com

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Gem Gossip Visits J.S. Fearnley in Atlanta, GA

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Gem Gossip is Speaking at GIA’S Alumni Chapter Meeting in DC

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As I said in the previous post–I will be extremely busy this month with speaking engagements paired with lots of travel! Tomorrow I leave for Washington DC and I’m SO excited! I’ve never been before (besides being in the airport there) and I’m looking forward to spending a day taking in the tourist attractions–most importantly the Smithsonian!!

Before that though, I will be speaking at DC’s GIA Alumni chapter meeting that is scheduled for Thursday, April 7th, 2016 from 7-9pm. It will take place the Holiday Inn Rosslyn, 1900 Ft. Meyer Drive, Arlington, VA 22209, at the Virginia end of Key Bridge, 703-807-2000. Admission is free for those who have paid their 2016 meeting fees and $10.00 for all others. Please visit the Chapter’s website at www.dcgia.org for more info! Hope to see you there!

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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.

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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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Rose Quartz Gemstone beads giveaway

One of my earliest memories of my dad’s work (as an electrode and welding engineer and developer) was listening to him talk about Silica.

One of my earliest memories of my dad’s work (as an electrode and welding engineer and developer) was listening to him talk about Silica. Fascinated with the word, I asked him what it was. He said, “What you know as sand, I know as Silica”. Then shortly, one day, as I was sitting in my primary school ground, drawing doodles in the sand, something crystalline caught my my eye and I felt it must be silica. But it was shiny, somewhat like a gemstone, so it got me thinking, what if it were a ‘real gemstone’ instead of electrode material? What if the entire ground was filled with gemstones? Then imagine how rich we would all be!!
I might have been 5-6 years old then,and it was an interesting thought. The ground was, is filed with (a) gemstone commonly referred to as quartz. Quartz, is the second most abundant mineral on Earth’s crust and is made up of a continuous framework of SiO4 resulting in SiO2, i.e silicon dioxide or Silica. Particular varieties of Quartz are used as gemstones and rose quartz is one of them.

Rose quartz is called so owing to the light to medium rose pink color in the crystals. It has microscopic silicate mineral (maybe dumortierite) inclusions, which give the stone a pastel pink cloudy appearance. If rightly cut as a cabochon, then the rutile inclusions also produce a six rayed star pattern known as asterism. Apart from this commonly known pink stone, there is also a rare stone called “pink quartz” or pink crystalline quartz which is transparent and found in Brazil.


Healing Attributes & Feng Shui
Historians say that Assyrians were the first to create rose quartz jewelry and Egyptians believed in their magical power. They believed that the stone could prevent aging and help with matters of the heart. In the Roman era, these crystals were used as talismans. Some cultures believe that wearing rose quartz increases fertility and helps a mother keep her unborn child safe during pregnancy. Known as the “love stone”, rose quartz was used by some cultures to manifest love, and lessen anger and disappointment.

I have seen rose quartz being used by crystal and pranic healers who use it to relieve stress and anxiety, strengthen the human heart and improve the circulatory system as it is connected to the heart chakra. It is also used to reduce negativity and aid the healing of lung ailments and help soothe patients with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson and early dementia. Rose Quartz beads are commonly used as Mala beads by people wanting to manifest love, trust and friendship.
Followers of Feng Shui use carved charms or figurines of wealth pots,gourds, mandarin ducks to manifest love. Keeping Tumbled quartz nuggets under your pillow is said to promote good sleep particularly in children.



Gifting Rose Quartz
Though Rose quartz jewelry can be presented to your loved one at any time/ stage in your relationship as it is the stone that stands for unconditional love, it is usually given as a fifth wedding anniversary present.Color psychology dictates that ‘pin’ is the color of love. So along with Morganite, I expect rose quartz rings to be popular choices for engagement rings or promise rings in 2016. In my last post on Pantone color of the year, I talked about how I was on the lookout for rose quartz beads. It was because I wanted to make a prayer bead mala for my dad as he is a Libran and rooted to the Earth element – both of which are attributes of rose quartz.

Rose Quartz jewelry
With Rose quartz being the color of the year 2016, Rose quartz jewelry is going to be on every faishionista’s must have list in 2016. Rose quartz beads like many other pastel Navneet gemstone beads can be combined with both silver and gold findings. When used with shiny silver, shiny yellow or rose gold rose quartz gives off a very sophisticated and luxurious vibe. Pearls and white/ clear gemstones add to the look. For a rustic chic, combine chunkier, rough cut beads with antique silver or antique brass focals. For more ideas on how to create jewelry using semi precious stone beads visit the Navneet gems blog.

Giveaway

As promised, here is the second installment of the “Mega Gemstone Giveaway” where you could win a beautiful Rose quartz beaded necklace along with other Gemstone beads like amazonite, Rhodochrosite and sodalite sponsored by Navneet Gems, international sellers of Wholesale semi precious stone beads

With worldwide shipping, one really really lucky winner could win the following 4 necklaces with charms. Isnt that really absolutely amazing?

Rose quartz beads 10 mm beads necklace
Amazonite beads 8 mm beads necklace
Rhodochrosite beads 8 mm beads necklace
Sodalite beads 10 mm beads necklace


a Rafflecopter giveaway
To enter use the rafflecopter widget above, In case you are unable to see it, do the following (ignore if you have used the rafflecopter widget)

-Leave a comment – What is the one gemstone bead that you would love to wear? Or which gemstone beads do you frequently use in your work?
– For Additional entries follow Navneet gems on facebook, Jewelsofsayuri on facebook and share this post on social media. Leave an additional comment for each entry.

This Giveaway is INTERNATIONAL

I hope you found it interesting
All the very best !!
Cheers

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Q & A with Megan of Baker & Black Jewelry

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As my style evolves and grows with age (read: wisdom) I’ve been more and more drawn to COLOR. Not in a wardrobe sense, don’t worry, I haven’t gone too crazy…but with a mostly monochrome uniform, vibrant accessories are necessary. I love when jewelry designers play with color and use it to their advantage, breaking down barriers and mesmerizing people all at the same time. This is exactly what Megan of Baker & Black has been doing in her jewelry career. Her creations are works of art on a small scale, seemingly meant for floods of gawkers ready to admire at an art gallery. Gold is sculptural, gemstones are like paints and creativity is on overload for her with these mediums. I’m obsessed.

Instinctively, I had to know more about this curiosity-inducing designer. Take a look at what I found:

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So much! I am focusing on adding more earrings and necklaces to the collection. I am also in the very early stages of designing some jewels incorporating enamel. I love to use lots of color so I am excited to expand my palette.

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I have been making jewelry since high school (grade school if you count friendship bracelets!) but after college I started to consider creating a cohesive line. I worked at Doyle & Doyle for a few years and it was really an education in gemology and jewelry history. I was able to learn in a hands-on way. I worked with Jessica Bavier, who now owns Bavier Brook,and she would always pull me aside when something special came in. When an unusual stone came in, we would loupe it. When a masterfully constructed piece came in, we would examine the fabrication and maybe wear it around the shop.

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It’s perhaps a little too early in my career to pinpoint a single moment, but I feel very satisfied with how the story of Baker & Black has developed. I created Baker & Black with my husband and we have done almost all of the work ourselves or with the help of talented friends. After all of the hard work, it has been incredibly rewarding to have had such a positive response from all who have seen the jewelry. It makes me excited to continue growing the brand and to share it with more people.

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Baker & Black is still in its infancy so A LOT! Right now I am focusing on expanding our retail presence and client base. Creatively, I want to start working with larger gemstones and I would like to experiment more with colored sapphires and spinel. And one day, I would love to create a piece centered around an antique demantoid garnet, a larger specimen with a perfect horsetail inclusion.

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This will have to be a tie. My husband gave me an antique gold locket the first Christmas after we were married and I wear it every day. If it doesn’t match what I’m wearing, I just tuck it in my shirt. I love lockets and definitely want to start designing them. The other would have to be the first Baker & Black piece, the Caduceus Ring with pink spinel. I wear it all the time and have been told that it is reminiscent of H.R. Giger’s designs for the movie Alien. I was surprised the first time someone said it because his work is very dark with a strong sci-fi vibe and the ring is pink and sparkly. I hear it all the time and am always humbled because Giger was such an accomplished and influential artist.

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Gem Gossip Visits Freeman’s Auction House in Philadelphia, PA

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Freeman’s auction house and I have an intense relationship. They seem to always have a piece that I fall deeply in love with and lose out at the very last moment come auction time. I will never forget this diamond and platinum ring from the 1920s–it was sensational. A size 3.5 (which would actually fit my ring finger perfectly, who else could say that is a “perfect” size?!) the center diamond was a chunky pear cut with a large culet…it was jaw-dropping in all the right ways. I nervously logged in on my computer for the live-sale and bid several times before my last and final bid didn’t hold up to whomever claimed it in the end. A tragedy that day…and will forever weigh heavy on my heart, as I cannot come to terms with even deleting the email in my inbox that says as the subject line, “Sorry you didn’t win this time.” A reminder, as Allia Dhody, a member of Freeman’s Jewelry Department, exclaims to me, “Make sure to call in next time–be a phone-bidder!” I will take that strategy to the next round, although Allia doesn’t realize, my visit to Freeman’s has made me want to come back more often and especially during live auctions.

My next chance at bidding and winning at Freeman’s will be coming sooner than I thought–they are gearing up for their September and November jewelry sales. On my visit, I got to preview some of the items that will be featured in both upcoming sales–their Autumn Estate Jewelry sale slated for September 16, 2015 and their Jewelry & Watches sale which falls on November 2, 2015.

I had such a fun time playing with the jewelry and getting to talk to the ladies of Freeman’s. Susannah and Cara were a delight to hang out with while I was drooling over the jewelry and taking photos. Allia Dhody is Freeman’s Jewelry Specialist who handles each piece, taking down the item’s specs by measuring, grading and counting, as well as cataloging. As a gradutate gemologist, her role at Freeman’s is a vital one. As a buyer, the public can rely on not only the great reputation of Freeman’s 210-year history, but the expertise of Allia’s gemology skills. People bid with confidence–that’s an important part of the Freeman’s legacy.

I’m excited for the September and November sales–be sure to mark them on your calendars (I will be reminding everyone when the dates get closer). Here is a run down on some of the pieces that will be up for auction, which are pictured above:

Freeman’s Autumn Estate Jewelry sale; September 16, 2015:

18k yellow gold Pig purse with a mesh body and details like a tail, legs, etc. French assay marks, estimate $800-1,200

A pair of diamond and 14k gold old mine cut diamond cluster drop earrings, approx. 2.20 carats total, estimate $800-1,200

A diamond and cultured pearl cluster ring set in 14k yellow gold, center diamond approx. 0.85 ct., estimate $500-700

Victorian garnet and high carat gold necklace which measures 15.25 inches in length, estimate $1,800-2,500

Pair of Victorian enamel and 18k gold bangle bracelets which measures 5.75 inside length, estimate $800-1,200

Art Deco calibre-cut ruby and diamond platinum ring with elongated shape, estimate $800-1,200

A blue zircon suite consisting of a pair of earrings, ring, bracelet and necklace all circa early 1900s, estimate $2,500-3,000

Art Deco diamond and platinum brooch set with Old European cut and Old Mine cut diamonds, totaling 2.10 carats, estimate $800-1,200

Art Deco diamond and platinum ring with pierced milgrain set with Old Mine and Old European cut diamonds, estimate $1,000-1,500

Freeman’s Jewelry & Watches sale; November 2, 2015

Diamond and sapphire bypass ring set with pear shaped diamond and pear shaped sapphire in platinum, estimate $5,000-7,000

Belle Époque diamond and platinum ring set with a 3.25 ct center diamond, estimate $12,000-15,000

Serpent necklace done in 18k yellow gold set with diamonds and ruby eyes, estimate $3,000-5,000

David Webb 18k yellow gold cuff featuring a repoussé frog and cabochon emerald eyes, estimate $9,000-14,000

Marcus & Co. diamond and platinum-topped 18k gold brooch, with a center diamond approx. 3.20 ct., estimate $20,000-30,000

David Webb turquoise and diamond 18k yellow gold matching earrings and ring, estimate $2,000-3,000

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Freeman’s Auction
1808 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 563-9275
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Q & A with Shoma Lahiry of Tola Jewelry

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Tola Jewelry caught my attention immediately as it reflected an intense attention to gold. The rich metal takes center stage in every design, with minimal or absolutely no gemstones within each piece. I can see the architectural influences (which she holds a masters degree in), the Indian influences (of her heritage and inspiring visits), and handcrafted distinction (she is trained in wax carving and traditional metalsmithing techniques). I am excited to share this jewelry line with my readers and I hope you’ll fall for her designs like I have!

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At the moment I’m working on a small collection called Linea – inspired by the properties of curvature and line. I’ve always subscribed to a ‘less is more’ approach in both my work and life, so this collection really pays homage to that notion…it’s a tightly focused group of pieces, simple yet sophisticated and primarily originating from only one material – square wire. I’m also really excited to be designing a few amazing one of a kind bridal commissions this summer – it’s always such an honor to work with clients on custom commitment jewelry.

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I grew up visiting my grandparents in India every summer. Needless to say, the rich jewelry tradition of South Asia is intoxicating, and I was fascinated by every bit of it from an early age. My infatuation for handmade fine jewelry really took root back then, but I never imagined forming my own company around it!

Formally I have a BA in English/Creative Writing and a Master’s degree in Architecture. After school I worked for several years as an architect – designing everything from residential homes and commercial interiors to temporary installation projects. Eventually though I started to miss that feeling of working directly with my hands. On a whim, I signed up for a series of evening metal-smithing classes at SVA in New York, and followed that with multiple wax-carving courses. Learning to sculpt in wax was the bait and I was hooked after seeing my volumetric construction sketches take shape! After an intensive summer study at the Revere Academy in San Francisco I dove in head-first and launched my debut collection in the Fall of 2013.

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Two months into my official launch, a friend commissioned me to design an engagement ring for his girlfriend. It was my first foray into bridal jewelry and the ring was a surprise. Truthfully, I was a bit nervous to create a bespoke piece with no design direction from the bride herself. I tasked her boyfriend with taking secret photos of his girlfriend’s existing jewelry collection so I could get a loose sense of her style and aesthetic. Luckily everything worked out and the ring was a huge success! I went on to design the wedding bands and bridal party jewelry and hand-delivered everything to their beautiful destination wedding in Tulum. Being part of such a wonderful union was truly remarkable – I feel so fortunate to do what I love and share that joy with others!

Ashley + Bryan Wedding at Playa Kin Ha and El Tabano in Tulum, Riviera Maya, Mexico. Ashley + Bryan Wedding at Playa Kin Ha and El Tabano in Tulum, Riviera Maya, Mexico.

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The future is wide open! Aside from expanding my business and working on more bespoke/commitment pieces, I’d love to study more about gemology and the history of jewelry. There is always so much more to learn – both from the old and new. I’m continually fascinated by the intersection of traditional and modern and aim to keep exploring ways to exhibit that relationship in my work.

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My Kali Ring – I designed it to have a soft yet strong look – perfect for dressing up or down. I wear it everyday either as a ring or necklace, and it never fails to attract admirers!

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