New October Opals from Arik Kastan Jewelry

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Let us enchant you with some of Arik Kastan’s newest designs featuring October’s magical and often obsess-worthy birthstone: OPAL. The brand has been working with opals since the very beginning of launching Arik Kastan and they continue to be a favorite of collectors, and we obviously can’t get enough of them ourselves!

Opals can easily transform any design that is created, any outfit we style, or bad moods we’re feeling. We love opals set in the signature rose gold just as much as the yellow gold, so we think you can’t go wrong picking between the two metals. And as far as gemstones that pair well with opals, we’ve been obsessing over some cool tones like sapphires, emeralds and moonstones–even pearls! Yes, you must check out the newest pearl + opal ring fresh off the jeweler’s bench. You’ll flip!

Enjoy checking out the new styles; all are available with a click of a mouse (or touch of a finger on your phone)!

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Arik Kastan drew from Victorian jewelry to create this stunning pearl and opal cluster ring, which is both bold and has feminine touches. We love it paired with jeans or a dress for fall.

Lyla Ring with opals and pearls, Price: $1,500

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These aren’t just any ordinary garnets, they are rose cuts which give these earrings a vintage-inspired look. They’re nice and large, while still being crazy comfortable.

Pebble Stone Drop earrings with garnet & opal, Price: $1,650


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A hint of blue sapphire sets off this sentimental padlock that can be the layer-ready basis for our collection. Start your stack with this one!

Sapphire + Opal Cluster Padlock, Price: $1,260


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A continued favorite, the signature three-stone ring looks glorious in opal and ready for any October baby to make this her special piece.

Signature Three Stone ring in Opal, Price: $1,320

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Quite possibly our newest favorite gemstone combination emeralds and opals! The green really POPS in these earrings; they’re quite breath-taking.

Nouveau Oval drop earrings, Price: $2,250

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This pinwheel pendant has won our hearts–it’s dainty and precious! Again, slaying in our favorite gemstone combo.

Pinwheel pendant with emerald + opals, Price: $1,320


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An instant favorite, combining floral inspiration with geometric vibes, the Mandala ring has us ready for fall.

Framed Mandala ring in sapphires + opals, Price: $2,750


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Some major boldness with this padlock, which we can’t get enough of. If you want a hefty, gorgeous piece…this is it!

Stained Glass Window padlock with emeralds + opals, Price: $2,470


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Feeling some boho vibes? Say no more, these are for you! Open metalwork, opals and a wonderful lever back.

Arabesque Drop earrings set with opals, Price: $2,030


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If you’re one who loves to stack your heart out, we’ve got you covered too! Our thin stacking band is easy to wear and pairs with almost anything else.

Thin Stacking ring done in opal, Price: $1,150


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It’s hip to be a square and this little padlock thinks so too. Outfitted in opals every square inch and a single moonstone in the center to shake things up a bit!

Square Padlock with opals + moonstone, Price: $1,590

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The Isabel ring makes us feel elegant and refined. We love the hint of blue from the sapphire and know you will too!

Isabel ring set with sapphire + opals, Price; $1,760

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Just a tip: Arik Kastan padlocks make the most beautiful gifts and yes, there are lots of holidays approaching but I won’t name any for the sake of getting virtually slapped!

Horizon Cluster Padlock set with moonstone + opals, Price: $1,370

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PRECIOUS ENCOUNTER : WWAKE

Wing Yau, designer of WWAKE whose collection has just been launched in our Mont Thabor boutique has answered our “Precious” questionnaire. After a childhood spent in South America, she settled in New York and launched her brand of gold jewellery and asymmetrically set gemstones. She quickly became recognized by the fashion industry being a 2015 CFDA finalist and ranked in 2016 among the 30 most influential people under 30 year-old by Forbes.

What is your first jewellery memory ?

My family went to Papua New Guinea when I was a child and during this trip I purchased a woven bead necklace from a local craftswoman at the market. It had red, green, yellow and black seed beads woven into a basket­shaped pendant and I loved it very much ­ the work was extremely intricate, it was like nothing I had seen before. I spent hours and years observing how it was made, it was a very special piece that I still think of often.

What’s the first piece that you designed ?

The first piece of fine jewelry I designed was actually a series of delicate gold rings with graphic shapes. When I first started, my focus was on opposites: I wanted to make rings without center stone, and, rather than a single ring with a single formation forever, I wanted the wearer to create their own composition from multiple rings. The combinations were endless and created the core concept of what WWAKE has become today.

What is your favorite stone ? Why ?

The opal! It is a mysterious stone, a world within itself. I find its variation in colors, its unpredictable iridescence and its myth that it can help you turn invisible.

Do you have a piece of jewellery that you wear all year­round?

A simple pinky ring and my linear chain necklaces never come off!

Who are your favorite jewellery designers?

Elsa Peretti, Bibi Van der Velden and Fernando Jorge ?

What are your greatest design influences ?

My background in sculpture from Rhode Island School of Design and studying the works of Lynda Benglis, Richard Serra, Donald Judd, and Robert Smithson to name a few.

What do you listen to in your studio ?

Julie Byrne, Arthur Russell, the Smashing Pumpkins, Okay Kaya.

If you weren’t a jewellery designer, what would you do ?

A florist!

Which famous people (living or dead) inspire you the most ?

Kate Bush and Patti Smith.

What is your dream destination ?

The Faroe Islands!

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PRECIOUS ENCOUNTER : SOPHIE BUHAI

Sophie Buhai homonymous brand launched in 2015, distinguished by its collection of timeless silver jewels. Each piece is handmade in Los Angeles by master craftsmen using recycled metals to minimize the environmental impact. We are thrilled to now have her stunning jewellery available in our Mont Thabor boutique, exclusively in France.

What is your first jewellery memory ?

I remember sitting on the carpet on my grandmothers bathroom looking through her jewellery collection. I must have been five. She would always show me her pieces, she had a great mixture of deco pieces and also mid-century silver. She was a great teacher. Most importantly, she shared with me how special jewellery can be as a marker of time in ones life, and the power it has being handed down through generations, to tell stories of the past.

What’s the first piece that you designed ?

It was the Egg pendant.

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What is your favorite stone ? Why ? 

I love pearls. They from the sea which I love, they are completely classic, and can look very modern at the same time.

Do you have a piece of jewellery that you wear all year-round ? 

I wear all of the silver year round. I love the classic hoops and basically sleep in them.

Who are your favorite jewellery designers ? 

Elsa Peretti, Calder, Art Smith, Man Ray.

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Calder

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Elsa Peretti

What are your greatest design influences ?

Eileen Gray, Diego Giacometti, Coco Chanel, my grandmother, my mother.

What do you listen to in your studio ?

It’s a real mix. Everything from Chopin, Nick Cave, to Reggae.

If you weren’t a jewellery designer, what would you do ?

I think I would do something with art direction in films. I love to create an atmosphere. That or interiors.

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Which famous people (living or dead) inspire you the most ?

The women in my family. Strong independent working women.

What is your dream destination ?

I love Crete in Greece. I’m dying to go back. I love the rustic simplicity, ancient history, warm people, and wild landscape.

Photos credits : Sophie Buhai 

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Leslie Hindman Auction: September Sale is INCREDIBLE

Leslie Hindman: Lot 87

You’ll be enchanted forever by this ring, up for bid at Leslie Hindman Auction in Chicago, IL — this is lot 87 in the three-day bidding extravaganza.

Leslie Hindman: Lot 377 Leslie Hindman: Lot 378 Leslie Hindman: Lot 379 Leslie Hindman: Lot 380

Four mesmerizing opals are on the block at Leslie Hindman, day one, and they come back-to-back in lots 377-380. Get your bidding paddles up!

Earlier this year, I got the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at the Leslie Hindman Auctioneers jewelry headquarters in Chicago, IL. To say I’ve got some perspective on how an auction house runs is far from the truth, but I came away being able to put faces with names, insight into a typical day, and a brief intake of the enormous amount of sparkle the jewelry department works with. It was one of my most favorite experiences of this year! Now when I hear that Leslie Hindman has an upcoming auction this September (the 10th-12th to be exact) I have more context of the event, as they are excited to bring a three-day extravaganza with some heavy and hard-hitting bidding in the future. This three-day auction will feature over 1500 items of all price points and eras. If you like big and bold, Victorian or Modern, opals or rubies, they’ve got something for everyone.

Let’s take a look at some of my top picks:

Leslie Hindman: Lot 6 Leslie Hindman: Lot 55

Lot 6: Nothing beats an Etruscan Revival basketweave wrap bracelet! This is such a fine example and I love the gemstones used on it–sapphire and diamonds! It gives it a cool look against the warm yellow gold. I also love the granulation work, in both excellent and ready-to-wear condition. This piece may date back to 1870, but never looked more trendy than on an elegant wrist in 2017. Estimate: $3,000-5,000

Lot 55: Lately I’ve written several articles on engagement rings and I’ve been finding that women are wanting something traditional but with a twist! This ring speaks volumes with just the small accent sapphires, as it makes the ring totally unique. The piece is Art Deco and set with a 3.24 carat Old European cut diamond in the center. Love the style and think it should belong to someone who will treasure it as an engagement ring. Estimate: $10,000-15,000

Leslie Hindman: Lot 68 Leslie Hindman: Lot 86

Lot 68: I’ve seen the benefits of purchasing pieces that are convertible and this is a fine example of a two-in-one! Meet the silver-topped diamond pendant/brooch of your dreams. This piece totals over five carats of old cut diamonds and radiates from every angle. I could picture it being worn on a chain or worn pinned to a collar. The possibilities are really endless. Estimate: $4,000-6,000

Lot 86: The only kind of bugs I like are jewelled insects! This guy is one for the books–look how cute he is. Set with rose cut diamonds all-original to the piece and a jaw-dropping opal back. I love the detail on the textured gold legs and the ruby eyes. It’s all in the details. Estimate: $2,000-3,000

Leslie Hindman: Lot 111A Leslie Hindman: Lot 118

Lot 111A: Plique a jour is jewelry’s version of stained glass and I must say, I don’t own a single piece of this beautiful artform. These earrings though, should and would be the best first piece of plique a jour to add to my collection. I love the colors and I love the design. They are 18k yellow gold and feature 12 brilliant cut diamonds. Estimate: $500-700

Lot 118: This diamond and ruby ring stopped me in my tracks. Wow. It is done in platinum and set with a marquise cut in the center, with calibre French cut rubies and round diamond accents. It is pristinely made and you can see the remarkable craftsmanship even in the photo alone–now I want to see it in person! It could be yours on September 10th. Estimate: $4,500-6,500

Leslie Hindman: Lot 124 Leslie Hindman: Lot 300

Lot 124: This ring is so cool for so many reasons! Let’s start with the fact that it has contrasting metals–rose gold and platinum. The design is also pretty amazing, and the different metals really play off this element. The rubies are actually different, if you already couldn’t tell–one is synthetic and the other is genuine. Such a stunning ring. Estimate: $4,500-6,500

Lot 300: The coolest earrings I ever did see. These are actually diamond studs with detachable jackets that easily slip on/off the earring posts. There are four jackets total, so lots of possibilities here! And the style of these has never been more on-trend. Geometric and angular, love them. The diamond studs total 2.26 carats. Estimate: 3,000-5,000

Leslie Hindman: Lot 487 Leslie Hindman: Lot 509

Lot 487: I had to include this insane emerald ring because of its colossal size–then I read further and realized it is a piece by Judy Geib. A true artist who hand makes everything herself–fun fact: did you know she taught herself how to make jewelry? No formal training. Her pieces are known for their juxtapositions–like beauty and rawness, fine gold mixed with silver. Estimate: $4,500-6,500

Lot 509: Iconic and chic, I had to include this cuff bracelet from Verdura into my favorites list! It is easily recognizable as a Verdura statement piece. Done in 18k yellow gold, set with peridot, amethyst, and diamond and complete with the Maltese cross enameled in black. What a special bracelet. Estimate: 28,000-38,000

This sponsored blog post was brought to you in collaboration with Leslie Hindman.

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SEPTEMBER SALE: September 10th-12th

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PRECIOUS ENCOUNTER : SARAH APPLETON

WHITE bIRD is pleased to welcome Sarah Appleton among its designers ! Paris based jeweler, Sarah is a descendant of the Bonebakker family, with a legacy lasting over two hundred years in the silver and goldsmith business. Defined by a clean aesthetic, the silhouettes are fluid and modern, often catching the eye when the gold or a precisely placed diamond reflects the light. The namesake collections embody an easy and timeless elegance meant to be worn and loved daily. The designer agreed to share her memories and her inspirations in an interview…

What is your first jewellery memory ?

My first piece of jewelry was an original Native American Fetish Necklace given to me by my grandmother, which hung on my wall growing up and something I still have in my collection. She was also a jewelry collector and would only wear one statement piece either made for her by my uncle or a magnificent art deco ring.

What’s the first piece that you designed ?

Starting at three, I would make earring collections with my older sister out of paper and other odd materials, which I would then tape to my ears.  At about  twelve, I had my first experience working with metal soldering together a silver twisted ring.  Then about 10 years ago in New York I started working in gold and made the Pull Through earrings as a solution to feeling unbalanced wearing any other earrings.

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What is your favorite stone ? Why ? 

I don’t have a single favorite stone, I absolutely love working with diamonds (especially Navettes) and natural sapphires.

Do you have a piece of jewellery that you wear all year-round ?

Double Navette Ring.

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Who are your favorite jewellery designers ?

Suzanne Belperron , René Boivin , Buccellati  and the Yazzie family.

What are your greatest design influences ?

The subtleties in art, architecture, nature, and our experiences.

What do you listen to in your studio ?

When I have music playing, mixes my fiancé makes for me with 90s hip hop, soul and funk. Also a little bit of Buena vista social club, la son charanga , Nina Simone, Django Reinhardt, Rhianna, Kaytranada, Disclosure, Chet Faker, The XX… Depending on my mood.  Apart from music I listen to audio books and NPR radio. Other times it is just studio sounds, Paris rain and the birds chirping in the garden below.

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If you were not a jewellery designer, what would you do?

Artist, or wood furniture designer.

Which famous people (living or dead) inspire you the most ?

Most importantly the people in my life, along with Lucy Dodd, Dorothea Rockburne, Ellsworth Kelly, Tadao Ando, Richard Serra, James Turrell …

What is your dream destination ?

My list is never-ending, but this year I would like to take a trip to go sapphire hunting and surfing in Sri Lanka.

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Richard Serra

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Tadao Ando

Photos credits: Sarah Appleton

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One to Follow: @newtwiststore

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I’ve been noticing more and more jewelry stores across the US starting to focus solely on social media, a category of business that once was not thought of as being serious, let alone needing a full-time, specialized department for it. But now more than ever, with brick & mortar stores closing regularly, it is those stores that are developing their Instagram pages, revamping websites, setting up e-commerce shops, as well as holding down their brick & mortar stores, that are rising above the rest and doing better than ever!

NewTw!st has done just that and more! Their website has been recently redesigned, giving it a user-friendly experience with lots of dynamic photos of product, and they’ve taken on their Instagram account full-force by having the most colorful, stop-in-your-tracks photographs. NewTw!st carries some unique designer jewelry and I love how the photos capture the personality of each piece in the way that it deserves. Playful earrings spread out in an almost delicious way, ring stacks that are well thought out, jewelry groupings that are color-coded and pleasing to the eye…their expertise in merchandising reaches far beyond an in-store jewelry display.

I’m hoping to get a chance to visit NewTw!st in person–located in Eugene, Oregon up in the Pacific Northwest. Hopefully soon enough! In the meantime, you’ll be like me and totally enjoy following on Instagram

Click here to follow NewTw!st on Instagram.

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Q & A with Ashley of Jewelry Finds

Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip

One of the most abundant comments I receive from people is gratitude for instilling a love for antique items, specifically jewelry, into the younger generation. If all else fails, I feel like I’ve contributed to the greater good of this world by promoting an appreciation for the past, rather than buying fast and new products. I’m always excited to profile someone that is younger than me and exudes a passion for antique jewelry which they’ve been fostering on their own, making it their occupation and being successful at it! That’s why I’m really excited to feature Ashley of Jewelry Finds, an online-based antique and vintage jewelry shop that has been run by her and her mother since 2013. Let’s find out more, shall we?

Q&A

I was 20 years old enjoying burgers and shakes around midnight with my friends at a diner in my hometown of Bethesda, Maryland. Suddenly, a woman I had never met walked right up my table and asked if I had ever considered selling jewelry before. Maybe she liked way I laughed? How I talked to people? The way I scarfed down my cheeseburger in 30 seconds? Whatever it was, I now know it was fate. Fast forward two months later and I had my first big city job at Washington D.C.’s oldest antique jeweler. Shortly thereafter, my antique jewelry fairytale was written and I was given an old brooch that changed my life!

Visit my website to read my magical and true story: https://www.jewelryfinds.com/about.html

Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip

Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip

Q&A

So my love affair of jewelry professionally goes back 13+ years but I actually used to model in jewelry stores for their holiday trunk shows in high school! So I think 17 years?! I am a GIA alumni and love learning about any type of jewelry from any era on any given day! To acquire my pieces I have hundreds of contacts with jewelry wholesalers and auction houses. They know how particular I am and how I like to hand select everything myself! I only pick unique, well preserved and heirloom quality pieces for my clients. I don’t offer pieces in my collection unless I would want it for myself!

I joined the online retail world in 2013 with four pieces of my own jewelry for sale and since it has grown to over 200 carefully hand curated heirloom quality pieces of art! I am strictly a web-based business so I have the time to add new pieces weekly! Check back often! Just click on my ‘Newest Finds’ section on my website or click on the link below:

https://www.jewelryfinds.com/products/newest-finds.html

In case you were wondering how I got ALL of this done, I didn’t want to forget the backbone of the company and co-owner of Jewelry Finds®, my mom Janet! She is Jewelry Finds® amazing photographer, videographer, bookkeeper, graphic designer, website designer, shipping expert and my BEST FRIEND! She loves jewelry just as much as I do and I make sure to spoil her every chance I get! We both share a love for antique jewelry, cute animals and Joni Mitchell. She’s the web guru. I’m the jewelry guru. It was a match made in heaven for a web based antique fine jewelry business from the very start.

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Q&A

Hands down, my favorite piece in my collection for sale is this enormous and rare Art Nouveau enamel and diamond ring! It features gorgeous shaded green and pastel yellow enameling, chunky old mine cut diamonds, and a central Peruzzi cut diamond weighing approximately .80cts . This ring is made entirely in era appropriate brushed 18k green-yellow gold. It’s a museum worthy piece!

Here is the link everyone and don’t forget to watch it’s YouTube video!

https://www.jewelryfinds.com/product/antique-diamond-ring-art-nouveau-1900s-green-enamel-cushion-cut-peruzzi-diamond-18k-yellow-gold-statement-ring.html

Featured front-and-center in photo below:

Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip

Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip

Q&A

1) A pristine and classic ‘Moi Et Toi’ early Edwardian ‘Tiffany & Co.’ old European cut diamond and natural emerald bypass ring with original hallmarks.

2) This Victorian moonstone and old mine cut diamond heart locket with intricate enameling & hand engraving.

3) And last but not least, a pair of late Victorian chandelier earrings measuring over just over 2.5” inches long made in era appropriate 14k yellow gold with sterling silver tops. These earrings featured almost three carats of chunky and sparkling old mine cut, table cut, and antique pear cut diamonds. Ugh. Officially depressed!

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Q&A

My Victorian 14k Yellow Gold & Old Mine Cut Diamond Brooch, of course!

(This brooch changed Ashley’s life, read the full story & see it here >> https://www.jewelryfinds.com/about.html )

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This sponsored post was brought to you in collaboration with Jewelry Finds.

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PRECIOUS ENCOUNTER : CATHY WATERMAN

The famous American designer Cathy Waterman answered our questions !
It is after a career in film production that she begins to create jewellery inspired by nature and fairy tales. Handmade in her Los Angeles studio, her jewellery are made with a particular attention to details for our greatest happiness…

What is your first jewelry memory ? 

When I was a little girl, my family travelled to Europe and in Paris, in a store window, I saw a little heart shaped gold charm with simple engraved images of a boy and a girl … for a long time, it was what I thought about when I thought about Paris and about love. When I got back, my parents surprised me with that charm which I must have worn but have absolutely no recollection of wearing. For me, it was the idea of love and the mystery of Paris, and not the object that moved me.

What the first piece that you designed ? 

The first pieces I designed were a collection of jewels that were 22k gold and inspired by history and my love for castles and crowns and were hammered and set with princess cut diamonds, sapphires and rubies. They evoked buried treasure and had little pearls and the beginning of my obsession with lace.

What is your favorite stone ? Why ? 

I love turquoise. It’s a healing stone and I wear it year round always feel good with it on. I love the color and that it calms me. I love color and my favorite is green, every single of the million shades of it…emeralds, tourmalines, garnets, etc… On the other hand, I love to work with diamonds because by their nature, they allow me to create light…not big diamonds but more the little ones that I set in lace and watch twinkle as I move through the day and into night.

Do you have a piece of jewellery that you wear all year round ? 

I wear a leather necklace with many charms dangling, all of which are personal and are the talismans of my life : a locket with photos of my family, two engraved child charms (one with my kids names on it and one that my mom wore with the names of her progeny), a gold pair of wings that are a copy of a set on my dad’s air force uniform, a juggler charm from my muse collection, because, what mother isn’t a juggler ?

Who are your favorite jewellery designers ? 

I love some old Buccellati pieces and so much of the work of the art nouveau jewelers, pieces that I like to visit at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs.

What are your greatest design influences ? 

Nature and history and travels and frankly, things I’ve not seen yet are my inspiration. There’s nothing more glorious and humbling than nature and it has provided the motifs for my work from the beginning… I travel everywhere and see things that bring me to my knees in wonder… And I’m a history lover and the stories it tells become movies in my head and jewels in the studio.

What do you listen to in your studio ? 

Music at every single moment of my life. I grew up in a house where it was Broadway Show Tunes and Franck Sinatra and Barbra Streisand records on as well as Opera and I have super eclectic tastes and on shuffle it jumps from Puccini to Sade to Taylor Swift to Swahili lessons.

If you weren’t a jewellery designer, what would you do ? 

I would be a teacher. I love kids and for the past 13 years have devoted a morning or two each week to a school in Compton and have had some of the best times of my life in a classroom. Or I would be a landscape architect and build gardens that I dream about.

Which famous people (living or dead) inspire you the most ? 

I’m inspired by people who bravely pursue their dreams in the face of challenges and the explorers who went where no one else has gone. I wish that I had that kind of courage. By name, Mahatma Gandhi, Steve Jobs, whoever invented the Internet, Le Corbusier, Nelson Mandela, Dr. Martin Luther King, Kobe Bryant.

Photos credits : My Little Paris, Cathy Waterman

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PRECIOUS ENCOUNTER : LOQUET LONDON

Loquet London is a British luxury jewellery concept created by Sheherazade Goldsmith with her friend Laura Bailey in June 2013. Inspired by the age-old idea of a keepsake-locket combined with a modern desire to personalize and tell a woman’s stories, the gold framed crystal ‘Loquet’ is designed to open and be personalized with collectable charms and birthstones. From a lucky horseshoe, a gold initial, a September sapphire or a diamond studded shooting star, each ‘Loquet’ is a unique and bespoke gift, a love letter coded in charms.

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What is your first jewellery memory ?

Making pieces with colored beads, under the sun. Long afternoons spent creating jewels for friends and family.

What’s the first piece that you designed ? 

Our beloved Loquet – finding the right opening mechanism was a challenge, as the design is very technical.

What is your favorite stone and why ?

Has to be a diamond. It’s simplicity and it’s chameleon quality.

Do you have a piece of jewellery that you wear all year round ?

My medium heart loquet. It’s my lucky talisman, filled with charms relating to the people I love and laugh with most.

What are your greatest design influences ? 

Travel – the adventure fuels so much inspiration.

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What do you listen to in your studio ? 

A bit of everyone – a mash up.

If you weren’t a jewellery designer what would you be ? 

A plantswoman.

Which famous people (living or dead) inspire you the most ? 

So many …but all are trumped by my kids.

What is your dream destination ? 

Somewhere wild, with scarcely anyone else in sight, both mountainous and surrounded by the sea, with seasons that bring tropical weather as well as now.

Photo credits : Loquet London and Garance Doré 

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