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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The Knot: 3 Awesome Alternative Engagement Ring Styles to Consider

The Knot | Gem Gossip

We are incredibly pumped to reveal some exciting news–I am going to be contributing monthly features over at The Knot! The online destination and magazine are both leaders in all things bridal, reaching 8 out of 10 brides in America with more than 11 million monthly unique visitors! I’m looking forward to applying my gemological knowledge and style expertise, along with my taste and creative energy, to The Knot and reach a larger audience.

Look out for my posts–I will be sharing them on my social media platforms and I will try to post them here as well!

Here’s my first one–I’ve rounded up some alternative engagement ring styles. Here’s the link:

https://www.theknot.com/content/alternative-engagement-rings

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Why Some Gemstones Make Terrible Engagement Rings

Some Gems Make Terrible Engagement Rings | Gem Gossip

The above gemstones are all beautiful, but which would make a great engagement ring and which two are bad choices for an everyday wear piece?

Alternative engagement rings have been popular long before Princess Diana (and subsequently Kate Middleton) donned a blue sapphire. In fact, diamonds weren’t commonly used in engagement rings until the early 20th century. Stones were picked based on birthdays, symbolism, and what color was in-vogue at the time.

While it can be exciting to imagine an engagement ring with mystical and trendy stones like opal and moonstone, these gemstones actually make terrible engagement rings. So terrible that you might find yourself sulking over a ruined ring with a stone that has been chipped and gouged beyond repair. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Why Won’t Some Gemstones Work?

Even though I don’t recommend wearing your rings ALL the time, most engagement rings are worn nearly every day. Even if you are the gentlest person on the planet, your engagement ring will always be subject to potential damage. Some stones simply shouldn’t take that risk because the gemstone may not be hard enough to handle even the slightest impact.

Every gemstone has a hardness factor, which basically tells us how much bumping and scraping a gem can take before it becomes scratched or damaged. This hardness is ranked between 1-10 on what is known as the Mohs Scale of Hardness. In theory, the higher the number on the Mohs Scale, the harder and more durable the gemstone is. There are exceptions to this rule, but generally, the lower the number, the more you shouldn’t use this stone as an engagement ring.

How Does the Mohs Scale Figure Out Hardness?

The best way I can think to explain this is exactly how I learned it in my Geology 101 class my Freshman year of college. Let’s see if you can follow, and for those of you that already know this, bear with me. The Mohs Scale ranks a gemstone’s hardness by whether or not it can be scratched by other gemstones or materials. If the gemstone being scratched shows a mark or abrasion, it is softer than (or equal to) the material that scratched it. If the hardness is equal, the gemstone that was scratched should also be able to effectively scratch the material that scratched it.

Since diamonds are ranked highest on the Mohs Scale at a 10, they should essentially be able to scratch every other gemstone’s surface.

Why Diamonds are Forever

One reason diamonds are so prized for engagement rings is because of their rank on the Mohs Scale. At a 10, diamonds are the hardest substance known to man. In fact, no other gemstone comes close to this hardness factor. This doesn’t mean diamonds are indestructible (more on this in a future post), but it does mean that it is much more difficult to damage a diamond than say a garnet that ranks between 6.5 – 7.5.

What Stones are the Absolute Worst for Engagement Rings?

Not to dissuade you, but if a gemstone makes this list, you’ll really want to rethink your strategy before using it in an engagement ring. That’s not to say you couldn’t. Some of these stones are significantly less expensive than diamonds, so if they become damaged, they could easily be replaced.

A word of warning though — take extra care not to get sentimentally attached to the stone itself, since you might be forced to replace it someday. You could also opt to not wear the ring every day. Save it for special occasions and wear your wedding band instead. There are no engagement ring rules stating you have to wear your ring seven days a week, and who says you should only have one!

But, regardless, these gemstones will make the worst non-diamond engagement rings:

  1. Opal: Ranks 5.5 – 6.5 and is very susceptible to crazing and chipping.
  2. Moonstone: Ranks 6 – 6.5 with a polished cab surface that is easy to scratch.
  3. Pearl: Ranks 2.5 – 4.5 and has a nacre coating that can peel away.
  4. Emerald: Ranks 7.5 – 8 which is hard but this stone is very prone to cracking.
  5. Garnet: Ranks 6.5 – 7 and will easily show age around facet edges in time.

Best Engagement Ring Stones Other Than Diamonds:

All hope is not lost if you’re set on using a gemstone other than a diamond for your engagement ring. Even though most of these gemstones aren’t as durable as diamonds, they will stay in great shape for a lifetime as long as you take proper care of your jewelry.

Here are some of my favorite alternative engagement ring stones:

  1. Aquamarine: Ranks 7.5 – 8 and has a gorgeous pale blue color.
  2. Blue Sapphire: Ranks 9 with a classic, timeless appeal.
  3. Ruby: Ranks 9 and is perfect for a more feminine style.
  4. Morganite: Ranks 7.5 – 8, is pale with peach undertones.

There are so many other gemstones not listed here and other factors that affect durability, too. But this guide should at least get you started. Remember to always look up a gemstone’s hardness on the Mohs Scale. If it ranks below a 6, do a little more research and weigh your options. Good luck and happy hunting!

This post was contributed by:

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

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Ten Facts You Didn’t Know About Engagement Rings

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History of Engagement Rings

1. The first diamond engagement ring in recorded history was presented by the Emperor Maximilian I of Austria to his betrothed, Mary of Burgundy, in 1477. The ring was set with diamonds in the shape of the letter ‘M’.

2. A new trend for ‘acrostic’ engagement rings emerged during the Victorian period in Britain. These featured words spelled out by the first letters of the gemstones set in the ring. The word ‘regards’ was a favorite, spelled out using a ruby, followed by an emerald, then a garnet and so on.

3. The phrase “Diamonds are forever” has entered the vernacular and lent its name to Sean Connery’s final film as James Bond but did you know that it was originally an advertising slogan? It was coined by De Beers in 1947 to kickstart diamond sales after a lull caused by the Great Depression and World War II.

Diamond Rings

4. Natural diamonds are extremely old and take around a billion years to form in the Earth’s molten interior. Stones used in engagement rings can be anywhere from 900 million years old to an astounding 3.2 billion years old.

5. The ‘carat’ is the main measurement used to judge diamonds and refers to the weight and size of the stone. It is so called because originally carob seeds were used as counterweights for the scales used to weigh diamonds. A modern carat is a metric unit equivalent to 200 milligrams, or 7 thousandths of an ounce!

6. The color of a diamond is another of the major factors that determines how much it costs. Color is graded on a scale that judges how colorless the diamond is, with white stones being the most desirable and thus expensive.

7. Which isn’t to say that other colors of diamonds aren’t much sought after. ‘Fancy diamond’ is the term used to describe a stone when its color falls outside the normal color range. Fancy diamonds can be blue, green, red, yellow, pink and even purple or black.

Alternative Engagement Rings

8. Every precious gem is rated for hardness using the Mohs scale. This is a measure of how resistant the stone is to being scratched. Diamonds top out at 10 on the Mohs scale and are one of the hardest naturally occurring materials in the world.

9. Gemstones with a Mohs rating of 8 or above are generally recommended for engagement rings, because they can stand up to the rigors of daily wear. Sapphires and rubies both score 9 on the Mohs scale while emeralds are only a 7.5 and opals ae just a 6.

10. In some countries, engagement rings don’t feature gemstones at all. The Claddagh ring, a traditional Irish ring, has a motif depicting a pair of hands clasped around a heart and a crown, symbolizing love, friendship and loyalty. While some more modern variants incorporate a ruby or other precious stone, the original version does not have a gemstone set in it.

For dozens more fascinating engagement ring facts, a hundred in all, check out ROX’s guide to All Things Engagement Rings.

Thanks to Gossip Gem

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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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SHOW ME YOUR RINGS! XCII

colettejewelry thegemhunter Theedencollective jacquieaiche roseark dovesjewelry loganhollowelljewelry brokenenglishjewelry sirciamjewelry

from top to bottom:

Colette Jewelry stacks up some new pieces that are dark yet colorful!

The Gem Hunter showing off some rings of the day, including some that are for sale

The Eden Collective creates a moody feminine vibe with cameos and black hearts

a fist full of Jacquie Aiche jewels some of my favorites in her collections

Roseark wearing Gienia Design + Barry Brinker Fine Jewelry, a winning combination

Doves Jewelry proves that all one color can have a major impact, love it

Logan Hollowell Jewelry creates stacks that are elegant, trendy and downright beautiful

Broken English Jewelry plays with Andrea Fohrman’s celestial rings

stacks and stacks of Sirciam Jewelry on the fingers and on jewelry cases

Thanks to Gossip Gem

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New October Opals from Arik Kastan Jewelry

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

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)!

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

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

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

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


Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

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


Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

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

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

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

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

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


Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

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


Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

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


Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

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


Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

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


Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

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

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

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

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

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

Thanks to Gossip Gem

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How to Clean Antique Jewelry: The Important Do’s & Don’ts

How to Clean Jewelry | Gem Gossip How to Clean Jewelry | Gem Gossip How to Clean Jewelry | Gem Gossip How to Clean Jewelry | Gem Gossip

For anyone that’s unfamiliar, antique jewelry is any piece of jewelry that is more than 100 years old. That’s a lot of years for dirt to collect under gemstones, metal to patina, and for grime to take away from the inherent beauty of the heirloom. It’s tempting to pick up a polishing cloth and buff away years of unwanted residue. But wait! Before you do that…

There is a right way and a wrong way to clean antique jewelry. We’ve compiled some basic do’s and don’ts you must know before you potentially ruin your investment.

*Remember, this is a general guide for fine antique jewelry. Some antique jewelry like cameos or hair jewelry require special care beyond what is listed here.

D O N ‘ T


1. Polish away patina on old rose or yellow gold jewelry

Patina is something that takes years to form. Some reproduction jewelry will actually try to fake this patina in order to make an item appear older than it is. For Georgian and Victorian jewelry, it’s important not to go overboard with polishing. You don’t want the yellow gold to be so light and shine like the day it was made.

Be careful if you’re having your rings resized by someone not familiar with antique jewelry. The tendency is to take rings to a high polish once the sizing is done. Advise them only to lightly polish the portion where the gold has been added or taken away on the bottom of the ring shank.

2. Use ultrasonic machines

There are times when it is okay to put antique jewelry into an ultrasonic machine for a very quick clean, and I mean quick. But to err on the side of caution, avoid using them altogether. If you have a platinum and diamond engagement ring from the 1920’s, an ultrasonic machine might be okay if the stones are tight and the prongs are in good shape. Most of the time though, the subtle but intense vibrations from these machines can do more harm than good.

3. Submerge jewelry for a long period

Liquid can be detrimental to some antique jewelry, especially jewelry with cameos, opals, seed pearls, or any other soft stone. For fragile jewelry, it’s best not to completely saturate the piece with liquid at all. Instead, lightly clean with a damp brush or cloth.

4. Clean with harsh chemicals like ammonia

The internet will often tell you how wonderful ammonia is for making your diamonds shine. This might work (in moderation) for new jewelry, but antique jewelry deserves a much gentler approach. Avoid harsh detergents, ammonia, and please never use household cleaners containing bleach!

D O


1. Make a gentle cleaning solution

Sometimes the best way to clean your antique jewelry is by making your own DIY cleaning solution. Most jewelry cleaners you find in the store will cost you a lot more money and may not even be as effective. They may even contain harsh chemicals.

To make your own solution, mix lukewarm water with a small amount of mild soap like Dove until it is sudsy. The key here is in the cleaning technique, not necessarily in the solution.

2. Use a soft toothbrush and lint free cloth

Once you make your solution, it’s time to clean your antique jewelry. You’ll either submerge the item for a few minutes to loosen grime, or if your item contains soft stones, you lightly dampen your toothbrush. Before you begin, make sure no stones are loose.

Then, gently brush your jewelry, paying attention to areas like underneath the stone and underneath the prongs. Use slow circular motions using only light pressure. If the piece is extremely dirty, don’t be tempted to use more pressure; instead, implement more patience. Submerge your jewelry into the solution again (if your jewelry can handle it) then gently repeat, repeat, repeat.

3. Make sure to rinse and dry thoroughly

You don’t want to give fragile jewelry a bath, but you want to be sure you remove any soap residue that might build up and defeat the whole purpose of cleaning your jewelry. Run the jewelry under lukewarm water and pat dry. For rings, take a polishing cloth and very lightly buff the shank, avoiding any area near stones or engravings. Let jewelry completely dry before putting it away.

4. Have the right expectations

Antique jewelry is never meant to look new. If this is your intention when cleaning jewelry, think again. Sure, you want to remove dirt, grime, bacteria, and all that other gross stuff. But you don’t want to take away years of character and patina. Is there a scratch in the gold? Leave it, don’t have it buffed away. Is the gold too dark for your liking? Consider a more modern replica like those from Arik Kastan instead.

How do you clean your antique jewelry? Any tips I missed? Let us know in the comments.

This post was contributed by:

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

Source: GossipGem.com

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Top Gold Jewelry Trends for 2017, with May Is Gold Month

May Is Gold Month | Gem Gossip May Is Gold Month | Gem Gossip May Is Gold Month | Gem Gossip

This is my fourth year partnering with May Is Gold Month and I think it goes without saying that I love all things karat gold! In preparing for this trend post, I thought it would be a good idea to spread out almost all of my jewelry across my entire desk. Scattering each piece allowed for all the memories, sentiment, special occasions and sparkle to overflow at once. I was reminded how powerful gold can be in more ways than one. It also helped me fully understand why May Is Gold Month exists and why they are so adamant about celebrating a single metal.

When found in the ground, gold can look like an undesirable pebble; dirty and hiding its value. It is the makers and jewelry designers who unlock the true beauty of gold when they create a piece of jewelry using gold. It comes to life and takes shape–it can be made to look shiny, textured, brushed, or hammered. It can be rose, green, red, or brown (even some other colors too). A single piece of gold jewelry can provoke laughter, tears and joy, all at the same time. It also can unlock the trends, feelings and historical happenings from which time period it was made.

All of my karat gold jewelry has a special place and meaning in my life. Some pieces were created during the turn-of-the-century, when other metals were being discovered and created…but gold always reigned supreme. Other pieces were designed specially for me by jewelry friends who have become like family. And my most important pieces of karat gold jewelry have been passed down to me, with tender stories and rich histories. It is my passion to teach others how to take all these jewels and style them in numerous ways, and it is May Is Gold Month‘s commitment to celebrating this that makes May one of my favorite months!

So this year’s trends will keep you on your toes–let’s get creative, as I challenge you each week to showing me how you style, wear and show me your karat gold with these six weekly trends–have fun!

Wrist Ornaments | Gem Gossip

Trend #1: Wrist Ornaments

My wrists have been BFF with these Victorian hinged bangles since the day I acquired each one. You know how the Cartier Love bracelets are known to “become a part of you” once you wear one–it is the same with these guys to me–and better yet, not every girl has a Victorian bangle. These are all 14k yellow gold and are uniquely me. I’m hoping to add another to my stack soon!

Jumping Through Hoops | Gem Gossip

Trend #2: Jumping Through Hoops

Let’s face it, hoops never go out of style–they may go on a hiatus every so often–but come back even stronger than ever every time. Like right now! Hoops are so popular–I’ve had these large, very light-weight 14k gold hoops for years now. I decided to update my hoop look by adding these post hoops that are tiny but very wide by J. Hannah. I love how modern they can look and how easy they can pair with just about anything!

Finger Frill | Gem Gossip

Trend #3: Finger Frill

Ah, easily my favorite of the weekly trends. Lately I’ve been loving all-gold looks paired together…ones that are geometric and linear in nature, with bends, twists, and curves. The newest addition is the one I’m wearing on my ring finger. It is a simple wave and the wave perfectly fits and accentuates my engagement ring. It has been my go-to wedding band as of late. A simple design can create such a unique impact!

Neck Jazz | Gem Gossip

Trend #4: Neck Jazz

My neck has been getting extra love lately as I’ve been really into karat gold necklaces, pendants and different types of chains. I added a solid gold wire necklace a few months ago to my jewelry wardrobe and it has been a game-changer. So many things I can do with it, the possibilities are limitless! I sometimes wear it alone, I can easily throw on a pendants or a grouping of charms, and I can layer it up as well, like seen here. I’ve been collecting lots of Egyptian Revival pendants and charms, like my ankh I’m wearing. I also can’t get enough of my DMD Metal Shaman necklace with a diamond drool and my simple diamond with no setting whatsoever (it is a pierced, free-standing diamond) necklace from La Brune & La Blonde.

Ear Decor | Gem Gossip

Trend #5: Ear Decor

How many of you got a new ear piercing this past year just because of how trendy karat gold earrings are?! Whether you pile on stud after stud, go for an ear cuff look, or go big and bold, ear decor has never been more popular! One of my favorite earrings are by Grace Lee Designs and she calls these Whisper Mobiles as each is like an art installation on your ear, but they are whisper-thin and ultra lightweight. I am wearing three different styles in one ear, all done in 14k yellow gold.

Gold for Guys | Gem Gossip

Trend #6: Gold for Guys

In a world with over 7 billion inhabitants, it is kismet that we find a partner that wants to spend the rest of its life on Earth with you. I happened to find that special person and what made our relationship even better was that he loves jewelry just as much as I do! From karat gold medallions, to karat gold sword stick pins, and everything in between, my husband loves wearing and collecting gold. My husband’s advice to any guy? “You should invest in a really nice karat gold bracelet that easily goes with your everyday style.” I agree!!

This sponsored post was brought to you in collaboration with May Is Gold Month.

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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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