April 8, 2013
‚ÄúI may be persuaded to surrender the hat,‚ÄĚ Thatcher declares. ‚ÄúThe pearls, however, are non-negotiable.‚ÄĚ
Today, we say goodbye to one of the most powerful women in Britain, Lady Margaret Thatcher. While her achievements extend beyond the scope of this blog, let’s take a look at a more finite aspect of this incredible woman: her jewelry. Lady Thatcher was a staunch pearl wearer with a penchant for broaches, always a classic and polished look, as evidenced by these images.
January 14, 2013
What an award-winning night last night, huh? I don’t remember the last time the Golden Globes received such a buzz. As for the fashion and the jewelry, we saw everything from the understated like these stud earrings worn by actress Anne Hathaway:
To the the over-the-top, as seen by Jessica Alba who sported this $5.7 million (gulp!) Harry Winston diamond necklace.
Here are a few other knockout necklaces:
Want to check out more of the hottest jewelry worn at last night’s Golden Globe awards? Check out Jewelry Insider for full effect.
September 10, 2012
The Bahia Emerald is one of the largest emeralds (or more appropriately, emerald crystals embedded in a host rock) and contains the largest single shard ever found. The approximately 840 lb (1,900,000 carats) Brazilian stone narrowly escaped flooding during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 during a period of storage in a warehouse in New Orleans. This short video retells some of the lore of its discovery.
August 6, 2012
While many critics took careful note of the fact that the American Olympic team was clothed in uniforms made in China (Really? What were they thinking?), one small jeweler in Rhode Island (a state known for their long history of costume jewelry making) created bangle bracelets that were an instant hit.
Cranston-based Alex and Ani was selected by the US Olympic Committee to produce the charms for the 2012 London Games. It‚Äôs the latest sign of success for the company, which has gone from a small manufacturing operation with 15 employees and a store in Newport to an economic dynamo with 16 stores across the country. It‚Äôs a rare economic success story in a state with an unemployment rate of 10.9 percent, second-highest in the nation.
‚Äė‚ÄėYou can do business in the state of Rhode Island,‚Äô‚Äô said owner and designer Carolyn Rafaelian. ‚Äė‚ÄėYou can thrive in the state of Rhode Island. You can make things here. It‚Äôs about love, about helping your community. I couldn‚Äôt say those things and make my stuff in China.‚Äô‚Äô
Alex and Ani makes colorful charms, beaded bangles, and other jewelry, mostly priced at less than $50. Many feature symbols from the zodiac, gods from Greek mythology, or the logos from Major League Baseball teams. The products are manufactured in Rhode Island using recycled materials.
The Olympic charm has proved to be a hit, with silver medalist swimmer Elizabeth Beisel, herself a Rhode Islander, tweeting that she was ‚Äė‚Äėmore than excited for the Alex and Ani charm‚Äô‚Äô she found in her uniform bag.
July 23, 2012
We can’t say we were surprised when we saw this article. At our Scottsdale studio, we’ve seen a substantial increase in non-traditional engagement ring purchases. This article attributes it to celebrities who have thought outside of the box when it comes to engagement rings, but we also see that more modern couples naturally gravitate toward an engagement ring that speaks to their particular aesthetic. Whatever the reason, we carry gorgeous non-traditional engagement rings, including a collection of Barkev rings, mentioned in this piece:
A nontraditional engagement ring from Barkev‚Äôs (Photo according to Barkev‚Äôs)
Diamonds may be forever, but the traditional diamond engagement ring is not for everyone.
Jennifer Lopez made headlines back in 2002 when she wore a pink diamond engagement ring from then fianc√© Ben Affleck, inspiring others to copy the trend. In a recent rom-com, The¬†Five-Year Engagement, Jason Segel‚Äôs character proposes to his girlfriend with an antique ruby ring.
Even Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg chose a simple ruby stunner for his bride, Priscilla Chan, following in the footsteps of football player Eric Johnson, who proposed to Jessica Simpson last fall with a Neil Lane engagement ring centered on a cushion-cut ruby flanked by diamond accents.
In part because of these celebrity ring choices, nontraditional engagement rings have risen in popularity. ‚ÄúWhile about 95 percent of people come in looking for classic diamonds, there is always that 5 percent that go for something different,‚ÄĚ Bob Swanson, owner of Swanson Jewelers in Arlington, Mass., says. ‚ÄúSapphires and rubies have been popular recently.‚ÄĚ
Take a look at a few of our our non-traditional engagement rings below or view our full collection here.
Style 10702 Style 10703 Style 10733 Style 10752 Style 10764 Style 10759 Style 10736 Style 10780 Style 10795
July 17, 2012
We don’t think much about buying costume jewelry. It’s fun and easy to wear. It also sits on your skin, which is an organ, for hours at a time. And if your children are wearing costume children, they could be mindlessly sticking it in their mouths. Hence why it’s so disturbing to think so much lead (and cadmium–another dangerous component of cheap jewelry) is freely and easily passing through the marketplace.
LOS ANGELES ‚ÄĒ California is cracking down on more than a dozen businesses accused of selling and distributing costume jewelry containing dangerous levels of lead despite repeated warnings.
State investigators uncovered hundreds of lead-laced trinkets marketed to children and adults, including some pieces contaminated with lead levels more than 1,000 times the legal state limit.
The state was expected to file a lawsuit Tuesday against 16 companies ‚Äď retailers, wholesalers, suppliers and distributors ‚Äď doing business in Los Angeles and elsewhere. The companies are accused of violating lead standards and engaging in deceptive practices by falsely advertising tainted jewelry as lead-free.
For the past three years, inspectors at the state Department of Toxic Substances Control conducted spot checks at stores and factories, zapping necklaces, earrings, hair clips and tiaras with hand-held X-ray devices to check for lead. Items with high lead content were then shipped to a laboratory for detailed analysis. Jewelry items containing the toxic metal were mostly inexpensive.
Brian Johnson, deputy director of enforcement, said these were not isolated cases.
“You can walk into most any fashion jewelry business in the LA jewelry district and find similar violations,” Johnson said.
It’s against the law to make, ship or sell jewelry that contains dangerous levels of lead. Children’s jewelry cannot contain lead content exceeding the legal state limit of 600 parts per million. For adults, the limit is 60,000 parts per million.
July 2, 2012
Architecture and jewelry design seem distinctly related. Both require bold, imaginative thinking, a sense of structure and flow and a final result that should wow the viewer. So it’s no surprise that world-renowned architect Frank Gehry could combine elements of his work and create amazing, distinctive pieces that usher in a new world of jewelry design. Undoubtedly we’ll see jewelry making continue in this vain, where artists are inspired by more accessible, eco-friendly or urban material as their source and the look breaks aesthetic boundaries.
Frank Gehry takes one giant leap in this direction and continues to earn his reputation for creating ‚Äúbeauty without rules‚ÄĚ with a collection of jewelry constructed of concrete.
According to Pursuitist:
The collection comprises bangles and rings in Gehry‚Äôs signature torque design that echoes the twists and gently curved surfaces of his architectural triumphs. In a light gray hue and lined with sterling silver that is ridged like ‚Äúrebars‚ÄĚ which reinforce masonry structures, the jewelry takes on dynamic new expression, reflecting the kinetic rhythm and spontaneity of Gehry‚Äôs sketches and models.
‚ÄúFor me, design is about the process,‚ÄĚ Gehry said. ‚ÄúSketching and shaping three-dimensional models and conceptualizing different possibilities‚ÄĒthis is the essence of creating, whether in architecture or jewelry.‚ÄĚ
May 7, 2012
Exciting news for vintage jewelry lovers! The whimsy and sweetness of Schiaperlli is now within your reach.
On May 2, 1stdibs.com, the marketplace for all things vintage, will unveil a selection of rare Elsa Schiaparelli jewelry, timed to a museum show that connects her work to that of another influential Italian designer, Miuccia Prada. The items for sale were made between the 1930s and 1950s. They range in price from $350, for a pair of japanned metal ear clips, to more than $50,000 for a makeup compact shaped like a rotary telephone dial, which Schiaparelli designed with Salvador Dali around 1935.
‚ÄúThe nice thing about those pieces from the ‚Äô50s is that they‚Äôre not so expensive, even now,‚ÄĚ said Mark Walsh of Vintage Luxury, who sourced this collection for 1stdibs.com with his business partner, Leslie Chin. ‚ÄúSo everybody can have a little something Schiaparelli.‚ÄĚ
Here’s some samples of her work:
May 2, 2012
It displays from various angles the amazing Mirror Diamond necklace, containing five Mughal empire pendant diamonds with emerald drops and being offered at private sale at a price of $20 million, said auction house Bonham’s on Monday.
As you’ll hear on the video, this necklace contains colorless, rough diamonds that were discovered in the ancient Golconda mines in India during the height of the Mughal empire in the 16th and 17th centuries.
At 28 carats, the central stone is the largest mirror or table-cut diamond known to survive.
April 23, 2012
As we commemorate 100 years since The Titanic sank, many have been reflecting on the thousands of stories that have been told about this tragedy, from so many varying standpoints. This story in particular reflects on one man, a jeweler, who managed to send one piece of jewelry home to his family, but the diamonds he accrued were lost, possibly to be found in the not-so-distant future. Thanks to Stephanie Schaefer, Editorial Assistant at JCK, for this touching piece.
Ervin Lewy (photos courtesy of Stanley Lewy)
As the world commemorates the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, the descendants of a jeweler who made the fateful trip still hope that his lost inventory will be found.
In the early 1900s, Marks, Jay B., and Ervin Lewy established the Lewy Brothers Jewelry Company in Chicago, Ill. The store, which catered to the carriage trade, flourished until the time of the Great Depression.
In 1912, Ervin Lewy, the youngest brother, went to Europe on a diamond buying trip.
After poor luck purchasing diamonds in Amsterdam, Ervin decided to stay in Europe a few extra days and take the Titanic back to the United States. ‚ÄúI‚Äôll be here about a week yet to see if I can‚Äôt do better. Can‚Äôt catch the Rotterdam as I expected but will probably sail on the Titanic from Cherborough the 10th,‚ÄĚ Ervin wrote in a letter he sent home.
Ervin died when the ship sunk and never made it back to America, but a gift he sent his mother arrived in the mail shortly after the voyage. ‚ÄúHe was in Paris and saw a sapphire with a cameo carved into it at Cartier and sent it to my grandmother through mail,‚ÄĚ Stanley Lewy, Ervin‚Äôs great-nephew, says. ‚ÄúWhen the sapphire arrived my grandfather set the stone in a ring surrounded by baguette diamonds.‚ÄĚ