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Jeweler News

  • Black Badger’s Stellar Advanced Composites

    After stumbling across this jeweler’s work, I just had to share. Very distinctive with an industrial, futuristic feel.

    James Thompson is a Canadian designer now residing in Sweden, producing rings, bangles and other objects from carbon and Corian under the name Black Badger. He has won a growing fan base amongst members of the watch industry, collaborating with watch brands and retailers, as well as Warrs Harley-Davidson. He tells Professional Jeweller about his working processes.

    PJ: You have developed rings and bangles using Corian and carbon – why have you chosen to work with the materials?
    JT: Carbon fibre is something I have always been fascinated by. It’s not even really that modern anymore but like titanium, it has a great amount of “oooh” factor. I was very much into bicycle racing in my younger days and the carbon fibre bikes always had this very alien design language to them – very organic forms that were not possible with other materials. This really piqued my interested, so I started buying the material and trying to make things at home. Cutting the carbon cloth and mixing up the epoxy. My father always reminds me that there is a small piece of the Vancouver Sun newspaper from around 1998 that is permanently sealed into the garage floor.



  • Crocodile-Inspired Jewelry

    Jewelry that just might bite!

    For Pierre Hardy’s latest Hermès high jewelry collection, Niloticus, named after the Latin for “Nile crocodile,” the Parisian designer reimagined the reptilian armor as a necklace made from 112 handcrafted rose gold scales studded with diamonds and deep-hued tourmalines, iolites and peridots. “It was exciting to create a very modern piece with an archaic pattern, and to find an intriguing way to mimic the geometric fluidity of the skin,” said Hardy, who has, since his first trip to the Nile, been fascinated by the mood that the river creates, “like a perfume with a very specific sweet and mellow feeling.” Each necklace is custom-made and takes over 400 hours to produce.

    Source: New York Times

  • A VERY Busy Watch


    The Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch ($300) is one busy watch. It goes so far as to redefine a watch, since its as much computer as time-teller. (Does it even tell time? It has to tell time, right?)

    Among a few of its features?

    TAKE PICTURES AND VIDEOS These aren’t what you’d call National Geographic quality. The photos are 1.9 megapixels and the watch holds only 50 of them. Videos are tiny and short (15 seconds long); you can’t shoot more than three in a row, and the watch holds only 15 of those. But let’s not quibble — it’s a watch.

    But if you thought it was creepy that Google Glass lets your conversation partner film you without your knowledge, you ain’t worn nothing yet.

    FIND YOUR GADGETS If you’ve misplaced the phone or tablet the watch is paired with, the watch can make it chime to help you find it. And vice versa. Just be sure to lose them within 25 feet of each other. That’s the range of Bluetooth, which is what keeps the watch and device connected.

    AUTO-UNLOCK YOUR DEVICE If you’re wearing the watch, you don’t have to enter your password to unlock the companion phone or tablet. Clever, smart and effortless.

    ALERT YOU OF INCOMING MESSAGES The watch lets you know who’s calling, and even shows you text messages right on its 1.6-inch, 320 x 320-pixel touch screen.

    Goofily, though, it can tell you only that an e-mail message has arrived; it can’t show you the text. (It instead sends a signal to the device to display the message there, which sort of defeats the purpose.)

    TAKE AND MAKE CALLS Believe it or not, you can make phone calls on the watch, via the phone in your pocket or wheelbarrow.

    It actually works, and it means you can be hands-free in all kinds of life situations besides the car. The sound quality is truly impressive, considering it’s a watch.

    But there’s not much volume. If there’s a lot of background noise, you have to hold your wrist up to your head. You thought Bluetooth earpieces made people looked deranged, walking down the street talking to themselves? Don’t look now. If Samsung has its way, everybody will walk around talking into their sleeves like Secret Service agents.

    CONTROL MUSIC PLAYBACK Your remote is now strapped to your wrist.

    Source: New York Times

    And yes, it also tells time!

  • Watches with an Eastern Touch

    Last year, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, Swiss watch exports rose 10 percent from 2011 to total 21.4 billion Swiss francs, or $23.2 billion. Of that figure, Asia’s market share was 54 percent, or 11.6 billion francs, though the market barely grew, and some parts of it shrank. (Source: NY Times).

    This is having an interesting effect on the styles of watches being made by some of the top designers:

    The Dutch independent watchmaker Kees Engelbarts, now based in Geneva, is one of the leading exponents of a style heavily influenced by Asian art and craftsmanship.

    A renowned engraver who set up as an independent in 1997, Mr. Engelbarts specializes in Mokume gane, a mixed-metal laminate technique that he learned in Japan in the 1990s. The technique goes back to traditional sword making, in which hot metal was folded into layers, then shaped by hand. Mr. Engelbarts has used it for nearly two decades to create Asian-inspired motifs in his handmade timepieces.

    “I play with Asian motifs like the dragon, the tiger or the serpent because I can use my imagination in the design,” Mr. Engelbarts said by phone from Geneva.

    “In the past 10 years, I have sold most of my production in Asia,” he said.

    One of the hand-decorated timepieces, featuring a trademark camellia, in Chanel’s Mademoiselle Privé collection.

  • A Jewelry Documentary? Grab the Popcorn!

    It’s not every day you have the chance to peek behind the doors of the top jewelry houses in the world. And it’s not every day there’s a documentary made about a topic so near and dear to our heart: jewelry.

    The screening was held on September 18th in California.

    We’ll keep you posted as to when you can check out this special documentary.

    Check out the trailer…very exciting!



    Masters of Dreams is a four-part documentary series that goes behind-the-scenes with 13 of the world’s most legendary jewelry houses: Boucheron, Buccellati, Bulgari, Chaumet, Chopard, Damiani, De Beers Jewellery, Forevermark, Graff Diamonds, H. Stern, John Hardy, Stephen Webster and Verdura. From Paris to New York, London to Bali, and Milan to Rio, the series offers a breathtaking journey into the world of fine jewelry, filled with famous families, gemstone hunters and some of the world’s most innovative designers.

    Source: The Daily Jewel

  • Sofia Vergara Sports Over 7 Million in Jewelry at 2013 Emmys

    Sofia Vergara, the sexpot of the hit TV show Modern Family, decided to up the ante last night at the 2013 Emmy Awards, sporting a fortune in accessories:

    The star’s Lorraine Schwartz gems totaled 161 carats and added up to more than $7 million in major bling cha-ching. Those platinum earrings, set with rubies, sapphires and Colombian emeralds (a favorite of the star — and a nod to her home country) weighed in at a whopping 100 carats.

    To make sure her fingers didn’t feel left out, she added a 40-carat Colombian emerald-and-diamond ring and a 21-carat Asscher-cut diamond ring.

    Source: StyleWatch

    Remember, if there’s a piece of celebrity jewelry that you simply must have, we can re-create it especially for you at a fraction of the cost.

  • The Couture Press Preview Highlights

    The Couture Press Preview took place in New York City last week, a fun, intimate event which features lesser-known jewelers. Jewelry expert and 10x writer Hannah Connorton picked a few of her favorites.

    Syna debuted swan cameo earrings at the event, set in 18-karat yellow gold with black diamonds (below, $4,950). I was impressed with the introduction of ivory carvings–which designers Dharmesh and Namrata Kothari found in Indonesia–as they add another dimension to the brand’s aesthetic, which is mainly smooth, round stones.


    One trait I have noticed about designer Pamela Huizenga is that she’s great with mixing colors, especially when it comes to neutral and warm hues. Her chrysoprase bracelet, however, set in 18-karat gold with diamonds (below, $16,800), really caught my attention. The pavé around the single cabochon chrysoprase adds a delicate, feminine touch to the piece, that’s just enough and not too much.


    Jacquie Aiche has a great collection that covers a range of styles, from elegant and floral to tribal and bold. Her 14-karat yellow gold agate slice prong ring with diamond pavé (below) is a great pairing of a gorgeous gemstone with edgy accents; the warm colors and gold metal is eye-catching but not scene stealing.


    Sara Freedenfeld, the designer behind brand Amáli, weaves her gold jewelry by hand, with some pieces taking up to 10 hours to complete. I loved her 18-karat gold Peruvian opal clasp necklace with blue diamonds (below, $6,000), especially since the clasp mechanism allows the wearer to adjust the length of the necklace.


    – See more at:

  • Ancient Jewelry from Outer Space!


    While we’ve seen some jewelry that looks like it could have been created by aliens, this ancient iron jewelry contains remnants of meteorites in them.

    Read on:

    Some of the earliest pieces of jewelry discovered have been found to contain samples from outer space. Archaeologists have confirmed funeral beads strung around bodies from a 5000-year-old Egyptian cemetery contained pieces of iron from meteorites that fell to Earth.

    Using high-tech scanning methods, researchers from University College London (UCL) found the nine small beads, which were discovered in the Lower Egypt village of el-Gerzeh in 1911, confirm the metal came from outer space rather than terrestrial iron ores, as previously believed. The beads came from two burial sites dating back to 3200 BC and were discovered along with other exotic terrestrial minerals such as agate and gold.

    UCL Archaeology Professor Thilo Rehren, lead author of a paper published in The Journal of Archaeological Science, said, “The shape of the beads was obtained by smithing and rolling, most likely involving multiple cycles of hammering, and not by the traditional stone-working techniques such as carving or drilling which were used for the other beads found in the same tomb.”


  • The Bling Ring – How Could We Resist?

    When you visit our blog, you’re most likely to find advice about jewelry, jewelry trends, celebrity jewelry and the like. Rarely, if ever, do you find movie reviews. But when we heard about The Bling Ring, we decided to change our ways and just dish about Sophia Coppola’s latest movie.

    According to Vanity Fair:

    The film is based closely on actual events, reported in a 2010 Vanity Fair article that, in retrospect, reads like a shooting script. From October 2008 to August 2009, a group of high school students from Calabasas robbed a series of celebrities’ homes, using the Internet to find out when their victims would be out of town. They took mostly designer clothes, accessories, and jewelry, and the thrill lay as much in crashing the lifestyles of the rich and famous as in coming away with loot. Because they were young and stupid, they were eventually caught, but “The Bling Ring” is less concerned with comeuppance than in gazing at these kids and marveling at their hollowness. In a way, the film plays like a more tasteful and less bonkers version of the recent “Spring Breakers.” The comparison isn’t to Coppola’s benefit.

    Well, it’s getting mixed reviews apparently. A little too chilly and distant. No empathy felt for the characters. Oh well. We have bling rings of our own…and not the kind that steal!


    Here’s the official movie trailer:



  • The World’s Longest Beaded Necklace and The Portable Playhouse

    This necklace is more than just amazing in its length; it’s part of an amazing project called The Portable Playhouse, a non profit organization that has joined together with a nationally-known bead company, to raise money for a specialized art therapy program.

    The money raised will be used to help fund our specialized art therapy beading programs at hospitals and cancer centers across the country. We work with hospitalized children, (regardless of their illnesses) and women fighting cancer in outpatient cancer centers across the country.

    Our goal is to create the world’s longest beaded necklace. We are working under the guidelines of The Guinness Book of World Record’s to record and certify our efforts.

    We have already worked with tens of thousands of children and women and we are looking for your help to reach even more!

    See how you can help!