Friday, May 19, 2017

Artemis and Apollo, the world's most expensive earrings

In Greek mythos Apollo and Artemis are the twin offspring of Zeus and Leto.
Artemis is revered as the Greek goddess of the Hunt, her brother Apollo is revered as the Greek god of medicine and healing, also known to bring illness and plague.

In the gem world the twins Apollo and Artemis are known as the world’s most expensive earrings, selling for $57.4 million at the Sotheby’s 2017 Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels auction held in Geneva on May 16th.




The pair was originally estimated to sell for around $70 million and were believed to be sold off separately.  However a private buyer preserved the romanticism of the twin earrings by purchasing them as set.

Artemis is 16ct VVS2 pink pear diamond that was purchased for $15.3million while her brother Apollo, a flawless 14.54ct pear, sold for much more at $42.1 million.  This is because Apollo has a rarer deep vivid blue coloring caused by its exposure to the element boron during formation.
Adding to Apollo’s legacy it is documented to have been sourced from the famed Cullinan Mine in South Africa.  Yes, the same mine responsible for the British Crown Jewels.



Since the pair went to a private buyer, they are unlikely to be seen for some time, so hopefully those able to attend the auction were able to revel in their cosmically named brilliance.













Sources:
https://www.gemkonnect.com/news/diamond-earrings-fetch-record-574m-sotheby’s-geneva-auction
http://frame.bloglovin.com/?post=5597365757&blog=10937893&frame_type=feed


Monday, February 27, 2017

Charlize Theron wearing "Garden of Kalahari"



Charlize Theron elevated her pleated gold Dior dress with showstopping asymmetrical diamond drop earrings from Chopard’s “Garden of Kalahari” collection.

Crafted using fairmined 18 karat white gold and weighing in at 59.9 carats, the earrings are the definition of dripping in diamonds.


Twenty-three diamonds form the “Garden of Kalahari” collection, all cut from a single 342 carat rough diamond dubbed “The Queen of Kalahari”.
The designs are the brainchild of artisan Caroline Scheufele, who masterfully created an enchanted garden scene depicted by these breathtaking jewels.



The neckpiece is the focal point of the collection but was not worn by Theron.  It can be worn four different ways to drape the neckline in a whimsical garden theme.   



Two of the pendants of the necklace can detach and be worn as the earrings as shown on Theron.

The modified earrings mesmerize as the mismatched pear and heart stones are both graded a D in color and are flawless in clarity.  The heart is slightly heavier at 26 carats while the pear weighs in at 25 carats. The dazzling stones are accentuated by 4.35 carats worth of brilliant cut diamonds.

Charlize Theron’s choice in jewelry demonstrated that timeless craft can captivate when artfully showcased for the world to see, enrapturing with it’s unique brilliance.







Source:

http://www.chopard.com/intl/diary/the-garden-of-kalahari/




Friday, December 16, 2016

Shirley Temple Jewels featured in Heritage Auction Holiday Sale

Art is a time stamp, you can know what an era was like by looking at a piece of work it left behind.  What the values were, what was interesting to the time, and of course the fashion.  Art is timeless in that it will always be beautiful no matter how much the world has changed, and in its beauty it holds little clues of how we developed to be where we are now.


Jewelry is unique in how personal and intimate it can be; It is worn, loved, and often a keepsake.  A memory of a relative, a gift from a significant other, a reward for a personal achievement.  It gets passed along the generations until the sentiment is lost and what is left is its clue to history.  Seeing people unearth new gemstones and creating new ways to cut and mount them.  We can see in a piece of jewelry how it was made, what the technology was for that time, what was being discovered.  The shift from rose cut stones to the faceting we have today was part of a scientific revolution. Going from hand cut and having to reflect candlelight, to being laser cut to reflect fluorescent lights.  We see progression but that doesn’t make the old any less beautiful or unwanted.


Early in December we got to see a piece of history with Heritage Auction’s Holiday Signature Sale, showcasing over 2,000 jewels to bid on, 80 of which belonged to Shirley Temple.


We can see an expansive timeline of incredible works. Some are common but extraordinarily set, while some stones are so exotic they don’t even need to be mounted to be valued.

I chose some of my favorites of the sale to share below.

Shirley Temple, Cartier Lapis and Turquoise Ring

Shirley Temple, Cartier Lapis, Pearl Tassel

Shirley Temple, Multi-Stone Brooch
Created by Lebon & B.


Shirley Temple, Lapis Dragon Cuff
Shirley Temple, Ruby and Dia Platinum Bracelet

Shirley Temple, Jade, Ruby, and Sapphire



Shirley Temple, Platinum Yellow Dia Ring




Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Millennials and Diamonds, an Open Letter

Typically I just post about jewelry projects that interest me and try to keep my blog light and informative, but as a millennial working in the jewelry industry I am tired of being told what I want and what I should be looking for by the founding diamond companies. It’s getting too painful to ignore the broadening disconnect between iconic brands and the millennial customers they are trying to impress. It almost seems like “millennial” is a buzzword that no one really bothered to research.

I keep coming across campaigns catered to my age group, like parents talking over their children's heads, like they are not there, incapable of listening and understanding.  I see it, I hear you, and your are missing our thought process by miles.

The most recent campaign I have come across is Real is Rare, Real is a Diamond.  Released by Diamond Producers Association (DPA) trying to appeal to the millennial with a whimsical video of a carefree couple lost in the wanderlust of life.  The short video is comprised of flashes of incoherent images with a monologue detailing a topical description of their "real" relationship. DPA makes a desperate attempt to move away from the marketing archetype of diamonds = marriage, but it falls short. They are trying to loosen up and connect to millennials with a video that seems forced, insincere, and the diamonds weren't even the focal point. I lost interest in the strained story and actually ended up focusing more on the clothing in the video than the diamond necklaces that were being shown. In the end the same archaic message weakly came across, couples should solidify a relationship by gifting diamonds.


Another campaign I’ve seen recently is from De Beers. De Beers had the incredibly successful 1947 Ad campaign A Diamond is Forever by copy-writer Frances Gerety of N.W. Ayer & Son. At the time De Beers was top dog of the industry controlling the ebb and flow of diamond resources.  So of course they would be able to control the media for the diamond as well.  Now the diamond giant has been minimized due to bad press and in 2012 De Beers has shifted 85% of its ownership to another diamond company.

So now, with less clout than they had before, they tried to strike gold again with their 2015 campaign, Seize the Day.  The campaign failed to impress since it was more of the same boring concept, shoving engagement rings at the consumer so aggressively that they walk away. We live in a time where our worth is not determined by marriage, so why does the industry keep advertising that way?


Too be blunt, most of the diamonds I own I have bought myself with my hard earned money.  A treat I was proud to purchase for myself because I work with jewelry and like jewelry.  As for my longtime boyfriend, he does shower me with gifts whether it be jewelry or artwork, it does not matter, the gift was thoughtful and by no means defined our relationship.

A powerful Ad I think people would respond to would cater to the fact most millennial women buy themselves jewelry as a deserved treat.  The industry does realize that we are the bulk of the US diamond buying market, but they clearly still do not understand why.  They do not understand that we have satisfaction in working hard and earning something we desired.  It is completely gratifying to wear something you worked for. To go out with friends and say, “I worked overtime and absolutely owned my latest project, I treated myself to new earrings”.


Not at all to undermine the institution of marriage, I just went engagement ring shopping myself, but it needs to be realized engagement is not the cornerstone of the diamond market anymore, it’s a part of a whole view.  And if you keep only looking at one small facet of an idea, you are bound to miss a major amount of opportunity. I love diamonds, I love the industry, I love my job, but I am at a complete loss every time I see a new campaign catered to “the millennial”.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Rashida Jones' New Jewelry Line Iconery

My hair inspiration Rashida Jones just launched her own jewelry collection, Iconery, in time for the upcoming Holiday season. See Her line here.

The color palette is high contrasting yellow gold and black stones with the core design concepts of protection and life.



Historically gems and jewelry were viewed as talismans with mythical powers, so it’s fun seeing Iconery playing with those ancient roots even being clever with the name itself.  The brand uses two prevalent portrayals from ancient religious iconography.

One motif used in the line is the Ankh, an Egyptian symbol meaning life. In Latin it is referred to as crux ansata “cross with a handle”. Ancient Egyptians believed we were to spend this life preparing for the next eternal life.  A concept that other cultures adopted and transformed into newer religions. Egyptian gods were often pictured holding the Ankh by its handle or holding it whilst crossing their arms across their chest.  

The other icon used is a Hamsa. Arabic/Hebrew in roots, it is a depiction of an open right palm. The Arabic work Khamsah translates to “five”, but could also mean “the five fingers of the hand”.  The Hamsa is believed to be a symbol of protection, often worn in jewelry or used as decor in the home. It is heavily associated with the evil eye, the curse of a malevolent glare.





The line is easy to stylishly layer as it has basic pieces to go along with the more symbolic pieces. The gold tone invokes the ancient roots of the iconography used. The price range is incredibly reasonable to give as a gift or to treat yourself. Overall I can see it doing well and hope to see her elaborate more on this empowering idea.






Source:
http://www.iconery.com/collections/rashida-jones


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Scene McQueen, Embellished Sneakers

The predominant trend seen from this years Spring 17 fashion is that embellishment is the key to style one's wardrobe.

The runways were cluttered with patches, studs, chains, the busier the look, the better.

It's about making a statement, catching the viewer's eye and retaining it.  The embellished look on clothing allows a person to really explore a look and create a theme throughout their outfit.

Typically we rely on jewelry to pull in a color, a shape, a mood to polish a look, with this embellishment trend, the accessory is part of the clothing itself.

I took a look at Alexander McQueen's Autumn/Winter collection and have fallen in love with the embellished leather sneakers.



The bold red suede backing of the shoe scrawled with the designers name invokes a sporty feel that we often associate with sneakers setting the tone of athleticism.



However, the view from the front of the shoe is an impossible to miss jewel encrusted  hands that wrap around the front of the shoe, as if it’s being held.  The hand beaded feature is secured by a velcro strap, which once again is reminiscent to the idea of an athletic shoe even though the closure is clearly adorned.

The red on the back of the shoe matching the nails of the bejeweled fingers emphatically sets the palette for the wearer. It lays out the groundwork to creatively build a look allowing one to accessorize with the season’s popular military green to compliment the bright red hue of the sneaks.


Some people hate the athleisure trend, but here we have a glamorously comfortable look that can dress up or down.




Photo source: