29 March

Diamond: Invincible Style

Posted by in Gems | 9 Comments

Bursting with brilliance and fire, it’s no surprise that diamonds were once thought to be fallen stars. Earth’s hardest substance, diamond is the most eloquent way to say “forever.”

The ancient Greeks called diamond “adamas,” meaning invincible, theorizing that something so beautiful must be the crystallized teardrops of the gods.  Wearing diamond is said to attract good fortune too.

Those who are fortunate enough to wear diamonds quickly discover how versatile they are. Diamond stud earrings are a wear-everywhere basic that can take you from the grocery store to Oscar’s red carpet.  Diamond drop earrings and diamond hoops make every day an occasion.  And most women today, married or single, wear diamond right-hand rings on their right hand, as essential to being well-dressed as the right handbag or shoes.

But diamonds are as desirable for their significance as for their beauty: most women agree that diamond jewelry is the most romantic gift a man can give a woman. Three-stone diamond jewelry celebrates your past, present, and future, a romantic gesture for any anniversary. In addition to being the birthstone for April, diamond is also the 10th anniversary gem.

As anyone who’s researched diamonds knows, their value varies dramatically with quality. White gems with the least amount of color and the fewest imperfections are the most rare and valuable. The bigger the diamond, the higher its carat weight and the more it costs per carat. For center diamonds above a half-carat, you should have quality documented by a GIA or AGS report.

Cut is arguably the most important value factor because the quality of a diamond’s cut gives it its life and sparkle. Higher quality diamonds tend to hold value better than inexpensive gems, so most experts advise buying a better smaller stone rather than a larger lower quality version.

Gemvara chooses diamonds with a minimum H SI2 grade and excellent cutting because we believe that quality diamonds are simply more beautiful. Rather than trade down in quality, we advise choosing a fine quality white sapphire instead. Before buying a diamond, be sure to ask the seller if the gems are conflict free. Responsible sellers will have documentation from the Kimberley Process System of Warranties.

Today, unusual black diamond jewelry is also becoming popular: they are the black-swan opposite of white diamonds: inky dark and opaque, with mysterious glamour. Black diamonds are the perfect choice for women who prefer not to sparkle, with hidden depths.

Even if you were not born in April, you were probably born to wear diamonds.

23 March

Gemvara Announces Additional Investment

GEMVARA ANNOUNCES $15 MILLION IN SERIES C FUNDING LED BY BALDERTON CAPITAL

Hyper-Growth Continues for Online Jewelry Retailer

Lexington, MA; March 23, 2011 – Gemvara, Inc., the online retailer of customer-designed fine jewelry, today announces the closing of a $15 million round of Series C funding led by Balderton Capital, one of Europe’s largest venture capital firms, with participation from existing investors Highland Capital Partners and Canaan Partners.  Balderton’s Mark Evans will join Gemvara’s Board of Directors.  Gemvara plans to use the capital to further enhance its jewelry shopping experience, expand the breadth of merchandise featured on its platform and continue providing highly personalized customer service.

“We were inspired by Matt Lauzon’s far-reaching vision of future e-commerce, and his team’s deliberate execution to date,” said Mark Evans, Partner at Balderton Capital. “We believe that Gemvara can become the world’s first billion-dollar user-generated product company.”

“The Balderton team immediately recognized that we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what our platform can do to fundamentally change the way products are bought and sold,” said Matt Lauzon, CEO and Founder of Gemvara. “We’re growing at a fast rate and building a team that is re-defining the rules in e-commerce. This additional capital will enable Gemvara to drive innovation that will bring the jewelry industry to the cutting edge of commerce and deliver a dramatically better experience for our customers.”

About Gemvara

Gemvara is an online retailer of fine jewelry that offers a virtually unlimited selection of designs through its unique technology platform. More than 1,500 original designs can be customized by the shopper – he/she can mix-and-match from 26 gemstones and 8 precious metals – resulting in millions of design possibilities.  Each piece is handcrafted in the U.S. using just-in-time manufacturing to produce every piece, made-to-order.

About Balderton Capital

Balderton Capital is one of the leading venture capital firms in Europe. Based in London, Balderton manages $1.9 billion in committed venture capital, and has invested in over 100 companies, principally in Europe but also in the US and Asia.

Balderton focuses on the technology sector and notable investments include bebo (acquired by AOL for $850m), Betfair (floated on the London Stock Exchange in October 2010), LOVEFiLM (the leading European home entertainment subscription service, fully acquired by Amazon in January 2011), MySQL (acquired by Sun Microsystems for $1 billion), ScanSafe (acquired by Cisco for $183m) and YOOX Group (the online retailer of leading fashion brands, listed in December 2009 and recently valued at more than $650m).

Gemvara is Balderton’s second recent investment in Boston’s technology community. In January 2011, the firm also led a $15m investment round in SCVNGR, the location-based mobile game headquartered in Boston.

23 March

Jewelry Icon Elizabeth Taylor: 1932-2011

The 69.42-carat Taylor Burton diamond, the 33.19 carat Krupp Diamond, fabulous 5-carat natural pearl La Peregrina, emeralds, rubies and the world’s most fabulous jewels adorned her but never out-shown her: Elizabeth Taylor was a style icon to remember. She died today at the age on 79 of congestive heart failure. The star of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” “National Velvet,” “Cleopatra,” and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” she was as famous for her blinding beauty and passionate love life as for her work.

She famously had eight marriages and seven husbands but she is forever associated with Richard Burton, who she married twice and who showered her with some of the world’s most beautiful jewels. In later life, she founded the American Foundation for AIDS Research, fighting the stigma against the disease with her considerable star power.

In an interview by Kim Kardashian in this month’s Harper’s Bazaar, she said: “I never planned to acquire a lot of jewels or a lot of husbands. For me, life happened, just as it does for anyone else. I have been supremely lucky in my life in that I have known great love, and of course I am the temporary custodian of some incredible and beautiful things. But I have never felt more alive than when I watched my children delight in something, never more alive than when I have watched a great artist perform, and never richer than when I have scored a big check to fight AIDS. Follow your passion, follow your heart, and the things you need will come.”

Perhaps the first tabloid star, as her love life and addiction to painkillers were covered extensively in the gossip press, Elizabeth Taylor was also undeniably, a real movie star, the kind they don’t make anymore. In contrast to actresses today who walk the red carpet in borrowed finery, Elizabeth Taylor truly owned the jewels she wore, just as she owned the screen every time the camera turned its gaze on her.

9 March

Designer Profile: Judy Evans

Posted by in Gem Trends | 6 Comments

Although jewelry designed by Judy Evans has a recognizable style, it’s far from predictable. Feminine and curvaceous with depth and dimension, her approach is clean and sculptural. Yet her style continually evolves. With an artist’s touch, Evans designs jewelry that is captivating from every angle, with special details meant purely to delight her fans.

The Scottsdale, Arizona-based designer is not necessarily inspired by tangible things, although an attractive motif in a fabric or pattern in a railing may surface in a future design. But rather, she considers herself a conduit for everything she sees and experiences translated in precious gems and metals.

A gifted artist, Evans is well known for the hand-painted renderings she creates for her design concepts, which are as beautiful as the jewelry they so evocatively bring to life.

Judy Evans“Rendering by hand influences the design process a lot for me in that I have to imagine how each view will resolve itself,” she says. “I really have to think about every angle and detail so there are no surprises in the end.”  As a woman designing for women, Evans is mindful of how her pieces feel when worn.

Working in the high-end segment of fine jewelry for more than 30 years, Evans designed for several top brands during her career. In fact, her work with these brands popularized design styles like side view details with tucked away gems or diamonds set under the center stone to create a “halo” effect she calls “capture.”

Evans—who holds a bachelor’s degree in jewelry design from Iowa State University—has received multiple accolades for her work from leading international design competitions including De Beers Diamonds International, American Gem Trade Association Spectrum Awards, Women’s Jewelry Association Diva, and Johnson Matthey Platinum.

She credits her interest in jewelry design to her high school art teacher, who exposed students to commercial art as well as classical, including architecture, interior design and jewelry design, for which she had an immediate connection. In college she gained bench experience.

After her mother suggested she chat with designers at Neiman Marcus to obtain greater insights into the business, Evans met designer Jean Mayeur, who spent two hours sharing his experiences. Three decades later, Evans is thrilled to be presented alongside Mayeur in the book, The Art of Jewelry Rendering.

A featured designer on Gemvara, Evans is a fan of the site’s customization that allows customers to personalize their designs. “Everyone wants something that no one else has,” she says, noting that one customer even added a surprise gemstone to one of her designs in a place she hadn’t thought of. “It’s a very engaging and interactive process.”

28 February

Oscar Jewelry: Get the Look

Colorful gemstone earrings ruled the red carpet: here’s how to get the look for less.

Scarlett Johansson in Ruby Studs

Scarlett vamped up the red carpet in red and purple lace.  Her ruby stud earrings complete the look.  Add a hint of seduction to every thing in your wardrobe with these perfect ruby stud earrings from Gemvara.

Anne Hathaway in Tanzanite Earrings

Our favorite of Anne Hathaway’s nine costume changes was her electric blue column by Armani Prive, probably because we love her tanzanite drop earrings!  Get the look with Gemvara’s Belle earrings in tanzanite and white sapphire. (The Belle Earring silhouette is clearly the winner of the night.)

Anne Hathaway in Diamond Earrings

Anne Hathaway’s red carpet red dress was offset by dazzling diamond drops that are simple enough to pair with a necklace.  To get the look, try Gemvara’s cushion drop earrings in rock crystal.  (Or customize with diamond for drop-dead red carpet glamour!)

Annette Bening in Emerald Earrings

Annette Bening’s 66-carat Colombian emerald earrings by Lorraine Scwartz are valued at a cool $4 million.  To get the look without requiring bodyguards, try Gemvara’s pear-shaped emerald drop earrings.

Cate Blanchett in Yellow Diamond Earrings

Cate’s lovely but fierce lavender gown with beading was perfectly offset by her yellow diamond earrings that complement her skin tone.  Get the look with Gemvara earrings in citrine and diamond.

28 February

St. Patrick's Day Pinterest Contest Rules

Gemvara Celtic Jewelry $500 Gift Card Pinterest Contest Rules:

1. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR TO WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.

2. SPONSOR: Gemvara (“Sponsor”). Although the contest (“Contest”) may be promoted or administered through a Facebook interface, Facebook is not affiliated with this promotion and does not endorse or sponsor this promotion in any way.

3. ADMINISTRATOR: Gemvara – One Financial Center, 8th Floor Boston, MA, 02111 (“Administrator”).

4. ELIGIBILITY: This Contest is open to legal residents in all of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia who are (1) are eighteen (18) years of age or older, and (2) have Internet access. The Contest is void in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S. Military installations in foreign countries, all other U.S. territories and possessions and wherever prohibited or restricted by law. The Contest is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws. Employees of Gemvara and its respective parent companies, affiliated companies, subsidiaries and any of their agents, advertising, promotional and other agencies, and the immediate families (parents, siblings, children and spouse) and persons living in the same household (whether related or not) of such employees/directors/officers are not eligible to enter the Contest or win a prize (each and collectively, “Prize(s)”).

5. HOW TO ENTER: This Contest begins at 12:00:01 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (“EST”) on March 1, 2012, and ends at 11:59:59 p.m. EST on March 15, 2012 (the “Contest Period”), according to Administrator’s time clock. To enter the Contest, please access the contest instructions at http://blog.gemvara.com/2011/02/28/st-patricks-day-pinterest-contest-rules or http://pinterest.com/gemvara/ and complete the entry process.

By entering, entrants agree to comply with these Official Rules including all eligibility requirements. Sponsor reserves the right to verify eligibility of all entrants. Illegible and/or incomplete Entries and Entries submitted by entrants who do not meet the eligibility requirements (including all requirements with respect to age and residence) are void. Sponsor, Administrator and their agents are not responsible for lost, late, or misdirected Entries, for technical, hardware or software failures of any kind, for lost or unavailable network connections, or for failed, incomplete, garbled or delayed computer transmissions or any human error which may occur in the receipt or processing of the Entries. Proof of entering information at website does not constitute proof of delivery or receipt. Sponsor reserves the right to modify the scheduling of the Contest without prior notification. Use of computer programs, macro, programmed, robotic, automatic and other similar means to enter the Contest is prohibited and may result in the disqualification of Entries and/or the entrant. In the event of a dispute regarding the identity of the person submitting an Entry, the Entry will be deemed to be submitted by the person in whose name the e-mail account is registered on the date the Entry is submitted. All Entries become the sole property of the Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned.

6. WINNER SELECTION AND NOTIFICATION: Potential winners will be selected in a random drawing on or about March 16, 2012 by Sponsor or its designee, the judge of the Contest, whose decisions are final and binding on all matters relating to the Contest (“Potential Winners”). Each Potential Winner will be notified by email using the email address provided in the Contest Entry (“Prize Notification”) and each Potential Winner must respond by email within seven (7) calendar days of the date of the Prize Notification (the “Deadline”), with Potential Winner’s full name and a mailing address (“Mailing Information”), where Sponsor can send his/her Prize (if warranted), a Declaration or Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability/Publicity Release (collectively, the “Contest Documents”). The mailing address must be a street address (no P.O. Boxes). If any Potential Winner does not respond to the Prize Notification by the Deadline, such Potential Winner will be disqualified and an alternate Potential Winner (for each unclaimed Prize) will be selected from all remaining eligible entries received for the original drawing. Once Sponsor or Administrator receives each Potential Winner’s Mailing Information, a set of Contest Documents will be sent to each Potential Winner via overnight mail. Each Potential Winner must sign and return the Contest Documents postmarked within seven (7) calendar days of the date the Potential Winner received the Contest Documents, or the Prize will be forfeited and an alternate Potential Winner selected for each such unclaimed Prize. Sponsor and Administrator are not responsible for the failure for any reason whatsoever of Potential Winners’ to receive their Prize Notification or for Sponsor or Administrator to receive Potential Winners’ response and/or Contest Documents. Return of any Prize Notification or Contest Documents as undeliverable, the inability of Sponsor or Administrator to contact a Potential Winner, the failure of a Potential Winner to contact Sponsor or Administrator in a timely manner, the inability of a Potential Winner to accept or receive the Prize for any reason, and/or the non-acceptance by a Potential Winner of any Price for any reason will result in disqualification of such Potential Winner, and alternate Potential Winner(s) will be selected randomly from all remaining eligible entries received. Potential Winners who receive Prizes are known as the “Winners”.

7. PRIZES: Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”); First prize $500 Electronic Gift Card to Gemvara. Total ARV, $500.

8. PRIZE CONDITIONS: Selection and specifics of all Prizes will be determined at the Sponsor’s sole discretion. All Prizes are subject to availability. Winners are not entitled to any surplus between the actual retail value of his/her Prize and its stated ARV; and any difference between the stated ARV and actual value of the Prize will not be awarded. No cash redemption or prize substitution allowed, except by the Sponsor, who reserves the right in its sole discretion to substitute cash value or another prize it believes is of equal or greater value. All prizes are non-transferable. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible Entries received during the Contest Period. All Prizes are awarded “AS IS” and WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, express or implied (including without limitation, any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose). Acceptance, participation in and/or use of the Prizes are at the Winners’ sole risk and Sponsor and Administrator are not responsible for damages whatsoever, including special, indirect, or consequential damages, arising out of or in connection with the use and/or misuse of any of the Prizes. Sponsor and Administrator reserve the right to verify eligibility of all Winners. Prizes will be awarded by email, U.S. Mail, Federal Express, UPS and/or other shipping method, in Sponsor’s and/or its Prize suppliers’ sole discretion, using the information provided in the Contest Entry.

All Prize Winners must complete and timely return the Contest Documents in order to receive his/her Prize. If any Winner is unable to participate in or accept a Prize or any portion of a Prize for any reason, Sponsor and Administrator shall have no further obligation to such Winner. Any and all activities related to each Prize are at the Winner’s own risk and subject to whatever restrictions are imposed by the entities that govern such activities. Referral Prizes will not be awarded to those Winners who are not referred entrants.

9. TAXES AND COSTS RELATED TO THE PRIZES: All applicable taxes and fees and any license and delivery charges are the sole responsibility of the Winner. All expenses and incidentals and other applicable taxes or charges not specifically mentioned herein are not included and are solely the responsibility of the Winner. Each Winner may be issued a 1099 tax form for the ARV of the Prize.

10. GENERAL CONDITIONS: By participating in this Contest and/or by accepting a Prize, participants agree: (a) to be bound by these Official Rules, the decisions of the Sponsor , Administrator and/or their designees, and the Privacy Policies of Gemvara http://www.gemvara.com/Privacy-Policy/pages/v/policies/privacy (b) to release and hold harmless Sponsor and Administrator and their respective parent companies, affiliates and subsidiaries, together with their respective employees, directors, officers, licensees, licensors, shareholders, attorneys and agents including, without limitation, their respective advertising and promotion entities and any person or entity associated with the production, judging or administration of the Contest (collectively, the “Released Parties”), from any and all claims, demands, damages, losses, liabilities, costs or expenses caused by, arising out of, in connection with, or related to their participation in the Contest and/or their participation in any prize-related activities (including, without limitation, any property loss, damage, personal injury or death caused to any person(s) and/or the awarding, receipt and/or use or misuse of any Prize or participation in any Prize-related activities); and (c) to be contacted by Sponsor and/or Administrator via e-mail. By accepting a Prize, each Winner consents to the use of his/her name and/or likeness (voice, biographical information, city and state of residence, statements, photograph, recordings, and any information available on their Facebook page) for advertising and promotional purposes (including, but not limited to, use on Sponsor’s web site and/or Gemvara Facebook page without additional compensation, except where prohibited by law). Sponsor reserves the right to make changes or additions to these Official Rules and/or extend the dates of this Contest for any reason at any time. Sponsor’s and/or Administrator’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision.

11. RELEASE. All decisions of Sponsor and Administrator are final and binding; and entrants agree to waive any right to claim ambiguity in the Contest or these Official Rules, except where prohibited by law. By accepting a Prize, each Winner agrees to release the Released Parties from any and all liability, loss or damage arising from or in connection with awarding, receipt and/or use or misuse of Prize or participation in any Prize-related activities. Sponsor reserves the right to use the Contest for publicity purposes in any media, and to use the name, likeness, and hometown name and/or Prize information of selected entrants as part of that publicity, without any compensation or prior review unless prohibited by law. Any such use with respect to minors shall be subject to prior approval of parent or legal guardian. Taxes, if any, are the sole responsibility of selected entrants, and selected entrants who are U.S. residents may be issued an IRS Form 1099 for the ARV of any awarded Prize. This Contest is void outside the continental US, Alaska and Hawaii, and where prohibited or restricted by law, and subject to applicable federal, state, and local laws. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any entrant it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Contest or violating these Official Rules. The Released Parties shall not be liable for: (i) late, lost, delayed, stolen, misdirected, postage-due, incomplete unreadable, inaccurate, garbled or unintelligible entries, communications or affidavits, regardless of the method of transmission; (ii) telephone system, telephone or computer hardware, software or other technical or computer malfunctions, lost connections, disconnections, delays or transmission errors; (iii) data corruption, theft, destruction, unauthorized access to or alteration of entry or other materials; (iv) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by the Prize or resulting from acceptance, possession or use of a Prize, or from participation in the Contest; or (v) any printing, typographical, administrative or technological errors in any materials associated with the Contest. Sponsor and Administrator disclaim any liability for damage to any computer system resulting from participating in, or accessing or downloading information in connection with this Contest, and reserve the right, in their sole discretion, to cancel, modify or suspend the Contest should a virus, bug, computer problem, unauthorized intervention or other causes beyond Sponsor’s and/or Administrator’s control, corrupt the administration, security or proper play of the Contest. Sponsor and/or Administrator may prohibit an Entrant from participating in the Contest or winning Prize if, in its sole discretion, it determines such Entrant is attempting to undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest in any way by cheating, hacking, deception, or any other unfair playing practices of intending to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other players or representatives of Sponsor and/or Administrator. Use of any automated system to participate is strictly prohibited and will result in disqualification.

12. USE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION: In order to participate in this Contest, participants will be required to supply certain information about themselves. Sponsor has specified which information is mandatory in order to participate in the Contest. This information will be used by Sponsor for the purposes of administering the Contest and for marketing purposes, but will not be sold or rented to third parties. The personal information will be collected, processed and used in accordance with Gemvara’s privacy policy which can be found at http://www.gemvara.com/Privacy-Policy/pages/v/policies/privacy. In addition, personal information may be used by Sponsor to contact you after the Contest is over to provide you with special offers and information about other promotions. Sponsor uses commercially reasonable efforts to comply with Federal CAN SPAM laws and state laws regarding privacy. You may unsubscribe to these email communications at any time by following the directions contained in the email communication.

13. INTERNET: If for any reason the Contest is not capable of running as planned, including infection due to computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failure, human error or any other causes beyond the control of Sponsor and/or Administrator that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of the Contest, Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any individual it finds who tampers with the entry process, operation of the Contest or web site, and to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the Contest without notice and to select the winners from all eligible Entries received prior to the cancellation or termination. Sponsor assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect or delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, problems or technical malfunctions of any computer online systems, servers, or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any e-mail or Entry to be received by Sponsor or Administrator on account of human error, technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any Web site, theft or destruction, or unauthorized access to, or tampering with or hacking of website, any combination thereof, or otherwise, including any injury or damage to any entrant’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participation in the Contest.

14. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY ALTER OR DAMAGE ANY WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATIONS OF THE Contest MAY BE A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR AND ADMINISTRATOR RESERVE THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.

15. DISPUTES: Each entrant agrees that (1) any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or in connection with this Contest, or any Prizes awarded, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and any judicial proceeding shall take place in a federal or state court in Boston, MA; (2) any and all claims, judgments, and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering this Contest, but in no event attorneys fees and (3) under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain awards for, and entrant hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental, and consequential damages, and any other damages (other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses), and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of entrant, the Sponsor and the Administrator in connection with this Contest shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Massachusetts, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules or provisions (whether of the State of Massachusetts or any other jurisdiction), that would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than those of the State of Massachusetts.

WINNER’S LIST/OFFICIAL RULES: For a list of Winners or a copy of the Official Rules, please send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Gemvara’s Celtic Jewelry Pinterest Contest $500 Gift Card Giveaway, Winner’s List/Official Rules, One Financial Center, 8th Floor, Boston, MA 02111 to be received no later than September 15, 2012. Winners’ lists will be sent once all Winners have been verified and Prizes have been awarded.

Sponsored by Gemvara, Inc. © 2012 Gemvara All rights reserved.

28 February

Colorful Earrings Top Oscar Trend

Emerald, ruby, and other colorful gemstone earrings were the top jewelry trend of the 2011 Oscars. Emerald earrings on Annette Benning, rubellite earrings on Natalie Portman, ruby on Scarlett Johansson, and colorful combinations of gems on Gwyneth Paltrow and Marisa Tomei.

The effect was glamorous and dramatic, with the color of the gems sometimes matching the gown but more often standing out against it. In many cases, the jewelry made the look, which of course is the way we like it!

Best jewels of the night?  I’m partial to the pure green of Annette’s emeralds.  But Natalie , Marisa, and Gwyneth also stopped traffic. And we can’t forget the necklace that Nicole Kidman wore: a 19th century 150-carat diamond riviere choker that cascaded down her back too.

Best of all, the night was full of wearable gorgeous jewelry styles that we can all rock, even if we aren’t nominees!

 

Natalie Portman in Tiffany & Co tourmaline earrings

 

 

 

 

Gwyneth Paltrow in colorful gemstone earrings by Louis Vuitton.

 

 

Marisa Tomei in Van Cleef & Arpels earrings

 

 

Scarlett Johansson in ruby earrings

 

Scarlett Johansson wears a striking ruby ring by Anna Hu Haute Joaillerie

 

Cate Blanchett in Van Cleef & Arpels earrings

 

Nicole Kidman in 19th century diamond necklace from Fred Leighton

Amy Adams in emerald jewelry by Cartier

23 February

Aquamarine: Water Color

Posted by in Gems | 8 Comments

With a name like aquamarine, it’s not surprising this brilliant greenish-blue gem is the color of water. Its sparkling depths make you think of warm, clear ocean waves lapping on a white sand beach.

Close your eyes and picture that sunny day at the beach. Are you surprised that aquamarine is the gem of happiness?

Legend says that this gem receives its power from mermaids, who use it to keep sailors safe during storms at sea. (For maximum protective effect, it must be bathed in sea water.)

Aquamarine is the mineral beryl, which makes it a close relative of emerald. This pastel gem has emerald’s brilliance and lasting value too.

The most important value factor for aquamarine is its color, which should be a light but pure pastel blue with only a hint of green.  Aquamarine is always more saturated in larger sizes: it isn’t possible to get the best color in small accent stones.

Experts recommend choosing an aquamarine with good clarity, since this gem’s pale color makes inclusions more visible than they would be in more vividly colored gems.  A perfectly proportioned and polished cut is important to add sparkle.

Brazil is the most important source of aquamarine, with many mines in the state of Minas Gerais. The most famous mine for aquamarine is the Santa Maria de Itabira mine in Brazil, which produced beautiful gems, some in very large sizes. Today, when a new deposit is found with a bright blue color, it’s sometimes named after that legendary mine.  Lovely aquamarines found in the last decade in Mozambique were called “Santa Maria Africana.” But gem collectors know that all mines produce good and not-so-good gems, so you should never take origin as a guarantee of quality.

Almost all aquamarines are heated gently to about 400 degrees Celsius before their final polish to remove any color overtones.  This enhancement is undetectable and is accepted by the trade so it does not affect value.

In addition to being the birthstone for March, Aquamarine is the gem for the 19th anniversary. Aquamarine has royal pedigree: a large aquamarine is set in Saint Edwards Crown, the official coronation crown of British kings and queens. Catherine the Great, Napoleon, and Leopold I of Austria also loved this lovely pastel gem.

Today jewelry designers most often set aquamarine in white gold jewelry but the color also complements rose gold, platinum, and sterling silver. Aquamarine engagement rings are becoming more popular as the symbol of a happy marriage.

22 February

Oscar Predictions

It’s Oscar week! Jewelry-lovers all around the world are ready for some sparkle on the red carpet. What will be the trends on the red carpet? Here are five bold and foolhardy predictions of the colors, gems, and silhouettes we’ll see on Sunday.

Mila Kunis in red at the SAG awards1. Crimson Tide

Jewel tones are the best bet for Oscar domination, after a Golden Globes of pale blush tones, pink, and white. Our vote is for a deep crimson red, especially on Natalie Portman and Anne Hathaway. Ruby earrings, rings and necklaces are also a beautiful accent to silver, black, and white as well as turquoise.

 

2. Blues Clues

New York Fashion Week had lots of beautiful blues on the runway and we haven’t had an award show dominated by blues in quite a while. Think of Kate Middleton’s blue Issa dress that sold out minutes after her engagement announcement. This could be the year of the blues. Look for lots of sapphire earrings, bracelets and rings accenting white and gray dresses too.

 

3. That 70s Show

One of the best red-carpet looks in recent memory is Claire Danes at the Golden Globes in a sleek pink Calvin Klein dress straight from the me decade. Seventies style is sure to surface, maybe in a vintage Halston or a straight-from-the-runway Michael Kors. Look for large cuff bracelets and collars with clean bold lines with these looks. Earrings will be slim and long or hoops. We may even see double cuffs on both wrists.

4. Swinging Chandeliers

After years of strapless and sleeveless, long sleeved dresses look really fresh on the red carpet. If sleeves do return, it means the trend for stacks of bracelets we saw at the Grammys will be put on hold. Expect earrings to take center stage. As far as earrings are concerned, right now the extremes are most in demand. It’s studs or shoulder dusters. For the Oscars, my money’s on shoulder dusters. Remember Carey Mulligan’s star turn on the red carpet at last year’s Oscars? Her dramatic earrings were a jewelry-lover’s dream.

5. Cuff Love

For those who leave arms and shoulders bare, the cuff is the essential accessory. Expect to see lots of stacked bracelets of all kinds, often on both wrists. The red carpet was full of great bracelets at the Grammy Awards, below, and the red carpet at the Academy Awards is sure to be even better.

18 February

Brides Think Pink

The latest styles for bridal jewelry are pretty and pink. Rose gold and pink gems are adding a touch of romance and warm flattering color to engagement rings, wedding bands and wedding-day jewelry.

Rose gold has been popular with jewelry designers for several years now but it is just starting to become more popular in the traditional bridal category. The trend is part of an overall movement away from traditional white diamond in white gold styling toward more unique and individual ring styles that express the personality of the bride and groom. Many couples are choosing colored gemstone engagement rings.

Brides magazine features pink rings in its January 2011 issue.  Here are some Gemvara styles that may inspire you to think pink.