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Gemvara Blog » Celebrity Sparkle
24 February

Red Carpet Inspiration: Annabel Tollman’s Celebrity-Inspired Creations

Awards season is in full force and wrapping up with tonight’s Oscars.  Celebrity stylist Annabel Tollman has been quite busy dressing some of the biggest celebrities for their red carpet moment.  Annabel took some time to pick a few of her favorite red carpet looks from this season and use their fashion to inspire some gorgeous Gemvara pieces.


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31 May

Famous Jewels and the Celebrities Who Wore Them

When I think of famous jewelry collectors, Elizabeth Taylor automatically comes to mind. But before Elizabeth could even begin her jewelry addiction, Queen Elizabeth II had amassed a fortune in gems.

The queen has so much jewelry that she had a special room the size of an ice rink built 40 ft. below Buckingham Palace to house her precious gems. And we thought our tiered jewelry boxes were pretty special.

Her collection is valued at $57 million dollars and includes the Timur Ruby – a magnificent spinel weighing 352.50 carats. Inscribed on it are the names of all the former owners, all of whom were Mughal emperors.

The Queen also owns the diamonds Cullinan I, II, III and IV, all of which are were cut from the rough Cullinan diamond and are considered Crown Jewels.

If you could any gemstone you’d like (wouldn’t that be nice!), which one would you add to your jewelry collection?

20 January

How To Choose Red-Carpet Jewels

Ever wonder how celebrities choose what jewelry to wear at red-carpet events?

Besides hiring a stylist, some stars get the privelege of attending Michael O’Connor’s exclusive and fabulous jewelry suites. It is here that jewelry and style expert, Michael, curates a collection of jewels from top designers and allows celebs to try on and choose their favorites. It’s a veritable fairy tale for any fashion-hound.

We are so honored that Michael chose our gems to be featured in his Golden Globes Suite this year. (Gemvara was also included in his 2011 Emmy Suite and our earrings were worn by actress Retta Sirleaf).

Here are some shots from Michael’s 2012 Golden Globes Suite, as well as a video highlighting the top jewelry styles of the season. Which piece is your favorite?

Julie Benz from Dexter models our Naked Cushion Triple Earrings in citrine and 14k yellow gold with diamond leverbacks.

Actress Kathleen Robertson (from Beverly Hills, 90210 and nominated series Boss) tries on our Naked Round Triple Earrings in lemon quartz and white gold.


Check out the first two minutes for a peek at the Gemvara jewels Michael chose!

Michael O’Connor shows off some Gemvara earrings.

Minnie Driver models our Naked Emerald Triple Ring in amethyst and peridot.

Photo Credit: Michael O’Connor

10 January

Get The Look: Katherine McPhee

Technically it is January, but lately it’s been feeling a little more like April. I don’t know about you, but along with the mild temperatures come feelings of spring and dare I say, bright color. Katherine McPhee’s earrings at the NBC Winter TCA Tour All-Star Party fulfill all the requirements for cheerful (winter) accents.

Katherine, the star of the new NBC series, Smash (premiering Monday, February 6th), arrived at the event in an all black ensemble that looked exquisite on it’s own, but her deep blue earrings took it to a whole other level. The bright blue contrast against the black backdrop really made her shine. It’s simple, colorful accents like this that can really amp up an outfit.

To get this look try Gemvara’s Marquise Essential Earrings. These gems are small, but the blue sapphires pack a punch. Their shape and metal also mimic Katherine’s drops.

If the Marquise Earrings are too small for your liking, or you’re looking for something on the more affordable side, try Gemvara’s Monsoon Earrings in blue topaz. The pear shape mimics Katherine’s drops, and the stone looks equally magical, especially because these earrings contain no metal so the light really makes them sparkle.

What’s your favorite way to brighten up a winter day?

30 December

Best Jewels of 2011

2011 was a fabulous year for jewelry. Trends ranged from stacking bangles (also known as the “arm party”), to large stone necklaces, and bold earrings. Vintage-inspired pieces were also popular, as well as edgy, modern jewels. Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry collection — auctioned off this past month — was a memorable occasion for jewelry lovers everywhere proving that fashion jewels may come and go, but fine jewelry and gorgeous gemstones never go out of style.

Here we’ve rounded up a list of our top 10 favorite jewels of 2011. We can’t wait to see what the new year brings!

Sofia Vergara set off her bright coral gown with jaw-dropping emerald earrings by Lorraine Schwartz at the 2011 Emmy Awards. Sofia’s earrings had a lacy peacock feather motif that made them as artful as they were vibrant.

Kate Middleton wore earrings were created by designer Robinson Pelham on her wedding day. The earrings feature the oakleaf and acorn motif of Kate’s new family crest. They were a gift from Duchess Catherine’s parents, Carol and Michael Middleton.

Natalie Portman had the best drops of the evening at the 2011 SAG Awards. They were more than 27-carats of fancy yellow diamonds from Tiffany, valued at $2 million.

Marisa Tomei in Van Cleef & Arpels earrings at the 2011 Oscars.

Anna Torv wore divine ruby earrings to the 2011 Emmy’s.

Taylor Swift adorned the most envy-inducing emerald earrings at the 2011 AMA’s. The bright green color could be spotted from yards away and looked especially lively against her sleek ponytail (a refreshing choice).

At this year’s Oscars, Amy Adams wore emerald jewelry by Cartier.

Scarlett Johansson wears a intricate ruby ring by Anna Hu Haute Joaillerie at the 2011 Oscars.

Blake Lively sported statement drop earrings in turquoise and gold that gave a graphic edge to her 60s style at this year’s Teen Choice Awards.

Kim Kardashian wears a striking snake cuff by Lorraine Schwartz at the 2011 Grammy Awards. The coils of the serpent are platinum set with fancy colored diamonds.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, PR Photos

14 December

Burton’s Beloved

In her book, My Love Affair with Jewelry, Elizabeth Taylor wrote, “I never, never thought of my jewelry as trophies. I’m here to take care of them and to love them. When I die and they go off to auction I hope whoever buys them gives them a really good home.”

Well, Elizabeth, we have a feeling your wish has come true.

Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry collection set a world record last night for the most valuable private jewelry collection sold at auction, fetching nearly $116M ($115,932,000 to be exact). And it’s not even over yet!

Last night’s Evening Sale of Elizabeth Taylor’s legendary jewelry set five records for jewelry sold at auction. Not surprisingly, all the record-breaking pieces were gifts from Elizabeth’s husband, Richard Burton. (The man had good taste.) Here are the five miraculous pieces:

  • The 50-carat La Peregrina necklace, thought to be one of the finest pearls in the world, was estimated at $2- $3 million. Burton purchased it for $37,000 and it sold for $11,842,500.
  • The Taj Mahal ruby and gold chain by Cartier set a new world record for an Indian jewel. Given to Elizabeth for her 40th birthday, the necklace was estimated at $300,000-$500,000. It sold for $8.8 million.
  • The sapphire and diamond Sautoir by Bulgari, also a gift from Burton to Elizabeth on her 40th birthday, was estimated at $600,000-$800,000. It sold for $5.9 million.
  • The 8.24-carat Van Cleef & Arpels ruby and diamond ring estimated at $1-$1.5 million, set a world record for price per carat for a ruby. This ring was given to Elizabeth as a Christmas present in 1968. The price was realized at $4.2 million.
  • The highlight of the night, the Elizabeth Taylor Diamond — a 33.29 carat Asscher-cut ring given to her by Burton in 1968 — blew away its estimate of $2.5-$3.5 million. It sold for $8,818,500 setting a record for highest price per carat for a white diamond.

Phew. If those numbers don’t make your head spin, then we don’t know what will. However, to ease our minds a bit, it is nice to know that a portion of the proceeds will go to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.

Now, if all this talk of rubies, emeralds, sapphires, and diamonds has to itching for some precious gems this holiday, we have a few substitutes that may hold you over. Our Penelope Ring set with a ruby center-stone mimics the diamond halo effect of Elizabeth’s ruby ring. Also, our ring is an emerald-cut diamond, similar to the Asscher-cut of the Elizabeth Taylor Diamond. While these gems will never compare to Elizabeth’s magnificent stones, the idea of designing a piece of jewelry just for you, or someone you love, fulfills Elizabeth’s ideal of cultivating a meaningful jewelry collection.

Maybe your gems will sell for millions one day. Hey, a girl can dream.

Photo Credit: Reuters, Getty Images

12 December

Get The Look: Hilary Duff

We still cannot believe that Hilary Duff is really pregnant. Her days as “Lizzie McGuire” on the Disney Channel seem like just yesterday. Now that she’s about to have a little tyke of her own, it’s no surprise that she — and her baby bump — look amazing.

Hilary was recently spotted joining up with Danskin at a local ice skating rink for one of their “Move for Change” festivities. Hilary looked cute in a mustard-colored sweater, leggings, and high-heeled boots. However, we couldn’t take our eyes off her necklace.

A large circle pendant, reminiscent of Gemvara’s smaller Thangka Pendant, was featured on her chain and she seemed to have a metal heart pendant attached, as well. We wonder if it came with the necklace or if it is a special charm. Like Hilary, we love the idea of wearing multiple pendants on one chain, as seen here on our Marketing Associate, Magdalen.

To get this look for yourself, check out Gemvara’s Cadena d’Amour Necklace. This charm looks sweet on its own, but could easily be paired with a larger or smaller pendant. If subtle is more your style, you could add more charms to the Cadena d’Amour itself.  There are also two small gems on the pendant. While we like it in white sapphire (easy to wear with anything), we’re huge fans of colored gems, too.

Would you layer your pendants in this way? What color gems would you choose?

12 December

Get The Look: Jessica Alba

The adorable Jessica Alba hasn’t been in the Hollywood spotlight too much lately. However, when she does make appearances she always looks as youthful and radiant as ever. Such is the case with her latest arrival at a March of Dimes event last weekend.

The 6th Annual March of Dimes Celebration of Babies Luncheon held at the Beverly Hills Hotel brought a slew of top notch celebrities in support of the cause. March of Dimes is an organization that raises money and awareness to help mothers achieve healthy pregnancies, as well as funds research to find answers to problems that threaten newborns.

Jessica is a big supporter of the cause, as she has two children of her own, and is enjoying motherhood. It suits her, don’t you think?

At the event, Jessica donned a gold frock with metallic detailing, green studded shoes, and dainty drop earrings. To get Jess’ jewels for less, try Gemvara’s Gem Drop Earrings in yellow gold, rock crystal and white sapphire. These earrings are gorgeous with white gems, but would also be cute set in yours and your child’s birthstone — since we’re on the subject of babies and all. They would make a great gift for a mom or mom-to-be this holiday. Design your pair here!

Photo Credit: Andrew Evans / PR Photos

29 November

Get The Look: Emma Watson

As if being an actress and model weren’t enough for Emma Watson, she also happens to be an ivy-league student, cutting-edge stylish, and absolutely adorable. Did we mention she’s only 21!

In true Emma fashion, she arrived looking dressed up (not over-the-top) to the premiere of My Week with Marilyn in the UK last week. Her fun black-and-white Jason Wu number was very holiday chic and her Solange Azagury-Partridge earrings, Jimmy Choos, and leopard clutch finished off the look flawlessly. Emma’s pixie haircut was also perfect for showcasing her intricate earrings.

In the movie, Emma plays the wardrobe mistress, Lucy, who is wooed by assistant director Colin Clark (played by Eddie Redmayne). The film chronicles a week in the life of Marilyn as she is introduced to the pleasures of 1950s Britain while filming Sir Lawrence Olivier’s The Prince and the Showgirl. Michelle Williams plays Marilyn and is already rumored to receive a Best Actress nomination for the coming 2012 Oscars.

While Michelle may have stolen the show on-screen, Emma owned the red-carpet. To get her look for less try Gemvara’s Naked Petite Earrings in black onyx. These dainty dangle earrings come in round or cushion and are a charming compliment to any outfit this holiday season. They are great for teens or adults, but also come in a larger size if “shock and awe” is more your style. Snag them this year (as a gift or for yourself) in any gem of your choosing!

Photo Credit: Landmark / PR Photos

21 November

Best Jewelry of the AMAs

Silver metallics may have populated the red-carpet at last night’s 2011 American Music Awards, but Taylor Swift’s sequins took home the gold.

Taylor, who turns 22 this December, won three awards last night: Favorite Female Country Artist, Favorite Country Album, and biggest of all, Entertainer of the Year (beating out Adele, Lady Gage, Lil Wayne and Katy Perry!). We’d like to award Taylor one more – Best Jewelry of the Night.

Taylor not only wowed in her Reem Acra, strapless gown, but she also wore the most envy-inducing emerald earrings. The bright green color could be spotted from yards away and looked especially lively against her sleek ponytail (a refreshing choice). Taylor follows in a long line of other famous stars that also have a penchant for emerald, including Sophia Vergara and Angelina Jolie.

Although in our eyes Taylor won by a landslide, our runners-up also dressed to impress. Christa B. Allen, a star in the new hit-series Revenge, arrived wearing some juicy gem earrings, two bold cocktail rings, and a snakeskin cuff. Her jewels and accessories heightened her outfit and her earrings reminded us of our Naked Cushion Double Earrings in smoky quartz.

Katherine Heigl, who is not a musician herself, but happens to be married to one, is our second runner-up. She arrived with hubby Josh Kelly and together they presented Taylor Swift with the award for Best Country Album. Katherine is not normally one to reveal too much skin, yet she chose to wear a very low-cut dress. We think she totally rocked it. Her Sutra tassel earrings were a fabulous compliment and they added a little fun to her sexy look.

Photo Credit: Andrew Evans  / PR Photos

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