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Gemvara Blog » Women & Jewelry
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?

24 May

Win a customer wardrobe on

Customization is one of the pillars that we believe in here at Gemvara, so it is with great excitement that we are featured in the Refinery29 contest to win a wardrobe of entirely customizable pieces. The contest runs until Sunday, May 27th at 12:00pm ET and the winner will be treated to gift cards to Indi Jeans, Milk & Honey, Alex & Eli, Laudi Vidni and Gemvara. Sign up today!

As seen on

A Giveaway Just For You! Win A Customized Outfit From INDi Denim And Milk & Honey

By Leila Brillson

The idea of a bespoke suit is nothing new for a guy, but for some reason, the fairer sex gets the short end of the custom-closet stick. Maybe it’s because women are so particular, or tailors are committed to suiting, but whatever the reason might be for us gals losing out on the tailor-made trend, we say: The time for customization for ladies has arrived.

Fortunately, one of our SF favorites, the cheeky, colorful, and cool denim brand INDi, has teamed up with Milk & Honey for one perfectly made-to-order giveaway. The theme behind the swag is a completely customized experience, loading up a lucky lady with their very own, perfectly fitting pair of INDi’s personalized denim to a gorgeous Alex & Eli, perfect-for-just-you blazer. Of course, the winner gets to pick some other favorites, too, like a $250 Gemvara jewelry gift card, a chic Laudi Vidni handbag, and, of course, a $250 spree to design your own shoe go-to Milk & Honey. If you want to see the goods, we’ve got a killer slideshow to get your psyched for customized cool. So, head on over to enter to win the exact stuff you want — the best part of this amazing giveaway is that it truly is, like you, one-of-a-kind!

23 December

A Different Way to Wear Jewels

Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Peridot, Black Pearl and Quartz; Estee Lauder Pure Color Eyeshadow Palette – Emerald Oasis No. 09; Tarina Tarantino Fleur de Lash – Faceted; Aveda Tourmaline Charged Hydrating Creme; Gemology Anti-Wrinkle Cream; MAC Semi-Precious Mineralize Eye Shadow – Hint of Sapphire; Nars Trio Eyeshadow – Okinawa; Lancome Ageless Mineral with White Sapphire Complex; Christian Dior – B&G Lipstick No. 865 Ruby; Sephora Eyelash Curler – Amethyst; Sephora Nano Eyeliner – Sapphire Blue; Sephora Jewel Tweezers; Mark Juice Gems; Paco Rabanne Lady Million Perfume; Dior Diorskin Shimmer Star – Amber Diamond

A few weeks ago a co-worker and I came into the office wearing the same nail polish. Now, this wouldn’t be such a big deal, but the polish just so happened to be Chanel “Peridot” – apparently working at a jewelry company has rubbed off on us in more ways than we realized.

This peridot party got us thinking about all the make-up out there that is named after jewelry. The two are oddly related in more ways than one would think. Fascinated by our discovery, we compiled a collection of current beauty products that all have gem themes.

It’s surprising how many products out there actually are based off jewelry. Besides “Peridot,” Chanel also makes “Black Pearl” and “Quartz” nail polish colors. Tarina Tarantino “Faceted” mascara has flecks of glitter to give your eyes a jewel-like sparkle. Gemology’s Creme is made from diamond dust and Lancome’s powder has a white sapphire complex. We can’t get over how cool Dior’s “Ruby” lipstick is and Paro Rabbene’s “Lady Million” perfume bottle is reminiscent of the Regent diamond, which is on display at the Louvre and is considered the most beautiful diamond in the world.

This was quite possibly the most fun I’ve had working on a post. Now I just wish that I could try out every product (while wearing the matching  jewels, of course)!

We hope you indulge yourself this weekend whether it’s with food, friends, fancy make-up or festive gems.

Happy Holidays!

22 December

Office Gems

Birds of a Feather Pendant / Zen Garden Ring / Naked Cushion Bezel Ring / Vahagan Ring

One of the perks of working for a jewelry company is the chance to play with the gems. Although all our pieces are made-to-order (hence, we carry very little inventory), occasionally we get jewels returned from photoshoots or new merchandise to review. This is one of the highlights for all the women in the office and usually ends up in a complete frenzy (i.e. lots of swooning).

Another fun aspect of this job is getting to see which jewels our employees have purchased. It’s interesting to discover how people design each piece. It never ceases to amaze me how much a piece of jewelry can reflect someone’s personality.

Here’s a look at some gems from around the office taken on Instagram.

Which one is your favorite?

15 November

The Paradox of Choice

Here at Gemvara, we realize that having the power to choose is sometimes a double-edged sword. While it’s great for those looking for something specific, sometimes it can be difficult for others without such direction. (It took me a few days to finally settle on smoky quartz for my new pendant… a grueling process, I tell you!). Due to this difficulty, we felt it was necessary to address the so-called paradox of choice. Here are some helpful tips on how to pick the perfect gem for you.

Skin Tone

Luckily, it just so happens that today our guest blogger, Yelena, has already addressed this first tip — matching your jewelry to your skin tone. Whether you’ve heard it before or not, every woman (and man) has a skin tone: warm, cool or neutral. This tone determines whether or not certain colors look flattering on you. Yelena gives some great jewelry suggestions based on your skin type and offers advice on how to discover which season/tone you are.

Eye Color

The age-old adage that every woman should own a pair of earrings to match her eyes still rings true in our book. We advise women with green eyes to go for emerald, green amethyst or lemon quartz, but also think green looks great slightly contrasted with rose de France or warm citrine. If you have blue eyes, go blue! Seriously, we cannot stress this enough. Darker London blue topaz and lighter blue topaz will make those baby blues pop. Brown-eyed beauties can rock smoky quartz to match or amethyst. Both colors are gorgeous and will enhance chocolate-hued irises.


This may be an obvious tip, but using your birthstone as a foundation for your choice is a smart idea. It gives meaning behind your decision, and the qualities of each gem may correspond to your unique personality. For a list of birthstones and their qualities, check out the education section on our website.

Favorite Color

Who says you can’t pick favorites? This is the easiest way to pick a gem you will love. Have a passion for pink? Pink sapphire and pink tourmaline are great choices. Prefer a neutral palette? Rock crystal, white sapphire, and diamond are surefire sparklers that pair well with everything.

Favorite Sports Team

Believe it or not, people actually buy jewelry based on sports teams and we say… More power to ya! The great thing about Gemvara is you can pair your team’s colors together perfectly. The same goes for school colors and sororities/fraternities. While black and yellow may not be colors that go great together, your beloved Bruins will finally have a place in your jewelry box.

14 November

Big Country

Last Wednesday was a big night for country music stars as it kicked off the 45th annual Country Music Awards.

Held at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, the star-studded night was not only packed with unbelievable performances and crazy presenters (including Eric Stonestreet of Modern Family, Hank Williams, and Miss Piggy), it was also big in terms of fashion. Ladies and gentlemen, the women of country music do not mess around.

Aside from the over-the-top sparkly gowns, country music’s leading ladies rocked a variety of drop earrings. Good thing these stunners, featuring art deco styles and enormous gems, were big enough to be seen behind all the hair!

Carrie Underwood, the host of the evening alongside Brad Paisley, changed more times than we could count, but arrived on the red carpet wearing bold diamond and gem earrings from Johnathon Arndt. They matched her sequined gold dress perfectly and she looked lovely as always. Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum also wore a gold gown, but she opted for large white gemstone earrings to complete her retro-glam look. Taylor Swift, country music’s sweetheart and winner of the award for Entertainer of the Year, donned art deco Lorraine Schwartz drops to match her dove-grey number.

Jennifer Nettles, the angelic voice behind the band Sugarland, sported smaller gemstone drops surrounded by diamonds. The dark green earrings were the perfect paring to her sea-foam halter dress and messy up-do. Martina McBride, who performed during the show, arrived on the carpet wearing massive multistone chandelier earrings. The bright colored gems could not be masked by Martina’s brunette locks and they shone against her black ensemble.

Last, but certainly not least, Miranda Lambert arrived in a gorgeous custom Haute Hippe gown with Jordan Alexander intricate earrings. Miranda and her hubby, Blake Shelton, both took home the awards for Best Female and Best Male Vocalist of the Year. Now ain’t that sweet!

1 November

Fall Fashion Necklace Revival

This past Saturday, I was on a mission to refresh my jewelry collection. After passively shopping the brownstone boutiques on Newbury Street without finding any inspiration, I decided to take action. This fall, rather than add to my necklace collection, I’m revamping it instead.

Here is my call-to-arms: Four action verbs that motivated my necklace revival.


Layer multiple necklaces and wear them all together.  Choose different length chains with different sized pendants, or try plain chains accented with a strand necklace or colorful pendant. Try layering necklaces over flowing tops or dresses for a carefree look that moves with you.

Stack two or three pendants on a single chain. Larger, chunkier pendants can go on a longer chain, while you should let smaller, charm-size pendants fall on your breastbone. Take it one step further and experiment with mixing metal types and pendant shapes. This look is totally sweet, yet subtle enough if you have a stricter office dress code.


Rings aren’t just for fingers anymore. They look great on a chain too. Stack a few thinner rings together or pick one funky ring. Choose a chain that will help the ring-lace stand out: keep the ring(s) on a textured chain that falls an inch below the top of your shoulders. Now that you’ve freed up your fingers, free up your soul. Compliment this rule-bending look with leather and a rock-n-roll attitude.


Wrap a long necklace around your neck a few times. Wrap it two or three times so that it covers your neck to your breastbone, or wrap it more so it becomes a tight choker. Pair either option with an up-do and a back-less top. This is definitely a look to wear out; it draws attention to your features and to your sophistication.
Take action, ladies! Revive your necklaces!
26 October

Buy Your Bands Sooner than Later

When you’re planning a wedding, your checklist is a mile (or twenty) long. (Trust me, I know — I’m engaged.) It’s easy to wait to buy your wedding bands until you’ve got all your deposits paid, the invitations sent, and the honeymoon booked, but… don’t. You’ll thank me later. Wait until the day is nigh, and you run the risk of not having your rings in time for the wedding! Of course, you can always send the best man out to get a few ring pops at the candy store, and make a cute display at the altar. While that’s a cute idea, do you really want to chance it?

Start looking at styles about six months before your wedding. You’d be surprised at how picky one of you can suddenly become: a man who has never worn jewelry may not like most styles he tries. My own groom can’t figure out if he wants yellow gold or a more silvery metal like palladium, platinum, or white gold. He’s taken his time trying on several styles and metals, but the paradox of choice has been confusing him. We’ve got it narrowed down to one style now, and he’s currently leaning toward yellow gold, as he compares it to “treasure”. Apparently, I’m marrying a pirate.

Unless you’re so carefree that you don’t mind walking into a jewelry store and buying whatever fits, try to order your wedding bands about two or even three months out. When you’re planning a wedding, Murphy’s Law tends to occur more often than not — anything that can go wrong, will. One of you may find out that you’re allergic to nickel, which is used in white gold alloys to give it that gleaming white tone. In that case, you’ll have to find a replacement ASAP. If you know that you’re allergic and still would rather go white, opt for palladium or platinum, which won’t bother your skin.

Let’s talk about ring sizes and time. If you get your ring and it’s too big or too small, you’ll have a bit of time to get the correct size if you have a buffer. Don’t be like Megan Fox — she lost her two-carat diamond engagement ring in the sand. Presumably, she didn’t feel it slip off, and it was never found. That’s a hefty amount of cash. (It wouldn’t hurt to insure your engagement ring and wedding bands, either.) If you’re on a weight-loss regimen of any type, it’s actually better to wait until you’re at your target weight to order your rings. If you lose quite a bit of weight, your finger, and therefore your ring size, will get smaller along with the rest of your body. After you order your ring, keep your weight steady, unless you don’t mind your ring slipping off and possibly disappearing for good.

Do you have any wedding ring tales or advice? How long did you wait until you ordered your rings?

Photo Credit: Getty Images

25 October

Fall Fashion Fury

“After months of thong sandals, tank tops, and little-nothing dresses, it’s time to get serious about clothes. This is the season for wool coats, knee-high boots, furry jackets, dramatic silhouettes, menswear fabrics, thick tights, and cashmere sweaters. The hard stuff. Summer’s over – Let the real dressing begin.” – Nylon Magazine ’03 via.

Gemvara: Fall Fashion
Gemvara: Fall Fashion by gemvara via polyvore

We love this quote, so much so that it inspired us to create our own mood board of fall fashion. Using the birthstone gem colors of October and November, we focused on green tourmaline, fire opal, and citrine in our color palette. These gems are brilliant year round, but they shine especially bright in the fall, as they remind us of the crisp leaves. We love the citrine hue of our Monsoon Earrings, green tourmaline mixed with rose gold in our Vahagan Ring, and the Band of Brilliance with fire opal set in yellow gold. These rich tones give us a cozy feeling, while still remaining vibrant.

Creating this board also got us thinking – we know that you change your clothing for fall and winter weather, but do you ever change your jewelry? We are strong advocates for wearing pieces you love no matter what time of year, but do you have certain things you love for summer, then switch out for fall? What’s your preference for changing your wardrobe based on the seasons?

24 October

Clutches and Cocktail Rings

Images 1, 2, 3

Today we grabbed a daily dose of street style inspiration from a blend of two statement-making accessories: the clutch and the cocktail ring. On their own, each are great, but together they are down-right fabulous. We love how these women show that large gems can be worn on any finger, in any style, and for any occasion. What’s your favorite look? Or better yet, what inspires you?

Images 1, 2, 3

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