20130602-120155 April 15

Metallic Butterfly Chrysalis

Nature is endlessly fascinating . . . If you’re stuck in a creative rut, simply go outside and look around you! Take, for example, the Metallic Mechanitis Butterfly Chrysalis from Costa Rica: (Mechanitis is a genus of tigerwing (ithomiine) butterflies, named by Fabricius in 1807. They are in the brush-footed butterfly family, Nymphalidae) How could one […]

Hand-crochet-necklace-with-Freshwater-Pearls-Gold-Chain-200x300 April 16

Irish Crochet Jewelry

Irish crochet is one of the most beautiful forms of needlework and lace-making. It has a three-dimensionality to it that other laces just don’t have. For this reason, it also lends itself really well to jewelry-making.   One of the biggest challenges in incorporating crochet in jewelry is not to let it get too ‘precious’ or ‘granny’. Balancing […]

e06277f4896cad886efe57a8d6cc434a March 08


The beetle been a source of inspiration for jewelers since early civilization and they continue to fascinate today with modern masters like Wallace Chan reinterpreting this art form with jaw-droppingly gorgeous results. (images via 1stdibs)

Liddicoatite October 26


Tourmaline is one of October’s birthstones. This gemstone is so versatile and comes in so many amazing colors and combinations of colors. Here are some eye-popping tourmalines to feast on for this last week of October! Love that combination of fiery orange and neon Paraiba Blue. The most spectacular and desirable tourmaline is a neon blue […]

a90531a43aa4ff38aaa7b5100bd2ad80 October 13

All About Opal

“And lo! the beautiful opal – That rare and wondrous gem – Where the Moon and Sun blend into one is the child that was born to them.” – poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox Marianne Hunter Kabuki Kachina brooch utilizing several different types of opals with gold and enamel What causes the spectacular display of color […]

XXX_28_1379689760_1 October 09

OPAL QUEEN – Irene Neuwirth

Opal has always been one of my personal favorite gemstones. Truly, no other gem rivals the magnificent play-of-color displayed on a fine opal. When it comes to current designers, there is only one, Irene Neuwirth, that utilizes this gem to its full potential. Irene Neuwirth brings a freshness and modernity to this age-old gem. Whether […]

tony duquette August 16

Tony Duquette – Papa Peridot

Whenever I think about this month’s birthstone, peridot, I always think of Tony Duquette. He really was the first to have used this unique stone so frequently often pairing it with other unlikely stars like coral, fluorite, black pearls, sphene and amethyst; bringing semi-precious stones into the limelight. Using these materials may seem common place […]

kelly-wearstler-interior-design-radical-chic-hgtv-designhappens August 15

A Jeweled Home

Recently, I’ve noticed quite a few big names in interior design using gem or mineral inspired pieces to add that special touch to a room. Take Kelly Wearstler, for example, she has taken her signature style and expanded into fashion, jewelry, and home decor. Many of her pieces are gem inspired. Interior surface and counter-top […]

120906_GOT_01_16615 f1.JPG July 28

Game of Thrones . . .

Who doesn’t like diamond daggers, golden dragons, and thorny tiaras? Long before Game of Thrones, jewelers were already making such fantastical baubles. Here are just a few things I think would look amazing on Daenerys Targaryen. Joanna Szkiela Twig and Runes Rings Stephen Webster Zultanite and Diamond Earrings & Diamond Thorn Tiara Loree Rodkin Diamond Knuckle […]

Brooch Octopus diamond July 27

The Sparkling Sea

With heat waves descending all across the U.K. and the U.S., the thought of idling by the sea is a most welcome thought . . . Imagine how exciting it would be to discover any of these sparkly creatures at the beach! I get dibs on the rock crystal Cartier nautilus! 1st row – Tiffany […]

b654013fe7d2ed89d7f3cfec54361f70 July 23

Master de la Mer – Jean Schlumberger

The sea has always been a subject of fascination for jewelers. From the strange sinuous creatures that bob along the sea floor; to the countless varieties of bug-eyed, cartoon-lipped fishes; to the beautiful forms and colors swaying gently, dancing, to an inaudible beat; the mystery of the sea has inspired generations of jewelers to capture its […]

31701_216034_ORI_13-Copy-2 July 14

The Black Prince’s Ruby

The Black Prince’s Ruby sits in the main regalia of the Imperial State Crown atop the 317-carat Cullinan II Diamond. This strange looking red gem is actually a 107-carat spinel and not a ruby at all. It is one of the largest spinels to have ever been found. To find out why it’s called a ruby […]

ef846a12-731b-43ed-b99a-f0ce373c97ee July 13

Ruby vs. Spinel

The Black Prince’s Ruby now mounted in the British Imperial State Crown above the large Cullinan Diamond is, in fact, not a ruby at all. It is a spinel. Up until the 19th century, ruby and red spinel were thought to be the same mineral and with good cause. The chemical composition, color, hardness, and […]

147306547_a3976f43c7_z June 16

The Biggest Pearl in the World

Legend has it, in 1934, a young Muslim boy pearl-diving off the coast of Palawan Island of the Philippines made an amazing discovery. The boy, on his maiden diving trip, saw a humongous pearl inside a giant clam; when he went to retrieve it, the shell closed on him, drowning him. The other members of […]

lalique_dragonflywoman June 07

Lalique’s Favorites: Moonstones

The Romans believed moonstones were crystalized moon-rays; one look at them and you’ll know why. This ethereal mineral has a glow akin to the subtle light emitted by the moon. Known as adularescence, this phenomenon is unique to moonstones. Not considered a ‘precious stone’, moonstones were almost ideal for René Lalique. Known for his use of […]

P1480478 May 31

Sapphire Engagement Rings

Are you a bride-to-be who feel a diamond just isn’t your style? Rather than going ringless, have you considered sapphires? – 4 reasons why sapphires make great engagement rings -  {1} Sapphires belong to the mineral species corundum. Corundum is the second hardest mineral on Earth next to diamond. {2} Sapphires come in all colors of […]

Screen shot 2013-05-22 at 7.53.09 PM May 22

Favrile Glass: Louis Comfort Tiffany

Favrile glass is a type of iridescent art glass invented and patented by Louis Comfort Tiffany, who was the son of Charles Lewis Tiffany, founder of Tiffany & Co. First patented in 1894 and produced in 1896, Favrile glass was unique because the color was ingrained in the glass itself, as well as having distinctive […]

2597536_f520 May 20

Emeralds through the Ages

Emeralds were beloved by many ancient rulers . . . from Cleopatra to Nero to Shah Jahan . . . they each shared a love for this incomparable gem. The color of a fine emerald is mesmerizing with its varying shades of rich green (colored by chromium and vanadium). In fact, Nero is said to […]

weekend3 May 19

Weekend Project: S-Hook Clasp

The S-Hook clasp has been around since antiquity and is one of the easiest clasps to make. With a minimal of tools, you can create custom S-Hooks and give your pieces a unique, handmade appeal . . . You’ll need: Wire (gauge depends on the desired size and effect of the clasp but you should […]

015L12055_6GL8Y.jpg.thumb.385.385 May 15

Acrostic Jewelry: Spelling with Gems

Victorian jewelry is filled with sentimentality. Think of all the trinkets worn to remember a loved one like lockets, portrait rings, hair jewelry, mourning jewelry, lover’s eye jewelry, and memento mori. Well, here is another, acrostic jewelry. I especially like acrostic jewelry because it uses gemstones to spell out a romantic phrase or word. Basically, you […]

niessing-trauring-love-n271570 May 13

Niessing: German Engineered Wedding Bands

In the many years I’ve been in the jewelry business, the German manufacturer, Niessing, continues to fascinate and amaze me. Niessing is a top manufacturer of premium, contemporary German jewelry design. Much like German cars, German jewelry is renown for clean lines, perfection in workmanship, and an innovative approach. Niessing’s technical achievements in metal-working is unparalelled, […]

Pantone Spring 2013 Leaderpromos-thumb-250x250-788 May 12

Pantone Gems

Pantone’s Spring 2013 collection of colors are almost perfect matches for some of our gemstones . . . get inspired by these ten shades the experts at Pantone have picked out for the season. Love the Rachel Roy dress in ‘tender shoots’! (look for the item number in the caption and find it in our […]

weekend2 May 11

Weekend Project: Simple Soldering

This weekend, learn soldering! Learning to solder will widen your horizons and allow for many possibilities in your creative journey. There are many tools on the market today to make soldering simple and easy. You’ll need: Soldering block Solder Flux Butane torch or soldering iron Brush Water (for quenching) Third hand / clamp (optional) You […]

Elizabeth-Taylor-Emerald-Diamond-Bvlgari-Necklace-2 May 08

Elizabeth Taylor: “I’ve GOT to have my emeralds!”

It’s no secret Elizabeth Taylor had one of the world’s most enviable jewelry collections – from the infamous 69.42 carats Taylor-Burton Diamond, to the  La Peregrina (a pearl once owned by Queen Mary I of England), to the Taj-Mahal Diamond, she not only had large jewels but historical ones, most of which were given to […]

handbook-of-gemmology-gallery-trapiche-emerald_0 May 06

Trapiche Emeralds

With its incomparable lush green hue, emerald is one of the most sought-after and valuable gemstones of the world. However, few have seen or even heard of a much less common variety called Trapiche Emerald. Trapiche emerald is a very rare natural occurring phenomenon. Unlike asterism in rubies and sapphires, the ‘star’ pattern in Trapiche […]

MakeshJewelBug May 02

Maquech Brooch – Living Beetle Jewelry

In Mexico, you can buy and wear a living beetle brooch. Yes, the Maquech beetle is ‘bedazzled’ with gems and gold and is attached by a 2 inch chain with a pin at the end which fastens onto your shirt. The beetle can then freely crawl around but can never get away. These bejeweled brooches […]

E23C471E5A641765B2DDD31D2CA31F_h400_w300_m2_bblack_q99_p99_cnrlfsejD April 30

A ‘Refreshing’ Way to Use Stray Gems

I’ve always loved the packaging of Fresh‘s iconic oval soap . . . the damask paper is exotic and incredibly pretty with the most vibrant and elegant colors. But what I love most is that each bar of soap is individually wire-wrapped with a small gem. What a fantastic use of those run-away stones lying […]

puppybrooch1 April 30

Janesich Art Deco Diamond Pekingnese Brooch

A French Art Deco platinum and diamond brooch depicting a Pekingnese dog in pavé diamonds with enamel nose and eyes in a baguette diamond frame. Doesn’t this little guy have the best haughty expression? In 1835, Leopold Janesich opened his first shop in Trieste, where he sold jewelry and silverware to the international clientele which […]

diomond-gallary-original1 April 28

25.5 Carat Blue Diamond Found in South Africa

A 25.5 ct. blue diamond was recovered by Petra Diamonds Limited at the Cullinan mine in South Africa. This isn’t the first blue stone the company has unearthed. In 2009, it found a 26.6 ct. rough that would become the 7 ct. Star of Josephine diamond that sold for more than $9 million at Sotheby’s. […]

Screen shot 2013-04-27 at 4.23.42 PM April 27

Gina Lollobrigida’s Rough Diamond Pendant

Next to Sophia Loren and Brigitte Bardot, there was another European actress in the 50s and 60s that captured our imaginations with her sultry looks and sassy attitude. She is Gina Lollobrigida. She was a bombshell in the file and ranks of Marilyn Monroe. In the early 60s, she starred in two movies with Rock […]

Blue-Diamond-Bonhams April 18

Fancy Deep-Blue Diamond ‘Trombino’ ring, circa 1965

SOLD for £6.2 million. Last week, I posted about the Princie Diamond, a 34.65-carat fancy pink diamond which sold at Christie’s New York yesterday for $39.3 million—the second-highest price ever paid for a jewel at auction. Today, I’ll be featuring another fancy color Type IIb diamond, up for sale at Bonham’s later this month, at […]

dupont April 16

The Jewels of Katharine Dupont Weymouth

Re-imaginning a lady through her jewels – Magnificent Jewels.  Christie’s April 16, 2013 New York Auction. Today is the big day of the Magnificent Jewels auction at Christie’s, New York. There are some INCREDIBLE things up for sale but I especially love the pieces from the estate of Katharine Dupont Weymouth, who was the widow […]

1o38 April 09

Fun Shades

You would have to be living under a rock not to notice all the fun sunglasses popping up all over the place. The blogosphere is loaded with DIY’s on how to embellish your shades with everything from ceramic flowers, to gems and pearls, to crystals, to … Fimo! Some of my favorites are: HonestlyWTF (these […]

original April 08

Diamond in the Rough

All month long, I will be focusing on diamonds (in all their glory and forms), because diamonds are April’s birthstone! Today, I’ll be featuring Diamond in the Rough, a brand launched by Daniel Eskapa in 2005 that makes exquisite jewelry featuring high quality rough diamonds. With the re-launch of their website last year, the brand […]

An historic cushion-cut fancy intense pink diamond, weighing approximately 34.65 April 05

The Princie Diamond – Christie’s April 16th, 2013 Auction

THE LARGEST GOLCONDA FANCY INTENSE PINK DIAMOND EVER TO BE OFFERED FOR SALE AT AUCTION New York – On April 16 Christie’s New York will kick off the spring auction season with a colorful selection of superb jewelry for its upcoming Magnificent Jewels auction. The day-long auction features almost 300 jewels, including top-quality colored and […]

dia April 02

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Diamonds

1.  Diamonds were first discovered in India in the 4th century B.C., but it wasn’t until almost 2,000 years later in the late 19th century, that they became available to the masses when large deposits were found in South Africa. Up until that point, diamonds were reserved exclusively for royalty and elite society due to […]

peltu_phone March 18

Bunny Love

Easter is around the corner and bunnies are on our minds (having our very own mini lop around the office is not helping matters!) … spoiler alert: there’s an extremely adorable real live bunny picture at the bottom of this post. But if you don’t have a real bunny, one of these *squee* baubles might […]

OrnamentumAcanthus March 14

Jennifer Trask

Using pre-ban ivory, bone, found objects around rural Hudson Valley in upstate New York and gold leaf, Jennifer Trask creates the most hauntingly beautiful sculptures and one-of-a-kind jewelry inspired by the patterns of growth in nature. Jennifer’s work is so dynamic they seem to burst forth and bloom in front of your very eyes. Excerpts […]

Screen shot 2013-03-08 at 11.49.27 PM March 10

Tito Pedrini

Tito Pedrini is not afraid of color. I first met Tito ten years ago when I was studying at the G.I.A. obtaining my graduate gemologist certification. I remember looking at his gorgeous jewelry and thinking this man has a great eye for color. He told our class that his secret weapon is often using ‘B’ […]

images March 07

Monique Péan

Utilizing fossilized woolly mammoth, walrus ivory, horn and unusual colored gemstones, Monique Péan has established herself in the jewelry world as the queen of understated elegance. Here at Siam Gem Palace, we just LOVE what Monique’s all about – the mixing of sustainable and natural materials (sapphire hexagons, diamond slices, fossils etc.) with design and […]


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