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Rhythmic Patterns of Nature

Rhythmic Patterns of Nature

     Nature has surrounded my being for as long as I can remember. What prompted me to create jewelry with such fluid patterns? I guess it would be when as a young boy I discovered the craft of making Dandelion jewelry. Hours were spent collecting the soft buttery flowers with their milky stems and fashioning them into chokers, bracelets and sticky rings.

     Perhaps that experience laid dormant until adult hood. On a whim I responded to a part time evening class at Parsons School of Art in New York. The first torch lighting was such an awaking. The young boy who knew no boundaries weaving flowers suddenly found an old passion;ic  jewelry making. The creative energy I responded to years ago holds true for me now as I sketch dynamic patterns and mythical creatures bringing them to life in metal and gemstones.  

     A love of Nature and the animal world along with a sense of connection remain a driving force for my jewelry today. There is a sacred magic and myth for me that emerges from the sketch to the precious metal and the final polished jewelry art.

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BIRTHSTONES TODAY

BIRTHSTONES TODAY

 With the AGTA Gem Show in full swing this week, I thought I would highlight gemstones in reference to birthstone. Occasionally, I run across a potential client asking me about what the correct birthstone for their birth month is. “Why are their two or three different stones for my month? I was told there is a certain stone is designated for each month. Is it not my stone and the one I should use to celebrate my birth into this world?”

 The concept of 12 birthstones seems to date back to Aaron, the high priest of the Israelites and brother to Moses. On his ceremonial breastplate were 12 gemstones, each one representing a tribe of Israel. Josephus, a Jewish historian, is responsible for connecting those stones to the 12 months of the year and the zodiac signs, thus the concept of birthstones.

 It is interesting to note that many cultures have kept different lists of traditional birthstones, giving rise to a vast range of birthstone options. Some months, such as October and December list two different stones for their particular month.

 With the many gemstone options available today, I suggest you look at a recommended “birthstone” for your birth month, keeping in mind the history behind the list of “appropriate” stones. If you feel a relationship to a gemstone, regardless of the recommended stone, then I say go for it. Your choice is personal, or should be regardless of a given list. 

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SPRING INTO COLOR

SPRING INTO COLOR

Chrysoprase was known to be a favorite of Alexander the Great. Perhaps, because of it’s delightful green apple color and rumors promoting love, compassion, joy and self-confidence—traits, I’m sure, desired by all conquerors.

Chrysoprase is composed of crystals so fine, they are not able to been seen by the naked eye, unlike amethyst, citrine and other quartz gemstones. Chrysoprase is the most valuable of the Chalcedony family of gemstones and was often mistaken to be emeralds by ancient jewelers. Today we see Chrysoprase commonly used in fine jewelry. I used it in the Crane earring above, creating a delightful splash of color and movement.

This beautiful stone is on the list of birthstones both for May and June and those of us who aspire to conquer the world.

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Romancing the Stone

Romancing the Stone

Aquamarine, named for the Latin phrase "water of the sea", is a blue to blue-green beryl. A close cousin to Emerald and Morganite, Aquamarine is the second most popular gem beryl. Its identity is defined by its color. The deeply saturated blue gem is the most desirable color of Aquamarine. 

I personally love the variety of color, like the sea, that can be found with Aquamarine gemstones. I recently acquired a deep blue 8mm round gem at the Tucson Gem Show this year and I am please it will become the centerpiece of an engagement ring. The trend towards colored gemstones is stronger this year with younger buyers often choosing Aquamarine for their engagement ring—breaking the "diamond only" rule. Aqua's durability makes it ever-lasting, something to consider when shopping for a ring that comes with lifetime promise. Whether you are in the market for an engagement ring or a stone that will recall the romance of the sea, this gemstone is for you. I created the 18kt yellow gold cocktail ring seen above using a fine Aquamarine I located in New York City. 

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A Softer Shade for Fall

A Softer Shade for Fall

The calendar tells me it’s fall; until now, the weather in New York was not in agreement. I love the change in season. 

It always brings about a feeling of change and new adventures, and there is, of course, all of the amazing things people love enjoying these days: sweaters and pumpkin everything that goes with chilly weather, changing leaves, apple picking and of course the start of the holiday season. I’m all about it.

When I think of fall colors, for me it’s a lot of oranges, browns, dark reds and burgundies that remind me each year of growing up in a northern suburb of Chicago.Many of these colors are included in the palette of colors Pantone predicted would be hot this season. I think some are slightly richer than last year and include some zesty hues that I think perfectly encapsulate summer’s hesitation to leave each year. 

A pantone color not immediately associated with fall is a soft, feminine pink that is reminiscent of ballet slippers. How unexpected is that? The tone is soft, and just like mother nature's pink that compliments fall colorings, this pink compliments all skin tones.

I have taken my cue from nature and incorporated a beautiful peachy pink Morganite stone in a pair of earrings. My Morganite Crane earrings pictured here are the perfect example of this soft color that’s not only perfect this season, but all seasons and all skin colorings!

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August’s Evening Emerald

August’s Evening Emerald

Sometimes known as the “Evening Emerald” because its sparkling green hue looks brilliant any time of day; Peridot, the birthstone for August, is one of the oldest known gemstones.

It is interesting to note that the Peridot is one of the few gems that come in only one color. It’s tint can very due to its iron content with its exact coloring varying between a yellowish to a perfectly olive green color. The most valuable color variant of Peridot, however, is a dark olive green.

Often mistaken for Emeralds during the Crusades, Peridot is really an under-appreciated gem that is actually quite stunning and can even be seen as part of the Russian crown jewels. I paired a natural Blue Zircon with a Peridot in my Crane earring to compliment the lush green stone. This is a gem with its rich history that will undoubtedly make it a conversational piece in your jewelry collection. So even if your birthstone is not Peridot, you just might want to consider adding it to your jewelry box.

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Mood Indigo

Mood Indigo

Why banish the blues? You can add a sense of richness to your jewelry  by adding Tanzanite to your wardrobe. Tanzanite is relatively new to the colored stone galaxy. As the most common story of the tanzanite mining boom goes, in 1967 a Masai tribesman stumbled upon a cluster of highly transparent, intense blue crystals weathering out of the earth in Merelani, an area of northern Tanzania. He alerted a local fortune hunter named Manuel d’Souza, who quickly registered four mining claims. Instead of the mines containing what he thought to be sapphires, he discovered the minds contained a new gem.

Within a short time, 90 more claims appeared in the same 20-square-mile area. No one was quite sure what the beautiful crystals were, but everyone wanted to lay claim to the profits they were certain to produce. The new gem would eventually be known as tanzanite, and it would, at times, rival the Big 3 in popularity.

 Tiffany & Company recognized its potential as an international seller and made a deal to become its main distributor. Tiffany named the gem after the country it came from, and promoted it with a big publicity campaign in 1968. Almost overnight, tanzanite was popular with leading jewelry designers and other gem professionals, as well as with customers who had an eye for beautiful and unusual gems.

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