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More is Merrier Rule #2

Here is my Rule #2,  which is the second post in the series of my 2013 holiday message: More is Merrier…. offering fail-safe rules for choosing, purchasing and giving  gifts with meaning and lasing value.

#2 Gold Reigns

IMG_8972 qBcrop White metals and quality fine jewelry are long time partners,  and I am not likely to stop wearing my platinum, white gold or sterling silver jewelry EVER!  Although, after seeing Gold Jewelry (yellow gold, that is) pop-up this year on select runways, fashion news-spots and industry hot-spots,  I was motivated to revisit  it.  I don’t know why I stopped wearing Gold (you know I will be talking about yellow gold now, right?); nor do I know why I traded-in (or cashed-in) my Gold jewelry that I owned for decades. Oh wait, I remember; the Gold market was crazy and after months of hesitation, I finally could not resist getting more $ than I originally spent for my Gold jewelry items…that I wasn’t wearing for years.  My journey to  re-explore Gold

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T&M2

More is Merrier

AAA image ‘Tis the season for giving gifts of meaning and lasting value, because we don’t need any more meaningless things to clutter our life. So, do we need more jewelry?  Well, quality fine jewelry not only communicates the strongest emotions, it retains or increases in value….so more is merrier! First, of course, every woman needs a basic jewelry wardrobe, which has the graceful versatility to go from morning errands to important meetings and elegant evenings.  BTW: for those of you who need some help with your holiday shopping list, I identify the key jewelry items for a basic jewelry wardrobe…

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Happy Thanksgiving

GIVING THANKS

turky wht This is the month for my favorite holiday of the year! While it is true that my first (holiday) love is Christmas, Thanksgiving is my favorite. Both my son (Ricky) and my husband were born on Christmas Day…. so, understandably,  that holiday has been (for me) a month-long celebration of love–for years!   As I mature (still in the process, btw)

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In Case You Missed Emmy’s

Padma-Lakshmi- Just a little Sparkle

In case you missed the  Emmy’s last night, the news is spreading that the memorial tributes (I think there were 6 highlights in addition to their usual slide show) prompted headlines:”Saddest Emmy’s Ever”.  Oh, there were some laughs as Tina Fey never disappoints, Michael Douglas was surprisingly funny and the upbeat Host Harris tried his best… but, it definitely needed more Sparkle!

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National Jeweler - 7-30-13

National Jeweler & a peek behind the retail curtain

NATIONAL JEWELER is the fine jewelry trade’s premier source for breaking news and market analysis for retailers.  They recently published an article I wrote for Independent Jewelry Retailers….suggesting some key lessons they can learn from my experiences serving as an Educationalist and Guest Host on HSN. Click on the link below and you will be able to peak behind the retail curtain ….to see some of the advice I share with sellers of fine jewelry 😉 http://www.nationaljeweler.com/independents/market-developments/archived.shtml?article=Lessons-for-jewelers-from-TV-31469.xml  

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50 Shades of White

Notwithstanding the number of hotel getaway packages, the multitude of bundled bedroom toys and just about anything in every merchandise category that is marketed with reference to Fifty Shades of Grey …I have an unreasonable obsession with all things white.  While my husband carefully strategizes how he can suggest some new bold color additions to our bedroom, I am usually busy studying the nuances of the new available shades of white.  Perhaps I should clarify that I am really only talking about color …and BTW, white is more than the absence of color. For those of you that are still with me, you already know that I detest all covert and hidden color enhancements and treatments when it comes to marketing color diamonds and gemstones.  That does not mean I don’t like color.  I’ve spent many hours mesmerized by the optical properties of Natural Color Diamonds.   BUT, OH THE ALLURE OF WHITE!   Gilbert Keith Chesterton, a British journalist and novelist, best articulates my feeling: “White is not a mere absence of color; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black.” Sometimes I crave the comfort of a warm white or demand the sophistication of grey museum white. Today I may be in search of some living-room flowers with feelings of creamy antique white, soft white or snow white. Tomorrow, I could be looking for a white-on-white blouse…that will highlight (I mean soften) some of my curves.    My obsession with shades of white is endless.  Science has taught us that all colors are just waves of light and some colors may not even exist scientifically.  So, it is our brains, our eyes and our emotions that all come together with language to enhance our color experience. It is unfortunate that so many people get pulled into the gemological hype of rarity over beauty…which results in huge investments into colorlessness.   Even the tiniest tinges of color (or warm shade of white) will result in the gemological down-grading of a diamond.  However, I recently read somewhere (it must have been in “Discover Magazine”) that scientists are studying and searching for people with brain components that allow them to see colors, which the vast majority of us cannot see.  We cannot even imagine what they might see in the world! It is time for all of us to trust our eyes and our unique power of comparison!  Any subtle color that attracts you is worthy of being pursued and enjoyed! And remember, any diamond grading certificate prepared by a gemological grading lab, offers only a color-grading opinion based on rarity…not beauty. Hope you all have a beautiful weekend!

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Natural Pearls, Cultured Pearls & The FTC

The Federal Trade Commission is currently reviewing their Jewelry Industry Marketing Guides …and one of the areas that they are seeking public input about is Cultured Pearls.  Hold that thought for a minute, because I am wondering who remembers the story about Mr. Cartier and Natural Pearls. In 1917, Mr. Cartier needed, wanted and desperately sought to purchase the abandoned mansion on the busy corner of 5th Avenue and 52nd Street in NYC.  Although the Cartier family was well known, the owner of the property, Mr. Morton Plant was not impressed.  BTW, Mr. Plant was then a man in his 60’s with a wife in her 20’s.  Mr. Plant was asking $1.5 million for the property and the Cartier family did not have it.  What the Cartier family did have was a double strand of NATURAL PEARLS.  As the story goes, Cartier dangled the pearls in front of the Plant couple.  As husbands with wives a third of their age often do, Mr. Plant first and foremost wanted to keep his wife happy.  So, Plant sold his property valued at $1.5 million for a strand of pearls.  Although Plant didn’t get his desired cash, the transaction (given the value of the natural pearls) was considered a fair trade. Soon after Mrs. Plant died in 1965, the auction house of Parke Beret sold her 5th Avenue pearls.  Can you guess the auction price?  The pearls did not sell for $1.5 million; they did not even sell for a ½ million dollars. The pearls sold for $151,000.  What happened?  The broadly distribution of Cultured Pearls is what happened.  The cultured pearl industry has essentially replaced the Natural pearl industry with production of cultured freshwater, South Sea, Tahitian, and of course….what is considered the classic cultured pearl (salt-water) developed/introduced my Mikimoto:  Akoya Pearls. The FTC is seeking comments for possible revision of their Guides for the Jewelry Industry; FTC guides explain to businesses when/how they should make consumer disclosures to avoid unfair or deceptive trade practices. Regarding Pearls, they are reportedly looking at the word “cultured” and whether it should continue to be used to describe freshwater pearls (as well as traditional/salt-water cultured pearls)….. and whether or not consumers should be told about certain treatments  such as dying pearls—different colors.   August 27th is the deadline for sending comments to the FTC.  

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