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NYC Jewelry Shows Here I Come

So excited that NYC will be filled with my industry friends this coming week during  3 Jewelry Shows!  Visions of a big apple will be replaced with big diamonds ….and I can’t wait to scout for hot new designs and catch-up with industry insiders!  There will be lots of parties and after-parties, too; after all it is NYC!

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Sotheby’s April Auction of Magnificent Jewels – a 74.79 carat Pear-shaped Diamond!

In most cases, if one wants to see the world’s most magnificent diamonds at auction, one has to travel to Europe or Asia to attend (as I did in October ’12 when I traveled to Geneva for the Archduke Joseph Diamond auction But on April 17th, Sotheby’s will offer the most important white diamond ever to appear at auction in the Americas. This 74.79 carat pear-shaped diamond – one of very few pear-shaped diamonds over 70 carats – is a beautiful D color.  Sotheby’s is predicting a sale of $9 – $12 million!
74.79 carat pear-shaped diamond How big is a 75 carat diamond? Imagine holding a large egg in your hand. Then imagine being the Diamond Polisher or Master Diamond Cutter who is responsible for removing layer after layer of the rough stone to create a beautifully faceted pear! I’m just grateful that the world is full of such beautiful things. I’ll keep you posted on what happens in New York!

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You’ve Gotta Have Heart

G&G Creations Heart But This Heart Jewelry Takes Design to a Much Higher Level

Hearts are one of the most common shapes found in modern jewelry, and for good reason. Jewelry is the go-to gift for romance and special occasions! If you’ve become a bit tired of the typical heart motif, let me stir your heart with a few very fresh takes on this wonderful tradition! Heart Jewelry from G&G Creations My favorite hearts this season are designed and hand-crafted by G&G Creations in Boston. The entire G&G line is beyond beautiful – all museum quality jewelry that feels good on and really draws attention! So it’s no surprise that their new collection of hearts is sophisticated and of the highest quality. Every piece they make is unique, just like the individual hearts to whom each piece will be gifted.  

Or is Vintage Heart Jewelry More Your Style?

Just Jules Locket

If the thing that makes your own heart go pitter-pat, you’ll love what designer Julie Romanenko does with vintage heart lockets. She shops antique shops all over the world looking for only the most beautiful and unique lockets she can find. After she redesigns them to include new or handmade chains, gemstone elements, and other lovely touches, you have a locket that is both traditional and stylish. Like the hearts from G&G, every locket Julie creates is a one-of-a-kind, which is such a nice touch for any gift associated with romantic love.  

Diamond Heart Jewelry

De Beers Heart

Of course, diamonds are still a girl’s best friend. Maybe the heart for you is something dainty that you can wear on your sleeve, like this sweet little diamond heart bracelet from De Beers.  

Molina Fine Jewelers

            Or perhaps this heart will capture yours  …with over 17carats of diamonds on the outside and almost 3carats of pink sapphires on the inside, there is nothing tiny about this breathtaking pendant. The  3inch, three dimensional heart is suspended from a diamond pave chain and is only a heartbeat away at    

  Heart to Heart…

Remember that fine jewelry hearts such as these will never go out of style – and may become some of your favorite heirlooms.  So, In the spirit of Valentine’s Day:
  1. Tweet Sweet
  2. Blow Kisses
  3. Spread some Kindness
  4. Roll-out the Red Carpet for a Friend
  5. Form a Strategic Partnership
  6. …and Have a Heart!

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New Jewelry Wardrobe for the New Year!

Experience the Joy of a New Jewelry Wardrobe Without Breaking the Bank!

A friend of mine told me that she received a new jewelry box for Christmas, which meant touching , polishing & enjoying her quality jewelry all over again.  More importanly, after a little care and attention she now says she has an entirely new jewelry wardrobe! What a terrific idea! You don’t have to receive a new jewelry box to do this (though a new jewelry box is such a fun thing). The new year is a terrific time to refresh your jewelry wardrobe with a bit of attention. Here are my tips for taking your jewelry wardrobe in hand:
  1. Sort your jewelry to determine which pieces you no longer wear. They’re just taking up space! You may be holding on to a few pieces for a daughter or granddaughter, and if that is the case, carefully wrap them (don’t forget the anti-tarnish strips if the item is silver) and tuck them away in a safe place. That way they stop taking up space in your jewelry box and you’ve stored them safely for the future. As for the rest? Gift them, melt them, or remake them! Take your un-worn jewelry items to your local independent jeweler for a discussion of all the possibilities (and don’t forget, Erica Courtney offers an amazing Repurpose! Relove! program for those of you who want to redesign your jewelry)!
  2. Clean your jewelry. Every time you wear your precious gems and metals they pick up body oils, lotions, soaps, and environmental pollutants – just like your clothing! If you don’t own a home-use ultrasonic cleaner, this is a terrific item to invest in.  Delicate items like pearls, opals, and other soft gemstones should always be taken to your local jeweler for professional cleaning.
  3. Play with your jewelry! Try different combinations than the ones you have been using. Pair your jewelry up with different outfits. Jewelry is supposed to be a fun, motivating part of getting ready for each day – a way to add a bit of creative flair and personal identity to your every-day look.
  4. Consider where your jewelry box is located! I’ve talked to people who said they forget to wear their jewelry because the jewelry box is in a dark spot on a closet shelf, underneath other items that are a hassle to move, or otherwise inconvenient to access. Fix this, and make selecting your jewelry the part of getting dressed you most look forward to!
Of course, it’s always exciting to acquire a wonderful new objet d’fine jewelry, but why wait? You might find that you have treasures untold hiding in your jewelry box right now. Have fun!

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America’s First Jeweler

Independent Jewelers are best choice for consumers

Black, Starr & Frost is America’s first  jeweler and I do mean first, as in founded in 1810 and still in business today.  If the name sounds familiar to you, maybe it’s because you remember Marilyn Monroe naming them in the song “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” in the 1953 blockbuster film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.  Or perhaps you’ve visited the Newport Beach store that includes a waterfront patio, a fireplace, a bar and beautiful chandelliers to light your way.  Perhaps you heard mention of the countless celebrities who have purchased their most important jewelry pieces from Black, Starr & Frost or read of the premiums paid at auction for Black Starr & Frost items.

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The Diamond Business Moves Hearts and Million$

It’s been a big week for movers and shakers in the diamond business!

  1. BHP Billiton, a globally diversified mining company, has sold its stake in the Canadian Ekati diamond-mine to Harry Winston Diamond Corp. For BHP, the diamond business is too small an operation compared to its other mining interests, but for Harry Winston it serves core strategic interests.  Harry Winston also bought BHP’s marketing operations in Antwerp – a prize itself with its strong group of diamond marketing executives already in place and ready to turn their attention strictly to Harry Winston’s marketing needs. Read more about it here.
  2. The Archduke Joseph diamond wasn’t the only amazing diamond auction last week (more on that later) – famed diamantaire Laurence Graff paid $10.9 million at Sotheby’s for a 10.48-carat fancy deep blue briolette-shaped diamond.  In 2008 Graff bought the Wittelsbach Diamond for $24.3 million, and then recut it – and experienced significant criticism for altering what many considered to be an important historic jewel. What can we expect of him with this gem – a beautiful setting for one of the world’s most wealthy, or another daring alteration of a $1+million per carat diamond?
  3. And yes, there was the Archduke Joseph auction – an event at which I was able to be present in Geneva. The Archduke sold for $21.5 million – significantly over its projected $15 million sale price.  Black Starr & Frost (Chairman, Alfredo Molina) was its guardian for the past 13 years and now it continues its immortal journey.  For me, the auction was as emotional as the day I wore it and met President Bill Clinton.  This auction was also historical: The sale broke several auction records including a record sale for a colorless Golconda diamond sold at auction, and price per carat for a colorless diamond. Read more about the Archduke auction here.
That’s a lot of excitement for one week. And now, with Black Friday just around the corner, there’s sure to be more exciting moments (in and out of the news) involving diamonds….as they continue to commemorate our love, enhance our life experiences or excite global investors.  “We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures” (Thorton Wilder) ….and I am filled with gratitude for this amazing year!    Happy Thanksgiving to you all!  
Here are a few photos from the Archduke Joseph Diamond auction at Christie’s:        

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Archduke Joseph Diamond Auction at Christie’s

The Archduke Joseph Diamond Auction at Christie’s is Almost Here

The most exciting diamond auction in decades – the Archduke Joseph Diamond – is about  to take place, and of course I’ll be there. I couldn’t miss it!   On November 13 – right after my interview on CNNE – I’ll be catching a flight for Geneva to take part in this historic event. Christie’s beautifully prepared auction catalog details the history and pedigree of the amazing Archduke Joseph Diamond. It is very well-written and the photography is lush. Here’s a link so you can enjoy it too. I can’t wait to  get there, to see the Archduke Joseph Diamond again, and to share my experiences with you!

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True Luxury- Jewelry Activist Diane Warga-Arias

The heart and soul of the luxury business is the understanding that luxury is inexpressible, because it is aesthetic based….captivating all of our senses. That is why a simulant or synthetic gemstone doesn’t make it. No matter how beautifully it is described and no matter how good it looks at first glance or on TV, a fake has nothing to do with luxury. The reason is simple: Natural gemstones captivate us emotionally, physically and mentally. If we know we are wearing a fake or if we see our faux gemstone next to the real thing…we will feel differently. In other words, the luxury experience will also be simulated and fall short.

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Genuine versus Natural

By now, you all know that I believe every woman deserves REAL Quality Jewelry …No Imitations, No Simulations & No Synthetics! Most importantly, we all deserve to know what we are buying! The challenge is to look beyond any Marketing Spin…which I call “Marketing SPAM”. If you are a Jeweler who hides some facts and has not yet stopped the spam, learn from brands in other industries. For example: The Four Seasons website integrates customers’ comments (all the negative criticism, as well as the positive reviews; & BTW I had a great stay in Vegas during Jewelry Week.) My favorite example this week is Miracle Whip: their campaign boasts about “not being for everyone” …. It does not pretend to be real mayonnaise, LOL. So, back to the jewelry industry: All of my girlfriends out there who love jewelry and are contemplating their next purchase, you need to look at the information carefully, while you listen to your jewelry sellers… and most importantly, ASK QUESTIONS! If a seller says a gemstone is GENUINE, he does NOT necessarily mean it is Natural and Untreated. For example: lots of jewelry sellers are offering Blue Diamonds at bargain prices…without telling the whole story. Natural Color Diamonds are even rarer than Colorless Diamonds. Natural Blue Diamonds are extremely rare and can be priced in the millions of dollars. Genuine Blue Diamonds set in Jewelry offered at Bargain Prices…are likely BROWN DIAMONDS or faint yellow Diamonds that were first Irradiated and then given a high heat treatment,which turns the browns/yellows into colored diamonds, including: greens, vivid yellows, blues, purples and reds! This created color is usually permanent, but could possibly change during Repairs or Re-settings that require high heat. Is there something wrong about buying treated gemstones? Not necessarily, but you should know what you are buying! For example: one of my friends is a manufacturer and seller of beautiful affordable Blue Zircon gemstone jewelry. Blue Zircon is a real gemstone (not to be confused with Cubic Zirconia; Zirconia is Synthetic & Fake). ALL Blue Zircon gemstones are heat-treated, yet the lively light blue color and refraction can be appealing. Now, if you are an investor or among our elite affluent who can own a Natural Blue Diamond…then go for it; a Blue Diamond is on top of my list for you…right after a Natural Pink Diamond 😉 As for the rest of us, let’s buy, wear or sell beautiful, rare, gemstones, but nothing fake or simulated; if you have an urge to get close to a natural blue diamond … go visit the HOPE DIAMOND, the most famous Natural Blue!  

Sotheby’s Hong Kong – 10-5-2011; 6.01 carat vivid blue & pink diamond ring; Sold for $10.1 million ($1.68 million per carat)

Hope Diamond – 42.52 Carats; Most visited object in the world; Smithsonian’s Geology, Gems & Minerals Exhibit (Harry Winston Gallery)

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QUALITY is FOREVER . . . Is your Style?

Antique Art Deco Ring - Walton's Antique & Estate Jewelry

Always purchase quality and you will have it forever, for your next celebration, for next year or for your next generation, because we all deserve to celebrate our life with Real Quality NOT Imitations!
Sometimes, though….we look in our jewelry box and see fashion-styled forever pieces that no longer get us excited, because our style has taken a turn. I myself swing between classic, contemporary and what I call “in-my-moment” style; but NEVER will I build my style with anything not genuine or fake! So, what can we do with our quality treasures …until the style recycles back into vogue with us or the runway? Quality lets us restyle and transform our investments, so we can enjoy them today, tomorrow and forever! Designer Erica Courtney says: “Repurpose, Relove!” . . . her designer collections often catch my eye, but she also has a “REPURPOSE, RELOVE” program that encourages her customers to bring in their old jewelry treasures to be recreated, combined and transformed into new exciting jewelry items. I Love you Erica Courtney!

So, if you yearn for some new Sparkle in your life, while you have quality lingering and neglected in your jewelry box…use those pieces to create something new and you will love and enjoy your quality jewelry all over again!

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