• A Noble Jewel by Sterle at Sotheby's Geneva Auction

     

    Diamond Bracelet by Sterle Diamond Bracelet by Sterle, a noble jewel available at Sotheby's Geneva Noble Jewels Auction in November. Photo courtesy Sotheby's.

     

    Sotheby's Geneva brings to auction an astonishing array of gorgeous jewels at their Magnificent & Noble Jewels auction. Scheduled for November 15th, the sale promises a carefully curated selection of jewels designed by the most prestigious names in jewelry. One such jewel, as shown above, is a gorgeous diamond and platinum bracelet by Sterle.

     

    Sterle Bracelet

    This scrumptious jewel consists of four strands of diamond-encrusted platinum scrunched in the center by a diamond and platinum X. Another platinum X, also inlaid with diamonds, serves as a decoration over the clasp.

    The four lines of diamonds run parallel to each other, crossing at the center X. Two of them are channel set with baguette diamonds. The other two feature round brilliant diamond in prong settings. In similar fashion, the two X decorations echo the design in smaller round diamonds and smaller baguettes.

    Sterle designed this stunning diamond in the 1960s. Listed as Lot 310, curators expect the bracelet to realize $70-90,000. Of course, I believe the inherent value of the name Sterle outweighs the material value of the diamonds.

     

    Sterle Style

    Perhaps the name Pierre Sterle sounds novel to you. In fact, I must confess this bracelet is the first creation by the designer that I've ever seen. For this reason, Fred Leighton calls him "one of the most important jewelry designers you've never heard of."

    Pierre opened an upper story atelier in 1943, just off the Place Vendome in Paris. He chose to serve only the elite of the elite, royals and jet-setting socialites who found their way to his shop by word of mouth.

    The elusive designer specialized in the manipulation of gold to the point that his jewels brimmed with life. Flower rings and brooches the neighbor could have picked from his garden. Birds that took flight. Golden shells enameled in white and inset with diamonds that might have washed up on shore, a home for barnacles.

    Sinuous braids of granulated gold, studded with leafy pendants studded in diamonds. Ribbons and tassels tied in gold, diamonds, and pearls. Gold, diamonds, and pearls fashioned into dragon talons, dragon eggs, and other fantastical creations.

    Of course, he also created a host of jewels set with baguette and brilliant cut white diamonds like this bracelet. Exquisite retro designs crafted in white diamonds. Turban rings, ribbon necklaces, diamond fringe rings, diamond leaf necklaces. The beauty emerges endlessly, yet his name is not on the tip of our tongues.

     

    Who is Pierre Sterle?

    Born at the turn of the 20th century, Pierre came from a family of bankers. The tragic loss of his father to war prompted a change of residence. Now in the charge of his uncle, Pierre learned his uncle's trade - jewelry, of course.

    In 1934, he began designing jewelry for the big names of that time, such as Ostertag, Boucheron, and Chaumet. In 1939, he started crafting select pieces for individuals. His first personal client was the French writer, Colette, author of Gigi and Claudine.

    In 1943, he moved his operations to avenue de l'Opera, a stone's throw from Place Vendome. He remained exclusive in his approach, which only seemed to heighten his appeal. Of course, his exquisite works practically sold themselves.

    Eventually, he received commissions from kings, including King Farouk of Egypt who asked him to fashion a crown for his queen. He also received commissions from the maharani of Baroda.

    Though forced to sell his business in 1976, Pierre came full circle. Chaumet bought his company and hired him as a technical consultant. Evidently, he maintained this connection to nearly the end.

     

    I hope you have enjoyed learning about one of jewelry history's best kept secrets. I surely enjoyed writing about the life and style of Pierre Sterle.

    In addition to the prestigious jewels Pierre made, Sotheby's offers diamonds of impeccable quality and prestigious gems from important and royal provenance. For more information, please visit Sotheby's website.

  • German Betrothal Customs

     


    German betrothal customs include a woman's penny collection to buy her wedding shoes A German daughter saves up coins for all her life until she can buy her wedding shoes after her betrothal. Photo courtesy Flickr.

     

    Though a German betrothal begins when a man proposes, many German women prepare for their marriage long before this. For example, a young German maiden saves her pennies all her life until a man proposes marriage. Then, she uses those pennies to buy her wedding shoes.

    Meanwhile, if her parents follow with ancient traditions, upon her birth they plant a number of trees in her honor. When a suitor pledges marriage, they cut the trees down and sell them to provide her dowry.

     

    A Promise is Made

    Today, German betrothal begins with an exchange of gold bands worn on the fourth finger of their left hands. These engagement rings serve as a pledge of their plans to marry. During the ceremony, they transfer the bands to the fourth finger of their right hands.

    Right away, the couple is dubbed the bride and the bridegroom. Traditionally, their families and friends consider them practically married. The rings serve as a binding promise.

     

    The Banns

    Once a date for the wedding is announced, they arrange for a reading of the banns. I've actually come across this custom in other European betrothal traditions.

    The Banns is a formal announcement, typically made three Sundays in a row at the couple's local church. Some parishes require a reading of the Banns three times over the course of three months prior to the wedding.

    In the case where the bride and groom hail from different parishes (church neighborhoods or towns), the Banns must be read in both churches, as well as in the church in which the ceremony will take place.

    Traditionally, the Banns offered members of the community to come forward with legal reasons to halt or postpone the wedding. Although I see no lists of reasons a person might propose to halt a wedding, I can imagine a few.

    Perhaps the bride has lied about her age and someone comes forward with proof that she fails to meet the legal age requirement. Perhaps the groom habitually proposes, and Banns for another of his supposed weddings were read in a different parish church.

    I know, a bit morbid and out of character from my usual posts. I can jest because typically the reading of the Banns provides a wonderful opportunity for the community to celebrate the couple. It is far more likely that people will come forth with blessings, gifts, or invitations to parties than to try to stop the wedding these days.

    The Inviter

    After the reading of the Banns, the couple designates an official Inviter. I picture the Inviter as a sort of jolly jester who walks from home to home personally inviting neighbors, friends, and family members to the wedding.

    He wears a plain hat and a jacket adorned with ribbons. He also carries a special stick decorated with colorful ribbons and flowers. The couple's friends and neighbors do their part by taking a ribbon from his stick and pinning it to his hat. Then, they invite the Inviter into their home for a good stiff drink.

    Sometimes the inviter reaches his limit before finishing his rounds. In this case, he either completes his rounds the next day, or the remaining neighbors and friends understand that the invitation extends to them, as well.

    On the eve of the wedding, the Inviter serves as the emcee for the reception. In many ways, his role mimics the role of the best man in American weddings.

     

    Polterabend, a German Betrothal Party!

    A German betrothal includes a very special party which takes place the night before the wedding. Finding its roots in more superstitious times, originally the polterabend ("noisy evening") provided a means for well wishers to scare off evil spirits.

    As such, the party includes a lot of raucous noise. Invitations to this German betrothal party are implied and spread by word of mouth. Throughout the evening, people show up to enjoy a feast provided by the bride's relatives.

    Attendees bring their own pots, pans, and crockery. Throughout the evening, the bride wears a myrtle crown, which she may wear on her wedding day, as well.

    After the feasting and the drinking, at around midnight, the partygoers take their pots, pans, and crocks and throw them violently against the door. Thus, the night of noise ends, with the evil spirits fleeing far away as the bride and bridegroom work together to clean up the atrocious mess.

     

    Two Final Traditions

    During the final weeks before the wedding, some of the bride's and groom's friends prepare a special fundraiser for the couple. They gather photos and stories of the couple's early lives, as well as fun stories of their dating and betrothal periods.

    These friends put together a special newspaper featuring photos, articles, and other tidbits about the bride and groom and their relationship. During the reception, they offer this newspaper for sale to raise funds for the couple's honeymoon.

    The final act of a traditional German betrothal is the conveyance of the bride's trousseau to the bride's new home. This act signaled the beginning of the wedding.

    In more modern times, the trousseau arrives at the church just before the ceremony. Wedding attendants arrange the trousseau for public display. Originally, the trousseau and dowry were one and the same. Putting it on display demonstrated the wealth and status of the bride's family. Often, guests at the wedding added more gifts for the bride on her special day.

  • History + Highlights of Boucheron


    Amazing 1950's Boucheron Turquoise & Diamond Cocktail Ring Platinum An amazing 1950s Boucheron Turquoise & Diamond cocktail ring. Click here for more details. Photo ©2018 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    The Maison Boucheron of Paris crafted this outstanding turquoise and diamond cocktail ring in the 1950s. Centering the masterpiece is an oval cut turquoise cabochon weighing 30 carats. A halo of 20 round brilliant cut diamonds surrounds the stone. Around this, a second halo of 20 accent cabochon turquoise stones surrounds the whole. Truly, the ring serves as an extraordinary example of the design prowess of Boucheron.

     

    History of Boucheron

    Frederic Boucheron grew up learning the clothiers trade. Upon reaching the age of maturity, he departed from his family's tradition and opened a jewelry boutique in Paris. Opening first beneath the arcades of the Palais Royale, Frederic eventually made a strategic move to 26 Place Vendome.

    In the crosshairs of the Opera Garnier district and the Tuileries Gardens, Place Vendome was then and remains now the center of recreation and leisure for wealthy Parisians. Frederic was the first to sell high jewelry in the 1st arrondisement.

    Today Place Vendome holds court as the premier marketplace for high jewelry, couture, the arts, and antiques. Today, 160 years later, Boucheron continues to serve the most elite clientele in Paris, offering unique contemporary collections featuring spectacular stones from 26 Place Vendome.

     

    Three Creative Pillars

    Early on, Frederic adhered to design principles built upon three creative pillars - Couture, Architecture, Nature. These creative pillars remain solidly in place as a foundation for all of the atelier's collections.

    Nature provides endless inspiration. Drawing from nature's wild freedom, the Maison creates bold natural designs expressed in an exotic blend of realism and fantasy.

    Architecture reveals itself most prevalently in Boucheron's Art Deco motifs. From the beginning of the Art Deco period, the atelier capitalized on the contemporary demand for geometric lines and architectural motifs.

    Couture, to be sure, inspires and informs the design principles behind nearly every Boucheron piece. In part, because jewelry serves to accessorize couture. In part, because couture in and of itself is inspiring. Certainly, as the son of clothiers, Frederic cultivated a lifelong fascination with fabric and materials.

    Among his most magnificent creations is the gold mesh scarf he fashioned for the Grand-Duc Wladimir. The Duc met his wife during a ball. She dropped her scarf, and he picked it up for her. The sensuousness and infatuation marked by such a simple encounter inspired him to ask Boucheron to recreate the scarf in gold and jewels. Since then, the Maison continues to work gold to create fabric-like creations fashioned from fine strands of gold and tasseled with pearls.

     

    Designs for Women

    Without doubt, the most innovative design Boucheron invented for women and couture is the Question Mark necklace, called Point d'Interrogation in French. Conceptualized first in 1883, by Frederic and his workshop manager, Paul Legrand, the Question Mark necklace established a new design for women.

    The necklace, beautiful and contemporary in its lines, really solved a difficult problem women endured with their couture. In particular, the stiff, limiting crinoline made it difficult for women to hook the clasp of a necklace on their own. The Question Mark necklace, fashioned like a peacock feather, is made without a clasp. Instead, it harbors a hidden spring system which allows it to curl around the neck like a feather.

    This represents only one example in a long line of innovations tailored to meet the needs of women. In addition, the Maison invented brand new designs, including the mosaic, mirror, and airy settings.

    The innovation, boldness, and extraordinary commitment to exceptionality in stone choice, design principle, and craftsmanship, surely sets Boucheron above the rest.

    To add this beautiful piece by the Parisian Maison to your collection, give us a call today.

  • Preston Singletary Exhibition at Museum of Glass

     

    White Raven by Preston Singletary White Raven by Preston Singletary, 2017. Blown, hot-sculpted, and sand-carved glass. Courtey of the artist. Photo courtesy of Russell Johnson.

     

    On view now at the Museum of Glass, Preston Singletary presents Raven and the Box of Daylight. Glassmaking, goldsmithing, and jewelry design go hand in hand. Sometimes it’s important to step out of the box and look at things from outside your usual box. This is why I’m writing about this exhibition.

    Though the exhibit does not feature jewelry, the story just happens to hail from the oral traditions of the Tlingit people. If you recall, I recently mentioned the Tlingit people in a post about the Klondike Gold Rush Museum.

     

    The Tlingit

    The Tlingit peoples are indigenous tribes native to Southeast Alaska and Western Canada. In Alaska, they continue to occupy the coastal rainforest on the southeast shores. They also continue to occupy the Yukon area of Canada. Historically, they also lived in the Alexander Archipelago.

    As mentioned in my previous article, a group of Tlingit tribes held control of the Yukon passes. This placed them at the heart of the Klondike Gold Rush.

    Among the Tlingit, art and spirituality go hand in hand, as do the daily activities of life. Therefore, even such everyday objects as spoons and bowls are decorated in the imagery of their rich oral tradition.

    Singletary draws upon this oral tradition to tell the story of Raven and the Box of Daylight in his latest exhibition at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma.

     

    Preston Singletary

    Preston Singletary, an indigenous artist from the Tlingit tribe, began working with glass in the early '80s. At some point along his path to mastery, Singletary discovered ways to blend his love for glass with his love for his culture.

    He began experimenting with Tlingit designs formed in glass. In his lifetime, his achievements have positioned him to inspire other indigenous artists to manifest their cultural language and philosophies in non-traditional materials.

    This evolution inspires all his work. His most recent is perhaps the most astounding immersive opportunity for museumgoers to experience the rich oral traditions of the Tlingit people.

     

    Raven and the Box of Daylight

    Perhaps one of the most important stories in the rich oral tradition of the Tlingit tribe, Raven and the Box of Daylight begins with an obsession.

    Raven Devises a Plan

    The Old Man at the Head of the Nass river tucked the sun, the moon, and the stars in three special boxes which he hid in a place of safety. Raven wants the light of the sun, the moon, and the stars for himself. Therefore, he devises a plan which he executes by first becoming a hemlock needle.

    Meanwhile, the Old Man's daughter ventures out to pick blackberries beneath the hemlock tree. Raven drops himself into her water cup. When she swallows the needle in a drink of water, Raven implants himself into her womb.

    Upon his birth as a boy, the Old Man devotes his affection to him, as he believes he is his grandson. He whines and complains until his grandfather gives in and gives him the box that holds the stars.

    The Stars and Moon Escape

    Transfixed by the light emanating from within, Raven opens the lid. The stars escape out the chimney and drift away into the heavens.

    Next, Raven begs for the box with the moon. He takes the moon out and plays with it like a ball. Eventually, it escapes from his hands and rolls out the door to follow the stars into the sky.

    Finally, Raven cries and begs until the Old Man gives him the box with the sun. Of course, the Old Man keeps careful watch over the boy with the sun. So though he wants to share his victory with his peers, Raven knows he cannot escape easily with it.

    The Sun Joins the Moon & Stars

    One night, after everyone else falls asleep, Raven transforms himself back into his bird form. He grasps the box in his beak and flies up through the chimney.

    Full of pride, he boasts to those he meets that he has acquired the light of the sun for himself. To prove it, he opens the box. Alas, the sun flees the box and joins the moon and stars in the sky.

     

    The Exhibition

    In sculptures made of glass, accompanied by audio and video elements, Preston Singletary provides an immersive, multisensory exhibition that brings this important Tlingit story to life.

    Set against the backdrop of shadows and projected images, the sculpted glass characters of Raven and the Box of Daylight appear to breathe with life. Projected through speakers, native Tlingit music overlays natural sounds of the Pacific Northwest coast.

    As visitors walk through the exhibit, they also hear recordings of native Tlingit storytellers narrating the story. (Click here to listen to samples of the audio tracks.)

    This immersive retelling of Raven's story is an important milestone in the continuation of the Tlingit oral traditions. Through the continued expression of art by indigenous peoples, their cultures live on, enriching the lives of all who participate.

    To plan your visit to the Tacoma Museum of Glass, visit their website for details.

  • Lauren Pesce Engagement Ring Details


    Match engagement ring style with Lauren Pesce With this gorgeous rose gold pave diamond halo ring, you can match engagement ring style with Lauren Pesce. Click here for more details. Photo ©2018 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Lauren Pesce and Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino announced their engagement on Instagram a few short months ago. Since then, Mike's proposal and their wedding are saved for posterity as part of the Jersey Shore: Family Vacation series which has already begun showing on MTV.

    Who is Lauren Pesce?

    The answer to this question begins, only for us, on the campus of Monmouth University in New Jersey. Lauren and Mike both attended Monmouth, dating throughout their years there.

    In fact, Lauren and Mike dated from then until 2009, when Mike accepted the part on MTV's reality TV show, Jersey Shore. Lauren relates that they stayed friends after they parted ways, and that proves out in their reconnection after the show ended in 2012.

    During their time apart, Lauren Pesce graduated from LIM College in New York City with a degree in fashion merchandising. Her passion for fashion inspired her to begin her blog, called The Style Bae (which stands for Style Before Anything Else).

    Lauren worked for Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy's as a fashion buyer. Now, she runs The Style Bae and works as a real estate agent in Monmouth County.

     

    Lauren Pesce Engagement Ring Details

    Although Lauren and Mike already tied the knot on November 1st, it's never too late to talk about engagement ring details. And Lauren's is a beauty!

    A 3-carat cushion-cut diamond nestles within a diamond halo. The sparkling combination rests atop a rose gold band paved in even more white diamonds.

    Lauren told USMagazine, "He made my dreams come true with the ring. I’m a type-A, picky person. I know exactly what I like when I see it. I had high expectations for when this happened and he went above and beyond my expectations. He really impressed me with all of it."

    Rose gold and diamonds with a large central stone are indeed a dream come true. Let us help you make your dreams come true, as well. We have a lovely selection of rose gold halo rings that are very similar to the one Mike Sorrentino gave his sweetheart.

  • History + Characteritics of Blue Diamonds

     

    Blue diamonds, the rarest of rare A stunning example of blue diamonds, this stunning blue and white diamond wring is set in 18k white gold. Click here for more details. Photo ©2018 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    This gorgeous wide band 18k white gold ring features a jaw-dropping 1.6 carat natural blue diamond. Surrounded by stunning emerald-cut and round brilliant white diamonds, the blue diamond just pops on this ring. Talk about the rarest of the rare, a blue diamond is perhaps one of the rarest precious gemstones on earth.

    I wanted to write about blue diamonds after browsing the lots of Sotheby’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite auction. The top-grossing lot in this sale, a gorgeous blue diamond ring also mounted in 18k white gold, especially caught my attention.

    A Rare and Important Blue Diamond

    Realizing an astonishing $13.8 million, the Ai Diamond in Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite sale was a rare and important Vivid Blue and white diamond ring. Weighing an astonishing 5 carats, The Ai Diamond radiates with VS2 clarity. The GIA released a special monograph for this diamond, stating that the Ai Diamond is “saturated with the color of wisdom, harmony, and truth…”

    Natural blue diamonds are rarer than rare. Only one diamond in every 10,000 white diamonds found are colored. And only a very small portion of those colored diamonds are blue. In fact, Nature published a study reporting that only 1 in about every 200,000 diamonds have any blue tint. {source} The deeper the blue, the rarer the stone. Hence, the extraordinary price realized for this magnificent jewel.

    Mysterious Boron

    Blue diamonds derive their color from trapped particles of boron in their carbon structure. Boron absorbs yellow light from the spectrum, allowing the color blue to radiate out from the stone.

    The boron found in blue diamonds has baffled scientists until recently. Boron is decidedly a crustal element, found primarily in the earth’s crust and rarely in the mantle. However, diamonds form deep within the earth’s depths, around 100 miles below the mantle. Furthermore, blue diamonds form even deeper down, as deep as 410 miles below the mantle.

    How Does the Boron Get Down There?

    The study published in Nature reports that the Earth's recycling habits drive boron down deep enough for a blue diamond to form. When two tectonic plates grind together, one pushes the other beneath it. The force at which this occurs drives crustal elements down into the mantle, sometimes as deep as the 400 miles required for forming blue diamonds.

    Once these crustal elements find their way into the mantle, the earth recycles and reuses them to create new materials that later shoot back up to the surface by way of volcanic or tectonic ruptures. Perhaps it would be better to call this upcycling - most certainly a blue diamond proves an upgrade from a bit of carbon and boron!

    Let us help you upgrade your jewelry case! Give us a call to add this gorgeous blue diamond ring to your collection.

  • The Chinese Wedding Feast

    Chinese wedding feast decorations. Chinese wedding feast decorations. Photo courtesy Flickr.

     

    The Chinese wedding feast is perhaps the most important aspect of the Chinese wedding day. Typically, the parents of the bride and groom hold separate feasts. The bride's family holds the feast ahead of the wedding. The groom's family hosts the feast that follows the ceremony.

     

    The Nuptial Chamber

    Prior to joining their guests at the wedding feast, a Chinese bride and groom retreat to their nuptial chamber. For these first few moments alone as husband and wife, the couple sits on their bed together.

    In some regions, it is customary for the couple to drink wine from goblets tied together by a red string. After a sufficient time has passed, the couple make their first entrance into the banquet hall.

     

    A Chinese Wedding Feast

    While the bride and groom enjoy their moments alone, their wedding guests file into the banqueting hall. On entering, they sign the wedding scroll (or guest book) and hand red envelopes filled with cash to wedding attendants.

    In front of the guest offering the envelope, the attendant opens it and counts the cash. They write the amount down so the couple will know how much to offer at the guest's future wedding. It is customary for the couple to offer a sum greater than what was given.

    Once everyone assembles and finds their seat, the wedding emcee announces the first entrance of the bride and groom. Typically, the groom offers a welcome speech which begins the service of a nine-course meal.

    While the guests eat, the bride and groom visit tables, greet their guests, and then retire to their rooms to change clothes. They return in new outfits after the third course, and again after the sixth course.

    Sometime just before dessert is served, the bride and groom offer a toast to their guests. The best man might also offer a toast at this time. Next the bride and groom visit each table. Each group of guests rises and drinks a toast to the couple. After visiting each table, the bride and groom leave the banquet hall once again.

    The couple changes their clothing once more, as the guests finish dessert. As soon as the dessert plates are cleared, the Chinese wedding feast ends. The bride and groom, as well as their close family members, assemble in the foyer outside the hall. One by one, the guests file out, shaking hands with the couple and their families. In addition, each guest has a photo taken with the couple, and the bride may hand out sweet treats.

     

    After the Feast

    One final ritual takes place on the evening of a Chinese wedding. At the end of the night, friends and family fill the bedroom. The youngest guests are encouraged to jump on the bed. Encouraged to make as much noise as possible, this bedlam discourages evil spirits from roosting in the room.

    Older friends play tricks on the couple, enjoying one final opportunity to keep the party going. The couple then shares another glass of wine. In some regions, the groom drinks of the 'flesh cup,' after which he holds the wine in his mouth. He then passes the wine from his mouth to his wife's, who swallows it for both of them.

    Staying as long as possible, the couple's friends tell ribald jokes, share stories, and enjoy ribbing the couple as much as possible. The couple finally cuts a lock of each others' hair, symbolizing the unity of their hearts. Eventually, their guests leave.

    The next morning, the bride awakens early to pay honor to her new family ancestors at the altar. Afterwards, she is introduced formally to her new family members. Each person offers her a small gift, and her husband's parents anoint her with a new title that places her in their family's ancestral hierarchy.

    Three days after a Chinese wedding, the bride and groom visit the bride's family home for dinner. From this visit onward, she is treated as a guest by her family.

  • The Key Features of Art Deco Engagement Rings


    Art Deco Engagement Rings Old Cut Diamond w/ Colored Accents Art Deco Engagement Rings never go out of style. This ring features an Old Euro Cut Diamond with Colored Accents. Click here for more details. Photo ©2018 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Art Deco engagement rings continue capturing the eye of brides everywhere. From celebrities to models, from businesswomen to housewives, women from every walk of life are captivated by Art Deco style.

    This magnificent Art Deco engagement ring features an exquisite 1.68 carat old European cut central diamond. The diamond grades J in color and VVS2 in clarity. Its sparkle is breathtaking.

    Crafted of platinum, this antique ring features 14 single cut diamonds and 14 lab created blue sapphires set in amazing floral filigree. This ring epitomizes the key features of Art Deco engagement rings.

     

    The Art Deco Period

    Art Deco describes the design aesthetic of the period between 1920 and 1935. This design style emphasizes the marriage between art and modern industry.

    It represents a departure from natural lines and organic muses, such as flowers, fairies, and fauna. Instead, designers drew inspiration from modern inventions and archeological discoveries.

    Such inventions included the steamship, airplanes, steam engines, and automobiles. Archaeological discoveries included ancient Egyptian relics, as well as Central American and African tribal art motifs. In particular, these archaeological discoveries introduced an infatuation with geometric shapes for both gemstones and filigree designs.

    In addition, Art Deco artists found inspiration in Oriental artwork, as well as in Cubism and Fauvism. These artistic approaches further encouraged the use of geometric lines and designs.

     

    Art Deco Engagement Rings

    Drawing upon these same influences, jewelry designers fashioned numerous Art Deco engagement rings in keeping with these aesthetic principles. In the medium of metals and gemstones, a few key characteristics stand out for engagement rings made during this period.

    Platinum and white gold, platinum in particular, proved itself superior to yellow gold for Art Deco jewelry. For one thing, it is stronger than yellow gold. The intricacies of filigree and other delicate metalwork held up better in platinum. Platinum withstood the impact of daily wear better than yellow gold with these delicate designs.

    In addition, a new supply of platinum, discovered in South Africa in 1924, allowed jewelers to continue feeding the demand for platinum jewelry. For centuries, royals around the world preferred the contrast of white metals and diamonds to the warmer yellow gold.

    Of course, yellow gold found favor in some royal courts. However, by Edwardian times, platinum was the metal of choice. It remained so for many more years following.

    Today, platinum continues to shine as the metal of choice for many brides. This is not surprising, as not only does platinum retain its beauty and shine day after day, but it is lightweight and extremely durable.

    Perhaps you are in the market for an Art Deco engagement ring. If so, we offer a few pointers for ensuring that your engagement ring is an authentic antique from the 1920s or 1930s.

     

    Tips for Choosing Art Deco Engagement Rings

    1. True Art Deco engagement rings are fashioned from platinum or white gold.
    2. In its natural state, white gold from the 1920s appears grayish, as opposed to yellowish in tone.
    3. Art Deco settings include intricate filigree and other designs etched directly into the metal.
    4. Designs will be geometric with symmetry and clean lines.
    5. Central stones are primarily diamonds cut in Old Euro, cushion, Asscher, or transitional cuts.
    6. Many designs include smaller colored gemstones, primarily blue sapphires, rubies, and emeralds.
    7. These smaller gemstones may be synthetic without detracting from the value. This is the only period in which synthetic accent stones are fairly equal in value to their natural counterparts.
    8. Accent stones are cut in specialized geometric shapes, particularly calibre-cut, baguette, trapeze, half moon, and triangular.
    9. Jewelers often set accent stones in channels so they would essentially sit right next to each other, creating a seamless, mosaic design aesthetic.
    10. In this fashion, gemstones created the outlines and contrast for beautiful and intricate geometric designs.
    11. Certain semi-precious stones grew in popularity during the Art Deco period, including black onyx, coral, lapis lazuli, turquoise, and jade.
    12. Art Deco motifs included Egyptian symbols, lotus blossoms, Mughal carvings, Chinese dragons, Parisian arabesques, and more.

    If you desire more help in choosing an Art Deco engagement ring, we welcome you to visit our Bellevue showroom. Just give us a call to make an appointment.

  • China's Triple Parade Exhibition

    Triple Parade 2018

    Opening this month, China's Triple Parade exhibition features 12 Society of North American Goldsmith members. Open October 19, 2018, through January, 6, 2018, Triple Parade emerges as one of the leading contemporary applied art and design exhibitions.

     

    Triple Parade

    The exhibition takes place at the HOW Art Museum in Shanghai, China. The show aims to continue an ongoing international cultural exchange between China and the rest of the world.

    This year's theme, "Three Times: Dialogue Across the Past, the Present, the Future," places contemporary jewelry art at the forefront of a conversation about art in time and space in relationship to past, present, and future. Though several mediums are represented, jewelry holds a high position in the exhibit.

    "Jewellery is not just a form, [it] also explores the complex and dynamic relationships between people, people and objects, people and society, and people and the world as a whole." {source}

    I have certainly seen the truth of these words in my exploration of the noble and magnificent jewels that come up at auction, as well as in the spotlights on contemporary and past designers. I also see it in the passing of an estate jewel from one owner to another. Every time a gem changes hands, it adds a new chapter to the story it tells.

     

    Contemplating Value

    Triple Parade further explores the connection between time and space by expounding on the concept of value. A contemporary jewel possesses several levels of value. First of all, it carries an inherent material value in the cost of materials and labor used to create it. It also has an economic value - how much it costs and how much value it retains over time.

    At the same time, a jewel holds sentimental value, perhaps as an heirloom or a special gift. Some jewels also have humanitarian value. These days women in third world countries find value in exporting their handiwork. These jewels, made by hand using tribal and native techniques, support their families during hard times.

    Also, designers and high-jewelry firms release special collections from time to time which focus attention on specific humanitarian causes. These focused collections often serve as vehicles for raising funds for these causes, as well.

    Finally, certain jewels eventually acquire historical significance. Such jewels include those owned by royal families, those crafted with such distinction that serious collectors covet them, and those owned by celebrities.

    Triple Parade hopes to bring this conversation about national, international, contemporary, and historical value to the forefront. The exhibition enables this conversation by collaborating with a global selection of artists.

    Though their works are primarily contemporary, some of these artists draw on the past for inspiration. Others use materials that possess no value on their own, but transformed into wearable art they can now attain sentimental, humanitarian, and even historical value over time.

     

    The Exhibition

    Visitors to the HOW Art Museum will experience Triple Parade in four sections. To begin with, Intimate Encounter, featuring the works of artists selected through an international public invitation.

    After that, visitors move on to Like Attracts Like, a selection of works chosen by international galleries. Then, Arty Game includes artwork by contemporary visual artists.

    Finally, Viva la Different includes works selected by curators from ten countries and regions. It is in this section that our country is represented by the 12 SNAG artists.

    For more information about the exhibition, please visit their website.

  • Lea Michele Engagement Ring Details

     

    Match Lea Michele with this stunning radiant cut diamond engagement ring by Tiffany & Co Match Lea Michele with this stunning radiant cut diamond engagement ring by Tiffany & Co. Click here for more details. Photo ©2018 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Lea Michele received a gorgeous engagement ring from Zandy Reich, president of the clothing company AYR. Reich worked closely with Leor Yerushalmi at The Jewelers Inc. in Las Vegas.

     

    Lea Michele Engagement Ring Details

    Like the spontaneous, vibrant Glee actress, her engagement ring is bold, contemporary, and beautiful. It begins with the perfect stone, a 4-carat elongated radiant cut diamond.

    Mounted on a platinum band, the central stone is framed in a halo of accent diamonds. The shoulder of the ring are paved in diamonds. Lea Michele wears this stunning ring so elegantly, it's as though she was born for it.

     

    The Jewelers Inc.

    Otherwise known as The Jewelers of Las Vegas, this family of jewelers has been in business since the 1970s. Founded by husband and wife, Mordechai and Vicki Yerushalmi, the jewelry firm stays in step with their customers by treating every visitor like family.

    Today, their children, daughter Natalie and sons Leor, Elad, and Benny hold to the same commitment. Working side by side with their parents, they adhere to the same strict standards that drew the attention of Hollywood in the 1990s.

    It began with the film crew on the movie Casino. Not only did the crew ask Mordechai to provide several pieces of jewelry for the film, they also gave him a speaking role in the film. He played a jewelry store owner whose store was robbed.

    Later, The Jewelers Inc. also supplied jewels for other movies, including Analyze This and Rush Hour 2. The Jewelers Inc. currently services their customers in nine locations throughout Las Vegas.

     

    Who is Zandy Reich?

    Most of us are asking this same question. A private person by nature, Zandy Reich remains somewhat mysterious, apart from his relationship with Lea Michele.

    One thing for sure, the man is a visionary. As head of AYR (All Year Round), he has led the millennial clothing brand into the sphere of the elite. Offered at Nordstrom, eBay, and on their own site, AYR appeals to everyday millennials.

    Using high-tech materials, the company manufactures their clothing in the U.S., primarily in New York and Los Angeles. Their sales promise "More is less," and they make superhero capes for everyday exploits.

    Lea Michele and Zandy have been friends for a long time. We wish them good health and a happy marriage!

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