Designer Spotlights

  • Kieselstein-Cord Jewelry Artist

    Crown Heart Brooch, 18K Gold, 1987 by Barry Kieselstein-Cord Crown Heart Brooch, 18K Gold, 1987 by Barry Kieselstein-Cord. Photo ©2018 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Barry Kieselstein-Cord began carving when he was 8 years old. He made giant totem poles, one of which was stolen. The rage and grief he felt stayed with him, but along with it grew a seed for the future.

     

    The Artist-Designer's Beginnings

    "I decided to be an artist...I announced it to anyone who would listen," Kieselstein-Cord says. {1} Between the ages of 8 and 14, Barry produced large-scale carvings and effigies inspired by his passion for North American Indian art. During this time, he also buried different objects and metal pieces in the ground. Later, he dug them up to note any color and patina changes.

    Between ages 14 and 22, Kieselstein-Cord turned his attention to painting and metalwork. "From the early moments I can recall fascination with all past cultures and an intense attraction to art and architecture." {2}

    This fascination only expanded as he continued his education. He went on to study sculpture at Parsons School of Design and the American Craft Institute in New York. Soon after college, Barry pursued his first career as an art director in the advertising business.

    Then he took a course in jewelry and found his more enduring passion. The sculptural quality of silver captivated him, and he forged ahead. Adding his marketing talents to his artistic expression, he started his jewelry design business in 1972. Subsequently, in 1973, Georg Jensen brought Kieselstein-Cord's designs to the public.

     

    Kieselstein-Cord's Crown Heart Motif (1987)

    Kieselstein-Cord told WWD that he set out to "build an American powerhouse luxury company based on incomparable quality produced in my own vertical organization...I created products that intersected and cross pollinated. I've been advocating a lifestyle approach to brand building since the day I opened my firm's doors." {3}

    As a result of his superior strategy, by 2009 Kieselstein-Cord had produced more than 25,000 unique and often whimsical designs. His most iconic motifs include the crocodile (circa 1985), Pompeii (1986), and Borgia (1980).

    Another of these iconic motifs, in fact one of his most prolific, the Crown Heart debuted in 1987. The solid gold cleft heart, topped with an ornate sculpted crown, appeared in myriad styles.

    Kieselstein-Cord also designed Crown Heart earrings, pendants, and finger rings. Sometimes he added a dose of glitz and glitter, paving the heart and  crown in diamonds, rubies, and/or blue sapphires. In contrast, sometimes just the band of the crown featured a line of diamonds. Still others were fashioned in his signature matte 18k green (of course) gold.

    We would love to help you add this triplet Crown Heart brooch to your collection today! (See below for more details.)

     

    Shades of Green

    The color green holds sentimental meaning for the artist. "It's the color of growing things - it's organic and understated," he told Nancy Wolfson. {4}

    Green was his family's color. The color seemed especially important to his father, who always chose green cars. Consequently, despite Kieselstein-Cord's understated approach to marketing, the one telling feature of his design firm was the green door.  He prefers the willow-green shade of celadon green, as well as dollar-bill green. {5}

    In tribute to his family's color, many of Kieselstein-Cord leather jewelry boxes are dark teal green. Some are dark slate brown on the outside with a lush green velvet interior. A striking contrast, indeed.

     

    Singular Designs

    In the '80s and '90s, Kieselstein-Cord found his stride. His singular designs, with their unique aesthetic and exquisite craftsmanship, captured the imagination of the world's most important trendsetters.

    Men and women of note, including Tom Hanks, Oprah Winfrey, Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen, Sir Elton John, Madonna, and Sharon Stone, became collectors. Over time, his cult following turned into what the New York Times called a "Legion." {6}

    His clientele expanded to include Bob Pittman (one-time CEO of MTV), Steven Spielberg, Jerry Bruckheimer, Jay-Z, Giorgio Armani, Karl Lagerfeld, Wayne Gretzky, Barack Obama, and even Vladimir Putin. {7}

    Years ago he expanded beyond jewelry to design belt buckles, handbags, bronze sculptures, eyewear, and tabletop accessories. He also designed lamps, furniture, scarves, ties, and even helicopters. {8 & 9}

    Kieselstein-Cord is an icon, and his exemplary jewels are collected as art. Some of the world's most prestigious museums, including the Louvre in Paris and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, acquired a number of the jewelry artist's pieces for their permanent collections.

    Today, Kieselstein-Cord manufactures new jewels in a joint venture with KUCK Jewellery in Düsseldorf, Germany. In what KUCK calls their "opening act of the Artist Collections," Kieselstein-Cord agreed to republish one of his most successful iconic collections, the crocodile. The crocodile, arguably one of Kieselstein-Cord's favorite of his collections, was released in the mid-to-late 1980s. It came out around the same time as his Crown Heart collection.

     

    Join the Kieselstein-Cord Legion

    We invite you to join Kieselstein-Cord's legion of followers by purchasing this stunning Crown Heart Brooch. Crafted in rich 18K gold, this triple Crown Heart pin features three cleft hearts topped with sculpted royal crowns. The brooch is exquisitely crafted and has a nice weight to it. Each crown bears the marks: "(C) KIESELSTEIN CORD 18K 1987." This piece has a delectable quality that can only be appreciated in person. Call today to schedule a visit to our Bellevue Showroom.

     

    BIBLIOGRAPHY
    1. Barry Kieselstein-Cord Bio. www.kieselestein-cord.com/bio.htm, 2009. Accessed July 31, 2018.
    2. Ibid.
    3. Strugatz, Rachel. "Barry Kieselstein-Cord Retrospective Bows in N.Y." WWD Online, October 15, 2012. Accessed July 31, 2018.
    4. Wolfson, Nancy. "Jewelry Designer Barry Kieselstein-Cord is Far From a Household Name, Which is Just the Way He Likes It." Cigar Aficionado, March/April 1999. Accessed July 31, 2018. https://www.cigaraficionado.com/articles/smoking-in-style-7343.
    5. Ibid.
    6. Kieselstein-Cord Bio Online. Copyright 2009. Accessed July 31, 2018. www.kieseltsein-cord.com/bio.htm.
    7. Ibid.
    8. Strugatz, 2012.
    9. Wolfson, 1999.

     

  • Pacific Northwest Jewelry Artists Exhibit at BAM

    Pacific Northwest Jewelry Artist Una Barrett Necklace BAMArts Fair 2018 Una Barrett Exhibits this Necklace at the BAMArts Fair 2018 in Bellevue, Washington.

     

    We invite you to see the work of several Pacific Northwest jewelry artists. Every year, the Bellevue Arts Museum showcases the artwork of more than 300 American jewelry artists during the annual BAMArts Fair. This year, Pacific Northwest jewelry artists Una Barrett, Han-Yin Hsu, and Nurit & Mick Vagner submitted gorgeous pieces. They go on view at the museum this Friday through Sunday.

    Pacific Northwest Jewelry Artists

    Una Barrett - Eugene, Oregon

    Una Barrett grew up off the grid in eastern Tennessee. Her parents owned a self-sufficient farm, and Una grew to understand the natural rhythms of the earth. Her sculptural jewelry reflects her intimate connection with these natural processes, specifically the cycle of growth and death. These natural rhythms form the foundation for every one of her jewels.

    In her Eugene, Oregon studio, Una uses traditional, as well as contemporary metalsmithing techniques. In conjunction with her use of mixed metals and other found objects and materials, she immerses herself in the full scope of the creation process.

    Drawn to many different cultures, she is most inspired by the sacred and functional objects used by different people groups. She interweaves her unique interpretations of these objects with contemporary forms associated with industry and architecture. As a result, Una has found a way to cross the divide between ancient practices and modern technology.

    Nurit & Mick Vagner - Oregon

    Nurit & Mick hand fabricate and construct precious metals into 3D organic fluid shapes. Using various surface techniques, they give their jewels rich textures and gorgeous finishes.

    Like Una, they weave together elements from the ancient past with contemporary art principles. They fashion pieces with organic and geometrical lines using traditional, as well as contemporary silversmith techniques.

    The couple states that living in the Pacific Northwest profoundly impacts their current body of work. As a result, they transitioned to fashioning biomorphic scultpural jewelry. Biomorphic jewelry is jewelry that includes design elements reminiscent of nature and living organisms.

    Han-Yin Hsu - Seattle, Washington

    Han-Yin Hsu moved to the US from Taiwan. After graduating with a Master's in Architecture, she worked for many years as an architect and interior designer. After a while, Han-Yin realized she needed a way to express her ideas more intimately. She wanted to use her skills to design jewelry that could be seen, touched, and experienced physically.

    As a result, she founded her jewelry design firm, ANNXANN Design, in Los Angeles in 2013. Han-Yin later moved her studio and business to the greater Seattle area. She continues to use her architectural training, including techniques and her unique sense of space. These techniques, in combination with 3D-printing, allow Han-Yin to create jewels that embody the personalities of people she experienced in life.

    She looks at the human body as a landscape for jewelry. Her designs express the elegance of the body as a landscape, as well as the gesture each element of her jewelry makes as it rests upon the skin. Han-Yin considers her jewelry a way for the wearer to see herself in new, unexpected ways. She hopes that her designs will inspire people to imagine possibilities they have never known before.

    BAMArts Fair This Weekend in Downtown Bellevue

    This weekend, visit BAM for a look at Pacific Northwest jewelry that is directly inspired by life in the Pacific Northwest. For more information about Bellevue's Arts Fair weekend, we invite you to visit the BAMArts website.

  • Jude Clarke at Facèré Jewelry

    This bracelet was fashioned by Jude Clarke for Facèré's Tilling Time/Telling Time exhibition last fall. It is called Bridges and is made of sterling silver and pearls. Photo used with permission. This bracelet was fashioned by Jude Clarke for Facèré's Tilling Time/Telling Time exhibition last fall. It is called Bridges and is made of sterling silver and pearls. Photo used with permission.

     

    Jude Clarke has been pushing metal around for more than thirty years. In her time at the bench, she has drawn inspiration from old tools, machinery, antique jewelry, and historic architecture.

    For this piece, a bracelet she calls Bridges, Jude drew upon the black-and-white images of the medieval villages depicted in Akira Kurosawa's 1960s-era samurai films. The sterling silver has been exposed to a rigorous process of oxidation and then burnished with steel wool in order to convey the essence of having lived through a good many seasons.

    The natural pearls impart to the piece the essence of a poem which also sparked the artist's imagination. The poem, written by Izumi Shikibu, a mid Heian Japanese poet, follows here:

    although the wind
    blows terribly here,
    the moonlight also leaks
    between the roof planks of this ruined house.

    Pearls have long been associated with both the power and the likeness of the moon. In this remarkable bracelet, which Jude Clarke has painstakingly coaxed into beautiful fan-shaped Japanese foliage, we can imagine that the pearls are indeed beams of moonlight leaking through the planks of an artfully constructed form.

    We invite you to view more of Jude Clarke's beautiful creations at Facèré Jewelry Art Gallery in the City Centre building on Fifth Avenue in downtown Seattle.

    ~Angela Magnotti Andrews

  • Linda Kindler-Priest at Facèré Jewelry

    "Baby Pelican" by Linda Kindler-Priest. Two-part brooch in 14k yellow gold, green sapphires, pearl, and aquamarine rough. Photo used with permission. "Baby Pelican" by Linda Kindler-Priest. Two-part brooch in 14k yellow gold, green sapphires, pearl, and aquamarine rough. Photo used with permission.

     

    Linda Kindler-Priest tells a story with every jewel. Sometimes her stories are complex and profound, at other times simple and straightforward. The story she tells with Baby Pelican is a simple story of life.

    As the baby pelican toddles along, learning the ropes of life in search of food, he takes in the view of the misty ocean, sparkling in its crystalline beauty. Somehow, he knows that this is where he belongs. Its aquamarine depths will provide safety and sustenance. He will swim, dive, and catch fish. In short, he will live.

    Ms. Kindler-Priest tells the bird's story in two parts. The first act manifests as a masterpiece in repoussé . With only a hammer and a handmade stamp held between her hands and a chunk of 14k gold, she sculpts the pliable metal on her workbench. Pushing, shaping, and coaxing, she calls forth the pelican from both sides of the precious material. By the time Baby has emerged "every millimeter of the metal is worked," infusing it with "subtle textures" and a "rich softness to the overall feeling."

    Ms. Kindler-Priest then begins the more evocative layer of the baby pelican's story. First, she adds just a touch of sapphire flourish, giving the impression that the pelican treads upon the pristine shores of a distant shore. Far below, the misty nuance of the sea is represented by a lovely slice of aquamarine rough. The same flourish of sapphires is echoed in the frame surrounding the cut stone, linking them together in perfect harmony. A single ovoid pearl bridges the gap between the two parts, calling to mind the first stage of life for this sweet baby pelican.

    This gorgeous brooch is one of several on display at Facèré Jewelry Art Gallery as part of their "So Fine" exhibition. The exhibit explores fresh interpretations of fine jewelry and fine art in precious metals and gemstones. Ms. Kindler-Priest uses fine materials, but in an informal, asymmetrical fashion.

    In Baby Pelican, the essences of fine and precious blend together in seamless harmony. A precious baby pelican discovers the bounty of the seashore for the first time. A shimmering pearl and the glittering yellow gold remind us that nature's greatest gifts are both precious and fine. Faceted blue sapphires lend to the piece an element of fine jewelry, and the whimsical pelican and raw aquamarine evoke art at its finest.

    Ms. Kindler-Priest finds her inspiration in nature, often drawing from the wildlife sanctuary near her home in Massachusetts. She studies her subjects carefully, ensuring that her work will capture both their essence and their form. Her passion for gemstones led her to learn the art of stone cutting.

    She chooses gemstones like a painter chooses a color from her palette, cutting and shaping them to highlight the patterns and textures required to tell her vignettes. She designs her sculptural pieces with an eye to detail, combining all the shapes, textures, and forms found in nature in a symphony of harmony.

    We invite you to visit Facèré Jewelry Art Gallery this week. The show closes on May 12, 2015. You will find more information on Facèré's website.

  • Nanz Aalund at Facèré Jewelry Art Gallery

    'Swivel Locket' by Nanz Aalund. This locket will be on display at Facèré Jewelry Art Gallery as part of their "So Fine" exhibition until May 12, 2015. Photo used with permission. 'Swivel Locket' by Nanz Aalund. This locket will be on display at Facèré Jewelry Art Gallery as part of their "So Fine" exhibition until May 12, 2015. Photo used with permission.

     

    Nanz Aalund has created several gorgeous jewels in sterling silver and yellow gold which are featured in Facèré Jewelry Art Gallery's "So Fine" exhibition. This exhibit, on display until May 12, 2015, in downtown Seattle, seeks to explore the concept of traditional jewelry in relation to the concepts of fashion and finery.

    Jewelry artists were asked to present works made from precious metals and gemstones which express their unique visions of finery and fashion.

    When asked what the title of Facèré's show means to her, Nanz Aalund said that after the lyrics of a bee-bop song  faded from her mind, what remained was the juxtaposition between jewelry as Fine Art and Fine Jewelry.

    "With this show, as she has done with many others, I feel, Karen is playing with the premise regarding 'fine' materials within our craft, celebrating the fine art of finely made adornments from fine materials. Thus, 'So Fine'," Ms. Aalund remarked.

    Nanz Aalund's pieces are a beautiful marriage of the terms fine and art. She works primarily in sterling silver, with its almost-white delicacy, and in high-carat yellow gold, with its unparalleled luster and shine. Her techniques are those of a true master, defined by this writer as one who insatiably learns new techniques while continually practicing, teaching,  and incorporating old ones.

    Ms. Aalund has several pieces on display in Facèré's exhibition, including several bracelets in sterling silver; earrings made with 24k keum boo gold foil over sterling silver; a number of bold and sculptural two-finger rings in silver, 18k gold, and 22k gold; as well as a necklace called Always Crashing in the Same Car.

    In a post written on her blog, Nanz credits the seven car crashes she survived as a child as her inspiration for Always Crashing in the Same Car. The necklace is comprised of a series of triangle pendants made from mashed up auto glass cast in resin and set in sterling silver frames. These beautiful aqua blue elements are linked together by intricate chains of sterling silver. This piece is beautiful and represents to Ms. Nanz both fragility and strength.

    It is, however, her Swivel Locket, featured in the above photograph, which has so captivated me. Ms. Aalund graciously shared with me the basics of how she fashioned Swivel Locket. Incidentally, she crafted this piece as an inspirational model piece for a lesson she taught to a classroom of high school students.

    Here's what she writes about the process: "[T]he silver is roll-printed, which is an embossing process where paper with a pattern cut out of it is run through a rolling mill with a sheet of silver. The pressure from the mill cause the paper stencil to emboss the metal. Then the locket cases are Hydraulically pressed, which is an adaptation of an industrial production process. Finally the cabochon cut, pink tourmaline is set "volcano" style with rivets holding it in place."

    This piece beautifully captures the essence of Facèré's "So Fine" exhibition. Not only is it fashioned from fine precious metals, but Ms. Nanz relates that the jacquard pattern imprinted on the silver and the 24k gold trefoil embellishment are a direct reference to the textiles of 15th century France, and the faceted tourmaline serves as a reminder of the history of gemstone cutting.

    As she wrote to me, "by referencing the art historical elements of design," Swivel Locket serves as an "allegory to the personal history the locket will hold when the owner places pictures of their loved ones within it." In this way the piece makes a "very subtle artistic statement," which she is certain will enhance the experience of the one who purchases the piece.

    We invite you to visit Facèré Jewelry Art Gallery over the weekend to view in person the beautiful finery crafted by Nanz Aalund. Click here for more information.

  • Cartier's Trinity Motif

    Marlene Dietrich in May 1933, seven years before Eric Remarque gave her the Cartier Trinity Lapis Bracelet. Her matchless personality and genderless glamour made her the perfect model for the emerging Cartier's Trinity motif. Marlene Dietrich in May 1933, seven years before Eric Remarque gave her the Cartier Trinity Lapis Bracelet. Her matchless personality and genderless glamour made her the perfect model for the emerging Cartier's Trinity motif.

     

    Cartier's Trinity motif dates back to 1924, with its triple-colored rings of white, yellow, and rose gold. White for friendship, yellow for loyalty, and rose for true love {3}.

    Designed to represent the evolution of a relationship, Cartier's Trinity motif began with a series of interlocking finger rings in the 1920s {6}. This spectacular interpretation of the symbology of love endures today and remains one of Cartier's most popular collection. Not only the colors, but the interlocking nature of the motif send a powerful message about the cycles and stages of romantic love.

    A very unique rendering of Cartier's Trinity motif was realized in 1940 {1}. Erich Maria Remarque, a German writer known most notably for his classic novel All Quiet on the Western Front, commissioned Cartier to make an exquisite, one-of-a-kind bracelet for his friend and lover, actress Marlene Dietrich {1}.

    Featuring a single lapis lazuli bead, fashioned in what Sotheby's calls a "barrel-form," hangs in suspension on a band of interwoven 14k gold circular links in white, yellow, and rose color {5}. These links are intertwined in a beautiful design most assuredly in reference to Cartier's Trinity motif.

    Lisa Hubbard, co-chairman of Sotheby's International Jewelry Division, told InStyle that she believes this particular piece of lapis lazuli was one of the ancient stones purchased by Louis Cartier in the early 1920s, possibly from Egypt {3}.

    It is well known, according to Cartier biographer Hans Nadelhoffer, that Louis Cartier demonstrated a passion for Egyptian art, infusing many of his Art Deco designs with the stones of the ancient. Some of his favorite Egyptian stones were cornelian, turquoise, and lapis lazuli {4}.

    This bracelet, more than any other in Marlene Dietrich's extensive jewelry collection, seems to epitomize Marlene's strength, dignity, and genderless glamour.

    In December 2014, Sotheby's enjoyed the supreme privilege of offering Marlene Dietrich's stunning Cartier Trinity gold and lapis bracelet for sale. In their catalog, they called it a 14 Karat Tri-Colored Gold and Lapis Bracelet, Cartier {5}. The esteemed auction house reported that Eric Remarque chose the stone because Marlene was especially fond of lapis.

    Though Mr. Remarque had only known Marlene for a year at the time of the jewel's commission, it is evident that he knew firsthand the matchless style of his lady love. Not too dainty, not too bold, this Cartier Trinity bracelet proves the perfect statement piece for a woman of Marlene's distinction.

    The gorgeous jewel was estimated to sell for between $20,000 and $30,000 this past December. Of course, as is always the case, these estimates did not reflect that thermonuclear effect called star power. The bidding for this stunning Cartier bracelet soared well above the estimated temperatures of the low $20,000s, reaching a high of $179,000.

    To date, the jewel's new owner has chosen to remain anonymous. Time will tell whether another level of star power will have been added when this piece returns once again to the limelight at some future date.

    Do you have a fondness for Cartier's Trinity collection? Which is your favorite?

    ~Angela Magnotti Andrews, Staff Writer20

    References

    1. Becker, Vivienne. "The Jewels They Wore," Sotheby's, December 3, 2014.
    2. Doulton, Maria. "Trinity de Cartier: an enduring symbol of love," The Jewellery EditorAccessed April 17, 2015.
    3. Fasel, Marion. "#RocksMyWorld: The Cartier Jewel of Screen Legend Goes on the Auction Block at Sotheby's," InStyle, December 4, 2014.
    4. Nadelhoffer, Hans. Cartier. Chronicle Books, 2007.
    5. Sotheby's. "14 Karat Tri-Color Gold and Lapis Lazuli Bracelet, Cartier." Accessed April 17, 2015.
    6. "Trinity Collection," Harper's Bazaar. Accessed April 17, 2015.
  • Designer Spotlight: Michael Barin

    Designer Spotlight: Michael Barin's Elegant Diamond and Platinum Engagement Ring. Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry. Designer Spotlight: Michael Barin's Elegant Diamond and Platinum Engagement Ring. Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Michael Barin is an artist. He began studying his craft at the age of 13, before the bench of a seasoned jeweler who taught him Old World handcrafting techniques. By the age of 19, Michael was ready to ply his trade, and he did so for a number of years, crafting rings and other jewels for American manufacturers.

    In 1994, he and his brother Arman partnered together and opened Michael Barin Jewelry in Studio City, California. Together, they bring over 35 years of jewelry experience to their brand. With Michael Barin jewelry, the brothers endeavor to create lasting beauty in the medium of platinum, white diamonds, and colored stones.

    Michael Barin strives to infuse every piece with sensual practicality. At the bench, it is just him, his tools, and the cool metals with which he works. He works without the use of molds or wax, ensuring that every piece is essentially free of air bubbles. This ensures that the final product is more resistant to deformities and scratching.

    Michael takes modern fashion into consideration, but his primary influence comes from the Royal Courts of the Renaissance and the ancient traditions of Egyptian Pharoahs. In particular, he draws inspiration from royal neckpieces, arm bracelets, and earrings, as well as the jewelry fashioned for royalty during the Renaissance.

    In this Michael Barin engagement ring, we see the influence of both the modern and ancient royals. His nod to modernity manifests in the round brilliant diamond which has been cast in the central role of this stunning solitaire diamond engagement ring.

    There is nothing more modern than the round brilliant diamond. It is an innovation of modern diamond-cutting genius, with its 58 precisely cut facets and its maximum light return, the round brilliant cut is the modern cut, chosen more than any other by today's modern brides.

    It is the three-dimensional platinum band on this ring that draws us into Micheal's appreciation of antiquity. First, in technique; second, in motif; and third, in essence.

    In technique, the band is hand engraved along all three of its faces. Hand engraving dates back to about the 5th century BC, and today is achieved by using nearly the same techniques as in ancient times, albeit with more precise tools. These tools include hand-held chisels and hammers.

    In motif, this band is etched entirely in a beautiful floral motif reminiscent of the open papyrus flowers so characteristic of Egyptian glyphs. Finally, in essence, the lines of this Michael Barin engagement ring evoke the elegance of royalty, with their simple lines and intricate engravings.

    Although it is not a showstopping ice skating rink of a ring, this Michael Barin diamond solitaire carries itself with a dignified sophistication, an air of aristocracy. It is both lovely and elegant, with the subtlest touch of romance.

    As with all Michael Barin jewelry, this ring appeals to a woman of sophisticated taste, one who appreciates the sensuality of fine hand crafted jewels and the elegance of the royals of old.

    If you are such a woman, we invite you to take a closer look at this beautiful ring.

    ~Angela Magnotti Andrews, Staff Writer

    References

    1. Barin, Michael. "Fabricating vs. Casting," Michael Barin Blog, January 29, 2015.
    2. Designer Jewelry Brands. "Michael Barin." Accessed March 15, 2015.
    3. Michael Barin Fine Jewelry. "About." Accessed March 15, 2015.
    4. Williams Jewelers. "Michael Barin." Accessed March 15, 2015.
    5. Yelp. "Barin's Fine Jewelry." Accessed March 15, 2015.
  • Kirk Kara Bridal Jewelry

    Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry. Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Kirk Kara engagement and bridal rings epitomize passion and romance. The prestigious design firm draws on over 120 years of multicultural experience. Kirk Karaguezian was born into a jewelers' family. His grandfather, who died in the Armenian Genocide in 1915, crafted hand engraved jewelry in Armenia before his death.

    Kirk's father, Artin, was the sole Karaguezian survivor. He escaped to Beirut, Lebanon, where he established himself as a premiere jewelry maker. His clientele grew to include a number of wealthy European tourists, and his work gave him opportunity to travel to abroad.

    Artin began incorporating European elements into his designs, resulting in a unique flavor that continues to inform Kirk Kara's modern designs. In the midst of this grand success, Artin met Angel. Artin sealed his commitment to Angel with a "magnificent hand engraved wedding band..." {cited}, which provides the benchmark for all of Kirk Kara's betrothal designs to date.

    During the 1970s, Kirk worked alongside his father in Lebanon, acquiring his father's love of Old World tradition, his passion for artistry, and his keen eye for beautiful design. Unfortunately, their business was destroyed in 1975 during a violent civil war.

    When the war subsided, Kirk worked tirelessly to reopen his own jewelry firm. During this season, he fell in love with Lucy, expressing his passion for her with a blue sapphire pendant. They married and had two daughters, carrying on with the family business until civil war broke out once again in 1983.

    That year, Kirk brought his wife and daughters to America. Together, the Karaguezians worked tirelessly to establish the Kirk Kara brand. Their daughters, Grace and Angela, are now full partners in the family business. Today, the Kirk Kara brand prides itself on the incorporation of Old World methods to craft timeless jewels by hand.

    Kirk Kara strives to create blended engagement and wedding ring sets that mesmerize. Kirk Kara rings will dazzle you every time you gaze upon them. Intricate details, exquisite craftsmanship, and unique flourishes adorn every one of their jewels.

    The engagement and wedding ring set featured here is a premiere example of Kirk Kara's dedication to crafting mesmerizing designs. It effortlessly evokes the timeless lines and styles of the past. Centering the engagement ring is a gorgeous 1.21-carat round brilliant diamond set in a classic six-prong, cathedral mounting. From every angle, this glorious diamond, rated F-G in color and VS1-2 in clarity, flashes in brilliant light and color. Its classic diamond pavé band demonstrates slightly tapered shoulders featuring  meticulous hand-hewn milgrain and filigree details.

    Kirk Kara wedding bands are designed as a mirror image of their matching engagement rings. Each one is specifically designed with flat edges so it fits seamlessly next to its mate. This ensures a snug fit fashioned for beauty and comfort.

    The Kirk Kara wedding band in this set is a perfect complement to the engagement ring. It features matching beaded milgrain and hand etching. Like its mate, this ring is paved entirely in mini round brilliant diamonds partway down its shoulders on three sides.

    The set is crafted in 18k white gold, using Kirk Kara's special alloy of gold and palladium. They use the highest quality casting process in order to ensure maximum durability and longevity.  Perfection is their aim, and they work with skill and passion to bring their inspired designs to brilliant completion.

    As Kirk Kara expressed to JCK, "[Jewelry] is my life, and I love it. If you don't do something with love, you can't do it in the right way."

    At EraGem, we believe your betrothal rings are the most important symbol of your love.

    What better way to demonstrate this symbolism of your union than with the perfect passion infused in this Kirk Kara bridal set?

  • Spark Creations Fashion Jewelry

    Get your Spark on with this gorgeous designer sapphire engagement ring. A stunning 1-carat blue sapphire is surrounded by a halo of white diamonds. A gorgeous combination for a modern sophisticated bride. Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry. Get your Spark on with this gorgeous designer sapphire engagement ring. A stunning 1-carat blue sapphire is surrounded by a halo of white diamonds. A gorgeous combination for a modern sophisticated bride. Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Spark Creations leads the pack in fashion jewelry. Each Spark jewel is designed to fully express the company's express vision to present innovative jewels in live-action color with custom-fit colored gemstones from around the world. Their claim is that nobody does color better than Spark.

    There are two  ways to approach the design of ready-to-wear fashion jewelry. One is to fashion the setting around the stone, and the other is to fashion the stone precisely to fit into the setting. Spark Creations prides itself on taking this second approach, applying customized cuts to create collections of spectacular colored gemstone rings, bracelets, necklaces that dazzle with color and brilliance.

    This sapphire and diamond halo engagement ring represents Sparks Creations at their finest. It features a 1-carat, bright blue sapphire at the center of an oval halo fashioned from 18 round brilliant diamonds set with milgrain details.

    Each of the shoulders of this gorgeous engagement ring features a unique design using five tapered baguette-cut diamonds set in a decorated channel of 18k white gold.

    Each face is set with 27 round brilliant diamonds with further milgrain detailing. The central stone is prong-set into a cathedral setting decorated with an elaborate openwork design featuring six hearts that surround the diamond's pavilion.

    This gorgeous ring  is believed to hail from Spark Creations' classic Color Collection. This collection centers on Greek-inspired designs featuring sapphires, tsavarites, rubies, emeralds accented by white diamonds. Color is central, with the white of the diamonds offering that "Spark" of contrast that makes the color appear so vibrant.

    It is this vibrant spark, coupled with a commitment to quality, that infuses every Spark Creations jewel with timeless elegance and singular sophistication.

    Is yours a love that sparks with fiery romance?

    If so, then perhaps you'd like to add a bit more Spark to your fire with this one-of-a-kind Spark Creations Sapphire and Diamond Halo Engagement Ring.

  • Judith Conway Designs

    Judith Conway expresses her passion for purity by designing exquisite diamond engagement rings in pure platinum. This Judith Conway diamond solitaire engagement ring is a beautiful example of this commitment. Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry. Judith Conway expresses her passion for purity by designing exquisite diamond engagement rings in pure platinum. This Judith Conway  engagement ring is a beautiful example of this commitment. Photo ©2015 EraGem Jewelry.

    Judith Conway infuses every one of her engagement rings with a subtle elegance. She is committed to marking a couple's most memorable moments with designs that reflect purity and a sense of the eternal.

    To this end, she works primarily in platinum, a metal she describes as a pure "expression of integrity" and "a reflection of inner truth." All of her platinum rings are made with a high-grade alloy that is 90% to 95% pure. Her artisans polish the platinum to its highest shine possible. This ensures that Judith Conway rings do not fade or tarnish.

    Located in Beverly Hills, California, her design firm, called Judith Conway Designs, is staffed with highly trained jewelers who have dedicated themselves to the art of hand carving. Judith Conway jewels are crafted in such a way as to highlight the central stone from absolutely every visual angle.

    Every Judith Conway ring exudes subtle refinement and exceptional quality. Her signature pairing of platinum with conflict-free white diamonds is a perfect testament to the rare beauty that comes when a master artisan fuses nature's raw materials together to create a timeless work of art. To wear a Judith Conway diamond engagement ring is to claim the essences of purity, elegance, and distinction as your own.

    If your sweetheart values a commitment to these essential qualities, then allow us to recommend a Judith Conway engagement ring to punctuate your eternal commitment to her.

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