All Things Jewelry

  • Gucci Spinner Band - Jewelry Trends for Men

     

    Gucci Mens Spinner Band Diamond Ring 18K Gold 27 US 12 Gucci Spinner Band, trending in mens jewelry. Photo ©2018 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    This designer Gucci spinner band represents an elite choice in the trend for mens fidget tools. Fashioned from 18k white gold, the movable outer ring features a geometric cutout design. Two rows of round brilliant diamonds line the edges of the outer ring.

     

    Spinner Band Trends

    The spinner band is a great choice for mens jewelry. Bold and elegant, it's a normal mens band with a twist. This twist involves a movable outer ring which allows for a unique sensory experience.

    With the increase in popularity of handheld sensory devices, such as fidget cubes, ONO rollers, and time-tested stress balls, the spinner band fits perfectly into the mix. Spinner bands allow a man to express his uniqueness fashionably, while channeling extra energy and letting off steam in a concealed manner.

     

    Benefits of Spinner Bands

    The benefits of fidgeting with your ring are endless. For one thing, calm fidgeting can reduce stress. Also, quiet fidgeting reduces the restless energy commonly associated with attention deficit disorder (ADD/ADHD), allowing a man to pay closer attention to the tasks at hand.

    Fidgeting also regulates the brain for those with sensory issues. Intensely focusing movement in the fingers can aid a person in drowning out background noise. It can also reduce the intensity of visual stimuli, allowing the person to focus intently on what is important. For such affected men, sensory overstimulation can lead to decreased productivity and disregulation of the nervous system.

    On the other hand, increased focus allows for enhanced learning and increased productivity. Many of those who suffer from overstimulation or hyperactivity tap their fingers, swing their feet, drum their pens on the desk. These coping mechanisms often prove bothersome to those around them, especially during intense meetings.

    Spinning a ring, on the other hand, provides a silent opportunity to regulate the brain and bring focused attention to the task or person in front of you.

    Many of you men already spin your rings, especially your wedding bands. Right? Why not reduce the risk of friction burns on your fingers, or the risk of it falling off?

    Choose a spinner band for your wedding band. This particular Gucci band, with its 18k white gold and diamond-encrusted edges, would make a stunning statement for the promise of a lifetime.

  • The Exquisite Characteristics of Baroque Pearls

    Massive Vintage Tahitian Baroque Pearl Cocktail Ring

    Massive Vintage Tahitian Baroque Pearl Cocktail Ring. Click here for more details. Photo ©2018 EraGem Jewelry.

    Two cultured Tahitian baroque pearls rest within a vintage freeform gold setting. Nestled among the organic peaks and valleys of gold are 14 prong-set, round brilliant cut diamonds. Thanks especially to designers like Verdura and William Ruser, the use of baroque pearls in jewelry took off in the 1950s and 1960s.

     

    Characteristics of Baroque Pearls

    Baroque pearls get their name from the period in which they were the most popular. During the 1600s and 1700s, Renaissance jewelers incorporated these oddly shaped pearls into their work.

    In the wild, natural round pearls form around an intrusive parasite. To protect itself from harm, the oyster secretes layer upon layer of nacre to envelop the parasite. Similarly, cultured pearls are created by the surgical insertion of a bead of shell and piece of mantle.

    Baroque pearls, found primarily in freshwater oysters, form in a similar fashion. However, rather than turning out perfectly round, they form in uneven shapes. For instance, they can be oblong, oval, curved, pinched, or even look like large drips.

    These abstract shapes captivated the imaginations of Renaissance jewelers. Mythological centaurs, merpeople, and Greek gods came to life, their bodies fashioned from oblong pearls.

    Alongside these extravagant tributes to the Greek pantheon sat goats, rabbits, cats, and birds. Their bodies, of course, fashioned from these unusual pearls. Sometimes a baroque pearl served as the foundation for an entire scene, often involving the Catholic saints.

     

    Baroque Pearls in Jewelry

    For many years these driblets of nature remained in obscurity. Italian Renaissance jewelers used them to excess; however, the outlandish results failed to inspire early 20th century artists.

    Refinement and deportment dictated elegance over garishness or whimsy. Therefore, round pearls reigned supreme, the more perfect the better. This tradition of elegance carried on until after World War II.

    As our victorious soldiers returned home and the world economy became more stable, levity and a lighthearted optimism returned to the West. In keeping with this happy shift, jewelry designers experimented with more whimsical designs.

    These whimsical designs, inspired by animals, insects, and children, lent themselves to the incorporation of the oddly organic shapes of baroque pearls.

    Bumblebees, flowers, swans, bagpipes, and even mercenaries inspired spectacular brooches. Tastemakers like the Duchess of Windsor, CZ Guest, and Babe Paley urged their jewelry designers to create unique and unconventional jewels for them. Baroque pearls, with their snowflake-like singularity, filled the bill for several of these designers.

    Today, baroque pearl jewels remain in style as much as vintage jewelry does. Few consumers demand new baroque jewelry, but serious collectors of vintage jewels continue to ensure that baroque brooches and pendants remain in fashion.

    To view our complete collection of baroque pearl jewelry, please give us a call to schedule an appointment.

     

     

  • Color Change Sapphires Properties + Characteristics


    Color Change Sapphires Engagement Ring Color Change Sapphire Engagement Ring. Click here for more details. Photo ©2018 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Color change sapphires elevate corundum to a whole new level. This gorgeous 14k white gold ring features a stunning 3.6 carat color-change sapphire. Under indoor lighting conditions, the gem appears a rich purple-blue color. However, outside it radiates a distinctive green-blue color. This rare phenomenon transforms an already exceptional stone into an unrivaled jewel.

     

    Color Change Sapphires

    Many semi-precious stones demonstrate pleochroism, which means they appear to change color when viewed from different angles. This is not the phenomenon that takes place with color change sapphires.

    The shift in color with sapphires occurs with the type of light, not the direction of the light. It begins with the formation of the crystal. Most gemstones form with only one light transmission window. However, color change sapphires form with two light transmission windows.

    This means the stone absorbs all frequencies of light except two. Typically, these types of sapphires reflect blue in natural sunlight and violet indoors. They can also change between red and brown, green and red, green and yellow-green, and several more.

     

    Where They're Found

    Color change sapphires typically hail from Tanzania and Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Also, more recently they have been found in Madagascar. They appear only very rarely, which makes them all the more desirable.

    As with most colorful gemstones, their colors arise from the presence of trace elements. When present together, iron and titanium color corundum blue. Iron with vanadium produces gold and orange hues.

    Meanwhile, by itself iron lends corundum green and yellow-green hues. Vanadium on its own renders them violet, and chromium adds pink tones.

     

    Determining Value

    The industry grades color change sapphires slightly differently than they do regular sapphires. Whereas sapphires typically rate first on carat, clarity, and cut, experts grade color change sapphires first on how striking the change of color.

    Grades range from weak, to medium, to strong. The greater the strength of the color change, the greater the value. Next they consider the breadth of the change, how much of the stone changes color under different lighting conditions. Again, the greater the transformation, the better.

    Cut and clarity remain important factors in determining the value of a color change sapphire. However, it is extremely rare for a sapphire of this nature to grow free of impurities. Therefore, inclusions do not always drive the price down.

    Still, we recommend approaching the purchase of a color change sapphire with caution. Choose a reputable jeweler who discloses as much about the stone as possible. Particularly, make sure they divulge any treatments made to the stone, as treatments do affect value.

    It would be our privilege to share our collection of color change sapphires with you. Please give us a call today to schedule an appointment.

  • Rare and Beautiful Moss-in-Snow Jade


    Moss-In-Snow Jade & Diamond 18K Two Tone Gold Pendant Necklace Moss-in-Snow Jade & Diamond Pendant. Click here for more details. Photo ©2018 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Moss-in-snow jade is a rare and beautiful form of jade highly valued by collectors. This gorgeous two-tone gold necklace features two pieces of the rare jade, one free-form and one intricately carved. Accented with 38 round brilliant diamonds, this necklace dazzles while simultaneously grounding the wearer with jade's special properties.

     

    Jade's Special Properties

    Long revered by those in the East, jade enjoys a hallowed place among gemstones, particularly in China. To the Chinese, jade represents benevolence, truth, virtue, and more.

    Specifically, white jade symbolizes nourishment, harmony, grace, and beauty. On the other hand, green jade embodies the five human virtues: wisdom, justice, compassion, modesty, and justice.

    Moss-in-Snow jade, or Hua hsueh tai tsao (“moss entangled in melting snow”), encompasses the virtuous characteristics of both white and green jade.

     

    Moss-in-Snow Jade

    Primarily found in Burma, this rare and beautiful form of jade most typically features a snowy white backdrop flecked with specks, veins, or streaks of dark green jade. White jade is comprised of a magnesium-rich silicate called nephrite. The green of moss-in-snow jade is also typically nephrite jade.

    Nephrite jade played an important role in ancient Chinese culture, as well as in ancient Maori (New Zealand) culture. The former used nephrite to carve ornamental and sacred objects. It became a symbol of imperial status. The latter carved nephrite into weapons, tools, and ornaments.

    These jade treasures, passed down from generation to generation, sometimes reach the modern world. We are fortunate enough to have a few such pieces to pass along to you. Give us a call today and add one of these heirlooms to your collection.

  • 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 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.

  • History + Characteristics of Palladium


    1930's Art Deco Old Euro Cut Diamond Engagement Ring Palladium 1930's Art Deco Palladium Engagement Ring. Click here for more details. Photo ©2018 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Palladium is a noble metal in the same family as platinum. Though it was discovered in 1802, by the chemist William Hyde Wollaston, he did not take credit for the discovery until several years later.

     

    Palladium History

    In July 1802, Wollaston made note of his discovery in his journal. The following month, he named the metal after the asteroid Pallas which was discovered in March that year.

    Wollaston's discovery began with crude platinum unearthed in South America. Upon arriving at his lab, Wollaston dissolved the ore in aqua regia, following which he neutralized the solution with sodium hydroxide.

    He continued the process of separating the different metals within the ore. Finally, he added mercuric cyanide to form palladium cyanide. When heated, pure palladium separates completely.

    Surprisingly, Wollaston introduced this new metal in a strange way. He made arrangements with a London mineral dealer to offer a quantity of the metal for sale. To advertise the metal, Wollaston circulated anonymous handbills describing the metals unique properties.

    This unprecedented approach brought suspicion from other prominent chemists. One, Richard Chenevix, proclaimed the metal to be an alloy of platinum and mercury.

    Once again choosing to remain anonymous, Wollaston offered a reward of 20 guineas to anyone who could produce synthetic palladium. No one came forward to claim the reward.

    Finally, in 1805, Wollaston spoke about the process of isolating the noble metal, as well as illuminating its unique properties. He saved his big reveal for the end of his presentation, surprising everyone with the news that he was the anonymous discoverer of the metal.

     

    Palladium Sources and Uses

    Generally this noble metal forms in the same zones as nickel, copper, silver, gold, and platinum. Considered a byproduct of these metals, it's actually rarer even than its cousin platinum.

    The most abundant source throughout history has been Russia. However, it is also found in Montana (USA), Ontario (Canada), South Africa, South America, and Australia. Today, Canada and South Africa provide most of the commercial-grade palladium.

    Obviously, its used as an alloy for making fine jewelry. However, its primary commercial application is the manufacture of catalytic converters. In fact, as palladium grows scarcer, recycling will emerge as a primary source for all uses.

    As the price of gold and platinum rise, and as the availability of platinum declines, palladium has experienced a revival in Chinese jewelry in particular. A lustrous white metal, it holds up beautifully under the rigors of daily wear.

    In recent years, palladium received its status as a precious metal. In 2009, the industry agreed upon a new hallmark for it. Stamped with the number 950, the hallmark bears the head of Pallas Athena to distinguish it from platinum.

    We would love to show you our selection of palladium jewelry. Please give us a call to schedule an appointment with a member of our team.

  • Womens Shelter Jewelry Project Sponsored by Seattle Metals Guild

     

    Donate Your Extra Jewelry to Womens Shelter Project Do you have some extra jewels taking up space in your jewelry box? Consider donating your extra jewelry to the Womens Shelter Project.

     

    On November 11th, Micki Lippe of the Seattle Metals Guild will host a sorting party in her home for the Women’s Shelter Project. Guests at this special party will spend several hours sorting through donated jewelry from around Puget Sound. These jewels will be sorted by type, by value, and by state of repair.

    Those jewels of high value will be set aside for the Women's Shelter Project public sale scheduled for next year. Those in need of repair will go home with jewelers who will donate their time to fix them. Most of the jewels, however, will be sent to local domestic violence shelters, as well as to the Dress for Success program.

    Womens Shelter Project

    The Womens Shelter Project sprang from Micki’s desire to use her time and talents to provide support to women in her community. “I’ve had friends who have been abused. This is something I’ve always had empathy for,” Micki told the Seattle Times.

    After more than 20 years doing this, Micki Lippe continues to find joy in giving back to her community through the Womens Shelter Project. At the shelters, a woman might receive a jewel on their birthday. Shelter staff may also help her children wrap a jewel to give her for Mother’s Day. Additionally, a woman may need a brooch or necklace to dress up her interview outfit.

    Certainly, many occasions arise in which jewelry makes the perfect gift, an unexpected luxury in a life otherwise marked by pain and difficulty. “This is the best recycling you could ever do,” Micki says. {source}

    In addition, the proceeds from the annual sale of antique, vintage, and other high-value jewels provide unrestricted grants for a few select programs. This year, the Women's Shelter Project sale raised $15,000 for several local shelters.

    Undoubtedly, the sorting days are busy and many hands make light work. However, Micki told me that what project really needs is more donations and more donation drop-off points.

     

    How to Donate Your Jewelry

    Every woman's jewelry box holds untouched jewels in its dark recesses. Perhaps her heirloom jewels hide there in the dark. Those should stay put.

    However, what about those earrings her former mother-in-law gave her? You know, the ones she forgot about and never thinks to wear any. Maybe they never fit her style. Or maybe they bring up painful memories.

    If you own jewels lingering in the back of your jewelry box, consider donating them to the project. Embarking upon its third decade, the Womens Shelter Project now provides donation sites around King and Kitsap Counties. The Project continually seeks donations and more places to set up donation drop off boxes.

    For more information about donating your jewels or providing a permanent drop off point in the Puget Sound area, reach out to Micki. Find her contact information on the Seattle Metals Guild website.

  • History + Characteristics of Paraiba Tourmaline

    GIA Certified 6 Carat Paraiba Tourmaline Ring

    GIA Certified 6 Carat Paraiba Tourmaline Ring. Click here for more details. Photo ©2018 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    This exquisite ring is set cathedral style in platinum and features a gorgeous paraiba tourmaline. A halo of diamonds surrounds the electric blue stone. The cathedral and shoulders feature accent diamonds, as well.

    The stone features a cut cornered rectangular mixed cut gemstone. The GIA certified stone is a Paraiba tourmaline weighing 6 carats.

     

    History of Paraiba Tourmaline

    First discovered in the 1980s, paraiba tourmaline is primarily associated with the State of Paraiba in Brazil. For many years Hector Dimas Barbosa followed a hunch. Digging hole after hole in the hills of Paraiba, he knew he would eventually find something different.

    Eight years later, friends of his unearthed a handful of exquisite tourmalines in shades never before seen. Unfortunately, Barbosa missed the discovery.

    He stayed home that day, recovering from an illness. Though he certainly lamented missing the first glimpses, he no doubt swelled with pride at the news. He never gave up, and he found what he was looking for even though no one else had ever seen it before.

     

    Paraiaba Tourmaline Sources

    For a time, paraiba tourmaline was found only in the State of Paraiba. That vein lasted about five years before the stampede of excavators depleted the hills of the gorgeous gemstone.

    At some time, shortly after Barbosa’s discovery, miners discovered a cache of similar tourmaline in Rio Grande do Norte, a Brazilian state adjacent to Paraiba. Eventually, these unique tourmalines showed up in a few other places, including Mozambique and Nigeria.

    Geologists propose that these discoveries in these seemingly distant places is not surprising. Much evidence exists that at one time South America and Africa belonged to the same continent.

     

    The Unique Properties of Paraiba Tourmaline

    That being said, certain but subtle differences exist between the tourmaline found in Brazil and the tourmaline found in Africa. Nonetheless, the industry calls all of it paraiba tourmaline.

    The classification results from the significant unique properties that separate paraiba tourmaline from other tourmaline species. The most significant difference is the color.

    Most species of tourmaline come in a variety of colors, including red, pink, violet, blue, yellowish green, green, and more. Paraiba tourmaline also comes in hues of green, blue, and violet. However, the saturation of color in paraiba is second to none. In fact, most paraiba tourmaline appears to glow from within, radiating in almost neon green, blue, and violet.

    The chemical component responsible for this almost unworldly color saturation is copper, sometimes paired with manganese. Paraiba tourmaline is the only tourmaline with copper intrusion in the crystal structure.

    Copper is responsible for the startling blues and greens, while copper with manganese causes violet and reddish tones. The higher the concentration of copper intrusion, the more vivid the colors paraiba radiates.

     

    A Classification Debate

    With the influx of paraiba from Africa, experts continue debating over the classification of copper tourmalines. Some feel that the name paraiba should remain exclusive to those from the eponymous state in Brazil.

    Others, however, argue that all copper tourmalines should be called paraiba. These experts base their position primarily on the fact the chemistry of the stones from all locations is essentially identical.

    Furthermore, although the tectonic plates shifted away from each other millions of years ago, the veins in Africa and Brazil are likely one and the same.

    In February of 2006, at the International Gemstone Industry Laboratory Conference, industry leaders declared paraiba tourmaline as a label for copper tourmaline varieties, regardless of origin. A couple months later, the International Laboratory Manual Harmonization Committee agreed to accept this new definition of terms.

    Hence, most international gemological laboratories label all copper-bearing tourmaline as paraiba, regardless of whether it came from Brazil or Africa. While some frown upon this adoption, for the most part the industry celebrates the influx of more of this scintillating tourmaline variety.

  • History of the Fantasy Cut

    Fantasy Cut Aquamarine & Diamond Pendant by Anthony Gerard

    Fantasy Cut Aquamarine pendant with diamonds and yellow gold. By Bernd Munsteiner. Click here for details. Photo ©2018 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Magnificence is the perfect word for Fantasy Cut gemstones. This spectacular 11.30 carat aquamarine was hand cut by the father of the Fantasy Cut, Bernd Munsteiner.

     

    Bernd Munsteiner

    Raised in the gemcutting capital of the world, Idar-Oberstein, Bernd Munsteiner learned the intricate techniques and time-honored principles of faceting gemstones. However, at a time when tradition came under fire in every other aspect of life, Munsteiner turned the traditions of gemcutting on their head.

    Rather than polishing away the natural rough or cutting along standard lines and forms, Munsteiner looked at stones in a completely different way. Instead of maximizing carat weight and cutting along ideal patterns, he played with the light and made his cuts on the backside of his gems.

    These negative cuts, sometimes deep slices into the gemstone, opened up a whole new world of light play within the stones. His geometric wonders transcended the boundaries of fine jewelry, catapulting his new cuts into the realm of sculpture and art.

     

    The Fantasy Cut Receives Mixed Reviews

    At first, Munsteiner's Free Cuts met with disdain in the industry. This did not prevent some of his fellow artisans from learning the techniques he devised. Dieter Lorenz, John Dyer, Michael Dyber, and others followed in Munsteiner's footsteps.

    Of course, the establishment rejected this new approach to gemcutting, the first new technique to emerge since the Middle Ages. However, the trade publications chose to include these emerging artists and their jewelry in their pages. Circulating internationally, these trade journals launched the Fantasy Cut into popular demand.  Today, these exquisite works of art have been purchased by collectors, dealers, jewelers, and even museums.

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