• 'Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams' Exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum

    Inspired by the 2017 Paris Dior Exhibition (featured in this photo), the V&A Museum presents Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams. Inspired by the 2017 Paris Dior Exhibition (featured in this photo), the V&A Museum presents Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams. Photo from Flickr.

     

    Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams transports visitors into a beautiful fantasy. One thematic room after another in the historic Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A), filled with gown after gown after gown. The exhibit showcases over 300 brand-specific objects and 200 couture gowns designed by the House of Dior over the past 72 years.

     

    Why Christian Dior?

    As mentioned in the photo above, the core pieces from this exhibition first went on display in Paris in 2017. Building upon the success of that show, curator Oriole Cullen imagined an expansion to include the impact Dior had on the UK, and the impact the UK had on Dior.

    Christian Dior, the man, loved to travel. Of course, his travels took him to London, where he fell in love with the tailors of Savile Row. No less than 21 private British clients flocked to purchase Dior's suits and gowns in his first years designing.

    After a year of servicing private UK clients, in 1947, Dior staged his first fashion show at the Savoy Hotel. Many shows followed, including a very important one in 1950.

    One entire room in this exhibition centers on Dior in Britain, beginning with the cream-colored birthday gown worn by Princess Margaret on her 21st birthday. The gown is situated near the Cecil Beaton portrait of the Princess wearing the gown for her birthday portrait.

    The story goes that Christian Dior held a private fashion show for the Queen, Princess Margaret, and the Duchess of Kent in 1950. Held at the French Embassy, the show included the delicious gown. The Princess fell in love immediately, and no wonder. Cream chiffon, off-the shoulder gauzy sleeves, layer upon layer of airy lace, accented with straw embroidered butterflies and crystals.

    Loaned to the V&A Museum by the Museum of London, the handmade couture gown truly showcases not only Dior's influence in Britain, but also his singular approach to design. This singular approach shines in all of the 200 gowns on display in Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams.

     

    Depth & Breadth

    In addition to showcasing the breadth of Dior's impact, the V&A exhibition highlights the incredible details that go into making such beautiful clothes by hand. A section devoted solely to Le Petit Mains, the little hands which literally piece the gowns together stitch by stitch, includes cotton prototypes (toiles). In addition, it features film and photographs depicting the couturiers at work.

    Dior perfumes, as well as other Dior accessories, also take pride of place among the lavishly decorated display rooms. In particular, Dior's premiere fragrance, Miss Dior, stands in its original 1947 Baccarat blue crystal bottle. Also, lipsticks, hats, jewelry, handbags, and shoes round out the brand's accessories displays.

    Another important room showcases the works of Dior's designers from 1947 to today. Each of Dior's designers followed the Dior Codes, including but not limited to the signature use of the color red, the Bar Suit, flower motifs, and the ideals of femininity, beauty, and fantasy. Yet, each also brought their own flair, their own individuality and style to further the overall success of the brand.

    Today, Maria Grazia Chiuri holds the distinguished title of head designer. Before her came Raf Simons, John Galliano, Gianfranco Ferré, Marc Bohan, and Yves Saint Laurent. Each has a handful of gowns specifically chosen for the 'Designers for Dior' room.

    Gardens & Ballrooms

    I want to mention to more rooms, The Garden Room and The Ballroom. The Garden Room offers a whimsical stroll through a summer garden lush with wisteria blossoms. A nice bench welcomes a leisurely look at the beautiful garden-inspired Dior gowns.

    The Ballroom features 70 years of stunning formal gowns, many of them worn on the red carpet. In particular, the gorgeous gown worn by Charlize Theron in the J'Adore campaign of 2008. Also, the flowing petal-strewn dress worn by Elle Fanning at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. Finally, one last beautiful gown to mention, the architectural gown with a feathered skirt worn by Lupita Nyong'o at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

    All eleven of the rooms in the Christian Dior exhibit at the V&A are truly enchanting, inspiring, and breathtaking. I encourage you to visit their website to plan your visit.

    This link offers a stunning sneak peek to whet your appetite. Don't be alarmed when you see "sold out" under the marquee.

    In small print in the sidebar, I read the following: "Extra tickets will be released monthly around the 15th. Very limited tickets are available to purchase daily at 10am from the Grand Entrance on a first-come, first-served basis; these tickets are for times throughout the day on that day only."

  • 'Jeweled Isle' Exhibition at LA County Museum of Art (LACMA)

    Photo of Kandyan Chief of the Jeweled Isle Scowen & Co., Kandyan Chief, c. 1870, albumen silver print. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, gift of Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck, digital image © Museum Associates/LACMA

     

    On view through June 23rd, The Jeweled Isle exhibition features over 240 works of Sri Lankan art. Serving as a visual encyclopedic presentation, The Jeweled Isle highlights art works from Sri Lanka (Ceylon). The time frame spans over the past two millennia.

     

    Sri Lanka - The Jeweled Isle

    Greek Mariners, traveling by ship in the 4th century BCE, nearly put Sri Lanka on the map. To the East Indians, Sri Lanka became Ratnadvipa ("Island of Gems"). Sailing through the waters of the Indian Ocean, the Greeks followed these legends of jewels.

    Eventually, the land of many names became Ceylon, adopted by the British from their Dutch cousins, who called the land Zeilan. In 1972, the country adopted its current name, Sri Lanka.

    A teardrop of an island nestled in the Indian Ocean, the promise of jeweled treasures continued its siren's call. Many heeded the call. Those who came not only found beautiful gemstones, but also fell head over heels in love with the island. Its turquoise waters, stunning coral reefs, coconut and mangrove trees, and the lush abundance of other fruit-bearing trees and shrubs.

    Though heavily influenced by those coming to trade with (and take) from them, Sri Lankans continued to hold fast and true to their Buddhist tradition. Over the course of 2,000 years, Sri Lankans came into their own.

    They established their unique approach to gem commerce and art. Today, visitors to LACMA have the opportunity to observe the continuity of Sri Lankan traditions. A story told through hundreds of works of art in their Jeweled Isle exhibition.

     

    The Opening Gallery

    At the foundation of this exhibit are 42 works from LACMA's South and Southeast Asian department. Added to this are another 200+ borrowed pieces, including photographs, textiles, furnishings, sculptures. They also borrowed 21 unmounted gemstones from the Natural History Museum.

    The Jeweled Isle exhibit opens with these 21 gemstones displayed in a glass case. They represent the types of gemstones mined in Sri Lanka from ages past until now. These include, but are not limited to, sapphire, ruby, chrysoberyl, alexandrite, topaz, citrine, moonstone, and amethyst. The most important of these gemstones remains blue sapphire.

    Additionally, this section of the exhibit includes sacred works. Though primarily a Buddhist nation, Sri Lanka maintains a long tradition of incorporating the religious narratives of their neighbors and fellow tradesmen. The 14 shrine panels on display epitomize this practice, with their depiction of many Hindu gods and demons.

     

    Three Important Time Periods

    Throughout the exhibition, the notion of jewels ranges from decorative objects made from ivory, gold, and silver, to the photographic record of Sri Lanka's monuments, geography, feasts and festivals, royalty, and more. Passing beyond the masks and vessels used in religious rituals and festivals, the remainder of the exhibition centers on three distinct time periods.

    First of all, the 3rd century BC to the 10th century AD, when Buddhism came to Sri Lanka. Second, the 11th through the 13th centuries, demonstrated by works that demonstrate the inclusion of Hinduism into Sri Lankan Buddhism. Finally, the 15th through 19th centuries. During this time, the Dutch, Portuguese, and British influenced Sri Lankan art through trade and imperialism.

    In the final gallery, a contemporary Buddhist work sits across from a similar work from the 18th century, which features a 3-foot long reclining Buddha. Conceptualized and made by Lewis DeSoto, the modern piece, "Paranirvana (Self-Portrait)" stretches across 26 feet of floor space. Fashioned from painted black cloth, the statue remains inflated during museum hours thanks to an industrial fan.

    Serving as a visual statement to the impact of the Buddha's influence, the piece was inspired by a 12th century stone carving. This inspirational reclining Buddha resides at Gal Vihara in Polonnaruwa. On the walls of this gallery also hang photographs of mid-century life in Sri Lanka. These were taken after they gained their independence in 1948.

    Taken by Reg van Cuylenberg, a Sri Lankan photographer, these images catalog his tours across the island in 1949 and 1958. His love for his country and his images of festivals, local life, and landmarks important to him and his people provide the perfect conclusion to this exciting exhibition.

    To plan your visit, I invite you to visit LACMA'S website.

    ~by Angela Magnotti Andrews

  • 'Boston Made' Exhibition at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

    Boston Made - Arts & Crafts necklace by Frank Gardner Hale A gold, green garnet, sapphire and opal necklace by Frank Gardner Hale, displayed in "Boston Made: Arts and Crafts Jewelry and Metalwork" at the Museum of Fine Arts. Photo courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

     

    Boston Made: Arts and Crafts Jewelry and Metalwork remains on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) through March 29, 2020. The MFA proudly honors the artists who reignited artisanry in Boston during the early decades of the 20th century.

    While The Arts & Crafts movement began in England, the philosophies and practices spread across the Atlantic. Boston, with the support of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, became a hub for both men and women to grow into skilled artists in the style.

     

    Boston Made

    As the museum's first ever exhibition solely dedicated to the Arts & Crafts movement, Boston Made showcases over 70 objects. These objects, which include jewelry, design drawings, decorative accessories, and tableware, tell the story of Boston's contribution to the Arts & Crafts movement.

    As a strong proponent for the arts since its inception in 1907, the MFA continues to highlight prominent Boston artists. The idea for this exhibition began with the recent acquisition of Frank Gardner Hale's design drawings.

    Acquired in 2014, the Boston artist's drawings complement nicely his jewelry already owned by the museum. In addition, it renewed attention to multiple other Arts & Crafts artists whose pieces the museum had collected over the years.

    Specifically, in 1913, the MFA obtained a gold and pearl brooch, as well as a gold, emerald, and pearl ring. Made by Josephine Hartwell Shaw, these jewels established her as the first contemporary female maker represented in the museum.

    Along with Shaw and Hale, the exhibit highlights the works of 11 other jewelers and metalsmiths in the Arts & Crafts period. The exhibition invites visitors to understand more deeply the philosophical and design principles of the movement.

     

    The Arts & Crafts Movement

    The movement began in England in the late 1880s, simultaneous to the Art Nouveau movement. Influenced by the writings and social criticism of John Ruskin, William Morris inspired a moral aesthetic. He founded it on the moral principles of appreciation of beauty, the importance of artistic endeavor, and the dignity of physical labor.

    Promoted primarily through the operation of schools of design and guilds for craftsmen, the Arts & Crafts movement promoted equal-access for men and women. Followers of this movement rejected mechanized assembly and design. Instead, they drew inspiration from the quieter guild lifestyles of the preindustrial ages.

    In the arts, emphasis centered on unified design principles, meticulous craftsmanship, and material choices based on beauty rather than raw value. Most importantly, artisans were encouraged to find deep pleasure and joy in their work.

     

    The Boston Look

    The cultural and design principles of this movement fit perfectly with the progressive intellectual community already established in Boston in the early 20th century. For 30 years, the Boston arts community embraced a return to pre-industrial ideals. Adding to these a commitment to aesthetic design, communal artistry, as well as artistic equality among men and women.

    In particular, Boston emerged as an influential leader for the movement in the U.S. Specifically, Boston impacted the jewelry and metalworking communities. Eventually, a unique aesthetic emerged.

    Called The Boston Look, this aesthetic remained true to the principles of the movement. At the same time, it expressed the unique flair of Boston's artists. The Boston Look features bold color combinations through the use of precious and semi-precious gemstones and enamels. It also features a glitzy glamour which draws upon historical styles and includes an abundance of foliate motifs.

    We invite you to immerse yourself in The Boston Look, the stories of the incredible artistic pioneers of the US's Arts & Crafts Movement, and the exemplary craftsmanship of some of Boston's finest jewelry and metal artists.

    Boston Made remains on view at the MFA through March 29. The museum is open 7 days a week. To plan your trip, please visit the museum's website.

  • Engagement Ring Trends for 2019

    Engagement Rings by Tiffany & Co. Timeless Tiffany & Co. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    So many exciting engagement ring trends this year. Not surprisingly, the usual suspects reign supreme - Tiffany & Co., solitaires, diamonds, and pavé bands. Oval- and cushion-cut diamonds, split-shank settings, and all manner of halos also remain popular. Without a doubt, the most exciting new trends include a return to the geometric lines of the Art Deco period, three stone rings, and singular central stones.

     

    Art Deco Engagement Ring Highlights

    Gina Rodriguez wears a gorgeous Art Deco ring. It features a central diamond surrounded by a platinum plate. A key characteristic of Art Deco engagement rings, this metal plate re-reflects the light shimmering off the central diamond to produce more shimmer and shine.

    While not an engagement ring, Joanna Krupa chose a gorgeous Art Deco cuff bracelet as part of her wedding jewelry suite. We offer a wonderful selection of Art Deco engagement rings.

    These historical jewels not only offer dynamic sparkle, but a piece of history to wear every day of the year. Here are a few of my favorites.

    Art Deco Engagement Ring Click here to learn more about this gorgeous Art Deco Ring.

     

    Art Deco Engagement Ring Click here to learn more about this spectacular Art Deco Engagement Ring.

     

    Art Deco Engagement Ring To learn more about this magnificent Art Deco Engagement Ring, click here.

     

    Three-Stone Engagement Rings

    Three-stone engagement rings stand the test of time. A favorite among royals, the diversity and personalization available with this style is delicious. Speaking of royals, Meghan Markle's engagement ring features a larger central diamond flanked by two more demure diamonds. Similar to this one:

    Three Stone Engagement Ring Click here to learn how you can treat your girl like the princess she is.

     

    You can also personalize a three-stone ring with a central colored stone. Tom Kaulitz chose a central alexandrite, flanked by two diamonds, for Heidi Klum. Perhaps this Colombian emerald flanked by diamonds would suit your lady perfectly.

    Three Stone engagement ring Click here to choose this gorgeous three-stone ring for you lady.

     

    Another option: Flip-flop it like Tony McGill did for Catriona Balfe, where colored stones flank a central diamond.

    Three Stone Engagement Ring Click here to learn more about this three stone engagement ring.

     

    Singular Stones

    Another popular engagement ring trend involves choosing a ring with a singular stone. As already mentioned, Heidi Klum's ring has an alexandrite in her favorite shade of green. Katy Perry rocks a gorgeous ruby surrounded by a halo of large white diamonds. Meanwhile, Princess Eugenie wears a padparadscha sapphire.

    Here are three engagement rings with singular stones that you could choose for your fiancé.

    Aquamarine Engagement Ring Click here to learn more about this amazing aquamarine and diamond engagement ring.

     

    Paraiba tourmaline engagement ring Click here to learn more about this gorgeous Paraiba tourmaline engagement ring.

     

    peacock blue green sapphire engagement ring To learn more about this spectacular peacock blue green sapphire engagement ring, click here.
  • Engagement Customs in the United States

    Antique Engagement Ring Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Engagement customs in the United States remain fairly traditional. A 2017 survey conducted by The Knot revealed that men initiate 78% of the proposals in the US. That year, nearly 90% of the men proposed on bended knee (87%), with an engagement ring in hand (91%), and asked, "Will You Marry Me?" (91%) (source)

     

    "Will You Marry Me?"

    The tradition of bending on one knee is difficult to trace historically. It might stem from the Medieval custom of kneeling before one's sovereign. Medieval men often kneeled to express fealty, devotion, and servitude. This remains the only historical reference to bending on one knee I found so far.

    Of course, the engagement custom of bending the knee may be more intuitive than that. Perhaps enough men, overcome by emotion, knelt in supplication to express intense devotion when words failed them.

    Whatever the case, the practice became customary. Women told their stories, authors and script writers picked up the baton and ran the tradition all the way to the finish line. Regardless of the many changes in gender expectations, this remains a steadfast custom. The overwhelming majority of women dream of the moment when their Prince Charming bends the knee and asks the question.

     

    Planning the Proposal

    Once upon a time, a man planned a surprise but secret proposal. Perhaps a romantic dinner, with a presentation of the ring before dessert. Or at the end of a romantic stroll with a beautiful sunset view. Typically, the proposal included only the man and the woman.

    With the advent of social media, however, a bit of competition appears to color proposals. As of 2017, nearly half of proposals in the United States take place in a public venue. Venues include Disneyworld, a flash mob at the mall, a YouTube music video, and everything in between. Wherever it happens, the pressure is on - for the man to ask in just the right way, for the woman to be absolutely surprised, to shed tears or scream in excitement, and of course, to say YES!

    The majority of men spend over four months planning their proposals. It is fair to estimate that at least 60% of these men know their bride will say yes before they ask. She may not know how he'll ask, or when, but he is guaranteed a yes. I should hope so!!

     

    The Engagement Ring

    Nearly all heterosexual couples in the United States commemorate their engagement with a ring. The majority of these rings are worn only by women. According to The Knot, in 2017, approximately 33% of couples shopped for the ring together. The remaining 66% left the decision solely to the man.

    These men look at an average of 26 rings before choosing the perfect ring for their sweetie. Choice of style depends somewhat on the going fashions of the day, but for most a timeless solitaire or cathedral mount works best. Antique and vintage rings remain as timeless a choice as the modern solitaire, as the styles typically match with every outfit and remain in vogue year in and year out.

    Given that I often write about the massive engagement rings purchased by the stars, it surprised me somewhat to find that the average central stone weighs in at just over 1 carat, with accent stones adding only another 3/4 of a carat. It is nice to know that you don't have to go big to show your love in the United States, even though the media might make it seem so.

    For those men shopping right now, let me assure you that if you're wrestling with questions about the process, you are not alone. At least 72% of men reported having some trouble finding the right ring. Of these, 35% worried about getting a good deal, while 28% wished they knew more about diamond terminology.

    If you find yourself wondering about these same issues, please reach out to our knowledgeable staff. Begin with a search right here about the 4Cs of diamonds. Just type "4Cs" in the search box on EraGem Post, and brush up on how to choose a diamond. We want to empower you to make the best decision for your budget.

    Then, hop on over to our home page and do a search for the style of ring you want. Narrow your search on the left by central stone type, carat size, price, and more. You now have before you a standard by which to measure quality for price.

     

    Let Us Serve You

    Remember, at EraGem we sell antique, estate, and vintage jewels, previously owned. If you decided to purchase a brand new ring, expect to pay a higher price for the same quality.

    If you continue to have questions, or want to start looking at those 26 rings you'll need to look at to find your perfect one, give us a call. We are happy to educate you and arm you with the knowledge and confidence you need to make your final decision.

  • The Empress of Uruguay - A Legendary Amethyst

     

    Found in northern Uruguay, the Empress of Uruguay stands nearly 11 feet tall. Comprised of an outer rim of granitic rock, the cavernous inside is filled with deep purple crystal amethysts.

     

    Crystal Caves

    This gorgeous display of nature's artistry holds the distinction of being the largest amethyst geode in the world. When first discovered in the Artigas mine, the geode was immediately offered for sale to René and Nelleke Boissevain.

    The Boissevains continue to maintain an active relationship with the mines in Uruguay, as they add to their collections at Crystal Caves in Australia.

    As they proclaim on their website, "The Crystal Caves will rock your world!"

    In 1987, founder René Boissevain built the first chamber of crystals all by himself in the beautiful Atherton Tablelands in Queensland, Australia. In 1992, he hired a team to help him expand the cave to include grottos, tunnels, crawl spaces, and more chambers.

    At the Crystal Caves, visitors walk, crawl, and gape through the five chambers filled with over 600 mineral and fossil specimens collected over the past several decades. Staff encourage their guests to touch, explore, and take lots and lots of photos.

    Visitors can even crack open their own Mexican coconuts, ancient geodes which formed 44 million years ago during a volcanic eruption in Chihuahua. Geode crackers use special tools supplied by staff to discover wondrous crystal formations within. It's anybody's guess what type of crystal drusy will emerge.

     

    The Empress of Uruguay

    So many important and wondrous specimens grace the Crystal Caves. However, the most famous is the Empress of Uruguay. René Boissevain purchased it in 2007 for $75,000. It took three months for miners to extract the geode from the solid basalt it called home for some 130 million years.

    René then paid $25,000 to ship it (carefully) from Uruguay to Queensland. It arrived completely intact, at which time two large cranes lowered the Empress into her permanent home in the caves.

    For the next two months, René and his staff carefully removed a portion of the face to reveal the gorgeous crystals within. They also carefully smoothed any rough edges and applied a black polish to the backside (most likely to reduce light filtration through the crystal).

    Today she is the main attraction of the Crystal Caves Museum. As with all the displays, visitors are encouraged to touch her tens of thousands of gem-quality, deep purple amethyst crystals.

    Even after touching her, the Empress of Uruguay defies belief. She weighs 5,500 pounds, slightly larger than a grown elephant. Visitors can view the Empress almost any day of the year. The Crystal Caves are open daily, with the exception of New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day.

    Staff encourage visitors to allow at least an hour to fully experience the caves. For more information, I invite you to visit their website.

  • The Enchanted Cave - A Legendary Amethyst

     

    The Enchanted Cave is the largest amethyst cave in the world. In detail, it measures approximately 18 feet wide and weighs over 44,000 pounds. Visitors to Crystal Castle in Australia have the unique opportunity to enter this cave and even to sit for a guided meditation.

     

    The Enchanted Cave Experience

    Crystal Castle owner Naren King purchased the Enchanted Cave from an Uruguayan farmer as a gift to the castle on its 30th anniversary. At first, the Cave began as a giant bubble within an ancient lava flow. When allowed to cool, it formed into a massive geode which revealed itself in good time to the farmer.

    When the gigantic amethyst arrived at Brisbane port, several teams worked to deliver it safely from its shipping container. Naren told Verandah Magazine that the project took "an epic 7 hours of unloading." The task required the help of teams from Universal Cranes, Cargo Network International, and Interport to transport it from the port to its permanent home at Crystal Castle. (source)

    Because of Naren's determination and persistence, you can sit in the Enchanted Cave fashioned within the earth over 120 million years ago. A guide will help you find your center, as you sit in silence. Your heart will resonate with the grounding energy in the bosom of the world's largest amethyst cave.

    As you awaken to your inner world, your exploration of earth's mysteries continues as you prepare to experience the rest of Crystal Castle.

     

    Crystal Castle

    The Enchanted Cave is truly a microcosm of the entire Crystal Castle & Shambhala Gardens experience. As you walk the sacred paths through the gardens, crystal surprises emerge around every corner.

    The Crystal Guardians, the two tallest geodes in the world, stand sentinel to a path of lush rainforest foliage. Composed of smoky quartz with smatterings of amethyst and calcite, these stunning monoliths stand at over 18 feet tall.

    A rose quartz spiral invites contemplation, while Rosie stands apart welcoming visitors to touch and take photos. Rosie is a single solid rose quartz crystal weighing 8,000 pounds. The guide book describes Rosie as a mini-mountain that stands at the entrance to the Reflexology Path.

    Scattered throughout the grounds, rose quartz crystals make perfect seats for small children or adults needing a contemplative rest. The blending of subtropical plant life with nature's perfect gemstones ensures a sublime and awe-inspiring experience for all visitors.

    To book your visit, I invite you to visit the Crystal Castle website for all the details.

  • 5 of the Hottest Jewelry Trends for 2019

    Yesterday I shared four jewelry trends for spring. Turns out, I came across five more trends worth sharing that will likely carry beyond spring into the fall, as well. Here they are, in no particular order.

     

    Big, Bold, & Colorful

    This year, jewelry is on the rise. Layers, stacks, and multiples for necklaces, rings, and earrings. Brooches are coming back, big and bold, as well. With this maximal approach, designers are pairing radical color palettes, bold designs, and exaggerated sizes and shapes. Here are a few of our favorite EraGem pieces that fit this new trend.

    Jewelry Trends 2019 LeVian Opal Inlay Bangle. Click here to learn more. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Jewelry Trends 2019 A Colorful Bellarri Enhancer Pendant. Click here to learn more. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Jewelry Trends 2019 Big, Bold, Colorful. Boucheron Cocktail Ring. Click here for more details. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Link Chains Make a Comeback

    The '80s returns with golden link chains. In this reiteration, links are small and layered, or big and bold as necklaces, chokers, or earrings. This trend remains a gender neutral choice. Golden link chains also accommodate every style, including the individuality the modern age demands. Here are a few unique takes on the link chain.

    Jewelry Trends 2019 Timeless Tiffany Link Chain with Diamond Bars. Click here to learn more. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Jewelry Trends 2019 Contemporary Italian Link Chain Necklace. Click here to learn more. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Jewelry Trends 2019 Gold link mesh necklace by Orlando Orlandini. Click here to learn more. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Mid-Century Jewelry Trends

    You've seen it on the red carpet, and on the TV screen. A return to the bold mix-and-match styles of the 1950s and 1960s. Glorious retro designs, richly-colored cabochons, spray motifs, and more. Here are my favorite EraGem treasures from the mid-century.

    Jewelry Trends 2019 Spectacular mid-century aquamarine huggie earrings. Click here to learn more. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Jewelry Trends 2019 1960s Mid-Century Pearl & Diamond Brooch. Click here to learn more. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Jewelry Trends 2019 A swooping mid-century modern pendant. Click here to learn more. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Coins & '80s Hearts

    Once again, we see a return to the 1980s in coin jewels and hearts - the bigger the better. Heart earrings, coin necklaces, heart pendants, coin charm bracelets. So many ways to wear coins and hearts. Here are a few from our collection.

    Jewelry Trends 2019 A fantastic heart pendant in yellow & white diamonds. Click here to learn more. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Jewelry Trends 2019 A platinum "Isle of Man" Quarter Coin Pendant. Click here to learn more. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Jewelry Trends 2019 The perfect pairing of Heart & Coin (Roberto Coin, that is). Click here to learn more about this heart pendant. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    The Man Brooch

    I know I said these were in no particular order. I must confess, however, that as jewelry trends go, the Man Brooch is among my favorite. In fact, jewelry on men, when done well, is so hot! The men about town, the ones walking the red carpets, are wearing brooches, necklaces, rings, and earrings. I think this is simply awesome! Here are some great EraGem treasures that would look superb on a man's lapel.

    Jewelry Trends 2019 Late Art Deco Coral & Onyx Brooch. Click here to learn more. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Jewelry Trends 2019 Victorian Natural Pearl Brooch from the 1880s. Click here to learn more. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Jewelry Trends 2019 Jadeite Jade, Diamond, & Onyx Brooch. Click here to learn more. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.
  • 4 Delectable Spring 2019 Jewelry Trends

    With Fashion Week and Awards season coming to a close, it's an especially great time to share this spring's jewelry trends. I'm particularly excited about a return to Edwardian, Belle Époque, and Art Deco designs.

    Here are 4 delectable jewelry trends for this season.

     

    1. A Return to Antiquity

    In the years leading up to World War I, culture reflected a lively security. Economies in the west remained markedly stable, while café societies popped up in Europe and America. The wealthy spent money freely on luxury items, such as fashion and jewelry.

    Called the Belle Époque, during this time jewelry designs evolved from the magnificent Edwardian splendor of platinum and diamonds, to include dainty floral motifs with a little more dangle and more sensuous, flowing lines.

    This year's jewelry trends include a beautiful blending of Edwardian, Belle Époque, as well as Art Deco styles. Below, gaze upon a few statement necklaces reminiscent of the Belle Époque.

    Spring 2019 Jewelry Trends A stunning Art Deco pendant/brooch. Click here to learn more. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Spring 2019 Jewelry Trends Gorgeous antique blue sapphire and diamond necklace. Click here to learn more. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Spring 2019 Jewelry Trends A lovely antique pearl sapphire necklace in a beautiful floral design. Click here to learn more. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    2. Art Deco Jewelry Trends

    During the 1920s and 1930s, just after World War I, Art Deco styles took hold. As the economies of Europe and North America returned to some stability, the monied began to purchase jewelry once again.

    While the diamonds and platinum of earlier decades remained in vogue, designers began incorporating rubies, sapphires, and emeralds, as well. Inspired by the machine age, jewelry design assumed more sculptural and geometric elements.

    This spring, expect to see Art Deco return to style, particularly in arm cuffs, earrings, and cocktail rings. Here are my top three favorite Art Deco offerings from EraGem for this coming spring.

    Spring 2019 Jewelry Trends A magnificent platinum Art Deco diamond bracelet featuring three wreaths of natural rubies surrounding old European cut diamonds. Click here to learn more. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Spring 2019 Jewelry Trends Stunning Art Deco moonstone earrings. Click here for more details. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Spring 2019 Jewelry Trends A stunning 1930's Art Deco diamond and emerald ring. Click here for more details. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    3. Mixing Gemstones & Pearls

    Pearls remain timeless. However, this year tastemakers mix it up with statement earrings and necklaces that mix pearls, metals, and gemstones in unique styles. Also free-form, or baroque pearls are coming into their own this season. Here I offer a few choices from our collection.

    Spring 2019 Jewelry Trends Sam Lehr geometric earrings featuring rhodolite garnets and pearls. Click here to learn more. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Spring 2019 Jewelry Trends Circa 1930s Antique Floral Marquise Ring. Click here to learn more. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Spring 2019 Jewelry Trends An incredible vintage floral pearl, diamond, and ruby cluster ring. Click here to learn more. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Spring 2019 Jewelry Trends Freeform baroque pearl pendant. Click here for more details. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    4. Sculptural Arm Cuffs

    Perhaps the most glamourous trend in jewelry this spring is stacking sculptural arm cuffs. This trend toward wide bangles may prove the most versatile. Mix and match to incorporate Art Deco diamonds, large colorful gemstones, and Belle Époque sensuousness. Then, step it up with lions, dragons, and serpents.

    Spring 2019 Jewelry Trends An ornate 7-carat diamond wide cuff bracelet. Click here to learn more. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Spring 2019 Jewelry Trends A delicate floral motif diamond and white gold bracelet. Click here to learn more. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Spring 2019 Jewelry Trends Imperial Topaz & Diamond Hinged Bracelet. Click here to learn more. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.

     

    Spring 2019 Jewelry Trends Antique tiger bangle with diamonds. Click here to learn more. Photo ©2019 EraGem Jewelry.
  • Oscars 2019 Best Jewelry Moments

    Jewels worthy of the Oscars 2019

     

    This year's Oscars red carpet marked a delectable and historical jewelry occasion. The carpet and stage glimmered with Chopard, Bulgari, Forevermark, Harry Winston, Oscar Heyman, and Cartier. Lots of Cartier. So many gorgeous jewels made it a difficult task to pick my four favorites.

    After much deliberation, I narrowed it down to Spike Lee's eclectic accessories, Zameer Kassam for Lupita Nyong'o, Cindy Chao for Julia Roberts, and, of course, Tiffany & Co. for Lady Gaga.

     

    Spike Lee's Tribute to Prince

    Spike Lee took the stage wearing a purple Ozwald Boateng suit. His ensemble served as a tribute to Prince, including the purple suit and gold necklace featuring the symbol of the late artist.

    Across the knuckles of both hands, Lee wore "Love" and "Hate" rings. Inspired by his 1989 film, Do the Right Thing, Lee hoped for the right thing from the Academy. Though he won an Oscar, the African-Americans of the industry had hoped he would take home the Oscar for Best Picture.

    Regardless of the outcome, he undeniably kicked it on stage with customized golden Air Jordan sneakers. After an exuberant embrace with Samuel L. Jackson, Lee made a pointed speech continuing to advocate for African Americans in the US.

     

    Lupita's Oscars Diamonds

    Continuing the theme of last year's Oscars, Time's Up, Lupita Nyong'o favored black accents. However, not in her dress. Hot off the runway, Lupita wore Oscar de la Renta's white feather gown. With its stark contrast between white gown and black belt, she paired an equally contrasting ring by Zameer Kassam (ZK).

    Using responsibly sourced diamonds from Forevermark, ZK incorporated several important components for the Black Panther actress. First of all, the 10-carat ethically-acquired radiant-cut central diamond.

    Then the black halo of diamonds surrounding the central stone. Black for Times Up, 14 on either side for her 2014 Oscars win.

    Of course, the prongs holding the central diamond were inspired by the 'Wakanda Forever' symbol. Finally, engraved on the band, the words "Your dreams are valid," from her Oscar-winning speech.

     

    Julia Roberts Wears Cindy Chao

    On stage, Julia Roberts announced the Best Picture award wearing an Elie Saab gown paired with jewels by Cindy Chao.

    Cindy Chao learned to see the world in three dimensions from her father and grandfather. A famous architect, Chao's grandfather designed hundreds of Taiwanese temples which are now considered national monuments.

    From her father, a sculptor, she learned to infuse every jewel with emotion while rendering intricate works of metal using the techniques of sculpting.

    At the Oscars, Julia Roberts wore two Cindy Chao pieces. From her Four Seasons Collection, the Branch bangle, paired with her Architectural Earrings.

    The bangle resembles a twisted branch in white gold, encrusted in white diamonds. Cindy accented the bracelet with six oval-shaped white diamonds.

    Each dangle earring consists of two pear-shaped diamonds framed in a twist of 18k yellow gold and pave diamonds. Radiating off these twists of gold are 8 conch pearls in a shade of coral. A stunning choice for Julia Roberts.

     

    Tiffany & Co. for Lady Gaga

    The show-stopping jewel at the Oscars 2019, The Tiffany Diamond, shimmered and sparkled almost to distraction. While Lady Gaga sang with Bradley Cooper, the energy and chemistry between the two actors fought valiantly for center stage with the 128.54-carat diamond.

    The necklace Lady Gaga wore was designed in 2012 for Tiffany's 175th Anniversary celebration. It features more than 120 carats in white diamonds set in a sun ray motif. Twenty of the diamonds sparkle in Tiffany's Lucida® cut, while the rest of the 58 diamonds are round brilliants.

    Valued at $30 million, the Tiffany Diamond necklace now holds the prominent title of the most expensive jewel worn on the red carpet. The last jewel to hold the title - the Harry Winston diamond inspired by the Heart of the Ocean (Titanic) - was worn by Gloria Stuart in 1998. The Harry Winston diamond was valued at $20 million.

    ~by Angela Magnotti Andrews

     

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