Diamond Kid!

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Murfreesboro, Ark.–A 100-mile detour turned out to be a profitable excursion for the Detlaff family on July 31, when 12-year-old Michael unearthed a 5.16-carat brown diamond at the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas.

The Detlaffs were traveling on vacation to Fayetteville, Ark. from their home in Apex, N.C. when they decided to visit the park. Within the first 10 minutes of scanning the search area, Detlaff found the brown diamond on the surface, the eighth largest brown diamond ever found at the park

With this diamond, the current trend continues of visitors finding diamonds on the surface of the search field. Due to good rains this spring, and some especially hard rains in July, many of the recent large diamonds were found right on the surface,” Margi Jenks, park interpreter, said. “Diamonds are a bit heavy for their size, so a good downpour will wash the dirt away, leaving the diamond exposed.”

Detlaff’s jellybean-sized stone is the 328th diamond discovered at the park this year, and the 27th largest diamond found at the site since it became a state park in 1972.

He named his find the “God’s Glory Diamond.”

The stone came from the north end of the search area, near a sign that marks where the 15.33-carat Star of Arkansas was found, a white diamond that is the third largest to ever found at the site. It was discovered in 1956 when the area was a privately operated tourist attraction.

Crater of Diamonds is the only diamond-producing site open to the public in the world. The park’s search area is a 37½ -acres of plowed field that is the eroded surface of the eighth-largest diamond-bearing deposit in the world.

In addition to diamonds, amethyst, garnet, peridot, jasper, agate and quartz also have been found at the park, among other semi-precious gemstones and minerals.

As always, Live, Life, Lamour,

R.Lamour

Burma’s Blood Rubies

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Despite Myanmar’s (formerly Burma) democratic progress, there have been reports that perhaps the import sanctions on gemstones would be lifted. Recently, President Barack Obama has extended the ban on Burmese rubies and jade.

While the U.S. government lifted broader sanctions on imports from Myanmar, Obama signed an executive order Wednesday which prohibits the import of “any jadeite or rubies mined or extracted from Burma and any articles of jewelry containing jadeite or rubies mined or extracted from Burma.”

The order became effective on Wednesday, extending the ban that lapsed on July 28. The U.S. Department of the Treasury said it opted to extend the embargo on jewelry specifically “due to continuing concerns, including with respect to labor and human rights in specific sectors,” as the sale of gemstones benefits the country’s ruling military junta.

The United States first banned the import of rubies and jade from Myanmar in 2003, it was a ban that definitely caught the attention of the jewelry industry. Much like emeralds from Colombia, rubies from this country, known in the trade as “Burmese rubies,” are considered the world’s best rubies and are prized for their color, which is often described as “pigeon-blood red.” They comprise an estimated 90 percent of the world’s rubies.

The ruby and jade restrictions were tightened under President George W. Bush in 2008 when he signed the Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE (Junta’s Anti-Democratic Efforts) Act of 2008 into law. The JADE Act closed a federal loophole in the law by also banning gemstones mined in Myanmar but processed or treated in other countries, such as Thailand.

This is the second time Obama has opted to extend the ban; he first renewed the sanctions against Myanmar in 2009. The ban does not prevent U.S. sales of Burmese jadeite or rubies that were in the country prior to 2008 and it does not extend to exports of Burmese rubies or jadeite from the U.S.

It also does not apply to stones that were in the country and then exported, including for personal use, so long as they are re-imported by the same person who can prove they left with it and the stone hasn’t been improved in condition or value outside the U.S.

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As always, Live, Life, Lamour,

R.Lamour

Hearts of Fire for Morena Baccarin

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Recently, Hearts on Fire announced that Homeland’s brazilian actress Morena Baccarin will be its new brand ambassador. The actress will start appearing in magazine advertisements for the diamond brand beginning in September.

Morena will showcase Hearts on Fire’s new fashion collections in print ads in well-known fashion and lifestyle magazines such as, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire and Town & Country. She also will appear on the brand’s digital and social media platforms wearing the latest pieces from their line.

Hearts on Fire first began to recruit brand ambassadors in the fall of 2011, initially hiring fashion bloggers before bringing on board television costume designer Janie Bryant and artist, actress and fashion designer Tara Subkoff. Now the brand is upping the ante with Baccarin, a 2013 Emmy nominee for her role as Jessica Brody in the Showtime series Homeland who also has appeared on popular CBS’ The Good Wife and The Mentalist.

“With the success of our bold, new fashion collections, it was the perfect time to showcase these designs on a recognizable face. Morena is the perfect representative for Hearts on Fire and we are thrilled with our partnership,” said Caryl Capeci, vice president of marketing at Hearts on Fire.

With such a healthy combination of Morena’s stunning good looks and charm, the Hearts on Fire brand is sure to attract new clientele.

 

As always, Live, Life, Lamour,
R.Lamour

 

The launching of the Faith Ann Kiely Brand

Today’s post is about a former senior merchandising executive for fine jewelry corporations, Faith Ann Kiely and the launch of her own brand. Being that she no stranger to the jewelry world, the recent launch of her first collection accentuates her approach to the industry from a new angle.

In this article Kiely discusses how classical antiquity is incorporated into her work, while staying true to the identity of her brand and the reasons consumers will keep coming for silver as long as designs stay compelling.

The Faith Ann Kiely brand was started in 2011, and officially launched to the retail market in the spring of 2013. She told us that FAK uses top-quality materials, the highest quality standards and traditional manufacturing techniques of fine jewelry. What differentiates FAK from many other brands is that it offers an uncompromising commitment to design and quality and creating the product made in America.

In terms of design, FAK’s design aesthetic seems to be truly original. It is inspired through her artistic perspective on classical antiquity, Faith Ann Kiely’s jewelry motifs are derived from an eclectic appreciation of the manifestation of beauty, art and spirit in our world, which she expresses through the fine sculpted metal work of my designs. Working with 18-karat gold and sterling silver, her intricately carved pieces, resplendent with bold faceted gemstones, are reflective of ancient times and provide a distinctly modern look.

When asked what is the most difficult thing about being a jewelry designer? she told us ”I think the most challenging aspect of being a new jewelry designer is in staying true to the DNA of your brand and design vision, regardless of current trends and/or market pressures. I believe that a brand must be authentic to its identity to truly be accepted and understood by consumers.”

Here are a few of her very intricate designs below for your perusal.

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As always, Live, Life, Lamour,

R.Lamour

Hot Summer Designs

Summer is officially upon us and fortunately for us so are the hottest summer designs. Today’s post is centered around the top 10 emerging designers who will showcase their collections in the New Designer Gallery at the JA New York Summer Show this year, scheduled for this weekend at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The JA show is the first time these designers are participating in a trade show, which marks their official introduction into the industry.

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gmfldsTwin sisters Kimberly and Lucy launched Dao Fournier designed the two beauties above. The sisters have a passion for rare gemstones and grew up in the jewelry industry. The two stand by the motto that their designs are art meant to be worn by women everywhere.

gmfldsHolly Dyment is a Canadian fine jewelry designer with a background as a window display artist and graphic designer. She has a “more-is-more” approach to her jewelry, offering one-of-a-kind pieces with a bold use of color.

 

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David Alverado of Irthly Jewelled Adornments is the son of a master jeweler who puts his education in Chinese and European philosophy into his work, resulting in jewelry representative of his world view. Alverado’s view on sustainability becoming a global value and interdependence becoming a global creed also influence his pieces.

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Kendra Lawrence works primarily in sterling silver with freshwater pearls and, occasionally, gold vermeil. She strives for a minimalist aesthetic, and each piece is crafted in San Francisco using traditional fabrication and metalsmithing techniques.

 

gmfldsMaressa Tosto Merwarth was the winner of the American Jewelry Design Council’s 2013 New Talent Contest. Her jewelry is not about what she makes, but more the materials, processes and interaction between the artist and the wearer.

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Ana Marie Radosta studied industrial design in Philadelphia, where she learned jewelry making, moving on to Pasadena, Calif. where she discovered metalsmithing. Her jewelry has been sold through museums, galleries and jewelry stores.

 

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Rebekah Schwartz launched her brand in June 2012, and creates her pieces by hand, specializing in precious metals paired with precious and semi-precious stones. The collections reflect each environment Schwartz has lived in, from New York to Santa Fe, N.M. and Nantucket.

 

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Robin Koffler began her career as a graphic designer and illustrator, and now creates jewelry inspired by art, nature and contemporary design. Her one-of-a-kind, 18-karat gold pieces feature hand-picked gemstones.

 

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Orit Harel has a background in interior design and art, and now creates wearable art through jewelry. She aims to make a big, dramatic statement with her pieces, creating flamboyant one-of-a-kind pieces with gold and gemstones.

 

 

As alwaays, Live, Life, Lamour,

R.Lamour

Say Yes! A love story

After sharing her wonderful love story, a south Florida woman became the proud owner of an $11,000 pair of Erica Courtney earrings. In the story of the ups and downs of her relationship–including her fiancé’s unique proposal–for Jewelers Mutual’s “Everlasting Love” contest winnings went to her.

To enter this unique contest, contestants were asked to share what everlasting love meant to them on the contest’s website between April 30 and May 21. Americans voted on the entries and narrowed the field to just five finalists. Jewelers Mutual and Courtney herself then chose the winner based on creativity, originality, and representation of everlasting love.

Ariela Yasova shared the story of her and her fiancé Matthew’s relationship in a story titled, “For Better or Worse, We’re Always Together.”

The couple’s courtship began as a long-distance relationship, which then followed with a medical crisis–two members of Matthew’s family were diagnosed with cancer–that led them to the realization of just how strong their relationship was.

A short time later, Matthew took his girlfriend on her fist Ferris wheel ride and when the car got “stuck” at the top, Matthew pulled out his cell phone loaded with music which reminded him of his girlfriend Yasova and then proposed. She said yes.

The couple’s story received over 1,700 views on the contest website and 379 votes, enough to make them a top five finalist and eventually be chosen as the contest winner.

The pair said one of the first things they will do with their new earrings is get them insured.

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As always, Live, Life, Lamour,

R.Lamour

 

 

Edgy Jewelry designs

Recently at the Las Vegas JCK jewelry show there was a competition for the edgiest designs. The edgier designers of course ruled the evening at the Couture Design Awards this past Saturday night, with two first-time exhibitors taking home a pair of awards each.

The winners included London-based Tomasz Donocik who won in the category for diamond jewelry above $20,000 as well as in the category of debuting at Couture. Alp Sagnak of Atelier Minyon, a New York-based designer, took home top honors in silver and the coveted people’s choice award.

This year’s Human Spirit Award went to designer David Yurman surprisingly, who insisted he couldn’t accept the award by himself and called to the stage the woman he called his love and his muse, his wife Cybil.

I’ve taken the liberty to feature some of the design winners below.

jckThis ring was made by Tomasz Donocik, whose ring is shown here, he won two Couture Design Awards. This was his first year exhibiting at the show.

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This necklace from Arunashi won for gemstone jewelry above $20,000.

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The winning design in the pearl category was from Mikimoto.

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Schaffrath won the Couture Design Award for platinum with this ring.

As always, Live, Life, LamourR.Lamour

Jewelry semi-secret societies

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Today’s  post is primarily centered around one of the many “elite” organizations that some may view as the propeller’s of the jewelry industry. As with many secret/ invite only organizations, image and status are usually the primary factors  which ultimately determine membership. Today we will discuss the infamous  “24 Karat Club”  their vague history and contributions to the industry.

The 24 Karat Club is an elite, invitation only membership organization which  seeks to forward the growth of the jewelry industry.  This club offers an impressive list of scholarship opportunities awarded annually to deserving jewelry industry recipients throughout each of their individual chapters in the United States.

The 24 Karat Club schedules its meetings, events and functions to run concurrently with other jewelry shows which are held every year.  Their members serve as volunteers on various committees to promote the efforts of the organization.

Although there are objects of skepticism that surround organizations with with secret natures, the fact that this is 1930’s club has such a vague nature usually sends anyone’s mind running for answers. As positive an image it may portray, we must always remember that everything that glitters isn’t necessarily gold.

As Always, Live, Life, Lamour,

R.Lamour

 

Priceless or Priced less!!

Have you ever come accross an old piece of jewelry that probably is a family hierloom or once belonged to an older family member and you wondered how much it would be worth?

I can see it now, you run to the appraiser with this ring you probably inherited thinking its your ticket to riches. You then meet with the gemologist and he/she takes a quick look at your piece then politely hands it back to you. To your amazement or otherwise dissatisfaction, you hear three words come out of their mouth (and its not I love you), “this is unappraisable”. With the look of disdain on your face, the gemologist tells you that  it would cost too much to appraise this piece being that it doesnt hold much value.

We all have encountered or most of us at least have seen a situation similar to the one above. The fact is that, not all old pieces are worth much of anything. Some of us see these old pieces as something that hold monetary value, but in reality that value maybe more sentimental than monetary.

Unfortunately, this is the way that things are, there are times you may see a nice ruby on your grandmothers ring and think great, Jackpot, im going to pay off my house or the rest of my student loans, but in reality that ruby was actually lab created and not as natural as you assumed. So be wary and approach your excitement with discretion.

 

Live, Life, Lamour

RLamour

The gem of Love and of Life

The featured gemstone of the week is the Emerald, its beauty and luster can only be descibed as mesmorizing. Emeralds have throughout history been looked upon as a gem full of love and a striking symbol of life. Love because  it has the ability to activate and stimulate the heart chakra and the deep green color for centuries have been looked upon as a meaning of constant life. The reason for such charm and mystery for the stone is primarily due to its great historical significance throughout history as a whole. Emeralds have  always been prized by the ancient Babylonians and Native Americans, loved and cherished by Cleopatra who made outstandingly popular the stunning jewelry of the Egyptians. Emeralds were also used by the Aztecs, Incas and Mayan cultures for carving, adornment and medicine. Although it has such a high esteem, its rather unfortunate that gemstones such as Emeralds dont get as much publicity as diamonds do although they are a more abundant asset. Oddly and unsurprising we in this society have been loosing our appreciation for the finer things in life although we are said to be advancing.

Below are images of different cuts of emeralds with varying levels of color, cut, clarity. This image comes with an accompanying grading scale which will be featured and posted on a future post dedicated to its explanation.

Feel free to leave some thoughts and comments.

Some of the Finest cut emeralds...Just outstanding!

Whats a clear way of accurately grading emeralds?