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Archive for January, 2015

Jewelry in Boston

In honor of the 2015 Super Bowl team the New England Patriots, we took a look at some of the jewelry that Boston has to offer. What we found was a wellspring of magnificence from designer Marsha Tinguely Perreault.  The  inspiration for her jewelry designs stems from myriad sources, giving her jewelry a somewhat intercontinental blend.  From Peru to Egypt to Morocco, Marsha has drawn from countless civilizations. Early on in her career, she discovered lapis lazuli, a stone that fast became one of her most beloved gems; her fascination can be seen in her frequent use of it for rings, earrings, and necklaces.  She also utilizes gems of similar hues, like turquoise and Peruvian opal. Her latest work pulls inspiration largely from Moroccan culture, incorporating the swirling zellige patterns and arabesque designs common to Moroccan art and architecture.

At the end of March, Marsha will be exhibiting her newest pieces as part of a Trunk Show during the Boston Design Week.  Her work has been chosen as one of the top ten events of the week, so if you’re in the area be sure to check it out.  You will find her on March 29 at Exclusive Jewels Gallery, located at 121 Charles Street in Boston, Massachusetts.

For more information, or to purchase Marsha’s jewelry, check out: http://tinguely-bijoux.myshopify.com  A portion of the proceeds go to the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation for drug research and related programs.

Into the Woods

One of the most recent popular films to hit theaters is Into the Woods, which came out late last month to fairly positive reviews. The magical ambiance surrounding this compilation of re-told fairy tales is thanks in large part to Colleen Atwood, the movie’s costume designer.  Atwood has worked on over 60 films in her career, two of which have won her academy awards for best costume design.  In Into the Woods, she chose a distinctly understated style for the ornaments that go along with the costumes, especially jewels on wrists and collarbones. Certainly, a couple of the characters do wear necklaces — notably, the vine-like gold piece seen on Cinderella as she flees the prince, and the inconspicuous chain that ends in three tiny turquoise stones worn by the baker’s wife.  But other than these, Atwood went with mostly bare necks.

Instead, her jewelry accessory of choice was earrings — and the occasional tiara.  Cinderella’s stepsister Lucinda, for example, wears elongated ebony teardrop earrings, and her stepmother wears a similar pair with two stones on both ears, each of which dangles from its own thin gold chain. Cinderella also gets her fair share of tiaras, the most elegant of which is the white-silver crown on her wedding day.  In contrast to her previous vine-like necklace, the tiara possesses a distinctly floral quality (with a less-than-elegant twig or two entwined for the authentic “natural” feel).  Atwood masterfully manipulates her costumes to enhance the film’s mystical “woodsy” tone.  It is impossible to deny: Atwood definitely grasps the nuances of the dreamlike world in which these fairy tales live, and is an expert at infusing that sensation into every piece of clothing, down to the tiniest gem.

The Stones of Power

We are fairly accustomed to seeing materials like silver and gold shaped into assorted forms for jewelry. What we may not realize, however, is that these raw materials have much more potential than just the bracelets clasped to our wrists. Here are a couple of the more interesting functions your ornaments can provided:

When not glittering from your earlobes, silver might be moonlighting as an antibacterial agent. Its natural inhibition of bacteria and fungi makes it an optimal choice as an odor stopper. In fact, most of the non­-jewelry that you wear –­­ clothing, socks, even shoes — ­­ will be laced with nano-silver to prevent unwelcome smells from seeping into the fabric.  Silver is also rather popular in the medical world, and used as antiseptic.

Sapphire is like Tolkien’s “One Ring” of the gemstone world.  Translation: it can make you invisible (sort of).  In addition to being a key element used to build infrared lasers,it also possesses the unique ability to become invisible to that same light.  When specially treated, sapphire can coat any substance to prevent it from appearing to infrared goggles or cameras. That makes it the real “One gem to rule them all”!

The Possibilities are Endless

Endless Jewelry has added new charms to its vast selection, a jewelry line that takes after the company’s name by providing nearly an endless array of ornamental opportunity. This jewelry practically comes with a guarantee that it will provide the customer with a completely personal arrangement. How can Endless pledge such an impressive feat?  Simple. The customer makes the jewelry. The bracelets that the charms adorn are made from soft leather; most importantly, every charm is made compatible with every bracelet, which means you can assemble your trinkets into any and every design. The only limit is your own imagination.  The new additions to the selection focus on shape and color, allowing for charms like the Heart Cut Drop Charm, a sterling silver hoop from which dangles a heart-shaped purple amethyst stone. Other simple but elegant pieces include the looped ring-like Garnet Snake Charm and the twelve-petal Violet Daisy Charm, both made of silver with a splash of color—ruby and lilac, respectively.  These options, along with over 450 others, make Endless Jewelry completely customizable. You are truly free to mix and match until you find exactly the sort of ornament that speaks to you.

Find some trinkets for your own ensemble at http://www.endless-jewelry-shop.com

From Bedrooms to Bracelets

We have seen a number of jewelers who began their careers in other artistic fields, such as acting, before stepping into the designer role. One of the more unusual is Gaetano Pesce, who – before his recent shift — spent almost 50 years as an architect.  It’s pretty clear these two disciplines share a number of similarities; both a require a meticulous attention for detail to create a look that connects with its customers on a personal level. In a single word, Gaetano’s furniture could only be described as ‘contemporary”.  It epitomizes the eccentricity of modern art perfectly, with asymmetrical couches and quirky, brightly colored houses. From buildings to vases, his art has always been provocative and fresh, and it appears he will be using that same creative eye in his new line of jewelry.

You can view his first few pieces on exhibition in New York today.  The most interesting feature in this line is perhaps the material used to create it.  Gaetano utilizes flexible resin,which is a material commonly used in architecture and interior design, to shape explosions of color into rings, necklaces, bracelets, and more. His creations truly are incredible; they look as if they melted into place almost naturally. Maybe that isn’t so far off from the truth.  According to Gaetano, he does not “oblige the material to follow [his] whim” and his own vision is only part of what determines the ultimate outcome. In the end, “[the jewelry] decides the finished shape.”

You can see samples of his work here: http://www.architecturaldigest.com/blogs/daily/2015/01/gaetano-pesce-jewelry-collection

Celestial Jewels

We appreciate our various ornaments for their beauty and sometimes rarity, but did you know that ancient civilizations had a few more “cosmic” beliefs about the stones they used for adornment?  An opal is just one of these stones. Considered gems of wisdom and good fortune, opals were thought to be pieces of heaven that had shaken loose from the sky during violent thunderstorms.  Opals also happen to share an interesting feature that people often consider unique to diamonds: they cut through almost any material, even glass.

Another material believed to have celestial implications is gold.  Nowadays, when people compare gold to sunlight, it has a more metaphorical connotation, but in ancient times people took that figure of speech much more literally. They once believed that gold actually originated from the sun. Some groups even accepted gold as actual teardrops from their respective sun gods.  Talk about divine jewelry!

A Really Expensive Stone

Earlier this week we described some of the rarest and priciest gemstones known to man. The most expensive one we found was a gem called painite, at a cost of $50-60,000 per karat. But there is one stone — the Pink Star Diamond — that we neglected to document in Tuesday’s list, and that stone actually wins the title of most expensive stone in history.

The Pink Star Diamond, also known as the Steinmetz Pink, was mined in South Africa in 1999. At a grand total of 59.6 karats, this giant stone sold in 2007 for a record-breaking $83 million, which — to put in terms of karats — comes out to the astonishing price of $1,395,761 per karat. Wow!  This diamond’s rough form weighed in at 132.5 karats, which made it the largest known diamond in the vivid pink class. Due to its record-wielding size, the Steinmetz Group took special care when cutting it. Overall, the procedure took a full 20 months to complete.

We did not include the Pink Star Diamond in our original list because its rarity is due more to its size than the gem’s material.  Vivid pink diamonds are actually fairly common in the precious stone world, especially in comparison to scarce materials like jadeite and painite.   So, although it is common as a gemstone, we felt that based on its size, it nonetheless deserved a place in the jewelry “hall of expensive fame”.

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