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Copper Fun Facts

You may think your copper jewelry is just another “pretty face” in a sea of silvers and golds, but you’d be wrong about that. Copper has plenty more to offer than its fashionable looks and more than pulls its weight in other areas of life. In fact, copper is a lot of the reason you’re still alive!  Inside the body, it supports nerve function and helps the body produce energy. It’s at work in enzymes and even functions in the production of skin color.

In folklore it was believed that copper bracelets were a remedy for arthritis. Some claimed that the bracelets worked by allowing tiny amounts of copper to get absorbed into the bloodstream, where they helped regrow cartilage and relieve arthritic pain. While scientific studies and disproved its usefulness in this department, copper certainly has many other functions in the health market. For one, some studies have indicated that copper’s natural antioxidants help prevent cancer. For another, copper is known to kill bacteria growth. Long before modern medicine, copper was used to sterilize wounds and drinking water. This phenomenon was documented in the Smith Papyrus, one of the oldest recovered texts in existence.

Another little factoid you might enjoy: copper is actually the first metal ever to have been used by humans in any capacity.

Setting Records

If you’re interested in world records, then you’ll love this little Guiness­-worthy tidbit: priciest pearl necklace.  About two weeks ago, Christie’s had an auction that garnered some impressive profits.  Of those, the four ­strand natural­ color pearl necklace topped the list at a price of $5.76 million.  It beat not only the world record but also Christie’s own estimate of the piece, which was set between $3.8 and $4.5 million.  The pearls, measuring between 4.9 to 12.65 mm, are varying shades of metallic blues, greens, and purples; they are strung in four consecutive rows, the largest pearls at the throat with the size receding gradually up the nape of the neck. The clasp is an elegant flower ­shaped gem.



Mid­-May of this year Sotheby’s will be hosting an auction.  But they won’ be offering just any gems; at the Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale, you can expect to find one Historic Pink Diamond.  This vivid pink-­toned diamond, cushion cut and weighed at 8.72 karats, is believed to have once belonged to Princess Matilda, none other than Napoleon’s niece. The first time it came up for auction was 1904, in Paris, where it was sold and subsequently mounted.  Later, it was re-cut from 9 karats to its current size for aesthetic purposes.

Another piece up for auction is the Burmese Sunshine Ruby.  With its nearly perfect “pigeon blood” hue, it may well be the rarest gem on the auction table. If so, it’s certainly a close fight between pink diamond and red ruby.  Either way, the expected sale price for both pieces is between $12 and $18 million, which means there aren’t really any losers in this “competition”.

The auction is set to take place on May 12, so if you’re thinking of placing a bid you’d better start saving up!

It Takes Two

Manhattan­ based decade-­old company Vale Jewelry has a unique feature in its two founders: they are identical twins. Ava and Eva Bai, despite their shockingly similar names, have very different personalities, which allows them to blend styles in a way that only enhances their products. After earning degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as FIT post­graduate work in metallurgy and gemology, the dynamic duo decided to go into business together, creating pieces that have been worn by celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker, Miranda Kerr, and Lena Dunham ­­ just to name a few.

As children they busied themselves with lanyards and beads, but they have long since swapped those materials for significantly classier options.  In the face of trends these days that lean towards bulkier jewelry, their style is distinctly understated: it has been called “super­fine” and usually consists of very thin chains and lines. Some people have argued that their jewelry is too small to hold buyers’ interests… but those critics are easily silenced by the broad fan ­base that the Bai sisters have attracted over the past decade.

Two “moonlet” pieces ­­ crawler earrings and a ring ­­ are made of equidistant round diamonds bezel­ set in 14 karat gold.  The ring, a perfect symmetrical band, contrasts well with the earrings’ irregular semicircle shape.  Even finer is the large open bangle with diamond slices (rather than round cuts) on either end of a gold wire so thin it seems to disappear on the wrist. The style is clearly understated, buts its two creators don’t feel the need to make their gold loud; the delicacy of their design makes a quiet ­­ but powerful ­­ statement of its own.

Apple Watch

For all you Mac fans, there’s a new product coming out shortly called the Apple Watch. The first pre-­orders, which opened April 10, are scheduled to arrive next week. The newest timepiece was so popular that orders are already backed up until July.  What makes this watch so trendy?  Well, aside from its coveted brand name, the Apple Watch has a number of attributes intended to bring online communication and other technology right to your fingertips… or at least to your wrists. Features include social media updates, Siri, phone calls, and plenty more.  Using ‘taptic’ (i.e., vibrating) feedback, the watch can alert its wearer of incoming emails and calls. From your wrist you will be able to access your credit card, passport, and music cache as well as track your exercise and, in limited quantities, store photos.  If that’s not enough, it also achieves the unbelievable: it tells time, too!

Although the battery life may not last the anticipated full day, CEO Tim Cook has promised 18 hours of use for an average person’s day. There’s also a pleasant range of styles, from aluminum sports bands to sleek gold pieces.  In fact, there are over 30 different designs to choose from.  It may be hard to decide, but that also ensures you find just what you’re looking for.

With an Open Heart

New this year is the jewelry line “Open Hearts”, inspired by actress and designer Jane Seymour. The collection is a very personal one, admits Seymour, who developed the first necklace of the line in honor of her mother. The design consists of two hearts connected at the tails, with the most prominent feature ­­ and the basis for the collection’s title ­­ being the missing slivers that leave each heart lacking a small part of its outline. These hearts can be arranged in any of a variety of ways: from chains of repeated rose gold linked hearts to diamond necklaces, where a single “open hearted” design is encircled within a standard heart shape.

In honor of Mothers’ Day, which is quickly sneaking up on us, Kay Jewelers is offering a few mom­specific pieces for a limited time: necklaces, charms, and more that have the word “mom” fixed somewhere along the piece. (In true “hearty” fashion, the “O” of “Mom” is, of course, always crafted with a heart.)

According to Seymour, this style has featured in much of her work, including paintings for the American Heart Association. Her mother had lived by the counsel of keeping her heart open to giving and receiving love. This advice is something that Seymour always took ­­ well ­­ to heart. The pieces of her line offer both elegant design as well as poignant sentiment, which make them the perfect gift for an appreciated mother… or anyone else!

Fun Facts: Stones

A couple of “did you knows” to educate you about the gemstones in your jewelry…

Garnet, a category comprising several related minerals, was named after the word “pomegranate,” for their similar shades. Although garnet can come in a variety of colors, the most common one you’ll find is dark red, a hue similar to the seedy pulp of its namesake.

Most people know the hardest stone — diamond — but did you know the softest?  Next time you’re asked, you’ll know it’s amber.  In comparison to diamond’s impressive score of ten on the Mohs scale, amber measures up at two and a half.  (And in case you were wondering where amber got its name, it is derived from the Middle Persian word “ambar” or “ambergris,” a substance extracted from a whale’s stomach for its pleasant smell.)

Before becoming October’s special stone, the opal was widely utilized.  For what, you ask?  It was believed that wearing opals would help maintain the color in blond hair.  If your hair dye isn’t sticking, maybe you should take a peek inside your nearest jewelry store instead!