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Gifts for February

February is a month of groundhogs, Valentines, and amethysts. In under a week’s time the country will be celebrating a day of general romance and heartfelt chocolates (pun intended). Why not celebrate your special someone with a beautiful amethyst gemstone, which has been the month of February’s official stone since at least the fifteenth century.
In lore, amethyst is known as a stone of wisdom, one that reveals a person’s intuition. It is believed to ward off guilt and fear while simultaneously instilling calm. It is also said to bring clarity to emotions and values. What better gem for a day celebrated to profess emotions for your other half?

If you’re looking for the perfect purple ornament to say, “I love you,” there are some beautiful options out there. One is Kay’s dainty butterfly necklace, a silver outline of a butterfly, attached by a thin chain on either wingtip and complete with two swooping antennae. The outline is filled in with different hues of amethyst gems, from pale pink to rich purple, with shapes alternating between circles and teardrops. If you want a piece less traditional than a necklace, you can go for brooch, like the amethyst flower brooch from Swarovski. Each of the flower’s six petals curls down at the edge, the colors alternating between petals from amethyst so light it’s nearly white to a darker purple crystal. The flower’s stigma — the thin stems that jut from its middle and produce pollen — end in round tips of multicolored stones. Whatever you choose, your loved one will surely appreciate the thoughts of love behind any gift.

Nikolai Rose

Back in 2006 Nikolai Rose was launched to cater specifically to the male population, a section of the jewelry market often disregarded. Founders Jacob Melinger and Alan Paukman design cuff-links, pins, tie bars, and an assortment of other pieces for men looking to dress with style.  Nikolai Rose demonstrates a flair for some darker themes, taking inspiration from things like chains and insects.  This handmade New York line makes jewelry from array of materials — often utilizing common metals but also dipping into sources as bizarre as bone!

One men’s ring, its thin band made from a choice of either sterling silver or yellow gold, is cut to reveal a smooth piece of bone just under the surface of the metal.  Another, like the Hand Pin, is made completely out of silver but shaped to imitate the bony structure of a skeleton hand; the pin has a deliberately rusty, rustic semblance that expresses a more ominous theme.  Despite its small niche created by providing for only half of the population, Nikolai Rose’s business does not seem to suffer.  It has expanded its stock to include bracelets and necklaces as well. Nikolai Rose’s designs appear simple, but on further inspection reveal endless intricacy, as in the brass or white-bronze Cuff Bracelet, which is shaped like a hexagon (one side absent to slip easily onto the wrist), with each side connecting to the next in an Escher-like Möbius strip illusion. With its wide range of options, it’s clear Nikolai Rose has found a corner of the market in which to excel!

You can see more about Nikolai Rose here:


A New Cut

Many people don’t realize that there are different types of diamonds; in addition to the gem-grade diamonds that you can find in rings, there are also industrial diamonds, used for sharpening tools and various other functions.  In the past, nearly 80% of mined diamonds were considered unbefitting for jewelry. But the new trend that has hit the market recently — sliced diamonds — might put a dent in those numbers. Diamond slices can be cut from industrial diamonds, then sliced and polished to allow the gem-like features to shine through. This leaves the stone with a more organic, somewhat rugged beauty rather than the sleek, finished look of the standard gemstone-quality diamond.

This is an understandable, perhaps even expected, trend for a society that has begun to laud what was previously out-cast (e.g., comic book superheroes, once considered ‘nerdy’ are now earning millions at the box office). These slices are made from the castoffs, taken from a type of diamond coveted more for function than beauty.  In that regard, the functional has become beautiful.

And we certainly can’t disagree with that beauty!  Companies like San Francisco-based Ashley Morgan are designing breathtaking pieces, even whole collections, with this innovative material.  One of Ashley Morgan’s rings, a handmade eternity band, is set with diamond slices in shapes that are both irregular and asymmetrical, adding to the organic, natural feel. With the growing popularity of using rougher stones as fine jewels, that percentage of ‘unsuitable’ diamonds will likely drop significantly.

To see some more Ashley Morgan diamond slice designs, check out:

Cleaning Your Gold

All jewelry has its maintenance requirements. Tarnished silver, for example, can be cleaned by applying silver polish (also, see our previous post: While gold does not tarnish, it does lose its luster over time. Unlike silver tarnishing, which is caused by oxygen chemically reacting with the surface of the metal, requiring specially made abrasive materials to purify it, gold can be cleaned with everyday substances found in the home!  (But, please remember, this applies only to gold, not to costume jewelry or to jewelry with gemstones!)

The first method is the simplest: all it takes is a bit of soap. A few drops of dish detergent combined with a lukewarm liquid should do the trick.  The best liquid is sodium-free seltzer or club soda, but in their absence plain tap water will work just as well.  After soaking the jewelry for about fifteen minutes, a (very) gentle scrub will loosen the grit and dirt contributing to the dullness.  Make sure to avoid abrasive scrubbers, like a toothbrush and — ironically — even tissues, which may feel soft but in reality contain tiny wood fibers that will scratch your jewelry.  Instead, use cotton balls, cotton cloths, or better yet a soft scrubber tailor-made for this purpose.  Once scrubbed down, give everything a rinse through more lukewarm water. Keep in mind: if you do decide to wash gemstones, water that is too hot can cause cracks in some of the more delicate gems (e.g., opals or pearls) and can loosen pieces that have gemstones glued into their setting, so when using this technique keep a close eye on the temperature of your water.  (Also make sure to plug your drain so no mishaps occur!)

If you somehow find yourself in a place without dish washing detergent, don’t fret!  You can find an equally effective tool in your very own bathroom.  As a very mild abrasive, toothpaste acts as a great sterilizer not just for teeth and gums but for gold as well. Mix in a bit of water to create a runnier, paste-like consistency, then use your fingers or a cloth to rub it into the gold.  Then, using a damp cloth, gently dab the jewelry until its surface is clean.   These household items are some of the easiest to procure, so rest assured you can keep your gold glowing at all times!


Phillip Gavriel

Jewelry designer Phillip Gavriel Maroof, the founder of Phillip Gavriel, has over twenty collections of unique jewelry themes, all of which demonstrate Maroof’s all-embracing curiosity and interest in the world around him.  His inspirations range from elegant, like the Venice Collection, to whimsical and fun, like the Popcorn Collection.  Wherever the spark begins, Maroof always morphs it into a beautiful and diverse arrangement of colors, designs, and precious stones.  His onset began after studying the Renaissance in Florence, Italy, and much of his jewelry reflects his passion for that subject, as well as the country in which he studied it.  One particular collection acts almost as homage to his company itself: a line in which a fleur-de-lis — the stylized lily present in the company’s logo — features in every piece.

A recent line, called ‘Organic Eternity’, looks to delve particularly into Maroof’s talent with colors.  The bracelets and rings are all made using similar shapes: figure eights linking in an endless, single-strand chain.  What sets each apart from the others is their strikingly different shades, which Maroof achieves using a variety of gemstones.  The garnet set in rose silver, the peridot set in yellow-gold finished silver, the crystal quartz set in black rhodium… Maroof manipulates his gems like a paintbrush, creating wearable works of art with every brushstroke!

You can see more here:

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:  A portion of the proceeds go to the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation for drug research and related programs.

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

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