Treasures for body and mind

28 October, 2011

Some Day...

I've been longing for a Georgian amethyst necklace.  I'll long for a long, long time.  Be that as it may, here is a lovely Victorian one that is close enough (but for those pearls) for me to sigh happily when I see it.
But this is my dream.  Foiled, enclosed, full set of Siberian amethysts.  Sold by Three Graces.  To whoever bought it: God bless you and may you wear it happily for years and years and years.  Hopefully I will find another similar set.  Some day. 

26 October, 2011

Color In the Desert

Helen Serras-Herman is a sculptor, gemologist, and 2003 Lapidary Hall of Fame inductee.  She makes big, bold, unique jewelry that uses precious and semi-precious stones of the finest quality and colors.  All have a tactile heft that makes your skin feel loved.  She'll have a homage to Arizona in Tucson this upcoming show, using stones native to the state, so you can imagine what will be there.  So if you are at the Tucson Gem Show in 2012, stop by and admire her lovely items.

"Ocean Fire"  14 kt gold with 129 carat ocean jasper, two fire opals, and 14 grossular garnets.  The necklace is carnelian and ocean jasper.

"Venus"  18 kt gold with 256 carat rutilated quartz
Ms. Serras-Herman knows from where her stones come, traveling and gathering what she can herself, so most come with stories too!

Her website is

24 October, 2011

Mad About The Mouse

No denying it- Disney World is amazing- it is beautiful, fun, clean, clever, and offers a bewildering plenty of options for every age and interest.  I cry every time I leave.  My only two complaints are that you cannot get a decent cup of coffee anywhere in the park except in The Polynesian Hotel and that Disney lacks fine jewelry reflecting the ingenuity and cleverness found in every other Disney tchotchke for sale in the park.  (I speak only of Disney World and DisneyLand- Hong Kong Disney HAD really cool Disney-themed jewelry, plus fun high jewelry that was not character specific but felt like it belonged there.)

A few years ago, Disney heard the complaints of its big girl fans.  Enter Disney Couture, a label that hires top designers to design limited release jewelry referencing Disney films and themes.

Perhaps you have seen Mawi's Mickey ring making its rounds through the blogosphere this fall? 

 I like her Minnie necklace for holiday dress up.

Or Tom Binn's Cheshire Cat earrings?  Many of his Alice items are delightfully disturbing- just like Alice.
But high end costume remains high end costume.  Fortunately, the Mouse never leaves a market untapped.  Chopard came to the rescue with its Happy Mickey collection, released on 9 October.  These lovelies are only sold in Chopard stores, so you'll have to get your new watch or necklace before you hit the park- call ahead because what will you wear if they are out? 

Loving those hidden Mickeys in the background...

I'm thinking that while I'm in NYC seeing Dame Elizabeth Taylor's jewels, I could pop over and pick up a few.  Only in my dreams...but that's what Disney World is all about!  "A dream is a wish your heart makes..."

18 October, 2011

Educational Update

Just passed my final in Diamonds and Diamond Grading!  Hooray!  It feels great to be done with that class!  Gem ID, here I come!  
Champagne Bubbles earrings by Diamonds In The Rough...6.90 carats rough diamonds with 0.30 carats micro pave diamonds in 18 karat gold

15 October, 2011

Changing My Mind

Going with the flow, changing my mind, waffling- I prefer the phrase, "Reevaluating my options."  Aesthetics don't require loyalty; what looks good, looks good.  You like what you like, and that's all that needs to be considered in the world of art, jewelry, and fashion. 

Malodora is making me reevaluate my strong position about jewelry from precious items.  Malodora's jewels, made of polymer clay, have a lot of thought and careful construction behind each piece.  It takes a lot to move jewelry made from this medium into art but these make the transition.  

The shop on Etsy is  There are many styles of items too (skulls, puppies, abstract beads, alien flower earrings) that are worth a look. 
Micromosaic brooch- I love micromosaics, and there are not many modern jewelers making them.

Another, more conventional, micromosaic.

Braaaaaaaaaains and human hair, for when you get your zombie on.
Crab ring- Malodora can has a cute!  (I could not help myself.)

14 October, 2011


There isn't a need for words, is there?  Cartier Panther 

12 October, 2011

Maine-d In America

And why not buy American, when these beauties are from Maine's tourmaline mines?  A cats-eye tourmaline!

If you like watermelon tourmaline, these two stores have a lot of it!

10 October, 2011

Girandole Earrings

Girandole earrings are earrings of the past.  Once upon a time, from the 1650s to the 1800s, they were the earrings worn at courts across Europe.  Earlier girandole earrings were built along a horizontal axis, but over time they grew longer.  Their shape is a central bow with three dangling drops hanging from it.  Very few sets remain since most of them were torn apart to make other earrings or re-purposed to make pendants; wedded to the past, their components moved into the future, but the earrings did not.
These girandoles are the earrings of the future, upside-down and vertical.  And continuing turning the girandole upside down, these earrings are made of recycled materials- recycled 19th century ivory, stainless steel, recycled silver, and recycled ebony.  The earrings enable  pieces from the past to move, changed, into a not-so-distant future.

07 October, 2011

Facing Your Fears

Amulets, religious symbols, and lucky charms, whether they are a string of blue and white evil eye beads hung on a newborn, a St. Michael's medal worn in a war zone, or a gold clover never taken off for fear of "bad luck,"  are attempts to interfere with the supernatural, helping the wearer overcome his or her fears, 

I am horribly, horribly afraid of sharks, with a sickness-inducing fear.  This photo made me queasy the first time I saw it.  (Then I made it my screen saver.) 

Real photo, not altered.  BTW, both the researcher and the shark were ok afterwards.
So I need this pin.
While the artist says her line is about fun, I'd wear this piece in deadly seriousness.  

For those who are also intrigued with sharks, The Monterey Aquarium has another Great White Shark in their open sea tank.  A smallish  male, they caught him in August.  The Monterey Aquarium is the only aquarium that has a success rate with keeping these illusive animals alive, but they release them after a time since there is a limit to how long these pelagic sharks can live in captivity.   So if you want to watch their live web cam for a glimpse of this amazing, terrifying shark, go to their website soon.

05 October, 2011

More Bevel

Not sure how many of you remember the earlier post about Bevel ("Murder and Revenge," 29 April 2011.)  Bevel's myth-inspired jewelry is incredible, unique, and thoughtful and makes a Mayan legend accessible and wearable.  Considering the story involves heads hanging on trees, dark demons of the underworld, huge bats, and a house of slashing blades, that's impressive.  And the good news is that there are new pieces on!  Thank you, thank you, thank you Jonathan Goldstein, for keeping the Hero Twins above ground.
The Hun Came (One Death) necklace.  Hun Came is the ruler of the underworld and death, and the Hero Twins wear his head as a trophy, to celebrate their victory over evil.  The artist says this piece is about triumph through adversity.  He's also wearing a Camazotz' Ring on his pinkie, which is not new to the collection but is cool (and very pointy.)
She's wearing the new Helper's bracelet, commemorating the ants that helped the Hero Twins with a task.  She's also wearing the Resurrection Necklace down her back (shaped like a Hero Twins' rib cage- don't worry- he got better) and Vucub-Came earrings, not new but way-cool that a set of earrings is based on the two heads of the seventh demon of the underworld.  No idea about the rings- hoping they hit a site soon!

And if you haven't gone to for the story and the GORGEOUS video, you are missing out.  And thank you Mr. Goldstein for finally putting PRICES on your site!

No thanks to NotJustALabel for making it impossible to get clear, large photos of the jewelry.  Sorry.

04 October, 2011

It's In the Details

Hiroko Takahashi's work is wonderfully detailed, tiny worlds in miniature.  She carves her own pearls, creates every setting, and almost stops breathing when she is creating because, "...the delicate balance of the small world is key."  Every gemstone piece is a one-of-a-kind because every setting is designed for a particular stone.  The backs are as carefully crafted as the fronts.  Gorgeous.

03 October, 2011

Praying Mantis Jewel

Check out this praying mantis necklace by Mario Salvucci... 

C'mon now, check out the necklace!  The legs' shadows make it appear floral, but it really isn't.  Part of the Incredible Creature's collection, made of agate and 100% recycled silver, it's available on