Google+ The Daily Jewel: 10/26/14 - 11/2/14


Saturday, November 1, 2014


Gorjana & Griffin: The company began in 2004, born from the design and business ambition of husband and wife, Gorjana and Jason Griffin Reidel, whose bi-coastal residencies have fused a West Coast lifestyle inspiration with the sophistication and polish of East Coast trends into each design and collection. The company offers functional, stylish and highly wearable jewelry and other accessories – branded gorjana for women and griffin for men. In addition, gorjana & griffin is committed to charity and social causes.

Design supporting their local Children's Hospital - CHOC:

Gorjana & Griffin website:  Live. Love. Layer |




The board of directors of the Diamond Empowerment Fund (D.E.F) today approved the granting of funds to its existing beneficiaries, the African Leadership Academy, Botswana Top Achievers Program, and CIDA City Campus, and added a $15,000 donation to the Tanzania-based Flaviana “We are thrilled to be supporting these four amazing programs,” said Phyllis Bergman, president of D.E.F’s board of directors. “Each of these organizations has a mission of empowerment through education, which reflects the core of D.E.F’s mission. We are thankful for the support of our partners and look forward to continuing to spread the message that through the industry’s efforts, ‘Diamonds Do Good’.”

The $240,000 is the result of funds raised by D.E.F’s Diamonds In The Sky Las Vegas event held at the Four Seasons Hotel this past May. D.E.F received a tremendous outpouring of support by the industry, including Premier Presenting Sponsors De Beers Group of Companies, Rio Tinto Diamonds, and Signet Jewelers Limited (Kay Jewelers, Jared the Galleria of Jewelry, Zales Jewelers). Joining them were Premier Partner Sponsor Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Limited, and Premier Patron Sponsors KGK Group, Le Vian Group and Tiffany & Co. A full listing of sponsors can be found on

DEF’s first beneficiary, CIDA City Campus, is South Africa’s first non-profit university to
offer a four-year business degree. CIDA has an 80% employment rate among graduates.

The African Leadership Academy is a university preparatory school in Johannesburg,
South Africa, founded on the belief that ethical leadership is the key to sustainable
development on the continent. Students come from all 54 countries in Africa. The
Botswana Top Achievers program provides the top high school students countrywide
the opportunity to study at a university of their choice worldwide. Graduates then
return to Botswana to contribute to its economic, social and political development. 

The Flaviana Matata Foundation was founded by Flaviana Matata, an international fashion
model and D.E.F. Ambassador. The Foundation seeks to create a future through
education and improve livelihoods among the youth in Tanzania. D.E.F is also actively
looking to expand its beneficiaries to other areas of the world where the industry does business.

In an effort to further communicate the positive impact the industry has on diamond
communities, D.E.F will be highlighting scholars from each of its existing beneficiary
programs on its consumer facing ‘DiamondsDoGood.Com’ website, currently in
development with Condé Nast Media Group and set to launch in late 2014. D.E.F.
Scholars will also be in attendance at the upcoming GOOD Awards
( to be held in New York City on January 8. 

The good works of Jane Seymour and her Open Hearts Foundation together with David Rocha and Jewelers for Children will be honored at the event.

Gemfield's Welcomes GIA Field Gemologists into Zambian Emerald Mines

GIA Field Gemologists Gain Insight into Zambian Emerald Mining
Kafubu region is home to the world’s largest emerald mining operation

Tao Hsu with a large emerald found at the
Charma pit of the Kagem mine. This will
be added to the GIA reference collection
for research and educational purposes. Photo
by Vincent Pardieu; © GIA.
In September 2014, a team of GIA (Gemological Institute of America) field researchers journeyed to Zambia to collect emerald samples for the Institute’s gem identification database and to document the current state of Kagem, the world’s largest emerald mine, located in the Kafubu mining area. Since Gemfields, the publicly-traded gemstone mining company, acquired the open pit mining operations six years ago, ore mining has increased from 3,000 to 8,000 tons per month and rock handling has increased from 125,000 to 750,000 tons per month.

Field Gemologists Vincent Pardieu and Andrew Lucas, Gems & Gemology (G&G) Technical Editor Tao Hsu, videographer Didier Gruel and expedition guest Stanislas Detroyat made up the research team. “I’ve visited numerous colored gemstone mining operations throughout the world, but one of this size, modernization and organization really gives a visual of the changes that may be coming to our industry,” said Lucas.

“Standing in front of the pit is like looking at a geological textbook,” added Detroyat. By combining an understanding of the geology with professional mining methods, Gemfields has turned Kagem into a profitable operation. In July 2009, its first high-grade rough emerald auction achieved $4.4 million, and in February 2014, $59.31 million.

Robert Gessner from Gemfields explains the local geology underground at the Kagem mine to
Tao Hsu, Andrew Lucas and Stanislas Detroyat. Photo by Vincent Pardieu; © GIA.
Along with a standardized grading system for emerald rough and an auction platform, environmentally sound practices and community outreach programs have revolutionized the mine-to-market gemstone business. In-pit dumping ensures that the environmental liability is kept as low as possible, while increased exploratory drilling, mapping of pegmatite and talc magnetite schist, resource calculations and mining software have improved the technical output of the mine.

Following the visit to Kagem, Pardieu, along with Detroyat and Gruel, continued on to additional Zambian emerald mines to collect comparative samples. At the small mining operation of Musakashi in the Solwesi province, the team confirmed the existence of an emerald deposit with interesting internal features and color reminiscent of Colombian emeralds as reported in the summer 2014 issue of G&G. Meanwhile, several other operations in the Kafubu area, such as Miku, Dabuisha, Matenke and Benisa, are now run by Chinese companies.

Wida Kapiji, son of Prince Martin, displaying 
an emerald found at his mine, Musakashi. 
Photo by Vincent Pardieu; © GIA.

“It was fascinating to visit and study the Kafubu emerald mining area, one of the oldest gemstone producing areas is Africa, and to witness the challenges faced by the local miners. In comparison to other gems, emerald is very difficult to mine since it’s mainly mined from primary deposits and production is technically much more challenging,” said Pardieu.

In keeping with its mission to ensure the public trust in gems and jewelry, GIA regularly conducts research field trips to important gem and jewelry centers around the globe, incorporating findings into research practices and education programs and providing information to the trade and public. GIA appreciates the access and information provided during these visits; however, they should not be taken as or used as a commercial endorsement. Findings from the Zambia field trip will be featured in an upcoming issue of G&G, as well as in field reports and video documentaries on    

About GIA
An independent nonprofit organization, GIA (Gemological Institute of America), established in 1931, is recognized as the world’s foremost authority in gemology. GIA invented the famous 4Cs of Color, Cut, Clarity and Carat Weight in the early 1950s and in 1953, created the International Diamond Grading System™ which, today, is recognized by virtually every professional jeweler in the world.

Through research, education, gemological laboratory services, and instrument development, the Institute is dedicated to ensuring the public trust in gems and jewelry by upholding the highest standards of integrity, academics, science, and professionalism. Visit

Friday, October 31, 2014

#DesignSpotlight - Introducing a Very Tipsy #Maneater from Wendy Brandes

Introducing a Very Tipsy #Maneater 
from Wendy Brandes 

If you have ever had the opportunity to meet Wendy Brandes you know she sees the world from a different viewpoint. There are volumes of knowledge packed in among all the wacky fun that you never expect from this tiny bundle of energy that, by the way, looks to be in her early twenties!

I met Wendy at the Pricescope Soiree during Jewelry Week in Las Vegas where I was introduced to her New York Taxi Cab Ring the latest (at the time) from her Maneater series...

Wendy explains the concept behind her Maneater Series:

“The rings are inspired by my lifelong interest in powerful women. My signature Wendy Brandes jewelry line started with pieces that were named after real-life bad-ass women, including the warrior queen Xenobia and the 12th-century Empress Matilda. A lot of these strong women have been called “dragon lady” or “man eater” in pejorative ways. A tough man is just a guy doing his job, but there always has to be some kind of mean-sounding name for a tough woman, right? I got to thinking that some of these wimmins might have relished being called these names. I’m sure 7th-century Empress Wu would have been like, “Ha ha ha! Dragon lady! YOU’RE RIGHT!” before she executed the guy who spoke those words. Accordingly, each Maneater ring has a triumphant animal on top and a man tucked away inside the band.”
This week Wendy introduced the latest member of this esteemed assemblage - the "Pink Elephant and Tipsy Writer" ring.   Now I'm with you - how will Wendy give Pink Elephants an historical provenance?  well she did it!
"Novelist and journalist Jack London (1876 – 1916) was the first person to write about pink elephants as a hallucination suffered by a certain type of heavy drinker. My elephant is made of 18K rose gold and covered with 262 tiny pink sapphires totaling 2 carats. (She also has white diamond eyes.) The 18K-yellow-gold shank of the ring — representing a wooden bar — is set with 174 brown diamonds weighing 2.15 carats.
You can peek inside the ring to see the too-drunk, 18K-white-gold writer,  slumped between a wine bottle and a glass that’s adorned with another small white diamond - The look of the writer isn’t based on Jack London. Instead, it was loosely inspired by this photo of Cary Grant.
But Cary Grant looks a lot more dapper than my guy, who is really hurting."

 Just reading the stories of these rings will bring a smile to your face - so - I am going to introduce you to the entire Maneater series as daily posting as #DailyJewels next week! 


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