Google+ The Daily Jewel: 2/15/09 - 2/22/09


Friday, February 20, 2009

The Amber Room - 8th Wonder of the World

Info for this post is from the Smithsonsian article by Jess Blumberg

Dubbed the "Eighth Wonder of the World," the room that once symbolized peace was stolen by Nazis then disappeared for good.

While many Americans associate amber with the casing for dinosaur DNA in 1993's Jurassic Park, the stone has enthralled Europeans, and especially Russians, for centuries because of the golden, jewel-encrusted Amber Room, which was made of several tons of the gemstone. A gift to Peter the Great in 1716 celebrating peace between Russia and Prussia, the room's fate became anything but peaceful: Nazis looted it during World War II, and in the final months of the war, the amber panels, which had been packed away in crates, disappeared. A replica was completed in 2003, but the contents of the original, dubbed "the Eighth Wonder of the World," have remained missing for decades.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Timothy Meier - Innovator

Tim Meier came to the attention of jewelry enthusiasts in 2007 with his inclusion in the exclusive "Best In Show" listing by JCK magazine following the JCK Las Vegas Jewelry Show.

Always questioning, always striving to understand...a little bit from his website:

The Artist
(BTW - this is one of the best "Artist Statements" I've read)
The strength of bones is dictated by the engineering that human beings are unable to replicate. Perfectly adapted to their application. What would be the simplest , most effective way to wrap a finger in metal? What is the most comfortable and appealing necklace that is possible to make? Seashells are formed in a perfect spiral unbeknownst to the mollusk that is forming it one layer of calcium carbonate at a time. for more go to

"It's all about getting people in touch with the primal human urge to make one's self more attractive by decoration. I'm just caught up in the concept that jewelry is culturally universal, and accessible to people on every continent."

All of my forms are a discussion in the definition of space. I like to think that my carved forms are something that would spontaneously happen in nature. Each individual piece is delicate, even feminine, and then together the chain becomes tough and masculine. I love that transition that a piece makes from concept to reality.

The Vision
In America today, 63 percent of women say that they think fine-jewelry on men is sexy and 74 percent of women have purchased jewelry for a man. Why are men being forgotten in commercial jewelry markets? Men who see the Timothy Meier collection of mens jewelry will feel compelled to decorate themselves. Decoration is not something reserved for the fairer sex. There is nothing effeminate about a 4-ounce chain of blackened Sterling silver.

His innovative "Vertabrae" series has won him international acclaim - and I have to say I am a huge fan. Individually carved links - hand cast and hand assembled - available in Sterling, Stainless Steel, and now he has started working in Platinum!

This is the genesis of a number of ideas. Bones have a repulsive/ alluring charm. Whether you are a hard line creationist, or a Darwinian scholar, there is no argument over the miracle of the engineering behind bones. On a trip to West Africa, I noticed bead vendors in the Abidjan market selling snake vertebrae all strung up as jewelry. I was mystified, and rather repulsed. These were the coolest shapes I had ever seen, and I wanted very badly in a primal sort of way to decorate myself in these tribal ornaments. (Without having a dead snake around my neck) Unleash your tribal warrior...

Monday, February 16, 2009

What is Gemecology?

Gemecology - Gems & Ecology: balancing the benefits and the costs!

About Gemecology
Gems and the Environment is a project of Saleem H. Ali, Ph.D. and Sally Dickinson DeLeon conducted with generous support from The Tiffany & Co. Foundation and several research collaborators. We hope that the site will serve as an educational resource for those interested in improving the living conditions and quality of life of artisinal miners around the globe.

An "artisinal miner" is that little guy - the independant miner that is not operating with the backing of a larger corporate sponsor.

This site teaches about the people, places, and processes of colored gemstone mining around the world. Think about how the ancient practice of artisinal mining interacts with complex ecological and social webs in some of the places where the earth produces amazing pockets of rubies, sapphires and emeralds.

Watch their Featured Film "The Emerald City" from Google Video for an overview of the methods of extracting gems from the earth!


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