Google+ The Daily Jewel: 8/8/10 - 8/15/10


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Halstead Bead Grant Winner Annouced!

Cowboy’s Sweetheart Jewelry Wins National Award & Business Grant

Cowboy’s Sweetheart is the 2010 winner of the 5th annual grant competition sponsored by Halstead Bead, Inc. The Jewelry Design Business Development Grant is awarded to a new jewelry entrepreneur each year.

Western jewelry designer Amy Fortunato of Cowboy’s Sweetheart rounded up top honors in the 2010 Jewelry Design Business Development Grant competition. Her prize package includes $6,000 in start-up cash and jewelry supplies. The annual award is sponsored by jewelry supply wholesaler Halstead Bead, Inc.

The grant is awarded to a new jeweler in the bridge or art jewelry segment each year in recognition of design skill and business acumen. Candidates must submit lengthy applications including portfolios of original jewelry and details of their business plans.

“Amy’s work beautifully blends western inspired silversmithing with contemporary design elements. Her line is both fashionable and affordable,” said one competition judge,Hilary Halstead Scott, “her witty branding and accessible price points are perfect for an accessory start-up in the current economy.”

Fortunato received her jewelry training as part of a Fine Arts degree from the University of Connecticut. Her career has included graphic design and jewelry production for other companies prior to launching Cowboy’s Sweetheart. Fortunato describes the genesis of her company as her answer to the call “Go West, young lady, go West!” After moving to Colorado she began her love affair with the region’s natural surroundings, history and people.

“I attempt to celebrate a little bit of the American West each time I turn out a new piece.” she stated. “I am thrilled to receive this recognition and the opportunity to grow my business.”

Cowboy’s Sweetheart joins a distinguished list of past Grant winners in the industry. Her jewelry collections are available online at A complete list of past grant recipients and finalists as well as competition details are on the Jewelry Design Business Development Grant website at

The "Well-Healed" Tourmaline...and more

Michael asked: "While talking about visualizing time and evolution, it occurred to me that tree rings are naturally occurring data visualization... any other examples out there?"

Crystals are the perfect example!

This tourmaline out grew the Vug it called home - broke off and with time and pressure it healed grew a little - broke - healed - grew a little - broke...and so on...until this "well-healed" (pun intended) tourmaline was found bent and broken yet solid and a beautiful testament to time.

...and then of course you also have the various minerals that hit the region represented in the color banding! YEP! crystals are the perfect example of naturally occurring data visualization!

Tourmaline from Paprock, Afghanistan

or...this gorgeous Aquamarine...what catastrophic event do you think caused the dramatic loss of color at that particular point in the growth of the crystal?

Aquamarine from Alpine Mineral Company


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