Google+ The Daily Jewel: 9/18/11 - 9/25/11


Friday, September 23, 2011

Gem Jewel: Breaking News! Ethiopian Opal

This is the beautiful untreated hydrophane
opal that draws us to Ethiopian Opal
I just got an email from one of my mentors and a woman whose mark on the Gemological World is undeniable... from Antoinette Matlins:

"For all of you opal lovers, especially those who have been drawn to Ethiopian opal, here's some breaking news that may cause you to pause. 

As you may know, there is some lovely, natural Ethiopian opal. And recently, a beautiful "black" Ethiopian opal began entering the market, from Welo (or Wollo, however you want to spell it). It is all represented to be natural and untreated; furthermore, "natural color" has been "confirmed" by several laboratories. Questions recently arose over some especially beautiful pieces, however, for a variety of reasons. 

Cara and Bear Williams found themselves unexpectedly undertaking a significant study on this material. They have just posted their findings and it is an article that is MUST READING.

Their findings and conclusions appear to be unequivocal: In short, what they are saying is that of all the "black" material they have seen and tested to date, they can confirm that it has all been either treated or unstable. 

Here's the link:

For those of you who are hesitant to download .pdf files - the information can also be found on our Scribd page:

While smoking techniques are not new where opal is concerned, this is a new variation on the old smoking method! The old technique used on low quality Mexican opal, for example, to darken the material to create a more fiery play of color — wrap the opal tightly in brown paper, place in covered container, heat over medium heat until the paper is completely charred, cool and wash — affected only the surface. But in this material, cutting the material revealed that the darkening effect penetrated the entire stone. Cara and Bear discovered not only that they are smoked, but how they did it! It's compelling reading, and the findings appear to be indisputable. To read more about their research and findings, go to the links Robyn provided in his blog.

I hope that other major labs will review this study immediately and re-examine their own testing and methodology with regard to this material. I'm confident that they will concur with the findings of Cara and Bear. This material is now being sold all over the internet, and at trade shows, and everywhere else, as natural. Laboratory reports confirming the material to be "natural" must now also be questioned based on this new research...especially since they accompany some of the larger and most beautiful pieces. 

Way to go Cara and Bear! I know you invested a lot of time and effort into uncovering this deception and writing up your findings quickly so that the word can be circulated. The sooner the word gets out as to what this really is, the better. I love the product, and the treatment appears to be permanent, but as we all agree, it must be properly represented...and priced."

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Color Rules The Day As Sotheby's Posts 5th Sales Record!

Sotheby’s New York Jewelry department set its 5th consecutive record sale result today, when its auction of Important Jewels achieved $16,489,625 against an estimate of $12.9/17.8 million. This marks the highest total for a fall sale of Important Jewels at Sotheby’s New York, exceeding last September’s auction result that was also a record at the time.

“We are very pleased with the results of today’s sale, which brought another record auction total for Sotheby’s Jewelry,” commented Lisa Hubbard, Chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewelry department. “And we are particularly thrilled by the extraordinary price achieved by our cover lot, the Cartier ‘Tutti Frutti’ bracelet that achieved $842,500 – nearly triple its pre-sale high estimate. Thirteen bidders chased after the piece, which had not been attributed to Cartier for some time until Sotheby’s rediscovered the faint signature of the legendary jeweler.”

Gary Schuler, Head of Sotheby’s Jewelry department in New York, added, “Today’s auction saw an incredible 99% of sold lots meet or exceed their pre-sale estimates. Diamond prices in the sale reflected a solid market that appeared void of speculationand there were strong prices for colored stones as well, led by the purplish-pink sapphire brooch that brought $254,500 above a high estimate of $120,000.”

Top Item ReCap:

The results are pretty interesting - color was a huge trend as was anything that said David Webb!

View the results at:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

AGTA's NEW Palladium Prestige Awards

AGTA Reminder...get those entries in - DEADLINE Sept. 23rd!!!   Introducing the new Palladium Prestige Awards!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fred Leighton Jewels Shine at the 2011 Emmy Awards

There is no denying that Vintage is HOT!!!  Fred Leighton jewels adorned several stars...from Edwardian pieces with Old Mine Cut Diamonds, Art Deco looks in carved Jade and more Modern looks from the 50's and 70's.

Details of the Fred Leighton jewelry worn at the 2011 Emmy Awards by:

Evan Rachel Wood

Evan Rachel Wood                 
A diamond bow cuff by Fred Leighton, in silver on gold
19th Century diamond pendant earrings
A 19th Century emerald and blue enamel ring with diamonds, in silver on gold

Edie Falco                              
19th Century diamond pendant earrings, silver on gold
19th Century diamond starburst cluster bracelet, silver on gold

Dianna Agron

Dianna Agron                         
19th Century diamond and gold filigree pendant earrings
19th Century diamond bracelet, in silver on gold
19th Century diamond and blue enamel ring, in silver on gold

Kristen Wiig

Kristen Wiig                            
19th Century gold pendant earrings
1940’s gold link bracelet
19th Century diamond bangle, in silver on gold
1970’s diamond and gold bangle bracelet
1940's gold ring

Martha Plimpton

Martha Plimpton                     
19th century diamond  fringe earrings, in silver on gold
19th Century rose-cut diamond ring, in silver on gold

Mary Murphy                           
Edwardian diamond pendant necklace, in platinum
5.00 carat cushion-cut diamond pendant earrings
Edwardian old-mine diamond openwork bracelet, in platinum
1920’s diamond bracelet, in platinum
1920’s Old- European diamond ring, in platinum

Christine Baranski

Christine Baranski
1950’s diamond swirl earrings, in platinum
1930’s sapphire and diamond barrel link bracelet, in platinum
1930’s sapphire and diamond link bracelet, in platinum
1930’s diamond disc ring, in platinum

Taraji P. Henson


Taraji P. Henson                     
A 1960’s rock crystal and diamond dome ring, in platinum 
Art Deco diamond pendant earrings, in platinum 

Amanda Peet                          
19th Century diamond pendant earrings, in silver on gold
19th Century natural pearl and diamond bangle, in silver on gold
19th Century diamond row bracelet, in silver on gold

Gretchen Mol

Gretchen Mol                          
Art Deco carved jade, onyx, and diamond pendant earrings, in platinum
1920’s diamond link bracelet, in platinum
1920’s diamond link bracelet, in platinum
Art Deco carved jade, black enamel, and diamond bracelet in platinum
12.90 carat cushion-cut diamond ring, in platinum
A 1940's gold and alligator evening bag               

Platinum Lit Up The Emmy Red Carpet!

From Platinum Guild Int'l - the OFFICIAL word on Precious Platinum at the Emmy's:


From Gwyneth Paltrow’s stackable bracelets to Julie Bowen’s black diamond drop earrings, Hollywood’s leading television actresses chose to celebrate their achievements with enduring platinum jewelry at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards.

Platinum is naturally white, so it never changes color or fades, thereby maximizing the brilliance of diamonds and colored gemstones. It is the ideal setting for the red carpet, and all of life’s most important moments.

Following is a list of stars that celebrated tonight's achievements in PLATINUM:
  • Gwyneth Paltrow: Platinum earrings with black and white diamonds (7 carats), two platinum and diamond bracelets (100 carats total), and a platinum ring with diamonds and black onyx (5 carats) by Neil Lane.
  • Drew Barrymore: Platinum and diamond earrings by Van Cleef & Arpels.
  • Julie Bowen: Platinum earrings with black and white diamonds, platinum bracelet with diamonds and onyx, and several platinum rings with black and white diamonds by Neil Lane.
  • Minka Kelly: Platinum and diamond drop earrings, and platinum rings by Tiffany & Co.
  • Gretchen Mol: Platinum earrings with jade, onyx and diamonds, multiple vintage platinum bracelets with diamonds, jade and black enamel, and a platinum and diamond ring (12.90 carats) by Fred Leighton.
  • Nina Dobrev: Platinum and diamond stud earrings by Neil Lane.
  • Jayma Mays: Platinum and diamond bow brooch in her hair (10 carats), platinum and diamond cluster earrings (10 carats), and a platinum and diamond ring (5 carats) by Neil Lane.
  • Cat Deeley: Platinum and diamond earrings (14 carats), multiple platinum and diamond bracelets (37 carats total), and a platinum and yellow diamond ring (20 carats) by Bvlgari.
  • Cobie Smulders: Platinum and diamond earrings, platinum ring with diamonds and aquamarine, and a platinum bracelet with diamonds and aquamarine (50 carats) by Neil Lane.
Cobie Smulders in Neil Lane
  • Kaley Cuoco: Platinum and diamond stud earrings, and a platinum and diamond bracelet by Kwiat.
  • Amber Riley: Platinum and diamond earrings (6 carats), and a platinum and diamond ring (13 carats) by Chopard.
  • Mireille Enos: Multiple platinum and diamond bracelets (97 carats total), and a platinum and rose-cut diamond ring (14 carats) by Chopard.
  • Maria Bello: Platinum and diamond stud earrings, and a platinum and diamond ring by Martin Katz.
  • Taraji P. Henson: Art Deco platinum and diamond earrings, and a platinum dome ring with rock crystal and diamonds by Fred Leighton.
  • Ellie Kemper: Platinum and diamond stud earrings (8 carats) by Chopard.
  • Giuliana Rancic: Platinum and diamond earrings (22 carats), and multiple platinum and diamond bracelets (43 carats) by Chopard.

About Platinum Jewelry
Platinum is the ideal choice for red carpet jewelry because it holds diamonds and precious gemstones more securely than any other metal. It is not only the highest quality metal, but its density makes it one of the most durable and enduring precious metals. Platinum is also naturally white, unlike white gold, which means it will not cast any tint onto a diamond or gemstone, allowing the stone's genuine color to sparkle brightly.

To learn more about platinum jewelry and to view jewelry styles at a variety of price points, please visit

Celebrity Jewel: Emmy Designer Rundown

OK this is what I have been able to put together for you so far.

I want to say thank you to the huge group of reps and pr firms that take the time to keep us informed - we appreciate your hard work and ridiculous hours.

If you aren't on this list or the next one from the Platinum Guild - feel free to drop me a line - I would be happy to add you!

Erica Courtney for Zultanite Gems:

Leslie David Baker (“The Office”) wore a Dagger pin featuring 17 carats of Zultanite with 1.73 carats of diamonds and .58 carats of rubies – retail price $56,000.

Lorraine Schwartz:

Anna Torv wore carved Ruby and Diamond dangle earrings with over 80 carats of carved Rubies.

Elisabeth Moss in bronzed Champagne Diamond earrings and bronzed Platinum 20 carat Diamond ring.

Aubrey Plaza in Diamond cuffls and a pair of 20 carat Diamond drop earrings.

Kerry Washington in a pair of 11 carat studs and an over 10 carat unheated Ruby ring.

Connie Britton chose Lorraine Schwartz Signature Gold 80 carat Diamond bangles and her sister OFIRA’s Gold and Diamond strand earrings.

Emily Blunt in 10 carat diamond upside down stud earrings, a rosecut white Diamond bangle and a 20 carat blackened Sapphire and Diamond ring.

Heidi Klum is chic in a Fire Opal, Amethyst, yellow white and brown floral earrings and a matching floral and leaf rings.

Jane Lynch's Red Carpet look was Lorraine Schwartz multi gem stone and diamond earrings and a stack full of Ruby, Emerald, Purple Sapphire, Yellow Sapphire and Diamond bangles.

Jane Krakowski in 50 carat brown and white Diamond drop earrings and a Moon stone and Diamond ring.

Kelly MacDonald rocked  carved Emerald and Diamond earring, Diamond circle broach and a Cabachon Emerald and Diamond ring

Lea Michelle shines in custom made Lorraine Schwartz unheated Ruby and Diamond earrings and a Cabachon Ruby and Diamond ring.

Paz De La Heurta sizzles in  90 carat Signature Diamond Mesh earrings and a 30 carat diamond rose cut ring.

Sarah Hyland chose grey and white Diamond earrings and cuff.

Sofia Vergara looks stunning in 18k Gold, Diamond and Emerald Earrings. The earrings have over 100 carats of Emeralds, and more than 60 carats of diamonds. She wore a 6 carat Emerald and Diamond dangle ring and Lorraine’s sister, OFIRA’s 18K Yellow Gold and Diamond cuff.


TV host Shaun Robinson selected:
-Black and white diamond earrings with blue topaz (retail $8,275)
-Diamond ring with blue topaz (retail $3,049)

Angela Kinsey from "The Office" selected a pair of diamond and south sea pearl earrings Retail price: $9,015

Neil Lane Jewelry:

Gwyneth Paltrow – Gwyneth Paltrow in a Neil Lane Glamour look. She is wearing a diamond and platinum wide bracelet (50 carats) $300,000, black diamond link bracelet set with hundreds of black diamonds in darkened gold (50 carats) $175,000, diamond, black onyx and platinum cocktail ring (5 carats) $25,000, large emerald cut black diamond and platinum drop earrings (7 carats) $50,000. 

TOTAL LOOK= $550,000 (total carats= 112)

Julie Bowen – Julie Bowen dazzles in a Vintage Vibe Jeweled look with a contemporary sparkle of faceted black diamonds.  She is wearing pear shape, black and white large diamond and platinum earrings, $50,000, diamond, onyx and platinum bracelet $75,000, black and white diamond and platinum rings $40,000. 

TOTAL LOOK= $165,000

Nina Dobrev – Wearing 19th century Vintage Vibe choker in darkened gold with hundreds of diamonds (50 carats).  Very elegant and simple diamond and platinum stud earrings. 
TOTAL LOOK= $250,000

Jayma Mays –   A Diamond and platinum bow brooch in her hair with 10 carats of diamonds, simple floral diamond and platinum cluster earrings, 10 carats and a blush colored diamond and platinum ring, 5 carats $25,000. 

Colbie Smulders –  Diamond and platinum look with diamond and platinum icicle earrings, diamond, aquamarine and platinum cocktail ring, 50 carat aqua $25,000 and a diamond and platinum straight line bracelet, $35,000

Michelle Forbes – Grey and white diamond and platinum pear drop earrings, black diamond and platinum cuff bracelet and ring

Yael Designs:

Phyllis Smith (“The Office”) wore Diamond flower drop earrings (retail $15,128).

Live Tweeting The 2011 Emmy's #EmmyJewelry

Award Shows are so much more fun with friends and when the friends are fellow Jewelry Journalists, Jewelry Publicists, and Jewelry can get snarky - you learn new drinking games - and you enjoy  the evening so much more than you would alone!

Using the Twitter Hashtag #EmmyJewelry the evening rocked!

gemvara: Christina Hendricks in vintage-looking dress and palladium jewels. Stars are loving palladium cc @GiulianaRancic & @MissKellyO. #emmyjewelry

Luxenista: Stay tuned for stunning DRD jewels. Can't wait for the reveal! RT@DanaRebecca: We are gonna see some DRD #emmyjewelry tonight! Wahooooo!

JewelryInsider: Sorry, but I'm totally bored so far. Where is the #emmyjewelry?? If palladium is the biggest story, I'm going to bed! :-) #emmyjewelry 

GordonAatlo: RT @YaelDesigns: Looking out for Mireille Enos, nominated for The Killing#emmyjewelry

gemvara: Completely agree! RT @JewelryInsider zzzzzzzzz Charlie's Angels disappoint!#emmyjewelry

JulReDesigns: Uh oh....we've lost momentum. They're slipping back into that Oscar minimalist "I can't be bothered with jewelry" thing again. #emmyjewelry

MarieChabrol: Sorry friends of #emmyjewelry I must stop to tweet. Here in France it's the middle of night and I'm so tired :-(

JewelDevotee: Kathy Griffin in #Verdura #emmyjewelry That surprises us.

gemvara: Nice photo of Nina Dobrev's lacy Neil Lane diamond collar:

JulReDesigns: OMG....Gulp! RT @JewelryInsider Brooke Burke bringing a big necklace look. DRINK! @krischronister @Jewelrycom #emmyjewelry

YaelDesigns: Looking out for Mireille Enos, nominated for The Killing #emmyjewelry

Anna Torv in Lorraine Schwartz
JewelryInsider: Sofia Vergara and Anna Torv's gi-normous earrings were my favs of the night. I can't resist a show-stopper. #emmyjewelry

agemaday: Photos do not do Anna Torv's earrings justice #emmyjewelry #Emmys

JICjewelryinfo: What was your favorite #emmyjewelry look tonight?

LeightonJewels: Big 19th century hanging diamond earrings were popular with the lovely ladies who wore Fred Leighton. #emmyjewelry

LeightonJewels: Fred Leighton moment Martha Plimpton and Edie Falco on stage. Both looking gorgeous!!! #emmyjewelry

jewelryscout: RT @huffpoststyle: We totally love Laura Linney for going with the LBD.#Emmys #emmyjewelry

kremkow: Best tonight! RT @aflyonthewall: Here you go! RT@agemaday: Want closeup of Sophia Vergara's fabulous #emmyjewelry

jewelrybrief: Eddie Falco looks stunning! #emmyfashion #emmyjewelry

aflyonthewall: the @DanaRebecca earrings! RT @millabrito222: RT@Aimeeteegarden: sneak peek at my emmy dress !! #emmyjewelry

agemaday: Perfect pairing. Elisabeth Moss' earrings shine #emmyjewelry #Emmys

marionfasel: Kate Winslet is in Cartier. #emmyjewelry

marionfasel: Maria Menounos in Bulgari 37-carat diamond and sapphire earrings from Bulgari. #emmyjewelry

kremkow: I do appreciate that Julie Bowen has her hair up so we can see her earrings but that v-neck looks a littleunstable. #emmy #emmyjewelry

JewelDevotee: Red is all the rage this red carpet - think rubies, spinel, rubellite, red lacquer, etc. for your upcoming jewel choice #emmys #emmyjewelry

JewelDevotee: Jennifer Westfeldt and Kate Winslet in #cartier #emmyjewelry

LeightonJewels: Kristen Wiig looks fabulous in Zac Posen and Fred Leighton. She really works the Victorian earrings and stacked bracelets. #emmyjewelry

kremkow: Almost as much blue as red tonight. Sapphires and rubies, oh my! But Sofia's emeralds still rule! #emmyjewelry

Aimee Teegarden in Dana Rebecca Designs
MargoSiegelPR: RT @DanaRebecca: Some FNL love from Aimee Teegarden wearing Dana Rebecca Designs #emmyjewelry

LeightonJewels: #emmyjewelry Diana Agron, Kristen Wiig, Christine Baranski, Edie Falco, Martha Plimpton, Mary Murphy and Gretchen Mol in Fred Leighton

aflyonthewall: All the red dresses are going to be a photogs nightmare against the red/orange backdrop! #emmys #emmyjewelry

JewelryInsider: Such fun as always, jewelry tweeps! Thanks for joining in the fun!#emmyjewelry

JulReDesigns: As always, it's been fun #emmyjewelry peeps. Enjoy the show!

Jewelhistory: #eredcarpet #emmys #emmyjewelry simplicity ruled the red carpet. I saw mostly diamonds but there were a few sapphires & rubies 2. Gdnite xx

OK - off to watch the show!


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