Google+ The Daily Jewel: 2012


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Weekend Emerging Designer Spotlight on "little h" by Hisano Takei

The Spotlight is on:

 "little h" by Hisano Takei

"I am attracted to the idea of jewelry taking different roles other than simply ornamentation.  Ideas such as jewelry suggesting garment, jewelry taking over the body of the wearer, and jewelry breaking out of the traditional role of adornment are some ideas that enthrall me. The shift in scale and use of traditional and nontraditional material in jewelry making allowed me to challenge these ideas. My work is predominantly made out of organic gems such as pearls and wool. I explore forms and ideas of jewelry through texture, color, and overall composition. The softness and curves are inviting aspects of my forms; the sensuous properties of felted jewelry are uncommon and strike new challenges for the wearer and the viewer alike."

Early admirers include First Lady, Michelle Obama - seen wearing
the Colorful Torsade from the Colorful Pearls Collection.
When Taylor Swift was channeling her inner Jacki-O she stacked
bracelets from the Tiny Freshwater Collection - CLASSIC!

Baroque Pearl Silhouette Collection

The silhouettes mimic the unique outline of baroque saltwater pearls with diamond and colored stone accents. 

Curator's Note: This collection is brilliant - rather than trying to match up baroque pearls, Hisano, the designer, chooses to celebrate the very thing that makes each pearl unique...

Golden South Sea pearls in 14k yellow gold with yellow diamond accents
Tahitian pearls in Sterling Silver with tiny accents of ruby and green diamonds. the sensuous feel of her felted wool pieces.

The unexpected whimsy of using traditional jewelry making techniques
to create a woven bracelet in wool felt...for the Felt Jewelry Collection.

"I strive to create 
beautiful wearable pieces 
that provoke wonderment, attraction, and disturbance."

   little h by Hisano Takei

Saturday, December 29, 2012

2nd Annual "Future of Design" Business Incubator Contest for Jewelry Designers

ANNOUNCING: The Second Annual
Future of Design Business Incubator Contest for Jewelry Designers
Produced by
Jeweler’s Resource Bureau & StrategyWerx
Are you the worlds next sensation? A talented jewelry design'preneur
that is going to take our industry by storm?

This is the only competition evaluating both
your designs and business plan
 and offers you the opportunity to win a HUGE industry-wide prize package 


Described as a game changer, the Future of Design Business competition seeks to discover, promote and catapult the next great jewelry designer into the market.
Applications begin NOW and the winner will be selected during a “Shark Tank”-like live presentation at MJSA Expo New York in NYC on March 12, 2013. 

Submissions include our business plan-like application, marketing materials and visuals of your jewelry line. The application includes an in-depth questionnaire that teaches you about strategy and marketing planning along the way -- and gives you plenty of time to compose your answers.
The deadline is January 21st -- and you will need several days to complete your application, say last year's finalists.
Applicants will be judged on their business concept, market feasibility, saleability and aesthetic impact. The winner will be the "total package" destined for greatness.

This is an unprecedented competition with a vast level of industry participation, unique judging process and a dream prize package.

Do you have what it takes?
Read more and learn about the application process

Every entrant gets feedback and advice from the judges

     Six semi-finalists win:
  • a mentoring date (by phone if in-person isn't possible) with one of our Dream Team designers
  • a feature on

     Three finalists also win:
  • trip to NYC to participate in the finale

The winner also receives:
  •  sales training, consulting on strategy, financials and technology by StrategyWerx
  •  a booth in globalDESIGN showcase for execptional jewelers in Feb. in Philly
  •  a suite of marketing products from Jeweler's Resource and free membership to JRB's Inner Circle
  •  a booth in the Designer Showcase at the JA NY Show in July
  •  an ad campaign in INDESIGN magazine
  •  photography and ad campaign creation by RSP Media
  • Inclusion in a Jewelry Information Center media tour
  • JVC's Patriot Act Compliance Kit and legal compliance coaching
  •  mentorship by all the judges
  •  promotion and publicity throughout the process
  •  more prizes to be added as new sponsors are secured!
  • Application process opens NOW
  • Application deadline is midnight PST January 21st
  • You can work on your online application in a stop-and-start fashion till Dec. 1
  • Winner selected March 12, 2013
    • It's a business contest, not just a design contest
    • The application process walks you through critical business strategies
    • Every applicant gets a professional critique of/advice on his/her business plans
    • Winner gets hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of goods and services
    • Six semi-finalists get prizes and mentoring with a Dream Team member
    • Three finalists are flown to New York for final judging
    • Live finale, “Shark Tank”-style, at MJSA Expo New York in NYC on March 12, 2013
    • All are welcome to attend by registering for an MJSA EXPO show badge
    • Unique judging process:
    • Business plan submitted as well as designs 
    • In-depth business questionnaire akin to a marketing plan 
    • Judges interview six semi-finalists live via conference video 
    • Three finalists make live pitch in front of judges & audience in NYC 
    • Vast level of industry participation, probably unprecedented
    Many of these 2012 Mentoring Dream Team members will reprise their roll: 
    •  Gurhan
    •  Erica Courtney
    •  Todd Reed
    •  Lisa Jenks
    •  Robert Lee Morris
    •  Penny Preville

    •    Jeweler's Resource Bureau
    •    StrategyWerx
    •    Fusion Jewelry
    •    MJSA
    •    JA NY Show
    •    National Jeweler
    •    INDESIGN magazine
    •    RSP Media 
    •    Jewelry Information Center
    •   Jeweler's Vigilance Committee
                                         ...... and more coming!

    See website for eligibility and to sign-up for future information from
    The Future of Design

    Wednesday, December 26, 2012

    Diamond Encrusted "Pen of the Year"

    The manufacturer of a stylus called "Pen of the Year" has received the diamond mounting treatment, Diamond News reports. The Graf von Faber-Castell plunger-type fountain pen has been encrusted with polished diamonds, but only ten units will receive this treatment, the firm said. The exclusive pens will sell for $92,473.

    Detailed description of these masterpieces at:

    Monday, December 24, 2012

    Pretty Sparklers in Emerald - Pantone's Pick for 2013

    "Lively. Radiant. Lush…A color of elegance and beauty that enhances our sense of well-being, balance and harmony."

    'Emeralds for Elephants' 2011 was created to raise awareness and critical funds for the conservation of the Asian Elephant.

    Sunday, December 23, 2012



    Editor's Note:  DEF recently announced that Noella Coursaris Musunka, international model and founder of the Georges Malaika Foundation would also be among the honorees at the "Good Awards" - info here.

    Global luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co. and Leo Schachter Diamonds will be honored for global leadership in helping empower people in Africa, at the second annual GOOD Awards on January 10, 2013.

    The GOOD Awards, established by the Diamond Empowerment Fund in 2012, are the highest awards to recognize individuals and corporations in the diamond and jewelry industry for outstanding leadership in the areas of good corporate citizenship, sustainability, and promoting opportunity in Africa.

    Tiffany & Co., a pillar of the diamond industry, has been in the forefront of promoting business practices and programs that benefit communities in which diamonds are sourced. Tiffany’s work in Botswana and other diamond producing countries highlights one of the many ways the company demonstrates accountability through best business practices resulting in employment, infrastructure improvements, and ultimately the empowerment of people in that region.

    Leo Schachter Diamonds was one of the first diamond companies to establish a cutting factory in Botswana, employing hundreds of local Batswana. Additionally, Elliot Tannenbaum, principal of Leo Schachter Diamonds, in partnership with the government of Botswana, helped to establish the Botswana Top Achievers Program, a DEF beneficiary, that funds top students from the nation to study at the university of their choice worldwide.

    Additional honorees will be announced soon. For more information on tickets, journal ads and sponsorship packages please visit

     About the Diamond Empowerment Fund
    The Diamond Empowerment Fund is a New York based non-profit organization (EIN# 20-5967103) that raises money to fund education initiatives in African diamond-producing nations. Its beneficiaries include: CIDA City Campus, South Africa’s first non-profit university to offer a four-year business degree, the African Leadership Academy, a university preparatory school in Johannesburg, South Africa, founded on the belief that ethical leadership is the key to sustainable development on the continent and drawing students from all 54 countries in Africa, and the Botswana Top Achievers program that 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.

    Friday, December 21, 2012



    GemDialogue® takes pleasure in announcing a celebration of thirty years of continual service to the jewelry industry with its portable color memory system. Founded in 1982, GemDialogue® offers appraisers, dealers, jewelers and gemologists a repeatable and meaningful accurate color record for gemstones and colored diamonds. 

    Howard Rubin, GG, inventor and founder of GemDialogue®, spent ten years developing the color system before offering it to the trade. GemDialogue® was engineered for the gem trade to supply portable, uniform color reference points in an affordable product. It offers a practical way to communicate with others in the gem trade, when talking about gemstone colors. 

    The color communication system contains 21 basic transparent color charts showing ten different saturation levels for each color. A black to gray mask as well as a brown to light brown mask is also included. The charts and the color masks offer 60,000 color possibilities for matching. 

    GemDialogue® allows grading color gemstones from transparent, translucent to opaque materials. Challenging variants such as dichroic, poorly cut, or zoned material are easily color graded. Rare material such as Paraiba, Burma and Kashmir poses no difficulty in color grading using GemDialogue®. 

    Howard Rubin, who passed away early in 2012, leaves a legacy to the gemstone industry for the future. GemDialogue® is currently available and in addition to the Color Chart Manual it now contains the GemDialogue® Color ToolBox, Grading Manual, and an instructional CD. 

    For further information, contact Gail Brett Levine, GG, GemDialogue® Systems, Inc., P. O. Box 18, Rego Park, NY 11374, 718.897.7305 fax 718.997.9057,,

    Thursday, December 20, 2012



    The Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF) has granted $10,000 to the Flaviana Matata Foundation (FMF), which empowers young orphan girls through education, skills training, and micro-finance projects in Tanzania.

    Founded by international fashion model and former Miss Universe Tanzania, Flaviana Matata, the FMF ( seeks to create a future through education and improve livelihoods among the youth in Tanzania.  When you empower a girl, you empower an entire community, says Matata. Providing opportunity for these young girls will encourage others to stay in school and vastly improve their chances for employment and productive livelihoods.

    Matata recently received the Face of Africa award in recognition for her outstanding leadership and dedicated service to the African community, at the African Diaspora Awards on December 8th in NYC.

    Join the Diamond Empowerment Fund at its upcoming GOOD Awards on January 10th in New York, as it recognizes other leaders making a difference in Africa. Your participation will help DEFs mission to empower the next generation of leaders in Africa (

    About the Diamond Empowerment Fund
    The Diamond Empowerment Fund is a New York based non-profit organization (EIN# 20-5967103) that raises money to fund education initiatives in African diamond-producing nations. Its beneficiaries include: CIDA City Campus, South Africas first non-profit university to offer a four-year business degree, the African Leadership Academy, a university preparatory school in Johannesburg, South Africa, founded on the belief that ethical leadership is the key to sustainable development on the continent and drawing students from all 54 countries in Africa, the Flaviana Matata Foundation, based in Tanzania, and supporting young girls and women with grants to cover education, including vocational training,  micro-finance and entrepreneurial activities and the Botswana Top Achievers program that 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.

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

    Jadeite SMOKED Skinner's Recent Fine Jewelry Auction

    Skinner, Inc. announced strong results for its recent Fine Jewelry sale held on Tuesday, December 4, 2012. The highly successful sale grossed $3,693,963.00 including buyer's premium, surpassing the pre-auction estimate high.
    Jadeite, Art Deco & Colored Stones - The auction's top lot, a stunning double-strand jadeite bead necklace brought $348,000, more than four times its pre-sale estimate high of $80,000.
    Art Deco pieces realized excellent prices. Notably, a platinum and diamond long chain necklace brought $162,000, more than double its pre-sale estimate high. The auction's cover lot, an exquisite platinum and diamond pendant by Cartier brought $90,000.
    A vibrant platinum, Burma ruby and diamond ring set with an oval-cut ruby weighing 4.66 cts., exceeded its pre-sale estimate high of $60,000, selling for $150,000.
    Pearls & Diamonds - Pearls and diamonds performed well, reinforcing their timeless appeal. A natural pearl and diamond necklace by Cartier composed of eighty-eight graduated pearls brought $90,000, and a platinum and solitaire ring, set with a square-cut diamond weighing 4.08 cts., sold for $60,000.

    About Skinner - Skinner, Inc. is one of the world's leading auction houses for antiques and fine art. With expertise in over 20 specialty collecting areas, Skinner draws the interest of buyers from all over the world and its auctions regularly achieve world record prices. Skinner provides a broad range of auction and appraisal services, and it is widely regarded as one of the most trusted names in the auction business. Skinner's appraisal experts regularly appear on the PBS-TV series, Antiques Roadshow, and its specialty departments include American Furniture & Decorative Arts, American & European Works of Art, European Furniture & Decorative Arts, 20th Century Design, Fine Ceramics, Fine Silver, Fine Jewelry, Couture, Fine Musical Instruments, Asian Works of Art, Fine Wines, Rare Books & Manuscripts, Oriental Rugs & Carpets, American Indian & Ethnographic Art, Fine Judaica, Antique Motor Vehicles, Toys, Dolls & Collectibles, Discovery and Science, Technology & Clocks. Skinner galleries are located in Boston and Marlborough, Mass. 
    For more information on upcoming auctions and events, visit Skinner's web site: 
    Source:  PR Newswire

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

    Fashion Designer Kevan Hall’s 2013 Spring Collection Presented by AGTA

    Fashion Designer Kevan Hall’s 2013 
    Spring Collection Presented by AGTA

    Los Angeles-based designer Kevan Hall unveiled his Spring 2013 collection December 5th with an intimate runway production at his atelier, presented by the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA), harkening back to the salon presentations of the 1950’s.  Celebrities including Estelle, Teri Hatcher, who made it a mother-daughter date night with daughter Emerson Rose Tenney, Virginia Madsen, Mayim Bialik, Alfre Woodard, Twilight’s Christian Serratos and more were in attendance to take in the drama on the runway.  

    Front row (from left to right): Erica Courtney, Alfre Woodard (True Blood), Annika Marks (The Sessions), Virginia Madsen (The Magic of Belle Isle), Teri Hatcher (Desperate Housewives), Emerson Rose Tenney, Mayim Bialik (Big Bang Theory).

    Known for his modern take on glamour, Hall’s Spring 2013 collection derives inspiration from the strong colors of Fauve landscapes.  Ribbons and bows co-exist with structured silhouettes, accented with patent leather, creating an exuberant collection aimed at awakening the senses and returning to a feminine moment in fashion.  The runway presentation consisted of ready-to-wear as well as red carpet-worthy eveningwear and culminated in a passage of bridal gowns from Kevan Hall’s new White Label collection. The designer, who once helmed iconic fashion house Halston, has enjoyed success as a perennial Red Carpet favorite, dressing many of Hollywood’s leading ladies including Katherine Heigl, Vanessa Williams, Jordin Sparks, Debra Messing, First Lady Michelle Obama plus countless others.

    The show was presented by The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) Collection™ featuring fine jewelry by Erica Courtney, Baggins, Mark Schneider Designs, Somewhere in the Rainbow Collection and Yael Designs. “With Kevan’s obvious love of color in his designs, we thought this was a great opportunity to promote colored gemstones and pearls,” stated Douglas K. Hucker, AGTA’s CEO.  “We were able to bring together a wide variety of jewelry to accessorize Kevan’s looks from a group of AGTA Member designers, all of whom have won multiple AGTA Spectrum Awards™.”

    The AGTA Collection (from left to right): Adam Graham (AGTA), Amandla Stenberg (Hunger Games), Erica Courtney (Erica Courtney, Inc.), Jacqueline Emerson (Hunger Games), Yehouda Saketkhou (Yael Designs), Anil Maloo (Baggins Pearls), and Mark Schneider (Mark Schneider Designs).

    It was an evening of fun and fabulous fashion - but we were thinking that we would like to see the Jewelry Designers take the spotlight.  We didn't forget Erica Courtney check out the feature on Erica at the event - you can find that here.

    Here are a few of the Red Carpet Jewelry looks from the evening...

    Somewhere in the Rainbow Collection  -   Scottsdale, AZ                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Matched pair of cushion cut smoky topaz equaling a total of 30ct. Surrounded with 384 bead set white diamonds equaling 1.95ct. 6 round brilliant cut head set diamonds equal a total of.36ct. White gold is finished in black rhodium.
    Anil Maloo Baggins, Inc.  -   Los Angeles, CA                                                                                                                                                                                                                 14K white gold earrings featuring 8.5mm Akoya Pearls, 9mm white South Sea Pearls, 10-11mm Tahitian Pearls and accented with Diamonds (2.42 ctw.).  These were this year’s Best Use of Pearl winners in the Spectrum Competition

    Yehouda Saketkhou - Yael Designs - San Francisco, CA Pacifica tanzanite (10.15 ctw) and diamond (5.29 ctw.) earrings
    Mark Schneider  -  Mark Schneider Design  -  Long Beach , CA                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Platinum earrings featuring 8 freshwater Pearls accented with Diamonds (.30 ctw.). 
    Platinum Entry Innovation in Business/Day Wear at the Spectrum Awards this year.
    Thanks for paying attention to the jewels for a moment and now, the 2013 Spring Collection from Atelier Kevan Hall...

    Kevan Hall Spring 2013 AGTA

    The AGTA Collection™ participates in many events throughout the year.  Upcoming 2013 events include the Golden Globes, the Academy Awards®, the AGS Conclave, the JIC Annual Jewelry Preview and the Primetime Emmys.  All AGTA Members are eligible to participate.  If you would like more information on participating in the AGTA Collection, please contact Adam Graham ( or Danielle Pelletiere ( at the AGTA office – 214-742-4367.

    The Ten Most Outrageous Jewelry Pieces of 2012

    Welcome Sharon Sussman, Dir. of Products at Brilliance...

    Who says jewelry design can’t look fab without a touch of eccentricity?

    Jewelry expresses our innermost feelings and intentions. A precious gem can symbolize undying love, perhaps, or mark an important milestone. It can also reveal the wearer’s own personality and eccentricity. It’s no surprise, then, that more and more people are getting their inner freaks on via some outrageous pieces of bling.

    This year, we’ve seen even non-jewelry objects get encrusted with diamonds, plated with gold, and generally made to look glamorous even if their original purposes were fairly mundane.

    As you may have guessed, when it comes to outrageous pieces of jewelry, the rule seems to be the bigger the better, and preferably with references copped from popular culture, geography, and historical events. Many such pieces are unique and memorable enough to command top dollar in major auction houses.

    Below are my top ten jewelry pieces from 2012 that stretch the boundaries of creativity and glamour.

    10. The Izmir Necklace

    Encrusted with round baguette-cut and pear-shaped diamonds, mandarin garnet beads, opal beads, amethysts, rubellites, citrines, pink and purple spinels, topaz and one 50.79-carat cushion yellow sapphire set in pink gold, the necklace is a study in luxurious excess. The piece, which took hundreds of hours to compete, pays homage to the Oriental Ball and the Arabian Nights. All that adds up to one awe-inspiring piece.

    9. The Dentelle Opale d’Orient Bracelet

     Jewelry designer Victoire de Castellane went all out with the precious stone color palette to come up this brilliant piece for the Dear Dior line. It is primarily inspired by travels to the exotic and mystic Orient. It features a rich opalescent center radiating with meticulously set clusters of diamonds, rubies, tanzanites, garnets, spinelles, and spessartites set in platinum and yellow gold.

    The Dentelle Opale d'Orient Bracelet is a far cry from the designer's previous work for the My Dior collection, which featured a predominantly minimalist style.

    8. The Wave Necklace

    Imagine a vortex of glamour resting on your chest. Designer Harry Winston worked with a gorgeous cascade of diamonds, so that anyone wearing the Wave necklace seems to be dripping with liquid brilliance.  Featuring a jaw-dropping 60.4-carat pear shaped stone pendant, it is widely considered to be one of the more memorable pieces featured in the  Biennale des Antiquaires 2012.

    7. A Drop Into the Ocean Necklace

    Further inspiration from nature can be gleaned in this Wallace Chan-designed necklace.  The poetic name for this beautiful piece of jewelry does justice to the superbly crafted 379.21-carat aquamarine pendant, plus diamonds and sapphires done in streaming rivulets. The designer takes inspiration from Eastern philosophies and aesthetics, and is the only Asian to be featured in the 2012 Biennale des Antiquaires.

    6.  The Boucheron Mosaique Delilah Necklace

    This is a mosaic neck piece made up of an astounding 26.89-carat pink pear-shaped morganite, 112.88-carat 921 pink sapphires, 50-carat 409 princess-cut diamonds, 16.26 carats of 132 orange sapphires, and 15-carats of 118 yellow sapphires. Outrageous in its overall value and weight but decidedly sedate in design, the Boucheron Mosaique Delilah necklace is a study in carefully-executed, tasteful jewelry craftsmanship.

    5.   The Cartier Platinum Panther Ring

    Jewelry with a bite seems to be the Cartier premise with this fine, feline finger adornment. The almost whimsical design is set with 24.46-carat cushion cut sapphires from Sri Lanka for the panther’s “spots”. Its fur is made of encrusted diamonds; it also features the occasional onyx spots, emeralds for eyes, and an onyx nose. Definitely a roaring ring for the adventurous set!

    4. The Piaget Hand-Knitted Cuff Watch with Diamonds

    Piaget puts forward the kind of craftsmanship and design it has become famous and much sought-after for with this stunning piece. The painstakingly hand-twisted and knitted watch cuff features an 18k white-gold mesh, taking inspiration from, and paying homage to a similar design done in the 1970s. Set with 69 brilliant-cut diamonds and over 300 more diamonds on its face, the watch case itself is something to behold.

    3. The Van Cleef & Arpels Aquarius Clip with Sapphires

    The Van Cleef & Arpels trademark for seamless jewelry craftsmanship is highly evident in this piece from the company’s Zodiac line. Quirky yet professionally done, the Aquarius symbolism of the bearer of water is unmistakable, and will definitely add glamor to anyone born under this sign. Featuring clusters of diamonds, five star sapphires with a total weight of 18.28 carats, and smaller sapphires done in the Van Cleef & Arpels “Mystery Set” method, this clip is surely a better alternative to the usual birth stone jewelry.  

    2. The Gangnam Celebrity Diamond Pendant

    The irony of what could arguably be the most popular non-English language song of 2012, which criticizes excessive consumerist culture, might be lost on whoever commissioned this Gangnam-style diamond pendant from the Brilliance jewelry company. 6 ¼ carats of diamonds embellish this wacky piece featuring the now-famous horse-riding stance. It is a great conversation-starter piece, and a fitting, though pseudo-satirical, statement done in precious stones and set in 18k white and yellow gold.   

    1. The Gollum Creature Ring

    As far as geek jewelry goes, Lord of the Rings pieces are some of the most desirable. While most people would expect The One Ring to be the most noteworthy, that honor this year belongs to Badali Jewelry’s Gollum-inspired ring. The ring is available in both sterling silver and 14k gold. Gollum’s spindly arms and legs curve form the ring’s band.

    Definitely an unusual, yet precious, piece.


    Guest author Sharon Sussman is currently the Director of Products at Brilliance, a jewelry company which specializes in certified loose diamonds, engagement rings and custom-made jewelry. A graduate of Touro College, she is also a gemologist and jeweler whose articles and advice columns have been published on notable fashion and finance blogs and sites. She can also be found on Google + and reached at


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