Google+ The Daily Jewel: 7/15/12 - 7/22/12


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Michael M. Sapphire Collection - Handcrafted in Los Angeles

Jewelry Designer Michael M. 
Colorful Sapphire Collection

Handcrafted Designs 
Made in Los Angeles

Jewelry designer Michael M. is excited to announce the official launch of their Sapphire Collection, currently available at independent retailers nationwide. The Sapphire Collection was inspired by Michael M's passion for mixing premium quality colored gemstones with diamonds, along with the brand's desire to keep the price point more accessible. Retail pricing for the designs start at $300.

The collection consists of over 45 "rough" sapphire styles including dangling earrings, pendants, multi-lined bracelets, and cocktail rings. Each design is set in silver or 18k yellow gold, and showcases the beauty and multi-colorations of natural sapphires. The silver is rhodium plated, creating a vintage-inspired and timeless feel within a modern design. The yellow gold setting highlights the sparkle from each sapphire.

Each design is handcrafted in Michael M's downtown Los Angeles workshop.
"These pieces make a bold and bright statement yet they still appear delicate," says Michael M. CEO and designer Peter Meksian. "They are ideal for daytime and eveningwear."

About Michael M.
Founded in 2008 by father and son Michael and Peter Meksian, Michael M. prides itself on designing fashion and bridal jewelry collections with an edgy yet sophisticated twist. All pieces are one-of-a-kind, and hand-crafted by skilled artisans in the their downtown Los Angeles workshop, using the finest quality precious metals and sparkling gemstones. Michael M. designs appeal to trendsetting women who want longevity from their fine jewelry purchases. Michael M. jewelry is available at approximately 100 independent jewelry boutiques and chains around the country. For retailer information, visit

Friday, July 20, 2012

Contest - Appraiser's Dream Trip!

Here is something fun via Jewelry Insurance Issues

Appraiser's Dream Contest

The Appraiser's Dream contest is open to all full-time gem and jewelry appraisers in the U.S. and Canada. First prize is an expense-paid trip to London to see the Crown Jewels and visit with colleagues at the world-renowned GEM-A, the Gemmological Association of Great Britain. The trip continues to the 3-day conference of the Scottish Gemmological Association, where the winner can immerse him/herself in workshops and conversations with colleagues and gem experts from around the world.
There are additional prizes to deepen the appraiser's knowledge and energize his/her business. This is a great opportunity for appraisers. See here for more details.

Thursday, July 19, 2012



JCK Toronto, Canada's leading jewellery event, is set to launch its 2012 show with a revitalized program featuring star talent from both the jewellery industry and the Canadian sports arena. The Show will take place August 12th-14th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario.

JCK Toronto, the organization's Canadian arm, is a premiere buying event that boasts numerous networking events and educational sessions. With over 150 exhibiting designers and manufacturers, the show serves the Ontario region of Canada, bringing the majority of retailers from the Toronto area. JCK Events runs the show in affiliation/partnership with the Canadian Jewellers Association.

Aside from buying, an important focus of the Toronto show is the educational and networking program. This year's show offers a full roster of daily educational seminars that inform buyers, designers, manufacturers, owners and marketers alike on the various factors that play a role in the jewellery industry today. These include a panel discussion on the power of social media, sessions on gemstone and diamond mining issues, as well as, best practices in jewellery retail. 

New this year, the timely 'Working with Palladium' Bench Seminar, sponsored by Palladium Alliance International, will feature a hands-on workshop and tutorials by industry authorities Chris Ploof and Linus Drogs.
"With the success of the palladium campaigns of 2011 and 2012, consumers are seeking out palladium in record numbers," says Kate Peterson from Performance Concepts, Inc on behalf of Palladium Alliance International. "JCK is doing something really helpful in providing education and training in this area and bringing on the enormously talented Chris Ploof and Linus Drogs to instruct."
Networking events are plentiful in Toronto, including a star-studded welcome event that will also honor the recipient of the CJA Chairman's Award. The event will include a fashion show sponsored by ELLE Time and Jewelry, featuring jewellery from their latest collections. 

In addition, an 'Athlete Meet & Greet' will take place, allowing attendees the opportunity to meet and get signed autographs from several important figures in Canadian sports:  Adrion "Pee Wee" Herman and Damion Allen of the Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts and Tim Connolly of the National Hockey League's Toronto Maple Leafs.

Allen led the Toronto Argonauts to the Grey Cup in 2004.
He was named the game's most valuable player.
(Tom Hanson/Canadian Press)

"The Toronto show is a great opportunity to introduce designers and manufacturers to the important players in Canada, and because it's an intimate show, the networking opportunities are unrivaled. The Show also has a great line-up of important educational seminars, given by industry leaders, as well as the star power of key athletes in Canadian sports lending their support to the industry, so it's bound to be productive and fun environment," says John Tierney from JCK Events. 


JCK is a trusted partner connecting jewelry retailers and manufacturers/suppliers with trends, news, products, education and partners to build business. Whether attending face-to-face events, building inventory with online and onsite sourcing or obtaining authoritative news and insights from JCK, the leading industry magazine in print & online, JCK offers a suite of tools, events and information to deliver sound solutions, innovative opportunities and essential information. Mark your calendars as JCK Events presents its portfolio of upcoming buying opportunities:

- LUXURY Privé New York: July 30 - August 1 - New York, The Pierre Hotel - Fifth Avenue
- JCK Toronto: August 12-14 - Toronto, Canada, Metro Toronto Convention Centre- South Hall
- LUXURY Privé Panama: October 22-24 - Panama City, Panama, Westin Playa Bonita

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

#WordlessWednesday - Spotlight On Gordon Aatlo Designs Part Two - the Next Generation

In the spirit of #WordlessWednesday - these Vendor Spotlights will include only the basics - Caption and Contact Information...Enjoy!

Today our Spotlight is on Gordon Aatlo Designs - from Classic Designs (part one) to the Next Generation Designs (part two)! 

Gordon Aatlo Designs are available at:

Gordon Aatlo Designs
1217 San Carlos Avenue
San Carlos, California, USA 94070

Telephone:   650-593-7528  or  650-593-1135


Gordon Aatlo Designs - the Next Generation: is now a joint venture -  Kelly Allen was trained by Gordon and he adds his spin on the style of Gordon Aatlo - Gordon's son Thor who Gordon once described as "the best jeweler of us all" -  Jean Noel Soni, Gem Cutter Extraordinaire and as always the driving force and the soul of Gordon Aatlo's future...Christine Thoresen, Gordon's "Girl Friday", who has been by his side for years!
Kelly Allen working on one of our latest from Gordon Aatlo Designs
Pink Sapphires in the greatest color and matched in size.
We framed the sapphires in 14k gold and had the diamonds cut,
creating a frame around these beauties.

Handcrafted by the master jewelers at Gordon Aatlo Designs, this 38 carat gem is framed in gold.
The Platinum shoulders are matte finished. A great design for any gem in any size
Reticulated 18k Amethyst & Diamond PendantAmethyst is 2.05 carats with a bezel set Diamond .25 carats.
Recently completed, this one of a kind carving by master gemstone artist Steve Walters
 made the design easy. 
We framed the carving in 18k gold and added a Tsavorite Garnet at the top.
More one of a kind carvings from Steve are on the way to the studio in the next week.
Affordably priced, this is a good way to start a one of kind collection from a gemstone master. 
Fresh from the bench at Gordon Aatlo Designs!
Designed around the Custom cut Madera Citrine from Sherris Shanks, Gemscapes
with our client, incorporating her diamonds into a great new pendant!
Gordon Aatlo Designs was the first designer to use this new material coming from Nigeria.
It is flawless, colorless and a great alternative to diamond.
Stone by Jean Noel Soni, Top Notch Faceting and Gem Guru at Gordon Aatlo Designs
Our Nigerian Phenakite ring was featured in the latest Renee Newman book, "Rare Gemstones"

The future looks bright at Gordon Aatlo Designs!

#WordlessWednesday - Spotlight On Gordon Aatlo Designs Part One - the Classics

In the spirit of #WordlessWednesday - these Vendor Spotlights will include only the basics - Caption and Contact Information...Enjoy!

Today our Spotlight is on Gordon Aatlo Designs - from Classic Designs (part one) to the Next Generation Designs (part two)

Gordon Aatlo Designs are available at:

Gordon Aatlo Designs
1217 San Carlos Avenue
San Carlos, California, USA 94070

Telephone:   650-593-7528  or  650-593-1135

Rare, Brazilian Paraiba Tourmaline Cabochon and pave set Diamonds.
This design can be custom made in 14k or 18k, but there's only one with a Paraiba! 

Gordon worked with Arthur Lee Anderson's gem designs for quite awhile.
This modified cell cut Tourmaline is really unusual and has fantastic color.
We set diamonds that graduate in size in channels and added one at the top.

Imperial Topaz with fantastic color saturation faceted by Master Gem Cutter, Constantin Wild

Classic Gordon Aatlo featuring gems cut in Glenn Lehrer's trademark Torus Ring

Big Gems are made for Men! 
Classic and Modern, Stylish and Masculine, this design is perfect for oval, round or cushion shapped gemstones.
Featured: Aquamarine in yellow gold

This bracelet was created 5 years ago with an Arthur Lee Anderson Amethyst as the inspiration for the design. 
A special surprise as we go through our gem safe, with treasures hidden away in white envelopes,
just waiting to be discovered!  
As we opened the large envelope, we found a second Amethyst!
Arthur named this design SCC - Super Cool Cut!

Modern Classic Collections: available in 18k or 14k, white or yellow gold. Center gemstones of your choice. Shown in Tourmaline, Blue Topaz and Amethyst with diamond accents.

Domes of 18k gold in graduated sizes and can be custom made.  As shown: three diamonds adorn the three center domes. 

She is your Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow - tell her with this Gordon Aatlo  version of the classic 3-stone ring!

Appraisers Continuing Education: ACE™ It Conferences by NAJA

Appraisers Continuing Education: ACE™ It Conferences by NAJA

The National Association of Jewelry Appraisers announces its 38th Annual Mid-Year Conference to be held in Bellevue, WA, August 11 – 14, 2012 at the Red Lion Hotel Bellevue.

The appraisal organization dedicated exclusively to gems and jewelry presents an outstanding program to assist the professional appraiser’s continuing education and an unparalleled networking experience.

As with all previous conferences, THIS conference has what appraisers need, what they desire, propriety diamonds, gemstone treatments, and an antique jewelry challenge. The last day of conference is even more desirable – appraisals issues – What Would YOU do? The four day conference is what every professional gemologist/appraiser needs!

The daily programs are:

Saturday – August 11, 2012 - Gemstone Science – Non-Fiction!

Analytical Microscopist – John Koivula, GG

Corporate Social Responsibility: Who is Accountable and Who is
Responsible AND … Who Should set the Industry Standards? The Lead
Glass and Corundum Fracture Filling or Manufactured Stone or Enhanced
Stones - Cortney Balzan, GG

Cultured Pearl Confusion: Which Sea Do You See? – Betty Sue King

Sunday, August 12, 2012  - Day of Diamonds! 

Sirius Star™ – The World’s Brightest Diamond – Michiel J. Botha, RS

Valuing the Color of Fancy Colored Diamonds – Vince Rundhaug, GG

Fire Polish: Play with Fire! – Glenn Markman, GG

How to Make a Defendable Set of Comparables – Joseph Tenhagen, GG

Monday, August 13, 2012 - General Jewelry

Knitted, Knotted, Twisted & Twined: The Jewelry of Mary Lee Hu - Mary Lee Hu

The Appraiser Challenge – Louis Scholz, PG

Building a Life, Building a Business: Surviving with Style and Enthusiasm – Karen Lorene

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 – Appraisals – What Matters

Are You Delivering Accurate Appraisals? Jan Thiel, Jewelers Mutual

Situations! What Would YOU Do? (Panel) – David Atlas, GG

The Appraisal Hall of Shame (Panel) – Martin Fuller, GG

For further information and conference reservations, contact Gail Brett Levine, GG, Executive Director, National Association of Jewelry Appraisers, 718.896-1536, f. 718-997-9057,,

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Remembering Gordon Aatlo - A Giant Among Jewelers

I apologize that this has taken so long to publish - Gordon and his family are dear to me and this has been in the works for a while...starting and stopping each time the memory overwhelmed me...I encourage you to leave your last or favorite memories of Gordon in the comments.   
Memories friends left in the Guestbook on his Obituary have been added...

On  January 18, 2012,  at the beginning of what everyone hoped would be a great New Year, Alma Aatlo passed away following a prolonged illness.

While you may not know that name, I am sure you would recognize the name of Alma's esteemed husband...Gordon Aatlo.  Alma's death set into play a number of circumstances that led, in the end, to the death of one of our Industry's most talented and prolific Designer/Makers.

If you knew Gordon, you know that he was a giant in more than mere stature - he had a giant heart and his talent was gargantuan...

"Gordon did things in a big way.  He took chances, he was a gambler, he had a confidence and an innate trait that everything was always going to be fine, a real optimist.  That's what made this all so hard, he was finally going to have his time and he was looking forward to it."  Christine Thoresen, Gordon Aatlo Jewelers
"Gordon was an incredible presence as an Artist and I loved his stories of San Francisco…nobody knew the history of that place like Gordeon…you will be missed by so many…rest in peace…. your art will live on..painting by Byron Aatlo"   Liane Langford
Today the emphasis is on "Made In America" and hand crafted, hand fabricated...Gordon has embodied these terms for over six decades.  If you lined up his designs with other jewelers of his era, even the untrained eye could identify an Aatlo piece. 

His work was distinguished by bold, clean, almost architectural pieces designed in high carat gold and platinum around a variety of Custom Cut Gemstones.  Gordon was one of the first to use unique colored stones, not only from the legendary Munsteiner Family (above) but also from the independent U.S. Faceters  cutting, each gem by hand on their back porches and basements (photo below) .  

Gordon was proud of his long association with the gems of Arthur Anderson
These relationships were important to him to the end...and his involvement with the Green Gem Foundation was testament to his kinship with custom Maker/Doers.  As a result of his relationship with Green Gem, he was, in fact the first Jeweler to work with the new Nigerian Phenakite to any great extent, producing a fabulous engagement ring with a Phenakite focal, and a stunning ring (below) with a Chrome Tourmaline cut for Green Gem by David Dawson.

Something you may not know about Gordon and one of the really exciting events that he was privileged to be involved in a couple months prior to his passing was his role in marrying Jean-Noel and Eva Soni.  Gordon performed the wedding rites as well as creating a fitting ceremony based around the subject of the eternal symbol - the ring!

Gordon & Alma will be sorely missed by us. Gordon married Rosemary and I with Alma as the Matron of honor Gordon and I have been friends for nearly 50 years. The loss of them both is devastating. Our best wishes for the family.             Troy & Rosemary
My last memory of Gordon was at the AGTA Gemfair at the 2012 Tucson Gem Show - we talked about Alma and discussed how tired he was and I could tell then that this tired was not just lack of sleep - this tired came from his soul.   I don't know how I am going to do Tucson this year with no Gordon Aatlo booth to stop was at my first Tucson Gem Show in 2007 that I first met Gordon and Christine. 

Now Gordon is re-united with his bride of 35 years. RIP Gordon & Alma Aatlo.

Gordon was our friend and we love him and are looking forward to seeing him when it is our time to go to God.      ~  Ben & Margareta

The Future:  Today, through the training of Gordon Aatlo, the tradition continues with Kelly Allen!  From the European craftsmanship - the eye for detail, proportion and quality materials from some of the best gem artists in the world - the tradition of Gordon Aatlo Designs continues...visit the shop in San Rafael, CA - view their latest on Facebook or on Farlang.

So if you see the Gordon Aatlo booth at a future AGTA Gemfair at the Tucson Gem Show stop in and say Hi!  ....and don't be surprised if you see Gordon standing behind the counter in one of his trademark jewel tone shirts...we know he is standing beside us as we continue his heritage.

"The first time I saw Gordon Aatlo's jewelry designs many years ago at the Tucson Gem and Mineral show, I was struck by the creative imagination of his pieces.The simplicity and elegance of his designs shows the complexity of thought and originality that goes into each of his creations. I knew immediately that his jewelry designs were a perfect match for my carved gemstones. This was the beginning of fifteen years of our collaborating together. "
...more from Master Gem Cutter, Glenn Lehrer (of Torus Ring fame). Glenn has posted a beautiful Photo Journal Tribute to Gordon on his Facebook do not have to have a Facebook account to view the photo album

About Gordon Aatlo:  Born in Minnesota, he moved to San Francisco at a young age. With his uncle as jeweler to the King of Norway and his father an accomplished bench jeweler, it was only natural that Gordon would follow in their footsteps. 

As a ten year old, I would go to my dad’s shop after school to work and play, making simple sterling silver jewelry including sand cast signet rings for some of my school friends. I did this off and on for less than a year. As a kid I found the outdoors much more exciting. That ended my jewelry making until I needed a gift! 
Gordon is known world wide for his creativity, ingenuity and for the inventiveness of his designs. His designs are recognizable throughout the industry, although no two are ever the same.

He is one of the few recognizable designers to produces his own work, from concept to the finished piece, all accomplished in his studio in San Carlos, California.

Obituary from Legacy where you may leave a note for the family: 

"Gordon was a renowned jewelry artist and designer with a career spanning more than seven decades in the San Francisco Bay Area, most recently as president of Gordon Aatlo Designs in San Carlos.

Gordon began his career at 830 Market Street, San Francisco's jewelry epicenter, where he apprenticed with his father, Hilmar. There he learned all aspects of the jewelry trades. As his skills developed, he began his design career. Known for his superb technical skills, inventiveness, artistry and love of colored gemstones, Gordon was twice the recepient of the American Gem Trade Association Spectrum Award, the highest accolade a designer can achieve in the United States.

A kind and generous man, Gordon possessed skills outside of his work and always offered encouragement to others to pursue their passions, interests and dreams. Together with his late wife Alma, they owned Norma Jewelers in San Carlos for over 28 years, where they met many friends who became part of their family.

Gordon is preceded in death by his beloved wife Alma, parents Hilmar and Lilly Aatlo and brother Bruce Aatlo. He is survived by his sons, Thore and Byron Aatlo, Kelly Allen and Kim Eric Lilot; daughters Grace Montijo. Christine (Robert) Thoresen and Sarah Lilot; sister Lillian Miller of Lucerne; grandchildren Gwendolyn, Holden and Nash Aatlo, Claire, Rieve and Erin-Marie MacEwen, Daniel and Gina Allen and the late Elyse MacEwen. Gordon is also survived by many nieces and nephews and his sisters-in-law Marie Volano and Christine Ward.

Gordon leaves a legacy of beautiful designs in jewelry as well as a loving family that will carry on their father's work."

GIA Jewelry Career Fair - In The Business of Bling

The Business of Bling: Hundreds of Gem & Jewelry Jobs
38+ companies hiring at GIA Jewelry Career Fair at the Javits Center, July 30

CARLSBAD, Calif. – There is a bright outlook for job seekers with the return of GIA’s (Gemological Institute of America) Jewelry Career Fair at the Javits Center in New York on July 30. Recruiters from more than 38 world-renowned gem and jewelry companies including Harry Winston, Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry, LVMH Watch & Jewelry, Montblanc, Saks Fifth Avenue, Tiffany & Co. and Zale Corporation will be looking to hire hundreds of professionals at every career stage. Opportunities will range from retail sales and jewelry design to diamond grading and production.

The Jewelers for Veterans Foundation, created in 2012 to help find jobs for returning servicemen and women in the jewelry industry, will also be on-hand to meet with and to assist U.S. military veterans in their job search.

“GIA’s Jewelry Career Fair is returning to the East Coast for the first time since 2008, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the caliber of participating companies and speakers,” said Kathryn Kimmel, GIA vice president and chief marketing officer, and founder of the GIA Jewelry Career Fair. “We encourage anyone with an interest in the fascinating world of gems and jewelry – whether new to the industry or experienced professionals – to come out and meet with some of the most prominent global companies in our field.” 

GIA’s New York Jewelry Career Fair will take place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on July 30 at the Javits Center. Recruiting will occur from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. This leading industry event is free and open to the public, and is sponsored by JA New York. Anyone interested in attending is urged to RSVP prior to the event.

In addition to meeting with recruiters and receiving one-on-one career coaching, attendees will hear from some of the industry’s most prominent figures during the panel discussion “Job Success in Today’s Market.” David Yurman, founder of David Yurman Inc.; Ann Arnold, CEO of Lieberfarb; Lex Graham, a recent GIA graduate and retail jeweler at Betteridge; and Rahul Kadakia, jewelry department head of Christie’s New York, will discuss the jewelry business today and offer their advice for both aspiring and seasoned professionals. Later in the event Paola DeLuca, creative director of Trend Vision Jewellery + Forecasting, will present her findings on the socio-cultural phenomena of jewelry.

For a full list of companies hiring, visit GIA’s Career Fair website.

GIA’s Jewelry Career Fair began in 1991 and has taken place at the Carlsbad world headquarters, Bangalore, Las Vegas, Mumbai and New York.

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

Sunday, July 15, 2012

MJSA Online Honored For Website Content

MJSA Online Honored For Website Content 

ATTLEBORO FALLS, MA--MJSA, the association dedicated to professional excellence in jewelry making and design, has received a 2012 APEX Award for the content and writing of its website, MJSA Online ( The annual competition recognizes outstanding achievement in graphic design, editorial content, and overall communications effectiveness and excellence.

More than 3,300 entries were evaluated overall for the prizes, with the website category attracting 215 entries. The competition is sponsored by Communications Concepts, the publisher of Writing That Works: The Business Communications Report.

In addition to information about the activities of the association and its members, MJSA Online offers a wide range of technical, business, and legislative expertise. Among the site's offerings: 
  • MJSA Journal Online and MJSA Custom Jeweler Online. Visitors can find exclusive online articles related to jewelry making, design, marketing, and business management. Articles are posted regularly and often relate to or enhance the articles from the association's two peer-reviewed publications of the same names. Past articles can be found in the MJSA Online Article Archive. Beginning in August 2012, a digital edition of MJSA Custom Jeweler will be available.
  • MJSA Tech Sheets. Published periodically as special inserts in MJSA Journal and distributed at industry shows, the collectible Tech Sheets offer insights into all aspects of jewelry making and design. The sheets are available to members as PDF downloads.
  • MJSA Compliance Guides. These members-only guides address such issues as lead and cadmium content in children's jewelry, the affordable health care law, and, forthcoming, diamond and metals sourcing
  • MJSA Buyer's Guide and Guide to Subcontractors. Listing MJSA members by the products and services they offer, the two guides are augmented by in-depth articles on how to source effectively.
  • The MJSA Bookstore features an A-Z archive to help trade visitors find what they need, whether it's a short how-to article or a book-length guide. The archive features hundreds of MJSA Journal and MJSA Custom Jeweler articles, as well as industry books on everything from alloying and bench tips to stone setting and wax work. Although the archive is open to the public, MJSA members can order articles free of charge and receive discounts on books. 
MJSA Online also includes a Career Center with a job board; searchable guides to trade shows and educational programs; and scholarship information.

For more information, go to, e-mail, or call 1-800-444-MJSA (6572).
About MJSA 
MJSA is the U.S. trade association for jewelry makers, designers, and related suppliers. It provides the resources to achieve professional excellence and maintain a competitive edge. For more information, call MJSA at 1-800-444-6572 or visit


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