Google+ The Daily Jewel: 11/23/14 - 11/30/14


Saturday, November 29, 2014

GIA Researchers in Malawi Documenting Ruby & Sapphire Mines

Unearthing Ruby and Sapphire in Malawi
GIA researchers explore one of the oldest and least documented mines in Africa

Abdul Mahomed, majority owner of the 
Chimwadzulu mine, with rubies in their 
amphibolite matrix. Photo by Vincent 
Pardieu; © GIA.

In 1958, a ruby and sapphire deposit was discovered about 145 kilometers south of Malawi’s capital of Lilongwe on Chimwadzulu Hill. Although this is one of the oldest known gemstone deposits on the African continent, very little has been published about its production in recent years. In late September, GIA Field Gemologist Vincent Pardieu, videographer Didier Gruel and expedition guest Stanislas Detroyat journeyed to Malawi to collect samples for GIA research activities, and to document and share their findings from the deposit.

During the expedition, the team learned that rubies from the Chimwadzulu deposit are associated with amphibole, mica and feldspar. “We discovered that this deposit shares a very similar metasomatic type geological environment with the Montepuez ruby deposit located in nearby in Mozambique, as well as Winza, Tanzania and Didy, Madagascar,” said Pardieu. While the Chimwadzulu deposit is known for its rubies and orange sapphires, it produces mostly pale green, blue and yellow sapphires.

In 2008, Nyala Mines Ltd. began to work the deposit, while Colombia Gem House Inc. took charge of cutting, marketing and selling of the stones. In 2013, Malawian national Abdul Mahomed acquired of 80% of the mining operation. According to Mahomed, the acquisition process is expected to be completed soon and the Malawi government and a local consortium will hold the remaining 20%. Since then, the mining operation has been renovated and the areas originally worked in 1958 have been further explored. Production is expected to begin in 2015. In an effort to support the local community, Columbia Gem House has set up the Dzonze District Development Fund and is supporting two villages near the mine through a school at Kandoma and a hospital in Katsekera.

Rubies from Chimwadzulu resemble those mined in Montepuez, Mozambique. 
Photo by Vincent Pardieu; © GIA.

In keeping with its mission to ensure the public trust in gems and jewelry, GIA regularly conducts research field trips to important gem and jewelry centers around the globe, incorporating findings into research practices and education programs and providing information to the trade and public. GIA appreciates the access and information provided during these visits; however, they should not be taken as or used as a commercial endorsement. Findings from the Malawi field trip will be featured in an upcoming issue of G&G, as well as in field reports and video documentaries on    

Vincent Pardieu, GIA’s senior manager of field gemology, discusses rubies with
Abdul Mahomed, the owner of the Chimwadzulu mine.
Photo by Stanislas Detroyat; © GIA.

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

San Diego Grand Opening of Allison Neumann's Flagship Jewelry Boutique

Allison Neumann, Retail Jeweler, Fine Jewelry Designer, 
and President & CEO of Allison Neumann, 
is pleased to announce 
the opening of her flagship boutique 
at:  861 6th Avenue, Suite 614, San Diego, CA 92101. 

The company held a grand opening event on Saturday,  November 8, 2014, which welcomed over 120 jewelry-lovers and industry insiders from the San Diego area and beyond, to preview and purchase the latest designs including her “River Rock” collection, featuring rough sapphires. 

Located in San Diego’s historic and vibrant Gaslamp District, the 400-square-foot showroom and boutique presented Allison Neumann’s newest collection, “River Rock”, as well as her classic collections, including gold and sterling silver, diamond and gemstone designs for both women and men, as well as limited edition fine jewelry, special one-of-a-kind designs, engagement rings, and wedding bands. The boutique also showcased other estate and contemporary jewelry lines, accessories and gifts. 

Allison Neumann hosted small bites and desserts from restaurant, The French Gourmet, and champagne by Bon Affair for those who came to support the launch of the new flagship boutique. In the midst of perusing the lovely boutique and all of its exquisite pieces, attendees had the perfect opportunity to pose for the camera in front of the red carpet’s step and repeat. 

The boutique’s interior décor, designed by renowned San Diego commercial and residential interior designer, Donna Taylor, was largely influenced by Neumann’s own organic fine jewelry designs. Wood grain flooring and “barn door” style cabinets are mixed with modern elements, such as raw steel counters and high gloss white jewelry cases. “The juxtaposition between rustic and refined resonates with my design aesthetic, and creates for a very warm, elegant environment,” states Neumann.   Adding to its elegance, Neumann has a crystal
chandelier alongside six-foot beveled mirrors, illuminating the boutique’s design and sophistication.

“The grand opening event was a great success. I’m so grateful to have been received so well by each guest that attended. With such amazing accolades on the new boutique as well as the jewelry, I’m excited to meet the achievements Allison Neumann will encounter in the future,” states Neumann. “This is an enormous step in our journey – Can’t wait to encounter the paths we cross next.” 

Allison Neumann’s Grand Opening was presented with generous support from UBER, San Diego-based beverage company, Bon Affair and Rifle Paper Co. 

VIP gift bags included:
  •  a 187ml Bon Affair Sauvignon Blanc spritzer 
  •  an UBER Black Card good for $20 off for first time users
  •  a one-of-a-kind Allison Neumann logo jewelry polishing cloth                                        and leather logo bracelet 
  •  a CC’s Pet Services, Inc. ($125 value) coupon for pet services
  •  ...and lastly, a Jeweler’s Mutual “Pearls of Wisdom” flyer (tips for jewelry care).

About Allison NeumannFine Jewelry Designer and President & CEO, Allison Neumann, launched her eponymous first fine jewelry collection, Allison Neumann, in 2010 and quickly gained exposure due to its unique designs incorporating rough sapphires. Born in New York and currently residing in San Diego, Allison Neumann, is a Gemological Institute of America (GIA) Graduate Gemologist and Graduate Jeweler, a member of the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) and 24 Karat Club of Southern California. She currently serves on the International board of the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) as well as the San Diego Chapter, and was nationally recognized by the organization as a WJA Shining Star Winner in 2012. The company operates its flagship boutique in the United States and engages in direct selling via authorized retailers and online. For additional information, please visit:

Friday, November 28, 2014

Fall Issue of Gems & Gemology Illuminates Sri Lanka’s Gem Industry

Gems & Gemology Illuminates Sri Lanka’s Gem Industry
Fall 2014 issue reviews pen pearls, pleochroism, nephrite jade and more

The Fall 2014 issue of GIA’s scientific quarterly journal Gems & Gemology(G&G) highlights Sri Lanka, recounting two decades of evolutionary and revolutionary changes in mining, trading and cutting for the island nation. The issue also reveals the unusual beauty found within non-nacreous pen pearls, a practical look at the phenomenon of pleochroism and its effect on the appearance of faceted gems, a new Chinese deposit of nephrite jade, and much more. The issue is available in print, and online with exclusive video content.

G&G’s cover story, “Sri Lanka: Expedition to the Island of Jewels” documents Sri Lanka’s revitalized industry, which has gained a stronger presence in the modern global marketplace by blending traditional skills with innovative strategies and technologies. The firsthand accounts of mining, cutting, jewelry manufacturing and retail centers by GIA field researchers and Sri Lankan authors illuminates the country’s gem and jewelry industry today.

Next, researchers from the Institute’s Bangkok laboratory provide a gemological characterization of 22 non-nacreous pen pearls, revealing not only their porcelaneous nature but also the unusual beauty of their surface textures and inner structures. Another paper aimed at both researchers and practicing gemologists examines pleochroism’s impact on the appearance of faceted gems and looks to demonstrate how it is always visible to some degree, even when viewing a gem along an optic axis. The issue’s final article highlights pale-colored nephrite jade from a new deposit in China’s Guangxi province with interesting banded or dendritic patterns.

G&G marks its 80th anniversary in 2014. Since the first issue was published in 1934, G&G has been recognized as one of the leading academic journals in its field. In 2013, it was made available in its entirety online. Today, the award-winning quarterly journal is available as a print subscription and at no cost on GIA’s website.

Additional details about G&G, full articles, more in-depth coverage, hundreds of additional photos, and exclusive video footage are available on GIA’s website at

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 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Platinum Pairings from Platinum Guild International (PGI-USA) and Refinery29

Harry Kotlar Platinum Three Stone
Engagement Ring With Radiant Cut
Yellow Diamond Surrounded By
Signature Harmonie Pave,

Just in time for those of you who are planning a Holiday Proposal or just looking for that Fabulous piece for an event...Platinum Pairings,” a custom content series that highlights the unique qualities of platinum and its relevance to today’s style trends." 

The Platinum Guild International (PGI-USA) has again partnered with Refinery29, the largest independent fashion and lifestyle website.  The partnership, which launched in 2013, speaks to millennial consumers outside of the bridal space that serves to reach a larger target audience.

Perfect for any special Holiday event, Erica Courtney Platinum And
Diamond Oval Namibian
Within the program, three handpicked R29 bloggers were invited to view a live selection of platinum jewelry and choose pieces that most spoke to their personal style.  The resulting post offers a clear view of each blogger’s distinct taste, telling their story through timeless platinum jewelry picks. 

Bring Platinum into your everyday wear
with Wendy Brandes Platinum Barbed 
Wire Stackable Band,

Intermix's social media coordinator Kristen Lam, blogger Krystal Schlegel, and creative consultant Brynn Elliott Watkins chose their favorite pieces from the Platinum Guild International showroom in Manhattan, and, they share their styling tricks to make these stunners work for the everyday.

The program is also supported by PGI USA’s newest trade advertising campaign which shows seasonal trends in platinum through the Refinery29 “Platinum Pairings” gallery.  The campaign kicked off the week of November 10th and will run on National Jeweler and JCK online.

About Platinum Guild International (PGI):
Platinum Guild International is dedicated to promoting platinum and its pure, rare and eternal qualities to the consumer and the jewelry trade. PGI has offices in the US, China, Japan, India and London, providing information, assistance and education on all aspects of platinum jewelry.
For more information please visit:
PGI-USA’s consumer site:
PGI-USA’s Facebook page:

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Amy West: RiverStones Now at The Gallery at Reinstein|Ross

Amy West: RiverStones
Glasswork from Murano, Italy
November 20th - January 6

New York - The Gallery at Reinstein|Ross is pleased to present Amy West: RiverStones, an exciting exhibition of glass works from Murano, Italy. The exhibition will include vessels and jewelry from Amy West’s most recent body of work, entitled RiverStones. The work is inspired by the river Ardo, tributary to the Piave river in the Veneto. West describes the river as a source of peace, relaxation and inspiration. The light of the river, the movement of the current, the color of the rocks, and the beauty of the tumbled stones are all cited as inspiration. West says “The river is alive, and it makes its presence known to those paying attention.” While comforting however, the river’s constancy and strength is accompanied by dramatic change and shift. All of these expressions from the river are seen by West as metaphors for how we are tumbled and shaped by life, hopefully to come out of our personal experiences as rounded and smooth as the stones of the riverbed.

West says, “These pieces - vessels and jewelry - are reflections of the colors, the light, the shapes and forms that have filled my mind since before this collection started forming five years ago.”

West’s process begins with loose sketches, and then vessels are blown by hand of traditional Murano glass. For the RiverStones Collection, glass from the studio of Pino Signoretto was used. In some cases, once a vessel was blown and shaped, a kind of “Calcedonia” (multi-colored striation effect) is swirled around the vessel, to reflect the movement of the water, and dynamics of its flow. In other cases, the glass colors are actually combined during the glass gathering, and swirled in the blowing process.

After tempering, West begins the process of carving and cutting to texture and sculpt the glass. West specializes in Battuto (literally meaning “beaten” in Italian), the Murano style of cold-working glass, using diamond and stone wheels, to add detail, surface and texture that cannot be achieved in hot glass. This process can be very involved, and can extend to ten, twenty, or more stages of wheels, texturing and polishing. 

The goal, as West describes it, is to “...create highlights and deep reliefs, but leave room for voice and flow in the glass...” 

The results are spectacular, with final, beautiful and sophisticated textures speaking of age, life experience and balance.


The exhibition, RiverStones, is not only about vessels, but has a distinct focus on jewelry. West’s jewelry for RiverStones, is derived from the same materials, processes and inspiration, but is created to be personal. 

West describes her jewelry as “...of the most intimate in forms of assertion and sensitivity.” 

For this collection, glass beads are formed in a range of shapes and colors, and hand-worked, into dynamic, bold, and exquisite necklaces, bracelets and earrings.

The exhibition, Amy West:RiverStones, will also include large projections of her work, sketches, photographs of Murano, and the Ardo River, the inspiration for this exciting body of work. 


Born and raised in the Midwest, Amy West has studied, worked and lived on four continents. Her work draws on her vast experiences in cultures from around the world, and expresses a vision that is truly her own.

Prior to arriving in New York for this exhibition, some of West’s current work was on display at the Palazzo da Mula, in an exhibit - Gruppo 30141 Murano - recognizing Glass Masters of Murano. In the summer of 2015, she will be artist in residence at the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York. The Gallery at Reinstein|Ross is proud to present Amy West’s work in New York City.  This is her first solo exhibition.

The Gallery at Reinstein|Ross
30 Gansevoort Street
New York, NY 10014

My #LatestObsession - Designer Spotlight on Babette Shennan

A Little about the Babette Shennan Brand:Sculptural lines, meticulous craftsmanship and soft yet radiant colors are the defining features of Babette Shennan Jewelry. Handcrafted in Southern California, each piece showcases the natural beauty of the stones, which Babette carefully selects for their magical blend of color, cut and clarity. The collection features a kaleidoscope of coloredgems, including tourmaline and sapphires, which are harmoniously paired with intricate designs and refined metal work. The resulting works of art possess an heirloom quality and reveal a sculptural beauty that only nature could inspire. In addition to her Ginkgo and Rivulet Collections, Babette creates one-of-a-kind and limited-edition pieces featuring exceptional gemstones that have captured her imagination.


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Monday, November 24, 2014

Grant Applications Currently Being Accepted By JCK Industry Fund

Press Release Provided By JCK

JCK Industry Fund

JCK Industry Fund
Currently Accepting Grant Applications

The JCK Industry Fund is currently accepting grant applications from individuals, groups or associations whose work results in the betterment of the overall jewelry industry. The JCK Industry Fund awards hundreds of thousands of dollars each year across multiple entities whose programs and services help the overall industry. The deadline for 2015 application submission is Monday, December 1, 2014.

Now in its 17th year, this fund awards grants to projects that: (1) improve the image of the jewelry industry in the eyes of the consumer, and/or (2) aids jewelry industry organizations in addressing serious problems faced within the industry, and/or (3) assists internal organizations and associations in developing training materials.

"The collective work of the industry associations, organizations, and individuals have helped to shape and evolve our industry to what it is today." said Yancy Weinrich, Group Vice President, JCK. "I am thrilled to be able to give back to the industry through this annual contribution and encourage all organizations to consider submitting their grant proposal."

Past winners have included American Gem Society (AGS), Diamond Development Initiative International (DDI), Diamond Empowerment Fund (D.E.F.), Jewelers of America (JA), Jewelers Security Alliance (JSA), Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC), Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America (MJSA), and Women's Jewelry Association (WJA).

In order to be considered, applicants must submit a formal proposal in writing directly to JCK and include all of the following elements: The purpose of the grant; the amount requested; timing for allocation of monies and a plan for its allocation; historical budget data; measurable expected benefits; and an agreement outlining JCK's right to conduct financial auditing of funds allocated to ensure suitable usage.

All applications will be reviewed and final recipients will be chosen by a Fund Advisory Committee comprised of representatives from the manufacturing and retail segment, as well as JCK. The recipients will be chosen based upon their synergy with the overall core goals and intentions of the Fund. Winners are notified in early 2015 and a formal announcement listing the winners will be distributed.

To apply for the JCK Industry Fund click here>>

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 one2one:February 1, 2015 by invitation only | JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa  Tucson, AZ
JCK Tucson:February 2 - 7, 2015 | JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa | Tucson, AZ
LUXURY:May 26 - 28, 2015 by invitation only;
May 29 - June 1, 2015 open to all JCK BuyersDelano, Four Seasons, Mandalay Bay | Las Vegas, NV
JCK Las Vegas:May 29 - June 1, 2015 | Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino | Las Vegas, NV
Swiss Watch:May 29 - June 1, 2015 | DELANO Las Vegas, Four Seasons, Mandalay Bay, Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas, NV
LUXURY Privé:July 26 - 28, 2015 | Waldorf Astoria | New York, NY


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