Reflecting on Diamonds

Every first week of February I fly to Tucson, Arizona, to immerse myself in the world’s largest gem show The Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase (actually a collection of aprox 50 individual shows, sprawled across the city – think multiple football fields on end for miles). It’s a once-a-year opportunity to hand pick from the most spectacular gem selection from around the world plus get the best deals. Pretty much everyone who’s involved in the jewelry business flocks to this treasure hunt each year.

While I relish the opportunity to see the most rare and hard-to-find gems, the most cutting edge designs our industry has to offer, and perhaps get a peek at some newly-discovered gem deposits – this year, instead, I took stock of my own business’ wealth of inventoried gems, purchased from a trusted suppliers list (built from decades-long relationships) and realized there’s plenty to work with here at the moment. As much as I appreciate annual Tucson (and my fabulous friends there – kiss you, miss you!) and as hard as it is to Just Say No, it’s also thrilling to be here in the studio with an array of juicy goods splayed across my work bench, pondering ‘what next to make?’

In fact, there’s an abundance of treasures to get started on here, so this month I’m narrowing my focus to rare & unusual diamonds, including natural cube shape diamonds, industrial diamonds, diamond slices, briolettes, and black diamond beads.

A few one-of-a-kind pieces should still be available for Valentine’ Day – (hint, hint, hubs = it’s coming up next Thursday!) I’ll be posting available pieces daily on Instagram and Facebook.

A bit of detail about each:

natural cube shape diamonds: Yes! These true cube shapes are exactly how they come out of the ground in an array of earth tone colors. My personal fave way to wear one carat diamond studs.

industrial diamonds: these tiny beauties are used to attenuate wire before retiring to the high end fine jewelry market. They’re pure understated simplicity with a subtle luminous glow, perfectly capturing an organic-meets-mid-century modern vibe.

Diamond slices: pure wintery-white wafer-thin diamond slices, with sparkling faceted edges, micro-stacked in delicate platinum (of course!)

Diamond briolettes: lovely drop-shaped faceted diamonds, white or in color, (cognac, champagne, golden), suspended on delicate gold or platinum wires.

Black diamond beads: wear-with-everything classic black diamond beads are the gem version of the LBD. Adds polish and sparkle to any outfit and can be worn dressed up or down for your big-night-out vs everyday. Easily layers well with other pieces.

*IMPORTANT: It’s crucial to my core business belief that all suppliers guarantee they meet the highest industry standards regarding commitment to the elimination of conflict diamonds from the global supply chain. I will not purchase or sell diamonds from suppliers who have not been vetted to the full extent currently possible, or do not have professional accreditation and/or certification (e.g. Kimberley Certified, SCS Global Services, etc).

Midsummer Night’s Eve

I heard a fascinating segment on NPR this morning of The Writer’s Almanac by Garrison Keillor;

“Tonight is Midsummer Night’s Eve, also called St. John’s Eve. St. John is the patron saint of beekeepers. It’s a time when the hives are full of honey. The full moon that occurs this month was called the Mead Moon, because honey was fermented to make mead. That’s where the word “honeymoon” comes from, because it’s also a time for lovers. An old Swedish proverb says, “Midsummer Night is not long but it sets many cradles rocking.” Midsummer dew was said to have special healing powers. In Mexico, people decorate wells and fountains with flowers, candles, and paper garlands. They go out at midnight and bathe in the lakes and streams. Midsummer Eve is also known as Herb Evening. Legend says that this is the best night for gathering magical herbs. Supposedly, a special plant flowers only on this night, and the person who picks it can understand the language of the trees. Flowers were placed under a pillow with the hope of important dreams about future lovers. Shakespeare set his play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” on this night. It tells the story of two young couples who wander into a magical forest outside Athens. In the play, Shakespeare wrote, “The course of true love never did run smooth.”

I was particularly struck by this as, historically, the name Deborah means “Queen Bee”. The origin of the name is also Hebrew; and in the Old Testament of the Bible, Deborah was the name of a judge, prophetess and lawmaker. Over the centuries this name has traditionally been appreciated for its association with the hard work, persistence, and importance to society for which bees were known. As such, I pay homage to bees here with a necklace and earrings made from 18KY gold and black diamonds.

As for true love, the impulse to create and manifest symbols in celebration of such unions is with me constantly and, hopefully, always will be.