Beauty is whatever gives you joy!
Beauty is whatever gives you joy - Edna St Vincent Millay
You give me joy! You are beautiful! I only hope our jewelry enchances your beauty and gives you joy as well!
As we prepare for the New Year, we at The Gem Collection wish you both beauty and joy all year round!
Sydney Lynch's Sweet & Spicy Nuts!
Sydney Lynch is one of my favorite jewelry designers and along with wonderful jewelry, she makes fabulous sweet and spicy nuts as well...recently she shared her receipe with me and I'm passing it along to you, cause I love you! Merry Christmas!
Sweet and Spicy Nuts
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
1 cup raw whole almonds
1 cup hazelnuts
1 cup walnut halves
1 egg white
1 1/2 T water
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp allspice
Combine nuts. Beat egg white and water together till foamy. Stir in sugar and seasonings with egg white. Mix well with nuts. Spread on greased baking sheet and bake at 275 for 55 minutes. Cool and store in closed container for up to3 weeks. Caution: if you are saving these for a party as I am, hide them until date of party because once you start eating them it's almost impossible to stop.
See Sydney's jewelry here : http://www.gemcollection.com/Category/75-sydney-lynch.aspx
What Exactly Does 14K Mean?
Have you ever wondered what the K stands for in the 14K mark inside a ring?
It stands for Karat, which is different from Carrot the vegetable, and Carat which measures the weight of a gemstone.
Karat is derived from the Arabic word Kirat, which is a dried seed from the carob tree. These seeds were found to be almost identical in size and weight no matter which of the trees they came from or where the tree was grown. Traders from ancient times found that 24 of these Kirat seeds equaled the weight of one Mark ( a gold coin used in trading at that time). So, 24 Kirats would equal a pure gold coin. Later as gold began to be alloyed with other metals, the amount of the gold part of the piece would be marked with a K for Kirats, which was later read and pronounced as karats. So the purity ranking now looks like this:
100% Pure gold = 24K
91.6% pure =22 parts gold (out of 24 parts metal) = 22k
75% pure =18 parts gold = 18K
58.5% pure = 14 parts gold = 14k
41.6% pure = 10 parts gold = 10k
So, when you buy a ring that is 14k gold you are buying 58.5% pure gold alloyed with 41.5% other metal to give it strength and a certain color.
Creativity And Beauty Go Hand in Hand
One of the Most Creative Jewelry Artists I've ever met is Chi Galetea Huyhn www.gemcollection.com/Category/60-galatea.aspx
Chi is a poet, a painter, a philosopher and a creative jeweler. He says " Jewelry, painting, and sculpture are all the same to me. It is all about seeing things. We often look at thngs, but we aren't always seeing." "To truly see is to close the door of one's own perception and open a new one."
Chi moved to the US when he was just 12 and couldn't speak English. His father was a jeweler, so he accompanied him to one of the largest jewelry shows, but he was sad when he saw that all the jewelry had a sameness about it. This is when he became determined to make jewelry that was new and different.
Chi says "Don't be afraid of failure - in fact, I don't even believe in that word. Each experiment teaches you something and those experiments are all successes."
Sometimes we are so careful not to fail, we teach our children this too. We are so careful, so safe...so safe that we fail at creating wonderul beautiful art and jewelry that truely speak to the soul. Thank you Chi for reminding us that it OK to stray from the safe path...sometimes it is more than OK, it is amazing!
Toss a pebble into pond
Watch the ring of water caressing the shore
I am a child
Each day Mother Earth
Secretly reveals a new word.
We May Have Your Dream Job!
Imagine a job where you work in a beautiful environment surrounded by diamonds, gems, designer jewelry and fine watches, where you get to help happy people celebrate the best moments in their lives…
Imagine a job where compensation for your hard work is $30,000, $40,000, $50,000 or much much more! Imagine a job with huge growth potential …
We may have that job for you! We are looking for an awesome JEWELRY SALESPERSON! If you love learning, are a people person, love jewelry and can work a 40-45 hour work week including most Saturdays ( with Sundays & Mondays off) you will love this job!
We give preference to applicants who have prior jewelry sales or management experience, or who have a degree in Business, Management, or Fashion & Merchandising. Don’t wait another minute to make your life richer & please pass this message along to anyone who may be interested in it :)
How To Care For Pearls
So many customers have asked us "How do you clean pearls safely?"
Here are some Do's & Don'ts :)
DO - Only clean pearls in jewelry cleaner marked "Safe For Pearls"! If you need a jar of safe jewelry & pearl cleaner, come by the store and we'll give you one :)
DO - Keep pearls in a soft cloth or pouch, DON'T store pearls in any air tight container, including safety deposit boxes for long periods of time. They can become dry and brittle.
DO - Put your pearls on AFTER using hairspray or perfume and letting it dry. Any kind of chemical or abraisive spray is not good for pearls.
DO- Have pearl strands restrung every 2 to 5 years depending on how often you wear them.
DON'T - Use a toothbrush, or any type of abraisive material to clean pearls.
DON'T - clean pearls in an ultra-sonic cleaner.
DON''T - steam clean pearls.
DO- wear your pearls, they go beautifully with most outfits, and with proper care will last for generations!
Adventures In The Jewelry Trade
I have decided to rename my blog - Adventures In The Jewelry Trade - as we are constantly having wonderful adventures and even though we've been in the Jewelry business for 30 years, we are constantly learning new and important developments within our industry!
We just returned from one of the worlds largest jewelry shows- It is, in fact, a series of jewelry shows - all open to the trade only. Each show is very different from all the others and they all take place in Las Vegas from June 1st - June 10th. Las Vegas Jewelry Week is much like New York's Fashion Week for the clothing industry with so many fashion shows, galas, meetings, seminars, etc that you are moving from one to another from 8AM to midnight. Let's see we visited the Luxury Show where you buy Branded and Designer jewelry in the higher ticket bracket. Then we moved on to the Continental Buying Group show where there are amazing deals and bargains to be had. From there we spent a day or 2 at the Jeweler's Circular Keystone Show - put on in conjunction with one of our industry's top trade magazines. And of course, the Coulture Show at the Wynn Hotel where the most recognized jewelry designers show - here, if you are able to get an appointment, you can see David Yurman, Roberto Coin, Scott Kay, Hearts on Fire and dozens of extremely fine designer lines. We spent time examining fine gems from all over the world at the AGTA show, which is mainly a loose colored stone venue, and finished up our trip with a visit to the Niche show which featured hand fabricated jewelry, mostly American made. Whew! We missed the Swiss Watch show and the Antique Jewelry show, as we simply ran out of time and energy.
All I can say at the end of the week is the word "Fabulous" whether you are a Fashionista, passionate about colored stones, designer jewelry lover or just insearch of a bargain in diamonds and jewelry. After last week's shopping spree we will have it all!
Come and see it, and hear first hand more of our Adventures in the Jewelry Trade, won't you?
A Beautiful Jewel - April 27 2010
A Jewelry Consulting Service – Well Why Not?
Recently, I was reading a description of services from one of the top business consultants in our industry, and I thought “Wow, those services sound a lot like the ones we provide our clients every day at The Gem Collection”!
Every day we use our 30 years of experience in jewelry buying, appraising, trend spotting, custom designing, and client budgeting to fulfill our customer’s needs or dreams.
Unlike many consultants, though, we don’t charge fees for giving education and advice, only payment for the jewelry products or services rendered. We are often able to keep even these prices quite low through our vast industry connections with Designers, Manufacturers, Stone Cutters, Refiners, and Skilled Craftspeople.
Everyday our Gemologist, Buyers, and staff of Jewelry Professionals provide valuable education on many subjects as diverse as why a diamond with an EGL Lab Report may be priced thousands below a diamond of the same exact grades with a G.I.A. Lab Report, why a fine intense light blue sapphire may be much more valuable than a fine dark blue sapphire, or why fine rubies from Burma are unavailable at this time.
Through our varied connections we can answer most questions and help our clients find the perfect gift or wedding jewelry – from $30 Pandora beads to spectacular $30,000 engagement rings by Hearts on Fire. In fact on a recent visit to a New York diamond cutter, I held an elegant diamond crown and a 30 carat F color VVS1 round diamond. So, if anyone needs anything for a very special occasion… we will go out and get it!
I like the idea of being a Jewelry Consultant and making each client’s jewelry acquiring experience easy, comfortable, fun, and educational!
A Beautiful Jewel - December 28 2009
Which Designers Do You Love?
I have a top ten list & you will no doubt hear about all of them...
But...today I am wearing a beautiful bracelet by Alex Sepkus( www.gemcollection.com/Category/17-alex-sepkus.aspx). It is 18k yellow gold with diamonds and purple saphires, so I am thinking lovely (& colorful) thoughts about this amazingly talented eccentric designer, who definitely marches to the beat of a different drum.
Born in Lithuania in 1954, Alex began working in jewelry and designing unique pieces while in his twenties. In the 1980's he applied for and received political asylum and moved to New York, where he opened a studio and designed his first collection of 18k gold and platinum jewelry. Alex's detailed work is often accomplished by using a microscope in order to finely texture the designs. Indeed, many of his most detailed pieces come with a miniature magnifying glass, so the purchaser can examine each curve and texture.
Sepkus' jewelry is often compared to the artwork of Gustav Klimt(, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustav_Klimt) in the use of high color 18k yellow gold, combined with cascading colored stones and diamonds, both white and cognac in intricate geometrical designs, his patterns evoke the colors and designs used in "The Kiss" by Klimt. While this comparison has much merit, Sepkus is also inspired by nature and the running water, ponds, and stone structures surrounding his farm along the Hudson River.
Art, nature, with a little Art Nouveau and Deco thrown in, all my favorite theme. No wonder Alex Sepkus has made my top 10 list!
Which Jewelry Designers do you love? Why do they make your top 10 list?
A Beautiful Jewel - Thanksgiving Day 2009
Why Spiritual Beings Acquire "Things":
I've always thought of myself as a Spiritual Being, someone who values people, nature, and experiences way more than wealth or material things. So, I have often felt conflicted when I want some "thing" and very conflicted that my life's work has been to help others aquire "things", albeit beautiful things.
Lately I've come to terms with it, though. I've begun to realize that our craving to own a certain piece of art, jewelry, or other material thing isn't usually about greed or status, but for most of us, relates more to an emotion the material thing evokes in us. As I sit here writing this, I am wearing an antique diamond ring my Grandfather gave my Mother when she turned 16, and which she passed onto me when I turned 21. I only vaguely remember what my Grandfather looked like, but sometimes when I look at this ring, I can remember his smile, which was warm and lopsided. My Mother died last year, but I think of her whenever I put on this ring, which was a true gift of love to her, as her parents never had much money, and a great gift of love to me, as she passed on to me the memory of my Grandfather's smile and of course, her own.
Often the "things" we love most are not really "things" at all, but talisman which when seen or touched restore an emotion of love, security, or faith. Sometimes they bring back a dear memory that might otherwise drift away.
Another piece I am wearing today was a gift from my husband. It is an amazing enamel work of art by Designer Ricky Frank. I love Ricky's work, he is the finest enamellist I've ever seen, and his jewelry designs are always beautiful. But I wanted this particular piece because sometimes it looks like a dragon and makes me think of my Scandinavian family history and the great ships of the Norse, other times it just looks like a road running through a beautiful land, and up toward a sun and a starry night beyond. My usual vision when I wear this piece is that I think of my journey through life and on up to heaven. When I see it, when I touch it... I just feel happy and centered, now is that material or is it spiritual?
My wish for you, this Thanksgiving Day, is that through out your life you will find wonderful "things" that create memories for you and those dear to you. I hope you find "things" that remind you to be happy and remind you how much you are loved now and always.
From one Spiritual Being to Another - :) Dorothy
A Beautiful Jewel - Our First Blog!
Welcome to our Blog – A Beautiful Jewel!
Normally in this blog, I will be talking about beautiful jewelry, jewelry trends, jewelry designs
and designers and a little about the jewelry industry in general. I hope you will join me often.
Although I will mainly be talking about jewelry, I want to start out by talking about a book –
a wonderful book - Called Hug Your Customers by Jack Mitchelll.
If you are a business Owner or Manager, this book is a “Must Read”. If you are a regular
customer of any business you will also enjoy this book. It is a book about building
relationships between a business and its customers. It seems that every business states it has
“great customer service”, but has anyone actually called you by name, met you at the door with
joy, and gone above and beyond expectations to help you fulfill a need? It is soooo rare that
these things happen. Hug Your Customers will really make you think about this, and with some
dedication it will help businesses change their customer service from Good to Great (ok… that’s
a plug for another of my favorite books!)
I hope during any interaction with our business, The Gem Collection, whether in store, online, or
by phone, you are greeted with joy, and that we create a Joyous experience for you, which is our
mission in life. Come here for Beauty, come here for Joy, come here for a Hug! We want your life
and shopping experience to be easier & better.
Please let me know how we can make your life easier, send comments to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
And now… I just must go hug somebody! J Dorothy