Blog
Red Hills Horse Trials March 6-9 - 3/5/2014


The Red Hills Horse Trials will be held in Tallahassee from March 6-9 at Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park. This prestigious event will feature competitors from across the United States trying out for the US Equestrian Team that will compete in the 2014 World Equestrian Games, to be held in Normandy, France, in August. Tryouts will take place on an exciting new 3,611 meter course with 32 unique obstacles to challenge both rider and horse.

The mission of the Red Hills Horse Trials is to raise funds to benefit non-profit organizations with compatible educational and environmental purposes, promote cooperation between equestrian enthusiasts, and to promote resource protection, land preservation, and land management.

The Gem Collection has donated this beautiful Engraved Sterling Silver Onyx Cuff to support the Red Hills Horse Trials. To view more beautiful Scott Kay designer jewelry on our website, please visit our online Scott Kay Jewelry gallery.

For more information on the Red Hills Horse Trials, please visit their website.

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Aquamarine - 3/1/2014

Aquamarine, the birthstone of March, is named for its light blue-green color that resembles the color of ocean waves. The word Aquamarine is derived from the Latin words for “water of the sea”. Aquamarine is a color variation of Beryl, which is the same mineral as Emerald. Aquamarine grows from six-sided crystals that can become very large, sometimes exceeding 100 pounds. Aquamarine generally has very good clarity, with few visible inclusions.

Aquamarine is said to protect its bearer from enemies in battle, quicken the mind, and enhance the happiness of marriage. Aquamarine was believed to keep sailors safe at sea and calm the ocean waves.

We have a wide variety of beautiful Aquamarine Jewelry in our online Aquamarine Jewelry Gallery.

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Nina Nguyen Jewelry Designer - 2/27/2014

Nina Nguyen, designer of Nina Nguyen Jewelry, says: “The jewelry I design is a reflection of my spirit. I create each piece to be unique, feminine and stylish. I envision my pieces empowering the wearer. It gives me much pleasure to contribute to the beauty of women. My hope is that every woman will enjoy wearing my jewelry as much as I enjoy designing each and every piece.”

Nina Nguyen grew up in war-torn Vietnam where her uncle was a local goldsmith. From a young age, she loved to help her uncle cast locally panned gold into jewelry. She has been designing jewelry ever since. Her mother brought Nina Nguyen and her siblings to America after passing through a Philippine refugee camp on the way. Nina Nguyen continued to design jewelry as a hobby throughout High School and College, and still continues to follow her passion for jewelry today.  

The jewelry of Nina Nguyen draws inspiration from organic gemstones in their natural state. The focus of her current collection is fossilized and mineralized stones that develop through natural processes of the Earth. Her current favorite materials to work with are stalactites, geodes, and fossilized ammonites.  

Each piece of Nina Nguyen Jewelry is designed by Nina Nguyen and hand-crafted by skilled artisans at her Women’s Co-Operative. The women who work at Nina Nguyen Studio are given professional training in their work, along with training in life skills. Nina Nguyen holds the conditions of her workers at the same high standards as the quality of her jewelry. She makes sure her workers have higher than average wages, full benefits, and even education for their children. Nina Nguyen seeks to empower her workers with rewarding work to better their lives and the lives of their families.  

To view more Nina Nguyen Jewelry online, please visit our Nina Nguyen Jewelry Gallery.

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Florida Engineering Society E-Week Banquet - 2/15/2014


The Big Bend chapter of the Florida Engineering Society is hosting its 3rd Annual E-Week Banquet on Friday, February 21, 2014. During this awards banquet, a silent auction will take place to raise money to support the local Middle School Mathletes program and for scholarships for FSU/FAMU College of Engineering Students. For more information, please visit the Big Bend chapter of the Florida Engineering Society’s Website.

The Gem Collection has donated this masterfully engineered Seiko Watch for the silent auction to support local Math Programs and Engineering students.

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Staff Favorite Engagement Rings: Amy Hinson - 2/8/2014

Amy Hinson says: "One of my personal favorite engagement ring mountings is by designer Dia Dori. Perfect for the unique girl, who would like something different from all her friends - this ring features a ribbon like halo of Pink Diamonds set in 18K Rose Gold. The rest of the ring is 18K White Gold and is designed to hold a one carat round Diamond. This ring would give any girl a Valentine's Day to remember!"

Click Here to view this beautiful and elegant Pink Diamond Engagement Ring.

We have a wide variety of beautiful Engagement Rings in our online Tallahassee Engagement Rings Gallery.

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Capital City Youth Services Tally Awards 2014 Gala - 2/4/2014


Capital City Youth Services is an organization dedicated to promoting the healthy development of youth and their families throughout Leon, Gadsden, Wakulla, Franklin, Liberty, Jefferson, Madison, and Taylor Counties. It offers free services such as short-term residential care, emergency shelter services, case management, counseling, aftercare, and community outreach.

The 2014 Tally Awards Gala on February 8th will be an unforgettable event to recognize winners of Tally Awards. There will be a silent auction with proceeds benefiting Capital City Youth Services. For more information on this event, please visit their website.

The Gem Collection has donated this beautiful Diamond and Sapphire Bracelet for the silent auction to support Capital City Youth Services. 

For more information on Capital City Youth Services, please visit their
website.

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Amethyst - 1/31/2014

Amethyst, the birthstone of February, is the most popular purple gemstone on today’s jewelry market. Amethyst is the most valuable color variation of Quartz. Amethyst can be found naturally in six-sided crystals in a wide range of size and quality. Some Amethyst crystals can weigh over 150 pounds. Throughout history, Amethyst has been sought out as a symbol of royalty and power. Many Royal Crown Jewels are set with Amethysts. Before large Amethyst deposits were discovered in Brazil in the 19th century, Amethyst was as valuable as Sapphire, Emerald, and Ruby.

The word Amethyst is derived from the ancient Greek word, amethystos, which means “not drunk”. It took on this name because its wine-like color led the Greeks to believe Amethyst would prevent intoxication. St. Valentine was said to wear an Amethyst ring with a cupid carved into it. Amethyst has been sought after by religious leaders and royalty since ancient times. Some pieces of Amethyst jewelry have been dated back as far as 2000BC.

We have a wide variety of beautiful Amethyst Jewelry in our online Amethyst Jewelry Gallery.

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Kids Incorporated Havana Nights Fund Raiser - 1/28/2014

Kids Incorporated is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to "Supporting and educating families and young children through quality early learning, health & family services." This organization has been serving our community since 1972, and today provides direct services to over 300 families in Leon, Jefferson, and Madison County. Kids Incorporated is hosting its 3rd Annual Havana Nights Fund Raiser on Friday, January 31, 2014 from 7pm-10pm at Capital City Country Club. For more information about Kids Incorporated and this fund raiser, please visit their website.

The Gem Collection has donated this beautiful Pearl Necklace for the silent auction to support Kids Incorporated. To view this beautiful pearl necklace online, please visit our Pearl Jewelry Gallery.

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Have A Heart 4 Horses Fund Raiser - 1/22/2014

Triple R Horse Rescue is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that works with neglected and abused horses to care for them, rehabilitate them, and find them permanent homes where they will be loved and cared for. Since its founding in 2009, over 60 horses have come through their program. The Triple R Horse Rescue is hosting its Third Annual Have A Heart 4 Horses Fundraiser on February 8th, 2014 at Dover Farm. The theme is “Southern Comfort” and attendees are encouraged to wear their best casual western wear. 

The Gem Collection has donated these beautiful pieces of Equestrian Jewelry for the silent auction to support the Triple R Horse Rescue. To view these pieces and more Equestrian Jewelry in our online gallery, please visit our Equestrian Jewelry Gallery. For more information on the Triple R Horse Rescue, please visit their website.

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Garnet - 1/17/2014

Garnet, the birthstone of January, is most famous for the dark red hue that shares its name. While red Garnet is one of the most common gemstones on today’s market, some of the more exotic varieties of Garnet can be very valuable. Garnet can also be found in green, pink, purple, orange, or even blue. Some Garnets even change colors, much like Alexandrite. The term Garnet denotes a whole group of very similar minerals which are all commonly known as Garnets.

Garnet has been one of the most widely traded gemstones for thousands of years. One Garnet bead necklace that was found in a grave in ancient Egypt dates back over 5,000 years. Ancient Romans used carved Garnet signet rings to stamp important paperwork. In the Middle Ages, Garnet was very popular among important officials and nobility. Today, Garnet is still prized as a very important gemstone in a wide variety of jewelry.

Some of the more exotic varieties of Garnet include:

Tsavorite Garnet: This green variety of Garnet was named after the Tsavo National Park in Kenya, where it was discovered.

Rhodolite: This purple variety of Garnet can range from reddish purple to brilliant pink.

Spessarite: This variety of Garnet is known for its intense orange colors.

Demantoid Garnet: This bright green variety of Garnet found in Russia is known for intense fire that rivals that of a diamond. Some specimens exhibit hair-like inclusions of tiny crystals. 

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Staff Favorites: Brian Barfield - 1/16/2014

Brian Barfield: 200-03022

My favorite item is the sweet dream pendant by Hearts On Fire. This is my favorite diamond pendant because of the simplicity and elegance that it offers. You can dress down or dress up and it provides a superior fire and brilliance because of the perfect cut.

- Brian Barfield

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Fine Jewelry Designer: Ricky Frank - 12/9/2013

Ricky Frank is a fine jewelry designer known for his intricate and beautiful enamel jewelry. Each piece of Ricky Frank jewelry is a unique, hand-crafted masterpiece that glows and comes alive as every angle of light draws out waves of vibrant colors. His pieces often contain stories inspired by the challenges and triumphs of life. These miniature mosaics of dancing light and vibrant color dazzle the eyes and inspire the imagination.

After thirty five years of experience, Ricky Frank has mastered a unique enamel technique that allows him to create these brilliant pieces of art. He uses a very difficult process that requires a great deal of time, patience, and care. He layers intricate designs onto the metal and works them into intricate patterns on its surface. He then paints brilliantly colored enamel powders to create the glowing portraits on each piece. He melts layers of glass onto the surface and fires it between ten and fifteen times until the enamel achieves the perfect finish. The enamel is then smoothed and polished until it shines like a gemstone. Many Ricky Frank pieces are adorned with exquisite jewels to accent the priceless work of art in the enamel.

Ricky Frank started working with enamels on pennies when he was a child as a very short-lived hobby, but he instead pursued a graduate degree in sport psychology, peak performance, and creativity. He worked as a soccer coach for some time, but later returned to his passion for creating beautiful artwork and started his business in enamel jewelry design. He now applies his passion for human development and psychology to create intricate wearable works of art that symbolize and inspire the emotions of the human spirit.

To view more Ricky Frank Jewelry online, please visit our Ricky Frank Jewelry gallery.

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Staff Favorites: Michael Nicholson - 11/15/2013

Michael Nicholson: 200-03022

My favorite piece of jewelry at the Gem Collection is this incredible 10.79CTW Tanzanite ring. Tanzanite is an amazing and very rare gemstone that changes colors when light hits it at different angles. The masterful cut of this extravagantly large gem causes ripples of intense electric blue light to dance across the deep royal purple stone as one gazes at it from different angles. The Tanzanite stone is cradled by 18K White Gold, and adorned with 1.29CTW Diamonds and 0.36CTW Blue Sapphires that sparkle brilliantly in the light.

Tanzanite was only recently discovered in the 1960’s in the small East African country of Tanzania, which is the only place in the entire world where Tanzanite can be found. Because of unstable political and natural conditions surrounding Tanzanite mines, there is a very limited supply of this highly sought after gemstone available on the market.

A stunning Tanzanite stone of this size and quality is an extremely rare and valuable treasure well worth beholding with your own eyes.

- Michael Nicholson

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Staff Favorites: Dorothy Vodicka - 11/12/2013

Dorothy Vodicka: 240-02542

I love this bracelet because it is so unique and so comfortable! It bends to fit your wrist perfectly and there are no sharp edges. The garnet is a rose cut, meaning it is a faceted cabochon coming to a slight point in the center, much like diamonds were cut at the turn of the century. The bracelet top has a granulated surface and two champagne colored bezel set diamonds, which add a magical tribal priestess feel to the piece!

- Dorothy Vodicka

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Staff Favorites: Veronica Almarode - 11/5/2013

Veronica Almarode: 160-01323

I love Alishan! My favorite piece of jewelry has to speak to me and Alishan does on so many levels. I love the combination of old and new ideas in a unique piece of jewelry. You can tell this necklace is handmade in 18k yellow gold and oxidized silver with rose cut natural diamonds in a range of colors that make me smile. It has a strongly feminine and playfully seductive feel at the same time. I like that it will be a signature necklace for the lucky one who wears it.

- Veronica

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Staff Favorites: Lindsey Hamilton - 10/23/2013

Lindsey Hamilton: 230-3221

I cannot get over this piece because of the huge display it holds and the low price for such a statement making piece of jewelry. This shade of tourmaline tiptoes on the edge of pink and red, making it a breathtaking deep pink, which is a rare color to see. This STUNNING Rubellite Tourmaline measures approximately 10 carats. Rubellite, definines the brilliant dark pink color that any girl is sure to fall in love with. The trillion cut stone dangles delicately from a trinity knot diamond bail which slides gracefully along the chain. The bail also features a hidden diamond on each side, although with the sparkling display they are far from hidden. Not only are these diamonds beautiful but they are of great quality. Total diamond weight measures approximately .68 carats with clarity ranging VVS1-VS2. The pendant and chain are 18 karat white gold and the design was put together by Mark Scheider.

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Opal - 10/22/2013

Opal, one of the birthstones for October, is a beautiful gemstone known for brilliant displays of rainbow colors that flash across its surface. Opal is formed in dry areas where seasonal rainwater washes silica down into the ground, forming deposits in cracks between rocks. During dry seasons, much of the water evaporates and the concentrated silica hardens to form Opals. The Silica forms a structure of sub-microscopic spheres arranged in a grid-like pattern, much like a box of ping pong balls. This structure causes light to bend in varying colors as it bounces off the tiny silica spheres, producing its incredible display of color. Opals can be found in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Ethiopia, Japan, and China, but over 97% of the world’s opals come from Australia.

The word Opal comes from the ancient Romans, who called it “opalus”, which means “precious stone”. Throughout most of history, Opal was believed to be the most powerful and lucky of all gemstones because it holds all colors. Opal is known to symbolize hope, love, purity, and truth. Ancient Greeks believed that Opal would protect them from disease, and could bestow the gift of prophesy. According to Arabic legend, Opal fell from heaven in lightning. While today we may understand the science behind Opals, it does not take away from the incredible beauty and wonder associated with this amazing gemstone.

No two Opals are exactly alike. There is a very wide variety of drastically different colors and patterns found in Opals. Because of this, Opals are divided into one of five main categories:

White Opal: White Opals generally have a mostly solid white color.

Black Opal: Black Opals are generally dark, often black or blue.

 

Boulder Opal: Boulder Opals are generally left in the rock they are formed in, creating interesting patterns of color within the rock.

 

Crystal Opal: Crystal Opals can range from translucent to almost completely transparent.

 

Fire Opal: Fire Opals generally come in shades of red, orange, or brown. They are often translucent like a Crystal Opal.

The Gem Collection has a beautiful gallery of Opal, which are all 20% off for the entire month of October (Not availabe with any other offer). Be sure to visit our store or check out our online Opal Gallery Here to see some incredible Opals on display.

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Staff Favorites: Richart Humbert - 10/18/2013

Richard Humbert: 160-01316

My favorite piece in the store is the 18K White Gold Hearts On Fire Diamond Comet Pendant. I love the fire and brilliance of Hearts On Fire, especially with this piece. You can imagine a real comet spraying light through the darkness of space when looking at this piece.

I love all the unique designs by Hearts On Fire, but this one is my favorite piece.

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Spinel - 10/10/2013

Spinel is a colored stone known for its high quality and rich red, orange, blue, purple, black or pink color. A Spinel of good quality can rival the brilliance and fire of a diamond. Spinel is known to fluoresce under ultraviolet light. Because of its exceptional beauty, Spinel has been mistaken for Ruby or Sapphire throughout history. Many famous Rubies, like the Black Prince’s Ruby set in England’s crown, are actually Spinel. Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Tanzania, Brazil, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Thailand, and Russia are sources for Spinel. .

The Gem Collection will have some beautiful specimens of Spinel, on display for our upcoming Colored Stone and Jewelry Show on October 11-12. Don't miss this chance to view this amazing gemstone with your own eyes.

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Morganite - 10/10/2013

Morganite is the pink variety of Beryl, the mineral that produces Emerald and Aquamarine. Because of its characteristic pleochroism, Morganite crystals will appear to change slightly in color intensity and sometimes hue when viewed at different angles. Morganite crystals can grow to very large sizes. One famous Morganite crystal called the Rose of Maine weighs over 50 pounds. Morganite was named in honor of J.P. Morgan, a famous financier and gem collector. When exposed to X-rays, Morganite is known to produce intense red fluorescence. The largest quantities of Morganite come from Brazil, but they can also be found in the United States, Mozambique, Namibia, Madagascar, and Afghanistan.

The Gem Collection will have some beautiful specimens of Morganite, on display for our upcoming Colored Stone and Jewelry Show on October 11-12. Don't miss this chance to view this amazing gemstone with your own eyes.

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Tourmaline - 10/9/2013

Tourmaline is a beautiful gemstone that can be found in a very wide variety of colors. Along with Opal, it is the birthstone for October. Tourmaline is also the stone for an eighth anniversary. The color of most Tourmalines can vary from light to dark depending on the angle of light, but some can show striking differences in hue. Some Tourmalines can even exhibit two or three different colors within the same gem. Unlike any other gemstone, the crystals in Tourmaline are arranged in a trigonal system, which means they are composed of three-sided prisms. When heat or pressure is applied to Tourmaline, it will become electrically charged. For centuries, the diverse color varieties of Tourmaline have been mistaken for other more well-known gems. When Tourmaline was exported from Sri Lanka in the 1700s, it was known as toramalli, which means “mixed gems”. Tourmaline became known as the American Gem in the late 1800’s because of its deposits in California and Maine. Tourmaline can also be found in Africa, Russia, Brazil, and Pakistan.

Paraiba Tourmaline is one of the rarest and most valuable gemstones in today’s market. The Paraiba variety of Tourmaline is often called Neon Tourmaline because of its intense green, blue, or purple colors. Paraiba Tourmaline gets its name from the Brazilian state of Paraiba, where it was discovered in the late 1980’s. Since the advent of Paraiba Tourmaline on the market, its unique beauty has caused its popularity to skyrocket, but the original supply has been completely exhausted. Because of this, the very limited supply still available on the market is incredibly valuable.

The Gem Collection will have an extremely rare specimen of Paraiba Tourmaline, along with many other color varieties of Tourmaline, on display for our upcoming Colored Stone and Jewelry Show on October 11-12. Don't miss this chance to view this amazing gemstone with your own eyes.

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Demantoid Garnet - 10/9/2013

Demantoid Garnet is a very rare variety of Garnet from the Ural mountains of Russia. Demantoid Garnet is generally bright green, and exhibits greater brilliance and light dispersion than even a diamond. Demantoid Garnet is also known for containing hair-like inclusions that add to its unique beauty.

The Gem Collection will have some specimens of this unique and beautiful gemstone on display at our upcoming Colored Stone and Jewelry Show on October 11-12. Don't miss this chance to view this amazing gemstone with your own eyes.

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Zircon - 10/8/2013

Zircon is the oldest known mineral on the planet, dating back 4.4 Billion years. While the most popular color of Zircon is currently a turquoise-blue, Zircon can be found in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, and white. Because of its brilliance and fire, the colorless variety of Zircon has been commonly mistaken for diamonds throughout history. Because of the similarity in name and appearance, there is also often confusion between natural Zircon and synthetic Cubic Zirconia. Zircon exhibits double-refraction on the facets of a cut stone, and rainbow-colored fire is often visible. Zircon is mainly found in China, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, SriLanka, and Myanmar. Throughout the Middle Ages, Zircon was believed to promote riches, honor, wisdom, sound sleep, and to drive away evil spirits. Zircon is one of the birthstones for December.

The Gem Collection will have some beautiful Zircon on display for our upcoming Colored Stone and Jewelry Show on October 11-12. Don't miss this chance to view this amazing gemstone with your own eyes.

The following videos from GIA display various colors of Zircon.

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Tanzanite - 10/4/2013

Tanzanite is a beautiful and unique gemstone that can appear to change color from light blue to deep purple depending on the angle of lighting. This ability to change colors based on the angle of light is called pleochroism. Tanzanite gets its name from Tanzania, the East African country where it was discovered in the 1960’s. Tanzania is the only known place in the entire world where Tanzanite can be found. Tanzanite is extremely rare because the supply is often limited by civil unrest and extreme weather conditions that hinder commercial mining in Tanzania. Tanzanite comes from crystals composed of the mineral, Zoisite.  While Tanzanite is a relative newcomer to the gem industry, it has risen in popularity to rival some of the more well-known gemstones. Tanzanite is now considered one of the birthstones for the month of December and the gem for a 24th anniversary.  

 

 

The Gem Collection will have some beautiful Tanzanite on display for our upcoming Colored Stone and Jewelry Show on October 11-12. Don't miss this chance to view this amazing gemstone with your own eyes.

This video from GIA shows some of the color changes visible in Tanzanite as it catches different angles of light.

 

 

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Padparadscha Sapphire - 9/27/2013

Padparadscha Sapphire is one of the most beautiful and valuable varieties of Sapphire. The brilliant sunset color of a Padparadscha Sapphire is a fusion between the fire of a Ruby and the light of a Yellow Sapphire. The name Padparadscha is derived from the Sanskrit word for the pink color of a lotus flower. Padparadscha Sapphire is found most commonly in Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Tanzania, and Madagascar. If you would like to view a Padparadscha Sapphire in person, this exquisite Padparadscha ring is on display in our Sapphire gallery at the Gem Collection.

 

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Haven Cook: Rembrandt Charms "Story of Your Life" Contest Runner-Up - 8/22/2013

 

The Gem Collection would like to congratulate Haven Cook for being chosen as a Runner-Up for the Rembrandt Charms "Story of Your Life" Contest. She won a 7" Sterling Silver bracelet with Poodle charm as her prize for submitting the following story.

"The best thing I can compare my life story to is Noah's Ark (Charm #1863). I grew up in Kentucky, and when I think about Kentucky I think about horses (Charm #0356). Right after high school I enlisted in the Air Force and flew away like an eagle (Charm #7817). Afterwards, I went to college on the GI Bill at my hometown university, where the UK Wildcats (Charm #4150) play. The first in my family to ever go to college, I was elated to get accepted into Yale for graduate school, turning in my Kentucky blue for Yale blue and becoming a Bulldog (Charm #2061). The day I graduated, I turned in my cap & gown and flew off to join the Peace Corps for 2 years in Africa, where my favorite memory is riding a camel (Charm #1163)! I've worked for 20 years as a forester in Florida, sometimes stepping over the alligators (Charm #7757) but generally confined to a computer writing environmental impact statements. But every summer I shake off the computer doldrums and like a Phoenix (Charm #6542) rising from the ashes, I head out west as a wildland firefighter. But it gets harder and harder to leave behind my better half, a 5-pound toy poodle (Charm #3042) named YaYa, who is in her 10th year as a therapy dog! My life centers around going on therapy visits to our local hospital with her, and leading our local volunteer Disaster Animal Response Team in operating pet-friendly shelters for the pets of evacuees and working on large-scale seizures from puppy mills, hoarding, and cruelty cases. My life has truly been as full as Noah's Ark!"

 

The Rembrandt Charms “Story of Your Life” monthly contest invites consumers to tell their life stories through charms. Each month, Rembrandt Charms selects one lucky winner and several runner-ups. The winner receives a free sterling silver bracelet and all ten charms from their story. Runner-ups receive a free sterling silver bracelet and one charm selected from their story. Winners select their favorite local jewelry store to claim their prize. Join the fun and visit www.RembrandtCharms.com to enter and to read previous winning stories.

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Peridot - 8/16/2013

Peridot is the birthstone for August. Its color can range anywhere from bright yellow-green to brownish-green. Peridot is known for often showing a double refraction in the facets of a cut stone. Peridot comes from the mineral, Olivine, which is found deep in the earth, in lava, or sometimes even in meteorites. Peridot is most commonly found in crystal form in hardened lava flows where magma brings it up from deep in the Earth's mantle. Some of the most common sources for Peridot are the United States, China, Vietnam, Finland, Myanmar, Zabargad, and Pakistan. Peridot has been found in meteorites, and even in samples of stardust from space probes.

Throughout history, peridot has generally been associated with light, and believed by some to ward off evil spirits. Peridot was mined in ancient Egypt, where it was referred to as “the gem of the sun”. Some historians believe that Cleopatra's famous collection of emeralds may have in fact been made up of peridot. In ancient times, peridot was often confused with emerald.

The gallery at The Gem Collection in Tallahassee showcases Peridot in many cuts, and sizes. To view more Peridot jewelry available in Tallahassee, please visit our online Peridot Gallery.

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Sapphire - 8/6/2013

 

Sapphire is one of the more well known gemstones, mostly famous for its intense blue color. Throughout history, sapphires have been sought after by nobility, royalty, and prominent members of the church. Sapphire has been believed to symbolize truth, faithfulness, heavenly blessing, peace, and nobility.  Sapphire is the birthstone for September. Sapphire comes from the mineral, Corundum. Sapphires are most commonly found in East Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia, and some places in the United States. While most think of Sapphire as a blue gemstone, it can actually come in nearly any color, including orange, yellow, green, purple, pink, white, gray, brown, or even black. The only color Sapphire cannot be found in is red, because a red Sapphire is called a Ruby. Some sapphires even appear to change colors with different lighting. 

The gallery at The Gem Collection in Tallahassee showcases Sapphires in a wide variety of colors, cuts, and sizes. To view more Sapphire jewelry available in Tallahassee, please visit our online Sapphire Gallery.

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Beauty is whatever gives you joy! - 12/28/2011

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!

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Sydney Lynch's Sweet & Spicy Nuts! - 12/21/2011

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.

Cheers!
Sydney
 

See Sydney's jewelry here : http://www.gemcollection.com/Category/75-sydney-lynch.aspx

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What Exactly Does 14K Mean? - 11/5/2011

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.

 

 

 

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Creativity And Beauty Go Hand in Hand - 3/23/2011

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!

Inspiration

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.

 

Chi

To see more of Chi's work and his insperational sources please view the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JGYsziuCF8&feature
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We May Have Your Dream Job! - 3/5/2011

 

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!
If you can imagine this as your dream job please send your resume to dorothy@gemcollection.com 
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  :)
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How To Care For Pearls - 6/30/2010

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!

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Adventures In The Jewelry Trade - 6/10/2010

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!

 

Las Vegas!

 

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?

 

:) Dory

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A Beautiful Jewel - April 27 2010 - 4/27/2010

 

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!
 
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A Beautiful Jewel - December 28 2009 - 12/28/2009

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?

 

:) Dory

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A Beautiful Jewel - Thanksgiving Day 2009 - 11/25/2009

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

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A Beautiful Jewel - Our First Blog! - 10/8/2009

Welcome to our Blog – A Beautiful Jewel!

Normally in this blog, I will be talking about beautiful jewelry, jewelry trends, jewelry designsand 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 Mitchell.

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 abeautifulblog@aol.com.

And now… I just must go hug somebody! J Dorothy

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