New Fall/Winter 2014 Jewelry from Jennie Kwon Designs

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When you're so in love with a designer's debut jewelry line, it is all eagerness when checking out the new new. Staying true to her aesthetic, Jennie Kwon reveals all new stacklabe/collectible rings, elegant architectural necklaces, dainty chain necklaces, cool cuffs and bangles, and a really unique ear cuff. With select pieces being customizable in 14k yellow or rose gold, they will surely mix in well with your current collection whether it is new or vintage. I've got my eye on the Stacked Diamond & Pearl cuff ring in 14k yellow gold.  So cool!

Some pieces featured from her above LookBook, Fall/Winter 2014:

14k yellow gold Diamond Web Bracelet, $950

14k yellow gold Diamond Stretched Hexagon ring with a textured finish, $655

14k yellow gold Half Round two diamond Cuff ring, $620

14k yellow gold Stacked Diamond Cuff ring, $1600

14k yellow gold Stacked Diamond & Pearl Cuff ring, $1665

14k yellow gold Black Diamond Sotto Voce ring, $575

14k yellow gold Onyx and Diamond cuff, $836

>> All are available on JennieKwonDesigns.com 

Q & A with Designer Kara Ross

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While Kara Ross has been formally designing jewelry since 2003, her passion for gemstones and minerals started when she was just a little girl. A huge reason I am such a fan is the fact that she has a graduate gemologist degree from GIA and continues to give back and support the GIA.  I also love following her rock hunting adventures during Tucson, where her rock hound tendencies come to life.  With the opening of her very own boutique on Madison Avenue late last year and her new collections launching soon, I knew I had to catch up with the busy designer (who also designs some cool handbags) and see what she is up to:

 

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We are working on many exciting projects right now: we have created a brand new fine jewelry collection that includes more than 50 pieces – all completely new styles! We will present these to the press at a private dinner in New York next month; afterwards they will travel to the Couture Show in Las Vegas, and then to Los Angeles for the celebrity stylists to see. Finally, we will present the collection to the international press in Paris for the first time, during the Couture shows in July. To coincide with the collection, we are launching a new brand campaign that I’m very proud of – it features my daughter Avery as the face of the brand, because she conveys the quintessential Kara Ross customer! I hope the campaign will remind people that I am, first and foremost, a fine jeweler. karaross

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When I was a teenager, my parents took me on a trip to Africa where I bought some loose gemstones. When I returned to Philadelphia I designed my first ring around them – ever since I’ve been in love with jewelry. I attended the Gemological Institute of America over 20 years ago, and became a certified gemologist just prior to opening my business.

(below are two photos I took while studying at GIA of the pieces of jewelry by Kara Ross that were on display)

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I am lucky to have many proud moments! One of the most recent was when I opened the first Kara Ross store on Madison Avenue last fall. I have also had the tremendous opportunity to collaborate with the White House, creating official gifts of state.

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I think this is a fabulous moment for fine jewelry – it seems that the sky is the limit, with strengthening sales and all the new social media opportunities! I want to make the most of it while remaining true to my vision along the way.

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I confess that my opinion changes from time to time. At the moment I am in love with my new Pangea ring, which pays tribute to the earth. Without getting too technical. . . Pangaea was the name of the enormous landmass formed by the world’s continents hundreds of years ago, before they were broken up into the seven separate masses.

The bezel of the Pangea ring is set with an enormous cabochon stone that represents the world. A diamond (positioned like the North Star) on the very top is drilled to allow the “earth” to spin inside its setting, mimicking the rotation of the solid Earth around its own axis. Jagged rows of pavé diamonds reflect the shifting continents fusing together, and I like to think that despite the drift all the pieces remain enveloped in one mass, continuing to come together and forming a harmonious whole. The gemstone mosaic shapes on the sides of the ring represent the cultures and ethnicities of the world all living peacefully together.

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Gem Gossip Visits Roseark in West Hollywood, CA

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My trip to California was jam-packed busy, so a pit stop at Roseark was totally necessary to CHILL OUT and thoroughly enjoy the zen vibe, paired with the incredible selection of jewelry they have.  Roseark is located in a serene bungalow, situated on a corner lot in West Hollywood.  The all-white buidling is wrapped with greenery and gardens, making it just as beautiful as the jewelry on the inside!  

Each designer featured in Roseark has been chosen by Kathy & Rick Rose, store owners, with high standards and specific vision.  Designers like: Elizabeth Bell, Arik Kastan, Karma El-Khalil and Queen Vee shine in the glass cases, as the sunlight flows through the open space.  Crow's Nest Jewelry's finger-length feathers are a hit with Roseark's exclusive clientele.  They love Amy Gregg's unique gemstone rings and Daniela Villegas' bejeweled bug jewelry.  Roseark also has its own jewelry line, with the Rosebud cuffs and rings, and Saffron cuffs and rings being huge sellers!  Kathy's inspirations from Native Americans, animals and talismans are all at the core of her line, Kathy Rose.

A special moment for me was seeing my jewelry line, Gem Gossip Jewelry, displayed in the cases at Roseark. It was an amazing feeling! Meeting Kathy was also a huge highlight--she is such an inspiration and an amazing designer/business woman/mother/superstar!  I had so much fun at Roseark, make sure to book your appointment for an incredible and unique jewelry shopping experience, with a special thanks to Brooke!!

Read my Q&A with Kathy here.

Above photos:

the outside of Roseark, located at 1111 N. Crescent Heights Blvd. in West Hollywood, CA

me checking out some of the jewelry cases

love these earrings and these rings from Yakira Rona are on point!

another room within Roseark, perfect for lounging and talking jewelry!

obsessed with the incredible earrings designed by Hanut Singh, and some more jewelry from Yakira Rona

the first large jewelry case you see when you walk into the door at Roseark!

Gem Gossip Jewelry all set up in the case (!!) and gorgeous turquoise pieces from Mociun

Brooke modeling Mason Stanley & her amazing engagement ring and fell in love with Elizabeth Bell's rings

 

SHOW ME YOUR RINGS! LIII

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{from top to bottom:

Berganza London trying on trays and trays of gorgeous Art Deco and Edwardian rings

NecessaryExcess snapped this awesome picture of JuneJewelry and her amazing stacks

BellFlower Bay zooming in on a personal favorite from her collection

Artelier_mx shows how bezel set garnets can look chic and modern

Anita Ko Jewelry with a ring for every finger...so good!

GEM-A-PORTER wearing Pippa Small and quite possibly the coolest combo ever

Sara Weinstock Jewelry has me green with envy with her Elongated French Lace ring

LoveGold spending some quality time with Boucheron

Jessica McCormack creates the perfect rings, love these diamonds}

Ring Stack Style Guide: Gem Gossip Recent Looks #LoveGold

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With experience comes perfection!  Not that my stacks are perfect, but I've learned a thing or two about how to create a lust-worthy ring ensemble over the years.  Anything from what color manicure you have to the gemstones you mix and match have a large effect over the overall look.  

Can you mix metals?  YES.

Can you mix gemstones? Yes and no.

How many is too many?  Never limit yourself with numbers!

There are lots of questions when it comes to stacking rings, but here are a few useful tips to act as a ring-stack style guide.  The photos above serve as great teachable tools to help point out the key ideas:

Photo one: Pairing unique and striking designs is a must!  Both of these rings are bold and can hold their own if worn alone, however pairing them together makes them that much more eye-catching.  The Victorian turquoise ring has a bright blue color and also pairs well with the clear stones in my grandmother's oval ring. 

Photo two: Playing with colors that go together or contrast well is a key element!  Make sure to not only choose your gemstones wisely, but your manicure color too.  I like using reds or a black color on my nails, which act as a good neutral when wanting to focus on your ring stack.  If you have crazy or wild nail decals or colors, it often takes away from the jewelry or looks too busy! Tacky colors can also cheapen your look.

Photo three: Create a color story using all the same gemstone!  In my photo I created a fun stack using all wine-colored gemstones, mostly garnets and one carnelian ring.  You can do this with any color, just make sure to collect many rings of a similar color.  Blues, for example, can be used and different saturations of blue would make the look even more unique.  Yellow gold can also be done and I love the idea of creating a stack a rings in various designs of all yellow gold, no gemstones!

Photo four: Mix old and new!  Antique rings and new designer pieces now, more than ever, go hand-in-hand (no pun intended).  My pinky ring is a bypass style diamond twist ring from Halleh Jewelry that can pair wonderfully with any antique diamond ring or even a Victorian cameo, like shown.  And these ruby eternity bands in yellow gold are very modern, but when worn side-by-side with my grandmother's wedding band, they look like one very wide band.  Don't be afraid to mix antique with modern, it just takes practice to get the right look!

Photo five: Try wearing a ring on every finger!  Choose longer rings for the middle and ring fingers, and shorter rings on the ends.  I'm wearing a coiled snake on my middle finger that was purposefully uncoiled so it unfurls up my finger, from Gem Gossip Jewelry.  The ring on my ring finger is from Karen Hsiang Jewelry and beautifully elongates the finger.  

 

This post was brought to you in collaboration with LoveGold

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My Jewel Box: Snake Bracelet + Tortoise Shell Cuff

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This past week I went three days in a row without wearing a jacket!! This is incredible news to everyone, seeing as this winter seemed to be one of the coldest I can remember. Bracelets are quite tricky to wear with long sleeves and jackets. I almost always never wear bracelets in the winter. I can't even remember my go-to stack from last fall, so I've come up with my new favorite trio of bracelets since spring has sprung. It uses a bracelet that I've had for awhile, and two new ones acquired over the long winter. Now I can wear them and feel good!

1. my Forstner snake bracelet: an iconic piece and highly collectible. I am through and through fine jewelry all the way. This gold-filled bracelet is my only exception. It is easy to slip on and stack with any bracelet combination and it immediately makes me feel slightly Victorian in all the right ways.

2. my Tortoise shell cuff: tortoise shell is actually what the jewelry industry calls when describing jewelry or trinkets made from the Atlantic hawksbill sea turtle. It was highly popular in the Victorian Era, although it has been used for thousands of years. Tortoise shell is soft but fairly tough, so a cuff like this can withstand everyday wear. With many imitators out there, how can you tell it is truly tortoise shell? Either sticking it with a hot point (it will smell like burning hair) or immersing it in hot water (it will smell like wet fur or wet hair) unlike plastic.

3. my Jet beaded snake bracelet: this was a rare find and it took me awhile and I actually had to ask, if it were a snake? It was thrown in a case of antique jewelry at Scotts Antique Market in Atlanta and I was pleasantly surprised when I saw it. Jet is another organic material popular during the Victorian Era. Jet forms from fossilized wood of certain types of trees that once dead, often end up as driftwood that gets swept out to sea. From driftwood it became waterlogged debris, sinking and eventually being buried under many layers of mud, decaying organisms and other aquatic detritus. Under great pressure for millions of years and with all of the requisite elements, jet forms. Jet is extremely lightweight and has a high luster and polish.

Top Ten Ring Picks for Spring/Summer 2014

collage 1. an Early 20th century double pear-shape ring, sold at Bonhams London in 2004

2. Moonstone and sapphire ring circa 1950s/60s from Lang Antiques

3. Victorian rose cut diamond and turquoise ring from Erica Weiner

4. Victorian onyx and old mine cut diamond circular ring from Jewelry Finds via Ruby Lane

5. Princess ring in 18k gold with inlaid lapis, sugilite & coral by Ben Nighthorse

6. Edwardian platinum-topped gold and diamond ring from Bedell & Co. via Ruby Lane

7. Art Nouveau pearl and enamel ring circa 1900 from Metier Paris via Ruby Lane

8. Georgian "All Seeing Eye" ring in diamonds and enamel circa 1850 from Erstwhile Jewelry

9. Sentimental Victorian turquoise heart dangle ring, from Fellows Auctions

10. Gold opal and enamel ring by GEORGES FOUQUET circa 1910, sold at Sothebys in April 2012

 

Arik Kastan Getaway: Jeweled Destinations

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Boogie down in Bali and swim all day in crystal clear waters wearing Arik Kastan moonstones, blue sapphires and ocean blue aquamarine. Make a toast with your martini glass with your rings shining bright in the sun!

 

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Cozy up in a cottage and backpack the lush green countryside of Ireland. Wear your lucky green emeralds from Arik Kastan, paired with mystical moonstones. They are available in both earring styles and ring styles--or customize whatever you like!

 

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Treasure hunt the day away in Istanbul at the Grand Bazaar and watch the sunset from your hotel. Stack yourself with Arik Kastan diamond cluster rings, filigree bangles and rose gold + pearls, all of which look like Old World treasures.

 

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Island hop in the Gulf of Mexico and relax on a beach in your own private hideaway. The sky and ocean are all you need to coordinate with, so turquoise and lapis are the perfect pair--the newest gemstone addition to the Arik Kastan collection!

 

>>Available at: TwistRosearkGreenwich JewelersJaimie Geller Jewelry, and Zaltas Gallery.

 

Obsession: Carved Indian Chief Jewels

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Carved gemstones are a huge fascination of mine.  I have a large amount of experience with carved intaglios and carved cameos because I see them everyday.  However, gemstones that are actually freeform and carved into shapes or objects are both rare and one-of-a-kind, and not so common for me. Carved opals and boulder opals are little pieces of art and I was wide-eyed and drooling when I came across the above Native American chiefs while browsing online auction houses. The other two are carved emerald and carved coral. All are being offered by the same auction house--Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, located in Chicago.  A three-day auction event is happening, with 1168 lots of gorgeous jewelry up for bid on April 6th & 7th!  Finishing off the three-day event is a sale on April 8th, with jewelry from the estate of Gerard L. Cafesjian.  

For more info, check out Leslie Hindman Auctioneers

Gem Gossip Collaborates: Four Gemstones, Two Jewelry Mavens 

I had the pleasure of meeting Rachel Garrahan while in Los Angeles at one of LoveGold's events.  Our love for jewelry instantly bonded us and we definitely wanted to collaborate to bring our readers something fun! We decided upon picking four gemstones--Emerald, Sapphire, Moonstone & Tourmaline--and each pick two pieces of jewelry that we loved which featured each stone in the best way possible.  My take was to search on 1stdibs, a website I continually browse and adore, and pull pieces that were antique or vintage.  Rachel chose to make her selections from designers based where she lives--LA, hopping in her car (naturally) to search the city's best boutiques from Single Stone on Mission Street on the eastside, to Broken English and Jaimie Geller on the westside, to hunt down the finest gems on offer. 

Rachel writes about fashion and jewellery for publications including the Financial Times and The Jewellery Editor, most recently acting as guest editor for the luxury gem magazine's Oscars and US award season coverage. Originally from London, she has lived in Los Angeles for eight years and enjoys designing and making jewellery when she's not writing about it.

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EMERALDS

Picks from Gem Gossip:

18th Century Columbian Emerald brooch set in 24k gold, from Wayne Smith Jewels, via 1stdibs

c. 1890s Russian emerald and diamond ring, from Romanov Russia via 1stdibs

Picks from Rachel:

18k yellow gold 4.61 carat emerald surrounded by French cut diamonds ring, handcrafted by Single Stone

Irene Neuwirth 18 karat yellow gold one of a kind necklace with mixed Colombian emeralds 

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SAPPHIRE

Picks from Gem Gossip:

18k white gold and titanium sapphire and diamond drop earrings designed by Gioia via 1stdibs

Hemmerle inverted sapphire earrings set in red gold and copper, from FD Gallery via 1stdibs 

Picks from Rachel:

Cathy Waterman blue sapphire and diamond garland ring in 22 karat gold from Twist

Lou Zeldis tiered rough sapphire earrings set in 22 karat yellow gold from Broken English

 

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MOONSTONE

Picks from Gem Gossip:

Antique Moonstone and Diamond blue enamel 18k yellow gold bracelet from Fourtane via 1stdibs

English, circa 1890s heart-shaped moonstone and diamond ring from Ralph Lauren via 1stdibs

Picks from Rachel:

Dale Hernsdorf rainbow moonstone and 18k yellow gold necklace from Dale Hernsdorf

Suzanne Kalan grey moonstone earrings with champagne diamonds, 18k rose gold from Jaimie Geller Jewelry

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TOURMALINE

Picks from Gem Gossip:

Shades of tourmaline pendant/brooch from the Edwardian Era done in 15k gold from The Three Graces

1930s Pink Tourmaline necklace set in 14k white gold topped gold from The Three Graces

Picks from Rachel:

Loriann Stevenson Paraiba tourmaline cuff set in 18 karat yellow gold from Broken English

Arman rubelite tourmaline ring in 22 karat yellow gold and oxidized silver from Single Stone on Mission Street