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Entries in designer jewelry (241)

Q & A with Leeorah of Lulu & Shay Jewelry

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Leeorah Betan-Hartman is naturally talented in many ways, but we are so ever thankful she has chosen to hone her skills with jewelry design with Lulu & Shay. Her creations are enchanting. Her finishes are unfinished perfection. Her style is effortless cool. And I want so many of her pieces! I got the chance to meet her and her husband at Metal & Smith in September, happily trying on my favorites and seeing everything in person for the first time. Excited to catch up with her and see what she has going on in the new year!

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I am always working on new pieces for not only my next collection, but I find that I often return to the collections that are the foundation of my jewelry line, adding a nuance or a different take on the theme. Right now I am working on some new pieces for my Luna Diaries Collection- an intimate look into Victorian inspired jewelry. Victorian jewelry is rich with meaning. The carved symbols and motifs are not just pretty embellishments; each have hidden symbolism and even the gemstones have multiple meanings. I am so intrigued and amazed by the romanticism of the jewelry of that era. I feel that the rich history of these pieces mix well with the natural and flowing feeling of my pieces that are influenced by nature and our surroundings – completing a full thought and story when layered and worn together.

LuLu & Shay Jewelry | Gem Gossip LuLu & Shay Jewelry | Gem Gossip

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Even as a young child I had a deep affinity for jewelry. I would sneak into my mom’s jewelry box and try on each of her pieces of jewelry, gazing at all the different stones and colors. I also made my own jewelry as a child- first with beads and with polymer clay and then evolving into more intricate bead and wire wrap pieces. In college I earned a B.F.A. in film and pursued a fulfilling career in editing film trailers, but I missed working with my hands. I started taking classes in metal-smithing and wax carving in NYC. Wax carving allows me the opportunity to create not only more finely detailed pieces but also freer flowing and organic ones. I just love the freedom and creativity I have while working with wax.

Once I had a cohesive collection, I launched Lulu & Shay. I wanted a name that had personal meaning like the jewelry I was creating. Lulu is a nickname I had as a child, and Shay is my husband's childhood nickname. My two passions -- jewelry and film -- are joined as I use the story telling nature of film to apply a narrative element in my jewelry line. Editing films requires distilling a big picture into its key elements, and I strive to mirror that in my jewelry making. Each piece can tell a story of its own while striking a personal connection with the wearer.

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I would say my proudest moment is when I design a custom-made engagement or wedding ring.  It is humbling to be part of such a significant and special moment in a couple's life and to capture their connection in the jewelry I create.  I enjoy the process of collaborating with my clients, hearing their stories of love, and finding ways to create a ring that embodies how they envision their relationship.  Throughout the process, as the designs evolve from sketches to hand carved wax to the final piece, I have a sense of solidifying, both literally and figuratively, their commitment and love. It is such an honor to know that they will have those rings for life, unique pieces to cherish and pass down. I’ve done rings that also match one another, whether it is the texture or motif. Being trusted with creating a symbol of love and longevity, knowing someone saw that potential in my work, makes this the moment I feel proud of what I create. 

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I am so excited to continue to expand my business. I look forward to partnering with more retailers, both jewelry stores as well as lifestyle stores. I am also working on expanding my online presence and client base, including my work on more bespoke and one-of-a-kind pieces. I am, of course, always continuing to push my creative process while still sculpting, inventing and carving my pieces by hand. It is so important to me that I make all of my jewelry with a dedication to ethical manufacturing. I am approached by more and more people who are looking for unique and one of a kind pieces that truly reflect their values and personal taste. I find that more people are conscious of the environmental impact they make and they want to make sure that the jewelry they wear represents their desires for a more eco-friendly world. I strive to create pieces that reflect this inner core value not only through the appearance of the piece, but through the entire process of making the jewelry itself.

As I continue to grow, I am exploring more options of how I can insure that all aspects of my business follows that standard.

LuLu & Shay Jewelry | Gem Gossip LuLu & Shay Jewelry | Gem Gossip

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My favorite piece of jewelry I own is my initial ring pendant necklace. My personal necklace has a ring for everyone in my family. Each ring has our 3 initials on it (first, middle, last). I like that the initials are subtle and you have to look closely to see them making it even more personal. I also have a ring on the necklace that has 7 diamonds in it, one for each member of my family as well as our rescue dog Lulu. She came with the name and owned it so well I just forfeited my nickname ;). I wear my Precious Leaf earrings in 18K Yellow Gold almost daily. They are so light and effortless and remind me of my favorite season Fall. I tend to change my rings that I wear almost daily, but of course I have favorites too! Lately, I like to wear several stacking rings topped with the Beatrix Ring with diamonds.

LuLu & Shay Jewelry | Gem Gossip LuLu & Shay Jewelry | Gem Gossip

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Lulu & Shay.

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Slay in Sapphires from Arik Kastan

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip sapphire banner by Gem Gossip Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip sapphire banner by Gem Gossip Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip sapphire banner by Gem Gossip Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip sapphire banner by Gem Gossip Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip divider 3839Sapphire

A simple half eternity band in all sapphires is sometimes all you need! Arik Kastan makes all bands by hand using genuine gemstones and every detail is priority. The comfort of this band is something you need to see for yourself!

Half Eternity band in sapphires, Price: $1,166

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Love these drop earrings done in 14k rose gold and sapphires because they combine a few of my favorite aspects of jewelry. One, they have a vintage style--the filigree speaks for itself. Two, they are bold which is what we're wanting for Fall. And lastly, they are easy to style and will stun with any outfit.

Arabesque drop earrings, Price: $1,890

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The newest baby within the Arik Kastan collection, the Flower Mandala ring, really calms and soothes both in design and gemstone choice. With sapphires being said to relieve stress and help clear the mind, this bold ring will be your guiding light. Sapphire petals and diamond details, all set in our signature 14k rose gold.

Flower Mandala ring, Price: $1,760

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In love with the aquamarine and sapphire color combo of these Nouveau Oval drop earrings. It is a juxtaposition between the soft, romantic aquamarine and the edgy, dark sapphires that has us swooning.

Nouveau Oval drop earrings, Price: $1,920

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The Framed Flower ring mixes some bohemian vibes with what every girl wants in a ring: stunning sparkle. I can't think of a better gemstone than sapphire to pull this off. Simple yet powerful; love this ring!!

Framed Flower ring, Price: $660

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Jewels at my Doorstep: JewelStreet.com

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Taking the jewels of JewelStreet to the streets of Nashville! The online luxury jewelry marketplace prides itself as being the UK's #1 website for designer fine jewelry, with an emphasis on seeking out brands that are doing amazing things with design. Browsing the pages of JewelStreet makes you feel as though you're traveling the world through the lens of jewelry. Their virtual boutique is set up to feature jewelry designers by country, and this breakdown allows you to see everything from a global perspective. You can delve into Italy and see the rich gold designs from this country featured on JewelStreet, Brazil is fascinating and leading the way with unique design with several artisans featured, France has some great designers...the list goes on and on! Being from the United States, I felt some American pride seeing who is represented on this worldwide jewelry outlet--many names I recognized and familiar faces. 

For this Jewels at my Doorstep shoot, I thought it would be neat to feature a few different countries. I chose these really neat pearl geode rings from Little H Jewelry based in the US, a bold out-of-this-world solar system inspired ring by Anakao out of London, UK, and last but not least some long black spinel earrings by MyriamSOS from Cyprus (which I honestly had to look on a map to figure out where exactly that country is located, FYI it's an island south of Turkey). It is beautiful how jewelry from all over the globe can come together and complement one another, be a staple in someone's jewelry box, and make memories for a lifetime.

Connecting people to jewelry from all over the globe is what makes JewelStreet so special. Imagine logging into the website from your laptop in a small town, in middle America. JewelStreet connects you with jewelry designers from places in all parts of this large globe we call home, that you may have never known about. So now a pendant from a jeweler in Greece is on its way to your jewelry box thanks to JewelStreet, and it will forever be a part of your story. I love that.

Make sure you check out JewelStreet and immerse yourself in their global world. 

And here is the info on the jewels I'm wearing:

The Hallgrimur Earrings by MyriamSOS, 9k rose gold set with black spinel, Price: $990

Devoted Ring in yellow gold by Anakao, 18k yellow gold & diamonds, Price: $2,320

Three pearl ring--Tahitian, keshi, Golden South Sea pearl in 14k yellow gold, by Little H Jewelry, Price: $1,600

Three pearl ring--Fiji pearl, Akoya, Golden South Sea pearl in 14k yellow gold, by Little H Jewelry, Price: $2,500

Single point collection ring with Tahitian Keshi pearl and rubies in 14k yellow gold, by Little H Jewelry, Price: $1,100

Finestrino collection, black diamonds and Tahitian Keshi pearl in 14k black rhodium, by Little H Jewelry, Price: $2,200


This post was brought to you in collaboration with JewelStreet.

 

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Top Ten Favorite Rings from Elisa Solomon Jewelry

Elisa Solomon | Gem Gossip Elisa Solomon | Gem Gossip Elisa Solomon | Gem Gossip Elisa Solomon | Gem Gossip Elisa Solomon | Gem Gossip Elisa Solomon | Gem Gossip Elisa Solomon | Gem Gossip Elisa Solomon | Gem Gossip Elisa Solomon | Gem Gossip Elisa Solomon | Gem Gossip

I like to call Elisa Solomon's jewelry designs "collectible" jewels, as they are an up-and-coming category that is creating waves in the biggest way possible. What I mean by this is simple: certain designers whose creations look best worn in multiples, all together. There is something so enchanting about stacking and collecting her designs. Each one plays off the other and the bohemian vibe that her jewelry gives off is even stronger when more is worn. Elisa uses motifs like butterflies, flowers, peace signs, hearts and animals to convey her style, along with bright, vibrant colors using multi-hued sapphires, diamonds, and other gemstones. Elisa is definitely a color-wizard when it comes to creating the right color combos using gemstones. Many of her designs have an ombré pattern, where multiple gems and shades of color are used. She also has coined the term "tie dye" with some of her pieces featuring a tie dye effect with colored gemstones. Gems like turquoise, opals, Paraiba tourmaline, multi-colored sapphires and rose cut diamonds have been some of her latest favorites to work with.

I loved every moment I had playing with Elisa's ring designs. Choosing ten favorites was hard, but I narrowed it down to a few of her staples within her collection and added in a couple one-of-a-kind pieces. One thing I noticed right away was how happy her jewels made me feel.  As soon as I put on one of her pieces, I already had a smile on my face. I seriously don't think you could have a bad day wearing Elisa's jewelry!  The butterfly and flower rings were really cool. They were able to stack with others, but if you're looking for your first Elisa Solomon ring purchase, those are great contenders as they are bold enough to wear alone. Adding bands like the custom turquoise eternity or the disk cuff rings are perfect stackable pieces. If you love color, you will love her multi-gem pieces and the more color, the brighter and happier the stack got! 

Hope the above photos give you some stacking inspiration and goals. It would be an awesome tradition to add a piece of Elisa Solomon Jewelry to your collection each milestone or year to celebrate something special. Before you know it, you'll have an amazing collection of sparkling, bohemian jewels. Check out each piece below for more details:

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1. The peace sign has been an iconic symbol since the late 50s. Elisa's version of the peace sign glitters in a rainbow of gems set in 18k yellow gold. Although small, it packs a powerful punch and stands for something great! It easily stacks or fits perfectly in between her cuff rings. I personally think it would make the coolest pinky ring! Price: $680

2. These cuff rings are one of Elisa's latest designs and they make creating a stack easier by being awesome fillers. Lots of rings are able to pair well with the cuff rings because the design has a void in the middle, ready to be filled by another ring. This one is done in 18k yellow gold and rose cut diamonds. Price: $1,720

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3. If you know me, you know I have a thing for hearts. I LOVE this heart ring from Elisa Solomon! It is dainty yet bold, set with a bright blue turquoise and ombré colored pink sapphires. The combination of blue and pink is super cute! It could represent many things and can be a symbolic piece in you collection. Price: $780

4.This ring is called the Magic Flower ring for a reason! It is truly magical! It is one of those pieces that can go with everything--just add it atop of any stack, and it tops it off in the best way possible. Take a boring ring that you have in your collection and add this ring on top of it--automatic upgrade! The opals are mystical and the band is special because it is set with rose cut diamonds and aquamarine all the way around. Price: $1,210

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5. Probably one of Elisa Solomon's most romantic rings--this rose cut diamond heart ring set in 18k yellow gold beckons for a love story. I can see the handcrafted elements of it, which makes it slightly rustic, for those bohemian brides out there. The ideal engagement ring for sure! Price: $2,940

6. This ring is all about flower power! The center starts with a Paraiba tourmaline in the purest blue color. Each petal is set with a multitude of colored gemstones, all unique and sparkly. Such a fun ring, definitely holds its own, so you can wear it alone without stacking--BUT it can happen. Love this for a pinky ring. Price: $1,350

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7. I posted a video of this ring in my Instagram Story because it deserved to be spotlighted! With every turn, it gets better and better. The eternity style of it starts with a marquise cut turquoise set horizontally, but don't let the front fool you! The ring is asymmetrical, with different sized stones which make up the band. What makes it even more magical is how a combination of opals, diamonds and turquoise create the band. Price: $1,760

8. Pretty little rose cut diamonds make up this beautiful ring. Dainty and elegant is written all over this piece, done in 18k yellow gold. Best part is how easily it pairs with bands and rings, making it possible to find a wedding band with ease should you choose this as your engagement ring! Price: $2,420

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9. Butterflies are the only insect I like--and one covered in gems is even better! Elisa's butterfly ring is set with an array of colorful gemstones in 18k yellow gold. It's such a sweet ring that easily fits into any jewelry wardrobe. Price: $950

10. Geometric shapes are quite popular and definitely trending--I love Elisa's take on a circular disc ring. She loaded up the color and gems to create this design. The ring is done in 18k yellow gold and stacks really well with her cuff rings. Can you imagine a row of four of these rings on one hand?! So cool! Price: $1,060

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Elisa Solomon Jewelry.

 

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Gem Gossip Visits Kathryn Elyse Jewelry in Seattle, WA

Kathryn Elyse | Gem Gossip

Wearing turquoise & diamond earrings, boulder opal and chrysocolla malachite necklaces

Kathryn Elyse | Gem Gossip

Pretty pops of color are Kathryn's signature style, rutilated quartz & pink opal are a favorite

Kathryn Elyse | Gem Gossip

This tassel necklace is done in 18k yellow gold with an adjustable chain (also available in rose or white gold, with a variety of gemstone choices)

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Checking out all the jewelry at Kathryn's studio

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So much color--which is your favorite?!

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Love this sleek look in black onyx and 18k yellow gold

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All the jewelry can be found on her gallery page

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Tassel earrings are WAY fun to wear!

Kathryn Elyse | Gem Gossip

Time to pick favorites!

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These four look great together, pink opal, rainbow moonstone, labradorite & chrysoprase

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They look good lined up, color-coded and all!

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Speaking with Kathryn and learning about her story

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Never one to mix brown and black, but Smokey Quartz & Onyx?! YES!!

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A rainbow lineup, stones sourced from all over the globe

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Mermaid hair with mermaid rings, that pink opal is calling my name!

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Black & gold is a favorite color combo for Kathryn too!

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Kathryn's latest earring designs, they are SO GOOD, I stacked them together

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Jewelry designer Kathryn and I stopping to pose for the camera

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The sheen on this Labradorite ring is unlike anything I've seen!

My last stop on my Seattle #JewelryRoadTrip was color-filled and very inspiring! The jewelry studio of Kathryn Elyse Jewelry took me into her faceted world, where this new, first-time mother is head-over-heels in love with gems! Her studio is as picturesque as you could get in a city that looks like a postcard from every angle.  I was so excited to meet Kathryn and spend some time with a young and aspiring designer, to get some perspective on being a newcomer and see some fascinating gems.

Kathryn Elyse Jewelry wasn't always on the path to a jewelry-centric life. After graduating from college, she took a job as a personal banker. As I read in this shocking interview, Kathryn was robbed at gunpoint just weeks into her first "real world" job. It was then and there she realized life was too short to not follow your dreams and passion. She had always loved jewelry; growing up making earrings and necklaces out of beads, artistically prompted by her mother who fostered Kathryn's creativity as she was a school teacher. Soon after she realized she wanted to take her jewelry designing to a serious level, she enrolled at the prestigious Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts located in San Francisco. There she learned all the skills her jewelry-making soul was craving.  

Equipped now with the capabilities of a jewelry designer and creator, she took her lifetime of design inspiration and put it to work! Kathryn developed an entire line rich in color, texture and high-wearability for customers and clientele hungry for just that. Seeing her jewelry in person, it comes off as very elegant, with an underlying playfulness that you have to bring out by wearing the pieces! Each piece can go with so many looks--dressed up or dressed down. I think that's what makes her line so unique--it is so versatile and fun. 

Kathryn is looking forward to what is next for her young, budding company. With trips to the Tucson Gem Show already under her belt, she is continually designing new pieces and finding inspiration everywhere she travels. Thought it would be a fun way to get to know Kathryn through a list of FAVORITES of hers below.  And thanks to Kathryn for welcoming me into your studio and sharing your beautiful world with me!

FAVORITE...

Gemstone to wear?

I tend to have a gemstone du jour – daily gravitating to a new beauty. My most sentimental gemstone is now emerald as it’s my son’s birthstone. Even with emerald’s vibrancy, I treat the vivid pop of color like a neutral mixing with other hued gemstone pieces and my attire.

Gemstone to work with?

I love playing and contrasting various color and texture. Like accenting saturated opaque (chrysoprase) or iridescent (labradorite and rainbow moonstone) gems with the brilliant refraction of diamonds. I definitely gravitate to stones with unique, one of a kind properties like inclusions (beryls) or asymmetrical formations (Australian boulder opals). Because of this, I actually prefer “perfectly imperfect” sapphires and emeralds, for example, that have interesting inclusions over highly transparent ones. Variations and fissures can’t be replicated giving the specimen unparalleled character. The variety of rainbow and texture is a testament to Earth’s miraculous geology and what draws me to each stone I hand select to work with and enhance.

Inspirations?

Just as gemstones come from all over the globe, the best way for me to recharge and ignite creativity is through travel. The colorful rooftops of Lisbon, geometric precision of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, and jewel toned sunsets in Santorini were invigorating experiences I’ll cherish forever. When I don’t have the luxury of physically travelling, admiring the world’s beauty through another perspective is stimulating. I can’t get enough of the @dailyoverview Instagram feed and am eagerly anticipating their upcoming book.

Must haves?

Rose gold – it complements any skin tone gorgeously! I made both my husband and my wedding bands in the radiant metal.

Guilty pleasure?

Magazines! Leisurely flipping through glossy prints brings me so much pleasure but unfortunately I don’t have enough free time and I feel guilty when subscriptions pile up.

Music?

Anything live! My latest concert was Adele – which is unlikely to ever be topped.

Furry friend?

Rowy, my one year old Australian labradoodle and real life teddy bear. Everyone swears he is part human based off his affectionate and spunky personality.

Part about being a mom?

Nothing is more heartwarming than gazing at my most beautiful creation and hearing his giggle!

Local Seattle restaurant?

I love how diverse and constantly expanding the Seattle food scene is. Altura is my ultimate favorite for intimate and romantic occasions; Canon’s creative cocktails, Westward’s waterfront ambience, The Walrus and the Carpenter’s oysters, Stateside and Revel’s Asian fusion; The London Plane’s brunch, and everything at Deru Market (especially the chocolate peanut butter cake)

Local Seattle store?

Mario’s and La Ree are the best for investment pieces and basics alike; Totokaelo’s modern minimalist store aesthetic, and Essenza for the most delicious fragrances, candles and gifts

Local Seattle activity?

Anything and everything on the water – boating Lake Washington, waterfront dog parks, and ferrying across the sound

 

 

Kathryn Elyse Jewelry

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