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Entries in designer jewelry (247)

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)

Kathryn Elyse | Gem Gossip

Checking out all the jewelry at Kathryn's studio

Kathryn Elyse | Gem Gossip

So much color--which is your favorite?!

Kathryn Elyse | Gem Gossip

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

Kathryn Elyse | Gem Gossip

All the jewelry can be found on her gallery page

Kathryn Elyse | Gem Gossip

Tassel earrings are WAY fun to wear!

Kathryn Elyse | Gem Gossip

Time to pick favorites!

Kathryn Elyse | Gem Gossip

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

Kathryn Elyse | Gem Gossip

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

Kathryn Elyse | Gem Gossip

Speaking with Kathryn and learning about her story

Kathryn Elyse | Gem Gossip

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

Kathryn Elyse | Gem Gossip

A rainbow lineup, stones sourced from all over the globe

Kathryn Elyse | Gem Gossip

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

Kathryn Elyse | Gem Gossip

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

Kathryn Elyse | Gem Gossip

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

Kathryn Elyse | Gem Gossip

Jewelry designer Kathryn and I stopping to pose for the camera

Kathryn Elyse | Gem Gossip

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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Gem Gossip Visits Shamila Fine Jewelry in Seattle, WA

Shamila | Gem Gossip Shamila | Gem Gossip Shamila | Gem Gossip Shamila | Gem Gossip Shamila | Gem Gossip Shamila | Gem Gossip Shamila | Gem Gossip Shamila | Gem Gossip Shamila | Gem Gossip Shamila | Gem Gossip Shamila | Gem Gossip Shamila | Gem Gossip Shamila | Gem Gossip Shamila | Gem Gossip

While a majority of my Seattle #JewelryRoadTrip was spent in the downtown area of Seattle, I was able to change the scene up a bit with my next visit. Shamila Fine Jewelry has called Seattle home for several years, with a private design studio tucked away in Fremont--an artsy district, where the views are captivating and the inspiration is flowing. For Shamlia, her extensive travels and worldwide thinking have shaped her collections and it is no surprise that she has clients that live all over the globe. Her customers end up being collectors and obsessed with her pieces, with the first purchase never being the last! I've met Shamila at tradeshows in the past but had only seen a couple pieces of her work at a time – she always wears her gold stacking rings or a cocktail rutilated quartz ring. I was so excited to not only get the chance to see her collection in its entirety, but to also catch up for more than just a few minutes with this warm-hearted soul. She is one of those types of people that you want to be around, with a contagious positive spirit!

Shamila's background is quite interesting, she was born and raised in Tanzania, then moved to Canada as a teenager where she had the opportunity to live in both Toronto and in Vancouver, and has since called Seattle home. This however, was not before spending an exciting year living in the West Indies, where a work assignment with the UN and the WHO sent her to the Island where wonders never cease – St.Lucia! She has lived in many parts of the world, as she describes herself as "comfortable out of her comfort zone." Her studies brought her to the University of British Columbia in Vancouver BC, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology and International Affairs. In 2009 she apprenticed for many weeks in Instanbul where she learned from the best. Seattle has been a great place to call home for Shamila, as an easy gateway for her jetset life, ideal food destination for her foodie habit, and the weather pairs perfectly with her obsession with shirt dresses! 

For Shamila, designing jewelry began as a hobby about 14 years ago when she first moved to Seattle. It started off with beads from a local bead store and when that didn’t satisfy her, she began looking for bigger and better. Shamila’s drive lead her to seek out rare stones, like specially Labradorite from Madagascar. Her hobby continually grew and brought her more and more happiness than she ever thought. Keyword here is hobby, so still this wasn’t a full-time thing for her. Alas, she was at a crossroads where many passionate people find themselves—choosing what you love vs. being realistic and sticking with her day job, she vividly remembers what made her decide to put everything on the line with jewelry. She says that choosing jewelry would be, “A career that would allow me to travel the world, to find beauty in the often overlooked, to make deep and lasting connections with those I worked with, while being able to give back on many different levels.” That was it—she was choosing jewelry, and yes, this decision came right at the brink of the recession. But she was ready for the challenge and it was the best decision she has ever made.

Inspiration abounds for Shamila when designing jewelry. She says, “When I am designing pieces I am thinking about who is going to wear them, sometimes the clients are such muses, especially when they are collectors, you get to know what they love and like. Quality is of utmost importance. I like to offer luxury in the details. The weight of the piece, the curvature of the shank, the subtle polish of the metal, the way the stones are cut, and how the light reflects off of them.” Design ideas pop into her head frequently, without warning. Travel is a huge inspiration, although there is a time and a place for these ideas. There is an art to holding onto inspirations and releasing them when they are ready. I think Shamila has mastered this, especially when she says, “Creating is not linear to me. It is like a careful yet chaotic orbit of paths; I just do what feels right for the stone and for the experience I am having at that point in my life.”  All her designs are proudly handmade in Seattle. Having everything created locally is extremely important to Shamila and her objective, as well as keeping everything as ethically sourced as possible.

One thing I love so much about her designs is how she showcases the gemstone's beauty above all else. A rutilated quartz is poised gracefully within a setting, while a labradorite is captured ideally to show off its unique labradorescence. Shamila loves using gems that are specially cut, which takes her collections to a whole new level.  

Speaking of specially cut gemstones, her carved citrine and amethyst minaret stacking rings are what dreams are made of! A week later and I'm still thinking about them. If you're unfamiliar with what a minaret is, it is found in Islamic architecture and is a distinctive feature, where prayer is called out--oftentimes similar to a tower. Shamila's Lokum Lale Luxe collection features these minaret carved gemstones in different styles, not just rings!  I'm wearing a few in the photos above, like the lariat necklaces and dangle earrings. I especially love the variety of gemstones that this carving style comes in--like Pyrite?! So amazing to see pyrite not only used in fine jewelry but carved into a shape like that. Other stones besides the citrine and amethyst include lapis, turquoise, black spinel, lemon quartz, London blue topaz, smokey quartz, chalcedony, rose quartz, carnelian, rock crystal quartz and green onyx. 

Another collection that blew me away, Shamila's stacking rings made of specially cut gemstones--round and square checkerboard, honeycomb and rosecut faceted stones. Pops of color are huge for accessorizing and these rings are ideal to pull off some colorful looks.  These rings are the kind you just can't have one of, so the more the merrier.  I've stacked several in the photos above. They are so fun to wear and have a loyal, local collector base! Want something unique and gets people wondering, "What kind of gemstone is that?!" Then you HAVE to check out her Flèches d'Amour collection which uses rutilated quartz and rutilated topaz. Not many gemstones feature inclusions that make them even more beautiful than they already are!  These gemstones are so unique and Shamila does a great job of enhancing their beauty!

I want to thank Shamila for welcoming me into her design studio and allowing me to learn about her as a designer, while experiencing her jewelry first-hand.  I hope you are now familiar with her work if you weren't already--and if you'd like to get a chance to see her designs in person yourself, she has many upcoming shows where she exhibits.  Like this Saturday & Sunday in Glencoe, IL at the Glencoe Festival of Art...as well as August 13th & 14th in Los Gatos, CA at Los Gatos Fiesta de Artes. Be sure to continually check back on the EVENTS page of her website or sign up for her jewel-laden newsletter to know before anyone else! More dates, especially during the holidays, will be announced soon. 

>> If you're interested in any of the pieces shown, please contact Shamila.

 

Shamila Logo

 

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Gem Gossip Visits TWIST in Seattle, WA

TWIST | Gem Gossip TWIST | Gem Gossip TWIST | Gem Gossip

GREAT MIX of designers: top left, going down--Ileana Makri, Fernando Jorge, Marc Alary; top right, going down--Spinelli Kilcollin, Marc Alary, Sophie Bille Brahe

TWIST | Gem Gossip

Love the artisan-made cases, organized by designer

TWIST | Gem Gossip

Wearing all Polly Wales

TWIST | Gem Gossip

Trying on some Kothari pieces

TWIST | Gem Gossip

The colorful world of Jamie Joseph, some best-sellers!

TWIST | Gem Gossip TWIST | Gem Gossip

A nice stack of Dorette rings, I'm in love!!

TWIST | Gem Gossip

...and can't forget the matching Dorette necklace

TWIST | Gem Gossip TWIST | Gem Gossip

All these are by Judy Geib: emerald bracelet, circular band, number ring, emerald ring

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Rings by Marie-Hélène de Taillac 

TWIST | Gem Gossip TWIST | Gem Gossip

Checking out the bridal selection, it's like a store within a store!

TWIST | Gem Gossip

Some of my bridal favorites! Pinky is Rebecca Overmann, ring finger is Mandrel Studio, middle finger is Mandrel Studio, pointer finger both rings by Mallary Marks (awesome necklace in background)

TWIST has been well-known for their incredible selection of fine designer jewelry for years! I realized a few weeks ago that my second blog post I ever wrote on Gem Gossip, I featured some selections from their website, so saying I've been a fan for awhile may be an understatement. Those not akin to the Pacific Northwest may not realize that TWIST has TWO locations, one in Seattle, WA and one in Portland, OR. Most are familiar with their popular website twistonline.com where people from around the world can shop their highly sought after curation of designer jewelry from the comfort of their home! I gush as I profess having a love affair with their newsletters. Anytime new designers are added or new pieces are added to their website, an eye-catching newsletter gets sent to my inbox, alerting me to check out what's new. And for TWIST, anything that they do is one step ahead of the curve. I learn of new, upcoming designers often from TWIST and love seeing how they curate their selection from all that is out there and available. Each piece is special, unique and often tells a story.

Walking into TWIST was like a fantasy becoming a reality. The store is located in Pacific Place shopping center, where some of the best shopping can be done in Seattle. A quick toss of the keys to the valet and off we were where five floors of shops awaited, TWIST being on level one. An aspect that defines TWIST since the beginning is their devotion to artists, so although jewelry now rules their main focus, some eclectic pieces of art (and although jewelry can be considered art) are still a part of the store. Items like sculptures, blown glass and pottery to be exact. Case in point, the giant penguin that stands majestically outside the storefront. It was created by artist Leo Sewell who transforms scrap metal and junk into fun animals. This piece has become iconic to the shop since first opening in 1999. 

The jewelry sprawls across multiple cases at TWIST, organized by designer and neatly displayed in artisan-made cases. Everyday pieces mixed in with one-of-a-kind, over-the-top...super cool alongside funky and chic, the jewelry is quite endless in terms of possibilities and truly such a fun shopping experience. The moment you think, "where is the engagement rings and bridal selection?," you stumble upon the tucked away bridal boutique that is just as unique as the rest of the store. Traditional mixed with alternative, with their favorite designers putting a spin on what they would consider bridal, this section reveals much to swoon over. Yes, there are diamonds, but there are also "rustic" diamonds, specially cut diamonds, inverted diamonds, fancy colored diamonds and so much more. I hope my photos above prepared you for some kickass jewelry!

Perusing the jewelry cases with Cullen, store manager and partner of TWIST, proved to be a Who's Who of the jewelry world. My favorite designers, pieces I've been coveting, and works of art I've had to stare at for a few minutes to grasp its amazingness, all in one place. Polly Wales and her masterfully-crafted jewelry set off one section of the store--both her staples and her most recent collection was displayed. I got to experience French designer Marie-Hélène de Taillac and her eye-popping colorful designs. She proves how color can be so fun and within one piece, a whole rainbow of spectral colors can be found. Arik Kastan, a brand I'm more than familiar with, was on display--but did you know they create an exclusive matte gold collection just for TWIST?! I've actually never seen it before because the pieces go straight to TWIST, so this was so great to see in person. It is funny how just changing one aspect, like the finish of the gold, can create a whole new look. And for the first time ever, I got to experience Judy Geib, a designer who hand-fabricates everything out of her Brooklyn studio. She is a phenomena in her own right, being self-taught, and on top of that, she mainly works with opals and emeralds, two of the most difficult gemstones to work with (very soft stones). There were SO many great designers featured, for a full list check out this link.

I don't think I can say enough positive things about TWIST, so I'm going to leave you with this idea--if you're in the area or planning a trip to the Pacific Northwest, make sure you visit either their Seattle or Portland locations. You could easily spend hours in here, so plan accordingly. (I also recommend the wine bar located at Pacific Place, Sixth Avenue Wine Sellers for before or after visiting!) ;) 

Thanks Cullen and TWIST for showing me some amazing designer jewelry while in Seattle on my #JewelryRoadTrip, I'll be catching up in the meantime via newsletter!

TWIST logo

Pacific Place, 600 Pine St #300

Seattle, WA 98101

(TWIST's other location, Portland, OR)

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Top Five Designer Jewelry Brands You NEED In Your Jewel Box

Couture | Gem Gossip Couture | Gem Gossip Couture | Gem Gossip Couture | Gem Gossip Couture | Gem Gossip

There are so many pieces of jewelry out there! It is almost mind-boggling thinking about the number of options we have as consumers, along with all the push and pull we get from the media..."buy this," "save 50% on this," "check out this season's must-haves."  And with more and more celebrity endorsements and blogger sponsorships, you might not know who to turn to for advice anymore! 

Well, I've put together my current list for the Top Five Designer Jewelry Brands which you need in your jewel box--and these are chosen based on my own opinion.  This is not a sponsored blog post nor did I receive any compensation to choose any of these five designers! I simply think what they are doing right now is amazing and by adding any or all of these designers to your jewelry box will no doubt be an investment in more ways than one!

1. Buddha Mama Jewelry: I was really impressed after seeing all the new collections at this year's Couture show and truly floored by the vibrant colors, rich gold and enamel work, with enamel being a huge focus for the girls this year. I loved every bit of it!  When buying a piece from Buddha Mama, you can't really go wrong--they also have big and bold if that is your style, lots of statement pieces, some spiritual pieces and if color is your thing--tons of options!

>> My pick? I would go for either one of their shaker cuffs (of course custom fit, as no cuff ever fits me ) or one of their 20k Marquise pendants outfitted with a color combo that gives you the best zen vibes you can find.

2. Nancy Newberg Jewelry: I love this line of jewelry because it is one that you can put on with anything--jeans and t-shirt, ball gown, pajamas--and just works. The jewelry is sophisticated yet cool, refined yet slightly edgy. The rings you see in the photo above, those can be worn alone, with no other jewelry whatsoever, and you'd still be best dressed in terms of jewelry wherever you are.

>> My choice? Either the ring pictured in yellow gold or one of her newest domed ball rings.

3. Venyx: This stunning line by Eugenie Niarchos totally transports you to another world. The uniqueness of it alone puts it in the top five. If you like colorful, most of her designs will be the perfect addition to your jewelry box; color is a big part of her line. The black-light responsive enamel rings are really cool too. Bottom line, if you want something that will truly get people talking and curious as to the story behind a piece, then Venyx is for you.

>> My pick? Anything with a rainbow of gems will do, but if I had to choose, a Moonshell rainbow ring.

4. NC Rocks: A favorite newcomer of many, NC Rocks truly "rocked" it at Couture. Adding a piece from their collection to your jewelry box would be a smart thing to do, as I only see them growing and continually expanding their collection. Start now and continue collecting! Their enamel pieces are incredible--love the Art Deco inspired designs.

>> My choice? Either the middle ring I'm wearing in the above photo or the Venice ring.

5. Alison Lou Jewelry: Investing in a young and hip jewelry designer like Alison Lou is smart and her jewelry is worth every penny. Every jewelry box needs a piece when you look at it, it makes you smile. That's exactly what kind of jewelry Alison designs...whether it's a ring that features your favorite emoji, a pair of earrings delicately enameled in your favorite color, or a necklace that is personalized, her jewels are just as sentimental as they are trendy.

>> My fave? Her Wildflowers by the Yard necklace...or if you're more of a ring girl, any of her enamel eternity bands are amazing.

 

 

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? You may also enjoy reading these Q&A interviews.


Arik Kastan Launches New Designs at Couture

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

Arik Kastan has been busy debuting some new designs and collections out in Vegas earlier this month! The team was so excited to show off new pieces in front of thousands of buyers, press and journalists.

Take a look at the photos here, taken at the tradeshow...can you spot the new designs?  New favorites?!

>> Didn't attend the event, no worries--here's some things you missed! 

Vegas Favorites

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

A padlock on a thin chain is all you need for a night out in Vegas! And this particular piece has a surprise--one side is moonstone, the other is labradorite. Hey, there's your day to night change-up right there! ;)

Double-sided padlock, Price: $2,398

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

We've added lapis to our lineup and have never looked back! Completely obsessed with how this deep, opaque blue looks with all that is trending in fashion right now. Don't forget to stack for full potential.

Signature Three-Stone ring in Lapis, Price: $990

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

We've got the case of the blues, in the best way possible--we've introduced a whole lineup of aquamarine beauties while in Vegas! As you can see, this one is gorgeous on its own or stacks nicely.

Oval Eternity band in aquamarine, Price: $1,240

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

Feeling the summer heat over here in Vegas, which goes perfectly with our Blossom Stud earrings. We opted for the gemstone combo shown here, onyx and aquamarine--a little edgy, a little flirty. Definitely our kind of Vegas vibes.

Blossom Stud earrings, Price: $1,334

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

If we could have one wish out here in Vegas, it would be to spend some time by the pool! This ring will help with that--one glance leaves you feeling cooled off and in a tranquil state. Thanks turquoise and emeralds!

Pebble Stone ring, Price: $1,725

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

Last but not least, we couldn't help but add a little spice to our repertoire with these earrings! Bold and beautiful, set with garnets in a floral motif. Turn heads with these babies on!

Stained Glass Drop earrings, Price: $1,496

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

The latest favorite TRIO, with two brand new designs--the MOSAIC band on the very top and COMPASS ring right below. Look out for them to hit the website soon! Can't wait? Email info@arikkastan.com

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