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Entries in jewelry blog (895)

Exclusive Gem Gossip Logo Pins! 

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You guys, I'm so happy to offer these exclusive Gem Gossip logo pins FINALLY! These have been in the works for quite some time, spearheaded by my sister Bunny Miele. We both are very particular about design, colors, perfection, so after lots of trial and error, my vision finally came to life.  These are enamel with a white background and gold lettering. 

I've collected travel pins since I was in 4th grade and I have an entire black-velvet covered board hanging on my wall full of pins! So cool to create my very own and I hope you all like them.  If you're an avid Gem Gossip reader or fan, these are perfect for you. Show off your support for Gem Gossip--pin them to your collar, shoes, jeans, jean jacket...anything!

Details: White & Gold enamel, Brass plating

Dimensions: 1 1/4" x 1/3"

Shipping: USA ONLY AT THIS TIME

Price: $10 each

Quantity

Observer: Trendy & Timeless Engagement Ring Options

Observer | Gem Gossip

I'm excited to share that I will be contributing monthly to the Observer, lending my expertise on jewelry, gems and related lifestyle content. The Observer reaches 6.75 million monthly unique visitors and offers authoritative articles that inform and inspire an educated audience of influential readers. My first article went live a few weeks ago and I've been working on the next.

Look out for my posts--I will be sharing them on my social media platforms and I will try to post them here as well!

Here's my first one--I've carefully curated some engagement rings that are both trendy and can stand the test of time. Here's the link:

http://observer.com/2017/07/best-engagement-rings-2017-eva-fehren-erika-winters/

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? Check out other engagement ring stories

Why is it so Hard to Find Peridot Jewelry I Like?

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All photos above provided by Market Square Jewelers

Peridot is the birthstone of August, and many of us have come to find that August babies either love it or they hate it. Perhaps the ones that hate peridot haven’t had the same exposure to the gem as myself.

The peridot I know and love is a vibrant yellowish green that pops against yellow gold in such a magnificent and esoteric way. In Ancient Egypt, peridot was known as the Gem of the Sun and rightfully so. A well-cut peridot rivals the beauty of emerald and demantoid garnet, for a fraction of the cost.

In theory, peridot is plentiful and affordable. But while peridot is prized for its lavish and distinct coloring, it can be a struggle finding peridot jewelry that’s worth obsessing over. Unfortunately, so many factors work against peridot becoming an inexpensive jewelry staple like amethyst.

Here are some reasons why it’s so hard to find peridot jewelry I like:

1. Commercial Grade Peridot is Undesirable At Times

As far as amethyst goes, even commercial gems have the ability to be beautiful depending on the cut and hue. In contrast, most commercial peridot on the market looks the same - like small bits of washed out baby food. Too harsh? Based on how many uninformed people hate peridot, maybe not. When the cut is shallow, most of that lovable, vibrant green shade fades to almost clear, and there’s not much left to get excited about.

2. The Lime Green Color Can be Limiting in Design

I can’t recall ever seeing peridot in a white gold design that I liked. Let’s face it, peridot looks best in yellow gold. Most stones have a metal that complements it best, but with peridot, setting the stone in white or rose gold can be absolutely detrimental to the design. If you happen to love peridot in white gold, don’t let me turn you away. But this is why we see less peridot designs on the market than we do more versatile green stones like emerald that happen to look amazing in platinum and rose gold.

3. Large Peridot Stones are Significantly More Expensive

Larger peridot stones tend to maintain their deep coloring better than smaller stones. However, the larger the peridot stone, the more expensive it becomes. I can find affordable amethyst stones that weigh more than 4 carats very easily. Trying to find that same size peridot stone will set me back significantly more money, which is very limiting when jewelry shopping. It’s easy to find smaller peridot stones in places like Arizona and China, but the larger sizes are much more scarce globally, thus impacting the market overall.

4. More Awareness = More Demand

As more people become acquainted with that peridot sweet spot - the stones that are vibrant and well-cut - the demand naturally increases. Supply for quality peridot designs doesn’t fully match this new-found demand, which causes an increase in price and scarcity. This means I’ll have to be hunting for peridot jewelry instead of simply browsing for it. Instead of 10 great options, I may only find 5, and even then, I’ll be competing with other buyers looking for the same item.

With all the reasons why I have so few peridot pieces in my collection, I figured it best to reiterate that it’s not impossible to find worthwhile peridot jewelry. In fact, one of our favorite shops Market Square Jewelers, we feel, has the best selection of peridot jewelry!  The photos above are provided by Market Square Jewelers and all the pieces are available for purchase!  You can check out their website for more peridot jewelry here.

This post was contributed by:

 

 

 

Ageless Heirlooms Lauren Thomann | I: @agelessheirlooms | W: www.agelessheirlooms.com

Q & A and Visit with Raquel Alonso Perez of Harvard's Museum of Natural History

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My very last stop while in Boston, hours before my flight took off, I had planned the best parting gift--a visit to Harvard University's Museum of Natural History! Sounds dreamy, right?! Well it is and then some. An entire room filled with thousands of minerals and gems is open to the public on Harvard's campus, and Raquel Alonso Perez was there to give me a full tour, including some majorly fun behind-the-scenes stuff. I honestly think my one-on-one time with Raquel had taught me more in one hour than my entire Freshman year at college! I didn't want to leave! I got to hold pieces of gold that came out of the ground looking like sculptures, play with rough diamonds, see some incredible gemstones, and the highlight of my day was getting to spend some time with the Hamlin Necklace--rare and notable because of its gigantic tourmalines it showcases, which are all from the same mine in Maine!

Raquel's hospitality, warmth and passion to share with me what she does at the Mineralogical & Geological Museum was accepted with much gratitude and I had so much fun!  Here's some insight into what Raquel does, illustrated with photos from my visit!  Enjoy! 

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I serve as the Curator of the Mineralogical and Geological Museum (MGMH). Our collections date back to 1798! After 230 years of collecting, the MGMH is one of the oldest, largest and continuously operated mineralogical and geological museum, built for the nation and world-renowned for its fine quality collections, broad representation of species, unique occurrences and large number of type, described, and illustrated specimens. Our repository has become a true library of the earth with over 400,000 objects divided in 4 main collections: minerals, gems, meteorites and rocks. My role as Curator is to provide access to the world-class Earth Science collections at Harvard University, encouraging its use for teaching, research and public education. The favorite part of my job is research and all teaching and academic related activities, in addition to working with the dedicated team of people at the MGMH, the Earth and Planetary Science Department and the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture, HSMC, where our public gallery is located.

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In total, the museum has around 400,000 objects divided in 4 main collections: minerals, gems, meteorites and rocks and ore deposits. Only 3550 individual mineral specimens are on display at the Museum, 145 of these include a gemstone of the same variety. My favorite examples are in the wider variety of crystals and gemstones. For example, the beryls, we have a whole case of them displaying 40 specimens full of light and color. I also love the tourmalines, with all of the different kinds displayed with bi-color and watermelon elbaites from Maine, USA. As you can imagine, we have a strong collection of New England minerals, gems, and rare species. We receive a lot of donations, but we couldn’t display our entire collection, even if we wanted! Space is a major constraint, but not the only one. We also have to make hard choices about what to share in order to fulfill the Museum’s mission. Our museum is not only about highlighting aesthetics. We also need to prioritize the display of specimens that will also serve reference and research purposes.

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I am a geologist by training specialized in mineralogy, gemology, geochemistry and petrology. There are too many “logy’s” in there! These branches of Earth Sciences come together in a fascinating way, giving color and texture to the world we inhabit. In 2006 I completed my PhD at the ETH in Zurich, Switzerland, where I studied how the earth crust is formed, by comparing it with artificial rocks produced in the lab. After graduation, I took a short break to have my two children, Marco and Amaya, and returned in 2009 to professional life to work as a research assistant at the Earth and Planetary Science Department, Harvard University. A year later I was hired as Assistant Curator to take care of the rock collection at the MGMH and got appointed head Curator of the entire MGMH collections in 2011.

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I’ve always wondered why minerals acquire a color and not other colors. We know so little about the chemistry and the physics involved! My passion, stimulated by my daily encounter with Harvard’s amazing collections, is to uncover the story behind nature’s color choices! My work in the past 2 years has been focused in tourmalines and beryls. The most common color of elbaites from Main, USA is green but they also come in blue, yellow, pink, colorless and with many different hues and tones. With the use of non-destructive analytical techniques, I was able to determine the chemical distribution, trace element patterns and color correlation in a suite of elbaites from Maine, Hamlin Collection. In addition, this non-destructive dual-technique used in this study (Confocal Micro Raman Spectroscopy and LA- ICPMS, laser ablation-induced coupled plasma-mass spectrometry) has great potential to be applied to other gemmological materials to also distinguish provenance, natural versus synthetic materials and treatments. My current project aims to better understand the formation of emeralds, and is focused on the geology of the emerald deposit of Irondro, Madagascar. In fact, I mostly focus on rocks from Madagascar, which is a blessing, since the MGMH is quickly becoming the main repository of minerals, rocks and gemstones from this part of the world. I also benefit from the museum's vast network. I sometimes end up requesting research material from friends, donors and supporters of the Museum from faraway lands! However, my main priority and where most of my work goes is into ensuring that the MGMH’s collections are curated according to the highest standards of museum best practices for their preservation in perpetuity and use by future generations. Digitization plays an important role to achieve these goals and our ambition to open them up to a wider audience, especially those concerning research, education and public outreach, which will result in an online database of our collections sometime in the fall of 2017.

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Every day, in the environment I am, could end up being a highlight and making you proud of the work you do, especially when it can impact other people life’s. I would like to share with you a portion of an e-mail I received from one of the female students attending my class at the Harvard Summer school as a beautiful example. “..Here again I want to say thank you for bringing me my best summer ever. I really enjoyed the lecture. Every time when listening to the lecture, I really feel I'm being educated and have more knowledge on mineralogy and gemology. The happiness of gaining knowledge is hard to express; it's like seeing the moon coming out of the clouds and lighting up a street in the dark midnight. Also, I love the labs. I feel so good identifying minerals by myself, putting everything I learnt into use. I'm also fascinated by the gemstone experiments. I can't wait to get a full set of tools and practice in the gem markets back in China. What I really want to appreciate is that for all your support for me to do more microscope experiments. I know that doing the experiment before class means you have to skip lunch, I'm really sorry. The experiment is so incredible, I never see those features before, and I couldn't fully understand everything without doing the actual experiment. The image is fantastic. I gasp that people ever create those ways for examine stones. What I like most is the field trip. The behind the scene of the museum is awesome. I never thought that museum work would be so interesting. There are so many stories behind every collection! I also really really like the field trip to mine. You became my idol when you drove the van packed with all of us and fed us snacks. Working in the field is so different and I think I need more field work to really become a geology people. I sometimes feel so shame that I learned so much knowledge but still like a baby when put in the field. However, going to the field makes a lot of knowledge easier to understand. In the mine, when I saw you standing on the shiny mica mountain, I feel like you are one of the best women in the world---- a woman who could stand in the field with knowledge, and explore the earth, go right after the unknown, a kind of woman I really want to be. It is this summer that I, for the first time in forever, really willing to go to university; not because it is what everybody do, but because all the knowledge and skills I could get, all the resource I could access, and all the fantastic professors in the future I will meet to motivate my life..”

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My best piece of advice for anyone in general is to follow their passion, work hard, overcome challenges, focus and don’t give up! The combination of passion and perseverance will bring you where you want to be.

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xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? You can follow Raquel on Instagram ---> @raquelalonsoperez

Gem Gossip Visits Melanie Casey Fine Jewelry in North Andover, MA

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My last stop on my Boston tour for my #JewelryRoadTrip project took us about 30 minutes outside of the city, to a town called North Andover. Here, a jewelry empire is taking shape and they've only been in business for a few years. Melanie Casey Fine Jewelry began with a sketchbook of designs and Melanie's desire to work with her hands. Her whimsical, antique-inspired rings, necklaces, earrings and bracelets are just what every girl dreams of--and if the Instagram likes are any indication of success, she is blowing up! It has been great to watch the growth and finally seeing everything in person is the best part.

Melanie just recently opened her own studio/showroom, a space unitentionally ideal for a growing business, as she has plenty of room to grow. There are two sections that make up the space: the work room and the showroom. The work shop is where jewelers' benches are lined up, a laser welder sits in all its glory, and computers are ready for emails and website updates. The afternoon that I visited, there were four jewelers (all women, yay) working their magic, creating the delicate jewels that will soon be found on their new, forever owners. It was like Santa's workshop in there and you would think they have been a part of this production for several years--but alas, some have just started and Melanie is looking to add more bench jewelers to her team! I never knew this until recently, but you can actually follow @MakersofMelanieCasey on Instagram to see the behind-the-scenes of the studio life.

Changing gears--only a few steps away is the showroom--a definite juxtaposition from the work room, however equally as important. This enchanting space has been furished and decorated with antiques from Brimfield (only an hour and a half away) and displays made by Melanie's dad. The showroom reflects the exact vibes the jewelry gives off, and I love that. The pastel-colored, circular ring boxes are all handmade right in studio and they will be coming soon to the website, available for purchase. To me, they look like macaroons in the best way possible. If you're in the area, you can make an appointment to stop by and have access to all the jewelry so trying things on will be effective and help with decision making. There are also times where there are open showroom hours, so no appointment necessary! To find out when those happen, just follow Melanie Casey Jewelry on social media and/or sign up for their newsletter. 

It's no secret that the Melanie Casey Jewelry line is every bride-to-be's wish list engagement ring. With ethereal styles and unique wedding band options, you can find your perfect ring for your big day. One trend that is major right now for brides is minimalistic engagement rings, and you will find lots of great examples of this from Melanie. Below are my top picks you can shop now and be on the lookout for some new, amazing designs coming soon--I got to see them in early production stages and they are so pretty (hint: butterfly)!

pale-sapphire-swept-away-ring-1__64156.1500005522 castle-in-the-clouds-oval-ring-yellow__72768.1493765232 blueberry-mini-cluster-ring-stack__13138.1499112530 pearl-opal-medium-cluster-ring-yellow-1__69218.1498268363 diamond-trio-studs-rose-gold-1__66885.1486433031 clear-water-ring-yellow-1__36999.1494372309 champagne-baguette-diamond-ring-1__26111.1493775298 1139-navy-blue-sapphire-ladys-slipper-montana__35785.1495687518

 

Melanie Casey

 

1007 Osgood Street

North Andover, MA 01845

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