I heard first seen and fallen in love with the creations by The Gemstone Project in 2016, while looking for unique pieces for my personal jewellery collection.I really enjoyed that even my casual questioning and interest was met with positivity and genuine responses. As an Etsy favourite, when one of the listings jumped out at me, I sent the link to my partner, just stating that I found the ring I wanted.He immediately inquired as to the possibility of having a ring resized and sent to us in Australia. Elle made it a very simple and comfortable process for him to get my correct ring size, and the ring arrived much faster than anyone expected.The fit of the ring is perfect, it’s almost weightless and extremely comfortable. Well my newly minted fiance kept frantically checking that it was still on my hand, but I was 100% certain that it wouldn’t fall off accidentally.The quality of the piece is unmatched, I have had endless compliments on the colour and cut of the stone as well as remarks on the ingenuity of the secret diamonds on the sides. All of my close friends and family members have remarked that it is very much suited to me, as well as the fact that it is very unique.I have no hesitations in asking Elle to craft matching wedding and eternity rings. – B & S
Updates and an Announcement
I feel like it’s been a while since I blogged. And there are a lot of good reasons for that. But I’ll get to that in a bit.
I recently nabbed a trio of gray spinel asschers. I’m thinking about making a three stone with them, if they match well enough and look good together. I will see once they arrive! If I don’t love them together, they will probably go into the etsy shop.
I did several earring design sketches for a client, and I’m considering turning some of the unused ones into designs to go into the etsy shop. Especially since I have a ton of green garnets that really should be used for something fabulous.
Upcoming projects: a necklace for a friend, a Rubellite ring, a smattering of three stone rings, a five stone ring, a couple of fancy halos, and a handful of solitaire rings. Plus who knows what else will pop up in the next few weeks. I have several ideas for necklaces that I’d like to make, but those may take a while to bring into fruition.
The biggest announcement is that I have taken an outside opportunity, and as a result, I won’t be able to devote as much time as I have been to my own jewelry design. There won’t be a ton of changes that stem from this change, my website will stay the same, my stock designs will remain available, the Etsy shop will remain open, and I will still be available to do custom design.
The big changes are going to be: I won’t be able to devote as much time to hunting down gemstones and I’m going to have to be stricter about custom projects that I take on. I will still have accounts with Gem2000, Mayer & Watt and Pala International/Gems, and their stones will be available for purchase through me. Shipping will only happen once a week, probably Mondays or Tuesdays. Unfortunately, blogging will have to take more of a backseat, and will likely turn into a once a month occurrence. I will still try to respond to emails within 24 hours, but I may not be as swift as I was before.
Holiday Gift Guide
I figured I’d do something a little bit different this year since I have several jewelry items in the etsy shop, and they all need good homes!
First, a note about items in my etsy shop. I actually started my etsy shop when a friend who lives overseas asked me if I would sell some of his collection. I didn’t have any other details besides that, and I was shocked when over 200 individual items showed up. I would have a very difficult time selling that much stuff via word of mouth, so I decided that the best way to do it would be to open an etsy shop and sell it there. So almost everything you see in my etsy shop is actually being sold on consignment from private collections (with a few items sprinkled in from me) and have been collected over many years by gem and jewelry collectors.
So, with that said, I’m going to list my top five jewelry items that I think would make fantastic gifts!
- Diamond studs 14kt white gold
Classic diamond studs totaling .58ctw in one of our newest designs, a simple 4 prong stud.
- Diamond circle pendant, 14kt white gold with box chain
This diamond necklace would be excellent for a lady who loves larger but still classic pieces that bring a lot of sparkle to the decolletage.
- Bezeled Ruby earrings in 14kt yellow gold
These would make a great gift for July babies, lovers of red or those who just love rubies!
- Pink sapphire and Diamond Mirror Pendant
This pendant is perfect for September or April babies, lovers of pink, and those who love statement jewelry with a modern feel. And the inside of the mirrored cup could even be plated with rhodium for a pure pink look!
- Yellow diamond bezel ring in 18kt yellow gold
Who said that diamonds had to be white?! This yellow sparkler is bezeled in yellow gold, making it appear even more yellow than it’s grade from EGL, and it gives the face up appearance close to that of a 1.5ct princess diamond. It would make a fantastic buttery engagement ring for the bride who loves yellow or who wants something unique.
Here is the best part! If you contact me about buying any of these items, email or message me on etsy first, mention this blog post and receive 15% off! This offer is only good until December 21st so grab them while you can!
2016 Holiday Deadlines
I posted the holiday deadlines to my Facebook page but I figured they should be posted here as well to make sure that no one misses them!
Custom jewelry: November 1st
Stock design: November 23rd
In store item: December 19th
In store item with expedited shipping: December 21th
I live in a small town, and unfortunately USPS cannot guarantee overnight delivery from where I’m located! I do have access to a UPS office, but no FedEx.
There may be some slight flexibility in these, but that would be on a case by case basis! Please contact us directly for details!
Also, this is the last week for our fall sale (15% off!) in the etsy shop! Don’t miss out! The coupon code can be found on the Facebook page!
And because I can’t stop posting photos of this everywhere, here is the newest version of the Intrepide! My client’s 4.42ct Mahenge Spinel that she has been holding into for 5 years (!) looks fantastic in it’s new home!
Whoa! Gemstones ahoy!
I got a couple of packages from a couple of collectors looking to consign items, and there are some really awesome gems, and a couple of finished jewelry pieces.
Some of the stand outs include:
40+ carats of green garnets: tsavorite, demantoid, mint, including melee!
2+ carat blue spinel pear
1.89 carat neon pink spinel
6+ carat blue zircon
Light teal-blue tourmaline
Pink Vietnamese spinel
Handful of diamonds, rounds and cushions
Precision cut Mahenge garnets
Also expected this week, a precision cut gray spinel antique cushion with a certification from AGL.
And I still have more incoming in the next couple weeks!
All of these will be listed to my etsy shop in the coming weeks, while I’m hoping to have everything up by Thanksgiving, but that just depends on how things go, and how much sun I get for photographs! If you are looking for anything in particular or if any of the above sound interesting, please reach out to be added to the interest list!
If you haven’t found my coupon code on my Facebook page yet, you should go check it out because it expires October 31!
Also I have accounts with some wholesale dealers, so if you’re looking for anything in particular, let me know!
We are getting very close to the holiday season. I will be releasing deadlines for holiday ordering within the next week – where has this year gone?! I cannot believe the holiday season is upon us!
So many custom projects going into production right now, I am so excited to see them come to fruition!
A Day in the Life
Have you ever wondered what a day looks like in my life? Today is the day to find out!
7:00-7:15am Do a preliminary check of my email and social media to see what might be coming my way for the day.
7:15am Get my daughter dressed, fed and ready for the day. I’ve recently weaned myself off coffee, and it’s been absolutely brutal.
8:00am See my husband and daughter off to work and school/camp.
8:15am A thorough check of emails, start planning the day. If it’s a Monday, I write a bit on Facebook for the blog post, mentioning any big things that have been going on, designs I’m working on, sales etc.
9:00am Take photographs of gems and jewelry, depending on what the sun is doing. During the winter months, it’s almost always overcast, so sun is a precious commodity!
10:00am Respond to email. Post to social media, usually instagram.
10:30am Post new items to etsy, edit photography, write descriptions for items while eating lunch – often yogurt, unless I’m feeding my daughter too, which means I will eat something more substantial.
12:00pm Shipments usually arrive around this time. If I’m not expecting anything, I will probably ship items.
1:00pm Work on new designs, or incomplete designs that need to be revised and finished.
4:45pm Stop working on designs, start thinking about family time and dinner.
6:00pm Dinner time! I often recruit my daughter to help me cook, which for a 4 year old means stirring. She is an excellent stirrer!
7:00pm Play time. Sometimes I will try to post to social media here and there, but I usually reserve this time to spend with my family. Often we will go for a walk if it’s light out, or watch something on the Food Network (my daughter’s favorite shows are Chopped and Cutthroat Kitchen because she likes eliminating people), or just play with toys.
8:00pm Get my daughter’s bath time and bedtime routine started.
9:00pm Do a final email check for the day, post to instagram. Tuesday is usually my blog writing night.
9:30pm Watch tv shows or a movie with my husband, I tend to continue checking social media throughout (while he is checking his email!), and might post to SnapChat. Some favorite shows range from Game of Thrones, Better Call Saul (and Breaking Bad!), Homeland, UnREAL, Arrow, Once Upon A Time, among others.
11:30pm Hit the sack. I’m usually lucky to make it to 11:30 without falling asleep. Every once in a while I manage to stay up past midnight, but it has become more rare lately.
I mentioned that I will post to FB about my sales – I am running a sale for the month of August, and you have to check my Facebook posts for the coupon code!
TGP: Year Two
A lot has happened over the last year, and certainly in the last two!
On a more personal note, I have moved from just outside of the Mojave desert where water is scarce to a 1800s farmhouse in the middle of thousands of acres of the incredible rolling hills of the Palouse, and finally to a fixer upper in Pullman with an actual dedicated space for a studio with southern exposure.
Professionally I have created some incredible new designs, some of my favorite being the most challenging – a double haloed Paraiba Tourmaline, a haloed Burmese red spinel, a scalloped halo for an antique pear diamond, a violet spinel three stone ring, and a stunner of a 6 carat violet sapphire ring and so many more!
I have created some really amazing engagement rings – a marquise in the Papillon setting, and a three stone spinel ring, not to mention stones found for engagement rings. I am always so excited and feel so blessed to play a small part of someone’s engagement!
I have added to and built up the retail portion of my website, adding a boutique, and adding multiple designs to the Elle Collection. I have also made new contacts and been able to see some incredible gems!
As far as gemstones go, I got an untreated Colombian Emerald back from AGL – I always knew this stone was special, and now I know how special and rare it really is. I received a glowy red spinel cut by Jeff White, and while I considered keeping it for a while, I ended up letting it go. Very reluctantly! I have gotten a ton of gray spinels, and continue being on the lookout for more. I am always on the hunt for gray spinels, especially now that their prices have skyrocketed.
One thing that also happened this year is that AGTA and JA declared spinel to be a birthstone for August. If you’ve followed my blog, etsy, website or Instagram for any period of time, you know how much I love spinels. So while I think this is wonderful that spinel can finally get some recognition it deserves, it’s really terrible because that means that the prices of spinels are going to go crazy for a while, and probably will never come down again.
So many things are in the works for the next year, especially the next couple of months. I have a bunch of goals, including entering a design or two into competition, and working towards more earrings and necklace designs. At some point I would like to have a trunk show event at a local jewelry store because I think that would be a lot of fun!
Here is to my third year! I only hope that it is as wonderful as the past two years!
Social Media Updates
Ok, I’ve been trying to be more active on social media as of late, so I figured I should update everyone here!
I have tried to cultivate a fun Instagram feed and carefully decide what to post every day. I typically try to post 3-5 times every day. I will often alternate between bright colors and more subdued black and white images (or black and white items) because I feel like the colors stand out more if they have black and white to temper the bright color of the images. I post a LOT of macro images. Instagram is probably my social media platform of choice. I love taking photos.
Want to know when I update my blog? Or when I want to give a quick update, but don’t have time to do a full blog post? Facebook is that place. I also respond to messages, and I try to keep people up to date on all of my goings on. I usually post every one or two weeks.
I don’t think I’ve shared my Pinterest boards before. Well, if you want to take a look, I am here to share them! I have a multitude of different boards for jewelry, and it should surprise no one (seriously, no one!) that they are organized by the color of the jewelry on the board. Blue, pink, teal, red, black & white, gray, etc! My favorite board is the “Multi Colored Bling” board – Some really amazing use of color in fantastic items of jewelry! Note: the “Delicacies” board is a bit tongue in cheek!
Typically I tweet whatever I’m thinking when I’m thinking it. I’ve also taken to tweeting out my instagram posts as of late. This is going to give you a more candid look at what I do, and I often rant about cooking related things on Twitter (almost always related to Food Network shows!)
Want to know what I’m cooking? Or fun stuff I’m doing? I’ve been enjoying snapchat lately, posting snapshots of life, often a bit more candid than what you might see here, on etsy or on instagram. Random bling shots, cooking, food, a bit more life rather than bling.
The bulk of what I offer for sale is available here. I try to be more methodical in my sale listings because etsy takes so long to make a listing, it takes away the fun of adding a flair for the dramatic in my writing. I seem to do more seasonal updates here, and often post items that people have consigned with me.
And just because I always post a picture….
Custom Red Burmese Spinel Halo Ring
I’ve been incredibly busy, to say the least!
I actually took my first day off in three weeks renovating/decorating/etc the other day to exclusively work on jewelry stuff. I had been sorely missing it and really had a stack of things to get back on – gemstone photography, rough jewelry ideas, blog ideas, sketches (which I’m still behind on!), as well as giving my back a rest, as I had pulled it over a week ago. So I’m feeling as though I’m in a much better place than I was last weekend, with getting some items that were way overdue taken off my list.
I have a few fancy shaped antique diamonds in queue to design custom rings around, and I’m really excited about those. And of course I have some colored stone custom designs in the works as well!
In the meantime, I wanted to share some images of the most recent design to come out of production, something reaching quite a ways outside of my comfort zone, which I often struggle with, but always comes out better than I could imagine.
Sketch, slightly underdeveloped.
I always love when clients come up with something that’s out of the ordinary, and this certainly fits the bill in that regard! An unconventional diamond and platinum halo surrounds a 1.69 ct Burmese Red Spinel.
I will be sending a parcel of sapphires and an emerald to AGL for certification this week. I had been intending to send them to AGL and kept putting it off for various reasons. But they are going to go now, and typically they are at about a 2.5 week wait, so hopefully I will have them back relatively soon.
I have been working on some stock items, and as per usual, the CADs came out perfectly the first time for both items. Both share elements with the Vivant and as such, I decided to use Mahenge spinels as them as well. I can’t wait to see them completed!
Miscellaneous Announcements & Gems
As per usual, things have been a bit crazy around here. I’ve been able to spend some time working on some custom projects, which has been a nice change of pace from non-stop painting and renovation. Luckily, I think that’s coming to a close (FINALLY!) and things should be wrapping up this week.
Sidenote: I never realized just how much design work goes into creating beautiful faucets, light fixtures and door knobs, of all things. I tend to find designing larger items very difficult, and even something that small can have so many curves and edges that change the look dramatically.
Second sidenote: I decided that it’d be a great idea to put a relatively simple mural (paint treatment?) on our bedroom wall. This was far more difficult than anticipated, and will never be the level of perfection that I’d like. Also, Ralph Lauren metallic paints are way cool.
As a result of things being crazy, I haven’t really had much time to think about blog topics, or at least blog topics I can put together quickly. I have had some really fun ideas for future blog topics this past week, but they will take a fair amount of work to prepare!
I am still thinking about a spring cleaning sale for my etsy shop – I’m considering posting it here for two weeks, and giving everyone else only one week. I figure my blog readers deserve an extra thank you for visiting my website.
I’m seeing lots of requests for moonstone, red and pink spinels, while garnets seem to have gone a bit out of favor right now, except for the purple Mozambiques. I have a good connection for moonstones, so if you’re interested in them, please reach out!
Also, I totally missed when I hit 5,000 followers on Instagram because I’ve been so distracted with silly renovations! I randomly checked the other day and I was already at 5,200! Posting a “Yay I hit 5,200!” just seems a bit odd… Anyway, I would like to do a giveaway for hitting 6,000 followers. It seems like a better number for that than 5,500. I haven’t decided what to give away just yet either, but seeing as how I’m (at this writing) at 5,430 I have a little time to think about it.
I’ve been considering my next stock project, and I’m thinking of pursuing a three stone as the next up, inspired in part by the Vivant necklace and a custom ring project. They also have an earring project to go along with them that I’m really excited about too!
I also have a really amazing custom project that is in production right now and I cannot wait to see it completed and share it here! Soon I will be posting another custom project that was recently completed – a sapphire halo necklace. Exciting stuff!