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
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.
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!
Over the past several years I have built a wonderful collection of jewels with a client of mine. She started out pretty slowly, but about 5 years later, through a lot of time, trial and error and wading through a pool of contacts, she has managed to build one of the most beautiful and thorough collections I’ve ever seen (in a collection that’s not in a museum, at least!).
One of the most important factors we learned in building her collection is that sometimes stones will pop out at you at the most unexpected times. You may have been searching for a fantastic blue sapphire, and stumbled on the perfect ruby instead. I would absolutely jump on the ruby rather than keep pursuing the sapphire. Bump the sapphire down a notch on the priority list, but keep an eye out for it. In other words, when opportunity knocks, answer the door.
Beyond making opportunistic buys, it’s important to have a plan moving forward as you build your collection.
Strategies for building a stunning gemstone and/or jewelry collection:
- Make a list of the gems/jewelry you absolutely want. Try your best to order this list according to your personal priorities (see 2-9).
- Keep in mind this list is going to grow and change as your expectations and desires change.
- Color. What colors do you want? What colors would you wear? Is there any special significance to colors/types of stones?
- Hardness. Are you hard on your rings? Do you need to be limited to the very hardest stones? How does that limit you color-wise? Are you willing to wear something sparingly in order to have that color in your collection?
- Some of the best overall collections I’ve seen have a full variety, a rainbow of color. But some collections have a concentrated color group – a friend who is a huge fan of blue green for instance, may build a small army of blue-green stones in a variety of shades, while other colors in their collection may appear sorely neglected.
- Know yourself. What makes you get butterflies in your stomach? What makes you gasp in delight? Is it a certain variety of stone? Or a certain color?
- Keep budget in mind and know where you want to make concessions. Things like cut and clarity can help stretch the budget.
- Keep your setting budget and wants in mind. Sometimes people balk at spending more on a setting than on a stone. Know what your priorities are! For some people (myself included!) the setting costs and the stone cost ratio doesn’t matter, it’s the end piece that has to make your heart sing.
- Do you want fewer more expensive items or a larger number of cheaper items?
- Try to finish some of your pieces. You can go down a rabbit-hole of buying gems or settings and never complete anything (unless, of course, your goal is to collect gemstones and settings!).
Just keep in mind that beautiful collections don’t necessarily grow overnight. Gemstones are often very hard to track down, especially as you reach for more high end or rare stones. Building a collection takes time and requires patience, but is well worth it in the end.
In the event that building your collection hits a wall, feel free to reach out to me for help with new rocks to overturn or who knows – one of my contacts may have just what you are looking for!
So, I’ve mentioned before how many photos I take in any given photography session. These were taken in the last photography session I had before the sun went away for a week. I think I ended up taking about 400 photos in this particular session and I wanted to share them because I rarely use so many of the photos that I take.
Most of these have two of the spinels I recently listed for sale in the boutique, because they are so easy to compare color wise, and because it’s so rare to have two incredibly well cut nicely colored specimens, especially in this color family.
Sometimes I will take photos of the stones with the goal of just capturing something special, rather than trying to make the stones look their best, or trying to create a good composition.
One of the best things spinel does well is play in the light.
Then we get to the hardest and sometimes most tedious part, capturing the body color and cut of the gem. The first one shows a bit more darkness than I prefer, but with the macro lens and how the gems reflect what they “see”, it makes capturing an accurate view of the gem difficult. When they are worn, they typically aren’t 1-2 inches away from something that’s blocking the light.
Unfortunately precision cut gems tend to reflect more darkness, it’s the nature of the well-cut beast.
The lighting and camera’s white sensor did some funky stuff here, turning the background pinkish, and as a result, the tsavorite looks abysmal – it’s very rare that the camera captures it accurately, and this is NOT one of those times, but I felt it was important to show it anyway. You can see how much more pink the spinel looks in this photo compared to the ones with the blue-lavender spinel. Very different!
One of the more staged photos, trying to capture a good variety of colors for a shot for the site. The resolution is horrible, and very blurry, but I love the colors of the gems.
The oval spinel is one that I refuse to part with – too much history and such a rare color, and cut perfectly by Barry Bridgestock. The color play with the lavender is so interesting and the fact that they are both so well cut makes them a rarity, and fun to compare in photos.
Hopefully the sun will come out again in the next week or so and I can stop looking at a sea of gray. I am new to this “low-hanging cloud” phenomenon and not exactly sure if I’m a fan yet or not. It’s not even officially winter yet!
Here is a collection of 10 fast facts you probably don’t know, and couldn’t guess about me:
- I typically do not wear any jewelry. Yeah, I know.
- My engagement ring is a Stuller setting. I have never posted it to Instagram, and I don’t know that I ever will.
- I’m originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico but have lived in Hyde Park, NY, Bakersfield, CA and Eastern Washington.
- I have a pretty extensive background in law, but minimal formal education in it.
- I got married in Las Vegas because it’d be easier and smaller than a wedding in Albuquerque. It was not what the kind of wedding you think of when you hear “a Vegas wedding”.
- I love cold and wet weather, but I have horrible blood circulation, so my body does not. One of my very favorite memories is having a snowball fight with my husband, very early in our relationship. I anticipate making some snowflake jewelry in the future.
- I am a bit of an introvert and do not like talking on the phone. I prefer email and text message 100%, and if I spend a lot of time talking, my voice pays for it later.
- If you saw my house, you’d think my favorite color was teal. It’s not. I tend to stay away from decorating with my favorite colors because I don’t want to get sick of them.
- I have pieces from D’Vatche and Mark Morrell in my personal collection. Many of the items in my personal jewelry collection are antique or used. I tend to like unique one of a kind items, and antiques accomplish that perfectly.
- I have very eclectic tastes when it comes to home furnishings. I have some modern items with clean lines, and some very traditional antique items – some of which have been passed on through generations of my family.
Bonus: I am a total city girl, but since moving to Eastern Washington, I have adapted incredibly easily to small town life. Thank goodness for the internet! While I love the convenience of city life, nothing is more beautiful than an incredible sunset, followed closely behind by a clear night sky. Color and sparkle. That’s where it’s at.
Before I get to the topic for today, I wanted to bring up the actual inspiration behind last week’s gallery post, since it was just completed by my co-collaborator, David Klass. The client had come to be a few months ago about something completely unrelated, and we kept talking about her various other projects. Then we started talking about Paraiba Tourmalines and I’ve been with her every step of the way since then, from consulting on the center stone, to figuring out melee proportions for the various halo sizes, and finally designing and tweaking the gallery. Because this Paraiba tourmaline ring was a once in a lifetime project for her, it was going to have to be incredibly special, classic with clean lines, and a lot of curves. As with many of my projects, the gallery design was in part inspired by my time making pastry and the many hours I have spent practicing piping designs for petit fours.
K, I hope you love it! I think we did a fantastic job and I hope you enjoy it for years to come!
Galleries are so important to making a custom piece super special!
Now, for the topic at hand. I received what I was told was a “pad-like pink-peach” sapphire with “minimal brown”. Now, armed with that information, I will let the pictures do the talking. Which means this will be a very picture heavy post.
With a smaller light brown with peach modifier hessonite garnet.
14kt yellow gold chain
So. The last picture in the gem box is what I saw when I opened the package. It was different enough that I was taken aback – wasn’t this supposed to be a pink-peach sapphire? Did I get the wrong stone? So I took it all over my house, including outside where it turns a champagne/gold in the natural lighting, and inside, in a peach room where it looks peachy brown, and in a pink room where it looks more pink-peach.
Unfortunately the photos aren’t exactly accurate – they are better than what I actually see with my eyes. The champagne gold is more yellow than it comes out in the pics, and the peach-pink is actually less peach-pink and more brown. When I cup my hand around it in diffused daylight with an incandescent light bulb facing it, it looks more peach, but my client was looking for something that is actually a peach-pink with minimal brown. I was prepared for the stone to look less saturated than it looks in pictures, but not brown and certainly not yellow! In daylight, you can see in a couple of the pics that it looks almost the exact same color as the yellow gold ring setting in the picture next to it.
There is a lot of value in being honest in your listings when you are selling gemstones. I don’t think that this vendor intended to be dishonest, and I think that this buyer, my client, probably had expectations for this stone that couldn’t be met without the vendor knowing just how extensive the client’s knowledge and buying experience is.
So, just in case anyone wonders why I don’t use a lot of colorful descriptive terms in my gemstone listings, or get overly flowery or enthusiastic, this is why. I don’t want to elevate customer expectations to the stone being things it isn’t. I try to be painfully honest in my listings, then someone will be delighted when they open it, it’s better than they were expecting.
In other news, I have a whole bunch of prototypes that will be finishing up in the next week or two, including a necklace, which I am over the moon and totally thrilled for.
It’s about to get really exciting over here!