Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hematite Jewelry - Is It Magnetic or Not?

The gemstones hematite and lodestone are both stated as being magnetic, but is this really the case?

Hematite is a black silvery stone which is quite heavy. It has been with royals since the Egyptian and Greek days. It is named after the Green word haima, which means blood. It will streak red when rubbed against a harder substance, thus the name. Hematite is also known as a black diamond when it is faceted.

Contrary to popular belief, hematite is not magnetic. (lodestone, another black stone has this quality.) Hematite jewelry is thought to have mystical qualities, however. It is often said that wearing hematite jewelry will bring good luck in legal matters, so it is popular with some new age lawyers.

Natural healers use hematite to improve memory, re-focus the intellect and to remove negative thoughts. It is often thought to balance the first chakra, the root, in yoga.

For a more detailed information article on the qualities of both hematite and lodestone, please visit our resource library at Vintage Jewelry Lane.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Two New Jewelry Blogs for you To Check out

I find that I am spending more and more of my time writing about my love of all things jewelry. I have blogs on my two main websites as well as this blog, but have also added a couple more to my list to make the organization of them a bit easier for me (and you!) to keep track of.

The two new blogs will each have a main theme related to particular aspects of the jewelry industry. Jewelry Designers, Contest and Awards will discuss these topics with an emphasis on mainly contemporary designers and currently running contests. I'll also discuss the various vintage jewelry designers from time to time on this blog.

The other blog, called Jewelry Exhibits and Shows, will discuss various vintage and contemporary jewelry exhibits, auctions, trade shows, reference books, and updates about museum demonstrations.

This will still be my main blog, and I'll touch on all of these aspects from time to time here, but if you are interested in these specific areas of jewelry, then my new blogs are worth a look.

As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome!

2010 MJSA Vision Jewelry Awards Announced

Every year, the MJSA Vision Awards celebrate outstanding talent in the field of jewelry design. The winning designers represent the future of the jewelry manufacturing industry, and the Vision Awards competition showcases their creativity and boosts their careers.

The winners for 2010 have just been announced in these categories:
  • Design Excellence (professional designs with exceptional creativity)
  • Visionary Technical Solution (professionally produced designs in which specific technical challenges—such as combining two non-complementary metals)
  • Distinction Awards (designers working with specific metals or techniques. In 2010, the competition included awards for Gold Distinction Award)
  • Future of the Industry Award (this award recognizes the work of students in jewelry-related programs who exhibit exceptional design talent and creativity)

You can view the complete list of winners on this page of the MSJA website. Here is my favorite from the future of the industry category. This fabulous piece is by Hyangmi Kim and is called "A Waterfall in the Moonlight". The necklace features silver, brass, brass/copper alloy, nickel, sea shells, gold-plated bead wire, silver-plated bead wire, light-emitting diode.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Jewelry Lane Opens at Ruby Plaza

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you'll notice a lot of changes today. I'm hoping that the new look will make reading it easier and the overall look will be fresh and clean.

I just want to give you a heads up about my new shop at Ruby Plaza. That's right - Plaza. Ruby Lane has a new sister site which has just opened this week. The new site allows the sale of items that aren't permitted on Ruby Lane which deals only in vintage and antique items. Ruby Plaza, on the other hand, also allows the sale of new contempory items.

My new shop is called Jewelry Lane and I will offer both vintage and contemporary jewelry there, but with an emphasis on newer jewelry that hasn't ever been worn. I've also changed the heading of my blog to go along with this new theme so that it's now called Collecting Vintage and Contemporary Jewelry.

My new shop is a flag ship shop. Flagship means the shop was one of the first 500 to open at Ruby Plaza and I am very pleased I was able to procure a"flagship" shop since the benefits are considerable.

I had a look yesterday to see if there are any flagship positions available. All of the positions for current Ruby Lane owners are filled (250 only were allowed), but there are still more flag ship positions for shops new to the Ruby Lane family. If you sell vintage or contemporary collectibles for the home, or jewelry, you may want to have a look. The fees are reasonable. You can get more details on this page of the Ruby Plaza Site.

Stay tuned for more details about my shop. I'll be having a May Madness sale starting next week, where I'll have a large range of vintage jewelry marked down significantly.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Creative Jewelry idea - Broken China Jewelry

I am always on the look out for unusual ideas which designers of jewelry have created. This idea is one I wouldn't have though of, and have never seen before.

The owner of the website Broken China Jewelry, also has another site called Roses and Teacups where they sell china and porcelain products. Their retail site often has various items of broken china which they use in a very creative way - They turn what others would throw away into lovely and very romantic pieces of jewelry.

The sales of their broken china jewelry items benefits an outreach which they have founded called Broken to Beautiful which offers encouragement, resources and opportunities to women trying to get out of domestic violence and sexual abuse. It is nice to see such a wonderful and generous use of broken materials.

The bracelet featured here is a lovely stunning combination of heart shaped charms, pretty glass beads and crystals which make a true work of art.

The site reuses the china pieces to make jewelry of all types from several different designers. There are rings, bracelets, pendants and many styles of necklaces. Have a look around the site today. Your purchase benefits a good cause.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sotheby's Magificent Jewels Auction was a Success

The much talked about auction from Sotheby's Auction house ended yesterday with some fabulous buyer purchases. The famous auction house touted this sales as Magnificent Jewels and the following items were true to the name.

You can view all results on this page of Sotheby's website, but here are a few of my favorites:
Fabulous Aquamarine, sapphire and diamond bird brooch



All photos courtesy of Sotheby's Auction House.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Show Your Stuff at Collector's Weekly

Readers of my blog know that I often write about the interviews that are done by our friends at Collector's weekly. They are informative and full of information. The ones that particularly interest me are those done with individuals somehow connected to the vintage jewelry field.

However, their interviews talk with people in all sorts of industries, so there is something of interest for any reader.

Do you have a collection of some sort that you would like to share? Now is the time to do it. Collector's weekly currently has an event called Show Us Your Stuff. From now until the end of May, 2010. They will take a look at all of the submissions received, pick their favorites and then publish the top 10 Collections throughout the summer on their website.

For more details on how to submit your collection, please visit this page of the collector's weekly website. And if your collection features jewelry in any type and is chosen as one of the top 10 Collections, email me and I'll also feature you on my blog during the summer.

Good luck to all collectors!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Melania Trump to Introduce a New Line of Jewelry on QVC

Melania Trump, the third wife of Donald Trump, will soon introduce a new line of jewelry on the TV shopping network, QVC. The collection is set to debut on April 30, at 9 PM.

Melania's aim in producing the collection was to create a luxury line for women, without having them break the bank. According to Ms. Trump, the collection will include premium, affordable timepieces and jewelry.

Melania Trump Photo credit: The New York Times

If the following pieces are an indication of the whole range, the prices really won't be "Donald Trump-like" at all. The necklace will be available for $40, the watches $50-$75, and the ring will be priced at $35.

Here is a preview of some of the designs:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Second Hand Jewelry and Watches up for Auction at Fellows and Sons

My favorite UK auction house, Fellows and Sons, will be having a second hand jewelry and watches auction on April 15, 2010. The jewelry in this auction seems to focus on 9K bracelets and chain necklaces, but there is also a nice selection of rings.

I am always delighted to see the cameos that they have up for auction, since I can't resist them. Here are a couple of my favorites:

You can view the entire Fellows and Sons auction catalogue on here, The watches are shown first in the catalogue and the jewelry starts about lot 117.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Michelle Obama in Pearls on the cover of Conde Nast Traveler

My goodness, Michelle Obama has been busy with magazine cover shoots this month. Newsweek, Good Housekeeping and now the cover of Condé Nast Traveler.

The article is called "Mrs. Obama's Washington," and she appears on the cover wearing a bright pink frock and her signature look of a string of pearls.

The article is quite lengthy and covers a bit of the background of the Obama's, and lots of details about their time in the white house and other details about Washington, DC.

You can read the whole article on this page of the Condé Nast website.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Swarovski Design Elements Winner is Announced

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads has just announced the grand prize winner of their CHRYSTALLIZED Swarovski Elements contest.

The winner for 2009 is Francesca Walton, and the design is called "Midsummer Night's Dream." Her design was entered in the wedding and holiday category. Francesca was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, but now resides in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

The necklace is a fabulous festoon bib design and uses an extensive array of Swarovski crystals. The designer states that this piece was designed for her mother, who has a strong love of nature.

The piece is also inspired by two musical works, "Midsummer Night's Dream" by Mendelssohn, and "Dragonfly Ballet" by Janacek.

Well done Francesca!

Other winning design ideas can be found on this page of the Fire Mountain Gems and Beads website. Congratulations to all the winners.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Jewelry Recycled From Flatware is a Hit!

With April being a month which is interested in all things earth, I started thinking about recycling and the various creative ideas I have seen with recycling and jewelry. Often, when searching through large estate collections that I purchase, I'll come across some interesting new item. Occasionally, I'll find a piece of jewelry made from an old sterling or stainless spoon, knife or other piece of cutlery.

This style of jewelry is the focus of an interesting site that I just discovered called McFlashpants. This interesting site has a large range of jewelry, all fashioned from recycled table flatware. The site also has a line of what they call "living jewelry", which uses sod filled recycled ginseng bottles and cut off knife handles to which have been added organic herbs such as lemon balm, and chocolate mint.

Here are a couple of items from their interesting range of jewelry.

If you have a creative idea for recycled jewelry, please email me with details and you may be featured on my blog.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Bohmenian Jewelry - Flower Power and More

From time to time, sellers of vintage jewelry will use the word Bohemian to describe a piece of jewelry, but what does this word actually mean in the jewelry world?

Bohemian- "Boho" for short refers to an ethnic look that combines clothing and accessories similar to those worn by native people from around the world. To me, it indicates more of an attitude than a definite style, since Bohemian can be used to describe many different looks.

Think back to the late 1960's to early 1970's era of flower children and hippies. Boho jewelry was worn a lot during this time period - with layered clothing and accessories made from natural materials and big, bold chunky styles.

Throughout history, bohemian style jewelry has always been admired for its statement, weight of the pieces and the colors used. The jewelry is very organic; it uses a lot of wood and genuine stones as some of the prominent materials. Ivory and bone was also a material often used. Many of the styles can be considered "plus sized" - not because they are to be worn by larger women, but because the jewelry itself becomes the fashion statement because of the size.

Eastern Europe is credited with being the origination of Bohemian jewelry, since it these countries are normally associated with gypsies and others in nomadic populations. It is associated with free thinking, organic, individuals. This is the same reason we tend to think of Bohemian jewelry and hippies. The two went hand in hand during the 1970s. Self expression is the key to the mood and trend in Bohemian jewelry.

The Bohemian fashion trend is currently experiencing a rebirth, with many popular Hollywood stars now sporting this style of jewelry. Here are a few examples:

All pieces are available from my Vintage Jewelry Lane Shop at affordable prices. Click the pictures for more details and photos.


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