It’s November, so let’s talk all things topaz and Turkey. We’re referring to the country, not the bird.
Growing up in Istanbul, Lika Behar collected rocks from the terrain as well as beads and semiprecious stones from the shopping bazaars of her homeland. So, it’s no surprise she grew up to design jewelry that’s rich with color, textures that are rough and glassy, and all put together in a wild hive of metals and gemstones.
“When I see beautiful, original, and often organically-shaped gemstones, the design process in my mind begins,” says Lika. Those three words—beautiful, original, organic—perfectly describe her pieces, whether straightforward in their simplicity or one-of-a-kind art pieces.
Lika’s Mediterranean influence is evident not only in the colors of gemstones but also in her work with 24-karat gold. Both hammered and smooth, this luscious gold is perfect on its own and equally stunning as a complementary setting for other metals and gems.
In celebration of the month, here’s November’s birthstone, topaz, à la Lika.
24K Gold and Oxidized Silver Ring with Faceted Sky Blue Topaz
24K Gold and Oxidized Silver Ring with Cushion Cut White Topaz
Lika may not have coined the phrase “diamond in the rough,” but she certainly mastered it.
22K Hoop Earrings with Fancy Cut and Melee Diamonds
It’s Hammer Time, for bracelets. You can touch this.
24K Hammered Fusion Gold and Silver Open Cuff
Are your ears ringing? They should be earring-ing, that is, with Lika’s oxidized silver, gold, and diamond beauties.
24K Gold and Oxidized Silver Earrings with Diamonds
24K Gold and Oxidized Silver Ear Cuffs with Diamonds
Mediterranean Color Blast
With Lika’s Turkish pedigree, the expectation for color is great—and she does not disappoint. Fasten your seat belts.
24K gold and sterling silver pendant with rainbow moonstone, opal doublets, blue sapphires, and fancy-shape diamonds.
24K gold freeform one-of-a-kind ammolite doublet with emeralds and fancy-cut diamonds.
Throughout history, gold has been one of the most sought-after metals in the world. It’s been used as currency, to decorate objects as a thing of beauty, and is also used for industrial purposes.
“Reflections” ring made of 24k hammered gold set with diamonds, by Lika Behar Collection.
In the jewelry industry, the word “gold,” when used by itself, means “all gold” or “pure” gold, meaning 24 karat (24K) gold. Because 24K gold is soft, it’s usually mixed with other metals called alloys to increase its hardness and durability. If a piece of jewelry is not 24 karat gold, the karat quality should accompany any claim that the item is gold.
The karat quality marking tells you what proportion of gold is mixed with the other metals. Fourteen-karat (14K) jewelry contains 14/24 or 58.3% gold, with 10/24 parts of an alloy metal. The higher the karat rating, the higher the proportion of gold in the piece of jewelry.
Jewelry should be marked with its karat quality. Near the karat quality mark, you should also see the name or the U.S. registered trademark of the company that will stand behind the mark. The trademark may be in the form of a name, symbol or initials. If you don’t see a trademark accompanying a quality mark on a piece of jewelry, look for another piece.
Are you ready to go for the gold? Below are some designs from our American Gem Society members that feature yellow, white, or rose gold, which is a mixture of gold with copper to create the pinkish, soft glow.
“Ablaze” bracelet in 14K gold with diamonds, by E.L. Designs.
Cestino Flower ring with white diamonds set in 18K rose and white gold, by Bergio.
A-symmetric shape necklace in 14K yellow gold, by NEI Group.
Round twisted French pave diamond hoop earrings with 14K white and rose gold, by Gabriel & Co.
Honeybee “B” honeycomb diamond cuff in 18K gold, by Gumuchian.
Diamond Mosaic fan earrings in 14K white gold, by KC Designs.
Diamond engagement ring in 14K white and rose gold, by Divine.
Stepping Stone Hinged Bangle in 18K recycled yellow gold and sand pave with natural colored diamonds, by Debra Navarro.
Blue and white diamond circle pendant in 10K rose gold, by Carizza.
Mosaic ring in 18K yellow gold with diamond and enameling, by Lord Jewelry.
When it comes to cleaning gold, visit your jeweler for a professional cleaning. To clean your jewelry at home, be sure to ask your jeweler what at-home products are best for cleaning gold, especially if there are gemstones in the piece.
Spring is here and we’re ready for some jewelry trends to help us celebrate this much-welcome change of season! Now that the weather is warming up, what’s hot? We’ve gathered some season-sensational (We just made that up!) designs from our AGS members.
Quite possibly the most quintessential symbols of spring are flowers, butterflies, and bees. Naturally, their likenesses are found in a variety of fine jewelry designs.
One-of-a-kind, Queen Bee Pendant, by Lord Jewelry.
Butterfly Open Frame band, by Fine Jewels of NYC.
Paraiba tourmaline and diamond flower ring, by Simon G. Jewelry.
Next on the list is chains. Big chains. Little chains. This trend is an ode to the Eighties and they’re everywhere!
Diamond Chain Link hoop earrings, by KC Designs.
Chain Band with diamonds, by Erica Courtney.
Gold and diamond chain cuff, from Sloane Street by Gadbois Jewelry.
It’s been said that pearls never go out of style, but these aren’t your grandmother’s pearls! Modern designs have re-imagined the classic jewelry wardrobe staple.
South Sea cultured pearl and graduated sapphire earrings, by Baggins Pearls.
Golden South Sea pearl pendant with diamonds, by ASBA USA, Inc.
Tricolor white cultured pearl ring with diamonds, by Mastoloni.
The warmer weather has us looking towards the sky and the sea for a much-needed getaway! Both celestial and nautical-themed designs inspire us to seek the outdoors (and beyond) for our next adventure.
Diamond Whirl Shooting Star ring, by Carelle.
North Star diamond pendant, by NEI Group.
Diamond anchor pendant, by Shula New York.
Are you ready to add a bit of bling to your spring wardrobe? Find an American Gem Society jeweler member near you at www.ags.org/findajeweler.
Summer days are full of fun with days at the pool, barbecues with friends, and travel to beautiful beach locations. But all this fun can lead to your jewelry losing its sparkle as it becomes dulled by the oils in your sunblock, butter dripping off that cob of corn, or caked with sand from building a prize-winning sandcastle.
So, when you want to return your jewelry to full sparkle, you may be tempted to use one of your mother’s or grandmother’s tricks of the trade. But these “old wives’ tales” range from ineffective to dangerous. Here are the top eight jewelry cleaning tales to avoid.
#1 – Toothbrush and Toothpaste
They are great for your pearly whites, but not your pearls or any other type of jewelry. The abrasives in toothpaste will scratch the surface of metals and softer gemstones, while a toothbrush’s long handle places to much pressure on the piece you are cleaning.
#2 – Ammonia, Windex®, and Mr. Clean®
Ammonia, Windex, denatured alcohol, acetone and other harsh cleaning agents can dull or pit the surface of softer gemstones. While ammonia or a cleaning agent like Mr. Clean can be safe on harder gemstones in small concentrations, it is difficult to determine the correct ratio, making them a risky choice.
#3 – Hydrogen Peroxide
While many of us know hydrogen peroxide to be an effective disinfectant, it is not really designed to be a cleaner. In some cases, it can actually react with sterling silver and through a chemical reaction, harm the finish. Professional products are a much better bet.
#4 – Bleach
Bleach is not safe for cleaning jewelry, as it damages metal alloys in gold, irreparably damaging the piece. In fact, this is why it is not a good idea to wear your jewelry while swimming or in a hot tub because both bleach and chlorine are often used to clean them.
#5 – Vinegar and Lemon Juice
The old wives are big fans of vinegar and lemon juice, and they are great cleaning agents for many things. Just not for jewelry. Both are too acidic and abrasive, which is damaging to metals and softer gemstones.
#6 – Coca-Cola®
Yes, some (Do it Yourself) DIY sites suggest using Coca-Cola for cleaning jewelry, but like vinegar, the acids in Coke can damage metals and softer stones. But to cool off on a hot summer day? There’s nothing like it.
#7 – Baking Soda
Baking soda, also known as bicarbonate of soda, is another popular DIY cleaning agent. However, it is too alkaline for cleaning jewelry safely. Just leave it in your fridge to soak up unpleasant odors.
#8 – Boiling Water
Although steam is an excellent way to clean jewelry (most jewelers use a steamer), placing your jewelry in a pot of boiling water is not a good idea. Your piece will come into contact with a hot metal surface, which can weaken or misshape the metal.
While the old wives’ tales are not the way to go, you can clean your jewelry at home. Visit your jeweler for professional jewelry care products formulated especially for cleaning jewelry. Be sure to ask what formulation is best for the jewelry you need to clean. For example, you will want a gentle jewelry cleaning formulation for pearl and other delicate gemstones.
About the Author
Kristie Nicolosi is the President and CEO of The Kingswood Company, the industry’s leading manufacturer of private-label jewelry care products. Since Nicolosi’s acquisition of the business in 2005, The Kingswood Company has earned a reputation for its advanced jewelry cleaning formulas, innovative and customer-centric design skills, and never-ending commitment to customer service. The Kingswood Company have been members of the American Gem Society for more than 25 years.
The American Gem Society (AGS) Suppliers’ Reception and Showcase occurs annually during the American Gem Society’s Conclave, the industry’s premier educational and networking event.
This year’s Conclave was held in Nashville, TN, and the AGS Suppliers’ Reception and Showcase featured 16 AGS members. Below are photos from the highly successful evening, featuring the incredible jewelry and the lovely ladies who modeled them.
“Being a mother is about learning about strengths you didn’t know you had and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.” – Linda Wooten, author.
When I was 9 years old, I asked my Mom on Mother’s Day why there isn’t a Children’s Day. Without hesitation, she responded in a kind but firm voice, “Honey, EVERY DAY is Children’s Day.” I knew that tone and I also detected that wasn’t the best question to ask at that moment.
Now that I’m a mom, I get it! In fact, I believe mothers truly need more than one day a year to call their own. How about once a month? The list of gratitude towards our mothers can be infinite, from the little things, like kissing a “boo-boo,” to jumping in with all her heart and soul to help us through a rough situation.
Nowadays, we realize that Mother’s Day isn’t just about mothers. The holiday extends to celebrate all the incredible women who have made significant contributions in our lives, helping us become who we are today. She can be a stepmom, mother-in-law, grandmother, daughter, daughter-in-law, aunt, sister, cousin, friend, teacher, or mentor.
If you are looking for a gift that is beyond special and significant for a fabulous female in your life, consider fine jewelry. They’re not only gifts that will make her smile (possibly with a glistening tear in her eye) once she opens it, but each day she wears it. She will treasure it for years to come and it will ultimately become a cherished heirloom.
The credentialed members of the American Gem Society (AGS) have got you covered for Mother’s Day. Here are a few ideas to get you started. If there is a design you like or have an idea of your own, contact an AGS jeweler near you!
Always on trend, hoop earrings in 14 Honey Gold™ with Nude Diamonds™, by Le Vian.
Three-stone, freeform family ring in 14k white gold, by Stuller. This design can be done with up to six stones!
Open wire bangle with diamond “X” and “O,” by Dilamani.
In this digital age, a classic locket is appreciated! Diamond and 14k gold locket, by Gabriel & Co.
Sterling silver “Secret Heart” bracelet by Ed Levin Jewelry.
Personalize the text for the Typset stack by Jade Trau.
Caprice triangle earrings with white round cultured pearls and diamonds, by Mastoloni.
Diamonds set in floating fluted bezel pendant, by NEI Group.
December has finally arrived and we have a month filled with celebrations and life-long traditions to look forward to. One of those holiday traditions is gift-giving, which we can all relate to the challenge of finding the perfect gift for a loved one.
Each of the three main holidays celebrated this month—Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa—have their own special traditions on how and when to exchange gifts.
Hanukkah: December 13-20, 2017
Hanukkah is celebrated for eight consecutive evenings but that doesn’t mean everyone gets a gift each night. In lieu of presents, some families mix in a game night, go to a movie or special event, or simply spend quality time together. Often there is one night reserved for that very special gift. Here are a few ideas!
Rare and natural color-changing sapphire ring with diamond halo by Jupiter Gem.
The “Sorrento Bar Bracelet” by Mastoloni Pearls features Akoya pearls and diamonds set in 18k gold.
Blue diamond Star of David necklace by KC Designs.
Christmas: December 25, 2017
Christmas is as diverse as the many countries that celebrate it, which means the traditions, decorations, foods, and presentation of the presents vary. No matter where Christmas is celebrated, it’s always about connecting with family and friends. Which of these gifts do you hope to find under the Christmas tree?
Illa diamond stud earrings by Hearts On Fire.
London blue topaz and diamond pendant from Doves by Paloma.
Oval ruby with diamond halo by Fana Jewelry.
Kwanzaa: December 26, 2017-January 1, 2018
Kwanzaa is a seven-day celebration that centers on culture and family. Each day is associated with a symbol, such as Mazao, crops that “symbolize work and the basis of the holiday,” or Zawadi, which are “meaningful gifts to encourage growth, self-determination, achievement, and success.” On the last day of Kwanzaa, called Imani, gifts are exchanged, often honoring the creative spirit and to reaffirm self-worth. Below are some ideas for someone you know with a creative soul.
Abalone, mother-of-pearl, and gray diamond ring by Lika Behar Collection.
The Fiddlehead bracelet by Ed Levin Jewelry is hand-hammered silver swirling around a faceted peridot.
Brushstroke No. 51 Earrings with diamonds set in 18k gold, by Carelle.
Perhaps some of the beautiful pieces above have given you some inspiration? When you are ready to shop, be sure to visit an American Gem Society (AGS) credentialed jeweler. The American Gem Society wishes you and your loved ones the happiest of holidays, and may the new year bring some wonderful (and perhaps sparkly) surprises your way!
Stackable rings are a trend that has definitely been re-emerging in the last year and we are loving it! Whether you’re having a dinner date, a night out with the girls, or a business meeting, there is a stackable ring style that is appropriate for you. Here are our tips on stacking rings like a pro for any event:
Keep It Simple
An important key to remember is to be simple. Using small bands to accent instead of chunky pieces. These simple touches will not only stand out but also create symmetry to your look. To ensure the complete chic stack, be sure they keep it symmetrical and not to clutter all your rings on one finger…share the love!
Mix & Match
You’ve always heard not to wear gold and silver jewelry but we are here to tell you that…they are all wrong! Mixing metals can create a cohesive glow that also looks great with your summer tan or favorite fall-colored clothing. More importantly, who doesn’t love a fashionista who is willing to take some risks from time to time?
Playing With Shapes
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different designs and shapes. Bold diamond bands paired with fun geometric designs complete a playful, yet sophisticated look. For the ethereal look, pair diamond bands with our dainty laurel bands [pictured below].
Stay True to You
Some of us are a little more conservative while some of us like to explore styles and fashions more often. No matter the case, it is important to stay true to your personality. Maybe one to two rings are all you need but perhaps another day you’re feeling that bohemian vibe where you want to pile on every finger. Don’t worry, the rings are here to support whichever look you’re feeling.
Established in 1996, Uneek Fine Jewelry has emerged as an unparalleled standard in fine diamond jewelry. The reasons will be evident once you see and experience the extraordinary detail, intricate workmanship and breathtaking designs in their extensive bridal, color and fashion collections.
The only thing hotter than the temperature in the Las Vegas desert were the new styles that debuted at the recently held jewelry shows! JCK LUXURY, JCK Las Vegas, and the Couture jewelry show were held at overlapping times between June 2–8 in Sin City, where some of the most significant jewelry in North America debuted to the trade. By fall, shoppers will be finding these pieces in stores. What can you expect to see? Here’s a peek at three looks you’re bound to love.
Convertible styles—pieces that transform to wear in multiple ways—were the most widely seen looks at the shows. Think two bracelets that unite to form a necklace, or a long necklace that can be worn as a lariat or belt.
For sure, versatility was on the brain at New York City–based design house Gumuchian, which added several convertible styles to its inventory. “We added more delicate motifs that lend themselves to everyday wear and to layering,” explains Jodi Goldsmith, the brand’s public relations and marketing director. Gumuchian’s newest offerings, made in 18k gold, can be worn six different ways.
All the different ways to wear Gumchian’s convertible Carousel necklace.
Geometry has also been trending for several seasons, and diamond jewelry maker KC Designs, based in New York City, is as smitten with the angular effects as anybody. The brand introduced myriad hexagon shapes to its existing Mosaic jewelry collection of round brilliant and baguette-cut diamonds.
Tiffany Sabo, marketing and sales manager, says the pieces were well received because of the simplicity of the shapes, which are easy to “dress up or down.” Plus, fans like “the openness of the designs,” she says of styles that feature graphic and airy hexagon silhouettes.
Hexagon-shape open ring from KC Designs.
Single and Mismatched Earrings
These were another standout among many designers, who offered them in both diamond and gemstone variations. The look speaks to the lover of fearless individuality who craves customization. The style? Earrings in pairs or multiples that aren’t identical and offer a brazen, uninhibited, and playful effect that celebrates character and self-expression.