City Spotlight: Los Angeles

By Randi Molofsky

This new semi-regular feature will highlight some of our members’ favorite places to go and things to see in their hometowns, as well a sneak peek at their newest designs. First up: Los Angeles, where Michael John Jewelry and OMI Privé are headquartered.

Michael John Jewelry’s, Michael Hezar

Michael Hezar

Michael’s favorite Los Angeles…

  • RestaurantNobu Malibu
  • MuseumGetty Villa in Malibu
  • Shopping – I like the new and up-and-coming designer brands available at Barneys.
  • Weekend activity – My family and I live and breathe soccer and it pretty much occupies most of our time spent on the weekends. My wife, Atousa, and I have two boys and we are either at one of their tournaments, playing with them one-on-one or watching it together on TV.
  • Day trip – I love to visit Santa Barbara for relaxing and taking trips up to Big Bear for skiing with the family.

We love Michael John’s creations for their bold silhouettes and fashion-forward designs. Some of the designer’s newest pieces include a major pink diamond ring perfect for the ultra-feminine bride and a set of rose-cut diamond pieces that have more than enough sparkle for a night on the town.

Michael John Jewelry 5.70 carat pink diamond ring in 18k rose gold.

MJ pink diamondMichael John Jewelry rose-cut and round diamond ring in 18k white gold
and 39.61 carat rose-cut diamond bracelet in 18k white gold.

MJ ring bracelet
Founders, designers and brothers Michael and John Hezar, of Michael John Jewelry (formerly known as Michael John IMAGE and Image Jewelry), share a common goal of creating timeless fashion. Inspired by nature, these brilliant designs are crafted into impeccable jewelry with exquisite quality, allowing Michael John Jewelry to meet, if not surpass their goal of embracing everlasting style in all of their pieces.

OMI Privé’s, Niveet Nagpal

Niveet Nagpal

Niveet’s favorite Los Angeles…

OMI Privé designs out-of-this-world colored stone jewelry in classic settings with a twist. New favorites include this stunning purple spinel ring with a surprising alexandrite halo, and an oval aquamarine set in unexpected rose gold.

OMI Privé spinel and alexandrite ring in 18k rose gold.OMI spinel

OMI Privé aquamarine and diamond ring in 18k rose gold.OMI aqua

The Omi Gems family dates back five generations to Burma in the early 1900s. Decades of wars and close escapes from political unrest followed. With a handful of gems, a brilliant outlook, and a clear mindset, Omi Nagpal and his loving wife, Preeti, came to the United States. There, they founded and built a loose gemstone house that over time became synonymous with the world’s most valuable jewels. Now, the Los Angeles-based company is led by Omi’s son, Niveet. As head designer, Niveet has continued the family’s reputation and high integrity through the Omi Privé fine jewelry collection.

Pizza Hut Marks Big Game’s Golden Anniversary With Pizza Glistening in Edible Gold

Shared from the blog of American Gem Society member, Stanley Jewelers Gemologist. 

Pizza Hut is celebrating the golden anniversary of the Super Bowl with a special pizza glistening in edible gold.

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Fifty lucky fans who order a Stuffed Garlic Knots Pizza on the day of the big game, Sunday, February 7, will be surprised when a Pizza Hut delivery person drives up with a special-edition gilded version topped with $100 worth of edible 24-karat gold. The pizza will be presented in a specially designed golden box along with a $100 Pizza Hut Gold Card. Carryout and dine-in customers are also eligible to win.

Super Bowl Sunday is the year’s biggest single day of pizza consumption in the U.S., according to Ad Age. Pizza Hut expects to deliver well over two million pizzas this Sunday, a jump of 80% to 90% from a typical day.

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“It’s not every day that the Golden Anniversary of the Big Game is played in the Golden State, so we felt it was only appropriate to celebrate with a limited-edition Golden Garlic Knots Pizza,” said Jared Drinkwater, Pizza Hut’s vice president of marketing, in a statement.

You don’t have to order the $12.99 pizza to be eligible to win the gilded version. It’s also possible to enter by emailing the Pizza Hut PR team between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. EST on February 7. Entries can be earned by sending an email with the subject line “Golden Garlic Knots Pizza Giveaway” to PR@PizzaHut.com with your complete name, mailing address, date of birth, and phone number (including area code). Each email will immediately trigger a winning or losing result.

Sadly, the promotion is limited to residents of only seven states: Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island, Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana and West Virginia.

Credits: Screen captures via YouTube; Pizza Hut.

Read more from Stanley Jewelers Gemologist at http://stanleyjewelers.com/

Pop Quiz: How Much do You Know About Jewelry?

 

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Engagement rings by Ritani.

It’s cold outside. So why not stay inside and keep warm and work your brain a bit. The American Gem Society wants you to test your knowledge of all things jeweled. Celebs like jewelry, royalty likes jewelry, musicians love it so much they put it in songs. We have a passion for jewelry, as well! Here are five quick quizzes to test your know-how.

The Celebrity Marriages and Jewelry quiz asks the question: “For her second marriage, the style icon was given a $2.6 million engagement ring from her shipping tycoon fiancé. She reportedly only wore the 40-carat diamond ring twice before depositing it into a bank vault.” If you know the answer, that’s great, but if you have a 40-carat diamond ring, that’s even better!

The next quiz is all about the facts: Jewelry Facts, that is. One question asks, “Of the 4 Cs, which one affects the value of a diamond by as much as 50%?” The answer may surprise you.

Here’s a question from the Jewelry in Pop Culture quiz: “This 1953 film features Marilyn Monroe’s iconic performance of “Diamond’s Are a Girl’s Best Friend.” Okay, that’s an easy one, right? Right?

The American Gem Society’s Royal Jewelry quiz tests your knowledge of famous jewelry, and current events. Do you know the answer to this question? “In 2014, this Swedish monarch proposed to his beautiful girlfriend of four years by presenting her with a unique Halo ring – a “halo” of smaller diamonds surrounding a larger diamond.”

“Wear them gold and diamond rings. All them things don’t mean a thing. Chaperones and limousines. Shopping for expensive things.” This is a line from a song featured in the Songs About Jewelry quiz. Do you know who sang this? Test your knowledge.

If you select the wrong answer, your selection turns red. If it’s green, you are smart. Take it as many times as you like to score all green, or 100%.

Tell us how you did in the comments below. Have more questions about jewelry? Test our knowledge and ask away!

And if these quizzes have given you the burning desire to look at some jewelry up close and personal, go to Find a Jeweler on the AGS website to find the nearest American Gem Society jeweler!

 

Kunzite: pretty in pink

This stunning ring from Omi Prive has been getting a lot of attention on our Facebook page this month. It’s a kunzite and sapphire ring; a combination that is gorgeous!  We love the unique design and the use of kunzite as the center stone.

 

Omi

 

Some interesting facts about kunzite:

  • It’s a bit of a newbie in the gemstone world: this pretty gemstone has only been known for about 100 years.
  • In 2014, Pantone named “Radiant Orchid” its Pantone Color of the Year, and it helped give a second renaissance to kunzite. “Radiant orchid” is a great way to describe this beautiful gem that ranges from pink to violet.
  • Whether the kunzite is natural or enhanced through treatments, the color can fade when exposed to certain elements, namely heat and intense light. To be safe, store your kunzite jewelry in a jewelry box or case when it’s not being worn.

Ask your American Gem Society Jeweler about kunzite. Need a trusted jeweler? Find one here.

Bakers From Paris to Brooklyn Start the Year With Blinged-Out Delicacies

Shared from the blog of American Gem Society member, Stanley Jewelers Gemologist. 

Bakers from Paris to Brooklyn are kicking off the new year with blinged-out delicacies designed to delight and excite jewelry lovers.

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In Paris, the husband and wife team of Julie and Nicolas Lelut baked diamonds into the almond cream filling of a huge batch of holiday galettes, a buttery flaky pastry.

Eight hundred galettes were distributed equally between their two stores — with one diamond hidden in a pastry at each location. Visitors to the Délices de Belleville bakery in Paris earned a 1-in-400 chance of winning a .20-carat white diamond, while visitors to their L’Amandine location in Custines had an equal chance of winning a .20-carat blue diamond. Both diamonds were valued at 600 euros (approximately $650), according to odditycentral.com.

The bakers held the one-day treasure hunt promotion yesterday to coincide with The Epiphany, a Christian festival held on January 6 in honor of the coming of the three kings to the infant Jesus Christ.

To prevent the lucky winners from accidentally swallowing their diamonds, the bakers used oversized replicas that could be exchanged for the real diamonds, which were certified as authentic by a local jeweler.

The promotion was the brainchild of Julie, who believed that offering diamonds was the perfect way to attract female customers to the couple’s new Paris location.

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Exactly 3,623 miles away in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Bjorn DelaCruz, the founder of the recently-opened Filipino restaurant called the Manila Social Club, is promoting a luxurious $100 “Golden Doughnut,” which is filled with ube (a purple yam jam), covered in icing made with Cristal champagne and dusted with edible 24-karat gold flakes.

“I take pride in this, and to me it’s a piece of art,” he told firstwefeast.com.

If you buy a dozen for a mere $1,000, the restaurant will deliver the gilded treats anywhere in the New York Tri-State area. DelaCruz said that the golden donut was conceived during the holiday season, and was popular enough to make them a regular offering. The special donuts must be ordered 24 hours in advance.

Regular readers of our blog may remember a story from April of 2015 about a Canadian shop that promoted the $100 “Donutopia,” a deluxe treat decadently decorated with 24-karat edible gold and faceted sugar “diamonds.” The blinged-out “Donutopia” donut came with a Certificate of Authenticity.

Read more from Stanley Jewelers Gemologist at http://stanleyjewelers.com/

Tips from Jewelers Mutual: Keep Criminals Away During the Holidays

Jewelry is one of the most popular gifts of the holiday season. It is often given to signify love or to mark the end of another year as a milestone. Unfortunately, criminals are aware of these pricey purchases meant to bring joy; they often assume we are at our most vulnerable this time of year.

The following three safety tips from Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company will help you outsmart those outlaws and give you peace of mind. You have enough to think about during the holidays, and you shouldn’t have to add safety concerns to that list. Learn more by reading their blog, 3 Jewelry Safety Tips to Keep Criminals Away During the Holidays.

December Birthdays – Blues or Bliss?

December babies usually get the raw end of the deal, with family and friends focusing so heavily on the holiday season that December birthdays are often forgotten or rarely ever celebrated with great panache. However, luckily for those same December born babes – they get to call three different birthstones their own. The month of December embraces various hues of blue, touting Tanzanite, Zircon and Turquoise as the gems of the month. Whether you treat yourself this year or gently remind your reveling loved ones, these beautiful blue gems should definitely top your list this month.

Tanzanite:

Haling from Tanzania in Southeastern Africa, Tanzanite was discovered in the late 1960s. It is found exclusively in this small area of the world and exhibits a rich violet-blue color for which it is treasured. This beautiful gemstone ranges in color from blue to purple, and tanzanites that are medium dark in tone, vivid in saturation and slightly violet blue in color command premium prices.

LeVianBlueBerryTanzanite  GumuchianTiopkapiTanzaniteEarrings    MarkSchneiderTanzanitePendant

LeVian Blueberry Tanzanite ring / Gumuchian Topkapi diamond and Tanzanite Earrings / Mark Schneider Tanzanite and diamond pendant.

How to Wear It: This royally hued gemstone pairs well with gold or platinum and is often set with small diamonds to accent its sensual sparkle.   Larger Tanzanite stones make for lovely pendants or cocktail rings, while smaller gems are used in earrings and bracelets. Flaunt your inner royalty whenever the mood strikes. Or if you love this beautiful violet-blue hue and don’t have a December birthday, sport its tantalizing allure with darker textured fabrics or the brighter colored blouses in your wardrobe.

Zircon

Another blissful blue option for December birthdays is Zircon. Derived from the Arabic words zar and gun, meaning gold and color, zircon is found in a wide range of colors such as: blue, yellow, orange, brown, green, colorless, and red. Folk wisdom grants zircon the power to relieve pain, whet the appetite, protect travelers from disease and injury, to ensure a warm welcome, and to prevent nightmares guaranteeing a deep, tranquil sleep.  Major sources of zircon are the Chanthaburi area of Thailand, the Palin area of Cambodia, and the southern part of Vietnam.

SunaBrosZirconRing-1-365x430  StullerZirconPendant  morgans-blue-zircon-earrings-aec-811

Platinum and blue zircon ring by Suna Bros, blue zircon pendant necklace by Stuller Inc, Morgan’s Jewelers blue zircon and diamond earrings

How To Wear It: Zircon has a classic appeal and is often showcased with diamonds in white gold, platinum or silver. It accents lighter colored eyes, especially blue eyes and sparkles against fair skin tones. For those with richer skin tones, pair it with silver, blue and grey fabrics to make it pop.

Turquoise

And last but definitely not least, December born beauties get to revel in the magic and the rich cultural history of turquoise. The name turquoise, from the French expression Pierre tourques or Turkish stone, originated in the thirteenth century and describes one of the oldest known gemstones. Turquoise varies in color from greenish blue, through robin’s egg-blue, to sky blue shades and its transparency ranges from translucent to opaque. Turquoise is plentiful and is available in a wide range of sizes.

Steeped in lore and tradition, turquoise is a healing and balancing stone. It is most often used for beads, cabochons, carvings, and inlays. Although its popularity fluctuates in fashion, it is a perennial favorite in the American Southwest.

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Turquoise and gold ring by Lika Behar, turquoise clasp bracelet by Etienne Perret

How To Wear It: Because turquoise is plentiful, it is also affordable, allowing us to indulge our love for bold fashion forward jewelry. Wear it in big, bold cocktail rings or oversized pendants on long chains or chandelier style earrings.

However you plan to commemorate your special day, celebrate with style and let your inner light shine!