Category Archives: Wedding Jewellery
Tuesday night CIRCA celebrated the grand opening of our Beverly Hills office in style! CIRCA Co-founder Jeffrey Singer and CIRCA Beverly Hills Director Wes Carroll were joined at the glamorous opening and ribbon cutting ceremony by notable guests including art connoisseur Kay Saatchi, Oscar nominated actress Shohreh Aghadashloo, world renowned photographer Matthew Ralston, celebrity stylist Deb Waknin, philanthropist Tobey Cotsen Victor, contemporary artist Yassi Castilla, Montage Hotel Ambassador Frank Bowling, top Beverly Hills realtor Chuck Dembo and Steve Fraenkel and Beverly Hills Council Member Nancy Krasne.
Here Wes Carroll shows Council Member Krasne jewelry recently purchased from CIRCA clients around the world, including a vintage Van Cleef and Arpels bracelet, Bulgari necklace and a Seaman Schepps brooch.
Congratulations to Wes and the entire Beverly Hills team! Best wishes as you continue the CIRCA tradition of providing expert jewelry buying advice and impeccable client service in your new home.
Long discovered but only popular for jewelry since the 20th century, platinum is the pinnacle of precious metals chosen for top-tier jewels worldwide. Beside the soft patina that emerges from normal wear of this white metal, there are lots of things you may not know about this lustrous choice.
Platinum is hypo-allergenic, making it a must-have for women whose ear lobes can be super sensitive to any metal near the skin. It’s also a much denser precious metal as contrasted to gold for instance. So couture designers know that their ring produced in platinum will have that coveted ‘heft’ that jewelry collectors crave. You know you’re wearing a platinum piece . . . by the luxurious hefty feel of the item.
Famed jewelry houses like Tiffany, Cartier and Faberge were early adapters of this metal for their tony goods. But when World War II broke out, the US government declared this metal to be strategic for military use, and banned non-military application of platinum.
Prolific writer and gemologist Renee Newman recently released Gold, Platinum, Palladium, Silver & Other Jewelry Metals so consumers and tradespeople alike have one go-to source to contrast and compare the most popular metals used today in jewelry. In it one finds intriguing backstories about each metal she features. “Spanish Conquistadors were unable to appreciate the platinum they found in South America . . .they considered it a nuisance . . . and they derogatorily named it platina (little silver).
Today however, it’s found its place of pride once again as the metal of prestige for important jewelry, and is often combined effectively in jewelry designs with yellow gold, and coveted for the fact that its one of the purest ( 90-95% pure platinum) precious metals used in jewelry manufacture.
Green with envy? You will be forgiven that lack of virtue if you can’t help staring at these daring danglers. By now we know that Pantone—those prodigious color predictors blessed 2013 with emerald as the color to embrace. Style setters hardly needed that prompting.
Emerald green is a blissfully fresh and hopeful color–causing us to think of new life and growth. Who wouldn’t want to have those thoughts reeling around our subconscious?
But is there a new way to express emerald envy? We think so. Riding the wave of interest in gemstone and diamond slices, Yael has taken a cut into this trending pattern with opulent pendant earrings in irregularly shaped emerald slices caressed by diamond halos. The artful juxtaposition of diamonds in a highly stylized flower-bud motif reminiscent of artichokes as the anchor for irregularly shaped emerald slices shows a brilliant appreciation for the stone by a less-is-more attitude. Same stone we’ve known for eons–but a new way to ‘see’ this treasure. Bliss.
Serendipity Collection by Yael Designs; Emeralds in 18K white gold and diamonds
The Great Gatsby may be the closest thing we have to the great American novel, but the classic story of excess and tragedy was made for the silver screen. It was barely a year after it was published in 1925 that it was first captured on film. Since then practically every generation has reinterpreted the Deco era tale for their own time. Released on May 10th, Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby reflects the Jazz Age and our own.
Key to the story’s staying power is the design of the period it evokes. The 1920’s left a permanent mark on the American psyche and style, and remains a rich resource for designers to mine for inspiration. The new Gatsby relied on Brooks Brothers and Prada for costumes evocative of the period, and Tiffany & Co. created jewelry based on archival pieces (see actress Carey Mulligan modeling the look below).
Which is not to say these designers have cornered the market when it comes to Deco. Pictured above is a classic example of Art Deco excellence, executed by an unknown maker in platinum, sapphire and diamonds. The strong, clean geometric lines create an iconic Jazz Age look. Featuring the quintessential 1920’s diamond cut, an Asscher weighing in at over 5 carats, this ring proves Deco style is just as beautiful today as it the day it was made.
Almost a hundred years later this aesthetic still resonates with design lovers everywhere. How do you make Art Deco style your own in 2013?
Women are doing more than adorning themselves with jewelry these days. The alluring baubles can tell much about the woman flaunting them. For instance, prominent ear pendants are worn by fashionistas of all ages now. Casual or couture, these once thought daring ear bobs are the perfect choice to complete a look.
Bold ear pieces may take a bit of getting used to, but the payoff is huge. It draws the right kind of attention to a lady’s jawline and beautiful mouth. Nothing wrong with that.
But innovative designers also use this real estate to create articulated (that’s moving to us lay-persons) pieces that move gracefully with every turn of the head, creating an opportunity for light to play whimsically off the shiny surfaces of the metal or gems on the piece.
How do they make such bodacious jewels without risk to the lady’s delicate ear lobes? Designers are more frequently using precious sterling silver with its iconic patina and cool white hue.
I’m glad you asked—silver is a lighter metal in contrast to gold; and clever designers know that. Gold’s atomic weight is 196.9, while silver’s atomic weight is 107.8. This frees designers to create large pendant earrings with artistic abandon, knowing they’ll be comfy on the wearer all day long.
Glam-gal Kate Beckinsale rocked these sensational sterling silver IritDesign earrings recently in Hollywood at the premiere of ‘Star Trek Into Darkness‘.
IritDesign Silver Diamond Earrings, Price Upon Request,
www.IritDesign.com; Courtesy D’Orazio & Associates.
It’s not easy being a mother. If it were easy, fathers would do it.
- Mark Twain
Jewelry plays an important part in lots of events, but Mother’s Day may be the jewelry holiday. This Sunday lots of moms will be receiving big gifts and small packages. However Mother’s Day jewelry giving has us thinking about the women behind the presents- women who play the part of both jewelry designer and mother.
Moms are a major factor in the realm of jewelry. From high powered style mavens like Victoire de Castellane at Dior, to purveyors of perennial classics like Monica Kosann, moms make the jewelry world go round. Ippolita Rostagno, head of the eponymous brand, also manages to balance motherhood and the challenge of an international jewelry firm. Pictured below is another mother’s creation, earrings in 18 karat gold with turquoise and diamonds by Cathy Waterman. Her aesthetic appeals to the modern woman, and moms in particular: elegant, wearable and romantic.
Mother’s Day has as many unique meanings as there are mothers and children. How are you going to celebrate Mom this weekend? What is your top Mother’s Day moment? Share your favorites in the comments below.
This year the Metropolitan Museum’s annual Costume Institute Gala celebrated the new exhibit PUNK: Chaos to Couture. The Gala is the perfect opportunity for every starlet to make a showstopping statement. The stars in attendance Monday night did not disappoint, pairing edgy style with impeccable taste to great effect. Here are some of our favorites:
Full on Fashion
The looks Monday night featured some gorgeous jewelry, with layered bangles, dramatic earrings and massive rings taking center stage.
Right on trend with bold stripes, Chanel Iman pairs stacks of black and white diamond bangles from Lorraine Schwartz and a graphic J Mendel dress. Anja Rubik brought back eighties glam in a major way with red leather and Chopard diamonds.
Here Jennifer Lopez sports Michael Kors dress and Rona Pfeiffer jewelry, while Miley Cyrus is wearing a Marc Jacobs dress with Eddie Borgo jewelry. Nicole Richie sports a custom Topshop dress and Maria Francesca Pepe ring and Dana Rebecca Designs earrings.
Punk may be known for safety pins and grit, but at the Met Gala these stars elevated the theme to another level. While gorgeous gems were on display, sometimes the boldest look is to wear no jewelry at all. Below, some examples of actresses who chose to flaunt strategic skin- and not much else.
The exhibit PUNK: Chaos to Couture runs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through August 14th. Post in the comments below to share your favorite looks from last night’s Gala!
Name: Amy Porter
Hometown: Washington, DC
Q: Tell us a little about osteoporosis. What is it and how many people are affected?
A: Osteoporosis is a disease that makes your bones weak and more likely to break. Since you can’t feel your bones getting weaker, many people don’t know they have osteoporosis until they break a bone. It’s very common –one in two women and up to one in four men over age 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis in their lifetime.
Q: What does the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) do to support those with osteoporosis?
A: NOF is the leading health organization dedicated to preventing osteoporosis and broken bones and promoting the importance of building strong bones for life. We work to achieve our mission through research, advocacy and education programs for both the public and healthcare providers. To determine the true number of people affected by osteoporosis, we recently commissioned a prevalence study that estimates 9 million adults in the U.S. currently have osteoporosis and more than 48 million have low bone mass, placing them at increased risk for osteoporosis and broken bones.
To protect those at-risk, we’ve launched Break Free from Osteoporosis – a national awareness campaign encouraging the public to get to know their risk factors for osteoporosis and make the lifestyle changes needed to build and maintain strong bones. May is National Osteoporosis Month and we hope everyone will join us in taking action against osteoporosis this month.
Q: What are the risk factors for osteoporosis?
A: Many factors play a role in your risk for osteoporosis. Your age, gender, lifestyle, medical history, family history and whether you take medications or have medical conditions that can lead to bone loss all play a role in determining your risk for the disease. Talking to your healthcare provider about all of the factors above is the best way to determine your risk for osteoporosis. The good news is, osteoporosis is avoidable for many of those at risk, so by talking to your doctor and making the changes needed to your diet and exercise routine, you can protect your bones.
Q: When you say diet and exercise, what should we eat and what exercises are best for bone health?
A: A diet rich in calcium, vitamin D, lean protein, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats is the key to eating for healthy bones. And when it comes to exercise, both weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises are important for building and maintaining your bone density. Weight-bearing exercises make you move against gravity while staying upright and include: dancing, hiking, jogging/running, fast walking. Muscle-strengthening exercises are when you move your body, a weight or some other resistance against gravity and include lifting weights, using weight machines or elastic exercise bands or even lifting your own body weight.
Q: There’s been a lot of conflicting information in the news lately about calcium and vitamin D. What does NOF recommend?
A: We commissioned our own research to look into the tie between calcium and heart disease and found no increased risk of heart disease among women taking calcium supplements. But as always, we recommend that you aim to get the recommended daily amount of calcium you need from food first and supplement only as needed to make up for any shortfall. Vitamin D is harder to get from food, so you may need to take a supplement to get the recommended amount of vitamin D.
NOF recommends that women age 50 and younger get 1,000 mg of calcium from all sources daily and that women age 51 and older get 1,200 mg. For men, we recommend 1,000 mg of calcium daily for those age 70 and younger and 1,200 mg for men age 71 and older. When it comes to vitamin D, we recommend 400-800 international units (IU) for adults under age 50 and 800-1,000 IU for adults age 50 and older.
Q: Tell us more about Break Free from Osteoporosis. How can we get involved?
A: Break Free from Osteoporosis is the new national awareness campaign we launched for National Osteoporosis Month. In response to our new prevalence data showing 57 million Americans have or are at risk for osteoporosis, we’re using the campaign to issue a call to action for the public to get to know their risk factors and make lifestyle changes to prevent the disease. From trying a new bone healthy recipe to adding a new exercise to your regular routine, we’re working with several partners to showcase all the different ways you can take action to protect your bones this month.
Thanks to our partnership with CIRCA, you can also support NOF by selling jewelry you no longer wear this month. CIRCA is generously supporting National Osteoporosis Month by donating 10 percent of the jewelry purchase value from clients who mention the NOF partnership through the end of May. So, whether it’s jewelry that’s longer your style or an earring missing its pair, please clean out your jewelry box this month and be sure to mention NOF to support our efforts.
Q: Who are the partners you’re working with?
A: Barbara Hannah Grufferman, a healthy aging expert and one of our Bone Health Ambassadors, is a regular columnist for AARP.com and all month she’ll be releasing a new video each week highlighting an exercise you can add to your routine to build and maintain strong bones. Each video is short – no longer than three minutes – and shows Barbara demonstrating an exercise you can try with her at home. Of course, always check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program.
We’ve also teamed up with five of America’s top chefs and had them create new recipes that meet our bone healthy recipe criteria. All of the recipes sound amazing and are posted on our website for everyone to try. Visit the site to see the chefs we’re working with and try your hand at their recipes.
Q: What do you suggest for those looking to connect with NOF and help your efforts?
A: Please contact us and based on your interests and background, we’ll find a way for you to get involved and help. To curb the rising incidence of osteoporosis and broken bones, we’re always looking to grow our team. From donating to the organization, to starting a support group or sharing your story with others, there are many ways to get involved. Visit us at www.nof.org or call (800) 231-4222 to learn more.
The NOF Recommends 5 Things You Can Do to Break Free from Osteoporosis.
1. Get to know your risk factors: According to NOF’s recently released prevalence data, 9 million adults in the U.S. have osteoporosis and more than 48 million have low bone mass, placing them at increased risk for osteoporosis and broken bones. Many factors play a role in your risk for osteoporosis, including age, gender, lifestyle, medical history, family history and whether you take any medication or have medical conditions that can lead to bone loss. To better understand your risk, talk to your healthcare provider about all of the factors above and ask what you can start doing today to reduce your risk of getting the disease.
2. Get active: Regular weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercise is one of the best ways to protect against osteoporosis and broken bones. Throughout May, Barbara Hannah Grufferman, a healthy aging expert and one of NOF’s Bone Health Ambassadors, is releasing a new video each week highlighting an exercise you can add to your routine to build and maintain stronger bones. Visit www.nof.org to keep up with Barbara’s weekly video series and try the exercises with her at home.*
3. Try a bone healthy recipe: Calcium, vitamin D, lean protein, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats are the key to eating for healthy bones.
4. Clean out your jewelry box to support NOF: Break free from jewelry you no longer wear by selling it to our partners at CIRCA, the leading international buyer of fine jewelry, diamonds and watches. CIRCA is supporting National Osteoporosis Month by donating 10 percent of the jewelry purchase value for those who mention NOF through the end of May. Visit http://www.circajewels.com/locations to find a CIRCA location near you.
5. Attend an educational event to learn more about osteoporosis: Attend an NOF event in your area to meet leading experts on osteoporosis and get answers to your personal questions on diet, exercise, effective treatments and more. Visit our calendar of events to see what we have planned during May. And if we don’t have an event in your area, use our toolkit of resources and information to plan an osteoporosis educational event of your own.
Recently, a group of thieves pulled off a diamond heist so elaborate and well-planned that the robbery resembled something out of Ocean’s Eleven more than an actual crime scene.
The robbery, which took place last month in a Brussels airport, lasted only three minutes according to a spokeswoman for Antwerp World Diamond Centre, and was also one of the biggest jewel heists in history.
The criminals in question cut through a fence at a Brussels airport, drove right up to a Swiss airplane heading to Zurich, and robbed them at gunpoint. They were carrying automatic weapons, but no shots were fired. A spokeswoman for the prosecution in Brussels said that the thieves, who were masked and wearing police uniforms, drove up to the airplane in two separate vehicles and took over 120 packages of diamonds—which was only a partial haul from the shipment. Still, the thieves were able to take US$50 million worth of rough and cut diamonds. “We are pursuing all lines of enquiry” the Brussels spokeswoman said “This was not a random robbery, it was well-prepared—these were professionals.”
Experts believe that the thieves will sell the stolen diamonds to separate sets of people. The rough diamonds will attract a certain set of clientele while the cut diamonds will go to another. “They obviously know who to sell them to. The rough would go to possibly one note of people and the polished would go to another set of people,” noted a Brussels jewel expert “I imagine that if they get 20 per cent of the value that has been stated that they would have done very, very well.” Experts believe that most of the diamonds will eventually be turned into designer jewellery and bridal jewellery.
The Brussels’ airport is one of the busiest hubs in Europe, and the huge security breach is a disconcerting situation for an airport that services over 90 million people per year. The airport itself conducted an internal investigation in order prevent another diamond robbery from happening again.
“Airport security is organized internationally. There are very strict rules and regulations on airport navigation security and we comply to all of those,” said a Brussels airport representative. “What has happened has happened, and now there is an inquiry to see how this could have happened and what could be done to avoid it in the future.” Airport representatives believe that passengers will continue to be safe while flying in and out of Brussels (though some may – understandably – be less inclined to bring their diamonds or other expensive jewellery with them on flights).
European airports have been the targets of robberies before, but none have reached the magnitude of the Brussels robbery. In 2004, thieves were able steal to $1.75 million pounds, or $2.2 million U.S. dollars from an airport heist. This latest robbery has caused jitters amongst diamond dealers not only in Belgium, but around the world, since the country is the centre of the global diamond trade.
The Brussels police investigation is still on-going, but there is no word as of yet to the outcome. However, police officials believe that the thieves will eventual slip up and get caught as they try and sell the diamonds on the black market over the next few months.
Brussels airport officials are just glad that no one was harmed during the diamond heist.