Archive | February, 2007

New Hip Hop Bling Shop

21 Feb

New Hip Hop Bling Shop

I can't say that hip hop bling is my thing, but I have to admit that some of the items on the new web store called MyHipHopBling.com are pretty interesting, like this LED dog tag. I haven't seen anyone wearing these yet down here in Nowheresville, but I could see how these would be popular since they connect technology and culture.

Here's the latest about this new web shop from a company press release:

A young entrepreneur has decided that every hip hop fan should be able to have hip hop jewelry like the rap stars, but shouldn't have to pay like one. After countless attempts trying to find affordable bling jewelry for himself with no luck, entrepreneur K. Chrisler decided to go straight to the source and start buying hip hop jewelry from manufacturers and resell it at affordable prices to everyone through his online store.

"I searched for months trying to find hip hop jewelry at reasonable prices from stores all around the US, but could not find anything that was within my budget. I basically got fed up and went straight to the manufacturers and asked to buy it wholesale", said Chrisler. "When they agreed I decided to start an online store which would allow anyone just like me to be able to buy their own iced out jewelry at affordable prices".

Chrisler recently opened his online store at http://www.MyHipHopBling.com where anyone can buy numerous types of bling jewelry such as; removable gold grillz, iced out replica watches, hip hop pendants and much more.

The most popular item so far has been his LED belt buckles. LED belt buckles allow customers to input up to 6 different custom messages that scroll across the LED screen. They fit nicely onto any existing belt and can be bought in either regular size or in the mini size.

Christie’s Jewelry Sales Explode

21 Feb

Christie's Jewelry Sales Explode

Christie's is known for auctioning off all kinds of merchandise, from jewelry to whole estates, but it looks like jewelry is their top item for 2006. According to this article from Diamonds.net, they had a huge increase in jewelry sales.

From Christie's 2006 Jewelry Sales +27% to $354.7M:

Christie's jewelry sales in 2006 reached $354.7 million, according to figures released by the company on February 15. This represents a 27 percent increase from 2005 and is the highest annual jewelry total every achieved by Christie's.

Francois Curiel, international head of jewelry and chairman of Christie's Europe noted the company is seeing an explosion in the jewelry market, particularly for contemporary creations that are rare and one-of-a-kind. "For these, as well as for diamonds and precious stones of high quality, prices have risen to a whole new level. This is partly due to the participation of new buyers from China, India, Russia, and the Middle East, where we launched in January 2007 our first jewelry auction in Dubai," Curiel said.

In 2006, Christie's jewelry sales in the United States rose 27 percent to $110 million, while sales in Europe rose 27 percent to $163.8 million, with the highest totals ever achieved by Christie's in Amsterdam, London, Milan/Rome, Paris, and St. Moritz. In Hong Kong, Christie's sold $80.4 million, including a $39.3 million sale in November.

During the year, Christie's sold seven of the 10 most expensive jewels offered by an auction house, with 43 pieces exceeding the $1 million benchmark.

According to Christie's, the global jewelry market has continued to gain strength from the participation of new buyers from China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Taiwan, India, as well as Russia and the Middle East. Private collectors from Asia purchased the top two jewelry lots in the Princess Margaret sale and were active buyers in virtually every important auction of the year. Activity from collectors from Russia was up in most centers, especially St Moritz. February's sale, the largest in Christie's 16-year history of auctions in the resort, saw activity from Russian buyers increase to 24 percent, up from 10 percent in 2005.

American Idols Sparles with Jewelry

20 Feb

American Idols Sparles with Jewelry

Put this in the more than I wanted to know about American Idol and one of the many reasons I don't and never have watched this show.

From a Jewelry Exchange press release: American Idol and the jewelry exchange are bringing lovebirds together. The hit Fox Television show recently featured Cavett Carr and Darold Gray, two singers hoping to move forward to the final rounds and international stardom. The two fell in love during their auditions, and on Valentine's Day, Darold popped the question in front of thousands of fans at a packed VIP concert, and presented Cavett with a brilliant diamond engagement ring obtained from the Jewelry Exchange in Tustin.

Also performing at the Valentine's Day show was Ruben Studdard, former American Idol champion and known aficionado of fine jewelry.

The Jewelry Exchange is the nation's leading independent jewelry chain, and serves the needs of many celebrities in recording and film communities. A special area inside the vast showroom — designated "the Kiosk" — contains flawless diamonds, rare and one-of-a-kind pieces, and special items with prices beginning at over $150,000.

You know. I think they are bragging about this not so charming couple?

Photo from TVgasm

Jewelry & Fashion Blogosphere 02/19/07

19 Feb

Jewelry & Fashion Blogosphere 02/19/07

Yup! I'm pretty predictable. Here is this week's blogosphere link round up. If I missed some great jewelry or fashion post on your blog, just add it to the comments.

First up is Fashion Tribes.com who finds the Top 10 most interesting trends to come out of New York Fashionweek for Fall 2007.

Bag Snob protests the rocketing prices of luxury bags!

Aesthetics + Economics Trends from New York: Round 1

Blogdorf Goodman Pretty in Proenza Pink

Coquette says jump into cute jumpers at Fred Flare.

Ebelle5 Designer handbag inspiration from a top designer house or maybe it's just a coincidence. Hermes Shoulder Birkin vs Burberry Jermyn Shoulder Bag. Inspired by or just plain coincidence?

Girlawhirl checks out some pretty lingerie for Valentine's Day

LA Story Armani Beauty's Tim Quinn Talks About Spring Color and lots more

Second City Style's Top 10 Trends (You'll Be Wearing) From Fall Fashion Week 07.

SheFinds.com: Speed Demon: Get Ready FAST with these Products Grooming rituals can provide relaxation on occasion, for our day to day living we just want to get it done and get going. We have found some great products to help shorten your routines.

From Kristopher Dukes, Spring 2007 Louis Vuitton Shoes It's been a few Manhattan minutes since something made your K go, "Ooh. La. Love."

Shop Spring's top 10 trends in StyleBakery.com's ultimate guide to the season filled with over 200 perfect pieces to add to your wardrobe

Stylehive The Honeydew Signature collection – inspired by the 1920's, modern meets vintage with glossy stretch satin silk mixed with intricate lace detailing, and sumptuous glossy stretch satin silk.

eBeautyDaily is loving Dove and their new contest and moisturizing self tanners.

Jewelry and Beading has a jewelry and foodie find to talk about.

Jodi Bloom’s So-Charming Jewelry

18 Feb

Jodi Bloom's So-Charming Jewelry

Jewelry designer Jodi Bloom named her jewelry business "So-Charmed," but her jewelry is more than just charming; it tells a story. In fact, that is how she envisions her approach to jewelry making, telling stories with her beads and baubles. From her bio on her web site she describes her work:

A compulsive collector, Jodi turned her obsessions toward beads and charms a few years ago and now boasts a collection large enough to buy Manhatten, at today's prices. The poor girl just can't help herself when it comes to shiny baubles (or shoes, or Cosmopolitans, or kittens, but those are other stories for other times). And, Jodi not only gets to spend her days and nights on the world's most delightful treasure hunt, she also has the truly lovely pleasure of designing and making every single piece of jewelry, as well as creating all of the details–from packaging to Web design–that make So Charmed hum along. The icing on this triple-layer coconut cake is the sweet-as-sugar friendships she is able to forge with her lovely, amazing, and super fun customers the world over.

Now sit back and enjoy her story jewelry. Pictured top is from her Punk collection:

sterling silver bracelet, findings & charms: black plastic 8-ball, vintage plastic RF charm, vintage martini shaker w/dice, sterling martini with apple-green CZ, big minty glass heart

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Black enameled chain, brass findings and spinner charm
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Dangling embellishment include black dice, cherry opaque red hearts, silver (pewter) handgun charms.

Vintage Jewelry Discovery

17 Feb

Vintage Jewelry Discovery

You never know what you will find when digging through antiques and junk from that attic. Sometimes you find just more junk, but sometimes you can get lucky like Valerie Worthington who innocently started to rearrange a funky looking old silk tree only to discover a stash of vintage jewelry hidden in its base.

From Vintage jewelry found in silk plant:

Valerie Worthington's gardener sensibilities were offended by the unruly appearance of the silk fig tree her boss rescued from the storage warehouse and placed near her desk in the Grand Auction reception area.

Even though the tree wasn't real, she decided Wednesday to tidy up around its base.

She pulled up the ferns, all fake. Pulled up the dried moss, also fake. And there, lying on top of the foam base, she found a black velvet bag. It had the authentic look and feel of riches.

"I immediately thought, 'someone stashed their goodies in there,' " she said.

Worthington ran upstairs to show her boss Dianna Hubert her find. They opened the bag, tipped it onto a desk and out spilled a glittering stash of vintage diamond and pearl jewelry.

"I worked for Birks jewellers for several years," Worthington said. "They all look like authentic pieces."

Included was an art deco ring with delicate silver filigree and sparkling diamonds. A wide gold-cuff bracelet. A three-stone diamond ring. Some lovely mabe pearls, which, for the uninitiated, are large half-spherical pearls grown on the inside shell of a mollusk.

Hubert has not yet had the jewelry appraised. But to her skilled eye, she estimates the value to be anywhere from between $10,000 and $40,000.

She would like to return the jewels, but says she has no way to figure out who the owner might be.

Her North Vancouver auction house has accumulated a lot of silk plants over the years, she said.

From reading the rest of the article it sounds like it might be close to impossible who might have owned the jewelry, but it was nice to read that she is thinking of auctioning it all of for charity.

Jewelry Design Issues

16 Feb

Jewelry Design Issues

I'm often told by people they would like to design jewelry. Of course, this is often told to me by people who have never attempted to make any type of jewelry. While it's easy to come up with great jewelry design ideas, executing them is a whole other ball of wax. This excerpt from an article written by jeweler Richard Alan talks about the issues he deals with afterwards when customers come to him with jewelry design problems and tried to offer advice for jewelry lovers to consider before making your jewelry purchase:

A ring that is top-heavy or bulky will always slip to the left or right if improperly designed.

All pendants require first finding the center of gravity to assure it hangs correctly on a chain or omega necklace.

Naturally, rings, bracelets and even pendants with clusters of stones requiring multitudes of prongs will snag clothing and such endlessly.

Prongs also require constant inspection and maintenance, the loss of one prong on four prong settings will result in stone loss.

Designs that incorporate channels or bezels to hold diamonds are absolutely snag-proof; there are many ways to hold gemstones in jewelry without the use of prongs.

I'm not saying that I'm against using prongs, in many design applications they are required to achieve a certain look.

As long as the prongs are strong and not high up in the air they are less likely to snag.

One of the worst design mistakes is actually attaching a pendant directly to a chain or omega.

Shaping it to a "V" at the center of the chain makes it even more dreadful, the chain should be split with some kind of movable link on either side of the pendant to avoid flipping and twisting.

Platinum at Clive Davis’ Pre-Grammy Awards Party

15 Feb

Platinum at Clive Davis' Pre-Grammy Awards Party

With the big night all a buzz, you forget about all those celebrity parties before and after awards shows like Clive Davis' Pre-Grammy Awards Party.

Adorned with beautiful platinum jewelry, ex-American Idol singers Jennifer Hudson and Carrie Underwood wowed the crowed with their talent as they blinded them with their bling. From a press release I received:

Jennifer Hudson and Carrie Underwood sparkled in precious Platinum jewelry at Clive Davis' Pre-Grammy Awards Party on Saturday night.

Jennifer performed in $1 million dollars worth of Platinum and diamond jewelry from Neil Lane . Her baubles included multiple chain necklaces and bracelets, and rare hoop earrings.

Carrie shined in Platinum and diamond earrings, a cocktail ring, and a 3-row Platinum mesh cuff bracelet by Beaudry.

I love the look of that triple row mesh bracelet!

Jennifer looks nice too, though!
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Shared Images Jewelry Exhibit

15 Feb

Shared Images Jewelry Exhibit

The Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona will be running a Native American jewelry exhibit of the works of artisans Yazzie Johnson and Gail Bird starting this February 17th. You can find out more details as well as get a sneak peek at some fo the items on exhibit at the museum's web site, and here is more information about the what/where/when from their press release:

New Exhibit Highlights Innovative Direction in Native Jewelry

WHAT:
"Shared Images: The Jewelry of Yazzie Johnson and Gail Bird" Opens February 17, 2007

Innovative design and flawless technical skill distinguish the jewelry of Yazzie Johnson, Navajo, and Gail Bird, Santo Domingo/Laguna. Their masterful designs are the featured in the exhibition "Shared Images: The Jewelry of Yazzie Johnson and Gail Bird," opening February 17, 2007, and on view through July 8, 2007 at the Heard Museum.

Johnson and Bird have been working as a creative team for more than 30 years. "Shared Images" presents elegant earrings, bracelets, rings, necklaces and belts. Also on view, shown together for the first time, are the artists' best-known work: a series of thematic belts created for the Santa Fe Indian Market. Since 1979, one belt has been designed and debuted each year.

Their jewelry that has been described as "frequently dramatic, always wearable, and compositionally arresting," according to exhibition curator Diana Pardue. "Shared Images" takes a chronological look at the artists' work and process.

The new catalogue, "Shared Images: The Innovative Jewelry of Yazzie Johnson and Gail Bird," by Diana Pardue is available, priced at $45, at the Heard Museum Shops.

For images, contact Nicole Haas at 602.251.0283 or nhaas@heard.org.

WHERE:
Heard Museum, 2301 North Central Avenue, Phoenix, Ariz.

COST:
$10 General Admission; $9 for seniors (65+); $5 for students with ID; $4 for children 6-12; children under 6, members of the Heard Museum and American Indians with proof of tribal enrollment are free.

INFO:
To learn more, call 602.251.0283 or visit www.heard.org.

No Dirty Gold

14 Feb

No Dirty Gold

More retailers have jumped on board the “no dirty gold” band wagon. Blood diamonds aren’t the only issue it seems with the jewelry industry. For centuries there are been problems when it comes to mining of all kinds and that also include precious metals like gold.

From Top US Jewelry Retailers Get the Gold for Signing Responsibility Pledge:

Eleven retailers recently showed their support for No Dirty Gold by signing the campaign’s Golden Rules, which brings the total number of US jewelry retailers who have agreed to embrace responsible mining up to 19. Seven out of ten of the top US Jewelry retailers are now represented. The new pledges are Ben Bridge Jeweler, Birks & Mayors, Boscov’s, Brilliant Earth, Commemorative Brands, fred meyer and Littman Jewelers, Leber Jeweler, Michaels Jewelers, QVC, TurningPoint and Wal-Mart.

The eight pioneer pledge signers were Cartier, Fortunoff, Helzberg Diamonds, Piaget, the Signet Group, Tiffany & Co., Van Cleef & Arpels. and Zale Corp. Together these 19 companies generate nearly $12 billion in retail jewelry sales, or 22% of the total US jewelry sales.

The Golden Rules ask mining companies to meet basic social, human and environmental criteria. Some of these standards include the informed consent of mining communities, safe working conditions, and workers rights. Mining companies must also take care of the environment by not dumping mine wastes in water sources, protecting fragile ecosystems, and picking up all the costs of closing down mining operations. Importantly, the Golden Rules require mining companies to allow independent verification of meeting the criteria.

These are some big names in the industry. QVC alone sells a huge amount of jewelry, and of course, there’s Wal-mart on the list as well – two major retail jewelry giants.