Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Diamonds are an (April Birthday) Girl’s Best Friend

Four diamond Chiseled Ring
April! What a wonderful month! The weather is getting warmer, flowers are blooming and if you are lucky enough to have been born during this glorious month then you have the king of the gemstones, the diamond, as your birthstone.

The hardest natural occurring mineral, diamonds are four times harder than the next rated gemstone. They have high refraction, unusual brilliance, intense fire and while traditionally known as a classic colorless stone, colored diamonds have reached a new popularity. Available in hues of pink, red, yellow, blue and green all ranging in different levels of intensity, the more saturated the color, the higher the value. Because intensely colored diamonds are very rare many of the stones sold today have been chemically treated and technically should be marketed as “color-treated diamonds.” When considering the purchase of a shaded diamond it’s important to ask if any color enhancements have been added. Although, round Brilliant cut diamonds are the most popular, antique cut diamonds are also gaining popularity again, such as Rose cut, Old Mine cut and European cut.
Rose Cut diamond, natural burgundy color - Nugget Pendant
Diamonds start life deep inside the Earth using a combination of heat, pressure and carbon molecules. Volcanic activity brings them to the surface and while diamonds were first mined mainly in India, most of the diamonds discovered today are from Australia, Africa and Russia.

The word diamond comes from the Greek and means “invincible.” The stones were believed to hold magical powers against poisoning, devils and phantoms and were worn during battle as a symbol of strength and courage. The ancient Greeks also believed the fire of a diamond signified everlasting love. This idea spread and then in 1477 Archduke Maximilian of Austria started the tradition of giving a diamond as a promise of marriage when he presented a diamond ring to his intended, Mary of Burgundy.
Vine Engagement Ring
Today the beauty of this gemstone looks fabulous no matter the piece or the price range. From a small simple bracelet or brooch to a cocktail ring with a stone the size of a marble, diamonds truly are a girl’s best friend!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

15 Stories Project: How I became famous in 1997.

Everyone wants to know what happened next (in regards to the Mr. Grey the Goldsmith story)...

Well, the drama with Mr. Grey the Goldsmith was over. I never saw him again after that fatal day and have recently found out, through the grapevine, that he is no longer making jewelry due to a medical condition. Despite our tumultuous end, this saddens me because he really was a master at his craft.

To continue...
A month after the firing/resignation at Mr. Grey the Goldsmith's, I became famous...

HAHAHAHA! Well, I didn't exactly became famous, but I had an incredible press opportunity fall into my lap. I had a full feature article written about me in the jewelry trade magazine Lapidary Journal (now known as Lapidary Journal-Jewelry Artist)
January 1997 - Lapidary Journal
January 1997 - Lapidary Journal 
I was still working for Mr. Grey the Goldsmith when I received a call from Lapidary Journal (sometime in 1996). They said wanted to write a feature article about my work and was told a journalist would soon contact me for an interview and a meeting. I was speechless but inside my head I was thinking, "What?! Me? A whole article about ME?" I had been in business part time for less than two years...HOW and WHY did they want to write about ME?!!? I can't rightly recall but I'm sure I hung up the phone on that that day and jumped up and down with excitement!

The writer, Cathleen McCarthy called me and we arranged to meet at a local craft show. I was excited and nervous while she "played" with my kinetic jewelry. Later, she called me for the phone interview. I was really nervous for this and so afraid I was going to sound like a total idiot.

The article was published in January 1997---a few weeks after I lost my job with Mr. Grey the Goldsmith and a few weeks before I started my next (and last) full time job working for another jeweler. (That story may be next!)

Today, Cathleen McCarthy publishes her own blog/on-line magazine for jewelry lovers, The Jewelry Loupe. She also continues to write for Lapidary Journal-Jewelry Artist, as well many other publications.