Saturday, February 21, 2015

Hide In Plain Sight


The Hope Diamond residing proudly in Washington's Smithsonian Institute is the world's most famous colored diamond. They say it's priceless. It has no peer of course, so how would one place a comparative value on this mammoth blue rock. When it was un-mounted from its setting in 1974, it was found to weigh 45.52 carats.

The last private owner of this magnificent stone was heiress and socialite Evalyn Walsh McLean. Her lively personality was also quite colorful.

Evalyn Walsh McLean wearing her Hope Diamond necklace

A guest to her house once pulled out 'something' stuck under the cushions of her deep pillow stuffed sofa. It was the Hope diamond. "Oh if robbers came in, they'd never look for it there," she shrugged.

A lover of big dogs, she was also known to put the necklace around the neck of one of her big

pooches, and let it romp outside with that 'choker' on.

Evalyn Walsh McLean and her husband Edward, "Ned" McLean with their pets

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Top of The Heap
Who o o o makes the most sumptuous over the top and still not too much accessories? That would be the grand old house of Chopard. No neophyte to the bling biz, this venerable maison has been turning out heart stopping artisanal work since the family began in 1860 in Switzerland.

Clearly they have a pulse on today's sensibilities and have a pretty good idea of what the uber-riche and just about every other enthusiast likes to see in jewelry.

Clever Eyes
So speaking of see, here's a stellar example of superb craftsmanship, high quality gemstones and a taste for whimsy  . . . all vying for pride of place on Chopard's Animal World watch collection. And looky here, looky here; you can set each 'eye' dial to a different time zone. Me likey.

Now, the only question remaining . . . who o o o do you love? They should totally be wearing this.

Animal Attraction
Chopard Animal Collection Owl Watch is part of a distinct high-jewelry series by the famed designer. Chopard's love for the animal world is evident in their many charming and bejeweled wild life interpreted in both timepieces and jewelry.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Whimsy & Dead Serious Converge

Emeralds are some of the most enduring and coveted gemstones of all times dating way-back-when. In the 1st century CE, Rome's notable Pliny the Elder wrote up these verdant stones in his Natural History, exclaiming "Nothing greens greener".

The creator of the ring pictured here brings the stones to life by placing them in context to a bird's world. The marquise shaped stones look remarkably like leaves.

But recovering emeralds from the ground is a dirty, difficult and often deadly serious effort. Those familiar with emeralds recognize the distinct type of inclusions called 'jardin' which means garden in both Spanish and French. The naturally occurring inclusions mimic the appearance of trees or plants.
                                              rough emerald specimen from
Emeralds are very hard to dig out from their rough matrix underground. So miners conduct D&B, or drill and blast to recover the green stones.

Pansjhir, Afghanistan miner using D & B process;

In the process, the gems themselves often undergo extreme concussive treatment, resulting in the 'jardin' type of inclusions. Many dealers would suspect an emerald not to be real if it didn't exhibit these identifying marks.

Although emeralds are routinely treated to minimize the appearance of those internal flaws, some rare emeralds are actually recovered with almost no telltale markings of their rough ride to the surface of the earth. 

Take another look at the stunning emerald ring and enjoy it with new found appreciation for its clarity.