February 21, 2009
Go back in time, up until about the late 1860s, and you'll find that men adorned their bodies much as women did, with ornate and sumptuous bracelets, necklaces and rings. It's only been for the last hundred years that the standard for men changed to wearing very staid ornamentation, if any, and going about in grey business suits, like regimented soldiers of commerce.
But now the tide has clearly turned in a new direction, with men reclaiming their right to jewelry. (Not to mention the new trend of body piercings which does not seem to have played itself out yet.)
So when it comes to jewelry gold diamond...well, let me rephrase that.... when it comes to gold and diamond jewelry, there are many designers these days who are producing really excellent work, and there are many clients who are reaping the benefits of that work!
Precious metals and precious stones have always formed the basis of jewelry, since time immemorial. Jewelry gold diamond... sapphires, rubies....silver..... those words even look beautiful, don't they? Let alone....gazing at the real thing.
Gold is actually a pretty soft metal...you would not want a ring made out of pure gold because it would bend very easily. Therefore, 24 karat gold (pure gold) is used for collectible gold bullion, which sits in a vault and rarely gets handled. Gold destined for jewelry has another metal mixed into it, typically brass (copper and zinc), in certain percentages, so that such jewelry is usually 22k, 18k, 14k, or 10k.
Diamonds are another interesting substance. Just like gold, diamonds are measured in carats. The word "carat" is derived from the word "carob," a Mediterranean seed that played an important role in trade centuries ago, since they had a very uniform size and weight. The seeds were used to balance a scale when weighing precious gemstones, so as a matter of fact, all gemstones are measured in carats.
When first excavated from the ground, they look just like rocks. It's only when they are "cut" in certain designs that they glitter and look like the diamonds we've come to know.
The old cuts are:
Old Single cut
Old European cut
Today, the cut most often used is just called the "brilliant." Understanding the history of carat /karat weights and how they apply to jewelry can help you select the perfect accessory within your budget and style preferences without being fooled by numerical values.
September 08, 2008
New work in fine jewelry by the otherwise bridge category designer, John S. Brana – Distinctive Jewelry, proved favorable to the crowd at the Designers by the Bay event held at Shreve & Co. August 21. This newcomer to the list of 20 established fine jewelry exhibitors showcased stunning textured cuffs, sculpted earrings and intricate filigree scrollwork in 18K and 14K gold and fine silver with gemstones. Perhaps his most beautiful new design is a pair of spiraling 14K gold fold formed leaf earrings encasing strands of 13.5carat faceted peridots which, as so many good design ideas occur, happened by accident.
“I was drilling holes for the earwires using a drill press and instead of turning it off, I accidentally increased its speed and the metal just started flailing and spiraling around the drill bit!” described Brana who created over ten new designs for the event. “When I finally got it to turn off, it had formed this twisted fan shape and I thought, ‘that’s pretty cool… now how do I do that again?’” Thankfully, he was able to recreate the shape as it is now available with several gemstone varieties at a suggested retail of $880. Equally as stunning is a pair of 18K Gold and Fine Silver Filigree earrings.
Just as Brana is entering the upper crust of fine jewelry, he continues to develop his lines of bridge category designs inspired by the city in which he creates them, San Francisco. Among the most commented upon and tried on piece of his collection for the event was his anticlastic copper cuffs. “Copper is one of my favorite metals. It showcases amazing texture and its rich, rose gold color is so beautiful on so many people,” said Brana who handcrafts original jewelry designs ranging from $65-$4000. In the coming months look for new collections including Muir Woods featuring earthy, forest themes, and an artistic collaboration with a German-born chef at sea who captures the images of sea-worn ships in abstract photography and wearable silk art. To view each of his collections, visit www.johnsbrana.com. For wholesale and media inquiries, contact Karri Ann Frerichs, Altitude Promotions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402.490.2579.