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Antique & Modern Cameos


Cameos, carvings or simulated carvings featured raised images of faces or figures, are once again back in vogue. One of the first glimmers of this trend showed up in the November 2010 issue of More magazine, which showcased modern versions of cameos in the style of Queen Victoria’s era.


From the November 2010 issue of More magazine, cameo jewelry featured consists of a brass and resin charm necklace from R.J. Graziano, a metal and Lucite brooch from Fantasy Jewelry Box and a Yochi metal and Lucite brooch along with a resin bead bracelet from Sequin.


The April 2011 issue of InStyle similarly highlights modern versions of cameos, stating: “These decorative carvings have left the Victorian age behind thanks to edgy new settings and updated materials, such as oxidized sterling silver.” The jewelry pictured consists of two sterling silver bracelets from Bottega Veneta, the bangle with a lava stone cameo; a sterling silver and glass ring from Gem Kingdom; gold plate, Lucite and plastic earrings from Issy Salomon, and a rhodium plate and Lucite necklace from Yochi.


Antique cameos carved from materials such as onyx, agate, coral, lava or shell and typically set in karat gold are also very much back in vogue. Sarah Taylor writes in the February 2011 issue of W Magazine: “Long considered aristocratic, sentimental, and romantic, cameos have never been seen as cool. Until now.”  The jewelry pictured (clockwise from top) consists of a mix of antique and new versions:  an antique necklace from Fred Leighton; antique brooch from James Robinson; antique brooch from Fred Leighton; earring from Gennaro Borriello; earring from Bottega Veneta; pendant and earring from Amedeo by M+M Scognamiglio, and antique ring from Kentshire.


Singer Miley Cyrus, now a lovely young woman of 18, is pictured in the March 2011 issue of Marie Claire wearing a silvery mesh dress from AF Vandevorst with a cameo ring from Gem Kingdom. She also wears a snake-chain bracelet from Janis by Janis Savitt, a sculptural cuff from Jen Kao, bangles from Assad Mounser and a beaded bangle from Carol Marie.


Also in the March 2011 issue of Marie Claire is this photo of a model wearing a Chanel dress accompanied by cameo earrings and bracelets from Gem Kingdom along with an agate bracelet from Stephen Dweck and a cameo-adorned cuff from House of Lavande.


The March 2011 issue of More accessorizes a trendy floral print top and skirt from Vera Wang with silver cameo earrings from Bottega Veneta.  Wearing either precious antique cameos or their edgy modern versions might put one at the head of the class in fashion this season.

Original post by Cynthia Sliwa on www.jckonline.com

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The Most Beautiful Flower


The park bench was deserted as I sat down to read
Beneath the long, straggly branches of an old willow tree.
Disillusioned by life with good reason to frown,
For the world was intent on dragging me down.

And if that weren’t enough to ruin my day,
A young boy out of breath approached me, all tired from play.
He stood right before me with his head tilted down
And said with great excitement, “Look what I found!”
In his hand was a flower, and what a pitiful sight,
With its petals all worn – not enough rain, or too little light.

Wanting him to take his dead flower and go off to play,
I faked a small smile and then shifted away.
But instead of retreating he sat next to my side
And placed the flower to his nose and declared with overacted surprise,
“It sure smells pretty and it’s beautiful, too.

That’s why I picked it; here, it’s for you.”
The weed before me was dying or dead.
Not vibrant of colors: orange, yellow or red.
But I knew I must take it, or he might never leave.

So I reached for the flower, and replied, “Just what I need.”
But instead of him placing the flower in my hand,
He held it mid-air without reason or plan.

It was then that I noticed for the very first time
That weed-toting boy could not see: he was blind.
I heard my voice quiver; tears shone in the sun
As I thanked him for picking the very best one.
“You’re welcome,” he smiled, and then ran off to play.

Unaware of the impact he’d had on my day.
I sat there and wondered how he managed to see
A self-pitying woman beneath an old willow tree.

How did he know of my self-indulged plight?
Perhaps from his heart, he’d been blessed with true sight.
Through the eyes of a blind child, at last I could see.

The problem was not with the world; the problem was me.
And for all of those times I myself had been blind,
I vowed to see the beauty in life,
And appreciate every second that’s mine.

And then I held that wilted flower up to my nose
And breathed in the fragrance of a beautiful rose
And smiled as I watched that young boy,
Another weed in his hand,
About to change the life of an unsuspecting old man.

– Author Unknown


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Color Block Fashion Styles Call For Bold Jewels


One of the hottest trends of the season is the use of bright color. It takes on a special intensity when it appears over a large portion of a design, an effect heightened when a bright color is combined with other bright hues. With color block designs, bold hues appear side by side, intensifying the eye-catching effect of each individual color. Sometimes the mix of colors occurs in one garment or accessory, but the look is also easy to achieve with a juxtaposition of garments and accessories of bright solid hues.

Color block looks are especially easy to accomplish with sporty apparel and active wear, as bright colors are prevalent in such garments. For instance, here is a recent ad from Lacoste highlighting casual apparel in eye-popping primary colors.

Adapted from Cynthis Sliwa,  http://www.jckonline.com

Celebrity Ad Bandwagon A Costly Trend


(Reuters) – Luxury groups are increasingly jumping on the celebrity advertising bandwagon to make their voice heard and boost sales, a trend that puts pressure on margins and which is here to stay, luxury executives believe.

Lossmaking Italian jeweler Bulgari resisted celebrity ads for years, preferring to invite VIPs to its shows or events, but it recently caved in, sending its costs soaring.

“We are more and more into celebrities. They make your brand visible,” Bulgari Chief Executive Francesco Trapani told the Reuters Global Luxury Summit this week. “But of course, our communications budget has gone up.”

In January, the Rome-based brand launched its first global advertising campaign in glossy magazines which featured actress Julianne Moore lounging naked on a sofa, adorned with large emerald earrings, two white parrots and a camel-color handbag.

“Since then, we have had people coming into our shops asking for the Julianne Moore bag,” Trapani said.

Bulgari has hired the actor Clive Owen for its men’s perfume campaign which will be launched in September.

Trapani said it was becoming increasingly difficult to find celebrities who were not used by other brands. The trend is also creating a bidding war for certain personalities, which makes it tough for smaller luxury brands to compete.

“Using superstars creates significantly high barriers of entry. You need considerable means,” Cerruti Chief Executive Florent Perrichon told the summit this week.

“But celebrities are now part of the business and they will remain so,” he said.

Louis Vuitton and Hermes have used the downturn to grab more advertising space and crush competition.

Cerruti, which is trying to rise from the ashes after going bust in 2004, has just hired the French singer Marc Lavoine for its 1881 campaign and admitted it was part of the reason why the company would not be profitable again this year.

“The problem with using celebrities is that it works, that is why everybody is doing it,” Perrichon said.

French handbag maker Longchamp said it had seen a notable spike in the sales of a bag designed by supermodel Kate Moss, the maison’s face since 2006, even though she features in other ads such as Yves Saint Laurent’s perfume La Parisienne.

Celebrity endorsement has doubled in the last decade, according to a report cited by the marketing website www.brandchannel.com.


But relying too much on celebrities can be dangerous, analysts say.

“There is a natural limit to this marketing technique: if it becomes over-used, consumers recognize ambassadors are doing it for the fee which can damage the brand,” said James Lawson, director of luxury market research specialists Ledbury Research.

He said high profile ambassadors did not work for all brands and they were no guarantee of success, particularly for smaller names.

Also, the reputation of a celebrity can change quickly. Tag Heuer dropped Tiger Woods after the golf champion was lambasted by the media over his extra-marital affairs.

But some super stars such as Kate Moss are more immune. A few years ago, Burberry suspended its contract with the model after she was hit by a drug scandal. But very quickly, she was back on the cover of Vogue and in luxury brands’ adverts.

“For me, using a celebrity for your brand is a sign of weakness,” said Jean-Marc Jacot, chief executive of luxury watch maker Parmigiani Fleurier.

He acknowledges that Parmigiani Fleurier, which is not even 10 years old, does not have cash for advertising. But he lets it be known that people such as Melinda Gates, wife of billionaire Bill Gates, and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin own a Parmigiani watch.

French luxury and pen maker ST Dupont, which also does not have funds for advertising, makes targeted presents instead.

Since its Chief Executive Alain Crevet offered a black lacquered pen to French President Nicolas Sarkozy to congratulate him on his 2007 election victory, ST Dupont has become a regular supplier of the Elysee Palace.

But the use of celebrities is not appropriate for every brand. For example, Buccellati, the fine Italian jeweler favored by European monarchs and actresses, avoids the star system.

“We are not really in favor of celebrities. Our brand is known well enough,” Buccellati Vice President Andrea Buccellati told the summit this week.

Instead, the jeweler said it preferred to organize private shows and events to build personal relations with customers.

Source : Reuters

June 4, 2010

The Karatage of Gold


The purity of gold content of a jewelry or gold ornament is measured in karat.  This term goes back to the ancient bazaars of the Middle East where ‘carob’ beans were used to weigh precious metal, such as gold and silver.

One must remember that 100% pure gold is liquid in form.  A 0.01% of alloys, is added to harden the gold. The alloys are usually silver, copper, nickel and palladium. Different alloys mix are used in jewelry for greater strength, durability and color range.

Gold bullion bars like those sold by Johnson Matthey or other gold bullion companies comprises 99.99% pure gold.  JM called their 1 kg kilo bars as .9999 Kilo Bar.

Karat is a unit of measure of gold purity for a gold item.  24 karat is the highest of which the pure gold content is 99.99%.

The chart below shows the karatage of gold content.  The table refers to the content of gold in a jewelry item:

The unit of measure for gold as traded on International Gold & Commodity Exchanges is in Troy Ounce.  1 Troy ounce is equivalent to 31.1034768 gms.

Ref: http://www.e-goldprospecting.comhttp://rahsiagold.com

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Handbag-Toting Woman Foils Jewelry Theft


An elderly woman in the United Kingdom used her handbag to fend off six men armed with sledgehammers as they attempted a smash-and-grab theft at an Northampton jewelry store on Feb. 7, according to Sky News.

As the staff of the jewelry store activated automated shutters to protect the store’s windows, the woman ran toward the men while she was clutching a large handbag. The video shows her hitting three of the men with her bag and chasing them away.

According to reports, police arrested four of the men and are seeking the others two believed to be involved in the incident. Three sledgehammers, a pair of bolt cutters, and a moped was left in the street near the jewelry store.

The woman has not been identified but told Sky News: “What concerned me was that too many people just stood around watching as if they were in shock, and nobody was doing anything.”

By Lindsey Wojcik, Editorial Assistant, http://www.jckonline.com You may have missed other posts of interest. To read them, please click on the picture


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