Latest Jewelry News

Valentine’s Day Gifts for Her

Brilliant Earth - Mon, 01/29/2018 - 19:26

 

Valentine’s Day is approaching fast! Now is the perfect time to celebrate your love for that special someone in your life. While flowers and chocolate never fail, why not show how much you care with a gift that reflects your partner’s personality?

To help make selecting a gift easy, we’ve gathered up our favorite pieces of stunning, ethical fine jewelry she’ll love to have. From nature inspired to glamorous and bold, here are our favorite gift ideas for Valentine’s Day 2018.

For the Nature Lover

The Juniper Diamond Earrings‘ delicate branches curve up the ear for a look of natural beauty. Glittering diamonds rest in lustrous metal in these stunning diamond earrings

This magnificent Mountain Range Pendant draws inspiration from nature’s immense beauty. A sterling silver mountain range sparkles with a diamond accent, and is gracefully suspended from a delicate sterling silver cable chain.

For the Traditionalist

This contemporary Silver Bar Pendant design is perfect for adding a bit of lustrous shine to any look.

Adorning the finger with a row of brilliant light, this beautiful Petite Shared Prong Diamond Ring features round diamonds set in delicately sculpted shared prongs reaching almost halfway down the shank for maximum sparkle.

For the Lover of Luxe

This eye-catching Diamond Tennis Bracelet embellishes the wrist with 3 carats of shimmering diamonds individually set in lustrous white gold links.

Nothing says glamour like dazzling diamond earrings. Create your own ideal diamond earrings by selecting a setting and diamond pair.

For the Vibrant & Bold


Richly hued deep blue sapphire centers are surrounded by a stunning halo of pavé set diamonds in these mesmerizing Sapphire Halo Diamond Earrings.

A vibrant gemstone cluster of pink and yellow sapphires, a morganite, and a glittering diamond catch the eye in this playful and chic Bouquet Pendant.

For the Trendsetter

These captivating Baguette Diamond Cluster Earrings feature modern clusters of baguette cut diamonds set in lustrous white gold.

This chic Chevron Diamond Bracelet features an elegantly sculpted chevron shape with glittering pavé diamonds embedded in lustrous precious metal.

Final Thoughts

Which Valentine’s Day gift would you want to receive? Share with us in the comments below or on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. For more inspiration head to our Valentine’s Day Gift Guide!

The post Valentine’s Day Gifts for Her appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Gemstone Meanings: The Surprising Symbolism of Your Jewels

Brilliant Earth - Sat, 01/27/2018 - 20:46

We’ve all heard that diamonds symbolize true love, but what are the symbolic meanings of other popular gemstones? From ancient times to today, gems of every hue have been imbued with significance and special powers by cultures around the world. Here are the legends associated with some of the world’s most treasured jewels:

Sapphire

Blue has long been considered the color of fidelity, and sapphires were once the preferred gem for engagement rings (before diamonds claimed that honor in the early 20th century).

Emerald

Legends have said that placing an emerald under your tongue gives you the ability to foresee the future (but we do not recommend that!), and that emerald protects against evil spells and can cure disease.

Ruby

Ancient Hindus believed that those who offered rubies to the god Krishna would be emperors in a future life. People in India and Burma have also believed that rubies offered safety and peace, and medieval Europeans thought that these gems guaranteed health, wealth, wisdom, and success in love.

Amethyst

Because of its color the ancient Greeks associated amethyst with the wine god Bacchus, and believed that the gem could prevent drunkenness. Amethyst has also been thought to keep the wearer clear-headed and quick-witted.

Peridot

The Egyptians thought that peridot protected against nightmares and brought the wearer confidence, good luck and health. In fact, it’s believed that some of Cleopatra’s famous emeralds were actually peridots.

Aquamarine

Aquamarine is believed to provide courage, mental clarity and good health. Because of its association with water, aquamarine has been said to keep sailors safe at sea.

Pearl

In ancient China, pearls were believed to protect against fire, and in Europe they were associated with chastity and purity. Pearls retain that association with innocence today.

Garnet

Garnet has long been associated with clergy and nobility. In ancient Egypt the pharaohs wore red garnet necklaces, and in ancient Rome rings with carved garnets were used to stamp the wax on important documents.

Citrine

This gem is also known as “healing quartz,” because legend has it that citrine promotes vitality and energy in whomever wears it. And according to the Chinese feng shui philosophy, citrine creates wealth and abundance.

Opal

Because opals can exhibit so many different colors within a single stone, it has long been thought to possess supernatural powers. In ancient Rome, this gem symbolized love and hope. The ancient Greeks believed opals gave their owners the gift of prophecy and guarded them from disease. Europeans have long considered the gem a symbol of hope, purity, and truth.  Once, it was thought to have the power to preserve the life and color of blond hair.

Zircon

Folk wisdom says that zircon has the power to relieve pain, protect travelers and prevent nightmares. In the Middle Ages, this gem was thought to induce sound sleep, drive away evil spirits, and promote riches, honor, and wisdom.

Topaz

Topaz symbolizes love and fidelity, and is said to bestow strength and intelligence on the person who wears it, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Turquoise

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From ancient times to today people have ascribed special powers to turquoise. Native American tribes of the Southwest wore turquoise as an amulet thought to offer protection, and in ancient Persia (and modern day Iran) some believe that wearing turquoise can ward off the “evil eye” (other people’s ill will).

Final Thoughts

Do you buy into the idea that gemstones have special meanings or powers? Do you wear a gem as a good luck charm? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter, or in the comments section!

Sources: Gemological Institute of America, American Gemological Society
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Announcing Blockchain Partnership with Everledger

Brilliant Earth - Fri, 01/26/2018 - 19:02

We’re excited to announce the next step forward in our commitment to transparency and responsible sourcing, a partnership with Everledger, a leading emerging technology enterprise that uses blockchain technology to securely track and trace the provenance of high-value assets.

Together, we aim to implement a system for our supply chain to provide stakeholders with an immutable history of authenticity and ownership.

This strategic partnership jumpstarts the process of defining next-generation standards in the jewelry industry, and is a continuation of our leadership in promoting transparency and responsibility, including going above and beyond the current industry standards to offer Beyond Conflict Free Diamonds with a listed country of origin. Everledger’s cutting-edge blockchain-based technology solution will be integrated with our supply chain to seamlessly and securely track gemstone origin, and provide greater consumer assurance for responsible practices.

This partnership comes at a particularly critical time for the diamond industry, given renewed criticism of the limited impact of the industry’s Kimberley Process (KP) certification, which narrowly defines conflict diamonds and fails to address more prevalent human rights abuses, including violence, worker exploitation, and environmental degradation. When we visited the KP Plenary in December, we came away with skepticism that the KP will be the driver of an ethical diamond trade.

Carrie George, our Director of Responsible Sourcing, said in a statement, “Brilliant Earth has always been an advocate for transparency and change, and our partnership with Everledger demonstrates our latest step in reaching for the highest standards possible in the jewelry industry. By integrating Everledger’s blockchain-based solution platform into our current processes, we hope to establish a new standard for addressing social and environmental issues related to mining and manufacturing of gemstones and precious metals.”

Everledger’s leading work in enabling transparency along the supply chain will support and move forward our mission to cultivate a more ethical, transparent and sustainable jewelry industry. Together, we will be piloting multiple aspects of the Brilliant Earth supply chain to be on Everledger’s blockchain-based solution platform, with the goal of eventually expanding beyond diamonds into precious metals and colored gemstones.

Everledger’s Founder & CEO , Leanne Kemp, shared: “We strongly believe that collaborating with key industry stakeholders like Brilliant Earth aligns well with Everledger’s commitment to enable transparency along the global markets’ supply chain, build trust amongst stakeholders, and provide visibility on sustainability and ethical sourcing issues,.”

The post Announcing Blockchain Partnership with Everledger appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

In Paris, the Glitter of High Jewelry

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Thu, 01/25/2018 - 16:28
Boucheron is celebrating its 160th anniversary, Chanel goes on a lion rampage, and Dior continues to mine the allure of Versailles.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

The Kimberley Process Stalls in Australia

Brilliant Earth - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 22:39

I went to Brisbane, Australia last month to attend the annual meeting of the Kimberley Process (KP), the international certification scheme for diamonds.

My purpose was to observe specific sessions regarding new blockchain technology as well as engage many of our critical partners in the industry. But more specifically, I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of where the KP stands today and what its future holds. As a big believer in working within systems to see their continuous improvement, I was hopeful to see a way forward and how I could contribute.

But after three days of panels and speeches, I came away with little confidence that the KP will be the driver of an ethical diamond trade in 2018… or 2019… or perhaps not even in 2020.  In short, the KP has not adapted its mandate since 2003 to reflect the social and environmental impacts that our customers care about. On its current trajectory, the KP will be less and less relevant to the modern customer, and the diamond industry will fall further behind current responsible sourcing practices across non-diamond industries. The lack of continual improvement on responsible sourcing practices will continue to be concerning to millennial customers, who will increasingly seek alternatives if consumer confidence declines.

When the KP was launched as a certification system in January 2003, it was considered innovative and forward-thinking. The KP’s designers adopted the then-ambitious goal of eliminating conflict diamonds from the global supply chain. To accomplish this goal, they enlisted governments from most of the countries where diamonds are mined, manufactured, and consumed.

Though it is not a treaty-based system, governments in the KP committed to adopting and implementing laws regulating their diamond trades and certifying their rough diamond exports.  Civil society groups and diamond industry representatives joined as observers, providing the KP with a diverse range of expertise and voices.

Fifteen years later, customer and stakeholder expectations of the KP have not been fulfilled. The KP’s definition of eliminating conflict diamonds (defined as rough diamonds used to finance rebel militias) is too narrow to deal with the full range of ethical challenges facing the diamond trade in 2018. Although the KP was supposed to help prevent the international sale of illicit diamonds, because they would be traded outside the formal and legally-mandated system, KP countries either have been unwilling or unable to stop diamond smuggling.  Violence by governments and private security firms, corruption, child labor, gender-based violence, environmental degradation, worker and community exploitation in the mining areas, illicit financing and other issues associated with the diamond trade are all considered to be outside the KP’s mandate.

At Brilliant Earth, we thought that part of the problem was that there was a split in the KP between governments that want to expand its mission and those opposed to reform. So when I traveled to Australia to attend the plenary session in December, I was curious about whether I would encounter an animated discussion about whether the current scope of the KP adequately addressed issues facing the diamond industry in 2018. Unfortunately, I saw little sign of it.

The plenary was held in a large convention hall with all the trappings of a professional, government-led event including the rows of tables, mints,  and headsets for simultaneous interpretation for the audience. Based on interviews subsequent to this event, I was informed that while the KP working group meetings provide opportunities for debate on critical issues, the debates that do occur hover around the interpretation and application of the current KP model and end in word-smithing the final communiques to avoid any questions to that model.  Instead, that much needed spirited debate about the KP’s future has been occurring in the diamond industry press.

During the official proceedings, as can be read in the published notes from the meeting, no reform to the mandate was placed on the table or seriously considered. This is particularly disappointing given that the KP launched a formal review cycle in 2017 offering an opportunity for advancing a reform agenda. Yet after 12 months, the culmination of that review was the establishment of an Ad-Hoc Committee on Review and Reform to be chaired by India and co-chaired by Angola.  So, the year of review resulted in the formation of another committee being responsible for that review of reform agenda? This lack of progress should not be a surprise given the official proceedings announced that a professional secretariat was being approved in December 2017—a secretariat that has (sort of) been in place for 5 years and on the table for many more.

Perhaps the most exciting and telling outcome of the plenary was the announcement by IMPACT, a participating civil society group and co-founder of the KP, that it would withdrawal from the KP. In withdrawing from the KP, IMPACT cited the deterioration of a space for respectful engagement with civil society and frustration with lack of reform. IMPACT’s withdrawal further demonstrates that others at the plenary session were reaching the same conclusion: If broader change is to happen in the diamond trade in the near future, the KP will not be the driver of it; it is time to focus resources elsewhere.

The good news is that those who care about building a more transparent and responsible diamond trade are not waiting for the KP to wake from its slumber. For me, the most encouraging part of the plenary was the chance to have side conversations with those government officials and industry leaders who are eager to go beyond the KP’s mandate. They will continue to do their part to support the efforts by civil society representatives from African producer countries and European and US countries to improve the lives and communities connected to diamond mining, manufacturing, and trade. Together, we may be able to implement new technologies to improve transparency and traceability in the diamond supply chain. By engaging in parallel to the KP, we can support and launch projects to improve conditions in artisanal and small-scale diamond mining.

So what will happen to the KP? Either it will continue as is and eventually fizzle into purely a paperwork exercise, or some outside development or change in circumstances will provide the political support for those in the KP to force the KP to evolve. Maybe IMPACT’s withdrawal, the increase of non-KP due diligence efforts, or even the threat from changing consumer behavior, will be the wake-up call that the KP needs to address increasing consumer expectations about traceability and responsibility. With the European Union and India, two of the most active diamond trading and manufacturing centers, leading the KP over the next two years, we hope they will be able to take this opportunity to heed that call and push for real change. We will support their efforts in and out of the KP for real reform to meet increasing customer expectations and our own expectations for good ethical business.

Whatever that impetus is, I hope that someday, the KP can restructure and again move to the front of the movement to build an ethical diamond supply chain. In the meantime, companies like ours will continue to push in our own direction toward more ethical and responsible sourcing practices.

 

Carrie George is Brilliant Earth’s Director of Responsible Sourcing. This blog is based on her general impressions of the plenary and on information that became public after the meeting. Statements made maintain the confidentiality asked of KP guests.

 

The post The Kimberley Process Stalls in Australia appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

The Marriage Is Over, but the Jewelry Is Mine

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 11:05
Give back the ring and other bling? Nah. It could pay for summer camp. Or be made into a bracelet or necklace.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Our Award Winning Design Team’s Favorite Styles

Brilliant Earth - Sat, 01/13/2018 - 02:18

 

At our San Francisco design studio, our award-winning design team perpetually strives to create distinctive new jewelry designs, while dreaming up ways to subtly update classic styles with fresh modern appeal.

Here’s what they have to say about some of their favorites!

Mountain Range Pendant

“Great for the modern adventurer. The mountains have been sculpted with crests and valleys to create a realistic representation of an alpine landscape.”
– Meghan, Product Development Manager

Wren Diamond Ring

“It’s simple, chic, sophisticated, and can be dressed up or down.”
– Kathryn, VP Strategy & Merchandising

Lab Emerald and Diamond Petal Earrings

“These earrings are a great way to incorporate a splash of color and elegance.”
– Dan, Product Development Manager

Baguette Clusters

“These earrings are the perfect modern update to the classic diamond stud.”
– Kathryn, VP Strategy & Merchandising

Valentina Ring

“Inspired by Old World charm, this ring merges masterful engraaving work with sleek lines. This beautiful design is one of my favorites because it has just the right amount of detail to stand apart from the rest.”
– Omar, Design Specialist

Rainier

“Wearing this band is like putting on a well-fitted tuxedo. The recessed black rhodium details outline the brushed matte finish make this design stylish and stately at the same time.”
– Ryan, Sr. Product Development Manager

The post Our Award Winning Design Team’s Favorite Styles appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Why I Can’t Quit You, Hoops

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Thu, 01/11/2018 - 20:08
Like many Latinas, my mother took my sister and me to get our ears pierced when we were newborns. I gave up hoop earrings for 12 years, though. Here’s why.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

Thieves Steal Qatari Jewels in Brazen Theft at Ducal Palace in Venice

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 00:05
The thieves made off with jewels owned by a member of the Qatari royal family. Reports of the value of the jewels ranged from $36,000 to a few million dollars.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

What to Give a January Birthday Girl

Brilliant Earth - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 20:35

Individuals born in January are associated with the garnet birthstone. Garnets are known for their rich, vivid colors and are associated with peace and prosperity.

You probably think of garnets as being deep red. But, these month’s birthday girls actually have many options when it comes to January birthstone jewelry. Did you know that these gems also come in green and purple? And that’s just for starters.

Garnet Colors and Characteristics

In fact, garnets appear in the greatest range of color of any mineral, pretty much every color except blue. Those well-known deep red garnets are the varieties pyrope and almandine, but you’ll often find fine jewelry made of grape garnets, bright pink-red rhodolite garnets, the gorgeous green tsavorite or demantoid varieties, and orange-red hessonite garnets.

Not only do they come in gorgeous colors, garnets can have unique properties that make them especially eye-catching. They sometimes exhibit asterism, a star-shaped pattern of reflections, and chatoyancy, a “cat’s-eye” pattern in reflected light, and can appear to change color under different types of lighting.

Garnet Birthstone History and Meaning

 

Garnets have been valued for their beauty since the Bronze Age. The pharaohs of ancient Egypt wore red garnet necklaces, and ancient Roman rulers used rings with carved garnets to stamp the wax on important documents. More recently, garnets were very fashionable in the Victorian era. The January birthstone’s meaning has been influenced by many different cultures. They signify friendship, romantic love, sensuality and intimacy, and have been thought to heal and strengthen the blood, heart and lungs.

Buying and Caring for Garnet Jewelry

If you’re shopping for a January birthday girl, garnet jewelry is a can’t-miss choice. Consider elegant garnet stud earrings, a garnet pendant or a piece of  vintage garnet jewelry.  Brilliant Earth garnets are sourced from protected reservations in the Southwestern United States, from mines that provide Native Americans with safe livelihoods and which employ eco-friendly mining practices.

 

In the middle range of hardness and toughness, garnets should not be subjected to rough wear, though they are not affected by exposure to light. Clean them with mild soap and warm water.

Final Thoughts

Do you love garnet jewelry?  Let us know on InstagramFacebook, or Twitter, or in the comments below!

The post What to Give a January Birthday Girl appeared first on Brilliant Earth Blog.

Categories: Latest Jewelry News

The 10 Most Stunning Pieces of Jewelry Featured in T This Year

NY Times Jewels and Jewelries - Thu, 12/28/2017 - 16:28
From mismatched pairs of earrings to a riff on Richard Burton’s 40th birthday gift for Elizabeth Taylor, 2017 sure sparkled. Here, a roundup of the gorgeous gems that made it to our pages.
Categories: Latest Jewelry News

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