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Dear Jewelry Friends,

April is known for its showers and in our case, luckily, this meant showers of gems! From the Winter Show on Madison Avenue, where Core Members Levi Higgs (who created the stunning bejeweled window displays) and Christine Cheng (who was was not letting the actual rainy weather get her down with an incredible Art Deco tiara) gave us a tour, to LA, where we gathered for a breakfast hosted by Heritage Auctions Beverly Hills to view their fantastic Spring Fine Jewelry Signature Sale, jewels flowed and blossomed all month long. For a swoon-worthy example, scroll down for an exquisite bouquet by JAR.

On a more serious note, we celebrated Earth Day and were reminded of the great importance of protecting this beautiful planet we have the privilege of living on. Our first Gemflix this month included a viewing and discussion of the documentary ‘River of Gold’ which follows the journey of two war journalists and their discovery of the unbelievable destruction of Amazonian rainforest to enable illegal gold mining. This is one reason we are so very excited about our event coming up with fellow member and responsible mining expert Stuart Pool of Nineteen48, who will host a discussion about ethical gemstones and treat us to a miniature ethical gem fair in London.  

The month saw other exciting blossomings for our scholars. Kwabena Ampadu and Briyana Rainer of Ampadu Studios received the first shipment of their new collection. If you live close to New York City, be sure to visit them at Together We Thrive in Bed-Stuy on May 14th to see the pieces in person. Metalsmith Yeena Yoon showed some of her beautiful creations at the Goldsmith’s Centre Trove event. 

Read on for more of our spring news. Also, a reminder that if you are looking to connect with other members, including at the many jewelry events coming up like GemGenève and TEFAF, check out our Slack Channel (details below) and hope to see you soon!  

Yours in jewels,    

Heidi & Lin

GemScholar Logo

SCHOLAR SHOWCASE

This month our scholars Kwabena Ampadu and Briyana Rainer of Ampadu Studios received the first shipment of an exciting new collection funded by the Gem X Scholarship. The duo creates jewels for braids and afro-textured hair, “made with your crown in mind”, and their new lux beads feature the star motif. We love their work and also what they’re achieving. Often, braids are decorated with disposable plastic beads. This new collection brings together hair jewelry and design to offer an accessory that will, more sustainably, be used over and over again. Their new collection will be available on their website in mid-May and if you want to see them and meet the founders in person, Ampadu Studios will be at the Together We Thrive event in Bed-Stuy, NYC on May 14th.

Jeweller Yeena Yoon was invited to show at Trove, at the Goldsmith’s Centre, the other week as one of a team of ten of London’s most exciting female jewellery designers. Heidi had the opportunity to visit the event to see Yeena’s most recent work, and snap some photos. Looking forward, Yeena will be traveling out to Italy in June to complete a course with the genius wirework artist Giovanni Corvaja, funded by the Gem X Scholarship. If you didn’t have the chance to visit Trove, Yeena will be showing her new collection, including all she will have learnt from Giovanni, at The Goldsmiths’ Fair at the end of September.

CHAPTER POSTCARDS

Imagine a space filled to the brim with creative spirit, sculptural works of art (that you can wear) and stories of mythical jewels. Last week, the designer Joy Bonfield-Colombara (Joy BC) welcomed us into her magical London studio space. We waxed poetic about Greek mythology, the power of the tiara, ancient Japanese swords, Amazonian pearl divers and much more. All have served as threads of inspiration for Joy’s creations. Better than any ordinary happy hour, it was truly an inspirational and joyful hour. Thank you to both Joy and Elisabetta Cipriani, our member and gracious co-hostess, for a very special evening. XX
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Members Go GaGa Over Jewels in LaLa Land

What better way to spend an early Saturday morning in Los Angeles than seeing one-of-a-kind jewels with fellow jewelry lovers? Thanks to Heritage Auctions for making their Spring Fine Jewelry Signature Sale preview available for a Gem X members-only breakfast on a lovely day in April. With mimosas in hand, we met Heritage jewelry experts who shared their wisdom about the pieces and the auction process. We had the opportunity to try on and chat amongst ourselves about which was our favorite.  As bidding is online only, we were able to place bids on any coveted pieces. It was hard to decide between the exclusive collection of JAR pieces, the 19-carat brilliant cut diamond ring or the retro Raymond Yard citrine and gold suite once owned by Joan Crawford! Oh my!  XX

April showers were aplenty but we beat the grey days with plenty of colors and exuberance. The Winter Show, in the space that formerly held Barney’s,  had us practically skipping between a JAR fibula brooch and Art Deco tiaras @simonteaklejewelry, to Claude Lalanne treasures @didierltd and Etruscan revival bangles @jamesrobinsoninc. By the time champagne was poured at @macklowegallery with Tiffany Studios lamps and art nouveau jewels to keep us company, we were floating on a little slice of jewelry heaven. Later in the month Unlimited Gem X members were treated to champagne and cherry blossoms at Mikimoto’s stunning 5th Avenue flagship boutique to celebrate the Royal Versailles Ball. We were completely immersed in South Sea and Akoya pearls of only the highest quality, as well as the unveiling of some of Mikimoto’s most coveted and newest jewelry designs, featuring lariat necklaces, chokers, and one of a kind suites fit for royalty. Versailles here we come!

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BOOK CLUB WRAP-UP

In late March, author M.J. Rose and co-host Levi Higgs concluded a wonderful series of discussions about our winter read, The Last Tiara. We were absolutely riveted as we finally learned the truth about Sofiya, Carpathian and the tiara! We were especially intrigued to learn more about The Midas Society in these final chapters and knew we needed to ask M.J. what inspired the Society’s headquarters. You can listen to her answer here. Excursion to the South of France anyone?

It has been such a thrilling reading adventure over the past few weeks. We have been swept into a mystery surrounding a missing Romanov tiara, characters inspired by jewelry legends like Paul Flato and M.J.’s plot twists that kept us guessing to the end. We have loved our intimate conversations with M.J. and book club host Levi Higgs. Stay tuned for a new book club pick, coming soon!

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MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

This month we are shining our spotlight towards the West Coast of America and one of our newest Los Angeles members. Lena Agdere has thrown herself into Gem X membership, helping out with the recent Gem X LA event visiting All That Glitters: The Crown Jewels of the Walt Disney Archive at The Bowers Museum. Lena and her father, Sinork Agdere, are the award-winning team behind Lord Jewelry, LA, where they produce exquisite enameled jewels inspired by fine art and high fashion. The incredibly desirable creations of Lord Jewelry manage to fuse historical inspiration with modern design techniques.

We’re sure Lena felt a connection with our recent Earth Day Gemflix, ‘River of Gold’, as Lena originally studied environmental biology and marketing and explored the Amazonian forests, conducting wildlife research on isolated islands. The natural world and history continues to inspire Lena especially when combined with technical skill and visual artistry, all elements on show in their work at Lord Jewelry. Lena is in love with color, her favorite gemstone is an Emerald and her dream jewels are boldly colorful and luxurious. We would love to travel back in time with Lena to her jewelry heaven – experiencing Art Deco jewels in all their glory and heartily agree with Lena and Sinork’s message of making a vibrant mark on the world while reveling in beautiful color.

@lordjewelry https://lordjewelry.us/

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

This month we are shining our spotlight towards the west coast of America and one of our newest Los Angeles members. Lena Agdere has thrown herself into Gem X membership, helping out with the recent Gem X LA event visiting All That Glitters: The Crown Jewels of the Walt Disney Archive at The Bowers Museum. Lena and her father, Sinork Agdere, are the award-winning team behind Lord Jewelry, LA, where they produce exquisite enameled jewels inspired by fine art and high fashion. The incredibly desirable creations of Lord Jewelry manage to fuse historical inspiration with modern design techniques.

Interestingly, Lena originally studied environmental biology and marketing and explored the Amazonian forests, conducting wildlife research on isolated islands. The natural world and history continues to inspire Lena especially when combined with technical skill and visual artistry, all elements on show in their work at Lord Jewelry. Lena is in love with color, her favorite gemstone is an emerald and her dream jewels are boldly colorful and luxurious. We would love to travel back in time with Lena to her jewelry heaven – experiencing Art Deco jewels in all their glory and heartily agree with Lena and Sinork’s message of making a vibrant mark on the world while reveling in beautiful color.

LAST TIME ON GEMFLIX...

Gem X hosted two Gemflix this month. The first made us consider the origins and practices around the world’s most beautiful natural materials with an Earth Day screening and discussion of the documentary ‘River of Gold’. We hosted this special Gemflix event in partnership with The Jewelry EditRadical Jewelry Makeover and Amazon Aid. If this Gemflix piqued your interest in ethical mining, London members can join fellow member and responsible mining expert, Stuart Pool, for a discussion on this topic.

For our second April Gemflix we were invited into the studio, and incredible creative world, of Studio Renn. Founded by husband and wife team, Roshni and Rahul Jhaveri, their work has become know for pushing the boundaries of design and materials. We were mesmerised by the jewels we were shown, such as this “Orange Peel”where rubies are magically tucked inside the diamond encrusted peel. The play between gems, gold, and light is simply magical and a testament to the creative imagination that Rahul and Roshni put into every one of their designs.

ACCESS ARCHIVES OF 120+ GEMFLIX REPLAYS
Replays are available to all members of Gem X

Gem X on Slack

GEM X ON SLACK ...

Don’t forget to join in the chat on the Gem X Slack Channel. Gem X members hail from all over the world, our Slack channel gives you an easy and friendly way to chat, collaborate and dish about all things gems n’ jewels. This month it has information and chats for members planning to attend TEFAF and GemGenève.

 Missed the email about Gem X and Slack? Write to us at assistant@gemx.club and we’ll be happy to help!

WHAT'S COMING UP...

London | Tuesday, May 3rd

DISCOVERING ETHICAL GEMSTONES As we celebrated Earth Day we stopped to appreciate the beautiful nature that surrounds us and also to question the gems we have the opportunity to see. Where do they come from and at what cost? Fellow member and responsible mining expert Stuart Pool has agreed to host a discussion on the topic and a miniature ethical gem fair for us and our friends.  RSVP HERE

NYC | Friday, May 6th 

THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART’S HEIRLOOM PROJECT BAZAAR 

Led by iconic textile and home designer Madeline Weinrib, the Heirloom Project celebrates the 10th anniversary of The Met’s reimagined Islamic Wing by seeking engagement with global craftspeople who pursue ancient techniques and design principles. For Gem X members only. RSVP HERE.

NYC | Saturday & Sunday, May 7th & 8th

MEET THE EXPERTS AT TEFAF 2022

Together with TEFAF, we invite you to discover jewelry up close upon the fair’s return to the Park Avenue Armory. In a special gathering in the jewel-like Veteran’s Room on Saturday May 7th, Didier & Martine Haspalaugh (Didier Ltd.) and Christian Hemmerle (Hemmerle) will each present a special jewel that holds a hidden story. Following the discussion on Saturday, we invite you to stay for a tour of the fair.  We will see the full breadth of jewels at Didier and Hemmerle’s booths, as well as visit the other exhibitors including Otto Jakob, FD Gallery and Ana Khouri.  You also have the option of making a Sunday May 8th reservation, which will include a TEFAF jewelry tour beginning at 1pm.

RSVP HERE

NYC | Wednesday, May 11th

JILL PLATNER & “THE DOCTORS BLACKWELL” 

 A Studio Reception Hosted by Jill Platner, Janice P. Nimura & Marion Fasel. Over the course of the past decade, sculptor and jeweler Jill Platner has been painstakingly renovating 165 Crosby Street, on the corner of Manhattan’s Bleecker and Crosby Streets. In a special evening reception hosted with jewelry historian and author Marion Fasel, we will learn more about the history of the building and the legacy of the pioneering women who made history in the space as well as exploring Jill’s “Blackwell” collection, inspired by these women and their stories.  

RSVP HERE

London | Thursday, May 12th

DESIGNING WITH HANNAH MARTIN 

Join us for a visit to “cult jeweller” Hannah Martin’s new design studio – The Loft – and a window into her creative process, including the opportunity to sit down and try our own hand at designing with Hannah. Hannah has invited us each to bring along a jewel we have been considering reimagining and to join her for an intimate, inspirational workshop. Not an artist or no jewel comes to mind? Not to worry, there will be plenty of inspiration on hand.

RSVP HERE

Versailles, France | Saturday, May 21st

THE ROYAL VERSAILLES BALL

A glorious night in May of fine cuisine, reeling, bubbles, fireworks and entertainment, all in support of the charities Unicef UK, Lewa and Street Child. Gem X is hosting a table and has invited members to join us in France.

The table is currently full, but you can join the waitlist by emailing: events@gemx.club.

 

Not a member yet? Learn about joining us HERE.

That’s it for this month!  For questions and comments, please drop us a note here.

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