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Dear Jewelry Friends,

This past month saw us out and about, celebrating jewelry at events both in our local communities and around the world. After a time when traveling was difficult, what a treat!

It was an action-packed month for Gem X NYC with seven jewelry events. Members were whisked from a breakfast tour and reception at the Met Museum, down to Jill Platner’s Crosby Street studio and even farther afield. Over in London, members gathered for a mini ethical gem fair and sharpened their pencils for a design workshop with Hannah Martin. Then, hit the Eurostar down to Paris for a few days of gem-seeing, topped off by The Royal Versailles Ball, all with other members from around the world.

Read on for more of our goings on about town, including an update from our Gem X Scholar Ellin, a look at the enthralling Gemflix hosted by Core Member Steph Carendi last week, and much more. 

Yours in jewels,

Heidi & Lin

GemScholar Logo


Dear Gem X,

Coloured Stones is going great [Ellin used her Gem X Scholarship to cover the Coloured Stones portion of the GIA GG program]. My favourite part so far has been learning more about opals. I love the uniqueness of each stone and they look even more spectacular next to enamel [Ellin is a jewelry maker with a passion for enamel, whose use she is also studying].  

At the moment, I’m studying “Synthetics and Imitations.” I have some good jewelry friends that work exclusively with synthetics and I’m interested in the ethics of both mined and lab created stones, so it’s been really informative. 

Some parts have been more challenging than others, but I’ve enjoyed every minute. I try to get some study in every day and I make flashcards to prepare before each test. I’m also lucky to work alongside some qualified gemologists who are very encouraging and always there if I need support. 

I’m looking forward to getting into the subjects that focus separately on each stone and I can’t wait to use more coloured stones in my work.

~Ellin (Australia)


May was an action-packed month for Gem X NYC, with 7 jewelry events that took us all across town. At the Met, Gem X NYC walked inside the Islamic galleries, in the company of jewelers Silvia FurmanivichHanut SinghMunnu Gem Palace and the Mahnaz Collection and curated by textile designer Madeline Weinrib. The following weekend, we reunited for the reopening of TEFAF at the Park Avenue Armory. We arrived at the jewel-like Veterans Room to hear a conversation with Hemmerle and Didier Ltd, moderated by Gem X Founder Jamison. Beneath centuries-old beams, a lofty skylight and giant spinning sculptures, jeweler Jill Platner welcomed us into her creative sanctuary at 165 Crosby St. As we walked around her studio, historian Marion Fasel and author Janice Nimura told us the story about the Doctors Blackwell, female doctors who ran the first hospital for women. Where there’s jewelry tools now, there were once medical tools, used to help and save lives. Jewelry with meaning just reached a whole new level.
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Marco Polo once wrote that the best sapphires, topazes, amethysts and other gems of the world can be found in Sri Lanka. After our little ethical gem fair with advocate and expert Stuart Poole, our only amendments would be the addition of “some of the most ethical” and the country of Tanzania to the list. After ogling Stuart’s gemstones, we sharpened our pencils and joined cult jeweler Hannah Martin for a design workshop. Then, we packed our favorite jewels and hit the Eurostar to Paris, where we joined other members from around the world for a few days of serious gem-seeing. Fellow member Gislain Aucremanne took us on an incredible tour through the new L’Ecole School of Jewelry Arts “Engraved Gems” exhibition and the many historic layers of the cameo. We visited the Crown Jewels, of course. The gem on top was a night at The Royal Versailles Ball, filled with dancing, toasting, fireworks and soaking in the sumptuous Versailles Palace.
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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


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!


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.


Fellow members and sisters Esther and Julia joined us at The Royal Versailles Ball, traveling from their homes near Amsterdam. Both agree that diamonds and sapphires are the best gemstones, though Esther also hankers after spinels while it is emeralds for Julia. 

Both also describe their dream jewel as the iconic Van Cleef & Arpel Zipp, though Julia adds a Couture Boucle mystérieuse necklace to her list. 

Their idea of jewelry heaven? For Julia it is the jewelry of Queen Elizabeth II. For Esther, “A beautiful ball where there is no hesitation to ‘put it on’” – we are so happy we got to see Esther, joined by Julia, in jewelry heaven at the ball and we know you will agree that they sure did ‘put it on’ 🙂


Dr. Nancy E. Zinn, Senior Curator of NMAD Museum, enthralled a packed Gemflix audience with stories from a selection of pins bequeathed by the late Madeleine Albright to the museum. As moderator and core member Steph Carendi put it, Albright excelled at the “poetic harnessing of jewelry for its ability to project and hold meaning.” One of the most fascinating stories told by Dr. Zinn was of this marvelous bug pin. In 1999, a Russian diplomat was arrested for planting a bug in the State Department building. As seen in the second picture, Albright used this oversized, outspoken brooch to send a beautifully elegant, witty, and subtle message to her Russian counterpart. Days after the arrest, she let her shoulder do the talking: “we got you”.

Replays are available to all members of Gem X


London | Thursday, June 2nd

PRIVATE TOUR OF SOTHEBY’S “POWER & IMAGE: ROYAL & ARISTOCRATIC TIARAS” What better way to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee? Join us for a tour of Sotheby’s new exhibition of 40 rare, historic tiaras, all with royal provenance


London | Wednesday, June 8th


Ute Decker is one of the most extraordinary metalsmiths of our time. Her sculptural creations, which seem to defy the possible, are recognized and collected by individuals and museums alike.


Virtual | Wednesday, June 8th


Art historian Toni Greenbaum, a scholar of twentieth and twenty-first century jewelry and metalwork, has spent decades researching the life of Art Smith, even meeting his partner soon after his death. Join us as the author of “Messengers of Modernism: American Studio Jewelry 1940-1960” (Paris: Flammarion, 1996) and “Sam Kramer: Jeweler on the Edge” (Stuttgart: Arnoldsche Art Publishers, 2019), and professor at Pratt Institute, shares the story of Art Smith’s life and jewels and their lasting impact. The talk will be guest hosted by the talented jewelry designer Jameel Mohammed of Khiry, who like many designers has been greatly inspired by Art Smith.


Las Vegas | Thursday, June 9th


Our excitement is building for not one, but three, jewelry shows in Vegas. Whether you will be scouring Antique Jewelry & Watches for a brooch or gem hunting at AGTA GemFair, let’s meet to dish, debrief and have an Apéritif.


New York City | Sunday, June 12th


What goes well with a beautiful jewel? Perhaps an Hermes handbag, killer Nike dunk low sneakers or vintage convertible for your ride. Sotheby’s is delighted to extend an invitation to Gem X to tour Luxury Week New York.


Not a member yet? Learn about joining us here.

To keep in touch with us and other members, join our private Gem X Slack conversation and follow us on the Gem X Instagram.

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

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Gem X Core Collection | Terms and Conditions

1. DEFINITIONS: “Gem X” refers to Gem X LLC, who has lent a given piece of jewelry to Customer. “Jewelry” refers to any piece of jewelry identified above that is being lent to Customer by Gem X on memo for a period not to exceed six weeks. “Loan Period” refers to the period of time which Gem X agrees to lend the Jewelry to Customer.

2. APPLICABILITY: These Terms and Conditions govern and apply to a one year membership in the Gem X Core Collection Program. Customer agrees that by accepting these Terms and Conditions, Gem X is authorized to charge Customer’s credit Card on file the full price of a one year membership. Customer further agrees that by accepting these Terms and Conditions, Customer’s membership in the Gem X Core Collection program will automatically renew one year from the expiration of the term of membership, and Customer’s credit card will be charged for each annual membership renewal. Customer acknowledges that should Customer seek to cancel Customer’s membership at any time during each one year membership term, Customer will not be entitled to any refund for any portion of the one year membership term prior to which the Customer cancelled membership. Customer agrees that Customer may only avoid an automatic membership renewal (and corresponding credit card charge) by canceling Customer’s membership in writing via email to at least 24 hours prior to the expiration of the term of Customer’s one year Gem X Core Collection Program membership. Nothing herein shall be construed as implying any obligation on Gem X’s part to continue or cancel Customer’s membership at any time. Gem X reserves the right to cancel Customer’s membership in the Gem X Core Collection Program, and further reserves the right to decline to renew Customer’s membership in the Gem X Core Collection Program, for any reason including but not limited to a violation of any of these Terms and Conditions.

3. AUTHORITY TO SIGN: Any individual signing below, via Docusign or by clicking a check-box acknowledging acceptance of these Terms and Conditions, represents and warrants that he or she is of legal age and has the authority and powder to sign below or check the box accepting these Terms and Conditions, either on his or her own behalf or on behalf of the Customer.

4. CORE COLLECTION AGREEMENT: Customer agrees that by signing below, via Docusign or by clicking a check-box acknowledging acceptance of these Terms and Conditions, Customer shall be part of the Gem X Core Collection program, in which Gem X shall, in Gem X’s sole discretion, lend Customer on memo one or more pieces of Jewelry to be selected by Gem X for a period not to exceed six (6) weeks. At the end of the Loan Period, Customer agrees that it shall ship the Jewelry back to Gem X via the pre-printed Federal Express label to be e-mailed to Customer by Gem X.

5. INSPECTION: Customer acknowledges that Customer has inspected the Jewelry upon taking possession thereof, finds it in good and undamaged condition, with no damaged or missing stones or components, and finds it suitable for Customer’s needs. To the extent that Customer finds the Jewelry to have any damage, or damaged or missing stones or components whatsoever upon receipt of the Jewelry, Customer shall promptly notify Gem X of any damage to the Jewelry, or damaged or missing stones or components, within one (1) business day of receipt. Notice shall be provided to Customer via email, and shall include photographs of any damage to the Jewelry, and/or damaged or missing stones or components. Customer further acknowledges and agrees that should Customer fail to notify Gem X of any damage to the Jewelry, or damaged or missing stones or components, within one (1) business day of receipt of the Jewelry: (a) Customer waives any claim that the Jewelry arrived with any damage whatsoever; (b) Customer will be responsible for reimbursing Gem X for any damage to the Jewelry, or damaged or missing stones or components, as further described in paragraph 5.

6. RETURN OF JEWELRY/CUSTOMER RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE: At the expiration of the Loan Period, Customer shall return the Jewelry as specified in paragraph 3. Upon receipt of the Jewelry by Gem X, Gem X shall inspect the Jewelry for any damage to the Jewelry and damaged or missing stones or components. Should Gem X determine, in its sole discretion, that there is any damage to the Jewelry, or that there are any damaged or missing stones or components, or that the Jewelry has been tampered with in any way such that it is not in the condition that it was in at the commencement of the Loan Period, Gem X shall notify Customer in writing within ten (10) business days of receipt of the Jewelry. Gem X shall make any repairs and/or replace any damaged or missing stones at its sole discretion, and shall invoice Customer in writing for the full cost of said repairs within ten (10) business days of such repairs being made. Customer hereby agrees and consents that Gem X may charge Customer’s credit card on file within two (2) days of Gem X sending the above Invoice without further notice to Customer. Customer further agrees and acknowledges that, should Customer fail to return the Jewelry within five (5) business days of the expiration of the Loan Period, Gem X may invoice Customer for the full replacement cost of the Jewelry, and may charge Customer’s credit card of file within two (2) days of Gem X sending the above Invoice without further notice to Customer.

7. TITLE/NO PURCHASE OPTION/NO LIENS: These Terms and Conditions do not constitute a contract of sale, and title to the Jewelry shall at all times remain with Gem X. Gem X may offer Customer the option to purchase the Jewelry in Gem X’s sole discretion, but any such purchase of the Jewelry by Customer shall be the subject of a further contract or agreement. Customer shall keep the Jewelry free and clear of all liens and encumbrances, and under no circumstances shall Customer use the Jewelry as collateral or security for any type of loan whatsoever. Customer shall not lease, assign, loan, or rent the Jewelry to any individual or entity.

8. ENTIRE AGREEMENT/ONLY AGREEMENT: These Terms and Conditions shall constitute the entire agreement between Gem X and Customer, and shall supersede all prior agreements, understandings and negotiations between Gem X and Customer with respect to the subject matter hereof. Any modifications to these Terms and Conditions must be made in writing and signed by Gem X and Customer.

9. NON-WAIVER: Any failure of Gem X to insist on strict performance by Customer or any of these Terms and Conditions shall not be construed as a waiver of Gem X’s right to demand strict compliance.

10. HEADINGS FOR CONVENIENCE ONLY: Headings of any paragraph or provision in these Terms and Conditions are for convenience and organization only. Headings shall not affect the meaning of any provisions of these Terms and Conditions.

11. NO CONSTRUCTION AGAINST DRAFTER: Customer acknowledges that he or she has read these Terms and Conditions, and has agreed to all of the terms hereunder. Customer further agrees that any ambiguity in any of these Terms and Conditions shall not be construed against Gem X on the basis that Gem X authored the same.

12. SEVERABILITY: If any part or sub-part of these Terms and Conditions is deemed or held invalid or unenforceable by a court of law or competent arbitrator, the remaining Terms and Conditions will be enforced to the maximum extent possible. In such circumstances, the remainder of these Terms and Conditions shall continue in full force.

13. JURISDICTION/COSTS: Gem X and Customer agree that New York law shall govern any matter or dispute relating to or arising out of this Agreement, as well as any dispute of any kind that may arise between Gem X and Customer. In the event litigation is initiated, Gem X and Customer agree to submit to the personal jurisdiction of the state and federal courts of the following county: New York, New York. Gem X and Customer agree that this choice of law, venue, and jurisdiction provision is not permissive, but rather mandatory in nature. Customer agrees to pay all reasonable costs of collection, court, attorney’s fees, and other expenses incurred by Gem X in the collection of any charges due under these Terms and Conditions or in connection with the enforcement of these Terms and Conditions.

14. ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES/CHECK BOXES: Customer agrees that execution and/or acceptance of these Terms and Conditions via Docusign, by clicking a check-box below, or via other electronic means, has the same force and effect as signing in ink.

15. CRIMINAL WARNING: Failure to return the Jewelry at the end of the Loan Period may be considered theft subject to criminal prosecution pursuant to the applicable penal or penal code provisions.