THE OPAL ISSUE | 2021
Dear Jewelry Friends,
Fall has gotten off to a full and vibrant start. In this October Opal issue of The Extra, you will see why! We take you inside a highly anticipated event in our industry – The Las Vegas Jewelry Shows. After being canceled last year, the shows reopened to fanfare and did not disappoint. We offer a few perspectives below from Gem X members who attended, with insights on different shows, and the jewels they are still dreaming about. Julie, Aline, Taylor and Valeria… we can’t wait to be your wing-people next year!
On Gemflix, we returned from a wonderful summer break with an exciting collaboration with TEFAF Online. As part of the Meet the Experts series, we hosted “Discovering Wearable Art” with Martine and Didier Haspeslagh from London (replay available here). In London, Gem X attended an intimate dinner (jewels for dessert anyone?) with Symbolic & Chase, hosted a discussion on charms with Annoushka Ducas and explored the Goldsmiths’ Fair together. In NYC, members stepped inside the magical jewelry studio of Judy Geib, described by The Adventurine as an “Indiana Jones of jewelry.” And did we mention the upcoming bejeweled sunset cruise on the Hudson?
Speaking of The Adventurine, Marion Fasel, Founder and Creative Director of our favorite jewelry blog, generously selected the Gem X Scholarship & Grant as her charity for the Muse x Muse Have a Heart campaign. 10% of sales from 7 lucky charms, hand selected by Marion, will be donated to the Grant & Scholarship Fund, opening doors for more jewelry enthusiasts. Applications for the Gem X Grant & Scholarship are open until October 31st (apply here), and we hope you will help us spread the news!
Lin & Heidi
WHAT OUR MEMBERS HAVE BEEN UP TO
Lowdown from the Las Vegas Shows
From Julie Chang
Belatedly! And the first time working a trade show rather than visiting.
Looked longingly towards Couture and JCK, but I was only at the Antique Jewelry & Watch Show.
The glittering fever pitch of long awaited in-person commerce, conversation, and connection.
True to Gem X form, a tiara: this exquisite platinum bandeau centered by a moval cut – see pic!
I think many of us have experienced attention fatigue at museums even if we adore them. Anyone try the entirety of the Louvre? I’ve come to understand that this year’s show was much smaller than any other, but the two halls were still overwhelming. This is likely old news, but I felt those who had very specific viewing agendas found the best success (e.g. natural pearls one day, oversized chains the next).
Julie Chang is based in Los Angeles and the head of Gem X LA. She is a Gemologist at Excalibur Jewelry. Instagram: @juliesungeun
From Valeria Leonova
Yes, and it was so exciting! My company, Novel Collection, won the JCK jewelers’ choice award for the best jewelry design! And I finally got a chance to meet Tracey Ellison, @TheDiamondsGirl.
Since I represent Novel Collection specializing in natural fancy color diamonds, we showed at Luxury and JCK events. But I had a chance to attend some evening events. The most memorable was the Watchonista Magazine event, where I met many people from the watches, jewelry, and antique industries.
Buyers, designers, influencers, and families from all over the world with a passion for finding that scarce stone or a unique piece of jewelry.
That would be ours, Novel Collection, over a 2-carat natural fancy orange-red diamond that GIA named the Majestic Diamond and published a book about it. I have never seen such beauty before.
Bring your best outfits, you network in the evenings as well, and you need to look exceptional!
Valeria Leonova is a Gem X member, jewelry specialist, stylist, and social media content creator. Instagram: @Valeria.leonova.nyc
From Aline Shapiro
Yes, this was the first time.
We went to COUTURE, JCK and the Antiques show.
COUTURE was easy to navigate, loved the new designer “hallway” and fun to see some new brands.
The buckle / amethyst bracelet from the Antiques show – see pic! I should have bought it!
Aline Shapiro is a jewelry designer, collector and overall enthusiast. She is a member of the Gem X NYC Core. Instagram: @alineshopsjewels
From Taylor Wos
No, I had the privilege of previously attending Couture in 2018 as a guest of Redbar, the international watch collector community.
The Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch Show, JCK/ Luxury, Couture and AGTA GemFair Las Vegas
The Antique show was a stream of friendly faces I hadn’t seen since before the pandemic and an absolute deluge of gems, vintage jewels, and mouth-watering timepieces! JCK was slightly overwhelming by virtue of the sheer scale and breadth of its offerings. Luxury was more intimate and manageable, and the Watchonista Couture villa was backdrop to one of my favorite parties.
I am still swooning over this 15ct J/VS2 Asscher cut diamond ring from Julius Klein Diamonds. This vintage 18k yellow gold chunky link bracelet and matching necklace with French hallmarks and sapphire accents. There was also a vintage VCA vanity case with sapphire and a jaw-dropping Henry Dunay diamond encrusted mask just to name a few.
Drink lots of water, bring a good selection of comfortable stylish shoes and remember to look up occasionally! You never know who you might run into!
Taylor Wos is a Gem X member, and Founder of TW Kessler Jewels, a jewelry atelier. Instagram: @kesslerjewels
WHAT GEM X HAS BEEN UP TO
G E M F L I X
TEFAF Collaboration: Discovering Wearable Art with Didier
TEFAF is one of the fairs we look forward to every year. This fall, we were honored to host an online “Meet the Experts” panel with TEFAF Online, featuring Didier and Martine Haspeslagh (@didierltd). Didier and Martine devote their lives to sourcing, researching and curating the best examples of modern, wearable art. They shared three pieces made by Lucio Fontana, Arnaldo Pomodoro, and Claude Lalanne, all made with the help of GianCarlo Montebello, a genius facilitator who enabled many artists to translate their creativity into jewelry art. Replay available here.
L O N D O N
A Life in Charms with Annoushka Ducas & Lucia van der Post
A beautiful London evening in a beautiful London boutique. Sparkling wine and sparkling conversation flowed, hosted by our @heidielizabethgarnett between @annoushkajewellery founder @annoushkaducas and journalist @luciavanderpost1. We were given insight into Annoushka and Lucia’s many charm stories, discussing, as Lucia described it, ‘the most personal of jewels.’ What an opportunity to get together with fellow jewelry lovers and handle Annoushka’s creations. Among the many discoveries of the evening, each charm has a delightful hidden element – whether a moving part, a locket or another secret detail – that hints at its personal story. Thank you @annoushkajewellery @annoushkaducas and @luciavanderpost1 for a truly charming evening! Interested in learning more? Annoushka’s podcast #mylifeinsevencharms is available on her website.
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An Afternoon of Bling and Rings
This past Wednesday, Gem X members had the opportunity to attend the stunning 2021 Goldsmiths’ Fair and a private luncheon talk on this year’s Fair exhibition ‘Rings: A World of Invention’ by Dr. Dora Thornton and Dr. Frances Parton, curators of the Goldsmiths’ Company Collection. We followed the path of incredible innovation seen in jewellery design and especially ring design during the last 50 years, since the seminal 1961 Goldsmiths’ exhibition curated by Graham Hughes. We traversed time from the unfettered energy of the 1960s and 70s with designs by Andrew Grima, Gerda Flöckinger and Wendy Ramshaw, up to the contemporary and very wearable polygonal ring designs of Dorothy Hogg.
After the talk, members had the unparalleled chance to see examples of these artists’ work from the Goldsmiths’ vault up close, during a private handling session. Each piece exemplified how imaginative and innovative designers can be in the medium of the ring.
This beauty and originality was also reflected in the incredible new collections on show at this year’s Goldsmiths’ Fair, which members had the opportunity to walk around after. If you’re in London, be sure to visit the Fair and see the exhibition in person. If you aren’t, you can still peruse the Fair, from the stunning jewelry on display to the exhibition and even online talks, at: https://www.goldsmithsfair.co.uk.
N E W Y O R K C I T Y
A Visit to Judy Geib's Studio
Ever since we heard Judy Geib speak at the National Arts Club, years ago, we have been longing to peek inside her studio. It is where all the magic happens, a space sprinkled with gemstones, precious metals and other treasured tools that help her hand-forged jewelry magic come to life. A few weeks ago, we were invited in. We were treated to a gorgeous rainbow of gemstones, oodles of doodles that show Judy’s brainstorms, and of course, the beautiful jewels that Judy makes. When your creative space looks like this, it’s no wonder the amount of whimsy and happiness that oozes from Judy’s work. Photos by @markatthemuseum.
Have more photos from these events? Tag us at @gemxclub or #gemxnyc #gemxlondon
GEM X SCHOLARSHIP & GRANT PROGRAM
Marion Fasel, Muse X Muse Have a Heart Supports Gem X Scholarship
What’s better than beautiful jewels? Beautiful jewels for a great cause. We are incredibly honored that Marion Fasel has chosen the Gem X Scholarship and Grant Fund as her charity for @musexmuse Have a Heart campaign. 10% of sales from these 7 lucky charms (personally selected by Marion) will go towards opening doors for a new generation of jewelry enthusiasts. Thank you for your support! Shop HERE.
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Apply Now for the Gem X Scholarship & Grant Program!
DEADLINE: October 31st, 2021
Gem X is dedicated to opening up the world of jewelry. Our Scholarship & Grant Program aims to help overcome the barriers that prevent many from taking the next steps to further their careers and pursue their jewelry dreams. Every person has a different set of needs and aspirations. For this reason, each Gem X Scholar will be awarded a bespoke package. An award can be as simple as a complimentary Gem X membership, with mentoring from experts in the industry. Or if you require financial assistance, we offer up to $5000 in grants that can be applied towards a jewelry education, a jewelry apprenticeship, project, or something else to further your jewelry dreams. Every person is eligible to apply, and our only requirement is that you demonstrate a passion and a need. APPLY HERE.
WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO
G E M F L I X
London's Lost Jewels - The Cheapside Hoard
A Conversation with Hazel Forsyth, curator at the Museum of London
WEDNESDAY | October 6th, 12:00PM EST | 5:00PM BST
In 1912, laborers on a building site in Cheapside in the City of London unearthed a great trove of gemstones and jewels which had lain undisturbed for some 300 years. Known and celebrated as the Cheapside Hoard, it is still the largest known cache of its kind in the world. Join us as Hazel Forsyth, curator at the Museum of London, who is overseeing the new permanent display of the Cheapside Hoard, tells us its story. RSVP HERE
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Exploring Artisanal and Large-Scale Mining
A Conversation with Richa Goyal Sikri, Journalist & Storyteller
WEDNESDAY | October 13th, 10:00AM EST | 3:00PM BST
If you could plan a dream jewelry excursion, chances are a gem mine, perhaps the world’s largest emerald mine, would be on your list. We may not be able to visit these days, but we can invite you on a virtual excursion with journalist and storyteller, Richa Goyal Sikri (@richgoyalsikri). Join us as Richa guides us around two exotic destinations she has visited – Sri Lanka, for artisanal sapphire and moonstone mining, and the world’s largest emerald mine (Kagem) in Zambia (where these Lego figures were photographed). RSVP HERE
Glam Rocks: British Jewelry from the 1970s, Presented by Lyon & Turnbull
Tour By Charlotte Peel, Head of Jewelry & Silver, Lyon & Turnbull Ltd.
THURSDAY | October 7th, 6:00PM BST
Hyde Park, London
Join us as Lyon & Turnbull Head of Jewelry & Silver, Charlotte Peel, takes us on a tour, discussing how the fashion and lifestyle of the 70s affected the jewelry design of the period and telling us stories of curating the exhibition. The talk will begin at 6:30pm with time before and after to mingle while trying on some glam rocks. RSVP HERE
N E W Y O R K C I T Y
A Bejeweled Sunset Cruise
A Private Event for Members
SUNDAY | October 3rd, 2021, 5:00PM EST
You are cordially invited to join us for a jewelry excursion at sea, aboard a private sunset cruise on the Hudson River. We will meet at Chelsea Piers at 4:45pm for a 5pm sharp departure…to sip cocktails, enjoy light bites and of course, swap jewelry stories and fantasies. And dress code you ask? Simply wear an outfit and/or jewel that embraces the theme of our evening, be it a nautical pattern, creature of the sea or gem from the ocean. WAITLIST ONLY
O N L I N E
Fall Has Fell - Autumn Member Mixer
A Private Event to Meet Other Jewelry Lovers
FRIDAY | October 8th, 2021, 5:00PM EST
Similar to our Summer Mixer, we will offer a quick introduction to Gem X member features, including new ones like the Slack chat we have added in recent weeks. You are invited to consider a few jewelry-inspired questions in break-out rooms. For this mixer, our questions to ponder are: what is your favorite jewelry fiction book? Non-fiction book? What is your favorite jewelry movie or podcast? So, put on some seasonal jewels (citrines, opals, and leaf brooches are on our mind!), pour yourself your favorite fall beverage, and cozy up for an hour of conversation. RSVP HERE