THE PEARL ISSUE | 2020
Dear Gem X,
Much has changed since our last newsletter. During the past month, we have felt heartbreak, anguish and the need for reflection with many of you, and many around the world. We took a pause in Gemflix programming, out of respect and to listen to all the voices around our community. When we resumed, we choose a very important cause for our next charity: the Equal Justice Initiative. Founded by Bryan Stevenson, the EJI’s mission is to combat racial and economic injustices, and to protect human rights for the most vulnerable. We are about halfway to our fundraising goal, and we hope to get there together. We are so grateful for your continued support for Gemflix, and for allowing us to give back ($15,000+ raised since we started!).
In this issue of The Extra, we focus on a theme that we can all use more of these days – the power of jewels and gems to comfort and heal. This idea was originally suggested by Gem X member, Aline Shapiro, who has been wearing and creating “comfort jewels” during quarantine. She shares some favorites with us below, and the feelings they evoke when she wears them. In the same vein, we asked Azalea Lee, founder of Place 8 Healing, about the crystals she has been drawn to during these times. And finally, there is a touching anecdote from Vanessa Cron, jewelry historian based in Geneva, about the “Red Cross Pearls.” This story highlights the power of jewels, as a medium for honoring, for healing, and for doing greater good in difficult times.
As Gem X has grown, we have made a few updates, and hopefully improvements, to our membership structure. In addition to our standard membership, we have added the two new options. First, a monthly Gemflix subscription for those who want to try out Gem X. As well, we are excited to offer a Gem X Unlimited membership for the most ardent of jewelry lovers. We describe them in more detail below, and hope you find one that best suits your jewelry life!
In good health & healing,
Lin and Heidi
WHAT OUR MEMBERS ARE UP TO
THE JEWELS I WORE & CREATED DURING QUARANTINE
Contributed by Aline Shapiro, Gem X Member
Quarantine has solidifed that making jewelry feeds my creative passion, structures my time and connects me to those I love. I am keenly aware that there are pieces that are literally the touchstones marking my life before quarantine, and after. Moreover, sharing my love of craft and workshop life with my Dad and friends means the world to me. Now time to order some more supplies and get back to the bench.
THE HEALING POWER OF CRYSTALS
Interview with Azalea Lee, Founder of Place 8 Healing
In Los Angeles with my husband, garden, and lots of critters.
With all the physical, social, and political upheaval that is happening in the world, its a lot of “back to basics” stones I’ve been called to work with– hematite and black tourmaline in particular. I’ve also been working quite a bit with shungite and anthracite. Basically a lot of black colored stones to help with the root chakra.
Because the root chakra governs all energies related to connection to Mother Earth, along with our general sense of survival, Covid-19 and its economic impact, the degradation of accountability from world leaders and their governments, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the effects of climate change are pinging on our sense of physical safety from an individual to a collective level. Because these subjects are triggering to our root chakra, it’s best to use root chakra crystals to help heal the pain we feel in these areas.
A single crystal can evoke a myriad of emotions depending on where you are in your healing process in the particular area you are working on. Thus, a crystal may bring up anger, sadness, elation, or calm– in that order or in any permutation in between depending on where you are on your healing journey. Ultimately, one works with crystals to help bring themselves into energetic balance. But because life is ever changing and new situations are always happening, there will always be some part of you that is being pulled out of balance. But each challenge you encounter gives you the opportunity to become stronger, more resilient. Thus, one ultimately works with crystals to center themselves– which in turn results in a feeling of peace– at least in the particular area one is working with the crystal with.
Yes, the same ones I mentioned for myself would be useful for others: Hematite, black tourmaline, shungite, anthracite. I also recommend obsidian and girasol quartz for these times too. Information about these stones can be found in my online shop at www.place8healing.com with a richer in-depth analysis available on my Instagram page @place8healing.
I wear a phenakite (cut by Jean Noel-Soni) set within an ankh, the ancient Egyptian symbol of eternal life. Everyone has a “constitutional” stone, a specific gemstone or crystal that holds a specific vibrational energy that resonates most deeply with the themes of their soul in this lifetime that touch every aspect of a person’s life. Phenakite is my constitutional stone, for it resonates with my work channeling high-vibrational divine energies into the physical world through my work as a healer. I wear a phenakite pendant daily to help keep me on task with this, but I designed my phenakite ankh ring specifically to help me channel divine energies when I am working in service to others, like when I am facilitating healing sessions or conducting workshops. The stone set within the powerful symbol of the ankh gives me added support, as it holds the collected energy of the healing work I do.
THE STORY OF THE RED CROSS PEARLS
As Told by Vanessa Cron, Jewelry Historian and Gem X Member in Geneva
What is the deeper meaning behind jewels? Here is one: within this simple strand of pearls, lay the generosity and memories of thousands. After WW1, families donated single natural pearls, often to honor a loved one lost at war. The experts at London’s finest jewelers, sorted and re-assembled some 4,000 pearls into new jewels sold at auction in 1918 to benefit the British Red Cross. Listen to this powerful story below, as told by Vanessa Cron with guest host Christine Cheng on Gemflix. To view the whole video, click here.
WHAT GEM X HAS BEEN UP TO
Updates to Gem X Membership Options
As Gem X has grown, we have made some changes (and hopefully improvements) to our membership structure. These additional options are intended to complement our standard Gem X membership of $100/year.
Instant Access with Gemflix Subscription ($10/month): For those who want to try out Gem X, this membership option is geared toward those who want to access our Gemflix replays. There is no application process, and subscribers get immediate access to our Gemflix archives. If interested, we invite you to sign up via this link.
For the Most Ardent Jewelry Lovers, Gem X Unlimited ($1,000/year): Want to take the plunge and become par of our innermost jewelry circle? The ultimate jewelry lover’s package includes–
- Complimentary access to all Gem X events. Just RSVP “yes,” and you are in with no additional fees.
- Access to all of our online content. This includes our archive of 30+ Gemflix episodes.
- Invitations to additional, specially-curated jewelry events. These are on top of regular Gem X events.
- Your personal jewelry concierge. Special introductions at boutiques and auction houses, insider tips when you are planning a trip and much more.
- The Gem X Vault. The Vault is our sisterhood of the traveling jewels, offering the chance to try out others’ jewels, and keep of share them if you like. More details soon.
WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO
Meet Julie Chang, Who Will Be Launching Gem X LA Soon
Who is Julie? GIA GG candidate, Gem X Core, former Senior Jewelry Authenticator at The RealReal
Origins: LA/Chicago/London/NY/SF, full circle back to LA!
Gemstones of Choice: Juicy alexandrites, tourmalines and spinels
Favorite Jewels to Wear: Currently building my personal collection to include the Georgian to Retro best hits, but I usually wear my vintage Rolex and jade bangle everyday.
Dream Jewels: The JAR Leek/Orange Peel brooches or a chunky antique diamond rivière, but I’m also loving anything by Sylvia Furmanovich at the moment.
Jewelry Heaven: Museum/jewelry archives and what I can only imagine is JAR’s design sanctum.
Below are our upcoming Gemflix conversatons.
LEGENDARY JEWELS THAT HAVE COME ACROSS MY DESK
◆ A Conversation with Lee Siegelson and Sarah Davis ◆
MONDAY | June 29th, 12:00PM NY / 5:00PM LDN
UNPREDICTABLE JEWELS: MY TOP SURPRISES AT THE AUCTION BLOCK
◆ A Conversation with Kristian Spofforth, Head of Jewellery, Sotheby’s London ◆
WEDNESDAY | July 1st, 12:00PM NY / 5:00PM LDN