Thursday, May 10, 2018

I'm BACK! And I'm about to get all Deco on your asses!

Photo Courtesy of

First, I'll start by saying hello!  It's been a very long time since I've posted a blog, so bear with me.  I'm a little rusty.

As you may be aware if you've been following my bling journey, I am an Art Deco fanatic.  In my home, in my jewelry, in my clothing, hell, if I could, everything I own would have some sort of Art Deco flair, and every decade past the 1920s has a bit of it in its styling.  Even mid-century modern gets its graphic lines and simple bold colors from the Art Deco era.  It seems that I'm not alone in my love of Art Deco as well. It's seen quite resurgence as of late.  In fact I'm having some brand new Art Deco furniture delivered to me soon from CB2.   It's a universally recognized style even if you don't realize it.  The lines, curves, colors and metals, stand out in a crowd even when a skyline is filled with it.

One of the most famous and notable Art Deco buildings in the world is that baby right up there: The Chrysler Building. Built in the 1920s during the economic boom of New York City, its construction employed many people during the Great Depression and (and maybe a more than few injuries). It was the first man made building to stand 1,000 feet, thanks to its 'skewer.'  When the Chrysler Building was finished it was praised for being "an expression of the intense activity and vibrant life of our day."  Not having any documentation to back this up and only using my imagination - I can imagine there were many people who felt the affluence of the building wasn't great for the time, but people held their heads high.  Now her sharp lines, bold colors, geometric shape are iconic.  There is no public observation deck on the Chrysler Building so she is to be adored from afar, but walking into the lobby can be an Art Deco eye explosion that I highly recommend.  I found a great blog/photos here:
Photo Courtesy of The Welcome Blog, Linked Above

The Art Deco trend started in the 20s; post World War 1.  The world was itching to show how luxurious and modern it was and it found with Art Deco.  Full length movies got their start in the 20s, so movie stars were being made, women were losing their corsets, men were losing their minds over the lost corsets! Technically it was illegal to drink alcohol, but it's hard to imagine the roaring 20s without thinking of a snifter of brandy or a cold martini in the hands of every F. Scott Fitzgerald out there.  The style of Art Deco was so popular that it ran into the 30s, when the rest of the country was in a Great Depression, but cheaper materials were used.  In the 40s, when the country was involved in another world war, the style had a hold on the world.  There was just something about the exorbitance of Deco that held on through the turbulance of the world.

One thing was certain - big and bold was the way to go in everything you saw . . .

Cars . . .

Photo Courtesy of
Photo Courtesy of Huffington Post
Photo Courtesy of AutoEvolution.Com
Photo Courtesy of

Trains . . .
Photo Courtesy of
Photo Courtesy of
Photo Courtesy of Chicago Art Deco on Twitter

and most importantly (at least in my opinion)

Jewelry . . .


Not currently for sale

In the 20s more colorful gemstones were used and diamonds were cut in less traditional form.  Rubies, sapphires, emeralds, coral, onyx, crystals, in geometric lines and striking colors that shows the confidence and free thinking of the 1920s.  

Today the Deco era has a strong influence on the pieces I've designed and sell in the past few years as I have always been drawn to the "simplicity in abundance" of the style.


And of course my Zelda (not for sale)

As I continue in my bling journey I continue to find more I love about this era, and also continue to find more pieces to sell (or hoard) in my Etsy shop.  I hope that this little write up conveyed a bit of what I love about the era and maybe made you fall in love with it a bit as well.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

No Need to Adjust Your Monitor: Blue Zircon

First thing I need you to know: Zircons are in no way related to that sparkly imposter cubic zirconia (CZs could only be so lucky!). BUT like CZs zircons do come in a wide array of colors.  My favorite, and the focus point of today’s blog is blue.

Jamie Kate Jewelery
Blue Zircon IRL

Totally my opinion and I admit to having no evidence to back this theory up, but I think the name "zircon" and its similarity to zirconia has made the general public look the other way when it comes to blue zircons. Heck, prior to becoming a colored stone snob myself, I would turn my nose up at blue zircons.  Since my conversion, however, I’ve learned to covet the unique and beautiful blue stone.

Let’s get through the boring nitty gritty: zircons are 7.5 on the Mohs scale, so they are susceptible to damage, especially near the facet edges.  Like with all colored stones, you must be careful wearing it and cleaning. I think at this point if you read through all of my blogs, you’ll think I’m starting to sound like a broken record about that, but it's very important if you want to keep your pretties their prettiest.

Blue zircon is extremely brilliant and has excellent dispersion. It was used quite often in older jewelry. Some remarkable vintage pieces can still be found today.

Etsy vendor: The Salvages

Etsy vendor: Galaxy Gems

Etsy Vendor: Stowe Gems

Blue zircon can be found in a range of blue tones from very pale to a saturated medium blue. Due to pleochroism, blue zircon can look slightly greenish when view from one direction.

One of my favorite (and a more unique) features of blue zircon is its eye visible double refraction. Don’t adjust your monitor folks, this is really what some blue zircon looks like. In fact lapidaries (the people who facet the stones) usually cut blue zircons to show this feature off.

Etsy Vendor: MS Jewelers


Africa Gems

Africa Gems

I’ve been noticing that blue zircon prices are starting to go up, so if you’re in the market, always be aware (broken record, anyone?) and remember that knowledge is power. There aren’t any known synthetics of blue zircon but there are zircon imposters. Blue topaz and synthetic spinel are among the offenders. Aquamarines can look similar to blue zircons as well, but they tend to be less vivid.

Thank you for the read and I hope you all have a blingtastic day!

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Beautiful Truth Behind Tanzanite

Tanzanites are one of the most coveted and "youngest" colored stones around. It was discovered in 1967 in the Mererani Hills in Northern Tanzania, and brought to the US by Tiffany & Co.

Tanzanite color can range from light purple to rich purplish blue color to pure blue.   Because of that it's often mistaken for sapphire or amethyst

eBay seller abboudjewelry

Even at its "young" age by gemstone standards, it's quickly become one of the most popular gemstones around.  You'll see them sold in almost every department store in a lighter purple shade, but the "collector" color is purplish blue or pure blue color. approximately Grade A
Another from  This one is definitely top grade!

Tanzanites are in the zoisite mineral family.  When mined most Tanzanite is a muddy brown color.  The blue color is only achieved through light heating.  This is one of those treatments in colored stones that is totally 100% acceptable, and in fact if not for that treatment there would be verrrrry few Tanzanites in the world (there are unheated Tanzanites, but damn are they hard to find).
Tanzanites are incredibly soft at 6.5 on the Mohs and must be worn and cleaned with the greatest of care.   Ideally they're best suited for necklaces or earrings, but I know how hard it is not to see that kind of beauty all of the time.  Just be very careful with them when wearing them because they will scratch, ding and lose luster. 

Currently there aren't any synthetic Tanzanites.  There are CZs that are colored like fine Tanzanites and there are other stones that can simulate Tanzanites, but science has yet to create a method for growing a synthetic stone that has the exact chemical composition of a Tanzanite.   That means that testing for genuineness is a lot easier than with sapphires, rubies and emeralds.

Now that I've gotten through all of the nitty gritty, here's the reasoning behind my title: The world is not running out of Tanzanite.  Yes, as with any other gemstone the world's supply is limited, but there's no real risk of the supply running out any time soon.  This was a marketing ploy that began in the 90's and like any good rumor it's just kept on going.  It's still being used by TV jewelery sales channels, and it's working because people are buying up the low grade Tanzanite left and right thinking they may have a collector's item on their hands (literally).  That's not the say they're not still incredibly rare.  Gemstones are rare.  So much more rare than diamonds.  But they're not going to dry out like Russian Alexandrites or true Paraiba tourmalines.  So you still have the chance to own this gorgeous stone, if you feel so compelled.
As always, buyer beware.  As I said there are stones out there that are made to look like Tanzanites.  Also, just because it is a Tanzanite, know that the premium pricing should only be paid for the premium colors.  Shady sellers of this stone will still try to convince you that the mines are drying out and try to rob you blind.  Now you can tell them that you know better!!

Thank you for reading!  I hope you all have a blingtastic weekend!