First Lady Michelle Obama Dazzles With Color at State Dinner

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President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed British Prime Minister and his wife, David and Samantha Cameron to a state dinner at the White House on 14 March.

The guest list included Washington insiders, numerous members of the media, and international personalities such as George Clooney, Sir Richard Branson, Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, clothing designer Georgina Chapman, and British actors Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory.

First Lady Michelle Obama's stunning off-the-shoulder silk teal gown was the talk of the town. The gorgeous gown was designed by British designer Georgina Chapman for American fashion House Marchesa. Ms. Chapman, who was a guest at the dinner, did not know beforehand that the First Lady had chosen to wear her gown for the occasion.

Complementing the First Lady's striking look was a bold blue and silver statement necklace by Tom Binns. The cascading array was made up of multi-strands of silver, turquoise, and teal beads.

Tom Binns jewels have also adorned well-known personalities such as Beyonce, Cate Blanchett, and Lady Gaga.

See more Tom Binns designs at


Fabergé and Gemfields Create Fair Trade Emerald Necklace

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This exquisite Fabergé design features 79 emeralds, totaling 186.85 carats, with sugar-loaf cabochons and a single pear-shaped drop of 30.65 carats. It includes 1,991 round white diamonds, totaling 98.15 carats, 151 rose-cut diamonds, totaling 43.29 carats, with one rose diamond of 0.67 carats and a pear-shaped rose cut of 3.48 carats.

The House of Fabergé recently unveiled the Romanov necklace, a breathtaking emerald and diamond collar that is a reworking of an early jewel from the House of Fabergé, recreated and contemporized from an archival gouache design dated 1885.

Fabergé and Gemfields collaborated on creating the piece to draw attention to ethical mining and fair trade practices in the gemstone and jewelry industry. The emeralds, which Fabergé confirmed were ethically and ecologically sound, were sourced directly from Gemfields’ Zambian mines and hand selected by Fabergé’s creative director, Katharina Flohr.

The detachable Romanov collar, designed by Fabergé can be worn separately, with or without the pear-shaped emerald drop.

Following the stone selection, a complex and challenging design process was undertaken by Fabergé’s in-house design team in collaboration with a leading Paris-based jewelry workshop, inspired by legendary master jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé.  Following two months of work on the design process were 14 months of intense and meticulous workmanship by artisans, goldsmiths and gem setters. The finished piece contains a collection of 79 emeralds of exceptional quality, totaling 186.85 carats, featuring skillfully cut sugar-loaf cabochons and a single pear-shaped drop of 30.65 carats.

Crafted in white gold, the Romanov necklace is designed to spread over the shoulders and neckline in a silky openwork trellis composed of emeralds, white round diamonds and rose diamonds, shimmering with a soft, vintage luster. In all, the necklace is set with 2,225 gemstones, totaling 363.48 carats, including 1,991 round white diamonds, totaling 98.15 carats, 151 rose-cut diamonds, totaling 43.29 carats, with one rose diamond of 0.67 carats and a pear-shaped rose cut of 3.48 carats.

A special feature of the necklace is that it was crafted in three pieces that can be worn separately,  or in different combinations to create different looks. The detachable collar can be worn with or without the pear-shaped drop.

Fabergé  and Gemfields also collaborated on the Solyanka Emerald ring. This extremely rare emerald of 13.73 carats is set high into a detailed platinum and diamond ring featuring 14 baguette diamonds and 251 round diamonds totaling 5.62 carats.


This 13.73 carat emerald is set in a detailed platinum ring, with stylized swags and finely tapered diamond baguette drapes on all sides, tapered square-cut diamonds at the sides and inside edges of the shank, which is also rimmed with diamonds.



Stunning Colored Stone Jewelry at Oscars 2012

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 UPI/Kevin Dietsch /LANDOV
 Getty Photo

Comedienne and actress Tina Fey looked gorgeous on the red carpet at the 84th Annual Academy Awards. The 30 Rock star's midnight-blue, strapless gown was specially made for her by renowned fashion designer Carolina Herrera. Complimenting her formal wear was a pair of beautiful blue sapphire and emerald chandelier earrings and a blue sapphire ring, both designed by Bulgari. Fey was listed on many of the Best Dressed lists for this glamorous star-studded event at the Hollywood & Highland Center. As one of the presenters at the awards ceremony, she looked stunning and was ready for a night of Hollywood-style celebration. Fey currently stars in, produces and writes for the Emmy®-winning comedy series 30 Rock. Actor Alec Baldwin is her co-star.

Stylist to the stars Michael O'Connor predicted colored stone jewelry would dominate the red carpet at Oscars night. "Bright and vibrant colored gemstones in pink, blue, orange and green, will make a resurgence," O'Connor said. Many other stars lit up the night with an array of exquisite colored gemstone jewelry.  InStyle read more...


"La Peregrina" Makes History at Christie's

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New York — Christie's

The extraordinary beauty, rarity and provenance of the pearl known as “La Peregrina” inspired a fierce bidding battle at Christie’s New York at the opening auction of The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor. Estimated at $2-3 million, the pearl reached a world auction record price for a pearl at $11,842,500 (£ 7,579,200 / € 9,118,725) after four and a half minutes of bidding. The pearl, an historic 16th century pear-shaped pearl suspended from a necklace custom designed for Ms. Taylor by Cartier, has been widely heralded as one of Elizabeth Taylor’s most iconic jewels.

The price with premium for La Peregrina surpasses the previous world auction record for a pearl jewel, set in 2007 at Christie’s New York with the sale of The Baroda Pearls for $7,096,000.
La Peregrina is a remarkable pearl of 203 grains in size –equivalent to 50 carats – that was first discovered in the 1500s in the Gulf of Panama. King Philip II of Spain was among the first recorded owners of the pear-shaped pearl, which later passed on to the Spanish queens Margaret and Elisabeth, who proudly wore the pearl in 17th century portraits painted by Velázquez himself.
Richard Burton famously purchased the pearl for Elizabeth Taylor at auction in 1969 for $37,000, after successfully outbidding a member of the Spanish Royal family. Inspired by a 16th century portrait of Mary Queen of Scots, Ms. Taylor later commissioned Cartier to design an exquisite new mount of matched natural pearls and rubies to offset what she called “the most perfect pearl in the world.”


Christie's Sale of Emerald Ear Pendants Sets World Record

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A pair of 25.38 and 23.12 cts cushion-shaped Colombian emerald ear pendants set a world record at Christie's Autumn Hong Kong sale at US$83,000 per ct., realizing a total of   $4,036,318 from a private Asian buyer.

The stones, known as The Stars of Colombia (see image), with their remarkably large size - 25.38 and 23.12 carats - high clarity,  refined cutting and superior color, are a pair of unparalleled rarity.  These cushion-shaped gems, each boasting a verdant green, are untreated, making them extraordinary, and the purity they exhibit is not often encountered in the market today.  Indeed, a single Colombian emerald of this quality is rare. To have its equal in quality and color to match so well in size and shape is virtually unheard of.

Some of the finest emeralds in the world originate in Colombia which are especially prized for their intensity and depth of color - a particularly rich grass-green with a medium-dark tone. 

For further information visit the Christie's website:


Gifts of the Sultan: The Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts

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Comb: Turkey, Late 16th-17th century
Rock crystal inlaid with gold and set with emeralds and rubies; horn or tortoiseshell

Gifts of the Sultan, an exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), explores Islamic art through the universal tradition of gift giving. Many of the most spectacular and historically significant examples of Islamic art can be classified as gifts, a number of which have been brought together for the unique purpose of this exhibition to demonstrate the integral and complex nature of gift exchange in the Islamic world. 

The exhibition spans the eighth through nineteenth centuries and includes 200 works of art representing a rich variety of media from three continents. These spectacular works of art are associated with the great Islamic courts from Spain to India, where gift

Powder Horn: India, c. 1600-1700
Nephrite (jade), rubies (or spinels), and emeralds

giving was a fundamental activity. Gifts were intended to further diplomatic and political ambitions; as rewards for services rendered; to celebrate annual events like the New Year or more personal occasions such as weddings, and as expressions of piety, often associated with the construction or enhancement of religious monuments.           

The exhibition also includes a small contemporary component with new work by Sadegh Tirafkhan, Shahzia Sikander, and Ahmed Mater, who were commissioned to interpret the theme of the exhibition. read more...



Timeline: Gifts of the Sultans
  Timeline: Gifts of the Sultans

Sapphire ring 'belonged to Anglo-Saxon or Viking royalty'

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A unique gold and sapphire finger ring, found by a metal detectorist and  just purchased by the Yorkshire Museum, almost  certainly belonged to Anglo-Saxon or Viking royalty, very senior clergy or a leading member of the Anglo-Saxon aristocracy, say historians.

Of very great historical importance, it is the only Anglo-Saxon era sapphire ever found in the ground in Britain. The only other sapphire from the period is the one that the Queen wears in her Imperial State Crown, used at the opening of  Parliament. Known as  St. Edward’s sapphire, this latter gem was once part of King Edward the Confessor’s finger ring and is now the oldest gem in the British crown jewels.

The association of sapphires with high status – demonstrated by St. Edward’s gem – suggests that the sapphire ring, just purchased by the Yorkshire Museum, is of very substantial historical significance. It was found in a field some six miles to the south of York by a local metal detectorist, Michael Greenhorn, a  railway technician, was subsequently declared treasure and has now been bought by the museum for £35,000 (US$ 57,500).

It’s very likely that the ring belonged originally to an Anglo-Saxon Archbishop of York, one of the Earls of Northumbria or a senior member of one of Anglo-Saxon England’s royal families. 


H. Stern Jewelry Dances in Jerusalem

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The message spread within seconds: Roberto Stern was about to cross Mamilla Avenue any moment now and enter the elegant store overlooking David's Citadel. The staff poised itself, tense and excited. It was as though King David himself was about to arrive. The anticipation ended with a modest, even somewhat shy entry of the man who now rules the H. Stern empire, the individual who is responsible for the revolution that has made H. Stern one of the leading jewelry brands. We sat down next to a side table, along with the general manager of H. Stern in Israel – Israel Kurt – who believes that if he doesn't open a new store every year, he's slipping.

Roberto Stern may have been sipping coffee when he noticed the daily paper. He caught sight of an article about the Brazilian dance troupe, Grupo Corpo. "It said that they perform Brazilian dances in a very unconventional, sensual way," he recalls as we sit in H. Stern's Mamilla Boulevard branch in Jerusalem. "I thought – that's exactly what we do – we make unusual jewelry in sensual, flowing designs. I didn't know anything about dance. I went to the box office. I bought a ticket, sat down, and watched. I was absolutely captivated – the music, the movement, all of it was fantastic. The next day I called the troupe's manager. He listened to my idea – to create jewelry inspired by the dances – and said: 'You are clearly much more creative than I am.’

That was the beginning of our shared journey. Our designers, along with me, began learning about music, ballet, choreography and costumes. At first we didn't know where to begin. In the end, we created a collection of gold jewelry that resembles the dancers' movements in the form of curved surfaces and flowing lines. They danced to the music of Bach, and we designed baroque style jewelry. We used diamonds for the beads of sweat that break out on the dancers' skin. Ultimately, the collection represents the character we share – very Brazilian, very sensuous, constantly in motion and in the limelight." read more... 

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