Friday, December 27, 2013


Post by Christine Webb

One of my very favorite jewelry designers for the past 25 years is Paula Crevoshay, the Queen of Color! From the first time I visited her booth at the Las Vegas AGTA GemFair, I was wowed by the most beautiful colorful display of fine jewelry I had ever seen.

Fire opal, amethyst and diamond orchid pendant

What sets Paula's pieces apart is her attention to detail, the engineering and manufacturing, and most importantly, the combining of extraordinary colored gemstones to create vibrant opulent jewelry.  Crevoshay jewels are one-of-a-kind art jewels.  Each piece is hand crafted in 18k yellow gold with incredible gemstones of the finest color and cut.  Many of the pieces incorporate ancient techniques of etching, engraving, piercing and granulation - created by master goldsmiths.  Crevoshay is influenced by nature as seen in her gem-encrusted flowers and butterflies.  She also takes inspiration from the antiquity of Asia as seen in many of her timeless, elegant designs.  Paula's pieces are collected by connoisseurs around the world and exhibited in major museums including the Smithsonian, Carnegie, Headley-Whitney, and Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Museum Exhibits - Sparkling Holiday Outings!

Post by Patricia Syvrud

The holidays are upon us (How did that happen??!!) and in the middle of all the hustle and bustle, shopping, eating, and annual family antics, one searches for moments of calm serenity.  What better escape, with or without friends and family, than one of the wonderful jewelry exhibits currently running at a number of museums across the country? 

We highlight some of the more interesting jewelry exhibitions below.  From New York to California, if you're looking for an outing to sooth the senses, look no further. All exhibits run at least through February, 2014. (Photo credit to each museum, unless otherwise noted.)

GIA Museum
5345 Armada Dr., Carlsbad, CA
"More is More: Tony Duquette-Hutton Wilkinson Jewelry"
Through March, 2014
"Tony Duquette, a multifaceted movie and interior designer, also created bold and theatrical jewelry pieces with Hutton Wilkinson, his business partner and design collaborator for more than 30 years. Their designs were inspired by Duquette’s notable work as a costume and set designer during the Golden Age of Hollywood. The Duchess of Windsor was so taken with Duquette’s jewelry when his collection was displayed in 1951 at the Louvre in Paris, she commissioned him to make a necklace for her. Although Duquette passed away in 1999, Wilkinson continues to create jewelry and interior designs in the aesthetic he developed with him. “If it’s not fabulous, it’s meaningless,” he says."
(Exhibit description, courtesy of

Multi-stone bracelet
 Photo credit: Orasa Weldon

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mark Schneider - International Pearl Design Competition Winner!

Post by Patricia Syvrud

On November 5, 2013, the Cultured Pearl Association of America announced the winners of its International Pearl Design Competition.  Mark Schneider, a designer we featured in an earlier post won the 'President's Award',  "the highest honor awarded to a design that unanimously captivated judges as the best of the best." Congratulations to Mark on winning yet another award for one of his fabulous designs, we can't wait to see this piece in person!

We're sharing our first post about Mark, in case you missed it first time around.

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Post by Christine Webb

I have always loved and admired the jewelry of India.  The design inspiration, the intricate details, the ancient techniques of goldsmithing - and of course the gorgeous gemstones - are the hallmarks of Indian jewelry.  One of the designers I've recently come to admire is Arunashi.  Arun Bohra, founder of Arunashi, was born into his family's jewelry business, Jewels Emporium, a jewelry house that began in 1841. Born in Jaipur India, he is the 8th generation of jewelers and craftsmen who designed pieces for the Royal families of India.  Arunashi, the name a combination of Arun and his wife Ashita's names, made their international foray into the US in 2004.  The Arunashi collection is sophisticated, opulent jewelry that is manufactured with old world craftsmanship but contemporary style that is up-to-date and fashion forward.  Blending innovation, design and remarkable craftsmanship the jewelry highlights amazing colored gemstones and diamonds.  

My favorite earrings are these spectacular sapphire earrings, so organic in nature - I love the mix of faceted gems  and freeform cabochons in shades of blues and purples detailed by ribbons of diamonds.

Sapphire and diamond earrings from the Pebbles and Boulders collection

Friday, November 29, 2013

Holidays at Tiffany & Co.

Post by Christine Webb

Tiffany's - jewels of rare beauty, masterful craftsmanship, stunning originality, and ethical sourcing - what's not to love about this iconic American jewelry house.  Oh, let's not forget the Blue Box!!!  In 1837, Charles Lewis Tiffany brought to New York City a vision for the jewelry industry. Today the flagship store on 5th Avenue honors his dream and tradition with captivating and unforgettable jewels.  Charles Lewis Tiffany the founder, and his son Louis Comfort Tiffany (think stained-glass) who took the helm in 1902, would be proud of what their company is doing today - being committed to sourcing gemstones and precious metals in an ethical and environmentally responsible manner - while staying true to the quality and beauty of the jewelry.

Pink and white diamond dragonfly brooch in platinum

Monday, November 25, 2013

JAR - Revisited!

Post by Christine Webb

Well, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Saturday, 5 days after the opening of Jewels by JAR.  All I can say is - GO!  It is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime exhibit, and one that I hope to visit again before March 9, 2014, when it closes.  I have seen many photographs of JAR jewelry over the years, but there's nothing like seeing the real thing up close and personal.  The pieces are truly works of art -  so dimensional and vibrant with color - opulent is an understatement!  I fell in love with so many pieces, it would be hard to choose one Gem to Remember!  I just kept thinking about the lucky ladies who own these spectacular gems.  

Really and truly - I have never ever seen pavĂ© done like this before - the craftsmen that are bringing JAR's designs to life are clearly some of the most talented jewelry makers and goldsmiths on the planet.  I now have such an appreciation for the work that goes in to each and every piece - I can't imagine the time, patience, and effort, let alone the talent.  And of course there is the sourcing of the gems to consider! JAR is a master artist and he obviously has master goldsmiths bringing to life his vision and art. It's like nothing else I've ever seen!

Please see my earlier blog post - JAR - with images and information about JAR and the exhibit. Below are a few more images of some of my favorite pieces on exhibit, courtesy Jewels by JAR catalogue!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Donna Distefano, Ltd.

Post by Patricia Syvrud

One of the more interesting sides of working in the jewelry industry is getting to know the designers as PEOPLE.  Patricia met Donna Distefano in June 2011 when Donna was recognized by the industry charity 'Jewelers That Care' during a major jewelry industry event. A beautiful person inside and out, the NY-based Distefano is more of a private jeweler than a full-blown jewelry retailer and has a devoted celebrity following. 

A student of art history and Italian culture, Donna was the senior goldsmith for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY before launching her eponymous company, Donna Distefano Ltd.  Her pieces are all hand-crafted using techniques that have endured over centuries and reflect the culture and craftsmanship that she values.

Donna at her work bench
Donna has a strong calling to create jewelry using responsibly-sourced gemstones and fairtrade gold. A frequenter of wedding events, she has stand-apart 'living' displays of models draped in gorgeous Italian designer wedding gowns accented with her unique wedding jewelry.  Below are the 'before' and 'after' images of the 'Allegory of Spring' 22K yellow gold wedding diadem:

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Post by Christine Webb

Jewels by JAR (November 20, 2013 - March 9, 2014)
I am so excited about the upcoming exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City that will feature 400 creations by Joel Arthur Rosenthal, the elusive artist who works in Paris under the name JAR.  The exhibition will be featured on the Metropolitan Museum's website at  And what a wonderful surprise, JAR has created a small exclusive collection of jewelry for the museum that will include earrings ($2,000 to $7,500) as well as watches all designed specifically for the event.  The pieces will be available at the Met, located at Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street in Manhattan, coinciding with the exhibition.

 Earrings 2011: diamonds, emerald and pearls; Photo by Jozsef Tari/Courtesy of JAR, Paris
The exhibition will be the Met's first that is devoted exclusively to a living jeweler and will feature a selection of JAR's incredible pieces - from jeweled flowers to butterflies to objets d'art. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Mark Schneider Design

Post by Patricia Syvrud

One of my personal favorite American designers is the award-winning Mark Schneider, of Schneider Design Studio.  Located in Long Beach, CA, Mark is one of the few living jewelry designers to have a piece on permanent display in the Smithsonian Institution's National Gem Collection. Mark's contemporary yet classic styling, fine craftsmanship and impeccable taste in fine colored gemstones says it all!

I LOVE this "Fantasy" tanzanite ring, set in platinum with a beautiful 8 ct. tanzanite and yellow and white diamonds in a cross-over design.  The cross-over band is different, the cut of the tanzanite is different, using the yellow and white diamonds is different, and yet the piece is a timeless classic:

Patricia's Gem to Remember

Joia Gems - The Who, What, When and Why!

Welcome to our blog about fabulous, fine jewelry and gemstones and the people that create them.

Hosted by Patricia Syvrud and Christine Webb of Joia Consulting,, we aim to teach, inspire and delight you so that one day, you too will appreciate jewelry the same that way we do! Both of us received our graduate gemologist diplomas from the world-renowned Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Our backgrounds include decades of experience working within the jewelry industry at such illustrious organizations as the Smithsonian Institution, the Gemological Institute of America, Tiffany & Company and QVC, to name just a few. Patricia holds an MBA from the University of Southern California, and has been honored to be former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's pro bono jewelry consultant since 2006. She founded the jewelry expertise services company Joia Consulting, LLC in 2011. Christine's undergraduate degree is in geology and her fascinating background includes sourcing rough diamonds in Russia, managing one of the most successful Tiffany & Co. retail locations (after their NY flagship store), and consulting to the Smithsonian Institution's National Gem Collection (NGC) since 1997.