Monday, September 14, 2009


The beautiful Zinnia flower is among the 20,000 plant species we will find at the Montreal Botanical Garden in Canada.

The garden, built 73 years ago by Frére Marie-Victorin, houses over 32 greenhouses, and an array of flora that includes bromeliads, orchids, and begonias. Canada is also the hometown of featured jewelry designer Anzie Stein.

Depending on the course of action a person chooses, life's challenges can become a foundation from which something positive can grow and flourish.

Such is the case with Stein, a former art instructor. In 1999, Stein's life turned upside down when her husband, Barry, was diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

Fraught with emotion, Stein turned to jewelry making as a way to release tension. "It was a good way to take my mind off something so scary," she says. What began as a stress reliever quickly became a crusade against the disease.

Working with crystals and inexpensive stones, Stein and her oldest daughter, Jaclyn, created the Lifesaver Bracelet, the proceeds from which were used to raise research funds for the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada.

Daughter Jaclyn, who studies jewelry design at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.), mirrors her mother's sentiment, "The process of starting the company gave my family hope, gave us something to focus on, and gave my father hope."

In some instances, life's challenges have a happy conclusion and after numerous surgeries, Barry Stein is now cancer-free. Anzie, along with Jaclyn, continued learning about gemstones broadening jewelry styles, and ultimately establishing their company, Anzie Jewelry.

The items featured within their 11 collections, fashioned from 14-karat and 18-karat gold, and sterling silver, are breathtaking. There are plenty of pear-shaped and round cut stones, and all items are categorized as cool, warm, and neutral.

The cool items feature turquoise, purple amethyst, and blue topaz, while warm items highlight ruby, carnelian, and red coral. The neutral pieces feature citrine, black onyx, and clear topaz. Did I mention that the key focus is gemstones? Their color, their cut, their presentation; the gemstones are what stand out.

Inspirational, protective symbols, such as the Star of David, the Fatima Hand, and Evil Eye, are highlighted on some of the pendants; and the company's building block, the Lifesaver Bracelets, remains a best seller with funds going to research for ovarian and breast cancer as well as AIDS.

Anzie Jewelry has been featured in publications Elle and Bride magazines. News anchor Paula Zahn, and actors Vanessa Williams and Neve Campbell are high profile fans of the stunning jewelry. Anzie Jewelry is sold at Saks Fifth Avenue, and Holt Renfrow.

For more on Stein, and her company check out's video interview with the designer.

Photo 1 (top right): Turquoise Soleil Pendant with 14-Karat Gold Accents and Chain
Photo 2 (bottom left): 18-Karat Gold Double Strand Cluster Necklace with Ruby Briolettes
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