Housed inside an 18th century monastery is Brazil's Sacred Museum of Art where we view the artwork of Renoir and Van Gogh.
We also take time to visit the museum's beautiful botanical area the Jardin de la Luz (Garden of Light). Brazil is also the home of featured jewelry designer Jack Vartanian.
Of Armenian descent, Vartanian's style is Brazilian flair mixed with a laidback L.A. vibe. His style encompasses the smooth curvature of a shiny 18-karat gold armlet with a black quartz stone set in its center.
It is the distinctive pop of red coral or blue turquoise; both of which seem to spill over the shank of their ring bands. It is the flirty sterling silver fringe dripping from a necklace.
Like Brazilian designer Manoel Bernardes, and Alex and Ani's Carolyn Rafaelian (USA), Vartanian was literally born into a world of soldered precious metals and faceted gemstones as his family owned a gemstone business in Brazil.
Like Manoel Bernardes, Vartanian lived smack dab in a country renowned for its gemstone industry. He learned firsthand how to spot and select brilliant gems. As Brazil began to emerge as a country known for innovative jewelry designs, Vartanian was eager to ride the wave, making use of his love for artisanship.
In 1999, he stepped outside of the family company to establish his own. "I create jewelry for women who want to wear their jewelry to more than just formal occasions," he says. "Women want the freedom to wear beautiful gemstones with a pair of jeans as well as that little black dress. I wanted to give them that option."
His clients, which include Kate Hudson, Anne Hathaway, Faith Hill, Megan Fox, and Cameron Diaz, incorporate his jewelry with both their casual and formal ensembles.
Gisele Bundchen, Brazilian supermodel, and owner of Vartanian's jewelry, says this, "Jack Vartanian is one of my favorite designers. His jewelry is sophisticated and cool at the same time."
Photo 1 (top right): 18-Karat Rose Gold Ring with Lapis Stone and Diamonds
Photo 2 (bottom left): Turquoise Crown Earrings