Saturday, May 30, 2009


We are visiting the Calcutta Botanical Garden in India today; the grounds of which hold an amazing collection of over 12,000 varieties of plants and trees.

Amidst the garden's lakes and ponds are bamboo and palm trees, orchids, and an enormous banyan tree (the garden's most well-known landmark). India is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Amrita Singh.

Friday, May 29, 2009


We're in Torino, Italy today standing in Valentino Park just outside Castello del Valentino (Valentino Castle), which is loaded with history.

Centuries ago, monarchs used the castle for feasts and special events; presently, the castle is the center for Torino's Faculty of Architecture. Italy is also the home of featured jewelry designer Licia Mattioli.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Sydney, Australia is a cosmopolitan hive of culture, history and, of course, great beaches.

There's something for everyone. For the animal lover there's the Taronga Zoo, and Sydney Wildlife World; for architecture buffs there's the Queen Victoria Building, an astonishing structure housing shops and cafés; and for the antiquity lover, the Australian Museum.

Australia is also home to featured jewelry designer Victoria Buckley.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


As a symbol of goodwill and friendship between Korea and France, Paris Park was built within the Mokdong Apartment Complex in Seoul, Korea.

Here we can walk among zelkova trees, pine, and marronniers along with an array of over 15,000 trees. Korea is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Tana Chung.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Today we'll rent a small, motor boat and slowly coast along the still waters of Yarkon River, which is smack dab in the middle of Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Having the distinction of being Tel Aviv's largest public park, Hayarkon Park possesses plenty of interesting, and fun activities.

We could try our hand at miniature golf at Sportec, or ride the roller coasters at Lunapark. Israel is also the birthplace of jewelry designer David Weitzman.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Today we follow guides through the Rift Valley in Ethiopia, which holds a link of seven lakes: Abaya, Langano, Awasha, Chamo, Ziway, Abijata, and Shalla. Nearly untainted by industrialization, the Rift Valley also contains therapeutic hot springs and various bird species. Africa is also home to featured design team Kefena Regeou and Gebeyehu Addisu.

Addisu and Regeou travel often to Harar, a city located in northern Ethiopia, spending countless hours learning about the jewelry-making techniques of ancient metalworkers, as well as collecting antique ornaments to use in their creations. They also spend time in Dubai, learning from fellow designers.

The design duo incorporate striking enameling techniques while also working with colorful beads, and silver melted from ancient coins. Ultimately, Regeou and Addisu create jewelry mixing aspects of both Ethiopian and Middle Eastern designs. They sell their wares at upscale stores located in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Abala, and the Artisan and Designers Bazaar.
The designers, along with other designers from all over the world, sell their pretty creations at The Hunger Site, founded in 1999 and presently owned by Tim Kunin and Greg Hesterberg.

The purchase of Addisu and Regeou's jewelry helps to provide funding for food in Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and North America.
Photo 1 (top right): Sterling Silver Coptic Cross Pendant Necklace
Photo 2 (bottom left): Eternal Rose with handmade Glass Beads and Galvanized Wire

Saturday, May 23, 2009


I love the smell of roses and as we stand in The Rose Garden of the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Virginia, the aroma of over 1,800 roses overcomes us.

From here, we venture to The Sunken Garden where we will find a Roman-theme environment with flowing water and dry-laid stone walls. Virginia is also the birthplace of jewelry designer Temple St. Clair Carr.

Friday, May 22, 2009


"The jewels in the yard" is the literal translation of the German word schmuckhof. Schmuckhof is also the namesake of one of many gardens located in Botanishcher Garten (Botanical Garden) in Munich Germany.

Over 2,000 species of orchids reside in the garden's spectacular glass houses. Germany is also the home of featured jewelry designer Angela Hübel.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Bronze Crusader Cross Pendant Necklace
Today let's forget about the worrisome details of the news and think about the white, refreshing sands of Cancun Beach in Mexico. No matter what's happening, the sand is not going to change anytime soon.

Cancun Beach's sands are an imperceptible combination of plankton fossils and crushed coral and are cool to the touch; the soles of your feet won't burn even when the sun is at its hottest. The beautiful, turquoise-blue water of the ocean is like a liquid jewel glistening under the sun.

Let's then take a trip to the seaside city of Mar del Plata, in Argentina, which is known for it's high cliffs, beautiful ravines, and sprawling beaches.

There's a new twist to this intro, designer Felipe Barbosa is from Mexico, and Fabian Ojeda is from Argentina. The two joined creative forces and established Fabian y Felipe Jewelry.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Depending on the time of year, you can view wisteria, roses, dogwood, azaleas, and peonies within Jindai Botanical Garden in Tokyo, Japan.

There are over 4,500 varieties of trees and plant life spanning the length of the garden, as well as a greenhouse equipped with a lilly pond and tropical plants.

Tokyo is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Yoshi Ishizuka.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Today we are in Auckland Domain one of the oldest parks in New Zealand.

As we stroll along walking paths, we have clear views of splendid varieties of plant such as astelias, bronze flax, and senecio. New Zealand is also home to featured jewelry designer Jasmine Watson.

Monday, May 18, 2009


The wonderful fragrance of an array of blooming antique roses, floribundas and shrub roses fill the air as we stand in the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanical Garden. New York is also the hometown of featured jewelry designer Sandy Baker.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Today we are in Moscow, Russia standing in Sobornaya Square just outside the architectural wonder Cathedral of the Annunciation. 

There are bronze doors, with gold foil overlay, located at the north and west portals; the walls feature portions of murals painted by Theodosius, and the floor is made of jasper.

Russia is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Liza Shtromberg.

Friday, May 15, 2009


I love a beach setting and today we are soaking up the tropical, natural beauty of Saona Island in the Dominican Republic.

Our surroundings are breathtaking and include blue skies, shade from palm trees, and the clear, blue-green waters of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.  

The Dominican Republic is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Loella Medina.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Today surfers are a bit of a distraction as they undertake the waves of the Pacific Ocean at Punta Hermosa Beach in Lima, Peru.

With the sound of waves and voices crackling behind us, we'll meet with Peruvian jewelry designer Anna Lia Barandiaran.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Today we're in Copenhagen, Denmark at Botanisk Have, a peaceful garden with wild moor and heath, rare trees, orchids and cacti. Denmark is also the birthplace to featured jewelry designer Troels Larsen.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Today we are in Chicago at the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool.

The landscape of blooming foliage, stone outcroppings, pavilion, and waterfall surrounding a lily pool provides a tranquil setting.

Chicago is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Alicia Piller.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Andalusian Garden is tucked away from the noise and buzz of the nearby city, Cairo, Egypt.

Amidst the lush, beautiful gardens and landscapes, we'll take a quiet walk along the banks of the Nile River and marvel at the scope and magnificence of the garden's terraces, Egyptian statues, and palm trees.

Here is where we'll visit with featured jewelry designer Azza Fahmy.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Today we stand at Portobello Road in London surrounded by an array of culturally diverse eateries, and prominent Victorian architecture. England is also home to featured jewelry designer Jane Adam.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Today we are in Istanbul, Turkey amidst the bustling energy and excitement of the Grand Bazaar.

With the backdrop of multiple types of pottery, exotic spices, and jewelry we will meet with a native son of Turkey jewelry designer Gurhan Orhan.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Today our setting is the Benmore Botanical Garden in Scotland.

Here we will stroll within the majestic Avenue of Giant Redwoods, and crane our necks to view the magnificent conifer trees of Woodland Gardens. Scotland is also home to featured jewelry designer Joscelin Cockburn.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Buenas tardes!

Today we walk along the golden shores of Loquillo Beach in Puerto Rico. The collective scenery of wispy, white clouds, blue sky, and the sway of the impossibly deep green palm tree leaves is breathtaking.

Puerto Rico is also the home of featured jewelry designer Vanessa Quijano.


The splendid emerald is the birthstone for the month of May known for its rich yet transparent green color. Emeralds are plentiful all across the world including Madagascar, India, Russia, and even Hiddenite, North Carolina.

Unlike the diamond, emeralds are prone to breakage but they make for bold and stunning gems in jewelry designs.

A beryl mineral--the emerald is a variation of this mineral--can range in color from yellowish-green or bluish-green but the color must be medium or dark to be categorized as an emerald.

In order to improve their clarity, emeralds are treated with oils, such as cedar oil, to get better light refraction. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission requires jewelers to disclose oil treatments whenever an emerald is sold.

According to folklore, emeralds are said to possess calming properties for those suffering emotional anguish or anxiety. They are said to provide clarity of mind and increase memory function, and they symbolize harmony, peace, and love.

One of the most famous emeralds, believed to have once belonged to a maharani, is the 38-carat Chalk Emerald, found in Colombia. The gem was recut and placed in a ring setting, surrounded by 60 pear-shaped diamonds, by Harry Winston . The Chalk Emerald is on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

The largest specimen of emerald in the world--allegedly--was on display last year at the Matrix Exhibition in Hong Kong. The emerald was reported to have been found in Morafeno, Madagascar in 2007.

To view spectacular photographs of this emerald go to (the site says you can click on the photos for better resolution).
Photo (top center): Chalk Emerald

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Today we are in Ireland standing within the exquisite Walled Garden, a horticulturalist's dream nestled in one of Northern Ireland's oldest estates, Glenarm Castle. It is here we will meet featured husband-wife jewelry design team Bill and Christina Steenson.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Here at Victoria Peak in Hong Kong, China, we have an incredible, panoramic view of Victoria Harbour and all of the lofty buildings standing sharply along the shoreline. China is also home to featured jewelry designer Michelle Ong.

Sunday, May 3, 2009



We're standing on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France, with a fantastic view of the Eiffel Tower. We'll visit with French jewelry designer Cathy Chotard.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


The rolling waves of the Atlantic Ocean ebb against the shore as we stand on a sandy, moonlit beach in Florida. Here is where we'll meet featured American jewelry designer, and Florida native Wendy Culpepper.

Friday, May 1, 2009


Today we stand on the north bank of the River Thames in the Chelsea District of London, England.

The Chelsea District is famous for its annual flower show and its fashion-forward ideology. England is also home to featured jewelry designer Theo Fennell.


As you can see from the entry's title, this is something new. I'll explain what my plan is. Once a month I will feature an array of quotes from public figures because, like gemstones, to me a well-turned phrase is precious, albeit in a different way, and valuable. An honest, off-handed comment or words of wisdom can get your day off to a great start, make you laugh, invoke deeper thoughts, give you an entirely new perspective, diffuse anger, or even incite the kind of anger that motivates. So, let's get cracking . . .

Well, a younger woman is a type, but not necessarily a type for me. And what is a younger woman? I mean, I'm pretty old. Almost everyone is younger.
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