Inspirations

Stephanie Occhipinti’s Bermuda Pine Jewelry Is a Wearable Trip to St. George’s Island

New York City. March 18, 2020. It was a sentimental trip to St. George’s in Bermuda that led to designer Stephanie Occhipinti discovering the delicate pine seeds that would inspire her most recent collection, Bermuda Pine.

Nestled in the island’s pretty pink sand were myriad slender stems bursting with buds from nearby large and looming whistling pine trees. The discovery took place during a decidedly memorable trip: her parents’ 50th wedding anniversary celebration. So, with her family as an emotional muse, she took literal inspiration from the forms and cast them in sterling silver, gold vermeil, and karat gold, setting pink gems like tourmaline and conch shell in harmony with the metal seedlings. The result is a sweet collection ideal for making graceful style statements.

“My dad has since passed, so it is a constant beautiful reminder of him,” says Occhipinti.

Plus, with Occhipinti’s 20 years of training in traditional Japanese-style karate, she knew that Shotokan karate literally meant “pine needles in the sand,” a fact that further reinforced her decision to christen the new collection—one of many uplifting jewelry lines created with meaningful purpose and artist integrity.

Bermuda Pine drop earrings in sterling silver with white rhodium, polished conch shell, and metal seeds, $225; email Stephanie@occhipintidesign.com for purchase

Bermuda Pine drop earrings in sterling silver with white rhodium, polished conch shell, and metal seeds, $225; email Stephanie@occhipintidesign.com for purchase

Bermuda Pine lariat in sterling silver and 23.5k vermeil with polished conch shell and metal seeds, $240; email Stephanie@occhipintidesign.com for purchase

Bermuda Pine lariat in sterling silver with 23.5k vermeil with polished conch shell and metal seeds, $240; email Stephanie@occhipintidesign.com for purchase

Bermuda Pine ring in 14k pink gold with a trillion-shape pink tourmaline and textured metal seeds, $550; email Stephanie@occhipintidesign.com for purchase

Bermuda Pine ring in 14k pink gold with a trillion-shape pink tourmaline and textured metal seeds, $550; email Stephanie@occhipintidesign.com for purchase

Drop earrings in 14k yellow gold with purple garnets and diamonds, $1,300 at K.Jon’s

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Inspirations

Coronavirus Kindness: Facebook Reveals Philanthropic Efforts by Jewelers Passing Quarantine Time

New York City. March 17, 2020. From doing yoga in Italy to making jam in New York City—and hoping for online sales everywhere—the jewelry industry is keeping itself busy during the nation’s recommended stay-at-home and social distancing directives. A number have even committed to doing good deeds in light of the international Coronavirus pandemic.

On Sunday afternoon, Jeremy and Hisano Shepherd of PearlParadise.com and little h jewelry did a beach cleanup in their hometown of Marina del Rey, Calif. They and other volunteers recruited via a Craigslist post showed up with bags and a willingness to make a difference.

“Grab some trash bags and gloves and head to your nearest beach!” said Hisano on a Facebook post. “Great way to get fresh air while practicing social distancing.”

The group picked up more than 50 bags of trash while the city sent three pickup trucks to assist.

“The city workers filled three pickup trucks with black bags, probably the equivalent of another 200 bags of trash,” said Jeremy in an email interview. “We were able to get the entire Silver Strand section cleaned from Hurricane Street all the way to the family beach on the edge of Marina del Rey in about five hours. It’s the cleanest we’ve ever seen it!”

Marina del Rey beach prior to cleanup.

During the cleanup

Bags of trash post cleanup

Results!!

And as if the universe and/or its creator was acknowledging these selfless acts, a double rainbow appeared this morning over the stretch of beach the Shepherds cleaned. “I took this as a thank you!” said Jeremy.

The double rainbow days after the cleanup

Marketing guru Sande Finkel also urged friends to turn to acts of kindness. “If you’ve gone to the market and were lucky enough to get what you needed, think of your family, an elder, neighbor, or friend when cooking up a meal,” she said on her page. “Pasta, casseroles, soups, etc., go a long way.” This morning she is busy cooking for neighbors.

Others reposted fun and altruistic ways of passing the time. Private jeweler Jo Rosenblum King shared links to virtual museum tours and field trips and free downloadable coloring books from museums. Designer Lika Behar and retailer Bill Craig of Craig’s Fine Jewelry posted suggestions for parents: have kids home from school ink cheerful notes to local nursing home patients.

Facebook post being shared by many.

And as myriad scheduled events, including fundraisers, continue to be canceled, organizers and philanthropic partners are left scrambling to figure out ways to raise much-needed monies. A case in point: Noble, a group that expands opportunities and enhances the quality of life for people with disabilities, and its 24th annual Noble Evening in the Garden affair. In an effort to raise donations, Noble extended its online auction to March 20 at 5 p.m. EST. Included in the Instabuy section of the auction is a custom-designed 14k white gold necklace from Indy Facets Private Jeweler. The piece features amethyst, tanzanite, and peridot surrounded by round brilliant-cut diamonds and is valued at $4,695.

Meanwhile, designers Nak Armstrong and Margery Hirschey earmarked 20 percent and 30 percent of sales, respectively, through the end of March to No Kid Hungry, a national campaign run by the nonprofit Share Our Strength, which helps provide meals to kids who might be affected by school closures.

“Independent jewelers have rallied together, and I am so proud to be part of this community,” said Hirschey to her Facebook followers. “In this difficult time, we all need to stick together. We will get through this.”

Custom-designed 14k white gold necklace with amethyst, tanzanite, and peridot surrounded by round brilliant-cut diamonds, $4,695; bid online for this piece by Indy Facets Private Jeweler

Custom-designed 14k white gold necklace with amethyst, tanzanite, and peridot surrounded by round brilliant-cut diamonds, $4,695; bid online in the Instabuy section for this piece by Indy Facets Private Jeweler

Hand-wrought Bubble earrings in recycled 18k gold with 12.90 cts. t.w. cabochon-cut and faceted Colombian emeralds, $5,635; available online by Margery Hirschey (30 percent of proceeds through the end of March benefit No Kid Hungry)

Hand-wrought Bubble earrings in recycled 18k gold with 12.90 cts. t.w. cabochon-cut and faceted Colombian emeralds, $5,635; available online by Margery Hirschey (30 percent of proceeds through the end of March benefit No Kid Hungry)

Petite Ruched hoops in 20k recycled rose gold with custom-cut African emeralds and 0.32 ct. t.w. colorless diamonds are ½ inch in diameter, $5,850; available online at Nak Armstrong 20 percent of proceeds through the end of March benefit No Kid Hungry)

Petite Ruched hoops in 20k recycled rose gold with custom-cut African emeralds and 0.32 ct. t.w. colorless diamonds are ½ inch in diameter, $5,850; available online at Nak Armstrong (20 percent of proceeds through the end of March benefit No Kid Hungry)

Drop earrings in 14k yellow gold with purple garnets and diamonds, $1,300 at K.Jon’s

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Inspirations

Live from Arizona: Dana Rebecca’s Pearl Ivy Collection (Spoiler: It Has Seed Pearls!)

Tucson, Ariz. Feb. 3, 2020. When Dana Gordon of Dana Rebecca Designs debuted her Pearl Ivy jewelry, she had every intention of giving the vintage-esque freshwater seed-pearl styles in 14k yellow and rose gold a modern look—a move made easier given the line’s namesake was a two-year girl.

“Pearl Ivy is the name of the daughter of a friend of mine,” the designer said at the recently held Centurion Jewelry Show. (All of Gordon’s collections are named after family and friends.)

Initial pieces were double-row rings with pearls and diamonds, open cuffs, and side-set hoops, while additions include initial pendants and huggie earrings. Myriad sweet stud earrings offer ample ways to line the lobe in little pearls, a darling Fireworks necklace features a subtle spray of pearls, and a delicate bib-style necklace lets little pearls dangle gracefully from necklines. A lariat and an evil eye necklace are also in the mix. This year’s pièce de résistance, however, is an elegant and airy oval elongated cocktail ring with pearls and diamonds.

“Seed pearls are a nod to vintage styles, but mine have a modern, fresh look,” adds Gordon.

Retail price start at $495.

Bezel Huggie hoop earrings in Fireworks necklace in 14k yellow gold with with 2.5 mm freshwater pearls and 0.06 ct. t.w. diamonds, $495; available online at danarebeccadesigns.com

Bezel Huggie hoop earrings in Fireworks necklace in 14k yellow gold with with 2.5 mm freshwater pearls and 0.06 ct. t.w. diamonds, $495; available online at danarebeccadesigns.com

Fireworks necklace in 14k yellow gold with 2.5 mm freshwater pearls and 0.06 ct. t.w. diamonds, $495; available online at danarebeccadesigns.com.

Fireworks necklace in 14k yellow gold with 2.5 mm freshwater pearls and 0.06 ct. t.w. diamonds, $495; available online at danarebeccadesigns.com

Elongated cocktail ring in 14k yellow gold with 2.5 mm freshwater pearls and 0.28 ct. t.w. diamonds, $1,210; available online at danarebeccadesigns.com.

Elongated cocktail ring in 14k yellow gold with 2.5 mm freshwater pearls and 0.28 ct. t.w. diamonds, $1,210; available online at danarebeccadesigns.com

Drop earrings in 14k yellow gold with purple garnets and diamonds, $1,300 at K.Jon’s

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Inspirations

Lika Behar’s New Cage Collection Is Keeping Us Captivated

Phoenix. Jan. 31, 2020. On a trip to St. Petersburg five years ago, jewelry designer Lika Behar, known for her modern-day ancient Greek- and Roman-inspired designs in 22k gold and sterling silver, became smitten with traditional Russian design (think gold and Faberge eggs). Upon returning home, she started playing with a cage-like concept as an homage to the silhouettes seen abroad.

But the collection took a while to take shape. For years, Behar made different looks, but none to her liking. Finally, a friend asked her to develop a design to house a large round pearl that she didn’t want drilled. Behar was forced to finally act on the cage aesthetic that had been developing in her mind.

“That request was the kick in the pants I needed to make the Cage collection!” Behar admits from booth #207 at the Centurion Jewelry show. (Also find her at the Select show in Tucson, Feb. 2–3, in booth #31 and at the AGTA GemFair Tucson, Feb. 4–9, in Tucson in the Grand Ballroom booth #3108.)

She debuted a few Cage styles during the Las Vegas shows last year, and the reception was so good, she added more. Round beads of lapis and turquoise as well as pearls take up residence inside some gilded cages, many made as necklaces. There’s also a smooth, oversize, and randomly faceted aquamarine pendant for sale, and a smaller tanzanite version has already sold. Gem-free geometric versions, too, are options. These are evolutions of earlier pieces made in a style reminiscent of art deco. All have been a hit with buyers, with many placing orders that will eventually make their way into stores. (Interested? Email Lika for purchase information at likabehar@likabehar.com.)

Behar’s uniquely Mediterranean spin on the idea of Russian treasures gives collectors more of the casual, rustic everyday elegance that they have come to expect from the Turkish native. Want to own a piece of Behar’s history? Retail prices for Cage styles start at $1,500.

Cage drop earrings in 22k gold and 18k white gold with 0.80 ct. t.w. diamonds, $4,400; email likabehar@likabehar.com for purchase.

Cage drop earrings in 22k gold and 18k white gold with 0.80 ct. t.w. diamonds, $4,400; email likabehar@likabehar.com for purchase.

Cage drop earrings in 22k gold with 12.26 cts. t.w. oval-shape tanzanite, 0.23 ct. t.w. yellow pear-shape diamonds, and 0.18 ct. t.w. diamonds, $4,840; email likabehar@likabehar.com for purchase.

Cage drop earrings in 22k gold with 12.26 cts. t.w. oval-shape tanzanite, 0.23 ct. t.w. yellow pear-shape diamonds, and 0.18 ct. t.w. diamonds, $4,840; email likabehar@likabehar.com for purchase.

Cage pendant (chain sold separately) in 22k gold with a 58.23 ct. crystal-cut aquamarine, 0.15 ct. t.w. colorless diamonds, and 0.11 ct. t.w. yellow diamonds, $10,950; email likabehar@likabehar.com for purchase.

Cage pendant (chain sold separately) in 22k gold with a 58.23 ct. crystal-cut aquamarine, 0.15 ct. t.w. colorless diamonds, and 0.11 ct. t.w. yellow diamonds, $10,950; email likabehar@likabehar.com for purchase.

Drop earrings in 14k yellow gold with purple garnets and diamonds, $1,300 at K.Jon’s

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