Inspirations

Suzanne Kalan’s New Black Sapphire Jewelry Collection Is Unisex and Dramatic

Northridge, Calif. March 18, 2021. Jewelry devotees who adore the signature Fireworks scattered-settings-style stones by Suzanne Kalandjian of the Suzanne Kalan jewelry brand now have another colorway to covet: black sapphires.

Roger Dery Gemstones

The “Queen of Baguettes” debuts her first-ever black sapphire collection as both a more masculine option for wear by men and at the request of retailers who’ve seen a spike in black gem sales.

Mayer & Watt Gemstones

Black sapphires add drama and sophistication to existing styles featuring diamonds and brightly colored gemstones as well as speaking to Kalandjian’s own preferences. A black sapphire collection has been on her mind.

“I’ve been collecting black sapphires for some time now,” she says. “The more I looked at my ever-growing collection of black sapphires the more I was captivated by their elegance and edginess and decided that now was the time to start creating.”

Plus, black sapphires are said to inspire confidence in one’s own intuition as well as acting as a grounding stone and one of protection and centering. It’s also said to deflect negativity and provide a calm strength in high stress or chaotic situations. Sounds perfect for the pandemic we’re all still stuck in.


Some 25 styles are debuting now in 18k gold, and retail prices start at $600. Pieces land in stores in April; email info@suzannekalan.com for more information.

Eternity band in 18k yellow gold with 0.85 ct. t.w. baguette-cut black sapphires, $1,000; email info@suzannekalan.com for purchase

Eternity band in 18k yellow gold with 0.85 ct. t.w. baguette-cut black sapphires, $1,000; email info@suzannekalan.com for purchase

Eternity band in 18k yellow gold with 0.70 ct. t.w. baguette-cut black sapphires and 2.35 cts. t.w. colorless diamonds, $5,000; email info@suzannekalan.com for purchase

Eternity band in 18k yellow gold with 0.70 ct. t.w. baguette-cut black sapphires and 2.35 cts. t.w. colorless diamonds, $5,000; email info@suzannekalan.com for purchase

Bangle bracelet in 18k yellow gold with 9.38 cts. t.w. baguette-cut black sapphires, $11,000; email info@suzannekalan.com for purchase


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Inspirations

LuxeRox Makes Gem Specimen Collecting Easy, Fun, and Accessible

Denver. March 17, 2021. Socks, cosmetics, food … it was only a matter of time before a gemstone outfit joined the world of subscription services. Enter LuxeRox, a new monthly service that delivers crystal and gemstone specimens to your door.

Roger Dery Gemstones

Founders’ names will be familiar: Kelle Selcer Phoundoulakis and Nan Lung Palmer, with Kelle’s husband, Manos, pitching in (he created their proprietary gem pedestals) when called upon. All three are beloved fixtures in industry, with Palmer having done stints at David Yurman and John Atencio before opening her own FACEts Jewelry Consulting outfit, while the Phoundoulakises are known from Manos’ years of service at Omi Privé and now Gems of Note.

Mayer & Watt Gemstones

The idea for the business was born at Manos’ birthday dinner (an intimate affair because of Covid-19) in August 2020. Palmer lived nearby and joined them. Once the drinks flowed, so did the laughs and business ideas, one of which was a subscription service for mineral and crystal enthusiasts. Two days later, they met again for another (boozy) meal, this time brunch, cementing their decision to move forward with the aptly named LuxeRox.

Manos has long been a gem specimen nerd, with he and Kelle visiting the Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines show in France during the summer of 2019. They were on their way to Greece, an annual visit to see family, and took this pitstop as well as one to London to meet with another longtime mineral enthusiast. Of course, annual visits to the gem shows in Tucson, too, reinforced all three of the friends’ affinities for rocks.

Full disclosure: Palmer had attended the Tucson shows just once (in 2020), but the experience was powerful. Plus, she had ample experience as a merchandise buyer and had clients in the colored stone world whom she helped source stones and minerals. Fortunately, by the time this idea came to fruition, she had some breathing room in her schedule to take on the new project.

By Thanksgiving, they had set up @luxeroxbox on Instagram, complete with photos of initial specimens and Manos’ clever eco-friendly, heat-resistant gem stands in a hexagon shape with interior magnets that allow bases to cling together for display.

Their vision? Affordable gemstone samples displayed in an attractive way and positioned in the market between metaphysical stone junkie and gem lifestyle enthusiast.

“We’re approaching it from a home décor perspective,” says Palmer. “We offer a sprinkling of scientific facts and a beautiful piece of raw mineral or crystal structure that is packaged nicely. The product information is light and fun, though we do tell you about its metaphysical properties.”

The specimens are substantial, filling up the palm of a hand. The subscription service itself is flexible, with buyers allowed to direct specific shipments to friends as gifts. A calendar of scheduled deliveries exists. “We reveal the different minerals six months out at a time,” says Kelle. Those who don’t want to commit to a membership can make purchases by way of a “Buy Now” button. Members, however, get discounted rocks.

Subscription tiers to date include three- and six-month commitments at $95 a month for three months (which factors in a 20-percent discount on the Buy Now price) and $85 a month for six months, with a 30-percent discount. Specimens thus far include fluorite, amethyst, and ammonite, among others.

One of the trickiest parts of this new endeavor? Figuring out how much inventory to maintain. “We have limited stock now, so we’ll see how it goes,” adds Kelle. Also helpful? Buyers can cancel at any time and shipping is always free.

To be sure they were ready for their debut, the partners trekked to the few recent Tucson gem shows that did occur, stocking up on stones. One of Palmer’s young sons even pitched in, serving as quality control, upon her return. “We packaged the gem stand, pouch, and mineral and had my son stress test it—kick it around like a soccer ball,” says Palmer. The result? No damage done.

Not surprisingly, LuxeRox has a charitable angle, earmarking a percentage of sales for Gem Legacy, a nonprofit that aims “to create thriving colored gemstone mining communities,” according to its website, through tool donations and education, among other initiatives.

LuxeRox went live during the last week of February. Its success? Mushrooming. “We’re planning out minerals for the next six months and reaching out to some vendors about replenishment,” says Kelle.

The contents of each LuxeRox package shipped: a velvet storage pouch, stand with lucite pegs for positioning, and a gem specimen.

The contents of each LuxeRox package shipped: a velvet storage pouch, stand with
lucite pegs for positioning, and a gem specimen.

Fluorite is one of the gem specimens available in the subscription service.

Fluorite is one of the gem specimens available in the subscription service.


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Inspirations

Graffito Jewelry from Gigi Ferranti Is a Colorful Homage to Brooklyn Street Art

Brooklyn, N.Y. March 16, 2021. Street art and murals are as important to Brooklyn, N.Y., as Mike “D” Diamond is to the Beastie Boys, and both are a funky celebration of that gritty urban borough we all love. That’s why jewelry designer Gina Ferranti of Gigi Ferranti jewelry let her Italian heritage (think Pompeian frescoes) and the street art of her hometown inspire her to unveil Graffito, the singular of “graffiti,” a new collection of pendants and charms with graffiti-inspired silhouettes of letters and heart shapes.

Roger Dery Gemstones

“I think the combination of the bold architectural look, the setting style, and colorful gemstone hues make the aesthetic fresh, chic, timeless, and unique to what is out there,” says the designer. “Each letter of the alphabet has a unique set of stone sizes and placements, which really makes it a personal look.”

Mayer & Watt Gemstones

Ferranti unveils Graffito now to capitalize on the popularity of the personalization trend. Itching to put her own spin on letters and hearts, she leaned into her longtime residence in Brooklyn to let the vibe guide her designs. The bold designs mimic the blockbuster graffiti style of muralists, and ombré-set gemstones suggest the appearance of spray paint. While the designs are youthful and edgy, Ferranti thinks they’re ideal for any age.

“I see it being worn with all the latest track suits, but I also see it being worn with a Chanel blouse and chunky chains,” she says.

Plus, what better way to honor the borough that gave us Fuhgeddaboudit?

“Graffiti was a big part of my life growing up in Brooklyn. And even though we have to pay to remove it, it’s a negative that is really a positive because it’s a form of art.”

Designs are made in 14k gold and feature sapphires, amethysts, and tsavorite garnets; all-colorless diamonds are also available. Each gem is handset with varying numbers of gold beads, depending on the letter, and each piece overall is an inch and a quarter in size. Hearts are a bit asymmetrical to further drive home the streetwise flair. Charms start at $1,700 retail, while complete necklaces, with charms set on paper-clip-style chains, are $2,275. Bracelets are also available.

Grafitto heart charm in 14k gold with tsavorite garnets, $1,700; available online at Gigi Ferranti

Grafitto heart charm in 14k gold with tsavorite garnets, $1,700; available online at Gigi Ferranti

Grafitto initial charm in 14k gold with pink and orange sapphires on a paper-clip chain, $2,275; available online at Gigi Ferranti

Grafitto initial charm necklace in 14k gold with pink and orange sapphires on a paper-clip chain, $2,275;
available online at Gigi Ferranti

Bracelet with Graffito charms

Bracelet with Graffito charms


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Inspirations

Adel Chefridi’s New Tidal Pool Jewelry Collection Is an Homage to Childhood Memories

Rhinebeck, N.Y. March 3, 2021. Jewelry designer Adel Chefridi dipped into boyhood remembrances to create his latest jewelry collection, called Tidal Pool. The Tunisian-born artist relies on seaside memories of days spent in Carthage to make 20 new styles that reflect waters’ edges; tiny waves; and coastal rocks, plants, and little creatures.

“[The sea] is a wonderful playground,” explains the artist. “In the collection, gemstones emanate both light and water; the rest of the details are assigned to the graver.”

For sure, Chefridi’s signature—clusters of graver tool marks, the formations of which are inspired by natural elements and cultural influences from his home country—is clear to see in Tidal Pool.

“What’s a little different with this collection is the letting go of symmetry to a certain degree,” he explains. “The layout of the stones and shapes of some of the pieces have a freer and organic feel.”

A Tidal Pool ring, for example, features clusters of sapphires and diamonds and looks as though its elements were plucked from some exotic shoreline teeming with marine life and set into a stunning ring.

A top-level look at Tidal Pool creations is pleasingly pretty, but closer inspection can send you down a rabbit hole of dizzying appreciation. “Overall, the design is simple, but the closer you look, the more levels of details you see,” he says. “My work is a marriage between aesthetics and function.”

Designs are made in 18k yellow gold and feature diamonds, emeralds, tourmaline, moonstones, sapphire, and aquamarine. Retail prices start at $1,980. Find it in stores in the spring, and on Chefridi’s website now.

Earrings in 18k yellow gold with emeralds and 0.04 ct. t.w. diamonds, $2,705

Earrings in 18k yellow gold with emeralds and 0.04 ct. t.w. diamonds, $2,705; available online at Adel Chefridi

Pendant necklace in 18k yellow gold with 0.26 ct. t.w. champagne-color diamonds, $3,365; available online at Adel Chefridi

Pendant necklace in 18k yellow gold with 0.26 ct. t.w. champagne-color diamonds, $3,365; available online at Adel Chefridi

Ring in 18k yellow gold with 0.80 ct. t.w. blue sapphires, aquamarines, and 0.12 ct. t.w. diamonds, $3,495; available online at Adel Chefridi

Ring in 18k yellow gold with 0.80 ct. t.w. blue sapphires, aquamarines, and 0.12 ct. t.w. diamonds, $3,495; available online at Adel Chefridi


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