“All the green of nature is concentrated within the Emerald.” -St. Hildegard of Bingen

    For the month of May, we have a gemstone that represents the lush green of spring, with hope for renewal and growth in the future. For at least 6000 years, Emeralds have long symbolized contentment, loyalty, friendship, and domestic bliss. As far back as 4000 BC, Emeralds have been revered by the Egyptians and considered a symbol of eternal life. These gems were also worshipped by the Incas. Emperor Atahualpa was said to have been in possession of the largest Emerald until it was taken by Conquistador Francisco Pizzaro.

    Emeralds are one of the four “precious” gemstones (including Ruby, Sapphire, and Diamond) and are the green variety of Beryl. Their colors range in hue from yellow-green to blue-green, and the most highly prized hue is pure green and medium to dark in tone. The name Emerald is derived from Sanskrit as Marakata, meaning “the green of growing things”. In Greek, the word is “Smaragdus” which means “green stone”.


    The Emeralds mined in Colombia are by far the finest in the world, with mines producing quality stones for over 500 years. Emeralds are also mined in Minas Gerais, Brazil, Zambia, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Emeralds rate a 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness, so they are more susceptible to scratching than sapphires or diamonds. Most Emeralds have a number of inclusions within the stone along with surface-breaking fissures, and these are routinely treated to improve their color and clarity. Because of this, one needs to use special care in cleaning and only use a soft brush with warm, soapy water.

    Whether worn as earrings, in a ring, or a necklace, Emeralds make a lovely, vibrant gift and a symbol of compassion and unconditional love.



    How do we celebrate our moms during the pandemic? Even if we cannot see our mom in person, a thoughtful gift to say thanks for all that she has done for us over the years is one way to show our love. I have a lovely selection of vintage and estate lockets for all of the mothers out there! I will be posting these on Facebook and Instagram, as well as my website through May 6th, so please let me know if you are interested. I am teaming up with B-E-A-T-A Design Studio to include a beautiful handmade mask for moms with every Mother’s Day purchase. Please check out some examples of the masks on Instagram @beatadesignstudio. If you order a gift by May 6th, I can ensure that it is shipped in time for Mother’s Day.




    While our class of 2020 won’t likely be experiencing a graduation ceremony like we remember it, there is–more than ever–a reason to celebrate this milestone in our student’s life. For parents who are having a sigh of relief at figuring out which school their son or daughter will be attending, (mine is Scripps!) I designed college pennant pendants and college bracelets to commemorate the occasion. The pennant pendants are available in sterling silver, 10K or 14K yellow gold with complimentary engraving up to 16 characters on the back. This is a great way to celebrate our student’s next phase in life. The stainless steel ID bracelets by Chisel are available for personalization with your college of choice on the front and complimentary engraving up to 16 characters on the back. These are available online at my website for special order–please allow 2 weeks for delivery.


    Following guidelines from Governor Inslee, I hope to reopen my shop in the next month in whatever capacity is safest for my clients and myself. I’ve spent time imagining how this reopen would go smoothly, and created a set of guidelines as to what I would envision moving forward. Feel free to click here for more information.


    Beginning May 1st, I will be donating 5% of my profits to Artist Trust Foundation. As an artist during the pandemic, I have been amazed at the primal urge we all have to create. Whether it is a music video of our family dancing in sweats, fabulous graffiti on boarded-up restaurants and bars, or the hilarious art challenges that we see posted on Instagram, we are a world that truly needs to create to survive. There is no better time than this to highlight how much we appreciate the beauty that surrounds us. Artists in Washington and around the world are pouring their hearts and souls out to continue to make their art during these difficult times. The Artist Trust Foundation helps Washington artists to continue to do what they do best. Creating works of art for everyone to enjoy.


    Over the past month of working from home, I have been focusing on getting my website ready for e-commerce, so people can still see the beautiful jewelry that is available for purchase even though it is nestled in my safe! Needless to say, it is a huge endeavor, and I haven’t figured everything out (I am an ex-Luddite). So, you are more than welcome to click on things on my website by visiting my shop page, and hopefully there will be some information for you on the various items coming soon. If you have questions regarding a piece, feel free to contact me in the meantime. It is a work in progress!


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    If you have a birthday in the month of April, then the coveted diamond is your birthstone. The Greeks named this gemstone “Adamas”, meaning invincible, and the earliest recorded source of diamonds was from the Golconda region in India. This particular region has produced spectacular diamonds over the past 2000 years, including significant diamonds like the Blue Hope Diamond and the qualities of diamonds have been recorded as early as the 3rd Century.

    George Frederick Kunz in “The Curious Lore of Precious Stones” writes:

    “A legend claims the God of Mines called his courtiers to bring together all the world’s known gems: Rubies, Sapphires, Emeralds, etc. etc., and he found them to be of all tints and colors and varying hardnesses. He took one of each and crushed them; he compounded them together, and declared, “Let this be something that will combine the beauty of all.” He spoke, and lo, the Diamond was born…pure as a dewdrop and invincible in hardness. Yet when its ray is resolved in the spectrum, it displays all the colors of the gems from which it was made.” Kunz, 325-32

    Diamonds are formed under extremely high pressure and high temperature at around 100 miles below the earth’s surface. They are composed almost entirely of a single element, Carbon, at 99.5%, with the other 0.05% being made up of trace minerals. This 0.05% will often influence the color and crystal shape of the diamond.

    Diamonds are also the hardest material on earth, which makes diamonds useful in many applications other than jewelry including abrasives, drills, supercomputers, and much more.

    In 1477, Mary of Burgundy married Maximilian and her ring was considered the first known diamond engagement ring. Diamonds weren’t just used for betrothal, the Romans wore diamonds in their rings for their supernatural powers and to ward off poison, fear, and insanity. The diamond is also a symbol of strength and clarity and can give victory to whoever wears it on their left arm in battle.

    The color of diamonds ranges from colorless to yellow, brown, as well as more rare colors like pink, red, blue, and green.

    Whatever color diamond you choose, you can safely wear it in a ring every day. With their intense sparkle, this birthstone can be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner. However, if your diamond has been clarity enhanced, or has many inclusions, it is safer to clean it with soap and water and dry with a soft cloth.

    Answer: Considering what we are facing today with the Coronavirus, the idea of keeping our hands clean and free from germs with hand sanitizer is something to consider when wearing rings on a daily basis. There are simply some gemstones that do not do well with alcohol-based products. If you find that using hand sanitizers is becoming a common occurrence in your life, then it might be worthwhile to think about the rings that you wear while putting on the sanitizer. Some gemstones are porous, like turquoise and lapis, and will become discolored over time with an alcohol-based gel being applied. One also needs to avoid wearing pearl rings, which don’t react well with alcohol or any other chemical for that matter.⁠⠀
    At this point, it is more important to remain healthy than to forego the hand sanitizer. I would simply choose to wear rings with gemstones that can handle regular contact with an alcohol-based sanitizer. In this case, your safe bets are diamonds, sapphires, and rubies.⁠⠀
    For more information, I found an article that explains things nicely on Joy of Country Living.
    PS: This article does not mention emeralds, but I think since most emeralds are oil treated to enhance their beauty, I might think twice about using an alcohol-based product on them.⁠⠀
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    For those of you with a birthday in the month of March, you have your choice of two fascinating gemstones, Aquamarine and Bloodstone. Both of these gemstones are suitable for wearing every day, with the Aquamarine hardness at 7.5-8 and Bloodstone at 6.5-7.


    To start, Aquamarine is the more well-known of the March birthstones. The name is derived from the Latin “seawater” and is claimed to be the treasure of mermaids and also used by sailors as a talisman of protection and good fortune. Referred to as Neptune’s jewel, sailors would wear an aquamarine amulet carved with an image of Neptune to keep them safe at sea.

    Aquamarine is a member of the Beryl family, and the colors can range from a deep blue-green color to a sky blue color. Most aquamarines are flawless, being relatively free of inclusions. For the past two centuries, an important source for aquamarine has been in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. The aquamarines from the Brazilian town of Santa Maria de Itabira are of superior quality. Aquamarines are also mined in Pakistan, China, Africa, and the US. Aquamarines were very popular in the Art Deco and Retro period, and because of the color, it shows equally well when set in yellow gold, rose gold, white gold or platinum.


    The second birthstone for March is Bloodstone, also called Heliotrope, and is a dark green Jasper with red iron oxide inclusions. Heliotrope derives its meaning from the Greek word that means “to turn the sun”. It was believed that a Bloodstone placed in water would turn the sun red. Pliny the Elder states that bloodstone was used by magicians as a stone of invisibility. It was also worn by Roman soldiers due to the belief that the stone could slow bleeding.

    Bloodstones are found mainly in Indonesia, with other sources found in Brazil, China, Australia, and Scotland. This stone is often found in classic signet rings or Victorian watch fobs and can be carved with a monogram or family crest. There are also many traditional Scottish pieces that are adorned with Bloodstone.

    Whether you choose the cool water beauty of Aquamarine or the mysterious Bloodstone, both are exceptional gemstones with an interesting history.

    Check out my Pinterest board for more inspirational pieces and March birthstone jewelry ideas by scanning the image below.





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    The birthstone for February is the beautiful amethyst, a purple gemstone that ranges in color from a lilac lavender to a deep, rich purple. This variety of quartz has a hardness of 7 on the Moh’s scale of 1-10, which makes it a durable option for jewelry, but with regular wear, over time, your gemstone may need repolishing. It can be cleaned with an ultrasonic cleaner, but steam cleaning is not recommended.

    The amethyst has been traced back as far as 25,000 years ago in France, and among the remains of Neolithic man. Amethyst is taken from the Greek word “amethystos” which means a remedy against intoxication. Due to its wine-like color, amethyst was also associated with Bacchus, the mythological Greek god of wine. It was believed you could drink all night and remain sober if you had an amethyst in your mouth or on your person.

    Amethyst stones were placed in the Egyptian tombs of the pharaohs for their protective powers, and wearing an amethyst today can be a symbol of inner strength. In the Roman Catholic church, amethyst has long been the stone of bishops and cardinals.

    Amethyst is considered sacred in Tibet and is used to make prayer beads.

    Until the 19th century, amethysts were considered equal in value to sapphires, rubies, and emeralds. Their main source at that time was Russia, and Catherine the Great had a penchant for amethyst jewelry. In the 19th century, large deposits were found in Brazil, and the availability of amethyst became widespread. Today the most important sources of amethyst are Africa and South America.

    Whether your taste in amethyst is for the deep, vibrant purple hue or the “Rose de France” lilac color, there are many beautiful sizes and shapes of amethyst to suit your fancy!

    All pieces above are currently for sale in the shop! Scroll down to the bottom of this newsletter to book an appointment for more details.





    Questions: I can’t wear screwback earrings but want something secure, what are my options?

    Answer: I can’t wear screwback earrings either! For some reason, the little threads on the posts irritate my ears and I can’t even put them in. 🤨⁠

    So, I have found that locking earring backs that have special notched posts work best for my diamond studs.⁠
    There are a few different brands on the market like La Poussette, Guardian, and Protektor, and they are sold as a “system” or “set” of posts and backs. The earring backs have little ridged bumpers that you pinch and it opens the hole for the post to go through. When the earring back is on the post, you have to pinch the bumpers to release the back from the post to take them off. ⁠

    It takes a moment to master using them, but this style works great for me! This is something that you can have your jeweler order, and they can replace your existing posts and backs with these locking posts and backs. You should not, however, try to wear regular friction earring backs with locking posts. They often will not fit properly, which defeats the purpose of having something secure in the first place! ⁠

    Stick with the ones that are made as a set. There are also other brands of earring backs that can be used with regular friction posts if you don’t want to have a locking post system added to your stud earrings. Ask your jeweler to show you different styles to find the one that works best for your needs.⁠
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