Asteria Colored Diamonds

Asteria Colored Diamonds

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Asteria Is Bringing Colored Diamonds Online To U.S. Consumers


Natural fancy colored diamonds are among the most sought after gems in the world, with the very best and rarest regularly breaking worldwide auction records. Israeli-based Asteria Diamonds is one of a few companies that provide high-quality colored diamonds online to consumers. The brand is currently targeting the U.S. market with new offices in New York and Chicago.

Asteria was founded by Bashari Diamonds (Israel) Ltd., a wholesale diamond manufacturing business founded in 1973.

2.29-carat fancy light greenish blue radiant shaped diamond on a diamond ring

As technology in how diamonds are manufactured and distributed advanced in recent years, Bashari saw it was time to create a diamond brand for consumers using its wholesale inventory. Asteria Diamonds was born in 2008. The brand first specialized in white diamonds for the burgeoning luxury market in China, which it had already entered with its wholesale business.

As online retail, marketing and social media continued changing and becoming more global, in 2012 Asteria launched its global eCommerce website (www.asteriadiamonds.com).

1.84-carat fancy yellow-green diamond surrounded by white and colored diamonds, $28,661

Today Asteria specializes in fancy colored diamonds, but also sells white diamonds, colored gemstones and diamond jewelry. The company says it offers its entire inventory directly to consumers at wholesale prices. Even though it is an online retailer, the company says it can provide personalized service throughout the world.

The website offers a full breadth of fancy colored diamonds, spanning all different sizes, cuts, qualities and colors. Prices reflect this diversity, ranging from as low as $400 to more than $150,000. The brand also offers statement diamonds not listed on the website.

3.3-carat fancy light yellow diamond engagement ring

Prices for a full collection of diamond jewels also vary widely based on the quality of the diamond and the design and can run more than $600,000. There were several pieces in which the price was only given upon request.

The brand is certainly keen on pushing fancy colored diamonds for engagement rings, something that has had limited success in the past with U.S. consumers. The trend in colored gems for engagement has a long history among the rich and famous and Asteria is working hard to increase the popularity of this trend.

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Friday, June 16, 2017

The Top Jewels and Designers At The 2017 Couture Show


If I could I would spend four days of my time in Las Vegas during jewelry week at The Couture Show. It’s become the best show in terms of the quality of pieces and the most enjoyable in terms of the overall comfortable, informal yet luxurious environment. This year I had two days and it just wasn’t enough time to see all of the quality designers. So this list of 26 jewels is among the best I saw at the show but there were certainly much more to see.


New York-based designer, Coomi, presented an exceptional offering of jewels ranging from traditional high jewelry pieces to a special collection based on an historic piece of architecture to items made with objects from antiquity. In many ways it was typical of what Coomi produces each year at Couture but this year the artistry and creativity was prolific. The items on display included a collection of beautiful, sea-blue paraiba tourmalines set in 20k white gold and paired with diamonds.


An extremely rare and very large natural saltwater pearl from the Melo Melo sea snail. The 23.8 x 23.3 x 23.1 mm, “non-nacreous pearl” is set in an 18k rose gold and diamond pavé bezel enclosure. It is valued at well over $700,000, says the pearl house, Assael, which presented this and other sea treasures at its booth.


The David Webb brand made its first appearance at Couture, featuring new and period pieces that combine materials, colors and themes.


The Atoli (atolls) pendant necklace Antonini. An 18k yellow gold oval with delicate curves surrounds a circle of diamond pavé over rough textured white gold that enhances the sparkle of the diamonds.


Spectacular blue opals and azurite (rarely used in jewelry) mounted on gold and surrounded by assorted gems is the latest collection from the dreamlike world of Lydia Courteille.


To celebrate its 50th Anniversary in 2017, Picchiotti created “L’Anfiteatro,” an 8.05-carat ruby ring inspired by a classic amphitheater.


French designer, Elie Top, unveiled a new collection of elaborate two-sided pieces based on astrology and other celestial imagery called, “Cosmogonie secrete” (Secret Cosmogony).


The House of Garrard brought some of its high jewelry to Couture including this statement diamond and ruby necklace.


Mother of pearl earrings by Goshwara.


The unusual ametrine stone, a mix of amethyst and citrine, used for a pair of earrings by John Hardy.


Designer Lisa Nik introduced her own “kite”-shaped gemstones at Couture.


Paraiba tourmaline and opal cuff by Saboo Fine Jewels.

Sterling silver with the look and feel of swirling twigs enhanced with golden leaves and white diamond tips make up this organic and artistic cuff by Michael Aram


A 22k gold locket with oxidized silver and diamonds by Arman Sarkisyan.


A bracelet featuring an opal owl surrounded with multi-colored gems by Wendy Yue.


Round precious materials inside golden cages is the premise behind Yael Sonia’s geometric inspired perpetual motion collection.


The Plumage three-finger ring by Stephen Webster in 18k white gold, white rhodium plating, marquise shape emeralds 4.58ct and white diamond pavé.


Three fluid 18k yellow gold bands connect and topped with six brilliant round diamonds in the Whirl Ring by Carelle.


White gold star clusters set with white diamonds by Colette.


Fabergé Emotion ring made with multi-colored sapphires, white diamonds, rubies, tsavorites and emeralds, set in 18k yellow gold.


Sterling silver with the look and feel of swirling twigs enhanced with golden leaves and white diamond tips make up this organic and artistic cuff by Michael Arman.


Pearl-centric designer, Mizuki, presented creative ways to match her multi-colored and –shaped pearls with gems and diamonds.


The jewelry brand, Noudar, uses Arabian themes and influences in its jewels, including its popular lace-like gold chokers in several colors.


A three-layer cluster diamond necklace with matching ring by Qayten.


18k gold with white and black diamond pavé with three center diamonds are used for Sara Weinstock’s Veena Shield pendant.


A bracelet in topaz and white gold in a signature design by Selim Mouzannar.


Anita Ko necklace using two rows of diamonds, each row with a different shape.

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Friday, June 2, 2017

Hot Air Balloon Engagement Proposal: Jamie and Tom’s Unforgettable Trip To India

Jamie in front of the Taj Mahal with her round diamond solitaire engagement ring

By Chris Benham, co-founder and director of Inspired Jewellery Ltd., and Angelka Vegar, marketing coordinator of Inspired Jewellery Ltd.

After a couple of years talking about it, Jamie and Tom finally decided that 2017 was the year they would move their lives to London. Tom also decided that it was the year he was going to ask Jamie to marry him. 

Before flying to London, the couple set their sights on India with a month long trip exploring the “famously chaotic” country. “Truth be told”, says Jamie, “India wasn't next on my must-see list. In fact, it wasn’t on there at all. But it was first on Tom's bucket list so we booked tickets." 

Tom readies to propose to Jamie at sunrise on a hot air balloon

The date was set, the bags were packed and Jamie was unsure what to expect but if one thing was for certain it was that an adventure awaited. Little did she know, Tom had been working with the team at The Village Goldsmith to design and craft the perfect engagement ring to come along for the ride. 

In fact, Jamie had no idea that Tom was planning to propose until the very moment he dropped down on one knee.

“He did an incredible job at keeping it hidden from me. He had already asked my Dad for his blessing before we left New Zealand and the ring box was couriered to him when he knew I would be at work.

“The ring itself was sent to Auckland Airport in a peppermints container so when he wandered off and came back with a book and mints for the plane, I didn’t think anything of it.

“He also managed to stay cool, calm and collected for a whole two weeks every time I kept going near and getting things out of his suitcase (and probably being a few millimeters away from finding the box.)”

Tom had his work cut out for him to try and make sure everything went to plan. He, and Jamie, quickly learned that, “you may have planned the trip but India is the one in control”.

“I had always joked to Tom that he was never allowed to propose unless my nails had been manicured so while we were in Pushkar, Tom and I both went to have a pedicure and he incredibly subtly enticed me into getting my hands done too. They did a terrible job though so I went back to the room incredibly grumpy that my “nails had been ruined” (drama queen). That wasn’t exactly part of Tom’s plan but, as he said, at least he tried and it wasn’t his fault.”

Tom proposed to Jamie two weeks into the trip in Jaipur, the Capital of Rajasthan, also known as 'The Pink City'.

“When we were researching India before our trip, we had read that doing a hot air balloon ride in Jaipur was meant to be spectacular so we arranged to have a private balloon ride over the Jaipur countryside to watch the sunrise”. 

Tom and Jamie were picked up by a driver at 5am for the hour-long ride to the hot air balloon launch site but, after all the preparation and inflation of the balloon, the ride was called off at the last minute because the wind conditions had changed.
 
The hot air balloon launch site in Jaipur

“Poor Tom had already had a sleepless night (all the anxiety and excitement of the proposal) and now he had to wait another long 24 hours before we could give it another attempt."
 

Luckily, the next morning was the most perfect morning; the couple successfully took off and watched the sun rise over the mountains from their hot air balloon. 

“Floating in a balloon surrounded by pink skies and mountain tops was already the most surreal experience and then Tom asked the pilot to take some photos of us. He quickly leant down to ‘have a drink of water’ while I was staring out at the view, and then when I turned around, at 3150 ft in the air, Tom got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. 

Tom on one knee with the diamond solitaire ring asking Jamie to marry him high above the city of Jaipur

"Apparently, I said “of course I will” before I even looked at the ring - and while I absolutely adore the ring, Tom joked that my answer meant even more because it wasn’t dependent on whether I liked what was in the box.

“What I hadn’t realized until afterwards was Tom had put together a playlist of all our favorite songs which was playing for the duration of our balloon ride. 

“The proposal was a truly magical moment - one that still feels very surreal and out of a fairytale."

“Tom took particular amusement in the fact that I stubbed my toe the other day because I was too busy staring at the ring instead of looking where I was going.”

The happy couple celebrating 4,000 feet in the air

Both Tom and Jamie agree without a doubt that India was the most incredible country that they have been lucky enough to explore. With a marriage proposal thrown in the mix, it’s a trip, and a place, they’ll remember for the rest of their lives. 

Read Jamie’s latest post on her blog, The Blondini Chronicles - India as Female, Foreign and Fair-headed - plus travel tips and amazing photos from each Indian destination

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Tudor Signs David Beckham And The ‘All Blacks’ Rugby Team

David Beckham wearing the Tudor Black Bay S & G 

Tudor has been keeping busy lately. The Swiss watch brand on Tuesday announced the signing of two new brand ambassadors. The first is David Beckham, the international soccer star and fashion icon. The second is the biggest name in the world of Rugby, the New Zealand All Blacks.

Beckham and the All Blacks will star in Tudor’s new campaign with the “Born To Dare” signature. The company says the campaign reflects “the history of the brand and what it stands for today. Daring individuals have long chosen Tudor while achieving the extraordinary on land, ice, in the air and underwater. It also refers to the vision of Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Tudor, who manufactured Tudor watches to withstand the most extreme conditions, watches made for the most daring lifestyle."

The All Blacks wearing the Tudor Black Bay Dark

The Tudor “Born To Dare” spirit is expressed in the following statement:

“We are devoted to the classic. But reject the status quo. We keep the best of the past, the best watchmaking practices, the best designs. And push the boundaries of what’s new. Born for a purpose. Field-tested to the extreme. For those who are up for anything. For those who face their fears.”

A closer look of David Beckham wearing the Tudor Black Bay S & G

Beckham, in the same statement, said he became interested in the brand through its sibling brand Rolex, which he collects. “I was attracted to Tudor by the attention to detail I could see in their watches. I then learned about the history of the brand—one of adventure, pioneer diving and daring expeditions. I was instantly hooked.”

Below is a video with Beckham in Tudor's Born To Dare campaign.


Beckham in the campaign wears the Black Bay S&G, a vintage-inspired steel and gold diver’s watch as well as the Black Bay Chrono, a COSC-certified chronograph with column-wheel manufacture caliber, drawing upon Tudor's diving and motorsports heritage.

The All Blacks star player, Beauden Barrett, wearing the Tudor Black Bay Dark

The All Blacks is the most successful national team in the history of professional rugby, known for their winning ways and their “haka” pre-game ritual—based on the traditional war challenge from the Māori people of New Zealand.

Tudor’s sponsorship of the All Blacks includes separate sponsorships for its star player, Beauden Barrett, and the upcoming 2017 DHL New Zealand Lions Series. Every four years, the best rugby players in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, combine to become the British and Irish Lions team and tour one of the Southern Hemisphere rugby nations. In 2017, the tour will be in New Zealand and include three matches with the All Blacks, beginning June 24.

The All Blacks and Barrett are photographed in the campaign wearing the Black Bay Dark, a vintage-inspired all-black steel diver’s watch.

Below is the haka being performed by the All Blacks prior to the final of the Rugby World Cup 2011 against the French team in New Zealand.


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Monday, May 29, 2017

Couture Show 2017 Jewelry Preview

2016 Couture Show 

The Couture Show being held at the Wynn Las Vegas and Encore Luxury Resort June 2 – 6, specializes in luxury and fashion jewels from independent designers as well as national and international luxury brands. More than 200 exhibitors and 4,000 buyers from top luxury department stores and independent luxury retailers fill the main ballrooms and private spaces throughout the resort. Below is a short preview of some of the jewels that will be on display at the show. 


Gold bamboo and diamond Arbor ring with a 7-carat blue-grey spinel center stone by Aaron Henry


Three stacked rings by Yael Sonia: Solo Rotated 8mm ring in 18k yellow gold and amethyst, Sonia Duo Solo 6mm and 8mm ring in 18k yellow gold with green tourmaline and pink tourmaline, and the Solo Rotated 6mm ring in 18k rose gold with pink tourmaline


David Webb Paisley bracelet with cabochon rubies, emeralds, sapphires, brilliant-cut diamonds set in green and light blue enamel with 18k gold and platinum 


Macan Murni 18k gold ring by John Hardy featuring a Mabe Pearl framed by two jeweled tiger heads with pave-set black and white diamonds and black sapphires


Loren Nicole Etruscan Collar in handcrafted filigree 20k gold with 8mm bezel set stones and satin finish


22k gold and silver rectangle drop earrings with black diamonds by Arman Sarkisyan


18k gold emerald cocktail ring with diamonds by Colette


18k white gold and diamond signet ring by Jemma Wynne 


18k black gold opal butterfly bangle by Wendy Yue with tsavorites, black diamonds, champagne diamonds, and white diamonds 



Black rhodium gold and black diamond bracelet by Noudar



Tanzanite sugarloaf carved 4-prong ring in 18K white gold with diamonds by Goshwara

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