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My Commitment to Community Service

Here I am at the Brava Awards, with my friend, Joan Axelrod-Siegelwax, President/CEO at EmPowered Possibilities Coaching, who was my co-winner.

Here I am at the Brava Awards, with my friend, Joan Axelrod-Siegelwax, President/CEO at EmPowered Possibilities Coaching, who was my co-winner.

I’m honored to be one of a number of women who received a Brava Award this month from SmartCEO Magazine, at an awards gala held at the Westbury Manor on Long Island. The Brava Awards program recognizes female CEOs and executives who combine entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for mentoring and giving back to the community. Each year, an independent committee of local business leaders selects winners based on company growth, community impact, and mentoring.

I take my commitment to community service very seriously. I live and work on Long Island and its various causes mean a great deal to me. I serve on the board of the Long Island Association, which promotes cooperation among the business, labor, educational, scientific, technology, not-for profit and civic communities here. LIA gives me a good helicopter view of what going on in the region, such as how our population is changing (we’re getting older, and losing more of our young people). LIA supports improvements in transportation, expanded job opportunities, investment in smart energy initiatives, environmental conservation, equal rights for our workers, better family leave policies, and opportunities for our college students.

walk-in-her-shoesI also serve on the board of The Safe Center LI, a group that provides vital programs and services for local victims of domestic and child abuse. This summer, I attended “Walk in Her Shoes,” at Westbury Manor, a fashion show and event that raised more than $23,000 for the Safe Center. I’m proud we were able to accessorize the models with jewels by Fortunoff Fine Jewelry.

My love of nature and the incredible environment we enjoy on Long Island has driven my commitment to the Long Island chapter of The Nature Conservancy, where I served on the board for many years. From our water quality and nature trails to our farming and fishing, I am passionate about this cause for sure.

Fortunoff also supports the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Long Island, and in May, provided jewelry for its inaugural fashion show, at which “Bigs and Littles” walked the runway together modeling a range of looks from “thrift store chic” to formal wear. It was very moving to see the special closeness between the Bigs and Littles, and the funds raised at the fashion show will assist BBBSLI in its efforts to match many of the children on its inquiry list with a Big Brother or Big Sister of their own.
bbbsli fashion show
Please join me in supporting these worthy organizations or others of your choice. I smiled recently when I saw a hashtag on Instagram that read #communityserviceisthenewblack – it’s always a good day when giving back is in vogue. If you’d like to learn more about my Brava Award, click here.

July’s Birthstone – Ruby

Throughout most of recorded history, ruby has been the world’s most valued gemstone. Even diamond was considered common in comparison to the supreme beauty and value of this glowing red gem. Ruby is that boldest of colors: the gem of the heart, of desire, passion, courage, and emotion.

We recently had the pleasure to work on a special request to create a one-of-a-kind ruby ring. This young man, a member of our Armed Forces stationed far away, envisioned a beautiful ruby and diamond ring for his beloved. During his quiet moments, he created the design himself, using his laptop (see his design below). Our job was to guide his dream to reality — without ever meeting him!
ruby-01

ruby-03We began the search first for the stone and showed him many. He chose the very unusual octagon-shaped ruby on the bottom left side. [Photos were sent to him by cell phone.]

We put together all the elements and below is the final ring. Breathtaking! And of course, she said Yes! It was our honor to be part of this dream come true.

ruby-ring-01 ruby-ring-02

In all its shades, from hot pink to dark red, we love ruby and you will too! Interest in these dazzling red beauties has skyrocketed, but at Fortunoff Jewelry, we keep our pledge to offer prices that make sense. Browse our selection of genuine ruby jewelry to surprise that special someone born in July, or treat yourself to something unforgettable. We also have a much larger selection of unique beauties in store.

From Gem to Jewel – Part 1

We just returned from Las Vegas, the largest jewelry trade show of the year. After walking miles and visiting countless jewelry designers, manufacturers, and gem dealers, our heads are full of new ideas!

Over the past months, I had been accumulating a little “treasure trove” of gemstones, taking my time, thinking about how I might like to set each one. I knew that eventually each one would tell me what it wanted to be! A few suites, like this one, lent themselves to hand-crafted drop earrings – including these. But still I had not found just the right style for many others.

gemsgems

Visiting the Design Center, when I met husband-and-wife team Catherine and Michael of Michael Jensen Designs, it was clear that I finally had found the right homes for these gems. I had first “met” Catherine in a telephone call a few months before. She and Michael have combined their individual talents – she as a Graduate Gemologist with a passion for art, history and archeology, he as a sculptor and metal-smith – to create a jewelry line where each piece is truly a wearable work of art.

I sent them my gemstones, to allow them to think about how they might set each one. Here are some pictures of just a few pieces they’ve made in the past – to give you a taste of what you will see when MY project is done!

jensen-2jensen-4jensen-1jensen-3

Weekend of Pearls

Dramatic necklace features different shades of grey and black Tahitian pearls in a variety of shapes and sizes – $1,495.

I am so pleased to be hosting a Pearl Trunk Show and Restyling/Restringing Event at the store this weekend. Hope to see you there!

I love to wear pearls — all types, all colors. They’re so versatile! Pearl jewelry can be simple and elegant … romantic and feminine … cool and edgy. They’re beautiful on their own and when combined with gemstones or other jewels.

Once accessible only to royalty (queens AND kings) and the rich and powerful, pearls today are as perfect with jeans as they are with elegant evening wear. Thanks to pearl-loving (and wearing) icons Coco Chanel (“A woman needs ropes and ropes of pearls”), Jacqueline Onassis and TV supermom June Cleaver, pearls have become a jewelry box must-have.

Lustrous pearl necklaces light up the face, and they practically glow against suntanned skin. Not surprisingly, pearls are a favorite choice for graduation gifts and mementos for members of the wedding party. Here are a few of my personal favorites:

Freshwater Cultured Pearls 50 Inch Mixed Sizes, Sterling Silver

At 50 inches, this beautiful strand of cultured pearls can be worn long and loose, or doubled, twisted, knotted… the possibilities are practically endless! White cultured pearls from 5 mm to 8 mm, made by hand in New York – $450.

Natural Grey-Hued Tahitian South Sea Cultured Pearls

These are definitely not your grandmother’s pearls! Natural Tahitian South Sea cultured pearls in shades of light to medium gray are carefully matched and strung by hand in New York. Every lustrous strand is unique and includes a sterling silver ball clasp. About 18 inches – $695.

Stay Serene with Aquamarine

Serenity - Pantone color I’m delighted that the Pantone Color Institute, which helps the fashion world predict color trends, has named the lovely color of aquamarine as one of its two colors of the year 2016. Calling the shade “Serenity,” Pantone says it speaks to consumers’ desire for “mindfulness and well-being, as an antidote to modern day stresses.” That’s something we all could use a bit more of during this rancorous election season, right?

The tranquil color of aquamarine, March’s birthstone, has long attracted gemstone connoisseurs as well as fashionistas. The Romans likened it to gazing into limpid pools of water (aqua) or the sea (marine). Many ancients believed that aquamarine, which belongs to mineral family called beryl, made its wearers amiable and more intellectual.

When you wear an aquamarine ring or earrings, or place an aquamarine necklace against your skin, you can almost feel its soothing peace. We have a stunning selection of aquamarine earrings, necklaces, and rings, as well as a sexy cuff bangle that’s on sale, so whether you’re a March baby or not, you can still invoke your inner meditative state any time you want.

“We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil.” That quotation by yoga master Sri Gurudev, sums up how aquamarine makes me feel. Share the glow.

Oval Aquamarine and Diamond Dangle Hoops, 14K White Gold

Aquamarine and Diamond Dangle Hoops, 14K White Gold – $1,150

Emerald-Cut Aquamarine Ring, Sterling Silver and 18K Yellow Gold

Emerald-Cut Aquamarine Ring, Sterling Silver and 18K Yellow Gold – $350



Aquamarine Cuff Style Bangle Bracelet, 18K Yellow Gold

Aquamarine Cuff Style Bangle Bracelet, 18K Yellow Gold – $1,395

Pear-Shape Aquamarine and Diamond Pendant, 1 Inch, 14K White Gold

Pear-Shape Aquamarine and Diamond Pendant, 1 Inch, 14K White Gold – $595

Spread The Love

Who said that valentines had to be for “significant others”? I tell my husband that I love him all the time… sometimes I miss the handmade cards when we celebrated Valentine’s Day like we did in grade school – pretty much everyone was your valentine and you were theirs. It’s too rare that I go out of my way to express my love — through gifts, just kind words — to all the other special people in my life: my extended family, friends from the jewelry business, lifetime coworkers, old college pals, and people who make my day brighter in small ways.

There are many ways to show love – as in the James Taylor song “Shower the People”. At the store we can help with small gifts to shower the people you love with love.

We’ve got pieces for all budgets and unique tastes. You’ll find something for sisters, teachers, a beloved babysitter or granddaughter.

Round Amethyst And Diamond Earrings, 14K White Gold

Round Amethyst And Diamond Earrings, 14K White Gold – $395

Child's Enamel Butterfly Drop Earrings, Sterling Silver

Child’s Enamel Butterfly Drop Earrings, Sterling Silver – $40

For dad or brother there are tie bars and money clips, cufflinks and bracelets of sterling silver, and something specifically for the music buff:

Superman Tie Bar, DC Comics, Silver Plated, Enamel

Superman Tie Bar, DC Comics, Silver Plated, Enamel – $35

45 RPM Cufflinks, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cynthia Gale

45 RPM Cufflinks, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cynthia Gale – $125

For an old friend, consider a heavy sterling silver cuff from designer Natasha Wozniak, or a Love necklace by Tai Design.

Sterling Silver Cuff, Hand Wrought, by Natasha Wozniak

Sterling Silver Cuff, Hand Wrought, by Natasha Wozniak – $450

Yellow Tone CZ Love One Inch, Necklace by Tai

Yellow Tone CZ Love One Inch, Necklace by Tai Design – $85

There are hundreds of gifts of love – available at the new fortunoff store – inspirational messages and items that can be personalized and engraved.

Looking forward to greeting you at the store. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day – History of the Heart Symbol

'Romance de la Poire' Heart Methaphor

‘Romance de la Poire’ Heart Methaphor

As a history buff, I always like to learn about the origins of symbols, designs and icons. One of the most ubiquitous symbols in jewelry is the heart shape. It has been emblematic of love, specifically romantic love for ages. So we did a little digging to learn more.

The first depiction of the heart as a symbol of love comes from the medieval times, in an illustration in a french manuscript from the 1250s called Roman de la poire, or “romance of the pear”, in which a kneeling lover offers up a pinecone-shaped heart to his beloved maiden. The shape evolved over the next few hundred years, and the modern “scalloped” heart that we see today has been used on playing cards since the late 15th century. Have learned a bit about playing cards from Wolf Hall.

For the queen of hearts in your life, or to show your love — check out our necklaces, earrings, and rings featuring the heart.

Diamond Double Heart Pendant, Half Carat, 18K White Gold

Diamond Double Heart Pendant, Half Carat, 18K White Gold – $1,495

Red Enamel Heart Ring, Sterling Silver, Award Winner

Red Enamel Heart Ring, Sterling Silver, Award Winner – $100

Child's Red Heart Enamel Earring, Sterling Silver

Child’s Red Heart Enamel Earring, Sterling Silver – $40

King Of Hearts Cufflinks, Nickel Plated Base Metal

King Of Hearts Cufflinks, Nickel Plated Base Metal – $50

Vintage Style, Downton and More

Antique chic:
Look for baroque, vintage, and filigree trends to stay strong overall in jewelry. With Victorian styles on the runways, moon, star, and spiral motifs will remain popular; as will rose gold. The Victorian mood is also driving the continued range of darkened metals and black and white looks in jewelry. If you think the Seventies have staying power, take a look at the Victorian era. That time period also featured a long-serving English queen, flower power, and bohemians. “The more things change, the more they stay the same,” according to Victorian critic Alphonse Karr. Where jewelry is concerned, that’s a positive.

Triple Cultured Pearl And Diamond Bracelet, 14K White Gold

Triple Cultured Pearl And Diamond Bracelet, 14K White Gold – $995

Sapphire and Diamond Ring, Hand Engraved, Vintage Reproduction, Platinum

Sapphire and Diamond Ring, Vintage Reproduction, Platinum – $6,500

Antique Diamond Ring, Platinum

Antique Diamond Ring, Platinum – $3,500

Oval Locket, Embossed Border, 14 Karat Yellow Gold

Oval Locket, Embossed Border, 14 Karat Yellow Gold – $895

Easy to love gifts for kids, teens and tweens

I love choosing small gifts for friends and family. I note the recipient’s specific quirks – my husband likes the color orange, my daughter appreciates tiny tchotchkes – but I’m usually at a loss when it comes to shopping for teens and tweens. Will they like the books I read when I was their age? Does anyone listen to CDs anymore? Clearly, I’m out of the loop.

Fortunately, we have great jewelry from Tai – designs that are fashionable and affordable. They are perfect gifts and, luckily, they’re timeless, so your daughters and nieces can wear them for many years to come.

Silvertone CZ Love One-Third Inch Earrings

Silvertone CZ Love One-Third Inch Earrings – $50

Yellow Tone CZ Love One Inch Necklace

Yellow Tone CZ Love One Inch Necklace – $85

Goldtone Cuff Bracelet With Arrow Design

Goldtone Cuff Bracelet With Arrow Design – $50

Silvertone Hamsa Dangle Earrings

Silvertone Hamsa Dangle Earrings – $45

For the little ones in your family, everyone on our staff loves these adorable ladybug charm necklaces and farm animal bracelets… some of us have even bought them for ourselves! For more baby, kids and teen jewelry, come warm up with us in the store!

Child's Lady Bug Pendant, 14K Yellow Gold

Child’s Lady Bug Pendant, 14K Yellow Gold – $135

Farm Animal Bracelet, Sterling Silver

Farm Animal Bracelet, Sterling Silver – $45

Fortunoff Memories – That Is The One

We are continually delighted by customers coming in to share their fond memories of Fortunoff. They have told us tales that have been funny, nostalgic and heartwarming. In this video, for Linda there was no doubt which memory was the one to share.

We hope you enjoy this video as much as we do and invite you to visit our jewelry boutique in Westbury to share a story of your own.