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.

Things My Mother Taught Me

I often think of my grandmother Clara, and wonder what she would think about Fortunoff if she could see it today. The world, and our business, have changed so much since that first store on Livonia Avenue in Brooklyn. Clara worked tirelessly to build the business, but never lost sight of the importance of building her family, as well. Following Clara, my mother Helene enjoyed a great career, shattering glass ceilings, accumulating accolades and awards, and making a huge impact in the world of jewelry. She, too, would tell you that she kept an equally firm eye on her family. It is inspiring — and a little daunting — to follow in the steps of these great women who built my family business.

Vintage Style Heart Locket with Garnet Accent, Sterling Silver

Vintage Style Heart Locket with Garnet Accent, Sterling Silver – $150

Other lessons they taught me were: find great designs that our customers will love and always offer the customer a fair price.

My team and I strive to offer you our legendary large selections that are high quality and affordable. The pieces I select are ones you can be proud to give to your mother, so she will cherish and wear any of them with joy. I’ve chosen some beautiful new lockets and jewelry with messages to add to our collections.

Among the gold and silver lockets we offer, here’s a new oxidized sterling silver one in the shape of a heart.

A great gift that fits everyone, a Gemstone necklace adds color to any outfit. Or show your mom she’s a star with this diamond star necklace.

Champagne Quartz and Black Onyx Station Necklace, 36 Inches, Sterling Silver

Champagne Quartz and Black Onyx Station Necklace, 36 Inches, Sterling Silver – $250

Pave Diamond Star Necklace, 14K White Gold

Pave Diamond Star Necklace, 14K White Gold – $395

 

Pear

Pear Shape Amethyst Dangle Earrings, 14K White Gold – $250

Blue Topaz and Blue Sapphire Ring, 14K White Gold

Blue Topaz and Blue Sapphire Ring, 14K White Gold – $750

Like my mother and grandmother I love adding precious gemstones to an outfit. So add more color to someone’s life this season.

“Straight from the Heart” by Go Love

Occasionally our friends agree to share their experiences and inspiration with the
Fortunoff audience. We are delighted to share this from Beth Golove…

'Love of Self' Heart Earrings, Sterling Silver

‘Love of Self’ Heart Earrings, Sterling Silver – $75


Guest Post by Beth GoLove

Some designers take their inspiration from nature, or from pretty objects in their environment. Mine came from a much more difficult experience, one which changed my life, but also gave rise to hope, and to this amazing new journey, “Straight From the Heart.”

Back in the late 1990’s, my mother and I lived about 10 minutes away from each other. We were so close, spending almost every day together. I was pregnant with my first child, and we passed many a day dreaming together about all the wonderful future that lay ahead. It was such a joyous time, and we imagined we would have many years together.

Heart Charm Necklace, Sterling Silver

Heart Charm Necklace, Sterling Silver – $175

Suddenly, when my son was just three months old, my Mom passed away. All of our hopes and dreams were shattered, and so was my heart. I did not have the chance to say goodbye, or to tell her one last time how much she had meant to me. With her passing, I began to spend much more time with my mother’s mom, “Nanny.” Her love and the time we spent together helped to bolster my spirits. Sadly, within just a few years, I lost my Nanny as well. I was devastated. My life seemed to be spiraling downward, and I became severely depressed. I could not even rally to take care of my family, which by this time included my two children. Life seemed hopeless. I felt like an empty shell.

'Straight From The Heart' Toggle Bracelet, Sterling Silver

‘Straight From The Heart’ Toggle Bracelet, Sterling Silver – $99

Miraculously, six years after she left us, my mother came to me in a dream, and rescued me. Mom decided she was going to set me straight! All my senses came alive in this dream. After so long living a black-and-white, one-dimensional existence, I could suddenly see things in all their vibrant colors, and three dimensions. In the midst of this vivid dream, my Mom stood in front of me, took my hand, and said, “Beth, you’d better live your life. Even though I am not there to hug you, I still love you.” I woke up crying, yet completely comforted and alive again.

Mom had sent me a very strong message to live life to the fullest. I knew I was not really alone. I realized I had to help others who were similarly in need of comfort, to remind them that there is always hope with love.

Turtle Pair Pendant, Sterling Silver

Turtle Pair Pendant, Sterling Silver – $65

This became the core meaning behind my collection, “Straight From the Heart.” Love of oneself, of others, of the world around us, and love of the spirit, are all part of my story. I hope you will find my story resonates with you, too.

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