Wednesday, June 5, 2013


This year, volunteer Brittany (the newest acquisition of the Mineral Sciences Department) had the chance to visit the annual JCK & COUTURE trade shows in Las Vegas. The shows are the most exciting time of the year for the international Gem & Jewelry industry. Around 50,000 guests from all around the world descend upon the desert to discover jewelry designers, gem dealers, and manufactures. Here is what she found...

The rich, deep color of emerald was a treat to the eyes throughout the entire show. The fine jewelry house of Goshwara was able to take my breath away with a special and fascinating pair of historical Emeralds.

The two rectangular-cut emeralds weighing 17.97 and 15.99 carats were formerly in the collection of Empress Eugenie of France. The Empress was said to be the most beautiful woman of her time. Her natural elegance and charisma seduced Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, nephew of Emperor Napoléon I, who had been elected French President in 1848 before ascending the throne as Emperor Napoléon III in 1852. Green was her favorite color so naturally emerald became her favorite gemstone. Created an Empress by her marriage to Napoléon III in 1853, Eugenie greatly influenced French fashion. The emeralds were originally thought to be a part of a tiara and they have had a long history of moving between many great European families. 

My interest in France was piqued with these emeralds and it seemed as though that interest kept directing me to the fabulous French designers. My favorite of all the French designers, Lydia Courteille, was exhibiting her fascinating jewels at the Couture Show.

Lydia's jewels inspired me to think of jewelry in a more artistic way. In her magnificent designs you are able to notice that she is inspired by many different aspects of life. My favorite of her designs were the pieces inspired by Africa. Using non-traditional materials, and expanding the idea of what a jewel should be, she is truly inspirational. 
 Lydia Courteille presenting one of her wonderful creations.

Another designer that has also been inspired by nature is the L.A. based Simon G. Using tanzanite rough for his inspiration, he has captured the gem in a contemporary way using accent diamonds. 

He also was able to capture the more feminine side of nature by using a diamond rose to accent the natural shape of the tanzanite.

The show had a vast array of exquisite jewelry and gemstones which only made me anticipate being a part of the show next year!

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