Thursday, November 13, 2014

We love our Temple St. Clair jewelry!  And from time to time, we are asked if Temple has been up to anything especially interesting, since she is known for her world travels.  Well, this week is unique indeed!

Temple has collaborated with fine artist and friend, Nancy Lorenz, to create a nine-piece collection called the Mythical Creatures from the Golden Menagerie.  Temple, using her renowned old-world craft techniques and discerning eye for unusual, superior gemstones transformed couture jewels into one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry, including five rings, two sets of earrings, a bracelet, and a necklace.  Each piece is housed in its respective Japanese collector’s box covered by the painted work of Lorenz.   

Horned Owl
The whimsical collection is inspired by creatures, both mythical and real, featuring exceptionally rare and high valued gemstones, such as Australian Andamooka opal, German hauyn, and Brazilian Paraiba tourmaline. 

Phoenix Bird

Additionally, Temple commissioned Florentine artisans to line each box by creating custom leather jewelry boxes that fit perfectly into Lorenz’s boxes.  

Sleeping Fox

To illustrate the inspiration and process behind each piece, the designer is creating individual books encapsulating all nine pieces, featuring imagery and photographs by renowned National Geographic photographer, Robert Clark.  The books will be hand bound in Florence and personalized with the name of the purchasing private collector. 

Mythical Creatures from the Golden Menagerie will be exhibited this week, November 13-15, 2014,  at the Park Avenue Armory during the Salon of Art & Design.  The collection will travel to Paris in January to be exhibited at the Pierre Berge Yves Saint Laurent Foundation week of Haute Couture.  Each piece will be delivered to its respective owner after the Paris exhibition.

Flying Fish
 Read an article written about the collection in Architectural Digest by clicking here. 

Medusa Jellyfish

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Appraisal Uses: When and Why

Just as you wear jewelry for different occasions such as formal, daytime, and “After Five”,  jewelry appraisals are needed for different purposes and, as a result, come in a variety of types. The following are a few of the more common appraisals. 

Insurance Replacement is the most common appraisal and may be defined as follows:
     The purpose of this appraisal is to estimate the current retail value of the listed jewelry. 
     The function of this appraisal is to establish a basis for insurance policy valuation.

The term “Current Replacement Value” should be defined as follows:
      “The price in terms of money that would be required to replace the property in question with
        another of similar age, quality, origin, appearance, condition and provenance, within a
        reasonable length of time in an appropriate market.”

Estate (Fair Market Value) 
Jewelry left to heirs in probate is valued at Fair Market Value (FMV) which is used by the IRS for estate tax liability and donation purposes.  The IRS defines FMV in part as:  “The fair market value is the price at which the property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or sell, and both having reasonable knowledge of relevant facts.

When someone wants to dispose of his or her jewelry or estate, the best outcome may result if they put their items up for sale on a consignment basis because of the typically higher prices received.  If the property must be sold quickly, consignment is not practical.
If you are trying to sell a valuable item, you may want a resale appraisal that details the description, precise measurements and grades of stones, and a determination of the resale value within the appropriate market.

Comparison Appraisal
Jewelry is often appraised for comparison purposes when a client brings in an item to verify the identity and/or quality claimed by a third party or to determine the fairness or viability of the asking price. They may be curious of the following:
·        Did I get a good deal?
·        Is it worth what I paid?
·        Is it worth more than I paid?
·        Is it the quality I was told?

Who should do your appraisals?
Like many professions, appraising requires years of experience, ongoing research, proper equipment and continuing education. Not all appraisers are good for every assignment, but have areas of expertise depending upon the type of jewelry and the markets where the item in question is most commonly sold.  

Appraisers are not licensed, but they have plenty of rules to follow from professional appraisal associations and organizations. Their ability to comply with those rules depends on a lifelong dedication to knowing as much as they can about gems, jewels, metals, manufacturing, treatments, fraud, the marketplace, the history of art and the fickle finger of fashion.

At the bare minimum, an appraiser should be credentialed and verified as a GIA Graduate Gemologist and be in current good standing by a recognized professional appraisal association or organization.  What is also necessary is that they have been trained not only from years of experience, but in appraisal methodology and gemology.   

At Naifeh Fine Jewelry, we have two Certified Gemologist Appraisers (CGA), credentialed by the American Gem Society (AGS). The CGA title is the jewelry industry’s highest award, and the AGS is the only organization that requires yearly re-exams to its titleholders. This certification and continuing education ensures our customers that when they trust us with an appraisal, they are indeed receiving it from those who have earned the highest accreditations.

Randy Stricklin, GG, CGA
GIA Graduate Gemologist
AGS Certified Gemologist Appraiser
Naifeh Fine Jewelry

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Jenn Whitekiller, Head Jewelry Designer

What an exciting time to be a jewelry designer! I've been in the industry for almost nine years now, and I have to say that the latest trends in jewelry design have been among my favorites!
One of the hottest trends right now is pink gold, commonly referred to as "rose gold." The soft pink color is obtained by alloying (or mixing) copper and yellow gold resulting in a very unique color. The pink hued gold looks incredible when paired with white diamonds, as well as white gold, and can take on a particularly charming look when juxtaposed with the rugged appearance of rough or rose cut diamonds. I am also seeing rose gold used in settings with colored stones like amethyst, topaz, sapphire, and natural colored diamonds. One of my favorite combinations is that of natural, cognac colored diamonds and rose gold. The warm tones play off of each other for an unexpectedly pleasing look. 

Another trend that continues to gain attention is the use of rough or rose cut diamonds in place of traditional cuts. Rough cut diamonds come in many interesting colors and shapes. Some are used in their natural cubic form while others look more like a rock plucked from a river bed (and in some cases they are just that!). Rose cut diamonds traditionally have a smooth, flat surface on one side with a multi-faceted surface on the opposite side. Rose cuts are particularly interesting because they allow for a variety of color (or clean and clear) while still giving off a little sparkle.

Whether I am starting from scratch with a rose cut diamond or sapphire, or have been provided with stones that a client wishes to incorporate into the design, our custom design process is fun and exciting for us as well as the client. Many times we start with a few different sketches that incorporate the ideas and details that the client wishes to capture in the new piece. Once a drawing has been decided upon, the piece is often created in a 3D, wax form making it easier for the client to visualize the size and scale of the piece as well as where the stones and metal detail will be placed. From this point the piece is cast in the chosen metal, and then given the appropriate finish and texture once the stones have been set. The entire experience is very personal, and the client is involved every step of the way, making custom design at Naifeh Fine Jewelry a truly memorable experience.