Spinel’s Awakening Continues

Posted by & filed under Award Winning, Color, Duet Collection, Gem History, Gem Knowledge, Omi Privé, Spinel.

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A year ago, August babies rejoiced at the news that spinel had been added as an official birthstone for the month to help alleviate their suffering at having the single-hued peridot as their only choice.  Spinel brought to the table multiple colors and great life, along with a great deal of exposure for this underappreciated gemstone.  So, what is it about this gem that prompted it’s rise to glory?

 

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Although spinel was not commonly known, it has a rich history and was often misidentified for its close mineral cousin, ruby.  In fact, one of the most famous rubies in the world, the Black Prince’s Ruby, is not a ruby at all, it is a 170 carat red spinel.  This spinel is the centerpiece in the Imperial State Crown of England and it sits above the 317 carat Cullinan II diamond.  It was given to the Black Prince, Edward of Woodstock, in 1327.  The 350 carat Timur Ruby, presented to Queen Victoria by the East India Company in 1851, is another example of a spinel that was assumed to be a ruby.

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Aside from its historical significance, spinel is an incredibly beautiful gemstone.  Vivid red is the most prized color, but pink, purple, orange and blue are also very valuable.  FIne red spinel is very rare, even more rare than fine rubies.  They were mined historically in the mountainous regions in modern day Afghanistan, but now most spinels are mined in Burma(Myanmar), Tanzania, Vietnam and Sri Lanka.  Unlike most sapphires and rubies, spinels are not typically treated in any way to improve color or clarity.

 

Burma Spinel Mine                    Spinel mining in Burma.  Photo: GIA – V. Pardieu

 

At Omi Privé, we love the versatility and liveliness of spinel, pairing it with diamonds and other colored gemtones.  As a featured center gem, spinel always grabs attention with its strong color and the way light works through the crystal.  As accents in smaller sizes, spinels can provide great contrast to other gems or add additional life to spinels of the same color.  Some of our most recognizable pieces have spinels as the focal point, such as the 2016 AGTA Spectrum Award-winning ring below.

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We expect the popularity of spinels to grow as the word spreads about this very special gemstone.  With spinels being a personal favorite of President and designer Niveet Nagpal, we plan to continue to create jewelry for our collections that includes spinels as the focal point and as accents.  So, keep your eye out for the latest releases and look to add a spinel piece to your own personal collection.

Pantone’s Spring Palette 2017

Posted by & filed under Aquamarine, Bridal, Color, Craftsmanship, Doré Collection, Duet Collection, Fancy Sapphire, Gem History, Gem Knowledge, Monaco Collection, News, Omi Privé, One-of-a-Kind Collection, Padparadscha Sapphire, Sapphire, Sevilla Collection, Signature Collection, Spessartite Garnet, Spinel, Tourmaline, Trends.

Accessorizing with the Colors of the Season

 

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The trend-setting institution that is Pantone shares with the world on an ongoing basis the most important fashion colors for Spring and Fall seasons.  What do you do with this information?  Do you immediately go out shopping, with palette in hand, to ensure you are on trend with your personal apparel?  Or do you give it a quick glance, pick out a couple of your favorites and file it away for future reference?  The important aspect from our perspective of this guide to the upcoming season’s colors is how do we recommend our jewelry as an accessory to outifts in these hues.

 

For example, let’s look at what we might suggest for Island Paradise, a light, refreshing blue color.  The obvious choice if you were the type of person who likes matching accessories, would be something with aquamarine as the featured gemstone.  The light, airy feel of aqua would pair beautifully with this color.  What about a complementary color?  We would suggest something with a pastel feel, such as a light pink or peach.  A piece featuring a light pink sapphire, spinel, morganite, or in this case a Padparadscha sapphire, would be a great match.

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If we look at the more “earthy” colors in this palette, aside from finding matching colors, we will also have the opportunity to select colors that really pop against a warmer base color.  If we look at the the color Greenery, which is also Pantone’s “Color of the Year” for 2017, we would match this color with gemstones such as peridot, chrysoberyl or green tourmaline, like this ring below.  On the other side of the spectrum, you would look to something in a bolder purple, red or pink as a suitable companion.  As you can see from this Duet ring, we love combining green with purple spinel centers.

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For another example, let’s consider a rich blue color like Lapis Blue.  One of our specialties is blue sapphire, so matching this color with existing Omi jewelry is relatively easy.  The complementary color for a bold blue color like this would be an equally bold orange hue – which we would find in our new orange tourmaline ring seen below.  We can also find similar colors in spessartite garnets and orange sapphires.

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There is a myriad of options when it comes to accessorizing this Spring’s fashion color palette with fabulous colored gemstones.  Knowing and understanding how colors accent each other will go a long way in developing your fashion credibility amongst your peers and clients.  Pay attention to what the trends are and take the time to pick out the best options for you to ensure you are trend-savvy in your day-to-day life.

 

 

Omi Privé Holiday Gift Guide

Posted by & filed under Alexandrite, Color, Craftsmanship, Custom Collection, Duet Collection, Fancy Sapphire, Gem History, Gem Knowledge, Kunzite, Omi Privé, One-of-a-Kind Collection, Opal, Ruby, Sapphire, Trends.

A little holiday season inspiration for that special someone……..

 

What do you buy for that certain someone who has everything?  Well, we at Omi Privé specialize in the rare and extraordinary, so here are a few of our suggestions for this year:

 

Incredible Australian Lightning Ridge Opal Ring

An amazing palette of color swirls around in this 13.46 carat opal.  We surround this magnificent gem with grass-green tsavorite garnets, deep ocean blue sapphires and diamonds – all set in platinum.  No two opals are alike and very few look anything like this one.
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Pastel Pinks, Purples and Blues in a Cacophony of Color

In this design collaboration with artist/designer Remy Rotenier, we started with an amazing 12.27 carat cushion-cut pink kunzite in the center then surrounded it with rose cut sapphires in pleasing pink and purple tones.  We added in a few pretty blue sapphires as accents to round out this18K rose gold ring for the free form loving artist in us all.

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Luck be a Sapphire Tonight!

If you know someone who needs a little good fortune – how about this 7.77 carat emerald cut blue sapphire from Ceylon set in platinum and surrounded by baguette diamonds and a pair of blue sapphires?  Imagine looking at this beauty everytime you pull down the handle on a one-armed bandit.

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You Can’t Buy Me Love

But, you can buy this fabulous ring……featuring a passion-inspiring, unheated 4.01 carat oval ruby from Mozambique and over a carat of diamonds set in platinum with 18K gold prongs.  This is truly one of Mother Nature’s true works of art, released by the hands of a master gem cutter.

 

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Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

Thanks to an effect known as asterism, certain cabochon-cut sapphires exhibit a star-like pattern when light is reflected off the internal silk of the gem.  Finding a fine quality sapphire that exhibits this is rare, finding a pair is much rarer.  Check out these star sapphire earrings, accented with blue sapphires and diamonds in 18K white gold.  These are sure to be a conversation-starter at any event.

 

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Emerald by Day, Ruby by Night – Introducing the Alexandrite

A lot of history and lore surrounds the magical color-change gemstone Alexandrite.  What is truly factual is the beauty and rarity of this very fine gemstone.  This 3.76 carat emerald-cut Alexandrite exhibits a deep teal blue-green in daylight and a rich raspberry-purple color in warm candlelight.  The gem originated in the exceptional chrysoberyl deposits of Brazil, which have all been played out at this time.  The gemstone is framed by a halo of diamonds, then framed again with more alexandrites that change color along with the center when the lighting conditions change.  The platinum ring shank features more alexandrites and diamonds – this is a true work of gem wizardry.

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We hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, and remember that the more you give, the more you get!

 

 

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October Birthday? Birthstone Jackpot!

Posted by & filed under Award Winning, Color, Doré Collection, Duet Collection, Gem History, Gem Knowledge, Monaco Collection, Omi Privé, Opal, Pink Tourmaline, Sevilla Collection, Tourmaline, Trends.

Being born in October is not the easiest thing – you were either the youngest kid in your class or you missed the cutoff and you were one of the oldest.  Depending on where you live, the dreary Fall weather sets in and you can’t do outside birthday parties like all of your friends who have spring and summer birthdays.  But one thing that helps make it all better is that you get not one, but two fabulous gemstones as birthstones – opals and tourmalines!

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Let’s start off with opals, they are literally a phenomenal group of gemstones.  Opals are incredible spectacles of nature, formed by silica-laden water filling in cracks in rock over a hundred million years ago.  No two opals are alike, each tells their own story in colors and patterns unique to the individual gemstone.  There are many varities of opal as well.  The best known, and most valuable, opals are the Australian black opals found deep in the Outback.  Australia’s opals range in color from a milky white to plays of color including bright blues, greens, oranges and reds (the most desirable color) and can be opaque to transluscent in its crystal forms.  Mexico produces vivid orange opals, with or without a play of color, called fire opals.  A very popular form of opal that has hit the market in recent years is the Ethiopian opals, which have great plays of color.  Singular color blue opals are found in Peru, and domestically in the state of Oregon.  Opals are a favorite of Omi Privé head designer Niveet Nagpal, who has been recognized for several of his opal-centric pieces, including the 2015 Grand Prize winner in the JCK Jewelers Choice Awards.

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Tourmalines, on the other hand, are wonderful gemstones that come in almost every color hue in the rainbow.  Trace minerals mixing within the tourmaline crystal structure help determine the hue of the gemstone.  For example, the electric neon blue color of Paraiba tourmalines is due in part to the presence of copper.  Tourmalines also have special properties, they become electrically charged when heated or put under pressure.  They are also doubly refractive, which means that light separates when going into the gemstone and causes the tourmaline to appear to have more “life” than other gems.  At Omi Privé, we use tourmalines of all colors, but tend to use more greens, blues, pinks and reds (rubellite).  They are fabulous gemstones to be featured in the center of rings or pendants, either on their own or surrounded by accent stones.

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As you can see, people with October birthdays have an incredible array of gems and colors to choose from in celebrating their special day.  Opals are like small canvases of art drawn by nature, while tourmalines are charged full of life and found in all your favorite colors.

The Value of Award-Winning Design

Posted by & filed under Alexandrite, Award Winning, Color, Craftsmanship, Duet Collection, Events, News, Omi Privé, One-of-a-Kind Collection, Spinel, Trends.

Omi Privé recently won two AGTA Spectrum Awards, a jewelry design competition that has been held annually for over 30 years.  What does winning a design competition mean for the designer, and the consumer who might be considering buying a winning piece?  There are many factors that go into the value of the award for all involved.

Let’s look at the Spectrum Awards specifically, which is considered one of the most prestigious design competitions in the world  This competition is produced annually by the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA), a trade association who’s mission is to promote colored gemstones.  The competition provides value for the association by encouraging jewelry designers to use colored gemstones in their designs, hopefully purchased from AGTA gemstone dealers.  What helps set the Spectrum Awards apart is that each piece of jewelry is physically judged by a panel of jewelry industry experts that changes each year, ensuring that not one form of design is ever favored over another and that the smallest of details can affect the final outcome.  To win a Spectrum Award is a benchmark that many designers aspire to achieve.

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2016 AGTA Spectrum Award winning Spinel ring

Many gem dealers and designers collaborate on individual pieces to take advantage of the opportunity for exposure for individual gemstones and design aesthetics.  Each year the competition receives between 500 and 600 entries.  Each entrant knows that they are going to be competing against the best jewelry designers in the US and Canada, so everyone tends to put their best foot forward and sends in their best work.  As the judges work their way through each of the entries, they must consider the quality of the gemstones, the quality of the workmanship and the design aesthetic.  It usually takes two days of judging to determine the winning entries.  Winners are announced the following day and the media are invited to see all the winners and other entries.  The media values the competition because it offers a rare opportunity to look for new trends and emerging designers all in one location.

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2016 AGTA Spectrum Award winning Alexandrite ring

designed in collaboration with Remy Rotenier

Winning designers benefit from an incredible amount of exposure driven by AGTA’s public relations efforts to share the results of the competition.  AGTA and the media feature the winning designs throughout the year until the following year’s competition. The designers themselves publicize their wins through traditional marketing channels and social media.  Yet, the true value for the designer who wins is that their work stood out against some of the top designers in the world.  If they are a new designer, this exposure can serve as a launching point for their collection.  For an established designer, a win reinforces their standing and provides additional caché for their jewelry lines.

For the pieces that win, many are sold quickly to collectors of those designers.  For a client to be able to own an actual award-winning design gives them another opportunity to talk about the jewelry they love.  Other designers hold on to their winning pieces and feature them in shows and museums.  Many designs are incorporated into the designer’s collections in a bigger way to take advantage of the exposure and potential trends developing as a result of their win.  We love to see our pieces being worn and enjoyed by our clients, so our award-winning designs are made available to our collectors.  The awards are a welcome recognition for the quality of work we do, but in the end, it is all about these pieces adorning the people who appreciate their beauty.

 

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Treat Yourself to Delicious Shades of Pink

Posted by & filed under Doré Collection, Duet Collection, Kunzite, Omi Privé, Pink Sapphire, Pink Tourmaline, Sevilla Collection, Spinel.

Halloween has arrived and amongst all of the fall colors, we like to sweeten things up with a little pink! From pink tourmaline to spinel to pink sapphire and even kunzite, there are a variety of colored gemstones that can brighten up any fall day. View a few of our favorites this season. Happy Halloween!

RC1730-TPOV-2A glorious and finely saturated oval pink tourmaline is kissed by sweet pear shape rubies on either side of this 18K rose gold and diamond ring.

ER1000-TPCUSweet cushion drops of light pink tourmaline accented by cornflower blue sapphires delight in these earrings designed in collaboration with Rémy Rotenier.

RC1012-SPOVA unique pink spinel exudes shades of pink with purple undertones in this classic 18K rose gold design from our Doré collection.

PC1115C-PSRDA sweet statement in platinum and 18K rose gold, a round pink sapphire surrounded by pink sapphires and diamonds sits at the center of this handset pendant.

RC1451-KUOVThe velvety purplish-pink oval kunzite is the star in this Sevilla collection 18K rose gold ring.

 

July’s Birthstone is Ruby!

Posted by & filed under Doré Collection, Duet Collection, Omi Privé, Ruby.

Summer heats up during July and what better way to show off your passion than with rubies! Here are some of our favorite ruby designs:

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Our newest pear shape pendant features a deeply saturated 1.90 carat ruby center stone surrounded by ruby and diamond accents.

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From our Duet collection, a 1.99 carat round ruby set in 18K yellow gold with ruby and diamond accents.

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A magnificent pair of oval rubies AGL certified are hand crafted into this classic earring design.

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One of our most popular ruby designs from our Doré collection features five perfectly matched ruby rounds surrounded by diamonds.