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Greenwich St. Jewelers

  • Ask the Expert: Ari Madilian from Single Stone Explains the Wonder of Antique Diamonds

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    What makes a diamond truly spectacular?  For some, it may be color, clarity, or size.  For Ari Madilian, the owner and head designer of Single Stone, a diamond’s real beauty comes from its history and romance.

    Ari began his diamond career 1988.  As a purveyor of both modern and antique jewelry for many years, Madilian became acquainted with diamonds of all types, from all eras.  Captivated by the unique, uncommon appearance of the diamonds in antique pieces, Madilian began Single Stone, a company devoted to handcrafting diamond rings and bands with authentic historic details.  By using real antique center diamonds combined with intricate detailing, Single Stone’s rings present the perfect mix between old and new.

    Since he is an expert in the field of estate jewelry and antique diamonds, we took some time to talk to Madilian about what makes these jewels and gems especially remarkable.

    How did you become interested in antique diamonds?  What is special about them to you?

    Early in my diamond career, I sought out vintage diamonds for their singular and interesting structure.  I’ve always loved the romance and history associated with these gems.  I find it amazing that 100 years ago, someone adored these diamonds in their own jewelry.

    What’s the difference between historic cuts and modern diamonds?

    Modern diamonds are cut to exacting standards with proportions perfected in this century, and have a “crushed ice” type of brilliance.  Vintage diamonds were cut by hand, giving them much larger facets and a more subtle appearance.  The non-perfect cutting technique gives vintage gems a unique charm.

    The round, brilliant diamond we see today is a modern take on the Old European cut diamond, which is one of our most popular styles.  For me, the Old European cut has much more personality; its proportions are not as perfectly uniform as the round, brilliant diamond.

    Single Stone rings featuring Old European cut center diamonds and vintage details Single Stone rings featuring Old European cut center diamonds and vintage details

    What are some of the key characteristics of vintage rings apparent in your modernly crafted designs?

    Hundreds of years ago, engagement rings were made by hand which allowed them to be very light and delicate in feel.  At Single Stone, we capture the essence of estate jewelry but handcraft our rings with modern metals to make more substantial rings for today’s woman.  By using antique gems but newer materials, we are able to handcraft a jewel that will stand the test of time and eventually become a family heirloom.

    With all the details such as milgrain and engraving apparent in vintage jewelry, handcrafting a ring in our studio can take 4-8 weeks, but the result is a one-of-a-kind jewel with historic significance.

    Single Stone's Cobblestone collection features rings with various antique diamond cuts. Single Stone's Cobblestone collection features rings with various antique diamond cuts.

    We have a few of your wedding bands featuring French-cut diamonds.  Can you tell us more about what gives these diamonds their sparkle?

    French-cut diamonds became popular in the 1920’s, but are rarely seen in modern diamond jewelry.  Their unique sparkle comes from faceting on the top half of the diamond, which allows light to reflect off of the surface.  This type of brilliance is entirely different from modern baguettes.  These diamonds are cut especially for us, for each piece that we create.

    TWO-TONE-BANDS Single Stone wedding bands featuring French and Old European cut diamonds

    Shop our Single Stone collection online & see more of these antique beauties at our special in-store shopping event, May 13-15, 2016.

  • NEW NAME, SAME INSPIRING STORE

    jennifer-christina-blog Dear Friends,

    You may have noticed something different when you visited our website today; we are now Greenwich St. Jewelers! We’ve been busily working on this new site as part of the evolution of our store for some time now and we’re so excited to share it with you.

    Our subtle name change ties us to our roots.

    There are some of you who will remember that the original Greenwich Jewelers was opened by our parents, Carl & Milly Gandia, on Greenwich St. in 1976. That’s 40 years ago this year! As we thoughtfully considered our current business and where we want to take it, we chose to tether our brand to the heritage created by our parents on a little street downtown all those years ago.

    To move forward we looked back.

    We grew up on the streets of lower Manhattan, working summers and holidays at the store. And when we moved to our current location on Trinity Place after 9/11, we were faced with a challenging landscape. It was a time when we all needed to band together—as a nation, as a city, and for us, as a family. As somewhat of a surprise to each of us we decided to join the family business, and that’s when the magic happened. The alchemy of our family’s shared experience and drive to succeed in a difficult environment helped us to flourish. Our business grew; we began working with wonderful new designers, built a wedding clientele, and enhanced our shop and services – all to offer you the very best experience possible. Our parents had built the business on a foundation of trust, experience and a passion for service, so when they retired in 2009 and left it in our hands we knew we had big shoes to fill.

    ribbon-blogNothing changes that stays the same.

    We know that these changes: to our name, our logo, store, and website experience are a big shift, especially to those who have known us for a long time. We promise that we will continue to deliver the level of service, extraordinary design and warm and welcoming environment that you have come to expect from our store and staff. Our evolution is an a facet of our commitment to offer you best experience possible, as with our new lifetime jewelry care and personal shopper services, greater commitment to responsible sourcing, and of course, inspired jewelry to discover and covet.

    Nothing compares to you.

    While it’s clear that we love jewelry, our greatest inspiration is you, our treasured clients. We love that the children and grandchildren of our parents’ clients continue to shop with us, and we have made many new friends in recent years. We’ve met your children, co-workers, relatives and pets, and consider you a part of the Greenwich St. Jewelers family. You remain at the center of every decision we make and we’re so grateful for your having chosen us as your jeweler. Thank you for the past 40 years and here’s to 40 more brilliant years together!

    Jennifer Gandia and Christina Gandia Gambale

  • Designer Spotlight with Rebecca Overmann

    On any given day you can find Rebecca Overmann happily ensconced in her studio in San Francisco’s Mission District.  From initial sketch to completed jewel she and her team of jewelers execute each stage of creation and bring her organic inspired designs to life.  A trained metalsmith in her own right, Rebecca carves wax by hand revealing the design as she works.  She wears each new piece for a couple of weeks to ensure both the style and comfort meet her high standards before becoming part of her collection.  We had the opportunity to ask Rebecca some telling questions to find out what makes this talented designer tick.

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    What’s on your playlist while you’re working at the bench?

    We’re an eclectic bunch! While I’m at the bench I tend towards Matthew Dear but that’s just me. We all have input in the music and it can go from Sade to Johnny Cash to Mos Def in the span of 20 minutes.

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    The next stop on my travel list is:

    Boring I know, but Hawaii or Baja — I need a quick recharge! Southern Africa’s pretty high on the list for the next big trip.

    We’re coming over for dinner, what’s on the menu?

    You’d have to ask my husband (he’s the cook in the house)…. But if it’s Friday, definitely pizza on the grill.

    What are you most proud of?

    The studio-family we’ve built! I’m so fortunate I get to work with such incredibly talented and skilled people on a daily basis. Over the past couple of years I’ve made a big push to bring all aspects of production in-house — I’m very proud to say that everything we produce is done entirely in our San Francisco studio by some of the most skilled jewelers I’ve known.

    Tell us about an unlikely source of inspiration.

    Nothing seems that unlikely anymore! I’ve always found the most inspiration from the physical world around me — textures (whether natural or man made) often find their way into my pieces. For a time, I was using a chunk of concrete that I found on my way to the studio to texture my men’s bands.

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    Tell us about a past failure and what you learned from it.

    I wouldn’t necessarily call it a failure now, but at the time it certainly felt like one. Not too long after moving to San Francisco to pursue a career in graphic design and advertising, I was laid off. The upside was that my stipend bought me enough time to try jewelry full-time — here I am 13 years later!

    What is your favorite quote or mantra that you live your life by?

    I’m not much of a mantra person — but there are certainly some ideals that are hugely important to me.

    Relationships both personally and professionally are extremely important and I absolutely love the fact that I still sell at the very first store to ever pick up my line.

    Control is a big one for me — I don’t believe that anyone can produce something truly wonderful without a tremendous amount of control — control of the process, the materials, the design and the patience to stay the course.

    Fun. It should be fun to do what you do every day (I’m still having a lot of fun)!

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    How do you stay balanced?

    I limit the time that I work on, or think about jewelry to my waking hours :)  Having two Australian Shepherds though, is a nice distraction.

    What’s your guilty pleasure?

    Chocolate… not so guilty though.

    Tell us about your most sentimental piece of jewelry and the story behind it.

    Just one? I’m a very sentimental person and I have quite a collection of pieces — from turquoise bracelets I bought as a teenager to diamond rings that I’ve made recently. These are the first earrings I ever made myself (a very long time ago) — and while they probably won’t end up in my line anytime soon, they remind me of the excitement I felt when I first started making jewelry .

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    If I weren’t designing jewelry I’d be

    That crazy lady with way too many dogs (and cats) — I think I’d definitely have to be involved in some way with animal rescue or rehabilitation.

    And lastly, here’s a speed round of one of our favorite games, THIS OR THAT:

    Five star hotel or tent under the stars?

    Five start tent under the stars.

    Hike all day or dance all night?

    Hike all day…. As long as it’s with my pups.

    Street art or museum of art?

    Street art!

    Sweet or savory?

    Both… the latter followed by the former.

    Digital or analog?

    Music: Digital (convenience wins) Jewelry: Definitely analog — I’m all about what someone can do with their hands, not a computer! Art: Analog — I loved time in the darkroom when I was studying photography.

    We’re so grateful to Rebecca for letting us get to know a bit more about her.  We have always been thrilled to represent the work of such an inspired designer.  Now we have a newfound respect and admiration for the woman herself.  We hope you will be inspired too!  Shop our Rebecca Overmann jewelry collection.

  • Stacks are the New Black : Curating Your Collection

     

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    A well-executed stack of rings is a true thing of beauty. Every ring is a little sculpture that’s been infused with meaning and symbolism. Begin with one to three bands, then build your collection from there. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

      • --When you travel, be on the lookout for new additions to remind you of past adventures.
      • --Engrave a band with a secret message like a song lyric, your baby's name or your own mantra.
      • --When you achieve a goal, celebrate with a new ring as a reminder of your personal success.
      • --Buy a matching band with your closest pal for an updated twist on the old best friends’ charm.

    There is no right or wrong way to build your stack. We like to play around with textures and mixed metals to stand out from the crowd. There are no rules, this is all about you!  For guidance on curating a fabulous stack we consulted the experts at Single Stone. They gave us their four simple steps:

    Step 1) START WITH SOMETHING SIMPLE

    This handmade band of the most luxurious 22k gold feels incredible on your hand, as though you've discovered a treasure from another era.

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    Step 2) ADD SOME BLING

    Take it to the next level. We went all out with this platinum eternity band of rose-cut diamonds. The milgrain detail surrounding each gem is meticulously done by hand and this will surely become a prized family heirloom.

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    Step 3)  CREATE TEXTURE

    We chose this darling hand-engraved band. The warm glow of the 18k rose gold is a universally flattering tone. We’ll inscribe ours with a secret mantra, so when we need to be strong it reminds us to stay centered.

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    Step 4)  TOP OFF WITH EXTRA SPARKLE

    No brainier. The icing on the cake is this delicate, twinkling eternity band. The detailed engraving on the edges is exquisite. It is the perfect finishing touch for our dream stack. What does yours look like?

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    _______________________

  • Real Proposal Story: Steve & Christina’s Brooklyn Bridge Proposal

    steve christina 1

    Steve and Christina’s NYC love story goes like this: boy and girl run with the same music loving crowd who made the concert halls of Gotham their stomping grounds. One magical night, while listening to a band at Bowery Ballroom, Steve and Christina’s innocent encounters suddenly transformed. It became obvious to the both of them that there was something more than smoke and strobe lights in the air.

    Where else would a couple whose first spark lit at Bowery Ballroom go on their first official date but brunch and the Brooklyn Bridge? It’s the quintessential romantic NYC date! They just clicked and in no time they were madly in love. Their relationship grew under Steve’s attentive care. He nurtured the relationship with custom playlists to suit Christina’s every mood and punctuated this thoughtful practice with gifts of beautiful Greenwich St. Jewelers’ jewels on special occasions.

    steve christina 2

    They both knew where this relationship was headed and ever the modern couple, they came into Greenwich St. Jewelers to look at engagement rings together. Christina always knew she’d want a ring with a halo and she found herself gravitating towards rose gold. Later Steve would return, armed with what he’d learned that day to create Christina’s dream ring.

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    On the fourth anniversary of their first date, Steve took Christina back to the Brooklyn Bridge. They noticed that there were padlocks hanging from the structure, put there by people who were inspired by the Ponte Des Arts Bridge in Paris. Steve said he wanted to get a photo of her in front of them so she posed as he crouched down tourist-style with his camera. The next thing she knew, he was down on one knee and reaching into his pocket. She was crying, hugging him and saying yes before he even opened the box.

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    He said, “Hey, don’t you want to see the ring?”

    Of course she did! He slipped it onto her finger a moment later -- a stunning handmade ring by Danhov in rose gold with a shimmering halo. Through her tears she noticed people smiling, clapping and taking pictures. No surprise, Steve is a man with a plan and had hired a professional to capture the big moment!  After the proposal, they did a proper Gotham City photoshoot in all their favorite spots. We adore the photos and are thrilled to be a part of their story.

    Congratulations Christina and Steve!

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    Ring by Danhov

    Photos by Paparrazzi Proposals

    In love with love?  Read more of our Real Proposal Stories.

  • Artistic Innovation: An Interview with Todd Reed

    todd reed

    There’s no doubt that a piece of jewelry by Todd Reed will win a place in your heart forever. Nobody else does what he does. With an artist’s soul and a deep appreciation of natural materials, it’s easy to see why Todd’s award winning designs are held in private collections worldwide. Our owner, Jennifer, paid a visit to his studio last year and was fascinated by his workspace and design process.

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    Todd looks for inspiration everywhere. His workspace is filled with inspiring objects, sketches by his daughter Flora, and always, always a little jade figurine of Ganesh. During Todd’s visit to New York City this month he will be making a special appearance at our shop and absorbing the architecture and the creative energy of this city where art meets community in such a special way.  We had a few questions for him in preparation for his visit.

    Todd, you’ve been doing this since the nineties.  In all your time designing jewelry, do you have a favorite piece?

    Todd: Peaceful Place is a special piece to me primarily because it deals with deep emotion. It’s beautiful and intriguing and also bears the story of personal growth, wisdom and the pain of needing a peaceful place. This piece articulates the beauty around closing down/ opening up, reveling your true self or working with polished outside. Art is simply making an emotion into some kind of deliverable thing, I use my jewelry design to communicate my story.

    Todd Reed award-winning jewelry The award winning pendant, Peaceful Place, on display in Todd’s Venice, Ca showroom. This has a hidden locket that opens to a Moldavia Buddha.

    You are something of a pioneer when it comes to designing with raw diamonds and recycled metals. What inspired you to create a sustainable jewelry collection?

    Todd: I think ethical responsibility in this industry is difficult to ignore any more. When I started my company, I had certain principles that I had wanted to have at the core. It was not popular to be responsible about sourcing at the time. It was important to me though, so we did it.

    This is the type of forward-thinking that delights your fans and keeps you ahead of trend. What inspired you to work with raw diamonds?

    Todd: During geology class in high school, we studied rock crystals and I fell in love with their shapes, texture and sparkle. I liked how a diamond left just as it’s found in nature can dictate the architecture of a piece of jewelry.

    In 1994, I met one of the top collectors of raw diamonds who also loved these gems for their unique qualities over any monetary value.

    What is your favorite part about what you do?

    Todd: Connecting with people and expressing my feelings through art.

    That’s definitely something that comes through in your work! How often do you sketch or draw?

    Todd: I am constantly sketching – I have hundreds of sketches on napkins, scrap paper and in notebooks. My sketch books provide a constant reservoir of designs that I pull from.

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    How much leeway to create do you give your artisans?

    Todd: I am the only designer. However, we do create custom designs and often clients work on a piece with an account manager, but before being made, I approve the design.

    I meet regularly with the shop master to discuss and work through fabrication details.  Each jeweler will create the piece from start to finish, which is unique in the jewelry industry. Keeping each piece with one jeweler keeps the aesthetic and the energy of the piece in balance.

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    What factor about yourself, do you feel is the biggest contributor to your success?

    Todd: I constantly stay true to my vision.

    You certainly have an authentic voice – your tagline Raw Elegance really hits the nail on the head. Where do you hope to see your brand in 10 years?

    Todd: Ten years I'll still be the founder, designer and CEO of TRI, and designing the most innovative and beautiful jewelry I can.

    That sounds like a plan! We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Todd Reed and his growing empire. 

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    Art is simply making an emotion into some kind of deliverable thing,

    I use my jewelry design to communicate my story.

    -Todd Reed

  • The Art of Embracing Damage: An Interview with Jamie and Jeremy Joseph

    jamie open

    Every once in awhile a designer comes along that dares to look at jewelry in a transformative way. Jamie and Jeremy Joseph have been doing this since they began creating their namesake collection over 20 years ago. Who would dare drill a gemstone and set a diamond into it? Only these two crazy kids. Their diamond studded rings immediately became highly coveted by jewelry connoisseurs. Those who were in the know immediately began building their personal collections. We have two clients who became fast friends after meeting and striking up a conversation over a rainbow moonstone Jamie Joseph ring. (Their second encounter happened here pouring over our selection, natch.) Yet another client’s collection spans 40 rings and 10 years of fandom.

    It’s tough not to be fans of the design duo. Their pieces are not only beautiful, wearable and original but they are filled with the intense good energy of artists doing what they love, creating beauty and sending it out into the world. I took a few minutes to chat with them while they were in the store today about their work and the new collection, Golden Joinery.

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    Let’s talk about Golden Joinery. This collection is very special. The concept of embracing, adorning and presenting imperfection in a beautiful way really resonates with me. Tell us how it came to be, how long have you been working on it?

    Jamie: Well, 20 years! We’ve been throwing broken stones in this beautiful African ceremonial bowl, we call it the boneyard, forever. And when I read the Kinsugi thing it was like a lightbulb moment. I knew right then why I’d been saving the stones for all those years.

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    Note: Kintsugi is the Japanese pottery-mending technique where broken ceramics are repaired with golden seams. As a philosophy, Kintsugi can be expressed as an embracing of the flawed or imperfect.  It treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.

    How did that happen?

    Jeremy: A friend of ours sent it to Jamie and was kinda like, I saw this and I thought of you. And then Jamie saw it and took it to the stones.

    Jamie: After that aha moment, I got to work and it took about a year to create the first small collection which I presented at the Couture show this past June.

    Tell us about the creation process. What were the challenges?

    Jamie: I love 22k gold, it’s so rich and ancient feeling, and I wanted the pieces to look like something buried, like an archaeologist would unearth. The fabrication process is all handmade and stones would break again or I’d have to send them to Jeremy to re-cut to fit the design I was working on. Its super-labor intensive, but I love the fact that it’s so thoughtful.

    Are you pleased with the end result?

    Jamie: Oh, I love it! I feel it’s such a great message about sustainability in gemstones and I feel the new joined stones are almost more beautiful than they were originally. For example, the green tourmaline necklace we brought in for the trunk show, that stone came back to me as a resize and during the work we broke it. When that happened, I literally cried because that stone was so amazing.

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    It sure is! We’re all obsessed with the new work. It’s such a sophisticated evolution of the collection and I love the meaning and intention behind transforming perceived damage into wearable art.

    What’s next for Jamie Joseph?

    Jamie: We’ve become kind of like a machine and with Golden Joinery my creativity really began to flow again. You’re going to see lots of changes to the line.

    How exciting! We'll be waiting with bated breath to see what that means!

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  • Real Proposal Stories: Jeffrey and Matthew's Road Trip Proposal

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    Jeffrey and Matthew met through mutual friends in August 2010 in Baton Rouge, LA where they both grew up. For their first date, Matthew invited Jeffrey over to his house for a home cooked meal. The two instantly connected and knew this was something special.
    Eleven months after their first date, the two decided to take a huge leap and moved to Austin together. It was now just them and their two dogs - Jack and Sissy. They have spent the last 4 years living in Austin and enjoying everything about the city, especially all of the outdoor spaces that central Texas has to offer.

    road trip proposal 2 Jack, the couple's adorable Daschund

    After the Supreme Court landmark decision on same-sex marriage in June, Jeffrey knew he had the best opportunity to surprise Matthew.  Until this point, Jeffrey told Matthew he had to be the one to ask and it had to be perfect.  According to Jeffrey, “We tend have slightly different taste when it comes to fashion, and a few years back we saw this Jamie Joseph ring in passing while at a jewelry store with friends. We both loved it right away. It was a great balance of simple with an element of fun and sparkle to it. Even though we were a few years away from getting engaged, I bookmarked the ring and came back to it recently to order from Greenwich St. Jewelers for the proposal. We ordered a matching set because we really loved the idea of both having the same ring.”

    Matthew and Jeffrey enjoy hiking, road trips, traveling and being lazy together.  According to Matthew, “some of the best days are spent just cuddled together on the couch with Jack watching bad TV.” The couple decided to take an eleven day road trip to visit 11 national parks. They had spent the few weeks prior to the trip planning out all the details and tried to cram it all in as best they could. On the last evening, the couple arrived at their favorite hotel in Marfa, TX for some well-deserved rest and relaxation.  Unbeknownst to Matthew, Jeffrey had a surprise planned.
    road trip proposal 3

    After taking a nap in some hammocks on the hotel grounds, they decided it was time to break out the champagne to celebrate their last night of the road trip and all of the things they’ve accomplished throughout their trip.  As they walked back to the hammocks, Matthew pointed out the sunset and they both let out a sigh of relief and slight sadness since this was the last sunset they would see on their trip.  Sunset and sunrise have always been their favorite times of the day. Beginning in their first apartment, Matthew and Jeffrey would often enjoy a drink on their balcony while  watching the sky change color as the sun set over the hills behind their apartment.

    sunrise at grand canyon Sunrise at the Grand Canyon during the road trip

    road trip proposal 4 Engaged!

    As they approached the hammocks, Jeffrey asked Matthew to sit for a second so they could face each other. Matthew was a bit confused but reluctantly did what he was asked and Jeffrey began by saying “The past ten days have been incredible and I could not imagine doing this trip with anyone else.  I’m so happy at what we’ve accomplished and seen on this trip and even more so because we were able to do it together. You make me so happy and I want to spend the rest of my life with you and have many more trips like this in the future. Will you marry me?”

    Matthew said yes as the sun was setting and the sky was lighting up with the purples and pinks that make a beautiful sunset. Neither of them could have imagined a more perfect and serene moment.

  • Arik Kastan: The Story Behind the Jewelry

    One of our most popular designer lines and loved by the jewelry and fashion insiders, Arik Kastan in the United States wouldn’t be possible without one fierce entrepreneur: Tamar Kelman.

    “I immediately fell in love with Arik Kastan’s work and knew I had to find him,” Kelman says, of the first time she saw his jewelry in 2009.  Previously, she worked with a variety of Israeli-based jewelry designers, helping them launch their lines in the United States.  Arik Kastan’s diamond and gemstone jewelry, handcrafted with vintage-inspired rose and yellow gold, stood out to Kelman as something new and refreshing.  She liked that it still featured an old world jewelry technique and look.

    arik kastan citrine ringarik kastan opal earrings

    Over the past six years, Kastan and Kelman’s business relationship has flourished, due to the success of the line in the United States.  While Kastan stays true to his original gold mixtures and handcrafted details, Kelman takes the pulse of fashion trends and helps to infuse the designs with a modern touch.

    Speaking on their collaborative process, Kelman says, “It varies a lot.  Sometimes we discuss specific elements and sketch designs, other times I give Arik a general theme or idea I want to introduce and he just innately knows what I mean.”

    Kelman and Kastan speak regularly about what’s currently happening in their lives and what inspires them.  For Kelman, her environment and lifestyle in LA is an important factor.  “Life can get hectic, and taking time to enjoy natural beauty is something that’s important to me.  Los Angeles is a huge city but has a laid-back vibe with great beaches, hiking spots and lush tree-lined canyon roads where I live.  I thought a lot about incorporating floral elements and eclectic color combinations into the collection, paying homage to these traditional motifs of Victorian jewelry.  At the same time, Arik was experimenting with an organic look in the form of raw, imperfect gemstones.  So we blended our concepts together to create floral designs with gems featuring bright, bohemian color combinations,” she said.

    turquoise earrings, arik kastan earrings, arik kastan jewelry

    Kelman took note of the appeal of stacking rings, and started styling looks on the line’s Instagram account.  An LA native, she began by layering the textural rose gold jewels in a way that worked with her own sense of style, mixing luxury with leather jackets, tees and jeans.  The end result was pretty with an edge, a look that captured the attention of jewelry blogger Gem Gossip, known for her “Show Me Your Rings” hashtag.

    arik kastan jewelry, arik kastan instagram

    While Arik Kastan’s styles change based on current inspirations, remarkable gemstones have permanent residency in his jewels.  Kelman and Kastan hand-choose the gems together, focusing primarily on those that were prevalent in the Victorian era, staying true to the vintage aesthetic.  Rustic diamonds and rose-cut rubies sparkle in the rose gold, while turquoise and sapphires add potent contrast.  The iridescent gems:  labradorite, moonstone, and opal, are evaluated by a different criteria when chosen for the jewelry.  “They have to be magical,” says Kelman.

    moonstone earrings, arik kastan earrings, rose gold earringslabradorite ring, arik kastan ring, triple gem ring

     To add more layering possibilities to the mix, this year, Arik Kastan introduced yellow gold in the United States.  It’s a custom blend, and Kelman says “similar to the type of gold you would see in Italian jewelry.  It complements green, blue and black stones really well.”   Kelman advises collectors to wear the two metals together, rather than exclusively.  “Stacking mixed metals always looks great,” she said.

    raw diamond ring, arik kastan ringopal ring, opal stacking band, yellow gold ring

    For a woman eager to add Arik Kastan to her own collection, where’s the best place to start?  Kelman says “Our labradorite and moonstone 3-stone rings are definitely a ‘must-have.’  I also personally love larger statement rings like the Queen’s Scepter ring in labradorite with sapphires and the Marquise shield ring in turquoise with diamonds.  I never leave the house without my watch chain necklace with a large heart padlock.  These are my basics.  Oh!  And the blossom stud earrings.  Also necessary.”

    arik kastan jewelry

    Desiring a jewel in this post, but not on our site?  Email support@greenwichstjewelers.com and we'll order it for you.

  • Real Proposal Stories: Mike & Erica’s Prospect Park Proposal

    prospect park proposal Sarah-Bode Photography

    From their first date to their proposal, Mike and Erica’s relationship has been full of surprises.

    The couple first met online, and after exchanging a few messages, planned to meet.  Mike had set up drinks at a bar before their date at a comedy club, but to his surprise, Erica accidentally fell asleep and made it just in time for the show.  “There was never any doubt that I would wait,” said Mike.  “I knew she was a special girl worth any wait.”

    The couple instantly hit it off and got closer over the next couple of months, enjoying the honeymoon period.  Just two months into dating, Mike received an unpleasant surprise.  “I started seeing doctors for some abnormalities in tests from my last check-up.  No big deal, I felt fine.  Then my doctor called me at work on a perfect sunny Friday afternoon to tell me I had an aggressive form of leukemia.  The only thing I could think was, ‘I’m not ready to say goodbye to Erica,’” he explained.

    Mike returned to his hometown out of state for treatment, and the couple kept their relationship going despite the distance and the circumstances.  It served as a good time for Erica to visit Mike’s home and meet his family.  Mike says, “She was my motivation for getting better.  She was the one that kept me positive.  When you’re battling something like cancer, you need something to hope for, to look forward to, to give you a reason to fight to live.  I fought for Erica.”

    It was then that Mike knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Erica, and so began the search for the perfect ring.

    Lucky for Mike, Erica gave him a head start.  She had an inspiration image that she loved from Pinterest.  “I wanted a ring that would be timeless, so I looked for rings with both vintage and modern elements.  I am naturally drawn to gold and found an antique rose gold ring that I found irresistibly romantic,” Erica said.  Unlucky for Mike, the picture that Erica found lead to a dead end on the Internet, leaving him to start from scratch.

    Mike was determined to get Erica her perfect ring, and so he set out on creating his own version of it.  “She is a one-of-a-kind girl and deserves a ring to match,” he told us.  He arrived at our store with his inspiration image to begin designing a custom engagement ring.  Mike consulted with our jewelry specialist Lee Terranova, and we put the dream ring into production with the assistance of our Master Jeweler.  “After a couple of weeks, I saw the computer images of the ring, but I knew I couldn’t be sure until I finally got the chance to see it in person,” Mike said.  “When the chance finally came… wow.  I really never knew it would sparkle THAT much.”  Mike left our store, ring in pocket, feeling “impressed, happy, excited and terrified,” he said.

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    Mike’s nervousness continued the day of the proposal.  “My antiperspirant decided to take the day off,” he said.  He planned to propose near the Vale of Cashmere, the couple’s favorite section of Prospect Park, and had hired a photographer to capture Erica’s reaction.  The moment Mike dropped to one knee and told Erica there was no one else he’d rather spend his life with, she began crying tears of joy.  “After I pulled it together, I cried out ‘yes!’” she said.  “It was exactly what I would have hoped for – just me, him, someone to capture the moment, and a story to tell for years to come about my favorite surprise.”

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