Angels with Attitudes

Have you ever seen something that wasn’t there?
Held something that couldn’t be touched?
Loved someone who didn’t exist?
Be somewhere you’ve never been?
Have you ever touched the sky without leaving the ground?
Given a speech without making a sound?
Have you ever loved just for the sake of loving?
Cried when you’re happy? Laughed when you’re sad?

If you’ve ever done any of these things or a thousand other things that can’t be explained but can’t be ignored, then you have angels in your life.

Susan Helmich is one of those rare artists that maybe come along once a decade. What she created in her angels collection not only touched my soul, it was my soul. Susan found a way to put into precious metal what we all admire and adore of the people (angels) that come into our lives. It is my great honor to present to you, Susan Helmich.
There are people who enter our lives in unusual and in ordinary ways, making our journey more meaningful by their presence. They exhibit precious qualities in the way they live and this expression is called Attitude. Angels with Attitudes® are the people in our lives.

Perseverance – For those who face unexpected challenges with determination.

picture of angel jewelry

I never intended to create a jewelry collection about angels … at least not angels in a religious sense. This design marks the beginning of the collection; it also marks a deeper realization of the spiritual role people have in our lives. I learned through this creative journey that circumstances and events bring people into our lives when we need them and their influence goes beyond this life. I was commissioned to create a special project from Jim. The project was an angel pendant design for his antique store, Angels in the Attic. This would be our first and last business venture. Jim, 44, was stricken with terminal cancer. I was drawn to his “living in the now” attitude. As an avant-garde jewelry designer receiving awards for my extreme design style, it seemed out of sync with my artistic ego. Little did I know how significant that commission would be. Within six weeks of meeting Jim, my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. The power of that moment was overwhelming and life changing. It demanded that I re-examine my work, my priorities and my respect for time. When my mother passed away, Jim attended her funeral. Two weeks later, Jim passed. I was privileged to be with both of them at the time of their departure from this world. In retrospect, Perseverance evolved from these events. Perseverance is distinctly human; it is a determination to continue in spite of life’s obstacles. For my mother, Jacqueline.

Jubilant – Inspired by those who never miss a chance to celebrate life.

At the bench in my studio, I felt like an explorer on uncharted seas. With only my imagination to guide me, I was open to simply go with the form taking shape and allow it to lead the way. It was an extremely smooth form which seemed to personify a sense of purposeful playfulness. It appeared to be dancing. Jubilant is what came to mind. I had to smile as I became aware of the person who had influenced this design, Carolyn. My friend is altogether open and ready to celebrate life, to create the celebration. She almost dances into relationships with friends and loved ones. To celebrate means, in a sense, to perform a ceremony. Hers is the ceremony of life. Her creed is to see the best, to be happy, to be joyful. She is gifted with sensitivity and an awareness that originates from her own needs and desires. I am reminded that in the presence of a jubilant attitude, I have a lightness of spirit, and I am uplifted for a moment. I also know that this person did not have an easy path along the way. Maybe that is how you learn to go over the bumps … dance your way to the other side.

Courage – In tribute to those who have no choice but to find their inner strength.

picture of angel jewelry

Courage comes in giving up fear, it is found in doing what you must do. I realized I had formed two wings by expanding the wax as far as it could go. The image was undeniable and the message clear. Our wings, our strength, appear when we are stretched as far as we can go and we must carry on. Using my chisel, one of few tools used in this collection, I further defined the wings into a deeply carved design – much like what happens to us when we go through an experience which creates a courageous response. It is the determined move which shapes us. The “V” was obvious and so was the inspiration, my friend, Mike. He was a prisoner of war in Vietnam for seven years. Courage has a halo because it is connected to the spiritual, not the physical. It is about a strength that is honorable because it is vulnerable and real. There are many kinds of battles, some global and some personal, and they all require a journey of mind and spirit to face and to walk through. Behind victory, is inner strength and inner beauty which come from the heart … the place where hope lives.

Harmony – In celebration of achieving balance and harmony in one’s life.

picture of angel jewelry

Balance is a beautiful state of being. I have searched for balance my entire life, and I have viewed it in others. Interesting how the clearest reflections are seen in still, calm waters. Harmony was created out of raw material being transformed by a lavish texture into a form of tranquility. It is the only symmetrical design in the collection, creating a peaceful image through balanced elements. I folded the wax sides by choice, to create an easiness and softness of shape. Immediately, I knew this design had my friend Nikki’s influence, a softness of shape similar to her peaceful aura. There is something quite lovely about a peaceful spirit. My friend teaches me in silence, through example, to be one with your earthly existence and to be comfortable with who you are. She has brought me to a place of serenity within myself by showing me that the path of solitude, being alone within my personal space, is sacred. That is balance and balance is Harmony. Still, calm waters.

Patience – For those wishing time would pass swiftly.

picture of angel jewelry

The subliminal will make itself known at the bench. In my studio, Patience arrived. Like a butterfly leaving the cocoon, the design was an emerging figure. Looking at it, I saw it was from the “rib” of Courage. It had an attitude of standing still and facing what one must face. Several years ago there was a tragic airplane crash which left two widows. The young widow of the passenger on the plane came into my gallery to purchase Perseverance as a gift for the pilot’s widow, Jacqui. Jacqui was experiencing and working through the depth of what had happened, she was in the grip of time. Jacqui is my friend. I didn’t realize our common connection until she began sharing her life’s story with me. Time had not been her healer. She said that if I ever made another Angel, to please make one for her and name it Patience. I didn’t, until years later when it came through my hands from my memory of this event. Immediately, I knew this design was Patience. Patience has an image of moving forward while keeping anchored in the present. This is the lesson. Patience will get you to the place you want to go if you will stay in the moment and allow time to show you the way.

Guardian – Inspired by the unspoken, yet undeniable expression of love.

picture of angel jewelry

I am drawn to those who respond to the life from their heart, from a core place in their spirit. It is the sole road to being a guardian … a pureness of heart paves the way. Guardian took the shape of a cross, organic in form and with open arms. I saw in the open arms, a place for others to find rest and safety. I have always admired Saint Francis of Assisi because he was a nonconformist who followed the leading of his heart to love and respect all living things. Guardian is distinctly human with a head, arms, and body. When I saw this image, I added a sparkling texture to the shoulders, abstract birds, to represent the silent, yet very endearing way people and animals show their trust and care. This design is about unsolicited protection which comes naturally by those who act upon their “unguarded” feelings.

Stubborn – Inspired by those who stand for what they believe.

picture of angel jewelry

Without Stubborn, there would not be a collection. The name is a term of endearment. It represents what I most admire in people – a battery of people – not just one person. I saw it in my son, Josh, and in my others close to me. This design speaks a truth to the personality of those who stand for what they believe in and will not compromise. It is a state of being. Stubborn is the smallest design in size but one of the largest in its inherent qualities. Exuding a straightforward image, it is unyielding in its presence among the other designs. It does not sway or bend, it is head-on. To be stubborn is to be justifiably unyielding, to demonstrate that which is well-founded. I embrace this quality and see it as a positive. To have a stubborn attitude is a gift of self-empowerment.

Cherished – To realize that you are treasured …

picture of angel jewelry

People asked me to create a design about love. I dismissed it as a trendy theme, and as an artist the idea of creating a heart was not what I had in mind. The design emerged when I was exploring new textures and applications. A natural heart shape appeared which led to an image of love. When I think of the word love, I think about being cherished. This design made sense to me; it is about a love that comes from within the center of our being and then moves up and outward embracing what we treasure. Cherished is a visual image of what we hold dear, what we nurture and what we cultivate with care. Cherished is about more than one level of love, it encircles all levels – child, parent, lover, spouse, friend self.

Gregarious – For those who give the infectious gift of joy and laughter wherever they are.

picture of angel jewelry

There are people who enter your life and bring a higher level of joy into your presence. They have an openness of spirit to see goodness and light in the world. I believe this quality comes from a solidified confidence within their being. I have a friend that exudes a gregarious presence, her name is Beth. Like a ripple on the water, her energy goes out and creates more, spreading joy beyond. When I saw this design I knew it was Gregarious, for me, it exemplifies a true expression. When people enter your life showing a gregarious attitude, I believe they are inviting us to come out and play – to explore life with abandon. They are a mystical constant, always in the spirit and reminding us that we always have a choice. I choose joy.

Grace – Inspired by those with wisdom, elegance, and maturity.

picture of angel jewelry

It is said that grace is a visible expression of what lies within the soul. I am moved by what I feel when in the presence of my elder female comrades. I am inspired by a silent beauty which speaks volumes and invites me to explore my years with new eyes. They are my conveyors, my rite of passage into growing older. I see wisdom, elegance and an embracement of life. Grace is the embodiment of an absolute truth, it is open and assured. Susan and Jane are two extraordinary women whose influence I see behind this design. Grace illuminates a sense of self that is not arrogant or boastful … it is pure. It is an effortless beauty, a flowing with life that is in balance. People gravitate to grace; it is approachable, almost like a mantra calling. Life gets better, life gets better.

Daredevil – For intuition … the internal voice of influence.

picture of angel jewelry

The inner voice is the best voice. I am uncomfortable with risk, but I always seem to go there. We are trained to ignore intuition, our inner voice. When you learn to listen and to test the inner voice, everything falls into place. Acting on this intuition requires a willingness to turn away from other voices and opinions. It creates a different path, sometimes igniting other’s fears. The design took a singular approach, deviating from the collection at large. Flying by the wing-tip, this form was about a radical move – a contemplative choice to go its own way. This design is about choices, choices we make that create a change in our thinking and in our life. The texture is deep and chaotic, reflective of feelings and emotions that surface when we are faced with a choice … to follow or not to follow. Within the chaotic texture is a beautiful flowing pattern. The name, Daredevil, captures the tenacity and strength of the attitude. When you act on your inner voice, it is like daring the devil. At first it seems risky, but in the end it leads you to a higher, greater mission.

Certainty – When you listen to your heart … and you just know …

picture of angel jewelry

Once you acknowledge intuition, which you learn to respect, then you just know and can relax in that knowledge. It is in tune with your ideas. There is no internal chaos. This design is a celebration of a state of being, a peace within your heart. You are there when you act on what you know to be true. Donovan, my husband, is the inspiration for Certainty.

Loyalty – Embracing our personal commitments to ourselves and others.

picture of angel jewelry

I saw a familiar image similar to a yin-yang design, light and darkness. This form made me think about relationships and the price we pay when we give up our identity to keep those bonds. I was aware of the struggle my teenage daughter, Whitney, was experiencing in trying to find the balance between being loyal to herself and still gain the acceptance of her peers. Some people are gifted with an enormous capacity to be loyal to others, to care and be there. This is a beautiful gift. To show loyalty literally means to be true to an original, the source. As I saw her struggle with this gift I remembered how it felt to be caught between your feelings for others and yourself. I wanted to give her a lasting way to see what was happening. Loyalty is dedicated to Whitney. This design is about relationships and a reminder to be true to the original source … you. Loyalty has two heads going in the same direction, like friends or partners flying together. If you turn it over, on the back is a third angel that represents you. This is the one, literally, that is closest to your heart.

Invincible – For those who have survived …

picture of angel jewelry

For several years I have participated in fund-raiser events for the prevention of domestic violence. In various formats, I created pieces of art centralizing the theme of protecting your soul, your self, and your loved ones from harm. When the design emerged, it spoke a strong message of liberation … a deliberate move to rise up and go forward. Invincible is about the realization of self-empowerment. This knowledge gives you the choice to survive. Moving forward, she walks in beauty and strength. I have always felt this design was likened to the Lady Liberty on our coin; she advances with the flame of liberation in her hand. Invincible is a tribute to those who walk determinedly forward and in doing so, leave a path for others to follow.

Caregiver – Inspired by the nurses and volunteers of Hospice. I know there are earth angels … I’ve seen them.

picture of angel jewelry

Inspiration comes when you least expect it. I was working with a form that was true, pure, and strong; a design that opened my heart. My mother had passed away in Hospice several years before. The volunteers at Hospice comforted, educated and showed the way. I couldn’t find the words to tell them what it meant to me. Years later, this design spoke for me. This figure is powerful, straight and shaped like an arrow. There are no halos and only a hint of wings. I knew immediately that this was my tribute to all of those at Hospice who went down the path beside us. Caregiver is the tallest of all the designs in the collection. It carries a palette of textures flowing like a river of continual comfort and aid. In the humble and quiet presence is a reservoir of inner strength and steadfastness. The real caregivers are earth angels, under their jackets there are wings. They are efficient, powerful beings. These people embrace a phase of life that is difficult to handle, pointing the way and illuminating the passage. They provide a light in the darkness and in so doing they enable you to see into the journey. Caregiver is the final puzzle piece in the desires I have for this collection.

For information on acquiring your own Angel with Attitude®, contact Erica at 1-800-275-4047.

Acknowledgements:
Marc Thurn – Photography
Product and Display Development

Donna Saunders – Project Concept and Design
Editor and Writer

My Goodies

In 1984 Cyndi Lauper had a big hit song called “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” Well, if Cyndi had these ultra-cool, fancy colored diamond, stackable rings to slip on, the opening lines of her song would have probably gone like this:

“I come home in the morning light.
My mother says ‘when you gonna live your life right?’
Oh mother dear, we’re the fortunate ones,
And girls, they want to have fun.
Oh, girls just want to own one.

The phone rings in the middle of the night.
My father yells ‘what you gonna wear to express your life?’
Oh, daddy dear, you know I’m the fortunate one,
But girls just want to have fun.
Oh, girls just want to have some.”

Alright, maybe I’m taking some liberties here, but take a look at just some of the cool combinations you can create by owning a couple of each of these magnificent diamond Color Matched(TM) bands.


These rings can be worn as anniversary rings, right hand rings, wedding rings or “a girl just wants to have fun” ring. If you’re looking for a way to electrify your jewelry collection, “My Goodies” are a must-have! All you need is the “joie de vivre” (joy of life) and a deep pocketbook. These goodies range in price from $5000 to $250,000 a piece! Colored diamonds; the ultimate luxury!

Of course, I need to close with a few more borrowed lyrics from Cyndi Lauper:

“And I’ll see your true colors shining through.

I’ll see your true colors, and that’s why I love you.

So don’t be afraid to let them show your true colors.

True colors are beautiful–

Like a rainbow.”

(All photographs were taken by acclaimed photographer and artist Ricky Fernandez)

Moments

How long is a moment? A second?…a minute?…an hour? Can a moment last for days? Webster defines a moment as “a brief indefinite interval of time.” Hmmm…brief and indefinite? Is that possible? Webster says so.

One thing we can probably all agree on is that any moment, regardless of how small or how grand, must always come to an end. Moments are circular. They have a beginning and an end as they surround you. When I created the Moments™ Collection I wanted to design something that would be a reminder that our time here is so precious; from the grand moments (large circles) to the small moments (small circles) that sum up our lives. Each moment, somehow, magically linked to the next precious moment, yet separate in its own place and time. I started with the smallest moments and then increased each new moment by the slightest of amounts. I placed the largest moment at the top instead of the bottom to symbolize that your next greatest moment is only a breath away. In sum, it is my most fervent wish that every time someone puts on any piece from the Moments™ Collection that they remember the following quote:
“May each moment eclipse the last.”

Click the image to enlarge

The Moments ™ Collection is hand-made with jeweler-interchangeable links.
They are available in all precious metals and gemstones and range in price from $500.00 to $100,000.00
Enjoy,

Fred

(All photographs were taken by acclaimed photographer and artist Ricky Fernandez)

Battle of The Bling II

Katie Holmes and Chris Klein
Click image to view larger version of ring
(Photo Courtesy of Star Magazine)

Stats: 10 carats total weight (approximately), 3-stone, emerald cut diamond wedding ring (Past, Present, Future) set in platinum.

Reported Value by British Press: Cool half million dollars.

What you and I could buy it for with a little shopping around and haggling (i.e., what he really paid): $160,000 to $175,000.

What it says about Chris Klein: A no-nonsense kind of guy; doesn’t like making long, drawn out decisions. He also likes clean lines, so chose a classic emerald cut to express strength not flash—romanticism not infatuation. He tends to see things as black and white; in love or not in love—no in-between. Three diamonds were chosen because one just isn’t enough. He needed back up; wanted to cement the deal. In some sense, he over-played his hand because he might have feared he wasn’t going to be able to keep lightning in a bottle. Large center diamonds don’t need a posse. If they bring them, it’s a sign the diamond-buyer may be insecure.

What it says about Katie: She didn’t pick it out so it says nothing about her or her taste; just that for one brief moment, her heart was captured.

Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise
Click image to view larger version of ring
(Photo Courtesy of Star Magazine)

Stats: None officially published. What it appears to be: 5.5 carats total weight, platinum, diamond wedding ring, oval center, prong set with small diamond accents.

Reported Value: None officially published.

What you and I could buy it for with a little shopping around and haggling (i.e., what he really paid): $68,000 to $75,000.

What it says about Tom Cruise: He was being frugal and economical. Like the porridge, he didn’t want a ring that was so large that it looked like he went overboard, or so small that it made him look like a cheapskate. He wanted it to be just right to get the job done.

“Job”, of course, is the key word. The frilly style isn’t something he would have chosen on his own, but something chosen with the help of someone else. While advisors are great to have during a Cuban Missile Crisis, the ring is supposed to be a “reflection of him.” There was no Tom Cruise in this ring. No Tom Cruise; no real commitment.

What it says about Nicole Kidman: Nothing. She didn’t help pick it out.

Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise
Click image to view larger version of ring
(Photo Courtesy of Star Magazine)

Stats: None officially published. What it appears to be: 12 carats total weight. 5 to 5.5 carat oval shaped diamond with 7 carats of tight-knit, micro pave diamonds set in a platinum split shank, open “airline”, basket carriage.

Reported Value: Look, she just said “yes.” Tom’s not talking, she’s not talking and the jeweler’s not talking. The only thing doing any talking around here is the rock itself, and it’s saying, “EXPENSIVE!”

What you and I could buy it for with a little shopping around and haggling and a whole lot of money: $275,000!

What it will eventually be reported to be worth once the media frenzy is done: $1 million (double the reported value of the one given to her by her old beau).

What it says about Tom Cruise: He’s very, very, very calculating! Oprah, Tonight Show, Eiffel Tower? Coincidence? Don’t think so. In the mafia, if they want you gone, they don’t send you a candy-gram. You just wind up in the river wearing cement shoes. No warning, no Oprah, it just happens. Similarly, love doesn’t work on a schedule. The louder someone screams that they are in love, the more they are trying to get others to believe it. If they are trying to get others to believe it, then maybe they are trying to convince themselves. Too much is coincidence here; the timing, the size and total diamond weight of the ring (20% more bling for the buck than her old beau’s) and the location. I remember how I felt when I was asked to swallow that Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley were in love! Love doesn’t need a photo-op, but love isn’t trying to promote two movies either.

Bottom Line: Sorry, Katie, shooting stars always fall back to earth.

By: Fred Cuellar, The Diamond Guy®

The Ring Has A Truth To It

Christina Aguilera's Ring
CHRISTINA AGUILERA – Value: $78,500.00
Photos courtesy of: US Weekly Magazine
Description: Approximately five carats total weight: Round center diamond bezel set in a cathedral semi-mount and flanked by eight channel set diamonds (four on each side) with a hand scrolled lattice work undercarriage to give the diamond its height.
What it says about Christina: The round diamond symbolizes traditional values. A part of her strives for stability in her life. The fact that the diamond is totally encased in a metal frame (versus prong set) is further evidence that she desires safety. Not just safety for her diamond but safety for her from the outside world. Closed settings are walls wearers put up to protect themselves. The in-line channel set diamonds on the sides are symbolic of roads; roads taken or a current path. Since each diamond-studded channel is linked to a large center stone, it shows that two paths, two lives have been magnified and improved by the union. The scrolled foliage on the undercarriage underscores that their love is not based on infatuation and has grown stronger over time.
Nicole Richie's Ring
Click image to enlarge
NICOLE RICHIE – Value: $10,000.00
Photos courtesy of: US Weekly Magazine
Description: An inverted cushion cut pink sapphire in a tight knit pave undercarriage, with an open airline split diamond pave band.
What it says about Nicole: Inexpensive, colored stones are used for only one reason—to save money. They allow the wearer to get a lot of bang for little bucks. Common responses wearers give for choosing a colored stone include “It’s my favorite color” or “It’s my birthstone.” More likely the wearer wants big and fashionable but does not want a big price tag. Engagement rings that are chosen to impress rather than to represent the union hints that the union will usually dissolve quicker than an Alka-Seltzer tablet in water. The fact that the sapphire was mounted upside down suggests doubts about the relationship that haven’t quite surfaced yet. On the plus side, when a cocktail style ring is used as an engagement ring, it can easily be placed on the other hand as a right hand ring if the couple breaks up. In short, Nicole’s ring tells the world that she is unsure in her relationship and hopes pink wouldn’t bring it down like J. Lo.
Heiidi Klum's Ring
Click image to enlarge
HEIDI KLUM – Value: $150,000.00
Photos courtesy of: US Weekly Magazine
Description: large (about 10 carats) cushion/oval light, fancy yellow diamond, prong set with a tight knit yellow canary pave in a 2.5 mm band.
What it says about Heidi: For starters it says she loves her man. The story here is not the ring. Light, fancy yellow diamonds are abundant; not like canaries with fancy intense or vivid yellows. Even the setting is nothing special. What is special is how she wears the ring. Focus on her body language. She gracefully moves her left hand around as if she were wearing the Hope diamond. The ring also tells us a lot about Seal. He chose an elongated shape that would compliment her long fingers. This man loves Heidi. He will climb to every mountain top and declare his love for his woman. In short, Heidi’s ring symbolized that she is loved and in love.
Nicolette Sheridan's Ring
Click image to enlarge
NICOLETTE SHERIDAN – Value: $22,000.00
Photos courtesy of: US Weekly Magazine
Description: Small (by celebrity standards) round center diamond set in a melee diamond wreath mounted on a two millimeter channel set diamond band (diamonds half way around).
What it says about Nicolette: The round shape signifies trust and fidelity, of course, with old fashioned values, and the diamond wreath puts an exclamation point to it. But, what this ring really symbolizes is that love has returned into her life. This ring screams joy. The ring could be a piece of string tied around her finger and she would be just as happy. Celebrities that wear small rings usually are very secure in contrast to those who require a fork lift to carry the bauble around. Nicolette’s ring tells us she’s all grown up.
Sienna Millers Ring
Click image to enlarge
SIENNA MILLER – Value: $7,500.00
Photos courtesy of: US Weekly Magazine
Description: Nine diamond cluster (illusion setting) on a wide yellow gold band.
What it says about Sienna: She loves love. Anytime diamonds are grouped together in a cluster to give the impression of one large diamond, someone wants love desperately. In many cases the wearer wants to appear that they totally have their act together and are impervious to the outside world, but the opposite is usually true. Cluster ring wearers are either pompous, cheap egomaniacs (I am not referring to Sienna) or their boyfriends are the pompous, cheap narcissist (hint, hint). My guess is her only input was that it comes on a wide band. Lovers of love need a lot of metal touching their fingers so they don’t lose that loving feeling. This ring symbolizes the relationship is on the rocks.
Camilla Bowles's Ring
Click image to enlarge
CAMILLA BOWLES – Value: Without the provenance—quarter of a million dollars. The fact that it came from the Queen–a cool million
Photos courtesy of: US Weekly Magazine
Description: Eight carat heirloom ring. Classic traditional emerald cut with three stair-stepped/bar set tapered baguettes on each side.
What it says about Camilla: She is a survivor. While emerald cuts traditionally symbolize strength and power, this ring symbolizes fortitude and perseverance. You can tell by the way she favors holding her ring when it is photographed. Her four fingers are either tightly grouped together (like a sideways hand shake) or she displays the ring fingers spread but pointing towards the sky (she doesn’t want this ring having even a chance of falling off). To Camilla this ring symbolizes that the hare doesn’t always win the race.
Melania Trump's Ring
Click image to enlarge
MELANIA TRUMP – Value: $480,000.00 (The two million in the papers is greatly exaggerated)
Photos courtesy of: US Weekly Magazine
Description: 12 carat classic emerald cut in a platinum basket setting with channel set tapered baguettes flanking each side.
What it says about Melania: While its common knowledge that emerald cuts represent inner strength and influence, it doesn’t necessarily coincide with the wearer as much as the giver in this instance. This ring represents two things: 1) The recipient is viewed more as a commodity than an equal partner (Trump chose it on his own; her likes or dislikes were secondary). 2) Like the ring, she likes being put on a pedestal regardless of what she has to do to stay there. In this rare instance the ring signifies Melania is a follower and not a leader. If she wants to stay on a pedestal she needs to never forget it.
Demi Moore's Ring
Click image to enlarge
DEMI MOORE – Value: You’ll have to ask her…or the prize department at Cracker Jacks
Photos courtesy of: US Weekly Magazine
Description: Yellow gold ring with a pink colored stone.
What it says about Demi: She’s a practical jokester. She loves to see the media jump through hoops to get the inside scoop to a possible engagement. When you’re in love you don’t play games. This ring is a symbol that she is not in a long term relationship even if she tells the world otherwise.
By Fred Cuellar

2009 Inaugural Jewelry Collection

2009 Inaugural Jewelry Collection

Our Time™ pearl collection, The Promise™ Collection, and The Promise of Our Time™ created by Diamond Cutters International are our way to commemorate this historical milestone in our nation’s history. Proudly wear these timeless pieces—a collector’s item that captures this moment in time and honors the journey that Barack Obama traveled to reach the highest office in the land. Congratulations on being part of history. Please note that proceeds from the sale of the collections at the www.pearlgala.com website will go towards the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program. Visit www.pearlgala.com for more details on the Pearl Presidential Inaugural Gala at the Mandarin Oriental on January 19, 2009. DCI will only produce these pieces for a limited time.

Our Time™
(The Presidential Pearl Collection)

In 1961, two seemingly insignificant events happened at the same time; the birth of Barack Obama and black Tahitian Pearls. Off the Lagoons of Bora Bora, a Frenchman by the name of Jean-Marie Dormand was aware that some of the most exotic black oysters, with beautiful iridescent shells, could be found. The only problem was it was very rare to find a pearl in them. It seemed the lips of the shells were so secure, it was rare that any intruder could enter its fortress and form the nacre that becomes the pearl. With the help of a Japanese pearl oyster technician, Jean-Marie was able to replicate the success of white cultured pearls of almost five decades earlier. Through the union of man and nature, black Tahitian pearls were created.

At first, the Tahitian black pearls were not accepted even though their color pallet is created from white, cream, yellow brown and black hues of the interior of the mother of pearl. For a black Tahitian pearl to be created, it must be a melting pot of all the colors to create its unique tone, texture and hue. By 1972, the worldwide market for black Tahitian pearls totaled only $4,000.00. But that would change. By 1996, the Tahitian pearl market finally exploded on the scene with 152 million in worldwide sales. Interestingly enough, it was the same year Barack Obama was elected to the Illinois Senate in 1996, succeeding State Senator Alice Palmer as Senator from Illinois’ 13th District.

Pearls start with a grain of sand. A grain of sand must undertake a perilous journey if it is to become a pearl. If it encounters the wind, it is blown off course. If it encounters the tide, it will be left underwater. Every once in a while, a grain of sand will infiltrate and penetrate an oyster. An environment seemingly perfect, the oyster will see the grain of sand as an intruder and will attack it! Over time, the oyster will take the mother of pearl coating that lines its shell and use it to smother the grain of sand. By battling the grain of sand over time, the oyster is actually making the grain of sand stronger, tougher, harder, larger, and, yes, more beautiful!

Barack Obama’s story parallels the perilous journey of the grain of sand that becomes a stunningly beautiful Tahitian Pearl. It must be willing to go from just being one moment in time to a time for all moments, a time for change, a time for us—Our Time™.
The Promise™

On June 14, 1777, the first Flag Act was passed to establish an official flag for our new nation. “Resolved that the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white, that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.” Two hundred and thirty one years later, we stand at the dawn of a new morning.

The Promise™ is a gentle reminder not to forget the lessons of the past and the promises of change for our future. Red and white stripes are ever present representing the rolling fields of our countryside extending from where we stand now to The Promise™ of our future. On the horizon, the sun rises on a transparent sky with new hopes, new dreams, new visions, rising with it.

It is a personal commitment we make by wearing it and for others to know that we must never be a country divided but a country that stands united. It underscores that “we are a country of the people and for the people.” The Promise™ reminds us that we each have a personal responsibility to carry our fair share of the load. We are all in this together—one community, one nation!

The Promise™ you now hold was originally designed by a talented team of graphic designers of Sender LLC from Chicago for Barack Obama at the onset of his Democratic nomination bid. Diamond Cutters International transformed it into a limited edition jewelry collection, The Promise™. It is handmade out of pure sterling silver. The blue transparent sky was hand created from a slab of the gemstone blue spinel and the red stripes were constructed from red corundum also known as ruby. Both synthetic gemstones totaling over 8ctw were precision cut and hand-polished to fit precisely into place. This collection comes in several different forms for both men and women: cufflinks, pendants, or lapel pins.

The Promise of Our Time™
The collection combines the essence of both previous collections into an heirloom coin. These coins will serve as a daily reminder of this milestone. The minted coin weighs one troy ounce of solid .999 sterling silver.

Diamond Value Work Sheet

Helping you get the best diamond value
I’m frequently asked to help people determine the appropriate value of a diamond they either have or are about to buy. What they don’t realize is how many details about the diamond I need to know in order to give an accurate evaluation. This work sheet will tell me everything I need to know in order determine a diamond’s appropriate price. If you’d like a free evaluation, fill in the following work sheet to the best of your ability.
Instructions
Select the boxes for which you have the correct information and type it in. When you’re done with the diamond evaluation form, press send. Your diamond value — the most you should pay for the diamond — will be e-mailed back to you within 48 hours. Please make sure you provide a valid email address.
*NOTE: If all data is not provided you will be e-mailed back a price range versus an exact price.
Privacy
All personal information you send us will remain private with DCI and not shared with any other 3rd-parties.
Required Information