I am so excited about the broadcast tomorrow night from 7-9 PM EST live from the Castle at the Smithsonian Institution. The jewelry is absolutely spectacular and ranges in price from $38 for a gorgeous simulated Emerald Cut Diamond ring to $447 for a magnificent simulated Mackay Emerald and Diamond Necklace. I have worked on many shows at QVC but have never seen jewelry so beautiful. I wanted to spotlight three of my favorite pieces from the collection in the National Gem Gallery which are the inspirations for three of our magnificent pieces. The following information was supplied to us by the Smithsonian Institution.
Tiffany Diamond and Ruby Bracelet
This diamond and ruby bracelet was designed by Tiffany & Co. during the Art Deco era. The platinum bracelet has four rectangular panels set with round and square-cut diamonds, totaling approximately 13.50 carats, and is accented with French-cut rubies totaling approximately 11 carats. The Art Deco Period (1920-1935) produced dazzling jewelry that was dramatically different from the jewelry of the previous periods, shifting from soft colors and flowing sinuous lines of the earlier Art Nouveau and Edwardian eras to bolder, brighter colors and straight lines. New geometric cuts for gems complimented the symmetry and streamlined look of Art Deco jewelry. Rubies, emeralds, and sapphires became the gems of choice. It was bequeathed to the Smithsonian Institution in 2007 and is a treasure from the vault at the National Museum of Natural History.
This 21.04-carat Colombian emerald was once set in a ring worn by Mexico's emperor, Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph. The emerald in its present platinum ring setting, designed by Cartier, Inc., is enhanced by six baguette-cut diamonds. It has the rich deep grass-green color of fine emeralds from Colombia as well as fine clarity and transparency. Mrs. Marjorie Merriweather Post donated the Maximilian Emerald Ring to the Smithsonian in 1964. Marjorie Merriweather Post was heiress to the Post cereal fortune and a collector of French and Russian art. This ring is one of several major donations she generously gifted to the National Gem Collection; others include the Blue Heart Diamond, Napoleon Diamond Necklace, Marie-Louise Diadem, Post Emerald Necklace, and Marie Antoinette Earrings (through her daughter Eleanor Barzin). Along with these amazing gifts, the Maximilian Emerald Ring is on display in the Gem Gallery at the National Museum of Natural History.
The stunning Mackay Emerald was mined in Muzo, Colombia. The finest emeralds are found in the region around Muzo and Chivor, Colombia. These green gems were used by indigenous peoples for at least 1,000 years before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores in the 16th century. Although spurred primarily by their passion for gold and silver, the Spanish quickly recognized the potential of the exquisite green crystals and took control of the mines. Emeralds became popular among European royalty and were shipped from the New World by the boatload. The great richness of the Colombian mines led to a glut of emeralds in Europe, triggering a brisk trade of the gemstones to the Middle East and India. The Mogul rulers in India were especially fond of emeralds, and encouraged a vast gem cutting and jewelry industry. Many finished pieces were traded back to Europe. The Mackay Emerald is the largest cut emerald in the National Gem Collection and is set in a pendant of diamonds and platinum, designed by Cartier, Inc. The Art Deco style necklace was a wedding gift in 1931 from Clarence Mackay to his wife, Anna Case, a prima donna of the New York Metropolitan Opera from 1909 to 1920. The emerald weighs 167.97 carats and is set in platinum with 35 emeralds and 2,191 colorless brilliant and step-cut diamonds. Mrs. Anna Case Mackay bequeathed the necklace to the Smithsonian in 1984, and it is on display in the Gem Gallery at the National Museum of Natural History.
Please tune in tomorrow, December 1st at 7 PM EST and let me know your comments.
Take care, Peyton