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RIP, Larry Kramer | Wendy Brandes Jewelry Blog

Larry Kramer, a writer and one of the earliest AIDS activists, died today at age 84. You can read his full resume in the many obituaries that have been and will be published but, in short, Kramer was a co-founder of two AIDS activism groups — Gay Men’s Health Crisis, in 1982, which provided support services to people with AIDS; and the more activist ACT UP in 1987, which used both public protest and self-taught research skills to light a fire under scientists and politicians. In between, he wrote The Normal Heart, an autobiographical play about the dawn of the AIDS crisis and the conflicts at GMHC, which played to acclaim at New York’s Public Theater in 1985 and raised awareness of AIDS outside the gay community.

Kramer’s confrontational way of raising AIDS awareness within the gay community often made enemies and alienated would-be allies. In 1983, he published an article in the New York Native called, “1,112 and Counting,” which began, “If this article doesn’t scare the shit out of you, we’re in real trouble. If this article doesn’t rouse you to anger, fury, rage, and action, gay men may have no future on this earth. Our continued existence depends on just how angry you can get.” He was ousted from GMHC. Last year, he described his 1980s style:

“…I was a loudmouth. People would walk across the street to not be near me. People would also thank me for what I was doing, and I would say, ‘For what? Why aren’t you doing it, too?’ And they didn’t like that either,” Larry Kramer, in Interview magazine, December 2019.

However, when it came to applying pressure to the government to dedicate resources to the research of and treatment for a contagious new virus, he got things done. As Dr. Anthony Fauci has said, “There’s medicine before Larry Kramer, and then there’s medicine after Larry Kramer.”

Yes, that’s the same Dr. Anthony Fauci of COVID-19 pandemic fame. Fauci has been the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, and, before a detente was reached in 1989, he was a frequent target of Kramer’s displeasure. My favorite example of that is Kramer’s piece called “An Open Letter to Anthony Fauci, an Incompetent Idiot.” The combination of a contagious new virus erupting and Fauci’s media presence has kept Larry Kramer constantly on my mind since March, when I wrote a post over how people had no problem “social distancing” in the era of AIDS the way they do for now for COVID-19. But I’d been thinking of Kramer even before that, after I watched the documentary How to Survive a Plague in October.

That was followed by a December 2019 Interview magazine story called “Larry Kramer Is Still the Angriest Gay Man in the World.” His take on the fall-off in AIDS activism hit me hard. And that’s why — even pre-COVID-19 — I was asking rhetorically, with some frequency, “Where is the next Larry Kramer?” to help us fight the sickness of fascism. With a literal disease added to our woes, I’ve been asking that question daily. Usually, I just ask myself. Sometimes I ask friends, sometimes I ask Twitter …

… and, since quarantine, sometimes I ask MrB because he’s the only other person here and he’s normally so good at answering tough questions. Maybe the problem is that we overlooked the next Larry Kramer at the right moment, because one of the key strengths of the original Larry Kramer is how quickly he comprehended a deadly situation and took action. The title of his “1,112 and Counting” essay referred to how many people had been diagnosed with AIDS. These were the numbers he was tracking:

“There are now 1,112 cases of serious Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. When we first became worried, there were only 41. In only twenty-eight days, from January 13th to February 9th [1983], there were 164 new cases – and 73 more dead. The total death tally is now 418. Twenty percent of all cases were registered this January alone. There have been 195 dead in New York City from among 526 victims. Of all serious AIDS cases, 47.3 percent are in the New York metropolitan area.”

With COVID-19, Trump spent six weeks denying and dithering, rejecting experts’ warnings, and now we have 100,000 people dead in the U.S. since January. Peter Staley, an ACT UP alum who worked closely with Kramer, recently posted the image of the New York Times story about AIDS deaths exceeding 100,000. He was pointing out that the Times didn’t even report the story itself but picked up an Associated Press story. The Times also gave the story a position indicating a lack of importance, below the fold on the front page. But what I keep looking at is the date: January 25, 1991 — almost nine years after the Times first reported on a “homosexual disorder” that hadn’t been named yet.

Via Peter Staley.

We’ve blown past that number of deaths in months, and right-wing agitators are more focused on displaying guns and opening beaches than saving lives. Larry Kramer wanted people to live. He wrote The Normal Heart after visiting the Dachau concentration camp in Germany. What he was struck by, he said, was “how early it had opened, in March 1933, and we didn’t even know it. It was a lesson for us.” Similarly, I’m taking a lesson about timing from Peter Staley’s tribute to Larry Kramer. He wrote:

“We forget that ACT UP was born six years into the crisis. Six lost years, as the country and its president ignored a new virus that was slaughtering a community they despised.”

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Except now we’re down to weeks, not years, for the disease to spread and kill, and the despised community is black instead of gay. We’re already late; let’s not be any later. Fight in any way you can. I always have ideas if you ask. And you should ask, because like Kramer said in December, “The one thing I’ve never been able to answer to my satisfaction is why, at the height of the AIDS horrors in the mid ’90s, every gay man in America was not out there fighting along with the few thousand who were in ACT UP. Why? I couldn’t understand why people weren’t willing to fight to save their own lives? I don’t know why, and that’s what breaks my heart.” Save your own lives, dammit.

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Look at these gorgeous interior design ideas to find your own jewelry style!

1. Jewelry and Interior Design ideas.Marie MartinVan CleefArpelsCouleurs de Geraldine.png X

Pillows are by Marie Martin and the vintage brooch of a bird is by Tiffany. The earrings are by the Dutch jewelry designer Couleurs de Geraldine

So why not think about interior design and create a style on a jewelry blog? 🙂 Personally, I love to make that connection, and I think most of you consciously or unconsciously do. I know perfectly well that jewelry isn’t on your mind each day. Neither are you visiting your local jewelry weekly to purchase something new. Some have a clear idea about their Style and taste in jewelry, but most of us, aren’t so aware of it. And we opt to save ideas such as classic style jewelry or something you saw on your friend recently.

2.Jewelry and Interior Design Ideas Marie Martin Zydo Syna

The gorgeous rond velvet couch is by Marie Martin, the ring is by the Italian company Zydo and the lovely earrings are by Syna

But if you take a look at what you like and have or look at your vision boards on Pinterest ;-), it ought to give you some idea of what jewelry you might like too.
We’ll try to inspire you this year with various blogs that connect different styles and different products that might connect the dots for your personal inspiration.

As most of our blogs are not sponsored, we think you should see it as inspiration. Perhaps show it on your phone while trying to explain your jeweler or friends what you love or seek for. Pin it on your style board on Pinterest or use it merely as entertaining information. It’s all good!

3.Jewelry and Interior Design Ideas Manya Roumen MOOOI

Imaginative interior design for those who love to make a statement, all by Moooi. The goldfish bracelet is by Manya & Roumen

Jewelry is lovely as it often symbolizes moments in life you treasure. Memories, people, special moments, we love to capture it is something so personal and lasting as jewelry. However, jewelry is also a statement. It can be a great way to show your Style!

In this blog, we used Dutch designers only. We searched for particular styles, and as the Netherlands is a fascinating place these days for fashion and interior designers, we wanted to share that with you. Take Marie Martin, a collaboration between two interior designers -Marielle de Graaf-Blok and Martin de Boer- who love to restore, refurbish, and lavishly decorated homes. Or Marcel Wanders, the genius designer who creates “oh and ah moments” with his humor and his outspoken pieces.

4.Jewelry and Design Ideas Horse Hermes Magerit

If you love the horse theme of the Moooi horse light, you’ll probably love these rings by the Spanish Magerit too. Or the uber stylish silver ring by Hermès

We featured Menno Kroon, who owns one of the most inspiring flower stores in Amsterdam and Moooi, the company that gave us the (real-size)horse lamp and pig table and so much more.
We connected these designs with jewelry from Bulgari to Anabela Chan and from Lydia Courteille, Solange, and Boucheron to Magerit and Manya & Roumen.

Let us know what you loved and think, and if you have a great idea, don’t be shy! We love to hear all about it!

5 Jewelry and Interior Design Ideas Marie Martin VherniergioielliLydia CourteilleMargherite Burgener

Lamp and stool are by Marie Martin, the flower ring is by Margherite Burgener in gold and titanium and some diamonds, the earrings with the cute parrots are by the Parisian designer Lydia Courteille and the fabulous jewelry set containing a necklace and bracelet is by one of the most admired Italian jewelry brands: Vhernier. 

6 Jewelry and Interior Design IdeasMarie Martin

All the lamps are by Marie Martin, the rings above are by Lydia Courteille and Falcinelli, both contain amethyst and are made in 18k gold. The rings in the middle, which I think are stunning are by Garavelli from Valenza, Italy. The peridot earrings are by Amy Glaswand from NYC and the earrings are created with lab-grown gemstones by Anabela Chan


7.Jewelry and Interior Design IdeasSolangeMarcel Wanders

Dutch genius interior designer Marcel Wanders created these objects and the rings are by the English brand Solange ( Azagury-Partridge)

8.Jewelry and Interior Design ideas Bulgari

These beautiful creations are by Bulgari. Look at how they use colors together and how this matches with lavishly interior designs. 

9.Jewelry and Interior Designs IdeasPerch tree Moooi UMUT YAMAC Korat Works MattioliWolfand badger

Perch Tree lamps by Moooi (Umut Yamac) an origami pendant by Wolf and Badger, a rhino ring by Mattioli and freshwater pearls with Japanese lacquer by Korat Works

10.Jewelry and Interior DesignsMattioli VhernierWandersMarcle

Eurasian Garden Spirits by Marcel Wanders and animal brooches with gemstones by Vhernier and the Arcimboldo ring by Mattioli

11.Jewelry and Interior Design Ideas Mathon

The Collection unique is born from a collaboration between Émeline Piot and Mathon Paris. One of a kind pieces showing the love for nature.

12. Jewelry and Interior Design Ideas Moooi the party Lydia Courteille Garavelli

The lamp with masks is called The Party and is by Moooi, the mask ring on the left is by Lydia Courteille and the mask rings on the right are by Garavelli

13.Jewelry and Interior Designs IdeasMenno KroonTiffany

Flowers are big in the Netherlands and there are some genius creatives working with flowers such as the Amsterdam-based Menno Kroon. The stunning brooch is by Tiffany & Co

14.Jewelry and Interior Design ideas Studio Job moooiBoucheron Tenet

Table is by Studio Job for Moooi, the Signet Ring is by Tenet jewelry and the one of a kind ring is by Boucheron -Duo Taille Emeraude-with a Heliodor Beryl, diamonds and onyx

15.Jewelry and Interior Design IdeasMaria Frerin Maria MartinLydia Courteille

If the photo on the right (Marie Martin) is your dream interior you probably love this ring with topaz and Egyptian cotton by Maria Frening or the precious earrings by Lydia Courteille

16. Jewelry and Interior Design ideas Qeelin deGrisogono Marcel Wanders Marie Martin

Room Divider by Marie Martin, and Mickey Mouse statue – One Minute Mickey, by Marcel Wanders. The necklace with goldfish is by Qeelin and both piggy rings are by de Grisogono


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Never stop learning… especially about jewellery! I was always fascinated by the wealth of legends associated with talisman jewels, so you can imagine my excitement when I found myself right next to Place Vendome, attending L’Ecole Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry school in Paris. Just in 4 hours I learned so much about talismanic jewellery! From naturalistic symbols to the secrets of shapes and magic of numbers across different cultures to the true history of gemstone meanings and their connection to astrology. ⁠

One of my favourite symbols from my L’ecole Van Cleef and Arpels jewelry course in Paris is the butterfly, associated with spiritual elevation and the soul in Greek mythology and across many cultures in Americas. Also representing womanhood in Japan and eternal love in China, butterfly has become the ultimate expression of the splendour of nature for Van Cleef & Arpels. I can’t recommend it enough to treat yourself with the gift of learning by booking a course during your next Paris visit! There are so many to choose from – check L’Ecole Van Cleef & Arpels.

Thanks for stopping by! Do you have a special amulet or talisman jewel? ⁠Let me know in comments below!

I am extremely happy to announce that my new jewelry book – GEMOLOGUE: Street Jewellery Styles & Styling Tips – is now on Amazon. I’m so excited. It’s the first book of its kind solely dedicated to jewellery. 

You can sign up for GEMOLOGUE newsletter below and I also share  jewellery on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook  and Youtube if you’d like to connect, or feel free to say hello


GEMOLOGUE jewelry blog by Liza Urla is a celebration of fine, fashion and vintage jewellery featuring talented jewellery designers, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews. This jewellery blog’s goal is to encourage and educate about jewellery online in a fresh and original fashion to inspire women and men across the globe in a fashion and travelling context.

Jewellery blogger, writer Liza Urla, the founder of GEMOLOGUE, is a London-based and NYC-educated gemologist, who has travelled to and lived in many countries. She is now one of the most influential digital jewellery tastemakers. Her jewellery influence has been acknowledged by Financial Times, The New York Times, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.

*Photographed by Julia Flit. Styling and Art Direction by Liza Urla. All photos belong to GEM Kreatives for GEMOLOGUE.

Material on this website may not be copied, broadcasted or adapted without written consent.

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Little Diamonds Get a Terrific New Life



White gold monogram bracelet made from watch

Little Diamond From a Watch Re-used

I run into clients all the time with small caches of tiny diamonds. Sometimes they’re loose. Sometimes not.

Often, the diamonds are set in some ancient—and out of date—piece of jewelry.

How About Some Inspiration?

What do you do with them? Well this Santa Barbara Jeweler has lots of ideas, dive right in and find your inspiration.

Re-using Very Tiny Diamonds

Tiny Diamonds Sprinkled into Bangles

My client had a plastic bags of tiny diamonds and wanted a three bangle stacking set. She likes black, so one of the bangles was created in oxidized silver. She also went with black diamonds for her white gold bangle. They not only pop wonderfully, but were less expensive.

Redesigning Unworn Tennis Bracelet Diamonds

One day Mary Jane called me. “Calla,” she said, “I’m not wearing my tennis bracelet anymore and I remember your mantra, ‘Wear it Don’t Warehouse it!’”

Let’s do something with my diamonds.”


Hammer Finish Cuff Bangle with Diamonds

We made her a white gold cuff bracelet. She wanted a bold, wear it everyday, informal design.  First we decided on an ideal width. In discussing texture I found out she liked the hammer finish. The width we chose complimented another piece she loved. Mary Jane’s diamonds are channel set in yellow gold for a nice pop of color.

Yay, Mary Jane, for using your unworn diamonds!

Use Bezel Settings to Space Your Gemstones

Opal bracelet in silver with purple sapphires. All bezel set with oxidation.

Using Family Jewels in a Bracelet

We made this bracelet to utilize family opal. Since the opal came from more than one ring, they weren’t perfect matches. Using popped up bezel settings to separate gemstones in a piece, allows you to have a bold piece of jewelry, yet keep it casual and use the number of diamonds and gems you have without needing to add more.

earrings with square emeralds bezel set in Etruscan design

Bezel Setting a Few Gems

Sometimes you just have a few beloved diamonds, but you want them to get some good love. Bezel setting the above emeralds really highlights them. This Etruscan style is a wonderful way to frame gemstones. This pair of earrings would look wonderful with diamonds as well.

Bezel Setting These Older Cut Diamonds Makes the Most of Their Beauty

We used diamonds from different rings, both older cuts, to create this wonderful ring. I am a fan of using hand engraving and the milgrain edge on the bezel with older cut diamonds.

Using Different Sized Small Diamonds

Tiny Diamonds Look Wonderful in This Heart Necklace

Small diamonds that don’t match in size can be used most successfully with the pave style of setting. It’s French for paving a road. We pave set the diamonds into the design we are making. I set the larger diamonds in the center and graduate smaller diamonds outward from the center. This works in pendants and rings.

emerald and diamond and sapphire and diamond eternity bands

Round diamonds in ‘Shapes’ Rings

Different sized diamonds can work well in stacking rings with shapes. The rings above have bezel-set larger gems and flush set smaller gems in the marquis shape design.

Swirls wedding band with heirloom diamonds

Inherited Diamond Wedding Ring

Using freeform designs in rings, pendants, etc nicely uses different shapes of smaller diamonds. A bonus with this type of design is the fact that you can also use subtly different colors of diamonds. If one is a but grayer, it can nestle in the lowest position.

Using Textures and Oxidation with Different Sized Gems

I can’t help myself. I love this ring so much. When using different sizes and colors of diamonds, the differences are de-emphasized by varying the texture and introducing oxidation, (blackening) to the piece. Adding an uneven edge to the piece, making it read as more freeform and artistic is quite helpful.

Using Tennis Bracelet Diamonds to Make a Cross

Diamonds in Cross and on Chain

We used tennis bracelet diamonds to create this beautiful cross. We had some leftover diamonds and made reversible diamond stations on the chain. There was another pretty diamond unused in her collection and it went into the center of the cross.

Wear it Don’t Warehouse it!

The moral of the story is not to let your old diamonds sit unused in the dark, dusty, corners of your jewelry box.

Your Personal Jeweler

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The Dramatic Kathakali Collection – Voylla

Has it ever happened to you that you walk past a shop window and immediately turn back, bedazzled by a pair of exquisite earrings? Or you are browsing online, swiping your way past hundreds of jewelry when suddenly your fingers freeze, your eyes widen in sheer joy?

Ladies, may we present that ‘aha’ moment in shopping for imitation jewellery online, our incredibly dramatic, Kathakali collection!

At Studio Voylla, we have always prided ourselves on seeking inspiration from the traditional art and crafts of our country. But nothing gives us more joy, than finding our rhythm in the dance forms of our country. We worked with the Bhawai dance form earlier, and now we take the vibrant, dramatic and elaborate form of Kathakali to hear – in a dazzling collection of temple and dance inspired jewelry.

Take the Vismaya Earrings for instance. Evoking a sense of wonder, this pair of statuesque temple-style jhumkas are inspired by the masks and headgear of the dance form. Wear them with your kanjeevarams or any rich silk, a strand of fresh seasonal flowers in your hair and you are a picture of elegance.

Similarly, the Kathakali Mudra Ring, will remind you of the intricate hand formations or mudras of the dancers, and is the perfect accessory for your elegant fingers too.

Crafted out of the highest grade brass with a long-lasting skin friendly gold plating, The Kathakali collection has a 22-carat gold finish that can compete with the finest precious jewellery you can buy.

Be it for a festival or a wedding, the Kathakali collection – featuring bangles, statement rings, bold earrings – is the perfect highlight to your prized occasion wear. Go ahead, dazzle the world!


buy designer jewellery, buy jewellery online, fashion, Imitation Jewellery, Online Jewellery

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#254 How to Use Tik Tok For Your Jewelry or Creative Product Business with Elise Darma

How do you achieve freedom and financial independence? By taking risks.

Elise Darma rebelled against her traditional upbringing and chose the freedom to travel instead of being tied down to a job. 

She made her dream come true when she started her own business providing social media marketing services. 

Social media is integral, now more than ever, to running your business – but learning a new platform can be intimidating. 

Elise is here today to give us advice on how to help your business thrive in a whole new way.

Click here to download the show notes

Don’t Worry, Everyone Feels “Too Old” for Tik Tok

TikTok is notoriously used by teenagers. 

When you first open an app, you are bombarded with trends and songs that are completely unfamiliar. Don’t let this deter you! Everyone feels the same way at first.

You don’t need to sing or dance to draw attention. As long as your videos are targeted towards your niche demographic and have a creative flair, your Dream Clients will take notice!

Take A Break From Needing to Look Perfect

Instagram content is expected to look staged and perfect. TikTok is totally the opposite.

There is a freedom in using TikTok that you just don’t find on other social platforms. It’s meant to be silly, so use your creativity to your advantage.

If you make your Dream Client laugh, they’ll wanna know more about your business! That’s all you need to do, m’dear.

Put Yourself Out There and Try It

Like all things, marketing on Tik Tok will take some trial and error. But it doesn”t take long to get the hang of!

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. 

Elise has graciously given lots of great tips on her youtube channel if you want some inspiration to get started.

xo, Tracy


5 Tik Tok Ideas for Your Business

6 Easy Tik Tok Ideas to Grow Your Business

Follow Elise on Instagram!

Follow Elise on Tik Tok!

Follow Flourish & Thrive on Tik Tok

Done-For-You Bundles for Your Business



Listen on Apple Podcasts!

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How To Forge A Ring

How To Forge A Ring

Forging is a metalworking technique that has been used for centuries. Traditionally, it has been used to create a whole host of different pieces of equipment, from weapons to architectural infrastructures. But it is also a form of traditional jewellery making, used to make rings, brooches and pendants. Would you like to give this historical method a go?

One of the best ways to try it is by starting with a ring. So, discover how to forge a ring, the tools needed for the process and more, below.

What does forging a ring mean?

In simple terms, ring forging is a type of traditional jewellery making where the metal is heated up and hammered until it forms the desired shape and size of a ring. This includes the process of annealing too, where the metal used is heated up to a specific temperature to make it more malleable and easier to work with. Find out more about this artisan jewellery making technique throughout the blog.

Is ring forging still used by jeweller’s today?

In traditional jewellery workshops, ring forging is still used to this day. However, it is much less practiced on a wider scale. This technique is a great way for beginners to try their hand at metalsmithing, as the process is fairly straightforward, and it does not require a long list of tools. Fancy giving it a go? We’ll run you through how to forge a ring and all the steps required so you can give it a go from your own home.

Tools and equipment needed for forging a ring

How to forge a ring at home: step by step

  1. Measuring. The first step in the ring forging process is to measure out the length of the round wire to determine the size of your ring. For more information on this, consult our ring sizing guide for jewellers.
  2. Thin out the metal. Place one end of the metal on the flat surface of the anvil, holding the other side securely. Similarly, use the flat side of your ball-pein or cross-pein hammer and strike the piece, slowly working away from your body. Then rotate the metal so you can do the same on the other side until the metal has thinned out.
  3. Repeat on the reverse. Next, simply repeat the previous step but on the other side of the metal. Frequently measure with a ruler as the thinner the metal gets, the longer it becomes. As you near the end of this step, the metal on the ends should taper inwards while the metal in the middle should remain the same width.
  4. Decipher the shape. Now it’s time to decide on the shape of your design. If you’re aiming for a rounded look, anneal the metal then place it back on the anvil. Then, take your ball-pein hammer and strike the metal while simultaneously rolling the hammer along the surface. This will help to soften the edges and eventually round them off.
  5. Shape the metal. After annealing the metal again, you’re ready to start shaping. To do this, hold one end of the metal and place the other over the round nose of the anvil. Hammer around this until a curve starts to form up until roughly halfway, then, repeat on the opposite sides until the ends meet or begin to overlap.
  6. Finish the piece. Once the ring shape has been formed, neaten up the edges with either your piercing saw or a file, then proceed to solder together. Then, place the ring on the mandrel and hit with your ball-pein hammer to round it up. Once done, you can further file the ring until smooth and, if desired, create a high shine finish with some wet and dry abrasive papers.

And that’s how to forge a ring at home! If you’d like to use a specific type of metal, and you’re wondering how to forge a gold ring or how to forge a ring from steel, you’ll be pleased to know the process is the same! Simply adjust by using the appropriate type of solder for a smooth and professional look.

Before you master the technique yourself, make sure you have all the jewellery tools and bullion you need from Cooksongold.

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The Future of Diamonds

Future Diamonds Trendvision Esther Ligthart Bizzita DeBeers Madestones David Borugh Jewellery Outlook

Talking about the future of diamonds is exciting enough. But talking about it in front of an expert audience is rather challenging! I can’t deny feeling butterflies! However, after a short while on stage, I got so engaged in the Talk. I forgot all about those butterflies!

It helped to see friendly faces in the audience. Many people I knew from the jewelry business, my journalist- and blogger peers, designers such as Alessio Boschi and others who were all looking encouraging and ready to hear what we had to say. There really was a vivid, vibrant, exciting mood in the room!


The Panel on the Future of Diamonds:

The panel consisted of important players within the jewelry and diamond business.

Paola de Luca, creative director & founder of Trendvision Jewellery + Outlook
David Brough, moderator, and editor and co-founder of Jewellery Outlook.
Esther Ligthart, consultant, editor, and founder of
Thierry Silber, CEO, and founder of Madestones.
Tomasz Donocik, Designer
Stephen Lussier, Executive VP. Consumers & Brands -De Beers Group
Pramod Agarwal, GJEPC Chairman
Ash Allibhai, Fashion Director- ASBO magazine

FutureDiamondsEstherLigthartAsh AllibhaiVicenzaOroPanel

Marketing, we still don’t get it!

For me, the most important thing was to give something to the audience to think about or to take away as inspiration. Too many times, seminars, workshops, and talks tend to focus on talking too much about the person or brand itself. Giving way too little on providing something of value to the listener.

In marketing today, it’s all about listening and engaging with your targeted audience. It’s not about sending, but about receiving and then giving people content that really solves problems, inspires them, and add value to what they find valuable.

Easier said than done. But it’s the only way.
Would we be able to do that as a panel to a crowd of journalists, buyers, and designers, manufacturers, and brands? Or would we lose ourselves in the ongoing bickering between natural diamonds and lab-grown diamonds? I’ll write more about that subject soon, but let’s dive into the Future of Diamonds Talk on the morning of the 18th of January 2020.

FutureDiamondsDavid BroughPramod AgarwalVicenzaOroPanel

Let’s talk about diamonds!

After a welcoming word by Marco Carnielo and a short speech by Gaetano Cavalieri, President of Cibjo, Pramod Argawal, GJEPC from India got a moment to share something about their values.
David Brough from the Jewellery Outlook, a valued colleague of mine, was appointed moderator by Paola de Luca, the well-known jewelry trendwatcher who travels all over the globe to share her views on upcoming trends and guidelines with manufacturers and brands.

Paola is a force of nature. A woman with incredible energy and charisma. Seated on the other side, she played, with her usual passion, the disrupter.
We knew beforehand that emotions run high when it comes to diamonds, but we wanted it to be lively and exciting! Engage the public!


Lab-grown versus Natural? Both valid, let’s move on!

We spent a little too much focus on the battle between lab-grown and natural diamonds.
Some people believe in lab-grown diamonds, some are somewhat in the middle, and some are passionately against the whole idea.

At this moment, we don’t seem to be able to have an inspiring conversation about the future of diamonds without having a somewhat heated discussion on lab-grown versus natural. However, let’s hope that we are smart enough to understand that the real threat of lab-grown is the fact that we have lots of people in our business that are not trustworthy. In fact, trust was one of the significant issues that we talked about. We want the consumer to trust us, and it’s vital for the future of our (diamond)jewelry industry that they do! However, manufacturers still get lots of especially smaller sized natural diamonds mixed with lab-grown from suppliers.

There are people like Mehul Choski and his nephew Nirav Modi, big names in the jewelry world, that sold lab-grown as natural diamonds. The price gap between both types of diamonds is significant. This was a high-profile case last year, but I heard years ago about jewelers on Aruba selling lab-grown diamonds to American cruise tourists, as natural. This is what hurts our business most! We should immediately be able to punish every person who deliberately misleads consumers. B2B or B2C and tell media, bloggers, vloggers, and so on, about how we do this. We need to create content. I am one such a content creator with my own reach, and I am still waiting for better information from the authorities in charge. 


Inclusivity is everything, and it means more than you think!

One of the most important outcomes is that we all agreed that the future of diamonds is bright. But not D-flawless bright. Inclusivity is the next big thing. I mentioned this very explicitly in my blog about Jewelry Marketing (link). I also believe that we need to let go of the idea of diamonds being the ultimate symbol of love. Sure, there will be a large group of people who will always turn to diamonds for their engagement rings or those special moments they want to celebrate with a beautiful piece of jewelry.
But inclusivity means two things in this particular case. First of all, Millennials and more so Gen Z, are all about inclusivity.

That means; celebrating body positivity and including people of all races, ages, gender, and sexual preferences.
Secondly, it means that we embrace ”imperfect” diamonds. From fluorescent diamonds to salt and pepper diamonds and everything in between. There are companies such as Le Vian, who turned the less valued brown diamonds into Chocolate Diamonds and added value with design and marketing initiatives. But for way too long, we have been focussing on color and diamonds being as flawless as possible.
Stephen Lussier (De Beers Group) said that De Beers now offers all colors and actually sees value in not focussing on those 4 C’s anymore.

Stephen Lussier was called out by Barbara Palumbo, jewelry & watches journalist from the US, about the ‘ Real is Rare’ campaign. Although Stephen Lussier tried to explain where they were coming from as DPA (Diamond Producers Association), he also agreed that it totally failed. Barbara mentioned that the campaign showed models, way too perfect, of different ages, with clear help of botox, portraying in the Real is Rare campaign. How Real is that?
Although it’s inevitable to make mistakes in business, it’s also precisely what I talked about earlier. Older white men who create marketing for jewelry. With all due respect, they need to get groups on board, females, people from the LGBTQ community, young people, older women, mothers, bloggers, etc. to talk about these campaigns. I mean, call me! I would be more than happy to give my input! 🙂


Tip: big opportunities for non-gender-specific diamond jewelry

London based designer Thomasz Donokic showed the audience how he visioned diamond jewelry design and told me later that he doesn’t market anything as female or male design. His bracelets are unisex, and this is one of the big takeaways about the future of diamonds: genderfluid designs. Not specifically male or female orientated, but for people. All kinds of people.
Personally, I love this idea! And I think it’ll be more prominent than we can imagine now.

Future Of DiamondsEsther

We need to tell better stories about diamonds to consumers!

I tried to convince the audience and the actors from the diamond world specifically, that the consumer today, still have blood diamonds in their minds. They have no idea how our industry is thinking about sustainability, human rights, and work conditions. And what about those holes in the ground? The impact on the planet? On top of that, we fail to explain to them the difference between lab-grown and natural diamonds.

Both have an absolute right to exist, and we need to explain without condemning one or the other, what the difference is.
We congratulate ourselves on how well we do everything and on how we communicate, but outside of our professional bubble, people have no clue. We failed absolutely to be transparent and provide useful information.

Future Diamonds PanelEsther Ash David Tomasz

Talking bad about lab-grown or natural diamonds hurts the whole jewelry industry AND the consumer!

One thing I couldn’t bring to the discussion but really wanted to mention is that we do nobody a favor when talking derogatorily about lab-grown diamonds. Lightbox, a lab-grown diamond brand launched by De Beers, is one of the most beautiful designed websites I have come across. It’s transparent, easy to navigate, and beautifully designed. But it promotes its jewelry for a young audience that won’t mind taking their ”not so precious” lab-grown diamond to the beach. The message is: if you lose it, no worries, it wasn’t a precious stone, to begin with.
That’s incredibly tone-deaf and condescending! Jewelry is almost always emotion. It means something to people, and for the most substantial portion of consumers, a 400, 600, or 800 dollar ring is a lot of money!

FutureDiamondsTomasz DonokicBizzitaVicenzaOroPanel

Love and diamonds

The famous quote ”A Diamond is Forever” brought big business to De Beers and to everyone working with diamond jewelry. But times are changing, and we see a whole group of people who choose design first and put the diamond in the second place. Or consumers who decide to go for entirely different gemstones, because it resonates more with their values and ideas of symbolism. It suits the new generations very well not to go along with a marketing idea about what love is and what brands say we should buy to seal that love. They choose a different path, their own.

FutureDiamondsEstherLigthartPramod AgarwalVicenzaOroPanel

Other luxury goods

Thierry Silber of Madestones said that as soon as we would stop bickering over lab-grown versus natural diamonds, we could focus on the real enemy of our industry; other luxury goods.
I talked about this issue also in this blog.
He is right, if we fail to enchant the consumer, we will lose them to other luxury goods. This is unimaginable, and we owe it both to ourselves, but even more to the consumer, to get our messages right again. Jewelry is the ultimate personal luxury. The gratification one gets from buying, owning, and wearing a piece of jewelry, can’t be compared to a bag or sneakers. However lovely they both are too, jewelry is far more emotionally entangled in people’s lives. It becomes part of their personality. Part of their story. We should always keep this in mind and provide jewelry that is relevant to who they are, what values they have, what visions on life, love, spirituality, etc. they have!



As the panel had 6 members, plus Paola and David, it was hard to get enough time to get all the ideas across. However, we noticed a room filled with excitement, and people really engaged with the panel and the conversation. Here and there, people started to applaud ( yes, I scored a little applause too! 😉 )

FutureDiamondsEstherLigthartPaola De luca VicenzaOroPanel

So what are the takeaways from the seminar:

Diamonds have a fantastic future, but…
We need to be truly inclusive in our thinking, embrace ”imperfection” as it is the new perfection!
We need to create far better marketing and content about diamonds and stop bickering about lab-grown versus natural.
Sustainability is key. During the show, sustainability was almost the focal point of every Talk and event. Sustainability is not perfect yet, but we are getting there.
The traceability of diamonds is another big step, and it’s not far away anymore. Tracer is one such invention, but surely there will be others.
A big market to explore is non-gender specific jewelry.


Proud of VicenzaOro

I am really proud of VicenzaOro. This show is doing so much to provide more and more value to their visitors. For the first time, the VO Vintage Room was launched, open to the public. I have taken a sneak peek and LOVED it. Beautiful vintage pieces of jewelry from big names or long ago and watches that will make collectors and fanciers drool. The show hosts numerous talks and is open to ideas on how to give even more value to their visitors.


A thank you:

Thank you, Paola de Luca, for the invitation and for being that warm whirlwind of female empowerment, wisdom and passionate creativity. Don’t you ever lose your wild side ;-)!David Brough for leading the conversation and taking care of me when I shared my nervousness, thanks to Pramod Argawal for being so kind to share me your personal thoughts on how to speak in front of an audience beforehand too. Thanks to Thierry Silber for being there and share your views and visions, even when you got ”speldenprikjes” (pinpricks) all the time when it came to talking about lab-grown diamonds. Thanks to Stephen Lussier, who told me to picture 5 friends in the kitchen and how would I share my points of view with them, when I shared my slight fear of talking in front of an audience, and for contributing to this vivid conversation with his rich experience in the diamond world. Thanks to Tomasz, who cooly talked about his idea for diamond jewelry design for the future (check him out, his jewelry rocks!). Thanks to Ash Allibhai! We met half an hour before the talk and we started to chat immediately and it felt like I knew him much longer. The jokes and laughs, awww, loved it! Thank you!  And thanks to VicenzaOro for inviting and hosting me, to my colleagues for a great time together. And thanks to the audience and you, the reader. We really need to share, collaborate and help each other, in order to allow the jewelry world to sparkle like never before. 🙂

More ideas to share and more insight into the diamond’s future from my point of view next week! Stay tuned 🙂
















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Travel treat: extraordinary jewels! My latest day trip to Munich was definitely the biggest highlight of 2020 yet. Previewing Hemmerle creations year after year at Masterpiece Fair,  Pad Art Design and Tefaf I’ve been an admirer of their impeccable craftsmanship, but seeing the magic of it coming to life was extraordinary. Thank you to one of my favourite German jewelry brands, the House of Hemmerle for this experience!


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A post shared by GEMOLOGUE by Liza Urla 💎💎💎 (@gemologue) on Feb 8, 2020 at 11:54am PST


Thanks for stopping by! Which jewel is your favourite from my visit?⁠ Let me know in comments below!

I am extremely happy to announce that my new jewelry book – GEMOLOGUE: Street Jewellery Styles & Styling Tips – is now on Amazon. I’m so excited. It’s the first book of its kind solely dedicated to jewellery. 

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GEMOLOGUE jewelry blog by Liza Urla is a celebration of fine, fashion and vintage jewellery featuring talented jewellery designers, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews. This jewellery blog’s goal is to encourage and educate about jewellery online in a fresh and original fashion to inspire women and men across the globe in a fashion and travelling context.

Jewellery blogger, writer Liza Urla, the founder of GEMOLOGUE, is a London-based and NYC-educated gemologist, who has travelled to and lived in many countries. She is now one of the most influential digital jewellery tastemakers. Her jewellery influence has been acknowledged by Financial Times, The New York Times, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.

*Styling and Art Direction by Liza Urla. All photos belong to GEM Kreatives for GEMOLOGUE.

Material on this website may not be copied, broadcasted or adapted without written consent.


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What Does Your Jewellery Say About You?

Your jewellery preference says a lot about your personality. Not just that, it also tells about the person you are! Ever wondered what your accessories tell about you to people you meet? 

Let’s take a look!

Miss Coy 

The girls who like simple pendants and little earrings are usually confident and not particular about the way they look. They are generally introverts but once you actually get imitation jewellery online to know them, you know the real confident girl that she is. They generally have sentimental value attached to the jewellery they wear.

                                             Women's Pendants Online

Miss Narcissist 

People who love to wear personalized jewellery, having initials of their names, etc absolutely love themselves. They are self-obsessed and freedom to speech is their birthright and they have no qualms in expressing their feelings. They always stand for their loved ones, no matter what!

Personalised jewellery

Miss Chic

These are a bunch of polished and elegant people and they love pearls the most. Think of Maharani Gayatri Devi of Jaipur! They are family-oriented and a no-nonsense person. They have an acquired taste in fashion and usually stay low-key. Their poise and calm conduct make them stand out even in a crowded room.

Miss Chic Pearl Jewellery

Miss Matching

These people are extremely organized and take responsibility for their actions. They are great counselors and people come up to them for deep meanings of life. They dress up in monochromes and wear similar colors from head-to-toe. You will always see them wearing matching neckpiece and earrings. (Check out the Amazing “Match-the-Dress” app by Voylla!)

Women's Necklace Sets

Miss Vintage

These people have a strong inclination towards history, culture, architecture, and languages. They are slightly reserved but can talk endlessly about different cultures and literature. They have no tolerance towards fake people and value little things in life.

vintage collage

Miss Bold & Beautiful

These are the people who can are extremely confident in their own skin and do not need any validation. They have a refined taste for fashion and carry themselves with élan. They are immensely focused and dedicated towards their work and accomplish everything with enthusiasm and zeal. They change their look from drab to fab in just five minutes! They don’t take hours to get ready for a party. In fact, they just don a head-turning accessory and are all set to go!

Miss Bold and Beautiful

Miss Rebel

These people are eccentric and edgy even when it comes to fashion. These are the people who usually love chains and spikes. They love going for trekking and some are even tom-boyish. They dare to live their own dreams and know no boundaries.

Designer Chains

So which one are you?  which type of jewellery you like? Did you prefer to buy online jewellery? Leave your comments below and let us know! 


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