I think that the line-up in this year’s New Designer Gallery at the JA New York Summer show was fantastic.

Associate Editor Brecken Branstrator rounds up six pieces of jewelry set with this month’s birthstone, the ruby, which is thought to bring health, wealth and wisdom.
To say that I’m excited that summer is finally in full swing is an understatement. This was a long, hard winter, followed by a very busy spring, and I’m glad that it’s finally time to sit back, relax and soak up the sun.

Brecken HeadshotI think I am slowly but surely making one of my blog specialties interesting jewelry that borders on strange or even weird, and I have to say, I’m pretty OK with it.

I’d say this year was a pretty great Las Vegas market week, wouldn’t you? The mood seemed cheerful wherever I went, and the designs I saw were on point. I love that we can see that fine jewelry is taking more risks and embracing the truly unique and innovative.

Not to mention getting to spend a few days in Sin City with the amazing people in this industry; it’s just the cherry on top of it all.

Here are just a few of the appointments and meetings I liked best from our time there.
With a recent donation to the hands-on science education exhibit at the Smithsonian, one gem hound is helping inspire a love for the subject in the younger generations, Associate Editor Brecken Branstrator writes.
Associate Editor Brecken Branstrator explains that the term “jade” actually refers to two chemically different stones, jadeite and nephrite.
Brecken HeadshotEver since I started at National Jeweler and began learning more about the auction world as we covered results from Bonhams, Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and more, I’ve been intrigued by it. By what drives people to buy, why they’ll spend a certain amount, what ends up being really popular and what that means for trends.

Lots of big things have been going on for Etsy lately. The online marketplace for handmade goods officially launched its wholesale business last August, aiming to get its products in more stores around the country.

Then, just last week, it announced that it was making moves to become a public company.
I’m guilty of being one of those people who can easily get lost in cat/dog/really any animal videos on the Internet, or distracted by a pet’s Instagram or Facebook page for … well, we’ll just say a long time.

(You guys know Facebook-famous Boo, right? He’s so cute that he looks more like a stuffed animal than a real animal. And he’s also my favorite.)

You add a cute little pet to a jewelry Instagram account that already features beautiful pieces, and I can’t imagine a more perfect recipe for success.
Brecken HeadshotWe all know how important nomenclature is in the industry; having not only the correct name but one that is also well known helps increase awareness and understanding for the products and pieces that go into the jewelry we all love so much.

Last year, my trip to Tucson was the first work trip I took as part of the National Jeweler team, and boy was it a quick crash course in colored stones. Since then, I’ve been to a few other places, including Las Vegas, of course, for market week, and San Diego last year for Conclave, all of which were a blast. But Tucson is still one of my favorite trips to take because of all the cool things it has to offer and the massive amounts of stones you can see.

Brecken HeadshotI had almost forgotten how much I loved stones, minerals, and gems until I found myself at this job and in the fine jewelry industry. But it makes so much sense now.

I used to have a tumbled rock collection that I was obsessed with and would guard from my siblings with my life, and was always on the lookout for the best ones to add to my collection.
At first, I thought this blog would be easy as pie. Pick my favorite gemstone jewels that I saw this year? You got it.

As I’m sure you’ve heard, probably multiple times over Pantone named Marsala, a dusky, earthy red color, as its hue of the year for 2015. And while it’s gotten a range of reactions from media, there was a lot of positive feedback coming from the team here, including yours truly.

National Jeweler

Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.