Born in the French Alps but now based in London, jewelry designer Ornella Iannuzzi has created a style that includes unusual, eye-catching and organic shapes, using rare and natural precious materials crafted in a way that mirrors sculptures as much as fine jewelry.

Brecken HeadshotWe know that consumers are using their mobile devices to shop at levels never seen before. Whether it’s on a tablet or smartphone, they’re using mobile to shop, review peer feedback and opinions on products and services, and get social about their experiences and interactions with brands.

Brecken HeadshotHaving a Google alert set for the general term “jewelry” can turn up a lot of results. While not always relevant, it’s good to at least sift through the alerts to make sure we’re not missing any important news stories, and it can be a great resource for interesting tidbits you wouldn’t otherwise find.

Not too long ago, one of my alerts turned me on to a really interesting story about Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde and his project to eliminate smog with a new device he’s creating.

Roosegaarde and his team of experts at the Studio Roosegaarde, which has locations in the Netherlands and Shanghai, are developing a safe, energy-friendly installation to capture smog and create clean air. The Smog project uses patented ion technology in an “electronic vacuum cleaner” to create large holes of clean air, and they’re aiming to create the largest smog-free park in Beijing, according to Studio Roosegaarde.

The project’s timing is aligned with the recent vow by Beijing’s municipal government to lower the concentration of fine particulate matter by 25 percent by 2017.

A mock-up is currently being tested in the studio, and the first park is slated to open in early summer of next year.

What’s more, Roosegaarde is using the smog captured from the machine and turning it into fine jewelry. “I like the notion that you take something high-end and combine it with the problematic,” Roosegaarde told The New York Times.

040714_Smog Blog

Brecken HeadshotSince I’m still getting acclimated with the fine jewelry industry and trying to expose myself to as many brands and people as possible, I decided to join National Jeweler Editor-in-Chief Michelle Graff and check out the collections of Buddha Mama two weeks ago. Based on the name and the buzz behind the brand, I was intrigued.

Brecken HeadshotWhen I attended the Women’s Jewelry Association’s “In the Know” conference for the first time two weeks ago, I was blown away by all the speakers and the knowledge they had to share with the crowd.

Brecken HeadshotWhile I was in Tucson, I managed to sneak in a few extra seminars at the AGTA GemFair for fun, and one of them was a presentation about the Cheapside Hoard, which I think is fascinating.

Brecken HeadshotWhile I was in Tucson earlier this month, I had the pleasure of attending a small event to meet the team behind a documentary that’s in the works called Sharing the Rough.

Brecken HeadshotLast week I went on my first official business trip, to the gem shows at Tucson and what a trip it was.

Brecken HeadshotThough I’m still working to familiarize myself with what it is and how it works, I have noticed that Bitcoin seems to be in the news a lot more recently.

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, the holiday shopping season is in full swing. In addition to all the hectic sales and promotions at big-box retailers, the jewelry industry is well into its most important sales season.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the second movie in the series based on the popular books, comes out this week. One of the most visually interesting aspects of the movies--of which I am a huge fan, in addition to the books--is the way they outfit and style the characters that live in the Capital, where citizens are known for their particular brand of fashion.

Though Jessica Hendricks grew up with a direct connection to jewelry, learning the ins and outs as her mother ran two stores, she didn’t anticipate going into the industry herself. She attended New York University to study theater, but a series of events and experiences would soon take her back into the industry she knew so well.

Brecken HeadshotParis-based House of Alexandre Reza has been known for its extraordinary gems, designs and craftsmanship since the 1950s.

Brecken HeadshotAs the new associate editor at National Jeweler, I can’t imagine a better way to get acquainted with the fine jewelry industry than to head straight to an event, where I got to see great pieces up close and in person. On Monday, I went to see all the jewelry involved in the AGTA’s 2014 Spectrum Awards.

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.