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.
Brecken HeadshotThe science and natural history museums are some of my favorites.

When I was younger, my parents used to take my siblings and me to our local Natural Science Center every couple of months, and I couldn’t get enough of the fact that I was basically allowed to play while I was learning (and it goes without saying that I was also in it for the rock candy.)

So I was so happy when I recently heard the news that one fellow gem hound was donating a large sum of money to the Smithsonian exhibit that helps foster that exact feeling in others.

Last month, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History received its largest education donation yet: a $13 million gift from Coralyn Wright Whitney, a former college professor who earned her GG from GIA after she retired from academia, to support the museum’s science education center, Q?rius, pronounced “curious.”
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.

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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.