When it comes to jewelry, art, home décor and the like, I can really appreciate a skull motif. When it’s done right, and especially with interesting materials or play with colors and accents, it can be edgy without being too moody.

Associate Editor Brecken Branstrator highlights eight pieces set with this blue gemstone in the corundum family, a gemstone that’s believed to protect from envy and harm.
Brecken HeadshotUpcycling used objects isn’t exactly new or groundbreaking, but when one company finds a way to do it that not only makes cool jewelry but brings together a few things that I think almost everyone loves--music, fashion, sustainability and giving back--I’m all about it.

Brecken HeadshotOne of my first jobs out of college was for a content marketing company where I was helping to monitor the flow and publishing schedules of text for multiple websites.

Associate Editor Brecken Branstrator highlights six pieces of jewelry set with peridot, the green gemstone that has long been associated with light, healing and happiness and is the birthstone for this month.
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.
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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.