Hanukkah Gelt

December14Jewelry Now
GIFTING GOLD: AN ANCIENT HANUKKAH TRADITION

by Naomi Gryn 

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Illustration by Ellie Rahim

The festival of Hanukkah will begin this year on the evening of Thursday, 10 December, bringing light and joy to Jewish homes all over the world. It celebrates the miraculous victory in 165 BCE of the Maccabees, a group of Jewish rebel warriors, against the mighty Hellenist rulers who had forbidden Jewish religious practice in ancient Israel.

The story handed down from one generation to the next is about how, when the Jewish zealots regained the Temple in Jerusalem, they found enough pure oil to light the seven-branched menorah for only one day, and yet the oil lasted for eight days until more could be brought. For this reason, Jews light candles for each of the eight nights of Hanukkah. But the real miracle of this festival is about indomitability, and the survival of Jewish culture through the ages.

Some think that the tradition of giving children coins on Hanukkah – gelt in Yiddish – started in medieval times, when Jewish children were given money by their parents to give to their teachers as a token of appreciation. Others think it goes back to 142 BCE, when the first Jewish minted coins were stamped with an image of a menorah. Chocolate coins covered in gold foil have also become part of the Hanukkah festivities, often used instead of real coins in a gambling game in which players spin a four-sided dreidl on which are written four Hebrew letters, nun, gimmel, heh, and shin, from a phrase that translates as: ‘a great miracle happened there’. In modern Israel, the shin has been swapped with a peh because the miracle happened ‘here’, not ‘there’.

These days, many Jews copy the Christmas tradition of giving everyone in their family something that they’ll treasure. After all, what could better for cheering up a dark, winter night than giving a well-chosen present to someone you love?

THE JEWELRY ICON

HEMMERLE’S FALL VIEWING 2020: EXPLORATION INTO OUR INNERMOST SENSES

THE HIGH JEWELRY HOUSE PRESENTS ITS MOST RECENT PIECES WITH UNMISTAKABLE SCULPTURAL AESTHETICS AND NEW FRESH INSIGHTS

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Illustration by Ellie Rahim

From whichever angle we look at their creations, we end up at the same culminating point: the unique, identifiable style of Hemmerle.  You cannot mistake them for anything else. 

Is it the way Hemmerle sculpt their jewels – not just ‘design’ them? Or the way they look at the world – the diverse and complex, delicate and provocative beauty of it – and reinterpret this in their creations?

Perhaps it’s the way they don’t prioritize the ingredients of ‘classic’ high jewelry over intriguing, unconventional materials – ancient artefacts, rare woods, unusual combinations of precious and non-precious metals – to power up their imagination and creativity?

Or the overall aesthetic and philosophy of this fourth-generation family-run High Jewelry House?

One thing is for sure: gorgeous and timeless, Hemmerle’s creations continue to adorn and enrich the world of art and jewelry.

The Fall Viewing 2020 of their most recent collection is no exception.

At a time when most of us are being urged to stay at home, Hemmerle explores the air, light and spaces around us, and how we experience them.

The earrings I have picked for today play with the rich, temperamental autumn colors and textures, invoking all five senses: sight – where the metals and stones interplay in a complex architectural dance; sound – how they interact with the atmosphere around them; smell – of the dry, crispy autumn leaves and warm, spicy perfume; touch- the feel of the bold, structured shapes and surfaces; and taste – of ripe, luxuriantly sweet, late autumn fruit.

It takes all five senses – to evoke the exclusive aesthetic of the House of Hemmerle.

DIAMOND MAGIC

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CREATING DIAMONDS OUT OF THIN AIR

by Naomi Gryn 

Illustration by INCYCUBANS

Centuries before the miller’s daughter of Brothers Grimms’ Rumpelstiltskin fame was credited with spinning straw into gold, alchemists have been trying to turn everyday things into precious jewels. My own daughter loves Queen Munch and Queen Nibble by the poet Carol Ann Duffy, in which Queen Nibble makes necklaces out of raindrops. But this is not just the stuff of fairy tales.

Ruby was the first gem to be created in a laboratory by the French chemist, Auguste Verneuil in the 1880s using flame fusion. In 1955 Robert Wentorf Jr bought some crunchy peanut butter from his local food co-op in Niskayuna, New York. Back in his General Electric laboratory, he subjected the peanut butter to immense pressure and heat, transforming it into tiny crystals of diamond. This breakthrough technology could be applied to any carbon-rich material. Gem-quality diamonds were produced in a laboratory for the first time in 1971 and, in recent years, colorless synthetic diamonds have become commercially viable for the jewelry market.

Now, Ryan Shearman, who used to develop products for David Yurman’s Men’s Line, has founded Aether, a carbontech company that has successfully created the world’s first diamond out of air. This cutting-edge alchemist plans to start selling his company’s gems later this year.

Certified by the International Gemological Institute, Aether’s diamonds have the same standards as mined diamonds. Incredibly, they also help clean the environment: a two-carat Aether diamond offsets two and a half years’ worth of the average American’s carbon emissions. How many diamonds would it take to solve the climate crisis?

HOLDING YOUR AWE IN THEIR CLAWS : A CROW BROOCH BY ILGIZ

THE ART OF JEWELRY BEYOND DESIGN AND PERFECTION
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Illustration by Inkycubans

What makes art Art?

Resistance to mass production? An emotional trigger? Originality? The artist’s identity?

Sometimes I catch myself thinking: if some of the talented artists had not become jewelry designers, what would they be doing instead? They would still be talented, successful and probably happy. The only ones to lose would be us—their admirers, followers and collectors who would miss out on exquisite pieces of this extraordinary, ancient and ever modern art.

With its laconic outline, absence of redundant, decorative details, classic, contrasting colors, elaborate composition of simple geometric shapes, and a strong, architectural silhouette that is both clean and clear, this enameled brooch—the dramatic and dynamic portrayal of a black and a white crow, holding a ruby-red stone in its talons—is not exactly typical for Ilgiz. Yet, it is a splendid reflection of all that he stands for: an artistic predilection for Art Nouveau, immaculate mastery of enameling, and the global idea behind art, plus the delicate conglomerate of a creator’s idea and the beholder’s profound emotional response.

The pieces by Ilgiz Fazulzyanov, a miracle worker from Tatarstan, a two-time winner—Champion of the Champions—of the International Jewellery Design Excellence Awards, are admired by art aficionados and craved by both private collectors and gallerists in Russia and around the globe.

No wonder.

The chance of finding such an ingenious expert in enameling is remote, and yet, the artist did not study jewelry professionally: his knowledge and mastery were earned independently, through passion and ambition, perfectionism and perseverance, by trial and error.

Aiming to surpass himself with every new piece, he studied many different enameling techniques—Japanese, French, English, Russian—and developed his own signature, unique methods, including, but not limited to, the firing of enamel at 950℃, rather than the ‘classic’ 700–800℃, which allows him to achieve a total fusion of glass with the golden surface, as well as a one-millimeter-thick plique-à-jour enamel.

Ilgiz believes that the art of jewelry stands at the confluence of all art forms and technologies. A jeweler must know the basics of drawing, painting, sculpture, perspective, architecture, chemistry, physics and mathematics. He must not be afraid to dirty his hands. He needs to make the metal submit to his rules—and be able to put it all together - to create the ultimate masterpiece.

Aiming at perfection, he can redo a piece of jewelry again and again until he gets the desired effect: color gradations and nuances in the enameled petals of a flower or the feathers of a crow’s wings, which correspond both to the reality and to his creative idea.

Ilgiz’s pieces are so immaculate that they do not have a flip side: the back of every pair of earrings, necklace, brooch or ring is on a par with the front side.

Besides, Ilgiz rarely works ‘around the stone’; rather, he builds the stones, whether precious or not, around the idea to achieve the maximum embodiment of his brainchild.

The crows from the brooch are facing opposite directions, each holding a symbolic stone in their talons. What does the white crow see in our past? Why is the black crow looking at our future?

Despite the menacing juxtaposition of colors, both crows look contemplative and calm. They mean no threat.

These pieces by Ilgiz Fazulzyanov are for genuine art connoisseurs, valuing not just the name of the brand and value of materials, but also the artistry, aesthetics and creativity.

A timeless and priceless investment, if you’re considering one.

#POMELLATOFORWOMEN : A LUXURY JEWELRY BRAND RAISING AWARENESS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

AT A TIME OF GLOBAL LOCKDOWNS, POMELLATO SPEAKS OUT ON BEHALF OF WOMEN AND GIRLS WHO HAVE OR WHO MAY BECOME VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC ABUSE
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Hidden from public view, home is where we feel safe to be ourselves. But not for everyone. Under the cover of Covid-19, there has been a huge surge in domestic abuse. Terrible things have been happening behind closed doors, sealed even more tightly during these past few months because of mass lockdowns and quarantines.

Despite widespread and powerfully promoted gender equality, in many spheres of modern life women remain precariously vulnerable and unprotected.

For this reason, on November 25 – International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – luxury jewelry brand Pomellato launched a social media and video campaign to raise awareness on domestic abuse.

Pomellato’s initiative is a tremendous breakthrough for luxury brands. Conceptually distant from the real world, submerged deep into the divine microcosm of art, design and unsoiled, supermundane beauty, they often appear to be dramatically detached from the facts of life.

And yet, who to support women and raise awareness of the hot-button gender issues better than a brand that stands for women, their freedom and independence.

With that in mind, in 2017 Pomellato founded the platform #PomellatoForWomen to promote gender equality and inclusivity.

And it shows no sign of letting up. Not until abuse and violence against women has stopped.

On MK Nuvola (Italian for ‘cloud’) rings, timeless beauty by Pomellato. Let us hope that the beautiful clouds stay in artistic realm – and we soon see the bright sun above our heads in real life…

LIKE A PHOENIX THEY RISE: FREDERIC MALLE PERFUME AND NAK ARMSTRONG’S EARRINGS

A SEDUCTIVE RETRO-VIBE SMELL THAT PLAYS IN TUNE WITH GEOMETRIC PINK OPAL EARPIECES
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It’s funny how memory sometimes plays games with our senses. A tone of voice, a smell, the perception of colors come together and build a multifaceted image in our heads. Sometimes we don’t even understand the reasons behind this, or remember why.

I was nudged to smell the Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose perfume by my seven-year old daughter, who was genuinely in love with it. To be honest, I was reluctant even to try it: the name, the notes, the very concept did not speak to me. But once I gave it a go, in a flash I knew: That’s my A.! This smell is all about her!   Lipstick Rose—a love-it-or-leave-it aromatic concoction of grapefruit and violet, sweet rose, iris and raspberry, sensuous and fluffy vanilla and white musk—was developed by one of Frederic Malle’s legendary perfumers, Ralf Schwieger, famous for his ability to create intellectual and intuitive perfumes with surprising personalities.

It’s a perfume that makes everyone sense something different. A time travel machine, for some, taking you back to your childhood home, secretly poking around the taboo contents of your mother’s dressing table, trying on her crimson red lipstick, playing at being a grown-up woman for the first time. The dressing room of a 50’s pin-up girl, with, luxuriant, shiny, dark hair, ruby-red lips, smouldering gaze and a killer smile. A go-to office perfume: indulgently sweet, dressy and sexy, but with a demure hint of ‘stay away’ attitude. The delicious allure of the divine Marilyn Monroe. The smell of semi-dark theatres. The ‘big girl’ perfume of real Divas, with a sense of humor and touch of modern irony. The gourmand, bottled essence of the X chromosome.

To balance its sweet, seductive force, I picked up a geometric, sophisticated creation by the extremely talented award-winning designer Nak Armstrong – his Nakard Phoenix sterling silver and opal earrings.   At the core of their modern mobile-like silhouette are the mosaic, repetitive, smooth pale pink cells, cascading down your earlobes and gently swaying with your every step—the pure manifestation of beauty and intellect, stripped of pomposity and cliché.

The modern retro Lipstick Rose smell makes its glorious return and complements with elegance the Phoenix earrings and the femininity of the present-day, ultimate woman.

THE JEWELRY ICON

A PEEK INTO THE SILKY SECRETS OF A LADY’S BOUDOIR IN LYDIA COURTEILLE’S COLLECTION LA VIE EN ROSE

GENTLE HUES OF POWDERY PINK, ENVELOPED IN LACES, RIBBONS AND REFINED MYSTERY
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Illustration by Ellie Rahim

Et dès que je l’aperçois
Alors je sens en moi
Mon cœur qui bat

Edith Piaf, La Vie En Rose

The meaning of those words by the legendary singer Edit Piaf—‘And when I see him, inside I feel my heart pounding’—applies to every piece by the avant-garde Parisian jeweler Lydia Courteille.

Each of Lydia’s masterpieces is looking for that one and only person, the perfect fit for her surreal creations, someone who will not need to look and think twice before making up their mind and choosing them.

It has to be love at first sight…

This seductive collection, La Vie en Rose, is a tribute to the glamour, tantalizing charm and romanticism of Paris.

The powdery pink of morganites is complemented by delicate lacing and bows, adding a subtle touch like exquisite lingerie, evoking the delightful and fresh smell of a rose flower, inviting you to draw closer, open up to your senses and enjoy the sight of both the jewels and the wearer.

Chandelier earrings in pink gold and titanium, encrusted with fancy sapphires and morganites, conjure up images of spicy samba headdresses from the Rio Carnival, the spectacular headpieces of cabaret dancers, fronds of palm trees against the dark skies, and the dancing fountains of a big city on a sultry summer night, illuminated by colorful lights.

To complement the earrings, or to be marveled at on its own, is the statement ring in yellow gold, morganite, pink sapphires and rubies, as well as black and white diamonds.

Extraordinary and entrancing, they reveal the world behind them.

This could be your world: full of mystery, seduction and strong character.

The full sensual force and sophistication of the jewels reveal their true colors against the clean and feminine lines of illustrations by Ellie Rahim.

ANCIENT WORLDS AND TALISMANIC SYMBOLS: DAVID WEBB’S NEW INTERPRETATION OF THE ZODIAC

LEO’S CLAW AND SCORPIO’S STING IN STRONG, STATEMENT HAMMERED-GOLD PIECES BY THE ICONIC JEWELER
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Illustration by INCYCUBANS
David Webb—the quintessential American luxury jewelry house—presents a new capsule collection.

Zodiac.

Whether a believer in astrology and the stories of our lives as told by the stars, or a science-minded sceptic and astronomer, everyone will find something in these small, rough-hewn golden plaques, each depicting a reimagined astrological sign on one side and a classic astrological symbol on the other.

The twelve pendant necklaces, both antique- and modern-looking and archeological in spirit, were inspired by unconventional designs from the 60s discovered in David
Webb’s archives, and his fascination with the ancient world.

The rectangular pendants in yellow gold, or in yellow gold encrusted with diamonds, are carved with the history of the iconic jewelry house and constellations of ancient meaning.

These unique, versatile and precious objects can become your one-and-only talisman and faithful companion to your casual, everyday style, or complement and enrich an extravagant jewelry ensemble for an elegant soirée.

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A HUMBLE YET CHARISMATIC GARDEN FLOWER BECOMES A SEDUCTIVE EARPIECE IN THE HANDS OF CHOPARD’S JEWELERS

THE FRENCH HIGH JEWELRY HOUSE ETERNALIZES THE BEAUTY OF A PANSY IN A SET OF CAPTIVATING EARRINGS
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Illustration by Inkycubans

The sapphire, garnet and amethyst petals, tsavorite dewdrops and yellow-brown diamond centers of Chopard’s Pansy earrings are held together by an ultra-lightweight, delicate, yet stupendously strong titanium framework—a brilliant solution by the Maison’s jewelers, who have considered not only the aesthetic appeal of the earrings but also the comfort of the lucky wearer.
They are part of Chopard’s Red Carpet 2020 collection, inspired by the beauty of Nature. Conceptualized by the Maison’s Co-President and Artistic Director Caroline Scheufele, it celebrates both strong and fragile species of flora and fauna as a symbolic tribute and statement of the brand’s journey towards sustainable and ethical jewelry, It’s a mark of respect towards both natural resources and human labor.
Once I heard a wistful old Russian tale about a girl named Anyuta who is turned into a flower after many years of waiting for her boy to return from war. Since then, pansies are called in Russian “Anyuta’s eyes” and this gentle flower grows by the roadside, looking into the distance, in the hope that the sweetheart will come back, safe and sound.
The portrait of a woman by contemporary artist Lolita Pelegrime—slightly edgy, capturing with bold, chaotic strokes the expression and colors —yearns to wear this stellar creation by Chopard, radiating delicate and powerful energy, intense and gentle hues, as well as its life-affirming balance of art, beauty and extraordinary finesse.

BEAUTY IN A CAN: NEW JEWELRY COLLECTION BY ANABELA CHAN

LONDON ARTIST TURNING RECYCLED ALUMINUM INTO WEARABLE PHANTASMAGORIC BLOSSOMS
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The statement Rainbow Magnolia earrings from Anabela Chan’s new fine jewelry collection, Blooms, are a vision from an indulgent daydream. A wild, exotic flower from a fantasy world, caught in the long hair of an elusive nymph.

Aluminum is much lighter than gold, which makes it possible for the artist to conceptualize and create sizable, dramatic pieces without worrying that they might permanently ruin the wearer’s ears. Fashioned from recycled rainbow-hued aluminum and gold vermeil, laboratory-grown trillion- and cushion-cut emeralds, pavé-set canary and white diamonds, peridots, tourmalines and emeralds, with detachable flower studs, they seem to defy laws of gravity.

To turn trash into treasure, in the truest sense of the word, Anabela Chan recycles aluminum cans, giving them new lives in her dreamy creations.

The cans are cut and melted at extreme temperatures to remove impurities and excessive porosity and create a smooth surface for the application of rich, vivid colors. The lava-like, sizzling metal is then poured into ingots to obtain the delicate petals, which are later color-treated using a method known as physical vapor deposition, a process in which the material goes from a condensed phase to vapor and back to the condensed phase, producing a thin film on the surface.

As complicated and technical as it may sound, the results are always elegant, exhilarating and jolly.

On top of all that, in their mischievous yet extremely thoughtful approach to luxury jewelry, Anabela Chan and her team pursue ethical sustainability: they use only lab-grown stones of the highest quality, with all the beauty and optical qualities of natural gems, but untainted by armed conflict, poor working conditions, risks to human lives and other mining-related safety and environmental hazards.

See for yourself: can you spot a can in this miraculous beauty?

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