Tag Archives: lighthouse

Noble Jewelry Terms

“N”

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Naif – You’d have to be a real naif to think this term only applies to easily deceived individuals.  In the diamond world, a naif is any unpolished surface on the stone.  In cut and polished diamonds, some naif may be left behind on the girdle (in this case, called a ‘bruted girdle’) to give the stone a lil’ something extra (in terms of carat weight). 

Násfa – Pendants dating back to the 1500’s were affectionately known as Nasfas, that is if you were in the land of Hungary.  Typically fashioned with a flower theme, gallant groom-to-bes would give these to their betrothed beauties from Budpest as an engagement present.  If they waited to gift them to their brides on the day after their wedding, they were then called “Morgengabes,” which roughly translates to “Prisoner’s Brooch.”

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Navette – this is a nifty name you can give to any gemstone cut in the Marquis style (in an oval shape, with pointed tips).  What sets this apart is that it usually describes gems that have this type of silhouette, but are not faceted (meaning the stone is smooth, in the cabochon category).  If a jeweler asks if you would like your gem cut in this manner and you are opposed to it, simply answer “No, no navette.”

Nécessaire – here we have any sort of container that is used to hold essential, every day items.  These can range drastically in fanciness, from ordinary leather satchels that you stick a fork, spoon or spork in, to fantastically designed golden vessels, utilized in transporting elegant grooming devices, styling products, extra cell phone chargers and a birth certificate authenticating your royal lineage.  

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Négligée – much like the French under garment of the same name, this is a style of necklace that is truly naughty.  The defining features are its delicate chain and two pendant pieces, which hang down about the neck.  What makes this so scandalous is that the pendants are hung at different lengths.   The asymmetry embodied here was the talk of the town in turn of the 20th century France.   

Neo-Renaissance – yes, this is the stylistic period most favored by the protagonist in “The Matrix,” but it also represents the time during the mid to late 1800’s when Europeans were reviving Renaissance (1300-1600’s) inspired art, architecture and jewelry.  Pieces popular during this era were often colorful, ornate and intricately designed.  It is widely unconfirmed if anyone attended the “Neo-Renaissance Fair.”

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Nephrite – is a stone type that is so similar to jadeite, that the two are lumped together and collectively called “Jade.”  Some contentious trading of this gemstone between Burma and China for centuries, mostly resolved today.  

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Nicolo – any design etched into the stone onyx that appears light or bright blue is said to be a nicolo.  These little elevated cameos (or their inverted opposites; hollowed out intaglios) were especially popular in ancient Egyptian jewelry.  

Niello – a sturdier alternative to enamel, this is a black, metallic substance which is applied over a metal surface (usually silver).  Then it’s etched and configured into any number of symbols and designs.  Great for knights who like their shields to be extra strong, as well as flamboyant.  

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Noble Metal – if you can successfully fight off corrosion, and stay eternally shiny, you may qualify to be deemed a noble metal.  These include the big three – that’s right, you guessed it – gold, silver and platinum.  Much like the Tin Man, these precious metals are not only noble in name, but in their pure, metallic hearts as well.  

-Joe Leone 

Beautifully Bizarre Jewelry

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In terms of personal style, some people just have to be different.  Whether that means dying one’s hair bright green and fashioning it into a pointy, potentially dangerous mohawk or just wearing white after Labor Day, there will always be rebels.  Some jewelry designers have tapped into this collective demand for odd, in ways that starkly challenge even the very concept of “alternative.”  Here were take a gander at some truly eye-popping and question raising works of weird.

Tears for Fears

One largely lachrymose designer thought that everybody just looked to darn happy.  The solution?  Why, teardrop jewelry, naturally.  Now this isn’t to say that he (Eric Klarenbeek, who hails from Holland – the country, not the Tunnel) created little tear shaped jewels with adhesive on the back that you stick to your cheek (although, that would be WAY simpler…)  What he constructed is a non-eyesight augmenting contact that has a short length of mostly invisible wire that hangs from it.  Glittering jewels are attached to the end and dangle in a sad display of faux misty-eyed fun.  A great gift for those who feel they don’t have enough jewelry directly connected to their ocular region.

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Ice, Ice…Maybe?

Ever feel like your jewelry just doesn’t melt enough.  Not like, “drip” down your body, but actually change form from ice into water.  The designer of these pieces (which are literally made out of ice) is the Germany based Katharina Ludwig; and she’s actually more of a conceptual artist than a designer.  The idea behind these clever and comely cooling devices is for them to be worn in the summer months, to combat the searing heat.  They look chic and glamorous initially, but then become more functional as they morph into self-contained air conditioners for the skin.  They come in earring, necklace and ring forms.  Just be weary if someone uses such a ring to propose to you.

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Paper or Plastic?

There’s sustainable jewelry, repurposed jewelry …and then there’s just trash.  Well, plastic bags that would otherwise end up as garbage in any other situation.  Italian artist/designer Giovanni Scafuro has come out with a collection of rings that is comprised solely of plastic bags.  Aside from being colorful and bursting with funky fun, these rings have a more serious implication.  They are made from plastic bags, one of the most toxic, widespread and irksome materials out there (they’re currently still littering virtually every kilometer of the planet, and have no means of being recycled).  Made from oil, and ultimately, forever remaining non-biodegrable, plastic bags are the bane of environmentalists across the globe.  Finally finding a purpose for them, Scafuro has shown the world that there always is a solution to even the most odious problem.

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Who Nose?

What better way to broadcast your love of your bestie beast than by getting an imprint of its nose in silver and wearing it all over town?  Well, that’s what Jackie Kaufman, an etsy.com superstar designer, thinks.  Any pet with substantial enough nostrils can have its nasal cavity copied on to a mold, and then transferred to a jewelry item that you can don with pride.  What if your favorite pet mammal happens to be human?  Sorry.  Canine, Feline and large rodent noses only.

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Plant one on ya’

Some quirky pieces can really grow on you; others actually grow on you.  Another Dutch innovator, Laurie Poast makes tiny potted plant necklaces that are so cute they produce “Awww!”s as well as oxygen.  She hand sews seeds into baby clay pots and hangs them with twine; thus taking sustainable jewelry to a heavenly/earthy level never before dreamed of.  If you’re thinking “This seems like too much work – I don’t want to have to worry about watering these dang plants,” then don’t fret; why not pair together your plant necklace with some nice ice jewelry?  This way as the ice melts, it will water your adorable neckpiece.  Now that is some serious Scandinavian sensibility.

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If you like it then you should put a jellyfish on it

This designer (Arata Fuchi) makes rings that eerily resemble living jellyfish.  …Not much else to say about that.

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-Joe Leone