Diamonds, Sapphires, Rubies, & Emeralds: THE CARDINAL GEMS

Quick Reference Guide:

All four cardinal gems share two traits:

1. They are translucent
2. They have a very high score on the Moh’s scale of mineral hardness

The value of a particular gem is usually determined by evaluating its: color, cut, clarity, and carat weight (otherwise known as the “4 C’s).”  The color category (which is comprised of hue, saturation, and tone) is a very important factor when determining the value of rubies, sapphires, and emeralds.  When evaluating the color of a diamond, the highest rating is given to those that are completely colorless.

Rubies and Sapphires are both varieties of the mineral corundum, or aluminum oxide.
A ruby is essentially a red sapphire, its red color is a product of adding chromium.  The deeper the red is, the rarer and more expensive the gem.  The sapphire’s variety of colors have to do with the level of iron or titanium in the mineral. The most well-known color of sapphire is deep blue; however, other colors include yellow, pink, and orange.  The pink and orange sapphire is called a Padparadscha.

Emeralds are a variety of the mineral beryl. They score slightly lower on the Moh’s scale of mineral hardness than the other three stones, but they are still very strong. Much like the ruby, the Emerald’s gorgeous green color comes from chromium as well.

Diamonds are a colorless variety of the mineral carbon. They score the highest of all minerals on the Mohs scale.  The diamond’s name derives from the ancient Greek word for “unbreakable.”

Maker of Modern Fantasy: JAIME HAYON

Spanish artist-designer Jaime Hayon pushes the boundaries of design in striking form. Hayon was born in Madrid in 1974 and spent his University years studying industrial design in both his hometown and Paris. Although Hayon excelled in his studies, he never felt too connected to the traditional and logical design curriculum. Rather than subscribing to a specific category, Hayon felt compelled to lend his designs a unique touch and take risks.

Times magazine has included Hayon as one of the 100 most relevant creators of our times and Wallpaper magazine has listed him as one of the most influential creators of the last decade. With offices in Italy, Spain and UK, Hayon’s main interest is to find challenges and new perspectives. His vision blurs the lines between art, decoration and design bringing back a renaissance in finely-crafted, intricate objects within the context of contemporary design culture: creating furniture, product, interiors, sculptures and art Installations.

His unique style was first fully exposed in ‘Mediterranean Digital Baroque’ at London’s David Gill Gallery, followed by many exhibitions and installations set up in major galleries and museums worldwide. His concern for the conservation of craft skills and his way of challenging design has led him to develop renowned work for Baccarat, Fritz Hansen, The Groninger Museum, Bisazza, Bosa, La Terraza del Casino de Madrid, Lladró, MagisEstablished & Sons and Fabergé among many others. Hayon has also collaborated with such reputable names as Benetton, Metalarte, Coca-Cola, Adidas, and Camper. He continues to keep busy pushing limits of design well into his career as has from the start. With the definition of design in a constant flux, Hayon excels in the void. “Today I don’t know my definition of design, but I do know it’s a very interesting moment for design, because there is more acceptance, it’s more hybrid.”

Hayon explains, “At a certain moment I was absolutely not interested in [traditional design], so I went through a different road. I was more interested in underground art, it opened my mind to see things differently.” This urge to create holds deep roots in his adolescence spent in Madrid where he immersed himself in skateboard and graffiti cultures, expanding the already whimsical imagination that is ever-present in his work today.

Sources: Hayon Studio & Cool Hunting

All sketches in this post: Copyright © Jaime Hayon

Details are everything: BOOKMATCHED STONE SURFACES

Bookmatching is the practice of matching two or more surfaces, resulting in adjoining surfaces that mirror each other in appearance, giving the impression of an opened book. This unique installation technique is primarily used for marble, onyx, quartzite, alabaster and granite slabs. These stones share the common characteristic of having strong veins and lines that, when bookmatched, create very geometric patterns that make your floor, walls or countertops much more interesting. The symmetry and balance in the resulting patterns are undeniably beautiful. These surfaces perform like singular fingerprints for the home, and like everything found in nature; no pattern repeats itself twice.

Scents with History and Architecture: ARQUISTE

With a background in Architecture and Historic Preservation from universities in Spain, Mexico City, and New York City, Carlos Huber has taken his longtime love of fragrance, applied his other loves: history and art, and merged them together to form Arquiste Parfumeur, his new line of luxury fragrances. With an immaculate attention to detail, Huber joined with two top Givaudan perfumers to create a range of six unisex perfumes. Each scent is an olfactive interpretation of an exact moment in history that is meticulously researched and finely tuned. Arquiste’s debut collection of six distinct scents take us from Aztec temples (circa 1400) to a 17th-century encounter between European royals.              

–  Mark David Boberek, The Perfume Magazine

 

“I’ve always been very connected to my nose and every time I would do research on a building or city for work I would come across an anecdote, a part of the story, where I would think “What did it smell like?” – Carlos Huber

 

Time Travel in a Bottle: 6 Transportive Scents from ARQUISTE

Designer Profile: Ofira Sandberg

Top to Bottom: Designer Ofira Sandberg, Kyra Sedgwick in earrings and bangles by Ofira, Lauren Graham in earrings by Ofira, Megan Fox in rings by Ofira, Detail of Megan Fox’s ring

Ofira Sandberg is the sister of well-known celebrity jewelry designer, Lorraine Schwartz.  She describes her designs as “wearable for everyday,” and little more edgy that her sister’s fancier, red-carpet style.  In the designer’s opinion, Amethyst is the most underrated stone because it’s color mixes so well with other stones like rubies and turquoise.  Her versatility has also brought her some male clients, such as InStyle’s fashion director, Hal Rubenstein.  Ofira says the best compliment she ever got was from Elizabeth Taylor; they were seated together when Taylor reached over and took the designer’s earrings off and explained that she had to have them.

Plastic on the Runway

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Looks like the “Kelly Jellies” are back with designers putting plastic accessories on the runway…a great alternative for pioneers in the fashionably eco-conscious movement like celebrity favorite, Stella McCartney & other indie brands such as Matt&Natt. The idea of using a repurposed material to create a luxury handbag is looking very smart indeed…
Other leaders of the plastic fantastic pack include the Spring 2012 collections of Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton and Ralph Rucci for Chado Ralph Rucci.

Read more about the Plastic craze in the Wallstreet Journal