What you NEED to know when travelling with your jewelry

Oh the places you will go… whether you’re getting ready for a spring break vacation or planning a summer getaway, don’t lose sight of your tiniest travel companions — namely your jewelry.

A recent study by Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company found that more than 80 percent of fine jewelry owners will bring their pieces with them when traveling.* The two jewelry items most traveled with are engagement rings and watches. (Though it’s my guess lots of people are traveling with their smart jewelry now too!)Zultanite-Ring-1

“It’s no surprise that people bring their jewelry with them on vacation. Jewelry is part of who you are,” said Trina Woldt, chief marketing officer at Jewelers Mutual. “It’s meant to be worn and enjoyed, not left behind, especially a piece as sentimental as an engagement ring.”

However, Woldt said travelers should take extra precautions when planning their next vacation and encourages them to keep five tips in mind before heading out the door.

Here’s how to minimize risk of jewelry loss, theft or damage.

  1. Choose wisely. Take only the jewelry you’ll actual wear while traveling.
  2. Make a list. Document all the jewelry you’ll take with you, or take pictures or video.
  3. Carry it on. Never put jewelry in checked bags. Instead, wear it or stow it in your carry-on bag.
  4. Use the safe. Always store jewelry in the hotel safe when you’re not wearing it.
  5. Insure it. Get the right coverage before you leave. Look for a jewelry policy that covers loss, damage, theft and mysterious disappearance, and includes worldwide travel protection.

Bora-Bora-Island-6When you arrive at your destination
While the majority of the people surveyed said their jewelry never leaves their body while on vacation, experts at Jewelers Mutual recommend removing your jewelry before certain activities.

“Wearing jewelry in the hot tub or pool could damage certain precious stones and metals,” said Kay Kostelny, Jewelers Mutual’s Jewelry Recovery Specialist.

Kostelny condones leaving jewelry behind when wearing it could put you at a higher risk for damage or loss. When you are not wearing your jewelry, remember that it should be stored somewhere secure, not left on the hotel nightstand, in a purse or even in locked luggage.

According to the Jewelers Mutual survey, the hotel room is the most frequently mentioned area where jewelry is lost.

“These types of losses are preventable,” added Kostelny. “Storing it in the hotel safe is the best option next to wearing your jewelry and keeping it with you at all times.”

-This item has been reprinted from a news release supplied via Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company and Marketwired

Fist-sized raw diamond is world’s second largest

diamond 2A Canadian mining company has made an amazing find.

Vancouver-based Lucara Diamond Corp says it retrieved a 1,111-carat stone inside its Karowe mine in Botswana, about 500km from  the capital, Gaborone.diamond 3

William Lamb, President and CEO of Lucara called the find historic: ” The significance of the recovery of a gem quality stone larger than 1,000 carats, the largest for more than a century and the continued recovery of high quality stones from the south lobe, cannot be overstated. Our focus on mining the south lobe, which is delivering value beyond expectation, has been perfectly timed with the commissioning of our recent plant modifications, enabling the recovery of these large, high quality exceptional diamonds.”

Lucara says the company is in no rush to put the gem on the auction block.  The stone is among the clearest and purest types of diamonds, called “Ila,” but putting a value on a cut and polished version of the stone now is nearly impossible, according to Lucara.



3.69-carat rough diamond found in Arkansas park, VIa CNN

Ar-diamond-0427-exlarge-169(CNN)  Can a prayer for diamonds actually turn up a gem?

When you’re exploring the fields at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas, the odds are higher than usual.

“Are you going to bless me and let me find a diamond today?” That was Susie Clark’s prayer on April 23, according to the state park service.

Soon after, Clark, who is from Evening Shade, Arkansas, saw a 3.69-carat white, teardrop-shaped diamond in the plowed field. Inspired by her prayer, Clark named it the Hallelujah Diamond. She plans to keep it.

The diamond, which is the largest found at the park so far this year, is about the size of a pinto bean, says park interpreter Waymon Cox. “And it’s the largest one found since April 16, 2014, when a 6.19-carat white diamond, named the Limitless Diamond, was found at the park,” he said, according to a park press release.

Susie Clark, of Evening Shade, Arkansas, holds the diamond she found last week in the palm of her hand.

It’s the 122nd diamond found at Crater of Diamonds this year.

Visitors get to keep what they find at the state park’s 37.5-acre search field, which is named for an ancient eruption that scattered the area with gems.

The area, which became a state park in 1972, is the only public site in the world where — for a small fee — anyone can dig for diamonds and keep them.

It’s not clear how much the diamond is worth, and park officials aren’t trained to appraise them, according to the park website. But Oklahoman Tara Clymer sold a 3.85-carat diamond she found at the park last year for $20,000.

Park staff regularly plow the area to bring more diamonds to the surface for visitors to discover.

The 40.23-carat Uncle Sam, the nation’s largest diamond, was found in 1924, and the “perfect” 3.03-carat Strawn-Wagner diamond was found in 1990. The Strawn-Wagner Diamond was cut in 1997 by the renowned diamond firm Lazare Kaplan International of New York. The now 1.09-carat diamond is on display at the park visitor center.

The park stretches for more than 900 acres along the Little Missouri River, but the diamond field is the main attraction. More than 75,000 diamonds have been discovered there since farmer John Huddleston discovered gems on what was then his property in 1906.

Click to go to CNN’s article.

The World’s Most Amazing Minerals and Stones

I’m a rock hound.  I love stones, gems and minerals because it never ceases to amaze me the power the earth has to create unique natural beauty.

Recently, internet observer Bored Panda published their list of 25+ Beautiful Stones and Minerals. Read the list in full, or check out my favourite picks from their list here.

A Giant Amethyst Geode

Giant Amethyst Geode



Lightning Ridge Opal from Australia
Luz Opal with “Galaxy”.
Opal with Inner Ocean
Opal inside a Fossilized Tree
Rose Quartz Geode
My FAVOURITE- Sunset Fire opal

There are also a few other stones out there I’m in LOVE with… Montana Sapphires, below.

Jasper Stone (Set in Sterling silver) http://www.etsy.com/shop/erinbrookejewelry

Montana Sapphire necklace by erin brooke jewelry. https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/ErinBrookeJewelry?section_id=12364414&ref=shopsection_leftnav_6
jasper stone 1
Jasper Stone set in custom sterling silver http://www.etsy.com/shop/erinbrookejewelry
Beautiful painted Mandala Stones.

Make Your Own Easter Egg Wreath: How To!

The Finished Product!
If you’ve ever seen those pricey Easter egg wreaths in stores, and taken a pass on spending that much, you’ll be pleased to know you can make one yourself for a fraction of the cost.Supplies:
-cardboard  – Stiff industrial cardboard works best and is less likely to bend, but go with what you have on hand.  You can hot glue two pieces together to get a stronger form.
-fabric, wide (2″) ribbon, or wrapping paper
-hot glue gun
-several dozen craft eggs ( I got containers of multi-patterned eggs of various sizes for $5/pack at Superstore. I needed two and a half packs per wreath)  How many you’ll need will depend on  the size of wreath you want to make.
-Fabric leaves or greens (if you wish)
-Extra ribbon, raffia, or coloured string to hand the wreath

Trace and cut your circle.
Trace and cut your circle.

1.  Measure out and cut a circle on stiff cardboard; it can be any size you want.  I made mine about 12″. Cut out a center hole for the wreath; you can center it perfectly or offset it

2.   If you’re using paper, or fabric, glue it flat on the front, then fold and tuck the excess around the back.  Stick it in place with dabs of hot glue.  IMG_2582To handle the opening in the middle, cut triangles across the opening, and then fold the triangles around the back and glue them in place.   Lines of glue along the edges of the wreath form with help hold things flat and tight.
IMG_2576If you’re using ribbon, start at the back, stick the end on with hot glue, then wrap or wind it  all the way around the form, adding dabs of hot glue as you go to keep it in place. Make sure the ends of the ribbon are on the back.
3.  Starting at the 4 points of the clock (12, 3, 6, 9) use plenty of hot glue to attach some larger eggs.  Fill the spaces between with medium sized eggs, keeping patterns evenly spaced too.
Begin adding more eggs, evenly spaced from others until the wreath starts to look full.  Tuck smallest eggs into the remaining spaces.
4.  If you’ve chosen to add leaves, dab them with hot glue and then tuck the leaves into any remaining open spaces or obvious gaps, keeping the leaves evenly spaced too.
5.  Use hot glue to stick a piece of ribbon on the back you can hang the wreath from; make it whatever length you wish, depending what you’re hanging it from.

7 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Rubies, via JCK

ruby necklaceIf you like the rich red hue of rubies, you’ll enjoy learning more about them in this article featured on JCK Online, written by Victoria Gomelsky, JCK’s Editor-in-Chief.

If you were paying attention at last month’s Tucson gem shows, you probably noticed rubies from Myanmar—which I’ll call Burma for the purposes of this post because that’s how the trade still refers to it—are next to impossible to find.

There are a couple reasons for the dearth of supply. Not only is there a lack of production in the Mogok and Mong Hsu regions of Burma, but—for buyers in the United States—there’s also an embargo: the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003 made it illegal to import rubies and jadeite from Burma. The JADE Act of 2008 further strengthened that prohibition. Despite the recent easing of sanctions against Burma, the gem embargo remains in place.

I’ve always been a sucker for the gem, and recently did a ton of research on the ruby market that yielded some interesting trivia:

The reason rubies from Burma are so sought after—besides the legendary source—is that they often boast a super-charged fluorescence.

The Montepuez ruby deposit in Mozambique is being hailed as the biggest ruby find in history.

The next new source of rubies is—wait for it—Greenland.

There’s lots more to Victoria’s write up.  Click to read it here.

Rough rubies.
Rough rubies.

Beauty & Bling

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