Bonyak Jewelry Blog

  1. Ethiopian Emerald Parcel

    At last year's Tucson show, we saw a small selection of emeralds from an exciting new find in Ethiopia. They had exceptional clarity, stunning bluish-green color, and a soft velvety "glow" typical of their prized Colombian counterparts. Prices were high and supply was low.

    This year, we saw increased production available, but still quite scarce. By the second or third day of the AGTA and GJX shows, they had been largely bought up. Prices were also rising, with these emeralds selling at a significant premium over other African sources, like Zambian emeralds. We weren't satisfied that there were any deals to be had, so we passed.

    A month or so ago, a trusted dealer contacted us and tipped us off to a new parcel available at a very attractive price. We looked it over and picked out all of the finest stones. These emeralds range in size from 5mm cushions up to 9x7 emerald cuts and cushions, with some specimens even larger. The average weight is a bit over 2 carats per stone. They have fantastic clarity (rare in emeralds) and that prized blue-green glow (caused by the presence of Chromium, just as in Colombian emeralds). We have a wide range of shapes, weights, and si

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  2. Snowy Queensland Boulder Opal vs. Ethiopian Welo Opal

    Boulder opal from Queensland Australia looks like layers of snow and ice. Love how opals are so unique and often free form.

    Every opal is just so different, and every type of opal so different.  Compare the sedimentary boulder opals above, from Australia, to the Ethiopian hydrophane Welo opals below, formed in volcanic nodules:

    We are mesmerized by opals, said to be a favorite of many gemologists.  We will be making a wide selection of both of these opal types available, along with others like Mexican fire opals and Lightning Ridge black opals.  We'll post more soon!

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  3. Morganite Projects, Part 1

    At this year's Tucson gem show, one of our missions was to buy up as much morganite as we could.  We focused on large, clean pieces with bold colors, and smaller stones with the purest pinks we could find.  We bought a few great parcels of every size, shape, and color, and after some lengthy negotiations we were able to swing some fantastic deals. We're working now on creating a line of morganite jewelry from these pieces, which range from smaller stones up to huge cocktail pieces.  As a teaser, check out this ring we are working on: [caption id="attachment_113" align="aligncenter" width="300"]10+ carat morganite and diamond ring project 10+ carat morganite and 1/5 ctw diamond ring in 14kt rose gold! All that's left to do is set the large (16 x 12 mm) morganite and it will be ready for sale![/caption] One of the most popular and sought-after shapes for morganite is the heart, but unfortunately heart-shaped morganites are hard to come

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  4. Patron Saint Medal Sizes

    It's First Holy Communion season and patron saint medals from Bliss Manufacturing in Rhode Island are huge sellers once again this year.  We love carrying this line because they are really high-quality medals with every stage of production done by hand here in the U.S. The most popular products, in addition to rosaries, rosary bracelets, and bangle bracelets (coming soon to our site), are the engravable patron saint medals available in sterling silver, gold-filled, and 14k yellow gold. They come in many shapes and sizes, but the most common are the three main oval medal sizes.  Starting from left to right, 1/4 inch by 1/2 inch, 1/2 inch by 3/4 inch, and lastly 1 by 3/4 inch. Thickness of medals range from 1 to 1.2 mm. The left two silver medals come with 18 inch sterling lite curb chains. The largest sterling medal comes on a heavy curb endless 24 inch stainless chain, clasp can be added upon reques

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  5. Titanium Hypoallergenic Earrings for Sensitive Ears

    Did you know that up to 20% of women have a nickel allergy that prevents them from wearing most earrings without discomfort?  Couple this with the fact that many metal alloys contain nickel, not to mention other metals that can trigger allergic reactions (sterling silver, 10k and 14k white and yellow gold, most base metals in costume jewelry, etc), and it's easy to see why so many women cannot wear earrings. Higher-karat gold is often unsuitable for use in earrings due to its softness, and platinum (which is also hypoallergenic) is not always within everyone's budget for each and every pair of earrings.  Enter titanium. We have found that medical implant grade titanium, the same stuff they use in artificial knees, is the most reliably hypoallergenic metal for earrings.  If you have sensitive ears and have trouble with other "nickel-free" jewelry (remember, nickel allergies are just one type of metal allergy, and it's no secret that a lot of "nickel-free" jewelry still contains small amounts of nickel), we strongly recommend giving titanium a chance.

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  6. Jewelry Coffee Table Book. My Pick of the Month. David Webb: The Quintessential American Jeweler by Ruth Peltason

    Ordered this book after seeing an early David Webb piece in person. I was in awe of the design and the high level of craftsmanship and variety of techniques used and it was the day I became a huge fan. I also read a blog post by GemGossip on this book too and I pretty much buy every book she recommends. I also would recommend reading her blog, especially if you are a jewelry fan.  I enjoyed this comprehensive book about his work and career. I enjoyed that this book showcased his wide range of designs as opposed to showing only what he's most famous for which are his animal bracelets and mainly the pieces he designed for his famous clients, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor, and Lauren Bacall to name a few. davidwebbcover He was rarely photographed and took a very individualistic approach to jewelry design, mainly self taught and constantly evolving with what he was inspired by whether

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  7. Emerald Oiling

    Earlier this year, we had an opportunity to buy a few loose Colombian emeralds from an old dealer parcel tucked away since the late 1970s or early 1980s.  Needless to say, we jumped at the chance! The stones we bought have that characteristic Colombian glow, with inclusions suggesting a possible Muzo mine origin (we cannot say with certainty, however).  Since this was an old parcel, the oiling treatment that is so standard for emeralds (even done right at the mine) had leaked out.  Oiling is a great treatment for exactly this reason -- it enhances the beauty of the stone, is accepted as near-universal in the marketplace, and is 100% reversible if you want to restore the original look of the stone. We decided it would be fun to show you before-and-after photos as we lightly oiled one of these emeralds.  We selected a 3.63 carat 9.0x8.9 mm square emerald cut stone.  For comparison, here is a before picture:


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  8. Webmaster Duties

    Matt here, writing up my first post on the Bonyak Jewelry blog.  While Ruth does most of the real work (design and fabrication), I'm mainly responsible for maintaining our website and sourcing gemstones. The site has gone through a few iterations now.  The first version ran on the ZenCart platform, which was pretty capable but also lacked a modern style.  The last time I had done any serious website work was in the late 1990s, and I think it's safe to say that the web has changed dramatically since then.  So that site lasted a few months, and it became clear we needed something more dynamic and responsive. The current site is built on VirtueMart, which is definitely more modern and slick than ZenCart, but in many ways still requires a lot of custom coding and hacking.  That's a big part of why I'm such a poor webmaster -- I know the website is held together with shoestring and bubblegum and I don't want to make any big updates that could break everything.  So the VirtueMart site has slowly decayed, and not been updated the way it should be. But Version 3.0 is coming.  We'v

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  9. We are on Pinterest!

    I am definitely what you would call a Pinterest newbie.  I have had a personal pinterest account for awhile now.  However, I rarely pinned anything mainly because I had not a clue how it really worked.  However, once I realized how it worked it was like a big light bulb went off in my head. I immediately was like I wish this was around when I was still a student in fashion design or when I was an art minor as an undergraduate.  Mood boards if you are unfamiliar with them are what artists use in the various occupations of art and design to get ideas and narrow focus into collections. Typically you literally pin pictures using square pins onto foam core boards.   The plethora of pictures and ease of creating boards through pinterest made me stash away my foam core boards and actual pins for now, while saving on a ton of printer ink.  Although, keep in mind you can print them too if you want especially if you need to present your ideas. I started pinning like crazy on my own personal boards these past couple of weeks, creating boards based on my favorite muses, fashion, nature, and antiques. Then I realized hey I can start a Pinterest for our business that shows what we're inspired

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  10. New Waxes and Products Coming Soon

    Recently I've been inspired by a wide variety of motifs and subjects. I love anything that has a nod to the past.  I love Edwardian, Art Deco, and Retro jewelry and just plain antique jewelry generally speaking. As long as its chic and wearable and preferably a little unique then I am all over it.  I am beginning to collect costume brooches from mainly the 40's.  An era I am particularly fascinated with. I love looking at dresses and hats from this time period, since there were war time restrictions on amount of fabric there was an understated element of chic meets practicality. In my humble opinion, fashion design requires more creativity especially if you have less to work with.  Also I feel there was a sense of glamour that carried from the 1930's into the 1940's with Hollywood ever influencing style.  I am thinking about those fabulous veiled hats and also Betty Grable and Veronica Lake as style icons of the 40's.
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