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Posted in Jewelry News, Uncategorized

Signet Expands Lab-Grown Diamond Offering

 

Signet Jewelers is now offering jewelry featuring synthetic diamonds and gemstones at all of its major US banners, after a successful pilot in limited locations.

“Lab-created diamonds are available in both fashion and bridal jewelry at James Allen, Kay, Zales, and Jared stores, as well as their e-commerce sites,” David Bouffard, Signet’s vice president of corporate affairs, confirmed to Rapaport News on Monday.

Kay’s Modern Creation line features earrings, bracelets, necklaces and rings priced from $450 to $5,025. The site clearly illustrates the differences between lab-grown and natural stones, including the time it takes for a diamond to be created, the price difference at purchase, and the uncertainty of long-term value for synthetic stones. Significantly, the company also notes natural-diamond jewelry is eligible for trade-in, while lab-grown pieces are not.

Jared is selling loose lab-grown diamonds and ring settings as part of its Chosen collection. Those items are available separately, rather than as a complete piece of jewelry.

Signet offers a variety of synthetic pieces at its lower-end Zales banner. Prices range from $615 for a necklace comprising 0.50 carats of melee stones to $7,000 for an engagement ring set with three G-color, SI2-clarity stones weighing a combined 3 carats. A similar style natural-diamond ring with three H-color, SI2-clarity stones totaling nearly 2.50 carats is selling on the Zales website for more than $15,000, reduced from its regular price of just under $22,000.

Check out small gold hoop earrings collection for the very best in unique or custom, handmade pieces at EyeOnJewels.

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Everything you need to know about promise rings

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A growing trend among couples involved in a serious romantic relationship is the exchange of promise rings. What exactly do promise rings stand for? When are they appropriate to give? Are they a promise to get engaged at a later date? Here are the answers to those questions and more!

What Is A Promise Ring?

Promise rings are gaining popularity among couples who are living together and have no immediate plans for marriage or do not plan to ever get married. They are worn as a physical sign to the outside world that a couple is more than just dating – they are in a committed relationship. To these couples, it is their personal commitment to the relationship that is meaningful, not the legal or religious state of being married.

A promise ring is most often exchanged between partners involved in a serious romantic relationship.  It typically symbolizes the giver’s fidelity and devotion to the relationship. The acceptance of the ring indicates that the recipient promises the same in return. Although these are the typical meanings behind a promise ring, each couple chooses what they are promising to each other and what their promise ring stands for. While promise rings can be worn as a pre-engagement rings, many couples do not see their promise rings as a step towards marriage.

What Does A Promise Ring Symbolize?

The exact meaning behind a couple’s promise ring is as unique as their relationship. Although it is usually a symbol of a couple’s commitment to a serious relationship, the exact terms of the promise represented by the ring is something that needs to discussed and agreed upon together. Whatever the specifics of the meaning, a promise ring is a beautiful, tangible symbol of love and commitment.

History of Promise Rings

The tradition of wearing a ring to demonstrate loyalty and fidelity dates back to ancient times. A version of the promise ring, known as a betrothal ring, was worm in ancient Rome by couples desiring to be married. In ancient Greece, special rings were worn as a constant reminder of one’s beloved. Ancient Egyptians exchanged rings made from woven reeds or leather to honor their beloveds.

Dating back to the 16th century, a version of a promise ring, called a “poise” or “posy” ring, was popular in England and France. Given as lovers’ gifts, these rings were often engraved with romantic poems. During the Georgian and Victorian eras, “Acrostic” rings were popular. These rings were set with colored gemstones to spell out meaningful words. For example, the first letters of these gemstones in a ring – Jade, Amethyst, Diamond, Opal, Ruby and Emerald – spell out “J’adore,” meaning “I love you” in French.

The current popularity of promise rings as a mainstream trend was sparked by the publicity surrounding promise rings that were exchanged by celebrity couples including Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth, as well as Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra.

What’s the Difference Between A Promise Ring and An Engagement Ring?

A promise ring for couples is a symbol of the commitment to a serious relationship, but it is does not indicate that a proposal and acceptance of marriage has occurred.  Promise rings may have a variety of meanings, based on the individual couple’s choices. An engagement ring is symbol that a couple has agreed to marry.

Is a Promise Ring the Same as a Purity Ring?

 Purity Rings are symbols of a personal commitment to sexual abstinence until marriage. They are given by a parent to a child or purchased for oneself. Purity rings are usually made from silver and rarely have any gemstones. They are often engraved with a message about chastity.

What’s the Difference Between a Promise Ring and a Couple Ring?

Couple rings are matching rings that are worn just for fun. Although they can be either fashion or fine jewelry, couple rings tend to sport trendy designs and are often made from unusual materials. They are not given as symbols of deep commitment to a relationship. They are a more casual expression of a relationship.

Are Promise Rings Only for Women?

In the past, the custom was for a man to present a woman with a promise ring. Today, partners of any gender give and accept promise rings. There is also a trend for both partners in a relationship to wear a promise ring – sometimes matching, sometimes not.

What Do Promise Rings Look Like?

Visually, promise rings are smaller in scale than engagement rings, usually set with small diamonds or semi-precious colored gemstones. They are often designed with a cluster of gems, instead of a main featured gemstone. Promise rings are also usually made from less expensive metals such as silver and 10K gold, rather than 14K or 18K gold or platinum. If getting married is possible for the future, a promise ring’s style should not be something that will compete with an engagement ring.

When Do You Give a Promise Ring?

Although promise rings are not the same as engagement rings, they still are still a symbol of a serious commitment to a relationship. Usually, a couple will have been exclusively involved for a lengthy period of time, often a year or more, before considering a promise ring.

A promise ring needs to be discussed before it is presented. It should never be given as a total surprise.  Promise rings require a conversation about the exact meaning behind it, and the promise that’s being made. It is an agreement. If you surprise your partner with a ring, that person might be under the impression that you are proposing!  This can lead to confusion and even bitter disappointment and hurt feelings. Such a major misunderstanding could ruin a very special moment intended to celebrate and honor a couple’s relationship. That is why it is so important to discuss beforehand what the promise ring symbolizes.

How to Give a Promise Ring

Unlike an engagement ring, promise rings are not given with the traditional elaborate planning of a formal proposal. They can be given on birthdays, Valentine’s Day, as a holiday gift, on a couple’s anniversary date, or even over a romantic dinner. When presenting an engagement ring, the circumstances surrounding the proposal are usually planned out and well-orchestrated. Presenting a promise ring is much less formal. It is more about creating a special occasion to talk about your relationship.

On Which Finger Do You Wear a Promise Ring?

A promise ring can be worn on any finger or even suspended on a necklace.  It is usually worn, however, on the left hand. If the couple later gets engaged, the promise ring is moved to the right hand.

Can You Still Wear a Promise Ring After Getting Engaged?

 You can continue to wear your promise ring by putting it on another finger or having a new piece of jewelry designed from its components.

 How Much Does a Promise Ring Cost?

Just as with engagement and wedding rings, there are no rules about the proper amount to spend on a promise ring. The cost will depend on the style, gemstones, and metals you choose. On average, promise rings range in price from $199 to $1999.

What Happens to the Ring if You Break Up?

 As with engagement and wedding rings, promise rings are a symbol of a commitment to a long term relationship. However, life is complicated and relationships can change. When the promise pledge is rescinded, the recipient has the option of either returning or keeping the ring.

Promise rings are a symbol of a couple’s commitment to their relationship. The exact promise being expressed is highly personalized and varies from couple to couple. Whatever meaning the couple decides upon, a promise ring is a beautiful way to express mutual care and devotion. We invite you to to view our selection of beautiful Promise Rings for men and women at our fine jewelry store.

Posted in Jewelry

Guide to Purity Rings

Purity rings come in a variety of styles and metals. The one thing they have in common is that they encourage purity and abstinence and symbolize purity of mind, body, and heart. These rings can be worn by males or females and are typically given to the teens or young adults as gifts. Sometimes you may see these rings referred to as promise rings or chastity rings.

What Are Purity Rings?

Males and female teens and young adults make up the largest portion of the population that wears purity or chastity rings. The rings are meant to be reminders and statements on abstaining from sex until marriage. The rings speak out on the young people’s decision to stay pure, and in some cases remind them of their choice in tough situations where they may be tempted to compromise their beliefs.

Chastity rings also serve as commitments to God to remain pure – not just physically, but mentally and emotionally, too. They often have phrases on them that remind the wearer of this commitment, such as “True Love Waits” or “One Life One Love” engraved into the metal.

Traditionally, the son or daughter receives the ring from the parent of the opposite gender. The father gives the daughter her ring and the mother gives the son his. This isn’t necessary, though it is common. Either parent can give the ring to the teenage son or daughter. A church could give their youth rings. Boyfriend and girlfriends could also exchange purity (or promise) rings to commit to each other and their belief. If you would like to wear a ring to symbolize your commitment to waiting for “the one” before having sex, you could always buy yourself one.

If rings aren’t for you, there are also purity bracelets and necklaces.

Common Styles

Purity rings are far from uniform. There are shared characteristics, but there is a chastity ring out there for almost any jewelry preference.

Metals and More

This special type of inspirational jewelry comes in the same materials as most other rings. You can choose from:

  • Yellow gold
  • White gold
  • Sterling silver (which is seemingly the most common choice)
  • Acrylic
  • Aluminum
  • Pewter

Phrases

There are some common phrases that purity rings often have engraved on them, such as:

  • I Am My Beloved’s and My Beloved Is Mine (or just I Am My Beloved’s)
  • I Will Wait for You
  • Faithful to My Beloved
  • Purity
  • His Princess
  • True Love Waits (or just Love Waits)
  • One Life One Love
  • Heart and Soul

Shapes and Styles

When it comes to shapes and styles, you can get everything from a simple engraved sterling silver band to an acrylic ring. You can get intricate designs that feature a cross and key, hearts, vines, flowers, and so on. Some designs even have cubic zirconium accents. The choices really are endless. Purity rings don’t have to be boring; you can get a beautiful piece of jewelry in addition to wearing your commitment to abstinence, God, and your future spouse on your finger for the world to see.

Where to Find Yours

Worried that these rings may be too specialized to find a great selection in your area? You might be surprised! You can find purity rings and rose gold wedding rings not only online, but in jewelry stores and even in some stores.

A Final Word

Purity rings allow you to wear your beliefs with confidence, reminding yourself of your promise to remain pure as well as potentially inspiring others to follow your example. With all of the choices of rings out there, there’s no reason to feel that you’re wearing your ring completely out of duty; the rings can be beautiful and eye-catching as well. If they get people’s attention and invoke questions, you may be able to spread the idea of remaining pure until marriage to other teens and young adults. If you’re a parent who is researching purity rings in order to give one to your son or daughter, get a feel for the type of jewelry they like and then begin to shop around. There are ceremonies involved with the presentation of purity rings that you may also be interested in looking into. Those ceremonies are not required, of course, in order to give or receive a purity ring.

Posted in Tips & tricks

How To Clean Silver Jewelry and Remove Tarnish

Don’t let tarnish keep you from wearing your favorite earrings, rings, bracelets, or necklaces. With a few everyday kitchen items, you’ve got what you need to clean silver jewelry and remove tarnish at home safely.

Facts About Silver Jewelry

For everyday pieces of jewelry, sterling silver is one of the most popular choices around the world. But what is “sterling silver” and is it real silver?

To understand the difference, you need to remember that silver is a chemical element. Its symbol on the periodic table is Ag, which stands for “Argentum” (derived from the Latin word for “shiny.”)

What is Fine or Pure Silver?

Pure or “fine silver” is 99.9% silver and is so soft that it is easily damaged, dented, or bent. This softness makes pure silver unsuitable for jewelry, and so it’s mixed with other metals (usually copper) for added strength.

What is Sterling Silver?

Sterling silver is a mix of silver and copper to give it strength. In the United States, this mixture consists of 925 parts silver and 75 parts copper. Sterling silver pieces meeting this standard will bear an imprint of 925 or STER on them.

If your sterling silver comes from another country, its mixture may be different. It may also have an imprint that says STER, STG, SS, or Sterling Silver.

What is Electroplated Silver?

Sterling silver is not the same as silver electroplated jewelry. Silver-plated items are made from another metal like brass or copper, then a thin silver coating is added to the surface.

This difference is important to know because jewelry makers in countries without legal silver standards often mislabel electroplated stuff to drive up the price. In the U.S., an electroplated item will bear the imprint EP Brass or EP Copper.

Telling the Difference

One way to know if something is electroplated silver is by its sheen: real silver is not as shiny or cold-looking as plate, nor does it come off in flecks that reveal a darker metal below.

Another clue is that electroplated silver sometimes turns green, while fine or sterling silver turns black when it develops tarnish.

Why Silver Jewelry Tarnishes

Tarnish is a chemical reaction between your silver jewelry and various substances. It is almost inevitable due to the wide variety of things that cause it.

Things that Cause Tarnish

Many things we come in contact with regularly can make silver jewelry tarnish — even the air! Sometimes, what you eat can cause tarnish when the food’s compounds come out in your body’s sweat.

The type of tarnish you see depends on its cause. You can often figure it out by the color.

Silver and Sulfur Produce Silver Sulfide

Silver sulfide creates a black tarnish on your silver rings or other jewelry.

This reaction happens when silver is exposed to sulfur in cleaning products and cosmetics. Well-water (or bore water) are often sulfuric, too.

It’s also present in some foods like eggs, cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, kale), alliums (onions, garlic). So, if you eat a lot of sulfuric foods, your sweat can cause this reaction.

Even the air can be high in sulfur, especially in heavily polluted areas.

Silver and Chlorine Result in Silver Chloride

This tarnish starts as a white residue on your jewelry that turns dark gray-blue after exposure to sunlight.

Silver chloride tarnish often develops if you wear your silver jewelry while swimming in a pool or the ocean, when using certain cleaning and laundry products, or while coloring your hair.

A diet high in food containing chloride (like rye bread, celery, olives, seaweed, or anything heavily seasoned with table salt) can make your sweat cause this tarnish, too.

Copper in Sterling Silver Oxidizes

A dark greenish-black tarnish on sterling silver jewelry is due to its copper content. When copper is exposed to oxygen, it oxidizes.

Since you can’t live without air, there’s really no way to avoid this type of tarnish. You can clean it away, though.

Tarnish Does Not Damage Jewelry

The good news is that tarnish doesn’t harm your jewelry. Some ornate, engraved pieces even look better with a little tarnish since the dark brown or black layer emphasizes the design. But on other jewelry, it’s unsightly.

So, here’s more good news: using a few common household ingredients, you can get tarnish off of your jewelry without causing damage. (If you enjoy making natural cleaners from kitchen ingredients, here are more homemade cleaning mixes to try.)

How to Clean Silver Jewelry at Home

There are two ways to remove tarnish: either by gently rubbing it away or by reversing the chemical reaction that caused it.

As with many cleaning projects, it’s best to start with the most gentle method then work your way to the others if needed.

TIP: For any vintage or heirloom silver jewelry, it’s best to seek professional cleaning. Many jewelry stores offer this service for free or little cost. A professional will also inspect the item for signs of damage and make any needed repairs.

What to Avoid

You may have read that things like lemon juice, Coca Cola, salty water, ketchup, vinegar, or even window cleaner will get tarnish off of your silver jewelry.

They might work at first, but they’re all acidic substances that eventually cause damage.

Remember: silver is a soft metal. Mixing it with copper helps it hold its shape, but the silver itself is still easily damaged. Acidic substances may strip away that layer of tarnish, but they’ll also weaken the silver within your jewelry. Over time, you’ll wind up with pitting and other problems.

Mild Soap and Water

You can remove minor tarnish easily by cleaning your sterling silver jewelry with a little soap and water. It’s very important to use a mild soap for this — not one with oxygenated bleach or heavy degreasers.

TIP: Don’t submerge hollow jewelry or items with inset stones or glued-on embellishments. Water may weaken what’s holding them in place. Instead, dip the cloth into the water and wipe the pieces.

  1. Add a few drops of mild dish soap to a cup of water.
  2. Rub with a soft cloth in long strokes following the grain in the silver.
  3. Rinse well with warm water and dry immediately with a soft, cotton cloth.

Baking Soda Paste

In the past, toothpaste made a great silver jewelry cleaner. It has to be a non-gel type that doesn’t contain whiteners, breath fresheners, activated charcoal, or silica. That kind of toothpaste is tough to find nowadays.

Fortunately, baking soda works just as well.

  1. Stir 3 parts baking soda into 1 part water to form a grainy paste. (Example: 3 tablespoons baking soda and 1 tablespoon of water.)
  2. Apply this paste with a soft cotton cloth and very gently rub along the silver’s grain. Do not scrub!
  3. Turn your cloth as it begins to grow grey, so you’re always using a clean spot to wipe.
  4. For tricky spots, use a baby’s toothbrush. (Adult toothbrush bristles are stiffer and may scratch your jewelry.)
  5. Wash or wipe the piece with soapy water (see above), then immediately dry it with a clean, soft cotton cloth.

The Aluminum Foil Method for Tarnish-Removal

Soap and water or baking soda paste both rely on mechanical removal of tarnish.

The aluminum foil method below uses science to reverse the chemical reaction that caused it, by turning the silver sulfide back into silver. (Here are more surprising ways to use aluminum foil around the house.)

TIP: Since this anti-tarnish method includes boiling water, it should not be used on jewelry with gems or glued-on stones that the heat might damage.

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup baking soda (90g bicarbonate in the UK)
  • 1/2 gallon water (1.89 litres in the UK)
  • A large pot
  • Aluminum foil
  • An empty sink with a stopper

Steps:

  1. Put a stopper in the sink then line the bottom of the basin with a sheet of aluminum foil.
  2. Place the jewelry on the foil. Make sure each piece of jewelry is touching the aluminum foil but not touching other items.
  3. Bring the water to boil in the pot.
  4. Stir the baking soda into the boiling water until it’s fully dissolved. It will fizz a bit, which is why the pot needs to be large.
  5. Slowly pour the water mixture into the sink, taking care not to move the jewelry around as you do. (It helps to aim the water against the sink wall.)
  6. Wait 5 minutes, then remove your jewelry. Don’t burn yourself with in the process! A wooden spoon is helpful. Just don’t use anything rubber, since it contains sulfur and can cause tarnish.
  7. Immediately rinse and dry your jewelry with a soft, clean cotton cloth.
  8. For heavily tarnished items, you can repeat the process as needed until they’re tarnish-free.

Commercial Silver Polish

Most store-bought silver polishes use a combination of mechanical cleaning (i.e., rubbing) and a chemical reaction.

Commercial silver polishes also contain anti-tarnishing agents, so they can help keep your jewelry looking good longer. There are many options available in stores and online.

  • Brilliant makes a highly-rated jewelry cleaner, which includes a basket for easy dunking.
  • Weiman’s jewelry-cleaning wipes work on silver as well as other jewelry metals.

How to Keep Silver from Tarnishing

Once you’ve cleaned your silver jewelry, there are several simple steps you can take to prevent tarnish from quickly returning.

  • Remember the old rule that jewelry should be the last thing you put on and the first thing you take off. This practice protects it from exposure to cosmetics, hair sprays, and perfumes that contribute to tarnishing.
  • Never wear jewelry while doing housework, including laundry. Also, remove rings and bracelets before cooking, since acidic foods can tarnish silver.
  • Take off silver jewelry before bathing or swimming. Dry your skin thoroughly before putting it on again.
  • Avoid contact between silver jewelry and wool, felt, or rubber — they all contain sulfur that can cause tarnish.
  • Store your pieces in a padded jewelry box or armoire to protect them from exposure to moisture and heat.
  • Tuck silica gel packets (the kind you find in new purses or boxes of shoes) in with your jewelry. Or add a couple of sticks of chalk. These both absorb moisture and reduce tarnishing.
  • Wear your jewelry often! Your skin’s natural oils provide a protective, anti-tarnishing layer that can keep your sterling silver jewelry bright.

Small diamond cross necklaces are often the first important jewellery gifts given on special occasions. This is because crosses make a beautiful, inspiring and meaningful gift.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Brand History of JLC, or Jaeger Lecoultre

Before Jaeger-LeCoultre became the brand we know today, it was simply a man named Antoine LeCoultre and his workshop. LeCoultre was an inventor and self-taught watchmaker. He founded his first workshop near the famous Jura Mountains in 1833. In the early years, LeCoultre contributed several pivotal inventions to the field of watchmaking. In 1844, he created a device that would forever change the industry. It wasn’t a watch or even an element of a timepiece. Instead, it was a tool called the Millionometer.

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The Millionometer was the first instrument capable of measuring a micron. It helped to refine the manufacture of watch parts and establish the metric system as the standard for watch measurement. Just three years later, he devised the crown winding system. This eliminated the need for keys to wind or set a watch. In 1851, LeCoultre and his inventions finally received the recognition they deserved. That year, London curated an event called the Universal Exhibition to celebrate the commencement of the modern age. Here, LeCoultre received a gold medal for his contributions to the field of watchmaking. In addition, Queen Victoria purchased one of his watches.

As LeCoultre grew older, he brought his son, Elie, into the business. At the time, the Swiss watchmaking industry remained centralized around small workshops. However, Elie saw a vision for the future. He encouraged his father to grow the business into a larger scale factory. Soon, they became the first to establish in the illustrious Joux Valley. Jaeger-LeCoultre continues to reside here today. Expanding the company’s facilities allowed them to expand their work, and they began developing complicated movements. One of the most notable combined a repeater and a chronograph in a single piece. This work would later set the foundation for the brand’s coveted Grand Complications.

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Edmond Jaeger Completes the Brand

Around the same time, a man named Edmond Jaeger set up a workshop in Paris and became the official horologist to the French Navy. Soon, he was developing ultra-thin movements and catching the attention of others in the industry. LeCoultre was intrigued and decided to approach Jaeger about a collaboration. Just after the turn of the century, the duo created the most remarkable ultra-thin caliber of the era. Eventually, Jaeger-LeCoultre would go on to use this Caliber 145 movement in its watches for the next half a century.

Jaeger and LeCoultre continued to work together on projects over the next several decades. In 1925, the pair introduced the world’s smallest movement: the Caliber 101. With nearly 100 components, the movement shockingly only weighed about one gram. However, it wasn’t until 1937 that they officially formed a partnership and become Jaeger-LeCoultre as we know them today. It’s interesting to note that the legendary Reverso first debuted just a few years prior in 1931 under LeCoultre’s name.

Jaeger-LeCoultre in the Modern Era

Under the Jaeger-LeCoultre name, the brand would go on to be one of the foremost leaders in the industry for decades to come. The inventive spirit of the founders has always remained a guiding principle of the company. In 1946, they developed their first automatic watch. A decade later they debuted the Memovox, the first automatic alarm wristwatch. In 1958, they created the Geophysic chronometer, featuring a double anti-magnetic case. Later in 1982, they designed the world’s thinnest quartz movement: the Caliber 608. Shortly after in 1987, they introduced a hybrid quartz and mechanical movement called the Mecaquartz.

In the new millennium, Jaeger-LeCoultre has continued to introduce new innovations and collections and build upon existing models. For instance, in 2006, they released a special variation of the Reverso that featured six unique patents. Three years later, the brand received two major awards in the 21st century’s first chronometry competition. One honored the Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2 and the other, the Master Tourbillon. In the past several years, Jaeger-LeCoultre has introduced an astonishing number of new models to its catalog. One example is the Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon 3 Jubilee in 2013. It features a chronograph with an instant digital counter. Another standout is the Polaris collection that launched in 2018. Then, in 2019, Jaeger-LeCoultre unveiled the Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel as the latest edition of their multi-axis tourbillos.

If you’re looking for some top tips on buying your 14 k white gold necklaces, please contact us in the comment section.

Posted in Jewelry News

A Recap from Watch Time in New York

 

Since Watch Time New York first established in 2014, it has become an important event for product launches. Among them were around half a dozen models making their first public debut. This included Bremont’s H-4 Hercules Limited Edition Spruce Goose pilot watch and many more. Other brands also brought along rare and exclusive models. For instance, OMEGA showcased one of only three editions of the Seamaster Ultra Deep. Earlier in 2019, this model set a new depth rating record after descending to the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

Record Numbers of Brands Exhibiting

In 2019, WatchTime New York set its own records. This included the largest number of brands exhibiting, 37, and guests in attendance, over 1600 throughout the weekend. Some standout exhibitors included A. Lange & Söhne, Bell & Ross, Breguet, F.P. Journe, Glashütte Original, Jaquet Droz, Maurice Lacroix, Montblanc, Oris, Zenith, and more. In addition, the 2019 event was particularly special. It marked the fifth anniversary of the exhibition and twentieth anniversary of WatchTime magazine, creator and host of the event.

American Community, Global Perspective

The fate of the traditional, mechanical watch industry has long been up for debate, particularly in the wake of the Quartz Crisis and advent of the smartwatch. There’s also much speculation about which market is strongest – Asian, European, or American. If WatchTime New York is any indicator, the watchmaking industry is stronger than ever, particularly in the U.S. Still, it begs the question, are the best years of watchmaking behind us or ahead of us?

WatchTime New York tackled this topic head-on in a panel on the Golden Age of Watchmaking: Past or Present. Here, five industry veterans sat down to debate. Renowned collector Jeff Kingston moderated the panel, which featured the co-founder of Greubel Forsey, Stephen Forsey; President of the Horological Society of New York, Nick Manousos; Managing Director of Timezone and Founder of Massena LAB, William Massena; founder of RGM Watch Company, Rolland Murphy; and Senior International Consultant of Watches at Christie’s and founder of Collectability LLC, John Reardon.

The Golden Age of Watchmaking: Past or Present

Massena admitted he’d prepared for the panel by Googling “golden age.” He found that the term comes from Greek mythology but shares a similar sentiment to the “good old days.” It’s an idyllic, often exaggerated, memory of a past time of peace, prosperity, or happiness. Forsey suggested this notion of romanticizing the past might account for the growing numbers of re-editions and vintage-inspired models today. However, he countered the point by exerting that if you accept everything great has been done in the past, you’re never going to appreciate the present or invest in the future. Overall, the panel quickly came to the consensus that defining the golden age is all relative to time and place.

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Forsey followed up with several examples throughout history. Perhaps the sixteenth century was the golden age of design with the introduction of materials like brass, bronze, and silver. The eighteenth century could be the golden age of technical innovation with the development of the balance spring. Or, maybe we’re in the golden age of watchmaking with the renaissance that’s taken place in the post-quartz era. Murphy solidified the notion, stating that only history and perspective can truly reveal a golden age.

To that end, the value and purpose of a watch is also deeply intertwined with the period in history. Massena gave the example of watch complications. In the past, a complication like the minute repeater was necessary to tell the time in the dark. Today, that’s no longer the case. Instead, Reardon suggested that many people appreciate modern mechanical watches more like piece of wearable art than tools. With that in mind, Massena added that today might very well be a golden age of watchmaking for consumers with the sheer volume of options available.

In closing, Manousos asserted that defining the golden age is nearly impossible because it’s so highly subjective. Yet, what he sees in consumers is the more they learn about watches and their history, the more they appreciate each era for the purpose it served in the big picture. To Massena’s earlier point, Forsey added that consumers have more educational resources now than ever before. If education is key, perhaps we are truly approaching the golden age of watchmaking. For more information about garnets or the best watches under 200 we offer, please feel free to contact us. Our expert staff would love to help you discover the perfect piece for your needs.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

What does Pride mean to you? Here’s what it means to us…

June is Pride month, and we’re lucky enough to be right in the center of it all.

Our Chelsea Manhattan office is just blocks away from the Stonewall Inn, where the Pride movement was born 50 years ago. With this year marking such a momentous anniversary, NYC will host World Pride–the largest celebration of LGBT equality in the world–and we can’t wait for all of it to march right through our backyard.

Fortune & Frame was built on the belief that everyone should be the author of their own stories. So it’s only fitting that Pride is our favorite time of the year.

In honor of Pride, all of us took a moment to reflect on our individual experiences and feelings about equality, and put them into words we could wear in our lockets all month long.

From bending the rules (or living entirely outside of them) to honoring our selves and being open to love, here’s what pride means to each of us.

“There are no rules.” 
– Gretel Going, Founder of Fortune & Frame

“I grew up super religious and with a ton of rules. So, when I went to Pride for the first time and saw everybody debunking the rules other people had made for them, I felt a personal connection to Pride–like it was for me too. It’s one of the reasons that New York City is the first place that ever really felt like home to me. I’ve now been here for 13 years.”

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“Celebrate your beautiful self.”

“Pride, to me, is an absolute embrace and celebration of who you are, including all of your strengths and weaknesses. Everyone has their own story and should be able to own and celebrate it with a smile. You deserve the opportunity to be BOLD and beautifully unique.”

“Celebrate your beautiful self.” 
– Marleah Dentes

“To me, pride means staying true to who you are, and exuding this everywhere you go. I think there is a huge amount of strength that goes into being authentic and never feeling like you have to hold back any part of yourself. It’s saying, ‘this is who I am and I’m proud of that.'”

“I am mine.” 
– Jessica Caunedo

“Pride to me means I have the right to represent myself in any way, shape, or form that I choose. We retain the right to be truly expressive of ourselves however we see suitable. To live authentically for yourself is one of the greatest gifts we have been given, and every new day is a chance to be uniquely ourselves. If we as individuals were to leave our personal representations at the hands of society, individuality would cease to exist.”

“Refuse to compromise.” 
– Talia Cutrone

“Pride to me means to not compromise how you love or who you love, and refusing to be anyone other than yourself.

“Not vanity but sanity.” 
– Carli Mathias

“To love yourself is not self-indulgent but rather necessary for a healthy mindset. Without self-love and self-acceptance, there is no way to move forward, to progress, or to truly be happy in your own skin.”

“If you give your love away in any and all forms, a love of equal strength will come back to you.” 
– Sarah Ferrie

“Love, in all its forms, will always be the most important thing. It begins with self-love and acceptance, and once that is achieved, we can open our hearts to others and cultivate an environment where everyone can grow in happiness.”

“Your story is what makes you special.” 
– Kelly Anne Norberto

“Pride means everyone has a story to tell. Every one’s story is different. Most stories are about how they grow as an individual or how someone has overcome a big obstacle in their life. Don’t be afraid to tell your story.”

“Know yourself to trust yourself.” 
– Sarah Lightbody

“Pride is knowing yourself, even in inarticulable ways, and honoring that internal knowledge as both valid and right. It’s the confidence that comes from introspection and a following unwavering self trust, simultaneous with an acknowledgement that you will grow and change over time, creating a long-serving space to bloom.”

“Your journey is individual.” 
– Nicole Carlyle

“To me, pride is all about individuality and fully embracing who you are. There is no distinct path in life that people should abide by. Pride is all about one’s individual journey with self acceptance and unapologetically being true to one’s self.”

Blue diamond engagement ring make the perfect ring for anyone looking to for a diamond with a lower color grade. If you want to know more details then, please contact us in the comment section.

 

Posted in Jewelry

How to Dress Up (or Down) Gingham with Jewelry

As summer picnics and barbecue season go into full gear, we’ve become intrigued with gingham. F&F style writer Hayley Lind set out to explore how pairing different jewelry styles with a single gingham dress could extend its versatility.

It’s no coincidence that we associate gingham with outdoor dining. Originally a fabric reserved for tablecloths, gingham has made a major splash in fashion. Designers began using it on clothing as early as 1939 when Judy Garland wore an apron-like blue and white gingham dress as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz.”

One year later, Katharine Hepburn’s socialite character in “The Philadelphia Story” wore a tea-length dress made of red and white gingham. In recent years, the fabric has made a comeback on the runways of designers such as Altuzarra, Carolina Herrera and Marc Jacobs.

At Fortune & Frame, we were eager to embrace gingham as a go-to summer look. It’s made of lightweight cotton, but can be easily dressed up or down, to match your mood.

To us, the perfect take on the trend is a gingham shirtdress. It’s casual, utilitarian, and feminine, without being overly dressy. Shirt dresses also have the added benefit of being flattering for all shapes and sizes. Because gingham can be either striking or subdued, it’s perfect for both a day of self-reflection at the park or for more social outings, like a day out with friends.

We paired a brown-and-white, full-length gingham shirtdress from Asos with a handful of jewelry styles from our collection to see what works best with the pattern. Here’s a photo recap of what we discovered during an outing at Central Park, along with some tips on how to style Fortune & Frame’s pieces with your gingham.

The first piece we chose is our Honeycomb Fortune Locket. Comprised of delicate octagonal shapes, it opens to reveal whatever message is resonating with you in the moment.

This long necklace skims the dress and buttons perfectly, and sits alongside the tie on the waist. We were pleased to realize that the shapes in the necklace didn’t compete with the pattern of the dress, and instead complemented it. The longer necklace also allowed the dress collar to stand alone while adding a relaxed vibe.

We styled Alessia’s hair in a sleek high bun to showcase her gold Fortune Cookie Earrings These earrings come in two different sizes and three different finishes (gold, sterling silver and rose-gold).

To bring the dress to its maximum style potential, we also paired it with our Key of F Trio, a vintage-inspired necklace in the F&F collection. The keys were originally designed as mechanisms to open and close our fortune lockets and frames. When we realized that a basic clasp would work better, we preserved the gorgeous keys as a nod to the fact that sometimes no matter how hard you want something to work, it’s better when it doesn’t.

Now, three dangling key pendants, set in sterling silver, gold and rose gold vermeil, grace a chic sterling silver snake chain, creating a stunning, eye-catching piece.

We liked the idea of unrolling the dresses sleeves and adding simple tan booties for an effortless look. For a bracelet-forward look, this dress also looks great with the sleeves folded to create a chic cuff and reveal your wrists.

Of course, this is just one outfit, but our jewelry–just like gingham–has the unique quality of being easy to play up or play down, so it pairs well with any gingham ensemble you choose. A red-and-white gingham blouse, gingham pants or a gingham wrap skirt are just a few options available right now at retailers like Forever 21, Revolve and Shopbop.

If you’re looking for some top tips on buying best smart watches for women, please contact us in the comment section.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

5 Ways to Elevate your Stamped Jewelry with New Techniques

Elevate your stamped jewelry with a few simple tips! Before the holidays, I played around in the studio with some stamps, blanks, soldering ornaments and a torch. Now, hand stamping is not something I frequently do because I tend to spend all of my time on jewelry soldering projects. I found though, that when I combined the two, they complimented each other using just a few simple techniques.

Don’t worry! A few of these techniques require the use of a torch, but if you’re not used to soldering we have lots of articles and videos to help you. I’ve included a basic soldering video at the bottom of this article, to help you get started.

I love to solder, I know I say it time and time again, but everything about it I love. Don’t get me wrong, it definitely wasn’t like that at first. I was timid, scared of the heat and the flame and out of my comfort zone. But boy, did that all change and I assure you it will for you, too. I see it all the time with the employees here, I show them how to solder a couple of things and then they run with it. Just think about it, when you learn how to solder, you open up a whole world of new techniques and skills that you can offer to your customers. Not only can you finally solder jump rings closed, but you can also now design shanks and make your own rings, solder posts onto handmade earrings, create chain links any style that you’d like. The list goes on and on.

On the flip side, we already know that hand stamping jewelry is not only fun but meaningful as well. Stamping thoughtful sayings, words that inspire someone, celebrating important dates and moments in time. When you stamp that special piece for a customer or loved one, it’s extremely satisfying, to both of you.

Mix it up! Mix soldering with the hand stamping skills that you’ve already perfected and you’ll elevate your jewelry line to a whole new level.

But first, before I hyperlink to an array of articles about soldering that’ll help you get started, let me show you 5 simple ways to elevate your stamped jewelry using simple soldering techniques.

Add a Soldering Ornament

A jewelry soldering ornament is a small finding that can easily be incorporated into jewelry designs. You can solder or rivet these tiny embellishments onto your hand stamped metal blanks. If you choose to solder, these are ideal using the sweat soldering technique! They come in sterling silver, 14kt gold and copper.

Solder on a 14kt Charm

By using 14kt gold findings your piece will really pop! Take a 14kt gold charm, clip off the ring (if it has one) and solder it onto the piece. They look amazing, they’re inexpensive, and they add perceived value to your finished piece.

Add a Border using Wire or Stamps

A simple border can really add to the overall appearance of your jewelry. You can stamp, hammer or even solder on a fancy pattern wire. Borders are not only fun to create but they also take very little time if you texture them on.

Include a Setting

I love using stone settings on stamped pieces. Because setting a calibrated stone with a bezel setting tube takes just a few seconds, here’s a great tip. Solder on the tube bezel ahead of time, have the customer pick the color of the stone and then set it. This is a great way to personalize a piece for a customer, especially when you’re working at a show.

Use Fancy Blanks

Last, but not least, stamped pieces are usually found in round or rectangle shapes but by simply switching over to a fancier blank you can make your work stand out. We have fancy metal stamping blanks in sterling silver, 14kt solid gold, 14kt gold-filled and 14kt rose gold-filled.

Begin Soldering today!

This is the first soldering project that I teach the new employees in the Halstead Jewelry Studio. Using a kitchen table soldering station set-up and a handheld butane torch, I’ll cover the tools and supplies that you’ll need and then I’ll move on to soldering a bangle. Once you learn to solder, you’ll be amazed at all that you can make! Read on to find out how to find quality gold bangles for girls that love of their life will cherish forever.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Best Beading Tools Used for Making Jewelry

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You can learn how to make simple beaded jewelry in an hour and spend a lifetime perfecting it! That’s why jewelry beading is so much fun, it’s easy to get started yet the different shapes and sizes of beads can keep you challenged in exciting ways as you develop your skills. Another reason to love beading is that it’s ageless, anyone from teens on up can enjoy this activity and learn this art form. In this article, we’ll cover the jewelry tools and components you’ll need to get started, but first, the most difficult part of beading for beginners is how to finish the ends. In fact, finishing beaded ends is the one question we get asked the most. How do you secure the beads? How do I add a lobster claw or jump ring? What is a crimp or crimping tool? Below is a video on finishing the ends of a beaded jewelry piece.

What you need to start beading

The recommended budget for jewelry beading tools

I would recommend a $75-100 initial budget for jewelry tools and supplies. The pliers, cutters, and crimpers listed below are a one time only purchase and will last for years to come. Here is a list of the essential jewelry making tools and supplies that you’ll need when beginning beading:

  • Chain nose pliers = $5.00 each (you’ll need two pairs for opening and closing jump rings)
  • Ultra-fine Point Cutters (a.k.a. nippers) = $8.00
  • Crimpers = $15.00
  • Adhesives = $5 – $10
  • Stringing Wire (100 foot spools) = $20 – $40

Shopping for beads is the fun part!

Let’s talk about shopping first! It’s exciting when you begin to build up your array of beads. You’ll find beads from all over the world, in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and colors and once you start planning out your designs you’ll be hooked. If you’re budgeting, get a general idea of what size beads you want prior to shopping. This will help keep you focused because you still have a few other things to purchase before you can finish your piece:

  • Closures (spring rings, lobster claws or toggles)
  • Jump Rings
  • Crimp Beads

For every bracelet or necklace that you make you need 1 closure, 2 jump rings and 2 crimp beads. That’s the standard but as you become comfortable beading, there are lots of other beading supplies (including crimp covers, beads caps, and cones) that you’ll eventually add to your jewelry designs.

Organize your beading tool stash space

Organization is key when you’re beginning to bead. As these jewelry tools and small components accumulate, it will become important to find things quickly. Plastic compartmentalized containers work well keeping your items separated plus they’re inexpensive and easy to store on a shelf.

Separate the beading tools and precious metals. If it were me, I would separate the sterling silver items, like jump rings and closures, from the adhesives. Fumes from certain adhesives can make your sterling silver items tarnish quickly!

Tip: It’s always a good idea to store any sterling silver components in ziplock plastic bags with one anti-tarnish tab per bag. This simple step will help prevent tarnishing on your sterling silver items.

Breakdown of Beading Tools

Chain Nose Pliers

Critical as a beading tool! Two chain nose pliers are handy when opening and closing sterling silver jump rings and 14k gold stud earrings. When opening and closing a jump ring you do not pull the jump ring ends apart, instead, you twist them open and closed. This prevents the jump rings from getting misshapen plus it work hardens them so that they’re stronger and that’s a good thing!

Tip: When beading you use your pliers quite a bit, so be sure when you purchase pliers that they have spring handles. These types of handles allow the pliers to spring open on their own every time you close them. Spring-loaded handles are much easier on your wrists especially if you are beading a lot.

Cutters

Beading requires cutting tight places. For instance, when snipping off the extra wire after crimping the end. This extra wire is snuggled up between the last bead and the crimp, so that’s one small space to work in.

Crimping Pliers

This beading jewelry tool is a must! Close crimps with crimping pliers that are used at the end of necklaces to secure the beads on the stringing wire. Simple and easy to use they’re an essential tool for beaders. The video above shows you how to use these pliers with crimp tubes and covers.

Jewelers Glue – secure those knots!

Knots that tend to unravel over time can be secured with just a drop of GS Hypo Cement or Starbond adhesives. That extra support is vital to keeping your knots secure and strong and with shelf lives of a year or longer, this is a great purchase. One bottle or tube will truly go a long way!

Beading Wire

OK, not a tool. But, this simple beading supply item will get you underway! Stringing wire is a crucial component when planning out your projects. There are a lot of choices but two of the most important ones are the diameter of the wire and the strength. The diameter is important because bead holes can be extremely small and you need a beading wire that can fit through the hole size(s) that you are working with. Strength is just as important. You need a stringing wire that’s long-lasting and strong so it can handle the weight of the beads.

Beadalon and Soft Flex are superior beading wires for their strength and flexibility.

Beadalon is made out of nylon coated stainless steel and although it is made from metal it feels like thread. Inside of this abrasion-resistant, nylon coatings are either 19 or 49 strands of twisted miniature wires. The more stainless steel wires it has, the more flexible it is. So although they are both super strong, the 49 strands of wire create a more flexible stringing wire than the 19 strand does. This is great for beaders! Sometimes you don’t want that much flexibility for say collars or choker length necklaces, however, you may want more flexibility in a longer beaded necklace.

Soft Flex is also a nylon coated stainless steel product. You have a choice between 21 or 49 micro woven stainless steel strands which are then braided together. It is a lead-free, hypoallergenic product.

Posted in Uncategorized

How a Band of Surfer Dudes Pulled Off the Biggest Jewel Heist in N.Y. History

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For a few months in 1964, “Murph the Surf” and his crew became folk heroes when they looted the Hall of Gems from the American Museum of Natural History.

For its 150th anniversary, the American Museum of Natural History is celebrating its many historic moments, from its 1869 founding, to the 1902 discovery of the first T-Rex skeleton, to the creation of the Teddy Roosevelt statue erected out front in 1940.

One milestone not on that list: the biggest jewel heist in New York history, when the Star of India, a 563-carat sapphire the size of a golf ball, was snatched from its display case, along with the rare Eagle Diamond, the DeLong Star Ruby and some 20 other precious gems from a collection donated to the museum by J.P. Morgan.

For several months beginning in October 1964, the city was transfixed by the brazen robbery that the tabloids immediately labeled the heist of the century.

The culprits were not ordinary thieves. They were sharply dressed surfer dudes on a spree that took them from their base in Miami Beach up to their lair in New York, a penthouse suite in a Manhattan hotel. They were caught within two days of the crime, but the jewels remained missing. After a wild escapade in Miami — an unorthodox excursion involving a rented convertible — many of the gems were recovered, including the Star of India, which was promptly put on solo display in the museum’s main floor rotunda — this time, with its own security guard and safe.

When the museum reopens the gem wing next year after a long renovation, the Star of India will be there.

Roberto Lebron, a current spokesman for the museum, would not comment on security aspects before or after the heist, other than to say, “The museum certainly learned a thing or two from that episode, which occurred more than 50 years ago.”

The call came in around 10 a.m. to the 20th Precinct on the Upper West Side. There was a break-in at the museum.

Detective Jack McNally and his colleagues headed right over, arriving to find the Hall of Gems a total mess, with numerous display cases shattered, the cabinets broken and their contents pillaged.

“We were thinking it was some tiny thing,” recalled Mr. McNally, who is now 85 and retired and living in a beach community on Long Island. “The whole place was a wreck.”

Within an hour, the press was swarming the museum.

If the Star of India was the story’s headline, museum security was the punch line. The alarms on the hall’s display cases had long stopped working, including the trip alarm on the Star of India. Because of budget cuts, the museum’s security staff was reduced. Of the eight guards on duty that night to cover the 18-building museum complex, it was the responsibility of one aging guard to sporadically shine a flashlight into the Hall of Gems during his rounds.

The museum put the stolen gems’ value at $410,000 — about $3.3 million today. But as historical artifacts, they were irreplaceable and considered priceless.

“We were all dumbfounded that there was no alarm system — that was extremely unusual,” Mr. McNally said. “There was no security at all.”

“We asked the curators for a description of the stuff that was taken, and they really didn’t have solid inventory,” he added.

The three thieves — Jack Murphy, Allan Kuhn and Roger Clark — were tan, fit beach boys in their 20s, full of swagger and Rat Pack chic. They had driven up from Miami several weeks earlier in a white Cadillac and had settled into a penthouse suite at the Cambridge House Hotel on West 86th Street, where they threw constant parties.

All the while, they were pulling off smaller robberies around town of hotel rooms and wealthy bar patrons, but it was hard to ignore the museum’s world-class jewel exhibit a few blocks away.

While Mr. Kuhn was eager for the museum heist, Mr. Murphy recalled being initially leery of the caper. “We were turning heads, and too many people in town knew who we were,” said Mr. Murphy, who is 82 and living in Florida.

In scouting the hall, they realized that, for a skilled thief with the chutzpah to break in, the jewels were practically begging to be stolen, recalled Mr. Murphy in a recent interview.

“Allan said he could hear the jewels talking,” he recalled. “He said, ‘The jewels are saying, ‘Take us to Miami.’ So I said, ‘Well, let’s take them to Miami.’”

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Despite the profile of the crime they were about to commit, Mr. Murphy still boasts that they were undaunted by the challenge. “It really was no big deal — a job like this we could pull off anytime,” Mr. Murphy recalled. “This was the same as saying, ‘Let’s go bowling.’”

The heist became the basis for the 1975 film “Murph the Surf.” In it, Mr. Murphy (played by Don Stroud) and Mr. Kuhn (Robert Conrad) dress in sharp suits and squire stylish women into the Hall of Gems to case the joint. They prepare for the heist by flipping open a window latch right under the nose of a wheezy old guard in a cardigan sweater.

In reality, the three thieves cased the museum beforehand and noticed the fourth-floor windows were left open.

In the end, it was their high living that ultimately brought them down. After the heist, a staffer at their hotel tipped off the police about the three high-rolling Miami dudes who suddenly disappeared as soon as the heist made headlines.

Mr. Murphy and Mr. Kuhn were quickly located and arrested in Miami, but not before they had unloaded the jewels to be fenced.

Yet the case stayed in the headlines for months and included a wild expedition to recover the stones led by a relentless Manhattan prosecutor named Maurice Nadjari.

Mr. Nadjari was a by-the-books prosecutor and a fierce cross-examiner. His regular courtroom was known among opposing defense attorneys as “the Snake Pit.”

He saw the jewel theft as an affront to the city itself, recalled his son, Douglas Nadjari, who cares for his father now that his health has declined.

“My father felt that those jewels belonged to the people of New York City,” Mr. Nadjari said.

And so, while the press was still swarming the story, Mr. Nadjari proposed an unusual covert mission. He would slip Mr. Kuhn out of a New York jail and escort him to Miami, along with Mr. McNally and two other detectives, to track down the fenced jewels.

It was a risky ploy, one that Mr. Nadjari’s boss, the longtime Manhattan district attorney Frank Hogan, agreed to with trepidation.

“Hogan told me, ‘If you don’t get the jewels, don’t come back,’” recalled Mr. Nadjari, now 95.

Mr. Murphy grew up in Southern California during the formative years of longboard surfing, which he helped pioneer on the East Coast in the 1950s by opening a shop in Florida.

He dropped out of college as a freshman in the mid-1950s, he said, and hitched to Miami, where he taught tennis and swimming at swanky hotels, also performing as a trick diver in hotel aquatic shows.

But he also fell in with the local hustlers and thieves who robbed mansions along the Intracoastal Waterway. They relied on Mr. Murphy’s special talent: He would swim the jewels to a getaway car on the mainland.

A year before the Star of India heist, he was still a world-class surfer, taking first place in a competition in Virginia Beach that was a precursor to the East Coast Surfing Championships. But by the time he arrived in New York that autumn, he was also a hardened jewel thief, fresh off a streak of heists of mansions and hotels in Miami.

The decision to try the museum job was hardly the result of an elaborate scheme. Instead, it was almost a whim after a drinking session at a hotel bar — “I was probably ready for anything,” Mr. Murphy said.

Mr. Murphy was still dressed sharp — in a dark green velour jacket, turtleneck, corduroys and tennis shoes — when they pulled up in the Cadillac to the southwest corner of the museum, at a truck entrance off Columbus Avenue near 79th Street.

“You got to have a little flair,” he said recently. “If you get arrested and end up on the news, you don’t want to look like a schlub.”

Mr. Clark remained behind with a walkie-talkie while Mr. Murphy and Mr. Kuhn headed in with an airline shoulder bag and a coil of rope. Mr. Murphy also carried a pistol, just in case.

To access the Hall of Gems, they entered the courtyard behind the building and scaled a tall iron fence like two acrobats. They climbed the fire escape to the fifth floor and inched along a narrow ledge. Mr. Murphy said he almost fell after he startled a covey of pigeons that burst into flight.

The pair broke into the darkened office of Dr. Colin Turnbull, a noted British anthropologist who kept a harpsichord in the office to play at lunchtime.

“They were very, very athletic, these guys, and they were not rookies at this,” Mr. McNally recalled. “They had done plenty of this already down in Florida.”

From there, they lowered themselves to an open window in the fourth floor Hall of Gems.

“I wasn’t surprised at all that they were left open,” Mr. Murphy recalled. “I don’t think the museum ever expected anyone to get up there.”

The most precious gems were in larger cases in the center of the room, but the alarms had been nonfunctional for years.

“They probably thought, ‘Why do we need alarms? These jewels have been laying here for 70 years and no one’s ever tried to steal them,’” Mr. Murphy said.

The thieves could see that the trip alarm on the Star of India’s display stand had batteries that were corroded and probably long dead. Still, Mr. Murphy expected that when the Star of India’s alarm went off, they’d just run for it. But nothing happened. A seemingly impossible caper was turning out to be a breeze.

One hiccup was the strong double-paned glass in the display cases. The thieves’ initial attempt to smash it with a fat rubber mallet was loud and unsuccessful.

So they used glass cutters to score a circle, which they covered with duct tape to prevent shattering and muffle the sound. Timing their work with the guard’s predictable rounds, they worked carefully over several hours hitting one case after another, synchronizing the smashing with airliners flying overhead and sweeping the floor after each one.

Around midnight, after gathering up roughly two dozen jewels — prize emeralds, diamonds, aquamarines and several diamond bracelets, brooches and rings — they went back out the window and climbed down to the ground.

Mr. Murphy said that as he slipped through the small park around the museum, he saw a crowd of police officers and froze. He quickly realized that this was not a response to the robbery, but rather a routine shift change from the local precinct.

Still, here he was, carrying a bag of stolen jewels, a coil of rope on his shoulder, when two officers headed toward him. He quickly began chatting with a man walking his dog.

“I just said, ‘Good evening, officers’ and they gave me a nod and kept walking,” recalled Mr. Murphy, who then hailed a cab on Columbus Avenue — not to the penthouse suite but to the Metropole Cafe in Midtown, to check out Gene Krupa’s jazz band.

“I figured, if I wind up going to jail for this,” he said, “I might as well party a little.” Minutes after pulling off an epic heist, Murph the Surf was standing with the jewels and a cocktail at the Metropole, digging Krupa’s star trumpeter, Shorty Rogers.

The next day, he and Mr. Kuhn flew to Miami with the gems packed into a ladies’ overnight bag that was carried unwittingly by a 19-year-old woman named Janet Florkiewicz, whom Mr. Kuhn had met at the hotel and quickly seduced.

But their liberty was brief. After the tip from the hotel staffer, a warrant was obtained and Mr. McNally entered the thieves’ penthouse suite and found plenty of incriminating evidence, including burglary tools and sneakers with glass stuck in the soles.

Mr. Clark, the driver, remained in New York and was arrested at the hotel. Detectives quickly located the other two thieves with the help of Janet Florkiewicz’s jilted boyfriend and her roommate in New York, who was speaking by phone with her in Miami.

With the jewels missing, the thieves denying the crime, and no witnesses, Mr. Nadjari knew he had a weak case. Bail was set low and Mr. Murphy and Mr. Kuhn went back to gallivanting in Miami. They would fly up to New York for court dates and never missed an opportunity to grandstand for the press and insult the authorities as bumbling squares.

After one court date, Mr. Murphy lit a cigar and told reporters the plan was to grab the jewels, fence them in Florida, and then hit the North Shore of Hawaii for the winter surf season. Unfortunately, that wasn’t happening. “This inconvenience has fouled the whole thing up,” he said.

Mr. Nadjari was irritated that the thieves were being portrayed in the press as celebrities and folk heroes. He began searching for other possible crimes the men may have committed, which would necessitate a higher bail and perhaps hold them in jail.

Sure enough, he was able to have the men arrested again, on charges of mugging a woman in a Miami hotel for her jewelry. The victim, improbably, was the actress Eva Gabor, who would later decline to press charges, citing her schedule shooting the television show “Green Acres” in Los Angeles.

But for the moment, those charges — which Mr. Murphy still denies — allowed the authorities to keep the thieves locked up in the jail in downtown Manhattan known as the Tombs.

“They thought they were tough,” Mr. Nadjari’s son said, “but they weren’t tough enough to handle staying in the tombs.”

Now facing long prison sentences, Mr. Kuhn approached Mr. Nadjari offering to get the jewels back in return for leniency.

Surprisingly, Mr. Nadjari agreed. Mr. Kuhn was spirited out of the tombs and flown to Miami, the detective seated by his side. During the trip, Mr. Kuhn repeatedly offered to bribe Mr. Nadjari to drop the charges or simply let him escape.

“Kuhn would say, ‘All you have to do is turn your head away and I’ll make you a rich man,’” Mr. Nadjari recalled. Mr. Kuhn would then get angry and call the cautious prosecutor stupid for opting for a mild-mannered life as a civil servant over accepting a bribe.

“I said, ‘I may be stupid, but you’re going to jail and I’m going home to my wife and children,’” recalled Mr. Nadjari. He did, however, indulge one of Mr. Kuhn’s requests: While they were in Miami, the detective sprung for the rental of a flashy red Cadillac convertible.

Over several days, as Mr. Kuhn negotiated for the return of the jewels, the group hopped from one motel to the next to evade a press scrum tailing them, along with federal agents vying to take over the case.

“We were actually fugitives,” recalled Mr. McNally, who was also on the trip. “We had 100 reporters chasing us, as well as the F.B.I.”

At one point the group hopped out a rear motel window that had a long drop down to the beach.

When Mr. Kuhn balked at this, Mr. Nadjari told him, “If you don’t jump, I’m throwing you out.”

Mr. Kuhn was impressed with the detective’s skill in slipping in and out of motel windows.

“He told me, ‘I wish we’d met earlier — you would have made a great jewel thief,’” recalled Mr. Nadjari, who at one point put on a mask and snorkel to search for the jewels, which were said to be stashed underwater in Biscayne Bay near Mr. Kuhn’s boat.

In the end, less than half of the two dozen stolen gems were recovered. But they did retrieve the Star of India.

Mr. Kuhn arranged with the fence to pick up the jewels in a locker in a Miami bus terminal. They were left in two soaking pouches drenched in salt water.

Mr. Nadjari immediately stuffed them in his pockets, drenching his pants. Once on the plane back to New York, he transferred them to airsickness bags.

“I wasn’t going to let them out of my sight,” he said.

For his work on the case, Mr. McNally made second-grade detective.

In exchange for cooperating with the recovery, Mr. Murphy and his partners received light sentences, serving roughly two years each on Rikers Island.

After that, Mr. Clark and Mr. Kuhn went straight, fading into conventional lives. Both have died in recent years.

But Mr. Murphy’s criminal career continued. In 1969, he was convicted in a murder case in Florida for his involvement in the deaths of two women who had fallen in with him and several other thieves.

In prison, Mr. Murphy developed a popular Christian ministry for inmates and was granted parole in the mid-1980s to administer prison outreach.

Mr. Murphy now lives in a small town near Tampa. He continues his prison evangelism and still invokes the museum heist as the impetus for the criminal odyssey that ultimately led him to Jesus and redemption. He even zips over to Florida’s east coast to catch the occasional wave.

Mr. Nadjari went on to become a special prosecutor weeding out corruption and ran unsuccessfully for Queens district attorney. To this day, he keeps a photo of the Star of India in his living room, a reminder of the most meaningful case of his career.

“He felt like those guys stuck a finger in the city’s eye,” his son said. “And he really wanted to get the jewels back for the City of New York.”

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