Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

The Enchantment of Phenomenal Stones

By Iris Stratman

The Intrigue of Phenomenal Properties

There is special kind of wonder to be found in light distortions. From kaleidoscopes to phantasmagoria theater, manipulations of light are timeless and have an intrinsic draw that delight viewers. This play-of-light is prevalent in gemstones, specifically those of the phenomenal variety. Phenomenal gemstones are defined by their unique ability to distort light, creating an otherworldly optical effect. In the coming weeks, there will be more fun tidbits about the various kinds of gems that possess these qualities such as moonstones, abalone pearls, and cat’s-eye. You perhaps have even seen them before in the gallery! I thoroughly enjoyed learning all about how these stunning optical effects are created. There is plethora of unique properties that result in the ethereal beauty of a phenomenal stone.


When light is broken up into different colors, it is called iridescence. Akin to soap bubbles, oil slicks, and butterfly wings, this rainbow effect is found in gems such as opals, abalone shells, and labradorite.

Notably found in moonstones among other gems, this property is defined by its milky, semi-opaque luster. Adularescence is caused by the parallel layers of albite in a stone’s structure. We can thank adularescence for the soft, celestial glow of moonstones, quartz, and many others! Ceylon and rainbow moonstones are both present in Eve’s “Angel” ring, from her “Medieval” series.

Named after aventurine quartz, this stunning coruscate effect is the result of small, thin inclusions within the stone. When light hits it, the gem can look like tinsel preserved in crystal! In sunstones, aventurescence is cause by flecks of copper, known as schiller, growing simultaneously within the stone. A perfect example of this is shown in the sunstone located in the center of “The Hidden Dream” ring from Eve’s “No Forwarding Address” series.

The six-rayed star within the center sapphire of Eve’s “Interchange” ring is a prime example of asterism. This property occurs in minerals that contain small, fiber-like crystal inclusions. Stones such as rubies and sapphires that feature asterism are cut into a cabochon. When direct light hits the cabochon-cut gem, a star shines out from within its core!

What makes cat’s-eye so unique is its glowing band. With a cabochon cut, these parallel needlelike inclusions in the stone imitate the look of an actual eye of a cat! However, this property is not limited to solely cat’s-eye and tiger’s-eye stones. You can see chatoyancy prevalent in other precious gems, such as moonstones, or the chrysoberyl centered in Eve’s “The Auspices Have Spoken” ring.

In the case of labradorescence, the importance of the schiller effect cannot be emphasized enough. The schiller effect occurs when light scatters around within thin layers of feldspar, resulting in a distinct play-of-color known as labradorescence. As the name implies, this optical treat is notably found in labradorite.

It is said that you can see the universe inside of a precious opal. Indeed, the rich swirls of color that are formed from hardened silica spheres do recall those of nebulas. In opals, the diameter, uniformity, and overall alignment of the silica spheres and their arrangement results in the play-of-color. This quality is especially prominent in black opals which are the most highly valued of all. The play-of-color is put into action when lighting and perspective is changed. When the orientation is switched, new colors emerge from within. Notice the galaxy of color and light play in the 144.3 carat koroit opal featured in Eve’s “Le radeau de la meduse” pin.

Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

Jewelry Transformation: Heirlooms, Stones and More!

By Eli Kosinski

Eve J Alfillé Gallery and Studio is known for Eve’s inventive and person-oriented custom work! If you have an idea for a project, Eve will fulfill your vision with her vast collection of gems and design wisdom. But we don’t always start the process with only an idea: sometimes, jewelry that you no longer wear is the subject of a transformation. If you own precious materials, like a family heirloom or loose gemstones, Eve is able to tailor them to suit your tastes. Eve believes in honoring the original integrity of the materials while simultaneously breathing fresh life into them!

For example, a customer recently came to Eve with a gorgeous pink opal set in a gold ring. As a ring, the opal wasn’t getting its moment to take center stage. So Eve thought of a few different options for this stone: she drew up ideas for it as a pendant, and then as a ring of her own design. But because this customer loves bracelets, they decided to set the stone in a sleek and delicate gold bracelet. Now, the pink opal is flanked by two pretty pie slice elements from Eve’s “Just Desserts” series. This decorative trio of opal and dessert pieces are attached to a simple gold band. Through collaborative processes like this one, you can highlight the beauty of the stones you own!

In that case, the opal was a singular element that sparked a bigger creation. We can also go in the other direction, and create multiple projects out of a single item or collection. For example, another customer arrived at the shop with her collection of gold and jade rings.

These jade ornaments are rich in both color and in emotional value: these deep-green cufflinks were purchased on a honeymoon. Now, they will be repurposed for another happy occasion. Eve is resetting two of the jade stones as cufflinks for the customer’s new son-in-law, as a wedding gift. Projects like these are a special way to preserve the sentimental meaning of the piece while updating its style or format. Eventually, another two of the rings might become a pair of earrings!

Similarly, customers might have a ring, or other piece of jewelry with multiple stones in it. If these stones are very tiny, a great way to update their appearance is to transform them into an eye-catching yet every-day type of necklace: a “Rain chain”. These types of chains are decorated with stones in simple bezels. Diamonds are classically a favorite choice for “Rain chains”, but other types of stones can also rock this modern look. Pictured here is a photo of a diamond “Rain chain”.

These are just a few examples of the reimagining that Eve does. If you think you have a stone or piece of jewelry that could use a trip to the gallery, please bring it and any ideas you have!

Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio, jewelry

August Birthstones

By Alyssa Arroyo

August is here and in anticipation of this month, here are the August birthstones!

Peridot, The Gem of the Sun

Peridot is a warm green gem that is best suited for earrings, pins, pendants, and rings with a bezel setting. If you are hard on hands you’ll want to be sure cautious of hitting hard surfaces. Peridot is a 6.5-7 on Moh’s hardness scale making it a medium-hard stone. This joyful green color is dependent on the level of iron contained within the Peridot, giving it that friendly yellow-green hue.

Peridot is special for a couple of reasons; The green hue is consistent which is rare in gems. It is also 1 of only 2 gems that are formed in the molten rocks of the upper mantle rather than in the earth’s crust, where most gems are found. Peridot can be found in lava, meteorites, and deep in Earth’s mantle.

Peridot is seen as a stone associated with light, perfect for August and the summer sun. Ancient Egyptians mined Peridot on the Islands of Zabargad in the Red Sea. They referred to Peridot as the “gem of the sun”. Europeans also adorned cathedrals with Peridot in the middle ages and in Hawaii, Peridot can be found amongst the tiny grains of sand lining the beaches, Hawaiians believe they symbolize the tears of Pele, the goddess of fire.

The largest sources of Peridot are the United States, Myanmar, Pakistan, and the Himalayas. Here, at Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio, you can take a look at a variety of Peridot jewelry as well as select Peridot gems for any customizations you might want to make on your own jewelry or for new pieces you want to create.

Sardonyx, Hidden Between Layers

Sardonyx combines alternating layers of Sard and Onyx, having 2 types of the mineral chalcedony. The colors range from yellowish-red to reddish-brown to brownish-black. The color is dependent on the iron oxide within the stone. These lines of Sard and white chalcedony were once more precious than gold, silver, and sapphire.

Sardonyx is widely available and affordable when created as beads, gems, and jewelry. They are mostly found in India, Brazil, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Madagascar, Uruguay, and United States.

Roman Soldiers wore or carried Sardonyx talismans that were engraved with heroes and gods because they believed they would embody the same characteristics as the figure they wore around themselves. It is thought that orange Sardonyx stimulates, black Sardonyx absorbs, and green Sardonyx purifies.

Sardonyx is a 6.5 on Moh’s hardness scale. The gallery has plenty of Sardonyx for you to browse, in order to form any jewelry that you’d love to wear whether that be a pin, pendant, or pair of earrings.

Spinel, The Latest Addition

Spinel is the most recently added gem to the August birthstones and it’s known for its deep red color that is similar to rubies. Pure Spinel is colorless, different impurities change the color to reds, yellows, blues, violets, and many more. Spinel is an 8 on the Moh’s hardness scale, making it good for all kinds of jewelry.

Spinel was confused for many different gems. For example, Until the late 19th century rubies and Spinels were indistinguishable. The enormous “ruby” that is placed in the centerpiece of the royal crown of England, also known as the “black prince”, was in fact a Spinel. One way of distinguishing Spinels is through UV light because they are fluorescent.

South East Asia’s mines yielded enormous Spinel crystals in ancient times. These Spinels became the treasured property of kings and emperors, passing through many hands as spoils of war.

Good quality Spinel in size and color is mostly found in Burma, but they are also found in Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tanzania, and Madagascar. We have a wide range of Spinels in our gallery space, from small drops to rings. They can be used in jewelry in many ways due to their varying size and color.

The August Birthstones consist of Peridot, Sardonyx, and Spinel. These 3 very different stones can all be found here at Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio. For those of us born in August, this is our month and these are our stones, happy summer!

Custom Design, Design Series, Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

Jewelry: Travel Edition

By Alyssa Arroyo

When traveling it’s essential to keep your jewelry safe, here are a few ways to secure your valuable and sentimental jewelry as you travel.

When going through security at the airport it’s okay to keep your jewelry on, it’s even encouraged by the TSA. You can wear a majority of your jewelry through the metal detectors without a problem. In the case that the metal detector does go off due to bulky or heavy pieces, the officer can inspect you there or you can ask to go to a private room so they can assess and examine you properly without unnecessary attention to your valuable jewelry.


You can wear all of your jewelry through security but it would be unwise to walk through with most of your necklaces, rings, bracelets, and earrings on all at the same time as you pass through the security checkpoints. So where do you keep the jewelry you’re not wearing? It’s vital to keep your jewelry close in a carry-on that will be on your person at all times. Be sure to place this jewelry in your carry-on prior to getting to the security point as you don’t want to forget, lose, or cause unwanted attention to the important pieces of jewelry you might be traveling with. Don’t place your jewelry in your checked luggage, as it can get lost or stolen. You also don’t want to place your fine jewelry in the bins or bowls used for change and money clips as they easily tip over and your items can get lost or damaged on the conveyer belt.


Carry your jewelry in a travel jewelry case that has a zipper component in order to enclose your jewelry, and it should have a dedicated space for items like your rings, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. A pearl folder or jewelry pouch work well for organization and keeping your things from getting tangled and disrupted. Another way to carry your jewelry is in a travel jewelry roll (foldable/rollable) soft fabric or leather organizer that can keep your jewelry all together and compact for safe keeping in your carry- on.

For quick at home organization when you’re on the go or try reusing your household items, buttons, cardboard, straws, pill boxes, and towels, they can provide useful storage solutions.

  • Buttons: You can place studs or any earrings with posts into the holes on your buttons and secure them with an ear nut on the back so they stay together and are easy to find.
  • Cardboard: Similar to buttons, you can poke holes into thick cardboard and place your earrings into the cardboard in pairs and secure with the ear nut on the back.
  • Straws: Necklaces and bracelets can be slid into the straw and clasped which keep them straight and prevents tangles
  • Towels: Fragile jewelry can be wrapped in a towel and placed in a tight bag to keep secure and prevent any damage throughout your trip or at home
  • Pill Boxes: These can be great for separating your jewelry into individual compartments for organization and to prevent pieces rubbing together.


Keep in mind that you want to pack lightly, be discreet, and keep your items secure. Jewelry can easily be lost or stolen, Natalie and Michael Hekmat, a couple from Manhattan lost $88,200 worth of jewelry. On their way to Los Angeles from New York, the couple placed a jewelry roll with 9 rings into their checked baggage and when they arrived in Los Angeles and looked through their luggage the roll was still there, but the rings had vanished. In another case, a couple of American Airlines baggage handlers stole nearly $300,000 from a suitcase belonging to David Diamond, a jewelry dealer, he lost 925 items totaling $280,000.

Although it seems that we are in safe hands while going through the airport and traveling, there are many factors that can put your items in jeopardy. Here are some extra precautions to keep your jewelry safe:

Keep it small, only take what you need. We often over pack, although we might want to bring our entire closet, it’s best to figure out what jewelry you might actually wear. Leave behind the items that are extremely valuable to you or items you most likely won’t need while you’re away. A good plan is to take 1 or 2 pairs of Eve Earrings with her special hook and bring a few different (inexpensive is best) removable drops to change their look and coordinate with your outfits.

Make a list of your Jewelry. You’ll want to keep a visual inventory of the things you’re bringing along. Take pictures of everything and if possible any receipts. This will come in handy if you insure your jewelry on your travels, which is also another option. By keeping track of your jewelry in this way you can easily see if you forgot or lost anything you came with.

To summarize, carry your jewelry personally. Your jewelry should never leave you, whether thats on the plane or in your hotel. Be sure to have your jewelry in your carry on so you are in constant contact with it and keep an eye on it throughout the journey. When you get to your destination you can keep your jewelry in a hotel safe or in a secure area to make sure it’s protected while you are away from your room

Of course we think it’s important to stay stylish everywhere you go, even on your 4am flight. Be sure that wherever you are, you can keep your jewelry safe by taking these few extra steps for organization, security, and safety.

Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

Endangered Species – Series Highlights

By Eli Kosinski

Last December, Eve released her daring “Endangered Species” series: a timely topic that celebrates the unique features of Earth’s rare creatures through the master craftsmanship of precious metals and minerals. Several of these works of art creatively depict species such as dolphins, bees, hawks and turtles. But these are not the only animals featured in the series. As Eve puts it, humans are a species, too. Therefore, some jewelry pieces address the elephant in the room: human alterations to habitat and climate change. This blog post explores three remarkable pendants that show off the best natural gems while advocating for nature.

The “Endangered Species” series grew in response to an ever-prevalent topic: the ongoing climate crisis, and the species affected by it. This body of work approaches this heavy topic with a necessarily healthy mixture of loving appreciation and forward-thinking seriousness. An example of the former is the reversible pendant “Slow and Steady,” (above) which is crafted from sterling silver and jasper. One side of the pendant shows off gorgeous jasper, naturally patterned to resemble a landscape. The opposite side features a surprise sterling silver turtle, depicted mid-step. As a reversible pendant, this little reptile can be shown off or kept close to the chest. This aptly titled piece serves as a home for the crawling turtle; symbolically, within the context of the series, it could be taken as an encouragement to the benefits of any action, slow as the progress may seem.

While some jewelry pieces celebrate the natural wonders of the world, others warn of the change needed to preserve them. One such work is an entrancing pin titled “To a Vanishing World.” Currently, this pin hangs on a strand of Burmese jade beads from New Zealand. This pin/pendant consists of two large slices of tourmaline set side-by-side in a fourteen karat white gold bezel. White gold also graces the front of the pin, creating an organic rolling wave element set with diamonds. On the bottom right side sits another sparkling diamond, with its square-cut creating an interestingly angular contrast to the other organic forms of the piece. The diamonds on this pin total 0.07 carats in weight.

Everything about this pin draws the viewer’s eye in: from the glittering diamonds, to the attractive varying shades of green, to the unexpected shapes of stone and metal. Eve has set the translucent tourmaline above a flat sliver of mother of pearl to ensure that the green gets its moment. On top of the tourmaline, the white gold wave element creates a fissure of negative space that highlights the delicate work needed to seam the tourmaline together. Though tourmaline can form into a variety of different colors with their own spiritual properties, green tourmaline is associated with physical healing, especially of the heart. Other bodily associations can be made with the overall shape of the connected tourmaline: the twin stone slices recall lung lobes (or, as the Gallery website calls them, butterfly wings). I like the idea of life suggested by both similes.

The butterfly description hints at the fleetingness of our familiar world warned by the pin’s title, while the lung interpretation reminds us of the creatures affected by that vanishing. The “Endangered Species” series title does not just refer to the animal kingdom as we may typically think of it. It includes humans. As Eve puts it, humans are a species too, and we are the instigators of the Anthropocene.

“The Anthropocene” is another one of Eve’s pendants. It consists of a delightfully large cut of Siberian astrophyllite, which Eve purchased in Arizona. This stone boasts earthy tones of reddish-brown, punctuated with angular black splinters of color. Set upon this stone is a gold relief memorializing the Pacific Ocean floating garbage patch; This traveling trash vortex mostly consists of microplastics and plastics. Eve has beautifully rendered this subject of plastic bottles, bags, and other discards of human innovation in yellow gold.

These three ideas transform a difficult reality into treasured items. Though the realization of endangered species and synthetic trash heaps present a bleak trajectory, Eve’s dedication to natural materials and lasting art provide an alternative outlook: an awareness of our belonging to the world and our potential for positive impact.