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Guggenheim’s Golden Throne

October 15, 2016

Is your bathroom a bit boring? Is your lavatory too lackluster? Leave the porcelain to the plebeians! The latest in privy improvements can now be experienced at the Guggenheim Museum in New York since Italian artist and editor of “The Toilet Paper” magazine Maurizio Cattelan has unveiled his latest exhibit: America.

This solid-18-karat-gold treasure of a toilet is now available for public reception on the fifth floor of the museum, which the artist intended to be fully functional as well as fashionable. Despite its current popularity with guests, the fabulous facilities were initially delayed: though the piece was created to be a working replica of a common Kohler model, the grand unveiling was delayed due to technical difficulties. According to the museum spokeswoman: “to the museum’s knowledge, this kind of casting process has never been done before.”

Ironically, despite the perniciousness of the plumbing, this is not the first golden toilet to grace bathrooms of the world (despite its clever monicker, “America”). In Hong Kong, a 24 karat solid gold toilet is included in the Hang Fung Gold Technology Group’s showroom. Elsewhere in Asia, a Saudi King kindly gifted a golden toilet to his daughter on her wedding day with the additional present of a wedding dress designed to embody all the glamour and style of the ancient pyramids. This strikingly geometric silhouette is the boldest choice in design since Marcel Duchamp’s “Fountain,” another bathroom accessory fit for the annals of art history.

“Latitude & Longitude:” A New Jewelry Collection to be Unveiled by Art Jewelry Designer Eve J. Alfillé

April 27, 2016

The new series will be celebrated on Saturday, April 30, 2016 from 1:00 p.m – 7:00 p.m. at the Eve J. Alfillé Gallery and Studio, and will allow guests to indulge in beverages, food, live music, and Evanston-made art jewelry.


Evanston, IL – Get your walking stick and rucksack ready, because it’s almost time to traverse some terrain with Evanston’s resident citizen of the world, Eve Alfillé. This world-conscious creator has tackled fields ranging from history to language and more with her art jewelry, and is using her latest series to explore even more of the world she loves. The series, “Latitude & Longitude,” will be celebrated at the Eve J. Alfillé Gallery & Studio on April 30 by fans of jewelry and geography alike!

No world capitols, no school quizzes! Alfillé’s exploration takes us back to the physical world, and how we learned to relate to the space we inhabit and the lands and seas beyond. Each place, both familiar and foreign, will be evoked with materials ranging from pristine diamonds to baroque pearls to unruly fossils that celebrate the world in all its textures…wavy seas, grainy sands, and more will have a place on Eve’s map.


Sterling silver and garnet “Rose des Vents” earrings could be yours…enter Eve’s raffle and see!

Symbols will also be key: a compass rose, a pendulum, birds in migration, the fish of the seas, along with a circle of ebony to represent the unity of the earth and all things in it. Above all, Eve stresses the importance of solidarity in a world with as many varied passions and opinions as there are latitudes and longitudes.

The opening celebration promises to be worth the trip– tantalizing treasures await, including a raffle for a stunning necklace and pair of earrings designed by Eve just for the party (no purchase necessary!). Come test your luck at the raffle, or simply enjoy the party atmosphere with a glass of Champagne! Festivities will also include delicious catered treats by Donna Goodman and musical stylings of jazz duo, The Casual Flyers. All earthlings are invited!

The new series will be released and celebrated on April 30, 2016 from 1:00 p.m – 7:00 p.m. at the Eve J. Alfillé Gallery and Studio. To ‘book your trip,’ send us your RSVPs at 847-869-7920 or by email at To learn more about Eve Alfillé and her inspiration, go to

Unearthed in Angola

March 2, 2016



An illuminating discovery was unearthed only weeks ago in Angola, Africa, unexpectedly escalating the shares of the company responsible by 29 percent. Lucapa Diamonds, an Australian-based mining company, was already in the public eye following the recent discovery of three other diamonds over 100 carats from their Lulo mine in recent history.

The uncovering of a diamond of spectacular proportion, however, broke all of these records: a 404.2-carat behemoth of a diamond was found, sporting a top-tier D-color and Type IIA. The stone itself measures about seven centimeters in length, which would be comparable to wearing a diamond ring the size of your finger itself.

While the final fate of the gem is unknown, it caused a stir at market when the stone sold for $22 million Australian dollars, or roughly $16 million in the US. That’s quite a bit of change, with an estimated $55,585 per carat!

This stone is currently measured as the 27th largest recorded diamond in history, following such illustrious diamonds as the Cullinan diamond found in South Africa in 1905…And if rare stones such as these are your fascination, there are many minerals far more rare than diamonds! Keep an eye on the blog in the coming weeks to possibly read about them in a future story.

For Love of Gems

February 10, 2016

…A treatise on stones with ‘lovable’ properties for this season of romance! Read on to learn more about their varied histories, abilities, and how they can help to give you and your love life a lift…



Crushed pearls were often used as an antidote to many ills…including wandering lovers! Swallowing a potion made from a crushed pearl sometimes had the power to bring them back.

During the Renaissance in Florence, Italy, it was pearls and not diamonds which were actually the costliest stone. During this time, pearls were commonly hailed as the gem representing both purity and the Virgin Mary. As such, young brides would often cover themselves in pearls for their weddings; particularly their hair. A women’s hair was considered extremely alluring during this time, and only unmarried women wore it down.

Bridal hairstyles were always, as a result, worn up and elaborately braided…brides’ ears were usually covered with a cloth embroidered with pearls, largely due to the belief that the Virgin Mary conceived through her ear.


Rubies have many uses, but one can be as a warning or alarm system. One Renaissance author “himself had warning of the death of his wife as his ruby changed color.”

Rubies could also symbolize chastity, as in the 15th century portrait of the niece of the Duke of Milan, Maria Sforza (who was married as an “old maid” at the late age of 21!). In fact, like pearls, rubies were often used by Florentine brides during the Renaissance: this was because they were believed to remove both inappropriate lust and depression from the wearer





Amethyst has been said to intensify desire within both men and women, and can also function as a dream catcher to keep bad dreams at bay while in bed. Even St. Valentine, the symbol of romance, famously wore an engraved amethyst bearing the figure of a Cupid!


Rose Quartz:

rq.jpgThe stone of unconditional love, Rose Quartz promotes within the wearer a greater sense of self-worth, and as such, can create the confidence needed to bolster a spirit of romantic daringness!

Used as an aphrodisiac during the Middle Ages, rose quartz was said to arouse one’s lover “if a stone were held between thumb and forefinger and slowly drawn between the navel and the parts below.”



A famous sapphire which once belonged to the Count Welitski of Poland was known for being intensely blue during the day, and yet would transform into a fantastic shade of violet at night. Similarly, a French countess wrote a story titled “Le Saphire Merveilleux,” which claims that a change in sapphire color could be used to test a women’s faithfulness: a faithful woman would ensure that the sapphire remained blue.

We now know these as color-change sapphires, a very precious and valuable variety of stones. At the time, however, if a man wished to prove innocence, the woman in question would be asked to wear the sapphire for three hours in the afternoon. If he wished to prove unfaithfulness, however, she would be asked to wear it during the three hours from sunset leading into nightfall, when the gem’s hue would be completely different.

A nun from the Middle Ages, Hildegarde Von Bingen, once wrote: “sapphire has a magical property: if a stupid man uses it in the proper manner, he will become wise; if irritable, good-tempered.” ….Perhaps a great gift idea for the man in your life!




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“Treasures of Ur” emerald necklace. Copyright Eve Alfillé. Photo Credit Matt Arden.



These stones were known to miraculously retain the wearer’s beauty, and could grant good luck to a marriage!

Emeralds are known to be the stone of Venus, the Goddess of Love. They were also said to splinter upon the deflowering of a virgin, as is told in the story of King Bela of Hungary…upon touching his new wife, his famed emerald suddenly split!



An old English ballad tells the story of a lad who loved a princess in spite of the king’s disapproval, and was forced to escape to sea. Before he left, the princess gave him a ring with seven diamonds. However, “One day he looked his ring upon, he saw the diamond pale and wan” From the diamond’s message, he knew to hasten back, stopped her wedding to another suitor, and they lived happily ever after.

As exemplified in this story, diamonds have been known and praised for their ability to send messages since ancient times! They also have been said to promote courage in the wearer, and to grant them the ability to see one’s lover as beautiful always (even in sickness and old age)!



It has been said that a woman could see the face of her lover within a moonstone, if he were faithful and unwavering. For another suggested use, give your love a moonstone on the night of a full moon, and you may find that you will always have a mutual passion for one another.

..To keep your love strong this Valentine’s day, don’t forget to stop by the gallery and ask our helpful staff to see examples of any of these magnificent “Love Gems!” 

Artful Amethyst

February 3, 2016
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“Two as One” carved amethyst necklace. Copyright: Eve Alfillé, Photo Credit: Matt Arden.

An intoxicating gemstone, the amethyst is the birthstone of February! In fact, it is so entwined into the history of this month, that it is said St. Valentine himself was known to have worn an amethyst ring carved with the image of Cupid. If the patron of love loves this stone the most, then who are we to disagree? It is also the gem of choice for 6th and 17th wedding anniversaries, even more reason to sprinkle on the romance.

A form of quartz, amethyst is the stone most commonly associated with the color purple (though plenty of other stones also come in this delightful color). It is the most highly valued quartz variety today, and was once even priced at the same value as such stones as ruby and emerald…that is, until Brazil’s large deposits were uncovered.

Due to its lovely range of color from reddish-purple to purple, amethyst has unsurprisingly been associated with the color of wine for thousands of years. Possibly due to this, the ancient Greeks named the stone “amethystos,” which literally translates into “not drunk.” This is because they believed that by wearing the stone, they could maintain their sobriety while enjoying an evening out. They were even known to carve drinking vessels out of it!

For those of you who would like to do as the Greeks do and mix wine with wearing amethyst, don’t hesitate to stop by the gallery this upcoming Feb. 6 to enjoy our Pre-Valentine’s Jewelry Wish List Party! There will be libations, treats, and a healthy helping of delicious jewelry items by Eve to add to your wish list, or to take home to your own heart’s desire.


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