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The Ever-Ethical Eve Alfillé

August 19, 2015
We know that you love Eve already, but did you know that she also uses a wide variety of materials in her jewelry that conform to the same high moral standards that you do? 
Read Eve’s answers to questions regarding where her materials come from, and how they are each ethically-sourced, conflict-free, green, and gorgeous. For anybody who’s ever sought diamonds both for clarity AND for conscience, for any responsible brides seeking a humanitarian, globally-mindful companion for life other than her spouse, or even anybody seeking an extra-thoughtful anniversary gift.
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A selection of rings by Eve Alfillé. Photo by Matt Arden.


Where do the Eve Alfille Gallery & Studio metals come from? 

We get our metals from a company called “Harmony Metals,” and they are virtually 100% ethically-sourced and recycled.

Where does Harmony Metals procure these metals? 

In this country, recycled gold comes from people who sell gold that they no longer want, and then the refiners will buy it. It used to be that there wasn’t much emphasis on this…people had their own gold, and it just stayed in drawers. Companies would go tear the earth up and mine new gold to satisfy the demand.

Now, with more interest in reusing, adapting, and saving the environment, they discovered that there is quite a resource right here! Refiners take this gold and refine it, removing any impurities, and return it to a form where it can be reshaped into entirely new pieces. And this is, in a way, the circle of life as applied  to metals.

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A selection of rings by Eve Alfillé. Photo by Matt Arden.

Where do the beautiful diamonds in my Eve ring come from?

When it comes to diamonds, it’s important to know that the sources have changed tremendously in the last 20 years. It used to be that most diamonds came from South Africa, and that provoked a lot of conscience-searching, because you have apartheid, and political reasons, so a lot of people felt badly about that.

Some diamonds come from countries where there is a lot of conflict, like Sierra Leone in Africa, but those diamonds are not traded in the market generally. Dealers have gotten together internationally, and are very careful to not purchase diamonds from those sources. Everyone wants to stay away from it…There was a big meeting some years back, and a document called the “Kimberly Agreement” resulted in those diamonds being banished from the trade (kind of).

Now, the big change is that today, a little more than one third of all diamonds actually come from Russia. It turns out that Siberia/Russia has wonderful diamonds, and large mines that are very well-run. They pay the people that they employ, they cut the diamonds very well, and a lot of the diamonds that are on the market now (one third, as I said) are from Russia.

Another 25% come from the Arctic Circle, or close to it, in Canada. In 1996, I was at a big reception at the Gemological Institute in California where they introduced the people who actually discovered those diamonds. They were prospectors who were flying, and noticed that the terrain looked a little different. They had a hunch. So, ever since, a quarter of the world’s diamonds of high quality come from Canada.
Small diamonds that you see are usually cut in India, but India doesn’t really have that many diamonds. So if they are champagne, or pink, then they probably come from Australia. If they are small and white, and well-cut, they probably come from Russia.

Earth_Eastern_HemisphereSome countries off the coast of Africa, like Angola, mine in th ocean! They found some diamonds on the beach, and so there are now ships that are anchored offshore. They drag up some of the water, find diamonds in the water, and then they just send the water back out. So, interestingly enough, some diamonds actually come from the ocean.

Can you repurpose a family diamond if I already have one?

Yes, and we often do!

This is rather nice; to know that the diamond that you are using is such a family symbol…a symbol of belonging, that actually comes from either one of your families, and I think it’s especially wonderful. We encourage people to ask family members if they have stones that they would wish to donate, and if they’re willing to do that, we’re very happy to work with them!

Pleased as Peridot

August 10, 2015

A sizzling summer stone, the birthstone for August is none other than peridot! These delightful gems are best known for their “olive complexion,” which can be attributed to the fact that they all come from the mineral ‘olivine!’ Peridots are also known to be one of the only gemstones that appear in only one color…in this case, a bright green (though shades can range from brownish-green to the much more common yellow-green.) The most valuable shade is a rich, ‘freshly-mown grass’ shade of green, appropriate for their summery birthstone month!

Eve Alfille’s “Water Nymphs” bracelet: sterling silver, peridot & freshwater pearls. Photo credit: Matt Arden.

The peridot comes from a couple of hot sources, ranging all the way from lava erupting from the bed of the sea, to burning meteorites that have crashed into the Earth from space! Unfortunately, not many celestial peridots make the ‘cut’ for use in jewelry.

Throughout history, these gems have always been a favorite for those with an eye for gems. Unfortunately for Cleopatra, the Cologne Cathedral, and a few others, many of the famous “emerald” collections of antiquity were actually probably peridots as well! The stone has also been associated with the sun since ancient times, continuing the gem’s association with heavenly bodies!

Famous peridot tiara of the Austrian Archduchess Isabelle

The Egyptians, who referred to the peridot as “the gem of the sun” preferred to capture their wild peridot specimens on an island in the Red Sea that has gone by the names Topazios, St. John’s Island, and Zabargad, and legend has it that all of the snakes were driven from it by the Pharoh at the time…possibly a previous incarnation of St. Patrick!

Make sure that you don’t forget to get your fill of the “other” sun stone this summer! We’d be more than happy to help you find your perfect match right here at Eve’s, but hurry…you’ve only got one month to celebrate this beautiful birthstone…waiting too long would be a big peri-don’t!

Ravenous for Rubies

July 10, 2015
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Stuart Weitzman’s “ruby slippers” set with 642 Burmese rubies.

Ever wished that you could click your ruby red slippers together and just skip the long commute home? Unfortunately, most rubies haven’t been endowed with the magical ability of trans-dimensional travel like Dorothy’s…but they sure do make the trip more stylish and fun!

Called the “king of gems” in Sanskrit, the ruby is a gem that packs a powerful punch. Known for its luminous, and even occasionally fluorescent shades of red, this July birthstone is easily among of the oldest and most desired gems of all time. Rubies can range from delicious purpley-reds to brilliant orange-reds, the truest shade of red being known as “pigeon’s blood.” Anything too purple or orange is technically considered to be a sapphire…but if your little particle of corundum does indeed fall into the “ruby” category, then you are one lucky duck! Throughout history, the ruby has time and again pulled ahead as the most valuable per-carat colored stone on the market.

“Fiery Acanthus” by Eve Alfillé. Photo credit: Matt Arden.

With such a long and lustrous history, it’s easy to see why the ruby has had such a fascinating legacy. The very first civilizations were immediately attracted to their fiery red hue, which came symbolize power, fire, and blood. In India, ancient Hindus believed that they could offer the god Krishna fine rubies in exchange for rebirth in their next life as an emperor. In Burma, warriors would actually insert rubies into their flesh in order to become invincible in battle!

In more recent history, these gems have continued to enjoy their place in the spotlight. The natural fluorescence in some rubies (caused by the presence of chromium) was harnessed in 1960 in order to create the world’s first laser!

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When it comes to wearable style, however, the ruby simply remains unmatched. Just this year, the makeup-makers over at L’Oreal came together to collaborate with the luxury lapidaries of Chopard, creating a whole new meaning of ruby “wearability.” To celebrate the 30th birthday of L’Oreal’s ‘Color Riche’ lipsticks, Chopard created a tube of lipstick that not only holds your lipcolor, but could almost be worn as a piece of jewelry itself! The tube has lovingly hand-set with a succulent assortment of rubies, making this the most expensive tube of lipstick in the world, and is expected to auction for as much as 14 million dollars…now that’s a shade of red we’d like to try on.

Multi-faceted Fighters

June 20, 2015


Are you living with a gemophobe? Maybe a husband or son who thinks that all precious stones are just hunks of sparkly rock meant to be locked away in a jewelry box or behind a plate of glass in a museum? That person might say that gems can never be fun. Well, that person (despite all odds) has probably not been watching enough TV!

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For the disbelieving diamond-doubter in your life, the cure may lie in the most unlikely of places…just sit them in front of the tube, and tune in to Cartoon Network’s hit show “Steven Universe!” The main characters include the ever-tenacious “Crystal Gems,” a band of gem-powered fighters, thinkers, and fun-havers named Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl. These gems must work together to protect the Earth from evil…and also, raise Steven Universe, the adolescent protagonist of the show who has also inherited his mother’s gem, “Rose Quartz.”

“Steven Universe” creator Rebecca Sugar

Each of these characters have not only inherited names from their constituent stones, but have been known to share their attributes as well. According to show creator Rebecca Sugar (also the first female show creator/director in Cartoon Network history), “I wanted their gems to parallel their personalities. Pearls, being automatically smooth and perfect, Amethyst, [which is] coarse and rough, and I love how raw Garnets are mysterious with just a little bit of red peeking through hidden inside.” Steven, with his rose quartz gem, is also known to possess an unconditional love for all things, as this blush-colored stone is of course the most famous among “love stones.”

Some other minor characters include, but are not limited to, Peridot, Lapis Lazuli, and Jasper. Arguably some of the most fun moments on the show also feature the creation of “gem fusions,” in which two gems will fuse together to create a larger, more powerful gem, which have gone by the names of Malachite, Sugilite (voiced by Nicki Mnaj), Opal, Alexandrite and more.

Steven-Universe-001Now, for your gem nay-sayer, these are gems that would simply refuse to stay put in a dusty jewelry box. These gems are made for fighting, and that’s just what they do…by battling invading aliens, defeating giant monsters, swimming through lava, and saving Steven from the occasional misadventure…enough to keep the most critical mineral mope satisfied. It makes a very promising first step to convincing them that gemstones really CAN be fun (especially when you can wear them!)…or, at the very least, it will keep them occupied while you get to sneak away to enjoy the array of Eve’s glittering, and wearable, gems here at the gallery.

“Ancient Echoes”

June 3, 2015

A piece simultaneously new and old, Eve has just unveiled her incredible “Ancient Echoes” necklace. 

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“Ancient Echoes” necklace ©Eve Alfillé, Photo by: Matt Arden.

A master of meaning as well as of visual and wearable beauty, Eve has done it yet again. Since the May opening of her latest series, “Pompeii,” Eve has not ceased creating more and more beautiful and conceptually complex pieces, all bent on hearkening back to yesteryear (with a few years added on top of that.)

In case her stunning relief pendants, depicting Romans doing as Romans do, do not excite your sense of history; in case her tiny silver replicas of bread found still sitting in Pompeiian ovens, or her evocative and emeralds, are somehow not enough to inspire in you a sense of what living and dying in Pompeii would have been like, then “Ancient Echoes” is your solution.

Carried in a sentimental, yet elegant necklace of gold, there rests the cameo of a beautiful woman’s face, surrounded by heart-like shapes depicting her covetability. Her soft, enigmatic features have all been lovingly carved from a smooth, cool-colored stone that is not immediately identifiable to the untrained eye…it is, in fact, an actual specimen of Vesuvian lava, carved from the very rock that spelled out destruction for the idyllic resort town of Pompeii all the way back in 79 A.D.

This simple, yet lovely cameo has left many a bookmark between the pages of the centuries that it has travelled since the great eruption where it hurdled, boiling and red hot, through the air and into the homes of the Pompeiian elite. The female form on the lava came into being much later, being carved into the volcanic rock as late as the 18th century (or as the ever-romantic Eve calls it, the time of Jane Austen.) It took almost another 200 years, near the dawn of the 21st century and over 2,000 years since the eruption of Vesuvius, for the cameo to pass into the skilled hands of Eve Alfillé and be made back into a wearable piece immortalizing its heritage.

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“Via della Fortuna” necklace ©Eve Alfillé, Photo by: Matt Arden.

Today you can see her at the gallery, along with her lovely sister, “Via della Fortuna,” both politely waiting, as they have done for centuries, to again be bestowed with the gifts of life and of motion.

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