Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

Eve’s Staff Picks for the Holidays

by Ann Covode

Eve’s staff has chosen their favorites this holiday season and we think you might want some of these pretty things for yourself, or someone you wish to make very happy..

Jen – I like Eve’s Amulets because you can wear them everyday dressing them up or down for any situation. I also like to wear them with Eve’s Wine Angels necklaces for a layered look.

AmuletShown here is an amulet from Eve’s Asia series in 14 karat gold. The accompanying chain is 14 karat gold.

 

 

 

Karen- I like the movement in these Triple Seed Pod earrings and think they could be a great everyday pair.

IMG_1123Triple seed pod earrings in 18 karat and 20 karat gold from Eve’s Underwater series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ann – I love this “Haute Bourgeoisie” Garnet necklace because of the varied shapes and sparkle. It is such a rich color for the season.IMG_1105

“Haute Bourgeosie” garnet necklace with a 14 karat clasp from Eve’s new “Aux Portes du Passé” series.

I also love this “Starlit” pendant because of it’s simple bold design.

Starfish“Starlit” 14 karat gold pendant with a spinel from Eve’s Matisse series. Accompanying light cable chain in 14 karat gold.

 

 

 

Diane – I love the shimmer of the black diamonds in this bracelet!

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This spinel and black diamond bracelet with 18 karat white gold elements from Eve’s Garden of Eden series will sparkle throughout the holidays and beyond.

All Staff – All of Eve’s employees love her Wine Angels necklaces. “You can dress these up for a night out on the town or wear them with a T-shirt. So versatile!”WineAngels2JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Erica – I like this necklace because it is very simple yet bold. Each stone has so many lovely and individual details – and many shades of green.

IMG_1119“Ville et Champs” jasper, serpentine and chrysoprase beaded necklace from Eve’s new “Aux Portes du Passé” series.

 

 

 

 

 

Katie – These sweet feather earrings would make a wonderful gift and have beautiful movement when worn.

IMG_1132“Rachis & Barbules” earrings from Eve’s “Feathers” series with two diamonds in 18 karat gold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mary Clare – These are the perfect gift for someone who is fun loving and fanciful!IMG_1138

“Plain Vanilla” earrings with two fresh water pearls and 14 karat green gold from Eve’s “Just Desserts” series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Susan – I love the element of nature in the Eucalyptus earrings. I have always been smitten by tree structures, foliage and nature’s cycles.Eucalyptusear

Small eucalyptus earrings in 18k green gold from orpheus descending series.

 

 

Sara – I love silver! The Agamemnon Ring is so comfortable to wear and looks so powerful.  And I love the design of the “Quadrature du Cercle” earrings!

Lori – I like a pair of diamond briolette drops because it is like starlight dancing at your earlobes.Sleetdiamond drops

“Sleet” diamond briolette, raw diamond and 18 karat white gold removable drops from Eve’€™s “A Winter’€™s Tale” series.

 

We wish you all the best this holiday season!  Come see us to choose something for your special someone or send your significant other this way!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

Say Hello to Topaz and Citrine

by Katie McMath

November is here and it’s time to start looking for special gifts for your loved ones. This month’s warm-toned birthstones could cheer up any scrooge on your holiday shopping list. Topaz and citrine are both most popular in golden orange shades, reminding us of beautiful autumn leaves. It’s no coincidence these cheerful tones are popular at the gloomiest time of year. In fact, Topaz is often compared to the rich color of Cognac. So sip slowly on your holiday drink and learn a little more about these two beautiful gemstones!

ImperialTopazTopaz comes in a cornucopia of other lovely colors. When treated, it can turn sky blue or deep indigo. These varieties are called Swiss and London Blue topaz respectively. Its rare reddish forms are called Imperial Topaz, named after Russian royalty with excellent taste! We have many tantalizing examples in our gem room. Perhaps one may find its way into your collection.

Tradition says blue topaz is appropriate for a 4th anniversary, while Imperial is best saved for your 23rd. Of course anyone with a November birthday might also appreciate one of these gorgeous gems.

TopazRing2This gorgeous Swiss topaz ring from Eve’s “Celtic” collection celebrates the beauty of topaz. The five carat center stone is as brilliant as a diamond. Cool colored platinum laces around the band in intricate knotted patterns, speaking to a magical Celtic sensibility. Small blue sapphires accent the bezel. All in all it is an irresistible ring!

Citrine is a lesser known and often more affordable crystal, previously called yellow quartz. Its current name comes from the citron fruit, which has a thick yellow rind and is similar to a lemon. As the name suggests, citrine is citrusy in color. It ranges from yellow to rusty orange.

 
AmethystWhen naturally formed, iron gives this stone its color, but this is rare. Most citrine begins as purple quartz, or amethyst, and is heated to change color and remove impurities. The resulting rust color mimics Imperial topaz. This explains why it joined topaz as November’s birthstone in 1910.

LemonMany outside of the jewelry world appreciate citrine for its healing properties. The heat treatment it undergoes it thought to further purify it. Citrine is motivating and boosts creativity, while dispelling fear. Its positive attributes make it the vitamin C of crystals. Citrine is also relatively durable, at a 7 on the Moh’s hardness scale. This makes it softer than sapphires or diamonds, but still hardy. It works well in rings, earrings, and necklaces alike.

 
CitrineRingEve’s joyous citrine star earrings hang from fourteen karat gold wires, with one diamond each. This sweet pair comes from the “First Light” series. The citrine’s unique cut is especially charming. They are paired here with a medieval inspired ring, from which more citrines glow like honey. It’s easy to see why topaz’s lookalike is associated with optimism and sunshine.

 

Whether you prefer citrine or topaz, count yourself lucky to be born in November.

Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

“Aux Portes du Passé”

by Ann Covode

In Eve’s new series “Aux Portes du Passé” Eve is fascinated with the waterways in France and explores that in her designs.

Many towns in France were formed as a result of their proximity to rivers and the ocean. Eve reflects on this with her opals in several of her pieces. In her “Palais Garnier” pin she gives a nod to the beautiful Opera House. This pin features a luminous doublet opal and 18 karat gold reflecting the opulence of the ironwork from this famous building.

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The Palais Garnier or Opéra Garnier is a 1,979-seat opera house at the Place de l’Opéra in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, France. It was built for the Paris Opera from 1861 to 1875 at the behest of Emperor Napoleon III. Initially referred to as “le nouvel Opéra de Paris” (the new Paris Opera), it soon became known as the Palais Garnier, “in acknowledgment of its extraordinary opulence”Paris_Opera_full_frontal_architecture,_May_2009

Eve continues this theme and looks to the sky in these other-worldly “La porte de nuages” earrings featuring boulder opals with 14,18 and 22 karat gold.

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One of the many things that Eve noticed is that many of the churches seemed empty of worshippers and full of tourists. These structures have been maintained by the state largely for tourists. Many of the spaces have been renovated and sometimes don’t evoke their original feeling. One of the churches where she did see worshippers on their pilgrimages was the Sacré Coeur in Paris. The Sacre Coeur Basilica was designed by Paul Abadie in Romanesque-Byzantine style. Construction began in 1875 and was finished in 1914. It was consecrated after the end of World War I in 1919.

She recognized this devotion in her “Sacré Coeur” earrings with grossular garnet in a 14 karat rose gold design.portear2

 

 

 

 

 

 

“On this visit, I also marveled at how, in France, the State has taken over and preserved the churches- each is now a locus of public entertainment and concerts, while the faithful have been dwindling. Yes, the soaring cathedrals look fantastic.”

In her beautiful “Place de Sainte Eglise” pin with purple sapphire, green tourmaline and pink tourmaline Eve twists and turns the cross-like figure to make a statement about the change in these holy places.

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Eve’s love for her homeland comes through in this spectacular series. We hope you can join us for the opening of “Aux Portes du Passé” on November 16th from 1 to 7 at the Gallery!

Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

Tourmaline – October’s birthstone

By Ann Covode

Aquamarines  and raw crystal gems concept with closeup of a bunch of blue uncut aquamarine, topaz or tourmaline crystalsOctober has two birthstones: Tourmaline and Opal. Tourmaline is a favorite gemstone for many because it’s available in a rainbow of beautiful colors. Tourmaline’s spectrum also includes dual hues in a crystal or cut stone, called bi-colored gems. Tourmaline, meaning “mixed colored stones”, was derived from the Singhalese word “turmali”.  A new turn came for tourmalines in 1989, after Heitor Dimas Barbosa had spent years digging in the hills of the Brazilian state of Paraiba, when he and his team hit the jackpot and found the most stunningly vivid stones ever seen. These astonishing bright turquoise color gems became known as Paraiba tourmalines.

A Tourmaline is an extremely complex borosilicate that occurs in more than a hundred colors. Its toughness and durability make it very well suited for jewelry. Tourmalines were imported by the Dutch into Europe from Ceylon in the early 1700’s. They became very popular and were declared a stone of the Muses, inspiring and enriching the creative processes and favored by artists and writers. Lore says that Tourmaline aids against misfortune and protects travelers against falls. But until 1989 no one had owned a tourmaline as dazzling as Barbosa’s Paraiba tourmalines. In addition to their starling incandescent hues, these gems were incredibly rare. Only one Paraiba tourmaline is mined for every 10,000 diamonds. Consequently, the value of Paraiba tourmalines continues to soar.

In 2003, a new wave of outstanding green-blue tourmalines was unearthed. Mined from the mountains of Nigeria and Mozambique they are very similar to the Paraiba tourmalines from Brazil, with only minute chemical differences. By 2006 it was clear that since Pariaba-like tourmalines were being mined in other parts of the world, the LMHC agreed that ‘Paraiba’ should refer to a variety of tourmaline, and not its geiographic origin. Therefore the term ‘Paraiba tourmaline’ now refers to gems found in Brazil, Nigeria and Mozambique. Their common factor being the stunning quality and saturation of their blue-green color.

Because of the Paraiba’s high value, they are almost always custom cut and usually faceted into round, oval and pear cuts. Not surprisingly, in just a few decades, Paraiba tourmalines have become one of the most sought-after gemstones in the world, incomparable to any other gem.

InterchangeIVFinding warmth in this stunning tourmaline, Eve has created the spectacular “Interchange IV” engagement ring. Several years ago she discovered the famous Paraiba tourmalines from Brazil and set them in this ring. These tourmalines are now highly sought after and found in the house of Cartier as well as other famous jewelry houses. The teal indicolite tourmaline warms the 113 diamonds surrounding it as though it is melting the ice. “In this society where everyone is on their cell phone, this is a reminder that there is warmth amid the cold atmosphere” states Eve. $12,400

Eve has also been inspired by underwater mysteries. Her “Triton’s Ball” necklace is a joyful gathering of seahorses. This celebration features rare two and three colored tourmalines and seahorses bound together. “Seahorses mate for life and these bi-color tourmalines symbolize a union or marriage” states Eve.

Triton's Ball Necklace“Triton’s Ball” necklace is an underwater treasure created by Eve Alfillé; 18 karat green gold double seahorses punctuated by a matched suite of bi- & tri-color pink, violet and teal tourmalines totalling 20.49 carats. Four faceted kite-shape oro verde quartz totaling 11.19 carats are interspersed throughout the tourmalines to create a shimmering underwater look. The back has four single seahorses and an integrated double seahorse curly-hook clasp. In front, another matching 10 carat pink-violet bi-color tourmaline is suspended and removable to vary the look from dazzling casual to spectacular elegant wear! 16″ length, extremely comfortable and wearable, this necklace is an absolute treasure! What could be more romantic? $15,200

ChristineTriton

Yancey Hughes photography.

Tourmaline is the Anniversary Stone for the eighth wedding celebration. Any of Tourmaline’s many colors are a beautiful and appropriate alternative for October birthdays.

Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

How to choose an Engagement Ring

by Ann Covode

Young man with engagement ring making proposal to his beloved girlfriend outdoorsYou’ve fallen in love and you want to spend the rest of your life with your mate. You want to make the next step. How do you approach finding something special to pop the question? How do you go about finding a ring that she will want to wear for the rest of her life?

Building a relationship with a jeweler can better inform the buying process and save you time and money. The guidance of an experienced trusted jeweler is very valuable and can’t be replaced with a few weeks of online education. Most consumers don’t realize that a relationship with a good jeweler will last for many years.

Navigating the world of high-priced stones takes patience, knowledge and assistance, but thankfully you can spot issues before they arise if you know what mistakes to look out for and how to plan around them. Choosing an engagement ring without the help of someone who either knows your beloved well or, just as importantly, understands her needs might be a mistake. “You need to find a retailer who can be your partner in the process,” offers Anna-Mieke Anderson, founder of a Portland-based bridal jewelry line. “You want to feel like they are working on your behalf and are your advocate for finding the best quality and design at the best price.”

Eve Alfillé has some tips for couples hoping to tie the knot. She has been designing engagement and wedding rings for over 30 years. Many women come in to scout out the styles of rings they want. She may come in with her girlfriends just to try things on. It takes time to try things out. “It is a good idea to narrow your choices to 2 or 3 options”, states Eve. “Men are traditionally hunters more than gatherers so need a little guidance.”

Things to consider are choices of style and design and the color of metal. She adds “To preserve an element of surprise and fun…leave a few choices undecided so your mate can have a say too.” Suggests Eve. “Some men are very visual and like to be part of the design process.”

eve'sdesignsketchesIn Eve’s studio, she has many design models you can choose from. You can try on the models and even insert stones to test out the effect.

“A very important question to ask is…Do you like symmetry or asymmetry? This is a good starting point.”, she muses. “Another question for the wearer would be … how do you use your hands? “ she adds. Eve wants to create a ring that will last. “For instance, if she is a gardener, you might not want her to have too thin of a band. Does your girlfriend swim often? In this case you might want to choose 18 karat gold over 14 karat because of the chlorine.” She suggests. Jewelry metals are not hard. As a comparison, she notes that diamonds have a hardness level of 10 while steel’s level is 6 and pearls are 3. Gold, platinum and silver range from 2 ½ to 3.

Another important question is what type of metal does your partner prefers? Do they like yellow or white metals? Blond gold is a special alloy that Eve has designed to enhance the look of old diamonds. Another special alloy is Blush gold, a trademark of Eve’s, that is a lavender shade. It harmonizes well with platinum and looks really good on most skin tones. Whereas, Rose Gold, is more coppery with an orange hew.

Comfort is also a big consideration. If a ring is not comfortable you will want to take if off when you get home. “Our rings do not have sharp inside edges and feature a soft square shape that mimics the actual shape of the fingers while not being noticeable from the top.” She adds. “Gravity causes the ring to slide around the finger and we want to avoid that.” She states.

Stone choice is a very important design element as well. Eve has some suggestions for that as well. Since the Renaissance, diamonds have been the stones of choice. Other gems are close in hardness like sapphires, garnets and beryls. Sapphires come in many colors including red, yellow, green, and pink. The best known of the beryls; aquamarine will also give good wear. Another choice would be a colored diamond. Yellow diamonds are distinct but can be very costly. Champagne and cognac colors are another interesting possibility. Since the Argyle mine in Australia was mined, these have become more popular.

Eve recommends getting a better quality diamond versus size. Clarity and color are more important than size. Cuts also make a difference. The faceting can make a visual difference, as can the proportions. There are subtle differences in the cuts.

What if your family has a gem that they would like to give you? Both families may come with stones that they would be delighted to have you use. “I would try to use some from each family,” states Eve. One of Eve’s trademarks is a secret stone in the back of the ring that only the wearer can see. Perhaps you could incorporate your grandmother’s sapphire there? “A nice thing that some couples do is to give back to their relative the setting with a less costly gem.” She adds.

Another important design question is if she will be wearing the wedding band on the same finger? The design of that should be considered at the same time as the engagement ring. Does she want a straight or curved wedding band?

If you want to surprise your mate, how do you find the right size? A well-prepared man will try to figure that out. Eve recommends, “Ask a sister or mother. Women can find that information for you. Or steal a ring from her jewelry case and bring it to the jeweler. It is important to know which finger she wears it on and on which hand.” The right hand tends to be a ½ size larger than the left. She also suggests, “Plan a dinner and do a blindfold fitting at the shop.”

Eve recommends starting out with the design. Once you have that narrowed down, choose your stone and your metal. Eve will give you an estimate for different types of metals or stones for different budgets. Sometimes stones of odd sizes are more economical but still have high quality. When the ring has been carved you will have a look at it just to see the shape. A nice romantic touch would be to add an inscription inside the engagement ring. This can be as personal as you wish…. maybe words to a favorite song? In the wedding band, it is traditional to inscribe the couple’s initials and the wedding date.

Generally plan for around 6 weeks from the time you design the ring to include viewing the wax fitting and see the final design.

Vine

 

Newlywed Vine: This design is popular with younger couples.

 

 

 

 

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Eve designed this beautiful, bright engagement ring for one of her customers using a 2 carat yellow diamond in 4 double prongs in 18 karat yellow gold. She added 5 red rubies curving in the top on each side, and a half-moon window. A square ruby secret stone with two tiny diamonds hides at the bottom for the pleasure of the wearer. This yellow diamond oval is nicely complemented on the underside with small rubies.

Feirtag

This one-carat diamond ring in 18k white gold features two smaller diamonds on the sides from Eve’s “Antiquities” series. Leaves play in the design and are an ancient symbol of fidelity. Eve used a bezel set in this ring as she was designing for an active person. The complementary band features 20 diamonds to represent 20 years of marriage. Diamonds radiate their light from the top so a bezel set does not hide any of the light from the ring.

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This custom-made engagement ring, created expressly for the client is cast in 14 karat gold, from an original hand carved model from Eve’s Pompeii series. The stunning yellow diamond focal point is bezel set just slightly above the halo of 12 smaller diamonds. Eve placed 4 slightly larger diamonds top and bottom of the halo, as well as centered on each side, like the cardinal directions. The result is a halo of 12 sparkling diamonds resting atop a pretty, openwork band. Eve also added a deep blue aquamarine flush-set at the back of the band as the artist’s “secret stone” for the lucky wearer to enjoy.

 

andreaford2.jpgEve designed this beautiful opal ring for one of her brides.  The opal is diagonally set in platinum with six diamonds on the sides and four smaller rubies.  This design from Eve’s “Underwater” series is a wonderful example of a unique approach to an engagement ring.

 

An engagement ring is something that both families would like to see but it should be as personal as you wish to make it.