Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

“Ringing in the New Year”

by Ann Covode

Medieval society celebrated the grandest feast during the dreariest time of year. The two-week period from Christmas Eve to Twelfth Day (January 6) transformed into the longest vacation for workers. The Lord of the manor or castle often gave bonuses of food, clothing, drink and firewood to servants. Houses were decked with holly and ivy, and giant Yule logs were brought in and burned throughout the two-week celebration. New Year’s took place during this time and added to the festivities, and “First Gifts” were often exchanged on this day.

rng20939px600dkmedievalEve’s beautiful “First Gift” ring from her “Medieval” series sparkles with a large sapphire totaling 2.87carats, two square sapphires totaling 1.29 carats and 10 diamonds in 18 karat gold.

New year’s is always filled with festivities, music and merry making. For centuries people have been ringing in the new year in this way. The earliest recorded festivities in honor of a new year’s arrival date back some 4,000 years to ancient Babylon. For the Babylonians, the first new moon following the vernal equinox—the day in late March with an equal amount of sunlight and darkness—heralded the start of a new year. They marked the occasion with a massive religious festival called Akitu (derived from the Sumerian word for barley, which was cut in the spring) that involved a different ritual on each of its 11 days. In addition to the new year, Atiku celebrated the mythical victory of the Babylonian sky god Marduk over the evil sea goddess Tiamat and served an important political purpose: It was during this time that a new king was crowned or that the current ruler’s divine mandate was symbolically renewed.

Panpipe ringEnchantingly irresistible like the songs that emanated from Pan’s fabled pipe! Three fancy diamonds gleam on this “Panpipe” ring from Eve’s “Antiquities” series, one at the end of each 18 karat peach gold pipe; an irradiated 0.35 carat yellow diamond, a 0.20 carat yellow-orange diamond and an 0.76 carat champagne diamond. Set in the richly detailed carvings are a multitude of magically colored diamonds; 11 diamonds totaling 0.05 carats, 11 champagne diamonds total 0.12 carats and 6 pale yellow diamonds total 0.04 cts. This fanciful ring is a Gallery favorite – come in and see for yourself!

Throughout antiquity, civilizations around the world developed increasingly sophisticated calendars, typically pinning the first day of the year to an agricultural or astronomical event. In Egypt, for instance, the year began with the annual flooding of the Nile, which coincided with the rising of the star Sirius. The first day of the Chinese new year, meanwhile, occurred with the second new moon after the winter solstice. The early Roman calendar consisted of 10 months and 304 days, with each new year beginning at the vernal equinox; according to tradition, it was created by Romulus, the founder of Rome, in the eighth century B.C. A later king, Numa Pompilius, is credited with adding the months of Januarius and Februarius.

Over the centuries, the calendar fell out of sync with the sun, and in 46 B.C. the emperor Julius Caesar decided to solve the problem by consulting with the most prominent astronomers and mathematicians of his time. He introduced the Julian calendar, which closely resembles the more modern Gregorian calendar that most countries around the world use today. As part of his reform, Caesar instituted January 1 as the first day of the year, partly to honor the month’s namesake: Janus, the Roman god of beginnings, whose two faces allowed him to look back into the past and forward into the future. Romans celebrated by offering sacrifices to Janus, exchanging gifts with one another, decorating their homes with laurel branches and attending raucous parties. In medieval Europe, Christian leaders temporarily replaced January 1 as the first of the year with days carrying more religious significance, such as December 25 (the anniversary of Jesus’ birth) and March 25 (the Feast of the Annunciation); Pope Gregory XIII reestablished January 1 as New Year’s Day in 1582.

New Year’s Traditions:  In many countries, New Year’s celebrations begin on the evening of December 31—New Year’s Eve—and continue into the early hours of January 1. Revelers often enjoy meals and snacks thought to bestow good luck for the coming year. In Spain and several other Spanish-speaking countries, people bolt down a dozen grapes-symbolizing their hopes for the months ahead-right before midnight.

In many parts of the world, traditional New Year’s dishes feature legumes, which are thought to resemble coins and herald future financial success; examples include lentils in Italy and black-eyed peas in the southern United States. Because pigs represent progress and prosperity in some cultures, pork appears on the New Year’s Eve table in Cuba, Austria, Hungary, Portugal and other countries. Ring-shaped cakes and pastries, a sign that the year has come full circle, round out the feast in the Netherlands, Mexico, Greece and elsewhere.

In Sweden and Norway, meanwhile, rice pudding with an almond hidden inside is served on New Year’s Eve; it is said that whoever finds the nut can expect 12 months of good fortune. Other customs that are common worldwide include watching fireworks and singing songs to welcome the new year, including the ever-popular “Auld Lang Syne” in many English-speaking countries.

The practice of making resolutions for the new year is thought to have first caught on among the ancient Babylonians, who made promises in order to earn the favor of the gods and start the year off on the right foot. (They would reportedly vow to pay off debts and return borrowed farm equipment.) At this time of year many of us take stock of the last year and make plans for the New Year with goals and resolutions. We often meditate on what is most important to us and what we want to change in the coming year.

Eve saw something meditative in this “Hidden Dream” sunstone ring. She envisioned a roman courtyard with millgrain arches letting the sunshine in. Perhaps the nuns were walking around and saying their daily prayers in this beautiful space? HiddenDream.pngMagnificent Andesine sunstone ring from Eve’s “No Forwarding Address” series is completely hand fabricated in platinum with exquisite details like millgrained edges on the soaring arched gallery. Fabulous rare gemstone ring has fifty-four sparkling diamonds totaling 0.50 carats to highlight the sumptuous sunstone.

In the United States, the most iconic New Year’s tradition is the dropping of a giant ball in New York City’s Times Square at the stroke of midnight. Millions of people around the world watch the event, which has taken place almost every year since 1907. Over time, the ball itself has ballooned from a 700-pound iron-and-wood orb to a brightly patterned sphere 12 feet in diameter and weighing in at nearly 12,000 pounds. Various towns and cities across America have developed their own versions of the Times Square ritual, organizing public drops of items ranging from pickles (Dillsburg, Pennsylvania) to possums (Tallapoosa, Georgia) at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

No New Year’s is complete without confetti and champagne to ring in the coming year. Confetti RingEve’s bold “Confetti” ring  from Eve’s “Antiquities” sereies dazzles in a wide band of 18 karat gold! A festive mix of 35 glistening diamonds sparkle in 3 shapes: round-brilliants, square-cuts & baguettes totaling 1.14 carats. This is a great ring for your right hand!

We wish you a very happy New Year from Eve’s Gallery & Studio! Thank you for all of your interest and support in 2019.

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!

IMG_1112

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.

portpin1

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.

portear1
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.

portpdt1

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.