Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

The Ring That Survived

Fine art jewelry designer Eve Alfille was greeted by a surprise in December of 2017 when an old friend called her gallery with an unusual request…the fate of one of Eve’s rings, created for a couple back in 2008, was at stake.

ring.drawingsThe ring had just been lost, along with their California home, which burned down in the devastating fires that ravaged over 440 square miles of the west coast. The ring in question, a custom-made storytelling ring, had been covered in symbols and images important to the pair (running water to show “constant life,” a sun symbol representing “happiness,” and so on) and had been hand-crafted by Eve from a unique metal: palladium.

A scientist by hobby, the ring’s owner wanted to know if Eve could tell him the chance of its survival in a fire: melted puddles of aluminum left them with little hope, but the discovery of an intact steel ice pick gave them pause.

Eve responded with a message of encouragement:

“…Your ring was created in palladium – a metal with a very high melting point of just over 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit. Palladium is a platinum group metal, so its melting point is closer to platinum, making it possible it might have survived. You would have to ask the firefighters more about the internal temperature of the fires to know if you should be digging around in the ashes & rubble to try & find it. And, I would ask them, based on their fire expertise, how things burn/would the items of metal that don’t burn dink into the Earth or rest in the rubble, perhaps it would assist you in your recovery efforts.”

After a period of silence, Eve received a telling picture in the mail:

ring.burnt
The ring survived! It had oxidized ‘beautifully’ in the fire, but the grateful owners cleaned the exterior of the ring to return it to its former luster…the inside, however, was purposefully left with a telltale patina of oxidization on the inside. In a final note from the California couple, a message of hope was shared:

“Dear Diane & Eve,
Just a quick follow up. Finding the ring on our own has given us such high hopes of pulling through this loss. It is more about memories attached to the items than the physical being…

…What a pleasure to have had you in our journey.”

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Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

Making Markle Sparkle

One of the hottest topics of 2017 has been the happy news that England’s most eligible bachelor has finally locked it down with American actress Meghan Markle. The whole world has been a-buzz with the ensuing frenzy of planning their spring wedding…but could it be that a hot proposal by Prince Harry could also lend some interesting insights into the hot, harrowing history of the earth’s crust? 

botswana.resort
The Botswana resort where Meghan and Prince Harry fell in love.

 

…Of course, no royal proposal would be complete without the perfect, fairy-tale ring…a romantic at heart, Prince Harry used diamonds from his mother’s private collection, as well as a central diamond hailing from Botswana (where the royal romantics met). These days, the African nation enjoys a climate of relative volcanic peace compared to what once was: a clime so fraught with explosive volcanic power that it rained diamonds on more than one occasion (an event which would have pleased the likes of Marilyn Monroe, but for the scalding ash and magma that came with it!).
 
markle.harry

 

It’s no secret that Botswana has boasted more diamonds than any other part of the world since the eighties…while it’s true that these lovely, lustrous gems can exist anywhere in great quantity, in most parts of the world they’re also inconveniently located 100-or-so miles underground. It takes a historically massive upheaval to send them into the air and a bit closer to the surface for miners and princes alike to easily find. Research by scientists like Janne Koornneef  has indicated two such events in the region Markle’s diamond hails from, both 1.1 billion and 3 billion years ago.
 

eruption

 

This first batch was caused when the Zimbabwe Craton -a rather sizeable chunk of the earth’s crust- broke free and slammed into a neighboring craton! The second time a diamond-scattering took place, it was during a time from whence the ‘Umkondo Large Igenous Province’ drew its name…the entire region was completely transformed by the large and overactive volcanoes covering the terrain.
 
Prince Harry engagement

 

…Not so interested in tackling the trip to Botswana for a blind date, like the auspicious pair did, or in facing walls of steaming ash for your diamonds? Maybe consider giving a visit to the Eve Alfille Gallery & Studio up in Evanston instead!

Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

Q & Eve: In Great Spirits

The new series will be revealed Saturday, November 4, 2017 from 1:00p.m – 7:00 p.m. at the Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio, with guests enjoying a “Bubbly Bar” and festive refreshments, a live music ensemble, raffle prizes, and Evanston-made art jewelry.
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Tourmaline bracelet by Eve Alfille. Photo by Matt Arden.

Q: Congratulations! You recently celebrated your 60th wedding anniversary, and now the 30th anniversary of your business! To what do you attribute this long and fabulous career?

Eve: To an artist, I think creating is a natural activity, like eating or drinking…exhilarating or frustrating, but always intense. “In Great Spirits” is a reminder that life can still unpack delight – that we are wired for joy as much as for doom.

 

Q: Is there a secret meaning in the title for your new series “In Great Spirits,” and can you elaborate on it a bit?

Eve: …You can rage at the dying of the light, you can go off on the road less traveled by, but deep down, we are social animals, and derive warmth from celebrating together such things as the harvest, a wedding or a good death.

 

Q: Looking back on 30 years at your gallery, is it what you expected?

Eve: As a teen, I had this romantic vision of founding an artists’ colony, housed i an ancient castle…we’d all be making art. And when I would reach the age of 36 (being ancient) I would leave this earth…didn’t completely work out this way!

 

Q: What is the key to longevity in both work & life, in your experience?

Eve: I worry very little. I rejoice often. I really like being part of a community, both coworkers and our patrons!

 

Q: What would you like to say to those who have been with the gallery since the beginning?

Eve: The absolute first thing I owe is gratitude to all those kind, patient art patrons who allowed me this extraordinary adventure!

 

Q: Do you still do any gold & platinum smithing work yourself?

Eve: There is never enough time in the day, so when I do, it’s done at night. This is when I can open the taps of inspiration & let ideas flow…designs evolve unbidden as a piece emerges.

vineyardwedding
“Vineyard Wedding” ruby and sapphire ring by Eve Alfille. Photo by Matt Arden.

Q: Are there any techniques, motifs, or materials which you plan to favor in this new series?

Eve: I think of the harvest, of fruit before it goes to the press, of the new wine, and of growing hops. Of tourmalines, green sapphires, rubies, gold in warm tones, and lush pearls…

 

Q: Does ‘spirit’-uality hold a place in your work?

Eve: I am thankful to our Maker for allowing us to keep the gallery flowing all these years!

 

Q: As a well-travelled citizen of the world, what is the best “spirit” you have ever encountered…either drinking or otherwise!

Eve: We spent some years living in Switzerland, where people do not make friends as readily as we do – but when they finally do, friendship is marked by epic Sunday formal lunches, lasting till evening! Many good bottles are enjoyed amid lively conversation, and by the end of the day, all stand empty. But no one is tipsy – just in great spirits! So this series is a celebration of the human bond – a time when strife recedes, when tolerance and good humor remind us we need each other.

 

cheers

Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

“In Great Spirits:” A New Collection of Art Jewelry by Evanston Artist Eve J. Alfille

The new series will be revealed Saturday, November 4, 2017 from 1:00p.m – 7:00 p.m. at the Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio, with guests enjoying a “Bubbly Bar” and festive refreshments, a live music ensemble, raffle prizes, and Evanston-made art jewelry.

eveinvite

Evanston, IL – Raise your glass, it’s time to toast three decades of gorgeous fine art jewelry! Enjoy an intoxicating array of brand new designs from the series “In Great Spirits,” designed by Eve herself in anticipation of the 30th anniversary of the Eve J. Alfille Gallery & Studio. Come see what she’s been brewing, and join in the ‘spirit’ of the day!

A series which exists as a celebration in itself could obviously draw inspiration from many different avenues…in this series, Eve’s mind escaped the familiarity of downtown Evanston to wander the countryside. “I think of the harvest,” says Eve of her designs “…of fruit before it goes to the press, of the new wine, and of growing hops.” Such a robust palette of flavors will be expressed through a wearable cornucopia of “tourmalines, green sapphires, rubies, gold in warm tones, and lush pearls” sure to please even the choosiest sommelier.

thenighttheyinventedchampagne
“The Night They Invented Champagne” Earrings, copyright: Eve Alfille. Photo credit: Matt Arden.

Naturally, never satisfied to keep things at just face value, this delectable dessert of a series has a second layer of meaning hidden beneath its’ initial crust: “you can rage at the dying of the light, you can go off on the road less traveled by, but deep down, we are social animals, and derive warmth from celebrating together such things as the harvest, a wedding or a good death,” elaborates Eve, “so this series is a celebration of the human bond – a time when strife recedes, and when tolerance and good humor remind us we need each other.”

The opening celebration will feature a “Bubbly Bar” and other luxurious libations, mouthwatering morsels (including a visit from the famous Stan’s Donuts truck!) and the opportunity to win either a Chopping Block Gift Basket worth $200, or an Eve Alfille “In Great Spirits” necklace, no purchase necessary! Revelers will also enjoy a live classical ensemble, and will receive a 30th Anniversary Series charm with a purchase of $750 or more during the party! Join us in ‘popping the cork’ on November 4, 2017 from 1:00 p.m – 7:00 p.m. at the Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio. Please send RSVPs to either 847-869-7920 or contact@evejewelry.com. To learn more about Eve Alfille and see more of her works, visit www.evejewelry.com.

About Eve J. Alfille Gallery & Studio
French-born artist, archeologist and gem expert, Eve Alfille opened her Evanston, IL-based gallery and studio in 1987. The Eve J. Alfille Gallery & Studio creates one-of-a-kind, art-inspired jewelry hand-crafted at the Gallery. Eve is also the founder of The Pearl Society and an officer of the International Pearl Association.

Eve J. Alfille Gallery and Studio

Diamond in the Buff

Rough diamonds have never looked better…billionaire and diamond-specialist Laurence Graff just closed the deal on a perfect pair; two parts of the same massive diamond. After more than a year of deals, the dazzling duo were finally reunited after having been separated in May.

lesedi

These two massive rough diamonds, which would have originally been a single stone of 1,922 carats or more, fell apart during their collection from the earth into two pieces. The larger of the pair, the “Lesedi La Rona” diamond (meaning “our light” in the local Tswana language) weighs in at a whopping 1,109 carats, while its smaller sister is a still-substantial 813 carats. Both stones were confirmed to be type IIa, the purest and most exceptional quality a diamond can be.

Though these pieces were uncovered nearly two years ago in November of 2015, it has been quite a journey for them to make it into the hands of their new owner. After an initial auction in June 2016, in which Lesedi La Rona remained unsold due to under-bidding (for a time it was suggested that the stone was “too big to sell!”), it finally went to Graff at auction this September for $53 million…a $17 million discount from its original asking price of $70 million!

“This is a momentous day in my career, and I am privileged to be given the opportunity to honor the magnificent natural beauty of the Lesedi La Rona.” said Graff regarding future plans for the pair. “The stone will tell us its story. It will dictate how it wants to be cut and we will take the utmost care to respect its exceptional properties…Our highly skilled team of master craftsmen will draw on many years of experience of crafting the most important diamonds, working night and day to ensure that we do justice to this remarkable gift from Mother Nature.”

Cullinan_Diamond
The “Cullinan” diamond before it was separated into the separate crown jewels.

The stone itself is recorded as the second largest rough diamond of gem-quality to have been uncovered in history, the only diamond larger having been the famous “Cullinan” diamond which now resides in the crown jewels in London…Perhaps the second largest will also be fit for royalty, once it is finally cut and polished? We’ll find out!