Jewelry Navigator

Gems & Unique Jewelry for Shoppers Who Want to Stand Out Beyond Trends

Spring vacation is here, and part of enjoying your travels includes knowing your belongings will be safe.

Making sure your jewelry and valuables are safe while traveling is as necessary as having your passport and credit cards.

In this episode, I share tips from a few of my travel and safety professional friends and crew members on how you can stay safe and keep your personal belongings, like jewelry and identifications safe while on travel or holiday.

Bella Campbell overcame the challenges of language barriers when she arrived in the States over thirty years ago.

Originally from Georgia, the former republic of Russia, she arrived with a degree in physics, and transitioned into the fashion and jewelry career stream, starting as a buyer for Macy’s jewelry department, then a buyer for a major gemstone company.

Now, she has her own line, and creates one of a kind jewelry with enchanting color combinations of bright gemstones and precious metals.

For all the courageous women everywhere who leave their homeland to pursue dreams, here’s to Bella, who exemplifies the spirit of women everywhere doing their best to blend career and family.

Be sure to hear last week’s episode, a compilation of many of the women and designers I’ve featured on the podcast over the past year in this week’s podcast, “Celebrating International Women’s Day With Women From Jewelry Navigator Podcast Stories“ available on iTunes, Spotify, Podbean, and Google Play Music.

This month is the one year anniversary since the start of the Jewelry Navigator Podcast.

Jewelry Navigator remains on a course to connect shoppers to unique jewelry and share the stories of the designers who create it.

The episode explorations and destinations have been:

Jewelry made from luxury cars, like Ferraris and Maseratis, with Christi Schimpke of CRASH Jewelry.

The story of an architect who sees buildings as jewelry, with Emily Minton of MINTON with premium architecturally inspired jewelry.

Emily Kuvin, a former journalist and lawyer, who returned to her passion of jewelry design, and now creates the jewelry of her dreams.

Rachel Dery, a young woman, and gemologist, making a difference for East African miners with holisitic sourcing, and forging gem legacies.

California Girl Jewelry, a mother - daughter jewelry and gemology team who create exclusive jewelry with rare and beautiful gems. 

Samantha Jackson, and her jewlery company, Heavenly Vices' wearable jewelery treasures from exquisitely engraved coins.

Joyful and colorful enamel jewelry of May Came Home, by New York City native, artist, and graphic designer, Deborah Halperin.

Julie Lamb's jewelry encourages us to be “ewe” -nique using a play on words with her last name.

These are the highlights of just a few of the stories told in the first year of the Jewelry Navigator Podcast.

In honor of International Women’s Day, all the jewelers and designers featured in this episode are women!

Each segment is from an entire podcast episode, and I encourage you to subscribe to the podcast if you already haven’t, and binge or trickle listen to all the episodes.

I want to thank every woman in the industry, especially those who have allowed me to tell their story, and who has stood her ground, nurtured her vision, and picked herself back up when discouraged or doubtful.

Watch for the coordinating blog post on the jewelry navigator site, and until next time, cross check your sparkle!


Kate Hubley is the designer and goldsmith behind K8 Jewelry.

Based in Montreal, Canada, Kate holds the prestigious FGA gemmology designation from the Gemmological Association of Great Britain.

Originally a professional within advertising, Kate began taking courses in design and jewelry gold smithing.

Kate is a delight to visit with, and she creates jewelry using captivating concepts with a twist of light hearted whimsy.

With collection names like Precious Time, Lumina, Carnival, and more, Kate’s designs are versatile, and offer styles for a range of interests and demographics.

Join me in this podcast to hear how Kate interpreted a friend’s drawing of medieval torture weapons into one of her most meaningful collections.
You can find Kate's jewlery at and she's on Instagram as @k8jewelry.


Jewelry Navigator’s Adventure at the 2019 Tucson Gem Show


Every year in February, thousands of rockhounds, jewelers, gemologists, and artists attend gem shows in Tucson.


Since its beginning, the show has grown to over 40 separate shows.


For jewelers and fine gemstone buyers, the shows are in venues, like the AGTA Gemfair, in the Tucson Convention Center.


Other shows are inside mazes of large white tents along roadsides, others take over complete hotels, using guest rooms as temporary shops.


It was an experience that surpassed my expectations, for sure!



For those of you who aren’t familiar with this show, it’s a mecca for jewelers - both professional and hobbyists, and rock hounds.



It was a fantastic experience, and besides seeing gemstones I’ve only dreamed of, I also met and made new friends through Gem Legacy’s Launch on February 8, at the JW Marriott Resort Starr Pass.

Note: Podcoin

Whether you love jewelry and gems as much as I do, you may wonder sometimes about where the gems are found.


Knowing where gems are found is traceable


Knowing who finds the gem crystals, and exactly where to look is harder, and has been more difficult to trace - until now, and unless you make that your mission.


Today, I’m very excited and honored to be sharing my visit with Roger and Rachel Dery.


Their gem story goes so much deeper than the depths from which the gems they feature are discovered.



The Dery family, Roger, Ginger, and Rachel launched Gem Legacy, last fall,  and 501 c 3 non-profit company.


In Tucson, next month, Roger, Ginger and Rachel will be celebrating the launch of Gem Legacy.


Their mission is to make the lives of the miners, families and communities that are supported through Gem Legacy better, and more enriched through their treasured resources by means of educational and guided support by Gem Legacy.


With the demands of more transparent commerce interactions, Roger Dery and his family are building a legacy of trust in the gem and mineral industry from the ground up - something that is way overdue.


You can find Gem Legacy on Instagram @thegemlegacy, and Roger Dery's custom and expertly faceted gemstones at, and @rogerdery on Instagram.

Is your jewelry covered by accurate and legitimate appraisals?

If you lost your engagement ring tomorrow, would it be adequately covered by your insurance for it to be replaced as close to the original?

These are questions that are answered with a proper appraisal that is current and accurate.

Part of why I share the information related to jewelry is so you don’t feel intimidated by shopping for and caring for your jewelry.

You should always feel comfortable with the jewelry professionals you trust, and feel they have your best interests at heart.

That brings up the subject of ethics, which should be the barometer that underrides the practice of personal property and jewelry appraisals.

Knowing who to trust, and who will appriase your jewelry fairly and honestly should be your first priority when choosing an appraiser.

I’m so excited to share my visit with today’s guest, Fred Van Doren, Graduate Gemologist, and Certified Jewelry Appraiser.

His story starts in a chemistry lab, and while he still uses a microscope on a regular basis, he has solid experience in jewelry appraisal, as well as a long history within the retail sector of the industry, from a corporate perspective, to his own privately owned store.

Type of appraisals:

A sales appraisal reflects the retail price of an item.

Most jewelry appraisals are created for insurance coverage based on replacement and fair market values.

Other reasons for jewelry appraisals are for

-liquidation value

-consighment purpose

-estate appraisals

-tax write offs for donations

Credentials to look for with an appraiser:

GG  (GIA - Gemological Institute of America; Graduate Gemologist) or FGA (Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain

Certificating Agencies

NAJA (National Association of Jewelry Appraisers)

ISA (International Society of Appraisers)

ASA (American Society of Appraisers)

Continuing education for gem and trade updates, such as lab created options, and gemstone treatments.

Julie Lamb is a fun and highly experienced jewelry designer in New York City.

She’s been making jewelry since childhood. After attending an art magnet school in the city, she began her jewelry career and journey working as project manager and marketing specialist for big name companies.

Her jewelry company, Julie Lamb Fine Jewelry, contains a versatile selection of collections.  From whimsical lamb themed jewelry (a play on her last name with the “Be Ewe” collection), to her Metropolis and City collections, her jewelry is refreshingly unique.

Julie won second place in the MJSA Vision Award for designers in the 1-3 Years in Business category for her “Entrepreneur” ring, which reflects her sophisticated designs in her Limited Edition and Elements Collections.

Julie was a joy to talk to, and I was honored that she took time with me to share her story.

You can find Julie Lamb Fine Jewelry at, and on instagram, @julielambny.


The Not So Scary Truth About Opals


Anne of Geierstein, also known as The Maiden of the Mist is a novel written by Sir Walter Scott, in 1829, and cast an unlucky shadow onto opal.


The story told of a young princess who wore an opal pin in her hair.


When she was happy, the opal radiated with its signature flashes of colors. When she was mad or sad, the opal faded in light and color.


Convinced she was evil or bewitched, holy water was sprinkled onto the opal to break the jewel’s spell, and at once, the princess fainted and collapsed.


The next morning, there was only a heap of gray ashes where she had been laid.


From that point on, opal was believed to be bad luck, and it suffered in popularity.


It regained attention and jewelry status to be pushed again by the jealous diamond industry, so it is speculated.


Today, opal is enjoyed by many for its fiery display and wide variety.


The most recent variety uncovered is a transparent, jelly variety, called Ethiopian opal.


A listener of the podcast reached out to me about a few Ethiopian opal stones she has that have discolored to a duller orangey - yellow color, and asked if I could explain the change of appearance.


I reached out to a few gemologists and specialists, MD Maya Gems, Diana Jarrett, G.G., and Matt Hopkins of Hopkins Opal.


Matt spent some time with me on a phone conversation and explained why the opal changed color, and also clarified the controversial advice to either oil or keep your opals in water.


Be sure to visit the website for the accompanying blog post that will feature links to the research, photos of opals and opal jewelry by Thesis Gems, Russell Trusso, and more!

I met Emily Kuvin at the Jewelers of America Jewelry show in New York this past summer.

She was featured as one of a select few designers in the New Designer Gallery, curated and selected by Liz Kantner.

She’s been featured on Gem Gossip’s site with her Stella jewelry, and now I’m so excited to have her as today’s guest on the podcast.

What I find so interesting about Emily is how she balances the business and design side of her jewelry with the skills and background from her education and prior careers.

With a degree in history and English, she continued into the field of journalism, and was a news broadcast journalist.

She returned to school for a law degree, and practiced law before deciding to pursue a long lasting interest of jewelry design.

Her career experience and research skills as a journalist and in her law profession serve her well in her jewelry business.

She seamlessly balances a mix of aesthetic understanding with business practicality.

Currently, her two collections grow from classical influence, yet offer an elegant and whimsical style.

The Stella (the latin root of the word, star) collection consists of various sizes of organically formed stars with nine arms.

Using an organic star motif, one can interpret her Stella collection to express an appreciation for stars and a respect for the vast universe, or as a resemblance to the “kapow” super hero comic strip graphic as a way to recognize internal strength in a fun and whimsical way.

The largest design, Stella and a medium size, Stellina are featured as necklaces and earrings.

In the center of each Stella and Stellina piece is an oval gemstone surrounded by six small diamonds sprinkled around the center stone and in the middle of the stars’ arms.

Gems like morganite, tourmaline, amethyst, and turquoise are just a few of the gems she uses in all her designs.

The Classical Collection is the second line of jewelry featured in Emily Kuvin Jewelry Design.

Inspired by the iconic pyriamids of ancient Egypt, for which she had an affinity for studying as a young girl, Emily grew her Classical collection based on triangular forms and gems.

Emily combines the triangualr form that three small, bezel set gems with trillion shaped gems as the basis for her Classic Collection.

Both her collections are unique and offer a distinguished celebration to stand out with elegance that transitions between casual to formal wear.

I love how Emily Kuvin’s designs pack a sparkling punch to remind us who we are and to stand up for the super stars we are!

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