Jewelry Navigator™

Guiding shoppers to smart jewelry choices.

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About Jewelry Navigator Podcast

Need help shopping for jewelry that’s unique and stands out?
Do you know the best way to care for your jewelry, or how to tell if a jewelry item is "real"?

 

Brenna Pakes is founder of Jewelry Navigator, and as a Graduate Gemologist from GIA (Gemological Institute of America), she shares informative insights and jewelry stories with her audience.

 

Backed by twenty years of professional jewelry experience, Brenna presents an engaging platform leading shoppers to smart jewelry choices.

 

Jewelry Navigator Podcast features leading edge jewelry designers and industry experts serving to bridge the gap between consumers and the jewelry that tells their life stories.

 

 

Episodes

Sunday Jan 16, 2022

Horse Tails & Ant Hills - The Hidden Secrets of Garnets   FYI: Gemstones keep secrets, and it all starts with Horse Tails and Ant Hills!   Find out just what these cryptic clues mean in this week’s brand new, and the FIRST episode of Jewelry Navigator Podcast of 2022!   It’s the Year of the Tiger! Are you ready to POUNCE on more gem facts and jewelry stories?! Listen to Jewelry Navigator Podcast on Spotify, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Podbean. 

Wednesday Dec 08, 2021

As part of celebrating 20,000 downloads of the Jewelry Navigator Podcast, I'm featuring former podcast guests in the Jewelry Navigator™ Gift Guide. I’m so excited for many of the designers I’ve featured on the podcast who are having record sales this year through their perseverance and collaborative efforts with markets, niche shows, and boutiques. The Holiday Gift Guide is a celebration of the guests who have made Jewelry Navigator Podcast fun and interesting for 20,000 downloads,  Below is a list of the jewelers and designers along with the categories in which they're featured in the Holiday Gift Guide. JEWELRY FOR HER:Mary van der Aa Fine Jewels* Nayla Shami Jewelry* Tin Haus* Tracy Trainor Jewellery* Au Xchange * Dana Busch Designs* JEWELRY FOR HIM: Mary van der Aa Fine Jewels* Tin Haus * CRASH Jewelry* Tracy Trainor Jewellery* American Chest SELF INDULGE: California Girl Jewelry* Elizabeth Moore Jewelry* Cynthia Renée Jewelry* Au Xchange* Emily Kuvin Jewelry* Debra Navarro* 'TIS THE SEASON: The Bell Collection (Etsy) Mary van der Aa Fine Jewels* Bowman Originals Coin Jewelry (Etsy) Gallery Byzantium* Mimosa Handcrafted FUN UNDER $500: Cynthia Renée Jewelry* Pareure Jewellery* CRASH Jewelry* Petite Baleine Jewelry* Vintage Meet Modern* GMC Designs JEWELRY STORAGE & CARE: Heartwood Boxes; Lion Latch; Lavish SPECIAL FEATURES:MAGICAL SPARKLY TOUR: Mary van der Aa & Tucson Todd's GemsJEWEL WHISPERER: Cynthia Renée JewelryJEWELRY LANDSCAPE ARTIST: Dana Busch Designs  

Thursday Nov 11, 2021

About Jewelry Navigator Podcast: Listen to Jewelry Navigator Podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Podbean, and Google Podcasts. Brenna Pakes is the creative force behind Jewelry Navigator LLC, a collective platform to guide consumers to smart jewelry choices.   As a GIA Graduate Gemologist with an undergraduate degree in geology, Brenna has enjoyed nearly twenty years of retail jewelry experience as a gemologist and jewelry consultant.
Through Jewelry Navigator, she shares an appreciation for designers who create beyond commercial trends and whose designs resonate with shoppers looking to celebrate what makes them unique.
Brenna promotes brand awareness and support for independent jewelry designers and artisans through informative media platforms, like Jewelry Navigator Podcast, and digital publication, Jewelry Navigator Passport. This Episode: "Costume Jewelry Treasures With Veronica Staudt of Vintage Meet Modern" Since publishing “What’s in Your Jewelry Box Graveyard?” podcast episode, several people have reached out asking for help understanding jewelry they own or have inherited. In this episode of Jewelry Navigator Podcast, “Costume Jewelry Treasures With Veronica Staudt of Vintage Meet Modern, I’m continuing on a similar theme with the guidance from costume jewelry specialist and aficionado, Veronica Staudt of Vintage Meet Modern. Veronica not only shares how several feature and styling elements of costume jewelry offer versatility for current times, but that many vintage costume collections are valuable, often commanding prices near those of fine jewelry. As a former professional personal shopper, Veronica uses her styling skills to encourage her clients and Instagram audience to enjoy vintage costume jewelry as statement pieces to enhance occasional and everyday fashion. Using the jewelry clues from Jewelry Box Graveyard Cheat Sheet (available in Jewelry Navigator Passport digital issue, Fall 2021) you may discover jewelry items that, while not made from precious metals or gemstones, they are still fun and enjoyable to wear. To get your subscription to Jewelry Navigator Passport, email us at passport@jewelrynavigator.com

Thursday Oct 21, 2021

How many times have you visited your jewelry box to discover twisted, tangled chains, orphaned, earrings, or rings missing gemstones?   Much of our forgotten jewelry is abandoned due to disrepair, but how can you tell what is worth keeping? What looks like junk may be forgotten treasures! In this episode of Jewelry Navigator Podcast, I share a few helpful tips on what to look for to easily identify jewelry of value in your Jewelry Box Graveyard using clues from the metals with which fine jewelry is made.  

Friday Apr 16, 2021

Nan Fusco’s Versatile Jewelry Designs Redefine  Luxury Jewelry   Like many artists, Nan Fusco didn’t start her jewelry career in gem or design courses.   Nan’s former career and formal training are in graphic design.   Skilled with reading a client’s style and needs, Nan’s ability to design around a concept beautifully highlight the fossils and stones she selects as the focal points of her jewelry.   Making jewelry versatile through aspects of changeability and movement is one of Nan’s superpowers as a jewelry designer.   From her Abacus rings and earrings, to jewelry scarves, and her long necklaces designed with engineering aspects, Nan incorporates appealing design concepts with texture and movement for jewelry creations that are classic fun, and had women buying her creations right off her neck!   We talk about how important it is for designers to educate the boutiques where her jewelry is stocked to the versatility of her jewelry.   We also discuss the necessity and struggles that come with social media and how she’s regrowing her Instagram account after an unfortunate setback.   I recently featured Nan on a Beyond Gems segment on The Tundra, so you can see more of her jewelry on the video story on their platform.   Follow Nan on Instagram @therealnanfusco to see and shop her fabulous jewelry!

Sunday Mar 28, 2021

Azra Mehdi is a practicing attorney and balances her family life with her passion for fine jewelry as a designer of timeless gold jewelry.   Azra founded Au Xchange, a platform for sharing fine jewelry created by women designers.   In spite of pandemic obstacles, Azra took advantage of the time during lockdowns to apply for the Zales Designer Spotlight Showcase and won as the only woman designer of color for the showcase.   Originally from India, Azra shares how gold jewelry influenced her path as a jewelry designer, and how her thoughtful designs are welcoming to a wide audience and demographic.   Azra is dedicated to giving back as a representative in support of girls and women with CamFED, Campaign for Female Education through portions of her jewelry sales.   While growing her brand through Au Xchange and as a featured designer in the Zales Designer Spotlight, Azra continues to practice law while raising her two children with her husband. You can find Azra's jewelry on Au Xchange as well as on Zale's Designer Spotlight   For a detailed look at Azra’s jewelry, be sure to watch her feature on Beyond Gems on TheTUNDRA, "Azra Mehdi's Golden Jewelry Story". TheTUNDRA is a platform from which I share gem, mineral, and more jewelry stories through video production.   Subscribe to TheTUNDRA to access the full episodes, and you can find the link to Beyond Gems on my IG account @jewelrynavigator and on my podcast website, https://jewelrynavigator.podbean.com/

Thursday Mar 25, 2021

HHi! Welcome to Jewelry Navigator! I’m your host, Graduate Gemologist,  Brenna Pakes. Here on Jewelry Navigator, and as a Graduate Gemologist of the Gemological Institute of America, and a jewelry professional, I’m in a unique position to share jewelry tips and stories. More than ever, it’s important to support small, independent jewelry designers and businesses. It’s my pleasure to guide consumers to smart jewelry choices through an informative and entertaining platform. For sneak peeks into upcoming episodes and features, follow me on Instagram on @jewelrynavigator   In this relaunch episode, I share my role as curator of content for a weekly video feature on Beyond Gems for TheTUNDRA, an informative platform for enthusiasts and those with a general curiosity for topics, themes, and hobbies. I share guests featured on Beyond Gems so far. It's been a wonderful way to expand and explore geology, gemology, and other relevant fields of interest. FYI - to watch the full Beyond Gems episodes, subscribe for a free TheTUNDRA account.   Welcome Aboard, and be sure to subscribe to Jewelry Navigator Podcast on Podbean, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google Podcasts.

Thursday Jul 02, 2020

On a recent Jewelry Navigator Podcast, “Here's to the Men in Our Lives - Jewelry to Celebrate Men and Dads”, I featured jewelry for men. One of the rings selected is Tin Haus' Andromeda ring, designed and created by today's guest, Christina Grace, founder of Tin Haus, an eclectic collection of jewelry art. Christina is a Graduate Jeweler from the Gemological Institute of America, an artist, and is currently completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. What inspires me the most about Christina is the unhindered path she creates for herself. Her expertise is well-rounded through varied practices of art, including performing art, drawing, and set design.As a first-generation American, Christina lives and creates her collections in California. Utilizing her education, background, and connections, Christina is creating a path with which to inspire others to discover and celebrate their unique expression through their own self-discovery. Christina explained that her upcoming collection will be set with gems she's been hoarding. We look forward to watching her collections grow! You can find Tin Haus at tin-haus.com and on Instagram @tin_haus   My intention is always to educate and inform consumers with resources to unique jewelry created by independent designers and makers. Follow Jewelry Navigator on Instagram  @jewelrynavigator for the latest jewelry stories and tips!            

Thursday Jun 18, 2020

Men tend to get overlooked with jewelry - Watches and wedding bands are the staples for most men, while signet, diamond and gemstone statement rings as signature statements. Educating consumers with unique selections of gemstones and jewelry has always been a primary focus for Jewelry Navigator. In this Jewelry Navigator Podcast episode, I'm highlighting designers who've been featured on the podcast, as well as one who will be very soon with jewelry designed to enhance and celebrate the men in our lives. Designers featured create everything from cufflinks, bracelets, necklaces and pendants and rings. Tracy Trainor Jewellery CRASH Jewelry Mary van der Aa Tucson Todd's Gems Tin Haus Etsy Artisans with featured storage boxes for jewelry and watches: Buttons and Pearl, Sara Barbadillo, and Fret Work by Darryl.

Thursday Jun 04, 2020

This is a brief episode today. I didn't include my normal introduction, so if this is your first episode, welcome.To understand what my platform is, please listen to any other episode, and you'll understand. After feeling paralyzed, not knowing how to move forward with the current chaos, I felt it appropriate to encourage my listeners, and everyone, to ask questions.Questions of how to move forward with compassion and understanding.Questions of what to do next, and how to help.Questions of how we want our future to look like and feel.And, questions of how we can integrate with live filled with respect, understanding, and inclusion that is natural and normal. Follow Jewelry Navigator on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. To reach Brenna direclty, e-mail brenna@jewelrynavigator.com

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