Jewelry Navigator

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

It’s FRIDAY, so, let’s celebrate with some gem, jewelry and fun surprises with an acrostic celebration of Friday!


For each letter of the word Friday, I feature a gemstone, item of jewelry or a special surprise!


Listen to find out what fireflies, an Aston Martin and feldspar (gems like moonstone, kunzite, labradorite, sunstone and amazonite) have to do with each other!


We start at the beginning with the letter F, then go through the remaining letters of FRIDAY, sharing gems, jewelry and an extra surprise at the end.

Even though I used FRIDAY, the gems, jewelry and extra surprise are year-round treats for any time!

Have Fun!

Jewelry, Designers and Artists featured in ths episode are:

F for Feldspar:
California Girl Jewelry with Sunstone and Kunzite jewlery

R for Ruby with Rubies from Greenland Ruby (yes! rubies are mined in Greenland!

I is for Indicolite Tourmaline with Gigi Ferrante's one of a kind Mermaid ring

D is for Danburite with a 4 carat + danburite set in 18kt rose gold with a double halo of diamonds, by California Girl Jewelry

A is for Aston Martin with a stunning bumble bee cuff from an 
Aston Martin Rapide S in onyx black, by Crash Jewelry - Jewelry made from the  slightly damaged parts of luxury and high end sports cars.

Y is Yay for Friday and summer! This last one is the surprise! A good friend, and former flight attendant, now an established artist in NYC creates fine art.
I chose to feature Sally Tharp Fine Art, and her painting entitled "The Great Escape", exhibited and for sale at Wells Gallery on Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Memories of capturing fireflies are like gems and treasures from our summers past, so I thought I'd share the same with you.

Thank you so much for listening, and getting your Jewelry Itineraries from Jewelry Navigator.

Please leave a review in iTunes or whatever platform you listen to your podcasts with, and feel free to email me with suggestions on what you'd like to hear on future episodes!

Until next time, cross check your sparkle, and fasten those safety clasps!


Summoning lost skills and techniques through abandoned tools Reubin Simantov accepts challenges most jewelers trade for the modern technology of CAD-CAM assisted jewelry manufacturing.

Insistent that clients and customers observe and respect the time, attention and thought put into every custom piece, he will often discourage clients who expect delivery before the estimated completion date.

Those who understand the energy and resources needed for his level of creativity wait patiently, sometimes several months before the commissioned pieces are completed.

While behind the scenes, Simantov and his workshop wait for the perfect stone for each piece, and use nature as inspiration as guides.

Not only is his jewlery created from layers of observation and attention,  but the combinations of materials often make them even more exceptional.

Gun metal steel inlaid with 24kt gold, carved obsidian (volcanic glass), and hidden mechanical works that conceal charming and surreal surprises are just a few of the trademarks of R. Simantov.

Recalling and recreating the delight from lost technique from artists like Faberge’, Reubin Simantov reunites his clients and admirers with a deep appreciation and respect for the highest levels of craftsmanship that capture multiple senses, emotions and dimensions in each of his jewelry creations.

Join me in learning about R. Simantov, his jewelry creations, and what sets him apart by transcending trends and traditions.

To see his jewelry, visit @R_Simantov on Instagram, his website, or his studio in Nantucket, Massachusetts.


You’re onboard Jewelry Navigator Episode 11, Chips are for Lunch,they’re not diamonds, and other helpful tips to

shop with confidence and understand what you already have.


Sit back, relax and enjoy the episode - welcome aboard!


What makes metals used in jewelry better than just regular metal, and is one better than another?


If it looks like gold, then it is, right?


What is gold and silver plated jewelry, and what’s the difference from actual gold?


What about the gemstones - are there really ones more precious than

others to be called semi-precious?


If the diamonds set in halo and on the sides of jewelry are small, are they even diamonds or are the just small pieces of diamond chips?


And speaking of diamonds if you didn’t know already like almost to every gemstone, diamonds are now being lab created or man-made in labs in just a few weeks rather than millions of years.


These are some of the challenges shoppers face to distinguish the difference between fine and fashion jewelry that I’ll be sharing with you today on Chips are for Lunch, Not Diamonds and Other Helpful Jewelry Tips.


Jewelers and designers featured in this podcast are:

R. Simantov

Everyday Luxury NYC

Thesis Gems

Juler's Row

Crash Jewelry

Criffin Designs

California Girl Jewelry


You can find show notes and future photos on


What could possibly complement a private showing of fine jewelry better than a glass of champagne while beholding rare gems, like taaffeite, a lavender gem that sparkles as much or more than diamond, and blue color change Bekily garnet?!

Today, I visit with the daughter of the mother - daughter team of California Girl Jewelry, Denise Forbes, where from their boutique in San Francisco, they treat clients and walk in customers to champagne and an entrancing selection of gemstones, along with jewelry designs in which to enhance and showcase them.

Originally from New England and NYC, Mariel Baker, mother of the two partners, moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, and continued her executive level career in the dot com industry.

Her desire and interest in jewelry set with rare gemstones followed her into retirement, where she began California Girl Jewelry.

Denise later joined her mother in San Francisco.

Together they bring phenomenal jewelry to gem aficionados and jewelry lovers all over the world.

The rare, beautiful and exclusive gems they procure directly from mine sources are their signature.

Their gemstones are complimented by high quality settings of 18kt white, yellow, rose gold and platinum, set with full cut, F/VS quality diamonds, yet prices are comparably  affordable due to their in-house manufacturing, and guiding motto, “Jewelry made for women, by women.”                                                                                                                                                                                                            
The partners and their all women design team share enthusiasm and a knowledge of rare gemstones that serves their clients’ best interests, while offering exceptional service with free ring sizing, free shipping, and lifetime maintenance.

Watch for the coordinating blog post on for my favorite pieces of California Girl Jewelry, and you can find your favorite pieces at!


With spring and summer as popular wedding seasons, that also means anniversaries!


Shop smart from your heart and your wallet!


In this episode, I share jewelry to give as new gifts, along with tips on how to pass along an heirloom piece for a gift.


Having a jeweler you know and trust is so important, because they can save you lots of money through repairs that revive old pieces.


I also share:

  • unique pearl jewelry gifts that are updates to your grandmother’s pearl necklace
  • the difference between fresh and saltwater cultured pearls
  • jewelry gifts for the guys
  • affordable options to refurbish old pieces to gift as heirlooms
  • and lots of unique jewelry designs set with beautiful gems and diamonds, created to celebrate what makes us special to each other from the giver to the recipient


Jewelry and Designers featured in this episode:


  • Veronica Eckert Studio
  • Galatea
  • Katherine & Josephine
  • Paul Michael Jewelry & Geek.Jewelry
  • Crash Jewelry
  • Heavenly Vices Fine Jewelry
  • Hugo Kohl Jewelry
  • Ulman’s Jewelry, Fredericksburg, VA
  • The Jeweler’s Bench, Hershey, PA
  • California Girl Jewelry, San Francisco, CA
  • Marty Magic, Etsy
  • LJD Designs, Etsy
  • Cythra, Dan Popkie, Etsy
  • Smithsonian’s American History blog and article, “Love Tokens - Where Cold Hard Cash and Romance Meet”

By Museum Specialist Robyn Einhorn, 

February 11, 2014



Jewelry that smiles?

 Dangling gold fish with diamond eyes?

This week I share this and more, like vintage treasures, old and new just in time for Mother’s Day jewelry shopping.

Last week, I introduced you to seven of my favorite designers and their jewelry, and this week’s episode is the continuation of my Mother’s Day Jewelry Shopping Guide!

If you didn’t get a chance to listen to last week’s episode, I share jewelry perfect for all our super hero moms, with photos accompanying the podcast in the blog post on

This week, I tell you about four designers who have made an impression on me:

Heavenly Vices Fine Jewelry introduces us to Love Tokens, Dan Popkie and his goldfish necklaces, Hania Kuzbari Jewelry Designs and her smiling jewelry, and Hugo Kohl jewelry, making old jewelry new again.

At the end of the podcast and in the blog post, I’ll share coupon codes and special offers from the jewelers and designers.


Mother’s Day Jewelry Shopping Guide


With Mother’s day coming up in less than two weeks, I thought I’d share some of my favorite jewelry designers  with shopping tips on how to make our moms happy this Mother’s Day!


Some people shy away from jewelry shopping afraid it’ll cost too much, but I have a wide selection to share from pleasantly affordable to high value jewelry treats.


From jewelry created from luxury cars to rings that reveal she’s a Wonder Woman and jewelry that honors moms of human and fur babies, this episode shares jewelry that shows all moms how special and deserving they are.


By the way, These ideas are for anytime and anyone, so don’t think they’re limited to Mother’s Day.


Be sure to Download this episode or bookmark the blog post for future reference for future gift ideas.


Thank you, and enjoy the episode!


Jewelers and designers featured in this podcast are:

-California Girl Jewelry of San Francisco

-Crash Jewelry, Los Angeles

-Paul Michael Jewelry, Pittsburgh

-Patrick Mohs Jewelry, Wayzata, MN

-Nayla Shami, Lubbock, TX

-Julers Row & Katherine & Josephine, New York


Welcome to episode 6 of the Jewelry Navigator Podcast, and the part 2, and conclusion to last week’s episode, Diamonds Demystified with diamond insider and wholesaler, Marc Knobloch, vice president and third generation with Aron knobloch, Inc in New York’s Diamond District.

Last week, Marc called on his 30 years of experience to explain the importance of seeing a diamond and how leaning on its statstics on paper can lead to faulty comparisons;  what the most important of the 4C’s are in choosing a diamond;  the magic ingredient to choosing a diamond;  and explained the primary purpose for diamond certificates.

If you missed it, go back after this episode to catch up on what you missed in Part 1 from last week.

Today, we continue as Marc explains the process put in place by the industry to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the market.

Marc also shares a diamond’s journey from mine to market, and how diamonds positively affect communities and regions of their origins.

We share what our favorite diamond shapes are, and discuss what makes certain cuts different from the rest.


Thanks so much for joining us today for the conclusion of my visit with Marc Knobloch.


Welcome to the Jewelry Navigator Podcast! I'm your host, Brenna Pakes!

What are diamond certificates? How should you use them to shop for diamonds?

Diamonds. Their sparkle has captured our attention and adorned women and men for centuries.

Last episode, we dispelled four common myths and misconceptions that make diamonds mysterious and sometimes confusing to shop for.

Today, we continue with how what you don’t know about diamonds could become expensive mistakes.

We visit with a third generation diamond specialist who provides diamonds to stores, jewelers and designers from his office in New York’s Diamond District.

Marc Knobloch, with thirty years in the diamond industry, and VP of AKI Diamonds and Jewelry, instills reason to shop with confidence for anyone preparing to purchase or upgrade a diamond, and explains why they’re still the go-to gemstone to stand the test of time for all generations.

Listen to find out what you need to know about a diamond’s certificate, what its real purpose is, how to choose the right diamond, and how the Kimberley Process  safeguards the industry’s supply of diamonds against questionable sources and intent.

This is part one of two podcasts. Marc shared so much great information with me that I separated it into two episodes, so I leave you hanging,but not to worry!

Look forward to next week’s conclusion from today’s episode!


Diamond Shopping Tips & Debunking 4 Common Myths and Misconceptions

April is showered with diamonds as its birthstone.

In today’s episode, I help take the mystery out of understanding diamonds by revealing truths surrounding common myths and misconceptions about them.

Diamonds that glow?
A unicorn trapped inside a diamond?
Diamonds that swallowed other gem crystals?

It sounds like a surreal circus!

No - It’s just the world of diamonds!

What you don’t know about diamonds is a mystery now, but after today’s episode, your understanding about diamonds will be clearer, as we debunk a few of the common misconceptions about diamonds.

Featuring Stepping Stone jewelry, set with diamonds that glow, from Patrick Mohs Jewelry in WAYZATA, MN.

For show notes and photos of diamond inclusions and jewelry mentioned in the episode, please see the show notes in the blog post under the same name at


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