If you have a fondness for natural, exotic gemstones - you are in for a rare treat! Jewelry lovers will be mesmerized by the beauty and artistry of our Today's Special coming up on May 7th at midnight. Inspired by The Land of Kings, art historian, Andrew Stone, takes us on a journey to Jaipur and gives a little history lesson on what makes this rare beauty a treasure to behold.
Colleen: A trip to Jaipur is on my bucket list - What makes Jaipur unique to other parts of the world when it comes to jewelry making?
Andrew Stone: Jaipur is the capital of the Indian State of Rajasthan (Land of Kings) and was one of the best preserved ancient cities in Asia. It is also the world's capital for semi-precious gemstone production and is known for high quality gemstone cutting. Jaipur is also one of the world's top centers for traditional silver jewelry production.
Colleen: So when you combine stone production, gem cutting and master silversmiths - Jaipur is a triple threat when it comes to jewelry making! Himalayan Gems has been making jewelry in this part of the world for over 30 years - that's impressive...
Andrew: We have built great relationships and have tremendous respect for the knowledgable, talented people we work with in Jaipur. The jewelry industry there was established centuries ago when the local Maharajah (Great King) Jai Singh established a new capital city. As part of the planning, he established a quarter where jewelry crafts people could set up. The industry thrived under the patronage of the Royalty and Aristocracy and continues to prosper to this day.
We are fortunate to have established key relationships and acquired knowledge of the inner workings of both the gemstone and silver production. This allows us to bring you high quality gemstone jewelry at excellent values.
Colleen: I know millions of tourists travel to Jaipur each year - what is the experience like?
Andrew: We were lucky enough to be in Jaipur recently just as everyone was preparing to celebrate Holi - A Spring festival of Color and Love! Jaipur is called "The Pink City" - you are surrounded by pink light as much of the architecture is pink to connotate royalty.
In front of the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds)
From behind these windows, the Queens and Princesses could observe the goings on without being seen themselves. It is beautifully preserved after more than 2 1/2 centuries.
Snake charmer on the streets of Jaipur.
Traditional "Fast Food" - Very colorful and spicy!
Peacock doorway painted with crushed gemstones (Old Royal Palace).
Making friends with the palace guards.
Andrew and his wife, Lori, dressed up for a farewell party.
Colleen: I'm so excited to share the beautiful, exotic gem ring you've created for our gemstone lovers and collectors - Tell us a little about this special piece of jewelry.
Andrew: The ring being offered for this event is indeed something very special - a large sterling silver ring set with a huge natural gemstone at an amazing price!
You will have a choice of 3 beautiful and rare gemstones: Larimar from the Dominican Republic, Charoite from Siberia and Rhodochrosite from Argentina.
The stones measure 18 x 25 mm and are oval in shape. Each stone is approximately 26 carats!
All of the stones were sourced in their rough form by Himalayan Gems and are guaranteed to be free from any treatments or enhancements.
The stones were all hand selected and hand cut at Himalayan Gems' Jaipur, Rajasthan workshops. The setting of these amazing treasures uses over 8 grams of highly worked sterling silver.
Below are some photos that were taken during our trip to Jaipur during the production of this Today's Special. It was more than 6 months of work in total and we are thrilled with the results!!!npacking the rough Larimar.
Choosing the Larimar.
Examining the Larimar to look for cracks.
Drawing the shapes onto the Larimar.
Larimar - From rough to finished cabachon.
Some of the pieces that were selected for use in the Today's Special.
Drawing the shapes onto the Rhodocrocite.
Andrew with a large boulder of rough Charoite.
Drawing out the shapes before cutting.
Selected Charoite cabachons
Isn't this everyones dream? A garden full of Charoite and Larimar drying in the sun.
Melting the silver so production can begin.
The melted silver is poured into a mold.
The silver is now ready to be turned into a ring.
The finished product is a total knock out!!
Andrew and I can't wait to share this beautiful ring with you on Wednesday, May 7th at midnight!
Will you choose the tranquil, serene Larimar from the Dominica Republic; The warm, rosy Rhodochrosite from Argentina; or The rich, royal Charoite from Siberia???
Directly from The Land of Kings, our Today's Special is fit for a Queen!
Which is your favorite?