Before & After – Star Sapphire Remount

Since recycling is such an important aspect our lives, we wanted to introduce a series in which we highlight the ways that jewelry can be recycled!  Many people have boxes of inherited jewelry that they realize will just never be worn: earrings with missing partners, broken necklaces, or seriously out-dated styles.  But there can be a lot of great material in that box, and with a little love and creativity, can begin a whole new life as something you’ll cherish and love to wear!

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Rebecca met with a couple at the One Of A Kind Show at the Merchandise Mart this past December who wanted to update their father’s mid-century modern star sapphire ring to become a special piece for their daughter.  The couple had come to Rebecca before for pieces from her Collections and wanted to work with together to adapt one of her designs to suit their stone.  Together, it was decided that a Nebula Pendant would be the perfect way to showcase the stunning star sapphire for their daughter.

(I think we should take a minute to discuss how cool star sapphires are!  These stones exhibit a naturally occurring phenomenon known as asterism, exemplified when the stone is cut and polished into the jelly-bean smooth cabuchon shape (instead of faceted).  When light is directed to the stone, it displays a six-legged star which is actually a reflection of impurities within the stone.  Star sapphires with bolder blue color are more rare than grey-blue star sapphires as there is a greater demand for faceted blue sapphires.)

Rebecca carefully removed the star sapphire from its mounting in the original ring and bezel set the stone within the hammered sterling silver Nebula pendant.  In addition to remounting the old stone into a new piece of jewelry, Rebecca was able to recycle the 10k white gold ring and the value of the refined metal was credited to the couple.

If you are interested in working with Rebecca to breathe new life into your old jewelry, please do not hesitate to contact us and start the brainstorming and design process!

Quartz – Stone of the Month

Considered the “Universal Crystal” all over the world because of its transparent and colorless nature, Crystal Quartz is the perfect alternative to the diamond, the traditional birthstone of April.

The word “crystal” comes from the Greek word “krustallos”, meaning ice. Quartz was believed to be ice formed by the Gods. Since the Middle Ages, crystal balls made of clear quartz have been used to predict the future. The English word “quartz” comes from the German word “Quarz”.

Another theory, by Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder, was that quartz is ice that has been permanently frozen after a great length of time. Pliny supported this idea by the fact that quartz is mostly found near glaciers in the Alps, but not on volcanic mountains which were formed more recently in the geological history of the Earth.

The ancient Japanese theorized that quartz is formed from the breath of a white dragon, and therefore represents perfection.

Pure crystal quartz, which is often referred to as rock crystal, is found abundantly all over the world. Natural quartz can have inclusions and traces of other minerals in it, which is why larger stones are often synthetically enhanced. Because of its hardness (a 7 on the Mohs scale) and its glass-like properties it is often used for hard stone carvings. The crystals of quartz are generally six-sided and can grow either singularly or in groups taking on different shapes according to the temperature at the time of their formation. They can also come in a variety colors that are considered to be gemstones on their own. These include citrine, rose quartz, amethyst, smoky quartz, milky quartz, and many more.

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While quartz isn’t permanently frozen water, God’s ice or an object to predict the future, it has been said to have strong healing powers. Quartz is known to give its wearer power, energy and clarity. Quartz can help rid you of negative energy, clear your head, feel harmonious and give you new strength to carry on. The crystal quartz is simply an all purpose stone when it comes to natural healing properties.

Photo Credit: Flickr.com – cliff1066

Indie Wed

What an exciting year already! I can’t believe it’s almost February!

Currently I’m preparing for my next big project, Indie Wed, an alternative to the traditional bridal expo. If you are getting married in the near future, or know someone who is, and you live in Chicago, then you should definitely try to attend this beautiful and artistic event.

At Indie Wed there will be many different vendors, giving you the opportunity to pick and choose one-of-a-kind wedding items such as jewelry, decorations, flower arrangements, cakes, music and much, much more! While picking and choosing the pieces to your unique wedding, you will also be supporting Chicago’s smaller, independent businesses.

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I myself will be showing samples of wedding and engagement rings and I couldn’t be more excited to be part of this important event! For those of you interested in collaborating on rings, make sure to stop by my booth #54 on the first floor.

If you’re not getting married, but would like to reset your engagement ring or create an anniversary band, please don’t hesitate to contact us to set up an appointment. If you’re not in Chicago, please don’t let geography stop you. We work with people virtually all the time, it’s amazing how that technology works 😉

Indie Wed will take place on February 2nd, from 10 am until 4 pm at the Ravenswood Event Center. The entrance is located at 4043 N. Ravenswood Avenue, Chicago. Tickets are now on sale, please click here to purchase your ticket.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Introducing…Gift Cards!

We are so excited to share some exciting news with you! We realized that as a jewelry company that specializes in custom work, we needed to offer the perfect gift by giving our special one of a kind service as a gift!

So here they are, just in time for the holiday season we are introducing RZ Jewelry Gift Cards!

Give the most unique present!

                                                        A gift card like no other!

If you are interested in getting one of these amazing gift cards, please feel free to stop by the studio or simply click here to learn how to order one!

Lillstreet Artisan Wedding Fair

Are you or is someone you know getting married soon? Are you/they looking to add some unique qualities to the event? If so, please come to the Artisan Wedding Fair at Lillstreet Art Center on Sunday, August 12, from 12pm – 4pm.

There will be a classical guitarist setting the mood with cocktails and gourmet nibbles making your taste buds go a little wild and several demonstrations, giving you plenty of new ideas for your big day! This is the perfect opportunity for you to meet local jewelry artists (such as me) who specialize in making you or your partner the perfect, one-of-a kind wedding ring or jewelry for your bridal party. There will also be other artists showing their handmade work helping to make your wedding wonderfully artful. You will also have a chance to talk to Migonette Bridal about designing your dream wedding gown!

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And as if that isn’t already enough, you get to take home your very own handmade handkerchief, which you will be making during one of the demonstrations.

Because this is such a great event, and Lillstreet is going all out, space is limited. So get your tickets in advance for only $5 (advance ticket price can be applied to a minimum purchase of $25 from the Lillstreet Gallery, Limit 1 per person), or stop by and get a ticket at the door for $10. The first 50 people to arrive will get a tote bag filled with treats.

I have 3 free tickets so if you are interested in attending, please email me as soon as you can, they will go fast!

Hope to see you there 🙂

Summer Show Recap

Every Summer I attend many Art Fairs, to show off my most recent work, make new connections, and see old friends. This summer I decided to do Chicago shows in the month of June because in July I travelled to the Seattle area to participate in the Bellevue Art Museum Arts Fair in Bellevue, Washington. And while I have to say that it was very busy, it was very enjoyable.

To start things off on the right foot I participated in the Hyde Park Community Art Fair for the first time ever. This was a personal show for me, because it was on the grounds of my elementary school and in the neighborhood I had spent my childhood. At the show I ran into many old friends I haven’t seen in years. It was the perfect way to begin the summer show season…the sun and no rain also helped a lot of course!

The weekend after I was at the Wells Street Art Fair. It was just as fun. There too I saw a lot of old friends and met many new ones. I had no idea how big it was. Wow! So many wonderful things to see at these fairs.

Then the Fountain Square Art Fair in Evanston, which is an art fair I’ve enjoyed for the past three years. I love Evanston and it was so good to see so many familiar faces! The weather was perfect too!

And lastly I participated in the Gold Coast Art Fair on June 30 – July 1. The show was in Grant Park near the Petrillo Band Shell. It was very hot but we had one exciting storm which we were very lucky to not be in its eye. Apparently there was hail the size of a quarter. Yikes!

It was a very good month and I am so grateful to all of you who came out and showed your support, despite the heat and the windless afternoons!

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The Comet Cluster cuff is an oldie but goodie. I brought it back this summer and it was one of the most popular items.

Store Stories – Embellish

Embellish was one of the first stores to carry my jewelry and has been one of my most exciting collaborations. We started our businesses around the same time and it’s so exciting for me to part of what has become a fixture of the neighborhood. The space is warm and inviting and Barb is so awesome that I just want to stay there for hours to chat.

The story with this fabulous boutique in the North Center neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, started through a mutual friend, who told Barb Skupien, the owner of Embellish, about my jewelry. Barb then took a look at my website and agreed that we HAD to work together… Her store and my jewelry are a match made in heaven and I am really grateful that our relationship has grown so much stronger throughout the years.

In 2009 we collaborated on a very special piece for Barb- her anniversary band. I took the diamonds from her wedding rings and reset them into an updated version of it that people are still raving about. The result was the stunning 14K white gold ring you can see in the slide show below!

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For those of you who have never been to Embellish I encourage you to go, because if you like my jewelry you will not be disappointed with what this great boutique located at 4161 North Lincoln Avenue has to offer! For me it’s all about accessories and Barb has a collection of pieces to accentuate any outfit. From necklaces, to rings, to bags you will find anything your heart desires. And what makes shopping at Embellish the most fun is the focus on local artists. So while you are getting a great new accessory to revamp your wardrobe you are also supporting your community!