The Vegas Hit Parade

It’s been three weeks since the 2012 edition of JCK Las Vegas came to a close and I’m still getting my thoughts about the week in order. While I’m saving some of my most important takeaways for the July–August issue hitting stands (so to speak) next month, I wanted to take you on a brief tour of my iPhone photo library, which provides a hint of the cool things I saw in Vegas:

Enamel and 18k gold ring by Ilgiz F.

If you walked the aisles of the LUXURY show, you may have seen Ilgiz F., a Moscow-based jewelry brand founded by Ilgiz Fazulzyanov, an enamel artist who draws on the heritage of the great Peter Carl Fabergé to create spectacular pieces using the difficult technique of hot enameling. Keep your eyes peeled for the July–August issue, where we’ve included Ilgiz F. in our “Best in Show” coverage.

Tanzanite bead and amethyst necklace by Goshwara

Tanzanite appears to be benefiting from the fashion industry’s blue period. The Goshwara booth at LUXURY showcased the blue-violet gem in a dramatic lariat necklace strung with multiple strands of tanzanite beads, which in turn hung from a concert of jawbreaker-size amethyst cabochon beads. Some sources are saying that the run on tanzanite has more to do with it serving as a lower-cost alternative to ever-popular blue sapphire, but I think that undermines the African gem’s idiosyncratic appeal. Check out the feature in our June issue to be reminded of all the ways in which tanzanite is unique.

Argentium bracelet

With silver’s booming popularity, the market is rife with silver alloys. At JCK, I sat down with Richard Leyens, CEO of Argentium International, the London-based organization that promotes the non-tarnish alloy, discovered by a British university professor and silversmith in the early 1990s. Leyens says his goal is to position Argentium as a branded alloy. “The whitest precious metal is sterling silver and Argentium is whiter,” he says. Look to JCK’s September issue for an exhaustive survey of the silver alloy marketplace. 

Opal earrings by Nina Runsdorf

Opal mania has swept jewelry designers in recent years and it seemed to hit a crescendo in Vegas, where the gem was ubiquitous. These dramatic earrings by Nina Runsdorf, who showed at Couture at the Wynn, epitomize everything I love about Australian opals: They often remind me of the earth as seen from outer space, a tempest of blue-green swirls punctuated by unpredictable and otherworldly flashes of color.

Delaneau enamel and gem-set watch

Delaneau, a Geneva-based timepiece brand, staged a U.S. comeback at the Wynn this year, where CEO David Gouten reintroduced clients and press to the pretty enamel-decorated watches that are the brand’s signature. I especially adored the red suede strap on this Cerisier (“Cherry Blossom”) model.

Shield pendants by Gintare

One of my last meetings in Vegas was a chance encounter at the Couture show, where I stopped by a booth in the Design Atelier to admire some of the stacking rings and interesting motifs on display. As it turns out, Gintare, the designer of the eponymous collection, hails from Lithuania, where I’m headed in a couple weeks for two weeks of holiday. More to come on that adventure in another blog post!