5 Stories That Blew My Mind Last Week

When I say “blew my mind,” I mean that almost literally: My brain is toast. July 25–28 was one long schmooze fest in New York City—beginning with a lovely Saturday night dinner party at Myriam Gumuchian’s castle-like home in Queens and continuing on to the ’80s-themed opening party for LUXURY Privé on Sunday night, the WJA Awards for Excellence gala on Monday night, and the AGS Circle of Distinction dinner on Tuesday night.

After a week of nonstop jewelry socializing, I actually found myself describing a gorgeous wine-colored spinel—spotted at the Omi Privé booth at the LUXURY Privé show at the Waldorf—as “prare and recious.”

The “prare and recious” 4.28-ct. wine-colored spinel I spotted at the Omi Privé booth at LUXURY Privé

I’m still relearning how to string sentences together, which is why this week’s post is an ode to reading. Over the past week, these stories made a strong impression on me, and even though they’re only tangentially related to jewelry (and in the case of the earthquake story, not at all related to jewelry), I suspect you’ll feel the same way.

1. TED: How a single word can change your conversation. Have your sales associates read this. Now.

2. The coming wave of AR (that’s “augmented reality” for the uninitiated). Side note: I had the briefest but most intriguing of chats with a member of the Gabriel & Co. team at the WJA gala cocktail hour last week, and he spoke about his inside knowledge of what Google has planned for the years to come (he’s an investor). If his tantalizing comments were any indication, we’d all do well to overcome our initial aversion to Google Glass because AR-assisted shopping—browsing for clothing, jewelry, and shoes from the comforts of our homes using the latest virtual try-on technology—will soon be a common feature on the consumer landscape.

3. Trust and transparency in the luxury sector. A great food-for-thought piece on how “in this lightning-fast world of news and reviews, there can be no discrepancy between what you do and what you say.… Openness, honesty, and integrity are now some of the central driving forces behind a consumer’s decision to buy, and companies need to embrace this new way of thinking.”

4. Insights into how the superrich think. My favorite part of this captivating roundup of studies on the psychology of the über-wealthy is the F. Scott Fitzgerald quote.

5. The earthquake that will demolish the Pacific Northwest. You may have already read this article in The New Yorker, but if you haven’t, it will illuminate you, fascinate you, and scare the s*** out of you.