For most of my life, I’ve tried hard to adhere to this maxim, metaphorically speaking. I’ve traveled on the fly, eaten every delicacy that appeared in front of me (fried grasshopper, grilled snake), and said yes to invitations at least 10 times more than I said no. But it wasn’t until I spent two weeks in India in October—to attend the International Colored Gemstone Association’s biennial congress in Jaipur—that I realized that literally living colorfully is just as important.
From roadside markets teeming with women in crimson and gold saris to the painted camels that greeted me in the town of Pushkar—where in the days following the ICA Congress my boyfriend, Jim, and I partook in its annual camel fair—life in India is colorful to the extreme.
That goes triple for Jaipur, whose colored stone industry is second to none in cutting and polishing emeralds, quartz, and just about any other gem material your heart desires. No trip to Rajasthan’s capital is complete without paying a visit to its finest jewelers—chief among them Amrapali, Gyan Jewels, and The Gem Palace (the historic boutique downstairs and the private upstairs salon once used by the late Munnu Kasliwal as a design studio)—for whom color is both religion and currency.
As we prepare for Tucson’s annual gem week, led by JCK Tucson at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa (click here for all the details on the show), we’re attempting to live life in the Indian mold.
In “Gem Hunt,” our sexy wintertime colored stone jewelry feature, that mission translates as a more-is-more approach to adornment, as seen in the layers of gem-set necklaces that bejewel our breathtaking cover model (2018 trend alert: Think beads!).
The mad-about-hue spree continues in our colored stone spotlight, “Gem Class Heroes,” by JCK’s All That Glitters blogger Amy Elliott, who dishes on the five gems destined to make waves in 2018: malachite; bicolor tourmaline; pink opal; teal and green sapphire; and spinel in such shades as purple, gray, mauve, and more.
“Next Level Looks,” a seductive still life—photographed by New York City–based Stephen Lewis, the same shutterbug who shot the buzz-worthy book A Man & His Watch—spotlights 2018’s biggest jewelry trends: sculptural brass statement pieces, sexy lariats, keshi pearls, opaque stones (e.g., malachite and tiger’s eye), and mix-and-match earrings.
Despite the fun fashion focus, our “New Year, New You” issue is concerned with more than just looks. “How Retailers Are Preparing for Natural Disasters” by Martha C. White is a can’t-miss guide to preparing for catastrophes, while “50 Ways to Improve Your Store Right Now” is senior editor Emili Vesilind’s essential take on how to jump-start your business today.
As you contemplate this next trip around the sun, may it be happy, healthy, and, yes, colorful!
Top: 22k gold earrings with amethysts; $2,700; Munnu the Gem Palace; 212-861-0808; munnuthegempalace.com
(Photograph by Nicholas A. Prakas; hair and makeup: Claudia Andreatta/Halley Resources)