Fall Color Therapy at the Grand Opening of Michal Golan’s Studio Boutique  

I love fall for its vibrant colors, crisp air, cozy sweaters and the anticipation of holidays to come.

Lately, I’ve been struggling with severe jet lag and post-travel blues after coming back from a one-week family reunion in Istanbul, Turkey. I have to tell you that it was an absolute joy and tremendous source of inspiration to discover the visual richness of designer Michal Golan.

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Last week, I attended the grand opening of her Boutique Studio located on the edge of Garment District and Hell’s Kitchen. I loved the down-to-earth vibe of the event. (If you are a frequent jewelry shopper or event hopper, you probably know how intimidating some of those places and events can be!) And, of course, it was a pleasure to meet the designer in person, her assistant and some of her family members.

Michal’s inspiration comes from galleries, museums and street style. She also has a deep fascination with archaeology and ancient civilizations, as demonstrated by her use of symbols and hieroglyphics. Her collections include stunning eye-catching hamsa hands, crosses, evil eyes and other religious jewelry within the price range of $38 to $150 that could be a unique budget-friendly gift idea. I also loved her adjustable beaded necklaces, statement earrings, and pendant pins. Designer’s Earth Collection with its warm color palette is one of my favorites. Inspired by ancient Tribal Art, it’s made of African turquoise, carnelian and 24K gold electroplated over brass.

Handcrafted in New York City, each piece Michal Golan jewelry marked with designer’s signature and come with a lovely colorful pouch that will keep your jewels safe. I recommend checking her website for the more detailed design process and care guide. 

My post would not be complete without mentioning the designer’s mosaic artwork and home decor pieces.  From intricately designed vases to miniature jewelry boxes, they surely will liven up your space this holiday season!

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Jewelry Vocabulary: 10 Terms You Want To Know

Fond of fine jewelry? Or just looking for your first piece?
In either case, I’d like to offer some useful terms to help you as you scour the marketplace.

Most fine jewelry is connected to historical meaning, symbols or function.

So, in addition to knowing jewelry basics regarding precious metals (14K, 24K, platinum, palladium, etc.), it’s important to learn design terms and history before you invest in a precious piece. This is especially true if you are shopping for fine jewelry for the first time.

Honestly, I pick up something new daily. Sometimes my customers teach me things. Usually, I’m delving deep into research. There’s always something new to discover!

Below are a few terms that will have you talking like a pro.

1. Lariat necklace

The lariat, a long chain reminiscent of rope, is often worn draped multiple times around the neck. Sometimes this necklace incorporates a loop at one or both ends. This way, it may be worn like a lasso. Or it may be worn doubled over with the ends passed through the loop formed in the middle.

 
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2. Byzantine chain

This metal link chain design incorporates a rope-like texture and intriguing textural features. 


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 3. Mesopotamian Seal pendant 

The earliest civilizations used seals. In archaeology and art history, they had great significance. In ancient Mesopotamia, craftsmen carved or engraved cylinder seals in stone or other materials. These could be rolled along to create an impression on clay. They could be repeated indefinitely. The ancients used them as labels on consignments of trade goods, or for other purposes. They were normally hollow and worn on a string or chain around the neck.

Some featured finely carved images with no writing, while others had both.

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Jean Grisoni Gold Pendant with Ancient Mesopotamian Cylinder Seal with Scene

4. Locket. A locket is a small object that opens to reveal a space, which holds items, usually a photograph. Often, a locket comes as pendant or sometimes is part of a charm bracelet. 

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Edwardian era antique locket

 5. Claddagh ring. This traditional Irish ring is rich in symbolism. The hands represent friendship. The heart is associated with love. The crown signifies loyalty.

 
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6. Figaro chain. This link chain incorporates a pattern of two or three small, circular links with one elongated oval link. The most distinguished figaro chains are manufactured in Italy.

  

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7. Toggle clasp. This two-piece clasp has a bar which fits into a loop. The bar passes through the ring to secure the piece.

 

8. Trade beads. Old glass beads, mostly made around Venice 200 to 400 years ago, are used for trade in Africa and the Orient. In previous centuries, these colorful beads were often used in exchange for slaves, ivory, gold and other items.

 
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9. Mother of pearl or nacre. Some mollusks produce an organic-inorganic composite material as an inner shell layer. It also makes up the outer coating of pearls. It is strong and resilient.

 
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10. Tension set rings. I personally love this type of gemstone setting. Other settings have prongs that hold the stone. They may have a bezel or other mounting. Tension setting uses compression. The metal setting is actually spring-loaded to exert pressure onto the gemstone, and tiny etchings/grooves are added to the metal in order to create a shelf for the gemstone’s edges to rest. The gemstone appears to be floating in the air with nothing holding it in place.

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Tension Set Ring

Sweet California – Part 2

The most striking part of Monterey and Carmel Bay is its phenomenal photo-worthy landscapes, filled with mountains and abundant plant life.

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Carmel Bay, is a resort town, just 15 minutes away by car from Monterey. It is a unique natural wonder. The town is also rich in vintage and bohemian boutiques, which will satisfy any shopping connoisseur, who loves the California, laid-back style.

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Galerie Blue Dogn opened by cajun artist,  George Rodrigue in 1991.

Galerie Blue Dog in Carmel-by-the-Sea opened by Cajun artist, George Rodrigue in 1991.

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At the end of the trip, my friend gave me a peach. She added sarcastically, “It’s a good one. California peach; only for California people…The ones that are transported for commercial purposes never taste alike.”

And thanks to my friend, I’ll never forget that taste. I can still taste its melting texture and phenomenally sweet flavor.

Later on, I discovered that the ripe peaches are too delicate and bruise easily. Therefore, they are picked green in order to transport them to different states. So, they end up never ripening well.

And here I am, back in New York, with a longing to visit the West Coast again.

Have you ever experienced the same thing? Do you very often, no matter where you are, want to be where you are not?

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“Stop And Smell the Roses…”

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