Chaya's Blog

Greens to Envy

Posted by Jewelry Genius on August 7th, 2018


As you know from this blog, many gems come in a variety of colors. For example, garnets come in several shades of red and green and black; topaz can be found in several shades of yellow, pale green, blue, red, pink, and black; rubies can be yellow, orange, green, brown, violet or purple. Peridot is one of the few gemstones that forms only in shades of green.

Peridot gem on white background .3D illustration Stock Illustration - 67596914

Not only is it the birthstone for August, Peridot is also the stone that celebrates the 16th year of marriage. And once again, I found some famous peridots:

  1. Some historians believe that Cleopatra’s famous emerald collection might actually have been peridot.
  2. For centuries, people believed the fabulous 200-ct. gems adorning the shrine of the Three Holy Kings in Germany’s Cologne Cathedral were emeralds. They are, in fact, peridots.

According to lore, peridots create abundance in all aspects of life: wealth, health, happiness and joy and has been prized since the earliest civilizations for its protective powers. Set in gold and worn around the neck or bound to the left arm, it was used as a charm against sorcery and magic, evil spirits, night terrors and madness. It also helps the wearer overcome fear, depression and other psychological disturbances.

Happy August!

14K mothers ring.jpgVishnu Peridot Set-1.jpgPeridot Yin Lotus-1.jpg

I love the way the peridots and amethysts work so well together in this mother’s ring that I designed for a client. And as you can see, I think peridots look perfectly lovely with my Lotus collection.


Happy Birthday Ruby Fans

Posted by Jewelry Genius on July 25th, 2018

July’s birthstone is the ruby. I love the deep red richness of the stones, but often, for a bit less money, that beautiful red can also be found in tourmaline, red spinel and garnets.

As you know, I work only with previously mined stones, but you might be interested to know that historically rubies have been mined all over the world: Thailand, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, India, Namibia, Japan and Scotland; as well as Madagascar, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, and Vietnam and Sri Lanka. A few rubies have also been found in Montana, North Carolina, South Carolina and Wyoming.

The finest ruby is described as being a vivid medium-dark toned red. Less precious secondary colors include pink, orange and purple.

And who knew that there are famous rubies (thank you Wikipedia)?:

  1. In December 2011 Elizabeth Taylor’s complete jewelry collection was auctioned by Christie’s. Several ruby-set pieces were included in the sale, notably a ring set with an 8.24 ct gem that broke the ‘price-per-carat’ record for rubies ($512,925 per carat, so more than $4.2 million in total), and a necklace that sold for over $3.7 million. WOW!
  2. The Liberty Bell ruby is the largest mined ruby in the world. It was stolen in a heist in 2011.
  3. In 2007, London jeweler Garrard & Co featured on their website a heart-shaped 40.63-carat ruby.
  4. The Sunrise Ruby is the world’s most expensive ruby, most expensive colored gemstone, and most expensive gemstone other than a diamond. In May 2015, it sold at auction in Switzerland to an anonymous buyer for $30 million.

Rubies have always been held in high esteem in Asian countries. They were used to adorn armor, scabbards, and harnesses of noblemen in India and China. Rubies were laid beneath the foundation of buildings to secure good fortune to the structure.

This custom-made cross features a princess cut ruby, and the small ruby in this necklace from my Julie’s Garden collection really works well with the sea glass.

Whether your birthday is in July or not, you might want to consider a ruby or other deep red stone for your next piece of jewelry. I promise you won’t be disappointed!


Come See Me…I’m on the Road

Posted by Jewelry Genius on July 16th, 2018


One of the things I enjoy most about summer is getting out on the road (see details below) and having face-to-face conversations with customers and new customers.

I so appreciate the loyal followers who have supported me over the years, and it is always fun to visit with them and share new pieces.

It’s also very exciting to meet people who are not already familiar with my work. At the recent show in Belfast, I met someone interested

in a custom design, and we are already corresponding about what she is looking for. It’s a great way to start off the relationship with a custom-design client.

This year, I freshened up my booth, and I’m delighted with the way it turned out. We can all use a new perspective from time to time, right?

All that said, as you are out and about this summer, I hope you’ll drop by to see me on the road or come by the shop. Nothing beats personal interaction!

And, of course, you can always reach me by email or phone.


Here’s the scoop on upcoming shows.

Yarmouth Clam Festival

Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 20-22

Downtown Yarmouth, Maine

10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday

Mount Desert Island Maine Crafts Guild Show

July 27-29, MDI High School, Bar Harbor, Maine

Friday, July 27, 5-8 p.m.

Saturday, July 28, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Sunday, July 29, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.



Pearls of Wisdom

Posted by Jewelry Genius on June 20th, 2018

Pearls are the traditional birthstone for June. As you probably know, they are formed inside the tissue of a living mollusk (either an oyster or a mussel), so they are considered gems but not stones. White and cream are most common, but black and gray pearls are increasingly common.

What you may not know is that there are many ancient myths associated with pearls. According to Chinese legends, pearls fell from the sky when dragons fought, and ancient folklore refers to pearls as the tears of the gods.

Pearls are said to bring the power of love, money, protection and luck and promote charity, integrity, truth, and loyalty in its bearer.

Pearls come in and out of fashion, so if you have some you’d like to repurpose, give me a shout, and we can get started on a custom piece.




Gemstone of the Month: Diamonds

Posted by Jewelry Genius on April 13th, 2018


The official birthstone for April is the diamond. It also marks the 60th anniversary of marriage. As a matter of fact, it’s also my birthstone, so I can’t help but be a little partial! I love the look of colored stones, but I also appreciate the simple beauty of a diamond, and for some pieces of jewelry, it is the perfect addition. I read recently that in the first century AD, the Roman naturalist Pliny stated: “Diamond is the most valuable, not only of precious stones, but of all things in this world.” I’m not sure I agree with that, but I know that use of diamonds in jewelry has a long, and sometimes not so positive, history.

The world’s love of diamonds started in India, where diamonds were gathered from rivers and streams as far back as the fourth century BC. The popularity of diamonds waxed and waned throughout history, but in more recent history, brutal civil conflicts have been fueled by diamonds—either to control diamond-rich territory or to fund conflicts through the sale of diamonds. The tragic result is bloodshed, loss of life, and human rights abuses.

This is just another reason that I choose to work solely with suppliers of previously mined diamonds and other gemstones that are cut and polished from existing “rough” stones or those that were previously set in jewelry then removed and re-introduced into the supply chain for resale. That’s important to me and I hope it is important to you, too.

On a lighter note, every civilization’s lore seems to share one thread- that diamonds symbolize great strength and exceptional power. Diamonds have also been believed to improve one’s energy, environment, growth process, prosperity, love life, faith and endurance. The stone is said to attract courage, fortitude, creativity, imagination, purity, harmony, faithfulness and innocence.

This month, whether you have a diamond or not, I wish you strength, courage and faith…just a few of the things our world needs right now.


18K Diamond Vineyard Ring.jpg14K White Modesty Diamond Ring.jpg14K Yellow Ring with Flush Set Diamonds and Music Symbol.jpg


A Look at Julie’s Garden: A New Collection

Posted by Jewelry Genius on February 27th, 2018

In my most recent newsletter, I shared the story of a custom hairpiece I created for a client. When the project was complete, I realized the individual components were strong enough to stand on their own, and so they have evolved into a new collection I call Julie’s Garden.

The new line honors a friend of mine who recently lost her battle with cancer. She loved flowers and nature, and I think it is fitting that she be remembered in this way.

This week, I want to share some of the new pieces with you. I hope you like them as much as I do!


This is a start-to-finish collage of Fragrant Spring, necklaces inspired by the hairpiece. They are made from sterling silver, beach pebbles and beads.


This collage is of Pebble Landscape, another necklace in the collection. It is made with sterling silver, 14K yellow gold and sapphires.


This is one of my favorites from the collection; it is made from sterling silver, sea glass, beach pebble and garnet. I created it for a close friend who was also close to Julie. The sea glass comes from Maine, and garnet was her birthstone.


Custom Hairpiece Inspires New Work and Acknowledges a Friend

Posted by Jewelry Genius on February 12th, 2018


As a gift to his wife, a client asked me to create a hairpiece using a garden theme. Inspired by her love of gardening, I spent several weeks looking at pictures, sketching flowers and plants, and working to create the most beautiful composition. I finally settled on a detailed piece with five different plants that we agreed were perfect for his wife: sunflowers, cosmos, yarrow, phlox and sedum.

The proceeding weeks involved hours of precise wax carving to get the floral details just right. Then I was ready to cast the separate pieces that would then be trimmed and smoothed. I chose 18K white, rose and yellow gold with Maine amethysts, sapphires and diamonds that came together in colorful bouquet!

It was an inspiring project, and we were both wild about the finished product and confident his wife would love it…and she did!

I really enjoyed working on the piece and loved not only the finished product but also the detail of the separate elements. I realized they were substantial and interesting enough to easily stand alone, and so, a new series was born.

I am calling the collection Julie’s Garden in honor of a close friend who recently passed away after a yearlong battle with cancer. She loved flowers and nature, and I can’t think of a better way to recognize her.

I’ll share some of the individual pieces soon, so check back in!






Go for Garnets!

Posted by Jewelry Genius on January 15th, 2018

It’s January, and I think garnets are perfect for this month’s birthstone.
They are so deep and rich…a wonderful complement to our heavy sweaters
and dark colors here in Maine!

Don’t have a birthday in January? According to some traditions, garnets are
also often given on the second and sixth wedding anniversaries, so drop a
hint if you need to!

Now a little history lesson… garnets come in a huge variety of colors, so they
are very versatile for jewelry. For example, rhodolite is purplish red, hessonite
is orange, cinnamon, or pinkish. Tsavorite, grossularite, uvarovite and demantoid
are also green varieties. Pyrope garnets are purplish red, orangy red, or crimson.

Folklore & Legends:
Garnets are said to have wonderful powers, including healing, strength
and protection, and they are often worn to relieve skin inflammations,
regulate the heart and blood flow, and aid in curing depression–I can’t
think of any better reasons to have one (or more!).

In earlier times, garnets were exchanged by friends to express their affection
for each other and to ensure that they meet again. I love that; don’t you?
Sold on garnets? Come see me and we’ll find one for you.


I enhanced this lotus pendant and earrings with garnets…I think they work so beautifully together.

original                          original



Happy New Year!

Posted by Jewelry Genius on January 3rd, 2018


I would like to extend an enormous thank you and wish everyone a very Happy New Year!  2018 marks an important personal milestone: with your generous support, I will be celebrating ten years as a full-time artist!

During winter/spring of 2018, I will be working on custom orders and new work for the upcoming summer season and enjoying some travel. Do you have a project in mind?  Do you have some stones or precious metal to use in a new piece of jewelry?  I’d be honored to design something special for you!  Please contact me at 207-221-6552, or

Here’s a wonderful video, made last year by Channel 8 WMTW, about the Holiday Art Show. Enjoy!

Maine jeweler opens shop to artists, craftsmen

I hope you have a very Happy New Year. From me to all of you, here’s to 2018!

Many hugs, Chaya


Holiday Sale, Show and Benefit Starts November 25!

Posted by Jewelry Genius on November 16th, 2017


We are a little over one week away. I’d love to see you at the sale sometime during the holiday season! We have so many talented artists participating, including M.J. Benson, Ember Grove, Angel Rox, Chart Metalworks, Lola Arts, Andrew Cook, and Mike Libby, so you can select from handmade items–including jewelry, specialty food, cards, home accents, fine art and more– starting at just $2.50.

An extra incentive: a portion of proceeds from the month-long sale will benefit Camp Sunshine, a retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

And do plan to join us at the customer appreciation party on Friday, December 8, 5-9 p.m. We’ll have complimentary refreshments, silent auction and door prize.