New engagement rings coming soon: Half Moon and Trillion

By Constance on July 27, 2015 at 9:21 am

Summertime is cooking right along, so let’s take a peak at two of our newest engagement rings that are the epitome of cool-girl style.

First up, the Trillion Ring, featuring two trillion cut white sapphires arranged north-south for a sleek, elongated look:

sapphire trillion ring

 

Next, the The Half-Moon Ring, also featuring two white sapphires, set in a subtle, stylized crescent shape:

 

white sapphire half moon

 

These silhouettes will have you (and everyone else) staring at your hand, inspiring endless bouts of daydreaming and conversation. Stay tuned for the release (ASAP) of these hot-off-the-press statement rings.

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BNstyle: Viva la Françoise!

By Constance on July 14, 2015 at 5:50 pm

It’s Bastille Day, which gives as good excuse as any to kick off our inaugural post with a tribute to BNStyle Icon, Françoise Hardy.

This French muse has been at the top of the list of It Girls since she hit the Parisian fashion and music scene in the swinging 60’s. A seminal influence to a generation of future icons, including Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth, who name-drops Hardy at least a dozen times in her recent memoir Girl in a Band.

Enjoy this little round up of some of Hardy’s most GOLDEN moments. Happy Bastille Day!

Francois Hardy in metallic Paco Rabanne mini dress knee-high gladiator sandals

Francois Hardy in metallic Paco Rabanne mini dress, 1968.

(Read More »)

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Maker’s Row meets Jeweler’s Row

By Constance on July 14, 2015 at 10:28 am
maker's row

Leslie setting a diamond in a custom Aparna ring wax.

From Making Ethically Sourced Jewelry in America, recently featured on Maker’s Row:

What does Made in America mean to you? Why is it important to you?

Our jewelry is handmade in our Philadelphia store, which houses our open workshop. In addition to creating our own collections, we also work closely with clients to create custom pieces, including redesigned heirloom jewelry. Certain fabrication techniques are completed with craftspeople on Philadelphia’s historic Jeweler’s Row who are specialized in traditional jewelry processes. Composed of nearly 300 small family-owned businesses, Jeweler’s Row is home to the oldest jewelry district in America (est. 1851) and continues to thrive as a creative and manufacturing hub in the industry. Supporting and learning from our local craftspeople is integral to our business.

We think the ability to make our ideas a physical reality ourselves is powerful.

–Page Neal

Read more

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Ethical Metalsmiths co-founder steps down

By Constance on July 5, 2015 at 3:46 pm
 
ethical metalsmiths

We want to thank Christina Miller – Ethical Metalsmiths Co-founder and Executive Director – for helping to build the responsible jewelry movement. Her work has helped both to educate our industry about our environmental and social impacts, and to support powerful initiatives like Fairmined gold.

“In 2004, when I co-founded Ethical Metalsmiths with Susan Kingsley, traceable and transparent sourcing and responsible studio practices were threatening topics.  Now, a jeweler is expected to know where his/her materials are coming from and to choose sources that purposefully empower people and protect the environment. I believe that the organization, with its dedicated board of directors, and engaged members is ready to advance the ethical jewelry movement in new directions. Moving into the future I am looking forward to applying what I have learned about mining, jewelry, education and collaborative change in new and creative ways.” – Christina Miller
Miller recently stepped down from her role, but will remain active with as chair of the Advisory Council and as a member of the Ethical Sourcing and Education committees.
Best Wishes Christina! We are excited to work with you on new projects in the coming months.
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Same Sex Marriage Legalized Nation Wide

By Alyssa on June 26, 2015 at 11:18 am

We are thrilled by the news this morning that the Sumpreme Court has declared same sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states. Here are some images from Reuters and the AP:

 

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gay17n-1-web

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scotus-samesex-626-001_wide-0b6211f62c9f4eb147f80c0e27f262466607d063-s800-c85

 

Read more on this breaking story here:

NPR

Washington Post

 Boston Herald

Wall Street Journal

Metals That Tell Stories: Fairmined Gold

By Constance on June 19, 2015 at 10:00 am

Those familiar with Bario Neal have heard by now of the Fairmined assurance label, certifying that your gold is sourced from an empowered, responsible, small-scale mining community. It is a great option when determining what story comes with the ring you choose to represent the union of a lifetime, because the money spent directly improves the well being of a Peruvian mining village.

You may not know, however, that we now offer Fairmined gold in both 14kt and 18kt for all our bands and rings, including this nature-inspired duo–

Reticulated Band Diamond Dais Narrow with Diamonds Band

Reticulated Band One with Diamond and Dais Narrow with Diamonds Band

 

If you are considering coupling your beautiful something with a beautiful story, we think it is worth noting that our Fairmined gold also carries a subtle color variation that, while making them even more distinct, may also affect your choice of metal.

 

18kt vs.14kt fairmined gold

Notice the above Dais in 14kt Fairmined is a little more warm in tone? This is due to a slight difference in the metals used in the creation of the gold alloy, something that commonly happens in any jump between 14kt and 18kt, but we find to be even more striking in the Fairmined.

Why choose an alloy? Since pure (24kt) gold is very soft, it is recommended to choose an alloy for strength and durability. The metals used to make 14kt and 18kt are silver, copper and zinc. 18K gold refers to 75% pure gold content, whereas 14kt gold, 58% pure gold content. 18K is more pure and costly, yet slightly softer than 14kt, and in the case of the Fairmined, more classically “gold” than the slightly rosy-hued 14kt. All that personality from a little grain of metal!

Whatever your choice, know that you are now the wearer of a unique piece of quality craftsmanship, created with the upmost respect for our customers and the environment. We are proud to be a part of your story.

Have more questions about metal properties? Here is a more in-depth look. Learn more about Fairmined gold on our blog and at http://www.fairmined.org/.

Top Notch Faceting x Bario Neal

By Roxy on June 14, 2015 at 4:38 pm

“The gemology equivalent of rock-royalty,” Jean-Noel Soni, of Top Notch Faceting, showcases his one-of-a-kind, award-winning gemstones right here in our Philadelphia store. Hailing from San Francisco and featured in French Vogue and Gem Gossip, Soni colorfully talks shop– in our shop, describing process, philosophy, and sourcing. Our own rockstar jewelers are always on hand to consult on custom projects using his precision-cut gems.

 

2015_07_14_topnotchfacetingtrunkshow-9

 

The above stone is a 45 carat Tourmaline from Mozambique cut from a 300 carat crystal!

Imagine the possibilities…

 

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OCCUPY OAK FLAT: Copper Mining Interests Plunder Apache Holy Land

By Constance on May 29, 2015 at 5:44 pm
Maëlle Doliveux/NY Times

Maëlle Doliveux/NY Times

A protest by an Arizona Apache Tribe challenges the recent decision by the U.S. government to turn over access to the spiritual equivalent of Mt. Sinai to an Australian-British mining company. Resolution Copper, a subsidiary of the largest mining company in the world, Rio Tinto, gained this controversial grab of 2.400 acres of federally protected land as a midnight rider attached to the 2015 United States National Defense Authorization Act.    via the New York Times

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Philadelphia

Trunk Show with Top Notch Faceting on June 14th

By Roxy on May 24, 2015 at 1:57 pm

Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 1.08.52 PM

Jewelry Industry Summit

By Alyssa on May 15, 2015 at 11:58 am

Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 11.55.46 AM

On March 10-16, 2016 a summit on Sustainability and Responsible Sourcing in the Jewelry Industry will take place in New York City. Attendees will be from all walks of the international jewelry industry, from manufacturers and producers, to retailers, and everyone in between. The Summit Planning Committee is representative of this wide range of participants, and Anna Bario, co-founder of Bario Neal, is on this committee.

The committee has convened twice so far, once in January and once in March of this year, to plan the summit and define its scope. Committee members have collaboratively developed a working definition of “responsible sourcing,” which encompasses the following:

  1. procuring products that are sourced in a manner that protects and sustains the environment, respects and benefits the persons and communities where these products are found;
  2. engaging in actions designed to promote and sustain development of the people and communities where jewelry products are sourced, traded, and sold;
  3. actively engaging in and managing a business’s supply chain in order to implement legally compliant and transparent business practices and ensuring honest dealing

The Planning Committee invites those interested to submit questions and comments to be incorporated into the planning process, and hopes that you’ll spread the word about this event to increase participation–the bigger the event, the more inclusive the discussion will be. The summit will address current challenges in all sectors of the industry, provide information on the supply chain integrity systems that are currently in place, discuss expectations of government regulators, shed light on banks that finance the industry, and discuss consumer participation and attitude towards responsible business practices.

The overall goal of the summit is to provide a platform for open discussion across industry sectors, old and new, regarding challenges and opportunities in the jewelry industry. This open discussion and exchange of information will hopefully lead to increased best practice standards and will enable the development of tools to assist industry members in achieving those higher standards. Additionally, the high attendance this summit hopes to achieve will demonstrate to governments, civil society, the banking community, and consumers that the jewelry industry as a whole is actively working towards sustainability and ethicality, thereby benefitting people working at all levels of the supply chain.

JA New York, the premier trade show for high end jewelry, is providing registration services at no cost for this event, and will grant summit attendees admission to the trade show, which will follow directly after the summit from March 13-16.

If you’re interested in supporting this summit, please visit the indigogo campaign page.

Registration is $400. Please refer to this website for updates and more information.