Get Ready to Fall in Love with Emeralds

By Sarah on October 13, 2016 at 9:56 am

This season we introduce our Helia Collection, featuring emerald cut, octagonal cut, and pave emeralds, sourced from a mining collective located in the Province of Northern Zambia.

 

The Ray and Sol Emerald Rings, shown in 18kt and 14kt yellow gold.
The new Sol and Ray Emerald Rings

 

At Bario Neal we go above and beyond to create a high standard of ethics focused on traceable diamonds, colored gemstones, reclaimed precious metals, and Fairmined gold. Inspired by the majestic emerald hue, we diligently searched for an emerald source that adheres to our environmental and labor standards.

After many years of research, we proudly release our star of the new Fall Collection, Helia: celebrating both the natural beauty of the emeralds and our partnership with the Zambian collective. The mining collective processes rough gemstones without introducing harmful chemicals to the environment, while rehabbing the mine’s waste areas by planting new trees in fresh soil. Moreover, the mine supports two local farms, and provides both a school and teachers’ quarters to the local mining community. This particular collective’s miners use screens to sort and pick the finest emerald crystals by hand, providing us with the lush hues showcased within the Helia Collection.

Co-founder and designer, Page Neal, describes this collection as being “inspired by architectural drawings and photographs of transoms and window frames.” From there, our enchanting Zambian emeralds led the way. Emerald is the green to greenish blue variety of beryl, a mineral species that also includes aquamarine as well as beryls in other colors. Emerald, most commonly know as the birthstone for May babies, is first known to have been mined in Egypt as far back as 330 B.C.

“Cleopatra was known to have a passion for emerald, and used it in her royal adornments.” – GIA

 

The Ray Studs, in 14kt yellow gold and tiny bead-set emeralds with the Sol necklace and Ray pendant.
The Ray Studs, shown with the Sol and Ray Pendants

 

Our Ray Studs and Pendant are yellow gold bursts, adorned with tiny bead-set pave emeralds. The Ray Ring features a traditional emerald cut stone held tightly by eight soft prongs. This minimal setting showcases the gemstone’s rich depth of color.

Sisters to the Ray pieces, the bright, shiny Sol Pendant, Hoops, and Ring, radiate glimmering flares of sunshine on any day. The Sol Ring features a large, octagonal cut emerald. With this piece, our design team explored unconventional stone setting options, resulting in the emerald being set low, table side-down, and secured by twelve prongs in various sizes. This uncommon setting style highlights our stone’s mesmerizing, magical glow.

One of our team’s challenges this season was seemingly simple: gold hoops. And after many, many rounds of prototyping- we rocked it. Inspired by Caribbean style and mobiles created by the prolific artist, Alexander Calder, we hand fabricated our giant Circ Hoops from solid square wire. They may be big, but they are as light and airy as they look.

The Circ Hoops in 14kt yellow gold.
The Circ Hoops in 14kt yellow gold.

 

Up next, meet the Forma Collection, an eye-catching array of modern treasures, defined by graphic shapes set with precious, ethically-sourced diamonds. All our white pave diamonds (also known as melee diamonds, weighing under .18ct each) are fully traceable and of recycled, Australian, and Canadian origin. We worked extensively to find a reliable black pave diamond supplier that meets our rigorous standards, sourcing through a trusted ethical buyer who travels to three different mines in Brazil, Canada, and Australia. To us, an ethical diamond isn’t just certified as conflict-free. We go deeper; working with a fully traceable supply chain, from mine to market.

 

The Forma Collection: Lau Necklace in 14kt yellow gold & sterling silver with white diamonds, Lau Studs in 14kt yellow gold with white diamonds, Aira Studs in 14kt yellow gold with white diamonds, Linea Pendant & Studs in 14kt yellow gold with black diamonds.
The Forma Collection: Lau Necklace and Studs, Aira Studs, and the Linea Black Diamond Pendant and Studs

 

Our Lau Studs and Necklace might be teeny tiny, but these delicate classics symbolize Bario Neal’s values bigtime. Inspired by the Fairmined gold logo and our longtime support of LGBTQIA rights and worldwide marriage equality, the rainbow shapes are channel set with 1mm white diamonds.

Fairmined is an assurance label that certifies gold from empowered responsible artisanal and small-scale mining organizations. It transforms mining into an active force for good, ensuring social development and environmental protection, providing everyone with a source of gold to be proud of.

Since our classic Aira Ring motif is so beloved, we decided to rethink it and shrink it, creating the mini Aira Studs. These diminutive diamonds are perfect for a second or third piercing. With this pair, our team envisioned affordable and timeless diamond studs, since we believe that everyone should be able to own jewelry of lasting value and ethical origins.

 

 

Aira Studs and Ring
Our Aira Studs and Classic Aira Ring

 

Other Forma Collection rockstars are the Linea Pendant and Studs. Our designers describe this bold pendant as a gestural squiggle, a quick scribble, and a border line- but what can’t be denied is how glam the black diamond/yellow gold combo is. And if the pendant wasn’t striking enough, how about the killer matching asymmetrical Linea Studs? The duo might just give you vixen super powers.

In case you haven’t noticed, we are cluster crazy. If you head over to our Diamond Ring, Gemstone Ring, Personalizations, or Custom pages, you’ll find a captivating array of sparkling, clustered constellations, designed for their lucky owners to wear and admire.

 

The Cluster Collection: Hex Cluster Studs, Ring, and Necklace in 14kt yellow gold. This collection features an array of blue-green and seafoam sapphires, aquamarine, and champagne diamonds.
The Cluster Collection: Hex Cluster Studs, Ring, and Necklace

 

Inspired by our most popular cluster, the Hex Sapphire Cluster Ring, is the Hex Cluster Pendant: a geometric bouquet of ethically sourced sapphires, and one champagne diamond surround a sublime Montana (Go USA!) hexagonal cut sapphire. Enter our new Hex Cluster Studs, featuring color-coordinating gemstone bunches– one champagne diamond, and one aquamarine adorn two blue-green sapphire sprinklings– the perfect, asymmetrical pairing.

While you’re checking out the new collections, please remember that when you shop with Bario Neal, you support the craft and manufacturing community of Philadelphia, environmentally conscious studio practices, and the responsible mining and sourcing of diamonds, gemstones, and metals. Thanks for helping us design an ethical way forward for the jewelry industry, one handmade piece at a time.

Want to see more? Explore the new collections in our Fall Lookbook.

Ideas Form Actions at Jewelry Industry Summit

By Constance on March 18, 2016 at 10:21 am
Bario Neal team members pose with Anna at the Jewelry Industry Summit.
 Actions and the agents of change, BN team members at the recent Jewelry Industry Summit.
At last weekend’s Jewelry Industry Summit, stakeholders from across our industry came together to create a shared vision of responsible sourcing across our industry. The summit coalesced knowledge from our industry and others, as well as NGO and government organizations so that we can learn from an build on others’ experience.
Attendees separate their thoughts into strengths, opportunities, and actions.
 Participants discuss and identify key issues. Photo courtesy of the Jewelry Industry Summit.
One of the summit’s greatest accomplishment was to support traceability, transparency and sourcing initiatives in order to produce materials in a manner that both protects and sustains the environment; and benefits the individuals and communities where our jewelry is mined, manufactured, traded, and sold.
Attendees separate their thoughts into strengths, opportunities, and actions.
Groups separated their thoughts into strengths, opportunities, and actions. 
Several groups at the Summit committed to advancing specific issues within the supply chain, including helping gem cutters in developing countries who need education and equipment to avoid silicosis, a disease that occurs from inhaling stone dust. Another specific initiative created an artisanal colored gem mining site project in Brazil that adheres to responsible social, ethical, and environmental practices.

 Anna Bario presents at the Jewelry Industry Summit.Anna Bario, key summit presenter and organizer, spoke of the urgent need for progress.

 

Overall, the summit was a spark– a much-needed first step toward greater transparency in our industry and greater benefit to the entire supply chain.  Anna reminded the attendees of the importance of a long-term investment in sustainable advances in her talk:

 “Time is the biggest investment. Not just to do it, but to tell the story.”

New Colored Gemstone Designs + the Return of the Opal Cluster Ring

By Constance on January 19, 2016 at 10:07 am

Search no more, the missing piece has been found.

Search no more, the missing piece is here. Introducing our new Opal and Andalusite ring designs.

 

Remember our Limited Edition Opal Three-Stone Ring that quickly sold out? We felt your pain at missing out on that beauty, so we created the brand-new, revamped, Opal Cluster Ring for our permanent collection! Joining it are two more new collection designs: the Andalusite Cluster Ring and Andalusite Nikko Ring, crafted with an equally radiant new colored gemstone.

 

The new Opal Cluster Ring. Opals offer a soft glow with colorful iridescence that shifts in the light.

The new Opal Cluster Ring offers softly-glowing colors that shift in the light.

 

This exciting new ring vertically stacks an opal over an apricot sapphire, balancing contemporary design with a classic look. October’s birthstone, the opal features kaleidoscopic and varied coloring, ranging from deep saturated colors to light iridescent tones, owing to their long history as symbols of luck and mystery.

Our opals are ethically sourced from an Ethiopian mining collective, then cut and polished in a respected facility in Jaipur, India. Light in color, these stones offer a soft glow and dancing, colorful iridescence. Because opals are fairly soft stones, it was important to design a protective prong setting that does not hide its beauty. Each opal is then paired with an emerald-cut, apricot sapphire to bring out the the gentle pastels of the Ethiopian opal. We source our sapphires from an ethical mine in Sri Lanka where all cutting and polishing is done on site by well-trained professionals. The mine is known for the unusually wide variety of colored sapphires it produces. We carefully hand-pick and custom-cut each sapphire in order to create perfect color and size match for each unique opal, so every ring made is a one-of-a-kind.

 

Another color-changing gem, Andalusite, features in two gorgeous new pieces

Another color-changing gem, Andalusite, features in two gorgeous new pieces.

 

Enter the earthy radiance of the gemstone known as Andalusite– in the first of two new designs, the Andalusite Cluster ring, similar to the Opal Cluster, with prong settings and a delicate band. As with the Opal Cluster Ring, we hand selected the colored sapphires and paired them with the andalusite to give the most complimentary color combinations. The emerald-cut, bright yellow sapphire beneath an oval clear white sapphire, balances both the teardrop shape and the rich, dark tones of the andalusite.

 

Another color-changing gem, Andalusite, featured in a pear-cut with the Nikko Setting.

The Andalusite Cluster features three stones in a perfectly balanced composition of varied shapes. 

 

The final design to round out this trio of new colored gemstone rings is the Andalusite Nikko Ring, named for our existing design’s marquise-inspired setting, but showcasing the stone as a pear-cut solitaire.

 

Another color-changing gem, Andalusite, featured in a pear-cut with the Nikko Setting.

Our Andalusite Nikko Ring is ready for stacking!

 

Andalusite owes its name to Andalusia, the province in Spain where it was first discovered. Similar to opal, andalusite is a poylchromatic gem, though its coloring and structure are very different. Ranging from khaki to dark olive, pierced by angular pinks, reds, and blues as the stone shifts in the light, our Andalusite is sourced from a well-respected ethical supplier.

 

Very necessary additions to the growing trend of diamond-alternative engagement rings.

The newest, most-necessary additions to the growing trend of diamond-alternative engagement rings.

 

Love colored gemstones and want to learn more about the growing movement to improve ethical practices? Join us next month at the Jewelry Industry Summit. The summit is a great chance to engage with Anna Bario and other industry leaders as they discuss the challenges facing colored gemstone sourcing, and other topics that will transform the jewelry industry for the better.