05242017Wed
Last updateWed, 24 May 2017 2pm

Other News

IDEX reports De Beers to auction polished diamonds made from its own rough

IDEX reports De Beers to auction polished diamonds made from its own rough

(IDEX Online) – De Beers' Auction Sales business will pilot the sale of its own polished diamonds using auctions for the first time. The sale will comprise a wide range of polished stones manufactured directly from its rough diamonds.

Readmore

Loading...

Industry Events

Dates announced for 2017 ACE It Conference

Dates announced for 2017 ACE It Conference

Appraisers Continuing Education

The National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA) announces its 48th Annual Mid Year ACE© It Education Conference to be held in Indianapolis, IN on August 12 - 15, 2017. 

Readmore

Loading...

On The Move

Rio Grande announces winners of the 17th Annual Saul Bell Design Award

Rio Grande announces winners of the 17th Annual Saul Bell Design Award

At a celebration dinner held on May 21 during the Santa Fe Symposium® in Albuquerque, NM, Rio Grande announced the winners of the 17th annual Saul Bell Design Award competition. Through rigorous judging, two panels of experts chose first- and second-...

Readmore

Loading...

What's New

Featured Articles

Voyager Brands up and running with bright ideas, creative new brands

Voyager Brands up and running with bright ideas, creative new brands

When Shreyansh Shah arrived from India, he was looking forward to seeing a little snow. He got more than he bargained for - and he was delighted.

“I came to the United States in December 1998 and was welcomed by 2 feet of snow in Chicago,” says Shah, ...

Readmore

Loading...

Latest News

IDEX reports De Beers to auction polished diamonds made from its own rough

5 HOURS AGO
IDEX reports De Beers to auction polished diamonds made from its own rough

(IDEX Online) – De Beers' Auction Sales business will pilot the sale of its own polished diamonds using auctions for the first time. The sale will comprise a wide range of polished stones manufactured directly from its rough diamonds.

Readmore

Ring bought at flea market turns out to be 26+ carat diamond

5 HOURS AGO
Ring bought at flea market turns out to be 26+ carat diamond

One lucky lady snagged the deal of a lifetime over 30 years ago when she purchased what she thought was merely a fun cocktail ring, but what turned out to be a diamond worth more than $450,000.

Readmore

Dates announced for 2017 ACE It Conference

5 HOURS AGO
Dates announced for 2017 ACE It Conference

Appraisers Continuing Education

The National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA) announces its 48th Annual Mid Year ACE© It Education Conference to be held in Indianapolis, IN on August 12 - 15, 2017. 

Readmore

Jewelers of America to host Legislative Forum on Capitol Hill

5 HOURS AGO
Jewelers of America to host Legislative Forum on Capitol Hill

Dinner & Forum will be part of the association’s annual advocacy visit

(NEW YORK) - Jewelers of America (JA) has announced it will host a Dinner & Legislative Forum on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at the prestigious Army & Navy Club in Washington, D.C. The event - open to both JA Members and non...

Readmore

Rio Grande announces winners of the 17th Annual Saul Bell Design Award

5 HOURS AGO
Rio Grande announces winners of the 17th Annual Saul Bell Design Award

At a celebration dinner held on May 21 during the Santa Fe Symposium® in Albuquerque, NM, Rio Grande announced the winners of the 17th annual Saul Bell Design Award competition. Through rigorous judging, two panels of experts chose first- and second-place winners in each of eight competitive categor...

Readmore

Finalists and judges announced for 2017 Saul Bell Design Awards

14 DAYS AGO
Finalists and judges announced for 2017 Saul Bell Design Awards

Rio Grande, the organizer of the Saul Bell Design Awards ( www.saulbellaward.com ), is pleased to announce the finalists of the 17th annual international jewelry-making and hollowware competition, as well as the two panels of experts tasked with judging the finalists’ work.

Readmore

Gesswein introduces Formlab Form 2 desktop printer

5 HOURS AGO
Gesswein introduces Formlab Form 2 desktop printer

Gesswein, supplier of precision tools and equipment for over 100 years, is pleased to introduce the Formlab Form 2, an affordable desktop printer suitable for every bench.

Readmore

Hoover & Strong introduces certified lab grown diamond selection

7 DAYS AGO
Hoover & Strong introduces certified lab grown diamond selection

Hoover & Strong has announced the addition of certified lab grown diamonds to their product selection.

“Hoover & Strong continues to lead the ethical jewelry movement with its newest addition of Harmony Lab Grown Diamonds. We have always felt that lab grown diamonds are the ultimate ethical a...

Readmore

To Bee or not to Bee?

Former Secretary of State Albright’s “Pin Diplomacy”

When Madeleine Albright, the former US Secretary of State, donned a wasp pin before an important meeting with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, he was visibly disturbed. Brooches had become her diplomatic calling card, a way of non-verbally signifying her mood or intentions. Bees or wasps could signal “something like a sting. I wore wasps on days I wanted to do a little stinging and deliver a tough message,” she explains.

Mia-Liberty-Dec
This 1997 Gijs Bakker Liberty Brooch is part of former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s collection. Courtesy of the Albright Collection and the Museum of Arts and Design. Photo: John Bigelow Taylor.
It all started in 1994 when the Iraqi press referred to her as an “unparalleled serpent.” Taking it in stride, she began wearing a gold and diamond serpent pin, a circa 1860 estate piece, as a badge of honor. “And so then I thought, well, this is fun, so I went and I bought a lot of costume jewelry to kind of fit whatever the issue was we were going to be working on. When people would say, ‘What are we going to do today?’ or ‘How do you feel?,’ I said, ‘Read my pins.’”

Albright’s collection of roughly 300 diplomatic pins are currently on display through January 31, 2010 at the New York Museum of Arts and Design following the publication of her “Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat’s Jewel Box.” A self-confessed jewelry lover, the former Secretary of State has spoken at Gemological Institute of America conventions and will be honored at the upcoming Jewelry Information Center’s GEM Gala with its Style award.

According to Holly Hotchner, the NY Museum’s Director, Albright discovered that “what she wore had a lot of interpretive meaning to those she was with. The pins became an added way that she communicated.”

In December 1999 a Russian agent was caught listening to signals from a bug planted in a State Department conference room. In her next meeting with Russian officials, Albright handled the tense situation by wearing a large brooch of amethyst, chalcedony and gold in the shape of a bug. Remaining cordial, she let her pin do the talking. The message was received loud and clear.

Mia-Bee-Dec
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s “Bee” (circa 1980, designer unknown) pin. During meetings with foreign heads of state Albright would often wear a pin as an additional means of communication. Photo courtesy of the Albright Collection and the Museum of Arts and Design.
When she was negotiating the Antiballistic Missile Treaty, she wore an arrow-shaped pin. Albright recounts, “All of a sudden the Russian foreign minister looked at me and said, ‘Is that one of your interceptors?’ and I said, ‘Yes, we make them very small.’”

The former Secretary of State’s “pin diplomacy” became so established that foreign leaders would regularly read her pins to interpret her message. President Putin told President Clinton he would look at her pins to try to figure out how she was feeling or what she was trying to say. Albright recounts one incident. “I was very concerned about what the Russians had been doing in Chechnya and denying everything, so I wore the three monkeys, the ‘hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil’ monkeys, because they were denying what was going on. I’m not really sure he got the message.”

The pin collection includes all-purpose “good mood” pins such as ladybugs, flowers, butterflies and hot-air balloons as well as a “whole menagerie” of more menacing spiders, bees, wasps and crocodiles. When she met with Nelson Mandela, Albright honored his native Africa by wearing a zebra pin. One of her favorites from the collection is a dove pin presented to her by Leah Rubin, the wife of assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Throughout history, pins and jewelry have been worn as symbols of power, sending messages. “Interestingly enough, it was mostly men who wore the jewelry in various times, and obviously crowns were part of signals that were being sent throughout history by people of rank,” Albright explains.

Mia-snake-Dec
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s gold and diamond Snake pin (c. 1860, unknown designer). Courtesy of the Albright Collection and the Museum of Arts and Design. Photo: John Bigelow Taylor
“It’s a real icebreaker.” While a man may open a conversation by commenting on a tie or the weather, the first female Secretary of State has discovered a creative use for pins in such situations, taking advantage of her gender. “I love being a woman and I was not one of these women who rose through professional life by wearing men’s clothes or looking masculine. I loved wearing bright colors and being who I am.”

Albright has shopped the world for her brooches, including local international bazaars as well as Washington DC’s Tiny Jewel Box, a favorite for her costume pieces. Asked what she would wear now that her collection is on display, Albright doesn’t miss a beat. “It’s a good excuse to go out and buy more.”

Mia Katrin is an award-winning, internationally celebrated couture jewelry designer, specializing in one-of-a-kind and limited edition high-end necklaces with precious gems in 18-24 karat gold and platinum. Her Collections, which have been worn by A-List Hollywood celebrities, are featured in many top galleries and stores throughout the country, where she regularly hosts Trunk Shows. Contact Mia via her website, http://jeweljewel.com, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (877) JEWEL-MY.

Sources: “Madeleine Albright’s Jewel-Box Diplomacy,” NPR interview, 9/29/2009, NPR.org; Newsweek, “The Ambassador’s Jewels,”  Eleanor Clift interview, 9/28/2009; Associated Press, “Albright’s brooch collection to be shown in NYC,” Ula Ilnytzky, 4/1/09.


Columnist


×