03012015Sun
Last updateSun, 01 Mar 2015 2pm
KDM is preferred jewelry showcase supply partner for Stuller

KDM is preferred jewelry showcase supply partner for Stuller

(CINCINNATI) - Stuller, one of the world’s largest ...

Richline announces partnerships with “wearable technology” companies

Richline announces partnerships with “wearable technology” companies

Forms alliance with CUFF  and Omate ®              ...

#NFC Pearl from Galatea gives jewelry a voice

#NFC Pearl from Galatea gives jewelry a voice

Patented Momento Pearl   saves your precious moment...

Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology holds awards ceremony

Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology holds awards ceremony

An awards and recognition ceremony was recently he...

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AISociety AiCertify-2015 debuts with a Global Valuation Standard

The AISociety - Appraisers International Society (AIS) began live and self-study global, online, offerings of AiCertification™2015 at the start of Feb...

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AGTA announces Board of Directors election results

(DALLAS) - The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) announced the results of it’s annual AGTA Board of Directors election. Bruce Bridges, of Bridges T...

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RapNet launches new Android app

(NEW YORK) - RapNet has announced the release of a new mobile app for Android, following the successful launch of their iPhone app.

The app allows RapNe...

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Featured Articles

Overnight’s Top 5 Jewelry Trends for 2015

Overnight’s Top 5 Jewelry Trends for 2015

Do you have the top five jewelry styles for 2015? We asked Overnight, which has more than 50,000 jewelry styles and specializes in finding the next bi...

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Latest News

AISociety AiCertify-2015 debuts with a Global Valuation Standard

31 MINS AGO

The AISociety - Appraisers International Society (AIS) began live and self-study global, online, offerings of AiCertification™2015 at the start of February with the live, AiResidence sessions of its 5-course series of Valuation Appraisal courses to AIStandard v4.0 for gems, jewelry, watches and othe...

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The Professional Appraisal Practice - Part II

33 MINS AGO

Point of sale appraisals - Professional Valuation & Appraisal services can be a source of professional pride, customer respect and lucrative profits. So why do so many jewelers persist in embracing the hazardous pitfalls inherent to providing such services without the training requisite to doing ...

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Jewelers for Children to honor Philippe Mellier and Scott Burger at Facets of Hope Event

19 MINS AGO
Jewelers for Children to honor Philippe Mellier and Scott Burger at Facets of Hope Event

Jewelers for Children (JFC) will hold their annual Facets of Hope event on Sunday, May 31, 2015 at the Mandalay Bay Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, NV. Philippe Mellier, CEO of De Beers Group and Scott Burger, CEO of the Americas for Pandora will be honored.

The event celebrates the success of JFC’...

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Stuller announces 2015 Bench Jeweler Workshop

24 MINS AGO
Stuller announces 2015 Bench Jeweler Workshop

Prime manufacturer adds new educational classes to the lineup

(LAFAYETTE, La.) - Learn something new. Talk shop. Hone your skills. These are just some of the things you’ll be able to do at Stuller’s annual Bench Jeweler Workshop held at their Louisiana headquarters March 27-29.

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AGTA announces Board of Directors election results

27 DAYS AGO

(DALLAS) - The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) announced the results of it’s annual AGTA Board of Directors election. Bruce Bridges, of Bridges Tsavorite, and Jeffrey Bilgore, of Jeffrey Bilgore, LLC, were both re-elected to the Board; and Charles Carmona, Guild Laboratories, and Robert Van Wag...

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Richline announces partnerships with “wearable technology” companies

27 DAYS AGO
Richline announces partnerships with “wearable technology” companies

Forms alliance with CUFF  and Omate ®                              

Richline Brands and CUFF™, a Bay-area based, connected jewelry company, have announced a partnership agreement for the exclusive distribution of CUFF products. The partnership is designed to fundamentally bridge the function and fashi...

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RapNet launches new Android app

27 DAYS AGO

(NEW YORK) - RapNet has announced the release of a new mobile app for Android, following the successful launch of their iPhone app.

The app allows RapNet members to conduct their business on the go, and stay on top of the market wherever they are. The app includes advanced searches, saved searches and...

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#NFC Pearl from Galatea gives jewelry a voice

27 DAYS AGO
#NFC Pearl from Galatea gives jewelry a voice

Patented Momento Pearl   saves your precious moments in a pearl

(SAN DIMAS, Calif.) - The NFC-empowered Momento Pearl™ from Galatea: Jewelry by Artist is a cultured pearl containing near field communication (NFC) technology, allowing a user to create a tailored voice message that can be played when the...

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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.


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