Animal Crackers

March 1999

Gemstones & Pearls:New Products

Animal Crackers

Fulfilling personal needs

Historians have tracked animal jewelry back to the 2nd century B.C. and discovered all sorts of interesting tidbits you can use to start conversations with customers. Gold animal head earrings, for example, were made by the earliest known civilizations in ancient Egypt, Syria and Cyprus. The motif can be found also in jewelry from the Classical and Hellenistic periods (500 B.C. to 300 A.D.) and later in Celtic jewelry. The simple reason for its longevity: people love animals.

Animal jewelry is a natural for women buying for themselves, say today's designers and manufacturers. "Nature has tremendous appeal to women," says Julie Gniwisch, president of Delmar in Montréal, Canada. It stirs the imagination of pet lovers and also appeals to a more mature woman trying to recapture the elegance of 1940s and '50s socialites.

When thinking about what to stock, remember it's a question of taste. People often look for their favorite animal to fulfill personal needs. "Whimsical animals make great gifts for a new mother or grandmother," says Robert Bruce Bielka, president/JA certified master bench jeweler at Bielka Inc., New York City.

Display these designs creatively. Place stuffed teddy bears wearing teddy bear pendants in a showcase, suggests Bielka. Or group animals together so customers see what choices they have for a particular animal.

You can even spark interest by contributing a portion of animal jewelry sales to animal rights or shelter organizations to show customers you care.

– by Lorraine M. Suermann

Teddy pendants are fully articulated with a patented and copyright system designed by Robert Bruce Bielka. The 18k bears (from left) feature 0.05-ct. ruby eyes, 0.98 carat of blue sapphires with 3.30 carat of diamond pavé, and 0.05-ct. emerald eyes with 0.64 carat of diamond pavé. Available from 7/8 to 11/8 inches high. Suggested retail, $1,420 to $10,700. All diamonds are VVS H or better.
Bielka Inc., New York City; (212) 980-6841, fax (212) 980-6852, 4384@POLYGON.NET.

From the Adorable Animal collection comes this 14k gold winking owl pendant featuring a 10mm-by-8mm garnet briolette body. Suggested retail, $179.
Skalet Gold, Chicago, IL; (800) 621-6017, fax (773) 477-6293.

Bejeweled parrots are from the aviary of A. Levian & Co. The top one features 18.17 carats of invisibly set ruby and 0.26 carat of diamond plumage with a 0.02-ct. emerald eye. Suggested retail, $15,000. The bottom one has 6.46 carats of rubies, 0.26 carat of diamonds and a 0.05-ct. emerald eye. Suggested retail, $4,050.
A. Levian & Co., New York City; (212) 575-0318, fax (212) 944-7734,

18k gold cat playfully balances on a black Tahitian pearl. The pendant is available with a smooth or textured finish. Suggested retail, $600.
Steven Lee Designs, Aiea, HI; (808) 488-1000, fax (808) 487-3159.

18k kangaroo brooch features a South Sea pearl tummy and accents of diamond and fancy colored sapphires.
Delmar, Montréal, Canada; (514) 875-4800, fax (514) 875-5356.

Rina Limor creates whimsical mice of pink and yellow sapphire with diamond accents in 18k gold.
Rina Limor for J.R. Gold Designs, New York City; (800) 999-0583 or (212) 922-9292, fax (212) 922-2992.

Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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