Welcome to the Lilly Porter Newsletter! Check back for monthly updates and articles about the changing world of modern jewelry.
All pieces written by Lilly Porter Viau
Summer Spending: Get Away's or Gems Today?
You have to shield your eyes from the sun blaring in through your car’s front windshield. You can see the heat rising from the hot pavement before you; however, you can’t see an end to the line of cars stacked in front of you. Well-intentioned air conditioning circulates stiflingly hot air all around you. You peel your thigh from the moist, sweaty leather of your seat, only to have it stick right back in place, even more uncomfortably than before. Your radio is drowned out by honking cars, noisy passengers, and your own pounding headache. Your only thought, Why did I think this would be a good idea??
In the heat of the summer sun, especially here in Hotlanta, everyone could use a little respite from the busy city fever. It may seem that the best form of relief would be taking a weekend trip to the beach, the crowded beach, the burning beach, the sandy beach. When pros and cons are taken into consideration, the beach quickly turns from a dream get away to a dirty, loud nightmare. Think about it: between money for gas, cost of a hotel room or condo, cost of food and drink, and the time spent trying to find the perfect spot, weekend beach trips are pricey and wasteful. Besides the dizzying monetary expenses, the stress of fitting a weekend vacay into a busy schedule would deter any working woman. The week following this trip that was meant to be relaxing, you’re still wincing from sunburn and finding sand in places that sand should never be. But we at Lilly Porter have a solution for this problem plaguing our summer holidays.
Rather than spend exorbitant amounts on a weekend of getting sand kicked in your face, gift yourself a new treasure. No hours of traffic, no stress of finding a condo or beach spot, no sunburn, and no sand! Instead of being blinded by the sun, blind passersby with the glint from your new jewel! The week after your get away to 3121 Maple, you’ll have much more to show than a peeling patch of splotchy red skin. Skip the get away, and get your new gem today!
Valentine's Day: An Epic of Love
It’s that time of year again: the weeks leading up to and following the day that couples gush over and most singles dread. It almost seems that the month of February is defined by this one day planted solidly in the middle of it. Couples stress for weeks beforehand scrounging for the perfect date to commemorate this international day of love, but why?
Some cynics group it in with Christmas and Easter as a religious holiday turned commercial field day, while others cherish it for the pink aura of love that seems to glow around the world. Neither interpretation is totally, historically accurate, so to inform your stance let’s go back through history to see Valentine’s Day’s foundation.
Lupercalia was an ancient Roman fertility festival annually celebrated on February 15th. But, the Romans had so many fertility festivals, why did this one stick? And why is it called ‘Valentine’s Day’? In the same roman era, Emperor Claudius II decided that single men would make better soldiers than ones with wives and families. They would have no ties to worry about back home, so they would be less preoccupied with worrying about sweethearts. Instead of forming a single’s only draft, Claudius outlawed marriage for soldiers. Valentine, a Christian priest, was appalled by this cold injustice and married thousands of young lovers in secret. When Claudius found out, he was furious and had Valentine decapitated.
Pope Gelasius later declared the 14th as St. Valentine’s feast day in an attempt to “Christianize” the pagan feast Lupercalia. In the middle ages in Europe it was also commonly believed that the bird mating season began on the 14th. “Love birds” helped definitively link St. Valentine’s Day with love and affection.
This holiday has some serious roots and history. The first known valentine was sent in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, while imprisoned in the Tower of London. We at Lilly Porter like to take cues from tradition, but we like to think of every day as Valentine’s Day. You don’t need a holiday to cherish your lovey dovey, but February 14th is as good a day as any.
Singles on Valentine's Day
Millions of singles across the world on Valentine’s Day have different opinions on the celebration of love. Some passively observe it, treating themselves to a night of Netflix and take-out. Others commemorate the day with other single friends at a dinner party, exchanging gifts for a “Galentin’es Day” celebration. On the far end of the spectrum, cynical singles roll their eyes and brood over mushy gushy couples. Is there truly a correct way to celebrate Valentine’s Day alone?
When alone, self love is the best love, and what better way to show yourself some TLC with a “Treat Yo Self” day. It’s the best day of the year for singles; treat yourself to anything and everything your heart desires: mimosas, massages, fine leather goods, or even diamonds. Get a few friends together and spend the day having brunch, being pampered, and shopping. What better way to celebrate yourself than with new jewelry? While we’re known for custom pieces, Lilly Porter Fine Jewelry offers countless catalog pieces. Honor yourself with a consultation and see what kind of memories you can design for “Treat Yo Self” days to come. Pamper yourself and cherish yourself, make yourself sparkle with the radiance only you and a new gem can provide.
Calling all people born in a month of a year!! Did you know that you have a stone all to yourself for the month you were born in? Like zodiac signs determined by the stars’ alignment, each time of the year is associated with a different gemstone. Unlike the zodiac signs these don’t come from the stars, but instead from ancient lore rooted in the Middle East and very beginnings of Judaism, Islam, and Catholicism. Aaron, a high priest during Moses’s time, wore a breastplate with twelve different stones for each tribe of Israel during the Great Exodus. The jewels were said to have come directly from the Throne of God and supposedly had magical, miraculous powers. After the destruction of the First Temple around 580 BC, a second breastplate was forged and the high priest was said to wear a different stone from it during every lunar season of the year, thus instituting the rotation of particular birthstones; the Jewish lunar calendar also coincided with the astrological zodiac calendar.
These stones were associated with the same time as the zodiac signs; our modern correlation with birthstones and months happened around the 18th century in Poland. Jewish traders arrived in the region and the local culture morphed the original concept of the timely stones to fit into a twelve month calendar rather than the lunar calendar that the Hebrew people used.
Alterations to this ancient practice have been popping up for years. In 2002 the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) added tanzanite as December’s birthstone, though it already had two (zircon and turquoise). This turned out to be a gimmick for the Jewelers of America (JA) to make more money selling birthstones for the month of December. Within the past few months, the AGTA has also added spinel as a birthstone for August to compliment the historically used peridot. While the list has only been altered three times since its conception in 1912, many JA members push for the list to include more and more stones.
But does it really matter? We at Lilly Porter think not. Sure, it’s cool to be able to identify with a particular gem that you can call your own, but if you had to be born in April to wear diamonds, the world would be a far less sparkly place.
The Peridot's Revenge
Avocados! Granny smith apples! Matcha tea! Peridot may have been green with envy when AGTA introduced spinel as an August birthstone, but now it’s certainly getting its just desserts as Pantone has announced the color of the year: “Greenery”. An absolutely hopeful hue, this green opens eyes and hearts to the new year. As 2016 has been notoriously branded as an extremely bad year, Greenery sheds an optimistic light on the prospects of the future. “The tangy yellow-green speaks to our desire to express, explore, experiment and reinvent, imparting a sense of buoyancy. Through its reassuring yet assertive vibrancy, Greenery offers us self-assurance and boldness to live life on our own terms, during a time when we are redefining what makes us successful and happy.” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute.
Green is in all of the daily beauty surrounding us, growing from the ground up, being reborn every day. This color is representative of our own rebirth, like a mossy phoenix rising from the ashes of 2016 follies.
Think of everything precious in your lineage: heirlooms, antiques, bequests. They’re all passed down century after century, and they all have had a starting point. Why not start a new tradition? Why not be the curator of your family’s best legacy? The best traditions are those you design, and those don’t come from average mall shops with big names and small focus. We pride ourselves on our personal relationships with each and everyone of our customers. Here at Lilly Porter, we will ensure your unique piece because we are a Fine Jeweler, not a store that sells jewelry. We make, live, and love every piece by working with you directly to guarantee a tradition to last the test of time. Decide what you want to leave behind for your family to cherish. What legacy will you leave?
The holiday season is rapidly encroaching, thus the scramble for the perfect gift begins. Buying for women is somewhat easy; a new string of diamonds or pearl earrings and there’s almost no need for a second thought. Buying for men, however, poses a little more of a challenge. We offer a solution: firearms. Whether for an experienced hunter, one looking to dabble in skeet, or one excited for a first hunt, guns present an opportunity for a long lasting, practical gift for the sportsman in your life. We sat down with Alex McLean, our resident bench jeweler and Premium Sales Manager for Beretta Firearms, and asked him why guns are the perfect gift this holiday season. “It’s a gift that will last a lifetime. That’s pretty special.” He suggests buying direct from the supplier and eliminating the middleman. “Dealers are a third party source that have their own agenda, making the price higher than normal. It also takes longer to work through an indirect source. Take the time to make sure that all purchases are manufacturer approved.” You wouldn’t make a lifetime investment like this without doing a little research. You know your man better than anyone; decide if you want to buy him the gun as a surprise, or take him on a shopping experience. Afterwards, may as well match your man with one of our new rifle necklaces cast in yellow or white gold. Make your appointment to meet with our local firearms expert and designer team at Lilly Porter Fine Jewelry.