Sara Golden Jewelry

Cleopatra's Emeralds

Gems and Minerals, Style, InspirationSara GoldenComment
Cleopatras Emeralds.jpg

Left: Still from Cleopatra (1963), 20th Century Fox/Photofest; Right: Emerald specimen, photo by Klaus-Peter Kelber.


I’ve always been fascinated by powerful women in history, and Cleopatra has to be top 3 on that list. She took Egypt from her younger brother and made herself queen; she had affairs with some of the most famous men in history (Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, no big deal); and she had an impressive collection of gems and jewels. (It’s entirely possible she was reincarnated as Elizabeth Taylor!)

Emerald Stones.jpg

But one of the stones most synonymous with Cleopatra is the emerald. She figured out way before anyone else that in order to command fear and respect, she had to look look the part of an impressive, heaven-sent ruler.  And she did that by owning all the gems and constantly showing them off. 

She scooped up all of Egypt’s mines for herself, using emeralds as her royal calling card, wearing and giving them as diplomatic gifts. The Roman author Lucanus wrote that her home was littered with emerald-encrusted objects, and that she adorned herself with so many that he wondered how she didn’t “faint beneath the weight of gems and gold” (#goals). She had so many that during her time, when you thought of Egypt you simultaneously thought of emeralds. 

If you’re feeling as inspired as I am by this queen of Egypt, I highly recommend watching Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra (buckle up, though, it’s a 4 hour movie). Or, dive into more gemstone lore with Victoria Finlay’s “Jewels: A Secret History” where a lot of this incredible information came from. 

Mother's Day, but MAKE IT extra

Gift GuidesSara GoldenComment
Mothers Day Gifting Upgrades.jpg

Did you know that Mother’s Day is coming up? Like, really, really soon? It’s May 12th, and in case the holiday has slipped your mind, I’ve got some upgraded gift ideas for you: 

Mothers Day Gift Ideas_Ridgeline Pendant.jpg

JEWELRY, BUT WITH MORE OOH’S AND AAH’S

If she’s a little conservative when buying jewelry for herself, Mother’s Day is the perfect occasion to give her something she might not think to ask you for. Try an unexpected color combo, like the Ridgeline Pendant Necklace in Dalmatian jasper and blue chalcedony, or Collage Studs in crystal quartz packed with sparkle. Check out the full list of Mother’s Day picks featuring my most-gifted pieces. 


PERFUME, BUT AN EXPERIENCE

Schedule a trip for the two of you to visit a scent-maker where your mom can have a custom perfume blended for her. She’ll get to work with an expert to craft her own signature scent, and it’ll be an experience you can share together. Try Kelly + Jones’ scent studio in upstate NY (Kingston, to be exact), or Nova in NYC. Extra points if you plan brunch before your appointment.

Mothers Day Gift Ideas_Custom Blended Perfume.jpg

Mothers Day Gift Ideas_Surprise Flowers.jpg

FLOWERS, BUT WITH A TWIST

Get her a gift she can open on May 12th, but also order her flowers with a delivery date that’s 2 or 3 months away. She won’t be expecting it at all, and it’ll show her that you’re always thinking of her (not just on Mother’s Day). Some of my favorite florists include Hops Petunia in Kingston, and Putnam & Putnam in NYC


Try any of these and let me know how it goes — if you have any other great, unexpected ideas, add them to the comments!

Perfectly Imperfect

Gems and Minerals, Inspiration, StyleSara GoldenComment
Perfectly Imperfect.jpg

Symmetry and perfection are overrated. I’m a firm believer that things that are slightly off or a little messy are so much more interesting and memorable.

I’ll never say no to a beautiful, crystal clear diamond, but I’m obsessed with salt and pepper diamonds, full of inclusions and things that technically dirty them up but give them so much character. And a bouquet of fresh, unblemished roses is gorgeous, but I much prefer an unruly arrangement of wildflowers.

Perfectly Imperfect Pearls.jpg

That’s why I’d never really been a fan of pearls for most of my life — perfectly round circles, all the same shape and size.

But then Baroque pearls came along and totally changed my mind; they’re bumpy and wobbly and asymmetrical, each one different from the next. Then I discovered stick pearls: longer, more rectangular, with all sorts of ridges and dips. They feel like modern versions of your grandmother’s pearls, and I became obsessed with creating simple designs that show them off.

My newest collection of pieces are all about those beautiful imperfections, with plenty of baroque and stick pearls, plus a sprinkling of Dalmatian jasper and cloudy crystal quartz. I’d love for you to check them out and let me know if you, too, are a fan of the perfectly imperfect.

Taking care of your sterling silver

Jewelry CareSara GoldenComment
Cleaning Sterling Silver.jpg

Sterling silver is a classic metal, and a matte finish makes it feel well-worn and well-loved. I’ve been using it more and more lately (have you spotted it in the Starscape Collection?), and love that solid, un-plated sterling silver is pretty easy to keep clean, too. 

Looking to freshen up your silver jewelry? Try these tips:

  1. If it has a matte finish, lightly polish it with fine steel wool using circular motions. The steel wool mimics that matte finish while removing tarnish.

  2. If it has a shiny finish, use a polishing cloth (my personal favorite is this Sunshine cloth). Stones don’t like polishing cloths, though, so cover them up with your finger while you use the cloth.

  3. To get into nooks and crannies, scrub it with a soft toothbrush and warm, soapy water. Always be sure to dry it well, because any wet spots will leave splotches.

  4. Take off your jewelry before doing any household cleaning. Those chemicals can quickly tarnish the metal and harm any stones.

  5. Wear it often. The natural chemicals in your skin actually help to keep it cleaner than when it’s stowed away.

Some pieces in the shop are plated sterling silver, so be sure you know the difference before you start scrubbing!

Any questions? Shoot me an email (sara@saragolden.com), I’m always happy to chat jewelry!

The Romantic Rose Cut

Gems and Minerals, InspirationSara GoldenComment
Left:   Untitled Andy Warhol illustration;   Right:   Rose quartz and black spinel rose cut stones.

Left: Untitled Andy Warhol illustration; Right: Rose quartz and black spinel rose cut stones.


Gemstones have been enchanting people for thousands of years, and starting in the 16th century people figured out that by cutting and faceting them, you could bring out even more of their beauty. (Have you seen rough diamonds before they’ve been cut? God bless whoever first thought, “Hey, we might have something here.”)

One of the earliest cuts developed was the rose cut, named for the tight, spiraling petals of a rose bud before it blooms. (Once I heard that I was done for.) Triangular facets all over the top of the stone mimic petals, and each one catches the light and sparkles, even on dark or opaque stones.

Rose cut illustration, via Erstwhile Jewelry’s  “History of Diamond Cutting”

Rose cut illustration, via Erstwhile Jewelry’s “History of Diamond Cutting”

The rose cut is also more of an old school, antique cut; when cutting technology advanced, you could get more facets and therefore more sparkle out of stones. While newer stone cuts are beautiful, I have a soft spot for the earlier cut, especially when it’s set in a more modern design. I love using them in my own jewelry, and have big plans to use them even more in the not-too-distant future. 

Now that you know its romantic inspiration, have you fallen under the spell of the rose cut, too?