Le Pur et Simple split-shank French pavé 18K white gold setting with 5-carat cushion cut white diamond center (I, VS1) and white diamonds (0.51 TCW)

MARC MAJORS: Incredible ring! I really like how the split shank tapers in towards the top, allowing the center diamond to really be the star of the show. The mounting is a nice accent but not a distraction, and the cushion cut is the perfect shape for this ring.

LINDY KAVANAUGH: A tapered band with a split shank enhances this stunning center stone and gives it a feminine feel. An interesting twist on a classic engagement ring.

LAUREN LEVISON: Love how the two bands meet to unify under the marriage stone. Symbolic of the relationship.

2.50-carat marquise diamond set in an 18K gold black rhodium ring featuring white and black diamond with a rose gold detail,

2.50-carat marquise diamond set in an 18K gold black rhodium ring featuring white and black diamond with a rose gold detail

In this episode of Jimmy DeGroot’s satirical Gene the Jeweler series, Gene learns that it was Hawaii Day at his store. At least that’s what his employee, Jeremy, says. But Jeremy’s answers aren’t quite adding up. It’s hard to say what this “Hawaii Day” was really all about.

$13,420 18K yellow gold Emerald Carly chandelier earrings with emeralds (15.05 TCW) and diamonds (0.07 TCW)

$28,000 Stellar necklace with 34 Japanese Akoya pearls (4-8 mm) and diamonds (4.79 TCW) in 18K white gold

$11,590 Sultana ring in 18K natural beige, ice white and lava black gold in company’s signature velvety matte finish with 192 white diamonds (0.60 TCW)

$3,850 18k rose gold rainbow color sapphire ring with diamond (0.90 TCW) and rainbow sapphire (2.83 TCW)

$9,815 Custom-made natural 80.50-carat Australian Boulder opal framed with 14K rose gold and embellished with pavé round diamonds (1.61 TCW)

$27,194 18K white gold Rio Elbaite one-of-a-kind necklace with pear-shaped 8.98-carat Indicolite green tourmaline, 0.28-carat kite-shaped diamond and a 0.25-carat shield-shaped diamond

$9,000 18K gold two-tone ring with 126 diamonds (0.64 TCW), two tanzanites (0.12 TCW), and morganite (4.54 TCW)

$11,590 Sultana ring in 18K natural beige, ice white and lava black gold in company’s signature velvety matte finish with 192 white diamonds (0.60 TCW)

$7,885 Summer Night earrings in 18K yellow gold with diamonds (0.20 TCW) and emeralds in satin finish

$36,000 2.50-carat marquise diamond set in an 18K gold black rhodium ring featuring white and black diamond with a rose gold detail

$4,995 set Bridal set in 18K rose gold with engagement ring featuring 1.15-carat oval peacock blue Montana sapphire and diamonds (0.14 TCW), and wedding bands featuring interlocking elements designed to reduce spinning

$9,485 Sloane Street 18K yellow gold strié and diamond twisted open cage drop earring with marquise shape pavé diamond top (1.86 TCW)

$3,480 Solid 18K recycled yellow brushed gold shield shaped ring with seven F VS2 natural diamond baguettes

$2,255 Neil link bracelet with vintage finish sterling silver and one 3-row black diamond link (1.00 TCW); features tongue clasp and safety closure

$29,500 Tahitian natural color cultured round pearls with hand-carved natural color green and deep black Jade (14.32 TCW) accented with tsavorites (1.16 TCW) set in 18K yellow gold

$1,995 Natural color peacock 8-8.5 mm Tahitian cultured pearls suspended on 14K gold chain with diamonds (0.17 TCW),

$148,460 One-of-a-kind platinum ring with 8.05-carat oval sapphire with round diamonds (0.34 TCW) and oval diamonds (4.54 TCW)

$1,760 24K fusion gold and sterling silver Twist straight earrings with diamonds (0.31 TCW) and 22K gold earwires

Grand Prize-winning colored diamond cuff and jewelry by VIVAAN. | MODEL: Janelle Simon.| PHOTOGRAPHY: Gene Mollica and Sasha Almazan. | AGENCY: Wilhelmina. | HAIR, MAKEUP & STYLING: Sasha Almazan

ORIN AND TINA MAZZONI: This is an unbelievably beautiful bracelet. The uniqueness and workmanship is incredible. I know someone who would love to own this piece, but I’m not telling who.

PATRICIA FABER: Painted with diamonds, I love the movement in the design, the colored diamonds sort of undulating down towards the colorless diamonds which look like flames shooting up.

LAURIE WATT: Such a sexy looking piece. I love the use of colored diamonds and multiple colors of gold.

Stepping Stone hoop earrings with colored diamonds and sand pave in 18K recycled yellow gold (1.69 TCW)

Ibra necklace in 18K recycled yellow gold featuring tenda-cut green tourmaline (10.26 TCW) and diamonds (0.36 TCW)

Rachel earrings with tenda-cut pink tourmalines (7.55 TCW) and spessartine (7.10 TCW) with sand pavé disk tiers in 18K recycled yellow gold

I’ve always wanted to make a living using art and creativity, which I always did in some way, but never with my own product. There was way too much vulnerability and risk in that! It took a lot of years and a long road filled with doubt, fear, and inadequacy before I took the leap of faith into designing jewelry, but I can definitely say it feels like the most natural and exciting thing in the world to do. I knew I wanted to design jewelry the minute I stepped behind a jewelry counter for the first time 20 years ago. In fine jewelry I found the perfect marriage of art and science. I could see designs taking shape in my head, but had so little knowledge of this industry in general having come from a radio background. I decided to build a foundation by earning my G.G. and working at Randy Cooper’s Fine Jewelry in sales and appraising over a period of 15 years, but learning about jewelry design and manufacturing in Wichita, KS was another thing. This became my roadblock. What moved me past that self-imposed roadblock was a trip with Roger Dery, the award winning gem cutter, global educator, and philanthropist, to East Africa. I met Roger at a screening of the documentary Sharing the Rough, which is about the journey of a gemstone from mine to market while attending the 2015 AGS Conclave, and immediately felt like I HAD to go. Less than two months later, Roger took me on my first gemstone buying trip to Kenya and Tanzania. I was in the middle of the East African bush, seeing what artisanal mining is like for the miners, brokers, runners, and their whole communities working in the gem trade. I continue to learn so many lessons from the people of East Africa, but the most impactful lesson I took away was to take the resources and knowledge that you have, from where you currently are, and just start doing it, whatever “it” is, that passionately drives you. When I came home and could no longer make excuses for why I wasn’t chasing my own dreams, I got myself out of the way and just started moving forward.

After forming my LLC in November of 2015, I asked myself, “Now what?” A friend in the industry recommended I call Cindy Edelstein for advice, which led to a one hour Skype call I will treasure forever. Sadly, Cindy passed away before our next call, but the notes I took that day were like a gift, and pointed me in the next direction. I spent approximately a year in development with the Barefoot Collection, which is the foundation for our brand and will tie together all future collections. We soft launched Barefoot in a few markets and began working on Watu, the collection honoring the beautiful gemstones and people of East Africa. My goal was to show in Vegas this year, but I had a strong hunch to do my first major trade show in Tucson, maybe just to work out the kinks before Vegas. I chose the JCK x WJA Pavilion at the Starr Pass Resort because membership in WJA has been like a backbone for me as I struck out on my own. Quite serendipitously, our launch coincided with that of Gem Legacy, the non-profit organization we partner with in putting 5% of net sales from the Watu Collection to work in the communities the gems came from, helping them thrive. The founders are none other than Roger, Ginger, and Rachel Dery, with whom I travel to East Africa. We were honored to receive the JCK Tucson Industry’s Choice Design Challenge Winner with our Vincent Cocktail ring featuring green beryl. We are so thankful for such a positive response to the jewelry design and for the larger purpose it serves.

My design aesthetic merges two opposites, “polish and grit”, that have both literal and figurative meanings to me. You see it in the perfectly imperfect finish of the 18k recycled gold, in the palette of earthy colored faceted diamonds, gorgeous pops of natural colored gemstones with a high polished facet against the natural rough surface. I design from what I call a “barefoot state of mind”, where I’m outdoors, enjoying the warmth of the day, grounded by the beauty of the world around me. The feel is luxurious and refined, but also relaxed and organic…polish and grit.

2016 Fashion Neckalce

Barefoot is inspired by life’s journey, marked by stepping stones, crossroads, and courageous leaps of faith you’ll see represented in the designs. Each piece is a mindful appreciation of every milestone reached along your way. They are one of a kind, just like each of us, made from rich 18k recycled gold and an earthy palette of natural colored diamonds in sizes and shapes as individual as every rock, pebble, or grain of sand in the ocean. Watu features responsibly sourced natural gemstone rough I hand select on my East African visits. The designs are artfully inspired by pops of color against an earthy landscape, accented by earth-toned diamonds set in 18k recycled gold. Watu means people in Swahili. The real story of Watu is about the people who have touched my life. Each style in Watu is named in honor of one of these people. As the collection grows, so will their story. A highlight of many stones is a Tenda cut, a flat facet intentionally placed with a Swahili meaning of “doing good to someone.” In the words of my friend Jose (Gee) Maboi, “What you do not see, you can remember in your heart.” Wearing a piece from Watu reminds you of the good that gemstones do. For all items in the Watu Collection, 5% of net proceeds go to Gem Legacy. To find out more, visit www.gemlegacy.org supporting education, vocational training, and local economies in East African mining communities.

I am bursting with designs I want to make right now, but we want to focus on building our client base and sharing the story of our jewelry. In Vegas, you’ll see Barefoot stackables in mixed metals. Watu styles will be represented with East African gems in every color of the rainbow. Looking even further out, my next collection already exists in my mind. I’ve been collecting very intriguing gemstones over the years from a different source and can’t wait to start working on this collection. It has its own very cool and unique look, but you’ll definitely recognize it as a Debra Navarro piece. Every new collection will take you on a journey to other places where gemstones are mined as responsibly and sustainably as possible. I want my jewelry to be a part of their story.

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