Friday, October 29, 2010

So... What's New?

The Holiday Season is approaching - quickly - whether we like it or not.
Our shop knows all too well the stress that comes along with the snow and holiday cheer, so we thought this year, we would do things a little different.

This November 13th, 18Karat will be hosting our first Holiday Trunk Show.
Five local artists will set up shop at 18Karat, presenting their unique collections, and even some sale items!

Did we mention there would be hot chocolate?

The Holiday Trunk Show will November 13th from 12 - 5pm.
See you there!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

RED Show - at 18Karat.

What does the word red conjure up in your mind and does it only represent a colour or a hue?
Red means many things to many different people, in one moment it can symbolize love and passion. In another it becomes a sign of aggression and anger.

The artists of Jewel Envy studio in downtown Toronto have created a body of work that explores this very question - what does RED mean? Featuring works by Gillian Batcher (Jewel Envy owner), Alexis Kostuk, Chia Chien Tsai, Efrat Deutsch, Emily Gill, Kathryn Rebecca, Rosalyn Woo, Sarah De Gasperis, and Young Ko.
Blood Diamond bracelet by Rosalyn Woo

Sale Ring by Emily Gill

Oh Oh, Here She Comes Ring by Efrat Deutsch

RED - an exhibition of jewellery by the members of Jewel Envy will be on display at 18Karat from October 25th - Novmber 6th.

OPENING RECEPTION October 23rd, from 2 - 5pm.

Friday, October 15, 2010

October Newsletter - hot off the press.

Giveaways, Holiday Trunk shows, jewellery art exhibitions, custom jewellery - all packed into one month. Check out the newsletter, in its entirety - here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


This month, 18Karat's blog turns two-years old and to celebrate, we are teaming up with a very talented Toronto designer and goldsmith - Eric Petersen - for a g-i-v-e-a-w-a-y!

We first met Eric earlier this year and were impressed by not only his jewellery collection, but also his determination and drive.

Titled Shattered Heart from the collection Picking Up the Pieces - a collection that explores how seemingly undesirable, unattractive, and even disposable items can be made beautiful. This collection features shards of glass from a broken window, transformed into a stunning focal point.

For a chance to win this handcrafted sterling silver and glass necklace, all you have to do is subscribe to our blog! Click 'Subscribe to 18Karat Goldsmiths and Designers' on the top right corner of your screen, and enter your email address. Make sure to respond to the verification message sent to your email - only verified entries will be accepted!

To double your chances of winning, you can also become fans of our Facebook page!
Log into your Facebook account (if you are not already) and click here to visit our Facebook page. Click 'like' in the top center section of the screen.

Only one entry, per method of entry, per person will be accepted.
Deadline for entry is October 31st, 11.59pm.

For Official Terms and Conditions, visit our website.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Hybrid - Collaboration at the Harbourfront Center

About two weeks ago, Meredith Robb (you may recognize her as a member of the 18Karat family) and Rose-Angeli Ringor opened a beautiful exhibition at the Harbourfront Centre in downtown Toronto.

Stopping by the show, and snapping a few shots, I am sure you will all be impressed by this merging of organic and inorganic industrial forms. The show continues at the Harbourfront Center until November 7th.

Hybrid : is an experiment in collaboration between a ceramic artist and a metalworker. Each piece began with one artist and was finished by the other, pushing Harbourfront Centre artists-in-residence Ringor and Robb to unify both their media and their creative processes.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Expensive Tastes - the woes of a nickel allergy.

You want it.
You need it.
You just have to have it.
But when you wear it, your skin starts to itch and burn and then blister!

Sound familiar? Unfortunately for you (and one is seven people from across the globe) you have a nickel allergy. Nickel is the root cause of the most common jewellery allergy and it can often mean that funky fashion jewellery is off limits.

When I was a teenager, I loved wearing the most outrageous (and in some circles obnoxious) vintage earrings - all cheap and all costume. From large pastel coloured disks to 70's inspired gold toned chandelier earrings - the bigger the better.

Then, almost overnight it seemed, while wearing my favorite pair of mint 80's art deco/Miami Beach inspired studs - my ears began to get hot, red, and frankly vengeful. From that moment on, try as I may, no earrings seemed to sit right in my now very exclusive ear lobes.

It was only after I came to 18Karat did I realize the toll some base metals can take on our bodies - and costume jewellery is all base metals. It is not that our bodies are allergic to the metals themselves, but they are allergic to the salts created through a chemical reaction between your skins natural oils and perspiration and the metal. As our body actively corrodes the metals away, we are left feeling sore and entirely unfashionable.

A nickel allergy is not something we are necessarily born with, and can often develop as we get older - as your body's chemistry evolves throughout the years and can especially effect women during and after pregnancy.

Not only is nickel found in stainless steel, it is also a key metal used in the alloy for white gold - nickel is actually the bleaching agent that turns yellow gold white. Low-karated gold, 10k and below, are especially problematic as they contain a more substantial percentage of nickle, making it more irritable to sensitive skin.

A nickel allergy can be especially upsetting if you begin to notice discomfort when wearing your white gold wedding set - especially if you have had the rings for year beforehand.

Luckily there are solutions. If you believe you are beginning to develop an allergy to one of your precious gems, bring it into your local jeweller. You should first ask for them to thoroughly clean the item. Overtime, chemicals can accumulate in the nooks and crevices of your gems - especially if you wear them everyday. These chemicals, such as soaps and lotions, can start to wreak havoc on your skin.

If this does not work, you can get these gems rhodium plated - providing a barrier between your skin and the nickel within the item. Rhodium is a member of the platinum family of metals and is rarely a source of allergic reaction.

If you have questions about metal allergies and what you can do to start wearing your jewellery again, contact a knowledgeable jeweller.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Mokume-Gane - from sheath to shank.

Mokume-Gane is a metal forging technique originating in Japan that has seen a popular resurgence in the last decade.

Beginning in the late 1600's, the samurai sword began to evolve from being a tool used in battle to a symbol of an elite warrior class. The more elaborate the embellishments of the sword's handle and sheath, the greater the social standing of the owner.

Mokume-Gane was one form of embellishment - meaning wood grain metal - mokume is formed by the forging of various metals including gold, silver, copper, and an alloy of all three known as shakudo at various thicknesses.

Mokume-Gane Pendant by Pepe Fernandez

Patterning occurs when layers from within the billet are exposed, either by filling or chiseling away at the surface layers.
Mokume Gane Pendant by Pepe Fernandez

Until the late 1970's, Mokume-Gane was relatively unknown outside of Asia, and with Japan's movement away from traditional manufacturing techniques and a dwindling population of highly skilled artisans - this metal art form was almost lost.

Today however, artist from many disciplines use modern Mokume-Gane techniques to create a unique and distinctive aesthetic - no two Mokume-Gane pieces are ever exactly the same.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

September Sapphires

If you were born in September - consider yourself lucky!

Who doesn't love the deep and intense blues of a well formed sapphire? But did you also know that sapphires come in a variety of luscious colours including pink, orange, and yellow?Emerald cut sapphire with mother of pearl inlay set in 18k yellow gold.

Sapphires, like rubies, are members of the corundum family, an aluminum oxide. Trace amounts of iron, chromium, or titanium lend sapphires their distinguished colour.

One of the most ancient gemstones, sapphires were being used in jewellery making prior to Roman Empire and are often referred to in the Bible.

However, because of their hardness and durability, sapphires are now found in many industrial processes such as infrared optical components, high-durability windows such as watch crystals, and as insulating substrates for some solid-state electronics.
Sapphire and diamond bracelet set in 18k white gold.

Sapphires have often been thought to cure and prevent a range of health issues from rheumatism to a sore throat. It is also believed by some to have metaphysical properties that can aid in telepathy and clairvoyance.

Golden sapphire and diamonds set in 18k yellow and white gold.

Sapphires can also have colour change properties, depending on the light source it is being viewed under. Some stones will appear blue in daylight, and violet under incandescent light.

Sapphires with tiny rutile inclusion can also display an optical quality referred to as asterism - creating a star-sapphire. Star sapphires display either a six or twelve ray star that travels along the stone as it moves - catching light at different angles.

Round cut sapphire set in 18k yellow gold.

Sapphires have been revered for their beauty for thousands of years. For more sapphire gem ideas, visit 18Karat.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Envy - To Covet and Desire

The beginning of August marked the first juried art show to be hosted at 18Karat, and we were thrilled by not only the beautiful pieces that were included in the collection, but also the artists who were so interested in participating.

As with every juried show: the results are in.

Chantrelle Ring by Serafino
Best in Show
Trillium Necklace by Gillian Batcher
Best in Technical AchievementGreen with Envy Necklace by Michaela Wolfert
Best in Design

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Emerge 2010 - Reception

It was a delight to have all of the designers in our shop yesterday for the opening of Emerge 2010 - a group show featuring recent graduates from George Brown's Jewellery Arts program.

Their works will be on display and available for purchase until July 31st.

In case you missed the opening, here's a peak at some of the pieces on display.9 month earrings by Ivanne Binetruy
Pendant by Jennifer House

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Emerge 2010 - A Group Show

Despite how busy we have been this year, July marks the first exhibition we will be hosting at 18Karat - the first of many to follow, (check out our upcoming events).

Beginning July 5th, 18Karat will host Emerge 2010 - a group show featuring recent graduates of George Brown's Jewellery Arts program. We are excited to be the first studio to host their work post-graduation and we are excited to watch them maneuver the world of professional jewellery design.

Last year marked the first time graduates from George Brown took centerstage at 18Karat. We continue to be impressed by their technical abilities as well as their innovative design.

Exhibition runs from July 5 - 31, with a reception to be June 5th from 5 - 7pm. Please join us in supporting these young designers.

Monday, May 3, 2010

spring shades.

New buds. Flowers being born everyday. Spring is full of vivid colours and a sense of the earth being re-born. That is why no spring collection would be complete without some delightful shocks of colour.
An unusual-cut peridot surrounded by a rim of brilliant cut diamonds make this ring the ultimate in a spring-time statement. This ring was designed and created by Dino in our downtown studio. It is also up on our website, check it out.

While agate, a form of quartz, is one of the most abundant minerals on the planet - agate this vivid is certainly not common place. This turquoise agate ring recalls Caribbean beaches or endless summer skies - either way it makes for a truly wonderful ring. Set in 18k white gold, this ring as designed and created in our studio as well.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

What's up buttercup?

As is always the case, the more interesting events you are participating in and the more intriguing people you meet, the less time you have to blog about it; and April has certainly not been an exception to that rule.

We have launched a new website! Months and months in the making I am so happy to see it up, with the majority of our inventory available for viewing in a much more cohesive format. I hope you will all check it out,

Envy - Call for Entry announced. This is the first time we have ever done anything quite like this before, but we have recently announced our call for entry for our first juried show and I have been really impressed by the response. I can now breath easier knowing we have received our first batch of entries. Although we are still accepting entries until the end of May, I know too well how artists are and I expect a flurry towards the end – don't forget to get them in artists!

Our first graduate award. This was the first year for the new 18Karat award for graduates of the Jewellery Arts Program at George Brown, handed out to the student who demonstrated both design and technical excellence, as well as someone who stood out with both their drive and determination. This years winner was Mariangela Aguirre, who has a lovely site already, We are all excited to work with her more this year.

(Dino and Mariangela at the Graduate Award Ceremony)

And of course, this is only the beginning of the year - we have plenty of exciting things coming through the pipe line. Be sure to check out the new site, we have some utterly gorgeous new pieces (my favorite being the turquoise agate ring) for your viewing pleasure.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

call for submission - ENVY - TO COVET AND DESIRE

18Karat announces an open call for artists to submit entries for – Envy: To covet and desire. A juried exhibition that seeks to use what is coveted to explore the complex and vast means in which we express our insatiable desires.

Combining themes of luxury, desire, love, and jealousy to comment on this primal and often dark human emotion.

- best in show
- best young artist (under 30)
- best technical achievement
- best in design

About the Jurors:
- Massimo and Dino Giannetti,
owners of 18Karat, one of Toronto's oldest custom goldsmiths.
- Martha Glenny, Professor of Jewellery Studies at George Brown College.
- Jacquie De Almeida, Managing Editor of Jewellery Business Magazine.

For more information, visit

Saturday, February 27, 2010

drum roll please..... .. . . .

And now for the moment you have all been waiting for, 18Karat is pleased to announce the official winner of our 'Who Deserves a Diamond' contest, Christine M. on behalf of her mother Barbara. Christine's entry was so lovely - mum's after all deserves millions of diamonds.

We met this morning when Christine, her mother, and mother-in-law came in to pick up this lovely stone and have even decided to have it set in a pendant.

What a lovely way to start the day!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Uniti Reception

Last Sunday we hosted a reception in honour of the many contributors who helped to make last November's Uniti Collection a success. We are so grateful for all the people who donated their time and art to benefit the Red Door Family Shelter.

(to the left - the lovely and very talented designer Shelly Purdy with the equally lovely managing editor of Jewellery Business Magazine, Jacquie de Almeida.)

(to the right - I was super excited to finally meet Danielle Meder, the creative genius behind I had been following her blog for a while now, and was glad to have her attend the reception. Be sure to check out her site!)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

3 days till V-Day!

Few of us give in to the mush and gush of Valentine's Day, but no matter how much we resist, there is still a part in all of us that feels a little tug.

As our 'Who Deserves a Diamond' contest carries on, we thought we would give you a sample of some of the entries we have received - a few that will surely tenderize your heart muscle -

J.C writes of his wife, "She is a shinning star, an eternal optimist and the love of my life, for this I feel she deserves a Canadian Diamond."

C.M writes of her mother, "She has sacrificed many things over the last 30 years for her children and I think she deserves a diamond".

With only 3 days left, please send in your answers to this question - Why does your loved one deserve a diamond - to

No matter how short and sweet or epic and poetic, you could win a Canadian Diamond.

We couldn't end this post without showing some of the wonderful new pieces to arrive at the shop, and just in the nick of time for the day of love. What says 'babe your the best' better then a piece of handmade and locally produced designer jewellery?

(Pictured above : Be Mine by Bijouxbead - Featuring Handmade Lampwork)

(Pictured above: Dear Heart by Bijouxbead - Featuring Handmade Lampwork)

(Pictured above : Sparkling Rays from Bazant Unique Adornment's Aurora Borealis Collection
- Featuring recycled hammered silver)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Who Deserves a Diamond - 18Karat Diamond Giveaway

To celebrate Valentine's Day, 18Karat will be giving away one loose Canadian Diamond to the person who best answers this question, 'Why Does Your Loved One Deserve a Diamond?'

Create a video response, or email with your answer.

Contest closes February 13th at 11.59pm.

Contest only open to residents of Ontario, 18 years and older. Yay diamonds!

How cute are we, posting our first Youtube video?