Orchid Awards

Yes, “tasteful” is very subjective. Maybe what I am looking for is
a person who is a trendsetter, as opposed to a trend follower in her
or his choice of jewelry. Right now big, chunky beaded and faux
pearl necklaces seem to be “all the rage” on TV, and I am seeing
more of it every day. Two years ago it was the big chunks of
turquoise. Before that, it was the “tin cup” necklaces. It seems
to me like clothing designers, not jewelry designers, are calling
the shots. Remember when Madaline Allbright was Secretary of State
and she used to wear those handmade pins?? It seemed like more
people around the country wanted unusual pins that year. (she would
have gotten my vote).

I know there are bead designers, as well as metalsmiths in this
group, and I think there are good designs in all mediums, but I feel
that there are big companies out there using TV personalities to
sell jewelry fads; pieces that can be mass produced at a profit to
thier company. I have to admit, though, coming from a fine jewelry
background, that I’m seeing less and less of gold, diamond, and
colored stone jewelry on TV and the movies, almost as if the
producers don’t want the people in front of the camera to appear
affluent in any way.

In a nutshell, I think if we did the Orchid Awards, they should
reflect originality in thier jewelry wardrobe. Wearing jewelry made
by non-corporate designers would, I feel, be more in going with the
philosophy of Orchid.

Hi all, I soooooo agree with Larry. I love the fact that her choices
are hugely diverse and cover a large range… She wares what she
loves, not what she is “paid” to wear . She loves the jewelry for
what it is , a statement of her personality . Bravo!!! Helen

Re: Madeline Albright’s brooches, the brooch she was wearing at any
given time would reflect her mood or thought process for that
particular meeting or event. She wore a spider on one occasion,


Seeing as how the majority of jewelry for celebrities is usually
chosen by their stylists, and the stylists usually borrow over and
over from the same jewelers lending their wares for special occasions
(Fred Leighton, Harry Winston), whose taste is really getting

Alan Goldin
The Shape of Things Jewelry

Dear Orchidians, Madeline Albright, This is a lady who should be
the receiver of any ‘orchid’ award. She always wore brooches to
suit the diplomatic occasion and no one else I know of has had this
vision/power/desire to show their mood in jewelry for so long or so
political a reason. She is amazing , should be an inspiration to
all of us to design, at least one of our lines, for the good of the
world. Especially now.

Sharron,waiting for the next week to be free from my job for 2
months. Mexico is waiting!

Happy days!!!

So why don’t we call it “The Madeleine Allbright Award,” give it to
her the first year, and base our criteria for awarding it on our
model. Obviously, she stands out for certain reasons. All we have to
do is “operationalize” them.

Lisa Orlando
Aphrodite’s Ornaments
Benicia, CA

Apparently I’m in good company as I vote for the jewelry selected by
Madeleine Albright.

My vote for the most beautiful semi-precious stone jewelry goes to
Queen Noor. Years ago, US television ran an hour long special with
King Hussein and Queen Noor of Jordan. She wore a plain strand of
matched-size round, 20-mm or so, flawless sky blue turquoise beads.
I watched the TV special twice, just to see this breathtaking
necklace again.


Re Madeleine Albright, Helen Drutt English is probably the woman to
thank for the booches that she wears, check out the book " Brooching
it Diplomatically" published by Arnoldsche. In this book, Helen
Drutt English collects together images of brooches from 61 artists
from all over the world to respond to her challenge to make a piece
for Ms Albright, although it might be Ms Albrights descision as to
which occasion to wear what piece to. Christine in S. Aust

 My vote for the most beautiful semi-precious stone jewelry goes
to Queen Noor.....She wore a plain strand of matched-size round,
20-mm or so, flawless sky blue turquoise beads. 

So why exactly are you calling these beads semi-precious? They are
obviously not semi-precious but quite valuable. This is a term that
should have been removed from the English language long ago, but
still seems to hang in there. If I can show you a $5.00 ruby and a
$10,000 tourmaline which is the “precious” and which is the
“semi-precious”? This is not just a matter of semantics. It is a
completely negative way to speak about something that may have
extremely high value. How are you going to sell that $10,000
tourmaline if you keep calling it “semi” precious. They are all just
gemstones out there. Some are valuable (read precious), some are
less valuable. Leave it at that.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140

Daniel You are correct, I should not have used “semi-precious” when
I really meant to say “gem quality” vs. the usual lesser quality
turquoise, but would have been better off leaving either qualifier
off entirely. I certainly did not mean to imply “less valuable”
because no doubt that necklace has a higher value than most rubies
and probably more than the combined value of all of my earthly
possessions. Old habits die hard. I apologize.