Getting to Know BEVERLEY K

The Squash Blossom Interviews Morie Knopp, Founder Of Beverly K. Collection

Featured in June 2016’s edition of the Catalogues

“Since 1999, Beverley K. has been dedicated to crafting exquisite jewelry. Each design celebrates a perfect harmony of gems and precious metals. From lacy, vintage filigree to elegant, modern expression, we offer a variety of rich textures and finishes in bridal rings, wedding bands and fashion jewelry.

SB: Was there a turning point in your life that led you to jewelry design?
MK: I had always dreamed about designing jewelry – from when I can first remember. In 1992, I was working for a large jewelry company at the time, and I had a 160 foot fall down the mountain. I then realized I was mortal, and my time on earth was finite. As soon as I recovered from my fall, I felt the urge to follow my passion with more urgency, and my approach to life was more targeted and insightful.

SB: Name 5 things that you could not live without.
My kids
My pets
My colleagues
My imagination
Giving to others

SB: What do you consider to be your greatest achievement to date?
MK: Running ultra-marathons and raising money for many worthy charitable causes in the process. It taught me so much about guts and inner strength – not just about myself, but more importantly, for the recipients of the money raised. There is so much that people can and should be doing for the less fortunate, and we should be a lot more introspective, and do our utmost to help those less fortunate than ourselves.

SB: Finish this statement: When I’m not making/designing jewelry, I am…
MK: Pushing life to the limits. I am an adrenaline junkie, and I have already jumped from planes, swam with sharks, ziplined from a mountain top – so really anything that makes me feel alive. I also love watching my youngest daughter ply her sport of mounted horse riding – where she rides on horseback, shooting balloons, where accuracy, dexterity and speed are combined with the love of nature.

SB: What do you consider to be your greatest achievement to date?
MK: Running ultra-marathons and raising money for many worthy charitable causes in the process. It taught me so much about guts and inner strength – not just about myself, but more importantly, for the recipients of the money raised. There is so much than people can and should be doing for the less fortunate, and we should be a lot more introspective, and do our utmost to help those less fortunate than ourselves.

SB: Who is a fellow jewelry designer that you admire? Why?
MK: Suvaree Kulkeaw – she is a very under-the-radar designer, but is well known by the connoisseur. She has a great feel for proportion and comfort.

SB: Is there a piece that you sold that you wish you had kept for yourself?
MK: A beautiful sapphire and diamond bracelet that I designed with the intention of giving to my daughter on her 18th birthday. One of our very good clients saw the bracelet, and simply had to have it. He eventually twisted my arm and I sold it to him. Needless to say, I made a more exquisite and elaborate bracelet for my daughters’ birthday.

SB: Name your most treasured possession.
MK: Having my oldest daughter work with me in my business, and see how her very strong design talents are transformed into beautiful jewelry creations.

SB: What is your motto?
MK: As I know that life is short, I have learned to forgive quickly , smile easily , never regret anything , give others more than they expect, and treat others in a manner better than I would like to be treated.

Shop The Squash Blossom in Vail, Colorado for the Beverley K Collection.”

The Squash Blossom

8 Jewelry Terms You Should Know

Like any industry, jewelry has its own set of lingo.  And when you are looking to invest in a piece that you will treasure for the rest of your life, it pays to understand what you are buying.  We at the Squash Blossom have developed a list of helpful jewelry terms that will resolve much confusion in the buying process.

Carat vs. Karat – What’s the Difference?

Unfortunately these two jewelry terms sound exactly the same but carry very different meanings.

5.75 carat black diamond ring in 18 karat yellow gold.
Todd Reed 5.75 carat black diamond ring in 18 karat yellow gold, available at the Squash Blossom

Carat (or ct) refers to the weight of a gemstone, with 1 carat equaling 0.2 grams. The price of a stone exponentially increases with the carat weight, among other factors.  Sometimes a piece will be marked with the Total Carat Weight (tcw or ctw) when many stones are used.

Karat, on the other hand, refers to the percentage of gold in the metal.  For example, 18 karat (or kt) gold has 18 out of 24 parts gold (or 75%); 14 karat has 14 parts (or 58.5%); 10kt has 10 parts (41.7%); and so on.  Pure gold is 24kt, though it is rarely used in jewelry because it is so soft.  The other alloys added to gold may vary.  All gold is naturally rich and yellow in color, but what we call “rose” gold typically is part copper, while “white” gold is part nickel.

 

Faceted, Cabochon, and Raw – It’s all in the Cut

A few more terms that often confuse – faceted, cabochon, and raw – refer to the cut and polish of gemstones.

Faceted stones have flat planes (facets) cut onto the surface of the stone to optimize the light they reflect.  Typically, faceted stones are transparent.

Federica Rettore 18 karat yellow gold faceted prasiolite pendant, available at the Squash Blossom

Cabochon stones, rather, have a smooth, polished surface.  Usually cabochon stones are opaque.

Jamie Wolf 18 karat gold ring with cabochon aquamarine and brilliant diamonds
Jamie Wolf 18 karat gold ring with cabochon aquamarine and white brilliant diamonds, available at the Squash Blossom

Raw refers to stones that have been minimally cut with no polishing, mimicking their appearance out of the earth.

Peter Schmid's raw diamond men's ring
Peter Schmid oxidized silver and platinum raw diamond men’s ring, available at the Squash Blossom

 

Vermeil, Gold Plate, Gold Fill – Fashion Metal Basics

Fashion metals are typically used in less expensive jewelry.  However, sometimes knowing what metals you are actually getting can be a bit of a mystery.

Vermeil describes a piece of jewelry that has a base metal of sterling silver (that is, 92.5% pure silver) and that it is plated with at least 10kt gold that is at least 2.5 micrometers thick.  Because the gold is electroplated it wears over time, but because of its thickness it will last longer than gold plate.

Workstead's 24kt vermeil chain mail necklace
Workstead 24 karat vermeil chain mail necklace, available at the Squash Blossom

Gold plate, rather, is a thin layer of gold applied using electroplating over another metal, usually copper or silver.  Over time, the gold layer can wear away leaving whatever metal is underneath to come through.

Tezer 18 karat gold plated earrings over sterling silver
Tezer 18 karat gold plated earrings over sterling silver, available at the Squash Blossom

Gold fill uses a different process to bond gold to another metal.  Typically there is much more actual gold in gold fill jewelry compared to gold plate, and it will not tarnish or wear away over time.

KJ Designs 14 karat gold fill earrings
KJ Designs 14 karat gold fill earrings, available at the Squash Blossom

We hope this will help our customers understand some of the basic terms we use in the jewelry business.  As smart buyers of jewelry, we can support designers like those we carry, who put much time and effort into hand-making their pieces using quality, natural materials.

Where Ocean Meets Mountains: Nature-Inspired Jewelry

As a jewelry store nestled in the Rocky Mountains, we are constantly interacting with nature.  In the summer, we love to open our door and welcome in the mountain breeze as well as the adventurous tourists strolling through Vail Village.  It may come as no surprise then to find out that many of our designers use nature as inspiration for their jewelry.

Designer Sarah Graham recently moved to Colorado from San Francisco.  Most recently, she released a line called “Aspen,” drawn from the aspen forests near her new home town.  Before “Aspen,” she released a line of ocean-inspired jewelry inspired by her time in San Francisco.  In her jewelry, and in our store, ocean meets mountains.

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Italian designer Federica Rettore spends every August with her family on the island of Sardinia.  Here, she draws inspiration from natural materials such as coral, sea-worn rock, and mollusks.  “We spend many hours of the day on our boat enjoying the rock formations of the sea walls,” she says, “In the evening, as the sun sets, the sky turns a beautiful shade of gold and red.  The stone walls around the sea glow with color.” Her jewelry reflects the dynamic colors and textures in and around the ocean.  As a jewelry designer, she aims to do more than make jewelry that’s fashionable or pretty.  “How can we frame the sound of the sea? How can we tie to the finger the joy of living? Or how can we . . . make out of each jewel a perfect match with art and nature?”

 

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Inspiration materializes in many forms.  Stephen Webster, who also carries a line of ocean-inspired jewelry, takes it to a more literal level with edgy statement pieces.  From a crab to a shark jaw, Webster brings a unique element of interest to his designs.

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Whatever form it takes, nature is the heart of our store.  We sell jewelry made of natural minerals and gemstones, and our designers draw from the world around them to create distinctive pieces that you would be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.