So what exactly is jade?
There are actually only two minerals classified as “true” jade. They possess distinct mineral compositions, structures, and colors, setting them apart in the world of gemology.
While nephrite and jadeite are the traditional forms of jade, various other stones are often referred to as "jade" due to their resemblance. These stones may not meet the criteria of genuine jade in terms of mineral composition, yet they exhibit stunning colors, patterns, and textures that make them equally precious and gorgeous jewelry pieces to wear.
Jade or "Jade": Which jade is it?
Now that we know what true jade is, let's take a closer look at some of my favorite gemstones with the last name Jade. Some are the real deal and some are lookalikes. Are you able to spot the difference?
British Columbia Jade:
Exploring the world of jade gemstone jewelry means diving into the unique traits of each gem and appreciating the nuances. They all have their own charm and cultural significance. Whether true jade or its lookalikes, they are all worthy of a spot in the jade gemstone family tree. I hope you find a new favorite to add to your jewelry box. 💚
So as we dive into the holiday season, I wanted to highlight our blue gemstone jewelry collections in honor of our namesake and her 'Blue Christmas' tree. I hope you find your own special connection to these blue pieces and a meaningful gift to share.
Natural Blue Coral
So for all those on your list who love our Mom's favorite color, I hope one of these blue gemstone pieces becomes that special present you can't wait to share. The gift of a Blue Christmas in all the best ways💎🎄
Black Onyx: A Token of Love and Bravery
Zebra Jasper: The Stripes of the Zebra Spirit
Mother of Pearl: The Ocean's Gift
Silver Crazy Lace Agate: A Celebration of Joy and Laughter
Tourmaline Moonstone: The Elegance of Contrast
Dendritic Opal: Nature's Artistry
Pearl: Timeless Elegance
As you explore your classic jewelry collection, take a moment to reflect on the memories and traditions of your favorite heirlooms. Each piece carries with it the stories of those who have worn it and the occasions they celebrated. They not only enhance your style but also connect you to a broader human history, linking the past and the present in a beautiful, enduring tapestry of black and white.
Whether you are looking for a new treasured heirloom for yourself or a loved one, I hope one of our black and white pieces can become a beloved part of your story.
What is River Jasper?
First things first, let's get acquainted with River Jasper, the star of this cozy show.
Origin and Looks: River Jasper stones get their name from those smooth, rounded stones you'd find in riverbeds. It's a type of Jasper, which is known for its various colors and patterns and tends to show off earthy tones like brown, beige, gray, red, and sometimes a hint of green.
River Jasper is mined in several regions worldwide including India, Brazil, Madagascar and Australia, but one of the most famous sources is the Pacific Northwest of the United States.
The Oregon landscape, with its rugged beauty, is home to some of the most exquisite River Jasper specimens. These stones are known for their vibrant reds and intricate patterns, making them highly sought after by jewelry connoisseurs and we were lucky enough to source the stones for our new statement earrings from this region.
Ancient civilizations were no strangers to this gemstone's allure. It was often used for amulets, talismans, and ceremonial items because it was believed to have protective and grounding qualities.
Healing Properties of River Jasper
What makes River Jasper more than just a pretty rock? Well, it's all about the good stuff it brings to your life.
River Jasper stones act like a soothing balm for the soul, centering you in times of turbulence, offering emotional comfort, and promoting inner peace.
It's your pocket-sized sanctuary in a fast-paced world, inspiring confidence and resilience when facing life's challenges.
Benefits of River Jasper
Imagine wearing River Jasper jewelry during sweater weather. It's like having your personal cozy corner wherever you go:
Just like autumn leaves and your favorite sweater, River Jasper connects you with nature's warm embrace. It amplifies the cozy feeling you get during this season.
Stylish and Grounded:
River Jasper's earthy colors and patterns are like the perfect fall accessory. It effortlessly matches your autumn wardrobe, adding a touch of sophistication and down-to-earth vibes. The red hues of these statement earrings can even carry you straight through the holiday season.
As the days get shorter and the hustle and bustle increases, River Jasper's nurturing energy keeps you emotionally resilient. It's a reminder to pause, breathe, and take care of yourself amid the seasonal rush.
Sweater weather often makes us appreciate the simple joys – a cup of hot coffee, a crisp morning walk, or the warmth of a good book. River Jasper stones encourage you to be present and savor these moments.
With its earthy tones and comforting benefits, these statement earrings are a perfect match for this cozy time of year. Let them serve as a reminder to stay centered, nurture your well-being, and find peace amid the adventures of life.
So, as you snuggle up in your comfiest sweater and leggings this season, consider topping off your sweater weather vibe with a piece of River Jasper.
Stay cozy, Gem Lovers! 🧣 🍂
The Discovery of Ethiopian Opals
Let's start with the story behind these beauties. Ethiopian opals weren't really on anyone's radar until the early 1990s when something amazing happened in the Wollo Province of Ethiopia. Miners, on the hunt for something else entirely, stumbled upon these hidden treasures. Talk about a happy accident! Ethiopian opals burst onto the scene with their incredible play of colors and have been mesmerizing us ever since.
What Makes Ethiopian Opals Stand Out?
The Ethiopian Opal Earrings we just restocked are the most gorgeous cobalt blue that fire emerald green with sparks of red. They are truly something special!
These gems have a unique origin too – they form in volcanic rock, which gives them their distinct character. They're known for their translucency, allowing light to pass through and create those mesmerizing color flashes. It's like holding a tiny piece of magic in your hand!
The Meaning and Perks of Wearing Ethiopian Opals
Now, let's get to the juicy part – what do these opals mean and what can they do for you? Well, folks have been attributing all sorts of mystical qualities to them:
Unleash Your Creativity: If you're feeling a creative block, Ethiopian opals might just be your muse. They're believed to spark your imagination and get those creative juices flowing. Perfect for artists, writers, and dreamers!
Heal Your Heart: These opals are like emotional healers. They're said to help you let go of past traumas and find inner peace. So, if you're going through a rough patch, consider them your emotional support gem.
Stay Protected: Opals, in general, have a reputation as protective stones. They're thought to shield you from negative vibes and bad energy, making you feel all safe and cozy.
October Babies, Rejoice: If your birthday falls in October, you're in luck! Ethiopian opals are one of your birthstones, giving you a unique and meaningful option for your birthday bling. And if you happen to be celebrating a 14th anniversary soon, these are the anniversary gemstones for you!
So, as you start pulling out the fall clothes and pumpkin spice everything takes over, why not treat yourself to these Ethiopian opal earrings? These gems truly capture the magic of this cozy, colorful season, and that's something to treasure.
Happy October, gem lovers! 💎🍂
BATON ROUGE PARENTS MAGAZINE AND JEWEL OF HAVANA
I’ve been traveling for art festivals and gemstone-buying trips most of February but while I was away Parents Magazine featured us in February's edition. I just got a copy but you can also read it online.
I wasn't sure why Parents Magazine would want to interview me. I mean... I'm a pup parent but outside of 8 nieces and nephews, I usually hand them back to the professionals when the going gets tough if you know what I mean. I get all the fun and joy of being an Aunt without all the rest of the hard work.
But... I do love inspiring and mentoring young people and if you have a creative kid at home who wants to pursue a life in theater or art, I can certainly speak to that! You can check out the article by clicking the button right here.
We’ve been so busy traveling to festivals, I’ve let a very important month fly by. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and I couldn’t let the month end without reaching out to all of you.
If you are new to Jewel of Havana, you may not know I’m a breast cancer survivor. Thankfully, I’m eight years cancer free and three years from my last day of treatment. It is definitely something I celebrate and never take for granted. I’m so lucky we caught it early and had so many people who supported me and my husband as we navigated those difficult times.
From that journey, the Draped In Love Jewelry Collection was born. It was created to honor the doctors, surgeons, radiologists, technicians, and survivors who helped us along the way. I wanted a way to thank them and also raise funds for women who may not have access to the same care I had.
Gifts that Give Back Benefits
For the past eight years, purchases of jewelry from the Draped In Love Collection have raised funds for the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and for the past three years, the Dodi Groves Breast Cancer Fund.
This year I’m thrilled to announce, I’ll be partnering with Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Institute. When my Oncologist told me about the new facility and the amazing work they’ll be doing for cancer patients, I knew this is where we could do the most good for people in our community this year.
As the holidays draw near, I hope you’ll consider a gift that gives back. This year, 30% of each Draped In Love Jewelry purchase will go to support the new OLOL Cancer Institute.
If you haven’t had your yearly check, make that call today. If someone you love hasn’t either, help encourage them to do so. It’s so easy to get busy and let things go but early detection can save your life and hopefully give you more choices for treatment.
Make the appointment and if you ever need a friend to help you through, I’m right here wanting to pay it forward thanks to all the wonderful people who had our back eight years ago.
With gratitude, xo Ana
I was recently contacted by one of the first collectors of my work. Her daughter was opening as Little Red Riding Hood in a production of the musical Into the Woods and she wanted a meaningful gift to mark the occasion for her opening night.
She selected a piece from the Into the Woods Collection and asked two things: could I get it to her in time and did I have a story card to go with it? Into the Woods was one of my earliest collections, and though I had an inspirational story behind it, I never put it in writing. I didn’t want to disappoint her so I started the process of creating a new story card for her gift.
The Backstory - Into the Woods
In my junior year of college, I finally had the chance to go to New York. On that first day, I saw Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim. The beautiful lyrics, lessons, and music contained in the show left an indelible mark on me (and I maaay have cried a few times ;)
If you aren’t familiar with the show, imagine all your favorite storybook characters together in one village, each with their own dreams and wishes all intertwined: the woods: a metaphor for life, adventure, and going into the unknown. Each time I saw it, different parts would speak to me, missing family, forming family, loss, loneliness, fear, and finally, the understanding and comfort that comes from knowing we are never alone.
Into the Woods - The Jewelry
My parents are avid gardeners and have the most beautiful property with so many nooks and crannies to get lost in nature. I was inspired to use the leaves and textures from their gardens for this collection. It seemed only fitting I would name it Into the Woods as a tribute to my family, and the beginning of a new life. Going into the unknown can lead to so many wonderful things.
I hope the jewelry pieces in this collection help you celebrate your path wherever you may be and remind you to wish, to dream, “to go to the festival”. "The way is clear, the light is good". "The prettier the flower, the farther from the path" and "Someone is on your side... No one is alone" xo Ana
Are You Game Day Ready?
Valentine's Day is THIS Monday. If you want to be Superbowl ready... grab your Valentines gifts before the game. No matter who wins this weekend, you'll be the MVP on Monday morning. Let me be on your team and help you score a touchdown. 😜
Seriously though, I'm not knocking flowers or chocolates. They are lovely. But flowers wilt and if chocolates enter my house, they are gone in under 5.
Meaningful Gifts to Remind Them of You
Why not gift something that lasts. something meaningful that makes them think of you every time they wear it.
Jewelry just makes sense. It lasts. It carries the memory of the day you gave it and the feeling and connection between you and your loved one for years to come.
In case you missed it, we have a quick gift guide with a few of our most popular gifts for Valentine's. And though they aren't featured in this guide, rings have been a popular choice so far this year.... they show really well with hot wings! 😉
Check out these great gift ideas to make the day extra special and help them remember how you feel about them all year long.
I’m just back from time off to clear and refresh after Jewel of Havana’s best year since our inception. I am so grateful to all of you for your support in 2021 and looking forward to a wonderful year ahead!
Ok… full disclosure: I’m not a fashionista. I tend towards classics that will stick around. (I work by myself in a studio most of the time so comfy is always my go-to.)
BUT where Jewel of Havana is concerned, I try to stay up to date (and sometimes ahead!) of fashion trends, especially as they relate to color and texture. It helps inform my design process and also helps me select colors to go with the new clothes you'll find in stores before I hit a gem show.
Who is Pantone?
The palettes on display at the current New York Fashion Week are certainly vibrant but a bit too trendy for me so I turned to the tried and true Pantone color specialists to see what they predict for the core classic color palette in 2022.
If you don’t know the Pantone Color Institute, they started out in the early 60s developing a color matching system for the printing industry. Through the years they became experts in the study of color, and their numbered color system is the go-to “language of color” for designers and industries from every discipline imaginable.
Basically… it’s a fresh and happy color full of hope and vibrance! Of course, I’m from Louisiana and this beautiful color is one of two we love here (for those who know what I mean 😊)
Pantone Core Classic Colors for Spring/Summer 2022
I went digging a little further to see what Pantone put out for a classic color palette and they didn’t disappoint.
Here are some of the colors they are predicting as core classics for 2022 & how Very Peri, the new color of the year, goes right with all of them.
Keep reading for some Jewel of Havana jewelry picks to coordinate with Pantone’s classic palette. You’ll most likely start seeing these colors in stores soon.
Whether you're picking one of the classic colors or Very Peri itself, here are a few options of jewelry to mix and match with classic color trends in 2022.
Jewel of Havana Jewelry Picks with Pantone Colors of the Year
Cape Amethyst or Russian Charoite
This was the first necklace I thought of when I first saw Pantone's classic color palette. It has all the colors but in a deeper hue and works perfectly against any of them. It's also a fun complement with Very Peri. (Do you see a pattern here?)
Ocean jasper is a hard stone to find as the original mine is mined out. Not everyone will be walking around with your look.
Ocean jasper is considered a calming and grounding stone so perfect as we enter the new year.
Jade or Rhyolite
Which Gemstones Would You Like to See?
I’m creating like crazy over here & getting lists together for my next stone shopping trip, so now’s the time to weigh in. Which colors or stones would you like to see this year? Let me know in the comments or shoot me an email. I'd love to hear from you before the next gem show. Happy 2022!! xo Ana
I’ve been attending gem shows many times a year for over 16 years. At this point, it’s rare that a stone will stop me dead in my tracks… but this was one of them!
I’ve seen many “picture jaspers” but this was different. It had soft colors but such detail. Each one pulled me in to the scene. Like watching clouds, each time I looked at it, I saw a different story, a different perspective. Like a beautiful master painting, the story I saw changed each time I looked at the stone. The storyteller in me was hooked and Dad & I dug through to choose the very best pieces we could bring home to you!
Where is Maligano Jasper Found?
Fun Facts about Maligano Jasper
Each of these Maligano Jasper treasures will be hard to say goodbye to but I hope you will get lost in the story of your piece as much I as do each time I look at it.
Yours will arrive lovingly in a beautiful leatherette presentation box with a card describing the properties of the stone. May it melt away the worries of the world and bring you peace, harmony and happiness. xo Ana
Red, White and Blue Jewelry Roundup for July 4th and Beyond
With July 4th around the corner, you may be planning some back yard BBQs or gatherings with friends before the fireworks to celebrate the red, white and blue. You want to look put together and in the spirit but not everyone is looking to wear a flag to show your spirit.
We've rounded up some of our most popular red, white and blue jewelry to take your casual looks up a notch this holiday weekend and beyond.
So.. are you for the red, white or blue jewelry?
Luckily, you don't have to decide. Our Calla Lily Earrings & Leaf Necklaces have convertible clips. Pick your piece and then get all the color clips you want to go in them.
Grab your red, white and blue clips and decide which are going to the fireworks with you later.
Anyone have a July Birthday?
July's birthstone is Ruby. It also happens to be the anniversary stone for the 15th & 40th year of marriage.
Rubies are said to attract good luck to the wearer, protect you from misfortune and shield against negative energy.
Lapis Lazuli may be one of the December birthstones but if you are wanting more beautiful blue than red this July 4th, we got you covered there too! Check out the Layering Necklace Collection for these delicate designs in gold.
Want to make a statement at the BBQ?
We still have a few Red River Jasper, Lapis Lazuli & Sodalite Statement earrings to take you from afternoon BBQ to evening fireworks.
These can dress up a simple white dress or romper or even a t-shirt and jeans or lets face it.... shorts if you are a Louisiana Girl. (It's too hot for pants down here.)
Understated pops of color more your thing?
From our Secret Garden Collection, these Red Coral and Lapis Lazuli Earrings and Necklaces are sweet and delicate. A perfect pop of color yet understated, light and comfortable.
This design comes in many stone choices but here are the red and blue to go with your fav red, white or blue outfit.
Classic & timeless more your style?
You can't go wrong with Coral, White Pearls or Lapis Lazuli of any kind. They aren't just for July 4th but you sure will look good at this weekend's gathering with these beautiful red, white or blue stones no matter what your plans are to celebrate.
After a few days off to recover & renew I came back to get your orders...well...in order.
As I’m finishing up a few of these Steel Magnolias to ship today, it hit me. Every year I choose a word of inspiration for the year to help me focus on what I want more of. Do you do that too? For the past two years my word was "abundance". It served me well & brought so much with it.
As I’m sitting here polishing this last little magnolia to ship to her forever home, my new word for the year just jumped out at me. RESILIENCE!
The magnolia (in addition to being the State Flower for Louisiana & Mississippi) is thought to be one of the first flowers on Earth. Found in fossils dating back 20 million years, it has had to adapt to changing climactic & geological conditions in order to survive making it the symbol of endurance, strength & eternity.
The term Steel Magnolia is a southern term for a woman who exemplifies both traditional femininity as well as uncommon strength. If 2020 taught us anything it is that we are all resilient. We all found our way through the pivots, twists & turns to navigate this new world no matter how hard it got.
We are all Steel Magnolias and for me, this little flower helps me remember in times when I don’t feel so strong that this too shall pass. We are stronger than we know. We are resilient. We are Steel Magnolias.
Here's to a resilient, healthy and happy new year y’all! What's your word for this year?
It's no secret 2020 has been a challenging year for businesses and many not for profits have really been hit hard. This year more than ever giving gifts that give back not only helps the business you are buying from but pays it forward in our community and beyond.
Here are a few of the organizations we work with all year round where your shopping dollars at Jewel of Havana help support not for profits in our community.
Red Magnolia Theatre Co
Now through 12.31.20, use code: RED at checkout to support the Red Magnolia Theatre Company! You'll get free shipping and 10% of your purchase goes to support their educational and performing programs supporting women in the arts.
Theatre Baton Rouge
From now through 12.31.20, use the code: ILOVETBR at checkout to support the theater fund at Theatre Baton Rouge. You get free shipping and the theater will receive 10% of your purchase supporting theater for the community by the community and their educational programs for kids and adults alike.
As of 2022 we are proud to partner with the Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Institute. Your purchases from the Draped In Love Collection generously support the OLOL Cancer Institute providing screenings and care for those who cannot afford it and research for a cure for in our community and beyond.
In this video, I share a few tips on how to put on your favorite bracelets by yourself when there's no one around to help. We cover how to put on spring clasps, tube clasps, bracelets with weight in the middle and a public service announcement about getting your cuff bracelets on and off safely.
Did you know cuff bracelets can snap in half if you squeeze them on and off one too many times? It's called "work hardening". It's why jewelers have to heat the metal once we hammer pieces in to shape for too long. The heat softens the metal so we can keep bending it without breaking it. Once it's hard enough for you to wear, you don't want to keep bending and opening your cuff bracelet or you could have a sad moment on your hands.
If you like this video and tips like these, please share this page with your friends and let me know in the comments below.
Would you like to see more videos like these? Do you have questions about jewelry you'd love answered? Let me know that too so I can bring you more helpful tips in the future. Thanks for watching and happy bracelet wearing! xo Ana
Breast Cancer Awareness
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. If you are new to Jewel of Havana, you may not know I am a breast cancer survivor.
I am very open about my journey because at the time I was diagnosed, I had never heard about my only symptom being a sign of cancer: It wasn’t on a mammogram, I never felt a lump and I had no family history. These are the things we all hear about.
Gifts that Give Back
Because of the survivors that came forward to help me and my husband navigate those early days and my desire to create a piece of jewelry to thank them, the Draped In Love Collection was born.
For the past 6 years, your purchases from the Draped In Love Collection have raised funds for the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center.
Last year, in celebration of reaching the end of treatments and hitting 5 years cancer free, I released the pieces in sterling silver. They celebrate this milestone and honor one of those original friends and survivors who is now a Heavenly Angel. Your purchases from the silver Draped In Love Collection support the Dodi Groves Breast Cancer Fund in her honor.
When reporter, Kourtney Williams reached out for BRProud’s breast cancer awareness story I was happy to contribute.
I share some details that could make some uncomfortable but if it helps one person get checked early, then I hope you will understand. We need to share with each other. Information is power and education helps you make the right decisions for you. Early detection gives us more options for treatment and hopefully saves lives.
Stay safe and if anything is different, go get checked. xo Ana
The most hilarious part is when I asked her...so what month is it? And she replied... September 15th - October 15th🤣 I mean we can’t even be on time for our own month. 🤣 Cuban time is a real thing people! 🤣🤣
Mom said when they arrived in Louisiana, it was the first time since fleeing Cuba that she felt truly at home. The people of Louisiana are so much like Cubans. Family are your friends; your friends are considered family and strangers become friends in an instant. They know how to celebrate life and they turn even the hardest times into a party. They are warm, strong & resilient people who can weather any storm. They have each other’s back & the food is sooooo good.
So… though I am fiercely Cuban I am also fiercely a Louisianian & even more fiercely American. I will never take for granted the sacrifices my parents made for the freedoms we have today & the warmth & joyfulness of the people of Baton Rouge who welcomed our parents in their mighty Cajun way & made them feel like they were home.
Catch the replay of Ashley’s National Hispanic Heritage Month Special on BRProud below and make sure to join the Jewel of Havana VIP list to be up to date on the next Havana Happy Hour Virtual Arts Market and all the fun insider goodies you get for being in the club!
What you'll need for this project:
- Small ziplocks that can fit a business card size card (check your local craft store in the jewelry section)
- Medium and Large ziplocks for your larger necklaces
- Hole punch or reamer
- Business cards, index cards or cardstock cut to size
- A beautiful jewelry box to store it all in
It's oxygen and moisture that speed up the tarnishing process. Metals can easily scratch one another or harm your softer stones if you just throw them in a jewelry box together. Not to mention the time we waste untangling the mess of chains in those boxes. This video goes through a simple and easy way to protect all your favorite jewelry pieces and sets you up for traveling safely with your treasures.
What you'll need:
1. Flat bottom glass or ceramic pan with sides high enough to hold water
2. Baking soda
3. Aluminum foil
4. Hot water (almost to boiling point)
5. Rinse water
6. Soft cloth or towel for drying well
7. Your tarnished silver jewelry
Steps to clean your silver jewelry:
1. Line your glass or ceramic pan with aluminum foil
2. Place your silver jewelry on the aluminum being careful to remove all stones from your chain first. (Make sure the jewelry is touching the aluminum.)
3. Sprinkle baking soda over the jewelry
4. Pour hot water over baking soda to cover all the jewelry
5. Rock the pan gently until all the pieces are tarnish free
6. Rinse well, dry thoroughly and store in air tight container.
Remember....oxygen and moisture cause tarnish to develop more rapidly so dry your jewelry as well as possible and store in air tight containers to keep moisture and oxygen away from your jewelry when you aren't wearing it.
**Take care not to use this method with antique jewelry that has a patina you like or other jewelry with a patina finish. Patina is essentially controlled tarnish and this method will clean off your patina. In this case, use a silver polishing cloth to clean the areas you'd like to shine and keep the patina where you want it.
This is a quick and easy, all natural way to clean large amounts of silver jewelry at home so you spend more time enjoying your shiny clean jewelry for years to come.
If you like tips like these, please share this page with your friends and let me know in the comments below. Would you like to see more videos like these? Do you have questions about jewelry you'd love answered? Let me know that too so I can bring you more helpful tips in the future. Thanks for watching! xo Ana
It was a perfect day and it was not lost on me how lucky we were to have safely made it to this moment when there was so much fear and suffering in the world leading up to it.
Just as I was looking around at all this beauty, feeling such gratitude, I put my headphones in and hit play on a random shuffle playlist. Up comes Louis Armstrong’s undeniable voice...
”I see leaves of green...Red roses too...I see them bloom for me and for you...and I think to myself, what a wonderful world.”
I mean... you couldn’t have dreamt a better soundtrack for the moment.
Lapis Lazuli Malachite Jewelry
Lapis lazuli is considered the stone of friendship, goodwill and harmony and malachite, the stone of wealth and abundance so I like to think that when they grow together you will have a wealth of friendship & abundance of love. They are also both calming stones and who couldn't use that right now?
The shapes & textures from this new jewelry collection capture the feelings of those precious moments on the sand, the sounds of crashing waves & children playing, the perfect song on the radio & a deep, deep gratitude for the beauty in the world around us.
May this jewelry bring you peace and calm, a wealth of friendship and an abundance of love.
"And I think to myself...what a wonderful world....."
On Valentine’s Day, I like to show my love and admiration to many people in my life, not just my actual valentine. On a day dedicated to celebrating love in general, why not spread that love to many and show you care?
All of our jewelry comes in a beautiful presentation box with a bow and a blank card for you to personalize so whether you are wanting a present for that special someone, a treasured friend, a cherished family member, or show yourself some love, check out these great gift ideas to make the day extra special and help them remember how you feel about them all year long.
Rose Quartz is the stone of unconditional love, making it a perfectly festive gift for Valentine’s Day. This necklace is one of my personal favorite gift items, it just seems to go with everything and works across all ages.
If you want to check out more items incorporating Rose Quartz, you can shop the collection here.
If you are looking for a gift that is cost-friendly, look no further. We have a ton of affordable options that will make this Valentine’s Day unforgettable. These Freshwater Pearl Coin Earrings pair well with everything, plus their color is perfect for this chocolate-filled holiday!
ANGEL WING JEWELRY
True friends can be our own personal angels—protecting us and supporting us throughout any trials we might face. Our love and thankfulness for them is immense, and Valentine's Day is the perfect time to show them how we feel.
This Double Angel Wing Necklace helps reflect that sentiment and is perfect for all the angels in your life.
PINK PEARL BRACELETS
Here is a perfect gift for the little blessings in your life. Our kids collection has a lot of great gift options that will not break the bank!
Of course, I think the Pink Freshwater Pearl Bracelet is especially fitting for Valentine’s Day, but there are many options you can choose from in the collection.
STEEL MAGNOLIAS JEWELRY
Looking for a new take on a Valentine’s Day favorite? This 3 Flower Cuff Bracelet from the Steel Magnolias Collection is sure to dazzle and stay useful way longer than any bouquet, making it a perfect V-Day gift.
The magnolia is a symbol of quiet strength and delicate beauty making this collection a favorite to exchange with friends, sisters or to treat yourself.
MIXED METAL JEWELRY
Finally, check out the entire Through the Looking Glass Collection for Valentine’s Day inspiration. This collection is all about unconditional love and seeing the world with joy and wonder and I cannot think of anything more fitting to celebrate on this holiday.
In addition to the busyness, the holidays can also be a difficult time—especially when it might be the first time spending them without a loved one. (It was our first without my Father-in-law this year.)
I like to think that the holidays give us some healing power. As we sit and catch up with our family and friends, I like to use the time to keep the memory alive of those who passed and cherish those that are still with us today. I find it important to honor and remember the legacy of the ones we love, and the holidays just seem like the perfect time to do so.
When Carl Welder, who just so happens to be my husband’s cousin, approached me with an idea for a Christmas present to commemorate his late father, I could not refuse. He requested two necklaces, one for his mother and one for his sister, each inscribed with the phrase, “kisses and ice cream”. A lovely idea and an intriguing inscription—I immediately got to work in order to get the two necklaces ready for Christmas.
Now that Carl’s sister and mother have gotten their gifts, I wanted to share Carl’s wonderful story of honoring the father they all loved so much.
Carl's Thoughtful Gifts
Tell me a little bit about your father.
He was a geologist and a scientist his whole life and a very left-brained kind of thinker. But as he got older, he became very affectionate and very very sentimental. In his last three years of life he was extremely that way.
The last year of his life, things had gone way downhill and he was basically confined to his bedroom, his living room, and his kitchen. We kept all trying to tell him that it was okay to let go, I mean he was 91 and had lived this great life—but he just kept bouncing back from a lot of different things.
What we realized after a while is that he loved getting and giving kisses from his wife of 57 years and he loved his ice cream every day, so we decided that kisses and ice cream were enough to make any man stay around on this planet.
Well, this was the first Christmas without him this year. I knew it was going to be emotional, we were all not really looking forward to it. We chose to go ahead and be in the ancestral home where we had all celebrated before and I just wanted something very special for my sister and my mother to kind of commemorate that first Christmas without him.
So, I thought about that phrase and realized I wanted to tie the gift back to that. I was looking around for jewelry here and there and just could not find what I was looking for, so I decided to call and work with you to see if I could create what I was envisioning.
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What led you to choose jewelry to uphold that special memory of your father?
Between my sister and I, I think we each missed one Christmas in all the years we were together as a family. So, you know, Christmas has always been a big deal for us. We are always together. I just wanted to honor his death in some way and honor his memory at Christmas this year. Even though he was not there physically, I know that he was there spiritually.
Can you tell me a little bit about the reaction of your mother and sister in receiving the gift?
You know, there were tears and lots of hugs and love. It really was such a sweet and emotional reaction. Later in the night, my sister unveiled her gift to my mother, a brand-new stereo system with a record player on it. We ended up spending the rest of the night listening to my dad’s old albums on it and just talking about his life. There were tears, laughs, and a lot of memories but I am glad that we were able to get through it together. It was very special.
Is there someone you want to keep close this year? If so, fill out the contact form and we can start the commission process. Additionally, if you have a story of giving Jewel of Havana jewelry this holiday season, be sure to share your story with us. xo Ana
Life's unexpected events and themes of empowerment have often driven the creative process of the work I do at Jewel of Havana. In fact, I named the company after the strongest woman I know, my mother. My new Snow in Havana Jewelry line is a tribute to her story, and what an amazing story it is!
My mother first came to the United States from Cuba as part of Operation Peter Pan. Operation Peter Pan (or Pedro Pan) was led by Father Byran O. Walsh in response to the mounting political regime of Fidel Castro. As Castro began closing private schools, fears that the government would begin sending minors to work camps in the Soviet Union caused many Cuban parents to risk their lives and homes to get children out of the country and into Miami.
Children of all ages were sent to America alone, relying on shelters and group homes run by Catholic Charities. The operation began in 1960 but abruptly ended in 1962, following the Cuban Missile Crisis. Because of this, nearly all of the children were without their parents until the later half of the decade. Though most were eventually reunited with their parents, some never saw them again.
One of those children was my mother. She was 17 when she came to America, after working for the underground herself. I wanted to ask her a few questions about her own experience.
If you could describe your experience in one word, what would it be?
I guess the word would be: “lesson”. A real life lesson.
Communication was probably the greatest challenge. I had studied English in school and was able to speak the language to get by. However, understanding people that spoke fast or use idioms that I was not familiar with was very difficult. At school, it would take me a very long time to complete reading assignments and since I had to also work to sustain myself, there was not much time for sleeping.
Do you think you learned anything about yourself throughout this ordeal?
I learned that God was truly my rock and my companion and that, feeling Him at my side, I was stronger than I could have ever imagined. That I grew up and matured in the time it takes an airplane to fly from Cuba to Miami. That I (a sheltered and pampered teenager) was able to hold a full-time job and save money, while at the same time still continue my education. That I was extremely grateful that my new-found country was full of generous people and opportunities that allowed me to heal and dream again.
Why Snow In Havana?
So, why Snow in Havana? Well, it’s a reference to one of my favorite books, “Waiting for Snow in Havana” by Carlos Eire, which chronicles his own story of fleeing Cuba under Operation Peter Pan. The combination of Erie’s story, that of my mothers, and perhaps even the unknown stories of the thousands of other Cuban children who came to America almost six decades ago, sums up some of the core beliefs I learned from my mother. We all have what it takes to weather any storm (even when we don't think we can). We do not know what life holds for us, but there is always hope and new beginnings and if we persevere, miracles can happen, and what could be more miraculous than Snow in Havana?
Introducing the Snow In Havana Jewelry Collection
Ana Maria Andricain
Ana is a metal clay certified artist creating handcrafted nature inspired artisan jewelry from her Baton Rouge studio. If you love natural gemstones and metal, welcome home!
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