I had the pleasure of delivering the last donation check of 2017 today to Mary Bird Perkins - Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center.
Thanks to all of you, the Draped In Love Collection has raised over $1000 for the Cancer Center. As a cancer survivor, I hope you never need them but I sure am glad this state of the art facility was there when I did!
Thank you for your support of the Draped In Love Collection & all of our Gifts That Give Back! xoxo Ana
If you'd like to learn more about our Gifts that Give Back, join our VIPs and be in the know for our next opportunities to shop for a cause! Plus you get free shipping every month and much more. Click the button to sign up!
This weekend I had the pleasure of being the guest soloist with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra for their Home for the Holiday’s concert. It was a beautiful evening with a whole lot of talented people.
During the concert, Conductor, Timothy Muffitt asked if I was wearing any Jewel of Havana Jewelry. (I happened to be wearing one of my favorite statement rings and some green amethyst earrings.) We talked briefly about my “singing jeweler” journey from Broadway to Jewelry Artist & he decided since the back of the audience couldn’t see, he would take a picture & post it to Instagram from stage. LOL!! Not only is he immensely talented, he’s hilarious too!
So, if you happen to be in the audience Friday night and aren’t connected to the Maestro on Instagram, here’s what he posted live from stage.
Needless to say, I had a great time working with him and what an honor to sing with a Symphony of this caliber in my own home town! It put me right in the Christmas spirit!
If you are looking for a great gift idea this Christmas season, how about season tickets to the Baton Rouge Symphony and some Jewel of Havana Jewelry to wear on a year of dates to the symphony together! Who’s in?!
This season, I am so pleased to announce Jewel of Havana has partnered with another worthy charity.
Beginning November 1st through December 31st, 20% of all sales from our Diamond Post Earrings support the Vasculitis Foundation. Funds raised go directly to the creation of the Ilya Peckerman Vasculitis Teaching Fellowship Program,in conjunction with the Vasculitis Foundation.
In addition to funding extended education for fellows to become experts in diagnosing and caring for vasculitis patients, these fellows will also go to tri-state area hospitals and medical centers to educate primary care doctors and nurses about the early signs of Vaculitis disease, in the hopes of getting patients a quicker diagnosis and directing them to proper care for this autoimmune disease.
Additionally, for every dollar raised in the 2017 Shop 4 Vasculitis Campaign, there will be a dollar-for-dollar match by Pamela Pekerman Tenenabyev and her husband.
This holiday season, consider giving a gift that gives back!
It's been a BIG weekend in our family with so much to celebrate.
On Friday, my beautiful Sister-In-Law, Stacia Andricain was named Principal of St. Joseph's Academy, a National Blue Ribbon all girls Catholic High School here in Baton Rouge. It happens to be my alma mater and my little sister's 12 years later. Both my brother and sister-in-law have worked there for years and the Jewel of Havana studio is literally steps from the school. Let's just say, we REALLY care about this school.
Today is my Mom's birthday and the whole family gathered to celebrate Mom and Stacia. After a lovely lunch and cake, the gifts came out and my Mom did it again! It's something she's done since my earliest memories and each and every time, we all cry... the whole family men and women alike. Jewelry for us carries the stories of our family and the tradition of passing it to the next generation with the stories of the people it came from is deep in my roots.
With permission from both of them, I will share my Mother's letter to Stacia today below. Mom says it so much better than I ever could. It is my deepest hope that the jewelry I make today will carry your stories and the memories created around them as they travel through your family.
What is Their Skin Tone?
Jewelry is an accessory that's worn directly on the skin, and often it's the first thing people notice about your outfit. So it's important to consider how the colors compliment your loved one's skin tone. Is your loved one's skin tone cool or warm?
Feel free to click on each gemstone to see our jewelry collection best suited for that skin tone!
What color clothing do they wear?
Let's say your loved one wears TEAL almost every day.
You can choose Lapis or Amazonite or other blue/teal colored jewelry for a more subtle look that matched with their favorite color. OR pick a complimentary gem like coral or rhodochrosite to make a bold statement that will POP!
If you want the jewelry to stand out then pick a color OPPOSITE what they normally wear on the color wheel.
This keeps the style fresher and allows the jewelry to take center stage! Using this technique, you avoid picking something that will clash with most of their wardrobe or feel out of place with their style.
On the flip side, everyone looks FANTASTIC in a clean white top or black top with colored gemstones as a pop of color!
I design with a full range of colored gemstones, so you are bound to find a piece that fits nicely with your loved one's personal style. Click Shop by Gemstone to explore.
Do they like delicate or statement jewelry?
Pay attention to the kind of jewelry they already wear! You'll probably get a sense if they gravitate towards big, bold statement pieces or small, delicate, elegant pieces.
And honestly, if you get this right, they'll probably love what you choose!
And if they don't wear much jewelry at all I would pick something light and delicate. They'll probably gravitate towards comfort over all else!
How would you describe their personality or the reason for the gift?
Now, the personality or reason for the gift will also affect what you choose. It's great to speak directly to the designer to get recommendations since we tend to answer these questions a lot!
Here are some common answers I give for gift suggestions:
I hope these tips will help you pick the perfect piece of jewelry for your loved one. BUT if you need a little extra help or want me to walk you through our collections, please feel free to reach out! I always respond within 24 hours!
DO YOU NEED HELP PICKING THE PERFECT PRESENT FOR YOUR OCCASION?
CONTACT US FOR ASSISTANCE
I love helping customers pick out the perfect gift so please don't hesitate to ask!
Mi casa es su casa!
I hope you feel welcome & find your perfect present at Jewel of Havana.
Let’s get started!
It's my favorite time of year! The last spring festival is complete, the Mother's Day gifts are open and being enjoyed and I head to New York City for what I like to call a "worcation". I love what I do and finding new beautiful stones to bring back to you is my own personal Disneyland.
I realized I've never shared with you what this looks like and this trip was a little bittersweet. Many of the huge warehouses I used to get lost in for days have either closed or moved out of New York. The rents are too high and there is so much competition in the gemstone district.
The other discovery is the disappearance of "shapes". I've noticed for a while suppliers at gem and mineral shows in our area weren't bringing those large coin and oval cuts that make my favorite statement necklaces. I thought for sure I would find them in New York but I walked every single warehouse and large shapes are not to be found. I got the last hank (group of strands) of large Lapis Lazuli ovals in any warehouse I visited in NYC (and I went to them all). I was told it is more economical for the stone cutters to cut round so the shapes are not available any more. If you are on the VIP list, you'll get first chance at these last lapis statement necklaces coming soon. Watch your email in the next few weeks!
New Stones Coming Soon
What I'm working on this month from the NYC trip: beautiful new turquoise pieces with color that took my breath away when I saw them, natural blue coral, the last of the Lapis Lazuli statement necklaces, the return of many sold out layering necklaces and a few new designs I have in mind to add to the collection.
If you haven't already, make sure to join our VIP list to be the first to have access to the limited edition pieces coming out over the next few weeks. VIPs always get first looks before they go out to the general public. You also get complimentary shipping codes for you to enjoy every month anywhere in the U.S. It's great for your out of town gift shipping too!
If you are in the Baton Rouge area, come get a sneak peek at the Baton Rouge Arts Market this weekend! Back to work for me so I can bring you these beautiful stones ready to wear! It's Happy Time in the Studio this month!! xoxo Ana
It's only fitting to end this Mother's Day tribute series with my Mom! She is the reason I have a jewelry business in the first place and if you didn't know this already, Jewel of Havana is named after her! (She's from Havana, Cuba) I could write a book about my awesome Mom but I'll try to keep it short...
Zoila and Ana
Happy Mother's Day to all the beautiful Moms, Grandmothers, Stepmothers, Adopted Mothers, Foster Mothers and all strong women out there who nurture us and teach us how to be the best we can be!
Today we are celebrating two special Moms! Here's to Grandmothers, Mothers, Stepmothers, blended families and second chances!!
Full disclosure, Maria Elena is like a second Mother to me. Ana & I grew up together (yes, we have the same name). Our Mothers were (and still are) best friends since the year we were born which made this post all the sweeter. I had the honor of designing Ana's wedding jewelry last month. My good friend has gotten a second chance at love. She deserves it and it makes me so happy to see her shine!
Thank you Emily & Jasper Photography for capturing these special moments at Ana's wedding and graciously allowing us to share them with you.
Maria Elena, Ana, Victoria & Liz
What about you?! What's the best thing about being a Mom?
It's really special when you get to the point where you can be a Mom and a friend at the same time. Even better when you have a child that loves you unconditionally 'cause it's hard to be a perfect Mom. Knowing that you love another human so much that you would give your own life for theirs or even for their happiness.
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Our next Mom is one in whom I have always been in awe. She's my sister-in-law, Heather. She and my brother have opened their home to countless children over the past six years. They are tireless advocates for the Foster and Adoptive Parent Association and were proud to adopt my two new nephews this past October.
Heather and Daughter Zoey
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Agatha, Julie and Christy
The celebration continues this week for Mother's Day with artist and mother, Nanci Charpentier of Nanci Charpentier Art and daughter, Claire. I chatted with Claire on her first day home from the University of Alabama for summer break. What a nice gift for Nanci to have her home in time for Mother's Day. (They are proof that a Mother's love can overcome even the biggest of football rivalries!) Here's what Claire had to say about her awesome LSU Tiger Mom:
Nanci and Claire
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Julie and William
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We're celebrating Moms this month on the blog! Next up is a hard working mother of two. Here's what her soon to be high school graduate had to say:
Sondra and Kennedie
What would you like to tell your Mom for Mother's Day?
I just want to thank you for always being there for me and wanting to spend time with me. She's a single mom and she works really hard and put me and my sister in private school. And sent me to St. Joseph's, thank God! She worked really hard even though she was by herself. Alot of people couldn't have given us what she did. She just kept going even if it was hard for her so we could have all the things that we needed. Thanks Mom!
SHOP THE LOOK
It's May and Mother's Day is right around the corner (May 14th to be exact) This month I feature a few of our VIP Moms and their beautiful daughters! Check back over the next few days to meet some pretty amazing women and see what their daughters had to say about them!
Denise and Whitney
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Thrilled to announce that the Garden Gate Slide Pendant from the Collector's Series was awarded Best Jewelry Piece at the 2017 Big Easel Preview Exhibition! Honored and humbled as there are so many talented artists at the show.
The 2017 Big Easel will take place in River Ranch in Lafayette, Louisiana, Saturday, April 22nd from 9am to 4pm. Hope you'll come see us if you are in the area. It's a beautiful show in a beautiful setting!
Aquamarine, the birthstone for March and the anniversary stone for the 19th year of marriage, has long been prized for its soothing color ranging from translucent pale blue to blue green or teal. A member of the beryl family, Aquamarine is a sister stone to Emeralds, both beautiful crystals but deriving their color from trace amounts of chromium (emeralds) or iron (aquamarine).
The name “Aquamarine” comes from the Latin words for water and sea. In ancient times, Aquamarine was worn by sailors for protection on the ocean. It was also believed to be a healing stone for calming anxiety. It is believed to bring courage and happiness to the wearer, increase intelligence and make one youthful. It is also believed to reawaken love, making it a wonderful gift for any anniversary.
The largest producer of aquamarine is Brazil but it is found all over the world - Australia, Tanzania, Zambia, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Russia and several locations in the United States, with India quickly rivaling Brazil for the top spot.
Although the clear variety is the most valuable, I prefer milky aquamarine. It is a naturally occurring aquamarine that is translucent to opaque instead of transparent. Milky aquamarine complements almost any skin tone making it a Jewel of Havana favorite. I’ve never seen it look anything but stunning on anyone regardless of skin tone or hair color.
Jewel of Havana has beautiful aquamarine necklace sets back in stock just in time for March birthdays or anniversaries. I’ve also added new aquamarine clips for our popular Leaf Bell Necklaces and just a few more aquamarine earrings are left as well. Add this stone of protection and calm to your jewelry collection. It is sure to bring you many years of happiness and natural beauty.
Happy New Year! I hope your 2017 is off to a peaceful and productive start!
The holiday season is an ideal time to reflect, dream and plan for the year ahead. This is when all my sketch books get reviewed, and all my ideas, notes and inspirations get a chance to become a new collection. I ponder how I can serve you better in the coming year, which designs to retire, and which really connected with you, my wonderful community of VIPs.
Many of you know that before launching my jewelry career, I was a Broadway actress in New York City. Recently I was asked by a young acting student getting ready to move to NYC, “What made you have a successful career?” This got me thinking…
To succeed you have to be willing to fail frequently and in spectacular fashion. But as I was taught from a young age, I never looked at my failures as failures, I looked at them as lessons. I looked at “failures” as gifts on the road to success & success as a journey not the destination.
For me, a successful journey is finding a way to find joy in all the lessons along the way, finding the places of gratitude, the connections to people, the shared experiences. In my experience, you never get to the end of success. I don't know about you but I just move the goal post every time I get close to the finish line. Who wants to be done learning & growing?
So to this young artist I say – prepare to approach both your failures and your successes as opportunities to learn and thrive. Your failures can be equally as rewarding as your successes if you approach them with the right mindset. The process, not the outcome, is where you find true meaning as an artist, and if you are lucky enough to have VIPs like mine, you have the great reward of sharing your creation and happiness with others.
Thank you to all who have been part of this awesome artistic journey. It’s been a great ride so far and I’m so looking forward to the next adventure!
Do you have any favorite Jewel of Havana pieces or collections? Are there any collections you would be sad to see retired? Are there any stones you would like to see added or wish we carried? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. I’d love to invite you to be a part of the artistic process!
With Gratitude! ANA
Shoppers often ask which is your favorite design? Well, it's like choosing between your children, you just can't pick one when you've made them all. BUT hands down, across the board, these bell necklaces seem to be the favorite of gift givers and wish list makers.
Recently redesigned, these bell necklaces have clip on gemstones that can be changed out. Choose one color or collect them all. The sterling silver bell slides easily up the chain for quick access to change out your stones.
I'll be adding more stone choices in 2017. Are there any stones or colors you would like to see added? Let me know in the comment section below!
Lapis Lazuli Leaf Bell Necklace
$12.00 - $195.00
Sterling silver philodendron leaf bell necklace. Available in ten changeable colors - lapis lazuli, aquamarine, peridot fresh water pearls, white pearls, gold pearls, black onyx, red coral, turquoise, peridot or amethyst. The pendant slides up the chain for easy access to change out your gemstone colors.
Price includes one color with 20 inch chain. (26 inch chain available. Just add chain to cart.) Additional clip on colors $30-$35 each. Add your main color choice with necklace to cart, then add any additional clip colors.
In case you missed it this morning, I was on WAFB Channel 9 The Big Xtra Hour talking all things Covington Three Rivers Art Festival in beautiful Downtown Covington, Louisiana this weekend, November 12-13. Check out this interview featuring Jewel of Havana Handcrafted Jewelry along side Baton Rouge artists Keith Andry of Andry Fine Art and Chase Mullen of Chase Mullens Studio.
Formed by deposits of silica in lava, onyx is a microcrystalline quartz called chalcedony. It has been used for carvings and jewelry since ancient times. Ranging in color from white to black and every color in between, onyx was popular for the carving of cameos and Roman seals.
Black onyx is known as a protective stone. Ancient Romans believed it supported courage and carried it into battle for protection. Many believe it repels negative energy and brings good fortune, strength and commitment in relationships. English midwives even used it for pain relief during childbirth.
Black onyx is the birthstone for Leo’s and the Anniversary Gemstone for the 7th and 10th year of marriage. It is mined in Brazil, India, Peru, Uruguay, Afghanistan, Madagascar, NW Mexico & Baja, California in the US.
The best way to care for your onyx jewelry is to wipe it with a soft damp cloth. Onyx is a relatively soft stone so soap or chemicals can build up inside and cause discoloration. You can rinse onyx in water but don’t soak it overnight and make sure to dry it well with a soft cloth.
This beautiful ancient stone is a classic favorite at Jewel of Havana. Black onyx earrings, slide pendants, rings, bracelets and necklaces can add a touch of sophistication to your favorite fall and winter fashion that will never go out of style.
It's that time of year again and we're hitting the road for fall festivals and holiday shows. To help with your planning, I thought I'd offer some holiday gift ideas from some of our most popular jewelry collections. Click on any of the inspiration photos for gifts of jewelry that I hope will make everyone on your list smile. I look forward to visiting with you at one of our upcoming shows! HAPPY SHOPPING! xoxo ANA
First described in 1813 in what is present day Romania, Rhodochrosite whose name means “Rose-Colored” is a rare mineral. In its pure form it is typically rose-red in color. The Incas believed it was the blood of their past Kings and Queens turned to stone and called it Inca Rosa.
The most interesting occurrence is in Argentina where Rhodochrosite forms in the 13th century Inca Silver mines into large stalagmites and stalactites. They formed as water dripped from rock rich with manganese inside the ancient mine tunnels and combined with carbonate material, growing over the centuries into large stalagmites beautifully banded with concentric growth layers in pink and white bands.
The Argentinian Capillitas mine is the only rhodochrosite deposit that produces banded rhodochrosite instead of crystals like other rhodochrosite mines. It had to be mined mostly by hand. This mine was recently closed so banded rhodochrosite stones have been steadily going up in value.
Rhodochrosite is the national gemstone of Argentina and the official state mineral of Colorado which produces a beautiful crystal form of rose red rhodochrosite. It can also be found in Montana, Peru and Quebec, Canada.
Rhodochrosite is a stone of love and balance. It is thought to bring love to the wearer, relieve stress, increase self-confidence and the ability to handle problems in life. Visit the Jewel of Havana Rhodochrosite page to see our collection of necklaces, pendants and earrings in this beautiful unique natural stone.
Recently I acquired some beautiful Turritella Fossil Agates to work in to some statement necklaces and earrings. I loved them at first site but the more I worked with them, the more I saw in the stone. They are filled with ancient history and warmth and I started to wonder about their journey to my jewelry bench.
WHAT IS TURRITELLA FOSSIL AGATE?
Formed over 50 million years ago, Turritella Fossil is the popular name used for a fossiliferous agate from the Green River Formation of Wyoming. It contains high spired fossil snails that stand out in a white to tan color in contrast to the brownish agate.
Turritella Agate formed in the Rocky Mountains and what are now Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. The area had rugged mountains separated by basins. Lakes formed at the bottom of the basins had the perfect food sources for the freshwater snail. Rains carrying sediments from the mountains to the lakes covered the snails leaving their shells at the bottom of the lakes. As groundwater moved through the sediments, small amounts of silica dissolved and filled the cavities of the snail shells and the spaces in between. Once silicified, the entire mass of fossils formed brown fossileferous agate (aka chalcedony) we now know as Turritella Fossil Agate.
These snails are not in the marine genus Turritella, (contrary to the common name). They are actually freshwater snails in the species Elimia tenera. The rock varies from soft sandstone to a dense chalcedony and is often referred to as Turritella limestone or Turritella Agate.
Turritella Agate is considered a stone of strength and protection, wisdom and healing. It is a stone of connection to personal roots and ancestry and even your own past and believed to attract good luck and foster love.
WHAT IS AMMONITE FOSSIL?
The ammonite mollusk which is now extinct was a shelled cephalopod, usually appearing in a coiled, spiral shape. Their extinction happened at the same time as the extinction of dinosaurs. Although many believe it to be the ancestor of the nautilus, they are actually closer related to coleoids like octopus and squid.
Ammonites inhabited oceans around the world and are now found as fossils in marine rocks. Because of their rapid evolution and wide distribution, ammonite fossils are a useful tool for dating and indexing rocks. They are mostly collected in the bed of the River Gandaki in Nepal where it cuts through Jurassic sediments.
Ammonite is said to be a powerful wealth stone and brings prosperity to the wearer.
The warm browns and creams of turritella or ammonite fossil jewelry make them a great choice for year round fashion. Pair with neutrals from white or cream to rich browns and black or try shades of green, blue, terra cottas or reds. These great neutrals from ancient times work with them all!
I just returned from an exciting gemstone buying trip to New York. For those of you who don’t know, I’m a former Broadway Actress and this past weekend was the Tony Awards aka the Super Bowl for Broadway. Not too long ago two time Tony Award winner, Donna Murphy, was spotted wearing a Jewel of Havana White Keshi Pearl Necklace and Earring Set on the Red Carpet! (You may know her as the Witch/Mom in the Disney movie Tangled or currently the PBS series Mercy Street as the Mother)
What Is a Keshi Pearl?
The word Keshi comes from the Japanese word for “poppy seed”. The term is used in Japanese for pearls that are formed without a nucleus and are usually the by-product of the cultured pearl process. The keshi forms when the oyster rejects the nucleus and begins to coat the irritant with layers of nacre. Because keshi pearls consist of solid nacre, they tend to have a beautiful high luster. These pearls are not found in large quantities and can take 7 years to form. I love the unusual shape for making light weight pearl statement necklaces.
Keshi pearls are my most popular type of pearls and I’m often sold out. They aren’t easy to find in good quality at an affordable price but this last trip to New York, I scored some beautiful strands! I just put them out this week at Theatre Baton Rouge and have only a few left from the trip so rather than put them on the website, I’ve decided to offer them to my VIP list first. The necklace has one of my handmade sterling silver leaf clasps made from real impatiens leaves. This will probably be the last time I have Keshi’s at this price. I had to use every bit of Southern charm I could muster to negotiate the price for this quality.
Natural Blue Coral
Another rare find from my trip was natural blue coral in a coin shape. Many of you have seen the beautiful blue coral sets I had from Indonesia. They recently sold out but on this trip I was able to find enough to make a few necklaces. They are natural and legally harvested as they washed up on the shores of Indonesia after the Tsunami. The coins are 25mm in diameter and approximately 20.5” long, handknotted with silk and finished with one of my handmade sterling silver leaf clasps made from real lantana leaves.
If you are on the VIP list and are interested in the Blue Coral Necklace or a White Keshi Necklace and Earring set, just follow the link in your newsletter for your VIP private shopping access. If you'd like to see them in person, we are in the lobby of Theatre Baton Rouge for two more weeks during the run of The Little Mermaid.
If you would like access to the Keshi Set or Blue Coral Necklace and other very limited edition pieces, join the VIP list here. VIPs are always the first to know about new designs, have access to special stones not on the website and receive free shipping codes each month.
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!