BMJ Blog

Featured in Rio Grande's Blog

Posted on April 18, 2013 by Barbara Polinsky | 0 Comments

 I recently attended the annual MJSA trade show at which Rio Grande Jewelry was a major sponsor. Marketing Manager, Eugene Brill, gave a rousing seminar on e-commerce and he invited designers and other industry professionals to submit articles and ideas for blog entries on Rio's web site.  I submitted my article " Flora Refashioned,"  published in Belle Armoire Jewelry.  To my great delight, they accepted and posted it!  See their posting titled "In the Spotlight: Barbara Michelle Jacobs Casts from Nature in the Concrete Jungle".  I am so thrilled to be endorsed by Rio Grande, a well respected industry resource for tools, supplies and training.

Examples of jewelry cast directly from nature can be found here.

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Posted in BMJNYC News, Press, rio grande blog, Rio Grande Jewelry Supply, the studio blog

Flora Refashioned - How to Make Jewelry Cast from Nature

Posted on January 03, 2013 by Barbara Polinsky | 2 Comments

This past summer I was contacted by the Editor of  Belle Armoire Jewelry and asked to write an article about casting Jewelry from nature.  Specifically, how to make coiled twig rings.  What a thrill to see it in print!      Bell Armoire is published by Stampington Publications who are known for fine magazines on crafting.

by Barbara Polinsky
Belle Armoire Jewelry, Winter 2013
Have you ever seen something ordinary yet so profoundly beautiful that you wish you could freeze the moment in time? What if you can alter that object and use it in a fresh way? I enjoy trying to blur these lines between reality, fantasy and time. I usually trip over my most interesting ideas and this is exactly what happened one spring afternoon. Just missing the cross-town bus, I decided to meander home through Central Park instead of waiting for the next bus. Enjoying the magnificence of the day and deep in thought, I heard a loud snap and looked down realizing that I had stepped on and broken a branch a branch. Picking up the very ordinary twig I imagined what it would look like turned into metal and embellished with gems.
Fast forward a few years, I’m so delighted with how this lucky find has taken on a life of its own. The likeness of those little twigs, from that sunny say are now being worn people around the world as Wedding Bands, Engagement Rings, Earrings and Bangles. Who would have thought that a walk in the park would have been SO inspiring? I would like to share with you how my one-of-a-kind wild botanical rings are made.

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Posted in casting from nature, How-To, Informational, Press

What are champagne diamonds? Or, how to make lemonade with carbon....

Posted on November 29, 2012 by Barbara Polinsky | 0 Comments

The term champagne diamond is used to describe untreated diamonds that are yellowish brown in shade.  Intensity can vary from soft yellow to deep brown.  Once, not so long ago these diamonds were regarded as inferior industrial grade stones and they were sold to machinery manufacturers to be used for making drill bits, files and blades.  
Over the past twenty years, demand for these sparkly brown stones has changed drastically.  They are prized for their natural beauty but I love them just ask much for their Cinderella marketing story.
This story really starts 1.5 billion years ago when the diamond crystals formed but let's fast forward to 1979 when the Argyle volcanic pipe was discovered in the Kimberley region of Australia.  There was much rejoicing.  That is, until it was revealed that the mine held a wealth of brown diamonds, not the bright white baubles the investors were hoping for.  Eighty percent of the diamonds from the Argyle mine were thought to be brown so the industry faced the dilemma of mucho supply and little demand.

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Posted in champagne diamonds, diamonds, Informational

Teeny Tidy Studio - A very brief tour

Posted on July 30, 2012 by Barbara Polinsky | 0 Comments

Be it ever so humble...... here are a few quick snapshots.  More to come. Viewing clockwise: Soldering station, "Every Woman Should Have a Blowtorch" - Julia Child poster by UUPP on Etsy. My beloved bench:  Inherited from a dear friend.  Story to follow at a later date. Bench & Tools:  Obsessively organized.  That's just how I am :) Microscope: by  Kassoy  Every set stone is inspected under magnification before shipping. Jewelry Studio Tour

Posted in BMJNYC News, jewelry, studio

How Gemstones Are Cut

Posted on June 27, 2012 by Barbara Polinsky | 0 Comments


Ever wonder how a gemstone is cut? This 5 minute video by master stone cutter John Dyer shows how it's done.  They know how to bring out the best characteristics inherent in a stone and fool us into believing they had nothing to do with the gem's beauty. 


Posted in gem cutting, john dyer, stone cutting

Approved Vendor of THE GREEN BRIDE GUIDE

Posted on May 14, 2012 by Barbara Polinsky | 0 Comments

This week I stumbled upon the Green Bride Guide and knew that I just had to be a part of this great organization. I took their "Green" survey and was qualified because I use recycled metals and antique or ethically mined stones but it got me thinking about what else I could do. After a little research, I - Joined 1% for the planet where I have committed (based on tax returns) to donate 1% of my sales to my choice of their affiliated and approved vendors. -Sourced packaging made of renewable resources which I will be switching to for silver jewelry. The new Celebrate Reclaimed Silver collection will be packaged in renewable sinamay. More info to follow soon. -Researched and purchased "green" chemical alternatives for the studio. Not bad for one week! But stay tuned for more....


 May 14 2012

Posted in BMJNYC News, eco, recycled, The Green Bride Guide

White Gold - Isn't that an oxymoron?

Posted on February 16, 2012 by Barbara Polinsky | 1 Comment

Yes, in fact it is.  The use of white gold was first embraced after World War I as an alternative to the more expensive platinum.  There truly is no such thing as white gold since gold in its purest form is yellow. 
Hoover and Strong commercial casting grain
White Gold is achieved by alloying pure gold with at least one white metal. There are numerous white gold alloys but most commonly pure gold is mixed with nickel, manganese or palladium. Because the metal mixture contains pure gold which is bright yellow, the resulting white gold alloys have a yellowish tint which is not very pleasing to the eye.


It is common practice to plate white gold jewelry with Rhodium to offset the yellow shade of the alloy, adding brilliance and a more refined finish to the piece.   Rhodium is a bright white precious metal in the Platinum family.  It is actually ten times more costly than gold and even more expensive than platinum.  Rhodium is hypoallergenic, has a great resistance to corrosion, tarnishing, scratching and abrasion.

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Posted in Informational, jewelry care, plating, rhodium, white gold