Blog on Designer Fine Jewelry | LaNae Fine Jewelry

A blog on fine jewelry & exotic skin handbags by LaNae Fine Jewelry located in the heart of Vail, Colorado.

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Moonstone... Quality, Value, Lore

Moonstone has long been treasured for is unique appearance and moon like shimmer. Often being described as soft moonlight grazing the top of open water, or moonlight streaming through the sky on a cloudy night. It is the only gem in the world that displays adularescence, moonstone's highly prized blue shimmer.

While moonstone comes in all different degrees of opaqueness and many different shimmer colors; the most valuable are those with a more translucent, colorless body with a bright blue shimmer. Such as these Royal Blue Moonstone Classic Trio Earrings seen here by Temple St. Clair. The moonstone’s shimmer is formed when orthoclase and albite, both feldspar minerals, are heated within the earth and then rapidly cooled. As they cool the two minerals separate and form very thin layers creating the moonstones iconic shimmer.

Moonstone can be cut into many different shapes but the one that displays the most shimmer are often cabochon cut, a rounded high dome cut that is highly polished to accentuate the stones shimmer. The Lauren K. Collection has a beautiful Moonstone Cabochon Ring, you can view here. A common practice with moonstone is to create a doublet stone, two layers of two different gems, usually a colored gem with a more colorless gem on top. An example of a moonstone doublet can be seen here. This bracelet, designed by Armenta, is made with a thin layer of blue turquoise joined together with a rainbow moonstone. The blue turquoise gives the moonstone a brighter blue hue.

Moonstone has been long prized all over the world. Such as in India where the moonstone is so highly cherished by the Hindu people that it may only be displayed if placed on yellow cloth, India’s most sacred color. While further east it is believed that moonstone is a symbol of good luck due to a powerful spirit that resides within each stone. Moonstone is also seen as a savior of relationships. When exchanged between a couple it is said to have the power to help heal and rekindle the love they felt for each other.

Whether you believe that moonstone will give you luck or bring you closer to your loved one; you can be assured you’ve picked a quality gem that will bring years of happiness to whomever is wearing it. You can view our collection of moonstone fine jewelry online by click here or come see us in person at LaNae Fine Jewelry.

BONUS... If you are searching for something with a little more color check out our newest blog where we discuss everything you need to know about labradorite, click here


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Heat Treated and Diffused Stones - What's the difference?

Heat Treated and Diffused Stones - What's the difference?

The modern jewelry market is competitive and very abundant. There are a lot of different gemstones: and a lot of different treatments they can undergo before they finally reach their destination. People buy treated stones for a number of reasons; enhancing the stones natural color/clarity, financially less expensive, or even environmental reasons can come into factor when buying the perfect stone for them. There are many different treatments a stone can go through, and each one is more complicated than the next. 

The start of heat treatments began when men would hang out around a fire, placing their stones in the charcoal hoping to see some change happen in the stone. Because of this simple start, heat treating is considered by many to be more natural. This process is used to enhance the color of the stone; and also to improve the clarity and the amount of imperfections you can see in the stone. Many do not consider this much of an unnatural process because it is basically a continuation of what would have happened in nature; had it stayed in the ground. Even though this process is permanent once done, many opt to submit their low grade stones to the treatment.

Over time a new process emerged, called diffusion. In this process the stones go through a bit more than a traditional heat treatment. A diffused stone uses a chemical element to score the surface of the stone, then combining it with the heat of a furnace it is baked into the stone. This changes the color of the stone, often making it a richer color/more sought after stone. There is both good and bad to this process. Unfortunately after the diffusion has been completed only about a millimeter into the stone has been changed. Meaning that if the stone were to have more than a millimeter deep chip, or was to break apart in anyway: the inside would still be the same as before the change. As in the color is usually more pale/less vibrant, and as such less valuable. Although the physical properties do not change in anyway. As the stone will retain its original strength/firmness. One very good thing about this process is its use on start sapphires and rubies. During this process because the top layer is more exposed, it makes the star in the sapphire pop out of the stone. Polishing or re-cutting of the stone after this process would not be recommended, as it will show the imperfections you had in the stone before the process began.

There are many types of different gemstones and processes in which we try to make an ordinary gemstone into something extra-ordinary. Although these processes are very common and have been around for longer than me or you, some experts think sticking to an all natural stone is the best way to go. For those of us who are more financially conscious or trying to get more bang out of our buck, it is an excellent way to broaden our jewelry boxes. 


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Yellow gold and the Designers who do it best.

Recently we've seen a huge trend in jewelry, customers moving almost completely to yellow or rose gold.  Yellow used to be big in the 80s-90s and fell out of fashion a bit with all the wedding rings moving to platinum however yellow is back in a big way.   While white gold still remains popular for heavy diamond set jewelry it's fallen out of fashion a bit when it comes to jewelry without a lot of stones.  Personally I believe this to be due to the fact that it's indistinguishable from silver for the common eye.  You can only fake gold plate for so long before you're left with something less than desirable.  

A few brands I'd like to highlight this week is Temple St. Clair, Shompole and FOPE.   First up to spotlight a newcomer - a nod to Shompole.  

Shompole has a very unique style being a completely handmade line - all pieces are unique and the weight of Shompole Collection pieces feels luxurious.  Sometimes they will add gemstones or diamonds but the real star of their collection is their matte finish and their substantial weight which when you pick one up, you expect the price to be double what it is. Like this Telsum Necklace, seen here. I applaud their ability to remain incredibly unique in style and true to making every piece as if it's an heirloom never cutting corners on weight.  If you're not a big diamond girl and love the bohemian look but with real gold, you'll fall in love with this line.

Temple St. Clair we've had at LaNae since February,  it's a brand with an Italian Renaissance art flair and one of a small group of American brands to make it into the Louvre.  Temple herself is a bit of a jewelry celebrity and if you see her enchanting collections you'll see why - she's a story teller with quaint ways of adding thoughtful design to even the most obscure parts of a ring. Like her 18k branch ring with diamonds, seen here.   Each piece she designs you can only imagine the hours of thought that went into it.  Its a more traditional high polish look with some movement in her zodiac pieces.  Her Tree of Life pendants and angels collection pieces are some of our best sellers.  

FOPE is probably the most traditional brand of the three with more engineering innovation vs. trendy design, FOPE jewelry from 10 years ago, blends perfectly with the pieces you can pick up today.  I have numerous women who come in with a FOPE necklace they got 10+ years ago in Italy that they wear every day.   The most unique thing about FOPE is their flex'it bracelet.  It's the only pure 18k gold bracelet in the world that's flexible.  All others have some form of memory steal or a spring system which is bound to break down over time.  FOPE's patented design has a closed system of an 18k gold spring which has a lifetime warranty to stretch and contract.  If you haven't tried on one of these amazing bracelets you'll be pleasantly surprised.  Check out our instagram here for videos of how their bracelets work and click here to see their bracelet collection.


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Spotlight on Gold Jewelry Classics By Ray Griffiths

Welcome to our weekly lifestyle spotlight - this week we'd love to introduce you to jewelry designer Ray Griffiths.

No one intends to buy jewelry which just sits in a box - one of the biggest challenges we see our customers struggle with when shopping for jewelry is to get past the impulse purchase and really focus on getting something they will wear every day, or at least incorporate into their "jewelry wardrobe" with ease.  We all have random jewelry that sits around.  Bad purchases in jewelry can haunt us, buying an unflattering shirt and tossing it can be easier to stomach than those too formal, too expensive chandelier earrings that you never turn to because they are just too heavy after a couple of hours for example.

One of the biggest "trends" per say in jewelry lately is layering -  necklaces, bracelets, stack rings.  Everyone wants to incorporate their previous investments in a put together way with something updated you fall in love with.  Another trend or at this point - just a new way of wearing jewelry, is to bring gold into every day wear with incorporating blackened silver or black rhodium.  Having a chain which has both can easily update a more dated chain you own, possibly inherited. Pure gold is stunning but can be overwhelming in both price but also look when you're trying to be casual in jeans.

One of the reasons we love Ray Griffiths at LaNae is that he incorporates negative space in his gold work.   This not only creates a stunning signature look but also has the added benefit of making stacking his pieces comfortable without the excessive weight, yet his craftsmanship doesn't feel cheap as electro-formed jewelry feels.  Everyone knows about the closet staple of a little black dress and a great pair of heels but nothing ties a classic look together better than a classic gold necklace and earrings that can be lived in without being out of place.

Ray Griffiths gold gypsy hoop earrings seen here are one of my favorites in the shop and I have one of the most sensitive ear lobes to weight in an earring.  Ray's staple chain we carry in store is his curved wave link necklace, worn long or doubled up at X inches is also as wearable as your favorite denim.

Check out his collection in store or here and if you happen to make it in bring some existing jewelry you'd want to update the look of- or come "jewelry naked" and let us style you from scratch!


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Spotlight on: Ways to wear Jude Frances Earring Charms

So simple, how did I not think of it first, earring charms!  Thanks Jude Frances!  

 Jude Frances has "charmed" us so to speak with incredible innovation in something most ladies wear every day.  It's truly one of those wow things in jewelry.  For guys it takes the guess work out of what to buy. The perfect gift for any occasion and the holidays especially. Thinking to yourself "what do I get her, she has everything", well she doesn't have every charm.  Just think of the parties, outfits, glamour - women love having a pair of earrings stand out at an event, but also something that isn't just for black tie.  With Jude Frances hoops, charms and frames,  they don't sit in the jewelry box.  Going to the gym with just hoops/huggies on is stylish yet not over the top, heading to work - add charms, big night out - bring out the bling with your frames!  Something different all together, wear the frame on the hoop with no charm for a more contemporary look.

If you're struggling to decide on a pair of earrings let me point out what we feel is the best bang for your buck and our hands down our best sellers:

Best Selling Jude Frances Huggies or Hoops:

Best Selling Jude Frances Earring Charms:

Best Selling Jude Frances Frames:

Check out these ways to wear Jude Frances hoops, charms and frames for some extra inspiration!
Jude Frances Ways to wear huggies
More ways that you can wear jude frances
More ways that you can wear jude frances earrings and charms

if you can't find something on line check us out on instagram for more ideas and things we might just have in the store.   You can also shop all Jude Frances charms here, and all Jude Frances charm frames here.


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Story of Turquoise

Believed to be one of the first precious stones to ever be mined, the use of turquoise dates all the way back to around 6,000 BC. Turquoise has been found adorning the ancient kings and queens of ancient Egypt, who believed the stones had protective metaphysical properties. Most notably was King Tut; who's solid gold sarcophagus was found to have inlaid turquoise on the inside among other precious stones and colored glass.

The color of the turquoise is the most important aspect when determining the value. Turquoise's color varies, one of the most expensive being bright sky blue, clear of all inclusions and veining. A few good example are this Bezel Set Stone Chain with Alternating Elongated Clovers and these Pear Shaped Briolette Earring Charms, both by Jude Frances. Turquoise can also be found with greener hues such as this Armenta ring that features a green turquoise and quartz doublet with accenting diamonds and white sapphires, seen here.

Turquoise is probably most prevalent today in the American Southwest, where turquoise is still mined and crafted into incredibly intricate pieces of sterling silver jewelry. Having first been discovered in America by the Native Americans, turquoise was seen as a precious resource and used as a means of exchange and as a ceremonial gem. It wasn't until the late 1800's when Tiffany & Co. started marketing turquoise as a fashion item, that it was set into sterling silver becoming an iconic statement of the American Southwest.

Turquoise is truly a precious gem, seen by many cultures as a symbol of hope. Wether you are looking for something to add to your jewelry collection or a gift for someone you love, turquoise has a long and rich history of brightening the lives of anyone who wears it. To view our entire collection of turquoise jewelry you can click here.

If you would like to learn more about the different types and values of turquoise you can view our blog, Can You Tell the Difference Between $500 and $25000 Turquoise. It goes into detail about the different types and origin mines of turquoise.


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Labradorite... What You Need to Know

Similar to moonstone, labradorite is also created by thin feldspar mineral layers that give it a unique feature not found elsewhere. When light shines on moonstone the light appears to be reflecting off it's surface, but when light shines on labradorite the light appears to be shining from within the stone. Giving it an incredibly unique appearance called labradorescence, or commonly referred to as the schiller effect.

Labradorite takes it name from it's point of first discovery in Labrador, Canada. The native peoples of Labrador, the Inuit, believed that the rocks on the shores of Labrador captured the light from the northern lights thus creating labradorite's iridescence. Many large labradorite stones are still found in Labrador many of the best gems now come from Finland, with the best gems being called sprectrolite. These stones are some of the most valuable due to their intense schiller effect, displaying the full spectrum of colors.  

The value of labradorite depends greatly on the degree of labradorescence the stone has coupled with its color and clarity. Natural labradorite that is red, green, or watermelon (red-green) is of the highest value and is considered rare, only being found in Oregon. While royal blue and gray to gray-black are also poplular choices. This flower ring by Cynthia Ann Jewels is a good example, can be viewed here.

Often times labradorite jewelry is designed with a doublet or triplet, meaning two or more stones have been put together to increase depth of color. Stones that are commonly included with labradorite include black onyx and topaz. Such as this ring from Armenta that features labradorite and black onyx accented by diamonds, viewed here

Every labradorite stone is unique making every piece of labradorite jewelry one of a kind. Such as these Labradorite and sky blue topaz earring charms, or this midnight blue labradorite and black onyx necklace, both by Jude Frances. Labradorite is a beautiful stone that will make the perfect gift for any occasion. Shop online or in store at LaNae Fine Jewelry in the Vail Village.

If you're interested in more informative gemstone blogs visit our main blog page here. Where we have many more blogs on our different jewelry collections and gemstones.


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Alor - Versatile jewelry for every occasion

Located in the heart of Vail village we’d consider ourselves an authority on styling jewelry for the mountain lifestyle.  Our customers are constantly asking us what we recommend for every day activities in Vail.  Whether you’re rafting for the day or out playing golf, at LaNae Fine Jewelry we work hard to curate brands and designs which both work with our customer’s jewelry collections for great layering pieces as well as core pieces which anyone would love to have.  

Alor is one of our most versatile brands – their Noir collection shown at Alor Noir Collection is a true black vs. a black rhodium or blackened silver, which makes it striking yet comfortable.  It's heat treated stainless steel so it’s actually black through and through.  It won’t rub off like other blackened finishes and the stainless steel offers flexibility which won’t get in the way of your golf game.  Alor set their diamonds in 18k gold, which adds a bit of sparkle although the price of these pieces allows you to build a collection for typically under $1000.   Following the link you can view the full Alor Jewelry Collection at LaNae you can also view the the full Alor collection.

If you’re in town come by and check out this brand and visit our Instagram for a peak at other products we offer in store.


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All That Glitters Is Not Gold!

Gold-filled, gold-plated and gold vermeil techniques are widely used to showcase a more expensive look. Each are economical and massively sold in today’s market; even before the Elizabethan Era, metal smiths and gold smiths layered metals. Time after time, I’ve heard jewelry lovers offer contradicting definitions of the three. 

So, what are the differences? 


Composed of a solid thin layer of karat gold that is heat-and-pressure bonded to a base metal. The base metal is traditionally sterling silver, but today most jewelers use brass, and if the base metal is brass, then the item will be tarnish resistant. Gold-filled jewelry has a measurable amount of gold. The piece must integrate at least 5% karat gold of the item’s total weight. According to the Federal Trade Commission in the USA, 1/20th of karat gold must be layered. And “14/20” gold-filled material is made with 14k gold, and the gold represents 1/20th or 5% of the total item’s weight. The F.T.C considers Rolled Gold Plate (R.G.P) and Gold Overlay to be a lower thickness of gold than required to be categorized as Gold-Filled.


Gold-plated jewelry is created through a process by electrically or chemically bonding a thin layer of gold to a base metal. Unlike gold-filled, gold-plated does not have a measurable amount a gold. When buying gold-plated you don’t buy the item for its inherent value of gold—you buy gold plate for the gold color. 

 Gold Vermeil

Different from gold-plated and gold-filled, gold vermeil is sterling silver coated or plated with gold. It undergoes a process called electrolysis. In the USA, to be considered gold vermeil the item must be at least 10 karats, which is equivalent to 2.5 microns in gold content. An alternative term for gold vermeil is “silver-gilt” (or “gilded silver”).


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Small Handbags Are A Huge Trend In 2016

Each and every season when the weather changes, so do the fashion trends. Now that spring is here, everyone is looking for that "new spring look".  Well look no further! One hot trend we've noticed not only on the streets of Vail, Colorado but all the way out in L.A. where the top trends are usually first spotted on celebrities are small handbags! Now, that doesnt mean you have to go in search of a completely new look for you, a lot of popular looks are creating the same bags, just smaller! From domes to clutches even birkins, you name the bag, more than likely you'll find it's mini version. You'll notice in magazines or high profile events that the celebs are mostly seen lately carrying smaller bags than we're all used too. Who can complain? Lets be honest, ladies will fill a handbag to capacity. Less weight to carry! Now go find your mini bag and get out there!

Remember a little goes a long way!


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Pearls aren't just for your Grandmother any more!

You may think of pearls in a standard set strand around your grandmother's neck, but designers are introducing pearls in statement pieces that have an edge. 

Baroque Tahitian pearls are the hottest trend showcased in long chains, lariats and earrings. 

What are Baroque pearls you ask?

Baroque pearls are pearls with an irregular non-spherical shape. Shapes can range from minor aberrations to distinctly ovoid, curved, pinch, or lumpy shapes. The most valuable of baroque pearls are the South Sea and Tahitian pearls. These pearls are produced by black-lipped, gold-lipped and white-lipped oysters. The amount of time that the pearls are cultured dramatically increases the depth of the nacre, and the likelihood of producing a baroque pearl

At LaNae, we have an extensive selection by top designers such as Tuya, LA Stein and Deborah Gaspar. Stop by and check them out!!


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If your Birthday is in March, here is some info on your Birthstone – Aquamarine

Birthstones are precious and Semi-precious gemstones, each representing its own special month. Aquamarine is made up of two Latin words: ‘aqua’ or water and ‘marina’, the sea. When you think of water and sea, the colors that come to mind is from pale blue to a blue-green or teal, these are exactly the different colors of Aquamarine. The colors depend on the variable amounts of iron in the beryl crystal. This Dragon Aquamarine Ring is probably one of my very favorites; it is unique, chick, and lots of fun!

Deep blue aquamarine stones are particularly rare contributing to its high demand and price point. Mined in Nigeria, Zambia, Pakistan, Brazil, Mozambique and Madagascar, your birthstone is truly extraordinary. At LaNae Fine Jewelry you will find unique pieces of jewelry like this Aquamarine Baroque Necklace . If you wear your gemstone, it is believed to enhance you special powers, just joking… Aquamarine is believed to be calming, soothing, cleansing and inspires trust and truth. Apart from being believed to be the treasures of mermaids, aquamarine also helped pirates fight off bad omens and even seasickness.
Fun Fact: Daffodils are the Birth Flowers of March.


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Yellow, White and Rose Gold – which is easier to maintain?

Yellow, White and Rose Gold – which is easier to maintain?

Unfortunately pure gold is quite expensive, not tarnish resistant and can dent very easily. It needs to be mixed with other more durable materials. When pure gold is mixed with these materials, it can change the color of the gold, depending on how much of what is mixed to create the perfect hue of gold.

Yellow Gold - Pure gold is yellow in color; gold jewelry however is not made of pure gold. Different techniques are used to create the gold jewelry. See our blog on Gold Fill, Vermeil and Gold Plate , explaining these techniques. Our Florette Bombay Ring in Yellow Gold features 18k yellow gold so you avoid the denting you would get with 24k.
White gold – The most common materials used to turn yellow gold into white gold is by adding platinum or silver in various proportions. The “white gold” is still very soft and dull; Rhodium is then plated onto the “white gold” to create that shiny look and adds to its durability. The Rhodium plating will wear off over time exposing the gold beneath, and needs to be re-coated; this can usually be done by your local jeweler. These fancy Flex’it Vendome White Gold Earrings are timeless beauties.
Rose gold – As mentioned in our Engagement Ring Trends for 2015 blog, rose gold jewelry is becoming more and more popular. Here copper and small amounts of silver are used to create different hues of rose gold. Rose gold jewelry is not plated with anything; the color goes right through the jewelry, so it will not require re-plating. This Square Diamond Pendant Necklace with Rose gold is just one of the many options available LaNae Fine Jewelry.

If you're looking for a combination of both a fantastic addition to your fine jewelry collection can also be this Full Diamond Pave Spinning Athena Ring showcasing both yellow and white gold.

With rose and 18k yellow gold they will hold their initial look the longest, white gold jewelry continues to be in style but if you're planning on wearing it every day you might want to consider the rhodium re-plating maintenance.  24k has been typically associated with the middle east but designers like Kurtulan are creating designs that are more mainstream and integrated with oxidized silver for a more durability.  Lots of options but if you're looking for as little maintenance as possible stick to 18k yellow or rose gold.


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Gold Fill, Vermeil, Gold Plate - Know the differences

Gold Fill, Vermeil, Gold Plate... so confusing.

Ever wonder what the technical difference is between these 3?   Well here you go!

Gold-plated – A base metal, like steel or brass, is electroplated with a very thin layer of gold. Because of the very thin gold plating, it can wear off quite easily, and should not be considered for everyday wearing. Some people have allergic reactions to plated jewelry. 10K gold is typically used in gold-plated jewelry and is marked with a GP. Gold-plated jewelry is the least expensive way to go when considering your next piece of jewelry.  You typically won't find gold plated in fine jewelry.

Gold-filled – The layer deposit is much thicker than gold-plated. A base metal, like brass or copper, is covered with a thicker layer of gold, permanently bonding it to the base metal, by use of a mechanical bonding process. Gold-filling is typically used with high end jewelry. At least 12K and 14K gold is used, marked with a GF and is known for its exceptional durability. It is a safe bet for those with sensitive skin. This is a great choice for items that will be word daily.     Here is an example of a gold filled + plated chain by Cynthia Ann Gold Fill and Plated Chain

Vermeil (Pronounced Ver-may) – This is when Sterling Silver is coated with a thick layer of gold by means of electrolysis. Vermeil has a lot more gold than that of plated materials, 14K 18K, 22K or 24K of gold is used and is marked with GV. It is also a great choice for those who have allergic reactions to plated jewelry and is more tarnish resistant. Also a perfect choice when considering the amount of time you will spend wearing the item. Here is a piece by Jude Frances which uses this process Venetian Kite Cuff

Vermeil or gold filled + plated options are great for saving money and getting that stunning gold look without the price point with the lasting wear you want. For more options available at LaNae click here.


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Absolutely unique blown glass works of art


Here at LaNae Fine Jewelry we are fortunate enough to be the exclusive retailer in Colorado State for his Artwork. Hr creates chandeliers, contemporary wall art even glass blown perfume bottles and much more. 

The creator, artist and owner of Blown Glass Art, resembles the true meaning of the word artist; He is devoted to and completely in love with his passion, glass blowing art. He has been perfecting this craft since 1993 from Glen Haven, CO, where he even custom built his own studio! He gathers his inspirations from the elements of the earth and is an internationally recognized Glass Blowing Artist and his artwork can be seen in the Ice Bar in Las Vegas, the Golden Nugget Casino also in Las Vegas and many privately owned collections all over the world. He is involved in charity work and has been featured in many articles as well as Style Magazine.   
The technique he uses is “off hand blowing” no molds are used and no grinding is done, which allows him to uniquely sculpt each and every piece. This is probably one of the purest ways of artistic expression. 

“Off hand blowing” is basically gathering the glass from an extremely hot furnace, about 2200 degrees, and then rolling it in colored glass chips made up of metal oxides to fuse with the molten glass thus creating the different colors. For instance if you use gold in its chloride form, it creates this Blood Red Glass Bowl, if cobalt is used, it creates all the blues of the ocean like this Blue Swirl Glass Platter and if chromium is used, it displays this most beautiful Green Palm Fond Platter. This is gravity sensitive work and the glass must be turned and heated constantly to create these fascinating pieces of art.

These phenomenal works of art, are the result of the use of some small tools and of course his experienced hands. 

 "The colors he uses are mixed to promote healing and generate health”  

So if you are looking for something spectacular to add to your art collection, you have come to the right place!!


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Engagement Ring Trends


Everyone knows that Valentine’s Day is the most Romantic day of the year when anything can happen, especially if you have your eye on an Engagement Ring. With Valentine’s Day around the corner.   I thought I’d take some time here to share some of the Trends of 2015 with you. Here they are in no particular order:

Diamond Cluster Rings – This is definitely not your Traditional Engagement Ring! They add extra sparkle to any perfect manicure. This Diamond Cluster Ring is a perfect example, this one is by far my personal favorite! 

Gemstone Engagement Ring – These are an absolutely spectacular alternative to the Traditional Diamond Engagement Ring. You can even match these up with your birthstone. There are just too many to mention, here are a few examples:
Onyx Gemstone and Diamond Engagement Ring set in 14K White Gold, Rose de France Gemstone with Diamond pave accents set in 18K Rose Gold, South Sea Pearl with White and Yellow Diamonds set in 18K Yellow Gold, Orange Citrine and Diamond ring set in 18K Yellow Gold, Morganite Gemstoneand Diamond Ring set in 18K Rose Gold, Peridot Gemstone and Diamond ring set in 18K Yellow Gold. 

Fancy Diamond Shapes – Shapes like this Ascher shaped Diamond Engagement Ring featuring Floral Accents which is also on the Hottest Trend list. 

Vintage Inspired Looks – Everyone knows that “Vintage is the new Black” and we can even see this in Engagement Ring Trends too. This Taylor Bridal Ring and the Rebecca Bridal Ring with Floral Setting will go perfectly with the Vintage Inspired look and is to die for! 

Rose Gold & Yellow Gold – this trend sees us moving away from the White Gold Trend which mainly complemented fair or rosy skin tones. Rose Gold Engagement Rings like this one complements all skin tones, whereas a Yellow Gold Engagement Ring like this one compliments olive and darker skin tones. 

Something Unique – This Green Tourmaline Ring will definitely be a one-of a-kind Engagement Ring. You will most certainly stand out in any crowd. 

Eternity Bands as Engagement RingThis Eternity Band is absolutely gorgeous and also ties in with the Vintage Inspired Look as does this show stopper. These are just two examples but the options are limitless!!

If you are more of a Traditional Lady, we haven’t forgotten about you!! Here are some options for you too, these Engagement Rings will never let you down and are just spectacular!!

For the Engagement Ring Trends of 2015 you can be a little bit more adventurous when shopping for that perfect Ring. 

Happy Shopping!!


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LaNae's Guide to Colored Diamonds + Shopping Tip!

First off all diamonds are diamonds - the difference in color arises from certain chemicals and gases being present in the natural formation, the changes in coloration visible to our eyes are caused by the reflection and refraction of light traveling through the crystal lattice.

Just like any other diamond, colorful diamonds can be found in an array of cuts and styles. The surprising thing is that colored diamonds are actually very rare, less than 0.1% of mined diamonds are of a colored hue, but despite their exclusivity, (dependent on the color and shade) they can be found at fine prices. Much of the colored diamond price differentiation is allotted to simple supply and demand.  A general rule is the more vivid the hue, the more rare and the more expensive the price. But pale hues have their appeal of course, and the great thing about these subtle beauties is that they will give you the most bling for your buck.

Champagne diamonds or Cognac Diamonds are both types of chocolate brown diamonds and have grown in popularity, and are almost always going to have the best price point.   Some designers specifically use colored diamonds to accentuate the design of a piece, an example would be the champagne diamonds used  here.

Yellow diamonds are just that, yellow shown here, and they occur from nitrogen being present in the formation of the diamond.  The brilliant canary yellow diamonds are more rare than the subtler hues, but when disregarding price, color tone is all about personal preference.

The rainbow shades are the most elite, colors such as blue, green, violet, purple, pink, and orange. The most rare diamond color is red, and it is so uncommon, it’s basically never found.

Even all the way to the other side of the color spectrum, the black diamond is its own unique dark beauty.  Black diamonds are not transparent and do not have the same reflective flash and fiery prisms. This is because black diamonds are actually a compilation of many tiny crystal structures compressed together, vs being one single crystal structure, which gives them a more porous frame. But as with their colored and white counterparts, the more vivid and stark the shade of black, the more exclusive and expensive.  Check out this beautiful ring with white and black diamonds.  Be careful though when shopping - Black Spinal is commonly refereed to as black diamonds in the jewelry business and it most certainly isn't.  Black or more commonly red spinal is beautiful but price points should be drastically lower so be on guard and ask if a piece is specifically black diamond or spinal.  An example of black spinal can be seen here and is pretty much indistinguishable from a black diamond.  So enjoy the look with the better price point!

Happy Shopping!


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Alligator vs. Crocodile Handbags

Alligator vs. Crocodile

Which bag swims from the Nile?

The need to know on the exotic bag to go.

If you’re on the hunt for a luxurious new handbag, there’s no doubt that you’ve crossed paths with various wild skins of the animal kingdom. 

These ferocious beasts appear undeniably similar, so I’m here to give you the low down on how to tell the difference between them, as well what's good to know before you buy!

There are 2 main types to know, Alligator and Crocodile, but they have several distinguishing factors between them. There are also variations of origin between Crocodile skins as well, Saltwater and Caiman

Alligator and Saltwater Crocodile are in the big high end league. Companies like Hermes, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and The Row have bags made out of the highest quality skins and can be up to $65,000. High quality Caiman (or fresh water Crocodile) is used in designer bags such as Nancy Gonzalez, YSL, Gucci, Givenchy, and Bottega Venetta. With a big brand name comes a big brand price… The interesting thing about Caiman Crocodile is that it can be found anywhere from $1,000 up to $35,000 depending on the designer name and style of the bag, but as a consumer, it’s important to ask yourself if you are just wanting to pay for a label or if you are looking for quality at the best price. 

Lower quality Caiman is a result of a poor tanning process, which leaves the skin feeling firmer and will have cracks along the lines of the skin texturing when folded and bent. Higher quality skins are much more soft and pliable, this extra soft pliability results in brighter and more even coloring when dyed. 

Now, one of the most recognizable differences between alligator and crocodile is the unique dot patterning found only on crocodile scales as a result of tiny hair follicles (pores) that the alligator, and all other exotic reptiles lack.  A great example of a high quality Caiman bag is the Betts Crocodile Handbag in which you can easily spot the pore pocks on a natural brown skin.

On the flip side though, alligator skin has one unique umbilical web scar which is basically always incorporated into the bag design in a prominent way to keep the identification and authenticity obvious, as seen in the narrowing pattern on the back of the Jen Foldover Bag.

It’s important to remember that there are also a lot of tricky faux exotic skins on the market, that with technology, are becoming more and more indistinguishable. Faux crocodile and alligator is often pressed and embossed leather with a repeating pattern and a much lower price point, and the lower price tag is really the biggest give away.

For more information about the quality of bags we sell visit our post here and check out our entire line here.


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Can you tell the difference between $500 Turquoise and $25,000 Turquoise?

Turquoise is turquoise, right? Actually not quite...

Turquoise has been excavated and valued for its exquisite beauty from as early on as 2100 B.C. It’s always been so desirable that Napoleon the first had given his wife Empress Marie Louise a crown with 79 emeralds, which they had replaced with Persian Turquoise! 

There are several different qualities and classifications associated with Turquoise stones, and it's essential to know the differences when making a turquoise purchase. It can range from a $5 pair of fake turquoise earrings or to a $25,000 necklace with the purest turquoise.

The types of turquoise I’m going to touch on today include Persian Turquoise, Sleeping Beauty Turquoise, and Kingman Turquoise.

Persian Turquoise comes from mines located in Iran. Even though turquoise is generally a softer stone, the turquoise mined from Persia tends to be harder than turquoise mined anywhere else. It is deviated up into 3 quality classifications: Angushtari, which is the finest quality, with little to no markings or matrix. (**To note, the lines, veins, and spots found in generally mid to lower grades of turquoise are referred to as the "Matrix" of the turquoise, which is actually bits and pieces of the host rock which helped initially form the turquoise itself.) The next classification is Barkhaneh, which is still good quality, but is just found with more markings and matrix, then finally Arabi, which is third-rate turquoise because of its undesirable white spots and pale hues.

Sleeping Beauty Turquoise came from the Sleeping Beauty Mine in Globe, Arizona.  The mine was named “Sleeping Beauty” because the mountain it came from looks like a sleeping woman. The mine was known for producing brilliant sky blue turquoise with little to no markings, webbing, or matrix, making it very valuable and sought after.  Since the mine was closed down in 2012, sleeping beauty stones are even more scarce and desired. This turquoise ring is a beautiful example of Sleeping Beauty Turquoise with an appealing matrix design.

There is also a type of "Original" Sleeping Beauty Turquoise which is different from the Arizonan Sleeping Beauty Turquoise because it is actually a type of Persian Turquoise, and is one of the most sought after because of the flawless coloration. The turquoise necklace is a prime example of this rare classification. It’s known as the “Original” because the mines in Iran have been running thousands of years longer than the mines in America.

Kingman Turquoise comes from the Kingman mine in Arizona. Kingman Turquoise ranges in color from sky blue to hues of green, the green turquoise actually comes from the Turquoise Mountain side of the mine, and is desired for it’s distinct coloring. This turquoise ring shows the appeal of the Kingman turquoise hue.

It’s good to remember that the grade of a turquoise doesn't always define the price point and desirability of the stone, a big part of turquoise value comes from the preference and the appeal of certain patterning. Although the purest and brightest blue flawless turquoise will always be sold at the highest of prices because it is the rarest and most revered type. 

To view our current collection of turquoise jewelry you can click here. To learn a little bit more about turquoise check out our newest blog the Story of Turquoise. If turquoise isn't what you're searching for, read more about December's birth stone tanzanite here.


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Pearls Cheat Sheet

While traveling this week in Beijing and visiting the pearl market it struck me that most pearl consumers kept asking the vendors the same questions.  I hope this serves as your pearl cheat sheet.

Pearls can be a treasured investment and family heirloom if purchased correctly. There are so many pearl options out there, and with such an extreme range in price and size, it’s hard to sift through the vast variety of treasures.

 Here’s a few good facts to start out with… There are 4 main types: Akoya Pearls, Freshwater Pearls, South Sea Pearls, and Tahitian.  

 Akoya pearls are very classic, they range in size from 2mm - 11mm, although any Akoya above 8mm is incredibly rare. They are grown mostly in Japan, with the largest of the Akoya specifically only being found there. Akoya pearls are usually white or cream, but can sometimes also be black, slate blue, and rose pink. 

 Freshwater pearls are grown in lakes, rivers, ponds, and creeks, primarily cultured in China, approximately 300 miles from the hustle and bustle of Shanghai. The most common size of fresh water pearls are between 7mm - 10mm, but they can be found anywhere from 2mm - 16mm. They come in a fabulous variety of pastel shades.  Pink, peach, lavender, plum, purple, salmon, orange, cream, yellow, and of course white and black.  Freshwater pearls used to have a bad reputation for poorer quality and more irregular shape, but their quality has improved greatly, and it’s now possible to find perfectly round freshwater pearls.

 South Sea pearls are cultivated in oysters from northern Australia, Myanmar, and Indonesia. They are the largest breed of pearl, ranging from 10mm all the way up to 20mm!  They are the highest price point of pearl on the market, not just because of size, but also because of rarity as well. The colors of the south sea range from silver and gold, to white, cream, and slate blue.

 Finally, the Tahitian Pearl, pearls of the darkest hue, are only grown in the warm waters of French Polynesia. They are the second largest size pearl, being between 9mm - 16mm. Primarily produced in a black shade, these exotic pearls can also be found in deep shades of grey, brown, slate blue, green, and purple.

There are so many factors to take in when making a pearl purchase, but I think one last consideration is important and not necessarily addressed in facts and science. Irrelevant to price, origin, and type… Color is key to the wearer.  With pearls being a timeless symbol of beauty and grace, you want to ensure that the color you select complements you effortlessly. Like with makeup, even such a thing as your own skin tone should be a factor in selecting a pearl color! You want your pearls to be a statement, like your favorite knockout lipstick, that extra something that gives the perfect amount of glamour to illuminate your radiance. It’s best to avoid matching tones that appear drab, you should never be stuck with pearls that blend in like a face powder!

So now that you know some important bits of pearl information, you can feel a little more aware going into your next pearl purchase.  Check our selection of pearls in our Castaways collection along with other items such as oxblood coral and mother of pearl. 

Missed my previous blog posts? Check out "November's birthstone, Citrine" and "The differences between Tanzanite and Sapphire". 


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November's Citrine Deep Dive

Highlighting November’s Birthstone: Citrine!

As the days get colder & darker, we are craving radiance; colors to evoke sipping cool lemonade in a sun-drenched meadow. Citrine, November’s birthstone, is a gem that truly delivers sunshine.  This deeply radiant yellow stone has mellow warmth that glows like the embers of a fire. 

Citrine’s name is derived from both the word citrus & from its color, the deep, vibrant yellow of lemons. A hard & durable stone, it is one of the most popular & valuable varieties of quartz, 

The most sought-after stones are a clear, radiant yellow to auburn red, but citrine ranges from light to dark yellows, orangey golds and golden browns.

Yellow stones are rare in nature, which adds to its value. The intensity & saturation of color also determine value.  Citrine is often compared to, or even mistaken for, yellow topaz, but they are definitely not one in the same. Besides quartz & topaz being different stones organically, what constitutes the difference between citrine & topaz? For one, topaz is considerably heavier and harder than quartz, so it can achieve a deeper fiery tone than citrine. Topaz exists in all colors of the rainbow. Topaz is considered purer & more exotic than citrine, and thus commands higher prices, but citrine is still highly valuable & stunningly radiant quartz in its own right.

If you are (and really, who isn’t?) seeking a warm, subtle, earthy glow, citrine will shimmer and radiate sunshine on these cold winter days.

Lemonade season may be over, but you can still have your citrus! Check out LaNae's collection of citrine here

Want to skip ahead to December's stone check out our Tanzanite blog here 


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LaNae helps you decide between Tanzanite and Sapphire?

...And the Brilliant Blues

A pop of royal blue or lush violet adds instant glamour to any look. Blue sapphire is likely what comes to mind when we envision this stunning color, but Tanzanite also packs a bright blue punch. So when it comes to gems, which go-to blue to go for? 

First, let’s talk about the differences between the two stones.

The word Sapphire is derived from the Greek word ‘sappheiros’, meaning, you guessed it, blue! It dates back to at least the 7th century where they were thought to have many powers, including guarding against poverty & stimulating intellect.  Blue sapphire is an intense, highly saturated stone, so its coveted deep blue occurs naturally, with no alterations. It is also super hard & highly durable, giving it the trifecta of supreme quality & value. It has the unique ability to change colors in different lighting, providing unparalleled luster & sparkle. 

Tanzanite, on the other hand, is a relatively newly discovered gem, and was actually named by Tiffany & Co. for Tanzania, its country of origin. Noted for its remarkably strong prisms, it can appear alternately sapphire blue, violet and burgundy, depending on crystal orientation.  Tanzanite can also appear differently when viewed in different lighting, with the violet or blue hue appearing more evident depending on different illumination. Tanzanite is not actually blue however. Brownish by nature, it requires heat to bring out that desirable blue violet hue. It’s also a softer stone, so care is required to prevent scratching.

You may be thinking that blue sapphire would be the obvious choice here, but Tanzanite’s desirability is its price, which is more affordable than blue sapphire, & its rarity, as it only exists in one region of mountainous Tanzania.

Now you know your blues! So which to choose? If you want that deep blue look without the sapphire price Tanzanite is an excellent option with a definite wow factor. If you’re looking for historical significance, higher quality due to hardness and willing to pay the price premium opt the blue sapphire, & own a piece of timeless glamour. The price will differ on the two about 20-30% depending on the hue and size of the stones.  Sapphires tend to be graded similar to diamonds where Tanzanite is on a less stringent scale.  Between us ladies, a Tanzanite and Sapphire in the same hue are nearly indistinguishable to the best of them.  Points if you could tell which one the photo was of? And Find out here what the mystery necklace was or check out our entire collection of Tanzanite here

Boast those brilliant blues, and be the belle of the ball! 

Find you're more of a "red" kind of girl - get details on how to shop for reds wisely in our Red Sapphire vs. Ruby Blog post


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Love rubies - don't love the price?

The Royal Reds...

Few things evoke passion, royalty & power like the majestic brilliance of the ruby. 
Cleopatra’s fire-y love affairs come to mind when we see this beautiful stone. Its quality & 
value are immeasurable, so there’s no doubt what you’ll be getting when you add this regal 
stone to your collection.

Red sapphires are another stunning stone that are often used as an alternative to the ruby.
Rubies & red sapphires are both a form of corundum mineral & almost identical, with 
mirroring properties. What distinguishes these two precious gems are color, availability, cost 
& meaning.

Besides intense passion, rubies are associated with good luck, protection and inspiration. 
Real rubies are somewhat rare, especially those dark, blood red varieties that are truly 
coveted. Rubies without imperfections are incredibly rare and command prices even higher 
than diamonds of the same quality!

Sapphires are far more common than rubies, and are associated with divine knowledge, 
blessings, sincerity and faithfulness. They are frequently found in carat sizes that exceed the 
size of most ruby gemstones. Red sapphires are actually deep pink or light red. Once they've 
achieved that deep red hue associated with a ruby, they are, in fact, categorized as a ruby. 

Now is when you’re thinking, “Okay, so should I opt for the ruby or go the red sapphire 
route?” Color, cost & availability are the factors to take into account.

Rubies are always red, while sapphires range the color spectrum as shown in the necklace on the top left. With sapphires, the deeper the pink color, the higher their value, as long as the color is tending toward the red of rubies. 

A minimum color saturation must be met to be called a ruby in the U.S. Otherwise the stone 
is a pink sapphire. The finest rubies have a vivid, medium-dark toned red.

The differences in the availability between natural rubies and sapphires have a direct impact 
on their price differences. Rubies are valued much higher than sapphires because of their 

Invest in the ruby, & you obtain a passionate piece of history dating back to ancient royalty.
Want a similar feeling of regality without spending like a royal? Then the reddish hue sapphire is a 
brilliant choice for this brilliant stone. 

Relish in your royal reds ladies!  If however you decided maybe you're more into pink after all - check out our Which Pink To Pick? blog post to really know your stuff.


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Breaking down which pink to pick at LaNae Fine Jewelry

Which Pink to Pick?

Pink is having a moment, and pink, rosy stones are a statement piece you’ll want for seasons to come. You may find yourself wondering, which pink stone should I invest in? Today we’ll delve into two of the most popular gems, pink Morganite & Tourmaline. Tourmaline is typically 30-40% more expensive than Morganite. If you’re a newbie to these two stones, here are some deets to familiarize yourself before sussing out the price differentials.

Pink Tourmaline appears in every conceivable shade, from delicate pales to neon hots. There are even the uber-unique bi & tri colored pinks, such as the watermelon Tourmaline. Tourmaline is durable, wears well, & has high clarity. Rare versions, such as Paraiba, procure a higher price tag & are gaining popularity as an alternative to the diamond. They are a currently a leading trend in the luxury Asian markets. The more common varieties can be quite affordable, while the exotic command high prices.

Pink Morganite is a peachy, fine, transparent variety of the stone. It is delicate, blushingly feminine & radiant. It usually has a rosy salmon quality & is surprisingly affordable for its beauty & value. Price depends on size, saturation and overall quality. And you get a little cocktail trivia thrown in with your new piece. Morganite is named after JP Morgan, the financier who was a serious gem collector!

So now that you know the differences between these two ultra-feminine, rosy stones, which to choose, so you’ll be tickled pink with your new pink stone?

Essentially, it all boils down to your color preference, since their value is based on intensity & saturation.  Tourmaline has a higher value than Morganite due to its natural superiority in both regards. It saturates more deeply in smaller stone weights, and since you achieve that intense pink easier, it’s generally priced higher.

That said, if you’re looking for a pink that’s is full of sparkle but don’t need the high saturation levels, Morganite is absolutely the right choice for you. A fun, flirty pair of pink Morganite earrings can easily be had without the price premiums of the Tourmaline.

Hope this gives you new insight into those rosy stones we all adore!

Sparkle on pink ladies and check our entire Pretty In Pink collection here at LaNae Fine Jewelry. Remember to use promo code LetItSnow for 30% off site wide until ski season starts!




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Noble Red Oxblood Coral at LaNae Fine Jewelry in Vail

Hi Everyone –

Today’s post is intended to give you a deeper understanding of coral and how to shop as a conscious buyer.  This will also help you to understand the drastic price differences in “coral” jewelry found on the web.  Coral, as most are aware is a precious commodity of our oceans and removal of coral has been completely banned.  Buying coral randomly and not asking the appropriate questions may have you inadvertently contributing to the loss of this precious treasure of our oceans.  The first thing to ask when shopping for coral, or in this case, Oxblood coral, is" when was it pulled from the ocean".  Sometimes jewelers use vintage to denote this – not vintage as it’s been worn before but vintage to convey the age of the coral.  Avoid at all costs purchasing coral less than 20 years old, as with wine the older the vintage the rarer and the same applies to coral.  In the case of this stranded necklace and earrings, this coral was pulled over 90 years ago.   

The other aspect about determining rareness of coral is the type.  Oxblood, Red or sometimes called Noble coral comes from the sea specifically around Italy.  There are many different types of coral found all over the world but Oxblood and specifically the deeper the red coloring in this type is the most sought after.

Hopefully this post gave you a greater appreciation for beautiful Oxblood Coral which will only appreciate with time.





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Video of LaNae photo shoot in Vail!

Hi Everyone - 

Huge thanks here to Holly Trickel with Sapphire Productions for putting together a great video showcasing our looks for Fall/Winter here at LaNae. 

You'll see some of the beautiful shots of Four Seasons Vail and of the stunning suite we used along with the crew that helped make this happen.   

Special thanks to Abri Kruger and  Ashley Alexander, without which none of this would have been possible.

Enjoy everyone! More photos to come!
Thanks, Cherish


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Fall-Winter Fashion Shoot more behind the scenes

Hello Again -

Another beautiful photo from our 3 day shoot on location in Vail, CO made possible by an amazing group of people in the community.

Thanks again to Abri Kruger for this beautiful shot of our python asymmetrical zip clutch and Ashley Alexander from LA Models for making this look effortless.

This beautiful backdrop couch is available at Eagle/Vail's world class interior design business Slifer Designs  Thank you to Heather and Yvonne and the Slifer Team for your help.  Check out their amazing portfolio at  Slifer Designs.

Want this casual look? Check out Perch Vail and ask for Mandy, Katie and Laurie.  Thank you Perch for helping us put together this look with your beautiful A-line cut cashmere long sleeve shirt- again we couldn't have done this without you!  More images to come showcasing your amazing clothing selection.  

These Rhodium & 14k Gold chains are from a designer Cynthia Ann Jewels - if you haven't seen Cynthia Ann Jewels you're missing out - gorgeous casual heirloom pieces from her collection can be found at Cynthia Ann Jewels Collection.

Thanks again to all involved in this marathon shoot!!  


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Behind the scenes of our fall-winter collection fashion shoot.

Hello Everyone and Welcome to the LaNae Blog!

This last weekend was our photo shoot to highlight our Fall/Winter collection.  It was a heroic effort by all involved and at LaNae we want to call out the various businesses local in Vail and international who made the experience an awesome one.  Each photo deserves it's own credit so I'll be calling out those as I post over the next few weeks.

Before thanking anyone  - I have to call out the hardest working man in photography.  Abri Kruger Photography flew all the way from Cape Town to make this shoot what it is - for more of his amazing work visit

This image was taken of our beautiful model Ashley Alexander from LA Models who is truly more beautiful on the inside than out!  Thank you Ashley for being the face of LaNae and your patience throughout!  Such an awesome girl to work with.  

We shot this on the deck of the 6 room suite at the Four Seasons Vail, with sweeping views of Vail mountain and impeccable decorating by Slifer Designs.  The staff at the Four Seasons were beyond helpful during the shoot and a special call out to Randi Alt their Public Relations Manager for making this happen without a hitch.  When scouting out locations to shoot at in the village The Four Seasons Vail was not just an option it was the only option.  By far the most beautiful hotel around.

Posh! Salon & Boutique brought 3 amazing women to do hair and makeup - Chloe, Debbie, & Monalisa the owner, thanks for the hard work ladies.

More to come tomorrow.


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