Armenta Trunk Show with a personal appearance by designer Emily Armenta.
May 8th-9th, 10:00am-5:30pm
Roberson’s Fine Jewelry, Pleasant Ridge Town Center
Designer Emily Armenta will be with us as we showcase her collection. RSVP now and don’t miss out on the opportunity to meet the talented mind behind the design.
THE WOMAN BEHIND THE JEWELRY: ERICA COURTNEY
Erica Courtney has captured many with her exquisite jewelry designs, but it's her passion the stones that will capture your heart.Southern Jewelry News' Mia Katrin has the story.
Climbing down a mountain in a Vietnamese jungle in May 2016.
Finding a boulder with spinel in it in Vietnam.
With emerald miners in Columbia, October 2015
ERICA COURTNEY- CIRCLING THE WORLD IN BEAUTY
I recently caught up with Erica Courtney just returning from her latest globe-trotting, gem-collecting adventure in Thailand. Erica’s a legend in her own time. Boot-strapping her way to success from her roots as a single mom in need of basic income to the highest echelons of the designer jewelry industry. She’s the real deal, a self-made woman, a model creative entrepreneur. Erica’s a winner of numerous Spectrum awards - including this year - and couturier to the stars. Her Hollywood A-List clients are frequently seen gracing the red carpet with her latest “Drop Dead Gorgeous” signature creations.
Learning about the process of mining emeralds in Columbia, October 2015
Mia Katrin: “Your exquisite jewelry features some jaw-dropping world-class rare and exotic gems from spectacular Paraiba tourmaline to color-change Csarite, as well as precious sapphires, emeralds and rubies. What initially sparked your interest in featuring these remarkable gems?”
Erica Courtney: “It all began 18-20 years ago at the big AGTA Gem show. I discovered a vendor with this incredible Pakistani peridot - a color I had never seen before - and Spessartite garnet with vibrant flashes of orange and red. I was mesmerized. It changed my world. I had to have them! I invested $10,000 - a large sum for me then - although advised against this by my gemological mentor at the time who thought I was overpaying. But when I saw my clients’ response to the gems I knew I had found my niche.”
MK: “When did you begin directly sourcing gems at the mines and with local dealers?”
EC: “In 2008 I went to Tanzania. Africa was incredible! We went on safari. It whetted my appetite. I’ve been to Colombia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Vietnam and am planning a trip to Burma next year.”
MK: “I’ve heard from gem dealer friends that you have to be careful going to remote locations. Personal safety is an issue.”
EC: “The dangers are real. We hike to remote locations carrying backpacks with a gallon of water - which feels like 100 pounds! - treats for snacking and sleeping bags for sleeping under the stars. In Vietnam we trekked over acres of wet, slippery green rocks. If you twist your ankle you jeopardize the progress of the whole group. Going down mine shafts, there are no safety harnesses. Of course the real issue is getting back up. And there are bandits!”