Renowned Jewelry Designer Scott Kay Passes Away

Scott Kay, founder of Scott Kay Inc. has recently passed away after a heart attack on December 4th at the age of 57. He is survived by his wife, Regina and their three children.

The trailblazing entrepreneur – whose career in the jewelry industry spanned almost four decades – will be remembered by many of his colleagues and friends as a vivacious, outspoken personality with a zest for life and a passion for his craft.

That passion was sparked when Kay was just barely a young adult. Walking home one day on the streets of Brooklyn, he picked up a lug nut out of curiosity and spent the next several hours fashioning it into a pinky ring. He knew he had found his calling.

He launched his own fine jewelry design house in 1984. At the time, he was searching for something to set himself apart from many of his other competitors, and he found it through the use of platinum. He was quoted in Florida’s Sun Sentinel years later stating, “Platinum stands for the best of the best. Platinum credit cards, platinum records. Why does it have no presence in our industry?” Nowadays, he is often credited as the man who brought life back to platinum in the jewelry industry.

His personal brand achieved elevated success, driven in large part by his personal philosophy which became his brand’s motto: “never compromise”. The cornerstones of his brand were meticulous attention for the smallest detail, and the incorporation of personal, spiritual and religious themes. Many were drawn to his work for the emotional connections they elicited. He also grew a celebrity following, those who embraced his unique vision: Gwyneth Paltrow, Michael Jackson, Heidi Klum, Salma Hayek among those included.

Although he will be dearly missed, his legacy and life’s work still lives on through the brand he created. The Scott Kay Company will continue to uphold his passion and vision, and he will continue to touch and inspire those who connect through his pieces.

122.52 Carat Blue Diamond Rough Could Fetch $35 Million

An extremely rare piece of diamond rough was recently discovered at the famous Cullinan mine in South Africa, a 122.52 carat blue beauty that is estimated to sell for up to $35 million.

Comparable rough blue diamonds (over 100 carats) are somewhat of a legend: there have only been three or four that were ever recovered according a spokesperson of Petra Diamonds Ltd., the company that currently owns the Cullinan mine. Also in the blue diamond 100-carat plus club is the 115 carat rough from which ‘The Hope Diamond’ was cut. Often described as the most famous diamond in the world, The Hope is a 45.52 carat, Fancy Dark Grayish Blue diamond that is on permanent display at the Smithsonian Museum in New York.

The highest price paid for a rough diamond to date is $35.3 million. That record was achieved by the sale of a 507-carat colorless diamond, which was unearthed at the same Cullinan mine in 2010. Many diamond industry analysts are speculating that their newest find can rival, or even surpass, the $35 million mark.

Blue diamonds get their color from traces of boron impurities trapped in the carbon structure during formation. The crystallized carbon molecules form a very tight lattice structure that is nearly impenetrable; that is the reason for a diamond’s unparalleled hardness. It also makes it very unlikely for any impurities to be introduced into the structure, which is why blue diamonds (and other colors caused by impurities) are exceedingly rare and valuable.

Are Smart Rings a Good Idea?

Smart RingAbout 40 years ago, you could have made a phone call from your 23 cm long, 0.8kg mobile phone – that is, if you were rich enough to afford one. Nowadays, nearly everyone in the developed world has a smartphone. Forget about just using your phone for texting or calling! Nowadays you can do anything from check your email and connect to social media, to starting your car (Directed SmartStart) and as a POS system to accept credit card payments (Square Register). The more technology we have, the more we want. But is it getting to be a little too much?

In the race for producing new “smart” products to make our lives easier, there have been some amazing products and some that don’t measure up.

Recently, we have seen a surge in tech wearables – Google glasses, smart bracelets, smart watches; you name it, and they are making it. One of the newest crazes to hit the market are smart rings. Through crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, concepts like the Smarty Ring, Fin, and Ring have gained a lot of support and media attention. However, while many manufacturers are offering up their version of a smart ring, none have been successful in creating one on a consumer scale. Why?

Most of the problems center on its size. When trying to fit all of the sensors and functions (not to mention the battery) into a gadget that is less than an inch wide and hollow to boot, you are going to have to make sacrifices. And the very first sacrifice is the wearability: all smart rings and prototypes on the market today are wide and thick, which could be uncomfortable for every day wear as they are intended for. Another factor is that they are made with materials like hard plastics and steel, which aren’t as durable or allergy-safe. There is a reason why silver, gold, and platinum are the standard metals for jewelry: they have stood the test of time.

For all of their promises of Bluetooth enabling, user interfaces with motion sensors, vibration and more, we have yet to see a fully functional example of a smart ring. The majority are currently in various prototype stages. Experts are concerned that the miniaturization will affect the smart rings’ performance. Don Lehman, an industrial designer based in NYC, agrees. “Wearables are hard. No one has gotten bracelets just right yet, so how can we expect that same tech to shrink down further to rings?”

Even if these new smart rings worked as they should, would it really be that useful?

Ring, for example, has a text transmission function the user to write a message in the air rather than type it out on a cell phone. But you still have to use the phone to select contact, and customize the message. Fin has a security authenticator feature that can be used as an extra protection to unlock your other devices. But like all other accessories, a ring can easily be lost, and it would be a hassle to unlock your devices without it. Other common features of smart rings include receiving social media alerts, remote control for home appliances, and storage of a small amount of data. Rather than simplifying, smart rings seem to just add another layer of interaction to what you’re already doing.

The idea does hold some promise for the future, as technology progresses. But as of right now, take a pass on that new smart ring.