Kathleen Lynagh Jewelry Design

designing jewelry & re-creative jewelry for the costume & film industry

The Re-Creative Victorian Pendant from the Movie Gaslight at Disney

Shown above is the re-created Victorian pendant and the beautifully restored gown, worn by Ingrid Bergman in the classic “Gaslight”on display at Disney 2015. From the private collection of  Larry McQueen, owner of the Collection of Motion Picture Costume Design.
Photo By Larry McQueen
Close-up detail photo by Larry McQueen

What is your birthstone?

One of the latest trends in engagement ring design is to use your birthstone as the center piece.

If you are set on your using birthstone please keep in mind, all birthstones are not created equally. You want your ring to last correct?  The key to a long-lasting ring is the hardness of the gem.

The Moh’s Hardness Scale measures the durability of a gemstone on a scale of 1-10. The diamond, with or with color, scores 10 out of 10. At the bottom is the beautiful pearl at 2.5. Easily damaged, pearls are not recommended for an engagement ring.


If you are considering a birthstone for your engagement ring, first check out whether it is resilient enough to withstand everyday wear. If a gemstone scores less than 7.5 on the Moh’s Hardness Scale, think twice about considering it.

Birthstone: Garnet
6.5-7.5 on the Moh’s Hardness Scale – not recommended for an engagement ring.

Birthstone: Amethyst
7.0 on the Moh’s Hardness Scale – not recommended for an engagement ring.

Birthstone: Aquamarine
7.5-8.0 on the Moh’s Hardness Scale – not the hardiest of gems, but worth considering for an engagement ring.

Birthstone: Diamond
10 on the Moh’s Hardness Scale – top of the list.

Birthstone: Emerald
7.5-8.0 on the Moh’s Hardness Scale, but emeralds normally have inclusions – minute cavities trapped inside the gem – which makes them much more fragile than the Moh’s Scale suggests. Avoid for an engagement ring.

Birthstones: Pearl, Moonstone and Alexandrite
At 2.5 on the Moh’s Scale, pearls are a definite no-no, as are moonstones, which score 6.0-6-5. Alexandrites score a more robust 8.5, so if you are a June baby, this is only birthstone engagement ring we would recommend.

Birthstone: Ruby
9.0 on the Moh’s Scale – perfectly suited to an engagement ring.

Birthstones: Peridot, Sardonyx and Spinel
Avoid peridot and sardonyx – a type of onyx – which both score 7.0 on the Moh’s scale, while spinel is a more resilient 8.0 and therefore suitable for an engagement ring.

Birthstone: Sapphire
9.0 on the Moh’s Scale – perfectly suited to an engagement ring.

Birthstones: Opal and Tourmaline
At 5.5-6.5 on the Moh’s Scale, opals are easily scratchable, while tourmalines (7.0-7.5) don’t quite make the grade either. Avoid both for a birthstone engagement ring.

Birthstones: Citrine and Topaz
7.0 and 8.0 respectively on the Moh’s Hardness Scale, opt for a topaz birthstone engagement ring if you are born in November.

Birthstones: Tanzanite, Blue zircon, Turquoise and Blue topaz
December babies are spoilt for choice with their birthstones, but only one – blue topaz, which scores 8.0 on the Moh’s Scale – is robust enough to consider for an engagement ring. You can probably get away with blue zircon (7.5), but steer clear of tanzanite (6.5-7.0) and turquoise (5.0-6.0).

The Smart Tattoo

A Modern Tattoo – DuoSkin – Smart Body Jewelry

The latest in temporary body art uses gold leaf and technology to communicate and adorn our bodies.

DuoSkin tattoos are designed to last a few days at the most.

Researchers at the MIT Media Lab have developed gold leaf temporary tattoos that can sense touch input, change colors to match the wearer’s mood, or communicate and share data with devices.

The secret to the new wearable tech, which is affordable in a way similar projects have not been, is gold leaf, which is conductive, skin-safe, and easy to attach and remove from skin. Researchers chose the material for these reasons and also for its appearance, which resembles the look of jewelry.

“DuoSkin draws from a trend in body art around metallic jewelry-like tattoos, which are temporary tattoos printed with nonconductive metallic ink,”  “Unlike projects in the related work, DuoSkin leverages readily accessible materials and processes that enable users to create and customize on-skin circuitry. For more details please follow the link MIT paper.

(Screenshot courtesy of MIT Media Lab)

Digital skin jewelry, Smart from MIT Media Lab on Vimeo

WJA Maker’s Project 2016

The Women’s Jewelry Association Maker’s Project, is a fundraiser for  Continue reading “WJA Maker’s Project 2016”

Diamonds Galore

Colored Diamonds are Forever

Continue reading “Diamonds Galore”

Paris Moodboards — Terry Dresbach

Creating Moodboards are essential in the creative design process. Whether you are designing jewelry or gorgeous costumes… Continue reading “Paris Moodboards — Terry Dresbach”

TEFAF Maastricht – if you missed this event check this out

This year I virtually attended the event when I received Jewels of Jour blog post Treasures from Tefaf Maastricht. Here are a few of my favorites from the event.

Continue reading “TEFAF Maastricht – if you missed this event check this out”

My Journey to Tucson

I consider myself very lucky. I was able to venture out this year, into the land of gems, and  see the 2016 International Tucson Gem Show. I have been attending this annual show since I was a buyer for a design studio in Oakland back in the early 90’s. Seems like ages ago. But I never grow tired of the amazing sights to behold, tables piled high with gems and pearls. Need I say any more. Continue reading “My Journey to Tucson”

Duality in Color

WHAT IS THE PANTONE COLOR OF THE YEAR?   At the beginning of each year I take a good look at the colors selected by Pantone (a company noted for standardizing the use of color in printing) and ponder how it may affect my jewelry designs for the new season.

Pantone colors for 2016                 Kathleen Lynagh Designs

This year, two of the colors selected took me by surprise. Designing with soft subtle shades has never been my forte. Continue reading “Duality in Color”

Rarely do I see work like this…

lydia_courteille_rainbow_warrior_earringsLydia Courteille’s new jewellery collection tells the tale of a Native American legend, thru the use of vibrant gemstones and amazing metalwork. She is one of my a favorite designers, bold and adventurous, two characteristics that I admire. Continue reading “Rarely do I see work like this…”

My Studio

A simple place where we work everyday, creating jewelry, developing designs for clients and loving life.

KathleenLynaghDesigns 2015

Living in Southern California has it’s perks, almost constant sunshine and warm weather so we can work with the windows wide open, how pleasant it is to work in our studio.

But let’s be real, you should take this tour of a wonderful studio in Paris, a video virtual tour of the Van Cleef & ArpelsContinue reading “My Studio”

Custom Jewelry – Designed For Love

I never really know how work will come to the studio. One would think that I do, but it doesn’t work that way. Sometimes it’s by word of mouth, or thru my website or past clients that bring me new design projects. Whichever they may be, I am grateful for the design challenges that come my way.

Continue reading “Custom Jewelry – Designed For Love”

Van Cleef & Arpels: Wouldn’t seeing this be worth a trip to Paris?

Inspiration comes to us in many ways. Continue reading “Van Cleef & Arpels: Wouldn’t seeing this be worth a trip to Paris?”

Apple ring coming soon?

The first step has been taken.

Last Spring, Apple filed a design patent for a ring. I was not surprised. It was just a matter of time before they would add a smart ring to their jewelry collection.

Apple Smart Ring Patent
Here are some links to images and paper work for those of you who are just curious and not working in the patent office.  Continue reading “Apple ring coming soon?”

Where do we find inspiration?

Inspiration : something that makes someone want to do something or that gives someone an idea about what to do or create : a force or influence that inspires someone : a person, place, experience, etc., that makes someone want to do or create something

: a good idea

Continue reading “Where do we find inspiration?”

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