From Russia, with love.
The view from my train car revealed nothing but white. Miles of ice and snow for hours and hours. You don't know the meaning of 'the middle of nowhere' until you go gem shopping in Russia's frozen backyard. Luckily, I knew there was "pot o' green" at the end of the bleached-out rainbow.
If you want to find color in the frozen wastelands of Siberia, you have to dig for it. The rich green in our Romanova collection comes courtesy of chrome diopside, a vividly-colored gemstone pulled from deep beneath the frigid earth. We've secured a cache of some of the rarest, gem-quality chrome diopside on the planet for the necklace and the earrings. The Necklace features a 2 carat cluster of faceted ovals set in gleaming .925 sterling silver and the earrings total 3-1/4 carats. Chrome diopside has an uncanny color that actually sparkles more brilliantly green than emerald (it has nearly twice the refraction index).
I jumped at the chance to feature chrome diopside, which has become one of the rising superstars of the gem world. And the price was right. But my invitation to tour the mines was a part of the deal. If I wanted the bargain price, I needed to understand the process. My Russian friends wanted to remind that the best things in life don't come easy. And that the world's most gorgeous green doesn't grow on trees.