A southern girl in NYC.  I have been to New York City a few times, and this was only the second time unaccompanied. The first time by myself in NYC, I was in my 20’s, it was the 70’s, and I was too young to be scared.

This trip, I stayed with friends who lived 20 stories above Central Park near Madison Avenue. I was up for the MJSA ConFab on Sunday and to see anything metal or stone related in NYC.

I was told to take the bus from La Guardia airport to the apartment, it was 6pm Friday afternoon and I thought I knew about rush of hour traffic, but apparently, not!! As I was on that bus going thru Harlem, I was at surprised at how civil everyone was each other. At one stop, the man sitting next to me gave his seat to a five year old child.

As the sun dawned across the reservoir the next morning, I had a beautiful view of the park and the city. The first stop of the day was the Philippine Gold: Treasures of Forgotten Kingdoms exhibit at the Asia Society. It was a multi floor display of 120 pounds of gold that was discover in the 89’s. Ancient gold at its best with granulation, chasing and repose.

Our second stop was Van Cleef and Arpels fabulous store in NYC. Window shopping and viewing current as well as old collections housed in the store, it was a fabulous sight of sumptuous   gemstones and  spectacular workmanship.

Boucheron boutique jewelers is one of my personal favorites and next on our visit for the day. The collections were on the first floor and a display of jewelry was on the second floor. As we climbed the stairs, the door was flanked by two security guests.  We entered the collections and discovered fabulous gems and jewelry, with items of luxury owned by the famous, celebrities and heads of state. As we were examining everything I struck up a conversation with another visitor. She told us about the auction viewing at Christies. So that was our next stop.

Christies is located in the Rockefeller Plaza complex off 49th street. We entered into a large sales room with about 14 big jewelry cases lined up with about 20 security guards and at least two clerks to each case. So, if you wanted to look at preview a piece of jewelry all you had to do was ask. The case flew open and you were handed a million dollar diamond ring to play with!! And there were quite a few of those.

As there were lots of diamonds, I went looking for sapphires. I was looking for a Kashmir sapphire, purportedly the best and most valuable of the blue color of sapphire. My friend Mary, grabbed a book and we started down the cases, at first,there were  8 or 15 carat Ceylon sapphires, but soon we came to cases labeled with Hong Kong dollars  first and is dollars second, the prices and sizes of stones jumped dramaticaly. We had a great conversation with the clerk as she handed the 114 carat Kashmir sapphire over to me to examine. We took turns modeling the stone and taking photos with our cell phones!! So much fun, and so little time to try on all that beautiful jewelry.

The next day was MJSA’s confab conference held down at the fashion institute of technology near Madison square garden. There were about 100 people I attendance and the day was filled with information and networking.

My last day was spent at the Metropolitan Museum of Art examining art, metal and jewelry from all over the world. The current exhibit displayed items from major museums about the Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt and many spectacular items from other collections well displayed and cohesively presented.

Well, that was fun!! I really enjoyed my stay in NYC. We had such a great time visiting Jewelers and trying on jewelry at the Christie’s auction. New York is a gold and gemstone paradise!