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Lift Your Spirits at the Miami Greek Festival

Lift your spirits!  Come visit our booth at the St. Sophia Greek Festival in Miami, Florida, USA. We'll be celebrating the 40th anniversary of St. Sophia's fantastic Greek Fest! Be the first to see Maria-Tina's newest pieces, jewelry & gift collection.  Come by and hunt for your favorite new treasures.

Fri, Sat, Sun, March 2, 3, and 4, 2018.  11am - 11pm, Sun. 11am - 9pm

Enjoy Opa!  Dance, Music, Cuisine, Culture, History, Hospitality.

https://www.stsophiamiami.org/upcomingevents

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Blue Diamonds for the One You Love

Blue Diamonds for the One You Love

 

 

Introducing Blue Diamonds!  Natural ones are rare and expensive like the "Royal Blue Diamond" ring above.

Maria-Tina has sourced some "enhanced" blue diamonds which are much more reasonable!  She's in love with their bright colors and sparkle like the color of the Greek Island seas.

Diamond, a symbol of clarity, resiliance and new beginnings, is the perfect stone to give to the people you love. Whether you’re celebrating Mother’s Day, an engagement or just because, the Greek Island House team is happy to provide these unique sparkling blue diamonds to help you send your love in a very special way.

Take a look below at Maria-Tina's most recent hand made custom pieces, a 14k rose gold engagement ring and 14k & 18k lovely mini spiral rings featuring only the best, hand selected Blue Diamonds. 

To start your own custom piece, call, text or write Maria-Tina directly at  415-299-1442, jewelry@Maria-TinaVision.com.

There's still time to order for Greek Easter (May 1) and Mother's Day (May 8) 2016

Maria-Tina Minoan Blue Diamond Jewelry

" Poseidon's Daughter's Ring"
.32 carats tw, and 14k rose gold starting at $3,500.
 

 

 

"Poseidon's Daughter Collection", .08 carats tw, and 18k gold, $850.

"Poseidon's Daughter Collection", .06 carats tw, and 14k gold, $550.

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Show-Stoppers for Burning Man

Spirals, hearts, gold and turquoise, Maria-Tina's designs on paper, video and now in jewelry have always attracted the attention and adoration  of artists from across the world. For years she has been collaborating with fellow artists, creating unique, often outrageous and always beautiful custom pieces that blend their style with hers. Now Maria-Tina is working on a series of headpieces for festival goers (AKA Burners) at Burning Man! 

What is the Burning Man Festival? Watch the video and learn the history. 
Made of solid copper wire and encrusted with vintage faceted glass gems this head piece will be worn by a special friend at the 2015 Burning Man festival.
These crowns of creativity are meant to inspire and bring to light the fun, free spiritedness of Maria-Tina and her design aesthetic. She's like a Greek Betsy Johnson, and these crowns are here to prove it!  To order your own custom, show-stopping crown, call Maria-Tina directly at (415) 299-1442.
OPA!

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Ancient Bronze

 

Browsing the fashion jewelry section of Bloomingdale's or Nordstrom today you might find more pieces made of Ancient Bronze than you've ever seen before. Larger jewelers and retailers are starting to catch on to something Maria-Tina has known for years. Ancient Bronze is a great metal for that sparkly rose gold look for a lower price. 

So What is Ancient Bronze?

Ancient Bronze is a metal alloy first created in ancient times and composed of a combination of 10% tin and 90% copper. Bronze has been used since the 4th millennium B.C.E. by many different cultures and civilizations around the world. But it was commonly found in archaeological dig sites in Iran and Thailand where both tin and copper are found in the same location naturally. Ancient Bronze was such a strong and useful metal it was used for everything from tools and weapons to jewelry and headdresses.

Today Bronze is a beautiful alternative metal for fashion jewelry offering the look of rose gold without the hefty price tag. Like great art, each piece of Maria-Tina's bronze jewelry is unique because of her process and how special properties in the metal react under fire. The color/ finish of bronze can range from antiqued gold to rose gold with different patinas. 

Maria-Tina offers many of her best designs in Ancient Bronze at great prices. Shop her Ancient Bronze collection now!

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The Dirt on your Bohemian Baubles

The hottest trend in fashion and jewelry right now is the Bohemian Look, a mix of traditional Native American and East Asian designs. But before you buy those Bohemian baubles you should know a few things...

East Asian: These gorgeous pieces draw our eye with their tinny shine and bright colored stones but its important to keep in mind that currency exchange rates aren't the only reason prices are cheap. 

METALS: The tinny color of some east Asian silver jewelry comes from a slightly different metal content. In Asia a piece of jewelry considered sterling silver contains only 90% silver and 10% zinc compared to USA 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. By using tin instead of copper, East Asian jewelry is produced more cheaply, is less durable, and may tarnish quicker than American sterling silver. Maria-Tina's silver is always high quality sterling with no less than 92.5% silver. Check out Maria-Tina's Sterling Silver collection

 

Native American: High quality, authentic Native American jewelry can be hard to find, but if you know the signs of quality craftsmanship you're more likely to score some great deals. As always, get to know the logos of notable artists and look for the maker's mark on the back of the jewelry. 

TURQUOISE: Over the years Maria-Tina has taken apart old jewelry for makeovers and discovered the dirty secrets behind cheap Native American jewelry. Behind those gorgeous stones there is sometimes cardboard or sawdust used as a filler to make up for very thin pieces of stone. As a buyer, it is very difficult to detect if the piece you are buying has as much turquoise appears, but if you look for heftier pieces that have a substantial feeling in your hand you are more likely to get a good piece of jewelry. Using only thick, solid pieces of turquoise in her pieces, that hefty feel is always present in Maria-Tina's Minoan Jewelry. Check out her extensive collection of turquoise jewelry

Maria-Tina has a collection of her own bohemian baubles and loves them all. At greekislandhouse.com we want you to be educated and enjoy these bangles and baubles too but know when you want museum-quality pieces Maria-Tina is the one to go to!

Wishing you love, light and a little bit of Opa!

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3 Tips for Buying Gold Jewelry

1. JEWELER’S HALLMARK - Good jewelers leave their mark; they want people to know they created the jewelry you’re wearing. Look for a mark on the back or inside of your jewelry with the jeweler’s name or a branded symbol. This will tell you who made the piece and if it’s really worth the price.


2. METAL CONTENT - “Hallmark” or "Quality Mark" is the official term to describe the mark on the back or inside of your jewelry with numbers like: 16k, 18k, 22k, or 24k indicating the metal content of your jewelry. If you see 22k or a lower number followed by "k" on your jewelry, it has 92% or less gold and 8% or more other metal. Pure Gold is more durable when mixed with other metals. A 24k on the back of your jewelry indicates solid gold. This pure gold is more expensive but can be easier to scratch, so choose the metal that works better for you.
2. PLATING – Some gold jewelry isn’t solid. At department stores and big box retailers much of the gold colored jewelry is only plated with gold. These plated pieces are actually made of less expensive metals such as copper and silver, reducing the value of the piece and causing metal allergies in those with metal sensitivity. However, Vermeil, sterling silver jewelry that has been plated with gold can be a great, more price conscious alternative to solid gold jewelry. Maria-Tina make extremely high quality Vermeil jewelry with solid sterling silver, triple dipped in 24 karat gold. Shop Maria-Tina's vermeil jewelry here. 

BONUS BUYS

HAND HAMMERED – hammering makes the metal in your jewelry solid and more dense by actually condensing molecules, and getting rid of air pockets in the metal. Many of Maria-Tina’s pieces have been hand hammered, so you get more metal for your money.  All pieces are made in San Francisco and

Marin Co. USA - we love to support our Local Small Businesses.

CASTINGS – Cast pieces are used by jewelers to reduce costs and production times but they can mean a compromise on quality. Most jewelry is cast. During production, metal is poured into a mold which may form tiny pockets of air that makes the jewelry lighter. To detect if a piece was cast, look along the sides of the jewelry for ridges or seams. The better the jewelry, the less you can see. The majority of Maria-Tina’s jewelry is hand fabricated (sculpted by hand). Some pieces have been cast by hand using the lost wax method with the utmost attention to detail. Unlike commercial castings, Maria-Tina’s are made from originals maintaining the integrity of the design.

MIX & MATCH – Inspired by the art of Ancient Greece, Maria-Tina’s jewelry can be mixed and matched with other pieces to create a unique and inspiring look every time. No matter what metal or stone, all of Maria-Tina’s designs have a cohesive style that can stand alone or be combined for a statement look. There are unlimited options, pairing Maria-Tina’s ancient look with modern pieces gives your outfit an air of old world sophistication like the eclectic architecture of Athens, Paris and London!

Whatever jewelry you buy, we wish you radiance and happiness and a little bit of OPA from Maria-Tina and the Greek Island House Team!
Maria-Tina Minoan Jewelry Images from top:
• "Large Byzantine Cross" - Hand fabricated, hand hammered 22 karat gold tanzanite, sapphire, amethyst, diamonds, gold granulation and stamped with Minoan symbols of life and nature.
• "Circle of Life Wedding Ring" - Hand fabricated, hand alloyed and hand hammered 22 karat gold
•  "Four Corners Byzantine Cross" pendant hand cast using the ancient technique of lost wax method from original, hand fabricated, hand stamped piece, © 2015 Maria-Tina Karamanlakis
If you enjoyed hearing what we have to say about Gold check out our guide on How to Buy Silver Jewelry.

Whatever jewelry you buy we wish you radiance and happiness and a little bit of OPA from Maria-Tina and the Greek Island House Team!

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3 Tips for Buying Silver Jewelry

    1.  JEWELER’S HALLMARKS - Good jewelers leave their mark; they want people to know they created the jewelry you’re wearing. Look for a hallmark on the back or inside of your jewelry with the jeweler’s name or a branded symbol. This will tell you who made the piece and if it’s really worth the price. Watch this video for more information on Marks.                                                                                         
      2.  METAL CONTENT - Your fine jewelry should be stamped with numbers like .925 or .999 indicating its metal content. If you see .925 on your jewelry, it has 92.5% silver and 7.25% copper or other metal. Just like Gold, pure Silver is more durable when mixed with other metals. A .999 on the back of your jewelry indicates a higher grade of silver (fine silver) with 99% silver and the remaining 1% other metals. This higher grade silver is more malleable, tends to be more expensive but can be easier to scratch so choose the metal that works better for you.
      3.  PLATING – Some silver jewelry isn’t solid silver at all. At department stores and big box retailers much of the silver colored jewelry is only electroplated with silver. These plated pieces are actually made of less expensive metals such as brass, reducing the value of the piece.

       

      BONUS BUYS

      HAND HAMMERED – hammering makes the metal in your jewelry solid and more dense by actually condensing molecules, and getting rid of air pockets in the metal. Many of Maria-Tina’s pieces have been hand hammered, so you get more metal for your money.  All pieces are made in San Francisco and
      Marin Co. USA - we love to support our Local Small Businesses.
      CASTINGS – Cast pieces are used by jewelers to reduce costs and production times but they can mean a compromise on quality. Most jewelry is cast. During production, metal is poured into a mold which may form tiny pockets of air that makes the jewelry lighter. To detect if a piece was cast, look along the sides of the jewelry for ridges or seams. The better the jewelry, the less you can see. The majority of Maria-Tina’s jewelry is hand fabricated (sculpted by hand). Some pieces have been cast by hand using the lost wax method with the utmost attention to detail. Unlike commercial castings, Maria-Tina’s are made from originals maintaining the integrity of the design.
      MIX & MATCH – Inspired by the art of Ancient Greece, Maria-Tina’s jewelry can be mixed and matched with other pieces to create a unique and inspiring look every time. No matter what metal or stone, all of Maria-Tina’s designs have a cohesive style that can stand alone or be combined for a statement look. There are unlimited options, pairing Maria-Tina’s ancient look with modern pieces gives your outfit an air of old world sophistication like the eclectic architecture of Athens, Paris and London!
      Fabulous Gladys Lewis layers her MTMJ pieces - she is one of our Amazing Collectors & Proprietor of Gladiolis Collectables & Antiques at Fifteenth Street Books, Coral Gables, FL, USA
      Whatever jewelry you buy, we wish you radiance and happiness and a little bit of OPA from Maria-Tina and the Greek Island House Team!
      Maria-Tina Minoan Jewelry Images from top:
      • "Minoan Spring Flowers" - Hand fabricated, hand hammered sterling silver with blue topaz cabachons
      • "Minoan Man" collection - Hand fabricated, hand hammered sterling silver hand hammered cuff, pendant, and cufflinks 
      •  "Peace" pendant hand cast using the ancient technique of lost wax method from original, hand fabricated, hand stamped piece
           with Malachite cabachons, © 2015 Maria-Tina Karamanlakis

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      Getty Museum chooses Maria-Tina Minoan Jewelry

       

      Maria-Tina Karamanlakis and the staff here at Greek Island House are honored to have several of our pieces chosen by the J. Paul Getty Museum Villa to accompany their Summer exhibition, Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections. The exhibition will showcase "mosaics, icons, frescoes, sculpture, manuscripts, metalwork, jewelry, glass,embroideries and ceramics drawn from Greek collections". Maria-Tina's Byzantine-inspired works will be available in the Getty Villa gift shop. Check out the Getty video below "Byzantium Site: Athens"

       

      Always inspired by visual culture like this, Maria-Tina's Four Corners and Traditional Byzantine Crosses conjure the essence of Byzantine life up to the modern era. 

      Four Corners Byzantine Cross 

      • Ancient bronze pendant molded from hand fabricated Maria-Tina Original 

      • Stamped with nature symbols

      • Faceted Ruby
      • Approx. 1" x 1"
      • 18” 14 karat gold filled chain

      • Maria-Tina "Halo" clasp closure  with rubies

       

      Traditional Byzantine Cross 

      • Ancient bronze pendant molded from hand fabricated Maria-Tina original
      • Approx. 5/8" wide, 3/4" tall
      • 18" 14 karat gold filled chain
      • Faceted Ruby
      • Maria-Tina "Halo" clasp closure with rubies

       

      Look for us at the Getty next time you're in Malibu. OPA!

      all information, images, designs © Maria-Tina Karamanlakis 2014

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      One Big OPA to all the Grads!

      Greek Island House says OPA! to all those graduates out there. 
      Mark this important milestone with a treasure from Maria-Tina Minoan Jewelry.  
      Inspired by the Greek Goddess of Wisdom, patron of the city of Athens, Athena’s shield is an everlasting symbol of wisdom, courage, inspiration and justice, mathematics and the arts ,perfect for every degree and major your graduate has received Athena’s shield is the ideal symbol for their new found wisdom. And through wisdom comes prosperity. Whether strung from a neck or dangling from the ears, these beautiful shields are suspended on a golden thread, a natural talisman bringing success and prosperity to anyone who wears it!
       
      Earrings
      • Solid sterling silver shields, hand cast from a Maria-Tina original 
      • Shields stamped with peace and nature symbols
      • 24 karat gold vermeil ear wire
      • customizable with birthstone
      • Approx. 3/4" long
       
      Necklace
      • Solid sterling silver shield, hand cast from a Maria-Tina original 
      • Shields stamped with peace and nature symbols
      • 14 karat gold filled chain with golden tourmaline accents and sterling silver beads
      • Sterling silver heart lobster clasp
      • customizable with birthstone 
      • Approx. 3/4" pendant, 18" adjustable chain 
      Athenian Owls, thick, heavy, high-relief silver coins minted more than 2,000 years ago, were arguably the most influential of all coins, and the Classical Owl tetradrachm, pictured above, is the most widely recognized ancient coin among the general public today.
      OPA!

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      Sapphires For Your Love

       

       

      Here at Greek Island House we are pleased to welcome in the year with new projects and new pieces for all of you.  I have some beautiful new sapphires to play with and am asking for your thoughts on what to make with them.  I wasn't looking for them, I just happened to be at my secret industry-only gemstone dealer in San Francisco, where I go through security and must get buzzed in through an iron gate, only to be welcomed by the owner and his stacks of trays of sparkling precious gems...  Then I spotted them... a gorgeous pair of deep, rich, red, dome-shaped, beautifully faceted, 12 mm diameter sapphires!  They reminded me of pomegranates!  There's only one pair and they will make beautiful earrings or cuff links, in gold, sterling or vermeil. I am offering them up to you first so let's create a custom piece using these beauties just in time for Valentine's Day! Prices starting at $750 please contact me directly to set up a design consultation!       415-299-1442       jewelry@maria-tinavision.com 

       

       

      In the meantime here is a little ancient Greek inspiration for you... a poem from the book " The Anakreontea" dating from between 100 - 600 BCE.       OPA!

      It is a joy to walk 
      where the meadows are in bloom, 
      where gentle Zephros exhales his sweet breath, 
      To look on the vines of Backchos, 
      ..
      And then to enter under the blanket of their leaves, 
      In your arms a silky girl, 
      Every inch of her redolent 
      of the essences of Kypris. 

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