Marg Helgenberger: CBS's Intelligence Star is Brilliant in Spectrum Jewelry, Too!

Jan 21, 2014, 08:00 ET from American Gem Trade Association

DALLAS, Jan. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is written by Lorraine DePasque for the American Gem Trade Association:


January marked the beginning of two alluring roles for Marg Helgenberger: a leading character on the new CBS drama, Intelligence, and a celebrity spokesmodel for the 2014 AGTA Spectrum Awards™ jewelry collection. Though both projects just recently began, the multi-award-winning actress has already been energized by them—for different reasons, of course. As for the latter, she says, "I've always loved colored stone jewelry," which is celebrated by the annual Spectrum competition, sponsored by the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA), now in its 30th year and considered North America's premier natural colored gemstone and cultured pearl jewelry design contest. "And I especially like whimsical colorful gem pieces."

A bit ironic perhaps? Helgenberger's current TV part and two earlier ones, which garnered her awards and nominations as well as fans, have given her limited opportunity to wear whimsical, as the storylines tend toward solemnly intense. Starring now as the straightforward Lillian Strand on Intelligence, Helgenberger portrays the director of a government cyber-security agency working to protect the country from its enemies. "I have such admiration for women in these positions, so I'm excited to be doing this." In prior work, she starred for 12 seasons as Catherine Willows on crime drama, CSI, and awhile before that, she played K.C. Kolowski on the Vietnam-era drama, China Beach, for which she won an Emmy Award®.

Nonetheless, during the actor's off-set hours, capricious colorful pieces are her perfect fashion complements. "I think I started to love jewelry when I was in my twenties, when my ex-husband lavished me with it. These days, I enjoy buying it for special occasions like my birthday, or to celebrate getting a new job--or if I finish a job!"

Jewelry with amethyst, emerald, coral and turquoise are usually at the top of her wish list. "I've always liked wearing purple since I feel it's a color that looks good on me, so I love putting on amethyst with it. Recently, I borrowed a very cool pair of amethyst earrings from Neil Lane that I'm thinking of buying--I've worn his designs since probably the late eighties when I first came to California and started working." It was during the time she was starring in the soap opera, Ryan's Hope—the kind of role she'd dreamed of when studying drama at Northwestern University.

Today, before red carpet events, Helgenberger typically looks at designer dresses in purple, lavender, royal blue and red—"magenta, but not all reds"--then she chooses some colorful jewelry to complete whatever she ultimately decides on wearing.

Admittedly, if Helgenberger is just doing errands, she may wear only a pair of earrings and, for the last few years, much of her casual clothing has been in the darker gray family. "It's a neutral that I find is perfect for jewelry with gems in purple, blue or teal," she says. "I also like wearing coral and turquoise a lot—they're so vibrant."

And emeralds—always emeralds, she emphasizes. "Most redheads wear a lot of green, but I don't. Instead, I do green by wearing emerald jewelry." It's not surprising, then, that a pair of platinum earrings she wore for the AGTA Spectrum™ Collection photo shoot intrigued her. A Platinum Honors™ winner in the "Evening Wear Division," the earrings by Howard Donsky of Jeffrey Howard, Inc., have two pear-shaped tanzanite slabs (48.08 ctw.), two emerald slabs (11.44 ctw.), two moonstones (2.43 ctw.), and are accented with diamonds (2.84 ctw.). "I love three-drop earrings, and these were fun yet elegant. A woman can wear them day into evening."

Helgenberger, who hopes other women will experience the same joy from gem color that she has, adds, "That's the great thing about colored precious and semi-precious jewelry. There are a lot of large pieces you can easily wear both day and night. Jewelry doesn't have to be serious--like some of the big, all-white-diamond pieces that often get a lot of attention. Those earrings, for example, were dramatic but, at the same time, light as air. Frequently, I find that colorful pieces can be much more creative than all-diamond designs because of how the gems mix and match together."

She further points out, "When I was looking at the whole jewelry collection at the AGTA photo shoot, I loved seeing that kind of creativity—the way different designers combined gem and metal colors on a single piece. I felt like I was seeing a lot of jewelry I haven't seen in jewelry stores. But I'd like to see this kind of originality in stores because, often enough, I may leave my house not thinking I'm going to buy jewelry that day but, if I see something interesting, I wind up getting it. Discovering imaginative, colorful jewelry is fun."

Inspiring jewelry comes in a broad range of prices, too, she says. "I find it in both inexpensive places and high-end shops. A little over a year ago, when I met Stephen Webster in St. Bart's, I bought a pair of his fun and funky jellyfish earrings with black diamonds. I was already familiar with his unconventional work because I'd seen some of it in Borsheims, when I was home in Nebraska visiting my mother. Yes, I like black diamonds, too—yesterday, I went to a boutique in my neighborhood to buy a gift, but when I spotted four small eternity bands—one was black diamonds, the others were champagnes--I wound up treating myself!"

Clearly, this woman of Intelligence knows: Whether it's a riveting acting role or an interesting piece of jewelry, when you happen upon something that speaks to you, go for it!

Contact: Danielle Pelletiere, 1-800-972-1162,

SOURCE American Gem Trade Association