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What’s a Guy to Wear?

One place you’ll be sure to find some great pieces is David Yurman, a company that provides an excellent selection of goods even in an area that often gets neglected — namely, men’s jewelry.

Along with some things you might expect — like sleek cufflinks or military tags — David Yurman also has a wide variety of collections exclusively for the male population. These include lines like Chevron, Streamline, and Faceted Metal, all aptly named for the products they encompass. The Chevron Collection boasts a triple¬wrap of black braided leather that closes via a magnetic clasp of sterling silver.  The Streamline Collection comes in a range of colors, like the Heirloom Signet Ring, a sterling silver squarish band set with a rectangular gemstone of either jade, black jade, or pietersite. (The ring is also sold without a stone, leaving just the smooth silver facet as its surface.)

The most variety, however, may come from the Faceted Metal Collection, which brings an ‘edgy’ dimension to jewelry. The multi-edged metal cuff topped with 18-karat rose gold has simplicity that gives it a clean, contemporary feel. Another companion in the line is made of silver lobster claw shapes that each clasp the end of another to form a sharp, funky bracelet. If you’re a guy who feels left out of the jewelry market, David Yurman is a great place to get in on the action!


Ooh La La in Paris

Every season the House of Givenchy joins the Paris Fashion Week for its ready-to-wear fashion show. This Fall, things got pretty interesting in the jewelry department. Ten-year Creative Director Riccardo Tisci caused quite a reaction when his models walked the runway wearing not only septum rings (a nose ring piercing between the nostrils) but an added assortment of gems glued up and down his models’ faces. The process took hours to set up, and the finished product included embellishments like pearls, emeralds, and rubies. To pay homage to his Victorian inspirations, Tisci also utilized an oft-used 19th century mineral to affect Victorian signs of mourning. Tisci specifically sought an over-the-top look with his gems; a couple of the nose rings were so large that they dipped down over the lips and around to the cheeks like a handlebar mustache, a shape mimicked by the models’ front bangs, slicked against the forehead.  For one model, the rest of the ensemble included almond-shaped black gems beneath the eyes and large round crystals on either side of her lips, as well as another small piece at the dimple of her chin and up and down either ear.  Another replaced her counterpart’s black stones with white pearls for a brighter, though equally innovative, look. Tisci calls the look “Victorian-chola”, a tribute to the 19th century and to the Latin American style he brought into his design. The many celebrities in the front row — including Amanda Seyfried and Katy Perry — seemed quite interested in what Tisci had to show, so perhaps we’ll see this new style emerging on the next red carpet!

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Acquire an Aquamarine!

In honor of this month’s official gemstone, we decided to take a look at some of the great aquamarine pieces available on the market today.

If you’re seeking a more classic look, you may want to try Diamondere’s 14-karat rose gold ring. It is set with a traditional round cut aquamarine stone, while the band itself is carved with elegant and intricate swirls and scrolls.

For a more funky style, you may want to go with designer Gillian Alexander’s vintage aquamarine and blue enamel ring. The yellow gold beneath the spikes of blue enamel is 21-karat gold and spirals once around the oval cabochon cut gemstone in the middle.

There are other options as well: for someone with more playful tastes, you pretty much can’t go wrong with kittens. E­Jewelry Plus has a few of those, like one silver necklace with not one but two aquamarine stones, the first round and topped with silver cat ears while the second ­­ pear shaped ­­ has two paws and a tail. As an added bonus, this little kitten dons a gentlemanly bow tie.  A similar vendor designed a handcrafted silver charm featuring a kitten’s energetic side as it lies on its back batting a round aquamarine gemstone made of cubic zirconia. And there’s plenty more where all of that came from, so go ahead – acquire some aqua today!


Shoes and More

Here’s a jewelry line you may not have expected (or expected us to highlight): One Wink, the new jewelry collection from DSW, the Designer Shoe Warehouse.  DSW has been designing shoes for over twenty years years and have long been purveyors of handbags and similar accessories, but as of last year they broadened their range to encompass adornments of the gold and silver variety.  One Wink offers options for diverse style preferences, including both timeless elegance (like the Pearl 360 Stud Earrings) and contemporary chic (like the Multi Circle Twist Drop Earrings, which boasts a row of six gold- or silver-colored twisted-up circles).

It seems this production decision has worked out well for DSW because, since the introduction of One Wink, they have added another handful of inexpensive selections to the online store. Natasha’s Smooth Hoop Earrings (minimalist hoops with rhinestone accents) and her MultiColor Stone Bib Necklace (silver link-chain with a row of five pentagonal arrangements of colorful stones).

Only time will tell if DSW’s secondary category will continue to profit, but after a year of success they have gotten off to more than a good start.


A Brooch for Every Occasion

Some people are under the impression that brooches belong with an antiquated set of ornaments that don’t fit with the glamour and pizzazz of modern society.  But if you’re of that mind set, you may want to think again!  It’s true brooches were a common component of Victorian dress, from which brooches get the then-common oval shape bearing the portrait silhouette of a woman.  While that particular style may no longer be in fashion, brooches have plenty more to offer — both in the past and present day.  Brooches came into vogue long before the eighteenth century.  In fact, since they have existed as far back as the Bronze Age and since their style changes in quick fads, brooches can be excellent clues in identifying historical time periods.

But brooches are more than just relics of history.  As jewelry styles have modernized, so have they: pieces like a Georg Jensen brooch designed by Henning Koppel in a biomorphic figure eight-like shape. For rougher options there is Giorgio Armani’s tarantula brooch, its body made of one perfectly round black gemstone with head and legs made of tiny studded diamonds.

Even how you choose to wear it can add some flair. Though traditionally worn on or near the lapel, a brooch can go anywhere!  Try it on the hip of your dress, as a scarf fastener, or to close a vest.  You can try clusters of smaller brooches that share a motif, rather than one single larger piece.  There’s no reason to cast off brooches as the fashions of the past, not when they are still unquestionably at the height of design.


The Big Apple

In a few weeks Sotheby’s will be hosting an auction in the heart of New York City; items for sale were chosen specifically to reflect NYC’s Big Apple atmosphere, which means every artifact was inspired by or otherwise celebrates the energy of the city that never sleeps.  Of course, that still leaves a lot up to the artist’s interpretation, and the options are as diverse as the New Yorkers that inspired them.

There is the fierce Chrysler Redux bangle bracelet.  Designed by Marilyn Cooperman, this silver and gold latticework, interwoven with baguette diamonds, was inspired by the city’s architecture. David Webb’s Twin Frog bracelet could not be further from Cooperman’s style. These leap-frogging amphibians — made of green enamel and gold spots, eyes of oval-shaped cabochon rubies, and a row of diamonds for a mouth — represent the more playful side that New York can offer.

To check out more lots go to

And be sure to find yourself in New York this April Fool’s Day at 8:00 pm!

Costume: Is It Fake?

For many people the term “costume jewelry” suggests gaudy, over-the-top necklaces they once used for playing dress-up at a grandmother’s house.  For others it brings up thoughts of gold rings that turn your skin green.  Sometimes it’s difficult to reconcile less satisfactory pieces with the high quality costume jewelry you can find on the market now because our instinct may be to assume that anything “fake” is not worth our money.

In reality, though, costume jewelry has quite a bit to offer if you give it a chance.  True, the cheaper options, produced in bulk by machines, go for quantity over quality, and you’ll find the gold or silver plating chips easily and the rhinestones fall out.  But there is a higher quality available, too, on that bridges the gap between costume jewelry and fine jewelry.

The main difference between costume and fine jewelry, aside from price, is the materials that are used.  Fine jewelry will be made with precious metals, namely, silver, platinum, titanium, or gold that is 10 karats or higher. All natural stones are classified as fine jewelry, including cultured pearls (which are still naturally formed). Diamonds that were created in a lab are still considered fine jewelry because they have the same chemical properties as mined diamonds, but when sold they must be identified as having come from a lab. (They are also significantly cheaper than their naturally formed counterparts.)

In contrast to that, costume jewelry can be made with any other type of metal, like copper and stainless steel; often these non-precious metals are coated with silver or gold.  Gems used in costume jewelry are synthetically made, the most common of which are quartz, rhinestone, cubic zirconium, and even glass. When you talk about jewelry that stains your skin, you're referring to the lower end of the costume jewelry spectrum.  Those are pieces made with nickel, copper, or silver, all of which react with the acidity of lotion or sweat. But metals like stainless steel, if pure, are fairly nonreactive with the skin.  In the higher quality fashion jewelry, you will often find semi-precious stones, like jade or high quality crystal.  Stones like cubic zirconia, which simulates real diamond, don’t cheapen the look of the piece and are just as durable as are precious stones.

Chanel, a major purveyor of jewelry, has costume pieces reaching prices in the thousands — with one vintage necklace made of gold-tone metal and faux pearls.  For an heirloom that you can pass on for years to come, fine jewelry is still probably your best bet.  It’s made to last for generations, using materials that are more durable in the long-term.  But costume jewelry shouldn’t cause an upturned nose.  There is much more to costume jewelry than what you may have gleaned from a first impression, and if you give it a chance you’ll likely find yourself pleasantly surprised.

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