Monday, June 30, 2008

A Golden Pickled Bull

Art? Well whatever your opinion this piece of art is more than worth its weight in gold. A pickled calf is expected to go for between $16 to $24 million at an auction in London this September. The calf is the latest offering from British artist Damien Hirst and if you think this art is a tad expensive, bear in mind his last offering, a diamond encrusted platinum skull sold for $100 million in 2007.

The calf has been submered in formaldehyde, its hooves and horns are cast in 18 Karat gold and its head is crowned with a solid gold disc. The 2.15 meter sculpture sits on a marble base and is encased in a gold-plated box.

In Jewish and Christian tradition, the term `Golden Calf' is a euphemism for the false god. Hirst's sculpture shows his interest in ``science, religion, beauty and death,'' according to a statement released by the auction house.
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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Elton John's Fancy Fete

Recently some star-studded events have been a case of 'spot the jewel' as opposed to 'sunglasses out'. The mega-bling look this year is definately on the outs as stylists and celebs generally prefer the more demure look. But, as they say, there has to be an exception to prove the rule. The exception was on Saturday night in a rather overcast UK country estate. The estate belonged to none other than Elton John and David Furnish, the event was their 10th annual White Tie and Tiara Ball, which was supported this year by Chopard and naturally the bling was outstanding.

Some 630 party-goers paid about $6,000 to glitter and gawk at some major jewelry pieces on some major Hollywood celebs.

There was the whopping 180-carat sapphire - one of the largest in the world - worn by Chopard co-president Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele's, pictured here in the red satin Dolce & Gabbana corset-gown.

Singer Natalie Imbruglia decided more was better when she chose this pendant that featured a 23.59ct spinel cabochon, a 41.06 emerald cabochon and a 180.65ct sapphire cabochon.

Actress Zhang Ziyi, literally dripped in diamonds - her necklace featured an astounding 98.18 carats worth - then of course there were her pear diamond drop earrings (6.59ct) and a large white gold bangle bracelet set with diamonds almost 8 carats worth.

Elizabeth Hurley made sure she stayed in the spotlight - after all there was heavy competition that evening - by wearing a fancy shaped diamond tiara weighed down with a total 192.2carats, diamond drop line earrings and a diamond cuff bracelet and of course, let us not forget Ms Anger Management herself, Naomi Campbell, wearing diamonds, diamonds and more diamonds.

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Uma Thurman is engaged and has a mighty big ring to prove it.

The Kill Bill star broke the news in none other than the wedding section of the UK's The Times newspaper. In last week's Saturday edition of the paper, it read "The engagement is announced between Arpad, son of Mr Pascal Busson, of Paris, and Mrs Florence Harcourt-Smith, of South of France, and Uma, daughter of Mr and Mrs Robert A. F. Thurman of New York."

Uma's fiance is Swiss multimillionaire Arpad "Arki" Busson. He was previously married to supermodel Elle Macpherson. This will be her third trip down the aisle - her first marriage was to Gary Oldman and then to Ethan Hawke whom she divorced in 2003.

According to the papers, her engagement ring is a mega-rock - an 8-plus carat center stone surrounded by 20 smaller stones. One report in the New York Daily News, quoted a source saying "it's so big, she can't fit it through the sleeve of her coat".

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Today Show Wedding Bling

The Today Show's "Race to the Alter" wedding on Wednesday featured no small amount of bling. The beautiful bride, LaDonna Bradford sparkled in $1 million dollars worth of platinum and diamond jewelry by Kwiat when she wed Darnell Suggs.

LaDonna choose a necklace featuring a whopping 50 carats (hey - why not), a 20 carat diamond bracelet, and a pair of classic platinum and 10-carat stud earrings. That's a total of 80 carats of diamonds - not including the rings themselves. To symbolize their official commitment, the couple also exchanged platinum wedding bands by Kwiat. In all, the blinging bride wore $1 million dollars of Kwiat diamonds.

The platinum rings, from Kwiat’s new bridal collection “Fidelity,” feature two individual bands of pure Platinum running parallel to each other to symbolize the couple’s intersecting love.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Blinging in the Big House?

He maybe jeweler to the celebs, but pretty soon Jacob Arabov, aka "Jacob the Jeweler," is going to be jeweler to the cons..... New York's most flamboyant jeweler has just been sentenced to two and half years in a Federal pen for lying to investigators looking into a multi-state drug ring.

Apparently when it comes to bargaining with the Feds, no amount of bling in the world could get him out this house.

Jacob The J was arrested on June 15, 2006, at his flagship store on East 57th Street in New York on charges of laundering drug money for a Detroit-based crime syndicate called the Black Mafia Family. Authorities claimed Arabov accepted $270 million in "dirty" money from the 'Family', then returned the funds in jewelry.

His clientele includes celebs such as Kanye West, Lil Kim, Victoria Beckham, Mariah Carey and even Rudy Giuliani. They'll just have to put their jewelry shopping on ice for a while. Arabov is scheduled to report to prison Jan. 15, 2009.
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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What Are They Worth?

The truth of the matter, is that when it comes to award shows, the trials and tribulations of the red carpet are more often than not more interesting than the actual award ceremony itself. The stars parade down the carpet flashing super-white smiles, throwing a sultry look or two for the camera and gush about their getup, that they ‘just threw on an hour ago’. And, like most other things in Hollywood, ‘the this old thing?’ is pure make-believe. Every nominee, attendee or ‘friend of’ spends days preparing for their golden moment. From plastic surgery, to body treatments, a veritable army offensive of choosing the dress and mini-battalion doing their hair and make-up, nothing about the evening is last minute. When they say, ‘this old thing’ they’re more than likely referring to a vintage designer piece that certainly hasn’t been sitting at the back of anyone’s closet.

For the designers and jewelers, the publicity of dressing a star is worth hundreds of thousand dollars. Photos of the beaming celeb bedecked in their wares are printed and aired around the world, showing us all that they are the choice of the ‘those in the know’. Remember JLo and the infamous green Versace dress, split deliriously down the middle and magically hovering in place over her last few bits of concealed dignity. After that night, who hadn’t heard of Versace.
Over the years, the pressure on companies to dress the stars at these events has become so intense that a few wheeling-dealing celebrities and their stylists have discovered a lucrative side business - Cash for Clobber. Some rather underhanded stylists have taken to charging companies before they will even consider their clothes or jewels as possibilities for the A-list mannequins. Others are outright demanding ‘rent’ space. Quite simply charging companies to ‘rent’ space on the celebrity on which they can ‘display’ their jewels – it certainly gives a new meaning to ‘shelf space’.

A few years ago, this practice of hiring celebrity shelf space hit the headlines when, according to TimesOnline (a London-based newspaper), Hilary Swank returned the jewels she had borrowed from Harry Winston to wear at the 2005 Oscars (the year she won the Best Actress award) as Chopard was offering to pay her a reported $90,000 to wear its gems instead. The L.A. Times had early commented that both Swank and Charlize Theron had returned their loaned Harry Winston jewels just 24 hours before the start of the 2005 Golden Globes after allegedly receiving "6 figure checks" from Chopard to wear its designs to the event.

This practice, is by no means ubiquitous, there are still, thankfully, plenty of stars that wear the jewels they love with not a ‘rent’ contract in sight. And there remains plenty of jewelry that’s so spectacular that the stars themselves fight over who gets to host them for the night. In this diamond issue, we look back at some of the incredible jewels of award ceremonies past. Even if the movie bombed or the star has since plummeted down to earth, their jewels and gowns remain as icons of awe.
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Monday, June 23, 2008

Gold, Gems and Golf?

If you’re confused about what jewelry to wear on the gold course and what is considered ‘too much’ – I’ve got one golden rule – keep the jewels off the green – unless they’re on the putter. Confused – don’t be – if you’ve got around $4,000 to spare, your jewelry golfing woes are solved.

A German company, Barth & Sons, have developed a special ‘putter’ for lady golfers who place style and bling above practicality and budget. They’ve developed a custom-built putter with a 24kt gold-plated shaft and a head with crystal inlays ( the basic version features pink but you can customize to almost color you want).

The packaging is done in a hand-crafted case of cherry wood and carries a personal engraving on the shaft or a gold plate on the Putter-Inlay if desired. The company also offers several possibilities to further personalize your GoldenPutter, for example, if crystals are a bit too plebian, you can opt for a more expensive model with gems and diamonds instead.
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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ellen's Engagement Ring To Portia

According to, a jubilant Ellen DeGeneres is about to tie the knot with long-time girlfriend Portia De Rossi. At the recent 35th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, Ellen announced that they've set a wedding day - this follows their May announcement that they planned to make it 'official' following California's Supreme Court ruling that the previous ban on gay marriages was unconstitutional.

It was a happy night for the talk-show host and her fiancee (who was sporting a stunning Neil Lane ring that featured a marquis cut diamond set with pink diamonds) - she went home for the fourth year running with the title of outstanding talk-show host. says they are still preparing “the dream wedding,” which DeGeneres says “is very stressful. It is crazy. My gardener is now invited." The 50-year-old four-time Emmy winner said that only “incredible people” would perform, and parts of the wedding will be aired on her talk show.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Sharon Stone’s Glamorous Gig

Sharon Stone is proving that she’s hotter than ever with a sparkling new job – she’s the new face of the super-chic Italian jewelry house Damiani. She joins a star-studded list of Hollywood hotties that have partnered with Damiani in the past – they include: Brad Pitt, Sophia Loren, Gwyneth Paltrow and Isabella Rossellini.

The new Damiani advertising campaign features an uber-glam Stone fashioned as iconic women, including Amelia Earhart and Eve (as in Adam and Eve). According to the company, ‘the campaign epitomizes female icons throughout legend and history -- women who can be what they want and go beyond the limits allowed. These are women who are beautiful, romantic, tender, charming, brave, confident, courageous and full of mystery, who always feel at ease regardless of their environment.’
That is certainly true for Ms. Stone, although I’m thinking she probably wouldn’t be too much at ease in China any time soon.
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Friday, June 20, 2008

Love, Love, Love

The Empire State Building saw red on Thursday in honor of Cartier’s Love Day. For the third year the company launched a series of ‘love’ jewelry with 10 percent of sales donated to participating charities. This year's celebration began in LA the day before with a host of Love Charity Ambassadors (Ashanti, Common, Emmy Rossum, Eve, Fergie, Good Charlotte, Hilary Duff and Janet Jackson) showing off their bracelets.

The newly designed silk-cord Love charity bracelet features two interlocking Love charms, in white and pink gold. The bracelets are selling for $995 — with $200 going to the bracelet’s designated charity.

The next day it was over to New York to the top of the Empire State building as Rihanna, wearing a Cartier tiara (as one does) switched the building’s lights to red in honor of ‘Love Day’.
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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Diamond Champagne Flutes

Apparently one Australian loves his champagne so much, he’s willing to pay $400,000 for a couple of champagne flutes. According to John Calleija, an Australian jeweler, an Ozzie businessman ordered two 15cm tall flutes with a difference. The glasses, chiselled from 8kg blocks of quartz rock crystal, feature 15 carats of white diamonds and 6 carats of pink diamonds from the country’s Argyle Diamond Mine, set in platinum and 18K white and rose gold.

Although I doubt they’re dishwasher safe, the new owner is apparently planning on using them at ‘special occasions’. Cheers…..
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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sisters In The Biz

Some of Hollywood's fiercest females were honored in LA at the annual Women in Film awards - otherwise known as the Crystal + Lucy Award gala.
The 2008 Lucy Award went to the ultra-smooth Salma Hayek, not for being one of the sexiest new moms of the year, but for her work as executive producer of Ugly Betty. While the Awards recognize women's creative, social and innovative work in the movies and t.v. - like any other awards, it was what they were wearing, as opposed to what they were doing, that dominated the reviews (and I hate to say it, but I'm no exception).

It's an official award trend now - black with splashes of white. Salma, Debra Messing, Meg Ryan, Lisa Edelstein, Jennifer Morrison and Gennifer Goodwin were just some of the stars opting to go black and white.

Earrings were either black or gold, drops or studs - but definately NOT colorful. Necklaces - well necklaces weren't invited this year.

Never one to follow the crowd was Cameron Diaz who matched the red-carpet in a summery red and white dress with a stunning white enamel and diamond cuff bangle by David Webb.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Famous Gem Heists

There is a certain standing amongst gems and it has nothing to do with cut, carat, color or even value. To get on this exclusive list a gem must of course be unique, incredibly expensive and have a few tales to spin, but even then, that’s not enough. To be on this list comes at a price that most of was would shudder at. Basically, you’ve got to be kidnapped, held for ransom, accept that it may take a century or more to set you free, but ultimately you will be set free (usually for a king’s ransom). Only then can you be nominated for this list - the famous gem heists in history list. takes a look at some of the fabulous gems that have been stolen over the ages.

Log onto: and find out which gems have a history that's stranger than fiction
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Monday, June 16, 2008

Singing In Style

Broadway’s brightest turned up the avenue’s star wattage Sunday night as they gathered at New York’s Radio City Music Hall for the 2008 Tony Awards. Two musicals were the big hit winners of the night and if you’re planning a visit to the Big Apple anytime soon and want your fill of singing and dancing, In The Heights and South Pacific are this year’s top winners.

If you’re not much of a song and dance man, then August: Osage County and Boeing Boeing were the top dramatic winners of the night. But enough about the awards, who was wearing what…..?

Black, black and the occasional white. Yep, from Cannes to MTV and now onto Broadway, it’s still better in black and white. Jewelry, as always at the Tony’s, was understated. Simple pearl or diamond drop earrings were the de-rigueur white jewels and black diamonds, onyx and even black pearls were off-setting the whiteness of it all.
If you want to light up like a Broadway dame, then has a great selection of pearl and diamond drop earrings for the price of a box-office ticket......

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Back Pocket Bling

According to one fashion brand, their design team has 'created a true work of art that will appeal to those who create trends rather than follow them.' Wait a sec....... create trends? In this case, you've got a be a very wealthy trend-setter, no cutting-edge bohemia artists here. Key Closet, a clothing brand, was refering to a pair of jeans they'd just launched. Apparently if you create a line of jeans with a $10,000 price tag per pair, they go from being, well jeans, to 'art'.
Each pair of jeans/art is set with 1,000 Swarovski crystals and a one-carat diamond on each back pocket.

Not all is flash and cash with these denims though. The company states that 30% of the profits from the sale of the $10,000 Jeans will be donated to help build a primary schools for children in Kampala, Uganda.
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Friday, June 13, 2008

Onassis' Closet Clearing

For some down-sizing means throwing away the old, keeping the useful and storing mementos. Family heirlooms, generally tend to fall into the ‘storing pile’. But, what do you do, if the storing pile needs a vault and is worth around $13 million? Sometimes E-bay just isn’t the solution. For Athina Onassis, daughter of Christina Onassis and granddaughter of Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis, her clearout called for an auction at Christie’s International in London, not that she needed the money. With a fortune estimated to stand around the $2 billion, the heiress reportedly decided to sell the jewels as ‘they don’t fit with her modern lifestyle’ and not because she need gas money.

The star of the auction was a Harry Winston diamond necklace featuring 38 carat, pear-shaped, D color stone. It sold for a whopping $7.1 million, around $2.5 million more than its estimate.

The necklace was just part of a collection of more than that went under the hammer in the UK capital. A diamond ring with a pear-shaped stone weighing 14.79 carats doubled its low estimate selling for around $2.2 million, but there were also some slightly less blinging items on the block. For $3,000 you could have picked up a bangle made of elephant hair etched with the initials of Christina Onassis and her husband.
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sandals Worth A Fortune

Sparkly sandals are definite must-have for summer 2008, but these gemstone jewels by Stuart Weitzman are probably not going to find themselves in too many wardrobes. With a price tag of $2 million, it’s going to take a lot of saving for this shoe splurge. Suddenly the Jimmy Choos seem quite affordable.

The shoes, a collaboration between Stuart Weitzman and jewelry brand Le Vian were unveiled during the recent JCK Vegas show. The star of the sandals is a 16 carat pear-shaped tanzanite stone, surrounded by diamonds dangling over the front of the shoe, with a diamond front strap providing some foot support. Altogether the pair features some 28 carats worth of diamonds, with a whopping 185 carats of tanzanite.
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Monday, June 9, 2008

Fashion's Triumphant Night

Who would have thought back in High School, that the library was the place to be seen? Well, we probably weren’t thinking of the New York Public Library and we definitely weren’t thinking of fashion’s top awards. Recently, the ultimate list of fashionistas, stylists, editors and critics gathered in the City to celebrate the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) awards.

The Womenswear Designer of the Year award went, for the second time, to Calvin Klein’s head designer, Fransisco Costa. For the guys, the man responsible for the most fashionable suits, trousers and general metrosexual head-to-toe was Tom Ford and winning in accessories was Tory Burch - the women behind the ballet shoe and metallic emblem that is (or should be) a staple of every female’s wardrobe.

But, as always, it was who was attending and where they were wearing that caused the most chatter. Victoria Beckham, Eva Longoria Parker, Tony Parker, Kim Cattrall, Hillary Duff, Mandy Moore, Lauren Hutton, Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler were some of the ‘celebs’ paying homage to designers such as Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, Vera Wang and Carolina Herrera.

Even New York Mayor Bloomberg attended the stylish night out. He was honored, (not for his fashion sense I hasten to add) but for his commitment to keeping the city's garment industry thriving. On his accepting his award Bloomberg, in a lilac-colored bow tie, panned that he would have worn something more stylish, but "my skinny jeans are at the cleaners and my gladiator sandals are being resoled."

As for what they were wearing, when it comes to jewelry, it was a matter of quality over quantity. Cute black diamond studs, elegant gold hoops and of course ole Posh Spice (aka Mrs Beckham) who prefers size (just not in clothes) over all else.
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Diamond Sold For Over $6.1 Million

If you need something special and Clare's Accessories just isn't doing it, then a recent auction in Hong Kong may have had just what you're looking for. The Hong Kong branch of Christie's Auction House recently said 'sold' to a diamond that's described as 'the size of a ping-pong ball'.

Set in a tiara was a 101.27 carat shield-shape diamond that had been cut from a 460-carat rough. The mega-rock, while internally flawless, has a slight imperfection on the surface that is imperceptible to the human eye, according to the auctioneers. Imperfect or not, a private buyer was ready to shell out over $6.1 million for the sparkling headset.

It is the largest colorless diamond to appear on the auction market in the last 18 years, Christie's said. Only three colorless diamonds of more than 100 carats have appeared at auction. All were sold in Geneva. Naming rights were granted to the new owner - suggestions welcome......
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Saturday, June 7, 2008

How Long is Long? - Pearl Strand Lengths

June is Pearl Month and has a pearls of wisdom when it comes to picking the perfect pearl piece.

Pearl necklaces come in five basic lengths, but which is the length for you and what do they mean?

Choker, Princess, Matinee, Opera and Rope.Y ou may have heard of some of the names but probably have no idea how long each is and, more importantly, how it sits on the neck and below.

Choker - 16 in
The pearl choker is the shortest length circling the neck. While a pearl choker can be worn with almost any neckline and looks great with every style, from casual to formal, make sure it doesn't swallow the neck. Pearl chokers draw attention to the neck but if you have a particularly short or long neck, the attention should be drawn away from the neck to the shoulder line or below. As such, stay away from chokers. For everyone else, a choker is great classic, suitable for every occasion.

Princess - 18 in
A princess strand falls slightly below the neckline and compliments every neck-style from high to low. It's great for office-wear as its length sits just above a blouse neckline and won't be hidden like longer lengths.

Matinee - 24 in
The Matinee strand is most popular for formal occasions and is the perfect length for any little black dress event. It's also the best length for those who are well endowed in the chest region as it highlights the neck and shoulders finishing just above the cleavage.

Opera - 32 in
Falling just below the bustline, the Opera strand is great for eveningwear and compliments every body shape. For less formal occasions, it can be doubled over and worn as a twin choker – a true day into night piece.

Rope - 46 in
If it's versatility you're after, then a pearl rope is the style for you. By itself the strand generally falls somewhere around the waistline and is perfect for those that like to stand out from the crowd. Its length means you can play with styles from triple, or quadruple rows of a choker, to doubling it as Princess and Opera style together. Or try simply knotting it for a chic look that's perfect with everything from jeans and a tee shirt to an elegant evening gown.
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Friday, June 6, 2008

Diamond Ringers

So while cellphones may not be technically jewelry, it seems some of them feature more diamonds and gems than your average jeweler’s window. recently published a gallery of ‘10 Most Lust-Inspiring Cellphones’ and it’s apparent from some of these high-rolling devices that design and diamonds are integral when it comes to flashing your phone.

Top on the list of ‘Look – I’ve got loads of Money’ Phone is the 8800 Arte from Austrian designer Peter Aloisson. The luxury Nokia phone is studded with more than 680 pink and white diamonds set in 18K white gold. At $134,000, this is one phone you don’t want to forget in a cab.

Some techno-freaks may be more interested in the soon-to-be launched 2nd generation Apple iPhone than the diamond-encrusted iPhone by Amosu. At $39,000 it’s a snip compared to the 8800 Arte.

And finally, but by no means least, is Christian Dior’s recently released ‘My Dior’ mobile. The more expensive ‘My Dior’ version has a crocodile skin case and some obligatory bling – in this case 640 Swarovski crystals – yours for $26,000.
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