Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Rihanna's Ring Bling

Jewelry trends - from mood rings and circle pendants to tennis bracelets and statement necklaces - aren't always easy to spot right away. Usually, they start with a celebrity (Like Oprah Winfrey and the diamond circle pendant). So as jewelry hounds are wont to do, I've been digging around for a celebrity jewelry trend that's ready to break to the masses - and break big.

Enter Rihanna.

National Jeweler wisely pointed out earlier this year that the superstar has been wearing rings on every finger wherever she goes (the AMAs, The Woman of the Year Awards, what have you).

Not long after, I spotted the same trend on the Fall Ready-to-Wear runways - Karl Lagerfeld's latest Chanel offering for one. And at the Kids' Choice Awards last weekend (often the perfect place to spot the next big thing), stars were ringing up like there was no tomorrow.

So I'm calling it. The latest big celebrity trend for the masses is: rings on every finger. You might not be able to wear the look at your next important Board Meeting or to defend your dissertation - but go for it with any casual or dressy ensemble, I'm thinking.

Time to dust off those long lost rings that haven't seen the light of day in a while (mood rings included!). Troll the vintage shops, grandma's jewelry box - and of course places like and JewelClub (code: INSIDER) - for affordable, fun ring styles you can pile on like the tastemakers.

So what do you guys think of my proclamation? Am I on the right track? Would you wear this look -and if so - where? Weigh in!
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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Project Runway Jewelry Thief?

Remember Gordana Gehlhausen from last season’s Project Runway? You know - the surly structural designer with a hunkering for her Yugoslav homeland? Well the rumor mill is buzzing that she stole jewelry designs from celebrity jewelry designer Michaela Kuechenhoff (Micha), according to Radaronline.

Yup. Yet another copycat claim hurled at the Project Runway folk – and this one seems like a doozy.

Apparently, Micha befriended the reality star a year ago, helping her with her runway show during LA Fashion Week. When Gordana was late returning the styles, Micha paid her a visit, noticing her new jewelry line littered with pieces that looked strikingly similar to Micha's – if not a total rip off.


This isn’t the first time a reality star with a jewelry line has been accused of stealing styles (remember NY Housewife, Kelly Bensimon’s snafu with her former employee last year?). But Gordana is a bona fide designer – she's not just lending her name to something like most other folks do these days. Ugh.

One day you’re in, and the next? You're lawyered up.

What do you guys think?
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Monday, March 29, 2010

Platinum Jewelry for Mere Mortals

Let's face it. In the hierarchy of jewelry metals, we can all agree there’s silver, there's gold but there's really no topping platinum in terms of quality, right?

According to the Platinum Guild, it’s the most pure of all the precious metals - 95% pure, compared to 18K (75%) and 14K (58.5%) gold. And its 30 times more rare than gold. Fancy that.

Whenever I cover a celebrity engagement ring or a red carpet event, it's safe to assume most of the styles are set in platinum, including Ivanka Trump’s and Carrie Underwood’s diamond rock and Julianne Moore’s jaw-dropping Bulgari emerald earrings.

But despite the luxury allure, it’s wrong to assume that platinum jewelry is out of reach for the average consumer, like us. The good news is: platinum designers have become quite creative with their manufacturing processes, making lighter weight, airy styles that cut down on metal and end cost. This goes for fashion pieces and – yes – the coveted engagement ring styles you see in Us Magazine every week.

For example:
This vintage right hand ring from JCPenney is platinum over sterling silver – a creative way to bring costs down without sacrificing style. And with a price of only $79.99 it’s a surefire way to get platinum in your jewelry box without breaking the bank.

Speaking of vintage, this pure platinum engagement ring at approx. $1,000 - $2,000 costs well below the usual platinum price point with unique sapphire side stones and hand-engraved details. Check out for more on this piece and many other styles where you can choose your starting price point and they, well, point you in the right direction.

So in other words, the next time you're considering a jewelry purchase, don’t automatically figure platinum is out of the picture. In this economy, everyone is getting creative - luxury is still well within reach.

And for those of you who still love to look at luxury well beyond your reach (yours truly most definitely included) - to that end, I give you this historic platinum and diamond ring on the auction block at Christie's next month that could clock in at around 1.5 to 2 million!

No harm in just looking, right?
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Friday, March 26, 2010

Chopard Celebrates 150 Years

Noah's Ark never looked this good, jewelry hounds. The luxury watch stalwart and red carpet staple, Chopard, is celebrating their 150th Anniversary with a dazzling array of 150 unique animal-inspired pieces - their largest and most diverse collection devoted to a single theme.

And what a theme it is.

In true Chopard style, the pieces required 20,000 hours of work and involved setting 250,000 stones.

"I really wanted to make them like sculptures," Chopard co-president and artistic director Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele told WWD of the pieces. "If people want to buy one, they will have to reserve it and get it at the end of November."

Thankfully, they've created a microsite devoted to the effort, where you can gawk at over a dozen of the drool-worthy gems up for grabs.

Here are some of my favs (Check out the whopper of a yellow diamond in the turtle ring. Slow and steady wins this race!):

Monkey pendant in white gold set with brown diamonds (5cts) and tsavorites (5cts), on a white gold chain set with briolette-cut rubellites (16cts).

Turtle ring in rose gold, composed of a magnificent pear-cut yellow diamond (11cts) surrounded by brown diamonds (3cts), cognac-coloured diamonds and yellow diamonds (2cts).

Bear Cub Ring composed of two sapphires (0,1ct), one onyx and diamonds (23,8ct) set in white gold.

Rabbit Bracelet in white gold set with diamonds (7cts), brown diamonds, pear-shaped rose-cut orange sapphires (15cts), oval shaped green tourmalines (4cts) and marquise-cut green tourmalines (2cts).

Sardine Bracelet in white gold set with diamonds (4cts), sapphires (11cts) and sapphire cabochons.

Which one do you want to bring home? Weigh in!
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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Jewelers of America Puts Designers First

Jewelry design. If you go by just what you read in the papers, you might think the only folks contributing new ideas are bored celebrities (Brangelina, Nicole Ritchie, et al), ex super models (Cindy Crawford, Heidi Klum) and reality show D-listers (too many to count).

But in 'real life', jewelry designers are toiling away unnoticed all across this great land of ours. That's why I think it's pretty cool that industry organizations like Jewelers of America (JA) choose to highlight artists that don't have a big name - just a great eye. And they've been doing so for the last 20 years through their "Jewelers of America Annual Design Competition".

This year's contest took place during the JA New York Winter Show earlier this month with designers from Minnesota, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas taking home prizes in four categories (based on the cost of materials used): $1,000 and under; $1,001-$3,000; $3,001 and over; and a Buyers' Choice Award.

"Jewelers of America's annual Design Competition takes winners from our partner state jewelry associations' contests and gives them a national platform to showcase their talent and creativity," says JA COO Robert Headley.

Designs were judged by a panel of industry experts with JA New York attendees selecting the Buyers' Choice Award.

Which winning look is your favorite? I have to say I'm partial to purple drama that is the Buyers' Choice pendant, myself. Weigh in!

The winners of the 20th Annual JA Affiliate Design Competition are:

(Photo Credit: Karen Janowski of Diamond Vision Services)

Category I ($1,000 & Under)

Treva Roberts, Diamonds & Designs by None Other Goldsmiths; Gahanna, OH

A 9.44-carat tourmalinated quartz pendant, set in 14K white gold with white and black diamonds, on a black neoprene cord.

Category II ($1,001 ? $3,000)

Ben S. Curtis, Kelley Jewelers; Weatherford, OK

A trillion rubellite medallion pendant with 101 round brilliant cut diamonds, set in 14K, 18K and 22K yellow and white gold.

Category III ($3,001 and Over)

Ziad H. Noshie, Almaza Jewelers; Houston, TX

Complete set of 18K yellow and white gold necklace, bracelet, earrings and ring. Each circle is handmade, and some feature mother of pearl, multi-colored sapphires and/or full-cut diamonds (4.55 cts).

Buyers' Choice

Bernie Benavidez, Master Jewelers, Inc.; Rochester, MN

A 5.64-carat "Royal Silk Blue" tanzanite pendant with round and marquise-cut diamonds surrounding the center stone. White gold setting features filigree goldwork.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Ivanka Trump's Boardroom Jewelry

Ivanka Trump jewelry has been all over the place lately - from her recent Ivanka Trump Jewelry line launch in New York to her highly covered wedding jewels (see all the diamond details here). But it is her toupeed elder's show, Celebrity Apprentice, that's making hearts go pitter pat these days as the uber spawn sports a dazzling array of gems during each episode's Boardroom showdown.

(Spoiler alert if you DVR-ed the episode!)

While Sinbad was booted off last night, the big event in my book was gawking at Ivanka's stunning boardroom bib necklace. Marrying two hot trends (yellow gold and statement necklaces), the signature piece stood out like a Cyndi Lauper non-sequitor (Love me some Cyndi, but is she medicated?).

And Ivanka's art deco-inspired cuff is another great show stopper.

You can shop for these pieces on - and look for more Ivanka Trump jewelry style in the weeks to come.

I have to admit, I am duly impressed by the way Trump is handling her celebrity jewelry line. She's not just lending her name (like every 'Real Housewife' under the sun), she is a true CEO - and it shows in the quality of the product and the respect the line gets in the industry.

But can I hate her for having a successful business, good hair, a high powered job, an adorable (and rich) husband and a ginormous trust fund? That seems reasonable.
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Friday, March 19, 2010

Cocktail Ring Craziness

Despite my natural diamond disposition, I have to say that colorful cocktail rings are my favorite jewelry category. (Yes, it's partly because of the word 'cocktail').

But it's also because it's such a great way to make a statement without breaking the bank. Fine jewelry doesn't have to be out of reach these days - and there's nothing like bringing an outfit to the next level with a gumball sized bauble on your finger in your favorite color.

So enough of my pitch - here's the real kicker. JewelClub just posted their latest sale and it's all cocktail rings all the time (well, actually until the end of the month). We're talking 20% of JewelClub price - not a suggested retail price.

What is the JewelClub price you ask? I've got one word for you: wholesale. Actually, it's often below wholesale. So 20% off that is a virtual windfall, jewelry hounds.

Click on this link to see the twelve cocktail rings they're discounting this month. One of them is only $30 and many are under $100. Enter the code :INSIDER at the prompt and start the shoppin!

Trust me. It'll make you feel like spring has officially sprung...
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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Chelsea Clinton's Engagement Ring

(Update, April 27, 2010: Chelsea Clinton's diamond engagement ring photos are finally making the rounds. See for yourselves, jewelry hounds!)

Jewelry hounds, I'm shocked, sickened and - well - wondering if there is a man left in America who doesn't text strippers when their wives aren't looking. If Jesse James finds it necessary to cheat on Sandra friggin Bullock, it makes it hard to get excited about anyone wanting to find eternal bliss.

But just when the dark clouds began to take over my mood today, this ray of sunshine crossed my path:

Chelsea Clinton's engagement ring was spotted!

Apparently the diamond rock drew a crowd backstage at this weekend's Women in the World: Stories & Solutions conference. According to the New York Post, Clinton was surrounded in the green room by host Tina Brown, Diane von Furstenberg and Barry Diller, who all admired her bauble from fiancé Marc Mezvinsky.

Chelsea's future mother-in-law, Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky, was repeatedly asked, "Where are they getting married?" But she politely replied, "I can't say."
What I'm asking is: What's the carat count Chels!?!

I'll be on the lookout for the first photos, so stay tuned. What's your guess? It drew gasps from the uber-wealthy Barry Diller, so I'm thinking 3 plus carats? Or is that too over the top for the normally understated First Daughter?

(And now back to sitting shiva for Sandra...Sigh.)

Weigh in!
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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Diamond iPad Makes Reading More Fun

Diamond gadget alert! It was only a matter of time, jewelry hounds.

For those luxury-minded folks who like their reading devices to cost as much as their recalled Toyotas, Mervis Diamond Importers has already figured out a way to slap a bunch of diamonds on the Mac iPad for a mere $19,999.

Yup, 20gs will get you a blinged-out piece of plastic to impress all the folks in the Frequent Flier Lounge while you skim through the latest John Grisham, Jackie Collins or 'Barack Obama is a foreign, socialist, who will ruin our country' tell-all.

I assume Paris Hilton won't be standing in line to get hers (I'm thinking she's not a big reader. Just a hunch), but for those of you who want to shell out the clams, you'll get nearly 12 carats of ice to go with your gadget, according to Mervis.

So if you had the money, would you get a diamond iPad (or iPhone, iPod, MacBook, Blackberry, etc.)? There appears to be a market for these things, but I have yet to meet someone who owns one. Maybe I'm running with the wrong crowd?
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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

It's a Dog Eat Diamond World

Man's best friend met girls' best friend when a hungry Golden Retriever named Soli snarfed up a whopping $20,000 diamond at a jewelery store outside of Washington DC.

Zoikes! That's some Scooby snack...

A diamond dealer brought the big rock to the store but he dropped it as he got it out to show owners Robert Rosin and George Kaufmann, and in an instant, Soli had gobbled up the three-plus carat rock.

They called a vet who advised them to let the diamond follow nature's course, which meant Kaufmann had to track Silo's every, ummm, 'movement'.

"It was not that pleasant. I followed him. I had to pick up his stuff. I went through the things. I can understand what it was like in the old Gold Rush because I felt like I had just hit pay dirt," Kaufman told the AP.

Talk about a diamond in the 'ruff'. (buh-duh-dum).

Pay dirt apparently happened after three days and the diamond has since been reunited with its rightful owner. All's well that 'ends' well.

Has your pet ever devoured a diamond or other family jewel? My only jewelry disasters have been self-inflicted, I'm afraid. Weigh in!
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Monday, March 15, 2010

Rock Like 'The Runaways'

Jewelry hounds, I have one question for you: Does it get any cooler than The Runaways?

I have secretly always wanted to be either: a) Chrissie Hynde from The Pretenders or b) Cheri Curie from The Runaways (I don't attempt to be as cool as Joan Jett - even in my dreams). So when news of The Runaways movie hit my ears, I was more than a little excited.

I haven't seen the flick yet, but flipped through pics of the Los Angeles premiere and got inspired to marry my two passions together. The result? A little grrrl group jewelry primer to help us all get in touch with our inner rock star.

Girl Rock Glitz

The Go Gos, The Bangles, The Donnas - girl groups have one band to thank for paving the way. The Runaways merged 70s glam rock with Elvis-inspired throw backs - all wrapped in a package no one had ever seen before. Grab this guitar pendant from Macy's or this bolt pendant from Zales to get the glitter going in your own jewelry box.

Ch-Ch-Cherry Bomb!

Lead singer, Cherie Curie, made her namesake fruit famous with their monster hit, Cherry Bomb (nab it on itunes if you don't already have it in your arsenal). Pay homage to the blonde bombshell with this fruity pendant from Sears or these Betsey Johnson drop earrings that, well, say it all.

Joan Jett Jewels

A rock and roller through and through the signature jewel that says Joan has got to be the studded leather cuff. Nordies has several great styles to choose from to help you own up to that 'Bad Reputation'. Or grab this black beaded sequin necklace like the one she wore to the premiere.
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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Howard Stern Crowns Best Mistress with Black Diamond

I fear a new jewelry category was discovered today – and not in a good way.

Shock Jock, Howard Stern, hosted the highly anticipated ‘Best Mistress’ pageant where three of Tiger Woods' many conquests competed for a $75,000 cash prize and a coveted black diamond ‘Mistress Ring’.

It’s never dull, folks.

The Mistress Ring is actually pretty awesome - featuring a 3.5-carat round black diamond surrounded by a half-carat of white diamonds - designed by Philadelphia’s Steven Singer Jewelers. The value remains undisclosed but the novelty of the endeavor? Priceless.

The pageant took place earlier today and was so popular the Howard Stern website crashed due to increased volume. But never fear! The ladies’ 15 minutes of fame was duly extended.

Contestants included Jaimee Grubbs (mistress #2 for those of you keeping count), cocktail waitress Jamie Jungers (mistress #4) and call girl Loredana Jolie Ferriolo (mistress #10).

And the winner? Jaimee Jungers was crowned Miss Mistress after receiving votes from three of the four judges – Gary, (the site that caters to married people looking for affairs), CEO Noel Biederman and Howard.


What do you guys think of the new jewelry category? Are entitled sports heroes and corrupt politicians now held to a higher standard by their one-night-stands? Are black diamonds the new black sheep of the jewelry world? Say it ain't so!

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