Friday, July 30, 2010

Chelsea Clinton's Wedding Jewelry

Chelsea Clinton's diamond engagement ring is one of the most sought-after styles of the summer, so it comes as no surprise that the blogosphere is abuzz with details about the rocks she'll wear down the aisle tomorrow.

Will she go the American princess route in a diamond tiara like Carrie Underwood did on her big day?

Or will she keep things classic and timeless like last year's A-list bride, Ivanka Trump?

What we do know from ABC News is that the rumored jewelry budget is upwards of $250,000 - enough to bring on even more security for the Rhinebeck, NY nuptials.

And Momma Clinton, now that she's got better things to do than avoid a nuclear holocaust, was spotted toting that light-blue indicator of deep-pocketed taste - a Tiffany bag - to Chelsea's building earlier today. Things are starting to look delicious already.

And while you know my favorite bridal buzz is all about the bling, this hilarious budget item comes a close second:

The Clintons are spending $15,000 for heated port-o-potties with classical music chimed in for good measure. Because what's a port-o-potty experience without a little Puccini, right?

Stay tuned for more Chelsea Clinton wedding details! I didn't get an invite - neither did President Obama, ok? - but I'll be on the hunt for all the latest dish.

Speaking of, did you hear the Bristol Palin/Levi Johnston wedding may be off? You'll never guess why...
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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Real Housewives' Teresa Giudice: Diamonds, Debt and Delusion


Diamond jewelry is often the perfect way to celebrate a big anniversary like your 10th. There's the three-stone 'past, present, future' ring, an anniversary band, a nice pair of diamond studs - all possibilities at prices that will put you back a few hundred or maybe a grand if you shop smart.

But say, oh, you're $11 million in the red? Maybe this isn't the best time in the world to ask for a buncha (insert Eartha Kitt growl) "Diamondzzzzzzz", right? But that's not our delusional friends, Teresa and Joe Giudice from the Real Housewives of New Jersey.

How stupid, I mean, delusional can you be?

Exhibit A: When Teresa brings up that she wants anniversary diamondzzzzz to her friend Jacqueline, Jacqueline wants more details:

Jacqueline: "The Crown Jewels?

Teresa: "No, not the Crown Jewel," Teresa scoffs. "What do you think I am, Arabic or something ... Or wait, is that Indian?"

Exhibit B: In their CHARTERED HELICOPTER RIDE OVER MANHATTAN to celebrate their anniversary because that's what you do when you're $11 million short - curious Joe asks the pilot,

"That's a nice park in the middle of the city."

Pilot: "That's Central Park."

You're a lifelong Jersey resident and that little tidbit of geography didn't trickle down to you at some juncture? A diamond may be forever but this stuff is just priceless.

So, in the end? Teresa got her diamond wish and then some - a huge yellow diamond ring smushed in a chocolate dessert that had to have put Einstein back an SUV or two. When you're $11 million in the hole, what's a few more zeros?

Did I mention they are $11 million in debt?

What did you guys think of her rock? Real or fugazi? And what about Danielle Staub busting out with her (HUGE) diamond engagement ring from her EX HUSBAND to wear to her daughter's Sweet Sixteen party in front of his new (smaller-diamond-wearing) wife?

Just when you thought the class had left in a chartered helicopter over Central Park...
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Bejeweled Sports Bra Breaks Price Record

Jewelry hounds, over the years I've promised to bring you bizarre jewelry tidbits from around the globe - from luxury dog beds and bejeweled Barbie Dolls to gemstone gadgets and a solid gold Kate Moss. But of all the strange places to find our favorite treasure, I never thought jewelry and sweat would make interesting bed fellows.

Luxist reports that the most expensive sports bra is now on the market - an $1850 creation that includes a Swarovski crystal neckline and a detachable sterling silver charm bracelet and necklace.

What's next? Jewel-encrusted jock straps?

Maybe I'm being too harsh? The Trenta Bra from BodyRock Sport's "Show 'Em Off" collection could be the perfect way to break the ice with those oh-so-serious Soul Cyclers. My guess is? Your yoga class will want to make your next 'corpse pose' a reality.

Look, if you like silver jewelry - great! More power to you. But I don't see the reason behind adding it to something that's designed to keep the jiggle, jangle to a minimum in the first place. Am I right?

What do you guys think? Is the Trenta Bra a fun fashion statement or a frivolous publicity stunt?
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Sunday, July 25, 2010

'Neil Lane Bridal' Tickles Tinseltown

Celebrity jeweler, Neil Lane, never met a Hollywood wedding he didn't bedazzle, so his client list is long and loaded with heavy hitters like Ellen Degeneres, Nicole Richie and the entire Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise.

Last Thursday, the designer celebrated his new, moderately priced bridal collection with Kay Jewelers at a Hollywood fete, and the red carpet was loaded with leading ladies.

The 'cutest couple' award goes to Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, who showed off their Neil Lane wedding bands.

Ashlee Simpson Wentz flashed her 4-carat Neil Lane engagement ring from rocker hubby, Pete Wentz, while confessing of her sister, Jessica, "She is happy, so we are all really happy."

Kristin Davis showed up in black and white diamonds, confessing to reporters that a 3rd SATC movie is 'unlikely'. (Ya think?)

And Eva Longoria Parker stunned in black Gustavo Cadile and loads of diamond ice.

I think the Neil Lane Bridal collection is the perfect way for humble grooms to give a celebrity twist to the bended knee ritual thanks to prices that are hundreds of thousands less than a typical Lane look.

Check out for more info on the Kay Jewelers/Neil Lane partnership - and check out the vintage-inspired product pics here on Yum!
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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mad About Mad Men Jewelry - Season 4

Jewelry hounds, our beloved Mad Men is back for a 4th season this Sunday! And aside from a Monday morning martini hangover, nothing is going to keep me from rejoicing at the swinging sixties jewelry fashion.

Janie Bryant, the series' award-winning costume designer, is injecting a bit of mod into the wardrobe this season as the plot advances to a post-JFK-assassination 1964.

These pics from the AMC website already have me drooling:

How much do we love this rhinestoned Joan look with her signature brooch?

Or this yellow gold look with the tassle pendant we've seen now in every season? (Yes, Janie Bryant. We're keeping track!)

Betty Draper continues to channel Jackie O:

And my favorite - Peggy Olson - is sporting a new do and a little more sparkle this season as she continues to climb the corporate ladder.

I'm also excited to report that Janie Bryant is sharing her period inspiration with the masses with her new clothing and jewelry line for QVC aptly called, "Mod by Janie Bryant".

She tells The Huffington Post,

"It's definitely vintage inspired and I just designed pieces that I really love from periods of the 50's and 60's so it's not Mad Men, it's vintage inspired but the pieces are real statement pieces and I think they can change one's look in an instant. The pieces are really fun. I love the jewelry. I love the handbag too."

The line will launch on September 29th, with 10-15 pieces of costume jewelry priced from $26 to $138.

What do you think of all this 60s jewelry style making a come back? Up your alley? Or best left in the past?

In the meantime, I'm breaking out my pencil skirt and sweater set for this Sunday at 10pm on AMC! Dirty martinis all around!
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

On Diamond Certificates, Appraisals and Insurance

Jewelry lovers, it's time for a little learnin'. We all love to gawk and gush about our diamonds, but it's also important to take care of them. Like little sparkly children. Here are some important tips from that every jewelry hound worth their salt should take to heart.

Next to buying a home or car, buying a major diamond jewelry item like an engagement ring is likely to be one of biggest purchases you'll ever make. That's why it's so important to be able to verify the characteristics, quality and value of your diamond in case it's ever damaged, lost or stolen.

To help ensure that you don't become just another "statistic," here is a brief practical guide to diamond certificates, appraisals and insurance and what they can do for you.

Certificate - Also known as a diamond grading report, this is a professional evaluation of a diamond's quality and characteristics. A certificate, or "cert" as it is often called in the trade, provides proof of a diamond's identity. The best, most accurate certs are performed by independent accredited gem labs - such as the Gemological Institute of America and the American Gem Society - that were not involved in the purchase or sale of the diamond.

While a cert doesn't state a monetary value of your diamond, it gives you a tangible document that attests to the quality and authenticity of your stone. It can help you "comparison shop" to determine which stone is a better value. It is also used by appraisers to help gauge a stone's replacement value for insurance purposes. However, if you want to insure a diamond, you still need to obtain a separate appraisal.

Some of the things you'll find in a standard grading report include: a plotted diagram of the stone, listing all of its significant characteristics, such as its shape, carat weight, color, clarity, exact measurements and proportions, imperfections, and the quality of the stone's polish and symmetry. The report may also contain comments about the presence or absence of fluorescence in the diamond and the quality of its cut.

Appraisal - This is a document that states the approximate insurance, replacement or estate value of an item. It is required by insurers. The value of a piece of jewelry is calculated by appraisers using a number of different factors, which typically include: current retail prices in that regional market; cut, color, clarity and carat weight; the weight of the precious metal; the origin of the materials used; and the craftsmanship of the piece. The more detailed and accurate an appraisal report is, the less likely it will be challenged by insurance companies, the IRS, divorce lawyers or competing appraisers. Many appraisers also plot gemstones and use photos and/or diagrams as additional documentation.

Insurance - Many retail jewelers offer insurance options to customers through a partnership with an insurance firm. Policies can vary greatly and should be researched and compared against one another. A second option for you would be to add the coverage to your existing homeowner's policy. Check with your agent about what is covered and what isn't. A third option would be to contact an outside firm that specializes in separate jewelry insurance policies, such as Jewelers Mutual.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Celebrity Black Diamond Blitz

Black diamond jewelry has always been a sexy statement, but it hasn't been in the spotlight much until Sex And The City 2.

While I won't give away the plot for those of you who are waiting cringe your way through it in the safety of your own home - I'll just say that one character receives a five carat, 18k black diamond ring designed by Itay Malkin worth $10,000 (pictured above). And now black diamond engagement ring sales are going through the roof, according to Gemvara's Cheryl Kremkow.

But there have been other celebrity black diamond sightings this summer:

Christina Aguilera is always in black and white diamond ice from her jewelry guru, Stephen Webster, and wore a pair of black diamond drop earrings to the MTV Movie Awards.

Kim Kardashian's former love, Reggie Bush, showed up the 2010 ESPY Awards in black diamond stud earrings - a supercool statement to celebrate his Superbowl win with the New Orleans Saints.

And Lauren Conrad lit up her Mandalay mini at The Hills finale afterparty with a black diamond ring by Cheryl Lynn Greenspoon, according to Luxist.

So what is a black diamond?

Most black diamonds are actually white or colorless diamonds that become black after exposure to a widely used and extremely safe radiation treatment. The dark color fully penetrates the stone and will not fade over time. This process not only results in a black diamond but is also used to create every color of the diamond rainbow - from red to green, purple to even brown. Natural black diamonds are extremely rare and are not often seen in the jewelry world.

Here are a few of my favorite black diamond gems from

Or click here to shop their entire stash of affordable black diamond dazzlers.
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Friday, July 16, 2010

Ruby Lore – Learn About This Month’s Birthstone

Perhaps no gemstone has been as prized throughout history as the ruby. Celebrated in ancient Sanskrit writings as the most precious of all gemstones, rubies have adorned emperors and kings and inspired countless legends and myths with their rich, fiery hues.

As the ultimate red gemstone, rubies have symbolized passion and romance for centuries. Ruby is the birthstone for July and is also the recommended gem for couples celebrating their 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries.

Also the color of blood, the stone is symbolic of courage and bravery. Warriors were said to have implanted rubies under their skin to bring them valor in battle and make them invincible. The stone has also been used as a talisman against danger, disaster, to stop bleeding, and a number of other ailments. Its intense color was thought to come from an undying flame inside the stone - or, as some legends would have it, a piece of the planet Mars.

Ruby is the red variety of corundum, a sister of sapphire. Like sapphire, ruby rates a "9" on the Mohs scale of hardness, making it the second hardest material known after diamonds.

The most important factor to consider when buying a ruby is its color. It comes in a variety of shades ranging from purplish- and bluish-red to orange-red. Like sapphire, there is also a translucent variety of ruby that can display a six-point star when cut in a smooth domed cabochon cut.

Rubies are rarely found perfect in nature - which is why many are heat-treated to intensify or lighten their color or improve their clarity. Heat enhancement is a permanent, stable process. Some rubies also have surface fractures and cavities that are filled with glass-like materials to improve their appearance.

For both treated or untreated stones, the safest cleaning method is to just use soapy water or a mild commercial solvent and a brush.
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jewelry Trend Alert: Think Pink!

Jewelry color trends come and go like Paris Hilton's sobriety. Last year, emerald green was all the rage after Angelina Jolie's opulent Oscar appearance and this year everything's coming up turquoise. But one shade is always in style - the hue forever synonymous with all things female...


Many jewelry lovers may think pink fine jewelry belongs to the rosy diamond fantasies of royal family tiaras and celebrity ring fingers (remember J-Lo's pink diamond stunner from Ben Affleck 100 years ago?)

And while pink diamonds occur at price points that are significantly higher than most mortals can afford, there is an alternative:

Pink sapphires.

Most pink sapphire jewelry on the market today is like other must-have commodities in our lives (e.g. Splenda, Hostess products) - they don't occur in nature. Instead, they are lab-created to mimic the conditions of a natural stone and color treated to generate the desired hue.

In other words, a top color, untreated, natural stone may cost you $20,000 per carat whereas the synthetic (lab created) piece costs about $0.50 per carat before cutting.

And the best part? Most folks don't know the difference!

I've highlighted a few of my favorite created pink sapphire styles from the super sample sale site, JewelClub. And as luck would have it, they just launched a 'Think Pink' discount of 15% off for a week, bless their hearts. (Use this special Access Code: INSIDER - to become a member)

Or you can shop from hundreds of pink sapphire styles on sister site,

I'm tickled pink by the possibilities! Are you?
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Monday, July 12, 2010

Lindsay Lohan: Jewelry Debts and Jail Time

From her surprising love life to her "FU" fingernail fashion - it's never dull when Lindsay Lohan hits the headlines. And while her recent jail sentence is the latest Li-Lo shocker, it's nice to know there are still some things we can rely on when it comes to our favorite paparazzi princess:

Jewelry debts.

Whether she's "borrowing" jewelry from a photo shoot, losing a suitcase full of diamonds or snapping up gift bag goodies like a venus fly trap in a garbage dump - our beloved Lindsay never met a shiny object she actually paid for.

The latest jewelry offense comes to us from The Grey Lady of tabloid journalism - TMZ - with a report that a Hollywood boutique is suing Lindsay for an unpaid bill of just over $17,000. The 'first lady of leggings' apparently bought - among other things - a 14kt diamond ring worth $5900 on her shopping spree.

With 90 days of hard jail time looming large, I doubt this is at the top of Lindsay's 'to do' list, but it's nice to see someone other than the long hand of the law trying to make an honest woman out of her.

What do you guys think of Lindsay's latest transgressions? And did anyone see her jaw-dropping cameo on Bravo's reality show gawk-fest, Double Exposure? Stunning.
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Friday, July 9, 2010

Paris Haute Couture Fall/Winter - A Jewelry Recap

As promised, jewelry hounds, here is a recap of all the jewelry worth drooling over from the 2010 Fall/Winter Paris Haute Couture shows.

Today, Haute Joaillierie lit up the Place Vendome - including Chanel's feathery diamond collection (remember Diane Kruger rocking this look at Cannes?):

Dior's Bollywood-inspired jewels:

and Van Cleef & Arpels' Les Voyages Extraordinaires collection:

Catwalk carats included these crazy cuffs from Karl Lagerfeld's Chanel show:

Armani's sculptural styles made from metal and wood:

And these mirrored fairy tale creations from Jean Paul Gaultier's collection:

But this is just a small sampling of the sparkle. You can find a complete gallery of Paris Fashion Week finds on the Facebook Page. In the meantime, how amazing is that Dior serpent ring? I gotta say it again: ' J'adore Dior!

Weigh in with your favs!
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