Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Christie's to Auction Elizabeth Taylor's $150 Million Jewelry Collection

Jewelry hounds? This is one of those times when I wish I had a few $mil burning a hole in my pocket. OK. That's not an 'uncommon' thought, but the news that Christie's is auctioning Elizabeth Taylor's jewelry collection is sending my blingy consumption habit into orbit!

Yes, it's true. reports the famed auction house will be putting Dame Liz's baubles on the block - and yes, the stash includes all of her 'big hits' - including Taylor's rumored favorite, The Krupp Diamond(!!!)

Christie's declined to comment on the story, and there is no word yet if the proceeds will benefit Elizabeth Taylor's charity, The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation - but you can be sure jewelry lovers the world over will be pushing the paddle hard to get their paws on a little piece of jewelry perfection.

In the meantime, I'm loving all of the jewelry-related tidbits that keep trickling out as the world mourns the loss of an icon. Lorraine Schwartz (famed red carpet jeweler and friend of Taylor's) told People that magnificent gems were a natural part of Taylor’s day-to-day life.

“People always gave her gifts … it was something that she learned to love.” And she took great care of them, too. “She [had] collections and collections, and rooms. She [knew] where every single piece was. [It was] amazing.”

In fact, Schwartz remembers receiving a phone call one morning in 2003 after Taylor had taken a fall. “She was like, ‘I don’t feel good, my hair is dirty but I’m wearing my bracelet,’” she recalls. “I mean, fabulous."
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Monday, March 28, 2011

Bling at Perez Hilton's Blue Ball Birthday Bash

Jewelry sparkled at gossip queen Perez Hilton's 33rd birthday party in LA this weekend, where the blue-themed bash brought out everyone from Dancing With The Stars divas and Real Housewives to Disney starlets and 80s popstars.

In other words? A D-listers dream come true.

What jewelry hound worth their salt doesn't love a Real Housewives of Beverly Hills appearance, right?

Adrienne Maloof Alert! This gazillionairesse has enough in the coffers to create this crazy cart-heavy cuff out her her son's names!

Taylor Armstrong wore this serious blue gemstone statement necklace to go with her perma-smile.

And my favorite BHHW, Kyle Richards, rocked it with this cool winged pendant thing happening. Like!

Other bejeweled divas were 80s chaunteuse, Deborah Gibson, who wore what appeared to be a sapphire and diamond choker and a crazy cuff with her blue sequined mini.

And Disney diva, Selena Gomez, was Perez's personal arm candy in blue jewels that appeared to be painted on.

The "hot mess" highlight was the why-is-she-still-famous? Aubrey O'Day, in a blue Little Red Riding Hood get-up with some strange strands. Huh?

It's never dull, right? Thoughts?

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Jewelry Sample Sale Scoop! 20% Off For Insider Readers

Sample Sale Coupon Codes!! Who doesn't troll the Internet searching for them when you want to engage in some shopping therapy, right?

Well look no further, jewelry hounds! Sample Sale sensation, JewelClub - known for their 'secret' sales and crazy prices - is giving Jewelry Insider readers an additional 20% off their stash of fine jewelry that's already priced way below retail (70% - 80% off).

Just use INSIDER20 at checkout through Monday, March 28th!

The discount is valid for any style at any price. So if you want spend the tax refund on a carat-heavy diamond right hand ring  - now is the time!

3/4 ct Diamond Ring: Retail: $1749; JewelClub Price: $565.47 Insider Price: $452.38!
Or that cocktail ring you've been wanting for the little black dress? Done!

Black & White Diamond Pearl Ring: Retail: $579 JewelClub Price: $190.13 Insider Price: $152.10!

Or for those fashionistas that are uber-organized? Stock up on gifts for your girlfriends.

Ruby & Emerald Cherry Pendant: Retail: $329 JewelClub Price: $125.41 Insider Price: $100.33!
Trust me. When they open a little white box instead of a grocery-store-bought bottle of cabernet, you'll be the hit of the dinner party.

Throw in JewelClub's FREE shipping policy, and you've got yourself one heck of a Sample Sale Scoop!

My thanks to the folks at JewelClub for deeming us all worthy of their super secret sale coupon code for the next few days (the offer is valid until midnight EST on Monday, March 28th).

Shop, sparkle and save, my shiny sisters!!
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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lindsay Lohan's Jewelry Trials Lead to...Trial

In a move as dramatic as a Mean Girl slap, tabloid queen Lindsay Lohan rejected a plea deal for stealing a $2500 necklace from a Los Angeles jeweler - forcing our favorite jewelry headline to (gasp!) stand trial for grand theft and risk a three-year jail sentence.

Paris Hilton? Eat your heart out!!

According to the always-legitimate news source, TMZ, Lindsay's felony grand theft case will now be assigned to Judge Stephanie Sautner - who's considered a tough but fair judge - and the preliminary hearing is set for April 22.

The bad news? Lohan faces both jail and prison as the case moves on - jail,  if Judge Sautner decides Lindsay violated her probation, and prison, if Lindsay is convicted of grand theft.

The good news? If Lindsay is found innocent at trial and if Judge Sautner agrees NOT to rule on the probation violation until a verdict is reached in the grand theft case, Lindsay could get off scot-free.

Let's face it. What would life be without Lindsay roaming the streets with her mean case of sticky-finger syndrome? And I'm dying to see the courtroom couture! Fasten your seatbelts, looky-loos. April isn't looking so bad after all...
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor: Jewelry Lover, Movie Legend

I was deeply saddened to hear of Elizabeth Taylor's passing today. Not only was she a groundbreaking movie star and a noted philanthropist (I actually named my beloved cat, Taylor, after her. Yeah. I'm that person.) -  she shared a passion all of us here hold near and dear to our hearts.


No one personified the "lower jaw drop' jewelry moment quite like Dame Liz, so in honor of her memory here's a list of what I consider to be her top 5 gob-smacking glitter possessions for your drooling pleasure.

And for those of you moved by her life to reach out, I read that fans are encouraged to make donations to her beloved charity, The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, a cause for which she raised over $50 million throughout her life. Wow.

1. Cartier Ruby and Diamond Necklace

Elizabeth Taylor was given this stunning Cartier creation by her third husband, Mike Todd, who tragically died in a plane crash thirteen months into their marriage. She writes of the piece in her book "Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair With Jewelry"

"I'd never seen anything like that in my life. I probably never will again. He was so generous, and he just took such care of me.  I felt so protected. And loved."  (Indeed!)

2. The Taj Mahal Diamond

For Elizabeth's 40th birthday, Richard Burton presented her with the historical Taj Mahal diamond - a flat heart shaped stone with inscribed Arabic, surrounded by rubies and diamonds and a yellow-gold necklace.

"I would have liked to buy the Taj Mahal for Elizabeth", joked Burton, "but it would have cost too much to transport it."

3. La Peregrina Pearl

Another gift from Burton, the Peregrina Pearl is thought to be the finest example of a pear-shaped natural pearl, weighing in a 55.95 carats. 
The stone was once owned by the infamous Queen Mary Tudor of England and was set in a stunning necklace by Cartier in 1969.
4. The Krupp Diamond

Richard Burton's first big purchase for his wife was the 33.19 carat Asscher-cut Krupp Diamond. Originally belonging to the Krupp estate, it was given to Miss Taylor in 1968 and was mounted on a ring, which made frequent public appearances.

The Krupps were a German family that supplied munitions to the Nazis and "helped knock off millions of Jews", Taylor writes in her book. "How perfect it would be if a nice Jewish girl like me were to own it."


5. The Taylor-Burton Diamond

Last but certainly not least is the record-breaking rock Burton purchased for Taylor that was the most expensive stone in the world back in the day clocking in at $1.1 million.

He acquired the 69.42-carat diamond from Cartier - the jeweler who also set the stone in a necklace for Taylor to wear to the 1970 Oscars. (see my rave about the piece here for more on that).

Taylor later sold the diamond treasure to raise money for a children's hospital.

There are certainly many other jaw-dropping jewels associated with Elizabeth Taylor - the Bulgari emeralds, the bejeweled headresses, the tiaras - but these are my top 5.

Please weigh in with other Elizabeth Taylor jewelry thoughts you'd like to share. And raise a glass tonight in honor of Dame Elizabeth Taylor Hilton Wilding Todd Fisher Burton Burton Warner Fortensky. What a life.
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mona Lisa's Mega-Gem Makeover

What do you do with a 30-year collection of precious gemstones? If you're an anonymous Chinese collector with an affinity for Da Vinci, you create a 100,000-carat replica of the Mona Lisa and put it on display in a local shopping mall.

And you thought The Real Housewives had too much leisure time?

The carat-heavy creation is thought to be the most expensive replica of the masterwork and perhaps the most expensive artwork ever made - taking five years to complete.

While many strange materials have been utilized in the past as the basis for Mona Lisa duplicates - including coffee cups, pieces of toast, motherboard components and even burger grease - jewels and gems are apparently a first.

So what's the price tag for macked-out Mona? The secretive designer won't reveal the final number - which is sure to be hefty one if it goes on the auction block later this year.

In the meantime, mall rats can marvel at Mona in between stops at the Shenyang shopping center food court and accessory splurges at Claire's.
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Jersey Shore's 'Sammi' Launches Jewelry Collection

What's the first thing you think of when you think of Jersey Shore's Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola? Whiny, pouty breakups with Ronnie? Whiny, pouty make-ups with Ronnie? A mean right hook?

While 'jewelry' certainly isn't a 'top-of-mind' part of her winning personality, now the world can rest easy because there's a new 'whiny, pouty jewelry line' on the block to fill the fashion void.

The long-limbed guidette just launched 'Sammi Sweetheart" jewelry with RichRocks - a 7-piece costume collection that plays off her 'sweetheart' image. There are (shocker!) heart-shaped pendants, crystal layer bracelets and Jersey Girl staple  - huge hoop earrings  - available along with other heart-warming styles.

But most importantly? Sammi takes pride in giving her fans a 'sweetheart' deal on price points.

“I love that the RichRocks brand and my collection retails for just under $100,” she tells PEOPLE. “It was very important for me to keep all of the pieces affordable for my fans so they can purchase more than one piece and add to the collection. I have created some great fun and flirty pieces to wear day into night.”

It's a spray-tanned twist on 'fashion meets function'. The "Sammi Sweetheart for RichRocks" collection launches today here.

And here's a link back to my Jersey Shore Jewelry Primer if you can't get enough. You know who you are, America.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lady Gaga Jewelry for Japan

Lady Gaga is one of many celebrities using their star power to raise money for Japan's earthquake relief efforts - and her monster brigade is already bringing in loads of cash in record time.

MTVnews reported yesterday that Gaga's self-designed "We Pray for Japan" bracelets raised a whopping $250,000 in two days. The white-and-red wristband features Gaga's trademark monster-paw hand gesture and sells for $5 on her website (but you can opt to give a larger donation of up to $100).

The pop-star tweeted, 

"I Designed a Japan Prayer Bracelet. Buy It/Donate here and ALL proceeds will go to Tsunami Relief Efforts. Go Monsters." 

She is also encouraging her fans to donate to the campaign established by Google CEO Eric Schmidt and his wife, Wendy, via Citizen Effect, a philanthropic website that relies on social media to generate donations for various causes. The couple plans to match the first $100,000 donated to help the American Red Cross in its relief efforts.

Spread the word and the wealth, jewelry hounds.
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