Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding Jewelry: Catherine Wears Cartier & Robinson Pelham

The royal wedding jewelry shining from Kate Middleton (now Her Royal Highness Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge) was an understated display of elegance, grace and delicate diamonds.

The Tiara:

The subject of MUCH speculation, Kate 'borrowed' the Halo Tiara from The Queen's coffers, which was made by Cartier in 1936. The Queen's father, then the Duke of York, bought the bauble for the Queen Mother, then the Duchess of York (still with me?), who then gave it to her daughter - then Princess Elizabeth - on her 18th birthday.

Set in platinum, the priceless jewel is made from old and baguette-cut diamonds, with the upper part forming a range of lotus flowers and the lower 'zig-zag' part forming a removable piece that can be used as a bandeau.

No word yet on whether or not Catherine gets to keep it for her own collection - or if it's just a loaner. Stay tuned!

The Earrings:

Kate's understated earrings by Robinson Pelham were a gift from her parents - and were specifically designed to match her tiara. Nice touch.

According to Today Show blogger, The Windsor Knot, the earrings are diamond-set stylised oak leaves with a pear-shaped diamond drop and a pavé-set diamond acorn suspended in the centre.

Inspiration for the design comes from the Middleton family's new coat of arms, which includes acorns and oak leaves. Cool.

The Ring:

Kate's wedding band, which ALMOST didn't make it on her ring finger (nice work, Wills) is a rare band of Welsh gold by Wartski, who also crafted the Welsh gold wedding bands for Prince Charles and Camilla.

Prince William famously declined to wear a ring because he 'doesn't have a taste for jewelry'. It's a happy day. I'll leave this as a rare "No comment".

Overall, we witnessed a delicate diamond display that's in keeping with Kate's understated jewelry style. We'll see how long that lasts now that she has access to The Queen's stash!
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Royal Wedding Fashion: Kate Wears McQueen!

I'm over the moon. As I had hoped, Kate or CATHERINE Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge, I should say, wore a dress by Sarah Burton, creative director of Alexander McQueen! From Lady Gaga to the future Queen of England, it doesn't get any better for this designer.

"Miss Middleton wished for her dress to combine tradition and modernity with the artistic vision that characterises Alexander McQueen’s work," Clarence House officials released in a statement.

The design includes hand-cut lace flowers hand-engineered onto ivory silk tulle that incorporates rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock silhouettes. French Chanitlly lace and English Cluny lace were used in the Irish Carrickmacross needleword tradition, according to the release.

Catherine also wore an ivory silk tulle veil held in place by the Cartier ‘halo’ tiara, lent to Miss Middleton by The Queen. (more on the tiara soon).

She's Audrey Hepburn meets Princess Grace! G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S!
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Kate Hudson's Engagement Ring Details!

Bling, baby bumps and now - Mrs. Bellamy? Kate Hudson's engagement ring made its dazzling debut with Matt Lauer on the Today Show this morning - and boy is it a doozy. reports the ring is likely a 9-carat rock - which isn't in the Mariah Carey (17-carats) or Beyonce (18-carats) stratosphere, but it's certainly of a caratage befitting the A-list.

The center stone appears to be an emerald-cut gem (actually, it looks a lot like Beyonce's engagement ring) with baguettes on either side set in a white metal - which for this crowd means platinum. One of my favorite Tweeps, Jean from Francesca Fine Jewelry tells me it's worth an estimated $200,000!

Will be on the lookout for more specs, but it's surprising to see such a 'traditional' look on Hudson, who is known as the queen of alternative fashion and boho chic.

Click here to see a video of the big ring reveal.

Kate later told Lauer that wedding plans will be taking a back seat to all things baby, as she's expecting her second child with hubby-to-be, Matt Bellamy, in the next few months. 

Babies, bling and betrothal! Now that's a triumvirate worth babbling about!
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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What's the 'Key' To Mother's Day? Jewelry

Mother's Day has a  tendency to 'sneak up' on us, right? No matter how much we love our mums and how often we think of them - somehow the Mother's Day holiday comes along and catches all of us, well, empty-handed with no idea what to get the woman who started it all.

So here's a little helper. Get her jewelry instead of that last-minute flower delivery that costs more than starting your own nursery.

Yes, it's my business to talk up the jewelry world, and yes - you've often heard me blather on about how baubles are better gifts than sweater sets and perfume and the like. But, darn it! I'm right!

Jewelry is a lifetime treasure that just means more than a vase full of petals, people (no offense to flowers - you're lovely creatures - all of you).

To that end, I give you the KEY to Mother's Day.

It's trend-worthy (keys are a hot silhouette in celeb circles these days), it's mom-friendly (note, the Mother/Child design element) and it's budget-friendly ($49.95 on JewelClub's Daily Deal today).

Click on the picture for more details. And you can still get FREE SHIPPING in time for Mother's Day (which is MAY 8TH, MAY 8TH, MAY8TH).  Did I mention Mother's Day is Sunday, May 8th?

And if Mom isn't a key kinda gal - here's a link to an entire Mother's Day Sample Sale for your ticket to her good side.

Have at it, jewelry hounds!
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Monday, April 25, 2011

Princess Diana's Wedding Jewelry - A Surprise Guest

Forgive me as I dive headlong into a Royal Wedding blogfest this week. I already teared up at the snippet of Barbara Walters' interview of Elton John on Good Morning America this morning - I'm going to be a mess come Friday.

While the rumor mill is buzzing about the guest list (Elton John and the Becks made the cut), the dress designer (Kate, herself, is now in the running) and the honeymoon spot (Lizard Island, Australia) - my heart belongs to the jewelry buzz - of course.

One tear-jerker of a jewelry morsel I uncovered was news that Princess Diana's sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, will wear the late princess's wedding earrings to William and Kate’s big day. The royal stunners each feature a central pear-shaped diamond surrounded by almost 50 smaller diamonds.

According to Today Show blog, The Windsor Knot, the diamond drop earrings were the “something borrowed” worn by Diana to marry Charles and were seen in all their glory when the couple kissed on the Buckingham Palace balcony 30 years ago (they were owned by Diana's mother, Frances Shand Kydd, who died in 2004).

The priceless jewels were flown back from America, where they were featured in the exhibition Diana: A Celebration. Now at Union Station museum and gallery in  Kansas City, the display also includes the late princess's wedding dress and other items from her life.

While all of the Spencer family, including Diana’s other sister Lady Jane Fellowes and brother Earl Spencer, will be attending - royal watchers were shocked to learn that none of them will play a visible role in the ceremony.

A snub of royal porportions? Or a tasteful way to make the day just about William and Kate?  I'm going with the latter. Let's not rub salt in old wounds.
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Friday, April 22, 2011

Royal Wedding Fever: A Jewelry Cure

Jewelry hounds! The royal wedding countdown is reaching a fever pitch - with rumors swirling, photogs shoving and royal security teams working on overdrive - it will be a miracle if we all survive this phenomenon unscathed.

I am already trying to get a head start on my sleep so I can Live Tweet the proceedings from my spot on the royal sofa at 4AM PST on Friday morning the 29th. You should join me just to keep me from nodding off! Be sure to use #royaljewelry to join the morning mayhem.

But like the rest of the world, I'm just so darned excited for this shindig. With gas prices rising, wars escalating and Donald Trump's hairpiece getting way too much air time - we really need this celebration of true love to lift our spirits, right?

So how do we stop our temperature from rising when new tidbits about Kate's dress designer make the rounds (my money is still on Alexander McQueen's Sarah Burton) or the bride herself is spotted buying eyeshadow on the streets of London or The Queen....raises a pinky finger in any direction?

Gawk at jewelry. And royal-inspired jewelry, no less.
Many jewelers have already capitalized on the Princess Diana/Kate Middleton engagement ring phenomenon - but one place, in particular, has already curated an entire assortment inspired by the sapphire stunner heard 'round the world.


Here are few of my favs but you can click here to see their entire stash. - many that look just like Kate's rock.

And feel free to page through some of my previous royal posts featuring crown jewels from around the world. The Swedish Royal Wedding is one of my favs.

Ok then, jewelry hounds and royal watchers. Seven days and counting. Stay with me next week as I post all the jewelry and fashion-related royal wedding tidbits I can get my paws on. Because reality is underrated.
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Monday, April 18, 2011

DWTS' Maksim Chmerkovskiy To Launch Jewelry Line

Dancing With The Stars jewelry usually comes in the guise of the big, bold and blingy ballroom baubles found on the show's leading ladies. But hunky dance pro, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, isn't one to be left out of the mix.

The hottie hoofer and Kirstie Alley-partner tweeted that he's,

"VERY EXCITED to announce that my jewelry line "MAKSIM" is being launched at the end of May! and Retailers all over the country shortly after!"

No word yet on price points or design elements, but he promised to post some teaser pics soon. Stay tuned. He also tweeted that while MAKSIM is a men's jewelry line, women will be able to sport his styles too.

"My jewelry line is predominantly for men, but women can certainly wear it. Pictures coming soon so you can tell me what you think."
Somehow, I don't think he'll have a problem attracting the female audience.

Click here for more "Dancing With the Stars" jewelry buzz!
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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Kristen Stewart's Promise Ring Buzz

Did you hear? Twilight hunk Robert Pattinson gave co-star and sweetheart, Kristen Stewart, a ring last week! (And you thought the budget brouhaha in Washington was big news.)

While Twi-hards will be disappointed to learn that the rumored ring is not, in fact, an engagement ring - it is a rock that comes with relationship strings.

According to, R-Pats threw down a whopping $17,000 for a vintage promise ring and is just "waiting for the right time to give it to her."

A source said, “The ring is rose-cut diamonds set in rose gold. It’s a very feminine piece of jewelry and very old. The diamonds aren’t huge, and it doesn’t look like an engagement ring. [He] found it through a dealer who specializes in estate jewelry, and he knew it was just perfect for Kristen.”

1/2 Carat Diamond Right Hand Ring in 14K Rose, Yellow and White Gold
He’s not proposing, though. But the snitch is convinced that he would, if Kristen were on board for it.

I haven't heard much about the use of 'promise rings' these days, but it's heart-warming to know the tradition continues even with A-listers like this Tween dream couple. It's also nice to hear that rose gold is still a hot trend for all the metal mavens out there.

Rose Gold Ring with Diamonds
Rose gold, for the uninitiated, is a gold and copper alloy also known as pink gold or red gold (depending on the amount of copper in the mix).

Rose-cut diamonds were introduced as early as the 1500's and were popular until the early 1900's - so you see them a lot in vintage pieces like the one Rob apparently selected.

Rose-Cut Diamond Center Stone
Everything's certainly coming up roses for Kristen Stewart these days. I'll be on the lookout for her rosy ring pics - so stay tuned!

In the meantime, do you guys see promise rings making a comeback out there? Is this a new trend or a sweet gesture from a bygone era?
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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Kate Middleton Wedding Jewelry: The Trouble With Tiaras

Kate Middleton's wedding jewelry has been the subject of MUCH speculation in bauble land, especially since she's apparently the only one who will be wearing a wedding band now that Prince Wills opted out of the sacred ritual.

So. Most royal watchers are fixating on the tiara - a favorite past time with this crowd. But does Kate have to wear one? In a word: YES!

Lady Diana chose to wear her own family heirloom when she married Prince Charles - the Diamond Spencer tiara. But since Kate is, how shall I say this delicately - a lowly commoner - it's likely her family doesn't have a stash of tiaras at the ready.

The Queen could, of course, choose to lend or (gasp!) give Kate a tiara from her vast collection - which would be seen as a sign of confidence in the bride. (Click here to learn more about the Queen's tiara collection - and which one is the current Kate frontrunner).

I love the idea of a NEW tiara making it's debut (along with an Alexander McQueen wedding gown, fingers crossed!) and InStyle's wily editors apparently agree since they recently asked some of the jewelry world's top designers to sketch out their vision for a Kate Middleton wedding tiara in an awesome pictorial. 

I love this one by Chopard (of course).

And that wacky Alexis Bitter's interpretation is just crazy enough to drive the Queen to an early grave.

So what will mack out the mellon of this most famous bride? We'll just have to ride the neverending Royal Wedding pre-party wave - and keep the guessing games going until the big day on the 29th.

In the meantime, JewelClub is getting in the spirit with the launch of their Royal Sample Sale today - with lots of great Kate-inspired sapphire sample sale steals, royal watchers!

And YES the  Royal Wedding Live Tweet party is ON! We're using #royaljewelry for anyone who wants to join the fun. And YES - I will be getting up at 4AM to see it live. And YES - I think I may have a jewelry addiction problem.
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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Paris Hilton - Jewelry Thief?

Is Paris Hilton the latest paparazzi princess to add jewelry thief to her illustrious resume?

According to the New York Daily News, the 'heirhead' is being sued by German insurance giant, Allianz, for not returning $60,000 worth of Damiani loaner jewelry that was stolen (and subsequently recovered) from her house in that notorious celebrity jewelry crime spree back in 2009.

Why do I feel like I've been in this movie before?

"Despite having recovered Damiani's jewelry, \[Hilton has\] failed to return all of the jewelry to Damiani as required by the Agreements," the suit said.

In court paper, Allianz said Damiani in 2007 loaned Hilton $60,000 of jewelry to wear for public appearances. As part of the deal, Hilton agreed to stash the jewelry in a safe or a vault whenever she wasn't wearing it.

But, or course, our Paris does whatever she darn well pleases - so she left the baubles for the world to grab in her unlocked, unalarmed Beverly Hills mansion. And now that the police have long recovered the stolen bling, she just hasn't 'bothered' to return it to its rightful owners.

I'm of half a mind to think she's doing it to get back in the headlines after Lindsay Lohan and Kim Kardashian stole her 'famous for being famous' thunder this year. But my guess is? She's just not into details.

No comment yet from the Hilton camp. Why can't these ladies get their diamond details down? Is this just poor planning or an 'I'm above it all' attitude gone bad?

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spring Clean Your Jewelry Box

Jewelry hounds, it's time to start thinking about the dreaded spring cleaning ritual. And I'm not talking about the dust bunnies under your bed or the windows that are now a dull shade of charcol.

Nope - I'm talking about your jewelry box. You know, the one with three stray gold chains, four random earrings and that cocktail ring that's missing a stone?
With spring jewelry trends looking bigger and bolder by the minute, it's time to get that treasure chest in tip top shape. Put down your iPad, stack up the fashion mags and step away from Facebook for just an hour or two and get this shiny show on the road.

Step one: Gather up all 'one' piece earrings. If the earring doesn't have a partner then place it a Ziploc bag. Keep the bag somewhere safe - after all you never know when the errant partner may turn up, but at least for now all singles are safely stored.

Step two: Detangle chains. If a pendant is missing, throw the chain (or set it aside to sell later). You know you'll never wear it again.

Step three: Everything (and I mean everything) deserves a jewelry spa day. Clean, brush and wipe - and I promise you - 'like new' is a phrase you'll say over and over.

If using a commercial jewelry cleaner, use a brand name and follow the instructions on the label. You can also soak your diamond jewelry in a small bowl of warm, soapy water made with any mild liquid detergent. Gently brush the piece with a soft toothbrush while it is in the suds to dislodge any dust or dirt from under the setting. Then, rinse under warm running water. Pat dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.

You can also clean your jewels by soaking them in a glass of vodka. Now we're talking!.

Step four: Do a basic jewelry checklist.

  • Diamond studs
  • Pearl drops
  • Cocktail ring
  • Diamond Right Hand Ring
  • Gold necklace
  • Pearl necklace
  • Chandelier earrings
  • Diamond pendant

Step five: If any of the above are missing, go directly to sample sale sensation, Jewel Club  to get wholesale prices and below for all of your basic jewelry needs.

See? Doesn't that feel better?
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Monday, April 4, 2011

Prince William's Wedding Band Diss

What gives, Wills? I've been bombarded with reports that the King of England-to-be will (gasp!) NOT be wearing a royal wedding band.

Kate Middleton, of course, will be putting the pedal to the metal with a Welsh gold band bequeathed by the Queen, but her famous fiance is rejecting the most hallowed of bridal traditions for no other reason than - he just doesn't have a taste for jewelry.

Yeah, neither does most of the warm-blooded male population, but they suck it up and wear the universal symbol for 'I'm taken' just the same. Just sayin'.

“It was something the couple discussed, but Prince William isn’t one for jewelry,” a St. James Palace aid tells the Daily Mail. “It really is just down to personal preference.”

It’s a bold decision for any groom to make, royal or no. Even Will’s father, Charles, wears a wedding band beneath his signet ring. But according to insiders, the Prince has Kate’s blessing.

What do you guys think of William's wedding band balk? Is it OK for guys (any guy - not just the most famous groom on the planet) to take a pass on the wedding band tradition? Or is it all's fair in love and ring fingers? Thoughts?
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