West Elm Jewelry Storage

I was perusing online for jewelry boxes for a client, and I was quite impressed with the offerings at West Elm. I’ve always liked this Brooklyn-based company for both their reasonable prices and their focus on sustainability. I wanted to share some of the items that I thought had some real style, as well as being user-friendly.

Grand mirrored jewelry box

west elm grand mirrored jewelry box
Grand lacquer jewelry box

west elm grand lacquer jewelry box
Faux shagreen box (perfect for just a few key pieces kept on your dresser, and comes in two colors)

west elm faux shagreen box
Cast metal jewelry tree (comes in two sizes)

west elm cast metal jewelty tree
Manzanita wall jewelry branch

west elm manzanita wall jewelry branch
What do you think? Would any of these items help in organizing your collection?

13 Sparkling Shoes Ready for the Red Carpet

How can it be that we’re only days away from the Academy Awards?! The gowns, the jewels….oh my! Just before the Golden Globes, I wrote about how your evening bag definitely counts as part of the bling for your attire. (Click here if you missed that article.) I’ve waited until the Oscar’s are upon us to comment about the other, yet equally important, non-jewelry item that definitely contributes to your bejeweled look. Yes, I’m talking about your shoes. (Totally get it if you just got a little shiver of delight.)

Neutrals are often the best choice to enhance a look and elongate the leg, and if you’re just starting to build your evening shoe wardrobe, then I would suggest a neutral metallic and a dark neutral (black, navy, or charcoal, depending on your wardrobe). These will surely mix and match with your festive frocks. And don’t forget to think about cost-per-wear. If you’re a total socialite, out and about a few times per month, then it’s worth it to invest in a quality pair of shoes, even though they may seem expensive at the time. You’ll end up spending less than if you bought multiple pairs of less expensive options.

Here are 13 sparklers at a range of price points (some cost more than my rent, while others are equivalent to a dinner out), to tickle your foot fancy. And if you want more info about any of these, just click the link in blue.

Jimmy Choo black embellished suede

jimmy choo tinga suede crystal embellished sandal
Ted Baker embellished sandal

ted baker london primrose crystal embellished leather sandal
Guiuseppe Zanotti gold crystal mesh sandal

giuseppe zanotti coline crystal mesh sandal
Enzo Angiolini satin peep-toe sandal

enzo angiolini nordia satin peepe toe sandal
Badgley Mischka bejeweled peep-toe pump

badgley mischka hollie pump

Glint silver sparkly sandal

glint daryn sandal
Manolo Blahnik jeweled slide

manolo blahnik telo jeweled napa slide sandal
Kate Spade metallic sandal

kate spade illia metallic slingback sandals
Jimmy Choo gold metallic sandal

jimmy choo lang sandal
Badgley Mischka satin d’orsay pump

badgley mischka satin d'orsay
Nina ivory embellished strappy sandal

nina chelsea sandal
Oscar de la Renta beaded lace peep-toe

oscar de la renta ambria metallic beaded lace sandal
Givenchy jeweled sandal

givenchy jeweled mona sandals
So what do you think? Do any of these styles appeal to you? If you had to pick your favorite, which would it be?

Shannon Koszyk: Designer

“Fortune favors the bold,” Shannon Koszyk told me when I met her at the JCK show, and her jewelry is certainly testament to this mantra! You may remember me writing about her WWI Victory Medal bracelet back in June of 2013. (Click here if you missed that story.)

shannon koszyk victory-angel-bracelet
Excited to finally meet her in person, I was able to see how her collection is such a mix of raw and refined, light and dark, edgy and fashion forward. I was intrigued. I first tried on this diamond bar ring. Though it looks like it’s a multi finger ring, it’s only one, with the bar extending wide on top. Very comfortable, and definitely a statement.

shannon koszyk ring
As she told me, she’s “vintage obsessed” and loves incorporating vintage pieces in her designs, from coins to medals to crucifixes. She took this 1924 Kroner from Denmark, set it in sterling and then made it sparkle with diamonds. Such unique juxtaposition!

shannon koszyk dimaond kroner coin ring
Leather is also one of her go-to mediums, with its tough vibe, yet soft feel. This unisex Crux Wrap Bracelet can also be worn as a necklace.

shannon koszyk leather crux wrap bracelet
Speaking of necklaces, you must know by now that I have a total thing for horns — so no shock that I would love to wear this diamond horn necklace! This shows her signature bronze hook clasp.

shannon koszyk diamond horn necklace
Making every piece by hand in her Seattle studio, Shannon also has branched into the fashion and home decor world. Partnering with Currey & Company, she has designed some pretty unique light fixtures, such as this Fortune Chandelier, made of wrought iron.

shannon koszyk fortune chandelier
While my small apartment may not be able to accommodate her chandeliers, these killer drawer knobs would certainly work!

shannon koszyk drawer knob
Her vintage obsession also includes military shirts and jackets, which she takes and re-works. This unisex camo Audaces jacket could be styled many ways. Personally, I’d pair it with a pair of distressed narrow jeans, rolled up, with booties and a silk tank. Very masculine meets feminine.

shannon koszyk camo audaces jacket
Such a pleasure to meet Shannon! She sells her work around the country, so click here for a list of stockists. By the way, if her aesthetic appeals to you, then definitely check out her Pinterest page — she has some amazing boards!

shannon koszyk and amy roseveare

What is a Paraiba Tourmaline?

I first became entranced with the Paraiba tourmaline a couple years ago — its radiant, almost neon, hues of blue, green, and even violet are simply spectacular. But what is this stone, and how is it different that regular tourmalines, which are quite common in the jewelry world?


photo credit: gia.edu
photo credit: gia.edu

First of all, I needed to learn how to say it correctly, and let me tell you, I was way off! I thought it was “pa-RAI-ba”, but it’s in fact pronounced “par-a-EE-ba.” (Here’s a link to hear it spoken.) Next, I wanted to know how it gets its extreme color, and it turns out that it’s due to the presence of copper in the gem, which no other tourmalines have.

And where is it from? Well not surprisingly, it’s from the state of Paraiba, although I didn’t know that was in Brazil. It’s a relatively new discovery, found in the 1980’s by Heitor Dimas Barbosa. He dug in an old mine in Paraiba Hill for many, many years, absolutely convinced that there was something special to be found there. He was right, and thanks to his dedication and fortitude we now have this rare stone. And when I say rare, I mean really rare! In fact, it’s one of the most expensive gemstones in the world. The larger the stone, the higher the price, as Paraibas are rarely bigger than one carat. Similar stones have now been found in Africa, though their color is said to be a bit lighter.

Here’s some lovely examples of this electric stone:

Ring from Turgeon Raine (9.04 carats!)

turgeon raine paraiba and diamond ring
Diamond and Paraiba earrings from Sutra

sutra diamond and paraiba earrings
Beetles + Huxley pear-shaped ring

paraiba ring from beetles + huxley

Tamsen Z ring with a very unique cut!

tamsen z paraiba ring
Custom Made diamond and Paraiba slice earrings

sliced paraiba and diamond slice earrings from custom made
Modern design from Eytan Aharoni

aharoni jewellery paraiba ring
Beautiful ring from Cayen Jewelers

cayen jewelers paraiba ring
Amazing cabochon Paraiba and diamond ring by Akiva Gil

akiva gil paraiba cabochon ring
I could go on and on, but I think you get the (amaze-balls) picture. Do you own any Paraiba pieces? If so, send me a pic!

Giovanni Ferraris: Jewelry Designer

Giovanni Ferraris is one of the first people I interviewed at the Couture show, but I knew I had to wait until now to write about him. Why? Because we’re only two weeks out from the Academy Awards, and this Italian line is beyond red carpet worthy! There were so many devastatingly beautiful pieces, and I couldn’t help but picture different movie stars wearing them. This pair of earrings, in fact, won the Haute Couture award at the show — pretty darn impressive, as it was his first time attending Couture. Bravo!

giovanni ferraris haute couture winning earrings
Getting his start 30 years ago making watches, he then branched into jewelry, where his wife, Katia, is the main designer, and he handles the production end of things. Their factory is located in San Salvatore, Italy, a region rich in the jewelry business, and each piece is made right there in their factory. I couldn’t resist trying on these diamond and titanium earrings. While they are definitely heavy on the bling, they are light on the ear. They took 300 hours to make! Che lavoro!!

giovanni ferraris diamond earrings
This pair of blue-green sapphire and diamond earrings are one-of-a-kind and out of this world!

giovanni ferraris earrings
These earrings are part of the “Twist” collection, and they move, just like springs.

giovanni ferraris twist earrings
Here’s my friend, Jen, modeling a bracelet from the same collection — it fits so comfortably around the wrist.

giovanni ferraris bracelet
Giovanni demonstrated how it moves with ease, and pops right back into shape.

There were other bracelets I couldn’t resist trying as well. This mesh of black and white diamonds is from the “Velvet” collection.

giovannni ferraris bracelet
And this London blue topaz and diamond bracelet has a very deep blue hue, reminiscent of the Mediterranean Sea.

giovanni ferraris bracelet
The glow emanating from this pink quartz ring was spectacular. The attention to detail in the setting makes it as pretty from the side as it is from the top.

giovanni ferraris ring
giovanni ferraris ring
If I were hitting the red carpet, I surely wouldn’t mind wearing one of these!

giovanni ferraris iris rings
I so enjoyed getting to know Giovanni — from practicing my Italian a bit, to trying on the exquisite jewels. I will definitely be visiting his booth again at Couture this year to see the latest and greatest.

amy roseveare and giovanni ferraris

Ice, Ice Baby: Rock Crystal Jewelry

I know that much of the country is being slammed with snow and ice as of late, and it got me thinking about rock crystal (also known as quartz crystal), as it resembles ice. In fact, its name comes from the Greek word for ice, according to The Book of Stones by Robert Simmons & Naisha Ahsian (A great reference book!). I’ve always been drawn to the stone, from my fascination with crystal balls as a child, to the crystal pendants I wore around my neck throughout college. Even today, I have quite a few rock crystal items I adore. This stone is said to heighten spiritual awareness, generate prosperity, and alleviate stress, among other things. Here’s some of my favorite rock crystal pieces I have collected over the years.

rock crystal jewelry
One of the things I love about rock crystal is that the price point isn’t necessarily super high. You can find lovely items for not a lot of money, and continue on up to very expensive ones. In addition, there’s designs for all different personal styles, from organic bohemian to refined up-town lady, and the the fact that it’s colorless makes it very easy to work into your wardrobe. I took a virtual shopping tour, and I found some gorgeous pieces I think you may enjoy (in no particular order).

Efva Attling “Define Normal” pendant

efva attling definte normal pendant
Raw Elements ring

raw elements jewelry rock quartz ring
Temple St. Clair earrings

temple st. clair rock crystal amulet drop earrings
Ten Thousand Things necklace

ten thousand things crystal and diamond bead drop necklace
Diane von Furstenberg, for H.Stern, rings

Melissa Joy Manning earrings

melissa joy manning rock crystal drop earrings
Ransom Jewelry necklace

ransom jewelry rock crystal arrow necklace
H.Stern bracelet

h.stern rock crystal bracelet
Monica Rich Kosann necklace

monica rich kosann rock crystal oval key necklace
So what about you? Do you own any rock crystal pieces? Is this something that you’re attracted to? I’d love to hear your thoughts. And if you’re one of the people buried in snow, please stay warm and safe!

Atelier Minyon

Did you see Jada Pinkett Smith wear this necklace on Gotham? Well I’ve seen it in person, and it is truly a sight to behold!

atelier minyon necklace by alp sagnak
This other-worldly creation comes from the mind and workbench of Alp Sagnak of Atelier Minyon. This Turkish designer, now with a flagship store in Soho in NYC (He has 6 stores in Turkey.) makes each and every piece by hand, and let me tell you that I’ve rarely seen such complex detail in jewelry. For instance, look at this skull quark hourglass cuff bracelet: the open mouths of the snakes, the gripping skeletal hands, and the gold skull and ribcage on the diamond-dust filled hourglass. Simply amazing.

atelier minyon skull quark hourglass cuff
atelier minyon skull quark hourglass cuff
Alp definitely has a fire in his eyes, and he enthusiastically told me about his line. He sees each of us as having two sides, the naive (which he represents with gold) and the wild (shown with darkened silver). He said, “Embrace your shadow, or it will kill you.” The two sides are clearly shown in this entwined angel and devil necklace. It makes you think, doesn’t it?

atelier minyon entwined angel and devil necklace
Alp, as second generation jeweler, saw jewelry making as his “therapy” while studying industrial engineering. He’s able to let his mind run free, where he creates fictional animals, such as the body of a seahorse with wings of a dragon. He uses the most poisonous flowers and dangerous creatures in his work. I was intrigued by the gem-filled syringes at his booth, which he said many use for healing.

atelier minyon syringe
And what about this “poison” bottle? I think it would look amazing on a long chain, layered with other necklaces.

atelier minyon poison bottle.
There are certainly some pieces in his line that aren’t as mythical, such as this beautiful bracelet I tried on, woven in the Ottoman style with a bejeweled clasp.

atelier minyon bracelet
And just the other day, he posted this photo of a rosecut diamond pendant on his Instagram page. I love it!

atelier minyon diamond pendant
But I must say, I keep going back to look at his non-traditonal designs. How did he come up with this “Humble Man” pendant, with the body formed by the texture of motorcycle chains?

atelier minyon humble man pendant
Or this ring, where he has a gold spider inside the enamel skull?!

atelier minyon enamel spider skull ring
As you can see, this is clearly an out-of-the ordinary line, and it was not a surprise that he won a Couture design award in 2013 and was nominated again this past year for the necklace shown first in this article.

I look forward to seeing Alp, and his vibrant wife, Asli, at the Couture show again this year. I know that there’s no way I can even imagine what I’ll be seeing from him!


Asli, Amy and Alp
Asli, Amy and Alp