Sometimes I come across something so darn clever, I just have to share…and this is one of those times! To be honest, I’ve never really thought about where doctors or nurses put their rings during medical procedures. Now that I think about it, I would assume they put it in a locker like they have on Grey’s Anatomy. Well Atelier Gigi (who you may remember from when she designed the engagement ring my brother gave to my now sister-in-law) just came up with something WAY cooler than stashing your ring in a locker.
The story goes something like this: She was working on an engagement ring for a young man who would be proposing to a medical student. While it didn’t work out to incorporate any medical theme into the ring itself, Gigi designed a stethoscope pendant to hang around her neck. Not only is this awfully cute on its own, but it serves as a place to hang her ring, right next to her heart, when she can’t be wearing it.
Here’s the bride wearing the necklace with her ring placed on it. So not only is her ring safe, but it’s so precious in its sentimentality!
Knowing there are likely many in the medical field who would love to have one for themselves, Gigi is now selling these pendants on Etsy. You can order them in silver, 14K & 18K yellow or rose gold, or platinum. Perhaps this will give you a little head-start on your holiday shopping for the medical professional in your life!
It has been years since I’ve been up to Sonoma, even though it’s only a two hour drive from where I live, so I was very excited to head up there this past Friday. Not only was I meeting a dear friend and colleague for lunch, but I was also finally going to visit Studio Collections Jewelry. I have been “virtual” friends with the owner, Bess Nathan Rice, for quite some time now. Located just off the main square, this store sells a very wide array of styles, from dainty to bold, new to vintage. I have no doubt that whatever your personal style, you’d be able to find something to complement your wardrobe in this boutique.
As I walked in, I met Beth Hanson, who is the woman in charge of all the styling and merchandising at the store. Her love of jewelry had us chatting non-stop.
There are quite a few lines that were new to me, and I want to share a few of them with you. The first one, Yed Omi, was located at the counter right as I walked in. It’s handcrafted by a husband/wife team out of Portland, Oregon.
I tried on the gold earrings on the right, and they were quite fabulous! Not only are they extremely lightweight, but the line is very reasonably priced.
Bess, the owner, also sells her own line. Luck would have it that she had just brought in trays of new designs while I was there. This necklace can be worn long, doubled, or even tripled. It features a rose-cut diamond and sterling pendant, with Tahitian Keshi pearls; these pearls are quite unique, as they are non-nucleated.
She also showed me this necklace with tourmaline, Tahitian pearls and some excellent swinging tassels.
You may be getting the gist that Bess is definitely a pearl girl. If you’ve got some pearl jewelry that just isn’t doing it for you anymore, Bess can help you re-design them.
I couldn’t help but notice a display of larger-scale jewelry by Patti Crandall. I wasn’t familiar with her line, and I found out why — Studio Collections is the only place she sells her work! Take a gander at these three rings. I tried on the one with citrine topaz and moonstone. Now that’s a statement!
I also had to try on these three opaque diamond rings in 18K…
This necklace was also very intriguing. Made from a replica of an ancient Greek coin, you can see there are four spinels on the back side. Definitely a conversation piece.
On one whole wall of the store there are these great shadow-box cases, just beckoning you to come closer and inspect the treasures inside.
One case in particular was calling my name — that which was full of traditional Mexican earrings. They are all hand fabricated in Oaxaca and Taxco. Although they look like they could be vintage, they are newly made, and ready for the right buyer! Here’s a few pair of earrings from this group. Whether or not they’re your personal style, you’ve got to appreciate the detail in the workmanship.
As I was looking at the selection of earrings, Bess pulled out a very special pair of gold and pearl “gusano” (meaning caterpillar) earrings. This pair is in fact vintage. I’ve honestly never seen anything like them.
Speaking of vintage, there is a carefully curated section of estate jewelry. Since I’ve been educating myself on different eras of jewlery, I enjoyed trying them all on.
But have no fear if your taste is more on the contemporary side. You can find some beautiful designs, such as these rings by Sonoma County’s own Jennifer Dawes.
Should you decide to purchase something, either for yourself or for a gift, know that you’ll be getting a very specially wrapped box. As I watched Beth wrap up this ring box, we were laughing about how it reminded us from that scene from Love Actually where Alan Rickman is purchasing a necklace for his secretary. Humor! (Oh, and if you haven’t ever seen that movie — download it right away. It’s one of my all-time favorites.)
Bess, I so enjoyed visiting your store and getting the chance to know you in person. Thank you for all your time and expertise!
Oh, and if you’re looking for a yummy lunch nearby after jewelry shopping, I really enjoyed El Dorado Kitchen, right on the square. I’m still dreaming about the heirloom tomato salad…
I first met Erika Winters a few years ago at the Couture show. As a fellow editor, it was great fun to chat jewels with her. This year, I was immensely proud to see her standing behind a sparkling counter, showing off her first collection at the show! For those looking for a whole new look in bridal, then look no further than Erika Winters Fine Jewelry.
I couldn’t help but absorb Erika’s enthusiasm as she toured me around her line. This lady is clearly thrilled to be doing what she loves — designing beautiful, meaningful jewelry, which is then all hand-crafted in her Seattle-based studio. Erika is a stickler for design and quality control, and passionate about antique-cut diamonds. As I tried on these two hexagonal rose-cut diamond rings, she showed me how they are set upside down and backed with gold. They have the ideal height profile to allow stacking with bands.
Speaking of bands, she has many great options, all with just the right amount of interest and detail. I tried on the Imogen, Lily and Rose. Don’t you just adore the signature finish on them? It’s a blend of an old-world look with a modern touch, described as, “soft, yet finely textured to evoke vintage rings that have been worn for decades.”
Probably my favorite diamond ring I tried on was the Thea Halo. I didn’t tell Erika this, but in my mind I was picturing a compass rose, and thinking how this ring would symbolize all the places one would travel with their spouse, yet always returning home to regroup before the next adventure.
Erika also goes beyond rings in her line. Her Estella Collection has some gorge necklaces, earrings and bracelets. (And since my one and only niece is named Estella, I already had a soft spot for what I was about to see.) The large shield necklace was pretty darn awesome.
You’ll notice that the points are a blunt cut — no pointy termination. Erika is very into dimension, and works tirelessly to incorporate such sculptural details. These luminous earrings are also part of the Estella Collection.
And because I’m always looking for bracelets that fit my small wrist and don’t spin around, I was quite impressed with her curved bar bracelets. Not only does the bar fit comfortably on the wrist, but she has created a clasp with perfectly spaced links to make it fully adjustable. So clever!
I know Erika is just overflowing with ideas, and I can’t wait to see how her line develops. Thanks for all your time, Erika!
This is a question that comes up from time to time when I’m jewelry shopping with clients. For many, “cabochon” is a jewelry vocabulary word which may not be part of your daily vernacular. Pronounced “kab-uh-shawn,” it refers to a rounded, highly polished cut of stone with no faceting. Typically, this cut is an oval shape (though you’ll find it in other shapes as well) with a flat bottom. Alexis Kletjian recently posted this stunning photo of a group of phrenite cabochons. Beautiful, right?
The word cabochon comes from the French word “caboche” which translates to “small dome.” Opaque gems such as turquoise, opal, moonstone, and onyx are most commonly found in this cut, as opposed to transparent gems, which are typically faceted. Personally, I adore cabochon gems — they elicit a very mystical vision in my mind.
So that you can get a clear handle on what cabochon jewelry looks like, I thought I’d share a few lovely examples.
This graphic is inspired by one I saw on the Instagram page of Sparrow. While it certainly gave me a chuckle, it also hit very close to home. I have often found myself in this very situation while gazing at some dreamy piece of jewelry I’m just dying to take home with me. This is when it’s VERY important to remember the cost-per-wear principle.
Most of my clients have internalized this concept, as I often bring it up when we’re out on our shopping excursions. Basically, it boils down to how much does the item cost, and how often will you wear it?
Let’s take an example of a $500 necklace. If you purchase it and only wear it twice, then the cost-per-wear is $250. That’s a mighty pricey necklace!
Using that same $500 necklace as an example, let’s say it turns into one of your daily basics, and the first year you own it you wear it 300 times. Then, the cost-per-wear on this necklace is now only $1.67. Are you following me?
Of course, there are many more factors that go into deciding whether or not to make a purchase, such as do you LOVE it, can you actually afford it, will it work seamlessly in your wardrobe, etc. But considering the cost-per-wear is crucial, unless you’ve got one of those bottomless wallets I often dream of.
The bottom line is the more you spend on something, then the more you should wear it so that the cost-per-wear goes down, making it a much wiser purchase than something you simply leave in your jewelry box or closet. Don’t save anything “for good,” as many of us were taught. Wear the diamonds, use the fancy towels, and eat off the “good” dishes every day. What are you waiting for? You deserve it. Not only will you enjoy it, but you’ll also be making an economical decision.
What a treat to go into my e-mail inbox and find out about a NEW jewelry collection! Thanks to Kellie from Elu on Sacramento Street in San Francisco, I got an inside look at ELUP4, a jewelry collaboration between Cristina Nicoletti, Elu’s founder and creative director, and Evan Sugerman from Parts of 4.
Although the look has visual weight, the pieces themselves are actually quite light, being made from a composite of silver, brass and bronze. The result is a metal which has a very unique patina. You may wonder where the whole idea originated. It came from a ring that Cristina has worn for many years, a 2000 year old Israeli artifact found in an archaeological dig. (Wow!) Evan was able to disect the ring to see how it was made and use this knowledge to co-create the line.
The jewelry incorporates stones such as labradorite, quartz, raw diamonds and fossilized coal.
The price points in the collection range from $150 to $1800, and are currently available at Elu stores in San Francisco, Melrose (LA), and Aspen.
They are also taking custom orders if you’d like a design in gold with precious stones. Of course, the price point would reflect the materials. So what do you think? Does this collection resonate with your personal style? If so, then head over to one of the locations I mentioned and try it on for yourself!
The title of this blog post may confuse you — especially if you aren’t on Instagram; so let me explain. The talented Tura Sugden has created the hashtag #jewelryuniform to challenge other Instagrammers to show a pic of the jewelry they wear each day…in other words, your “jewelry uniform.” I’ve been loving getting a peek into the jewelry boxes of so many jewelry-addicts I admire. And then, I was challenged by both Dana Bronfman and Becky from Diamonds in the Library to show mine. Ack! My immediate reaction was, “How can I possibly do this? I wear different things almost every day!” But the more I contemplated the jewelry in my life, I decided it was possible to narrow it down to the key pieces which have been making me smile this summer. Just like Becky, my fellow writer, I cannot limit this to just one photo, so here I am writing an entire article about it. 😉
First off, I tend to have more silver-oriented days, and others that veer more towards yellow and rose gold. I never have on only one tone of metal from head to fingertips, but there’s definitely an emphasis each day. So let’s start with the “gold” days.
For me, this ensemble starts with the shorter necklace, comprised of an enhydro quartz pendant by Monica Marcella on a hand-fabricated chain by Tura Sugden. I pair this with a super long chain of oxidized silver with little gold beads. I have no clue where I purchased this — I’ve had it for a zillion years.
Ears are adorned in my most favorite rose gold and moonstone studs by Nak Armstrong. (Nak helped me pick them out when I visited him at a trunk show he was having at Barney’s in SF; it’s like they were made for my tiny earlobes.)
Then, there are many rings to create a combination from…
I do not wear them all at once, nor all on one hand. My mood and the state of how puffy my fingers are (am I the only one whose fingers are puffy in the morning?!) help me decide what to wear. Top to bottom, left to right, here’s the designer info:
Third Eye ring with a faceted black diamond from Fiat Lux
Polly Wales diamond eternity band (definitely the piece I wear every single day, no matter what)
Vintage gold, silver and sapphire ring bought over 20 years ago
Rose gold and labradorite navette ring from Arik Kastan
Now, let’s turn to the days where my outfit calls for more of a silver vibe.
Again, I start with the necklace, in this case the “egg” pendant from Sophie Buhai. When I ordered it, I requested two chains of different lengths. This has given it more milage, since different lengths give me more options with regard to what looks best with the neckline of what I’m wearing.
No matter if it’s a silver or gold day, I always wear gold studs in my 2nd piercing. It’s the only metal that doesn’t seem to infect my ear at this point. So, I opt for either my Gabriella Kiss “slug” from Quadrum Gallery or a tiny disc with white sapphires from Polly Wales.
So there we go…my #jewelryuniform. What about you? Do you have one? Definitely post a photo on Instagram, use this hashtag and tag @amyroseveare so I can see what baubles make you happy every day. Join in on the fun! Thanks to Tura for creating this, and to Dana and Becky for the tag! xo
I really like how Dana Bronfman describes her line on her website, “… (it) is for the woman who delights in adorning herself in the precious ore of the earth but whose feet are planted firmly in the city.” This creates a great visual, doesn’t it? I had the pleasure of meeting Dana and trying on her jewelry at the JCK show in Las Vegas.
Her description is right on target, as I saw the architecture in the first necklace I picked up, which is inspired by the Brooklyn Bridge.
Dana is over 1.5 years into her business. Though she lives in New York (she moved there for further jewelry studies after attending The Revere Academy), she and I bonded over both being Bay Area natives. Every piece in her collection is made by hand in New York City. She’s passionate about being ethical in her work, using reclaimed metals and ethically-sourced stones. In addition, she donates part of her sales to non-profit organizations which align with her values. Gotta love all that!
As I explored the goodies in her case, I noticed how many of her pieces had an element of movement to them. Take, for example her flip rings.
They are fun to flip around while wearing them.
Another key element in her designs is her use of negative space. Her Oculus collection, which basically translates to any round shape that lets light shine through, is pretty darn cool. Here’s a couple of her “Holly” pendants, which can be worn horizontally or vertically.
These two rings, in gold and silver, feature double rows of diamonds. Nice, right?
Her newest collection is inspired by clock gears melting…very Dali-esque; she always feels as if she’s running out of time. Here’s a necklace and a brooch in this group.
Dana’s “Climbing Persistence” earrings can be worn on their own, or with a pendulum extender. Which way would you choose to wear them?
The day I visited Dana at the show, she was wearing her “Flying Lilly” necklace — beautiful combination of shapes and metal colors, highlighted with diamonds.
Dana’s “Still Lilly” rings felt very easy on the hand, and gave a real punch in appearance.