My obsession with Nak Armstrong jewelry all started when I tried on this ring at Red Bird in Berkeley last year. (It’s the big one in the center of the stack.) I tried it on mixed with some of my own rings, gazed at it when worn on its own, and I must say that I’ve driven over the Bay Bridge more than once in the time since to visit my oh, so longed-for friend. I kid you not, that if I were to suddenly come into a lot of money, that this would be my absolute first jewelry purchase.
I try not to discriminate in the world of gemstones, but I must admit that emeralds have never been one of my favorite stones. (I guess it’s lucky I wasn’t born in May.) So I thought I’d give myself a challenge this St. Patrick’s Day and delve into the world of green stones, from emeralds to green diamonds to tourmalines and beyond. I decided to send myself on a virtual shopping spree, with no budget constraints and see what gorgeous green gems I could come up with. Folks, I was definitely NOT disappointed, and I now have a completely new appreciation for lovely baubles in all shades of green. So here goes, my top 20 picks.
First up is this amaze-balls pair of earrings by Sutra.
Next I started drooling over these oval cravellit earrings by Armenta.
For a classic tear-drop with a twist, take a look at these chrysoprase earrings by Irene Neuwirth.
And taking a more yellow-green approach, I think Anne Sportun has a lovely design in green garnets and diamonds!
Moving down the body, I started looking for green ways to adorn my neck. And oh, what lovelies did I find! First, I fell in lust with this tourmaline and diamond necklace by LFrank.
For a truly dramatic look, Irene Neuwirth nailed it with this emerald necklace.
I also explored the world of vintage jewelry, and I fell in love with this antique “Mogul” emerald and diamond pendant. The emerald was carved 1695 — so pretty!
Back to a simpler design, I think this green diamond paisley by Sethi Couture is beautiful.
And finally, this pendant necklace by Emily Amey would be great in creative layers.
Taking us to the wrist, I was loving the array of choices in which you can adorn yourself in green gemstones. This ombre look in chrysoprase and green quartz by Mary Esses is phenomenal.
Since I am a fan of stacking bracelets, I thought this bangle by Nak Armstrong would be a fab addition to my jewelry box. I love how the emeralds are such an unusual hue — veering more toward the aqua-green side.
I am often seen wearing my Hermes click-clack bracelet, and perhaps one in green would be just the right way to add a punch of color to my oft-neutral ensembles.
This delicate cuff by Jemma Wynne made of Zambian emeralds, gold and diamonds is perfection.
And given that this exercise gave me an unlimited budget, why not go for this tourmaline and diamond bracelet via Sotheby’s?
Lest we forget our fingers, I kept on the search. The first ring to catch my eye was this emerald slice and diamond stunner by Monique Pean. The stone has such a smoky quality to it — love it!
For a much more organic, boho look, I’d opt for something like this adventurine and sterling silver ring from Circle & Square.
Given my penchant for stacking rings, I know that I could incorporate some of these skinnies by Suzy Landa into my collection.
I think this opaque green diamond ring by Sethi Couture would look amazing with my skin tone.
And to end with another vintage piece, I think this emerald and diamond ring from the late 1800’s/early 1900’s via Bonhams is exquisite. I’m actually shocked that it sold for under $3K.
So what do you think of my virtual shopping spree? Do you see some pieces that you’d like as well? Wishing you a fabulous St. Patrick’s Day!
Welcome to the second installment of “Jewelry Box Basics.” In case you’re just joining us, this is a 6-part series about what basics I recommend that you have stocked in your jewelry box, based on your personal style. I’ve come up with six different personal styles: the lady who lunches (who was featured last week), bohemian, rock star, minimalist, trendy and romantic. Again, I know that virtually no one fits into just one style box, so read this with an open mind, seeing what appeals to you. Also, don’t let the price point bother you — just take each piece as an example of a look, and then shop at the price point where you’re comfortable.
I’m pretty psyched to write this article, as it’s definitely where my heart lives. From the Navajo necklace my father bought me when I was 6 years old (yes, I still have it!), to the orange tie-dye dress that I lived in (against my mother’s wishes…orange really wasn’t my color), I’ve always had some version of the boho tune singing in my head. The interesting thing about this personal style is that it has a real range! It varies all the way from Haight-Ashbury hippies to what I call “luxe boho.” The examples I’ll showcase in this post definitely veer more towards the later look.
The chic bohemian still loves her bling, yet is a bit more casual than the lady who lunches. This watch by Brera really hits that note. The leather strap and visible screws have a great juxtaposition with the diamond-encased watch face. And the strap is interchangeable with other colors, so the boho girl can really mix it up with her bracelets.
Speaking of bracelets, the bohemian woman is the queen of stacking bracelets and bangles. There’s no doubt that “basics” in this category range from beaded, elastic bracelets to jewel-encrusted bangles. This polki diamond bangle from Ross-Simons is a fabulous basic. The raw, organic feel of this type of diamond is the perfect representation for this style. And don’t worry if your metals don’t match. With the eclectic combinations created, it all comes together harmoniously.
There is no room for a minimal ring for the Boho girl, unless it’s part of a big stack of slim rings. Rather, a large statement ring is her basic. I’m loving this teardrop quartz ring by Peppina. It’s the perfect neutral to blend with any outfit, and it really resonates with the natural feel of this personal style.
Once again, hoops are the basic go-to earring of choice. In comparison to the lady who lunches, the bohemian’s hoops are likely to be even larger in scale. A varied array of metals and embellishments are sure to be found in her jewelry box. These slim, yet large hoops by Jennifer Meyer (love the singular diamond station!) are fabulous.
This is where things get a little complicated, as the bohemian style really doesn’t lend itself to just one necklace. Layering necklaces is really intrinsic to this style, so her basics will likely include at least two necklaces. One should be a bolder, long piece, and the other a daintier necklace that can be worn harmoniously with the other one. This shark tooth necklace by Givenchy (yes, it’s on my jewelry lust list) would be a very versatile choice.
If you pair this with a shorter necklace, like this pyrite and natural diamond one by Jemma Sands, then you’ve really created quite a look. And of course, either necklace can certainly be worn separately.
But I have to go just one step further with what a boho woman would consider basic. One of this woman’s favorite things to do is travel, and she undoubtedly picks up singular pieces along her adventures. It could be a scarab ring from Egypt, a buddah charm on a bangle from Bali, or a piece of history from the southwest, as in this amazing Native American squash blossom necklace.
Whether this jewelry collection made you say, “Yes!!! That’s SO me!!” or, “There’s no way I’d ever even look twice at these pieces!” it’s all good. This is what makes the world go round. The key is to learn what speaks to you and develop that jewelry signature. When you have a solid sense of your style, things just fall into place and shopping gets a lot easier!
I have this beautifully decorated folder called my “Style File” that sits front and center on my desk. Whenever I see something in a magazine that I love, I rip it out and add it to my file. These are not necessarily items that I can afford or even fit, but they just speak to me. Through this process, I’m really able to see my style direction, and it inspires me each and every time I look through it.
Well about a year ago I saw a pair of earrings (though I can’t even remember in what publication!) that just took my breath away. They were an elongated teardrop of some sort of horn, with the tiniest of diamonds carefully inlaid in each one. I HAD to try them on! So off I went to Barney’s, and voila, there they were, in the Monique Pean case! Yes! They were perfect — they suited my face shape, complemented my coloring, and they were as light as a feather. Had they been in my budget, I would have gone home wearing them. But alas…I am left to just dream about them.
With this experience still fresh in my mind over a year later, imagine how delighted I was to meet this talented designer in person at the Couture show.
Once I started researching Monique, it wasn’t just her incredible designs that drew me to her. In fact, she is “committed to luxury bespoke products that promote social and environmental responsibility.” Her entire line is comprised of sustainable, conflict-free and fair-trade materials. She is active in the No Dirty Gold campaign, as well as various other charities. She explained to me that mining gold releases mercury into the earth. (that’s not good!) And creating just one ring NOT using sustainable materials can create up to 20 tons of waste!! I can’t even wrap my head around that one. One of her main thrusts has been to help people get clean drinking water. Currently, she has made that happen for over 5000 people for the next 20 years. Now if that’s not awesome, I don’t know what is!!
OK, I can go on and on about this highly-awarded designer, who’s line launched in 2006, but I’ll stop there. Let’s get down to the jewels!!
Here is a classic example of how she uses fossilized walrus ivory along with black diamonds to craft a one-of-a-kind statement ring.
And here is a bracelet also made from the fossilized walrus ivory. You can really see how the natural materials have great color variation.
Not all of her pieces are on the larger scale. She also has many delicate designs as well. I think these opal slice studs would be an amazing addition to my jewelry box! (dreaming again….) She told me that all the opals she uses are hand-chiseled, with no dynamite used.
While this necklace is about the same price as a luxury automobile, I’d still choose the necklace! It’s created from diamond slices and slices of fossilized wooly mammoth.
It’s no surprise that Monique has a huge celebrity following as well, from Michelle Obama to stars of screen and stage. Here’s Leighton Meester adorned in some lovely earrings by Pean.
I just love that this jewelry is making such a positive impact on the earth, in addition to making it more gorgeous. I hope to one day own my own piece by Monique, but in the meanwhile, I will keep appreciating the collection and all Monique does for our planet.