If you’ve been following me here on the blog or on social media for some time, you know that I’m a huge fan of Bay Area designer, Lauren Wolf. I can’t recall where I first met her, but through visits to Esqueleto (her fab store in Oakland), seeing her at various trade shows, and at local WJA events (Women’s Jewelry Association), I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know her.
I find my love of her jewelry has increased as time goes by; seeing a designer’s passion for their craft somehow increases its attraction. She began by studying silversmithing in San Miguel, Mexico, at the Sterling Quest School. She then went on to get her degree from FIT in New York City, and from how she describes it, she hasn’t looked back since!
Lauren absolutely LOVES diamond buying, where she hand picks all of her stones. She treasures her long-standing relationships with her vendors. All of her jewelry is designed and made in house in the east bay. Nice, right?
I have shared this particular three stone diamond ring before, but I must admit, to this day it is my most coveted piece of hers. The color combination, the weight of it on my hand…I’ve actually dreamt about this ring! Perhaps one day…
She has countless options in the three stone category, which I happen to find very chic. On my last visit to the store, I tried on this lovely, with dark grey diamonds. While this certainly can fall into the alternative bridal category, I think it’s equally wearable as a right hand ring, don’t you? She is a queen of unconventional diamond rings, that’s for sure.
Just recently, she posted these diamond eternity bands on her Instagram page. I honestly cannot decide which color is my favorite. What about you? Light grey? Champagne? Or dark grey?
Another show-stopper from Lauren is this six-diamond star ring. It has a cosmic vibe fit for an urban princess.
I also have to mention that Lauren makes a variety of stud earrings, which are ever-so-useful in ones jewelry box. I bought this tourmalinated quartz pair a few years back, and they are featured heavily in my earring rotation.
I am SO looking forward to visiting Lauren’s booth in Las Vegas at the end of the month to see all the latest and greatest creations! If you’d like to check out more of her line, you can visit one of her stores (Oakland and Los Angeles) or enjoy a cocktail and peruse her online shop while sitting in the comfort of your own home. (You can see what I do with my free time!) She’s also carried at a variety of retailers across the country.
With the ever-increasing popularity of multiple piercings, stud earrings are gaining a lot of momentum in the jewelry world. I have to say they’ve certainly become a staple for me this past year or so. Especially during winter, when I often have scarves wrapped high around my neck, stud earrings give sparkle without getting in the way of my outfit. When you think about building your stud wardrobe, I suggest you start with your metal of choice (silver or gold) with neutral colored stones. As you build your collection, then it makes sense to start adding in more color. I’m going to share 11 hot looks, many of which have been road-tested by either yours truly or by one of my clients. This selection ranges from $165-$2000, and they are listed in order of price, lowest to highest.
First up are these Sharon Zimmerman “In the Rough” recycled diamond stud earrings in 14K gold. Hand made right here in San Francisco, I love the eco-friendly aspect that they are from recycled materials. Sold in singles or as a pair, I bought one for my second piercing, and I love it! It’s only 5mm in diameter so perfect for piercings higher up on your ear.
Corey Egan, another San Francisco designer, created these studs with a unique hand-carved shape. They are offered in both brushed silver or oxidized silver. Which would you choose?
Melissa Joy Manning, who has stores both in Berkeley, CA and Soho in NYC, is the queen of organic beauty. Last fall when I was working in New York, I picked up this pair of pyrite and yellow gold studs. I’ve been amazed at how effortlessly they blend with my wardrobe. The pyrite has a cooler tone, but it’s warmed up with the pyrite. I get constant compliments on them.
Though I’ve yet to see Alexis Russell jewelry live, I’ve visited her website more than a few times. This tiny trio of diamonds is such a cool alternative to the traditional singular diamond stud. You can order them in yellow or rose gold. They would be perfect on their own, or as a lovely compliment higher up on your ear.
Kendra Renee has a fashion-forward take on the stud with her white topaz and gold pyramid studs. It would be fun to play with the angle you wear them — either vertically, horizontally or slanted.
Have you been to Lauren Wolf’s store, Esqueleto, in Oakland? (And she now has one in LA too!) Her store carries a wide array of jewelry, both vintage and new, as well as curated objects de art. But I digress…Lauren’s octagonal rutilated quartz studs in yellow gold are fabulous. They truly have a presence when worn.
Meredith Marks makes her Jacklyn studs in a variety of stone combinations. This particular pair combines grey moonstone with black diamonds, but there are eight varieties currently available on her website. The price varies with the type of stones in the earring.
This list would not be complete without Nak Armstrong’s rainbow moonstone pyramid earrings. When Nak was having a trunk show at Barney’s in San Francisco I, of course, had to stop by. He selected these for me to try on, and I knew I had to invest in them right there on the spot. Though they weren’t inexpensive, I’ve worn them so many times, the cost-per-wear has dropped significantly. (In a few years, they’ll basically be free!) If you have small earlobes like I do, then the curved design of the earring gracefully cups your earlobe. Architectural genius!
Tura Sugden is a master with the German blow torch. When I visited her at her studio, I was dazzled by her diamond slice earrings. The cage-like setting really takes the diamond slice to the next level. My client who purchased a pair agrees, as I know they’ve become one of her go-to pieces of jewelry.
Black diamonds are definitely both avant-garde and chic in my book. When combined with white gold by Sethi Couture, you’ve got an alternative classic design on your hands. (or in your ears, for that matter) The rose cut diamonds create a black glow, rather than a harsh, black look. Perfection.
I conclude this list with a pair by English designer Polly Wales. The way she sets white sapphires in 18K gold in such a sophisticated yet unstructured way is awe-inspiring. Jaw-meet-floor.
Though I could go on and on with stud suggestions, I’ve got to stop here. As you contemplate what earrings to add to your jewelry box, I urge you to ONLY buy what you love — what makes your heart truly sing. These are the purchases which will go the distance for you. Don’t settle. Be patient and save up for what will work best for you. I promise you’ll be happier in the long run.