I apologize for the delay in my monthly birthstone report, but I just returned from a family vacation at the beach where the Internet was spotty, to say the least. (Did you see any of my beach pix on Instagram?) I was just forced to take some time off the computer. 😉 But I’ve just returned, and the writing resumes.
Now I must say that opals have been and continue to be one of my favorites stones. The only downside I’ve discovered over the years is that they are quite fragile, so the opal eternity band I once purchased quickly had two stones break. I find them better suited to rings with the opal featured on the top, as well as in earrings, necklaces and bracelets, of course.
Opals come in a wide range of colors, from white to orange to green and more. There are also many different varieties. Some you may have heard of are Peruvian, Black, Boulder and Fire. (If you’d like to read more about the different types, you’ll enjoy this detailed article I found on CrystalVaults.com) The name opal comes from the Sanskrit word “upala” which translates to precious stone. Sometimes referred to as the “eye stone,” opals are known for inspiration, hope and optimism. They are purported to aid with:
-inspiring love and passion
-centering the mind
-protection from negative energy
I like it! And I also like so many of the stunning pieces of opal jewelry I found this month. Here, in no particular order, are some of my favorites.
I actually had to call “time” and stop searching, or this list would be endless. And…in case you didn’t know, October has TWO birthstones. While opal is the one traditionally associated with the month, tourmaline is also an October birthstone. Who knew?!
I can’t quite remember the first time I saw a piece of Nan Fusco’s jewelry online, but I instantly fell in jewelry lust! Her pieces are edgy, feminine, and organic at the same time. I’ve been dying to see them in person! While on a recent trip to southern California, I was so excited to meet up with her in Laguna Beach and find out more!
Our hour together just flew by, as she pulled out trays upon trays of treasures. We started with bracelets, and this stunner made from natural Kasumi pearls, wrapped with oxidized silver chain, made my jaw drop.
Next she showed me some bracelets with a staurolite as the center medallion. I had never heard of these before! She explained that they are also known as the “twin cross.” They are found naturally in the ground in just a few places, such as Georgia (it’s actually their official state mineral) and in the Swiss Alps. Legend says that they are formed when a fairy’s tears hit the ground.
This is one of the unique aspects of Nan’s line. She “artfully composes” things that she finds on her wanderings. Often, it might be something that others would pass by (such as the staurolite). But not Nan — instead she comes up with singular designs, some of which wakes her up in the middle of the night, having dreamt about it.
Nan’s bracelets stack beautifully, as shown in this garnet stack, which includes everything from Keishi pearls to elk antler to cognac diamonds. Stack-tastic!
Another fabulous thing about many of her pieces, is that they can be worn many ways. Take her “quattro” necklace (which means 4 in Italian) It starts out looking like one long chain. BUT…you can wrap it multiple times to wear as a bracelet, or style it in three different necklace variations. Check it out!
With a background in graphic design, she started her jewelry business in 2003, along with her husband Michael. She clearly has a mind for design and balance, as so many of her necklaces have elements of asymmetry, yet they all hang perfectly. Case and point are her claspless “loop” necklaces, which have a small loop of chains that allow you to adjust the necklace to any place you’d like. Here’s an example of this inventive concept shown in oxidized chain, elk antler and a diamond loop.
And what’s not to love about this raw ruby tie necklace? And of course, it can be worn various ways as well.
Nan is a self-taught, one-woman show. She designs and makes each piece by hand in her southern California studio. And I don’t know how she finds time for it, but she and her husband also run an ad agency as well. How does she do it?!
I love how Nan really uses unique stones. She told me that she looks for high quality, yet not “perfect” stones. The uniqueness and natural variation in her materials really inspires her. Take a look at these exquisite baroque pearl earrings, with her signature chain wrap. (did I mention she oxidizes all the chains herself as well?)
I could definitely go on and on about this line, and I encourage you to check out her website. She said the most common thing she hears when people see her work is, “I’ve never seen anything like it!” I must agree.
Black and white outfits were ALL over the runway this spring, and it’s no surprise that it’s translated into jewelry as well. The point was driven home when I saw this amazing cuff by Robert Procup — the diamonds, the stingray, heck, I’m hooked!
For a more bohemian vibe on the trend, check out this cuff by Kevia.
Chan Luu, the goddess of wrap bracelets, also has her interpretation in black and white agate.
Nan Fusco has come up with a very versatile black and white combo with this piece. It can be worn as a necklace or a wrap bracelet. Now that’s some good cost-per-wear.
And for a more modern look, these hoops from Ippolita’s Rock Candy Collection are definitely a new classic!
And let’s not neglect our fabulous fingers! If a more substantial, statement ring is up your alley, then you’ll covet this evil eye design by Miriam Salat.
Then again, you may be more apt to wear a delicate ring. In this case, I’m loving this ring by Nolan.
I think that exploring the black and white trend is so much more user-friendly in jewelry, as opposed to in your outfit. Let me explain…if you have high-contrast personal coloring (like Cher — dark hair and pale skin), then repeating this high-contrast level in your clothing is a very inherent look and is fabulous. On the other hand, if you are more low-contrast (think Gwyneth Paltrow — pale hair, skin and eyes), then wearing black and white for your outfit is a bit overwhelming. People will notice your outfit before they notice you. SO, interpreting the trend in jewelry and accessories is the perfect solution.
I’d love to hear how you’re wearing (or not) the black and white trend this spring. Send me photos!!