October Birthstone: Opal

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. ūüėČ 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:

-memory
-self-esteem
-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.

Katherine Jetter Opal Corner Ring

Katherine Jetter Opal Corner Ring
Jane Taylor Boulder Opal and Diamond Bracelet

jane taylor boulder opal and diamond bracelet
Pippa Small Fire Opal Eleven Stone Pendant

pippa small fire opal eleven stone pendant
Communion by Joy Warrior of Life Opal Ring

communion by joy warrior of life ring
Variance Australian Opal earrings

variance austrailian opal earrings
Nan Fusco Australian Boulder Opal and Diamond Necklace

nan fusco australian boulder opal with diamonds
Brooke Gregson Diamond Band Boulder Opal Cuff Bracelet

brooke gregson diamond band boulder opal cuff bracelet

Peppina Fire Opal Ring

peppina fire opal ring
Misa Jewelry Compass Earrings (They come in 4 different stones)

misa jewelry compass earrings
Irene Neuwirth Opal Necklace

irene neuwirth opal necklace
Elizabeth Bell Jewelry Ammonite and Opal Cuff

elizabeth bell jewelry ammonite and opal cuff
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?!

Orange is The New Bling

I’ve been inundated with the color orange as of late, between Halloween, the San Francisco Giant’s being in the World Series, the leaves changing outside my window‚Ķpretty much everywhere except in my jewelry box. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I rarely see jewelry with orange stones. Why is that? Is it a color many don’t prefer? Perhaps it’s because there aren’t as many varieties of stones with an orange hue? (In fact, how many can you name?) I’m really not quite sure.

At any rate, I took myself on another of my infamous virtual shopping sprees with no budget (like the one I took with green stones this past March). Before I knew it, hours (yes, hours!) had slipped by, but I had found some stunning pieces in so many different shades of orange. Here are my fave finds, in no particular order. Enjoy!

Earrings

Orange coral was one of the first things that jumped into my mind when I thought about orange jewelry, and this pair of earrings by Annette Ferdinandsen are just beautiful.

annette ferninandsen coral earrings
Ray Griffiths designed these with a lovely orange harmony in carnelian and amber.

ray griffiths earrings
Sethi Couture also has a lovely ombre effect in these diamond linear drop earrings.

sethi couture ombre multi-color linear drop earrings
Geodes are always a favorite of mine, and Kimberly McDonald used a stunning pair in these earrings.

kimberly mcdonald geode and diamond earrings
Mary Esses designed a party for your ears in gold, diamonds, and carnelian.

mary esses earrings
For a style with more angular lines, then these by Kothari are pretty amazing. It reminds me of photos I’ve seen of the sun’s surface!

kothari elements drusy quartz earrings
Necklaces

The traditional cameo was another image that popped into my head¬†as I thought about jewelry with an orange hue. Amedeo takes the cameo to a whole new, modern level, as shown in this “see no evil” pendant.

amedeo see no evil cameo pendant
Jes MaHarry created an uber-cool necklace, with a wheel of coral, gold, diamonds, and a silver chain. its’ a very¬†chic bohemian look, which I would layer with other necklaces in a heartbeat.

jes MaHarry necklace
This orange crystal and diamond necklace by Jacquie Aiche would be another great layering piece.

jacquie aiche twin orange crystal necklace
For more of an orange punch, then I’d go for this druzy agate pendant by Peppina.

peppina teardrop orange druzy agate pendant
Bracelets

Vaubel is a master with color in his designs, as demonstrated in this chunky bracelet.

steven vaubel bracelet
Nak Armstrong is another designer with impeccable use of color, this time with mandarin garnets.

nak armstrong mandarin garnet bangle
For a skinny layering piece, this orange garnet bead bracelet by Joseph Brooks makes me smile.

joseph brooks orange garnet bead bracelet
And let’s not forget adding the color orange in the form of a watch. I’d never say no to one by Hermes!

hermes heure h watch
Rings

Jane Bohan designed a substantial ring with citrine and diamonds.

jane bohan citrine and diamond ring
Mandrel Studio’s orange rustic diamond ring is so luxurious!

mandrel studio orange rustic diamond ring
I like the idea of adding a skinny stack ring with a pop¬†of color, and Yossi Harari’s orange sapphire band would certainly fit the bill!

yossi harari orange sapphire ring
This Mexican fire opal and diamond ring by Jamie Joseph has intense complexity of color.

jamie joseph mexican fire opal ring with diamonds
Pomellato has a very sleek, modern design, also with a fire opal, complemented by rose gold.

pomellato fire opal ring
And last, but certainly not least, this intricate coral ring by the talented Cathy Waterman.

cathy waterman coral ring
Do you have any pieces to add to this list? Do you wear orange often? I’d love to hear all your opinions on the matter.

Jewelry Box Basics: Gifts for Grads

Oh…tis is the season for graduations! 8th grade, high school, college…these gals are ready to take the next step in life! And there’s no better way to mark these amazing milestones than with a piece of jewelry. Trying to find the perfect gift for someone can be a challenge, but I think if you consider their personal style then it might make the decision a bit easier.

During my 6-part series, Jewelry Box Basics, I discussed what jewelry each person should have in their jewelry box, based on their personal style: the lady who lunches, bohemian, rock star, minimalist, romantic, and the trendy gal. Now trust me, these personal styles can develop early, so just use your keen eye to determine where your grad might fall into the spectrum. Once you determine this, then you have a clear direction of where to start shopping. Here are some of my recommendations based on each personal style.

The Lady Who Lunches
You can never go wrong with pearls with this personal style. But given that the graduate is younger in age, you don’t want to select a pearl piece fit for her grandmother. I love these earrings by San Francisco designer, Alana Leigh. The baroque pearls and the unique setting are so versatile — from jeans and a t-shirt to a cocktail dress.

Current and classic!
Current and classic!

The Bohemian
When the bohemian woman is building her jewelry collection, she is undoubtedly going to build up quite the wardrobe of statement rings. Selecting a gorgeous ring with an organic feel would be perfect. Case in point is this druzy ring by Peppina jewelry. It’s simply stunning.

A perfect, daily statement
A perfect, daily statement

The Rock Star
Even if your grad isn’t part of a rock-n-roll band, her style definitely reflects an artistic quality. This doesn’t necessarily mean she’s covered in tattoos or multiple piercings, but she still has that edge. In which case, this amazing bangle by Alexander McQueen would be spot-on for her.

Subtle skulls
Subtle skulls

The Minimalist
Granted, the minimalist won’t necessarily be expecting a piece of jewelry for her graduation. In fact, she might not even know what to do with it at first! So the key here is to give her a piece that incorporates itself so easily into the minimal pieces that she already wears, that it becomes one of her must-wear pieces. Given the popularity of initial jewelry, choosing a simple, clean initial necklace by Jennifer Meyer is the perfect choice. It can easily be layered with other necklaces, or simply be worn on its own.

Simply elegant
Simply elegant

The Romantic
The woman with the romantic personal style typically has quite a sentimental bent. So giving her something with special meaning, like a birthstone piece of jewelry, would definitely warm her heart. I recently discovered the shopNBC.com site. (Who knew!?) and fell in love with this opal ring. (Happy birthday, October!) And a cool side note, this site offers something called “value pay” on certain items, where you can split your payment into monthly installments.

I love the fire in opals
I love the fire in opals

The Trendy Gal
Only the latest and greatest will do for the fashionista grad. Since you of course want to be on time for her appointments, the perfect gift for her will be a brightly colored watch to keep her on track. This stylish aqua watch by Kate Spade fits the bill perfectly.

Colorful, yet classy
Colorful, yet classy

I hope that you all enjoy this graduation season, and I send my very best wishes to all you grads out there!

Jewelry Box Basics: The Bohemian

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.

Watch
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.

Casual, understated bling
Casual, understated bling

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.

Luxe and organic at the same time
Luxe and organic at the same time

Here’s a great example of the elastic-beaded bracelets that I referred to for stacking. This stunning bracelet is by Rona Pfieffer, one of my fave designers.

Natural neutral
Natural neutral

Rings
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.

Absolutely lovely design!
Absolutely lovely design!

Earrings
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.

These would blend easily with any outfit
These would blend easily with any outfit

Necklaces
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.

A chic statement
A chic statement

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.

Perfect layering necklace
Perfect layering necklace

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.

This CAN be a basic for the bohemian style!
This can be a basic for the bohemian style!

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!

Jen Hansen of Peppina Jewelry

Last February, during an impromptu one-night visit to Beverly Hills, I happened upon the most amazing necklace at Fred Segal on Melrose. It has become one of my most-worn items, so I was just thrilled to meet the designer in person at her southern California trunk show back at Fred Segal last week.

Jen Hansen is the creative talent behind her Peppina jewelry line. It sparkles, it mesmerizes, and it just begs to be tried on!

Rings by Peppina Jewelry

Jen started her business almost ten years ago, although jewelry making has been a life-long hobby. She decided to delve into metal smithing and was hooked! Her beautiful jewelry is all produced in Los Angeles (very cool!), and is made of rhodium plated silver, 22K gold clad over sterling, and lucious druzy and semi-precious stones. Fred Segal is the only store in California that sells her line, so if you decided to buy one of her pieces, you’ll be sure to have something you don’t see coming and going.

Not only is Jen wonderfully creative and kind, but she also has a big heart! She is passionate about children and battling against human trafficking, so 10% of her profits go to such organizations as Not for Sale.

Jen Hansen and Amy

If the lure of druzy calls to you, then you just have to check out the Peppina Jewelry line! Enjoy. ūüôā