Treasures for body and mind

31 May, 2011

Revisiting Previous Themes...

I've featured both peacock jewelry and Chopard's Animal World collection previously, but this was too good to miss...the peacock bracelet and earrings from the Animal World collection on the red carpet at the 64th Cannes film festival worn by Chopard's Co-President Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele.  

Wearing whatever you want from Chopard's vault is probably a perk that goes with the Co-President gig- although it probably is not as much a perk as a requirement.  Would someone please make that a job requirement for me? 

30 May, 2011

Thank You

To all service members, past and present, who have served to keep this nation free- thank you.  And to those who are currently serving in harm's way, may God bless and keep you free from harm.

Summer Jewelry II

Turquoise is THE summer stone.  Maybe because it matches the hottest summer sky blue, perhaps because it's not dressy but goes with everything, but turquoise comes into its own during the hottest months.  How many of you have favorite summer turquoise pieces?  I'm wearing my five strand turquoise bead bracelet right now.  
Sophie Monet's wood and turquoise bracelets and necklace at

 P.S.  We hung pictures in the first floor of the new house today!   And saw a bald eagle off of the back porch as we ate dinner!  Homecooked meals for two days now- joy! 

25 May, 2011

Snake Jewelry Is Always in Style

The Victorians loved snakes in jewelry, starting with Prince Albert's giving Vicky a snake ring (those crazy, kinky kids)!  Now they are ubiquitous, often looking like something on loan from Voldemort.  But this contemporary, beaded necklace is gorgeous! 
Gold Snake II by Claire Kahn at Patina Gallery,
Metalic and 24 karat gold plate over glass beads.  Is this subtle or freaky?    

Summer Jewelry I

Summer is almost here!  Some jewelry seems more summery than the next few posts will focus on jewelry best suited to the lazy, warm days to come.

A lot of summer jewelry goes best with tanned skin.  While pale is most healthful, most of us will get a little color so our legs are not day-glo white and our cheeks have a little life.  During the summer, we'll wear our white jewelry because we are not the color of paper.

Monique Penn's fossilized wooly mammoth ivory, diamond, and rose gold necklace
Ippolita's Modern Rock Candy Earrings in mother of pearl

Cattle horn cuff by Kora

23 May, 2011

Recent Lust

Rose cut black diamond studs, bezel set...yummmmmmm...The rounded, faceted face provides the extra reflective surfaces needed for sparkle since the stones are opaque.  Classic and unexpected, simple and special.   

One and a half total carats from

22 May, 2011

Dorothea Pruhl

These are lovely, in stainless steel and gold.  Ms. Pruhl's website shows how her aesthetic has changed over the years,  
Frogs- the rings are 6 inches in diameter.
Raven- love how the necklace captures the chaos of a raven nest
These would be nice and light for summer. 

For those who are following our saga- Day One of the move went well.  We're exausted and sore, and as soon as I gulp down my apple fritter, we're into Day Two.  Avant!

21 May, 2011

Band of Joy

Saw Sir Robert and The Band of Joy in concert in Feb.  They were a-freaking-mazing.  Initially I thought the ring on the shirt and CD was a reference to Lord of the Rings, since Zep references Lord of the Rings in two of their songs...and the One Ring is a plain, gold band.  But the pun references the ring itself-the band of joy- a "common" wedding ring. 

What is it about wedding rings?  Jewelry is usually adornment to draw attention to the wearer.  But wedding rings go beyond the self.  Many people never take them off; in a recent documentary, most of the actors playing Alfred the Great's army forgot to take off their modern gold wedding bands- no one noticed them...not the actors, not the director, not the producer.  If people take off their wedding rings because of weight gain or sports, they often wear them on necklaces.  I know a married couple who made matching silver bracelets when they "grew out of" their rings- and starting wearing their rings again as soon as they lost weight.  Prince William caused a ruckus when he declined a wedding ring- and is there any danger of anyone thinking he is single?  Some deploying soldiers tattoo their wedding rings onto their fingers, and wedding rings are the only jewelry worn to war by many female soldiers.  My wedding ring is a plain, gold band, but I would rather lose my engagement ring (or any other jewelry) than my "band of joy." 

20 May, 2011

Chanel Peacock Necklace Creation

This blog ran a photo of a Chanel peacock necklace on 8 April 2011.  The photo failed to do it justice.  Go to and click "The Inspiration" to see the necklace being made.     

It is so beautiful it hurts your heart.

18 May, 2011

This Style Must End

Jewelry addicts everywhere- it is time to stand up for yourselves!  Reject necklaces that look like they were carelessly tangled with other jewelry at the bottom of a jewelry box and worn anyway.  

Bramley Necklace by DANNIJO at

Eternal Sterling Silver Coral Necklace by A Kind of Fine, sold on

Paladin Beaded Collar Necklace by Assad Mounser at
Your statement necklace should not claim, "I am a hot mess."  This fad has gone on too long.  You deserve better. 

15 May, 2011

Victoria and Albert, from 2009

Just watched Victoria and Albert, and LOVED the jewelry.  Ah, Georgian jewelry!  After following the tiara speculation before the royal wedding, seeing Victoria wear some of the contenders was a lot of fun. 

The Russian Fringe Tiara did not look over the top (no pun intended)! 

One of my favorite necklaces of the many, many fine examples from the movie, but how is the crown staying on her head?

13 May, 2011


Went to the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian museum in NYC last week for the Van Cleef and Arples exhibition.  Wow!  I never understood what the big deal was about the mystery setting until I saw the Peony Brooch.  The red created by the massed rubies does not translate on paper or electrons; it inspires awe in person.  No human could wear that brooch and measure up to it; if you wore it, everyone would talk to your chest!  

Peony Brooch, Van Cleef and Arples
 Maybe that was why the butterfly brooches made of Japanese lacquered wood were my favorites.  The display made me laugh out loud; I won't ruin the surprise for you.

Kikumaki Butterfly Brooch, VC&A
 All of these and more are on along with videos and information about how pieces were made and how innovating their construction is- but to experiance the pieces' beauty you have to see them in person.  I got jewelry drunk just looking!

11 May, 2011


Baby rings from Bittersweet at Catbird
Baby rings!  What a sweet gift for a new baby!  And congratulations again, my dear friends! 

09 May, 2011

A 10 Carat Dilemma

Graff diamond rings:  Fancy vivid emerald cut ring, diamond total of 9.13 carats; flawless fancy vivid cut blue pearshaped diamond ring, diamond total of 10.64 carats; fancy intense purplish pink octagon cut diamond ring, diamond total of 6.43 carats; the total carat number takes into account the primary stone and other diamonds on the ring as well.

I met a woman whose brother asked her to find a 10 carat diamond for his fiancĂ©’s engagement ring.  The task perplexed and frightened her.  How could she find a diamond that size?  How much should one cost and how much was too much?  How would she know if she was getting a good deal?  How was she to know if what she was buying was even a diamond?  Whom could she trust?   She loved her brother very much and wanted to repay him for many kindnesses he did for her, which added to her stress. 
Her brother insisted that the diamond should be 10 carats, but I’m not sure he knew how big a 10 carat diamond was.  Should any of you find yourself in a similar situation, a 10 carat diamond is BIG!  Its size makes it difficult to wear on a regular basis and necessitates security measures.  When purchasing a diamond, size should be the least important factor.  Purchase a beautiful diamond that suits the hand that will wear it.  There are 10 carat diamonds that look like charcoal briquettes, but would you buy one? 
My recommendations:  unless you are a diamond expert, do not purchase a 10 carat diamond on your own.  Get an expert to assist you- and lock down how much you are willing to spend so that the expert knows what to find for you.  A $60,000 diamond is very different from a $1.5 million diamond.  He or she will pull diamonds together from around the world for your viewing, so shop in good faith.  But also go to Harry Winston and Graff and see and touch the best.  That would develop your eye, helping you when you chose from what was available in your price range.  
Then send me a note about it.  Looking at 10 carat diamonds at Harry Winston or Graff would be on my bucket list if there was a snowball's chance in hell of it happening.  However, I'll gladly live it vicariously if you will share.     

06 May, 2011

Opals Are Not Just for October Babies

Opals don't look real.  That's probably why legend says that opals are bad luck.  Some people believe opals are bad luck for people not born in October.  Another belief is that opals are an unlucky gift unless the recipient is born in October.

This looks like a magical artifact from some wizard's lair, doesn't it?  It's art deco- opal, diamond, emerald, sapphire, and platinum.  Look at how the emeralds and sapphires are individually carved and set in an Egyptian lotus.  I would gladly receive it as a gift even though I am not an October baby.

Lang Antique and Estate Jewelry

04 May, 2011

Thoughts on Harry Winston

Harry Winston rocks...using "rocks" as a verb, not as a noun described by "Harry Winston."  If you want a classic, perfect stone, Harry Winston delivers exquisite, perfectly cut, perfectly clear diamonds every time.  Their diamonds are noticibly better than almost any other stones in the world, and their prices reflect that excellent quality and the brand recognition of "Harry Winston."   

However, their latest collection, "Lily Cluster," disappoints.  While every piece masterfully uses small diamonds, the collection is not fresh, relevant, or breathtaking- which is what Harry Winston supposedly to delivers.  

Lily Cluster, Diamond Pendant
46 round brilliant and marquise diamonds, total weight 0.63 carats; platinum setting.

Lily Cluster, Diamond Drop Earrings
86 round brilliant diamonds, total weight 1.26 carats; platinum setting.
The pieces look blah- you can buy something like them at the mall.  To make the point, here is what the name "Harry Winston" promises: 

"Tattoo", Tattoo Heart and Dagger Brooch146 baguette, round brilliant, marquise, and pear-shaped diamonds, 10.82 total carats; cabochon sapphire, 0.39 carats; platinum setting.

Iconic Wreath Necklace
180 round brilliant, marquise and pear-shaped diamonds, 150.24 total carats; platinum setting.
That's what I'm talkin' about! 

But Harry has competition; Graff's diamonds are equal or better, and Graff does a better job with colored diamonds.  Too much white is dull.   

BA-ZOWIE!!!!!!  Graff necklace of more carats than I can count.
But I would not refuse diamonds from either Harry or Graff.  What do you think of the new Harry Winston collection?  Do you prefer Harry Winston or Graff?  Perhaps that last question is a false dilemma..? 

03 May, 2011

Royal Wedding Jewelry

Ahhhh..the royal wedding.  The new princess' jewelry choices for the big day were spot on.  She showed bridal beauty, elegance, and appropriate restraint.  Her jewels showed the world that while she was a Middleton, she is a Windsor now.  A wedding is not an end unto itself- it is the opening pages of a long story of a union of two people and of two familes.     

Getty image
The princess' tiara was borrowed from her new mother-in-law.  Not only did it obviously acknowledge The Queen, and clearly indicate Ms. Kate Middleton's new social class, but it also referenced the beloved Queen Mum, who owned and wore it until she gave it to her daughter, Elizabeth.  The princess wore earring her parents made for her that included acorns and oak leaves from the Middleton family crest, newly created in response to a Middleton daughter marrying royalty.  The crest's three acorns represent the three Middleton children and invoke the oak tree as a symbol of west Berkshire, where the Middletons live.  Acorns also symbolize strength, endurance, long life, and potential, all of which are appropriate bridal symbols.  The wedding ring, a band made from a Welsh gold nugget The Queen gave to Prince William, is a one of a kind made by Wartski.  

Both of them are probably relieved that the wedding craziness is over.  Good luck and happy trails to them both!  

02 May, 2011

Jump Fast- Still For Sale!

If you were lusting after the 10 carat fancy vivid purplish-pink stone at the Christie's auction on 12 April 2011 (previously shown on this blog on 10 April 2011), you will be heartened to learn that it is still available!  Yep- scrounge out the change from beneath the car's floorboards and from under the sofa cushions because it is still for sale.  Neither of the two bids for it reached the owner's minimum price.  But bids continue, so if you are suffering non-buyer's remorse, you should quickly get on the phone and make your offer.  Good luck!

P.S.  Be prepared to offer more than $1 million per carat...I'm just sayin'...maybe you should check for change in the bottom of the washer and dryer too.

01 May, 2011

Bin Laden Is Dead!


That pretty much sums it up.   

Road Trip!

On 26 April 2011, Beth Gilbertson found an 8.66 carat diamond at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas.  She named it the Illusion Diamond.

Ms. Gilbertson is from Colorado and takes yearly vacations to Arkansas to dig for diamonds.  Isn't America a great country?  Where else would a state maintain a 37.5-acre plowed field so visitors can dig for diamonds and keep what they find?  The land was purchased by Arkansas for tourism in 1972.  The decision to purchase the land for $750,000 for public use was sheer genius; it is in the middle of nowhere and draws a steady influx of tourist dollars to an undeveloped section of Arkansas.  On average, two diamonds smaller than one carat are found a day.  

Mrs. Clinton wore a yellow diamond found at the Crater of Diamonds State Park to President Clinton's 1993 Inaugural Ball.  The Kahn Diamond is a 4.25 carat, vivid strong yellow diamond crystal owned by Kahn Jewelers of Pine Bluff Arkansas.  Kahn Jewelers loaned the diamond to Mrs. Clinton, and Henry Dunay of New York designed and fabricated the ring.  Kahn Jewelers displays the ring in their Pine Bluff store.