Treasures for body and mind

28 November, 2011

Cyber Monday

While I've heard complaints that Etsy does not have any fine jewelers, that has not been my experience.  I have showcased some of Etsy's small fine jewelers and metal smiths here before.  Last week, I featured a pair of earrings from SimplyUniqueJD, and in honor of Cyber Monday, here are a few more of their fine items. 

14 kt bangle with diamonds and opal

14 kt gold with diamonds and turquoise
All of his filigree is freehand.  All of his metals are gold.  He uses unusual gemstones, like fire agate and mawsitsit, as well.  If you see something you like, I recommend you buy it then.  His pieces move fairly quickly.

24 November, 2011

Rejoice and Be Glad For Today Is the Day the Lord Hath Made

Happy Thanksgiving to all!  It is the best possible Thanksgiving for our family.  On Friday, my father-in-law had a stroke.  The clan assembled from all over, expecting the worst.  After four days in ICU and one day in a regular room, he was released on Tuesday.  The only residual effect is that he is unsteady walking; the doctors are using the word, "Miraculous."  
But how to sum up all of this, and the holiday, into a jewelry post?  I'd thought to do something with pumpkins, and found an antique tea set on 1st Dibs (where else?) that was not cutesy. - love the ivory plugs that keep heat from conducting from the body onto the handles
But the set was a solitaire set (say it with a fancy French accent since it was made by a French silversmith) made for a bachelor's home use.  That isn't right for Thanksgiving, when everyone should be with those they love, whether blood or not.

But then I found Meister Eckhart's quote:  "If the only prayer you said in your whole life was 'Thank you,' that would suffice."  That summed it up and made the jewelry choice clear.   
Sideways cross necklace at

 We'll be saying, "Thank you," a lot this Thanksgiving.   God bless you, dear reader, and have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving too.  

23 November, 2011

More Underwear and Jewelry

I couldn't do a jewelry and underwear post for A5 without immediately being reminded of the 10 November Victoria's Secret fashion show.  The outfits the models were were definitely costume, and the jewelry likewise, but it was so much fun! 
Is the 2.5 million dollar bra, in diamonds, pearls, aquamarines, sapphires, et al jewelry?  Sure- why not?
Loved this look- the long necklaces that were actually clips and a choker.  Loving the "jet" and "cameos."  The Victorians, with all of their kinks and oddities, would have approved.  
There are so many great jewelry moments in that show!  There is jeweled armor, tons of bracelets and pop art with the Pink collection, and old fashioned gorgeous statement pieces for angels and brides.  Jewelry fiends should watch the show on 29 November on CBS...a number of the jewelry extravagances here will probably reappear on the next season's catwalks.  

22 November, 2011

Who Wears What?

A5, the name of three contemporary jewelry artists based in Stockholm Sweden, Denmark, produced a show called "Vem Bar Vad?" or "Who Wears What?"   In it, they showed clean underwear donated by volunteers with photos of either jewelry they frequently wore or what they wished they wore.  The intent was to contrast how people presented themselves privately and publicly. 

Sorry about the margin, but you should be able to see the details...
So who do you show the world you are...and who are you when you are stripped (almost) to your skin?  Is your jewelry armor, provocateur, or advertising?  

And are the multicolored briefs for a man or a woman?  The multicolored bracelet indicates they are a woman's briefs...I'm thinking I like the fancy pants!    

21 November, 2011

Ammonites and Ammolites

This funky critter, an ammonite called Ateroceras, represents the family of ammonites that lived from 400 to 65.5 million years ago.

Thank you, Wikipedia.
Fossilized ammonites are commonly found all over the world and are used to date other fossils.  The fossils can be very small to two+ feet across and are often used in jewelry (the small ones, that is).   
Ammonite fossils with gold filled wire at
Pyritized ammonite fossils with diamonds and 14kt gold by
Two species of ammonite, placentaris meeki and buculites compresus, fossilized differently into opalescent gemstones called ammolites.  Like pearls and amber, these fossils are organic gems.   Red and green are the most common ammolite colors with blue and purple being the rarest. 
Ammolite, diamond, and 14 kt gold at  (And these will be mine for Christmas!)
Those diamonds are old, old, old carbon that changed under great heat and pressure for millions of years and the flashing bright colors that will swing next to my cheekbones are an old, old, old tentacled creature that died, sunk into the ooze, and was chemically altered over eons...made beautiful by pressure, time, and mysterious alchemy that "happened."  Not unlike us...

17 November, 2011

A Little Oomph!

I woke up this morning irritated with pendants.  They seem...pedestrian.  Too little too late.  So today let's show some love to some necklaces that deserve a look and a look again.
Irit Design on, the silver hand reaches for your belly button.  Could be more cheeky depending on how it swings!

Ayaka Nishi: coral, pearl, silver, and brass- you couldn't be in a bad mood with all of this necklace's movement.   

Can be found on  Silver, pearls, and leather.
All are long and swingy, drape luxuriously over the body, and are NOT boring.  Right now pendants seem so DULL.  

16 November, 2011

BV, This Is BS

Bogetta Veneta's website calls these earrings "Champagne Zircon Silver Miniature Earrings."   The more detailed description admits that the earrings are made of silver, a photo, and CUBIC ZIRCONIA (CZ).  This is crap.  

Most people don't know that zircon and CZ are totally different- zircon being a pricey natural gemstone and CZ being a man made diamond simulant that costs less than $5 a carat.  

Jewelers and artists struggle with consumer distrust and ignorance every day.  In this instance, BV compounds the problem by presenting its wares improperly because it is so well known and trusted.  Tricks like this rightly put smaller jewelers out of business.  BV's small-print disclosure that the stones are CZ keeps it from fraudulent claims, but BV failed to meet its obligation as a jeweler to present its jewelry honestly.  The claim that perhaps the copy editor did not know there was a difference between zircon and CZ is not excusable.  BV's responsibility to its customers extends to hiring people who understand the trade well enough to truthfully represent their jewels. 


15 November, 2011

Jewelry Still Life

I love these little jewelry still lifes. They feel like landscapes and illustrations of trophies. Voyeuristic portraits of the people who own the jewelry, they illuminate what an individual thinks is beautiful and what makes them beautiful.  

By Odette
I'm trying my hand at these, so expect more of them of varying levels of success.   

14 November, 2011

A Cautionary Tale

Mr. Rappaport famously said that guys buy diamond engagement rings to prove that they will suffer for their sweethearts. 
Gold Tiffany bezel set engagement rings

In these economically tight days, would a bike accident do?    

 "I can't believe you did that."  As if he had a choice!  Gentlemen, this is a warning.   (Thank you, Mythbusters.)

11 November, 2011

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

How did anyone know to put the japor snippit necklace into Padme's hands at her funeral?  Remember, she and Anakin were secretly married.  It's a sweet gesture, but does it work plot-wise?

10 November, 2011

A love letter

Dear Ms. Druckenmiller,

An ad said that your gallery had Verdura cuffs so it was the first place I visited in Manhattan.  I went to the store after 6 pm, on Valentine's Day, after a day in the gem lab.  I was tired, away from my sweetheart, and felt too scruffy for your gallery.  

A gentleman took my bags and a blond lady let me try on and pet all of the Verdura items (except the chess men- I never asked) even though I blurted, "I can't buy anything today, but I want to try on a Verdura cuff to see if I should save for it."  None of the cuffs fit properly (sorrow and relief) but the rings were wonderful.  There was a tourmaline elephant ring (not Verdura) that I debated about buying- did it look as good as I thought?   I had a wonderful time, not only because of the beautiful, historic collection, but because of the nice lady who played with the jewels with me. 

Today I realized that the store was FD...THE FD, purveyors of amazing jewelry on 1st Dibs.  And I saw a photo of you too.  I think you might have been the person who was so kind to me- if not, your sales lady resembles you.  Thank you, thank you very much for being truly classy.  


Is it waiting for me still?


09 November, 2011

For the Holidays

What an idea, straight out of science fiction!  The Novero Blue Tooth necklace made of silver and lapis lazuli!

The handcrafted necklace hides a Blue Tooth device.  Simply decouple the ear bud and talk away- you can look stylishly crazy as you talk animatedly to people who are not present. 

For those more interested in the tech side than the jewelry aspect, it works with Bluetooth-enabled devices, filters background noise and has echo cancelling using DPS technology, enters pairing mode when switched on, has a talk time of up to four hours (so lots of people can think you are a well accessorized crazy person), has a stand by time of more than 100 hours, charges via micro-USB interface, and has Bluetooth core 2.1. 

There is another version if you want to be less dressy.  

This one is silicone and acrylic so it is substantially more budget conscious, but much more casual.  It is arguably more stylish.  Both are available at Saks Fifth Avenue.   

08 November, 2011

Miss Bianca and the Babe

I actually squealed when I saw this little mousie for sale on 1stdibs.
Doesn't she look like Miss Bianca, the white mouse who was a member of the Prisoner's Aide Society and the special pet of a diplomat's son?  But it is not her resemblance to the heroic Miss Bianca or her lovely opal face that made me sit up and is Miss Mouse's provenance. 

This beautiful piece was made by Verdura in 1950 and was owned by Ms. Babe Paley, she of whom Truman Capote said, "The only thing wrong with Ms. P is that she's perfect, and other than that, she's perfect."  She worked for and was featured by Vogue and was given the title "World's Best Dressed" 14 times. 
Probably the most famous photo of Babe by Horst in Vogue, March 1948, in which she wore a 21.25 carat Verdura canary diamond ring.  Her bracelets were described as "a scramble of pearls." 
Babe's beauty and style transformed what she wore into personal statements, and she collected Verdura and other fine jewels the way the rest of us collect mismatched socks.  Verdura made many items for her- a pearl and diamond swan wearing bracelets brooch, a diamond kitten playing with a pearl brooch, ear clips, rings, and pearl torsades in contrasting colors as well as others- and called her his muse.  
Bracelet and necklace by Verdura
In fairness, a number of her items were purchased by her husband as trophies to display on Babe.  He was no gem himself, and he had a "thing" about her being perfectly dressed in the richest of taste to underscore his wealth and status.      

Babe and William Paley with the Duchess of Windsor; it took a world class collector to dazzle around the Duchess! 
When Ms. Paley was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1974, she smoked two packs of cigarettes a day, she set her affairs in order.  As part of that, she organized her $5+ million jewelry collection so there would be no question as to who inherited what and wrapped them in colored paper as if they were gifts.  The Verdura mouse was probably one of those.  It is an amazing jewel designed by a one of a kind and owned by a one of a kind.
Babe Paley, 1915-1978, in Vogue, 1946

03 November, 2011

Day of the Dead- a little late

Sorry that this post is late, but I have to acknowledge The Day of the Dead, also known as All Souls Day.  Jewelry and the dead go waaaay back- in just about any way that you can imagine.  To truly celebrate the dead you need some gorgeous momento mori jewels, because momento mori jewels actually celebrate life. 

Codognato skull necklace made of gold, diamonds, and chalcedony skulls (but one of them looks like amethyst and another like citrine)....death, life, skulls, leaves...gorgeous.
[Can anyone remind me who recently made a necklace that is reminiscent of this one- it was part of someone's Spring 2012 collection (I think) and had multiple strands of neon colored, primitive skulls?  I thought it was Dannijo, but now I can't find it anywhere.  If anyone knows the one for which I am looking, zap me a note.] 

This bracelet is perfect for The Day of the Dead, All Souls Day, or any time that you need reminding to party like a rock star today because this life is all too short.  Also on
Silver, turquoise, and Bakelite cuff- amazing.  Pay no attention to the photographer reflected in the skull's forehead.

Update on the Liz Taylor Exhibit/Auction, 13 December 2011

YAY!!!!  I bought my ticket to see the Christie's exhibit of Dame Elizabeth's jewels!  I'll go see them on 10 December!  I cannot wait!  I can't take photos to share with you, but I'll tell you all about it.  I am so excited!   Tickets went on sale on the 1st, and you have to reserve them by time.  I have no idea how quickly they will sell out, so if you plan on going to the exhibition, which runs from 2-12 December, you'd better purchase now! Tickets can only be purchased on line.

Taj Mahal Diamond, owned by the king who built the Taj Mahal, purchased for Taylor by Burton.