Happy New Year!

I had so many people comment about the "new" version of the alphabet bracelet while the Christmas special was up (I've had this style for about five years) that I've decided to leave this photo front and center for a while longer!
I do carry this solid sterling version of the alphabet bracelet - the one I wear almost every day - with the luminescent pearl clasp, encircled by granulation dots of silver to mimic the braille. I also have other gemstone clasps available in place of the pearl. Simply and timelessly beautiful!

Jewelry Insider's Top Ten Blingy Bits of 2010

It's been a year full of surprises my fellow jewelry hounds. From diamond dentures and bug jewelry to gold parties and Gaga, the "Year of the Tiger" was nothing if not 'unusual'.

So as the last days of 2010 take their final bow, it's time to do what we media folks love to do best: Look back. And make lists.

Here is a smattering of some of my favorite jewelry moments combined with some of yours - because without you guys, I'm just all alone in the universe writing about Lindsay Lohan's jail jewelry and diamond dog collars as if it actually MEANS something. 

So my heartfelt thanks to you all for joining this shiny place of jewel-filled sarcasm, schadenfreude and joy for yet another year. Here's to more days of diamond diversions!

10. The 'Ears' Have It

If 2009 was the year of the statement necklace, 2010 brought the sentiment to the ears. The trend started with the smashing success of Courteney Cox's Golden Globe teardrop triumph and continued throughout awards season. Look for swinging chandelier shapes and shoulder dusters to continue to shine well into 2011.

9. Baseball Bling

In the year's 4th most popular post, I got to the bottom of those weird rope necklaces all the baseball players were wearing last season. I was surprised as anyone to know that jocks not only get emotional about jewelry - they believe it has super powers. And I thought I had issues...

8.  Pink Diamond Shatters Price Record

So. There's this dude, Laurence Graff. And he has piles of money. What does he do with it? He gobbles up the world's most valuable diamonds like pints of Chunky Monkey. His latest acquisition was a 24.78-carat piece of pink perfection that sold for a record-breaking $46.16 million. And now back to our regularly scheduled budget deficit....

7. Neil Lane - Jeweler of the Year

My jeweler of the year award has to go to Neil Lane. He's always been a red carpet staple but his monopoly on celebrity weddings in 2010 was staggering. He designed Anna Paquin's bridal jewels, Nicole Richie's wedding band, Jessica Simpson's newsworthy ruby rock - along with the bling for the entire Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise. AND he launched a bridal line with Kay Jewelers to reach the mere mortal market. Just call him the  Kim Kardashian of the jewelry world: He somehow seems to be everywhere. And he's taking it straight to the bank.

6. Black Diamond Blitz

When Howard Stern awarded his 'Tiger Woods Miss Mistress' winner a black diamond ring for her trouble back in March, I feared one of my favorite stones would be forever branded the 'other women'. But Sex And The City II (despite being one of my biggest disappointments this year - see #5 for more) gave black diamonds a glittering close up - and the stone is now a must-have for red carpet divas and regular folks alike. I'm giving it my 'most likely to succeed' award. Stay tuned.

5. Diamond Disappointments

Not to be all Debbie Downer and all...but there were some MAJOR jewelry/fashion bummers this year.

Exhibit A: The Oscars  

When Kathy Ireland's questionable interviewing skills are the only thing worth squawking about - you know you've got a bummer year on your hands.

Exhibit B: Fashion Week: Spring 2011: 

Where. Was. The. Jewelry?

Exhibit C: Sex And The City II: 

My favorite New York women finally jumped the shark. Aiden? In Abu Dhabi? "I Am Woman" karaoke? C'mon!

Exhibit D: Angelina Jolie. 

The world's most stunning actress (a la Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn) can't seem to wear anything but black and diamond studs on the red carpet. And Jennifer Aniston and Julia Roberts are stuck in the muck with her. Help me, Housewives of Beverly Hills. You're my only hope.

4. Where's The Beef?

Lady Gaga wore a meat dress. 'Nuff said.

3. Kanye West's Diamond Dentures

In the third most popular post for 2010, we learned that replacing your teeth with real diamonds might help people forget you're an egomaniac for a week or so. 

2. Chelsea Clinton's Engagement Ring

More people read my post on Chelsea's engagement ring than any other entry in the history of the blog. Despite the fact that I (and all of my other fellow jewelry hounds) STILL haven't found a decent picture of the thing. Hat's off to you, Chels, for keeping us all well out of your business. And for making my Alexa rating skyrocket.

1. The Sapphire Heard 'Round the World.

Hey. Did you hear? Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton. Shocker! Seriously, though, you're going to have to endure many a royal wedding post in 2011 - cuz there's gonna be major crown jewels on display. I'm already hyperventilating.

But perhaps the most important repercussion from all this nonsense, is the resurgence of the Lady Di ring silhouette and sapphires as a popular stone for engagement rings. I hope the trend continues, because if there's one thing I've learned in 2010 - you don't have to break the bank to get a great piece of jewelry these days (JewelClub, anyone?). And that includes engagement rings.

OK. I think I hear the champagne calling my name. (It happens.) I hope you all have a safe and shining New Year. In the meantime, weigh in with your favorite jewelry moments from 2010! As always, I love to hear from you. (Janet - that means you!)

See you on the flip side!

Jewelry can represent your Personality

Bracelets are worn for ornamental purposes and with the fame of expensive metals and costly stones, bracelets have become more costly in recent time. However here are so many kinds of attractive bracelets that require not be costly for instance home-produced bracelets, which are prepared out of a string and nicely beads of special colors. We know friendship bracelets have also been well-liked and are given to special ones as gifts to show friendship. These are finished not of silver & gold and gemstones other than of leather or ribbons combined together to form an outline that suits you & your personality.

Eternity rings are typically worn to represent a person's firm promise to be true to another human being and it also representing a code of admiration & a religious faith. The most frequent reason couples swap promise rings is to promise that they will be engaged in the future. Frequently, a formal engagement might carry with it a lot of wedding plans, important life scheduling questions, economic issues, and potentially unwanted pressure from relations and in laws. In this very case, swapping sterling silver rings is very private and less worrying promise between the couple. It is a friendly commitment to a lifetime bond with no marriage plans. A lot of people find that soon in life they value their promise rings through a unique nostalgia as it represents the easy beginning of true love.

The most costly pearls are the completely round pearls. The outlines vary and might truly depend on individual preference or design necessities. Drop pearl earrings employ pearls that are created like your tear drops. The drop pearl earrings are as well highly prized like round ones. The cost is also fixed by the volume of the pearls. The common rule of thumb while shopping is that the larger the pearl, the higher the cost of the earrings. The majority pearls have a diameter which varies from 6.5 to 7.5 millimeters. Here are also further factors which might influence the cost. For example a cherry-sized pearl might cost lesser if it lacks of shine and has lots of defects.

Jewelry Libations for New Year's Eve

Cocktails and jewelry - what a winning combination. As I was recently pondering what jewelry to break out for my favorite champagne-drenched holiday this Friday (wait for the Carrie Bradshaw moment...), I couldn't help but wonder (there it is...): Why is it that jewelry and luxury libations have such a glittering partnership?

First, there's the cocktail ring. The jewelry category emerged in the roaring 20s during Prohibition at illegal, booze-filled ‘cocktail’ parties. Women went big with fashion statements at these underground soirees, flashing their oversized, colorful baubles along with their newly exposed knee caps.

Cocktail rings generally have an oversized center stone of 3 carats or more and are typically worn on the right hand (any finger will do). But as we jewelry hounds know, there are plenty of costume options out there that won't break the bank.

But there's another drinkable jewelry look emerging from the shadows lately - champagne diamonds. From light champagnes, to burnished browns and rich cognacs, these natural diamonds offer a selection of tones and hues to compliment every style, taste and tolerance level.

An informative piece in the New York Times reports that the stone made its debut in the late 1990s when it was discovered in Rio Tinto's Argyle mine in Australia, but is only now gaining a strong following - including from yours truly and a bevy of Hollywood's leading ladies.

If you really want to tie one on, how about a double shot with a champagne diamond cocktail ring like this one for almost $400 off retail? 'Tis the season!

And be sure to check out the champagne diamond treasure chest on Jewelry.com for more bubbly bling - it's jewelry that's perfect for teetotalers and the tipsy alike!

Was that Kate Middleton’s Engagement Ring?

Two lovers that have been together for a very long time have finally joined knots last month in Kenya. The engagement rings are the same ring that Princess Diana wore. This ring was given by his brother Prince Harry, who had kept the ring ever since Princess Diana died in the car crash. Prince Harry gave the promise ring that belonged to Princess Diana to his brother Prince William due to the engagement. The ring was an 18 cart sapphire with diamonds. The ring is very special to the Royal family, which is now given to Kate Middleton, the future Princess and Queen.

Diana, who died in 1997, had the 18k sapphire ring when she was engaged and later on married with Prince Charles in 1981. After she died, her son Prince Harry had the ring and Prince William had the watch. Prince William and his Kate Middleton ring is seen everywhere together every since their engagement. Prince William is very happy to keep his mothers memory alive through the engagement ring and if Princess Diana was alive, she would have been very proud of her son. The couple were seen at the St. James’ Palace for photographs. Prince William had asked Kate’s father for his daughters hand before proposing to Kate. He was pretty nervous before the big moment and wasn’t really sure if she would say yes.

It has been announced that the wedding will take place next year in April at Westminster Abbey in the theme of a semi-state affair. Prince William wanted to make sure that his mother is not missing out in any of the celebration by giving the 18 carat diamond sapphire ring to Kate Middleton. It is a great honour for Kate to have Princess Diana’s promise ring. The ring was selected by Princess Diana herself, as she had a collection presented to her by Crown Jewelers. The ring was designed by Garrard from the jewelry house. Once both Prince William and Kate Middleton are married, they will live in North Wales, as Prince William is currently based there with the Royal Air Force.

Celebrity Engagement Blitz

Celebrity engagement news is breaking big today! Here's the scoop:

From "Black Swan" to Baby Momma:

Not only is Natalie Portman engaged to her (gorgeous!) choreographer boyfriend, Benjamin Millepied, they're also expecting their first child. The Black Swan star met her hubby-to-be on the set last year (he choreographed all of her numbers), and the Oscar buzz is building along with her little ballet-dancing bun in the oven.

Portman has been on the red carpet all month promoting the film (and Dior's new perfume), but despite a mention of 'eating a lot' lately - this news is a total shock.

No ring sighting yet, but stay tuned.

Hef's Getting Hitched:

The other shocker today is news that everyone's favorite bachelor octogenarian popped the question to his 24-year-old playmate girlfriend, Crystal Harris.

"After the movie tonight, Crystal & I exchanged gifts. I gave Crystal a ring. A truly memorable Christmas Eve," Hefner, 84, tweeted. "When I gave Crystal the ring, she burst into tears. This is the happiest Christmas weekend in memory."

Later, he clarified, "Yes, the ring I gave Crystal is an engagement ring. I didn't mean to make a mystery out of it. A very merry Christmas to all."

What kind of ring exactly remains to be seen, but my guess is Hef will make sure his bunny's got enough 'carats' to keep her satisfied.

But celebs aren't the only folks with romance on their minds. With New Year's Eve around the corner, many questions have yet to be popped. So fellas? If you need a little nudge in the right direction - check out the amazing post-Christmas engagement ring deals on sample sale sites like JewelClub.

And check out my 'Affordable Engagement Ring' guide here for more sparkling solutions.

In the meantime, congrats to the happy couples!

I'm Dreaming of a Black Christmas

Since it's Christmas Eve, I thought I'd take a moment to send out one more subtle 'hint' to Santa, since I've been nothing but nice this year.


See? Coal is cool this year, Mr. Kringle.

Merchandisers and marketers used to have to work hard to make black diamond jewelry appealing to folks outside of tattoo parlors and vampire support groups. But this year? The stone finally crossed over, and it's never going back.

Celebrity designer, Stephen Webster, now litters his lines with the look. It was the best part of Sex And The City II. And many celebs - from Katy Perry to Christina Aguilera - are sporting them on the red carpet.

And the best part? Black diamonds are surprisingly affordable compared to white ice.

Here are a few of my favorite black diamond looks right now - all of them ready for their Christmas close up. Or how about a great New Year's surprise?

So here's hoping we all find big things in little boxes under the tree this year. And fellas? The New York Times reports that jewelry is the 'go to' purchase for all you last-minute shopper types (aka: all men). 

Merry Christmas, Jewelry Hounds!
I'll be taking a little break from blogging for the next week and a half...see you next year! 

Different kinds of jewelry

We all know what jewelry is, and how it increases the beauty of women. Jewelry is a common article in our life, we love purchasing it now and then. Jewelry is favorite among women mostly, women use different kinds of jewelry in their day to day life. They use different kinds of jewelry when they go out or attend a party. They use different jewelry according to their choice, taste & capacity. People who have more affordability can buy more jewelry according to the tastes and designs. Earrings is the most loved jewelry by women.

Women use different kinds of jewelry such as necklaces, chains, bangles, earrings, fingerings, etc. Before people wore different kinds of heavy jewelry. But now they have changed their choice, people now think about their comfort. They choose jewelry according to their comfort, so that they can move from one place to another. Now different kinds of light jewelry are being used. Girls are using different kinds of eternity rings, which symbolize a group of friends circle. They prefer these jewelries because these jewelries are very attractive and go well with all the attires. This jewelry does not lose their shining after using and can be used for many years. Once the prices of these jewelleries were very high, but now it has been decreased. So people are choosing these as the article which add shine and style to their lives.

The silver jewelry is the common appeal for all People in the world, these silver jewelry suits with all the attires. The white material used here too make this jewelry, gives a shine. They not only wear these jewelleries, now they also gift these jewelleries to their friends, relatives and also their nearest ones. Actually whenever we see a woman, we can see them wearing different kinds of jewelry which makes her beautiful. Jewelry is a part of every women’s’ life and for that very reason women wear it. These materials are very delicate, one should be careful while dealing with this jewelry. One should clean it with a soft cotton cloth, using special solutions.

Bret Michaels 'Regifts' Engagement Ring

The huge diamond 'rock of love' seen on Bret Michaels' girlfriend since July was once a promise ring but as of this week has officially been promoted to engagement ring.

After 16 years, two kids and more than one breakup, Kristi Gibson said "yes" to Michaels' marriage proposal on Monday night's finale of Bret Michaels: Life As I Know It.

But every rose has its thorn, as they say...

Instead of presenting her with a new diamond ring to seal the deal, he 'regifted' the ring he gave her from Christmas 2009 that he said was used as "a promise of an engagement but without a date."

Whatever, Bret.

It is some serious ring finger candy, though. Sources tell Us that the couple designed the 4-carat platinum cushion-cut ring with micro pave diamonds at a cost of over $200,000.

"She's been very patient and strong," Michaels of Gibson, who stood by his side this year throughout his sudden brain hemorrhage and subsequent stroke. (And three skank-filled seasons of Rock of Love.)

"It just made our bond for each other that much stronger. It gave us a bond that's unbreakable."

Or at least until Bret's next reality dating show...

What do you think of his promise ring/engagement ring proposal? Should he have bought Kristi a new ring to symbolize this important next step? Or is 4-carats enough to stand for a 'promise' and an 'I do'?

Photos from the "Useful and Beautiful" Show...

As some of you may remember, a few months ago I was asked to include several of my designs in a group show in Indianapolis entitled Useful and Beautiful: A Return to Myth and Romance in Art. The show featured a variety of artists working in different mediums, all of which could be considered a modern take on the Pre-Raphaelite aesthetic. I just received some photos of the exhibit, curated by the talented Merle Pace, and wanted to share them...I think Merle did a wonderful job!
{A vignette featuring Merle Pace's "Peacock Pomegranate Queen" Doll}
{Displays showcasing my jewelry, with photos of the paintings that inspired each design }
{A view from upstairs}
{A scene in the window, with Merle Pace's "Lady of Shalott" Doll}
{Artwork by Heather Sleightholm}
{Signage showing the inspiration behind the show}
{Artwork by Julia Jeffrey}
The show was held at Big Hat Books as part of the Fall Gallery Tour and received a great review here.
Some of the designs that were in the show are now available in my Etsy Shop.

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