The Holidays are here and at the top of our wishlist? Oodles and Oodles of Van Cleef and Arpels Alhambra jewelry. Even better if it’s vintage or pre-owned, all the better for us to fill our silk stockings with more VCA goodies. White mother of pearl shimmers like freshly driven snow and we can’t get enough of this winter white. Of course, its equally beautiful dark counterpart is the onyx Alhambra, bold and sensuous paired with 18kt yellow gold and layered over the neck for total opulence. We’d be tickled to find any of these pieces under our tree, and let the mixing and matching begin. With pendants from contemporary Alhambra collections and a pre owned mother of pearl clover bracelet we’re prepared to stack and and mix metals with the unifying theme of Alhambra. This Christmas and Hanukkah we’re smitten with the classic clover motif, but also with the Sweet Alhambra’s heart shaped femininity. It only gets girlier with rose gold metal and a rose gold chain to ‘sweeten the deal’. And for everyday wear, you can’t beat a pair of Alhambra studs, a Palm Beach county staple that we’re happy to see spreading across the nation (and with prices this far below retail, we expect it to visit even more chimneys this December 24th!)
There have been rumors that Kelly Rowland is engaged to her long time manager turned boyfriend Tim Witherspoon. She has not confirmed nor denied the rumors. However, the former Destiny Child’s singer flashed a big diamond ring to a crowd of onlookers. With a big smile on her face, Kelly seemed to confirm in deed that it was true that her love life had taken a step to the better. All this took place at Sprinkles in Beverly Hills on Tuesday where she had visited in some casual ripped blue jeans and some grey sweater on a red plaid shirt. This follows an Instagram video where she exposed the ring for the first time to the public when sending a birthday message to a friend. She was later seen headed to the gym accompanied by her trainer and friend Jeanette Jerkins in a jovial mood.
A private source indeed confirmed that she has been engaged to Tim Witherspoon. According to the source, she has been showing the diamond engagement ring to family and friends and is very happy. She is likely to enjoy her engaged for quite some time before planning to settle down in marriage. Tim Witherspoon and Kelly Rowland have been dating for about four years now but have managed to keep their relationship at low profile. They have not made any comments to the public regarding to the engagement. We wish her the best in her love endeavors.
Gold, rubies and diamonds have become part of the star studied gifts and jewellery from the recent past. These precious metals are the best possible ways to show your social status or show love and commitment. With the Black Friday shopping crazy all around, jewelers are seizing the moment to bring as much sale as possible this Christmas. Jewellery and watch sales are likely to go up thanks to recent trends on jewellery on the red carpet and amongst the rich.
Jewelery trends this year
- Emeralds are the colour of the year. Numerous fashion designers have adopted the precious stone. This trend has also been a major hit on the red carpet for most of the year. Jewelers hope to cash on this.
- Black and white mix in fashion circles is still the way to go. The runaway fashion statement is blending well with diamonds and other cool coloured rocks such as onyx, white topaz and colourless rock crystal.
- Drop dead earrings have made a bigger statement that last year’s studs. The red carpet has also catapulted their presence. Petite drop-dead earrings will be a style to watch for quite some time.
- Amber is poised for greatness. This inexpensive beautiful piece of fine jewellery is set enjoy a bigger presence. Several high-end designers such as Lucifer vir Honestus from Italy and Ray Griffiths from New York are creating stunning pieces with use of this piece of jewellery.
- Gold remains the metal to beat in romantic themes. Gold pendants and necklaces look stunning and likely to gain much interest amongst the shoppers.
It is not uncommon for artists of different types to prefer to work in privacy. Tales of reclusive painters and writers abound. However, there are few jewelers renowned for their reclusive lifestyle and intense privacy as that of eccentric jewelry designer Joel Arthur Rosenthal, or better known as JAR.
JAR is an amazing example of how humble beginnings can reach unimaginable heights. Joel Rosenthal was born to a hard working middle class family in New York. His father was a postal worker and his mother a biology teacher. Few would have fathomed that such a run of the mill family might produce one of the world’s most sought after jewelers of this century. In 1977 JAR turned his artistic interest toward jewelry. However, by this time it was already clear that JAR was no ordinary man, and his creations would be anything but ordinary.
It is not just JAR’s miraculous creations that have made him such a sought after designer, but certainly the air of mystery that surrounds the man adds a certain appeal to potential buyers. JAR runs his Parisian shop in a fashion that might seem non-conducive to sales. He refuses to use a display window and keep non-discernible work hours. In addition to these strange practices JAR refuses to display his work publicly except on rare occasions and only sells by private invitation. This elite clientele includes such names as Elizabeth Taylor and Elle McPherson. Apparently playing hard to get has proved to be the best form of marketing, though, because some of these mystical pieces have sold for $600,000.
In 2002 he allowed his pieces to be displayed in London. However, he insisted that the lights be dimmed, and that visitors be given small flashlights so as to be made to grope along and peer desperately at the mystical pieces of jewelry. More recently a miraculous collection of JAR’s creations have gone on display at the Met in New York from November 20th through March of 2014. Highlighting the exhibition is the most dazzling collection of bejeweled insects the world has ever seen. JAR’s butterflies are some of his most sought after pieces. Using a technique which JAR refers to as “paving” he sets the jewels so closely together as to give the appearance of pavement. Wings are covered in opals and garnets and bodies carved of jade. The whimsical nature of some of the pieces belies the fine craftsmen ship and costly materials.
The Swiss craftsmen that assists JAR in bringing his creations to life are said to only produce about seventy or eighty pieces a year. This is one situation in which ignoring the demand only makes it greater. The only thing that tops the insane prices that a JAR original can fetch straight from his shop, is the resell prices that have been set by some of his pieces once they are passed on to another lucky owner. The resell prices continue to hover at about 50% more than what the first buyer paid for the treasure. Few people will ever have the privilege of owning such a piece of art, but at least the common folk can get a glimpse at such miracles at the Met until March 2014.
Platinum engagement rings are one of the most classic and beautiful metal choices for a diamond engagement ring. Of course, various metals (and colors of metals) lend themselves differently to the vast array of diamond cuts and engagement ring styles. For instance, an Old European cut diamond set into a geometric platinum mounting is undeniably Art Deco and looks fabulous on the hand of someone who likes the clean lines and bold opulence of this jewelry era. Put the same stone in a rose gold (or yellow gold) mounting and you’ve got an updated classic perfect for the modern bride who likes the romance of antique diamonds but wants a fresh take on Victorian or Edwardian style wedding rings. Platinum, however, is a metal that lends itself easily to so many different styles of ring, both contemporary and antique, as shown below. The beauty of platinum is its silver color, which has been popular in the bridal world for over a decade (although the aforementioned yellow and rose gold are both definitely huge trends lately). Unlike white gold, its budget-friendlier doppelganger, platinum never needs to be re-rhodiumed and it is slightly harder than gold. It’s a stunning metal for stunning rings, and we’ve got a craving for the sweet rings below.
This beauty features a 1.87 carat emerald cut diamond with a stunning VS1 clarity. It’s important for step cuts like emerald cut diamonds and asscher cut diamonds to have a good clarity grade because this particular diamond cut doesn’t hide inclusions well. All the better to show off a clear, clean diamond! The color is a lovely I grade per GIA’s strict standards, meaning you aren’t paying a premium for a “colorless” grade in the D-F range, but you’re still getting a stone that the untrained eye can’t detect color in. The accent stones on the shank add a glittering effect to this ring and weigh a total of .69 carats.
Our next ring is a perfect example of the beauty of platinum in a contemporary setting. The princess cut is the modern bride’s favorite stone, sometimes outpacing sales of even the classic round brilliant. Modern brides can’t get enough of the princess cut’s sharp lines and fiery hearts and arrows. This particular princess cut is a GIA certified 1.24 carat sparkler with a VVS2 clarity grade(!) and H color grade. The side stones are tapered baguettes that complement the center stone’s geometric lines, while the addition of round brilliant diamonds softens the ring up a bit. They also take this ring from ordinary to very unique without straying too far from the classic platinum setting style.
This ring is an example of platinum’s ability to transcend various jewelry eras. The pear shaped engagement ring, particularly with angular side stones like the ring above, is a hallmark of vintage jewelry. However, we’ve seen a resurgence in pear shaped popularity lately that hasn’t existed since David Gest gave Liza Minelli her engagement ring. Platinum’s toughness is the perfect complement to the pear shaped diamonds’ fragile point – it’s why you often see pear shapes set into pendants in a bezel setting. But we love a pear shaped engagement ring, and this one stuns with a huge 4.65 carat ROCK and 1 ctw trillion accent diamonds.
If classic is what you’re after there’s simply no topping the round brilliant solitaire set in platinum. The ultimate symbol of intention, this engagement ring style is the top choice for timeless brides. This particular ring is a beautiful 1.65 carat round brilliant with a fabulous SI1 clarity and H color grade from GIA. We like the slightly thicker platinum band with this particular stone.
Audemars Piguet has recently given the world a peek at his latest creation. The Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillon watch is scheduled to be officially presented at the 2014 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie and is sure to attract a wealthy, modern man who is looking for a classic watch with a very contemporary style.
While the original version of this watch was released in 2002, the newest model is more modern than its predecessor. The Royal Oak Concept GMT 2014 Tourbillon Watch has a bulky yet summery feel. The revised original movement is not just fascinating but also top quality and the watch has a titanium and light white ceramic case. It is fully water-proof and can be submerged in up to 100 meters of water without any type of damage.
The open-worked dial allows you to see directly into the inner workings of this unique timepiece. Other outside features include a GMT time zone display, a white ceramic upper bridge, a selection indicator mechanism and indicators noting the position of various parts of the time-setting winding stem.
While the style of the watch is sure to surprise some industry watchers who are used to seeing men’s luxury watches made with a traditional sense of style, those who know Audemars Piguet well should not be shocked in the last at seeing his latest creation. While Audemars Piguet has created some fantastic, high popular luxury timepieces, he does not adhere to traditional fashion guidelines or styles. In fact, Mr. Piguet was the first person to ever consider using steel in a luxury watch and he did so with a great deal of success.
The style of this watch is such that it can be worn not only for formal events and gatherings but also while out and about town. The Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillon 2014 Watch is made from some of the most durable materials known to mankind, ensuring that a man can wear it when and where he pleases. The watch has a white rubber strap with a titanium AP folding clasp, which serves to make the watch comfortable to any wearer.
The cost of this watch is currently unknown. However, given the fact that the last Tourbillon watch retailed for well over US$ 200,000, it would be realistic to speculate that a man who wants to buy one of these unique, classy watches should expect to pay a high price for the purchase. However, given Audemars Piguet’s outstanding reputation as being one of the best watchmakers in the world, any man who invests in a Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillon 2014 watch will not regret the purchase. This unique watch stands out not only because of its ultra-modern style but also high quality workmanship. Unlike many other luxury watches, this particular model is extremely durable, suitable for use for both formal and informal occasions and is sure to catch the eye of anyone who appreciates not only luxury design and fashion but also unique accessories that are not worn by the vast majority of the world’s elite.