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!)
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.
The latest trend in personal gadgetry is the smartband: a device worn on the wrist capable of functions beyond just telling the time. So far, the smartband interfaces have been serviceable, but next week Nike is upping the ante.
With the exception of the Jawbone UP, none of the smartbands currently on the market have taken fashion into consideration. The UP’s bracelet-like appearance is certainly smooth and sleek, but it is also rather plain. While innocuous, it definitely doesn’t make much of a statement (and isn’t that the true purpose of accessorizing?).
Because really, why wouldn’t you want one of these nifty little gadgets? The main feature of the fitness smart-bands is a step and activity tracker: it tracks how many steps you take in a day, the intensity of your activity levels, and the duration of your active time. Paired with its native smartphone ap (each company has a different one, but they all feature multi-platform availability, no droid/iphone wars for the smartbands… yet), the smartband uses your daily data to calculate things like distance traveled and calories burned. It then produces friendly visualizations to help you set and achieve your goals; how does your activity level today compare to your activity level yesterday? The day before? How much do you need to increase it to meet your personal fitness goals?
Another popular smartband feature is its sleep tracker: based on body movements it analyzes the length and depth of your different states of sleep. Do you sleep soundly? When? For how long? It even integrates a noiseless alarm to wake you in the morning without disturbing your partner.
The noiseless alarm feature can also be enabled for periods of inactivity. Need a little reminder to get up from your desk and move every hour? The smartband can be programed to do that.
These gadgets synch mostly wirelessly to your smartphone. Though the old-school UP still requires plugging in, the new model (UP 24) has a wireless synch feature as does the fitbit flex, fitbit force, and nike FuelBand. What the smartbands have so far been lacking is style; the fitibit and nike technology has been sporty and serviceable with little emphasis on true accessorizing. The UP has made some concession to being a piece of your daily outfit, but mostly it looks like an unobtrusive bangle.
Nike’s new rose gold FuelBand SE is the first color way in the new Nike Metaluxe collection. Beginning November 21, 2013, the rose gold Nike+ FuelBand SE will be available in limited quantities at select retail locations as well as nike.com. So let’s get this straight: an adorable accessory in luxury colors which promotes health and fitness and is only available as a limited offer? What’s not to love about this thing?
The November release means that you can make the rose gold Nike+ FuelBand SE as the perfect holiday gift. What better way to help your loved ones keep those New Years Resolutions?
This week’s craving for sparkle is devoted to none other than micropave engagement rings. These bedazzled diamond settings are perfect for adding bling to any engagement ring. If you need to add some sparkle to a ring to enhance its size, micropave packs a ton of glittering without a heavy carat weight. You can also use micropave to enhance a diamonds color, and to detract from and major inclusions – it’s a solution for each of the Four C’s. And this style of jewelry is flexible for any shape of diamond, as evidenced by this week’s picks.
This beautiful round brilliant diamond is a 1.17 carat EGL Certified G color and SI1 in clarity. We’re obsessed with the white gold setting that boasts approximately .50ctw of round brilliant pave in an antique style. The circle around the center stone makes it look larger and the accents on the shank give the entire ring a more intricate appearance.
This ring is a GIA Certified H color, VVS in clarity pear shape weighs an impressive 1.70 carats. We love the stone’s breathtaking clarity and to add to the sparkle the mounting uses a “halo” of round brilliant diamonds, while the setting is braided and beautiful with even more diamond pave adding up to approximately 1.50 carats total set in white gold.
Also getting into the braided setting mix, Simon G. We love this entwined mix of two tone 18kt gold and .58 carats of diamonds. A high quality H color and SI2 clarity ensure excellent quality that you’d expect form a designer engagement ring.
Finally, we saved our favorite for last (yes, we totally play favorites). This jaw dropping ring features a vintage style setting that’s completely iced out. In the center, a 1.31 carat GIA certified J in color and SI2 in clarity round brilliant diamond shines like the sun. Set on either side are two baguette diamonds that break up all the brilliant sparkle with some step cut faceting that adds another layer of interest to this engagement ring. Set in 14kt white gold it looks opulent and fit for a princess.
Fabrizio Riva Jewelry occupies the intersection of beauty and technology. The words “fine jewelry” connote visions of bespectacled artists hunched over workbenches handcrafting exceptional pieces. You will find such artists at the 21,000-square-foot Fabrizio Riva factory in Long Island City, New York, working alongside state-of-the-art machinery boasting leading-edge technology. Combining front line manufacturing techniques like computerized rapid prototyping with sophisticated, original designs, Fabrizio Riva Jewelry offers discerning clients unique, instantly recognizable and beautiful pieces to round out their jewelry wardrobes.
Fabrizio Riva is an American company, founded in New York by Ted Doudak in 1988, that employs 150 master jewelers, artists, technicians and manufacturing professionals at their Long Island City facility. Doudak began his career in jewelry industry in 1985, working at a chain factory and working his way up to jewelry maker and stone setter. He combined his artistic and technical skills with his interest in manufacturing technology to create the Fabrizio Riva jewelry line. Riva’s 2013 lineup includes pendants, chains, bracelets and earrings featuring its trademark geometric lines and understated color palette of black, brown, gray and milky diamonds set in lustrous 18-karat gold.
Fabrizio Riva jewelry designs embody muted elegance. His earring collection, for example, includes post and drop pieces in exaggerated oval, round, teardrop and rectangular shapes. Large and small round milky, brown and gray stones are prong-set in white and yellow 18-karat gold. Best-selling favorites include the exquisite brown diamond teardrop stud earrings and the handsome red gold and 1.3 carat brown diamond spear-shaped drop earrings. The teardrop studs work beautifully to spice up casual daytime togs while the red gold drops are perfect with posh evening wear. Fabrizio Riva rounds out its earring lineup with two rare black diamond pieces: The brown and black diamond teardrop and the black diamond square stud.
This year’s collection features the “Ankara Navette,” a bold, imposing ring with a brushed-gold band and a marquis-shaped face encrusted with crown-cut white and brown diamonds. This stunning piece is a modern take on the traditional diamond cocktail ring and adds an element of sophistication to any outfit.
The necklace lineup contains Fabrizio Riva’s signature geometric-shaped pendants suspended from delicate cable chains. The “Ankara Navette” pendant is a worthy complement to the matching Navette ring. The most interesting piece is the brown and blue crown-cut diamond charm necklace with its elongated oval gem-set pendant and simple blue quartz disc. Its breezy 18-karat chain adds a polished look casual business wear.
Rounding out the collection are two finely wrought cable chain bracelets: One features a tiny round 18-karat white gold disc set with seven white pave diamonds and the other is comprised of an 18-karat rose gold chain with a heart-shaped centerpiece crowned with five small round brown diamonds. Both bracelets represent Fabrizio Riva’s modern geometric design and monochromatic color scheme.
Fabrizio Riva pieces have an arresting quality that attracts the eye without being ostentatious. Their timeless design give these pieces an heirloom feel that will outlast short-lived fashion trends. Fabrizio Riva jewelry makes a welcome gift and every fashion-savvy woman should have at least one Riva piece in her jewelry case.