Tag Archives: diamond jewelry

The Jewelry Insider

December 2, 2010

Update: Royal jewelry is all the rage these days. Sotheby’s got WAY more than the expected $4.5 million for this highly anticipated sale. How does $12.5 million strike you?  And that stunning panther bracelet went for a whopping $7 million all by itself. Meow!

When it comes to the world of purchasing uber-jewelry, there are jewelry auctions …and there are Jewelry Auctions.

Sotheby’s is holding an event in the latter category this fall when the world can bid on 20 pieces from The Duchess of Windsor’s haute couture jewelry collection.

The Duchess, formerly American socialite Wallace Simpson, was the woman behind King Edward the VIII abdicating the British throne back in 1936, creating a royal scandal so huge, Fergie’s cornucopia of connundrums looks like chump change.

Thankfully for jewelry lovers, the Duke lavished his beloved with beautiful baubles throughout their lives (he abdicated the throne, not the royal bank account) and commissioned some of the world’s most talented jewelry designers to do his bidding.

Here is just a sampling of the stash that Sotheby’s expects will bring in upwards of $4.5 million.

This Cartier diamond bracelet is expected to garner a $350,000-450,000 pound pay day.

According to Luxist, Jeanne Toussaint, Cartier’s High Jewelry Director, created this realistic onyx and diamond panther bracelet designed in 1952. It’s considered one of the best of her “three dimensional “great cat jewels.

Jeanne Toussaint also created this flamingo brooch, decorated with rubies, sapphires, emeralds, citrines, and diamonds. It is listed with an estimate of 1,000,000-1,500,000 pounds ($1,520,000- $2,300,000) – and it’s my personal favorite, in case you’re doing some early Christmas shopping.

To celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary, The Duke commissioned this emerald, ruby and diamond brooch by Cartier that incorporated their initials. This piece is expected to realize 100,000-150,000 pounds ($152,000- $230,000).

The full auction, which includes 16 additional gems from the Windsor collection will take place in London on November 30th.

Which one of the Windsor wonders would you like to take home to your jewelry box?

2010 CMA Awards Jewelry Fashion

With so many leading ladies from Hollywood’s A-list littering the 2010 Country Music Awards, like Gwyneth Paltrow (more on her later), Katherine Heigl and Nicole Kidman, I began to wonder if I was covering the right event.

But these looks came ’round, and I was reminded you can never keep a good rhinestone cowgirl down.


So? What did I learn from last night’s jewelry hunt?

Country singers love big old gowns. And Carrie Underwood (almost) won the night with her seven(!) costume changes during her co-hosting gig. But one country music crooner wore a getup that put Miss American Idol in her place – everyone’s favorite coal miner’s daughter, Loretta Lynn.

Now that’s country music couture!

Jewelry winners were:

Miranda Lambert in Amrapali statement earrings and a series of bangles:


Jennifer Nettles in Kimberly McDonald agate-slice earrings:

Taylor Swift in Neil Lane diamond dangle earrings:

Katherine Heigl in sapphire button earrings with a starburst pendant from Ryan Ryan

The other big winner for me was Gwyneth Paltrow. Love her or hate her, the woman showed serious chutzpah by taking the CMA stage and singing a great little ditty from her latest film, Country Strong (see the performance video here).

I know there are a gazillion country singer wannabes out there who deserve their chance, so Gwynnie jumping the line is more than a little annoying. But I like her. Despite her ‘lifestyle’ website, workout videos and way-too-public friendship with Madonna. And that song is totally sing-in-the-shower-worthy. Well played.

Lots to ponder here, jewelry hounds. What do you think of Hollywood invading the country music scene? Did Gwyneth deserve her standing o? Where is Dolly Parton when you need her? Who wore you fav jewelry look? Weigh in!

Diamonds Get Saucy at the Millionaire Fair

So you’re a Russian billionaire on a lazy Sunday afternoon. You’ve already polished the Ferrari, fluffed up the fur coat collection, and toured the indoor football stadium. Sigh. Now what?

How about a trip to the local ‘flea market’ to pick up a trinket or two for the kitchen?

Enter: The Millionaire Fair – an annual celebration of conspicuous consumption that’s targeted right at the Russian billionaire demographic (all 62 of you!). And wouldn’t you know it? They’ve got that must-have kitchen item you can’t live without – a diamond-encrusted saucepan!

The saucepan has a handle and lid studded with a whopping 270 diamonds over 18-carat gold. Made by German cookware brand Fissler, the utensil is not really suitable for cooking (whatever that is).

“It is for serving food beautifully,” the Fissler brand manager, Natalya Oreshikina, explained to The Daily Telegraph.

And at a measly $210,000, the pan costs roughly the same as, oh, a Porsche Cayenne SUV. BUT! It’s a better value, Oreshkina pitched.

“A Porsche Cayenne turns into a pile of metal once it leaves the showroom. This is an investment.”

Throw in a set of steak knives, and I’m in!

Galas, Gowns and Grown-up Jewelry

Every jewelry hound knows the fall season brings with it all kinds of galas, opening nights and high profile fundraisers – perfect conditions for a good bauble hunt.

I love it when the grown-ups come out to play.

New York City Ballet’s Fall Gala:

It’s been a while since we’ve seen Sarah Jessica Parker on a red carpet, and she picked the tony occasion of the New York City Ballet’s Fall Gala last night to grace us with a little Halston hotness and some great dress-up jewelry.

I love the necklace layering – not too matchy-matchy and just the right side of gaudy with the metallic sheen of her dress.  What do you think of the choice? Should she lose the longer look?

Los Angeles Philharmonic Opening Gala:

Eva Mendes lit up the left coast last night in a flowing Dior gown and sparkling Neil Lane jewelry that channeled old Hollywood glamour.

This diamond bracelet looks like it was made for her gown. Gorgeous!

Who are your favorite grown-up gamines to gawk at on the red carpet? Charlize Theron is another one on my list – despite her unfortunate gown choice at the Oscars this year.

Blingy Butterfly Gets The Royal Treatment

Now that the jewelry-barren landscape that was New York Fashion Week is behind me, it’s time to get back to blingy basics. And there’s no better way to celebrate than by ogling this bodacious butterfly bauble that just joined the storied coffers of the Smithsonian Institution.

Designed by Cindy Chao, the “Royal Butterfly” is a three-dimensional diamond-and gemstone-studded brooch that took over two years to create. The design is balanced by four large rough diamond slices and includes more than 20 color gradients comprised of 2,318 colorless and colored diamonds, color-changing sapphires, colored sapphires, rubies and tsavorites.

Color-changing sapphires? Awesome.
Chao generously gifted her “Royal Butterfly” to the Smithsonian, which now lives with some of the world’s most significant jewels, including the famous Hope Diamond.

The designer’s ‘hope’ was not only for viewers to appreciate the art in a new medium, but that it would also inspire “people to dream and create” and “continue to contribute to the evolution of culture and the world around them.”


Ms. Chao? You had me at ‘color-changing sapphires’.

And if you’re hunkering for more Smithsonian sparkle, they just launched a branded jewelry line with QVC based on many of the pieces in their treasure chest. Check out Jewelry.com for more.

Diamonds on the Down Low at Chelsea’s Wedding

Jewelry hounds? Who doesn’t love an over-the-top Liz Taylor-esuqe decadent display of diamonds every now and again, right? It’s what we love to see on the red carpet and at all the gawdy-as-all-get-out celebrity weddings.

But I am here to tell you, that I couldn’t be more pleased with Chelsea Clinton’s decision to do just a ‘splash’ of sparkle for her big day. No tiaras. No diamond dog collars. No swinging from the ‘chandeliers’.

Nope, Ms. Clinton chose teeny tiny diamond flower cluster drop earrings and a sliver of a diamond tennis bracelet with a matching floral motif. I applaud her less-is-more bling approach. (Jewelry.com has a great article today if you want the same styles for your jewelry box)

Loved the Vera Wang choice too, no? You all know I die for de la Renta (the other rumored designer choice and the genius behind Hillary’s Mother-of-the-Bride gown), but the VW never disappoints.

I also loved that she duped us all. No Oprah. No Streisand. No Spielberg. No fireworks. Ted Danson was the biggest star there! The limited pics they made available to the press said it all: it was an event full of love and privacy – despite the star-power of her famous folks. I’m happy that it was truly her day, despite fashion stalkers like me wanting to know every detail.

What do you guys think of her wedding diamonds? Subtle and stylish? Or small and snoresville?

Chelsea Clinton’s Wedding Jewelry

Chelsea Clinton’s diamond engagement ring is one of the most sought-after styles of the summer, so it comes as no surprise that the blogosphere is abuzz with details about the rocks she’ll wear down the aisle tomorrow.

Will she go the American princess route in a diamond tiara like Carrie Underwood did on her big day?

Or will she keep things classic and timeless like last year’s A-list bride, Ivanka Trump?

What we do know from ABC News is that the rumored jewelry budget is upwards of $250,000 – enough to bring on even more security for the Rhinebeck, NY nuptials.

And Momma Clinton, now that she’s got better things to do than avoid a nuclear holocaust, was spotted toting that light-blue indicator of deep-pocketed taste – a Tiffany bag – to Chelsea’s building earlier today. Things are starting to look delicious already.

And while you know my favorite bridal buzz is all about the bling, this hilarious budget item comes a close second:

The Clintons are spending $15,000 for heated port-o-potties with classical music chimed in for good measure. Because what’s a port-o-potty experience without a little Puccini, right?

Stay tuned for more Chelsea Clinton wedding details! I didn’t get an invite – neither did President Obama, ok? – but I’ll be on the hunt for all the latest dish.

Speaking of, did you hear the Bristol Palin/Levi Johnston wedding may be off? You’ll never guess why…

Real Housewives’ Teresa Giudice: Diamonds, Debt and Delusion


Diamond jewelry is often the perfect way to celebrate a big anniversary like your 10th. There’s the three-stone ‘past, present, future’ ring, an anniversary band, a nice pair of diamond studs – all possibilities at prices that will put you back a few hundred or maybe a grand if you shop smart.

But say, oh, you’re $11 million in the red? Maybe this isn’t the best time in the world to ask for a buncha (insert Eartha Kitt growl) “Diamondzzzzzzz”, right? But that’s not our delusional friends, Teresa and Joe Giudice from the Real Housewives of New Jersey.

How stupid, I mean, delusional can you be?

Exhibit A: When Teresa brings up that she wants anniversary diamondzzzzz to her friend Jacqueline, Jacqueline wants more details:

Jacqueline: “The Crown Jewels?

Teresa: “No, not the Crown Jewel,” Teresa scoffs. “What do you think I am, Arabic or something … Or wait, is that Indian?”

Exhibit B: In their CHARTERED HELICOPTER RIDE OVER MANHATTAN to celebrate their anniversary because that’s what you do when you’re $11 million short – curious Joe asks the pilot,

“That’s a nice park in the middle of the city.”

Pilot: “That’s Central Park.”

You’re a lifelong Jersey resident and that little tidbit of geography didn’t trickle down to you at some juncture? A diamond may be forever but this stuff is just priceless.

So, in the end? Teresa got her diamond wish and then some – a huge yellow diamond ring smushed in a chocolate dessert that had to have put Einstein back an SUV or two. When you’re $11 million in the hole, what’s a few more zeros?

Did I mention they are $11 million in debt?

What did you guys think of her rock? Real or fugazi? And what about Danielle Staub busting out with her (HUGE) diamond engagement ring from her EX HUSBAND to wear to her daughter’s Sweet Sixteen party in front of his new (smaller-diamond-wearing) wife?

Just when you thought the class had left in a chartered helicopter over Central Park…

On Diamond Certificates, Appraisals and Insurance

Jewelry lovers, it’s time for a little learnin’. We all love to gawk and gush about our diamonds, but it’s also important to take care of them. Like little sparkly children. Here are some important tips from Jewelry.com that every jewelry hound worth their salt should take to heart.


Next to buying a home or car, buying a major diamond jewelry item like an engagement ring is likely to be one of biggest purchases you’ll ever make. That’s why it’s so important to be able to verify the characteristics, quality and value of your diamond in case it’s ever damaged, lost or stolen.

To help ensure that you don’t become just another “statistic,” here is a brief practical guide to diamond certificates, appraisals and insurance and what they can do for you.


Certificate – Also known as a diamond grading report, this is a professional evaluation of a diamond’s quality and characteristics. A certificate, or “cert” as it is often called in the trade, provides proof of a diamond’s identity. The best, most accurate certs are performed by independent accredited gem labs – such as the Gemological Institute of America and the American Gem Society – that were not involved in the purchase or sale of the diamond.

While a cert doesn’t state a monetary value of your diamond, it gives you a tangible document that attests to the quality and authenticity of your stone. It can help you “comparison shop” to determine which stone is a better value. It is also used by appraisers to help gauge a stone’s replacement value for insurance purposes. However, if you want to insure a diamond, you still need to obtain a separate appraisal.

Some of the things you’ll find in a standard grading report include: a plotted diagram of the stone, listing all of its significant characteristics, such as its shape, carat weight, color, clarity, exact measurements and proportions, imperfections, and the quality of the stone’s polish and symmetry. The report may also contain comments about the presence or absence of fluorescence in the diamond and the quality of its cut.


Appraisal – This is a document that states the approximate insurance, replacement or estate value of an item. It is required by insurers. The value of a piece of jewelry is calculated by appraisers using a number of different factors, which typically include: current retail prices in that regional market; cut, color, clarity and carat weight; the weight of the precious metal; the origin of the materials used; and the craftsmanship of the piece. The more detailed and accurate an appraisal report is, the less likely it will be challenged by insurance companies, the IRS, divorce lawyers or competing appraisers. Many appraisers also plot gemstones and use photos and/or diagrams as additional documentation.

Insurance – Many retail jewelers offer insurance options to customers through a partnership with an insurance firm. Policies can vary greatly and should be researched and compared against one another. A second option for you would be to add the coverage to your existing homeowner’s policy. Check with your agent about what is covered and what isn’t. A third option would be to contact an outside firm that specializes in separate jewelry insurance policies, such as Jewelers Mutual.

The Jewelry Insider

June 22, 2010

When your boyfriend brings you diamond jewelry like it’s your morning latte, you know you’ve hitched your wagon to one keeper of a pony.

Unless you’re Anne Hathaway.

The Cinderella story of Miss Anne and her uber-rich boyfriend Raffaello Follieri hit a snag back in 2008 when he was convicted of 14 felony counts of fraud, so the Feds are trying to recoup his losses Bernie Madoff-style by auctioning off anything and everything he owned – including the jewelry he gave to Anne.

Hathaway, who broke up with then-arrested Follieri in June 2008, turned the items over to the FBI that August, including two watches, two rings, two bracelets, two necklaces, two chains, silver earrings, and a Louis Vuitton box. While the jewelry’s total value has not been disclosed, a gold Rolex Cosmograph Daytona given to Hathaway retails for about $25,000.

But all’s well that ends well. Follieri is serving a 4/12 year sentence, and A-lister Annie’s only crime is her performance in Valentine’s Day.

What would you do with jewelry given to you by a lying, cheating ex? This excellent site, www.exboyfriendjewelry.com (“You don’t want it, he can’t have it back!”) has the perfect answer – and a brilliant business plan. Check it out!