Monthly Archives: March 2017

Beautiful Bridal Jewelry Worldwide

In the West, some brides may wear a tiara or a pearl necklace on their wedding day. However, a wedding would seem incomplete without wedding rings, which are a traditional part of the wedding ceremony. The continuous circle of a wedding ring symbolizes eternity and the wedding ring signifies the love and fidelity of the giver. In many Christian wedding ceremonies, it is presented with the phrase, “With this ring I thee wed”. In many countries and religions around the world, the wedding ring is a significant part of a marriage ceremony, but there are also other types of jewelry that is worn by brides.

In Greek orthodox weddings, the bride and groom wear crowns known as stefana. These crowns symbolize heavenly crowns and also that the husband and wife are king and queen of the family. The crowns are usually joined by a ribbon to symbolize their unity and are placed on the head of the bride and groom by the priest in a Crowning Ceremony. Years ago, the crowns would be worn for a whole week, but this is not usually practiced nowadays. According to tradition, the crowns should be displayed over the marriage bed. However, some couples exhibit the crowns in their living room. Not all couples take their crowns home, since some churches provide borrowed crowns for the ceremony. Greek wedding crowns used to be simple affairs, made from vines, leaves, flowers and ribbons. Modern Greek wedding crowns are not so simple and are often fashioned from precious metal with gemstones such as pearls, diamonds and gold leaves. A famous crowning ceremony was performed during the marriage of King Juan Carlos of Spain and Queen Sophia of Greece.

In some parts of China, silver bridal jewelry is considered auspicious. For example, the Dong people of Southwest China treasure silver, and families collect silver jewelry for their daughters to wear on her wedding day, sometimes beginning when the daughter is very young. Similarly, the Miao people consider silver to be valuable and Miao brides often wear a weighty 8-10 kg of silver, and sometimes even more! Yemenite Jews wear extremely elaborate bridal headdresses and silver rings, bracelets and necklaces of coral beads and silver bells. The Berber people of North Africa traditionally wore silver bridal jewelry with gemstone beads or cabochons, such as coral or amber, that were believed to provide protection from bad luck. In Saudi Arabia, men have traditionally worn silver wedding rings. This is because the Koran discourages men from adorning themselves with gold. On the other hand, women are permitted to wear gold and often receive wedding gifts of jewelry from their husbands.

Gold is important in the bridal jewelry of many countries, for example, Nepal, Thailand, India and Indonesia. In Indian Hindu weddings, the bride traditionally wears sixteen pieces of jewelry, which are usually made of yellow gold and are studded with gemstones. These items adorn the bride from head to toe. Perhaps the gold bridal jewelry shows that the groom or bride’s parents are wealthy enough to afford the wedding or symbolizes the fact that the bride is worth her weight in gold.

At some traditional Hindu weddings, the groom presents the bride with a special beaded necklace or necklace pendant called a mangalsutra, which means something like “holy thread” or “lucky thread”. This necklace or pendant is a sign of marital status and the black beads, usually made from black onyx, are thought to protect the couple from the evil eye. The mangalsutra used to be made from a yellow thread colored by turmeric and tied around the hand, but nowadays, the mangalsutra is often made from gold and sometimes has a diamond pendant.

Married Indian women wear bangles which can be made from glass, silver or gold and are usually worn in pairs. They may be decorated with gemstones or inlay. The colors of the bangles have special meanings, such as yellow for happiness. It is said that an Indian bride wears the smallest bangles that she can fit over her hands, since it is believed that smaller bangles are luckier. If a glass bangle accidentally breaks, it is considered to be an inauspicious sign. If a woman is widowed, she breaks the glass bangles herself in mourning. This is heavily dramatized in Bollywood movies!

Whether a spartan or elaborate affair in the West or the East, a wedding can be one of the most important days of a couple’s life and the jewelry worn can be an integral part of the ceremony that is filled with symbolism.

Art Deco Jewelry Modernity made of Metal

Art Deco is a style of art that followed Art Nouveau. Art Deco reached its zenith in the 1920s to 1930s and continued to be popular thereafter. Like Art Nouveau, it favored progression and modernity. In fact, it was referred to as Style Moderne. However, where Art Nouveau used flowing curves and subtle colors, Art Deco brought vertical lines, symmetry and bolder, contrasting colors. The Art Deco style embraced technology and often incorporated geometric shapes. The international popularity of Art Deco took off at the time of the 1925 Paris Exposition, titled, Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes. However, the term “Art Deco” was not used to refer to the style until the 1960s, when the architect Le Corbusier wrote of the Paris Exposition.

Like many other artistic movements such as Art Nouveau, Art Deco spread throughout the world and became evident not only in fine art, but also in architecture. One of the most famous examples of Art Deco architecture can be seen in the spire of the Chrysler Building in New York City. Art Deco also influenced interior design, practical everyday objects and, of course, jewelry.

Popular materials for Art Deco jewelry were white gold and platinum, and white diamonds in contrast with brightly colored gemstones such as jade, emeralds, rubies, red coral, turquoise and sapphires. Black and white was also a characteristic combination, and black onyx was often used paired with white diamond or quartz. Where sophisticated shapes were created by enameling in Art Nouveau jewelry, expert gem cutting and settings, such as the invisible setting allowed Art Deco jewelry designers to produce outstanding mosaic-like images.

Landmarks in history, such as the discovery of the tomb of the Egyptian boy-king, Tutankhamun in 1922 had an influence on the art of the time, including Art Deco jewelry, and Egyptian forms were incorporated into jewelry designs, causing an Egyptian revival. World trade in exotic regions caused foreign concepts to be imported into Art Deco designs, such as Chinese, Japanese, African, Middle Eastern and Indian motifs. These aspects made for an interesting mix of ancient and modern. Art Nouveau was also influenced by modern art movements such as Cubism.

Some jewelry designers are considered to have produced their greatest creations during the Art Deco period. One of the most prominent of these innovative artists were Van Cleef and Arpels. Van Cleef and Arpels created some fabulous Egyptian-inspired items including iconic bracelets and brooches that show ancient Egyptian scenes and motifs in sapphire, ruby, onyx, emerald, and diamond. Van Cleef and Arpels also created the sautoir, a long tasseled necklace that complimented the flapper dresses of the day. In 1933, Van Cleef and Arpels patented an innovative invisible setting known as “Mystery Set”, which allows gemstones to be inserted into tiny gold rails, resulting in a continuous covering of gemstones with no visible prongs.

World famous French jewelry designer, Cartier, was influenced by India during the Art Deco period. Jacques Cartier visited India after taking the helm of the London branch of Cartier. This led to some interesting jewelry items, such as Cartier’s use of carved gemstones and colorful combinations of sapphires, rubies and emeralds that were later called “Tutti Frutti”. Among the most outstanding pieces of this colorful collection was an Indian style necklace, called the Collier Hindu, made for French fashion icon, Mrs Daisy Fellowes. Some of Mrs Fellowes’s Art Deco jewelry achieved over $2.7 million on 26th March 2014 at Sotheby’s London. On December 9th 2014, a Cartier “Tutti Frutti” bracelet previously owned by Evelyn H. Lauder of Estée Lauder achieved over $2.1 million at Sotheby’s. This is the most a Cartier “Tutti Frutti” bracelet has ever been sold for.

Art Deco jewelry represented glamour, opulence and sophistication, which fitted in with the social climate of the roaring 20s and spirit of the Jazz Age. During this time, women experienced great social change. The “New Woman” of the roaring 20s enjoyed greater freedom and fun than her predecessors. This, along with increased consumer spending power led to some of the most luxurious pieces of jewelry ever designed, which continue to be admired to this day.

Project Mindy: Dream Jewelry Lovers are expensive

If you haven’t started watching The Mindy Project yet, you should –and not just because of the hilarious storylines. The jewelry in this show is fun, sexy, and appeals to the inner fashionista in all of us. Mindy Kaling’s caricature of the average American woman is both hilarious and inspiring, and she manages to be both tragic and heroic while wearing some fantastic designer jewelry pieces. There are several characters beside Mindy Lahiri (played by Mindy Kaling) that serve as jewelry fashion emblems.

Mindy Lahiri is a more practical version of Carrie Bradshaw. She wears designer jewelry that you yourself might be hesitant to wear, but that’s not so outlandish you wouldn’t believe you might run into somebody wearing it in your daily life. Large colored gemstones are a favorite for Dr. Lahiri. The range in ring designs varies from the New York sophisticate wearing a platinum band, princess cut yellow gemstone to the average gal out on the town while sporting over-sized dangling heart earrings.

Ladies preferring something a little more reserved can look to Mindy’s receptionist Betsy, played by Zoe Jarman. Betsy’s wholesome Midwestern style is perfect for those looking for a little dazzle in their designer jewelry choices—though in a more subtle way. Women interested in emulating Betsy’s style might aim for demure diamond solitaire earrings, a diamond solitaire necklace, or a classic diamond engagement ring. Betsy’s style is classic and stylish, perfect for someone looking to add a little pizzazz to their fashion repertoire without risking too much. Betsy’s style blends in seamlessly whether you’re out with the church crowd on Sundays or out to dinner with friends for Thursday cocktails.

Gwen, Mindy’s best friend and happy housewife played by Anna Camp, is the quintessential example of a contemporary twist on classic elegance. She is most often decked out in diamonds—such as her unique diamond engagement ring—but she also pairs colored gemstone necklaces with her gorgeous ring. Gwen’s look is perfect for any woman interested in creating a sophisticated, yet sexy fashion persona.

How to Pick Your Signature Piece of Jewelry

Whether it’s homemade cookies that are always a hit with your friends, or delightful interior decorating, we all want to be known for something. From talents to designs and work accolades to physical fitness, there is a certain pride that comes from being recognized. However, one of the best ways to gain recognition is with jewelry. By claiming a signature piece as your own, you’ll become known for your fashion sense and universal poise. In fact, you might even inspire a trend. To determine what your signature piece should be and how to implement it, read on.

1)      How Often

Determining how often you’ll wear a piece of jewelry is the first step in creating a signature look. If you plan on wearing a piece of jewelry less than three times a week, then it’s not a signature piece; it is merely yet another piece in your collection. Determining the number of times you’ll wear a piece of jewelry in any given week requires brutal honesty and a truthful evaluation of your lifestyle. Reporting to an office for five days a week will require a different signature piece than staying at home with the kids. Of course, personal style must be considered as well. Are you loud and bold, or quiet and understated? Different personalities require different gemstones.

2)      Style

Once you’ve determined how often you’ll wear a piece, it’s time to evaluate style. As a rule of thumb, signature jewelry pieces are often quite understated. Generally, this is because the piece is worn with great frequency. Because the piece is worn often, it’s critical to choose an item that is versatile and can work in any situation. But of course, personal preference is important as well. If you’re style is bold, opt for a piece like the Noble Agate Pendant. The hues of the pendant are neutral and work with any outfit, but the design is bold and on trend. For a quieter or more subdued signature piece, try the Tahitian Pearl Pendant. Because pearls are timeless and the shape is elegant, the pendant creates a dignified look.

3)      Fearless

Once you’ve established the right piece and correct style for your signature piece, it is time to wear the piece fearlessly. When creating a signature look, it’s important to remember that the jewelry is supposed to be worn frequently. Never feel like an “outfit repeater” when wearing your signature piece. You are a style visionary.