Inspirations

Greece-Inspired Jewels to Celebrate My Vacation

Naxos, Greece. June 20, 2019. Greetings from Greece! I’m on the island of Naxos this week with friends, so Greek-inspired jewelry seems like a natural fit. While I’m seeing evil eye motifs and the color royal blue, synonymous with the stunning Agean Sea, at every turn, ruins and mythologic tales abound, which are often reinterpreted in fine jewelry. Here are five Greece-inspired jewels–right after some vaca shots–that fit right into my current surroundings.

All island photos are my own.

Ruins of the Apollo Temple overlooking the sea on Naxos.

Ruins of the Apollo Temple overlooking the sea on Naxos.

Aegean Sea near the ruins of the Apollo Temple in Naxos, Greece.

Aegean Sea near the ruins of the Apollo Temple in Naxos, Greece.

Naxos life as seen from a walking tour.

Naxos life as seen from a walking tour.

Typical building--WHITE!--in Naxos

Typical building–WHITE!–in Naxos

Not surprisingly, the flowers in Naxos are as stunning as the rest of the scenery.

Not surprisingly, the flowers in Naxos are as stunning as the rest of the scenery.

Beach down the street from my hotel, Llianas Village. I highly recommend it.

Beach down the street from my hotel, Lianas Village. I highly recommend it.

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Open cuff bracelet in sterling silver and 24k gold, $3,190; email paul@likabehar.com at Lika Behar for purchase

Keiko Mita jewelry
Greek Evil Eye pendant necklace in 18k yellow gold with hand-engraved details and 1.25 cts. t.w. blue and colorless diamonds; $3,200; email vdaste@gmail.com at Vittoria d’Aste-Surcouf for purchase

Greek Evil Eye pendant necklace in 18k yellow gold with hand-engraved details and 1.25 cts. t.w. blue and colorless diamonds; $3,200; email vdaste@gmail.com at Vittoria d’Aste-Surcouf for purchase

Glimmering Sun earrings in polished 18k yellow gold with 0.55 ct. t.w. light brown diamonds and 4.05 cts. t.w. fancy color sapphires, €3,800; Ileana Makri

Glimmering Sun earrings in polished 18k yellow gold with 0.55 ct. t.w. light brown diamonds and 4.05 cts. t.w. fancy color sapphires, €3,800; Ileana Makri

Athena ring in 18k yellow gold, $7,000; email info@andreagutierrezjewelry.com at Andrea Gutierrez Jewelry for purchase

Athena ring in 18k yellow gold, $7,000; email info@andreagutierrezjewelry.com at Andrea Gutierrez Jewelry for purchase

Saving Suffering Sarajevo Strays helps street dogs
Ring in 18k gold and sterling silver with 0.80 ct. t.w. diamonds and a lion intaglio inspired by an original motif circa 500–800 BC, $9,700; email jurio@kcc.zaq.ne.jp at Jurio Fujita for purchase

Ring in 18k gold and sterling silver with 0.80 ct. t.w. diamonds and a lion intaglio inspired by an original motif circa 500–800 BC, $9,700; email jurio@kcc.zaq.ne.jp at Jurio Fujita for purchase


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Inspirations

Lip Service: 5 Luscious Lip Jewels Speaks Volumes About Your Style

Naxos, Greece. June 20, 2019. Lips serve a purpose in communications, but they’re also inspiring jewelry designers to cast or carve cute lip-motif jewels in many colors and materials. Gold lips with gemstone-dusted surfaces remind wearers of fave shades, while brightly enameled surfaces turn up color volumes in even more playful ways. Lipesque art objects like Salvador Dalí’s Mae West Lips Sofa inspire custom silhouettes, while carved stone lips are proprietary cuts that whisper silent sweet nothings to all who will listen. Finally, the rote task of breathing itself encourages more makers to model a plump, puckered-up pair for whimsical wear. Is there one mouth that’s really speaking to you? Verbalize your affections now, lest the style take up residence elsewhere.

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Lip Emoji single stud earring in 18k yellow gold, $225; email eryn@wendybrandes.com at Wendy Brandes for purchase

Lip Emoji single stud earring in 18k yellow gold, $225; email eryn@wendybrandes.com at Wendy Brandes for purchase

Lips necklace in 18k gold with a 22 ct. carved pink tourmaline pair of lips, $3,420; ; email info@christinaalexiou.com at Christina Alexiou for purchase

Lips necklace in 18k gold with a 22 ct. carved pink tourmaline pair of lips, $3,420; email info@christinaalexiou.com at Christina Alexiou for purchase

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Ring in 18k white gold with 2.96 cts. t.w. rubies, $5,300; email annalisa.dasilva@mattioligioielli.it at Mattioli for purchase

Ring in 18k white gold with 2.96 cts. t.w. rubies, $5,300; email info@mattioliusa.com at Mattioli for purchase

Ring in 18k white gold with enamel and 2.13 cts. t.w. colorless diamonds, $11,800; email mirjana.kozlovacki@aishabaker.com at Aisha Baker for purchase

Ring in 18k white gold with enamel and 2.13 cts. t.w. colorless diamonds, $11,800; email mirjana.kozlovacki@aishabaker.com at Aisha Baker for purchase

Saving Suffering Sarajevo Strays helps street dogs
Ring in 18k gold with 12.09 cts. t.w. rubies and 0.04 ct. t.w. brown diamonds, €12,100; email larissa@lydiacourteille.com at Lydia Courteille for purchase

Ring in 18k gold with 12.09 cts. t.w. rubies and 0.04 ct. t.w. brown diamonds, €12,100; email larissa@lydiacourteille.com at Lydia Courteille for purchase


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Inspirations

The Bypass Hoop Earrings You Need in Your Life Now

New York City. June 13, 2019. Bypass hoop earrings were evident in the lines of many chic brands at the recently held Las Vegas jewelry shows. Considering the loveliness of the silhouette—similar to bypass-style rings, a side-set hoop has a visible space where the two ends veer away from each other—it’s not surprising to see so many. Bypass hoops are an updated timeless design that will look good on just about everyone. That’s why designer-makers are releasing new versions with wild abandon.

Keiko Mita jewelry

Puja Bordia of Trésor Collection had lightweight styles with cabochons of pink tourmaline, aquamarine, and other pastel hues, loving the way they sit on clients’ ears.

“Bypass hoops show the beauty of the style from a frontal perspective,” she says. “They are very chic, modern, stylish and make a great statement.”

Queen of fine opals, Katherine Jetter, also offered up some new ones in cab cuts contrasted with baguettes. “I love the juxtaposition of the contemporary baguette cuts with the soft cabochons,” she says. To her, the bypass hoop nods to her much-loved button-style earrings, but with a twist. Of course, her signature fine opals also play a role.

Saving Suffering Sarajevo Strays helps street dogs

“It is very hard to collect tiny black opals with lots of fire, so I have to collect the stones over time,” she explains. Once released, fans need to move quickly for acquisition. “I sell out of them the second I make them,” she says.

Bypass-style hoops in 18k yellow gold with 8.5 cts. t.w. pink tourmaline, tsavorite garnet, blue topaz, peridot, citrine, and amethyst, $1,800; email klodi@tresorcollection.com at Trésor Collection for purchase

Bypass-style hoops in 18k yellow gold with 8.5 cts. t.w. pink tourmaline, tsavorite garnet, blue topaz, peridot, citrine, and amethyst, $1,800; email klodi@tresorcollection.com at Trésor Collection for purchase.

Monroe Crescent earrings in 18k yellow gold with 5.5 cts. t.w. black onyx, 0.60 ct. t.w. pink sapphires, and 0.50 ct. t.w. diamonds, $5,750; email meaghan@forfuturereference.com at Sorellina for purchase

Monroe Crescent earrings in 18k yellow gold with 5.5 cts. t.w. black onyx, 0.60 ct. t.w. pink sapphires, and 0.50 ct. t.w. diamonds, $5,750; email meaghan@forfuturereference.com at Sorellina for purchase.

Bypass hoop earrings in 18k gold with 5.3 cts. t.w. purple sapphires and 0.50 ct. t.w. diamonds, $7,700; email hello@kavantandsharart.com at Kavant & Sharart for purchase

Bypass hoop earrings in 18k gold with 5.3 cts. t.w. purple sapphires and 0.50 ct. t.w. diamonds, $7,700; email hello@kavantandsharart.com at Kavant & Sharart for purchase

Fray bypass hoops in in 20k rose gold with 1.98 cts. t.w. Ethiopian opal and 1.38 cts. t.w. green tourmaline and are 1-1/8 inches in length, $10,850; email sales@nakarmstrong.com at Nak Armstrong for purchase

Fray bypass hoops in in 20k rose gold with 1.98 cts. t.w. Ethiopian opal and 1.38 cts. t.w. green tourmaline and are 1-1/8 inches in length, $10,850; email sales@nakarmstrong.com at Nak Armstrong for purchase.

Crescent hoop earrings in 18k yellow gold with 7.8 cts. t.w. black opal and 1.21 cts. t.w. baguette shape diamonds, $14,500; email alexandra@katherinejetter.com at Katherine Jetter for purchase

Crescent hoop earrings in 18k yellow gold with 7.8 cts. t.w. black opal and 1.21 cts. t.w. baguette shape diamonds, $14,500; email alexandra@katherinejetter.com at Katherine Jetter for purchase.


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Inspirations

Yes, Carrie Hoffman’s Tata Jewelry Is About Breasts, but Also Raising Funds for Cancer Research

New York City. June 12, 2019. When Carrie Hoffman was diagnosed with breast cancer in the winter of 2016, her jewelry design business was (understandably) put on a back burner. Within a year’s time, she went from diagnosis to biopsy to surgery to mastectomy, all with the amazing support of a community of other strong Los Angeles–based females around her.

“There was an intense sisterhood of women who helped me frame the cancer process,” she says of friends acquired from a Facebook-based moms’ group.

Keiko Mita jewelry

After a year and a half of sickness and recovery, Hoffman was ready to return to her jewelry bench, which was a healing experience. And with her cancer process fresh in her mind, she thought about a way to express it in jewelry. She hadn’t seen any breast-motif pieces in the market, so could she create one that was tasteful yet spoke to the challenges of the disease and survivor’s tales? She carved a breast in wax with the intent of placing a gemstone in the center to represent a nipple. Many breast cancer victims lose theirs in the mastectomy process. Hoffman also knew how the colors of women’s nipples varied widely, so in a ballsy moment, she reached out to that local online support group and asked breast cancer survivors to send her snaps of their breasts. The point? To see the range of colors in women’s nipples so she could capture them in jewelry with the appropriate colored stones. Thirty photos arrived in her inbox, and from those were born seven different colors of gemstone nipples including pink sapphire and smoky topaz. Next, she set the gems inverted in 14k gold styles to make the look more subtle. To date, stud earrings and necklaces are available, with 20 percent of wholesale cost benefiting the Breast Cancer Research Fund. Adds Hoffman, “Tatas are a way to support breast cancer research but also keep looks elegant and subtle.”

Saving Suffering Sarajevo Strays helps street dogs

At a retail show in February in New York City, Hoffman sold two-dozen styles, and at the recent Premier trade-only show in Las Vegas, a retailer ordered 20 pieces plus a custom number. The merchant wanted diamonds to represent a scar motif.

Thaissa Voigt, manager at Wright’s in Manhattan Beach, Calif., and store owner Nancy McFarland were intrigued by the collection but were initially hesitant to buy. Would their shoppers find it offensive? Ultimately, they decided not.

“I think it’s a great idea to celebrate that you are here,” says Voigt. “I like the idea of different nipple colors because we are all so different. Everyone knows someone who had breast cancer and if you’re a survivor, why not celebrate it?”

Tata stud earrings in 14k yellow gold with 0.03 ct. pink sapphires, $423

Tata stud earrings in 14k yellow gold with 0.03 ct. pink sapphires, $423; Carrie Hoffman

Tata stud earrings in 14k yellow gold with 0.03 ct. smoky topaz, $423

Tata stud earrings in 14k yellow gold with 0.03 ct. smoky topaz, $423; Carrie Hoffman

Tata pendant necklace in 14k yellow gold with 0.03 ct. black diamond, $383

Tata pendant necklace in 14k yellow gold with 0.03 ct. black diamond, $383; Carrie Hoffman


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