Collector Obsession: Ann Lois’ Love Affair with Bold Gold Jewelry

MIAMI. It was on a trip to Palm Springs, Calif., 25 years ago when Ann Lois fell in love with oversize gold designs. The engineering executive stumbled across the Denise Roberge Gallery, brimming with fine art and robust selections of high-karat-gold jewelry of the merchant’s own handiwork. Spying a pair of 22k gold squarish, huggie-style drop earrings with scroll motifs, Al (as friends call her) snapped up the pair after being wowed by their size—a standout for her petite 5’4’’ frame—and by their compelling design and clip-on posts.

“It’s difficult to find earrings that I like and will wear,” she explains. “And I had never seen anything like them, not even in my travels on the East Coast.”

Over the years Al has added about 14 more pieces to her Roberge collection. Other acquisitions include large clip-on charms like an open heart affixed to an oversize chain-link necklace, several rings (two that she always wears together), and bracelets. For Al, it’s the weight of the gold, the richness of the color, and the Etruscan-inspired design of the pieces that got her hooked.

22k gold rings from Denise Roberge

Rings in 22k gold from Denise Roberge that reside in Ann Lois’ personal collection. Al wears these together.


“Unfortunately, every time afterwards I went to her store I bought something,” continues a modestly vexed Al. “I’ve even bought pieces from her over the phone when I couldn’t get to Palm Springs.”

Her favorite: a strand of plump freshwater pearls she bought on a hank (industry lingo for a strand of unset or loose pearls). Roberge strung them and added a custom clasp. Using leftover pearls, Roberge made drop earrings that include the same ruby accents she used for the clasp of the necklace. Al was smitten. “I’ll never see these anywhere else,” she says.


22k gold clasp and freshwater pearl necklace from Denise Roberge

A strand of freshwater pearls and 22k gold clasp that Denise Roberge created for Al.


Not surprisingly, admirers have been abundant—and demanding. “They all ask, ‘Where did you get those?’” adds Al.


Ann Lois is a longtime jewelry collector and fan of Denise Roberge’s work, but she’s also interested in learning about the vast landscape of other jewelry designers working in rich karat gold. Below, we offer 12 options to fuel her obsession and help her keep on collecting.

Gurhan 22k gold jewelry

Spell Hue drop earrings in 24k gold feature freshwater pearls that drop from the lobe 1.60”, $3,250; Gurhan, 646-230-1122,


Cuff in 22k gold by Gurhan

Pointelle cuff in 22k gold with 0.9 ct. t.w. diamonds, $14,500; Gurhan, 646-230-1122,



20k gold Buddha Mama jewelry

Lantern pendant necklace in 20k gold with a 4.27 ct. octagonal London blue topaz, 0.64 ct. t.w. diamonds, and white enamel, $9,100; Buddha Mama at June Simmons Jewelry, Sarasota, Fla., 941-388-4535,

20k gold Buddha Mama jewelry

Lantern bangle in 20k gold with a 6.11 ct. oval blue zircon, 5.06 cts. t.w. pink tourmaline, and enamel, $25,700; Buddha Mama at Neiman Marcus Chicago, 800-642-4480

Ring in 22k gold by Margery Hirschey

Ring in 22k gold with an 8.25 ct. emerald, $6,700; Margery Hirschey, 303-443-0893,


Margery Hirschey 22k gold and emerald earrings

Drop earrings in 22k gold with baroque-shape freshwater pearls and 3.83 cts. t.w. emeralds, $1,750; Margery Hirschey at Bloom by Anuschka, 720-941-2862,


Earrings in 22k gold from LALAoUNIS

Earrings from the Minoan-Mycenean collection in 22k gold, $14,500; LALAoUNIS, 212-439-9400



Necklace in 22k gold from LALAoUNIS

Necklace from the Minoan-Mycenean collection in 22k gold, $43,6800; LALAoUNIS, 212-439-9400


Victor Velyan ring

Ring in 24k gold and sterling silver with a 3.35ct black opal and 0.34 ct. t.w. diamonds, $19,580;  Victor Velyan, 213-955-5950,

Cuff in 18k and 24k gold by Victor Velyan

Bracelet in 18k and 24k gold with South Sea pearls and 3.19 cts. t.w. diamonds, $38,500; Victor Velyan, 213-955-5950,

Earrings in 18k gold with pearls by Katy Briscoe

Earrings in 18k gold with natural peach-color Chinese freshwater pearls, 1.76 cts. t.w. violet-color sapphires, and 0.83 ct. t.w. tourmalines and diamonds, $20,000; Katy Briscoe, 713-662-9886,


Medium-size cuff in 18k gold with 3.16 cts. t.w. diamonds, $35,000; Katy Briscoe, 713-662-9886,

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