Tag Archives: fashion

How Much Jewelry is Too Much to Wear at Once?

9 Guidelines

Diamond-Lighthouse-selling-Audrey-Tautou-Coco-Chanel

Coco Chanel once advised, “When accessorizing, always take off the last thing you put on.” It is commonly understood that jewelry overkill is a fashion no-no, but sometimes it’s hard to tell when you’ve crossed that line. What’s more, it’s hard to tell if you should take off the last two or three things you put on instead of just one.

There is no set rule about the number of pieces one should wear, but there are a few guidelines to follow when making the choice about whether to slip on that bracelet or to put it back on the velvet lining in your jewelry box and save it for next time.

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Guideline 1: Don’t allow your jewelry to distract from yourself and your outfit. When choosing what jewelry to wear, you should ask whether it will add or detract from your natural look and your outfit. For example, don’t wear a stack of bangles and a stack of necklaces. Opt for one stack if you’re a fan of the look. Wearing too much jewelry confuses onlookers and can ruin the beauty of your favorite piece. (source: Alexandra Styles)

Guideline 2: Although this contradicts the above statement that says there are no rules for how much jewelry to wear, there is at least one rule: Don’t wear big earrings and a big necklace. Instead, choose a focal piece to centralize your look and coordinate other pieces with it. (source: Wall Street Journal)

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Guideline 3: Coordinate your jewelry with the material you’re wearing. Thin silks and sheers do not go well with chunky jewelry, and the chunky jewelry can appear to be too much adornment. Similarly, tiny, thin chains on your necklace don’t usually suit a chunky sweater. (source: Street Directory, Wall Street Journal)

Guideline 4: Think about the vibe you’re aiming to achieve. If you’re going for boho, you can wear more jewelry. If you’re going for elegant, stay away from lots of jewelry, unless you have figured out how to layer necklaces like Coco. (Harper’s Bazaar)

Diamond-Lighthouse-selling-jewelry-Angelina-Joli

Guideline 5: Pay attention to your hair. If you have long hair and you plan to wear it down, dangly earrings may look chaotic or messy. If you have short hair or thin hair and you wear huge earrings, they may stand out too much and be distracting. In this case, the size of the jewelry makes it look like you are wearing too much. (source: Street Directory)

Guideline 6: Dress for the occasion. If you’re going to a fancy fundraiser dinner, match elegant jewelry and go big, but not too big. But if you’re going to the grocery store, class, or work, you might want to opt for less jewelry. (source: YouQueen)

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Guideline 7: No matter where you are, don’t wear jewelry that is noisy. Literally. While bangles are great, jingling bangles in a quiet library or at the workplace or not. Don’t be the annoying cubicle neighbor; quiet your jewelry. (source: Street Directory)

Guideline 8: If you’re wearing statement jewelry, wear one piece. Matching sets are usually too much. Save the necklace, bracelet, or earrings for another occasion. (source: Harper’s Bazaar)

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Guideline 9: Remember that jewelry isn’t a must-wear. Sometimes your clothing does all the work and you don’t need to add anything to it. For example, if you are wearing a top or dress with a low neckline, you don’t need jewelry. Your pretty collarbone is enough. However, choosing a pair of look-at-me statement earrings is a great idea to bring balance to your look. (source: Alexandra Styles)

Jewelry is a lot of fun, and well-placed jewelry can make you stand out. However, wearing too much jewelry at once or wearing all the wrong kind can make you stand out in a way you don’t want to. If you’ve got diamond jewelry you know is too much, contact us to find out more about your options to sell it!

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The World’s Best Jewelry Designers

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At times, jewelry can transcend mere fashion and reach the status of high art.  The following international designers consistently deliver their wares with such unpredictable ingenuity and stylistic acumen that they leave critics and consumers equally speechless.  Behold, the top ten highest rated jeweler designers currently dazzling the world stage.

Costis

credit: Costis.com
credit: Costis.com
credit: costis.com
Credit: costis.com

The Costis brand was officially established in 1994 in the land of piazzas and pizzas.  The key element that Costis employs in their designs is the concept of the ‘everyday turned fantastical.’  An ordinary pencil is transformed into a gem encrusted bracelet.  A fish monger’s barnacle laden net becomes a bizarrely fascinating and chic necklace.  Two kiwi slices are transmogrified into deliciously gilded earrings, while a skyscraper decadently descends to wrap around your index finger.  Whatever the commonplace inspiration, the pieces emerge as anything but ordinary.

Autore

credit: Pearlautore.com.au
Credit: Pearlautore.com.au

Autore has done a fabulous job of carving out a very specific and eye-catching niche for themselves.  They are the go-to designer for all pieces featuring the pulchritudinous pearl.  The signature element of their earrings, rings, necklaces and more, is this singular and most sought after treasure of the sea.  The pearls they showcase are not simply white, but come in a wide array of exotic and mixed colors.  Black pearls and south sea pearls are beautiful in their own right, but are brought to new levels of comely opulence when featured in Autore jewelry.

Efva Attling, Stockholm

credit: efvaattling.se
Credit: efvaattling.se

This Swedish designer brings an elegant and uniquely Nordic look to all her pieces.  There is something simultaneously warm (the bold colored gems) and icy (the sleek silver mountings) inherent to each of her stunning specimens.  Born Efva Katarina Attling, she spent a lot of time in the fashion world working as a model before crossing over to design.  She also,  un-ironically, was in a band called “X Models.”  The company motto governing their pieces is “beauty with a thought,” and you can really see how much thought goes into each alluring article.

via Wikipedia
via Wikipedia

Graff

credit: graffdiamonds.com
credit: graffdiamonds.com

Founded by the venerated Laurence Graff in 1960, this British jewelry behemoth has not shown any signs of slowing down.  Year after year the Graff conglomeration cranks out dynamic and dazzling numbers.  Graff is widely regarded as one of the premier designers in the elusive world of deluxe diamond jewelry.  Extremely rare and sought after diamonds, from pure whites to fancy vivids, are showcased in the Graff catalogue, a name synonymous with high end design and unlimited class.

Harry Winston

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Another monster name in the diamond jewelry world, Harry Winston is not afraid to push boundaries in his creations.  Having put a new spin on numerous classical looking pieces, from winter-themed, icicle reminiscent earrings to starkly striking, exquisitely contoured multi-colored diamond necklaces, Winston’s modern take on antique structures has been very well received.  This chap and his operation seems to be quite magnanimous as well; he coughed up the infamous Portuguese Diamond to the Smithsonian Institute in 1963.  Before that he relinquished the Hope Diamond to the very same museum.  You know you’re pretty financially sound when you can just give away the darn Hope Diamond.

Van Cleef and Arpels

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VC & A have been designing stunning and bold pieces since 1896.  Blending a variety of metals and gems in their jewelry, they somehow consistently make wondrously ostentatious works (that would come off as gaudy in the hands of less skilled designers).  As their pieces have been flaunted around the world on the likes of the Duchess of Windsor and film darling Grace Kelly, Van Cleef and Arpels has received quite a bit of international publicity.  Having famed diamond-ophile Liz Taylor as an unofficial spokesperson didn’t hurt this company either.  One of the more mystical design teams on this list, their items often contain wild floral elements, real and imagined creatures and even mischievous and whimsical fairies.

credit: vancleefarpals.com
credit: vancleefarpals.com

Piaget

credit: piaget.com
credit: piaget.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This swank Swiss outfit is known primarily for their luxury watches which just drip diamonds, but are major players in all high end jewelry forms as well.  Taking a piaget out of the book of adorable, Georges Edouard Piaget initially crafted a tiny watch workshop in 1874 on the family farm in a little hamlet in the Jura mountains of Switzerland.  As the company exploded onto the jewelry scene, they never lost sight of George’s primary goal of supplying superb craftsmanship and highly original designs.  Piaget currently owns and operates Geneva’s most massive jewelry workshop (something ole Georgey probably never dreamed of).  Their timeless timepieces adorn the wrists of anyone who’s anyone, including Athlete-of-our-Generation, Serena Williams (a testament to how sturdy the watches are too, as Serena wears hers while actually competing).

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Bulgari

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credit: bulgari.com
Credit: bulgari.com

Leave it to the Romans (or Rome-based designer Bulgari) to concoct a jewelry line that has some pieces which offer unprecedented, sheer regal elegance and others that look almost like the sleek shackles of an ancient (and stylish) prisoner.  Their signature, trademarked logo, where their name is spelled out “Bvlgari” (as the Italians of yore did not have a “u” in their alphabet), is as iconic as the brand’s illustrious assortment of pieces.  Bulgari boasts one of the most impressive collections of jewelry works which contain (some of) the world’s most sublimely scarce gemstones.

Cartier

Diamond-Lighthouse-selling-Cartier-jewelry-Sarah-Jessica-Parker

Cartier - via pinterest.com
Cartier – via pinterest.com
credit: Cartier.de
credit: Cartier.de

Cartier has never shied away from creating potentially polarizing jewelry parcels.  Perhaps it is because they are so highly regarded in the jewelry milieu that they have no qualms about engaging in daring experiments in form.  Their famous leopard head ring echoes lustrous Egyptian jewelry of yesteryear, while their “nail” ring embodies quite a funky take on modern design aesthetics.  As one of the oldest functioning jewelry companies on the planet (founded in Paris by Louis-Francois Cartier in 1847), Cartier holds a rich tradition of designing jewelry for the world’s most elite clientele, from heads of state to heads of movie studios to celebrity head cases.

Chopard

Diamond-Lighthouse-selling-Chopard-jewelry-necklace-Eva-Herzigova

The 1860, Swiss-born Chopard dynasty is unanimously held in the highest esteem in the realm of all things jewelry related.  Initially focused solely on watchmaking (the Swiss really have been adamant about perfecting watch designs), it wasn’t until over one hundred years after they were founded that they ventured into crafting other types of jewelry.  In recent years, Chopard has helped to pioneer the ‘green jewelry movement’ (which doesn’t mean it features just emeralds).  The official name given to their program is the somewhat ephemeral sounding “The Journey,” which was established to help create sustainable, fairly mined and assembled jewelry.  Hopefully all designers will follow suit in Chopard’s quest to design things that are as beautiful as they are ethically derived.

credit: us.chopard.com
Credit: us.chopard.com

 -Joe Leone 

Alluring Jewelry Terms

(Starting with “A”)

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This is the first installment of a multi part series on the etymology of some of the more esoteric, unconventional and ancient phrases in the wondrous world of precious metal and gemstone-based jewelry.

À jour – much like ‘soup du jour,’ this term is extra fancy, and extra French; it means “to the day,” and is as delicious as a lobster bisque.  À jour is a type of jewelry setting that became intensely popular in the 1800’s (just like the sexy steam locomotive and the scintillating stereoscope) where the back of the piece is left open.  This is so the sun can hit it with luscious light and BAM: instant solar style, as the jewel shimmers with glowing glee and bright alacrity.

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À la mercure – Ok, this one can be mercurial (and lethal).  Like the name suggests, we’re dealing with actual mercury here.  It’s a type of ‘gilding’ where you meld gold and mercury into a deadly stew and then gently apply it to a jewelry piece (like you would with White-Out to a sensitive document).  Then you burn the heck out of it with a torch or, in a pinch, a lighter with a saucy burlesque dancer etched on to it.  The heat from the fire sizzles the mercury away, leaving behind a smooth golden finish (just don’t breathe while doing this, kids!)

Diamond-Lighthouse-selling-jewelry-Christina-Aguilera

Aiguilettes – now commonly known as the name given to Christina Aguilera’s children, aiguilettes originally referred to thin little strips of material that held ribbons in place on women’s dresses in the 1400’s.  These stylishly ‘sharp’ items (derived from the French word for needle, “aguille”), became more and more fashionable and were eventually constructed from gold and featured various glittering gems.  They usually appeared in pairs, forming a small “v” or “bird in the distance in a painting” shapes.

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Allochromatic – just like the Allosaur that gets eaten in Jurassic World, this term has epic connotations.  The phrase “allochromatic” is applied to gems that exhibit a certain color…that is not what their chemical components dictate it should actually look like, but rather a hue which is purely visible due to the impurities therein.  Confused?  Good.  Here’s a nice example of allochroma in action: the highly valuable gemstone Sapphire.  Now, sapphire is blue, right?  Dead wrong! (as if you’ve been huffing mercury)  Sapphire is naturally a clear gem in it’s unadulterated state.  However, typically when it forms, iron and titanium particles get in there, alloying the true chemical composition.  These dirty little elements are what give sapphire that azure allure we know and heart.

Alluvial – this one is a little slippery: literally.  The phrase is really just an adjective meaning “deposited by water,” and in the jewelry universe this refers to precious metals (gold, silver, the Lord of the Rings ring) left behind in riverbed rocks.

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Amorphous – Honey Boo-Boo and Momma June jokes aside, amorphous things have no form at all.  What this means in gem terms, is that they are devoid of a “crystal structure.”  Popular gemstones such as amber and opal are amorphous, making them both great gifts for someone whom you want to express the message “Our love has no…form.”

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Arabesque – those who frequent hookah lounges will be familiar with the ornate and intricate style that is Arabesque.  Jewelry with extensive filigreed is often in the Arabesque category, which was definitely #trending during the 1500’s with the Renaissance art crowd.  Arabesque designs feature a lot of flowing flowers, hearts and in some rare cases, shawarma samples.

Archaeological Revival – this term is sort of self explanatory, but cool nonetheless.  When art loving Europeans of the 1700’s began digging stuff up from the Roman and Egyptian Empires, they fell in love with the style and started replicating it like mad.  Wearing a Cleopatra inspired golden asp headpiece became totally en vogue with the bourgeoisie crew.

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Argentan – if you receive a shiny silver gift with an intaglio on it proclaiming this word, then you have a right to be miffed.  It means that the metal is masquerading as actual silver, but, sadly, is not.  This information can be extremely useful when deciding whether or not to melt jewelry pieces down into bullets to combat attacking werewolves.

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Armilla – is just a super fancy word for an ‘armlet’ – a bracelet for the upper arm.  These have been around since the times when people fought lions with their bare hands for the entertainment of the masses (usually on the TNT network).  Roman soldiers wore these to signify rank, as well as for an excuse to show off their biceps.  Today, hordes of  inebriated girls wear them at Coachella.

Assay – is not that thing you had to write to get into college.  Assay is the procedure that jewelry items undergo to analyze the precise content of the precious metal they contain.  The results are often stamped right on the little guys (ie – “24 kt gold” or, in some less than fortunate cases, “100% tin foil”).

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Asterism – akin to the mighty asteroid, soaring through the cosmos, the concept of asterism is equally ephemeral and can scorch you if you attempt to grasp it.  …Well, not really.  It just signifies a star-like shape that forms when light hits certain, inclusion laden gems and then reflects out in said stellar fashion.  Basically, it’s like looking at a jewel-born asterisk*

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Aventurescence – if you are a gem and you possess this quality, it means you are ready for adventure!  …Or something to that effect.  When stones have aventurescence, they have an entirely unique brand of sparkle to them.  Gems that exhibit this property are chocked full of various mineral inclusions that are too hard to spell or pronounce (and in some cases, sound completely inappropriate).  Not a believer?  Just try to say “fuchsite” in polite society and see what happens.

-Joe Leone