Tag Archives: sell my diamonds

Beautifully Bizarre Jewelry

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In terms of personal style, some people just have to be different.  Whether that means dying one’s hair bright green and fashioning it into a pointy, potentially dangerous mohawk or just wearing white after Labor Day, there will always be rebels.  Some jewelry designers have tapped into this collective demand for odd, in ways that starkly challenge even the very concept of “alternative.”  Here were take a gander at some truly eye-popping and question raising works of weird.

Tears for Fears

One largely lachrymose designer thought that everybody just looked to darn happy.  The solution?  Why, teardrop jewelry, naturally.  Now this isn’t to say that he (Eric Klarenbeek, who hails from Holland – the country, not the Tunnel) created little tear shaped jewels with adhesive on the back that you stick to your cheek (although, that would be WAY simpler…)  What he constructed is a non-eyesight augmenting contact that has a short length of mostly invisible wire that hangs from it.  Glittering jewels are attached to the end and dangle in a sad display of faux misty-eyed fun.  A great gift for those who feel they don’t have enough jewelry directly connected to their ocular region.

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Ice, Ice…Maybe?

Ever feel like your jewelry just doesn’t melt enough.  Not like, “drip” down your body, but actually change form from ice into water.  The designer of these pieces (which are literally made out of ice) is the Germany based Katharina Ludwig; and she’s actually more of a conceptual artist than a designer.  The idea behind these clever and comely cooling devices is for them to be worn in the summer months, to combat the searing heat.  They look chic and glamorous initially, but then become more functional as they morph into self-contained air conditioners for the skin.  They come in earring, necklace and ring forms.  Just be weary if someone uses such a ring to propose to you.

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Paper or Plastic?

There’s sustainable jewelry, repurposed jewelry …and then there’s just trash.  Well, plastic bags that would otherwise end up as garbage in any other situation.  Italian artist/designer Giovanni Scafuro has come out with a collection of rings that is comprised solely of plastic bags.  Aside from being colorful and bursting with funky fun, these rings have a more serious implication.  They are made from plastic bags, one of the most toxic, widespread and irksome materials out there (they’re currently still littering virtually every kilometer of the planet, and have no means of being recycled).  Made from oil, and ultimately, forever remaining non-biodegrable, plastic bags are the bane of environmentalists across the globe.  Finally finding a purpose for them, Scafuro has shown the world that there always is a solution to even the most odious problem.

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Who Nose?

What better way to broadcast your love of your bestie beast than by getting an imprint of its nose in silver and wearing it all over town?  Well, that’s what Jackie Kaufman, an etsy.com superstar designer, thinks.  Any pet with substantial enough nostrils can have its nasal cavity copied on to a mold, and then transferred to a jewelry item that you can don with pride.  What if your favorite pet mammal happens to be human?  Sorry.  Canine, Feline and large rodent noses only.

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Plant one on ya’

Some quirky pieces can really grow on you; others actually grow on you.  Another Dutch innovator, Laurie Poast makes tiny potted plant necklaces that are so cute they produce “Awww!”s as well as oxygen.  She hand sews seeds into baby clay pots and hangs them with twine; thus taking sustainable jewelry to a heavenly/earthy level never before dreamed of.  If you’re thinking “This seems like too much work – I don’t want to have to worry about watering these dang plants,” then don’t fret; why not pair together your plant necklace with some nice ice jewelry?  This way as the ice melts, it will water your adorable neckpiece.  Now that is some serious Scandinavian sensibility.

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If you like it then you should put a jellyfish on it

This designer (Arata Fuchi) makes rings that eerily resemble living jellyfish.  …Not much else to say about that.

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-Joe Leone

Heavenly Jewelry Terms

starting with “H”

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Habille – some people are never satisfied, are they?  Unable to remain content with the lovely, first incarnation of cameo jewelry, the gentry of the 1840’s decided that the new ‘it’ item would be Habilles.  These are excessively large cameos that actually have other pieces of multi-dimensional jewelry placed on the figures depicted.  Meaning, the ivory lady hanging out in the cameo may be wearing diamond earrings and a necklace.  The name ‘Habille’ was used because “tacky” was already taken.

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Half-Hunter – is exactly what it sounds like (not really).  A ‘Hunting Case’ is the metal encasement that protects a pocket watch, ostensibly while you are on gentlemanly pursuits like day-laboring, engaging in a vigorous croquet match or, of course, tiny game hunting.  The half-hunter is when the glass is exposed – surely only wildly adventurous types would sport such a brazenly reckless and potentially unsafe device.

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Hallmark – much like the sappy greeting card company of the same name, a Hallmark is an intaglio (branded into the metal of fine jewelry) that is very respected and beloved by the peoples of the world.  The term is derived from the stodgy old British practice of goldsmiths being required to have their wears ‘assayed’ (analyzed for genuineness and caliber) at the official Goldsmith Hall – which the O.G.s (old goldsmiths) commonly referred to as ‘The Hall.’  Hence, a hallmark is an official grading of the quality of the metal, stamped right on those lil suckers.

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Handkerchief Ring – is not at all what is sounds like (actually, it is precisely that).  Fancy folk of yesteryear just simply couldn’t be bothered to hold  their handkerchiefs (or, heaven forfend, place them in their pockets!), so a ring was devised that has a chain hanging from it that leads to yet another ring.  In this deliciously dainty and completely necessary second ring, one could slip a handkerchief, or “nose rag,” through and let it flounce about, as the wearer went about their foppish affairs.

Handy Pins – are pins that happen to be handy.  Certain individuals, who happened to be alive during the late 1900’s, just needed a hand keeping their clothing fastened together.  These individuals may or may not have been aware of the somewhat recent invention of the ‘button.’

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Heishi – this is a jewelry style specific to San Felipe Pueblo and Santa Domingo natives now living in the American southwest, primarily New Mexico.  The main identifying characteristic of this jewelry type is the appearance of small shell and bead stones artfully arranged together.  Tiny holes are drilled into these elements which allow for string or twine to hold them tightly together.  Often turquoise, or stones of this hue, are used.  Many tourists who venture to the southwest purchase such items, looking strange as they return to their homes wearing the beautiful bracelets and necklaces along with their Crocs.

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Hellenism – or “heck-enism” for the easily offended, is the ancient Greek-specific style that was brought back into fashion by those crafty Neoclassicists around the 1700s.  See, Helen of Troy (that of ancient Greece, not upstate New York) was a Greek historical/mythological figure who was essentially the Joan Rivers of her day; adored, revered and a wicked judge of fashion.

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Higa – is one of the funnier things on this list.  A higa is a hand amulet, similar to the peace invoking ‘hamsa,’ only in this breed the hand is arranged in a way that is …not so nice.  With the thumb poking through the pointer and middle finger, the higa illustrates a very old, very dirty type of insult (use your imagination to figure out what that is supposed to represent…)  Higas still pop up in modern jewelry, especially in South America, and obviously make great gifts for people who are despised/clueless.

Holbeinesque – you know you’re cool when an entire style of jewelry is named after you.  Such is this case with Hans Holbein, who was tearing up the hot German art scene during the early 1500s.  Holbeinesque jewelry is recognized for having a nice sized center stone, typically oval, surrounded by chrome laden, intricate enamel work.  Became all the rage during the 1870s, in what was defined as the Neo-Renaissance period (much like when modern people go to the Renaissance Fair and speak in awful faux British accents).

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Hololith Ring – aside being fun to say, this is a lovely loop that adorns the finger, cut from one solid piece of gemstone or mineral.  This style of cutting gems is popular with the always jazzy jade.  The fairly preterite invention of Hololith rings symbolized a momentous step in gemstone liberation, as the proud gems showed they ‘don’t need no metal to be a strong, independent ring.’  Work.

Honeycomb – this is a design style made enormously successful by the fancy brand Van Cleef & Arpels during the economically booming epoch of the 1930s.  Those not living in the Dust Bowl would treat themselves to bracelets crafted in this snazzy pattern, which was actually borrowed from the ‘garter bracelets’ of the Victorian period, which were actually borrowed from bees.

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Horror Vacui – Mwah-ha-ha!  Yes, this jewelry classification is indeed scary.  Translated from the beautiful, dead language of Latin, this means “fear of empty space.”  In jewelry terms this signifies pieces that are completely jam packed with bulbous gemstones, gaudy designs and other hard-on-the-eyes objects.  A style endemic to many crowns, coronation items and floral pantsuits that your Aunt Rosy just can’t live without.

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Hotel Silver – any white metal that is desperately trying to pass itself off as authentic silver is referred to by this euphemism.  So don’t be fooled if someone tries to sound like they are giving you a fancy type of metal when presenting you with some bogus hotel silver (it really should be called “Motel Silver”).

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 -Joe Leone