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Top Up & Coming Jewelry Designers

via Queensbee.ru
via Queensbee.ru

We recently took a look at the world’s highest rated designers/design conglomerates, and their heart-stopping pieces.  This week, we turn focus to some of the most promising and stylishly precocious young designers in the land.  Here are ten of the most gifted and inspiring originators currently rocking the American jewelry scene.

Sophie Monet – This designer embodies several quite enviable traits.  She not only comes up with innovative designs on the reg, she often crafts them out of totally sustainable materials too.  Her interest in textured wood and its interplay with alternative gemstones and metals has fostered one incredibly unique, sophisticated and highly wearable collection.  Anyone who fancies natural substances in their jewelry will love this crafty Californian’s brilliant conceptions.

via twitter.com/SophieMonet
via twitter.com/SophieMonet

sophiemonetjewelry.com

one standout piece:   THE HOWLITE CUFF

via SophieMonetJewelry.com
via SophieMonetJewelry.com

 

Rhianna Cooper – Our next rising star got her start selling her winsome wares on the endlessly colorful and vibrant Boardwalk of Venice Beach, CA.  She states that her pieces are inspired by “Indian, Ancient Egyptian, and Native American culture,” and one can truly see the internationally zesty melange of time tested styles mingling with entirely modern, ground breaking and fun concepts.  Her brand is named Vida Kush (translated to “Live Gold” in Spanish/Ancient Egyptian, obviously) and her bold gold aesthetic is truly transcendental.

via instagram.com/rhirhicooper/
via instagram.com/rhirhicooper/

vidakush.com

one standout piece:  Rose Quartz Body Choker

via vidakush.myshopify.com
via vidakush.myshopify.com

 

Jennie Kwon – Trying to pin down the exact definition of a 21st Century Renaissance Woman?  Look no further than Jennie Kwon, a virtuoso violinist turned shrewd corporate lawyer turned loving mother (of twins!) turned dynamic designer of elegant and endlessly classy pieces.  Her style is simultaneously simple and gallantly defined.  She utilizes clean lines and diminutives gems in a way that makes each piece pop in an utterly refined yet daring way.  She also doesn’t shy away from getting creatively cute at times.

via ofakind.com
via ofakind.com

jenniekwondesigns.com

one standout piece:  GRAY DIAMOND DROP NECKLACE

via jenniekwondesigns.com
via jenniekwondesigns.com

 

Scosha Woolridge – Hailing from the land down under, this dashing designer navigated the better part of the globe before finding an inspiring nest in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg.  The Scocha brand is actually quite established (with locations in high end stores all around the world), but still makes this list as visionary creator Woolridge seamlessly blends the beautiful with the thought-provoking, in a manner that is entirely fresh and new.  Each of her pieces is a singular work of art, often encapsulating ruggedly asymmetrical precious metals and imaginatively structured gemstones.

via seedsandfruit.com
via seedsandfruit.com

scosha.com

one standout piece:  LOLLI STUDS WITH MIXED STONES

via shop.scosha.com
via shop.scosha.com

 

Haim Medine – With roots firmly grounded in the upscale jewelry industry (his NYC based family is entrenched in the business), Haim desperately needed to break free and let his own ingeniously different ideas flourish.  His jewelry focuses on gold items, fashioned primarily to represent the everyday turned magical.  His pieces make you look at things with a wide-eyed perspective; a youthful eye.  He deemed his line “Khai Khai,” which was his childhood nickname and symbolizes the nascent wonder inherent in his work.

via scenemag.com
via scenemag.com

khaikhaijewelry.com

one standout piece:  Starsplosion Ring

via khaikhaijewelry.com
via khaikhaijewelry.com

 

Julia Kharitonova – No jewelry artist out there is able to meld sheer imagination, the natural world and the spiritual realm like Kharitonova.  Another designer that draws inspiration from all corners of the planet; her work is bolstered by recent soul expanding trips to India, the splendorous opulence of her native Russia’s Moscow, and the pulsing heart of New York City.  Her line “Queensbee” unabashedly showcases an incredibly vast array of eye catching items, which include the brazenly colorful and sensationally sparkling to the subtler, more muted and naturally derived.  The internationally diverse Queensbee certainly accommodates all manner of existing tastes, and can awaken you to entirely new ones.

via instagram.com/queensbee/
via instagram.com/queensbee/

queensbee.ru

one standout piece:  KALI EARRINGS

via Queensbee.ru
via Queensbee.ru

 

Eddie Borgo – Post-modern; skeletal; fascinating; irresistibly magnetic; these are just some of the words that spring to mind when viewing one of Borgo’s creations.  He describes his delightfully outré collection as a “study in geometric classicism,” and his knowledge of architectural design is evidently deep.  His jagged, beautifully bleak pieces can somehow be ethereal and fundamentally grounded at the same time.  The sleek and shimmering outlines of a megalopolis meet the savagely sensual contours of a rose’s thorn; Borgo is nothing if not a fecund master of the obscurely original.

via nymag.com
via nymag.com

eddieborgo.com

one standout piece:  FROND CUFF

via eddieborgo.com
via eddieborgo.com

 

Madyha Farooqui – When someone has a true, heartfelt appreciation for the natural beauty intrinsic to gemstones, you can vividly see it in their work.  New York based Farooqui is the perfect example of just such an individual.  Many of her designs intentionally take second fiddle to the precious stones featured, in a deliberate attempt to let the gems’ resplendency take center stage.  That’s not to say that this designer isn’t exquisitely capable of conjuring up some highly inventive and whimsical creations.  Her starkly fabulous Art Deco themed Chrysler building ring and her Olive Branch knuckle ring (which literally extends the olive branch along one’s finger) are objects of sublime invention.

via minmote.no
via minmote.no

madyhafarooqui.com

one standout piece: NOLITA COCKTAIL RING

via madyhafarooqui.com
via madyhafarooqui.com

 

Barbara Campbell – Certain creators are blessed with an insurmountable entrepreneurial spirt that works in tandem with an overflowing portmanteau of talent.  This is precisely the case with Campbell, whose stunning collection of exclusively hand-made jewelry just begs to be worn.  A true Brooklyn-ophile in every respect, her design studio (which is accessible to the public at select times via reservation) is a Crown Heights mainstay, giving a lucky few a first-hand look into the inner workings of an agilely creative mind.  Her jewelry incorporates a lot of gold and black mixtures, which can range from classically sophisticated to trail-blazingly rock ’n roll.  Oh, by the way, she also produces “Accessories, Handbags, Clothing, Hair Accessories, Beauty Designs and Products,” as if running a highly successful jewelry line wasn’t enough.

via linkedin.com
via linkedin.com

barbaracampbellnyc.com

one standout piece: Organic Luna Bracelet

via barbaracampbellnyc.com
via barbaracampbellnyc.com

 

Jennifer Fisher – Having a signature look can be the defining factor that separates you from your peers, and Jenna Fisher is certainly no stranger to this concept.  Having originally conceived ‘golden dog tags’ (with her son’s name on them, specifically intended for her own use; a creation that actually helped launch her into the design business), she promptly found her niche.  Jewelry which clearly spells out messages is simply her thing.  Her other key items are gold cuffs with diamonds inlaid that proudly broadcast dates, names and witticisms to the world.  Add to this a fervent assemblage of gold skulls, safety pins and a host of wildly inspired accruements and you’ve uncovered the alluring essence that is Fisher’s trademark.

via popsugar.com
via popsugar.com

jenniferfisherjewelry.com

one standout piece:  CUFF WITH 4 SLAY FONT BURNISH LETTERS

via jenniferfisherjewelry.com
via jenniferfisherjewelry.com

 

-Joe Leone 

Engagement Ring #Trends: Fall 2015

via etsy.com
via etsy.com

When it comes to buying engagement rings, most people tend to (smartly) play it safe.  Jumping on some new and zany trend clearly may not be the most practical move when we’re talking about an item that is supposed to last for the duration of you and your partner’s *eep* lives.  Luckily, there are some jewelry “trends” that do such an exquisite job of staying within the boundaries of class and sophistication, they will undoubtedly be able to go the distance.

The following styles are not just currently popular; they each hold a certain uniqueness that right recipient may verily identify with.  Read on to see which variety may perfectly suit your soon-to-be betrothed, thereby ensuring an elated “YES!” – as opposed to a “Wow, well…it really is something.

Twist and Shout

via etsy.com
via etsy.com

The Twist style is definitely not a new fad, but is seeing quite the surge in popularity these days.  Dating as far back as the Victorian era, twisted bands are cool for a multitude of reasons.  First, they look very intriguing, as if the wearer’s hand is ensconced in a vine and ivy laden forrest.  Second, they symbolize an entwining of two partners, in what could be perceived in a highly (*giggle*) sensual manner.  Just think, the people entering into this eternal bond of marriage, their bodies wrapped around each other, for life.  Also, this is a nice pick if you just happen to like knitting.

Do I Detect an Accent?

via etsy.com
via etsy.com

As far as accents go, this year it’s go bold or go home (to your native land).  There are actually a lot of ring styles and designs that fit into this category, so let’s examine a few of them.  First, there are the floral inspired bands, which feature some flouncy flower element to them.  Either tiny petals encircling a center stone, little leaves around the band or some other incarnation of naturally grown, blossoming beauty.  Next, there are the bows.  An elegant bow can enhance the aesthetics of an otherwise humdrum ring (however, try not to go overboard here, as a big, bouncy bow will make the ring look like a cartoonish cotillon present).  Last, rings that feature a center diamond (or other gemstone) that is cut in an irregular shape or fashion.  Within this sub-genre would be the rough cut diamond grouping.  These stones can be breathtaking, and wholly represent “raw beauty.”

I can see your Halo…Halo

via etsy.com
via etsy.com

The double halo.  This angelic motif has been around for a while, but has really been gaining momentum as of late.  The obvious benefits of a halo setting are that it really directs the eye to the center of the ring and also gives the main attraction stone an added bolstering of melee side-sparkle.  In addition, the halo aides in giving the illusion that the primary stone is somehow larger.  Ergo, two halos do twice the heavy lifting in this sparkle-enhancing context.  Twin halos also make the ring look “stacked,” as if there are just so many layers of diamonds on the thing, that it’s got to be extraordinarily valuable (not to say that that’s anyone’s goal or anything, *cough cough*).

Deco the Halls with Art 

via etsy.com
via etsy.com

For the Gatsby-loving Gal, Art Deco can be the way to go.  The current climate of ring design, and the general ethos surrounding engagement ring culture is that you can’t miss with pieces from, or inspired by, this era.  Either actual vintage items from the 20’s/30’s or ones just now designed to recreate that distinct look, Art Deco rings have a style like no other.  The mixing of colored gemstones, the rectangular and oblong cuts, the juxtaposition of the simple and the ornate; all leave quite the impression on one’s finger.  There’s just something ravishingly regal and cool about Art Deco rings, as if the wearer is both elegant and refined, but also knows how to pop bottles and get down, flapper style.

This quartet of ring styles embodies what is currently trending; yet they each should have true staying power in their own right.  If you think your special someone may prefer a more traditional mounting, by all means, go with your intuition.  In truth, your best bet is to either ask their close friends what they really want or (depending on the kind of relationship you have) just ask them outright.  While any ring will be appreciated, one that really speaks to them will be forever #adored.

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-Joe Leone 

Famous Men’s Wedding Bands

Men don’t get much play when it comes to wedding rings in the media, but several style icons are worthy of mention for the expression of themselves and their marriages they wear on their left hands. Here’s a look at some inspiring male celebrity nuptial styles.

David Beckham

Diamond-Lighthouse-selling-David-Beckham-ring

Since Posh Spice’s 13 wedding rings get so much attention, it seems that Beckham’s flair for changing his own gets brushed under the rug. One of his most incredible rings is blazed with four rows of diamonds, and a simpler favorite of his is a simple platinum wedding band. When the Beckhams tied the knot in 1999, David wore a not-so-simple platinum piece that boasted square-cut diamonds. Maybe he gets a new one for himself each time he gets one for Victoria!

Chris Pratt

Diamond-Lighthouse-selling-Chris-Pratt-ring

Humorous duo Chris Pratt and Anna Faris have been married since 2009, and Pratt is a simple guy too. He wears the same plain gold wedding band he’s been wearing since before he became the adorably normal yet extraordinary Lego hero and an intergalactic thief-turned-superhero. While they’re not superheroes on the big screen, several pop music superheroes wear simple gold wedding bands too, including Justine Timberlake, who went for a thin design, and Kanye West, who got a thick and surprisingly simple band. When Jay-Z and Beyonce renewed their vows a few years ago, HOVA got a simple gold band too.

Johnny Depp

Diamond-Lighthouse-selling-Johnny-Depp-ring

Not known for following the rules of tradition, Johnny Depp surprised fans and Hollywood aficionados by wearing a delicate women’s ring on his ring finger—but it wasn’t just any girly ring. The ring belonged to his fiancé, Amber Heard. The media wasted no time speculating about its meaning, even though Depp himself said the meaning of it was obvious. The couple were wed in a small ceremony on an island in February 2015.

President Barack Obama

Diamond-Lighthouse-selling-President-Obama-ring

The Commander-in-Chief’s wedding band became the subject of debate after an article in a right-wing newspaper pointed out that he wore it before his wedding and that it was from Indonesia. The newspaper essentially said the ring indicated he was a “closet Muslim” because they alleged it had an inscription on it, while many other sources simply marveled at its intricate design. The accusation seems to have been deemed ludacris, now having its own page under the “Urban Legend” category on about.com. The ring itself is a gold band with elegantly etched wavy patterns—not inscriptions—around its entirety that was made in an Indonesian town where he lived for three years while he was a boy.

Prince William

Diamond-Lighthouse-selling-Prince-William-Kate-Middleton

In what Americans thought was a rebellious move, Prince William is going against tradition and joining the ranks of the Duke of Edinburgh, who shirked the wedding band idea altogether. While many people seemed slightly outraged by his choice, spokespeople for the British royals simply explained that it was simply because His Highness “isn’t one for jewelry.”

Jeremy Renner

Diamond-Lighthouse-selling-Jeremy-Renner-wedding-ring

Hawkeye of Avengers: Age of Ultron had his eye on privacy when he married Sonni Pachecho last year in a marriage that sadly dissolved pretty quickly. Even though his marriage didn’t last, his style did, with Renner’s thick tungsten band fitting in with a very popular style for modern men.

It seems the market for men’s unusual and original wedding bands is picking up due to closer media attention to the cost of marriage and more advice on how to save big bucks on items that used to be deemed necessary. Necessity has borne originality as well, making room for more sparkle in men’s jewelry. If you have a diamond to sell, you can capitalize on the growing market for prettier men’s jewelry with Diamond Lighthouse.

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Are Millennials Killing the Wedding Industry?

Diamond-Lighthouse-selling-want-to-get-married

Well, not quite yet, it would appear – but many wedding service professionals are biting their nails nonetheless.

‘What’s so bad about Millennials?’ you may ask (not taking into consideration their unruly facial hair and/or knitted beanie hats).  Aside from their love of all things tech and their rejection of some traditional customs, Millennials (individuals currently aged 18 to 34) are just as prone to consume as the next generation.  So what’s the fuss about?  The short answer is that this chunk of the population isn’t getting married…as quick as people once did.
Continue reading Are Millennials Killing the Wedding Industry?

Rough or Polished: How Do You Take Your Diamonds?

Diamond-Lighthouse-broker-polished-stones

Diamond-Lighthouse-broker-rough-raw-stones

 

For many, many generations, diamonds have been inexorably linked to an image of sparkling brilliance.  The shinier the stone, the more elegant, luxurious and opulent one would appear.  Yet a trend has surfaced over the last few years in particular: that of showcasing rough, or unpolished, diamonds in jewelry.  It sounds peculiar at first, to be in possession of such an expensive item and then intentionally hiding the main feature that has traditionally been associated with its beauty.  However, in context to the way world trends have evolved, it makes perfect sense.  People have become increasingly aware of the global environment, as evidenced by the “Green Movement” and “going organic.”  Celebrities have come down off the untouchable pedestals they formerly reigned from and now communicate personally with fans on a daily basis, as they “tweet” up a storm.  The veneer of dignity that protected the government and its agendas has all but vanished as even the most patriotic citizen now questions the intentions of their elected officials.  Ironically, as we live in a cyber-age where “virtual” has become the norm, things have also been moving in a direction towards that which is “real” and natural.  So why shouldn’t diamond displays follow suit?

Continue reading Rough or Polished: How Do You Take Your Diamonds?