I love a bit of bling. Not because it is expensive (which it needn’t be) but for its decorative value.
I don’t have expensive heirloom pieces (sob,sob) because I didn’t come from that sort of family.
And my passion and ways of wearing jewellery has changed over the years, partly because I studied diamonds and jewellery in my gemology diploma but also because my style has changed with age.
Having grown up in Sweden I was lucky enough to have Swedish geniuses such as H&M and Gina Tricot (yet to come to the UK) where they have really nailed throwaway costume jewelry, it’s very fashion orientated and with the times.
So naturally my girlfriends and I was dripping in big fake gold hoops (it was early 90’s, don’t judge me), long gold chains and stacked bracelets (starting to sound like gypsies now and I must really have looked like one with my permanent tan and super blond hair, come think of it...)
|With fashion icons like these in the '90's what was to become of me?|
Throughout my late teens and early 20’s I think I tried to find my jewelry niche, going from wearing big statement costume jewellery pieces to compliment my outfit, to gaining my degree and with that an understanding of finer jewellery.
My taste however has always been contemporary, never has an emerald, sapphire nor ruby been spotted in my jewellery box.
Jewellery used to be all about status and wealth, but these days it’s fundamentally there to be decorative, to light up the face, to enliven a sober outfit.
If you do go for custom jewellery though, don’t do dinky. Whats the point?
It looks timid and uninteresting. Wear great chunky plastic and rough stones. To buy and wear costume jewellery takes a bit more courage and something of an eye.
You cant take refuge in it being made by a grand designer but therein also lies the fun.
I have been very privileged to be working with and around many beautiful and talented designers and brands (I even designed 2 heavy set pieces for William&Son, former Asprey which was later featured in Harpers Bazaar, my claim to fame), all ranges from Stephen Webster to Cartier, and I have along the way gathered a few favourites that I during my life time would like to get my hands on.
Stephen Webster and Shaun Leane as well as Theo Fennell, our Brits to be proud of, all produce flashy, edgy pieces that are all very rock n’ roll (interesting how they all studied and worked together at one point) and i’m proud to say that I an owner of more than a few pieces from them all.
|Shaun Leane's master piece for Boucheron "The Queen of the night" with precious gold and sapphire flowers, who has a secret mechanism that close and open up the flowers to reveal a delicate ruby and diamond setting inside.|
|This skull pirate ring by Theo Fennell is hand carved out of mammoth tooth (don't ask me how) and set with 18ct yellow gold, even in the tooth|
|My beautiful intertwined diamond ring by Stephen Webster|
Going on to the more heavy weight people in the jewellery game, we of course have previously mentioned Cartier. A favourite of mine is the Love bangles, I would love to have 3 stacked on my arm, like I have seen on Tamara Ecclestone, in full diamond, part diamond and just plain gold. The epitome of chic. That would also cost me a small car but never the less, one can but dream...
|Just 3 of these, that is all i ask for...|
Another gem is of course Chanel, those pearls can make any outfit look classy (such a shame there are too many fakes on the market now, and good ones too for that matter!)
Whilst working with Chanel fine jewellery I discovered my engagement ring.
No i’m not engaged. And no, I haven't even found anyone who would buy it for me for that purpose, although to be honest, any purpose would do. Its priced at a mere 50,000 sterling. Enough to scare any man off who would ever even consider the idea of proposing to me.
But it is so divine, it might just be worth it. As the ring is a one off, there are no images of it, I can only describe it as a dainty bow wrapped around your finger, its is so intricate that it looks like it is soft and malleable, it is covered in diamonds and from the bow hangs a loose pear shaped diamond. So if you happen to see it around... it's mine!
Now if I however happened to love the man more than this particular ring, I do have a second option. Shaun Leane has yet again created a master piece in the shape of a unique and unusual design that can be paired together, the three rings perfectly interlock and intertwine to symbolise love and unity, forever. The rings would be given at different occasion, so the engagement ring first, then the wedding band when time comes and last but not least, the eternity ring. Ahh, how blissfully romantic. So I have got the ring. Now all I need is the man!
|As individual rings|
|Beautifully put together|
I don't know what girl haven't dreamt of owning the Van Cleef and Arpels clover necklace and earring, oh lets go for the bracelet too whilst we are at it. Especially us Harrods girls, having seen Marigay Mckee (beauty and fashion director and all over my mentor) swooning around in her white set as well as black set....sigh... During my meetings with her, I must have resembled a drooling, staring oddball who discreetly tried to touch her bracelet as we shook hands. No wonder I was never promoted there.
|Van Cleef & Arpels clover necklace. Not Marigay's I promise.|
Nowadays, I am more conservative and I guess, a little boring in my choice of jewellery. I have my favourite pieces, which I always wear, no matter what outfit. It’s a Tiffany necklace with a 3ct diamond, very simple and beautiful. The only item from Tiffany I would ever wear. The brand is simply to Americanised for my taste.
|My simple and delicate Tiffany necklace|
On my right hand I wear the most beautiful ring by Boucheron; A Quatre, at first glance it looks like a stack ring but is really just different types of gold, yellow, white and blackened (oxidised) gold together with a row of diamonds. The left hand is still waiting for that Chanel.
|Boucheron A Quatre ring|
On my wrist I tend to wear my trusty Hermes bangle in black and gold or my Shamballa bracelet, although, those too have now been too copied by everyone else.
One newcomer on the luxury market is Elvina Jewellery. This is for the serious jewellery connoisseurs (like the man who will purchase my Chanel...) that wants something that no one else has.
We are talking the Sheiks, the Russians and, probably, Tamara Ecclestone. But with a competitive price point that competes with branded heavy weights such as Chopard and Cartier there really is a market for this even for us mortals.
So many times have I heard an Arab gentleman asking if a piece is exclusive, and when having been told there are only 5 pieces in the world, has said it’s too many. Mass production in his eyes.
So yes, to be able to create your own piece with as many top quality diamonds as you could possibly want, is a necessity to some. But also, to us mortals, to design your own wedding ring or your own special necklace is a opportunity not many would say no to. Each piece is produced on a made to order basis and is totally unique and designed to the client’s needs and requirements.
|Diamond bracelet with round and marquise shaped diamonds and pear shaped drops set in platinum|
|Diamond necklace with marquise, round brilliant and pear drop design set in platinum|
|Round diamond necklace with a twist and round brilliant accents, a drop design consisting of graduated pear shaped diamonds set in platinum.|
|"D" flawless pear shaped diamond solitaire with marquise accents set in platinum|
|Diamond earrings, marquise shaped tops with short round and pear shaped drops set in platinum.|
The pieces they offer are, as can be seen in the examples above, of exceptional quality in terms of quality of stone, design and workmanship. Worth mentioning is also that the head designer was formally the head designer at the world's two leading high end jewellery brands. What more could you ask for?
As I mentioned previously, everything they produce is fully bespoke, which means that they do not have brand-level overheads of marketing costs, and so they are able to pass on these savings to the clients, who receive a world class product, designed by an industry leader, made entirely to their specifications at a price that is hard to compete with.
Food for thought, if you are engaging on that level.
Now for watches, which to me, is as important as jewellery.
I belong to the girls who wear men's watches. The chunkier the better. Maybe it is because i have the wrists and hands of a man, a small dainty watch would just look silly on me.
I fell in love with Hublot about the same time that I fell in love with my boyfriend. I don’t know which happened first.
|One of my loves, the Big Bang|
More importantly he picked up on my new found love and 2 years in gave me my first Hublot, a black Big Bang with white diamonds. Due to lack of imagination most probably, I a year later also received the white Big Bang, with white diamonds. But who am I to complain. I doubt I will ever stop wearing them.
The only watch I am lusting after is the Rolex gents Day date with diamond dial. As you can see, it’s not hard to please me.
|My future love, I hope.|
I can go on and on about the history of jewellery it's amazing brands and fascinations, however since the first known pieces of jewellery trace back about 90,000 years, it is nothing I would like to bore you with.
As long as you know what it does for you and where to get the best for you and your loved ones, that is all that matters.