Monthly Archives: February 2013

Don’t Cross Me


Some crosses I’ve collected over the years

I’ve been collecting crosses for years, I and I have more than I really want to admit! I have everything from a teeny tiny yellow gold Etruscan style cross, to a 3 1/2 inch bejeweled Pope – worthy blue topaz and rhodolite garnet sparkler. Speaking of the Pope, today seemed like an appropriate day to write about crosses, with this being his last day in office. Wait, office? Something tells me that’s not right.

As you may be able to tell, I’m not exactly religious, and have always been drawn to crosses for purely aesthetic purposes. Whenever I travel I love to visit churches and drool over their architecture, collections of religious art and statuary.

Growing up in a Jewish/Catholic house I thought everyone colored Easter eggs, ate matzo, and watched Charlton Heston part the red sea while frying up some potatoe pancakes for Easter/Passover dinner, well, apparently not.

When it comes to wearing crosses you have to be careful how you style your look, because if it’s too small it can tend to look serious and sweater-sety and if they’re too big, it can tend to look kind of 80’s and Madonna-ish. So, like with most things I like to layer and mix a bunch of pieces together to keep the look fun.





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Posted by on February 28, 2013 in Jewelry


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Greek Dressing

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a new addition to my collection. The Romanesque necklace is inspired by 19th century Greco – Roman Revival jewelry. “Victorians we’re fascinated with ancient history. For them history meant revivals. Archeological discoveries and published accounts of ancient historical events and epics prompted revivals of jewelry styles from ancient and medieval cultures.” (1) There we’re other styles of revivalist jewelry as well during the 19th century, such as Etruscan, Archaeological and  Renaissance Revival.

The centerpiece of the necklace is a vintage green glass intaglio pendant depicting a warrior in profile. This was a typical motif in Greco-Roman Revivalist jewelry, which remained a popular movement in design from the mid 19 century onward.


The intaglio pendant is suspended from a vintage, antique gold tone chain in a swag style, accented with tiny textured, antique silver toned cross charms.

But don’t let all of this historical crap scare you off. The Romanesque necklace is an easy to wear piece with plenty of casual cool, that looks great with jeans and a T shirt!

There are new pieces on the website!! Take a peek!!!

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1. Christie Romero, Warman’s Jewelry, Identification and Price Guide (Iola, WI: Krause, 2002),55.


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Chain Gang

louise Brooks It’s probably a safe bet to say that long  chains ,diamond or otherwise, are going to start popping up all over the place (probably so much so, that eventually the sight of one will make me want to strangle myself with it), after Best Actress Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence dazzled in a diamond one on the Red Carpet last Sunday.

Diamond chains, popularized during the Edwardian and later Art Deco period evoke a 1920’s flapper style when worn long. They can also be layered with other pieces to put a new twist on any pendant or necklace you already have in your collection can be wrapped around the neck multiple times, depending on the length and can even be wrapped around the wrist as the ultimate layered bracelet look.  In recent years, Tiffany & Co. has brought this look to the forefront of style with their Elsa Peretti Diamonds by the Yard collection.

multi 2 copy

When I worked at a super-high end Madison Avenue Red Carpet estate jeweler to the stars, we carried an amazing collection of diamond chains, everything from a delicate 20″ 5 carat chain, to a whopping 100″ 120 carat diamond and platinum dazzler. And yes, they are pricey, but at any carat weight they are such a versatile and wearable, everyday piece. That’s right, I said it, EVERYDAY.  Let’s be honest, using the “everyday” tactic to convince yourself to splurge on an expensive piece of jewelry, doesn’t work. Well, at least it doesn’t work for me. Probably because I love EVERYTHING way too much, sure I’ll wear the new piece for a week straight, but, I’ve yet to wear something every day. I love to change my jewelry all the time and show it all some love. So, the moral of my rambling is, just buy it and enjoy it and don’t make yourself crazy. You don’t have to become one with your new bauble.

multicolor chains

Another option if you like the long chain necklace look, but you might want something in a color, or maybe aren’t looking to make a major investment, you can get a similar look with a faceted semi precious beaded chain. Some gemstones that are often found styled this way are Spinel (which is a sparkly black stone that looks like black diamonds), tourmaline (which is mined in every color of the rainbow) or labradorite (which is a neutral greyish champagne color). Try something new and it might just become your signature !

And while you’re at it – check me out the collection, new pieces were just added –

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Also, stop in at Eight of Swords Boutique at 115 Grand street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to try on my collection!!!

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Posted by on February 26, 2013 in Jewelry


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Oscars Baby!!!

Well, the Oscars have come and gone, but the looks shown on the red carpet will be setting trends for at least the next year. So, here’s a round up of last night’s 2013 Oscar red carpet jewelry looks.

85th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals  Zoe Saldana looked elegant and sexy with long, swingy Harry Winston stiletto diamond earrings finished with large pearl teardrops and an edgy wrap around diamond snake ring.

jenn aniston oscars  Jennifer Anniston sparkled in her typical all – American casually elegant way. She accessorized her red Valentino with diamond chandelier earrings and multiple diamond bracelets she wore layered, all from Fred Leighton, THE estate jeweler to the stars.

jenna dewan  I am so obsessed with Jenna Dewan, its nuts! I think part of it might be because she’s a brunette and I love seeing brunette celebs, it seems like almost everyone is a blonde, or some variation of blonde. She is so absolutely gorgeous and looked fabulous accenting her black lace Rachel Roy dress and green, cat eyes with unbelievable Irene Neuwirth hanging earrings, of colorful, fiery opals surrounded by diamonds. Irene Neuwirth ( has become one of my favorite jewelry designers lately. I love that she features black and white opals in her pieces. We’ve been seeing a lot of her jewels on the red carpet lately, remember Busy Philips at the Sag awards last month? ( )

Jennifer-Hudson-oscars-2013-8  Jennifer Hudson also wore opal earrings last night. Her long dangling drops from Sutra added a great pop of color near her face. The bluish green opals were surrounded by diamonds and we’re a younger, cooler look than a big diamond piece.

In the “Excuse me I have to stifle a yawn category” there’s a tie –

chastain oscars  amy adams oscars  Jessica Chastain looked simple and elegant, but not exciting wearing Vintage 1960’s Harry Winston, including a yellow gold and diamond braided style bracelet and a simple cluster earring. Amy Adams could have used a little more bling to brighten up her beautiful, but blah colored pale green Oscar De la Renta confection. She choose hanging pear shaped diamond drop earrings and a woven style diamond bracelet, both by Mouawad.

jenn lawrence  ann hathaway  Best Actress Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence and Best Supporting Actress winner Anne Hathaway both accented their rear views with sparkling diamonds, on the red carpet. Jennifer Lawrence wore a long diamond bead chain by Chopard, draped down the back of her dress. I like the idea, but I don’t think it worked with the silhouette of her gown. The dress was too voluminous for the delicate chain. I think the long chain would have worked better over a more fitted shape. Anne Hathaway accented her dress with a Tiffany necklace of diamond clusters hanging down her back.

918450-jacki-weaver  I loved Jacki Weaver’s  whimsical yet edgy Stephen Webster ( dangling crescent moon and star earrings. They didn’t work with the dress, but we’re a nice change for the red carpet. I think they would have been better suited for a simple black dress, so the jewels and clothing would not compete. Because we all know you choose the jewelry first and work the outfit around it! Oh wait, that’s not what everyone does, ok, well that’s what I do!

bullock  I LOVE hair jewelry and Sandra Bullock added some sparkle to her simple dark locks in the form of a Harry Winston diamond brooch worn to pull her hair back.

jenn garner oscars  Jennifer Garner had on a phenomenal 19 century looking Neil Lane blackened, cushion cut diamond fringe necklace and simple hanging diamond drops. It was a hipper alternative to a modern looking super sparkly bright white piece. There’s also more of a casual, easy elegance to a blackened piece of jewelry, when you know what you’re doing this is the piece you wear.

19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Arrivals  Helen Hunt was beautifully accessorized in a fun and unique Martin Katz multi strand, liquid looking diamond necklace that sparkled like crazy under the lights. She also wore bracelets, earrings and a brooch on the back of her H&M gown all from Martin Katz, totaling a whopping $700k!!

85th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals  Catherine Zeta Jones paired her sparkly gold Zuhair Murad gown with giant yellow gold, diamond and brown cabochon stone Lorraine Schwartz earrings. The earrings we’re interesting and I do love to see color on the red carpet, but the overall look was a bit too monochromatic for me, between her hair, skin tone, dress and jewelry. A bright green stone would have really given the whole look a kick in the ass.

I don’t know about you, but all of this talk about jewelry is giving me the jewelry buying bug, not that I need much convincing. Well, if you feel like doing a little shopping too, check me out at

And don’t forget my collection is now being carried at Eight of Swords Boutique ( at 115 Grand Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn !!!! What are you waiting for????

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Tucson Treasures

tuscon 2

For me, Arizona always conjures up images of golf playing, pastel wearing, overly tan retirees. Well I guess there’s other stuff going on there too.

Each February, there is a huge gem show held in Tucson, Arizona. Aptly named, (are you ready for this?) The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, which has been setting trends in the gem world for the past 59 years.

Dealers from all over the planet descend on Tucson to exhibit and sell their newest finds. Every year new jewelry market trends and styles are established at the show, which is the largest of its kind in the U.S.

In recent years some gemstones that caused a stir in Tucson were Morganite, Ethiopian Opal and Black Spinel. This year Turquoise, Lapis, White Zircon and Kunzite were all red hot.

From the Ashes Vintage Jewels now at Eight of Swords boutique in Williamsburg Stop by and check it out this weekend!

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Posted by on February 22, 2013 in Jewelry


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Purple Passion

ami earringsWith February more than half over, I figured it’s time to talk about Amethyst! And, I have to admit, I’m feeling a bit of my inner Gemologist – geek yearning to be free!

Amethyst is the February birthstone, for those of you that missed the reference above. It is part of the quartz family and definitely one of the most popular colored gemstones. Ideally, Amethyst should be a deep, rich purple, but it is also seen in much less saturated, very pale tones, sold as Rose de France.  A lot of amethyst is mined in Brazil and the gorgeous stone is affordable and often available in large sizes.  So, if you’re the type that loves a killer, eye catching cocktail ring of 10 carats plus, this could be a stone for you!

Throughout history there has been a lot of lore and superstition surrounding the stone.  “The name amethyst derives from the ancient Greek word amethustos, meaning sober. It was said that an amethyst could prevent the bearer from becoming excessively drunk and also instills a sober and serious mind. It was believed that if a person drank from a cup or goblet made entirely of amethyst, he or she would not get drunk at all.” (1)

ami ring

“Throughout the ages, powerful and rich monarchs have used Amethyst as a symbol of royalty, and some Amethysts even decorate the British Crown Jewels. Rumor has it that Amethyst was a personal favorite of Queen Catherine the Great of Russia. Historically, the stone was believed to assist prophecy and visions and to bring riches and powers to its owners.” (2)

Well, on that note, I’m going to put all of my amethyst jewelry on! Riches and power, HERE I COME!!!

(1) (2)

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Posted by on February 21, 2013 in Jewelry


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Green with Envy

ringThe Fall 2013 Mercedes Benz Fashion week may have just come to a close, but most of us are just gearing up for Spring 2013. And, according to Pantone (THE color people) Emerald Green is all the rage for the upcoming season. With that in mind I was inspired to start thinking about new green spring jewelry. A beautiful green gemstone that doesn’t generally get a lot of love is Chrysoprase.

“Chrysoprase is considered the rarest and most valuable stone in the chalcedony quartz group. That’s quite a distinction considering that the chalcedony species includes agate, chalcedony, onyx, carnelian, bloodstone and jasper. But chrysoprase, it is fair to say, is also the least known of all the chalcedony varieties.” (1)

The unusual gemstone is often seen in a vibrant apple green color, similar to jade. Chrysoprase is generally seen as a cabochon cut (highly polished, non-faceted style of cutting with rounded top) as most translucent and opaque gemstones are.

rough chrysoprase

It is a nice choice for a genuine gemstone if you are looking for a piece in green, that is a little unexpected. Even though Chrysoprase is in the green family, it’s night and day from Emerald. It will definitely prove to be a conversation piece if you wear one out, because most people are not familiar with it. Chrysoprase is not a stone you will find in a mall jewelry store, think more gem show, lapidary, art gallery.


And if you’re looking for something to turn everyone green with envy check me out –

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Posted by on February 20, 2013 in Jewelry


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Lucky number 8

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA The Confessional necklace, featuring a textured, open-work vintage pendant and chain

So, I’ve got some exiting news! If you happen to be in Brooklyn, swing by Williamsburg and stop into 8 of Swords Tattoo to check out some of my jewelry ( ). They are carrying a selection of my pieces, including some new designs no one has seen yet, in their jewelry boutique!

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA The Sanctuary earring, with vintage 1960’s faceted black drops

8 of swords ( subscribe to their blog while you’re at it too! ), is a combination tattoo studio, art gallery and retail boutique, located at 115 Grand street  in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They have a super talented group of tattoo artists, including owner, Dave C. Wallin, they host a monthly art show and their boutique features a lot of locally made products (Go Brooklyn!) , take a look at Pepper Press ( ) for cool stationery and Mullein and Sparrow ( ) vintage Apothecary.

flapper-for-web Check out this fantastic Flapper piece from the owner of the studio, Dave C. Wallin.

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Posted by on February 19, 2013 in Jewelry, Tattoos


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Fool’s Gold


I have to admit, that I’ve never been a fan of marcasite and would never imagine myself wearing it. I’ve always seen lots of it at flea markets and on rotating displays at street fairs. To me the faux vintage look always seemed like the domain of grandmothers and business women in sweater sets. Definitely, NOT something I would wear, that is until recently.

A friend of mine inherited the responsibility of cleaning out her aunt’s house. There was a ton of jewelry in it and there we’re only a handful of pieces that her aunt actually wanted. So as payment for helping her sort through all of it, she let me choose whatever I wanted.

In the piles and piles of jewelry her aunt had accumulated over 30 plus years, I found a fantastic vintage marcasite necklace. I didn’t think I would ever wear it, but I couldn’t resist having it! Most marcasite jewelry you see is usually intricate, antique style designs set with faceted pyrite stones. Pyrite is an opaque stone with a brassy yellow color and a metallic sheen. During the California gold rush, a lot of miners mistaken thought they found gold, when it was actually pyrite. This is why the stone is often referred to as fool’s gold.

So, I’ve found myself wearing it a lot. I’ve been layering it up with long beaded chains and it actually looks really cool and rock n’ roll. Of course you have to wear it with the right thing too.  Think black tank, skull t shirt, nothing serious or we’re back to miss sweater set.

Next time you’re rummaging around a flea market or your grandmother’s jewelry box, keep your eyes peeled for a cool marcasite piece.

Have a minute? Take a look at my website, featuring two new pieces! And stay tuned for some exciting news!!!

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Breakfast at… Costco?

tiffany picBreakfast at Costco probably consists of a greasy sausage/egg/cheese combo on a soggy roll, eaten at a cafeteria table in the food court. It definitely wouldn’t include Audrey Hepburn in a chic black Givenchy delicately nibbling on a pastry, instead think Roseanne Barr in flannel.

So, it’s no surprise what a huge deal it was when Tiffany & Co. found out that Costco had reportedly been selling diamond engagement rings as Tiffany baubles. A customer at a California Costco noticed the in-store signs advertising Tiffany sparklers at discounted prices and she called the blue box jewelers to tip them off. Tiffany estimates that after years of these misleading sales practices, there are potentially thousands of Costco customers that think they own a genuine Tiffany rock.

Well, bet they’re pissed!

In the jewelry industry you will often hear a round diamond in a simple six prong setting referred to as a “Tiffany” setting, but this seems to run a lot deeper. Personally, I’ve never understood the allure of a Tiffany diamond, I mean no one knows what color box it came in when you’re wearing it! Why pay an incredible mark up, just so you can tuck an empty blue box in your underwear drawer for years? The real way to buy a diamond is from a guy in a grungy little office in a walk up building on 47 street.

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