Style

Cluster Necklace

Some people just love color. It makes them buoyant. They are unafraid to wear it and when they do, they just feel “right.” Cue the autumn color palette: butterscotch, pumpkin, wine red, deep yellow, bright green… In the front pendant, we combined cinnamon color garnets with diamonds from an old bracelet of hers. She wears this torsade with her sunstone, sapphire, and brown diamond earrings. 

 The client tells me that she "wears it all the time and whenever I do, I get compliments. It goes with nothing and everything, so it's a neutral as far as I'm concerned."

Razzaq April Sunstone Earrings

What people are saying:

"Inspirational"

"Glorious"

"Beautiful necklace Diana... love your use of color and the unique look in this piece "

"I think the world is hungry for information about gemstones and jewelry..... sharing knowledge about gems and jewelry Is a great thing !"

"L O V E. A smorgasbord of gems Absolutely stunning "

"Gorgeous Workmanship"

"So wearable and versatile. Loving the use of all the color and shapes of stones. Well done."

Garnet Cluster Necklace

Some people just love color. It makes them buoyant. They are unafraid to wear it and when they do, they just feel “right.” Cue the autumn color palette: butterscotch, pumpkin, wine red, deep yellow, bright green… In the front pendant, we combined cinnamon color garnets with diamonds from an old bracelet of hers. She wears this torsade with her sunstone, sapphire, and brown diamond earrings. 

 The client tells me that she "wears it all the time and whenever I do, I get compliments. It goes with nothing and everything, so it's a neutral as far as I'm concerned."

Razzaq April Sunstone Earrings

What people are saying:

"Inspirational"

"Glorious"

"Beautiful necklace Diana... love your use of color and the unique look in this piece "

"I think the world is hungry for information about gemstones and jewelry..... sharing knowledge about gems and jewelry Is a great thing !"

"L O V E. A smorgasbord of gems Absolutely stunning "

"Gorgeous Workmanship"

"So wearable and versatile. Loving the use of all the color and shapes of stones. Well done."

Green Sapphire and Diamond Pendant: SOLD

This four-carat, forest green wonder of a sapphire is ringed by tonal hues ranging from teal to celery green sapphires and, of course, white diamonds. The back is filigreed to allow light and so that the piece can actually be worn on either side.  Private Collection. 

Jewelry Sizing

Since so many of you always ask, here is a guide on jewelry sizing, for necklaces, bracelets, and rings.

Chains and Necklaces

BlogJewelryuSizningNecklace This photo shows a scale chart for necklace lengths from choker to opera. Most standard necklace lengths fall between 16” and 18” because that’s where the neckline for clothing usually sits on the body. Obviously, we all have different types of necklines, depending on what we are wearing. Consequently, my studio makes most of our pendant chains adjustable between 16” and 18” to give you choices when getting dressed. In many cases, the pendant can be transferred to a longer or shorter chain for added variety.

If you’ve purchased a pendant from me that is fixed to its chain, we can adjust the chain by adding length to the back or inserting an added jump ring.

We love long chain necklaces here. Only one caution… don’t wear them on days when you are bouncing around a lot or getting up and down from a table constantly. In other words, beware of the potential to bang your pendant onto the edge of a table too many times.

 

Ring Sizing

It’s crucial to know that when a jeweler sizes your finger, we look for how that size will slide over your knuckle. Too easy and the ring can slide off. Too resistant to sliding means you may end up with a very tight ring which would be hard to get off should you need to. Do your hands swell at different times of the month or in the summer? Do you have arthritic knuckles? Ring sizing is part art and part science. It also depends on the width and contour of the band and the size of any center gemstone. Large stones can flop around the finger. Wide bands need a larger finger size than you might normally wear.

BlogSizingMandrel

Trying to find someone’s ring size in secret? Take a ring to the jeweler and we can size it for you by sliding it on a mandrel. Then, we calculate the size based on the dimensions of the borrowed ring with how wide or narrow our ring is going to be. Again, science and art.

 Real Simple magazine has a very good article about different ways to size your fingers at home.

Bracelets

A standard women’s bracelet is between 7” and 8” long. But we all know that wrist size is anything but standard. In addition, the style and width of the bracelet or cuff changes the fit, much like a ring. Obviously, link bracelets are much easier to size down. Cuff bracelets can be adjusted but only if the metal can be reformed.

BlogSizingHandsimages

The information below is taken from Rio Grande, a jewelry supply house. It is comprehensive and very helpful.

How to Find an Accurate Bracelet Size
To determine bracelet size, follow the steps below.
1. Measure the customer's wrist below the wrist bone (where you would normally wear your bracelet) using a bracelet gauge, a flexible measuring tape or a strip of paper.
2. If using a plain strip of paper, mark your strip with a pen where the end of the bracelet needs to be. Then measure the paper strip with a ruler. This is the wrist size.
3. To find the bracelet size, increase the wrist measurement by the increment below, based on how the customer wants the bracelet to fit.
For a snug fit, add 1/4" to 1/2".
For a comfort fit, add 3/4" to 1".
For a loose fit, add 1-1/4".

How to Determine Bangle Bracelet Size
1. Ask your customer to close her fingers together, bringing her thumb and little finger together (as though putting on a bangle).
2. Using a strip of paper or measuring tape, measure around the closed hand at the widest point, pulling the tape snug against the skin. If you are using a plain strip of paper, mark the paper with a pen, then measure the strip with a ruler. This is the circumference of the customer's hand.
3. Find the hand circumference below. Create (or choose) a bangle with a diameter at least 1/4" larger than the diameter shown below.

Converting Circumference to Diameter
7-1/2" is approx. 2-3/8" dia. (small)
8-1/4" is approx. 2-5/8" dia. (medium)
8-5/8" is approx. 2-3/4" dia. (large)

 

 

 

 

 

Layering Part 2: Distinctive, Comfortable, Creative

I last wrote to you about layering your jewelry and promised you some concrete advice. Just to remind you, I told you that:

“We want to be distinctive, comfortable, and creative. We want our style to be easy and a la mode without being too crazy. We want it to last till we are sick of it and we mostly prefer quality with some junk thrown in for good measure."

Layered Gemstone Necklaces

What works: Joie de vivre

If you like light necklaces and pendants, then wear three or four at a time. Shown here is a client who owns many of my colored gem pieces.

She’s gotten attached to the peach sapphire pendants and wore them every day during the pandemic. I don’t think she takes them off. When she picked up the Montana sapphire Cascade necklace, she just “had” to wear it. I know this could be confusing for some of us, but I have lots of clients who just wear what resonates as part of their style or their “gear.” The group of pieces around her neck are all gold and fine sapphires. They do coordinate because they either contrast or pick up colors scattered throughout the other necklaces.

This wear-it-all-together idea works really well when we combine pearls and chains, beads with small pendants, or two different ropes of pearls. Shown here is a 50” strand of akoya pearls with an antique, French gold chain.

LayeredPearls

These two necklaces can be wrapped to different lengths and their contrast lusters complement one another. If you don’t have some very long chains or pearls in your collection, give me a call. It’s a fun, hot look.

What works: Old and New

Here you see like pieces of differing lengths. This works because they are related in weight and scale, yet different enough in texture or color to make a statement.

layeredantiquenecks

Wrists, too: Wide, narrow, different, similar… it’s all good!

In the bracelet photo, I’m layering a hammered pure silver cuff, a 22KT curb chain, and a teeny accent chain that I never take off. Clearly, this combo works because of the contrasting metal color, the textural subtleties, and varying widths.

So, to sum up, a few tips: When layering, vary the textures so that each piece stands out but together, they are having a dialogue. This works really well when chains are all one color of metal, or related in feeling, or are the same style but different colors.

Create relationships through color, texture, and style. If one piece is pearl, use a pearl somewhere else in the collection. Or, if one piece is diamond, use one other piece that has something white or shiny in it to relate back to the diamond.

Think about scale and coordinate a variety of scales if you are using a large necklace or bracelet as the starting point.

Or, wear what you want and be happy. There are really no rules.

Hugs from the studio,
Diana

Mixing and Matching…or just Matching

We’ve had so many conversations about whether something is “right” to wear with something else of a different color or texture. Are drop earrings too dressy? How many layering necklaces are “too much?” How many bracelets can I/ should I wear at once? Many of you tell me about Coco Chanel saying “get dressed, look in the mirror, and take one thing off.” Hmmm, maybe not.

First, there are no rules anymore about what “goes together.” In fashion, anything goes. People wear all kinds of things, avidly mixing textures and periods, hair colors, and lengths. People do what they want in the interest of self-expression and freedom of expression. Purposely ripped stockings? See-through shoes? Taxidermied alligator handbags? This group may not look so good from a design perspective, but they are really comfortable in their own skin, or feel more secure in following trends or both.

In the opposite corner, there are many people who like to coordinate all the things they wear and are not comfortable straying. Matching shoes and purse, for instance, or all monochrome. I mean, look at Queen Elizabeth! She’s got head-to-toe uniformity. Hat, gloves (sometimes), purse, dress/suit, corsage. All one color. Of course, she has the world’s best jewelry collection, so there’s that.

So, we have the anything-goes group and the matching group, but most of us fall in between. We want to be distinctive, comfortable, and creative. We want our style to be easy and a la mode without being too crazy. We want it to last till we are sick of it and we mostly prefer quality with some junk thrown in for good measure.

You know where I’m going with this… our jewelry should meet the same criteria. However, I think we have way more latitude to mix our jewelry than we do our clothing because jewelry takes up much less area than the clothing we wear. Jewelry is also so personal. Some days, you just “need” to wear these particular hoops because they make you feel confident or look great on a good hair day.

Maybe you want to wear an heirloom brooch one day which you normally wear with something else but you also must wear a particular outfit because your tummy is a little bloated and that outfit feels more comfortable. I’m here to tell you to wear the brooch or the giant bead necklace or the silver choker with the unlikely outfit and the hell with it. Jewelry is meant to be worn all the time, for no reason other than you want to. That’s what confers your patina and it's what your family will remember.

In my next installment, concrete design advice on mixing and layering.

Stay well.

Contact Diana

+1.312.346.2363

5 South Wabash Ave
Suite 411
Chicago, Illinois 60603

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