I have done gift guides for jewelry essentials, and designer jewelry for under $500. This is a wishlist for fine designer jewelry, whether for a gift, or perhaps for yourself? I feel that the following items and designers represent jewelry as art and have the potential to become long-term investments in a jewelry collection.
I profiled Irene Neuwirth previously here, and I would take this ring in a heartbeat. It is sculptural, versatile, and I think it has the potential to be a future heirloom that can be handed to the next generation:
Irene works a lot with colored gems, but her gold jewelry is just as beautiful. Fluid, soft, and still modern, I think these earrings are an amazing addition of gold to a jewelry wardrobe:
These hoops are my hands-down favorite of the designer jewelry I’ve seen in the past few months (for more jewelry by Shawn Warren, click here). They are exactly on-trend with a blackened finish, tiny diamonds and larger diameter. But more importantly (when you are spending this amount of $), they are also pretty timeless and I think they would be a staple in your jewelry wardrobe for a very long time. The best part? You can change them up instantly by adding the detachable rose-cut diamond drops. They are available in 2 sizes and 3 metals: 18kt rose gold, white gold, or the black-rhodium finish on 18kt gold:
Here is another item from Shawn’s collection that I would really love to have: a striking pendant that could be worn on a shorter leather cord, or a long chain, potentially layered up with another necklace or pendant. Shown with her “Alba” 18kt white gold chain with white sapphires, please check with Shawn on availability and retail. Shawn’s studio has quite a few great gift ideas from $275 Brazilian Druzy rings to $1500 gorgeous diamond pendants:
If you are looking for really striking jewelry that is generally under $1000, the Rebecca line should be on your radar. At their state-of-the-art manufacturing center in Italy, they produce fine jewelry made from bronze that is heavily plated with 18 karat gold. I really like this “Roma” ring. It is definitely not shy (about 1″ square), but with 18 Kt gold-plated bronze as the metal, and a hydrothermal Peridot (same gem properties as the real thing, just grown in a lab), it is affordable fine jewelry. Available through Authorized Retailers, or from Fox’s Gem Shop:
It seems like it’s hard to find great gold designs. After white metals reigning supreme for more than a decade, I think gold is definitely moving back to its spot as the king of metals. Of course, you have be able to stomach its current price per ounce (at the time of the article, it is hovering around $1100/ounce, close to its all time high). Here is a bracelet from Mattioli that is sinuous and lovely, but has the hallmarks of a classic piece (their necklaces are gorgeous, too):
There’s a lot of gift ideas and designer information on this site already, if you explore a little. You can also drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit my Local Jewelers page to get a recommendation for an excellent jeweler close to you that can help you.