LUXURY Link - December 2012

Welcome to the LUXURY Link!

John TierneyDear Friends,
Season's greetings and welcome to the second edition of the LUXURY Link. As we prepare to close out the year we are reflecting on 2012 and the past six weeks in particular. While Hurricane Sandy delivered a devastating blow at the beginning of the holiday selling season, we have seen a recovery effort full of resolve and beautiful acts of kindness, the true essence of holiday spirit. With the recovery and holiday season forging ahead, we wish nothing more than for all of those affected to be filled with prosperity and cheer. To help brighten things from a jewelry standpoint, we've prepared a holiday guide, complete with bridal picks, classics and luxurious period pieces, which will hopefully be a feast for your eyes and jewelry-loving hearts. I look forward to seeing you at the many industry events over the next few weeks.

Happy Holidays,
Signature
John Tierney, Industry Vice President

A Holiday Engagement | Tried & True Favorites | A Holiday for the "Jazz" Ages
Oscar Heyman | Retailer Roundtable | Editor's Corner


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A Holiday Engagement: Our Guide to What's New & Hot in Bridal This Season

Each year, the jewelry industry ushers in the holiday season with a renewed focus on bridal, and each year, it is our job to be fully versed in the trends and themes that have brides-to-be swooning and their men stressing. We're quite sure you've been working hard at this for weeks now, but should any stragglers come looking for guidance (experience has shown that they will), here are the hot trends for a 2012 engagement straight from our designers.

Fancy Shapes

Fancy Shapes

  1. Sylvie's delicate oval shape from the brand's new Petite Collection.
  2. Joshua J's 7.32K I SI1 pear cut diamond with tapered baguettes set in platinum.
  3. Norman Silverman's three-stone diamond ring featuring a 4.02K emerald cut center and modified shield sides surrounded by pavé diamonds in platinum.
  4. Sasha Primak's marquise split-shank diamond halo engagement ring.

Intricate/Unique Filigree Work

Intricate/Unique Filigree Work

  1. Kirk Kara's "Dahlia" ring features a beautiful beaded leaf pattern.
  2. Danhov's style AE102 from the brand's Abbraccio Collection features fluid rolling swirls.
  3. LeVian's Chocolate Weddings™ style, part of their new bridal collection, features the brand's signature chocolate and vanilla diamonds as well as the Ocean Wave™ cresting scrolling details.

Metal Options

Metal Options

  1. Claude Thibedeau's masterpieces feature rose gold in the setting.
  2. Lieberfarb's round brilliant diamond stones are set in palladium.
  3. Sasha Primak's "Trellis" solitaire ring is set in 18K yellow gold.
  4. Christian Bauer's simple solitaire is set in platinum.

RingFinder App

Diadori

For the technology loving and time strapped proposer, encourage him to check out Cherie Dori by Diadori's new mobile app, The Vow. It's comprehensive, efficient, and directs users to participating jewelers nationwide with the speed of light. Available via iPhone, iPad, Android and Facebook.

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Tried & True Favorites

Just as sure as the holiday proposals will ensue, so too does the season call for stockings to be stuffed and eight days of treats fulfilled. For jewelry lovers, there is nothing better than tearing into packages of sought-after jewelry staples. But just which staples are trending this year? We polled our designers to find out what's been in demand. The picture they gave us is at once traditional and modern, with everything from personal initial jewelry and pearls to standby studs featured high on the list. Here's a collection of classic favorites to keep in mind for last minute ideas.

Tried & True Favorites
  1. Sofer's 14K white, rose, and yellow gold script initial pendants with white diamonds.
  2. Soho bangles from their new SOHO SLVR collection.
  3. Lazare's "Wing of Hope" pendant, available as a pendant or broach, in either 18K white or yellow gold, featuring a .14 point ideal cut Lazare diamond.
  4. Ritani's thin "In-and-Out" diamond hoop earrings set in 18K white gold.
  5. Mémoire's 18K rose gold "Key to My Heart" necklace from the Lover's Lock Collection.
  6. Garavelli's chic diamond studs.
  7. Gottlieb & Sons' 14K white gold and diamond convertible earring jackets.
  8. Honora's "Pop Star" stack bracelets.
  9. Michael B's delicate tri-color cuffs.

For more traditional holiday picks, check out the following JCK Marketplace links:

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A Holiday for the "Jazz" Ages

A recent survey by BIGinsight, reported by JCK last month, found that demand for holiday jewelry is the highest in five years. This is pure speculation, but we can think of a very good reason why: the Gatsby Effect. While the Baz Lurhmann film is still months away from theaters, the Christmas release pushed to summer, the style of the film and storied Tiffany jewels have been a topic of discussion all year. The still shots we have seen of Carrie Mulligan's Daisy Buchanan dripping in the most glamorous jewels of the era have no doubt inspired interest among customers for 1920's and 30's period pieces and designers have answered the call. The below collection of splurge-worthy pieces harkens back to the era of Gatsby and makes for a truly luxurious holiday wish list.

A Holiday for the

  1. Gem Platinum's "Deco" bracelet featuring 11 natural colored diamonds and 4K of colorless diamonds, set in platinum and 18K gold.
  2. Pampillonia's emerald and diamond earrings set in platinum.
  3. Bapalal Keshavlal's pear shape diamond and specially cut ruby baguette earrings set in 18K white gold.
  4. Breuning's 14K white gold ring with a Chinese pearl and diamonds.
  5. Dilamani's bangle of signature black spinels and sparkling white sapphires set in sterling silver.
  6. Sethi Couture's black & white diamond tassel earrings in black rhodiumed white gold.
  7. Roberto Demeglio's 20 row 18K white gold and diamond stretch cuff. 129.77 total carat weight.
  8. Joshua J's magnificent marquise and round brilliant diamond necklace.
  9. Joshua J's 5.17K "Fancy Intense Yellow VS1", emerald cut diamond with two trapezoid cut diamond sides set in platinum and 18K yellow gold.
  10. Ninacci's lady's drop earrings in 18K white gold with diamonds.
  11. Cordova's 18K white gold and diamond ring from their Bellisima Collection.
  12. Bellarri's "Diva" bangles featuring a combination of soft hued gemstones including pink & green amethyst.

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Oscar Heyman: The LUXURY Privé Exhibitor's Milestone Holiday

Our "A Holiday for the Jazz Ages" story details the decadence of the Roaring 20's and spotlights a collection of pieces that fit the era, albeit with one brand noticeably absent. The missing yet appropriately themed jewelry is from none other than Oscar Heyman, perhaps the finest designer and manufacturer of period jewels we can think of. The collection is so full of deco era delights, each one more glamorous and gift-able than the next; it warrants a full pictorial treatment. As it turns out, many of the remarkable pieces we chose to feature are from the Oscar Heyman 100th Anniversary Collection (the company celebrated its centennial this year) and each one makes for a gift that will last for centuries more to come. Enjoy.

Oscar Heyman</a>: The LUXURY Privé Exhibitor's Milestone Holiday

  1. An Emerald Suite.
  2. Large opal drop pendant, opal, emerald, and diamond necklace featuring 62.50K of opals, set in platinum.
  3. Deco inspired 8K amethyst, sapphire and diamond ring set in platinum.
  4. Aquamarine, sapphire and diamond drop earrings set in platinum.
  5. A trio of holiday brooches

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Retailer Roundtable: Amazing Proposals

Amazing ProposalsWith the holiday engagement season well underway and many elaborate proposals in the works, we asked a few of our retail customers (who are often privy to all the romantic details) to share their favorite proposal or engagement ring stories of all time. The creativity and passion with which these three men approached the engagement ring selection and/or proposal process is remarkable. Our hats are off to them!

Alexis Padis of Steve Padis Jewelry in San Francisco shared the below story about an engineering student who meticulously presided over the design of his bride-to-be's Tacori engagement ring, all with a little help from the man himself, Haig Tacorian.

Vijay, an engineering student at Stanford, first ventured into our store on a Wednesday during his lunch break with a model of a tension set ring he designed and printed from a 3D printer on campus. He perused our Tacori boutique and began asking a series of questions about Tacori's design and ring creation process. Once his questions became more and more involved, our staff pulled me into the conversation and I sat down with Vijay and went over a number of ring designs that he created in CAD software and wanted to turn into a Tacori ring. We nailed down a few key design elements that he wanted to be sure to incorporate. Quite serendipitously, I was heading down to Glendale the next day for a meeting at the Tacori offices, and I offered to Vijay, that if he would let me borrow his wax model, I would bring it to Haig Tacorian personally to see what he would recommend.

Haig was very gracious and agreed to sit down with me and go over Vijay's designs to see how we could create the "perfect blend" of both Vijay's design and Tacori's signature look.

I took the information back to Vijay and over a period of about 2 months, he received updated CADs from Tacori that I passed back and forth as he tweaked and modified until he finally had his masterpiece. We then worked to select his perfect diamond, and as soon as I could get the stone measurements to Tacori, they began creating his design.

The finished ring is true testament to Vijay's dedication, Tacori's willingness to work with their clients and the beautiful balance of a customer wanting to make a custom ring with the promise, integrity and quality of both the Padis and Tacori name. Vijay is proposing to Yohko, an optical surgeon, while on a mission trip in Costa Rica. He comes back in about a week and I cannot wait to both meet his lovely fiancé (though I feel I already know her) and see the ring we all worked so hard on, on her hand!

Colin Nash of Nash Jewellers in Ontario has been involved with a number of over-the-top, romantic proposals but none compare to the below story, captured on video, of a simultaneous proposal and dream wedding. Colin said "Full disclosure, we were not involved, but you must check this out and share it. It's the best engagement I've seen in my life. Very emotional."

Judd Rottenberg of Long's Jewelers in Burlington, MA shared a story about his involvement with a live-for-the-moment spontaneous proposal.

It was around Christmas and a guy came in and started nervously looking at our stock diamond engagement rings. We struck up a nice conversation but I began to sense that he was unsure of himself so I said, "What's up? What's your story?" He said that he and his girlfriend were each about to embark on 4-month long medical internships; her nursing program was in Canada, his M.D. program in South America. This was on Monday. She was set to leave that Saturday. He wasn't sure the time was right but he seemed on pins and needles, like he knew he had to do it. He left the store empty handed that day but I suspected I might hear from him again, perhaps when they returned home.

Instead, he came in on Friday, the night before she was set to leave. He found a diamond he loved and I said "Alright, I can have this ready for you tomorrow."

"But I'm going to be with her all day and I have to get her to the airport, how will I get the ring from you?" I said "I can bring it to you. I can even bring it straight to the airport." Then, the next thing I knew, he was on his feet and out the door. He didn't come back. I thought, "That's odd."

The next morning, Saturday, he called and apologized for leaving in such a hurry and not returning. "I threw up in your parking lot," he said, "that's why I didn't come back."

"Are you ok, now," I asked. "If you still want to do this, I can meet you at the airport. All you have to do is bring a camera."

"Yes, let's do it." And we were off.

I arrived at the terminal, roses in my arm and ring box in my briefcase. I had previously instructed him to (upon seeing me) ask me to take a picture of them before saying goodbye and that's when we did the ring exchange. He gave me the camera; I gave him the ring and the roses.

I captured the whole thing with his camera. It was an incredibly special and emotional display. They were so much in love and so sad to be leaving each other but they felt bound by their engagement and it gave them the strength to make it through those few months apart.

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Editor's Corner

Melissa ColganAs the theme of this issue is all things 'holiday', we wanted to hear from an expert who is well attuned to the season's effect on all things 'jewelry.' We turned to Melissa Colgan, Senior Associate Fashion Editor at Martha Stewart Weddings. Melissa's exacting eye for bridal and fashion jewelry has us drooling over the pages of MSW every quarter and here she lets us in on what's hot for the holidays and what's on her wish list.

LL: In your opinion, what is the most exciting trend in jewelry right now, as we head into the holiday season?
MC: I am really loving all the blues and greens, especially in opals, paraiba tourmalines, chalcedony and chrysoprase. These shades look great on most anybody and these particular stones can get you into the fine jewelry realm at a much more accessible price point than a sapphire or emerald (though I LOVE those too!)

LL: What grabs your attention during a press presentation/pitch?
MC: I like to see product in person. Jewelry comes to life when you put it on. And I am obsessive about the vibrancy of a stone and impeccability of craftsmanship. I love seeing anything that feels fresh and new. As in fashion, there can be a lot of the same, so when you see the work of a designer that really stands apart from the crowd it is very exciting. That being said I am not into things that are too edgy or avante garde. In my mind, jewelry should be pretty!

Temple St. Clair's 18K gold Tree of Life pendant
Temple St. Clair's 18K gold Tree of Life pendant

LL: If money was no object, what piece of jewelry would you buy for yourself?
MC: Ivanka Trump's diamond tassel necklace (I think it would be the most glamorous thing to wear on a wedding day) and Temple St. Clair's 18K gold Tree of Life pendant. I love the symbolism and set on a long gold chain it would be so chic and easy for everyday wear.

LL: What is your most treasured jewelry possession?
MC: My two pairs of earrings from Maja DuBrul—one is a faceted smoky quartz drop and the other is a rutilated quartz drop. I love that they are just a big stone suspended from French wire. They are bold yet unfussy and I always get a compliment when I wear either pair! And I never take off my Baume & Mercier Linea watch. For sentimental reasons, my grandmother's engagement ring is infinitely important to me.

LL: What are your plans for this holiday season?
MC: I am going home to Wisconsin to hang out with my family for ten days! I don't get to see them nearly as often as I would like.

About Melissa:

Melissa Colgan joined the Martha Stewart Weddings team in 2010. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Journalism and went on to Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, where she served as the Style Editor as well as the Editor in Chief of their SHOPS special issues. As Senior Associate Style Editor, Melissa styles celebrations, fashion and décor stories for the pages of Martha Stewart Weddings while covering and specializing in the fine jewelry market. In her free time, Melissa can be found trolling antique shops and 1stdibs.com for additions to her collection of Georgian jewelry.

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