By Maureen Bay
Fashion: Jewelry reflects fashion. Some of us are slaves and some are ignorant or repulsed by that particular “F” word.
I’ve seen what was considered to be a commercial quality of diamonds, historically used for industrial purposes because they are brown or black, become the “hottest” thing after the designers decided to feature the quality in their designs – thus making them fashionable!
Obscure gems or off-color gems are given exotic names and suddenly they become the thing! I have been a gemologist for many years now and I am always fascinated by the names of stones that some folks come into the store looking for. You want a what? Often the gemstone of a less saturated color or cloudy appearance can suddenly become appealing when it has a name like King Henry Sapphire (whatever that is)!
I think that somewhere between slave and ignorance is where I like to be. It’s good to see what’s new or old; new materials are being used and “discovered” by our designers (including me)! I like being creative, so that works for me. Now with the raw metal prices going through the roof, all of the jewelry designers are challenged to find ways of producing beautiful, fashionable, timely and innovative jewelry in an affordable range.
We use lots of combinations now with gold combined with silver, copper, brass and base metals. In case you haven’t noticed, even costume jewelry, containing no precious stones or metals, can be pricey. Bottom line: keep it fresh and feisty! And, as far as the Fall Fashion Forecast is concerned, look for bold statement pieces – more yellow gold and warmer fall colors.
Fun: Even if the jewelry piece is for something serious, like your engagement, it should still be fun. It should make you smile. It should be the reward at the end of the trip. Jewelry is mostly emotion so why not make that emotion fun? I love the scene in the movie Stepmom where Ed Harris’s character has the engagement ring connected to a string that slides onto Julia Roberts’ finger. I know it’s a movie but her smile is great. I know of another creative proposal idea by a young man who purchased a lovely diamond ring from me many years ago. He created an elaborate scavenger hunt for his soon-to-be fiancé to find her ring. Since she was a participant in the design of the ring and it was not a surprise, he wanted the actual receiving of it to be fun. It was! She had to get through at least a dozen clues with a car ride and awkward situations. She was “led” right back to her own freezer where the “ice” was in the ice! Like I said – fun!
Fallback: Every woman needs a fallback necklace. It’s that comfortable, go with everything, go anywhere, last forever and looking fabulous staple piece of jewelry! It will mean making an investment (spending some money) but the return is fabulous forever. I have a client who has been coming into my store for at least 25-plus years now. She bought one of these necklaces from me a long time ago and I remember her commenting that it was a good chunk of money then – now with the gold prices that same piece of jewelry has quadrupled in value – but she had received a promotion and was going to splurge. I rarely see her without the necklace on. It still looks great. In case you were wondering, she does change her earrings and rings.
Fettuccine: A great sounding word, just rolls off the tongue! Remind me to tell you the story about the diamond ring in the fettuccine incident … it’s fascinating!
Maureen Bay, owner of Gem of An Idea at 740 River Road, is celebrating 30 years of being a jeweler in Fair Haven.