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Monday, July 18, 2011

Because of the soaring prices of gold and silver, many jewelers are using less metal in their work. That means a knuckleduster-size ring feels surprisingly light considering how big it looks. My jewelry has always been about heft, because I like the feel — not just the appearance — of luxury. I have pieces that incorporate over an ounce of gold.

The Virginia Woolf Whistle weighs 1.4 troy ounces. Click for original post.

I am trying to avoid reducing the relative weight of my pieces — at least until the price of gold is absolutely more than I can bear. But, with the price of gold is pushing the retail prices of my big, bold pieces well over $10,000,  I decided to do a collection of smaller designs. The smaller size means these pieces can be really solid while retailing for under $5,000, which is not a bad price for limited-edition, U.S.-made gold jewelry these days. I’d been meaning to do a necklace version of my Memento Mori skull-and-bone cufflinks for ages anyway.

Memento Mori cufflinks in 18K gold. I used to sell these for $6,000. Now they're $11,000! Click to shop.

Memento Mori cufflinks in silver. $2,000. Click to shop.

Once I got going, I couldn’t stop at just one necklace. Instead, I created eight new Memento Mori pieces (for the meaning of “memento mori,” click the Inspiration tab on any of the product pages linked below). All photos are by SquareMoose.

18K yellow gold necklace. $1,900. Click to shop.

18K gold and sterling silver necklace. $2,400. Click to shop.

18K yellow gold and ruby necklace. $2,250. Click to shop.

18K yellow gold earrings. $3,600. Click to shop.

18K yellow gold and ruby earrings. $3,900. Click to shop.

My first hoop-earring design! 18K yellow gold. $3,300. Click to shop.

18K yellow gold. $2,850. Click to shop.

18K yellow gold and ruby ring. $3,300. Click to shop.

I brought several of these designs to London so that gorgeous bloggers could model them and give you a sense of the size.

Sharon Rose modeled the Memento Mori ruby-eyed skull necklace. Click for Sharon's blog.

Kate of The Further Adventures of Make Do Style is wearing the ruby-eyed skull ring AND the necklace. She's also wearing my Little Woolf necklace in silver. Click for her blog.

And here is the ruby-eyed skull on me.

Click to see the rest of the outfit.

You can see the back of the skull pendant in the picture below. The skull is three dimensional so it rolls around a bit. I prefer the movement to the stasis of a run-of-the-mill flat pendant. You can also see that I’m wearing the ruby-eyed skull ring as a pinky ring.

Click photo for a history of my flower-pinching escapades.

The weight of this little pendant makes it so tactile. I can’t stop playing with it when I’m wearing it, and I was happy to see that Sharon and Kate did the same! Of course, silver Memento Mori pieces are in the works. As I’ve said elsewhere on the blog, the price of silver has doubled in the past year, so silver isn’t as inexpensive as it used to be, but it will still be easier on the budget than gold. Here are the unfinished silver skulls lined up, waiting for my attention.

"Finish us!"

I should have the silver Memento Mori pieces finished by the end of August; I will know the prices when the work is done.

This collection is being shown to stores for spring 2012, but you can buy all the pieces now on my website. I like to make sure my gorgeous clients are ahead of the crowd! If you have questions or need assistance, holla at me at wbjewelry at hotmail dot com.

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21 Responses to “New Jewelry Collection: Memento Mori Skulls in 18K Gold”

  1. The gold and sterling silver necklace is so utterly perfect.

    Growing up with a professional musician as a father, I spent a lot of time backstage. Some of my favorite guys were a company called “Deathwish Piano Movers” who were famous for being able to move a grand piano off a stage in under a minute. And ever since I was 10, my favorite pajamas have been their t-shirts, emblazoned with a huge figure of Death (with piano key wings, of course) and “Memento Mori” on the back. I’m pretty sure it terrified my college roommate the first time she saw it.

  2. Megan Mae says:

    All gorgeous items, I especially love the earrings!

  3. Vix says:

    They are gorgeous, I really love the silver ones.
    I adore your sunglasses, too. x

  4. mystyle says:

    Hi my dear-its such a stunning, gorgeous collection and so very tactile to handle, you don’t realise you are doing it!! I think it looks fabulous doubled with the silver little woolf necklace too xxx

  5. Gorgeous pieces, WB! And you are looking amazing!


  6. Natasha says:

    oh my… these skull-and-bone jewelry pieces are lovely 🙂 But I don’t think I would ever get it for myself. 🙂

  7. Susan Tiner says:

    The memento mori pieces are fantastic but the Virginia Woolf Whistle is my favorite.

  8. Kristin says:

    I’ll be dreaming about that ring with the rubies!

  9. Awwwww, I’m lovin’ all those skulls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Sheena says:

    Ruby jewelry is my favorite and paired with gold? I love it! I am loving this entire collection.

  11. A Random Claire says:

    Looking forward to seeing the silver pieces. August will be just in time to point them out to my husband before our anniversary 😉

  12. Audi says:

    Wow, these are great! I love that you had other bloggers model them for you.

  13. Vyque says:

    these are killer!

  14. Diane says:

    Hi WendyB
    Many thanks for stopping by and lowering the tone with your “hooters” joke!!!! What a fab blog you have. My daughter is begging me to take her to New York. xxxx

  15. stacy says:

    I’m really liking your pinky ring!

  16. lisa says:

    Gosh, you’ve been busy! The new Memento Mori collection is beautiful.

  17. Lynn says:

    I know I say this when you showcase new collection each time, but I just have to do it again. Your designs are smashing! My son even likes them, and he’s just 11!

  18. carly says:

    UGH…can I PLEASE win the lottery so I can buy that GORGEOUS whistle necklace…it is BEYOND. Love it.
    Love the idea of smaller/more petite pieces that still have the quality and craftsmanship of your regular collections….
    always lusting after your pieces…