Monday, January 28, 2013
I was at dinner with friends last night (L’Apicio; get the polenta with short ribs) so I didn’t watch the Screen Actors Guild Awards live. Judging from the photos, I didn’t miss much fashion-wise. As for jewelry, the hot story seemed to be Elisabeth Moss’s Forevermark diamond studs, valued at $1 million. The best view of them that I’ve found so far is in the full-screen version of this video. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but it looks like a four-prong setting to me. So, I’m just going to get it off my chest once and for all …
Diamond stud earrings in basic four-prong settings bore me!
This is exactly what I was talking about with the jewelry-designer sisters from Torrubia & Torrubia at Fashion Group International’s Rising Star Awards last week. To us, great fine jewelry requires imagination in addition to carat weight. In fact, when it comes to studs, more carats can be less flattering no matter how fine the quality of the gems: I think Moss’s earrings look like car headlights.
As for more typical, non-headlight-sized, plain, prong-set diamond studs — I know a lot of people have bought into the idea that they are an important jewelry basic. I say that’s one of those “rules” that I’ve written about before — ones that aren’t hard-and-fast rules at all, but suggestions or theories that have been repeated ad infinitum until they they sound like facts. Sure, diamonds are great for everyday wear because they don’t scratch, but that’s more relevant for rings and bracelets, which regularly make contact with hard surfaces, than for earrings. That said, if diamond studs are really your thing, there are so many ways to create a setting that is more interesting than the four-prong version available everywhere from Walmart and Blue Nile to Tiffany and Harry Winston. The first jewelry MrB ever gave me (in my pre-jewelry-designer days) was a pair of diamond-and-platinum stud earrings by Linda Lee Johnson.
These are subtle enough for daily wear but the flower-like design makes them special. MrB always did have good taste!
Of course, if you’re madly in love with your own four-prong diamond studs, I’m glad for you. Just because I wouldn’t wear them doesn’t mean I think you should part with something that gives you joy. You’re welcome to value my opinion exactly as much as I value most people’s, meaning not at all. But I won’t waste your time and money doing a custom order for you if I think you can get the exact same thing for less practically anywhere. I’ve happily referred people to Walmart numerous times for very basic, very inexpensive studs. I produce in small quantities, so I’m never going to be able to make you tiny diamond studs set in 10K gold for $81, but Walmart can.
If, on the other hand, you’re looking for diamond studs with a unique, handmade setting, let’s talk. And if you want to turn old jewelry into new diamond studs, I’ll do that because I love redesigning unworn jewelry. I’ll also design studs for anyone who wants larger stones where it makes sense to make extra effort to review gem quality. While diamonds are graded according to the “four Cs” of color, clarity, cut and carat weight, there’s always some subjectivity involved in the grading. It’s often possible to find a slightly lower graded stone that looks as good as or even better than a higher graded one. The customer can save money while getting fabulous stones. (I did that with my own engagement-ring diamond.) When I do a job like that, I have one of my wholesalers pull a dozen pairs of loose diamonds for me. I review each one personally, under magnification, till I winnow it down to the three or four best options to present to you. Naturally, I’d urge you to select a special setting to go with your special diamonds. Holla at me at wbjewelry at hotmail dot com if that sounds like something you’d want. If not, you’ve got plenty of other options.