Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Pearls, pearls, pearls

At the JANY show, I looked at jewelry and also shopped for supplies: chain in sterling silver and vermeil, pearls in pink and mauve, petal pearls in a golden champagne hue, and mixed strands of nuggets with rose quartz, blue lace agate, chalcedony, and citrine. When I was visiting Lucky Gems, one of the salesmen gave me an orange and said, “Free gift!” It was one of the best free gifts I’ve ever gotten. He must’ve known I don’t eat enough fruit.

Even though I wanted to break the habit of buying a piece of jewelry at every show, I caved when I spotted a white coin-pearl ring from Rene Escobar. It’s a standout piece in his collection, with a nickel-sized coin pearl set in sterling silver dotted with amethysts. What I love about it is that it’s not dainty, it’s very “Bam!” I’ve never seen anything like it, and I’ve seen a lot (when it comes to jewelry). I have to admit, I prefer to buy from designers who take the time to talk about their jewelry.

Speaking of… I said hi to Ray Griffiths, whose rings I try on every year. Ray continues to add beautiful pieces (including a tiara) to his collection, but I keep trying on similar versions of the ring I bought a couple of years ago. My newest object of desire: an 18-karat yellow gold ring with a square white topaz. I wear round (or round-edged) shapes in rings, but I just loved this stone, with its severe corners. Bam! again. Also noteworthy: Ray is going green by giving out Post-It pads with images of his work printed on them. Clever marketing, and now I can think of him every day.

Finally, here I am holding a 16-inch strand of 16–19mm graduated South Sea pearls, for sale by a vendor from Hong Kong who graciously snapped the photo. The wholesale cost: $32,000. A few booths away, I found a vendor who sold 20mm shell pearls — uniform in shape and color — for $26.50. But I didn’t buy them. Sometimes it's hard to scale back when you see the top-of-the-line strand first. I also passed on earth-friendly shell pearls in coral and peach shades that looked like the real thing. Maybe I should branch out (bad coral pun intended) to designing with orange hues?

The show is always fun and exhausting, and this year was no different. If you get a chance to go, you should: it’s a way to see a staggering amount of jewelry in one place. And, you get the chance to talk to artists and their reps about their newest and most popular collections!


The Pearl Professor said...

Damn! Those are some big pearls!

RupaB said...

It looks like you are having fun...would love to see what goodies you bring back and trends that we can expect to see.