Jewelry: You Inherited Your Love For Bling26 products
About JewelryDid you ever get distracted by something shiny? Was it a ruby, a diamond, a sapphire or an emerald? The world’s most precious stones and semi-precious gems feature bewitching lustres and precision cuts capable of capturing the light and enhancing the allure of the wearer.Over the past two centuries, laboratory created gemstones and plating techniques for precious metals led to an increase in consumer access to fine jewelry. The costume jewelry industry also continues to blossom as wardrobes have expanded to incorporate a variety of styles — each with a need for unique necklaces and bracelets to “make it work.”
Did you ever get distracted by something shiny? Was it a ruby, a diamond, a sapphire or an emerald? The world’s most precious stones and semi-precious gems feature bewitching lustres and precision cuts capable of capturing the light and enhancing the allure of the wearer.
Over the past two centuries, laboratory created gemstones and plating techniques for precious metals led to an increase in consumer access to fine jewelry. The costume jewelry industry also continues to blossom as wardrobes have expanded to incorporate a variety of styles — each with a need for unique necklaces and bracelets to “make it work.”
A Brief History of Jewelry
You come by your taste for bling naturally. Many of the world's oldest artifacts are pieces of jewelry. Scientists believe the most ancient pieces were crafted of shells and strung for a necklace or bracelet approximately 100,000 years ago according to the BBC.
Natural materials and easily accessible materials, such as shells, bone and stone, were common decorative elements in early pieces before metals appeared on the jewelry scene. Copper was likely the first metal used for decoration several millennia ago, but gold quickly took over in an era of Egyptian dominance.
Ancient Egyptians wore the original statement necklaces. In collars, crowns and amulets from ancient Egypt, gold was used to decorate those in power and of wealth during their lives and in their deaths. Gemstones appear in relics from this age as well as colored glass.
It was also the introduction of assigning powers to certain types of gemstones and using certain stones to denote class. For example, blue stones represented royalty while emeralds were connected to immortality and related concepts like rejuvenation. Similar practices continue to this day with the assigning of birth stones, the occasional trend of power beads and the marketing of diamonds as a status symbol.
As the Egyptians explored color, other civilizations also focused on shaping gold, hammering the metal into thinner decorative coins, dainty leaves and floral patterns. As centuries shifted and trade with other nations grew, jewelry options diversified worldwide due to the importing of more raw materials, such as stone and gold, to new areas.
By the Renaissance, trade was seen on a global scale, and the art of jewelry making was born. The crafting of unique settings and coordinating jewelry sets, such as earrings, necklaces and tiaras, took hold. Over the next two centuries, it became common for different types of jewelry to be used at various occasions or to signify life milestones and events, such as mourning or a wedding.
In the 21st century, the field of jewelry design is as diverse as ever with continued quality improvements for lab-created stones. The development of 3-D printing and new ways to design and manufacture one-of-a-kind pieces has opened up the bespoke jewelry world to even more creators while mass production ensures there are plenty of strand necklaces and cocktail rings for the fashionista who needs a bauble for every ensemble.
From hoops to studs, earrings allow you to say a lot about your personality based on how they dangle and shine. Large hoops, drop and chandelier earrings generally feature in the outfits of the bold or those who favor a boho flare. For studs, diamonds are a perennial favorite but additional dainty options, such as floral wreaths, pepper the market now.
A gentle drop of black beads or gold coin-inspired chandelier earrings work perfectly with a black dress for a date night or accent a short metallic dress when you need to dance off the week at the club. Drop and chandelier earrings are also favored by celebrities on the red carpet, particularly over off-the-shoulder dresses in solid colors. Pro tip: When you have jewelry that can steal the show, keep the dress simple.
From a simple heart-shaped locket to a Harry Winston wreath with all of the diamonds, necklaces can convey both intimate thoughts and power and prestige. Dainty options with subtle chains, like simple initial charm necklaces and strand or wrap necklaces pair beautifully with delicate clothing. Picture a hammered gold initial charm with a pink silk cami over white linen pants or a strand necklace over your favorite black knit sweater with a flared jean.
Bold gem options, such as necklaces with moderate or large pendants, look lovely over low necklines and solid color blouses or dresses. Wear your favorite mid-length pendant necklace with a pair of dangling earrings and partner chokers with subtle studs and an upswept hairdo to show off your profile.
If you want to explore gemstone rings, the options are endless with new developments constantly appearing on the jewelry market. For example, chocolate diamonds surged in popularity in recent years while rose gold became a favored color for rings, bracelets and necklaces.
When you couple new gemstone and metal options with the variety of gemstone cuts available — radiant, round, emerald, oval, pear and princess to name a few —the choices you will see while ring shopping can be mind boggling. However, it lets you develop a personal style with a handful of ring investment pieces and a mix and match assortment of cheaper rings for specific clothes or events.
Rings are incredible for setting a tone for your day and your outfit. A simple halo ring with an emerald is pure sophistication while the heft of a signet ring lends a touch of nostalgia to your look. The flash of a cocktail ring can make a statement ensemble out of an otherwise ordinary print dress while a multi-finger ring lends a biker chic vibe to your favorite moto jacket. If you’re pregnant or suffer from a health condition that causes bloating, an adjustable cuff ring can keep you stylish as your finger size fluctuates.
Bracelets have varied greatly over the years because they are easily crafted to suit trends. Are you a punk rocker? The studded cuff never goes out of style. It is also a favorite accessory for an outfit of cargos and a T-shirt or mixed material pairings like a brown leather jacket and white jeans. Need edge without studs? A thick gold braided bracelet with diamond accents gives you a statement accessory while maintaining a nod to sophistication.
For the fashion hound with boho leanings, raw materials, artisanal touches and holistic medicine nods are favorites. From hemp bracelets to leather bands with delicate embroidery to bracelets designed to activate chakras, there is a wrist decoration for everyone.
Bracelets can also serve as powerful reminders and sources of inspiration. Throughout the day, you will see the jewelry on your hands the most, making it important to pick pieces that truly reflect your personality. If blue makes you happy, look for a sapphire or topaz bracelet in your favorite design. If you love crystals, pick a gemstone option with your favorite healing properties and wear it on days when you need a mental boost.
Charms help commemorate life events, honor passions and celebrate accomplishments. Sometimes they are also just decorative. An initial charm on a thin gold chain can be a delicate accent at the neck while a series of Pandora charms can tell a life story on a bracelet. Popular charm options include astrology signs, professional insignia and nods to beloved hobbies, like golf or reading. Increasingly, pop culture finds its way in with shout outs to favorite movies or TV shows, such as Disney films.
The brooch started life as a functional piece meant to hold things in place, like the sides of a cloak. For generations, it served as a beautiful jewel-encrusted alternative to the button but was gradually replaced by other sewn-in closures. Now, it is a largely decorative object used to shout brand loyalty in the form of logo pin options or communicate subtle messages, such as religious beliefs, passions or holiday greetings.
If you want to wear a brooch or pin but feel like you can’t pull it off, start off by incorporating the item in a classic way — as a functional piece of jewelry. Use a brooch to hold your favorite cardigan closed, secure your favorite scarf or as an accent on a colorful hat. Pair a large brooch with thicker sweaters or other shirts with a dense weave to keep the weight from damaging your best tops. To customize thinner clothing, opt for more demure pins or bar brooches that are secured over a larger area.
People often believe the higher the gold content in jewelry, the better, but it really depends on the piece. You couldn’t wear a 24-karat, or 100 percent, gold bracelet for long because it would be too malleable and lose its shape. Gold needs an alloy, such as copper or nickel, to provide strength for necklace chains and ring settings. Most jewelry with gold content is 18K or 14K with 18K reserved for finer jewelry options. Chose 14K for durability when your rings, bracelets or necklaces need to stand up to a few bumps and bruises.
Gold is also available in other shades, including white gold and rose gold. The shade is altered by the alloy added to gold. Rose gold is actually gold mixed with copper at various levels to produce different shades. Yellow gold and rose gold jewelry is particularly flattering for people with warm undertones. If you find that you look best in reds, oranges and yellow or earthy shades like olive, you likely have warm undertones. Consider pairing your favorite olive tunic with a gold pendant for your next big day at the office.
Silver also needs to mix with an alloy like copper to make proper jewelry. Look for .925, or 92.5 percent sterling silver when you are shopping for quality. When you mostly prefer the look of silver and are shopping on a budget, silver-plated options sell for less while providing the gleam of the precious metal.
Silver works well with cooler skin tones. If you look or feel your most beautiful in rich blues, deep purples or emerald greens, opt for silver for your larger accent jewelry. Wear your favorite winter cable knit sweater with a silver brooch featuring deep accent stones to mesmerize at a holiday party.
White gold is a mixture, or alloy, of yellow gold and an additional metal like nickel. For example, an 18K white gold ring would be 75 percent gold and 25 percent other metals. It may also be plated to further conceal the yellow tones of gold. Rhodium is a common option for plating white gold jewelry.
Wear white gold with your favorite jewel tones or softer shades like lavender, dusty rose and gray. When you wear subtle suiting for the office, such as dark grey trousers or blazers, white gold is a delicate way to introduce designer jewelry to your ensemble.
Platinum resembles silver and white gold but is a rarer and tougher precious metal. It’s added strength makes it a durable choice for rings and bracelets that will see daily wear and tear. On the raw material market, platinum is second only to rhodium in cost, and it typically leads to more costly jewelry. The added density of platinum means you would use more of it than gold to make two rings of the same size.
To indulge in a bit of platinum without breaking the bank, consider purchasing silver pieces with platinum plating. The added durability of platinum will ensure the jewelry holds up for years of wear while the silver blend helps lower the price of dainty necklaces, gentle hoop earrings or bangles. When you’re on a budget, save a major platinum investment for an item that needs to last a lifetime and become a fairly heirloom, such as a wedding ring, engagement ring or a pendant necklace celebrating a major life event.
Shop the Best Jewelry Sales
Starting a jewelry collection can be a big investment, so shop our sale section for statement and subtle pieces at greatly reduced prices. From tassel earrings to pendant necklaces from your favorite designers and bracelets from the best retail stores, there is something for everyone.
When you need your money to stretch even further, we also offer a 50 percent or more off section for the biggest discounts on everything from diamond princess engagement rings to cultured freshwater pearl necklaces and chocolate diamond pendants.
David Yurman jewelry offers luxury jewelry products in classic designs, such as cable bracelets and box chains, while mixing in unique pops of color and design elements. Stax pendant necklaces feature layer upon layer of ring bands to lend an edge to a work look while classic pendants with black orchid stone can provide contrast to a favorite ball gown.
Before diamonds become a girl’s best friend, Forever21 offers a variety of jewelry options for under $10. Chain necklaces, pendants and earrings in all shapes and sizes will allow you to develop a personal style you can transfer to fine jewelry purchases in the future while keeping your mix and match hoop earrings handy.
The Effy Collection plays with all of the gleaming precious stones and metals. If you need a tanzanite pendant necklace with 14K white gold, it’s available. You can also choose a watercolor ring with a rainbow of sapphires. Numerous classic jewelry designs, such as teardrop earrings and halo necklaces, are honored by the brand alongside nods to the exotic, like a gemstone encrusted tiger’s head necklace.
John Hardy takes classic designs, like a cable or chain necklace or bracelet and provides a unique twist — sometimes literally. A simple change in the curve on a cuff can give jewelry pieces an antique air while other options feel exceedingly modern. Silver and gold are the luxury brand’s metals of choice with unique shapes and textures often providing unexpected depth, making each item a perfect piece to wear as a solo jewelry offering.
Kendra Scott jewelry largely celebrates gemstones in a more natural state and features a mid-range price point if you are ready to move on from pure costume options but not able to opt for luxury brands. Some large pendants show off polished multi-faceted stones of mother-of-pearl, tigereye or jade. Others feature stones with an uncut look or as standalone pendants. Texture is a hallmark of the collection, from earrings to necklaces to rings, the jewelry makes you want to reach out and touch it.
Lagos signature caviar collection features silver and gold bracelets, rings and necklaces with all the shape of fish eggs and none of the smell. Many stunning options feature a combination of colors to create additional depth or a striking contrast. Pair these statement pieces with black silk or satin to let their true beauty shine.
Bony Levy jewelry pairs high-quality materials with careful attention to form. Subtle alterations in shape on a pair of drop earrings or a diamond bar ring help lend the jewelry a contemporary flare despite relatively subtle designs. The jewelry's aesthetic is very clean and perfect for the workplace or full-time wear for a more demure fashionista.
Ippolita’s collections feature a variety of longer necklaces perfect for layering or notching up your style over a sheath dress or sweater. Gold and silver options ensure a blend for every skin tone. Earrings and rings with unique shapes and textures are also available from the luxury brand. Some rely on precious metals alone while others feature a variety of gemstones.
Nadri jewelry is another mid-range price option for the retail shopper ready to upgrade a collection. Unique earrings, such as pear-shaped chandeliers and shaker hoops, pepper the brand’s offerings while dainty initial pendants lend a youthful vibe. Nadri is a perfect brand for adding classic looks to your collection and gifting to others.
Roberto Coin is a luxury jewelry brand that crafts necklaces, bracelets and rings with classic lines while still paying exquisite attention to detail. Many options are yellow gold and most rely on the textures wrought in the precious metal to catch the eye over gemstones. Careful mixing and matching of these pieces with your fancy dresses and suits will earn you a reputation as a tastemaker in no time.
Rose gold has surged in popularity in recent years and shows no signs of decreasing. Meanwhile, alternative gemstones like chocolate diamonds are taking center stage for those looking for statement pieces. For new jewelry lovers and boho fans, dainty pieces and layered necklaces offer a soft way to accessorize while subtle charms remain a favorite of the crafty set.
On the earring front, a prior move to studs and close fits is reversing. Hoops are gaining in popularity and nearly every brand is selling multiple chandelier earring options in recent collections.
Jewelry sourcing is also rising in importance with many consumers now opting to secure ethically sourced precious stones and metals. Similar principles have also helped lab-created stones grow in popularity.
Pop Culture and Celebrities
For many celebrities, jewelry is a way to show off wealth and status. The Kardashians love flashing diamonds and platinum creations with both red carpet looks and weekend wear while many A-listers borrow statement pieces of jewelry for the big events.
The red carpet of the Oscars has featured many of the most stunning loaners, such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lopez in Harry Winston diamond wreath necklaces. Other stars like Keira Knightley and Lady Gaga have opted for more colorful gemstones to celebrate the big night.
In 2006, Knightley wore a Bulgari necklace of 18K yellow gold, rubies, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds over a one-shoulder deep burgundy gown. In 2019, Lady Gaga stunned in a 128.54 carat yellow Tiffany diamond necklace last worn by Audrey Hepburn in the film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”
The Future of Jewelry
Lab-created gemstones will continue to grow in popularity as consumer consciousness about jewelry sourcing rises. Despite this, overall jewelry sales will continue to climb as the global economy and social media compel more people to invest in status symbols as accessories, such as branded jewelry.
More unique options will also become available from small businesses as 3-D printing helps designers realize visions for necklaces, bracelets and rings they previously could not bring to fruition.
The technology allows for the use of precious metals and precious stones as raw materials for those with high-end aspirations. It can also be used to provide more one-of-a-kind pieces to suit any price range.
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