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  • Fueled by Inspiration.

    At Greenwich St. Jewelers we often ask, “What inspires you?” As artists, professionals, family members, community members, and as women… We want to hear about what lights that spark of creativity. How to keep on going and get things done, or how to finally rest and let it all go. And maybe most of all, how to realize that there are precious “gems” (if you allow us that shameless jewelry metaphor) in every experience and environment. Here’s our first installment in a series about inspiration.

    Photograph: Liz Brown for FlowerSchool NY

    This past March, I decided to treat myself to a special trip for my 45th birthday. The goal was to do something creative, fun and new. There’s nothing quite like giving your brain a shake-up with a new activity and a beginner’s mind.

    In my research I discovered FlowerSchool NY, a place where top international florists teach aspiring florists. To be honest, my experience with flowers didn’t extend past buying a few bodega bouquets and rearranging them in a vase, so this seemed a bit of a reach. But when I saw they were hosting a trip to Mexico which included workshops at Frida Kahlo’s Blue House and in San Miguel de Allende — two experiences that had been “on my list” for years — I immediately dashed off an email to ask if total newbies were welcome. SPOILER ALERT: the answer was yes.

    Less than 3 weeks later I found myself in Mexico City with Master Floral Designer Ingrid Carozzi of Tin Can Studios, the FlowerSchool NY team and the rest of the group, from serious hobbyists to professionals. Big GULP. My nerves were for naught however, as it became pretty clear that what we’d be learning was more than working with flowers, it was about the creative process — not only as artists and professionals, but as people. And it got me thinking about how I could apply that creativity to my work at Greenwich St. Jewelers.

    The first day in Mexico City was spent at Frida Kahlo’s famous Blue House. Our workshop was in Kahlo’s courtyard that day, which, no surprise, was an incredible environment. The initial assignment from Ingrid was to find inspiration in the story of Frida herself.

    Ingrid was quick to point out that while Frida made the paintings we love, she was also in a lot of physical pain, and lived a challenging life. Creativity doesn’t just come from things we find immediately beautiful. You can use the beauty and the pain, even things that seem weird and off-kilter to enrich an aesthetic, or to simply shift your perspective.

    In Ingrid’s demo arrangement, stunning in her signature untamed style, there were wild native blooms blended with unusual ingredients like overripe fruit and dried tomatillos. I tried to wipe my mind of fear and expectation and simply enjoy the process of working with the astonishingly vibrant flowers. The result was that I took my time (I was the last one done 2+ hours later) and ultimately completed an arrangement I was proud of. Check it out below:

    Photograph: Liz Brown for FlowerSchool NY

    Next, we were charged with making a grand arrangement with the inspiration prompt of a traditional Mexican embroidered shirt. This seemed like quite a stretch to me. However, after Ingrid’s demo where she taught us about restraint of with a neutral palette and how to add pops of color, I felt encouraged to give it the old college try. It turned out restraint was a little challenging for me - no surprise - being the only participant designing with a hand full of Jamie Joseph rings! 

    Left photograph: Liz Brown for FlowerSchool NY

    For the final workshop we traveled to San Miguel de Allende. There was inspiration everywhere in this stunning colonial city. It was impossible not to be seduced by the rich hues of mustard, terracotta, and burgundy, juxtaposed with vibrant bougainvillea, reminiscent of the palette of Jane Taylor spring jewels we just got in! This project would be our most comprehensive: an event concept for a mock client, including floral and table design. Ingrid showed us how she uses mood boards and considers all different aspects of the client’s personality, taste, and intentions to create a tailored experience.   

    Right photograph: Liz Brown for FlowerSchool NY

    One of the greatest lessons I learned on the trip was of collaboration and community. There was something that felt so uniquely kind — and inspiring — in how Ingrid shared her creative process transparently, from a place of compassion and generosity. She is an artist who lives by the principle of helping other artists.

    Obviously, this trip was a privilege, so it’s clear that I was inspired by such a beautiful place, and a curated experience. But what I came away with were ideas that were simple and will stick with me as tenets in my creative life. In fact, they’ve already been put to use.

    At Greenwich St. Jewelers we’ve recently started doing seasonal campaign shoots, which are big productions and something relatively new for us. Using what I learned, saw and felt in Mexico, I crafted story and mood for our spring campaign, considering the similarities between floral design and jewelry: it’s about the details, unexpected moments and evoking emotion.

    Shop the entire Jamie Joseph collection.

    The Greenwich St. Jewelers’ spring campaign and collection gave me a reason to rethink the ways I believe jewelry is meaningful. On a superficial level, it’s about how jewelry can accent a well-lived life. But deep down, I know it can improve life.

    To me, it’s more than adornment. The process of collecting and wearing jewelry is about acquiring things you really love, pieces that speak to you, and that make you happy. Jewelry can make you feel more finished, add bits of beauty to your day, or help celebrate an important moment in your life. On an even deeper level, you might consider your jewelry as a kind of magical power talisman, as I do.

    So, working that into the shoot, you’ll notice the how directly the color palette was influenced by our travels and the workshop inspirations. I wanted the colors and the light to feel fresh, and to channel the energy of a woman living her best life —aligned, intentional, confident.

    All in all, the basics behind what inspired me on this trip and later on in our shoot can happen anytime, anywhere. Carving out space and energy to try new things, finding a like-minded community, looking for the beauty in the environment, and most of all, looking to the example of other artists. They’re lessons I’ll hold onto for life.

  • Real Proposal Story: Jamie and Paul’s Heirloom Engagement

    Jamie and Paul’s Heirloom Engagement

    The Love Story

    “It’s hard not to like Paul the minute you meet him,” says Jamie, who has known her now-fiancé since the pair were in high school. “He has an honest smile and a talkative nature that relaxes you immediately.” While she’d seen that smile many times over the years, it wasn’t until the couple reconnected on Facebook in 2011, nearly five years after Paul graduated, that she really fell for it. After that first date, they saw each other nearly every weekend for an entire year -- to the point that Jamie just assumed they were boyfriend and girlfriend. “I figured we were out of that ‘make it official’ phase,” she remembers. “Then, a year to the day after our first date, Paul looked at me with his bright green eyes and asked me to be his girlfriend. I looked right back and said, ‘What?! I thought I already was!’ Paul really has a way of surprising people.”

    The Proposal

    In November of 2016, Paul and Jamie planned a trip to New Hampshire with a group of family and friends. “My grandparents have a lake house in Merrimack where I always spent my summers. Paul has always known how special the state is to me,” says Jamie. He planned the whole weekend, with a day in Portsmouth and a vineyard tour at LaBelle Winery. When they arrived for the tour, three or four people came up to the group and already knew Paul. “I don’t know how I didn’t put two and two together,” Jamie laughs. At a particularly scenic spot, the group took turns taking couples’ photos. When it was Paul and Jamie’s turn, she smiled at the camera, and he shakingly got down on one knee. “I immediately burst into tears and asked him what he was doing,” Jamie remembers. “He had a beautiful speech prepared, but I didn’t hear a word. Then he took the ring out of the box, dramatically threw the box across the lawn, and placed my new Erika Winters Grace solitaire -- featuring my grandmother’s diamond -- on my finger.”

    After the proposal, the group settled into the winery’s private room for lunch. “I was still in complete shock,” says Jamie. The bride had lost her mother to cancer when she was 13, and she’d both anticipated and dreaded her proposal because she wouldn’t be able to share it with her mother. Jamie hadn’t noticed the music playing in the restaurant until Frank Sinatra’s “The Way You Look Tonight” began. “It was my mother’s favorite song, one we would belt in the car and dance to in the kitchen,” says Jamie. “As soon as it started, the tears came and we all got the chills. I knew she was there with us, celebrating the moment.”

    The Ring

    Back in 2011, a week before Jamie and Paul’s first date, she was visiting her maternal grandmother. “She was in hospice, and on my final visit with her, she slipped her engagement ring off of her finger and handed it to me, asking me to one day use it for my engagement ring,” Jamie remembers. “I wasn’t dating anyone at the time, but she knew the day would come. A week later, I went out with Paul and something sparked. Coincidence, or no?”

    Of course, every family ring comes with a few challenges. In Jamie’s case, it was size. “My grandmother’s ring was a size 4, so we knew from the beginning that I wouldn’t be able to use her setting,” Jamie says. After creating a Pinterest board of her favorite designs, she showed Paul her favorites and he pointed her toward designer Erika Winters. “She has such a unique style, with tiny pinpoint details and antique touches. I fell in love with her Grace solitaire -- and then realized the rings were made on the West Coast. I couldn’t in good conscience send my grandmother’s 2.77-carat diamond all the way across the country,” she remembers, and she put the thought out of her mind.

    But Paul didn’t forget. A year later, he brought Jamie into New York City for a surprise, leading her to Greenwich St. Jewelers. “I was floored -- and a little teary-eyed -- when Lauren started placing Erika Winter’s designs in front of me,” Jamie says. “We settled on how I would want the ring customized, and then it was up to Paul to figure out how to secretly get the diamond from my father to Greenwich St. Jewelers.”

    Says Paul, “I took Jamie’s father to lunch, asked for her hand, and was given the diamond, then immediately set to work with Lauren to make the ring everything Jamie wanted. The whole team made me feel at ease, even when it was time to pack up Jamie’s grandmother’s irreplaceable ring across the country. After a few weeks of waiting, the ring was in. The minute I saw it, I knew it was meant for my girl’s finger.” Adds Jamie, “We are filled with happiness during this time of our lives, and we owe so much of that to Lauren and the Greenwich Street Jewelers team for making this experience one of a kind.”

    Congratulations, Paul and Jamie, on your engagement! It’s an honor to play a small part in your love story.

  • Real Proposal Story: Emily and Josh’s Engagement Down Under


    The Love Story

    Real Proposal Story: Emily and Josh's Engagement Down Under

    While it may not seem far to most, when Emily and Josh first started dating in early 2016, it truly qualified as a long-distance relationship. She was firmly settled in New York City, while Josh was on Long Island, meaning those early months were full of calls, texts, and a number of long drives back and forth. “On our first date, Josh met me at the Met to explore the museum’s collection, then we headed to the Upper East Side to share a bottle of wine. By the time we parted ways at 1 a.m., Josh drove home in what ended up becoming a huge blizzard,” Emily remembers. That, in fact, is how Josh knew Emily was The One. “The first date was great -- even though I had to drive home in a snowstorm -- and by the time our second date ended, I was sure,” he says. Though the drive was long, during a bout of bronchitis a month later, Josh appeared in the City to nurse Emily back to health. By the time she’d recovered, she was head over heels.


    The Proposal

    “By the time we headed to Australia with my family to visit my brother in March of 2017, I knew Josh had the ring, but wasn’t sure when he’d propose,” says Emily. “In fact, I’d had my nails done before we left, just in case!” Josh did in fact bring Emily’s ring with him, but the pair left Australia for a couple’s trip to New Zealand and he still hadn’t popped the question. They spent five days exploring, sleeping in a camper and immersing themselves in the stunning countryside -- and still nothing.

    On their last evening abroad, they checked in at a nice hotel, where Josh drew a warm bath for Emily to rinse away any remnants of their camping adventures. “There was wine, a fruit platter, and lots of bubbles -- and that’s when Josh asked me to marry him!” says Emily. “After I said yes, I looked at Josh and asked if I could put my ring on. It was perfect. I loved that we’d picked it out together, but that it still had Josh’s personal touch because he’d chosen the center stone himself. I know I’ll love it as much years from now as I did the first moment I saw it.”

    The Ring

    After browsing briefly with a friend, Josh and Emily found their way to Greenwich St. Jewelers to shop together. “I knew I wanted a vintage-style ring with a lot of character, and loved the selection,” Emily says. “We were able to try on a range of styles to narrow it down, then Josh made the decision from there. The process was so much like our relationship, with a lot of teamwork and communication.” For Josh, that direction was exactly what he needed. In his words, “Emily had such a specific vision for what she wanted, and I was of the mindset that her vision shouldn’t be ignored. Each ring she tried gave me a little more insight into her approach to jewelry, and shopping with Emily made the process much easier.” With help from Christina and the Greenwich St. Jewelers staff, Josh then chose the center stone on his own. “That was the one thing I really wanted to do myself, so I could surprise her with the finished product,” he says.

    The ring is full of the personality Emily was seeking, with an Old European-cut center stone surrounded by a diamond and sapphire halo and sapphire trillion accents. “I was inspired by a ring my mom has that belonged to her grandmother,” says Emily. “I’m also very active, and a ring with a low profile is the perfect fit.” The couple loved a ring with sapphires flanking a center diamond, choosing to customize the design to include the colored stones in the halo and add a pavé detail down the shank. “Christina was able to create a mock-up of the changes to help us visualize what we’d imagined. She really made sure we were comfortable with the new design,” says Emily.

    “The entire process was fantastic, stress-free, and resulted in an absolutely beautiful ring,” says Josh. “The hardest part was getting the ring back to Emily’s apartment without showing it to her or telling her I had it. I was so excited that she probably figured it out anyway!”

    On behalf of Greenwich St. Jewelers, congratulations Emily and Josh! We cherish the opportunity to be a part of your love story, and wish you all the happiness in the world.

  • Real Proposal Story: Valerie and Greg

    Real Proposal Story: Greg & Valerie’s San Francisco Engagement

    The Love Story

    Valerie and Greg fell in love on the back of a motorcycle, exploring New York City on warm summer evenings. The couple attended the same high school, but didn’t meet until years later, when their groups converged while out with friends for a night on the town in 2011. “For our first date, Greg drove us out to the piers in Long Island City to watch the sunset over the Manhattan skyline,” Valerie remembers. It was in those moments, arms wrapped around Greg as he drove through the city streets, that Valerie knew Greg was the man she wanted to spend her life with.

    The Proposal

    For Valentine’s Day in 2016, Greg planned a romantic getaway and whisked Valerie away to San Francisco. They spent their first day exploring trails around the city, approaching a high point overlooking the Bay. It was there, with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background that Greg got down on one knee, asking the question Valerie had been waiting for since they first met. Little did Valerie know Greg had another surprise up his sleeve: For their first Valentine’s Day as fiancés, they headed north to Napa Valley to toast their love with the finest California wine.

    The Ring

    Designer: Sylvie Collection
    Style: Graduated Diamond Engagement Ring
    Inspiration: Classic Radiance

    When Greg began searching for the perfect engagement ring for Valerie, he knew she preferred oval-cut diamonds -- and that he wanted the ring to be a surprise. Working with jewelry stylist Mary, he brought his mother to the store to learn about different designs and narrow down the options. “Greg brought his sister in to help him make the final choice,” says Mary. “It was wonderful to see the family share this joyous moment.” The winner? A sophisticated graduated diamond band in bright white gold for a serious dose of shimmer. After she said “Yes!”, Valerie and Greg came back to the store to show off her new ring. “When I met Valerie, Greg’s face was beaming with joy. It was an honor to play a small part in something so special,” Mary says.

    Valerie’s engagement ring has serious wow-factor. “When people first saw my ring, everyone noted how sparkly it truly is,” she says. Similar to a round cut stone, the oval shape maximizes brilliance for a stone that catches the light perfectly.

    From all of us at Greenwich St. Jewelers, congratulations! Thank you for sharing your love story with us. We wish you a marriage full of great happiness!

  • Designer Spotlight: Bounkit

    Bounkit jewelry

    The newest addition to the all-star roster at Greenwich St. Jewelers is Bounkit, a collection of audacious gemstone jewelry by designer Hassan Bounkit. A native of Morocco, Bounkit began his career in working for the haute couture houses in Italy before moving to New York. He fell in love with jewelry design and launched his collection in 2006 with the goal of creating pieces that could be worn in different ways, offering endless options from daring to demure. His Mediterranean background is apparent in the use of color and texture in the Bounkit collection, which is known for the incredible color pairings and the interchangeable nature of each piece.

    Bounkit lemon quartz and lapis earrings Bounkit Lapis and Lemon Quartz earrings are convertible from a stud to a statement drop.

    All jewelry in the range can be worn in two to three different ways, or paired with parts of other pieces to double, if not triple or quadruple your jewelry wardrobe. Made in Bounkit’s NYC atelier, each jewel is meticulously handcrafted from sensationally large and or vibrant gemstones giving the collection a modern, architectural sensibility.


    We asked Hassan to indulge us and answer our some questions so you can get to know this talented designer.

    Jewelry Designer Hassan Bounkit

    What’s on your playlist while you’re working at the bench?

    I like listening to Jazz.

    We’re coming over for dinner, what’s on the menu?

    Tajine with homemade bread and  salads. After diner we serve Moroccan Mint tea and sweets.

    What are you most proud of?

    My son Rayan and daughter Jana.

    Tell us about an unlikely source of inspiration.

    Old Bollywood movies.

    What is your favorite quote or mantra that you live your life by?

    Always treat the others the way you want to be treated.

    How do you stay balanced?

    I work in Manhattan which I get my energy from and live in the suburbs away from it all.

    What’s your guilty pleasure?

    Lasagna and not a veggie one!

    If you had to buy a piece of jewelry from another designer who would it be?

    David Webb

    Tell us about your most sentimental piece of jewelry and the story behind it.

    I made a cuff with a large Fluorite center and leaves set with Peridot and clear quartz. It was featured in Elle magazine in 2006. That was the first editorial with my jewelry.

    Bounkit's flourite cuff bracelet Bounkit's flourite cuff bracelet

    And lastly, here’s a speed round of one of our favorite games, THIS OR THAT:

    Five star hotel or tent under the stars? Tent under the stars

    Dance all night or hike all day? Hike all day

    Street art or museum of art? Museum of art

    Sweet or savory? Sweet

    Digital or analog? Analog

  • A Perfect Pair: Danhov and Paparazzi Proposals


    Wouldn’t you love to have the moment you propose be captured so you can relive the joy forever? We’re excited to partner with Danhov and Paparazzi Proposals on a very special gift for you. When you purchase a Danhov ring, we’ll give you a complimentary Proposal Package, complete with photographs and planning, valued at $495, while supplies last.

    Why choose Danhov?

    Masters of the most dazzling and innovative engagement ring settings, Danhov marries precision and art in an award-winning collection. All Danhov rings are handmade in their Los Angeles studio where designer Jack Hovespian heads a team of expert jewelers. Known for their exquisite, handmade micropave diamond setting, Danhov creates rings that appear to be crafted from diamond thread. You will also discover distinctly timeless designs that blend a modern aesthetic with classic silhouettes.

    Join us for a Danhov Engagement+Wedding Trunk Show May 21-22

    Paparazzi Proposals are proposal experts...

    Founder James Ambler was inspired by his years of experience as a paparazzi to create a one-of-a-kind approach to proposal photography. Paparazzi Proposals will help with planning your proposal, take the stress out, and leave no moment uncaptured. Paparazzi Proposals has been featured on Shark Tank, The Today Show and CBS Sunday Morning for the innovative idea of photographing the most important moment in a couple’s lives--using a team of highly trained photographers to capture the moment from afar.

    • The complimentary Proposal Package includes:
    • - Full proposal consultation (ideas, advice, locations,maps)
    • - One hour photography session to capture all moments of the proposal
    • - An impromptu engagement portrait session
    • - Photos of your new Danhov engagement ring

    Lastly, we’ll collect your love stories and feature them in “Real Proposal Stories” on our blog.

  • Ask the Expert: Ari Madilian from Single Stone Explains the Wonder of Antique Diamonds


    What makes a diamond truly spectacular?  For some, it may be color, clarity, or size.  For Ari Madilian, the owner and head designer of Single Stone, a diamond’s real beauty comes from its history and romance.

    Ari began his diamond career 1988.  As a purveyor of both modern and antique jewelry for many years, Madilian became acquainted with diamonds of all types, from all eras.  Captivated by the unique, uncommon appearance of the diamonds in antique pieces, Madilian began Single Stone, a company devoted to handcrafting diamond rings and bands with authentic historic details.  By using real antique center diamonds combined with intricate detailing, Single Stone’s rings present the perfect mix between old and new.

    Since he is an expert in the field of estate jewelry and antique diamonds, we took some time to talk to Madilian about what makes these jewels and gems especially remarkable.

    How did you become interested in antique diamonds?  What is special about them to you?

    Early in my diamond career, I sought out vintage diamonds for their singular and interesting structure.  I’ve always loved the romance and history associated with these gems.  I find it amazing that 100 years ago, someone adored these diamonds in their own jewelry.

    What’s the difference between historic cuts and modern diamonds?

    Modern diamonds are cut to exacting standards with proportions perfected in this century, and have a “crushed ice” type of brilliance.  Vintage diamonds were cut by hand, giving them much larger facets and a more subtle appearance.  The non-perfect cutting technique gives vintage gems a unique charm.

    The round, brilliant diamond we see today is a modern take on the Old European cut diamond, which is one of our most popular styles.  For me, the Old European cut has much more personality; its proportions are not as perfectly uniform as the round, brilliant diamond.

    Single Stone rings featuring Old European cut center diamonds and vintage details Single Stone rings featuring Old European cut center diamonds and vintage details

    What are some of the key characteristics of vintage rings apparent in your modernly crafted designs?

    Hundreds of years ago, engagement rings were made by hand which allowed them to be very light and delicate in feel.  At Single Stone, we capture the essence of estate jewelry but handcraft our rings with modern metals to make more substantial rings for today’s woman.  By using antique gems but newer materials, we are able to handcraft a jewel that will stand the test of time and eventually become a family heirloom.

    With all the details such as milgrain and engraving apparent in vintage jewelry, handcrafting a ring in our studio can take 4-8 weeks, but the result is a one-of-a-kind jewel with historic significance.

    Single Stone's Cobblestone collection features rings with various antique diamond cuts. Single Stone's Cobblestone collection features rings with various antique diamond cuts.

    We have a few of your wedding bands featuring French-cut diamonds.  Can you tell us more about what gives these diamonds their sparkle?

    French-cut diamonds became popular in the 1920’s, but are rarely seen in modern diamond jewelry.  Their unique sparkle comes from faceting on the top half of the diamond, which allows light to reflect off of the surface.  This type of brilliance is entirely different from modern baguettes.  These diamonds are cut especially for us, for each piece that we create.

    TWO-TONE-BANDS Single Stone wedding bands featuring French and Old European cut diamonds

    Shop our Single Stone collection online & see more of these antique beauties at our special in-store shopping event, May 13-15, 2016.


    Dear Friends,

    You may have noticed something different when you visited our website today; we are now Greenwich St. Jewelers! We’ve been busily working on this new site as part of the evolution of our store for some time now and we’re so excited to share it with you.

    Our subtle name change ties us to our roots.

    There are some of you who will remember that the original Greenwich Jewelers was opened by our parents, Carl & Milly Gandia, on Greenwich St. in 1976. That’s 40 years ago this year! As we thoughtfully considered our current business and where we want to take it, we chose to tether our brand to the heritage created by our parents on a little street downtown all those years ago.

    To move forward we looked back.

    We grew up on the streets of lower Manhattan, working summers and holidays at the store. And when we moved to our current location on Trinity Place after 9/11, we were faced with a challenging landscape. It was a time when we all needed to band together—as a nation, as a city, and for us, as a family. As somewhat of a surprise to each of us we decided to join the family business, and that’s when the magic happened. The alchemy of our family’s shared experience and drive to succeed in a difficult environment helped us to flourish. Our business grew; we began working with wonderful new designers, built a wedding clientele, and enhanced our shop and services – all to offer you the very best experience possible. Our parents had built the business on a foundation of trust, experience and a passion for service, so when they retired in 2009 and left it in our hands we knew we had big shoes to fill.

    ribbon-blogNothing changes that stays the same.

    We know that these changes: to our name, our logo, store, and website experience are a big shift, especially to those who have known us for a long time. We promise that we will continue to deliver the level of service, extraordinary design and warm and welcoming environment that you have come to expect from our store and staff. Our evolution is an a facet of our commitment to offer you best experience possible, as with our new lifetime jewelry care and personal shopper services, greater commitment to responsible sourcing, and of course, inspired jewelry to discover and covet.

    Nothing compares to you.

    While it’s clear that we love jewelry, our greatest inspiration is you, our treasured clients. We love that the children and grandchildren of our parents’ clients continue to shop with us, and we have made many new friends in recent years. We’ve met your children, co-workers, relatives and pets, and consider you a part of the Greenwich St. Jewelers family. You remain at the center of every decision we make and we’re so grateful for your having chosen us as your jeweler. Thank you for the past 40 years and here’s to 40 more brilliant years together!

    Jennifer Gandia and Christina Gandia Gambale

  • Stacks are the New Black : Curating Your Collection


    ss blog 1

    A well-executed stack of rings is a true thing of beauty. Every ring is a little sculpture that’s been infused with meaning and symbolism. Begin with one to three bands, then build your collection from there. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

      • --When you travel, be on the lookout for new additions to remind you of past adventures.
      • --Engrave a band with a secret message like a song lyric, your baby's name or your own mantra.
      • --When you achieve a goal, celebrate with a new ring as a reminder of your personal success.
      • --Buy a matching band with your closest pal for an updated twist on the old best friends’ charm.

    There is no right or wrong way to build your stack. We like to play around with textures and mixed metals to stand out from the crowd. There are no rules, this is all about you!  For guidance on curating a fabulous stack we consulted the experts at Single Stone. They gave us their four simple steps:


    This handmade band of the most luxurious 22k gold feels incredible on your hand, as though you've discovered a treasure from another era.

    ss blog 2

    Step 2) ADD SOME BLING

    Take it to the next level. We went all out with this platinum eternity band of rose-cut diamonds. The milgrain detail surrounding each gem is meticulously done by hand and this will surely become a prized family heirloom.

    ss blog 3


    We chose this darling hand-engraved band. The warm glow of the 18k rose gold is a universally flattering tone. We’ll inscribe ours with a secret mantra, so when we need to be strong it reminds us to stay centered.

    ss blog 4


    No brainier. The icing on the cake is this delicate, twinkling eternity band. The detailed engraving on the edges is exquisite. It is the perfect finishing touch for our dream stack. What does yours look like?

    ss blog 5


  • The Story of Talisman Jewels: L'Ecole Van Cleef and Arpels

    On a grey afternoon in late June I arrived at the Cooper Hewitt museum in the hopes of being dazzled and enlightened by the NYC pop-up of L’Ecole Van Cleef & Arpels. I’d first read about the Paris-based school in a jewelry trade publication a few years back, when it opened in 2012.

    The school promised to “welcome the public into the world of high jewelry and watchmaking,” offering classes in production, art history, diamonds and gemstones. All of this in the City of Lights! How I longed to go. It struck me as a brilliant concept, too, that a brand with the reputation and status of Van Cleef & Arpels would create a space to engage with and educate passionate enthusiasts about the art, form and function of jewelry.

    Alas, a trip to Paris wasn’t in the cards. So imagine my elation when I heard L’Ecole would bring a traveling campus to NYC in the Spring of 2015. I signed up immediately. Out of the 12 classes they offered, I had to pick just one. So I quickly jumped into the class that seemed perfectly aligned with my personal beliefs about jewelry: ‘The Story of Talisman Jewels’, a course offering insight into the symbolic meaning of fine and ornamental jewels.

    van cleef blog 1

    I arrived at the home of Cooper Hewitt Museum of Design at around 1:30 pm. With a magnificent Art Nouveau canopy and iron doors at the entryway, the stately Carnegie Mansion provided an ideal backdrop to the New York version of L'Ecole’s elegant offerings. The class gathered for refreshments in a chic sitting room and library created for the L’Ecole experience. The décor was refined yet modern with cozy areas of white leather seating, orange pillows and brightly hued flower arrangements decorating the glass tables.  Sketches of historic pieces decorated the room. I took in the impressive collection of jewelry books on every facet of the industry—from design to famous collectors. Since I was a little early I had time to settle into one of the cozy nooks with a cappuccino and flip through one of the many books on Van Cleef & Arpels.van cleef blog 2 van cleef blog 3

    I was joined by 11 other students, who appeared to hail from all over. I struck up conversations with a man who was in the early stages of making a career shift to jewelry designer, a trade publisher whose family had been in the watch business for generations, and an estate jeweler who’d flown out all the way from California to attend this class. One of the attendees was so decked out in Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry, I was sure she must be their most dedicated client.

    Our instructors for the afternoon were Inezita Gay, a Princeton educated art historian with experience at the great American jewelry houses, and Gislain Aucremanne, who got his master’s degree in art history at L’Ecole du Louvre. Yes, THAT Louvre. As far as experts go, they were not too shabby!

    We were whisked behind the scenes of the museum, through a non-descript black door that led down back-of-house hallways to a stairway. This certainly added to the excitement and intrigue of what we were about to experience. After all, we were about to learn the secret powers of talismanic jewels, n’est pas? The route was decorated with photography of the entire jewelry making process and when we reached the top of the stairs we found ourselves at L’ecole Van Cleef & Arpels. The rooms that had been designated for the school are not open to the public which explained our unconventional travel route.

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    After a quick stop to visit the light-filled jewelry workshop that had been set up for a different class, we arrived at the Carnegie library, our studio. The wood paneled walls had tasteful flourishes; the fireplace was marble and gilt, and from floor to ceiling the built in shelves were lined with leather bound books. Of course there was a grand crystal chandelier hanging like the crown jewel of a bygone era. It was hard not to feel as if you’d been transported to the early 20th century, when the house was one of a few on “Millionaire’s Row” boasting Central Park as their front yard.   van cleef blog 6

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    The next four hours of the course itself packed so much in; it could have very well stretched into a semester on the subject. Since the dawn of humanity people have been using objects as talismanic ornaments. Today, we view jewelry as adornment or accessory, but in ancient times the most common reason to wear a talisman was as protection. In fact, the majority were created to protect children, who in those days were susceptible to sickness and death at young ages.van cleef blog 8

    In the Renaissance period talismans were used mainly for prosperity. That evolved into talismans to influence happiness in the early 20th century while in the late 20th century the purpose of a talisman was most popularly love. And what better example of a gift of passion than the Cartier-designed Taj Mahal diamond, which Richard Burton gifted to Elizabeth Taylor on her 40th birthday. In presenting it to her in 1972, Burtn famously quipped: “I would have liked to buy her the Taj Majal but it would cost too much to transport.” From Gay and Aucremanne, we learned that the 17th century diamond was originally a gift of Shah Jahan to his favorite wife, Mumtaz and when she died he built the Taj Mahal in her honor. It’s important to note that the diamond itself is a glyptic--a term which refers to the ancient art of carving and engraving stones for specific meaning (linguistically similar to “hieroglyphics”). Carving natures hardest mineral specimen is a feat of craftsmanship that bears highlighting.

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    We discussed how every  culture -- from Middle Eastern countries to the Americas has historic symbols represented by jewelry. In ancient Greece, for instance, the snake was a powerful symbol of good fortune, fertility and eternity. Bulgari, the jewelry house that features slithery watches and jewels has its roots in Greece. The Bulgari family members were originally goldsmiths who later became jewelers in Italy. The snake watches are highly symbolic, forever linking the serpent figure with the element of time. The allure and longevity of this talisman is undeniable, as the Bulgari Serpenti collection has remained one of the most highly sought after status symbols in the world.

    Adding an element of fun, we were given an activity of matching talismans with origins and orientations.

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    At the end of the class, we turned our attention to the great design houses including Chanel, Cartier, Dior and Van Cleef & Arpels’ use of talismanic iconography in their designs. I loved learning about the personal meaning behind some of the symbols’ use in widely recognized jewels.

    Coco Chanel, for instance, was a great believer in luck and astrology, which led her to create  jewels that depicted five-pointed stars and her sun sign Leo, the lion. Louis Cartier moved his workshop into number 13 and that became the house’s lucky number. And the lucky it was, attracting clients like the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, who marked every occasion with a Cartier-designed cross.

    My favorite story was about the aviator Jackie Chochran, who commissioned a charm necklace by Cartier filled with symbols that most considered unlucky--number 13, upside down horseshoes, a witch riding a broom--under the rationale that she of all people should appreciate the ability to make her own luck. After all, she was born impoverished and went from being a beautician to a world-class, decorated aviator (a woman in a male-dominated field, no less) and successful entrepreneur. Now there’s a woman after my own heart.

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    Last but certainly not least are the collections of Van Cleef & Arpels. References to the belief in symbolism are rife in the brand’s history. The Alhambra collection incorporates many of the talismanic elements we unpacked in class: the four-leaf clover, gemstones’ spiritual and healing properties, and color symbolism. The designers have incorporated wood, an element of nature, into collections throughout its history. One of the earlier examples was from the 1920s when Jacques Arpels designed “Touch Wood” lucky jewels, rings carved and set with gemstones. It’s no secret that the superstition of “touching” or “knocking on” wood for luck is a universal superstition. However, perhaps Jacques Arpels put it best when he said, “To be lucky you must believe in luck.”

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    I have always believed in the potential of jewelry and the power of objects and intention. This class further ignited my passion to learn more about iconography, symbolism and talismans. Filled with wonderful visuals, activities and facts ‘The Story of Talisman Jewels’ surpassed my expectations. As a woman who believes that nothing has the capacity to communicate fondness, friendship or love like a gift of jewelry I wholly agree with something Ms. Gay said at the close of class. “If you buy something, for yourself or someone else with positive intention, you infuse it with the power to create a talisman for any true cause, be it protection, guidance, love, happiness or any other quality of life.”

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    I hope you have the opportunity to join in a class at the L’Ecole Van Cleef & Arpels, ideally in Paris and with me at your side!

    For further reference, you might like to watch L'Ecole's videos on Jackie Cochran's Talismans or the Touch Wood Jewels.

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