by Terry Betteridge on June 20th, 2014
These tiny jewels, each of gold or platinum, were quite exotic statements worn by pretty conservative fellows otherwise. There are laconic women in the Art Nouveau styles, toothsome critters of all sorts, and then a “scaredy-cat” and frightening baby sporting a diamond bonnet and face of carved pink moonstone; all of them incredibly well crafted as miniature standout pieces for a gentleman’s tie. I remember most of these framed by my fathers vest or granddad’s fuzzy waistcoats, fondly, except for when I’d be chased to bed with one in a good hearted threat from pop who would brandish one in musketeer fashion.
The old man was proudest of his bird crystals: Reverse carved to complete full relief of the animal and then painted with translucent oils to show every feather of that,” just shot” mallard duck or the standing snipe. He gave Mom a life sized bumble bee carving that was so well done, every person who saw it assumed a live bee had been somehow trapped in crystal: Only the pre-World War One carvers managed to include every hair carved, though great painters remained through till the 40′s.
by Terry Betteridge on May 20th, 2014
Really good silver takes many forms but it always shares a few important traits, as this old stuffing spoon shows.
All the surfaces here, rustic from the heavy hammer blows, are smooth to the hand. The haft of the spoon is heavily beaten back from both sides, to thicken and give the strength of an “I Beam”: It wont bend, or at least will snap back, when used hard.
It is almost 8 troy ounces of three individually made and reinforced sections: It has the weight to last through hundreds of years of service.
Finally, it is signed by the workmen who were pleased with their work and proud of their shop. Great silversmiths make things to be used and are willing to stake their names that it will last doing so.
by Lex Graham on November 17th, 2013
Asscher, cushion, and radiant are just a few of the diamond cuts that come to mind when I think about diamonds that are truly exceptional and stunningly beautiful. They seem to intrigue the eye and compliment the wearer differently than a round stone. These diamond shapes have the ability to show off striking parallel step-cut lines, smooth pillow shaped corners, or brilliant fire radiating from many angles of the stone.
The round brilliant, while being the most popular diamond cut, will always air to the sense of classicism and pay homage to earlier circular diamond cuts. Without a doubt, the round will forever be revered. On the other hand, Fancy-shaped cuts are derived from advancements in diamond cutting techniques and a desire for uniqueness.
When a rough diamond is formed by Mother Nature, it is not always ideal for the stone to be cut into a round. Why? Perhaps the shape of the crystal is better suited for another shape or the crystal’s potential depth of color could be showcased if faceted to highlight a fancy colored diamond. Nevertheless, master diamond cutters have to analyze the rough material and take into consideration shape when envisioning the potential beauty for a stone.
If you find yourself dreaming of something special and sophisticated, consider a Fancy-cut diamond from Betteridge: you might just fall in love.
by Lex Graham on June 10th, 2013
As Father’s Day quickly approaches, I found myself asking the question, “What am I going to get dad this year?”
My dad is certainly one of the guys who seem to have everything. I began thinking of the really special memories I have made with him and they all seem to steer back to being outdoors. Father and son elk hunts in New Mexico, fishing in Texas, and sporting clays tournaments are some of the best times we have had together. When I saw the William Henry “Spearpoint” folding knife, I didn’t see just another gift for dad, but a chance to bring those memories back to him and create new ones as well.
by Terry Betteridge on February 14th, 2013
At the end of the 19th century, platinum was for the first time being used to set diamonds, though still with the historically used gold backing.
Seen from behind, the pendant’s setting is almost entirely pierced and filed away. It creates the appearance of a honeycomb in gold and platinum whose engineering would make Buckminister Fuller proud. Perfect strength with a minimum of material, though a maximum of labor.
After the sawing and filing, cotton string and pith wood charged with fine abrasive powders and carried by beeswax were “thrummed” to mirror polish the cutaways. The process creates the perfect seats for each small diamond.
From the back just as much as the front, this is perfection seldom seen.
by Lex Graham on February 8th, 2013
With the sixtieth birthday of the Rolex Explorer around the corner, the iconic and robust look of the original Rolex Explorer has changed very little since its premier in 1953. Dedicated to the first explorers to climb to the summit of Mount Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa, Tenzing Norgay, the Explorer has been a pivotal part of Rolex heritage.
The combination of the brushed steel case and bracelet, along with the smooth bezel and luminous black dial represent the iconic DNA of the Explorer. This look is a very strong but classic approach to watch design that has stood the test of time. The Explorer is powered by a mechanical self-winding movement with Paraflex shock absorbers, a Parachrom hairspring, and a bidirectional self-winding perpetual rotor for efficiency and durability.
As the May anniversary of the Everest climb approaches, this piece will continue to represent the desire for exploration- new experiences and overcoming obstacles.
It is the perfect fit for the graduate with the world ahead of him, or the trailblazer with an unmarked route.
by Lex Graham on October 31st, 2012
Growing up in the jewelry industry I have been exposed to some incredible pieces of fine jewelry- from vintage diamond brooches and exquisite line bracelets to large diamond drops. Although these pieces are wonderful, they are not always wearable for everyday enjoyment.
This is where the Bvlgari B.Zero1 collection comes into play. Whether you favor your little black dress or jeans and a simple blouse, these designs will be sure to complement your outfit. The Bvlgari B.Zero1 collection can be worn to accent the ears, neck, wrist, and hands with comfort and clean intriguing designs. Pendants, hoop earrings, cuff bracelets, and banded rings are a few elements of the collection.
Bvlgari’s use of 18-karat pink, yellow, and white gold with diamonds and colored gemstones makes for a very wearable new take on classic materials. But what if you want something new and different? Maybe you want a beautiful piece of gold that is complemented by colored ceramic, or even exquisite marble in blue, green, or brown. Well this collection does just that.
The versatility of the collection makes it a wonderful addition to any wardrobe, and the attention to detail and comfort is sure to stand out wherever you are enjoying them. You will find these pieces not only accent your wardrobe but also your lifestyle.
by Win Betteridge on October 13th, 2012
In 2012, Buccellati is commemorating its 60th anniversary in the United States. It’s a great moment for Buccellati and one that we are particularly excited to celebrate together. This year, Betteridge is celebrating its own 60th anniversary- in 1952, we opened up our headquarters in Greenwich.
In honor of Buccellati’s storied history and our longstanding partnership, we are proud to announce the Mario Buccellati 1952-2012 Tribute Watch.
Only 33 pieces will be produced for a few friends in the cities where Buccellati’s history has been written: New York, Beverly Hills, Chicago, Aspen and Greenwich.
For Greenwich, the watch is a limited, numbered edition of three (Buccellati’s US President is wearing number 2, but 1 and 3 are available, if you are looking for a truly special holiday present).
by Mike Manjos on August 16th, 2012
by Terry Betteridge on August 11th, 2012
Occasionally, the great Parisian jewelers all stepped back from classically opulent jewelry making to design something artistic and amusing, while still maintaining unsurpassed quality in material and design.
By Van Cleef & Arpels, this jewel of a British bulldog is a representational tour de force. With enameled wingtip collar and chained diamond monocle, not only is all England invoked, but Winston Churchill in particular. Tenacity and single-minded purpose dressed as a gentleman…
I’ve spent much of my life on the hunt for wonderful and unique jewelry pieces. My favorite jewelry has meaning- in this case, the historic allure of one of the most important men, and greatest characters, of modern times.