Posts in Jewelry
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 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 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.
by Terry Betteridge on August 9th, 2012
This antique snuff box or bonbonnière is hand-engraved and engine-turned below multiple layers of colored glass (a technique Faberge becomes famous for copying an hundred years later). Trapped within the early 19th century Parisian enamel is the golden inscription, “DON DE L’EMPEREUR” (“A Gift of the Emperor”)- for you know who…
by Brooke Betteridge on May 1st, 2012
Visiting Mark Davis’ workshop is an experience that can only be described as heavenly. Housed in an old rope factory building on the water in Brooklyn, stark white walls give way to the most glorious sight imaginable- a wall of color-coded bakelite!
Due to the vintage nature of the material, Mark has taken to buying it up whenever a “new” stockpile becomes available. Whether it be a full uncut, bakelite tube, or a collection of well-worn bangles, he has managed to amass quite a lovely hoard over the years. All in various stages of production, one can witness the transformation from ordinary to extraordinarily fabulous as the time-consuming process of sanding and polishing progresses.
Years of exposure to the elements oxidizes outer layers of the bakelite and causes it to change color. A brown piece might actually turn out to be blue after Mark has had his way with it. Who knew bakelite was so multifaceted? Mark did!
Before Mark Davis came onto the scene, bakelite had been largely forgotten. Now, many try to imitate his unique style using resin and other colorful materials. Only bakelite however is heat-resistant, impervious to moisture and shatterproof- it’s actually so durable that it was used for some bomb-casings during World War II.
After seeing the amount of work that goes into the making of each and every piece bearing his stamp, one cannot help but fall madly in love with Mark’s jewels. While this material might no longer be in vogue militarily-speaking, Mark Davis’ bakelite beauties always hold the top three spots on my jewelry wishlists.
by Win Betteridge on April 10th, 2012
Last week, we launched a new section on our website devoted to the Betteridge Diamond Collection.
We have photographed each and every diamond, pairing it accurately with its GIA certificate on the site. Better yet, the diamonds are available for viewing in our stores.
Many of these diamonds offer truly exceptional value. Over the years, we have done our best to buy diamonds opportunistically, helping to ensure favorable pricing for our customers.
There is no better way to showcase a spectacular diamond than in an elegant, handcrafted setting. You can see a few of our favorite designs in our engagement ring guide.
We hope that you enjoy the newest addition to Betteridge.com, and please let us know if you have any suggestions to improve it.
by Brooke Betteridge on April 10th, 2012
A colorful cocktail ring is a warm weather wardrobe staple, and in my opinion, no one does color better than Paolo Costagli. More so than most talented artists, Paolo has a knack for combining colors that is simply breathtaking.
He is probably best known for his peridot and pink sapphire pieces, inspired by a Florentine garden near the famous Piazzale Michelangelo. No less fabulous however, are the multitudes of other fabulous pairings like the mint tourmaline & violet sapphire, as well as deep pink tourmaline & pink sapphire, stunners above. No matter your personal taste or preferred color palette, Paolo undoubtedly has a ring so perfect, you’d think it was made just for you!
by Simon Teakle on October 29th, 2011
There is a rare breed of contemporary jewelry that, the minute it is made, one knows it will endure the vagaries of fashion and never become the victim of boredom.
This multicolored sapphire necklace is one such enduring example. Mounted in titanium, it combines quality material with superb design and craftsmanship. Built in Geneva, in one of the world’s finest workshops, it was so difficult to make the designer vowed he would never construct jewelry using these techniques again.
Titanium is one of the most difficult metals for a jeweler to craft; it is temperamental and stiff, so if mistakes are made the work must be scrapped and begun again. Gold and platinum are much more forgiving.
The audacious way that the designer has mirrored the brilliant colors of the sapphires in the titanium itself (through a painstaking scientific process that is difficult to describe and harder yet to understand) is what makes this a masterpiece.
Instead of creating a piece that could be considered gaudy or gauche, he has transformed what could have been a predictable multicolored sapphire necklace into something both elegant and utterly unique.
by Terry Betteridge on October 28th, 2011
The 1930′s were a glorious period for the great Greenwich estates. Stone cutters, plaster workers and wood carvers put extraordinary finishing touches on grand houses; classically trained landscape architects designed wondrous gardens, then left in the hands of hereditary stewards; families hosted splendid dinner parties in wide backyard fields.
It was a time of grandeur, and within these walls, jewels of simple, but powerful beauty were worn with ease and abandon.
Below is a star sapphire of over 50 carats, beautifully set during that period. The rays of the star, glowing on fields of microscopic minerals riding the crystalline structure, extend vividly to it’s horizon.
Mimicking the geometry of this asterism, the gemstone is enhanced by triangular and kite-shaped diamond shoulders. These side stones were carved with no regard to the amount of diamond dropped away on the cutter’s floor to achieve the perfect symmetry demanded to follow the points of the central star.
My grandfather always maintained that to truly judge a jewelry craftsman’s care and ability, you have to look beneath, in this case inside, the piece; he’d have been thrilled by this ring.
Between bridging of platinum polished to mirror-like brightness (only achieved by “thrumming” leather or cotton strings through the ring’s openings for days), is the original owner’s cypher.
To cut sapphire at all- the second hardest of substances- it takes a diamond; and to fashion this perfectly entwined monogram, it took a master cutter, working a graver formed from a diamond and then skillfully wielded in the most delicate and hardest task imaginable: carving an elegant cypher.
Pop used to say that the thirties were a time when you had to have taste to have money. Although some might suggest that this no longer remains the case, this jewel from one of Greenwich’s truly “Great Estates” could make you a believer that it once was the rule.
P.S., so would seeing Old Mrs. Wilshire, who early on in my career had her chauffeur stand outside the store’s door, holding a brace of massive, dignified wolfhounds…
by Brooke Betteridge on October 1st, 2011
Ever since their introduction in 2009, Paul Morelli’s Meditation Bells have been a hit. Something about that sweet tinkling sound is simply irresistible, and the ingeniously-simple clasp mechanism allows for endless mixing and matching!
Each bell seems to have a character all its own, whether it be the gracefully classic, plain fluted bell or the whimsical and cheerful multicolored, gem-set versions, there is a bell for everyone. For instance, my current favorite is the “Raja” bell in gorgeously moody black rhodium sparkling with amethysts and black diamonds. A little bit edgy, but still playful and feminine.
Just launched in sterling silver, there is a bell for every budget! The new silver bells come in classic styles, including ones with Morelli’s signature granulation, as well as new, gem-set stunners, such as the ones pictured to the left.
Who couldn’t use a little more Zen in her life?