IntoTemptation…..jewellery musings

Thoughts on jewelry, accessories and whatever else takes my fancy

Archive for the month “August, 2010”

Jewel of the day: Temple St. Clair for Target select pieces

I was fortunate enough to be in the US the day this collection was made available, and was happy to see that despite huge demand, the pieces I wanted were still in stock. (Though it did take trips to two separate Target stores!)

I was very pleasantly surprised by the overall quality. When I heard that St. Clair would do a costume jewellery capsule collection for Target, I really wondered how she could showcase her very luxe look at mass market prices in a way that would not compromise either her quality or design aesthetic. I think she should be very proud of what was accomplished. The pieces are solidly made and feel sturdy and good in the hand. The stones (which I believe are resin) are open backed in most cases, providing a nice sense of light and translucency. And the finish and details were higher end as well: brushed gold on the backs of earrings and some of the all-gold pieces, small sillicone stoppers on the backs of the shepherd’s crook earrings to prevent them from slipping off, and flannel drawstring bags with her name and logo printed.

There were a lot of ways that Target could have cheaped out on this – but they didn’t. I realize that for a lot of people, the $49.99 price for a necklace will be a deal breaker, and not what they are used to paying at Target. But I do think that for those who love her work (or even just the look) this is a really unbeatable opportunity to have it without the multi-thousand dollar price tag.

Here are photos of what I picked up, including some back views so you can see the workmanship. Some of the collection is still available at, and of course, you can always check Ebay, where no doubt prices will be higher

These stones are more garnet than red; the backs are translucent but the light makes them appear to be solid.


Jewel of the day: Boodles spiders web necklace

Boodles, the venerable British jeweller, was founded in 1798 as Boodle and Dunthorne. Now known simply by its first name, the family owned jewellery house shows an array of modern styles, like this Spiders Web collection, which features the necklace shown here and other matching pieces. Alas, the web site gives no information as to the diamond weight or materials, and is very Flash heavy (don’t try this on your Ipad, kids). But there is a lot of very wonderful eye candy, including a vintage section. To see more of their work, click here.

Jewel of the day: William Welstead diamond necklaces

If someone were to buy me the middle necklace in the photo below, I would not say no. Welstead describes his approach to stones thus: “He does not recognise conventional gem stone hierachy and chooses stones only for beauty and charm.The collection encompasses Indian diamonds, emeralds from Zambia and Burmese spinels. Antique stones also play an important part in his work. Many of the stones are native cut and close to their natural origins in the earth. His designs focus on simple and elegant use of these beautiful stones All the jewels are hand made in English workshops with an emphasis on craftsmanship.”

You can see tantalizing glimpses of his jewelry on his web site here. For prices, to view his collection and to commission a special piece, contact the artist through his site.

Jewel of the day: Paolo Costagli amethyst and ruby earrings

Florentine jeweller Paolo Costagli offers an array of candy coloured jewels that really speak to the kind of casual but very elegant adornment favourted by Italian women. They aren’t afraid of colour, and they aren’t afraid of impact.

Costagli has his own blog,, with a link to his web site. If an inanimate object can exude a sense of joy, these do. Made of 18k white gold, and featuring reverse set amethysts and accented with rubies and diamonds, they retail for USD $3,400 and are available at Neiman Marcus (though currently showing as back ordered). Pretty, pretty.

Jewel of the Day: MF Pepe Ifigenia necklace

There is something so over the top about this design that it crosses over into wonderful for me. I don’t know the scale of the piece (or the price) but I do like its ferocity. And it reminds me of Dali’s very famous jewelled lips. Perhaps it’s a natural progression from that artistic rendering.

From Maria Francesca Pepe at, and available as shown in white resin and ruthenium (right), or light gold and palladium (left). Pepe has worked in women’s wear and accessory design and calls her pieces “jewellery-wear”, since she considers the line between jewellery and clothing to be blurry at best. Available at these stockists.

Jewel of the day: Chan Luu for Banana Republic wrap bracelets

This was initially on sale only in one Banana Republic concept store in San Francisco in May, but was rolled out more widely on August 10. I confess that I succumbed to one of the 5x wrap bracelets in this collection. It works perfectly with the stack I already wear and it was a tough choice between the various combinations of semi-precious stones. Prices range from Cdn $225-285 for the multi wraps and (I think) $115 for the single strand bracelets. (Though if this is too rich for your blood, Club Monaco offers a similar style without the use of semi-precious stones of sterling for a very modest Cdn $38.) Available at flagship Banana Republic stores; there is a small selection online.

Jewel of the day: Vita Fede Magia feather necklace

And now for something completely different. Love this feathered bracelet and matching necklace by Italian designer Vita Fede. They describe it, perfectly, as whimisical. Made of ostrich feathers and a gunmetal plated mesh chain. Necklace is USD $450; matching bracelet is USD $415. For days when you simply must show your plumage. Available for purchase here.

Jewel of the day: Sarah Swell weathered locket

I am a complete sucker for lockets. Their dual nature … outward design and hidden secrets … the romance and mystery of them. I have a small collection of vintage lockets and am always drawn to designs that are a little bit different. This piece by Oakland, California based Sarah Greenberg reflects her upbringing by the shore back East, and translates that sensory experience into a slightly weather beaten finish and interesting closure. Most of her designs follow this aesthetic, and there are several pieces from her collection that I really like and will be featuring in upcoming posts.

This design is available in sterling silver for USD $360 and in 14k gold with diamonds for USD $2360 with two other options in between and can be purchased here.

Jewel of the day: Carlos Souza rudraksha bracelet

Souza is designer Valentino’s PR director and launched his own collection of jewellery in 2007 under the name Most Wanted Design. It has a bohemian, summers in Capri vibe. His website appears to be disabled now (all links lead to a “thank you” message), but his designs are still available at I own a similar bracelet by Souza, made of seeds from rudraksha trees, believed by Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists to offer enlightenment and various forms of protection.  Made to order and USD $520, available here. Souza also offers a rudraksha mala necklace, for those of you who liked the look in the movie “Eat, Pray, Love”.

Jewel of the day: R.J. Graziano faux coral and turquoise bib necklace

The combination of these two colours is always so bright and lively. Fittingly, designer R.J. Graziano has called this design Costa Del Sol, after the famed Spanish resort area. Available at HSN here for USD $59.95, Graziano’s work is also widely available in department and specialty stores. Earrings matching this necklace are available on HSN for USD $24.95. Maximum impact, minimal price.

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