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Engagement Rings:  Unusual or Traditional?

Princess Catherine's sapphire ring is truly a reflection of the latest trend in engagement rings – Princess Diana was way ahead of the curve.  For years the diamond solitaire has been THE symbol that says engagement because of an amazing marketing campaign from the diamond industry.  It has not only become a tradition – but almost an obligation (and a beautiful one!).  The good news for those who like to buck tradition – times are definitely changing.  I personally love the originality that comes with a colored center stone.  Maybe because my wonderful husband gave me a beautiful ring with a yellow diamond in the center – or maybe because I have always been the girl who liked the traditional with a twist. 

Princess Diana's beautiful sapphire and diamond ring, on her and on Princess Catherine.

In addition to Princess Catherine and me – there is a trend with celebrities deviating from tradition. When Ben Affleck proposed to Jennifer Lopez, he did it with a huge pink diamond that soon after became all the rage. Then of course there’s the canary diamond (like mine), which popular country star Carrie Underwood accepted for her engagement. When Carmen Electra got engaged to Rob Patterson, a guitarist for Korn, her new diamond was…wait for it….BLACK.   


I know!  She looks happy!  Black may be an engagement ring color I wouldn’t embrace – but I do respect the uniqueness of the choice.

Like Princess Catherine, celebrities have also started to go outside even the colored diamond box.  Halle Berry has an emerald from hottie Olivier Martinez and Jessica Simpson’s engagement ring with Eric Johnson is a ruby offset by diamonds.

It is a refreshing break to see people putting a little more thought and originality into these engagement rings. In addition to adding color to their main stones, many brides-to-be (or the grooms-to-be that are doing the ring shopping) are also playing with an assortment of settings and arrangements – quite the change from the clear solitaire that was so popular just a few years ago.

As a real bonus to those on a budget, most non-diamond stones can run you a lot less than the “girl’s best friend” diamond solitaire and still look fabulous.  Maybe sapphires and emeralds are a savvy girl’s choice.  So what do you think? If a colored gem offers you a unique look, more money in your pocket for a bigger celebration, and still the same symbol of love, would you say yes?

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Style Evolution

In tenth grade, I had a big perm.  Big!  I also had too much makeup, Madonna bracelets, and ripped jeans.  I did theater, dated musicians and artists whenever possible, and generally considered myself to be a bohemian.  This “boho” style even included an ear piercing waaaaayy up on my right ear.

In contrast, there was a girl who sat next to me in Chemistry class (we’ll just call her Michelle).  Michelle always looked perfectly put together.  She moved to my town from the South with a charming accent, perfectly matched head-to-toe outfits and not a hair out of place.  She was also on time, always did her homework, and was always polite to teachers.  She high school Kryptonite. 
I have to admit that Michelle’s “perfectness” made me feel in high school that I was a little bit of a mess – which was totally not the case.  I was actually the better student and had an amazing group of friends that I still have today.

If I could go back in time and give myself advice now, I definitely would tell both myself and Michelle to be who we wanted to be and just not worry about anyone else!  We had years to go and a lot of experimenting before we found our true styles.

I am happy to report that Michelle (still not her real name) and I are now Facebook friends and both look completely different from high school – but our styles have met somewhere in the middle.
What about you—did your style evolve over time, or are you exactly the same now as you were back in high school?

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Does Good Jewelry Make YOU Nervous?

When I was growing up, my mother had a lot of “good” jewelry.  Sometimes she would let me play with it only under her strict supervision, and never out of the house.  I was so excited for the day when I would have my own jewelry that I would keep in a very special jewelry box.

As I got older, I realized that “nice” jewelry, like my mom’s, actually made me nervous.  I hesitated to wear it because I was always afraid I was going to lose it or break it.  Admittedly, I am sometimes not the most organized person in the world but I have managed to keep a nice watch, several rings and a diamond necklace.  But when I wear these pieces I am always super conscious that I am wearing them and am constantly touching them to make sure they are “still there”.  It does take the fun out of wearing them.

This might be the reason why I wear so much costume jewelry.  I would rather wear pretty jewelry that I don’t mind losing.

Is this the case for everyone? Or is this just a hangover from my mom’s careful approach to me trying on her jewelry?  Do you have to get used to wearing nice jewelry, and then it becomes second nature and the nervousness goes away?

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I always notice jewelry trends with admiration—I am one of those jewelry “traditionalists” with a few classic pieces that I wear every day.   As a result, it takes me a long time to pick out new jewelry. With that said, it is fun to read about the latest trends and I definitely appreciate people who can rock them.

Here are a few trends that I actually think I might try:

  • Multiple necklaces.   A Facebook friend posted about this recently, and I thought “Hey, there is one I could try!”  This is where you put on multiple necklaces of different lengths.  Since most of my jewelry is white gold (or silver), it would all go together.  I just need to get a longer-length chain to make this one happen.
  • Druzy jewelry.  These crystal stones look like the inside of a geode.  They come in variety of colors - from lavendar, ivory to the lightest pinks - making it easy to work them into almost any look.  In fact, my favorite all black outfits would go perfectly with any of them. You can find  Druzy used in earrings, necklaces, rings or bracelets.  I really love the look of Cimber Designs - Kelly the designer makes great pieces that are cool and pretty.
  • Chunky bracelets.  Big, jeweled statement bracelets and bangles are back.  These are an easy way to add some sizzle to any look.  I am always running a few minutes late and having an interesting conversation piece that can make my jeans and t-shirts look a little more fabulous could definitely work for me.  Big bangles - here I come!

What about you—are you a traditionalist, and do you need to join me in spicing up your jewelry profile? What new trend are you up for?

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