March 25, 2013
By Erin Schumaker | Jewelry

DoDo elephant charm
Courtesy of Dodo/ Aurora Events

The women at New York’s DoDo boutique quite literally wear their personalities on their sleeves. Founded in 1995 as the little sister to Pomellato, the Milan-based jewelry brand that pioneered the concept of prêt-à-porter jewelry in the 1960s, DoDo’s simple, mix-and-match “talking” charms quickly became a hit among Italian models and university students. Each tiny 18-karat-gold animal charm ($205) comes with its own tagline, such as our love will never be extinct (the lady dodo bird), fancy a kiss, love? (the frog), or don’t forget me (the elephant, pictured here).

Good communication, however, isn’t the only praiseworthy cause in DoDo’s arsenal. The animal-loving label supports the Italian World Wildlife Fund, which works to prevent today’s endangered species from going the way of the infamous dodo bird. 645 Madison Ave.; 646-596-9897;

February 27, 2013
By Ingrid Skjong | Jewelry

 A New Arrival Joins the Smithsonian Gem Hall
Courtesy of Cindy Chao

Every two to three years the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., introduces a new addition to its vast permanent collection. On March 5, it will induct a high-style stunner: the Art Jewel 2009 Black Label Masterpiece Royal Butterfly brooch by jewelry artist Cindy Chao.

Though the museum focuses on raw materials, the piece—composed of 2,328 gems (77 carats in total), including sapphires, rubies, tsavorite garnets and fancy-colored and regular diamonds—represents the educational power of a finished object. “Our primary mission is as a gem collection,” says Dr. Jeffrey Post, curator of the Gems and Minerals Collection. “But as most gems eventually are set in jewelry, and that is how they are donated to us, we are fortunate to have a collection that represents many great designers and design periods.”

The brooch, the first gift by a Taiwanese designer, joins items from the likes of Cartier, Tiffany, Harry Winston and Paula Crevoshay. Chao’s Black Label Masterpiece line is capped at just 36 pieces per year, and the Royal Butterfly—which changes colors when viewed under ultraviolet light—is a perfect combination of beauty, technical skill and hidden fascination. “That is what we want objects in our collection to do,” says Post. “Tell our visitors stories that will delight and inspire them.” Constitution Ave. NW; 202-633-1000;

February 08, 2013
By Ingrid Skjong | Jewelry, Accessories

Halley Pear earrings
Photos courtesy of Larkspur & Hawk

There is something undeniably romantic about a piece of jewelry from Larkspur & Hawk, a collection of gemstone-based pieces designed by founder Emily Satloff, who uses an 18th-century technique called foiling to manipulate a stone’s color and maximize its reflective properties. “It starts with a sketch that comes to life with a careful selection of gemstones and colored metallic foils,” she explains. “Each piece is then handcrafted to attain a unique play of light and color, fitted to each particular design. The jewel is literally transformed by its foil.”

Olivia Button earrings

The earrings pictured here—the Halley Pear (white topaz, russet foil, rose gold–washed silver; $1,000) and the Olivia Button (white topaz, fuchsia foil, oxidized silver; $1,100)—exemplify the method. Satloff, a former antique jewelry dealer and curator at the New-York Historical Society, oversees the production of her wares in New York, where all the jewelry is handcrafted. “The collection is encompassing of a broad spectrum of women,” she says. “Whether worn to the office, a day of errands or at night to a party, there is functionality in each design.” 212-340-9067;

December 17, 2012
By Erin Schumaker | Jewelry, Gifts

Gift of the Day:  David Yurman necklace
Photo courtesy of David Yurman

This striking hand-hammered, 18-karat-gold curb chain with amber-hued cognac diamonds ($35,000) by jewelry designer David Yurman is as bold as it is beautiful.

November 29, 2012
By Erin Schumaker | Shopping, Jewelry, Accessories

ift of the Day: David Webb Ring
Photo courtesy of David Webb

This sophisticated ring ($42,000), an 18-karat-gold-and-coral creation accented with diamonds and sapphires, is by accessories icon David Webb, who knows how to add just the right amount of pizzazz.

November 15, 2012
By Ingrid Skjong | Jewelry

Courtesy of Tony Virardi/ Van Cleef

Showcasing more than 65 rare examples of Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry is one thing. Offering them all up for sale is quite another, which makes the exhibit “Van Cleef & Arpels: A Retrospective,” at New York’s Macklowe Gallery, a real stunner. “VCA brought luxury and French taste to the United States and taught American women how to dress in jewelry,” says Benjamin Macklowe, vice president of the antiques and estate jewelry dealer. “Their pieces bring whimsy and fantasy into a woman’s life.”

Riffing on two major shows from the last two years—one at New York’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in 2011 and the other at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris (through February 10, 2013), to which Macklowe loaned five major pieces—the gallery pays substantial attention to the iconic brand. Standouts include an Australian opal ring from the 1960s set in an Art Nouveau setting and a coral and jadeite suite illustrating the jeweler’s tendency to follow exotic inspiration. A garland-style platinum and diamond bracelet radiates strength and sparkle.  

“For months now my clients have been hounding me for our latest Van Cleef & Arpels acquisitions,” says Macklowe. “It should make for some nice Christmas shopping.” We only hope we’re so lucky. November 23 through December 9; 667 Madison Ave.; 212-644-6400;

August 14, 2012
By Francesca Giacco | Jewelry

Martin Katz: Nature Collection
© Martin Katz

Writer Aimee Lee Ball described Martin Katz, the iconic jewelry designer for the rich and famous, as “Hollywood’s Best Supporting Jeweler” in the pages of Departures magazine in 1999. Now Katz—who draws inspiration from vintage pieces, modern trends and art (everything from Belle Epoque to Art Nouveau)—has turned his sights to the natural world, culminating in his latest offering, the Nature Collection.

“Nature inspires all artists,” Katz says. “To recreate it through one’s own eyes is the ultimate challenge, as it is already artistically perfect. As I attempt to make my own interpretations of nature’s beauty, I try to add whimsy and three-dimensional depth to bring out the jewelry aspect as well as wearability and interest.”

The collection features both new and vault pieces, all one of a kind, including earrings, necklaces and brooches. One of Katz’s favorites is a tulip-shaped brooch. “The colors are so vibrant and changeable,” he explains. “Tulip bulbs make the pin very playful and versatile.” Prices available upon request; 9540 Brighton Way, Beverly Hills; 310-276-7200;

May 18, 2012
By Jordan Kisner | Jewelry

Chopard necklace
Photo courtesy of Chopard

When French actress Bérénice Béjo, who received an Oscar nod this year for her role in The Artist, took the stage Wednesday to host the opening ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival, her earrings nearly stole the show. Their one-of-a-kind diamond-drop design is part of a 65-piece Haute Joaillerie Red Carpet collection created by Chopard copresident and artistic director Caroline Scheufele—and it’s all to celebrate the festival’s 65th year.

Chopard, a Cannes partner for the past 15 years, has created new designs around the event before. But this is its most extensive effort by far: More than 70,000 hand-set stones went into the collection, and the entire process took Chopard artisans five-plus months to execute.

Introduced over the course of the 12-day festival—mostly on the necks, wrists and ears of leading ladies—the Red Carpet pieces range in mood. Some, like a tsavorite garnet statement ring shaped like a Granny Smith apple with a brown diamond stem, are pure whimsy; others, like the pink sapphire and amethyst long necklace (pictured above) and the detachable elderflower pendant made of ruby and pink sapphire clusters set on a diamond floral necklace, are classically elegant. All are gorgeously Chopard. Prices upon request; 709 Madison Ave.; 212-223-2304;

April 16, 2012
By Maud Doyle | Jewelry

Cartier: Juste un Clou Returns
Billy Farrell /

In 1971, Cartier disavowed its classical French roots in favor of NYC-style nuts, bolts and nails in its historic Juste un Clou collection—a raw, edgy line from Italian designer Aldo Cipullo, who designed the iconic Cartier Love bracelet. Last Thursday night, the brand resurrected Juste un Clou with a red-carpeted flurry of champagne and fox fur at Cartier’s Fifth Avenue flagship. The new collection features 12 variations on the original Juste un Clou centerpiece –an 18-karat-gold nail bent into a cuff—including rings in the same design and new versions of the bracelet in rose and white gold, set with pave diamonds.

Upstairs at the Cartier Mansion, guests got an early look at an exhibition commemorating Cartier’s love affair with the gritty, rebellious city that inspired Juste un Clou. “Cartier & Aldo Cipullo, New York City in the ’70s” (open to the public through May 8) displays nearly 40 archival jewelry designs, vintage Vogue spreads, drawings and scrapbooks. While the brand presents itself as playfully rough-edged in the exhibition—next to a photograph of a bejeweled Elizabeth Taylor, witness a close-up of the crossed, hairy arms of a man wearing the entire original collection—there is no undercutting Cartier’s elegance. Even the nails come with diamonds. At 653 Fifth Ave.; rings, from $2,175 and bracelets, from $6,250;

March 23, 2012
By Jordan Kisner | Jewelry

Pomellato’s Haute Joiallerie Debuts at Bergdorf Goodman
Courtesy Pomellato

When Milan-based jeweler Pomellato opened its fourth U.S. boutique in Beverly Hills this past December, the brand’s arrival on the West Coast represented the latest victory in its effort to build the kind of adoring fan base in America that it enjoys in Europe. Andrea Morante, Pomellato’s CEO, told Departures last year, “Our jewelry is super-sophisticated, and the American market is looking for that.”

A few short months later, Pomellato has brought POM POM, its line of haute joiallerie, to the U.S., where it debuted at Bergdorf Goodman last week. The line features 12 rings, 11 bracelets and three pairs of earrings, each a one-of-a-kind piece made from rare, vividly colored stones. One example is a rose-gold ring that features a 10.75-carat fire opal surrounded by rose-cut purple and orange sapphires; another is a set of drop earrings comprised of several dozen aquamarines and diamonds. Now that’s sophistication.”

Prices upon request; at Pomellato boutiques and Bergdorf Goodman;”