January 12, 2012
By Amanda Ross | Fashion, Jewelry

Fred Leighton Egyptian jewelry
Courtesy Fred Leighton

Ancient Egypt’s mysterious religious and architectural symbols have always fascinated me, and they often influence my style. One of my favorite trips was to Luxor, Dendera and Cairo, where I visited the Khan al Khalili market, the best place to unearth rare treasures. I found lapis and turquoise scarabs, scooping them up by the handfuls. In ancient Egypt this beetle, which was often entombed with mummies, was a sacred symbol, its life cycle seen as a metaphor for rebirth and resurrection—hence, its association with immortality. Scarabs were inscribed with hieroglyphics and carried as amulets, or worn as jewelry for good luck. Today they continue to inspire jewelers everywhere. Santa Monica, California–based designer Darlene de Sedle, who carves them from gold and rainbow moonstone, helped me create a flower-shaped turquoise and purple iolite cocktail ring. I also brought scarab beads to New York–based Aurora Lopez Mejia, who used them to craft a one-of-a-kind necklace. I love the idea that these little bugs hold so much power and significance.

A 19th-century scarab and jeweled pendant necklace from Fred Leighton. $145,000; 212-288-1872.

February 07, 2011
By Shannon Adducci | Shopping, Jewelry, Openings


© Courtesy Mauboussin

Last week French jewelry firm Mauboussin opened the doors
of its shop on Madison Avenue in New York to celebrate the launch of its new
e-commerce site, Guests filled all three floors of the townhouse
boutique to snack on macarons, sip La Caravelle Champagne and peruse the new
collections, which include large candy-colored amethyst and citrine cocktail
and diamond necklaces and bracelets done in Mauboussin’s signature shooting
star. The Manhattan boutique, which opened in 2008, is the company’s first American
flagship and houses its colored-stone, diamond and watch collections on the
first two floors, while the third floor serves as its bridal salon.

The online shop, meanwhile, is an ode to Mauboussin’s
flagship on the Place Vendôme. Most of the collection will be available online,
though the emphasis is on the company’s steel-and-diamond watches (from $545)
and popular cocktail rings (from $1,100), which come in sapphire, amethyst and citrine
and have poetic names like Couleur Baiser (Kiss of Color) and C’est Toi la Star (You’re
the Star).

Mauboussin, 714 Madison Avenue; 212-752-4300;