Jewelry-gram: Melissa Tyson Designs

We wanted to learn everything we could about Melissa Tyson Designs as soon as we saw her Instagram and this beautiful double banded engagement ring:

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She has been making jewelry for 15 years and as a mother of three has focused on making her production process as green as possible using recycled materials when she can. She also consults with Made By Survivors, which is a pretty rad group and her diamonds are always conflict free.

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Some of our favorite posts show how she transforms customer’s family heirlooms into beautiful and contemporary pieces.

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Our pick from her shop? Emerald Ring, $850 at Melissa Tyson Designs

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Three New Stacking Rings We Love

So far we’ve seen so many beautiful pieces of jewelry and some trends, like gold stacking rings, continue to proliferate. There’s a lot of repetition out in the market but these stacking rings are breaking the mold. Take a look at some of our recent favorites

Cover image from The Things We Keep Instagram

 

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Piet Oval Ring, $298 at Leif 

Designed by Kay Wang for her her collection of jewelry and pretty things called Things We Keep, this beautiful opal ring is one part organic and the other part refined.

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Leaf Signet Ring, $360 at Lily and Dahlia

We love Lily and Dahlia’s Etsy shop. Designed by Shimrit Zagorsky, the shop mostly sells custom wedding rings and engagement rings. Technically this could work as a wedding band but we loved it as soon as we saw it for matching with other pieces.

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Dew Drop Stacking Ring, $275 at Nordstrom

We’ve chronicled our love for East-West stones in a previous blog post and we think these settings will continue to be found on fine jewelry for non-statement rings as well. This one is topaz set on 14k gold. The bubbly texture of the band is also something we’re seeing a lot more and personally love.

Hands Up

There was a charm bracelet in a vintage shop we saw last weekend with the most beautiful sculpted sterling silver hand. Shaped like a fist, the hand was lovely and we would have wanted it for our own charm bracelet, but the store wouldn’t separate the piece on its own.

The Hamsa is as common an image as there can be and is an amulet representing protection – particularly against the evil eye, one of our other favorite symbols in jewelry.

Later we saw this great bracelet from Winden Jewelry, which looks like two small hands when viewed from the top – in an almost Victorian style. This sent us a search for other hand jewelry, our favorites compiled below:

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Embrace cuff, from $155 at Winden Jewelry

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Fraser Hamilton ring, $183 at Wolf & Badger

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As close as we found to our charm bracelet! Right hand bracelet, $245 at Gillian Steinhardt

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Jennifer Zeuner Jewelry long charm necklace, $308 at Saks Fifth Avenue

Leather Fringe Jewelry

We love the look of this Tom Ford cuff which is entirely impractical as jewelry, but something we’d like to hang on our wall. It reminds us of the outfit Carrie wears in Sex and the City with a long fringe purse – totally beautiful but not exactly wearable.

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A leather fringe in winter is a particularly nice combination, when texture is king and turtlenecks and long sleeves mean most of our jewelry is covered up.

Here are a few other leather pieces we love that are a bit more wearable.

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Biker collar, we love the wrapped leather choker, $152 at AhaLife

 

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Tassel Collar  $44 at Bauble Bar

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Tom Ford Tassel cuff, $890 at Neiman Marcus

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Our Pick: Ilaria Leather Necklace, $158 at AhaLife (also available in gold and silver)

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Suede fringe necklace, $54.90 at Express

 

How to Prevent Swollen Hands on a Flight

For some reason this has been the winter of travel for us – mostly for work, some for fun. Perhaps it was the combination of salty food and too much altitude, but for the first time in our lives our hands ballooned making it almost impossible to take our jewelry off for several days!

Not only was it incredibly uncomfortable, we couldn’t change out any rings, which would have been fine if we hadn’t been wearing a large cocktail ring that kept ripping holes in our clothes.

To make the swelling go down we soaked our hands in a hot bowl of water and drank a ton of water, but in an effort to keep our hands a normal proportion our next flight, we polled our friends who fly the most for tips on keeping our hands and jewelry friends.

Tip #1: Don’t wear jewelry. Just keep it in your bag when you go through security.

Tip #2: To keep your hands their normal shape, compression gloves are unglamorous but they really work. Especially on flights more than a few hours, these have saved my hands more than a couple of times.

Tip #3. Don’t eat salty snacks or food the night before.

Tip #4: Keep your body moving. Go to the bathroom, flip a magazine or tap your leg just to keep your blood flowing. 

Plus one tip on what to do if everything you try doesn’t work and you arrive with huge hands, one of our friends tried this: Wrap a piece of thread around your finger tightly around the finger with no gaps between the thread. Then, release the thread slowly. Your finger will be compressed and the ring, with a bit of vaseline might just come off too. 

 

 

 

 

Polka Dot Jewelry

On Instagram the other day we saw the most beautiful brass jewelry ring. The caption was in Japanese, the account was in Japanese, and the best internet scouring has produced not so much as a clue.

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With or without the fantom ring, we’ve had polka dots on the mind. Looking through our jewelry box we found this classic Kusama Louis Vuitton bracelet (which you can still find on second hand sites on the web) from a few years back.

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We also stumbled across several other polka dot styles we love.

Marc Jacobs Steel bracelet, $92 at Yoox  (bottom right)

Vintage Italian bracelet, $9,800 at 1st Dibs  (bottom left)

Our biggest discovery is John Hardy, whose dot collection has some pieces we love.

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John Hardy drop earrings, $795 at Bloomingdale’s

Dot bangle by John Hardy at $670 at Neiman Marcus

 

 

How to Wear A Scarf with a Brooch

It’s no secret in this office that we love scarves. Especially around the Holiday season when you often have to dash from event to event wearing the same clothes you wore at the office.

This year, we’ve been loving scarves with brooches – which can run from glamorous to campy and make a cocktail dress more appropriate for an afterwork drink.

We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite combinations, but we think one of the best places to find brooches are vintage shops, Etsy, and EBay. The prices are usually very reasonable and you’ll get something really unique.

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Marni broochChanel brooch DSquared brooch Marni broochVintage brooch  

Shopping Abroad: French Ecommerce Store L’Exception

French girl charm. Literally.

L’Exception is worth a visit if you’re visiting Paris. One of the few shops we always try to visit. The design and layout is more like a premiere shopping experience, but the prices are approachable and a great place to grab gifts for friends.

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The whimsical side of French fashion is in full force at L’Exception which mixes 325€ Nicholas Theil condom pendent necklaces with Dajczman leather bracelets (available in beautiful autumnal hues) for 190€.

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We love how sculptural these heart studs are by Miss Bibi (150€)  and the shop has probably the largest selection of jewelry headbands for (perfect for weddings) we’ve ever seen.

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So how does shipping work? They use DHL – which based on our experience has been pretty reliable. The one catch (which wasn’t a problem when we ordered) is that they only make two delivery attempts. So probably best to ship to an office if you can.

ps. we love their Instagram, where their stylish staff and regular customers show off outfits.

 

Splurge or Save: Turquoise Studs

Turquoise is popping up everywhere lately, and the fact that it continues to resurface in fashion every few years suggests the popularity of this stone will only continue to resurface.

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If you’re not used to wearing blue jewelry, or are unsure if the stone is too trendy, stud earrings are a subtle way of testing the waters.

Turquoise is actually a pretty soft stone, but it takes on a wonderful polish and, when you’re buying the real thing, you often finds flecks or veins of gold or other metals and minerals. Depending on your taste, this can be either desirable or not. Personally, we love the imperfections for how it brings more character to our jewelry.

Though there are a lot of sophisticated ways to copy turquoise (many involve dying white stones) most imitations are simply cast plastic. If you’re not sure (or not ready) to invest in turquoise, these humblechic studs are only $24. Slightly smaller, these Ippolita studs are the definition of Italian refinement. But at $795, they are closer to an investment piece.

We love turquoise in earrings because it brings some color around our faces without looking unnatural. But you tell us, would you wear turquoise studs? And would you spend almost $800?

 

 

The Best of Jewelry Abroad: Foe and Dear from Canada

Foe and Doe may have started in Brooklyn, but designer Katherine Huie is Vancouver, Canada based now.

If you’ve ever been to Vancouver, you know it is one of the most beautiful places in Canada – if a bit gray – and Huie’s jewelry has the same muted, natural aesthetic – with a few pops of sparkle.

 

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If you order from her site, all of the packages come in the brightest gold bubble envelope, making them great gifts.

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We particularly love this opal ring, with it’s giant claw setting.  It is a perfect cocktail ring that is also casual enough to wear for a dinner out – plus at $90, it’s a great price.

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These earrings we love for the holiday season – the bright rose gold druzy is totally modernized by the oversized claw setting.

Foe and Dear is available on Etsy,in shops, and on their site.