8.06.2014

foundations: building a fine jewelry collection

source: The Sartorialist

i think the best kind of jewelry is the kind that you never take off.

i have a few fun 'statement' necklaces for nights out or special occasions, but the real workhorses are my everyday simple gold foundations. a few rules of thumb for building a basic fine jewelry collection:

1. go for the (solid) gold (14k/18k) – i personally love the look of yellow or rose gold. it's durable, timeless, and won't tarnish (unlike gold plated/gold-fill pieces, which are generally base metal coated with a layer of gold that will wear off over time).
2. choose a minimal design – some of the most elegant women i know wear only the barest of gold jewelry. a simple, understated design and small stones will go with everything and every occasion.

these are three of my most-worn, everyday pieces:

finally, a fourth foundation piece in my collection is a pair of classic pearl earrings. they're traditionally suited for more formal occasions, but i love just wearing mine with a simple tee and jeans.

P.S.: "jewelry that one never takes off" is more of an idea than a literal statement. (i always take off rings and earrings before bed, though i do wear my trusty everyday necklace 24/7.)

do you wear gold jewelry? what is your everyday go-to piece?

19 comments:

  1. Such a great look. Any ideas where to find the shirt she's wearing? It's so difficult to find a perfectly cut oxford with no collar buttons!

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    1. i wrote a while back about my love for steven alan buttondowns - they're great quality and made in the US!
      http://www.lesantimodernes.com/2012/02/foundations-everyday-button-down-shirt.html

      i also list a few favorite buttondowns in my Essentials page :)

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  2. I second the yellow gold recommendation. Also, white gold is rhodium plated, which means it needs periodic re-plating. I know dainty gold jewelry is popular, but there's nothing lovelier to me than a wider band of 20 or 22k gold. I love Reinstein/Ross' wedding bands, their apricot gold (22k) is gorgeous.

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    1. 'apricot gold' is such a genius descriptor!

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  3. Love the jewelry inspiration! I've been wearing less and less jewelry these days. While I have a jewelry box full of neglected bracelets and necklaces, I always go back to my simple brass cuff (really good quality brass maintains its shine and color and doesn't tarnish) and necklace (similar to the one shown above). I would love to find some delicate rings that hold up to daily wear and tear but don't break the bank.

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  4. miss sophie, do you have any recommendations on where to find conflict-free diamonds? I'm torn between the simple elegance of the studs but a bit daunted by the controversy surrounding them.

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    1. i often find that smaller / handcrafted jewellers take more care about the conscientiousness of their supply chain, and many of the designers i featured take this approach when sourcing. i know that many smaller workshop jewellers use recycled gold as well.

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  5. 100% in agreement with you. Switching up your jewelry every day is just too much to think about. My one go-to is a Blanca Monros Gomez ring. The dainty stacking solitaire, rose gold with champagne diamonds. I got it on Of a Kind a while ago. it's so simple, but also unique because of the shape. She has a yellow gold one on her website. I'm drooling over the one without any stones now.

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    1. ohh thanks for the rec, Olga! i love OaK's unique peices :)

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  6. Any tips on verifying the metal content of jewelry without taking it to a jeweler? I've never really been much for decking myself out in all things shiny and sparkly for practical reasons but some pieces are just too pretty to be sitting in a box. I'm trying to play it safe by just taking my ring off whenever I wash my hands but I would love to try and figure out exactly what it's composed of. All I know is that my mom bought it for me years ago and even she has no clue what's in it at all.

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    1. when in doubt, i've always taken it to a jeweller! i think many will do this basic service for free, or charge a very small amount.

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  7. When I look at the picture I go, “what jewelry?” guess that shows how gaudy my tastes are!!
    Rose gold is more flattering on my skin-tone than yellow. One ring I have is blue marble encased by rose gold and I have a watch that is silver (steel) with some rose gold accents. I can wear it as an accent, but I wouldn't buy a whole solid rose gold piece.

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    1. ha! so funny. i say go with whatever you love when it comes to jewelry!

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  8. I prefer yellow and rose gold dainty rings, but I liked them stacked and mixed. I can't get enough of the organic and unusual designs of satomi kawakita. I have a slowly growing collection of her rings and earrings. Check her out!

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    1. i love SK's designs and have admired them in various boutiques for some time :)

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  9. i am all about this post! love me some gold, and grew up getting tons of it as a kid for various occasions. it took me maybe a good 20 years to really appreciate it, though. if we're talking really dainty, i'm a huge fan of hortense. i purchased a custom length paperclip necklace from her in rose gold, and it's so versatile and easy to wear. layers up nicely with my gold necklace from ghana. i wear a stack every day on my right ringer finger--wedding band with diamonds, satomi black diamond eternity ring, and a very tiny and dainty champagne diamond eternity ring. my inner old lady is so happy when i look down at it. i can't help but think of the important people that gifted those things to me looking down, either.

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  10. My jewelry collections is abysmal. I keep losing everything my moves dorm room to dorm room. State after state. Can't wait till i finally settle down and invest in some good jewelry.

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    1. haha, aww. just wear it all the time and you won't lose it so easily ;)

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