If you tune in to any of Hollywood’s biggest evenings—the Oscars, Golden Globes, Grammys—there’s one name that gets dropped more than almost any other when the conversation turns to jewels: Lorraine Schwartz. Though she was raised in a diamond dealing family she never aspired to getting into the business herself. But she changed her tune when she immediately sold a ten-carat diamond during what was supposed to be a short-term gig assisting her parents. And when she started her own jewllery company and began designing the full-on glamorous jewels that she loved to wear, the celebs came calling too: David Bowie and Iman, Pharrell and Justin Timberlake, Blake Lively and Angelina Jolie. Her frequent collaborations Beyoncé are epic. Schwartz created Queen Bey’s 24-carat engagement ring and the star has been known to step out in hundreds of carats from the jeweller for a special occasion. When asked if there’s anyone she hasn’t worked with she’s momentarily stumped: “I don’t know. I think I’ve worked with everyone,” says Schwartz, “except maybe Queen Elizabeth.”
The 2B Happy bracelet doesn’t resemble the red carpet looks you’re famous for. Where did the idea come from?
I was in Hong Kong on business when I got a call from my office about a mishap serving a client. We sent him a very fitted mesh bracelet in the wrong size and it fell to pieces when his wife tried it on. It was too small. We immediately rectified the situation but I was livid because I take these things so seriously. Suddenly, I started doodling “2B Happy” over and over again and I immediately felt better. I realized in that moment we all have to responsible for own happiness.
The first bracelet came about because I wanted to translate the message into something I could see all the time. Two Bs are on both sides of a very happy smiley face. It should be read as “to be happy to be.” It’s definitely my most offbeat design but I was determined to make it look cool. Initially I just made one for myself but my celebrity clients fell in love with it. Elizabeth Taylor bought about 20 of them and Beyoncé hosted a launch party for the collection.
If I were trapped on a desert island this is the piece I would bring with me. When you wear this and realize you’re in charge of your happiness it’s super empowering. A lot of people buy the bracelets as gifts because wishing for someone else’s happiness is so sentimental.
How do you recommend someone wear such a quirky piece?
There are different styles and colors: white diamonds with white gold, rose gold or yellow gold and black diamond. You can mix them. Sometimes I’ll wear just one and sometimes it’s two or three with on of my Against Evil Eye bracelets—sometimes five altogether.
Other than the 2B Happy bracelet, what diamond jewellery do you consider indispensable?
Hoops! I’m a huge hoop girl. Always have been, always will be. They’re young and fun and can take you from day to night. They can be elegant or funky or classic.
When you’re wearing a diamond you’re getting so much energy from the Earth. You’re putting something on your body that’s been around for a billion years.
You’re very vocal about your affection for natural diamonds. Why?
I’m a third generation diamond dealer and the authenticity of diamonds means so much to me. Beyond factors like clarity and color, what makes diamonds so rare is that it takes about a billion years for them to reach the surface of the Earth. To do that they have to encounter a volcanic eruption. When you’re wearing a diamond you’re getting so much energy from the Earth. You’re putting something on your body that’s been around for a billion years. That’s incredible. Also, diamond mining companies, especially in Africa, have to provide so much infrastructure in those countries, like in Botswana where diamonds are responsible for a huge improvement in the quality of life.