While on shoots for different stories or covering and attending trade shows, press events, auction previews and meetings in designer’s studios, jewelry writers and editors get an up close and personal view of all that’s new—and old—in diamond jewelry.
With such incredible access, it piqued our interest in what these these arbiters of style and sparkle in print and on your favorite websites, social media channels and blogs covet, purchase and wear themselves—so we got them to tell us first hand.
Many jewelry writers and editors such as myself hold hot rocks in our hands so often and have the chance to try on earrings, piles of bracelets and stacks of rings on a regular basis. And in doing so, we often find what really speaks to us on a personal level.
Some of us also seek out antique styles or favor the diamond pieces handed down to us. And then there are those savvy women in the press who also find inspiration and give their husbands or significant others a nudge in the right direction for upcoming gifts.
Here are some of the favorite diamond jewelry pieces of editors, writers and bloggers of this world, in their own sparkling words, including my own:
Claudia Mata – Contributing Jewelry Editor at Elle Decor
“Since I left my job as a jewelry editor at W and New York and left the New York fashion bubble for a move to California with my husband and children, a big part of my wardrobe and style has to do with wearability. But I won’t leave the house without jewelry!
And, the one piece that never gets rotated out is my Spinelli Kilcollin gold and diamond interlocking convertible ring that can be worn to look like a stack or across my fingers on my hand. This is a wonderful piece that makes anything I’m wearing feel instantly glamorous (Here in California you don’t have to dress up as often as in New York.). When I look down on my hand, this ring always make me smile.”
Becky Stone – Founder and Editor, Diamonds In The Library, and Contributing Editor of INSTORE Magazine
“I recently achieved a personal jewelry milestone: I bought myself my first pair of diamond stud earrings! They are new to my collection, but they’re an instant favorite.
I’ve looked at many diamond studs over the last few years, but I was waiting for a pair that felt truly special to me.
These beauties were previously in the personal collection of Angela Louison from Louison Rare + Fine. They are old mine-cuts, antique stones, rescued from a large antique necklace that was broken. The mine-cuts in these studs are asymmetrical and irregular.
I love that they are not perfectly matched: It gives them more character and personality. Much of my favorite jewelry was gifted to me by people I love, and I cherish them. But there’s nothing like knowing that glorious antique diamonds on my lobes were a present to myself, because I’m a badass businesswoman who has the ability to buy pretty jewels.”
Danielle Miele – Founder, Gem Gossip
“An Art Deco diamond filigree ring is my favorite diamond jewel that I own. It was the first antique piece I ever purchased for myself and that lead me to fall in love with antique jewelry. I found it in a small watch shop where I grew up in Jamestown, NY.
I was in college and I was not able to pay for it straight away. The owner of the store was nice enough to tell me about its history and let me put it on layaway with a partial trade-in of a ring that was gifted to me from a family member. The ring was also a diamond ring, but it didn’t compare to the Art Deco ring in detail or design.
In addition to the trade-in, I did a lot of babysitting and tutoring when I wasn’t in class. It took a while, but I finally paid off the ring! It holds many positive memories for me and I will never part with it. I often wear it as my engagement ring when I travel.”
Alicia Miller Corbett – Creative Director, Four Seasons Magazine Group
“Even though I get to see a lot of designer jewelry in my role at Four Seasons Magazine, for my engagement ring, we worked with the lovely Sarah Hill at Hamilton Hill Jewelry in North Carolina, where we live, to find the perfect piece. It’s a matte/brushed-finish gray gold Niessing tension setting ring with a modest but high-quality white diamond. It’s comfortable and easy to wear, and a bit unusual (especially where I’m based).
I love the enduring contrast between the brightness of the diamond and the ‘industrial’ feel of the gray metal. I never take it off. I style it with my wedding band—another Niessing design in coordinating gray gold with slightly different texture— and a rotating collection of other heirloom, antique or gifted rings.”
Amy Elliott – Contributor and columnist at JCK Magazine
“These diamond halo studs are a little more understated than I like to go but I wear them all the time, even if I’m just doing errands around my neighborhood. They are meaningful to me for a couple reasons. My husband and I purchased the center diamonds (1.75 TCW) as plain diamond studs for my 40th birthday. We traded in a couple pairs of smaller diamond studs and some gold jewelry to help offset the cost.
They were smaller than I wanted to go but our budget at the time wouldn’t allow [us] to go bigger. We got them from the same trusted diamond dealer in New York’s Jewelry District, whom my husband had purchased my engagement ring.
A couple of years later, when I was around seven months pregnant, I had the idea to reset them in a halo of diamonds to make them appear larger as a ‘push present’ to myself. I was writing more regularly about jewelry and decided to work on the redesign with Jennifer Gandia, the co-owner of Greenwich St. Jewelers.
I wanted the halo to be pavé set with rose-cut diamonds. I thought they would give the earrings a bigger yet not blingy antique look. Jennifer had the idea to set the center diamonds in a bezel and to rim the halo in a bezel as well.
The end result turned out much larger than I envisioned. They allowed me to feel a bit of glamour during the drudgeries of early motherhood, when I rarely showered and lived in yoga pants. They now symbolize my life before and the new amazing life I started when Georgina, my daughter, was born.”
Ashley Davis – Associate Editor, National Jeweler
“My 18-karat yellow gold and diamond pavé hexagon ring by Lito, one of my favorite designers, is my go-to piece of diamond jewelry. While I also wear delicate jewelry, I love the boldness of this piece. You don’t have to layer it with anything else; it makes a statement on its own.
Although it’s large, it’s also surprisingly comfortable. I wear it every day, even to my yoga class. What attracts me to diamonds is that they are neutral—they go with absolutely everything.
I love to know the stories behind the pieces I wear, and the ring’s designer, Lito Karakostanoglou, told me its shape was inspired by those of antique watch faces that she would find on treasure hunts in European flea markets.
I wear this ring so much that it’s become a sort of talisman for me. I feel protected when I wear it. It feels like an armor, albeit a very pretty armor.”
Tanya Dukes – Freelance Editor and Writer
“I was instantly infatuated with this Jade Trau diamond and gold bangle. It was among a huge assortment of pieces I had selected for a photo shoot and I ended up slipping it onto my own wrist whenever it wasn’t on the model. I knew I needed to order one for myself the moment I got back home.
It’s delicate but has a not-too-basic, architectural shape and the diamond at the center of the design elevates the look even more. Without fail, it gets compliments whenever I wear it. Mostly, I love wearing it on its own, but it looks great alongside my watch or as a part of a stack of bracelets.”
Beth Bernstein – And now my story:
“As an antique jewelry collector, I own a number of Georgian, Victorian and Art Deco diamond pieces. Many are linked to a special event or moment in my life―reasons for what I purchased or received them as gifts. But my favorite diamond jewel is one that I inherited from my mom, who passed away unexpectedly and young. It is a flexible diamond tennis bracelet (totaling six carats) in a platinum setting.
When my mom passed away she left her jewelry to me, her only daughter, but I split many of the pieces up with my two younger brothers, so one day they would have jewelry of my mother to hand down to their children.
I soon found out that my mom paid my grandmother’s mortgage and other bills after my grandfather passed away, two years before she did.
I was young and making just enough money to pay my own bills, but I knew I had to take over for my grandmother, since my mother was an only child and the three of us were extremely close. That’s what my mother would have wanted.
I sold the diamond bracelet and two of her diamond rings, which helped me to take care of my grandmother until I landed a new higher paying position.
Approximately five years ago, which was 20 years after I sold the bracelet, the person who I sold it to found me and asked me if I wanted to buy it back. She now needed the money to take care of her ailing parents. I was in shock that the bracelet found its way back to me and I said: ‘Yes, I will take it without a beat.’ With a stroke of luck, she sold it back for exactly what I sold it to her.
Wearing the bracelet makes me feel my mother and my grandmother’s presence around me, and when I look down at my wrist, I feel the circle of the love that brought the bracelet back to me.”
Beth Bernstein is a writer and the editor/founder of Bejeweledmag.com