Part Three of Three Part Blog:
Like most young girls I was attracted to all things sparkly: rhinestones, crystal beads and anything glitzy that I could try on and finagle my mother into buying me at the Five and Dime. I was swathed in more bling than found on the red carpet, but back then, I was more about Princess Barbie then Lady Gaga.
Then sometime during my late high school years and into college, while other girls in my class were wearing one carat studs in each ear and sizing up potential engagement rings, I rebelled against the colorless perfection of diamonds. I didn’t own or have desire for a classic solitaire necklace, a tennis bracelet or anything else that might have been considered the least bit conventional.
I also wrote poetry, while chain-smoking until the wee hours of the morning, went out dancing in cropped tops and belly chains (my favorite piece of jewelry at the time) and, just for fun–took a summer course in existential philosophy– if that helps put those years into better context.
I went from my younger days of learning the words to “Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend,” to walking around spouting the famous line that Audrey Hepburn brilliantly delivers as Holly Go Lightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s: ” Personally, I think it’d be tacky to wear diamonds before I’m forty.” Back then, I thought forty was old (shoot me now) and could no more afford them then the Holly Go Lightly character.
In my late 20s, I stopped penning poetry (a relief for friends and writing groups who had to sit through my “readings”) and began writing about style fashion and jewelry And, although I started to learn about the four C’s, I still wasn’t a fan of the perfect D-flawless. Instead, I fell for authentic antique English jewelry from Elizabethan through Edwardian eras and most prominently Georgian. I loved the imperfections of the mine , table, cushion and rose cuts diamonds with their natural flaws that give them character and presence. I was also mesmerized by the effect of briolettes, reflecting and refracting the light like little chandeliers.
When I finally did hit my forties, Breakfast at Tiffany’s continued to remain one of my favorite films. And, I couldn’t be happier that the old cuts of diamonds I’d been wearing in period pieces were being re-fashioned in India for a modern generation of women. Add to this, flat cuts and natural colored diamonds and pioneer Todd Reed’s rough and raw cuts in cubes and colors of champagne, gray, brown, red, cognac and pink and I was in heaven. I could wear contemporary diamonds and still possess my own individual style. As these looks grew in popularity, they marked a turning point for women who want jewelry that is anything but basic. Since then, almost every designer I know has some version of these cuts in their collection from pendants to bridal rings as well as various diamond beads: A few of the best: Coomi, Me & Ro, Anaconda, Ruff & Cut and Just Jules.
More recently, black diamonds just like the LBD have come to offer women a versatile staple for their jewelry wardrobe. These are being shown in everything from beads to brilliant and rose cuts and delicate pave. (check out Catherine Angiel and Phillips Frankel)
I finally own a version of the tennis bracelet: an ultra thin black diamond one, which I mix and match with my colored diamond bangles, all from Sethi Couture and my small pave looks on leather and thin chain and silk cording from Mizuki and Zoe Chicco. I also have a favorite modern stud: black rose cuts, outlined by micro pave. And, my all time loves: my large gray diamond ring and floral motif ring with petals made from tonal rough cuts by Todd Reed.
Like all relationships, mine with diamonds changed over time. I got older and wiser. They got more interesting. Perhaps we have grown together. I will always appreciate their natural beautiful, personality and their flaws.