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Posts Tagged Earrings

An Extraordinary Demi-Parure from the 1860s

by on April 16th, 2016

Time capsules are meant to be rare and wonderful discoveries. To find them in the same condition as when they were first worn is to be transported back (in this case, to the time of the Civil War).

This garnet ‘parure’- set of jewels- is completed by its original French velvet fitted box. There are no repairs and none needed. The gold setting and central natural pearls are rarities reserved for the extraordinary Bohemian work on display here.

1860-70 in its glory.


Value, Ever an Increasing Virtue

by on November 5th, 2010

Betteridge Collection Rose-Cut Diamond Drop Earrings by Otto Jakob

Betteridge Collection Rose-Cut Diamond Drop Earrings by Otto Jakob

Without the creation of new jewelry and the ever-changing world of fashion, there would not be the enticing and fascinating arena of antique and period jewelry.

Importantly, in an era in which the value of a label or name may seem transitory, entering the secondary market of a well-known brand can offer exciting opportunities.

It is remarkable how quickly contemporary pieces come onto the market. especially when considering the significant decrease in value. By stripping away manufacturing costs, marketing budgets and celebrity sponsorship (to name a few) the natural value of an object becomes compelling to buyers where in today’s world hard assets are becoming an integral part of people’s financial portfolio.

This week alone, jewelry by Bulgari, Cartier and Tiffany & Co., along with the work of Pomellato and Cathy Waterman have all been bought and sold in the store.

Highlighted here are some elegant rose-cut diamond and 18k gold drop earrings by Otto Jakob, a popular contemporary jewelry designer. Over ten years ago, these earrings commanded a price in excess of $50,000. Today, while still just as beautiful as the day they were made, they retail from Betteridge for just $34,000.

Value and great jewelry can go hand in hand, but discipline and determination are wonderful virtues to have in this fast paced and really fun part of the second hand jewelry market.

Naturalistic Bielka Beauties

by on September 27th, 2010

Floral & Foliate Jewels by Robert Bielka

After attending the National Fish & Wildlife dinner Saturday night, where our very own Terry Betteridge was honored, I feel inspired to post these gorgeous Bielka pieces. An homage to Mother Nature, each piece highlights the sheer beauty of our natural world.

Meticulously hand-engraved surfaces and supremely beautiful gemstones enhance this collection of floral and foliate jewelry.

The Perfect Fall Companion – Bielka’s “Fandango” Jewelry

by on September 27th, 2010

Fandango Collection by Robert Bielka

This month we welcome Robert Bielka’s cheerful “Fandango” collection!

An adorable diamond-studded floral disco ball pendant necklace, matching sapphire and diamond earrings, and playful diamond earrings. On the bigger, bolder, and more colorful end of the spectrum, are the garden party-ready peridot earclips, and amethyst or blue topaz dress rings.

Some say it looks like fireworks… I say it looks like a party waiting to happen!

Buccellati Geranium Leaf Earclips: Enduring Value

by on July 31st, 2010

Estate Buccellati Geranium Leaf Earclips

Estate Buccellati Geranium Leaf Earclips, $3,800

Where can you find a pair of stylized, handmade, 18k gold, signed, iconically branded earrings for the price of a contemporary designer’s gold and silver bracelet?

These Betteridge Estate Collection Earrings by Buccellati are exquisitely thought out, incorporating at least a thousand dollars worth of hand engraving which creates a truly authentic natural motif. They are as well executed as any piece of jewelry can be.

Betteridge Estate Collection jewelry includes pieces from world-renowned brands that have demonstrated their artistic excellence and enduring value over the decades: brands like Buccellati, Tiffany, Boucheron, Schlumberger, David Webb and Cartier.

The true value of a superb piece of estate jewelry isn’t just about the dollars – it’s about the unique, enduring beauty and the lasting value of an unparalleled piece of craftsmanship.

Power Play: Marina B Art-Deco Inspired Ruby & Diamond Earrings

by on April 1st, 2010

Marina B Ruby & Diamond Earrings, $75,000

These spectacular ruby and diamond earrings by Marina B are a radical departure from her usual style of playful color and polished gold in bold unusual shapes.

Marina Bulgari was the granddaughter of Sotirio Boulgaris, the founder of Bulgari. In 1979, she opened her first boutique in Geneva and went on to international recognition.

The Art-Deco-inspired spirit to these earrings includes very fine Burmese rubies surrounded by pave-set and baguette-cut diamonds mounted in platinum.

Different jewelry designs create a wide variety of styles, and these earrings are about confidence, power and glamour.

Verdura Mammoth Hoop Earrings: Who Knew a Prehistoric Fossil Could Look So Hip?

by on March 1st, 2010

Verdura Mammoth Ivory Hoop Earrings, $3,500

These playful mammoth ivory hoops with bold gold stud detailing are at once graceful and sinuous in their delicate curvature and smooth polish, and yet also raw, edgy. A mix of contrasting elements, these beauties can be worn equally well with a pair of jeans during the day, or a little black dress at night.

Verdura’s glamorous design aesthetic is never compromised in this thoroughly modern take on the ever-hip hoop earring. Who else but Verdura could turn a pre-historic fossil into a wearable (and affordable!) piece of art?

A Bielka Flower Bouquet

by on February 1st, 2010

Anemone Pink Sapphire & Diamond Earrings ($21,600), Sunflower Blue Topaz Drop Earrings ($850), Sunflower Stud Earrings ($320), and Wild Rose Ear Clips ($4,400)

Why give the love of your life a bouquet of flowers destined to die on the vine? Bielka’s wild rose, sunflower and daisy floral earrings will show how much you care each and every Valentine’s Day for years to come.

After training with Cartier and working in close collaboration with Asprey, Robert Bruce Bielka opened his own jewelry workshop in New York City in 1979. Bielka is best known for producing gold jewelry featuring a wide variety of exquisite floral motifs, such as his iconic gold and gemstone sunflowers.

Bielka jewelry is featured frequently in W, Town & Country and Departures Magazine and recently appeared on the covers of Jewelry Connoisseur and In Sync magazines.

Diamond Studs: True Beauty Requires Artistry & Precision

by on October 11th, 2009

What goes into creating a pair of classic diamond stud earrings that we can be proud to put our name on? More than you might think. We are particularly fussy, here at Betteridge – we should be, as we have a reputation to uphold and skilled craftsmen in-house who can do the job to exacting specifications.

To make a “pair of stones”, lots of things need to match:
– Diameter is the easiest to see and must be identical on both stones.
– Color is the next most obvious matching point. Often a difference of one color grade, although seemingly insignificant, can result in a perception of a very disconcerting and unattractive mis-match.
– Clarity is not as critical, as it is by definition microscopic, but I always like the pair to be within one grade of each other.
– Often overlooked, is the matching of the cut. Table size in particular, is very evident when sitting side by side on the ear. The depth and dimensions of the diamond will also have an effect on the perceived brilliance of the stones and should be as close as possible.

– Finally, diamond studs should be set in platinum to fit our exacting specifications. Platinum is not only stronger and more enduring, but its color is the ideal ‘match’ for diamonds.

Net: ‘Simple diamond studs’ are anything but that, if they’re made here at Betteridge!

Rubies and Sapphires: Fireworks for any Occasion

by on July 1st, 2009

Ruby & Diamond Cluster Earrings and Sapphire & Diamond Cluster Earrings, from $5,000.

Corundum. Although it sounds like an obtuse problem, corundum is actually the mineral that composes some of the most sought after gemstones in the world.

Most people know corundum as a ruby if it is red and a sapphire if it is blue. Depending on where it is found, the mineral tends to take on a particular hue, which is why the fabulous “pigeon’s blood rubies” are often from Burma and the more tame, somewhat purplish “reds” are usually from Thailand. Famously, the most beautiful blue sapphires are from mines in Kashmir, but stunning, somewhat differently textured blue sapphires are well known in Burma as well and still other paler, but still brilliant, “blues” are found in Ceylon.

Although rubies and sapphires found in a particular place tend to look the same, there will always be black sheep in any family, and Burmese rubies are occasionally awful, even though all of the most expensive rubies in the world are from Burma.

Rarely, pinkish orange stones are discovered, and are known in the trade by the name “padperadscha” to evoke the color of an exotic jungle flower. In addition, many blackish green sapphires come from Australia.

Generally, true pink sapphires suffer from both a relative lack of interest and fairly large supply, while most green sapphires that Betteridge has taken in, I have given to children to keep and play with, as they generally have little to no value.

As a rule, the prettier the stone is, be it pink or red, yellow or blue, the more expensive, relative to the desirability of its general color it will be. For instance, the finest Burmese ruby might be $250,000 per carat, but a gem-quality, pink stone more like $20,000 per carat. Similarly, a “knock you down pretty” Kashmir sapphire might be $70,000 per carat, while the finest yellow sapphire ever found might only be $1,000 per carat.

At the end of the day, it comes down to basic economics: the extreme scarcity of fine, large “reds” and “blues” makes these forms of the fabulously colorful corundum particularly valuable.