Jewelry Vocabulary: 10 Terms You Want To Know

Fond of fine jewelry? Or just looking for your first piece?
In either case, I’d like to offer some useful terms to help you as you scour the marketplace.

Most fine jewelry is connected to historical meaning, symbols or function.

So, in addition to knowing jewelry basics regarding precious metals (14K, 24K, platinum, palladium, etc.), it’s important to learn design terms and history before you invest in a precious piece. This is especially true if you are shopping for fine jewelry for the first time.

Honestly, I pick up something new daily. Sometimes my customers teach me things. Usually, I’m delving deep into research. There’s always something new to discover!

Below are a few terms that will have you talking like a pro.

1. Lariat necklace

The lariat, a long chain reminiscent of rope, is often worn draped multiple times around the neck. Sometimes this necklace incorporates a loop at one or both ends. This way, it may be worn like a lasso. Or it may be worn doubled over with the ends passed through the loop formed in the middle.

instagram user @kseniadesigns

2. Byzantine chain

This metal link chain design incorporates a rope-like texture and intriguing textural features. 

instagram user @pamasberry

 3. Mesopotamian Seal pendant 

The earliest civilizations used seals. In archaeology and art history, they had great significance. In ancient Mesopotamia, craftsmen carved or engraved cylinder seals in stone or other materials. These could be rolled along to create an impression on clay. They could be repeated indefinitely. The ancients used them as labels on consignments of trade goods, or for other purposes. They were normally hollow and worn on a string or chain around the neck.

Some featured finely carved images with no writing, while others had both.


Jean Grisoni Gold Pendant with Ancient Mesopotamian Cylinder Seal with Scene

4. Locket. A locket is a small object that opens to reveal a space, which holds items, usually a photograph. Often, a locket comes as pendant or sometimes is part of a charm bracelet. 


Edwardian era antique locket

 5. Claddagh ring. This traditional Irish ring is rich in symbolism. The hands represent friendship. The heart is associated with love. The crown signifies loyalty.

instagram user @irisdombrage

6. Figaro chain. This link chain incorporates a pattern of two or three small, circular links with one elongated oval link. The most distinguished figaro chains are manufactured in Italy.


instagram user @itspatriciamorales

7. Toggle clasp. This two-piece clasp has a bar which fits into a loop. The bar passes through the ring to secure the piece.


8. Trade beads. Old glass beads, mostly made around Venice 200 to 400 years ago, are used for trade in Africa and the Orient. In previous centuries, these colorful beads were often used in exchange for slaves, ivory, gold and other items.

instagram user @katopopstudio 

9. Mother of pearl or nacre. Some mollusks produce an organic-inorganic composite material as an inner shell layer. It also makes up the outer coating of pearls. It is strong and resilient.

instagram user @erina808

10. Tension set rings. I personally love this type of gemstone setting. Other settings have prongs that hold the stone. They may have a bezel or other mounting. Tension setting uses compression. The metal setting is actually spring-loaded to exert pressure onto the gemstone, and tiny etchings/grooves are added to the metal in order to create a shelf for the gemstone’s edges to rest. The gemstone appears to be floating in the air with nothing holding it in place.


Tension Set Ring

Farfetch App Review And £400 Voucher Giveaway

Hi everyone,

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are looking forward to celebrating New Year’s Eve.

This year was a bit intense for me — full of many changes and great accomplishments. As I’ve mentioned earlier in my blog posts, I work in fine jewelry industry and I enjoy every moment of it. Every day is different and there is always so much to learn! I hope that you, too, are ending a satisfying year and starting to create 2016 goals.

I have exciting news to share! , international fashion website, recently contacted me to review their Farfetch Discover app.

The app takes online shopping experience to the next level by showcasing over 300 carefully selected boutiques.

All boutiques are located everywhere from Tokyo, New York and London to Catania, New Orleans and Buharest, but united in one online shopping destination.

I’ve just discovered Dolci Trame, a hidden gem in the heart of renaissance city, Siena. I adore its wide selection of incredible designers such as Phillip Lim, Clizia Ornato, Akris and Ann Demeulemeester.



I particularly like the ‘search’ tab that allows you to filter your shopping experience by using key words. More importantly, the tab saves the previously searched words:

Also, the list of famous and emerging international designers is incredible. Whether you are big fan of Martin Margiela or Haute Hippie, the online boutique will satisfy the most exquisite taste. Notably, some boutiques offers vintage, one-of-a-kind pieces. 



Finally, the app has an “Add To Wish List” button that allows you to save your favourite items.

My wish list features capes, maxi dresses and knee-high boots. I especially can’t stop thinking about Nicholas Kirkwood ‘Carnaby’ boots: 


Now here’s the best part: you have the chance to win a £400 voucher and treat yourself to that item or two from your wish list. In order to win, dowload the Discover Farfetch app and  follow @farfetch on social media channels. 

For a chance to win, enter the following link:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The competition will close Thursday  Midday December 31st 


Confessions of a Stylist, Or Collaborating with Photographers

PhotographerAs a stylist, I work with photographers with varying expertise and personalities; each has his or her own stylistic preferences.

If a photographer adds a good stylist to his or her team, the images will be superior.  Quality is guaranteed if the two professionals have a strong connection. For this reason, online stores and media organizations must ensure that the photographer works well with the stylist. The results will have an impact on the overall company. Trust me.

Unfortunately, quite often, companies underestimate the value of incorporating a stylist on the team. Or the company simply cuts corners financially.

Don’t get me wrong, a photographer with a good eye and extensive industry experience is crucial. He or she brings out the model’s best facial features, body and overall personality. A seasoned photographer has innovative ideas about scenery and background. He or she may even take a risk and experiment by creating a visual story.  This requires tremendous imagination and judgment, especially if the photographer creates a story for a magazine spread or a designer’s look book.

Honestly, however, it is rare that the photographer has all these positive qualities.  Imagination may be present. But perhaps the company’s message is not paramount.  It is essential to create an image, which communicates the core values of the brand and designer.

I will tell you a secret.

The photographer is rarely aware of trends and fashion history. The photographer seldom has retail experience. Usually, a  traditional professional lacks commercial awareness of the apparel and suddenly attempts to produce fashion images.

The  results are not favorable.

For this reason, the magazines, online stores and outlets that use print media (produce catalogs) hire stylists.  A competent stylist must have a vision of the final image. He or she foresees the final results. A well-rounded, well-educated stylist has a greater ability to communicate the message using images. Imagination is significant. However, sound judgment wins in the end because the final results must convey a message that consumers easily interpret and remember.

A sound stylist knows photography trends and can influence an amateur photographer in editing and retouching. He or she can create impressive results from amateur work. Likewise, a good photographer can save an amateur stylist.  Both collaborate on the final results and lead the models and other artists― makeup professionals, as well as hair stylists.

On a side note, hair stylists and makeup artists are able to advance into a stylist career, if they continue to learn about fashion images, trends and fashion history. There is so much to learn.  A stylist must have an authentic passion to discover all these things to be a successful.  There is no ceiling.

I can share a few horror stories.

I watched a wedding makeup artist without any fashion industry awareness suddenly start pushing the limits and try to be a fashion makeup artist.  It turned into an awful mess.

It’s great to try something different. But you have to naturally have an interest for the arts and fashion or you simply must collaborate with a stylist. If you don’t naturally love fashion, stick to your strength. Focus on your niche market and do your best.

I also observed a situation where a hairstylist didn’t take into consideration the garment’s features or the talent and skill around her.  Lack of collaboration, ego and absence of basic leadership skills adversely affected the final results.

As artists we sometimes focus on our own ego and sometimes forget to collaborate and listen to each other. Practice and learn as much as possible in your field.  Always strive for learning opportunities from the other person.

Imitate in a way that contributes to the improvement of your existing strengths.

Don’t try to be somebody you are not. Don’t forget to have fun! The positive attitude of each teammate will only produce more quality work.

Share your stories of working on a team! Any horror or inspirational stories?


My Wish List: Designer Shoes For Up To 70% Off

1. MARC JACOBS metallic closed-toe slip-ons $160 – yoox
2. BALENCIAGA two-tone sandals with sculpted heel $315 – yoox
3. EMPORIO ARMANI techno fabric ankle boots $149 – yoox
4. DSQUARED2 wooden heel kidskin sandals $135 – yoox
5. COSTUME NATIONAL red closed-toe slip-ons w/ narrow toe line. $175 – yoox
6. JIL SANDER leather closed-toe slip-ons $195 – yoox
7. MARC JACOBS ankle boots $165 – yoox
8. ALEXANDER WANG ankle boots $149 – yoox
9. EMPORIO ARMANI sandals $139 – yoox

Note: Yoox has an extremely limited quantity of the above products. Sometimes the clearance items get sold out very quickly.  Also, note, that those are European sizes; therefore, they tend to run a half size to one full size smaller than U.S. sizes.

Happy Shopping and enjoy your weekend!

Virtual Shopping

We use our smartphones to check our bank balances, order Ma Po Tofu for lunch and send our romantic partners a quick text before the work day even begins. So, why do so many women hesitate to shop online?

“Because my body type is atypical and I can’t try the clothes on and know that they will fit,” you say.

True, you will not have the opportunity to circle in front of the mirror once you have zipped up the burgundy leather skinny pants you have pulled off the rack. But do you really need to?

If you know your body type and what fits you best, shopping online can be very advantageous. Aside from the ability to choose from an array of designers and brands, there are numerous other reasons to shop online.

James, I think your cover's blown!
By laverrue

Convenience, convenience, convenience. During your lunch break, you can sneak to your favorite online store without ever leaving your office. In the evening, while your children are doing their homework, you can wrap yourself in a fleece blanket, sip a glass of pinot noir and shop through a number of different stores. Personally, I love to turn on my favorite music, lean against my favorite pillow and search for the perfect designer leather bag on my laptop.

Efficiency. Like most women balancing a career and family, you may not have a lot of time. By using the search function, you can quickly find styles that fit your body type. For example, I often type the key words “low waist,” “draping,” or “genuine leather,” etc.

Bargains. Don’t you love deals? Finding a pair of Dolce & Gabbana pumps on sale is very satisfying. Footwear, from a logistics’ point of view, is very expensive inventory to keep. The markdowns on those are sometimes unbelievable. Finding $600 shoes for $80 means that your new high-quality shoes will keep you in style and your budget in balance.

Styling tips. Many online retailers match products with accessories, so you can learn styling skills and make better color selections. In addition, many stores provide recommendations or offer the products similar to the ones you have chosen.

Customized accounts. There are a few retailers that allow you to create a profile with your personal measurements and preferences. This makes the shopping experience very convenient.

Virtual shopping is a fun experience and with the rapid development of technology, it will only get better.