A Year in Britt’s Pick: My Favorite Jewels From 2014

As another year comes to a close, allow me a bragging moment: I love Britt’s Pick. Not because it has my name in it—though I like that, too—but because it’s truly fun for me to share my love for these pieces with you each and every week. I’m jewelry crazy. And by that I mean that I’m finding pieces to obsess over every day, but Britt’s Pick is my chance to delve into a full-on love letter of sorts, dedicated to the pieces featured. Looking over the past year’s picks has been a journey of 2014: reliving the welcome of the new year, the yearning for warmer weather, and then just as quickly the desire for fall. For each of these sentiments, there seemed to have been a jewel that fit with the moment. Jewelry is like that for customers, too. Perhaps they’ve found just the right ring to mark an occasion, or maybe it’s the most sparkling pair of earrings that lift their mood. Britt’s Pick is kind of like that for me, only I’m not the lucky customer who walks out of the store with a favorite piece—I’m hoping that it’s you, the retailer, who is touched by my words and my feelings on these pieces and shares them with your customers, who ultimately find the perfect match. So thank you, for another great year of allowing me to share the things that I love with you. Enjoy a look back at the jewels that made 2014 sparkle for yours truly.

Click each jewel for more info, and for the full Britt’s Pick write-ups, click the headlines.

 

January header

Djula’s Diamond Sunburst Knuckle Ring

Djula diamon sunburst chain ring

“This particular ring, one of my favorites, isn’t a walk on the wild side for many already onboard with hands full of rings, but it just might be the ticket for those wanting to dip a toe into the pool of high trend and fun fashion. Bonus: The piece is also available in yellow, rose, or black gold, so there are even more possibilities to choose from. Better yet, why not choose them all? Now that would really be something to see.”

 

 

Chamilia’s Minnie Mouse Jewelry Collection

Chamilia's Minnie Mouse collection bracelet

“Those who know me well know that I am very enthusiastic about anything Disney or Disney-related, so Chamilia has found the way to my heart with this new unveiling. While the brand has released various Disney-themed pieces over the past couple of years, sprinkling in princess and Pixar magic like pixie dust, this is the first collection devoted to one character in particular, and that is the First Lady of Disney.”

 

 

February

Bahina Jewels’ Pastel-Perfect Earrings

Bahina Jewels moonstone, tourmaline, and onyx earrings

“Topped with a cluster of rainbow moonstones in each (a stone that, after three years, I still haven’t tired of, so it must be a true favorite), the 18k yellow gold pair is also set with a tourmaline center, leading to an aqua-green onyx drop in the most beautiful, minty-cool color that it makes you want to reach for your swimwear. So what if the grumpy groundhog says six more weeks of winter?”

 

 

Shy Creation’s Lacy Diamond Statement Ring

Shy Creation diamond lace statement ring

“From the aristocratic beauty of our favorite Victorian-era romance novels to the more obvious—and by obvious I mean lingerie models prancing about on television, reminding men everywhere to buy something special this Valentine’s Day—lace is a central theme. One of those modern looks is pictured above: From Shy Creation, this 14k ring represents a handful of our favorite trends all in one.”

 

 

Nada G’s Boy Meets Girl Jewelry Collection

Nada G Boy Meets Girl jewelry collection

“The collection features a number of bands, all statement making with their stack-look style and the look du jour: ear cuffs. I’ve been a fan of Nada’s jewelry for quite some time now, and this is my favorite collection yet—completely wearable for every day and something that your customers will love mixing with their own collections of stacking rings as a way of expressing their own unique style.”

 

 

March

The Blue That Stole the Academy Awards

Alishan cabochon aquamarine cocktail ring

“Still, in a sea of sparkle—both from the diamonds and detailed, shimmering gowns in neutral shades of creme and nude—there was Lupita. Lupita Nyong’o, the newcomer so highly anticipated, both in red carpet appearance and awards success, did not disappoint in either. The Academy Award winner swept the red carpet, bringing to life a custom Prada gown in a shade of blue so heartbreakingly beautiful (dubbed Nairobi Blue as it reminded her of home), that I have a feeling it will be on our minds a lot this year (Radiant Orchid who?).”

 

 

Jack Kelége’s Blushing Engagement Ring

JAck Kelege white and pink diamond engagement ring

“Round pink diamonds held in 18k rose gold prongs flank the center stone, adding just enough pink that the piece glows with color, but it’s subtle enough for continuous, forever wear. Perhaps not all brides will be wishing for a pink wedding dress, and that’s just fine. But this ring, with its timeless silhouette and endless shine, is no trend.”

 

 

Sethi Couture’s Contrasting Stud Earrings

Sethi Couture black opaque diamond stud earrings

“A little more than 3 cts. of diamonds make this pair of studs a genuine statement, adding both drama to elegant evening wear and polish to the day’s office attire or denim. The white gold border that hugs the center stone gives off sort of an organic, free-form look, making the design, which could have been perfectly prim and proper, into something with a little more attitude than your average pair of diamond studs—and that’s just the way I like it.”

 

 

April

ZIVA’s Red-Hot Deco-Style Bracelet

Ziva Jewels Art Deco style ruby and diamond bracelet

“No old stones here, but there are more than 10 cts. of diamonds, and the Art Deco style is unmistakable. Where this piece would look perfectly gorgeous with sapphires, typical of 1920s style, instead it burns hot with 7 cts. of rubies, which to me, makes it look really bold. They do say that red is a power color, and it suits this 18k bracelet just fine.”

 

 

Nina Nguyen’s Summery Statement Necklace

Nina Nguyen Wisdom necklace

“Once I laid eyes on this piece, I began planning vacations around it (I tend to do that). How great would this look paired with a flowy white dress on a far-off island, a black bikini on a white sandy beach, or all dressed up for dinner on a cruise? Turquoise is synonymous with summer, and the five oversize stones in this piece practically shout it.”

 

 

Rina Limor’s Carved Amethyst Earrings

Rina Limor carved amethyst drop earrings

“Lovely amethyst stones are carved with a botanical design in 18k yellow gold settings that add richness to the look and get even more dazzling with a frame of diamonds. No matter what the Color of the Year may be, this duo is undoubtedly always in favor.”

 

 

The Laetitia Earrings by Angélique de Paris

Angelique de Paris Laetitia earrings

“The color scheme, with its splashes of green and yellow against a white background, just screams spring, and the hand-carved coral flowers that sit at the top of the earrings reinforce that proclamation. But these beauties won’t be restricted to spring: They would be just as dazzling paired with summer attire as they would in spring and fall, from the beach to the garden to the city streets.”

 

 

Sutra’s Surreal Paraiba Ring

Sutra paraiba cocktail ring

“Sutra’s cocktail ring is like a dream come true, with its electric blue looks and captivating pattern. The entire look is bold but heavenly, like a tall refreshing drink of crystal blue water—or even better, a colorful cocktail.”

 

 

May

Shy Creation’s Ring Is Two Trends in One

Shy Creation diamond double finger ring

“It’s sort of stacking band–meets full-finger ring–meets nail embellishment in one. This is one of those pieces that, though fairly subtle and small in size, has enough going on to make someone stop and have a look. It’s a conversation starter, and for those like yours truly who want to indulge in a sweet little trend, it’s affordable enough to do so without feeling too guilty.”

 

 

Evil Eye Earrings From Cevherun Mucevherat

Cevherun Mucevherat Evil Eye earrings

“Since my trip to Greece last year I’ve been fairly obsessed with anything and everything containing an eye motif—evil eye, all-seeing eye, hamsa, you name it. So it’s no surprise that these beauties caught my eye (ha!), and I’m unapologetically obsessed with them, too. In one look you seen an eye; in another, you see a floating island at the center of a warm blue sea.”

 

 

Omi Privé’s New Opal Ring

Omi Prive opal, tsavorite and diamond ring

“The upscale brand has long delighted with designs that cause major involuntary jaw drops, but this is the first time the company has added its signature grand touch to an opal. And what a design it is. Oh, and the center stone? Just a 4.5 ct. oval opal with miraculous, glowing color, no big deal. As if! Next step: to get this wrapped around my finger at the show!”

 

 

Bapalal Keshavlal’s Emerald Spade Earrings (Preshow Pick)

Bapalal Keshavlal diamond and emerald earrings

“As I hit the show floor today, the first day of LUXURY, I won’t need any blessings or good fortune to find exquisite jewelry collections, and that’s exactly what I’m gambling for. I couldn’t possibly have dreamed up a better design to convey the mix of luxury and luck that awaits us all in Sin City than these superb sparklers from Bapalal Keshavlal. The earrings glow with the color of luck (and money), where rich emeralds stand out in each of the three stations—the one in the center in the very appropriate shape of a spade.”

 

 

June

Marli’s Avventura Ear Cuff (Postshow Pick)

“Right in the front case, where the company showcased its ‘cocktail hour’ jewels, was this ear cuff. Dubbed the Avventura, the piece is crafted in 18k white gold and features a cascading chandelier of 3 cts. t.w. diamonds. The newcomer, based in New York, designs its pieces for the independent, self-purchasing woman, which must be why everything in the showcase is just so mega fierce.”

 

 

Italian Design’s Whimsical Circus Ring

Italian Design Jewellery Circus collection ring

“This ring is particularly intriguing for its big-top style, with a hand-cut center blue topaz made to look like that circus tent we have come to associate with the big show. Colored gemstones glitter below, in a bejeweled design that you would expect to see on the most glamorous performers in their heyday.”


 

The Starburst Ring From Katie Design Jewelry

Katie Design Jewelry Starburst ring

“Everyone who looks at it will see something different, but my story for this ring from Katie Design Jewelry takes me south to Louisiana. The ebonized silver fleur-de-lis motifs say vintage New Orleans, reminiscent of a long-ago time in a magical city alive with jazz music. The spikes are like those found on an aged gate that guards a grand home or cemetery, even. The moonstone center is just icing on the cake—a favorite gemstone of mine that sits glowing from a favorite motif: the starburst.”


 

Sylvie Collection’s Vintage-Style Diamond Ring

Sylvie collection two-tone vintage-style diamond ring

“What I love most about this vintage-inspired design from Sylvie Collection is the blackened twists of metal that make up its center, with milgrain texture and round, bezel-set diamonds. I love this as a right-hand fashion ring, but for those customers looking for something different where bridal jewelry is concerned, imagine this as an engagement ring. I think it’s an idyllic option; no wedding band needed and plenty of sparkle to boot. Picture this in your front-and-center showcase when the fall breezes blow in—it’s fitting, right?”

 

 

July

Kaura Jewels’ Petal Strength Earrings

Kaura Jewels Petal Strength earrings

“I can see why the word strength is in the name of this pair: The chevron pattern etched into its teardrop shape just says ‘warrior,’ while the arrangement of gemstones below, akin to spikes, corroborates the statement. The tapered ruby baguettes span the bottom of the teardrop like a collar and are sandwiched between the aforementioned spiky cluster, made up of bezel-set emeralds surrounded with a trio of pear-shaped onyx in each. The bold gemstone color scheme further adds to the I’m-a-bada**-chick-don’t-mess-with-me vibe.”

 

 

Supreme Jewelry’s Delectably Dark Ruby Pendant

Supreme Jewelry glass-filled ruby pendant

“Its blood-red hue doesn’t beg to be paired with frilly fabrics or bright flowers. It possesses a dark glamour, like the kind Angelina Jolie brought to her villanous Malificent role. You know, the good-to-be-bad kind. It’s an all-seasons piece, though the deep shade of red meshes beautifully with the autumnal hues that aren’t too far from gracing us, believe it or not.”

 

 

Alexandra Alberta’s Bohemia Belle Ring

Alexandra Alberta Bohemia Belle dangle ring

“With its fairy tale color combination, which pairs a peachy pink tourmaline with amethyst in a setting that dangles freely at the center like colorful charms, the ring is the epitome of pretty. It has a hammered finish in satiny 18k rose-gold-plate over sterling silver; the texture adds an interesting element without overdoing it.”

 

 

Mastoloni Pearls’ Trendy Emily Earrings

Mastoloni Emily pearl ear climbers

Further proof that the pearl is getting a supercool makeover, Mastoloni’s ear-climbing earrings are irresistible. For a really modern take, I’d suggest wearing just one of these, while sporting a teeny pearl stud in the other ear. If you are heading to LUXURY Privé next week, be sure to check them out!”

 

 

Joshua J’s Cascading Diamond Earrings

Joshua J diamond cascade earrings

“Sparkling, cloud-like clusters of diamonds give way to cascading lines, spaced with round-cut stones that form a geometric pattern and come to a point. With just under 10 cts. of diamonds, the pair proves unforgettable, no matter what season your customers choose to wear them.”

 

 

August

Gumuchian’s B Honeycomb Medallion Pendant

Gumuchian B Honeycomb pendant

“A 71 ct. round citrine makes up the bulk of the piece, with the look of honey good enough to reach out and taste. Its sticky aesthetic is wrapped in a pattern of golden honeycombs, like a sweet barrier that protects the oh-so-precious ingredient. A ring of diamonds frames the piece, and the design is topped off with the cutest little bee charm at the clasp. Now even if you’re afraid of bees, you have to admit, this is extraordinary.”

 

 

ALOR’s Black and White Cuff Bracelet

ALOR Noir cable and stingray bracelet

“Cruella De Vil. The black and white cookie. Yin and yang. So many iconic (and often delicious) items are done up in black and white, split straight down the middle. This new bracelet from ALOR fits right in. A contrasting setup of creamy white stingray skin pairs with black stainless-steel cable, divided by a line of pavé-set diamonds that aid the transition from one side to the other.”

 

 

A. Link’s New Year’s Eve Diamond Ring

A. Link New Year's Eve diamond ring

New Year’s Eve. It just had to be something exciting, glittery, most likely covered in diamonds. Each of the 109 round diamonds is held in a geometric frame, giving the ring a mirror effect that brings to mind that infamous ball that drops at midnight to ring in the new year.”

 

 

Bahina’s Multicolor Tourmaline Bracelet

Bahina multicolor tourmaline bracelet

“Not quite the rainbow of brightness that signals the warmer months, but still a cheerful collection of shades that range from dark to light, flawlessly finding a place among the moodier looks of fall and winter. Anyone who’s a fan of organization and seamless design can appreciate the way these tourmalines are set, ranging from dark to light that seem to fade from one color to the next with a natural grace.”

 

 

September

Bohemme’s Scary-Beautiful Earrings

Bohemme corundum and citrine earrings

“These earrings are like a vintage horror flick: scary but not in a modern too-many-special-effects way, with all of the elegance Boris Karloff brought to his classic characters. I picture these worn to a late-autumn feast, accompanying an exquisite black gown or something made of crushed velvet, just because.”

 

 

Tamir’s Fantastical Aquamarine Ring

Tamir aquamarine blackened ring

“At first glance, it’s futuristic. Like a spaceship or some otherwordly device from a sci-fi movie. Upon further inspection, it’s part of the medieval world, like a shield that is destined to protect only the bravest knight. Whichever way you see it, the design evokes thoughts born in fantasy and awakens the imagination.”

 

 

Rahaminov’s Paraiba Slice Earrings

Rahaminov paraiba slice earrings

“Like little islands dotting those tropic seas, the look could even be likened to a view from space. I love the warm yellow-gold border, I think it transforms what could have been a more casual piece into something rich and elegant, while maintaining a playful, summertime vibe.”

 

 

Sylvie Collection’s Black Lace Diamond Ring

Sylvie Collection black rhodium diamond lace ring

“What I love about the lacy pattern on this blackened ring is its straight-up bold sexiness and the way it owns its curves, each bowed edge coated in diamonds. It’s the kind of piece that can turn even the tamest of ensembles into one that is cheeky and mischievous—any time of year.”

 

 

Martin Flyer’s Art Deco–Style Entice Earrings

Martin Flyer Deco Entice diamond drop earrings

“Adding a bold accent to just more than six-and-a-half cts. of various-shaped diamonds are rings of onyx, a touch that strengthens the Art Deco style and serves to break up the pattern in just the right way. Those customers really wanting to make a statement can pair the danglers with its matching necklace. Now that’s how you go big for the holidays, am I right?”

 

 

October

Jane Basch Designs’ Love Emoji Necklace

Jane Basch Designs Love Emoji necklace

“There are times when it seems that the only news is bad news, and you just need something to make you smile. That was all I could do when I saw this pendant from Jane Basch’s Emoji collection, with its eyes lit up as hearts and a contagious grin. So simple. So cute. So something we all could use right about now.”

 

 

Parade Design’s Tourmaline Slice Earrings

Parade Design pink tourmaline slice earrings

“We wear pink this month not only as a symbol of uniformity and support but also as a reminder to stop and think about breast cancer and to encourage women (and men) to take part in exams and screenings. This month, the color pink matters. These would be a hit any time of year, of course, but in Pinktober, they really stand out. I share these earrings not only because they’re spectacularly awesome but to also serve as a reminder never to underestimate the power of color.”

 

 

MaeVona’s New Selkirk Engagement Ring

MaeVona Selkirk diamond engagement ring

“For brides-to-be wanting something plain and simple, this may not be the one, but any potential fianceé who looks to mix old with new, classic with fresh is sure to join that aforementioned group of Selkirk coveters. They’ll no doubt fall in love with the combination of Celtic influence (seen in the knotted, open design along the band) and the classic pavé diamond halo that forms a half (more than half) bezel of sorts around the center stone.”

 

 

Chamilia’s Love You to Death Skull Earrings (Halloween Pick)

Chamilia Love You to Death skull earrings

“For five months I kept them in the back of my mind, waiting for the spooky holiday to come around before I could write about them. Chamilia’s Love You to Death studs aren’t just a pair of skulls. I love their heart-shape eyes and upside-down heart nose, their toothy, sparkling Swarovski crystal smiles.”

 

 

November

Omi Privé’s Jewel Tone Spinel Ring

Omi Prive purple and red spinel ring

“The ring is like its own jewel box of color, with cranberry-red spinel side stones and a purple spinel center that glow like holiday lights. The look is definitely modern, and the color combination works year-round. But right now, in this moment, with the holidays looming and an air of festivity close at hand, it shouts of warm gatherings, palpable cheer—and it’s sure to make its wearer the center of attention in any crowd.”

 


‘Friends’ 20th Anniversary Stacking Bracelets

Angelica FRIENDS stacking charm bangles

“Even people only vaguely familiar with Friends will recognize the Smelly Cat, that infamous picture frame, and the special Friends 20th anniversary charms. Did I mention they even have one that reads ‘You’re my lobster?’ The ultimate gift of romance.”

 

 

Belle Étoile’s Pashmina Earrings

Belle Etoile Pashmina collection earrings

“I imagine them paired with a brown suede jacket (extra fringe) or a warm, super-cuddly and oversize wrap sweater decorated in a Southwestern print. Though they’re static in nature, the earrings curve just so to appear to be blowing in the wind, taking a cue from the soft goat’s wool scarves they’re named after.”

 

 

Rebecca Hook’s Acorn Chandelier Earrings (Thanksgiving Pick)

Rebecca Hook acorn chandelier earrings

“I’ve had a slight infatuation with acorns since Kate Middleton became a duchess wearing diamond-dotted acorn drops on her wedding day. This pair, with its two-tone detail and chandelier style, is great for every day and much better suited for varying age groups, too.”

 

 

December

Sethi Couture’s Tanzanite Deco Earrings

Sethi Couture tanzanite Deco drop earrings

“More than 21 cts. of tanzanite cabochons pop from the center of the Art Deco–inspired earrings, glittering with diamonds. Rose gold was the way to go—soft, feminine, and still exuding a sort of luxury edge that only the warmest of metals can. But this time of year, when holiday cheer runs high, I liken them to glistening decorations, seamlessly adorning party attire and gala gowns.”

 

 

Charming Silver’s Jewel-Tone CZ Spiral Ring

Charming Silver multicolor CZ spiral ring

“Its spiraling five tiers of sterling silver are adorned with saturated cubic zirconia, made all the more bright by contrasting blackened prongs. The cheery look is completely year-round worthy, but I’d look to it to warm up an often colorless (but never boring) wardrobe when the winter just seems to drag on.”

 

 

Sutra’s Blue Shield Ring (Holiday Pick)

Sutra tanzanite and sapphire shield ring

“The black and blue color combination contrasts but in a soft, glowing kind of way; and when I look at it, I think of swirling snowflakes and icicles—the kind that convey the magic of Christmas, not the kind that you’d hate to drive in. So to those reading this, if you have me on your shopping list—and if your budget happens to be around $12,000—I present my ultimate ask. Well, it’s either this or oven mitts, but I know no one could pass up this gleaming, glittering masterpiece. Right? Anyone?”