Blogs: On Your Market / Colored Stones / Designers

Britt’s Pick: Opal Gem ID Bracelet By M. Spalten


It seems like everything designer Melissa Spalten makes goes directly on the wish list. Her Los Angeles–based brand, M. Spalten, is known for its colorful wares, and each and every piece feels like a very pristine, precious party.

Just around this time last year, the brand’s Gemfetti collection made its debut at the Couture show in Las Vegas—an update to its best-selling Gemdrop collection, the name change reflected the act of celebrating gemstones, as the jewelry truly appears to do.

Alongside the Gemfetti celebration, M. Spalten debuted another new line: Gem ID bracelets.

Identification bracelets have a military history—soldiers wore the pieces as a part of their uniforms, and later, upon return from war, a declaration of having served. The style is seen in medical ID bracelets as well, to denote pertinent health information should someone need medical attention.

As with other military-necessitated fashions—dog tags, fatigues, camouflage print—the fashion world picked it up, and before long, the style was worn by both men and women. The styles took up popularity in the 1990s especially, and while a good-quality ID bracelet is a timeless treasure that has the potential to be a family heirloom transcending any era or trend, it might be our recent affinity for everything Y2K that has the style sprouting up everywhere again, in gorgeous, chunky gold befitting anyone who loves, well, gorgeous, chunky gold.

But I’ve never seen one bejeweled like this before.

Not that a take on the style was precisely what Melissa Spalten was going for in the first place.

“The Gem ID bracelet is a modified version of a bangle bracelet that I produced several years ago,” Spalten tells me. “I wanted to make it more wearable and comfortable.”

The new style takes a small section of the previous bangle’s “dot and dash” pattern of gemstones, as Spalten calls it, which ran the length of the bracelet, and sets it along a link chain. That process “seemed a little off,” says the designer, “until I thought about it like an ID bracelet with a chunky chain. And I couldn’t find the perfect chain, so we made our own. This new style makes it easier to layer and fit a wider range of wrist sizes.”

On the topic of range, the Gem ID bracelet has it—an incredible array of gemstones, including customizable options, to choose from. I couldn’t pass up this perfect opal and sapphire combination pictured at top, which offers a bridge between September and October, with that purple sapphire I’ve been drooling over to boot.

Not that a collector could stop at just one (as the designer suggested, they were made to be stacked, after all), but step one is choosing which one to start with!

Top: Gem ID bracelet in 14k yellow gold with opal and sapphires, $3,950; M. Spalten

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By: Brittany Siminitz

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