Blogs: On Your Market / Gold

Britt’s Las Vegas Pick: John Hardy’s Naga Lariat


A lot can happen in a year, but it often feels there is no time between each edition of Las Vegas Jewelry Week.

Walking through the doors of the Palazzo at the Venetian (as was the case with Mandalay Bay some years ago now), to the familiar sounds and smells of the casino, almost seems like coming home. Despite my aversion to cigarette smoke, the heavy aroma of whatever they use in these places feels comforting, in a familiar sort of way, as odd as that may be.

A walk to the show floor is no different. How easily I could retrace those steps over and over again, this workplace-on-steroids of mine. It’s invigorating, welcoming, and soothing all in one, and if that makes sense to you, you might experience Vegas the same way I do.

I saw so many goodies—too many!—that I’m still processing. There were loads of notable trends (more on that tomorrow) that I find myself totally giddy over, and so much Instagrammable beauty I ran through my phone battery on more than one occasion.

But one of my absolute favorite items from the show came as rather a surprise to me. Not a 10-carat diamond or a juicy gemstone, but a rich gold treasure from an unsuspecting brand (at least for me)—John Hardy.

First, let me say this: The JCK magazine team, myself included, was treated to the most wonderful tour of John Hardy’s collections during the opening days of the Luxury show. I took it all in quietly, amazed at how the brand appears to be going through a style revolution of sorts. When I worked in retail, a John Hardy bracelet was the iconic piece to own—but it was never my bag (sterling silver and my lazy approach to jewelry care do not mix). How things have changed after that visit with the passionate and knowledgeable John Hardy team in Vegas. I could make a wish list a mile long of the jewels that the company had on display.

Many items are delicate, more feminine, with plenty of soft, beautifully honed 14k yellow gold. Others are bold, high-fashion, and yet still remarkably classic. My favorite of such is from the brand’s Naga line. It’s pretty hard to choose just piece in that collection, but I love this lariat necklace for its mix of delicate diamonds, abundant gold chain, and the fact that while it’s a departure from what I once thought of as John Hardy, it still keeps the brand’s design DNA intact.

The Balinese legend of the naga (“dragon”) compels a deeper affection for the necklace: This creature that perches atop a volcano by day, guarding the people of Bali, dives below the depths of the ocean each night to visit his true love, Pearl. Every morning, the dragon returns to his volcano, bringing nourishment to the earth through the water that drips from his scales. And so, the Southeast Asian icon symbolizes love, protection, and prosperity.

It will be some time before I stop thinking about the jewels we were treated to at John Hardy—an affliction only curable by procuring one—but of the many things that live rent-free in my mind, this is one of the best.

Top: Naga lariat necklace in 14k yellow gold with 0.09 ct. t.w. diamonds, $5,400; John Hardy

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By: Brittany Siminitz

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