When I first laid eyes on Loretta Castoro’s jewels, I was planning for JCK Las Vegas in 2013, and I knew I was experiencing a line of instant favorites. Her Love Doves collection was particularly inspiring, with large, beautifully hued gemstones in settings rich with winged, feathered detail. And my desire for kunzite had finally been satiated! There were rich designs in sterling silver, stunning use of morganite, and plenty more.
Then I laid eyes on a ring dubbed The Big Kiss, with rich ruby lips parted just enough to reveal a large tanzanite center (see it here). When asked about that first ring in what promises to be a legendary collection, Loretta details how it came to fruition: “The first KissMe ring I made was after I found an amazing, top-quality, unheated, multicolor tanzanite in Bangkok; I was living there at the same. I was so in love with the stone I wanted to kiss it, so I designed the ring as lips kissing the stone forever. The ring sold at its first showing; a gentleman bought the ring as a gift to his daughter on her graduation. Soon after, the ring appeared on Pinterest, and emails and calls starting coming in for the piece. It was clear the collection would be a big hit!”
A big hit, indeed! Shortly before the JCK Tucson show, Loretta shared that she was quite excited to be showcasing the mouthy treasures in a flurry of new colors, and ever since, I’ve been trying to determine which one I like the best. There’s the original combination, of course. But the designer has embraced an array of color combinations, ranging from soft pastels to bold, electric shades. “I learned that each person has a different reason for loving a specific color combination,” she says. “The ruby lips were the most popular sellers.”
The two pieces I covet the most: A soft combination of paraiba and (what else?) kunzite, and a combo that couldn’t be more different—neon peridot with bold blue sapphire lips. “The lady who wears the original ring told me she wears it with the kiss facing her so that she feels she is being kissed every day,” says Loretta. “Another woman bought the ring for herself because she loved the modern, edgy look.”
In addition to the new stone combinations, we’re also being treated to KissMe earrings and pendants; perfect for self-purchasers and even more convenient for gifts, since they’re guaranteed to fit! “I was amazed at the response,” says the designer of the new pieces, which debuted at JCK Tucson. “Directly after the show, a top retailer asked me to ship the entire collection to their store for Valentine’s Day sales. I had not even had a chance to have the pieces photographed!”
The prices of the rings are based on the center gemstone, and range from $3,700 to $6,750 retail. Visit Loretta Castoro on JCK Marketplace to see more from the designer, and to inquire about getting this collection into your store!@jckmagazine
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