My Favorite Things 2017: A Year in Britt’s Pick

I feel like I was just writing about how I was just writing about another year in Britt’s Picks—the years just fly, don’t they? But if there’s one thing we can count on year after year—regardless of the headlines, good or bad—it’s beautiful jewelry. It’s sometimes what gets us through a crappy day, and makes those good days even better. So what rocked my world this year? Not surprisingly, an abundance of opal, lots of blue and green, and a surplus of sparkling diamonds. Less predictable choices on the part of yours truly included a whimsical bird brooch, a fair amount of tourmaline, and a smattering of rose gold.

Here’s what Britt’s Picks looked like in 2017. Thank you to every single person involved in this industry for another wonderfully unforgettable year in jewelry!

Ayva aquamarine Kela necklace

Kela necklace in 18k white gold with 0.75 ct. t.w. aquamarine and 1.1 cts. t.w. diamonds, $2,640; Ayva Jewelry

“This new necklace, dubbed Kela, takes one of Kedia’s signature designs—square gemstones adorned with a fanlike layout of tapered baguettes—and makes it three, dangling them from a simple chain to make for an elegant, but everyday, look.” Read more from Jan. 3, 2017.


David Mor yellow and white diamond necklace

Handcrafted necklace in platinum with 60.09 cts. t.w. fancy intense yellow pear-shape diamonds, 33.42 cts. t.w. D-color pear-shape diamonds, and 49.32 cts. t.w. D-color marquise-cut diamonds, $3,025,000; Setaré Diamonds

“The piece took seven years to make, between finding the perfect match in pear-shape stones, recutting stones to make the proportions just right, and hand-writing to make sure that it sits just right. It’s a journey that paid off because, well, look.” Read more from Jan. 9, 2017.


Dorian and Rose green beryl ring

Bezel-set ring in 20k yellow gold with yellow-green beryl and diamonds, price on request; Dorian & Rose

“Los Angeles–based family jeweler Dorian & Rose has crafted this bezel-set ring in the most beautiful way, framing a sensational gemstone with a bezel speckled in brilliant diamonds, like an old Hollywood stage shining its lights on some glamorous star. The ring would undoubtedly be admired even if Pantone declared a shocking shade of purple as its annual hue, but it’s ever so iconic right now.” Read more from Jan. 16, 2017.


Kaali Designs Maya diamond necklace

Maya collection Stormy kite necklace in 14k white gold with 0.66 ct. gray diamond and 0.18 ct. t.w. diamonds, $2,350; Kaali Designs

“I immediately took a liking to this necklace from Kaali Designs’ Maya collection, because it combines two of my current jewelry cravings: dark, moody diamonds—I’ve developed an obsession with black, but the dramatic gray seen here is just as mesmerizing—and sleek, angled shapes.” Read more from Jan. 23, 2017.


Fern Freeman ebony necklace

Necklace in ebony, leather, and 20k yellow gold with 0.44 ct. t.w. diamonds, $6,435; Fern Freeman

“I love this one especially, for two reasons: its shape—the way it sort of mimics the popular Y necklaces in an (obviously) larger way—and the juxtaposition of beautiful, delicate metalwork, where 20k yellow gold is used to gracefully adorn the large pieces of ebony that make up the piece.” Read more from Jan. 30, 2017.


Goshwara peridot drop earrings

G-One collection earrings in platinum with 59.55 cts. t.w. tumbled peridot and 6.3 cts. t.w. diamonds, price on request; Goshwara

“There’s an air of luxe-casual to these earrings: Their platinum bodies house over 6 cts. of diamonds—quite the look on its own—but the addition of tumbled peridot beads (nearly 60 cts. worth) lends them an easygoing vibe.” Read more from Feb. 6, 2017.


Martha Seely Antares peridot necklace

Antares necklace in 14k yellow gold with 1.25 ct. peridot, 0.13 ct. t.w. tsavorite, and 0.2 ct. t.w. diamonds, $3,168; Martha Seely

“The pendant quietly tackles a number of currently coveted styles (the color, the shape), but I say that, while the pendant certainly will answer those demands, it’s such an artful creation that in five, 10 years time, it won’t really matter what the trends were. Like a shooting star—which so happens to be the collection the necklace belongs to—it’s is a sought-after, wished-for, and treasured find for all time.” Read more from Feb. 13, 2017.


Pamela Froman double arabesque boulder opal ring

Double Arabesque ring in 18k yellow gold with 10.62 ct. Australian boulder opal and 0.39 ct. t.w. diamonds, $8,490; Pamela Froman

“The designer allowed the ring’s border of diamonds to follow a slightly organic, free-form pattern that mirrors the center stone—an impressively colorful 10.62 ct. Australian boulder opal.” Read more from Feb. 16, 2017.


Dorian and Rose cognac diamond earrings

Dangling earrings in 14k rose gold with cognac diamonds, price on request; Dorian & Rose

“The pair features varying levels of movement, from the small swingy cognac diamond charms to the detailed rose gold metal of its curvy body. If you’re looking to enter the big earring game, or to expand your offerings, consider this pair your ideal choice.” Read more from March 1, 2017.


Rock and Gems pink opal cluster ring

Cluster ring in 18k yellow gold with 16 cts. t.w. pink opal and 1.05 cts. t.w. diamonds, $5,500; Rock and Gems Fine Jewelry

“Resplendent in 18k yellow gold, the piece is warm and cheerful, with just the tiniest bit of edge—each of its four corners coming to a point, where an extra round diamond marks north, south, east, and west.” Read more from March 7, 2017.


Susan Wheeler spinel pendant

Necklace in 18k yellow gold with Vietnamese spinel, Brazilian tourmaline crystal, and fair-trade Malawi padparadscha sapphires, $4,400; Susan Wheeler

“It has that vivacious shade of pink we’re yearning for around here, while a narrow Brazilian tourmaline crystal lines the bottom of the piece in leafy fashion. Overall, the design evokes that of a tulip garden: blooming bulbs of pink, rooted in green leaves and stems, planted in colorful rows.” Read more from March 20, 2017.


Thea Izzi aquamarine pendant

Pendant in 18k yellow gold with 8.65 ct. rose-cut aquamarine and 3 mm white sapphire on a 14k gold multistrand cable, $2,950; Thea Izzi

“The tranquility of its star: an oval-shape, rose-cut aquamarine. The silky smoothness of its 18k gold vessel, hugging the rugged curves of the central gemstone, glistening with a single, bezel-set white sapphire.” Read more from March 28, 2017.


A and Z Pearls flamingo brooch

One-of-a-kind flamingo brooch in 14k rose gold with natural American pearls, 0.23 ct. t.w. diamonds, and 0.11 ct. t.w. rubies, $14,000; A&Z Pearls

“A rose gold flamingo, composed of a large natural American pearl from the Tennessee River—two, actually—with such iridescence, they practically sparkle.” Read more from April 6, 2017.


Adel Chefridi tourmaline Grace pendant

Grace pendant in 18k yellow gold with 3.2 ct. tourmaline and rubies, $4,600; Adel Chefridi

“I am not often drawn to shades of red—much more often, it’s cooler hues that catch my eye. But the rich, juicy presence of the tourmaline here is like a quenching drink on a hot summer day.” Read more from April 11, 2017.


Alishan flower pendant

Pendant in oxidized sterling silver and 18k yellow and rose gold with 0.15 ct. pink sapphire and 0.02 ct. t.w. diamonds, price on request; Alishan

“A simple concept, the design is not so simple at all: The textured petals of a yellow gold flower surround a rose gold, bezel-set pink sapphire center, and the figure pops against an oxidized background. My favorite detail of the circular pendant, though, is the trio of diamonds.” Read more from April 18, 2017.


Amali emerald drop earrings

Tiered drop earrings in 18k yellow gold with emeralds, $4,400; Amáli Jewelry

“This style helps maintain the relaxed, never-overdressed vibe that makes me feel comfortable, while their high quality and expert craftsmanship add sophistication to keep such an ensemble from being too casual.” Read more from April 25, 2017.


Anabel Higgins Grace horseshoe pendant

Grace antique horseshoe pendant in oxidized silver with diamond and sapphire paste, $1,000; Anabel Higgins

“It’s sapphire and diamond paste that gleams from this piece, a less expensive alternative to precious gemstones, prevalent in a time when the rarity—and consequent high price—of such gemstones made them a hard bargain for many jewelry buyers.” Read more from May 1, 2017.


Antonini Atolli collar necklace

Atolli collar necklace in 18k yellow gold with jet and diamonds, price on request; Antonini

“With curvy, sculptured style, it surrounds pieces of jet in glossy rings of gold, the larger of the two accented in diamonds. The circular shapes represent that of an atoll, or, ‘an outline that encompasses a stretch of crystal clear water.'” Read more from May 9, 2017.


Baiyang Qiu sapphire earrings

Earrings in platinum with 0.95 ct. t.w. sapphires, $3,500; Baiyang Qiu

“Designer Qiu uses fine gauge metal wire as a signature of her designs. Each creation is one you can easily get lost in: an intricate nest of shapes spun into a web of metal, so visually arresting that no assistance from gemstones, no matter how spectacular, is needed. This pair does get the gemstone treatment—round, bezel-set sapphires—that reside front and center, without being the center.” Read more from May 16, 2017.


Coline Assade Eye See You pendant

Eye See You pendant in sterling silver and enamel, price on request; Coline Assade

“A face of sculpted sterling silver is brought to life with a trio of vitreous enamel eyes, and you can’t help but feel those baby blues are truly watching you.” Read more from May 23, 2017.


Crysellas blue flower ring

Verbena ring in 14k rose gold with blue agate and diamonds, $1,380; Crysellas

“This would be such a joyous piece to wear each day—and how great would this be for a bride’s something blue?” Read more from May 30, 2017.


Omi Prive double sapphire ring

Double ring in platinum with sapphires and diamonds, $30,000; Omi Privé

“It rekindled my love for sapphires, though that love was never really lost, just temporarily forgotten. When I saw this ring, I was blind to all others, even the opal ones. And Omi has some really, really good opals.” Read more from June 6, 2017.


Parle opal flower necklace

Collar necklace in 18k rose gold with 28.62 cts. t.w. opal and Lotus Garnet, and 1.42 cts. t.w. diamonds, $34,000; Parlé Jewelry Designs

“The moment I saw it, I knew this would be my favorite piece from the entire show—and it was my first day in Vegas that I laid eyes on this necklace. From the Idaho-based Parlé Jewelry Designs, this beauty was actually featured in the May issue of JCK magazine, but, like any mesmerizing jewel, to see it in person is an incomparable experience.” Read more from June 14, 2017.


Eduardo Sanchez gold and diamond coin ring

Coin ring in yellow gold with diamonds, price on request; Eduardo Sanchez

“The Querencia collection—of which this ring is a member— is dedicated to Sanchez’s home country, incorporating Mexican coins. This ring feels like a treasure, with its featured coin surrounded by a whole carat of round, sparkling diamonds, rich in gold and plentiful in size.” Read more from June 20, 2017.


Freywille Donna enamel bangle

Donna bangle in 24k gold plate and fire enamel, $1,045; Freywille

“Above all, it’s a mindtrip—electric colors and wonderful, circus-like weirdness. It scares me. And yet, it comforts me. It’s one of those pieces that I could stare at for a really long time, trying to just figure it out.” Read more from June 27, 2017.


Erica Courtney mahenge spinel and diamond ring

Diana ring in 18k yellow gold with 5.34 ct. Mahenge spinel and 5.35 cts. t.w. diamonds, price on request; Erica Courtney

“Gemstone hounds may not believe it, but it wasn’t the 5.34 ct. Magenge spinel featured in Courtney’s Diana ring that captured my attention first—instead, it was the two rows of diamonds running down the chunky band, a style I have developed an affinity for as of late.” Read more from July 17, 2017.


Erika Winters diamond Estella earrings

One-of-a-kind Estella earrings in 18k yellow gold with 1.63 cts. t.w. Old European-cut diamonds and 0.07 ct. t.w. round brilliant diamonds, $16,390; Erika Winters

“Perhaps my view is based on a predisposition I have for Winters’ talent, but she’s taken that skill for jewelry photography and infused it into jewelry design, making each of her creations come alive in the most incredible, light-filled way.” Read more from July 18, 2017.


Alison Antelman ruby Metro bracelet

Mini Metro bracelet in oxidized silver with ruby and black and white diamonds, price on request; Alison Antelman

“Its oxidized silver body, reminiscent of Gothic architecture, is a breath of fresh fall air. Its rose-cut and faceted black and white diamonds, accompanied by juicy rubies of pinkish-red, are the ideal colors that could anchor not only fall’s best fashions, but those summer whites too.” Read more from July 28, 2017.


Bounkit amethyst choker necklace

Choker necklace in 14k gold-plated sterling silver with amethyst, $495; Bounkit

“Chokers were a big thing in the ’70s—even if they were mainly macramé or puka shell—so it makes sense that this would jibe. But the piece, with its removable pendant, is quite modern, too (a good sign for its versatility). And at a price point under $500, how could you even pass it up?” Read more from Aug. 1, 2017.


Doryn Wallach turquoise cocktail ring

Ring in 18k yellow gold with sleeping beauty turquoise, 0.68 ct. t.w. black diamonds, and 0.23 ct. baguette diamond, $9,900; Doryn Wallach

“The sister to another cocktail ring—coincidentally featured as a Britt’s Pick almost one year ago—this one is just as elegant, but also vivaciously colorful, with its sleeping beauty turquoise centerpiece contrasting with black diamonds along its Art Deco–influenced edges.” Read more from Aug. 8, 2017.


Gabriel and Co diamond kite earrings

Kite stud earrings in 14k yellow gold with 0.16 ct. t.w. diamonds, $415; Gabriel & Co.

“Though the trends barometer seems to be pointing in the direction of oversized, singular statement earrings, invitations to the so-called “earring party” are still being sent at a rapid pace.” Read more from Aug. 18, 2017.


Julie Lamb NYC pendant

NYC Make It There token necklace in 18k yellow gold with 0.22 ct. t.w. diamonds, $4,250; Julie Lamb

“The designer’s signature lamb silhouettes are the cutest, most irresistible touch, setting this style apart from other Big Apple–inspired pieces; its glittering diamond halo is the loveliest touch of luxury.” Read more from Aug. 22, 2017.


K Mita fringe earrings

Shoreline fringe earrings in 14k yellow gold and oxidized sterling silver with 0.07 ct. t.w. diamonds, $1,460; K.Mita Design

“What really sets them apart from other fringed pairs is my favorite element. At the top of these earrings is a yellow gold bar from which the rows of fringed chain descend; it’s swirling with a texture you’d find at the shoreline (so its collection name is, obviously, perfect).” Read more from Aug. 29, 2017.


M Spalten tourmaline bar necklace

Brick necklace in 18k rose and white gold with Brazilian tourmaline and 2.21 cts. t.w. baguette diamonds, $14,968; M. Spalten

“You couldn’t classify M. Spalten‘s Brick necklace as just any old holiday trend, but it does have certain jubilant vibes (and actually, it’s rocking some sweet fall colors too). Like a rich stained glass window, a thin bar of faceted, millennium-cut Brazilian tourmaline takes center stage, with a border of that diamond cut I always find so festive: baguettes.” Read more from Sept. 5, 2017.


Mark Henry alexandrite ring

Ring in 18k white gold with 0.61 ct. oval alexandrite, 2.85 cts. t.w. round alexandrite, and 0.51 ct. t.w. diamonds, $19,500; Mark Henry

“The oval-shape alexandrite that bridges the gap between the split gemstone bands is arguably the centerpiece, but it all comes together so well that it isn’t only one element that calls for more attention than the rest.” Read more from Sept. 12, 2017.


Martha Seely opal Earthrise ring

Earthrise ring in 14k yellow gold with 25 mm x 20 mm Boulder opal, tanzanite, and yellow-green diamonds, $4,556; Martha Seely

“Dubbed Earthrise, this beauty from Seely’s new Eclipse collection features a round, planet-like boulder opal, hugged along one side by a crescent of yellow-green diamonds and flanked on the other with a round tanzanite—a second planet, according to the designer.” Read more from Sept. 19, 2017.


Omi Prive moonstone Monaco ring

Monaco ring in platinum with 9 ct. royal blue moonstone, 0.37 ct. t.w. sapphires, and 0.19 ct. t.w. diamonds, $15,200; Omi Privé

“I love its surrounding sapphires, which remind me of one of those antique frames, like the ones that hold the wedding photos of your long-ago relatives. The centerpiece, of course, is exquisite: a 9 ct. royal blue moonstone in the most mesmerizing shade.” Read more from Sept. 26, 2017.


Parade Design Lumiere diamond band

Lumiere collection tiara band in 18k rose gold with 0.18 ct. t.w. diamonds, $1,500; Parade Design

“A crown for the finger, its scalloped detail, ornamental beading, and, of course, its 22 diamonds, make for a supremely royal look that serves as a reminder of stately elegance day after day.” Read more from Oct. 3, 2017.


Baiyang Qiu two tone drop earrings

Round earrings in 18k yellow gold and sterling silver, $750; Baiyang Qiu

“As we edge closer to Halloween, I see details of the holiday wherever I look: Here, it’s a dark, full moon silhouetted by a woven web of gold. It’s sinister, in a way, but sophisticated and artful—like an upscale costume party.” Read more from Oct. 10, 2017.


Julez Bryant Gia diamond wedding set

Gia ring set in 18k rose gold with diamonds, price on request; Julez Bryant

“A far cry from the 1920s piece I still think about—sob—this design is bold, modern, and proud. I favor it with the matching wedding band, a fierce crown of five kite-shape diamonds that hugs the engagement ring just so.” Read more from Oct. 17, 2017.


K Mita Pink Mystique earrings

Pink Mystique earrings in 14k yellow gold with 17.2 cts. t.w. bicolor pink tourmaline, 0.29 ct. t.w. pink sapphire, 0.08 ct. t.w. ruby, and diamonds, $4,160; K.Mita Design

“They’re a bit on the lighter side in color, but possess an irresistible punch of drama, particularly when matched with a rich, textured border of gold. I love the playful asymmetric design, done simply yet effectively with the flip of a pear-shape stone.” Read more from Oct. 24, 2017.


Steve Soffa aviator skull ring

Aviator skull ring in 14k white and rose gold with 0.8 ct. t.w. green tsavorite and 0.4 ct. t.w. diamonds, $8,200; Steve Soffa

“Combining the whimsy of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! with the macabre of Evil Dead, the hand-carved-and-set ring puts Halloween in a pretty (and also kind of creepy) little package.” Read more from Oct. 31, 2017.


Anabela Chan Constellation pearl bracelet

Constellation bracelet in 18k white gold and rhodium vermeil with freshwater pearls and 9 cts. t.w. lab-grown diamonds, $2,870; Anabela Chan

“Dubbed Constellation, the piece is made up of galaxial diamonds and pearls connected by channels of 18k white gold in a pattern that certainly lives up to its name.” Read more from Nov. 7, 2017.


Arya Esha quartz and moonstone cuff
One-of-a-kind cuff bracelet in white gold with moonstone, tourmalated quartz, and black diamonds, price on request; Arya Esha

“The stunning diatonic moonstone paired with the tourmalated quartz evokes the beauty of winter—ideal for the upcoming season—while four rows of black diamonds add playful drama, given their asymmetric arrangement.” Read more from Nov. 14, 2017.


Anna Sheffield Celestine pendant

Celestine pear necklace in 14k rose gold with gray moonstone and 0.38 ct. t.w. gray and black diamonds, $2,800; Anna Sheffield

“Leafy, vine-like detail; the warm radiance of rose gold; an earthy gray moonstone, set aglow by the light of flickering grey and black diamonds.” Read more from Nov. 14, 2017.


Joshua J sapphire ring

Cushion-cut ring in platinum with 12.47 ct. sapphire and 0.44 ct. t.w. Old Euro-cut diamonds, price on request; Joshua J. Fine Jewelry

“A 12.47 ct. cushion-cut Burmese sapphire center stone in a quenching shade of blue that would match everything. But I also find the step-like sides, featuring Old Euro-cut diamonds, to be particularly festive—something about an Art Deco style always says “holidays” to me.” Read more from Nov. 28, 2017.


Leibish emerald and diamond ring

Ring in platinum and 18k yellow gold with 2.28 ct. emerald and 0.97 ct. t.w. fancy yellow and 0.31 ct. t.w. round white diamonds, price on request; Leibish & Co.

“Never has the combination of green and yellow been so intriguing to me before. Perhaps it’s the influence of the holiday season that has Leibish & Co.‘s ring looking so jolly, or maybe it’s just because it’s a damn good piece of jewelry—either way, I’m smitten.” Read more from Dec. 5, 2017.


Tacori black diamond surfboard ring

Pavé Surfboard ring in sterling silver and 18k yellow gold with 0.2 ct. t.w. black diamonds, $350; Tacori

“Sophistication is the word for Tacori’s Ivy Lane collection—an homage to the ladies who lunch—featuring elegant curves and open shapes, glittering with diamonds or without. I love the subtle sparkle of the Surfboard stud earrings best, but you’ll find something here for your preteen to your mother-in-law.” Read more from Dec. 13, 2017.


Vivaan Flower Garden diamond pendant

Flower Garden pendant in 18k white gold with rose-cut and natural diamonds, price on request; Vivaan

“Enter this pendant from Vivaan, a fabulous array of swirling, sparkling flowers, set with natural-color and rose-cut diamonds. It does possess a slightly wintry vibe, owed to its flurry of blooms—some of which have that poinsettia style. But what is also has is a design for all seasons: The fresh blooms of spring, sunny shapes of summer, a dark, dramatic color scheme for fall.” Read more from Dec. 19, 2017.

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JCK Contributing Editor

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