Decorating for the holidays is normal for most jewelry stores—but Bailey’s Fine Jewelry in North Carolina took that idea to the extreme this year, working with “The Gingerbread Lady” to create a $1.2 million diamond-theme gingerbread mansion.
The project came together with Marci Bailey of Bailey’s Fine Jewelry working the gemstones while Lindsay Deibler brought in the sweetness. Deibler is known locally as the Ginger Gingerbread Lady for both her hair and her skill with holiday baking. She also recently appeared on the Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship: Gingerbread Showdown in November.
Deibler, who hails from Winston-Salem, N.C., won the jewelry store’s first Gingerbread House Contest in 2020, so the store invited her back this year to create a snowflake-theme gingerbread house. Deibler set up the house and Bailey added the bling—all $1,275,395 worth of it.
The high-end decor started with a Rolex watch clock above the house’s front door. Then, it had a walkway made completely of diamonds—93.7 carats to be exact. The home’s exterior also had 155 pearls and 51.8 carats of sapphires and aquamarines to complete the picture.
Bailey’s Fine Jewelry is a family owned-and-operated jeweler with locations in Raleigh, Rocky Mount, and Greenville, N.C., as well as a studio in Los Angeles. Bailey says the house is available for purchase now that it is no longer on display.
Deibler is an interior decorator by trade, so she brought all of her skills to this unique challenge. A self-taught baker and gingerbread-house maker, Deibler says she thought the idea was wonderful when Bailey’s Fine Jewelry approached her.
“Gingerbread always brings the magic of the holidays to life and a smile to people’s faces, very much like elegantly crafted jewelry,” Deibler says. “Every year people create magical holiday dreams with gingerbread, which they fancifully accessorize with decorations. In much the same way, people accessorize with elegant jewelry. So the two make a perfect match over the holidays.”
Making the house was a mix of art, science, and craft, Deibler says. The home’s pieces were baked beforehand and transported to the jewelry store for the build.
“The vision of the gingerbread piece was ice so that diamonds and aquamarines would be a perfect addition to add the sparkle to the piece. Gingerbread is traditionally thought of as all brown, but using edible paints to achieve the white glaze brings it to life,” Deibler says. “I poured isomalt to look like crystals, snowflakes, and added edible gold/silver to those elements.”
Bailey then brought in the jewels with care, Deibler says.
“I planned the build around showcasing the jewelry by having little display windows ready for the jewelry but also necklace notches in the roofline and pins ready for the pearl necklaces,” Deibler says. “We did not want it to look as if jewelry was just placed or thrown on top of a gingerbread piece, it was all intentional with careful consideration. The piece was custom built on-site for the jewelry selected to be showcased strategically. For example, the lower level was planned ahead for a Rolex watch face to be inserted.”
But the pair also left room for spontaneous creativity.
“The polar bears were a fun addition to the piece that was not in the original design, but I felt the piece needed. I love to sculpt with modeling chocolate, and Marci had the idea of the baby polar bear holding a loose 15.25 carat emerald-cut blue Sri Lankan sapphire,” Deibler says. “I love how everywhere you look there is jewelry mixed in and incorporated that is a delight to your eye.”
Top: Look carefully and you can see the Rolex, pearl necklace, and diamonds throughout the gingerbread house created by Lindsay Deibler and Bailey’s Fine Jewelry (all photos courtesy of Bailey’s Fine Jewelry).@jckmagazine
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