Valentine’s Day was not top of mind when Aura Fine Gems’ collection floated into my inbox, but right now seems like the perfect time to spotlight some of its best pieces.
In my opinion, the raspberry and rosé hues on display in the Malaya garnets—and a couple of very nice pink spinels—are ripe for romance.
Laura Gallon, the line’s designer, was born and raised in Paris and currently splits her time between that city and Los Angeles. Her background is in fashion editorial and marketing (her career began in the accessories department at Vogue), but she has always had a connection to the world of fine jewelry. Her great-grandparents were jewelers in Orleans, France, during the 1920s and ’30s, and launching her fine jewelry brand has become a way to reconnect with her roots, all while exploring her passion for glorious color—and unique gemstones—to the fullest.
A GIA-certified gemologist, Gallon called her line Aura because her spare, clean-lined designs make colored gemstones the focal point, drawing you in with their vibrant magic.
Take the earrings below, which were inspired by an image of rose petals floating on crystal clear turquoise water.
The line, which has been around for less than a year, certainly speaks my love language. And it got me thinking—is Valentine’s Day a thing in France?
“It’s pretty similar to the U.S.,” says Gallon. “Men usually bring women flowers or chocolates, we have a glass of champagne, go to a nice romantic restaurant (when they’re not closed because of COVID…). I just saw an article that says that 40% of men in France offer jewelry for Valentine’s, which is interesting!
“When I was about 8 years old, I remember my father bought a piece of jewelry for my mother for Valentine’s Day, and so that I wouldn’t feel left out, he bought me a mini child-size yellow gold ring with a little bright red ruby on it. I still have that ring and wear it on my pinky now. It’s a nice reminder that Valentine’s Day can be celebrated with any of your loved ones, not just your romantic partner.”
With love in the air, and on the heels of Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week (which wrapped at the end of last week), I asked Gallon for some of her favorite Valentine’s Day–ready spots in what many would argue is one of the most romantic cities on earth.
If we can’t be there, we can at least imagine enjoying a Kir Royale at sunset (with some Chambord-hued gems to match).
For a romantic Valentine’s Day staycation:
“One of my favorite hotels, Hotel Amour, where each room has its own color and features very trendy and modern artwork. There are no TVs in the rooms, so no distractions. You can really disconnect from the outside world and enjoy the company of your loved one. Another favorite is Hotel Costes. It’s very intimate, looks like a boudoir. They make the best Bellinis and have their own DJ, who plays French-style lounge music while you enjoy your cocktail by candlelight.”
“I would definitely go to Cedric Grolet. He’s the pastry chef of the renowned hotel Le Meurice and makes the tastiest and most beautiful pastries. He became well-known for making pastries that look like the fruits they use (lemon tarts looking like lemons, apple cakes shaped like apples, etc.). I feel like his pastries satisfy all of the senses at once! They are truly unique and very French. You can either enjoy them at Le Meurice or order them on his website to enjoy at home.”
“My favorite spot is Debeaulieu in the 9th District. It really stands out from other florists because of its use of rare flowers that the general public might not have seen before, in unique and unusual pairings and beautiful colors. Going there will guarantee you have a bouquet that looks like no other! They are true works of art.”
Top: Mia ring in 14k gold with 1 ct. cushion-cut pink spinel and 0.15 ct. t.w. round and marquise diamonds, $3,900
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