I’m just about ready to board a plane to Nevada, for my seventh visit to JCK Las Vegas (after taking last year off). Already, the polish on my once-yearly manicured hands has chipped, and my cuticles are unruly and sporting hangnails. (I really am the worst with nail maintenance.)
It’s sort of crazy to think about how easily one can obsess over nails, but it’s because I know they’ll be photographed—only by proximity to my fingers, which will be decked out, however momentarily, in amazing, colorful gemstones and high-carat diamond rings. (For some incredible manicure ideas, see Amy Elliott’s roundup of enviable nail art, here). I wouldn’t think much of it, except for that one time some lady scoffed at my hands, saying that I needed a manicure—when I had, in fact, already had one—rude! Oh, and my hands were dressed in over 60 carats of Rahaminov’s diamonds. I mean, how picky can people be? (As many with thousands more followers than I on Instagram can attest, the answer is very picky. And mean.)
Alas, nail critics will not be giving me any awards this year, though my digits are peppily dressed in a rainbow assortment of polishes. An under-the-weather toddler saw to it that heaping amounts of soap and Purell have worn them through, but I’ll wash them until they’re polished no more if that means I don’t catch her cold (I’ll probably catch it, anyway).
It’s a good thing I’ll have a planet’s worth of jewelry at my fingertips (and other places jewelry is worn) to serve as a distraction from a slightly tarnished mani, a dry desert–induced coif, and other beauty problems that won’t be making me the most qualified jewelry model on the show floor. I’ll be trying on and enjoying myself anyway, with my sights set on some of the most wonderful, color-kissed pieces that I can find.
When JCK Las Vegas 2019 has passed, I’ll be left with a collection of amazing photographs, as I have been every other year, and I’ll forget all about how my nails chipped or my hair frizzed or how I accidentally got lipstick on my teeth. The moral of this story is that jewelry makes people feel beautiful, which is one of its many superpowers (it can also send a message, mark an occasion, and make history). Doing something that makes you feel good is a core principle of self-love, and I’ll be seeking the styles that ooze all the good vibes—and sharing them—during my time at the show.
These are the pieces on my list of must-see-and-photograph. There will undoubtedly be others to discover, and I’m so excited to do just that. See you in Vegas!
Top: Dazzle necklace in 18k yellow gold with 143.78 cts. t.w. multicolor sapphires and 1.79 cts. t.w. diamonds, $22,500; Trésor