When Julie Romanenko first showed buyers this antique-inspired diamond lavalier necklace at the Winter 2012 edition of the New York International Gift Fair, a longtime client from a store in New Jersey snapped it up.
“This store always buys the really unique pieces,” explains Romanenko of Scottsdale, Ariz–based Just Jules. “They want things in their store that not everybody else down the street has, and I love that.”
And while many stores ask for unique pieces like these on memorandum, Romanenko’s customer bought it for stock. “She said, ‘It’s a pop piece, and will make everything else from you pop in cases.’”
The design inspiration came from Romanenko’s affinity for vintage pieces combined with the popularity of rose-cut diamonds. And though the design itself didn’t take long to develop, making the piece proved to be a challenge.
“It was tough to get the length to fall correctly on the neck,” she says. “I was adding and taking off links until it sat right, and placing beads until they were symmetrical. It was one of the hardest pieces I’ve made in a really long time.”
A single strand version with the diamond mate of the triple’s focal point has the same brown-grey coloring and pear shape, but is set in a slightly different chain with a filigree link; the smaller style retails for $3,250, and has 2 cts. t.w. faceted grey diamond beads. Companion pieces include earrings with briolette drops in a similar vintage styling.
Vintage-inspired three-strand necklace in 14k gold with a 3.50 ct. t.w. pear-shape, rose-cut diamond center stone and 6 cts. t.w. faceted grey diamond beads; $4,400