The Best Jewelry of 2018



In last year’s best jewelry of 2017 recap, there was a three-month gap due to my maternity leave. This year was different—12 full months scouting jewelry at press previews and trade shows, starting with JCK Tucson and culminating with the spectacular Muzo emerald collaboration showcase.

Some of my favorite pieces were featured on this blog in some form. Others I have yet to find a place for, but, in flipping through the hundreds upon hundreds of photos taken on my phone, I was reminded of the many outstanding fine jewelry moments that I experienced this year. Private visits to the David Webb and Verdura/Belperron salons come to mind. And meeting designer Neha Dani at Macklowe Gallery.

Some of the best things I saw at JCK Las Vegas were hiding in the Estate Jewelry and Watch Pavilion. And once again, the AGTA Spectrum Awards editor’s preview is an event that always reveals some of the year’s most unexpected, and truly impressive, discoveries.

See you in a few weeks at JCK Tucson 2019, where I’ll kick off the scouting and discovery all over again. For now, here are the pieces that chronicle the best fine jewelry I saw in 2018.

Candid images shot by me, mostly via @aelliott718.

February

Suzy Landa opal bracelet
Suzy Landa opal bracelet, JCK Tucson 2018
Alishan cuff and ring
Alishan cuff and ring, JCK Tucson 2018

March

Mazza aquamarine bracelet
Mazza carved aquamarine bracelet, JA New York spring
Melissa Kaye earrings
Melissa Kaye gold and diamond hoop earring, Baccarat Hotel
Jacquie Aiche moonstone ring
Jacquie Aiche moonstone ring, Bowery Hotel. As I noted on Instagram, I was drawn to the design’s quiet simplicity. And doesn’t it look completely gorgeous on the hand?
Misahara emerald ring
Misahara Serene Eyes ring with Gemfields emeralds, showroom
Nora Kogan cat earrings
Nora Kogan white kitten studs, showroom. I absolutely adore these and all of the designer’s enamel creations, from engagement ring sets to mama stackers.

April

Verdura aquamarine bracelet
Verdura aquamarine bracelet, Verdura. My first visit to the storied, and completely gorgeous, salon on Fifth Avenue did not disappoint.
Mikimoto pearl necklace
Mikimoto pearl necklace, Mandarin Oriental hotel. Cold rainy day lit up by divine examples of Mikimoto high jewelry on view in honor of the pearl maison’s 25th anniversary!

May

Rush Jewelry Design carnelian ring
Rush Jewelry Design Draper ring in carnelian with Malayan garnet, Mark Hotel

June

Christopher Designs diamond watch
Christopher Designs diamond watch, Luxury 2018
Omi Prive opal ring
Omi Privé opal ring with sapphires, spinels, and diamonds, Luxury 2018
Alderman Ford vintage gold bamboo bracelet
Alderman Ford vintage gold bamboo link bracelet, JCK Las Vegas 2018
Beneficial Estate Buyers brooch
Beneficial Estate Buyers 1940s brooch with rose quartz, JCK Las Vegas 2018
Provident Jewelry estate brooch
Provident Jewelry brooch, JCK Las Vegas 2018
Rahaminov diamond ring
Rahaminov 30 ct. pear-shape diamond ring, JCK Las Vegas 2018
Effy Pariaba tourmaline rings
Effy Hematian Paraiba tourmaline rings, Luxury 2018
Wendy Yue bracelet
Wendy Yue butterfly bracelet, Couture 2018
Picchiotti bracelet stack
Picchiotti bracelet stack, Couture 2018
David Webb bracelet
David Webb bracelet, David Webb

August

Miriam Butz Brown Jewelers conch shell ring
Mirjam Butz-Brown conch shell ring with pearls, pink sapphires, garnets, pink tourmalines, and diamonds, AGTA Spectrum Awards 2019 preview
Ricardo Basta quartz ring
Ricardo Basta & E. Eichberg Jewelers spiked ring with rutilated quartz and diamond accents, AGTA Spectrum Awards 2019 preview
Lindsay Jane bicolor sapphire ring
Lindsay Jane Designs 6.78 ct. bicolor sapphire and diamond ring, AGTA Spectrum Awards 2019 preview. An absolutely magical example of a stone on our JCK Tucson 2018 watch list. Stock up now before everyone else catches on.

 

Belperron bracelet
Belperron rock crystal bracelet, Belperron 
Elisabeth Bell earrings
Elisabeth Bell earrings with chrysoprase and Zambian emeralds, NY Now summer 2018

September

Assael pearl and beryl earrings
Assael earrings with Fiji pearls and green beryl baguettes, Jewelers of America preview at the Langham New York

November

Neha Dani bracelet
Neha Dani moonstone bracelet, Macklowe Gallery
Alexander Calder necklace at Met
Alexander Calder’s The Jealous Husband necklace. No, this did not come out in 2018. But it did appear in the Met’s “Jewelry: The Body Transformed” exhibit, a highlight of the first-ever New York City Jewelry Week program.

December

Spencer Fine Jewelry earrings
Spencer Fine Jewelry Muzo emerald earrings, 515 Residence

 

Top: A highlight from September. I spotted this Messika Paris diamond necklace at the Public Hotel in New York City. I was there for the new Messika by Gigi Hadid collection but got completely sidetracked by this beauty.

 

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All That Glitters writer