It’s an honor and a privilege to spend my days ogling gorgeous jewelry, meeting its tireless creators on the show floor, and getting to call that my job. What’s somehow even more amazing is spending time with industry gems after hours, off the show floor. Jewelry pops up in some of the most unexpected places (but I guess if you’re in Nevada for the country’s biggest jewelry show, it’s not so odd).
Over at the Wynn, during a rollicking soiree in honor of Omi Privé, I was talking about how I first met the brand with Niveet Nagpal, head designer of the family-owned company and all-around wonderful person. My story involved a sensational bracelet (pictured above): a swirling, diamond-covered piece, tucked with perfect sapphires and a graduating design that hugs the wrist. In addition to Niveet being a magician with jewelry, apparently he’s also one in real life. As I was telling this story, he pulled out the bracelet and said, “You mean this one?” And, I was just floored. It came out of nowhere. Imagine, always having luxury jewelry up your sleeve. Literally.
Over dinner at Jaleo with a group of most incredible women, jewelry designs were passed around like tapas. Take some patatas bravas, a little jamón Iberico—oh, and here’s one of my new creations. I guess that’s how it goes when you have jewelry designers at the table (no complaints here). It’s quite a feat to get this blogger to put down her fork, but Wendy Brandes‘ new Maneater collection ring (above) did it. Game of Thrones fans (and even non-GoT fans) will find this ring, with a fire-breathing dragon as its centerpiece, to be very alluring. Tsavorites accent the design, with keshi pearls in a treasure chest that opens and closes, and detail that you just can’t see in this photo; I wish you could.
I finally met with the truly lovely Mayumi Ishii, the force behind Chrysmela. Chrysmela, if you aren’t familiar, offers these tremendous earring backs that can hold up to 17 pounds—seriously. I can’t imagine someone actually wearing earrings that heavy, but with these backs, they could if they wished. I was talking to Ishii about the product because, let’s be honest, it’s a finding. Not exactly fodder for a glamorous, diamond-littered jewelry blog. That being said, this is also the product you didn’t know you needed. I have a pair that keeps my earrings firmly locked in place at all times, and it’s a staple in my jewelry box that I can’t live without. Sometimes it’s what goes on behind the scenes that makes the greatest impact, just like these.
What is it like to ring in your birthday as royalty? I’ll never know until I finally get my heart-to-heart with Queen Elizabeth, but the incomparable Natalie Weisiger of Omi Privé gave me a glimpse. I celebrated turning one year older wearing a ring that stars my birthstone and, boy, did that feel good. Because this isn’t just any emerald ring: It’s the incredible handcrafted emerald and diamond piece I’m wearing in the picture above, and I’m not going to lie, it added to one of the best birthday celebrations ever (okay, the company in tow helped, too).
Things I failed to take photos of, but won’t soon (or ever) forget: Monica Stephenson’s 4 ct. diamond ring in honor of a 15th wedding anniversary; Shamila Jiwa’s dramatically delicious earrings featuring black spinel; Loretta Castoro’s Love Doves collection pearl necklace effortlessly wrapped around her neck; Cheryl Kremkow’s Galatea pearl necklace that I recognized instantly; Peggy Jo Donahue’s super-cool citrine earrings from a local store in Philly. Holy moly, I need some jewelry.
We all come to JCK Las Vegas with a purpose: to do business, to cover editorial, to make new connections. But if you’re fortunate to come away with a number of jewels—both tangible (for your store!) and in memorable moments—I can see why we come back year after year, after year. Is it 2016 yet?