Gold: Kanye West at the BET Awards, Van Cleef & Arpels’ New Perlée Line



Put Some Bling on It

At the BET Awards in late June, Kanye West stole the spotlight (again), but at least it wasn’t for interrupting a starlet’s acceptance speech. The overconfident hip-hop star donned a massive 24k gold custom-made ring and pendant with a total value of $300,000, according to Jacob & Co., the maker of the oversize jewelry. The New York City–based brand worked with West for six weeks on the sketches, designs, and pro­totypes; the production phase took three months. The necklace motif is based on the Egyptian god Horus, the god of the sky, war, and protection, the latter clearly made possible with the help of the spiked knuckleduster. The ring contains 500 grams of gold, and the necklace contains 4,054 grams of gold—fitting for the man who spun the hit single “Gold Digger.” —Jennifer Heebner

Scales of Justice

Officers from the New Jersey Office of Weights and Measures slapped 49 gold- and jewelry-buying businesses in the state with summonses for allegedly violating state laws. The agency’s sweep discovered inaccurate scales that improperly weighed items and resulted in consumers receiving less money than they were owed, it said.

The state’s Precious Metals Task Force began inspections in June following a consumer complaint. “Some of the buyers defrauded consumers, short-weighing their items and likely paying them less than the true value of the items,” said attorney general Paula T. Dow in a statement. “We’re putting the industry on notice that we won’t tolerate the cheating of consumers.” The businesses were also cited for allegedly violating laws that require detailed receipts to be provided to sellers, as well as for using unregistered, uninspected, and tampered scales.

Jewelers Vigilance Committee president and CEO Cecilia Gardner notes this wasn’t the first case of this type—and it’s not likely to be the last. “There have been cases on this basis for years,” she says. “That is why agencies like Weights and Measures exist.”

She warns that when buying gold from the public, retailers must meet a number of legal requirements. “Jewelers have to be very careful to comply with all the laws,” she says. “Those include anti-fencing laws, laws requiring secondhand dealers’ licenses, the Patriot Act—any number of things.”

To learn about your local ordinances, Gardner recommends checking with your state attorney general’s office, consumer protection agency, and department of weights and measures, as well as with the JVC. —Rob Bates

And the Bead Goes On

18k rose gold Perlée ring; $4,400; Van Cleef & Arpels, New York City; 877-826-2533; vancleef-arpels.com

Van Cleef & Arpels has had an on-again, off-again love affair with beaded borders, which are re-emerging in its new Perlée jewelry collection. First used in collections dating to the 1920s, the pearled edges took a backseat to other design elements until the Alhambra line launched in 1968. Pearled borders fell out of the spotlight again, and now the jeweler has revived the look in white and rose 18k gold. Pieces range in retail price from $500 (for a single ring) to $35,100 (a cuff bracelet). The simple bead is braided onto ribbons of gold—some in graduated, matte-finish rows of one to five at a time, while others are polished brightly and hemmed onto bangle edges in slim, contemporary styles. Designs come full circle with Alhambra or clover and diamond accents, as well as a fabric-effect cuff scalloped in beads that evoke the Jackie O era. —JH