Silver: Saundra Messinger at Reinhold Jewelers, Mauri Pioppo at Sea

Trunk-Show Silver Streak

When Marie Helene Morrow, the owner of 30-year-old Reinhold Jewelers in San Juan, Puerto Rico, discovered Saundra Messinger’s silver line a few years ago, she knew it was a perfect fit for her clients. But it took a recent trunk show to remind her of the collection’s popularity—and of the importance of in-store designer appearances.

The events, which took place last fall at Reinhold’s two locations, focused on Messinger’s matte-finished sterling silver jewels, some set with brilliant-cut diamonds. The work of the Nyack, N.Y–based designer appeals to Morrow’s clientele for its simple styling and price points (retail prices start at around $100). “It is organic, not flashy, can be worn in the daytime as well as in the evening, and can also be worn in many different ways,” says Morrow.

Messinger, who hadn’t been to Reinhold’s since opening the account in 2001, brought at least 100 pieces—“a magnificent display,” says the store owner. And she did one thing that Morrow found especially pleasing: “I always focus on selling the store inventory first,” Messinger says.

She dressed to show off her jewelry: loose-fitting black garments (“The jewelry looks great on black,” says the designer), a straw hat, sequined flip-flops, and lots of oversize Messinger pieces, including oval hoop earrings. “She is a fabulous ambassador of her work,” says Morrow.

Customer favorites included band rings, square pendants with tiny diamonds, and circle-motif styles. “The bigger pieces are a knockout on a solid-colored outfit!” says Morrow.

Most of Morrow’s sales were between $175 and $600 for items at her Plaza Las América and El San Juan Hotel Gallery stores. Some 100 people attended the shows and bought about 40 pieces, including a $750 sterling and diamond cuff and a $680 green amethyst ring. “It was a smashing success,” says Morrow, who promptly issued a return invitation for fall 2011.

Deep Sea Styling

Stingray earrings with 4 cts. t.w. green, champagne, and colorless diamonds and two 0.10 ct. champagne diamond centers; $5,400; Mauri Pioppo, New York City; 866-333-8668;

A new collection called Iliad from New York City–based jewelry designer Mauri Pioppo features styles inspired by the sea. Motifs include shells, stingrays, fish, and more, in blackened sterling silver with 14k and 18k gold accents, as well as rose- and ideal-cut diamonds, all of which help give the pieces a gently antiqued look. “Each piece has an icon representing a water element,” explains Pioppo. “In Buddhism, water represents the flow of life.” For now, Iliad consists of just six pieces due to sourcing, manufacturing, and higher price points in relation to her other lines. Suggested retail prices range from $1,700 to $24,000.

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