For once you decide to buy a piece of real jewelry; perhaps it's close enough to a milestone to warrant a splurge, or maybe you look at a pile of thin rings and think, I'm ready. Choose something you can see, this is a treat you want to enjoy. (Though I love earrings, you don't see them on yourself. I often forget which ones I'm wearing.)
I'd head for vintage to stretch my windfall, or invest in something new that's one-of-a-kind and personal. Below, a half-dozen contenders.
1. Devil-may-care diamonds
Nothing says splurge like the serious stones, and in the spring sunlight, diamonds really sparkle.
The tailored diamond horsebit ring is .70ct of pavé set in white 18k gold, not too blingy, but there.
At $995 you have some money left to treat your kids or pop a cheque in the mail to a good cause.
2. Updated wedding band
If you are presently married to the person who gave you the original, keep the sentiment and the stones, if any (the stones, I mean; one hopes the sentiment has only deepened).
The ER/wedding ring set is as passé as a hairnet. Change to a single band or stacking rings of which the wedding band is but one.
Repurpose the ER diamond to make one special new ring.
This Kothari single diamond ring ($3,750 at Twist) is shown below as an example.
Your $1,500 pays for the restyling; you could go over budget if you decide to add stones. You might welcome the ring with a ceremony, quiet or splashy as you wish.
3. Make it a hoot!
A number of my friends are felicitously single (or at least finally single); in that case, splash out on a bold ring with personality. A vintage (ca. 1970s) winking enamel owl (with a ruby eye) is another wised-up bird. Price, $795.
4. Cool cameo
Julie Wolfe makes the best vintage necklaces from found and handwrought elements; her cameo pendant with charms is more rocker than 'lady'. It's $1,390 at Twist and while I find it a bit dear, Wolfe's sense of composition earns its price.
5. Exquisite Edwardian
Imagine at your next meeting when you check the time with an Edwardian enamel pocket watch. It's on a gorgeous 30-inch chain (look at those enamel bars!), to wear around your neck.
The lavender guilloché enamel, the tiny diamond on the stem; really, is this not the height of an elegant accessory even if you never use it for the time of day? I suppose you could stick your glasses on the chain if you need it to do more.
Price, $992 at Beladora.
6. Standout status
I am not a Label Girl, and advise against paying "brand tax" on production pieces that aren't worth it. But some of the great houses make elegant jewelry and the way to get that is the secondhand market. You could hit the auctions, but Beladora have done the legwork while keeping prices in line.
This size 4.5 18k Hermès rolling ring of white and yellow gold has the added plus of being detachable: you can wear each singly (which makes the rings larger (an 8) so they move to another finger when worn alone.) Price, $1,450.
Can you tell who's just dropped her return in the mail?