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INSTORE Design Awards 2018 – Gold

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1ST PLACE: DRU.

Nightingale Conservatory 18K gold hand-engraved signet featuring a hidden chamber and studded with white diamonds; available in yellow, rose or white gold

$3,700

Just as armor shields its wearer from harm, the latest collection from DRU. and designer Thea Miller features jewelry that’s intended to embolden and empower its owner. In particular, the nightingale of this signet ring has been freed from its cage, and freedom generates powerful emotion.

“The nightingale was inspired by the symbolism of plumage and the magic and mystery of flight,” says Miller. “Feathers have long been associated with the gods. Furthermore, the bird is a symbol of freedom, joy and spirit. In Emily Dickinson’s immortal words, ‘Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul.’ Although this is a timeless theme, the message is especially relevant in today’s world.”

This simple yet clever ring also takes inspiration from Victorian jewelry and lockets, both of which convey hidden messages and play with symbolism. Says Miller: “Each Conservatory tells a story, and the Nightingale’s story is one of hope. Who doesn’t like a happy ending?”

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WHAT THE JUDGES SAY

Julie Horowitz Jackson: Well this is fun and new! Like a story told round the band, from high in the sky and then caged deep beneath the hinge. I wonder what treasures the wearer holds in her heart?

Ellen Hertz: Jewelry is a statement of personality. When a woman shops for a piece of jewelry for herself, she may be motivated to select something different on Monday than she would select on Thursday. Who knows what she will be attracted to on Saturday? It may be the mood she’s in, something that happened the day before, or the dress she wants to accessorize. I like this piece because of its “hidden” secret. It’s not visible to others unless she wants it to be, but she will always know that the little birdcage is there.

Regina Sigman: The whimsical aspect of this ring makes me smile. And I love the element of the bird set free! Fly away with me.

 


 

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2ND PLACE: THERASA KAZ

North Star chandelier earrings from the Aurora collection in 18K gold with diamonds (0.125 TCW)

$4,450

WHAT THE JUDGES SAY

Julie Horowitz Jackson: Really nice simplicity in design. This piece is a great example of the fact that sometimes less is absolutely more.

Regina Sigman: These earrings are the perfect everyday go-to pair. The intricacy of the weaving pattern makes them unique, and I love the diamond accent, too.

 

 

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3RD PLACE: Buddha Mama

20K gold Cuba Stamp necklace set with enamel and diamond accents

$10,480

WHAT THE JUDGES SAY

Jennifer Gandia: This is the jewelry equivalent of luxury ath-leisure. On first look, it seems like a fun bauble, but the wearer knows that her 20K gold, meticulously enameled, diamond-studded “bauble” is a one-of-a-kind work of art. Jewelry must bring joy and be a touchstone in our lives. For someone who loves travel, color and jewelry, this piece could be a true talisman of the good life.

Julie Horowitz Jackson: Well this is just some exquisite enamel work, isn’t it? Like a glimpse into someone’s passport — with only the best stamps, of course.

Regina Sigman: This piece is wonderful! Inspiration from the island of Cuba is obvious, especially in the enamel 1950s car depiction. Love it!

 


 

RETAILERS’ CHOICE: E.L. Designs by Ed Levin Studio

Tango bracelet from the Essence collection in 14K gold with diamond accent, featuring hidden hook-and-channel catch

$9,680

 

HONORABLE MENTION: WENDY BRANDES

The one-of-a-kind Queen of Scots snake tiara was inspired by a bride who collects Victorian snake rings. Two golden snakes meet together in the center of the tiara to form a heart shape around a large pearl. The piece is made of 18K gold, including blackened 18K yellow gold for the design itself, and blackened 18K rose gold for the headband. The irregularly shaped South Sea pearl in the center measures 12.8 x 14.3 millimeters. 76 diamonds totaling 0.50 TCW are set in the bodies of the snakes, while four ruby eyes add up to 0.09 TCW. The headband is designed to allow a hairstylist to either pin or sew the piece into the hair.

$37,500

HONORABLE MENTION: CIRCA 1700

The Circa 1700 Loving Hand Mechanical Clasp is dedicated to the designer’s mother and all the mums whose hands have nurtured and protected us. This piece was inspired by antique hand jewelry. The mechanical thumb moves back and forth via a screw system. The Loving Hand Mechanical Clasp can act as both a clasp and a charm/pendant holder that can be linked to chains and charm holders of one’s choice via a springing. Available in any hue of gold with enamel and gemstones of one’s choosing on the cuff, including an all-gemstone cuff.

$995

HONORABLE MENTION: GRAZIELA

18K yellow gold earrings from the Baronela collection with G-H color white diamonds (3.75 TCW)

$20,500

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected].

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