Halloween Jewelry for Your Inner Goth

Blasphemy! Lechery! Blood! My jewelry box is crying out for a little death and destruction today, so let's get in touch with our inner goth in honor of the year’s creepiest holiday.

If you worshiped The Cure, wore black in honor of Morrissey’s interminable depression, or call The Nightmare Before Christmas your favorite holiday film, you’re already way ahead of the game. For those of you who need a refresher, here is a doom and gloom jewelry primer.

Cross necklaces are the building block of any Goth girl jewelry wardrobe. No, not the dainty little gold cross you might see on your sweet Aunt Linda. We’re talking large, layered, chunky cross necklaces that are definitely NOT a statement about how ‘devout’ you are.

Skulls: According to the experts at FIT,

“The human skull is the type of object once treasured as a memento mori (a reminder of death), later collected as a scientific specimen, and (is) now ubiquitous as an inspiration for gothic accessories.”

Diamond skulls are my favorite skeletal incarnation, but you can find them in an array of precious metal options.

Instrument of death meet jewelry accessory. ‘Nuff said.

Chokers: Necklaces generally fit snug around your neck if you’re a goth princess. Perhaps to protect against your run-of-the-mill vampire or to show off your close relationship to a world without oxygen.

Bats and Spiders:
Bats are big these days what with vampire chic taking a bite out of the fashion world, but you can expand the category to include spiders, webs, and any matter of the creepy and the crawly.

Rubies: Blood is big in the underworld, people, and what other gemstone could possibly represent the vampire elixir better than the ravenous ruby. Find them on a cross pendant or a spiked cuff, and you’ll double down on the all-important death and destruction factor.

So whether your true persuasion is uber-angelic or devilishly devious, Halloween is the perfect night to accessorize like it’s going to be your last. In the meantime, I’m off to dig up my Siouxsie and the Banshees concert T and that pesky white foundation.

Diamonds and Dial Tones - The Dior Phone Rules

Jewelry hounds, you all know that I J'adore Dior. So like any Charlize Theron wannabe, I'm falling in love with their latest round of blingy phone products due out just in time for the holidays.

Last year, Dior blew all the other designer phone brands out of the water with their Dior Phone Diamonds (Glorious Black) set with a whopping 641 diamonds, weighing in at 3.251 carats. Not enough bling for you? They threw in 34 black sapphire crystals for good measure for a pricetag of a mere $28 grand (yup, that's three zeroes).

This year, the recession must be affecting their price points since the new diamond phone offerings run from $7900 (red Zelie model) to $13, 400 ((white Zenaide model). No word yet on the carat count, but if you'd rather not have a diamond blingtone, there's a sapphire and gold-plated clamshell option covered in black PVD for $6500.

See? They're being reasonable.

I've already added this little ditty to my Christmas list - but one can apparently only get ones hands on the Dior dazzler by special order - so sharpen those claws and start praying to the fashion gods now. Santa doesn't have quite the pull in this arena.

50 Cent Downsizes Diamonds

Whether your jewelry box is full of costume pieces or icy diamond jewels, the recession is forcing everyone to take stock of their stash with a discerning eye - including hip hop stars. In fact, rich rapper 50 Cent recently confessed that his diamond habit has taken a hit due to these tough economic times (the horror!)

Is he turning in his diamonds in for dollars? Putting the bling away for good business? Hosting gold parties at the mansion? Not really. He's just had to sell some of his old diamonds before buying new ones, according to The London Telegraph. Life's tough.

“The credit crunch has hit rap,” 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, said.

“I buy diamonds on a very regular basis, but now I am selling my old stuff before I get something new. “These are times when you learn about the value of money.”

50 Cent said he has lost "a few milion." in the past year:

“If you don’t lose money in this recession, it means you didn’t have enough to start off with,” Fitty explained. “Sure, I lost a few million, but that’s because I have so much. This is a time that will sort out the strong from the weak."

I'm heart-stricken by his loss.

The Hershey Kiss Meets Diamond Glitz

We jewelry lovers usually pair our diamond fetishes with other decadent delights - say, designer jeans, overpriced shoes, and - of course- chocolate. And lots of it, right? Now, thanks to our friends at Hershey's, jewelry hounds like ourselves have the perfect way to show the world what makes our hearts skip a collective beat.

From Carrie Bradshaw's signature 'Carrie' necklace to Rachel Zoe's panther ring, jewelry has always been used as a way to express our personalities to the world. That's why I'm really digging this little kiss of a jewelry statement - what better way to say you like your life both shiny and delicious?

According to a National Jeweler interview with the Hershey Kiss manufacturer, World Trade Jewelers, more than 400 independent jewelers are carrying the Kiss jewelry line, in addition to a special collection that's sold at Zales. Pricepoints range from the reasonable ($49 for simple sterling silver designs) to the royal ($10,000 for a more diamond-heavy Kiss).

Seal your style with a kiss at Dylan's Candy Bar at 6:30pm tonight in Manhattan if you're in the hood to check out their new designs, or shop here for some lip smacking styles on Jewelry.com through our retail partner Zales.

Ivanka Trump’s Wedding Jewelry Low Down

Ivanka Trump jewelry is all the rage right now – from her stunning cushion-cut diamond engagement ring to her eponymous jewelry line, The Ivanka Trump Collection.

So it comes as no surprise that jewelry mavens like us are darn near apoplectic to find out what kind of diamond bling the lucky bit%@, I mean, lucky bride wore to her wedding this Sunday.

Here are the diamond-filled deets, my hounds:

Ivanka wore three pieces of custom-made platinum and diamond jewels. The first? A platinum mixed-cut diamond hair piece to accent her veil weighing in at 6.38 carats for a mere $45,000.

Next? Tasteful platinum mixed-cut cluster earrlings at 9.67 carats and $130,000. (Click here for diamond clusters like Ivanka’s that don’t have so many price point zeros.)

Finally? A truly stunning art deco fancy link diamond and platinum estate bracelet at 26 carats worth $90,000 that went perfectly with her Grace Kelly-inspired Vera Wang gown.

Her bridesmaids were appropriately adorned in Ivanka Trump Collection diamond jewelry to go with their Carolina Herrera gowns (searching for pics, so stay tuned).

Well-heeled New Yorkers from the publishing, real estate, and jewelry worlds rubbed elbows with the likes of Russell Crowe and Natalie Portman. Ivana mingled with The Donald. Regis mingled with Babs Walters. Oh, to be a fly on the wall…

Before heading back to their important careers and fairytale lives, the newlyweds are going to spend some time honeymooning in Africa. Of course.

What do you guys think of the happy couple and the diamond bling? Weigh in! I thought it was tasteful and non-Trump like. Not too over-the-top at all.

And now back to our regularly scheduled lives....

Victoria's Secret Diamond Bra Is Off the Hook

Diamond divas and jewelry hounds? It’s that time of year again. Victoria’s Secret has announced that model Marisa Miller will be the lucky angel to adorn their latest bling-filled B cup (ok, C cup), and the diamond details are as stunning as the pricetag.

We're talking $3 mil, folks. That's a lot of lingerie.

Designed by luxe jewelry house, Damiani, the bra features 2,355 white and cognac diamonds - each one set by hand in a feather outline, one at a time for a total of 150 carats. The centerpiece is a 16-carat heart-shaped champagne diamond (a big diamond color trend for the holiday season - stay tuned).

The detail is admittedly exquisite – with each feather mounted and sewn by hand (if lined up they would cover a distance of 3 feet) using a team of 15 artisans who worked over 800 hours in Damiani's workshop in Valenza, where the company was founded in 1924.

The bra will be featured in the Victoria's Secret Christmas Dreams & Fantasies Catalog in mailboxes starting this weekend. And for all you guys out there this one’s for you:

The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show airs Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 10 p.m. EST. on CBS. Set your DVRs, fellas.

(Who am I kidding? This entire post is for you)

Lindsay Lohan Jewelry Thief Charged

Snatching celebrity jewelry seems to be the thing to do these days with stars like Queen Latifah, Hayden Pannitierre, and Kim Kardashian all losing their diamonds and gems to folks who manage to break-in to what must be their D-list security systems.

But now, at least one cat burglar is off the prowl.

Prosecutors have charged teen hipster Nick Prugo with the caught-on-tape burglaries of actress Lindsay Lohan and "The Hills" star Audrina Patridge, according to the New York Daily News. The 18-year-old faces two counts of felony residential burglary and will appear in court Nov. 11.

Prosecutors say Prugo broke into Patridge's home Feb. 23 and stole more than $43,000 in jewelry and designer clothes. He then swiped $128,000 worth of jewelry and designer clothes from Lohan's Hollywood Hills bungalow on Aug. 23, they say.

Lohan, a recent suspect of jewelry theft herself, hinted she knew her assailant in a Twitter message sent shortly after the break-in.

"That's how I know it was not a robbery. Electronics weren't taken…just things that a certain old friend knew meant a lot to me," she tweeted.

Surveillance video was used in both cases to identify the accused felon. Prugo was arrested Sept. 17 and released on $100,000 bail. If convicted, he faces up to six years in state prison.

What would you do if someone broke in and ramsacked your jewelry box? Check out all you need to know about protecting your family jewels right here on Jewelry.com.

Any of you guys get your jewelry stolen? How did you handle it? Weigh in!

The Bronze Fonz Brings Joy to Milwaukee

You may not be able to ‘sit on it’, but Milwaukee’s bronz Fonz statue is bringing joy to legions of fans who make their way to Brew City’s famed Riverwalk.

This summer, the city unveiled an $85,000 bronze statue created by sculptor Gerald Sawyer to honor the Happy Days icon who made Milwaukee more than just another dot on the map.

For those of you who may not remember the Happy Days hey-dey (and there are more of you than I’d like to admit), The Fonz (aka: Arthur Fonzerelli or Fonzie) was a James Dean meets Elvis-on-a-motorcycle character who carried his comb like a side arm and could get any woman he wanted simply by uttering his signature “Ayyyyyyyyy”.

Henry Winkler brought the iconic character to life and was there with the entire Happy Days cast to celebrate the statue’s unveiling (sans Ron Howard but plus Laverne and Shirley!)

"I just want to say, this is truly beautiful," said Winkler after the sheet was removed. "You can hear about it, you can talk about it, we had conversation though e-mail, but to see it in real life and that it exists, it's just unbelievable, it really is."

The sculpture itself is a life-size replica, standing at five feet, six inches tall and was paid for by the fund-raising efforts of Milwaukee’s passionate citizens after sponsor, TV Land, pulled the plug on the project.

If you’re sensing more than a whiff of nostalgia on this end, you’d be ‘Correctomundo’. So I was Pinky Tuscadero to next door-neighbor Neil Heiger's The Fonz for Halloween as a kid. Sue me.

Diddy Loses $20,000 Diamond Ring

Diddy is making news again, but this time it's for losing a diamond ring worth more than a luxury sedan. The rapper/producer was filming a TV show for BET in New York when he accidentally flung his huge diamond ring into the crowd while throwing out fake $100 bills.

Talk about a ring toss.

All 160 fans were frisked like criminals once the diamond loot went missing, but the search didn't turn up anything but the crowd's disdain.

The New York Post reported these cranky Tweets about the incident:

"Ok diddy lost his ring . . . and now there frisking all the kids like this is rikers lite,"

"[W]hen it was over, diddy held us hostage lookin for his lost ring. dont like him no more!!!"

Like him or not, it's clear Mr. Combs will survive for the time being - which is a lot more than his previous TV efforts can claim recently. Someone at MTV needs to put Making the Band on a permanent hiatus. Am I right?

October Birthstone Banter

Opals are an often-overlooked gemstone option, but October birthday girls know you can never go wrong with this glittering gem. Here are some fun facts about the opulent little beauties, and a great idea on where to get some - at rock bottom prices.

It's all about JewelClub you libras and scorpios (and the folks who love them). Visit this Friends and Family site here and enter the code INSIDER to get wholesale prices on some stunning opal gems. And they've got every fine jewelry category stocked if you want to go outside the birthstone box. Did I mention they have free shipping too? Happy Birthday to you!

Opal:The Queen of the Gems

Opal, the birthstone for October, is one of nature's most prized gems. The stone - which also happens to be the recommended jewelry gift for couples celebrating their 14th wedding anniversary - was mined by eastern Europeans, the Aztecs and the ancient tribes of Central Africa.

Opals have been featured in the crown of the Holy Roman Emperor and the crown jewels of France. They were mentioned in the plays of Shakespeare and the novels of Sir Walter Scott. Napoleon gave an opal to Josephine. Queen Victoria gave them out as wedding gifts.

One of the reasons this gem has been so revered is because of its supposed mystical powers. Scandinavian women wore opals in their hair to prevent it from going gray. The Arabs thought opal would ward off lightning and grant invisibility to its wearer. Other powers ascribed to the gem include the ability to grant vigor, aid the heart and kidneys and protect against fainting and infection.

Worshipped by the Romans as a symbol of hope, fidelity, purity and good luck, opal is sometimes called the "queen of gems" because the stone can flash patterns of color representing every hue of the rainbow.

This "play of color" is one of opal's signature characteristics. The gem is found in a range of hues, including white opal (the most common); black opal; "boulder" opal (black opal with iron oxide); crystal or water opal, which is transparent; and fire opal, which has a yellow to orange to red body color.

The vast majority of the world's opal supply comes from Australia. Black opal is the rarest variety and therefore the most valuable. White opal is also mined in Brazil. Fire and crystal opal can be found in the United States (Nevada) and Mexico.

Brilliance of color and color pattern are critical in determining the value of opal. Opals with strong flashes of red fire are generally the most prized. Stones with blue or green flashes are more common and subsequently less valuable. Stone size also helps determine price, since the gem is very rare in larger sizes. Prices can vary from a few dollars per carat for common white opal to more than $1,000 per carat for fine black opal. Most stones are not faceted and usually cut into rounded cabochons to enhance color play.

Perfect natural opals are extremely rare and expensive. Many are treated to enhance their appearance. One common technique is to place the opal in a sugar solution and then in sulfuric acid, which blackens body color and makes the play of color more pronounced. Other treatments include applications of colorless oil, wax and resin, plastic, or synthetic resins and hardeners to fill cracks and improve durability.

With a hardness of approximately 5.5 on the Mohs scale, opal is relatively fragile, and care should be taken not to scratch, chip or crack it. To clean opal, use a soft cloth moistened with olive oil. Do not use chemical or mechanical cleaners. Also, avoid heat and dry conditions that could dehydrate and crack the stone.

Lil Wayne's Diamond Bonanza

What to get a Grammy award-winning rapper who has everything? How about a $1 million Chopard diamond watch? Oh, and a $200,000 black diamond chain for good measure.

No whiff of an economic crisis in these parts, thank you very much...

The watch was a special-order gift purchased by Brian "Birdman" Williams, who is chief executive of the 'aptly' named Cash Money Records, the label that includes Lil Wayne as one of its featured artists.

So I am admittedly a little late to this party (the news of this outrageous display of blingy wealth went down late last month), but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to share the best part of this story for those of you who missed the shenanigans:

Not only did the cash king get millions in diamond jewelry to bring in his 27th year, he got a diamond-studded birthday cake to go with the flowing cases of Dom.

A diamond birthday cake? OK. Now I’ve heard everything.

What do you guys think of this crazy diamond display? Has the famous phrase, 'Let Them Eat Cake', taken on an entirely new meaning? Or if you got it? Flaunt it!

Diamond Rainbow Shines in New York

Colored diamonds are some of the most coveted creatures on this lovely planet earth, so when a jewelry hound gets a chance to gawk at a gaggle of them all in one place? Well, it's a very special day in blingville.

Enter the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

The museum announced that a stunning collection of 25 diamonds is now on display in the Morgan Memorial Hall of Gems through January. The dazzling diamond exhibit includes the famous five colored diamonds from the Olympia Diamond Collection, on loan from Scarselli Diamonds Inc.

We're talking a 1.01-carat vivid orange-yellow diamond, a 1.02-carat vivid blue-green diamond, a 2.17-carat vivid purplish-pink diamond, a 2.13-carat vivid blue diamond and a 2.34-carat vivid orange diamond in case you were wondering.

Breathe, diamond divas. Breathe.

Other dazzlers in the exhibit include a brilliant-cut intense-pink diamond set in gold with smaller pink diamonds, designed by Carvin French with diamonds from Rio Tinto's Argyle Mine in Australia, and a 5.4-carat round-brilliant-cut diamond pendant surrounded by 20 sapphires and set in white gold, designed in California in 1960.

George Harlow, curator of the museum's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, curated the diamond case. Bless him. Viewing the diamonds is free with admission to the museum, which is located at Central Park West and 79th Street in Manhattan.

If you're in New York, it's a must see. Just bring oxygen and designated driver. Things might get ugly.

Penelope Cruz in Engagement Ring Bling?

A kuckle-sized sapphire and diamond ring was spotted on Penelope Cruz's ring finger at the New York Film Festival this weekend, but the actress refused to confirm the significance of the stunner, according to People Magazine.

As if impeccable genes, an uber-successful career and and Oscar weren't enough, Cruz has the audacity to get super sexy, Javier Bardem, as her longtime love and possible husband. It's a cruel, cruel world, jewelry hounds.

Despite my unattractive feelings of jealousy, I am loving the idea of the non-traditional engagement ring making another star appearance (Princess Diana made the sapphire engagement ring famous back in the day and the trend continues to this day).

Many couples are opting for colored gemstones instead of the traditional diamond these days. They not only make a unique statement, they're often less pricey than their diamond counterparts - especially if you opt for a treated gemstone. Good news for us all, right?

For more info on non-traditional engagement rings, check out the Jewelry.com education section. They break it all down - and then some.

Diamonds by Candlelight

Diamonds and candles are the perfect duo when, say, a certain question is being ‘popped’, right? But one candle company is taking the sentiment to ‘11’ by putting the two together for one whopper of a mood lighting instrument.

Welcome Home Candles is offering an earth-friendly soy candle with a Diamond Bow Necklace encrusted with 38 diamonds weighing 2.23 carats with a G color, VS clarity, and set in 14-carat white gold.


The candle and necklace set was designed exclusively for Welcome Home Candles according to Luxist.com by Bucci's Jewelry & Design, one of the Philadelphia area's top jewelry designers.

And the price? A mere $5 grand.

Seems a slight step up from tea lights and wall sconces, no?

Paris, Pearls and Perfection

Paris Fashion Week is winding down, and my favorite designers (Alexander McQueen, Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, Marc Jacbos for LV, etc.) all dazzled with cutting edge collections that left fashionista drool all along the Champs Elysees. But it was John Galliano who topped them all this season.

Always the Parisian darling, Galliano was hand-picked by Anna Wintour to take over the House of Dior a while back, and he's certainly done well by the brand - but it was his John Galliano line that sent the tastemakers and fashion obsessed into orbit.

Inspired by a research trip to Hollywood, Galliano immersed himself in the Tallulah Bankhead, Mary Pickford world of studio system glamour and spun it into a magnificent showing of lace, pearls, and simply spectacular headwear. Style.com aptly calls it his 'fashion version of Sunset Boulevard'.

And while we mere mortals can only gawk at the beautiful baubles and garments that only a size zero gamine can pull off, there are ways to bring a little Galliano high fashion fantasy into our own wardrobes.

I'm making a beeline for my grandmother's pearls and brooches - and already have a long blazer belted over a long dress set aside in my mind for the next night out. And it looks like layering those bangles is simply always a safe bet - the look is present here and with many other designers this year (see the Jewelry.com Facebook album for more).

So what do you guys think of the Galliano girls this go round? Aren't they just beyond? Or am I losing my mind after so many runway roundups?