Jewelry Insider's Top Ten Blingy Bits of 2010

It's been a year full of surprises my fellow jewelry hounds. From diamond dentures and bug jewelry to gold parties and Gaga, the "Year of the Tiger" was nothing if not 'unusual'.

So as the last days of 2010 take their final bow, it's time to do what we media folks love to do best: Look back. And make lists.

Here is a smattering of some of my favorite jewelry moments combined with some of yours - because without you guys, I'm just all alone in the universe writing about Lindsay Lohan's jail jewelry and diamond dog collars as if it actually MEANS something. 

So my heartfelt thanks to you all for joining this shiny place of jewel-filled sarcasm, schadenfreude and joy for yet another year. Here's to more days of diamond diversions!

10. The 'Ears' Have It

If 2009 was the year of the statement necklace, 2010 brought the sentiment to the ears. The trend started with the smashing success of Courteney Cox's Golden Globe teardrop triumph and continued throughout awards season. Look for swinging chandelier shapes and shoulder dusters to continue to shine well into 2011.

9. Baseball Bling

In the year's 4th most popular post, I got to the bottom of those weird rope necklaces all the baseball players were wearing last season. I was surprised as anyone to know that jocks not only get emotional about jewelry - they believe it has super powers. And I thought I had issues...

8.  Pink Diamond Shatters Price Record

So. There's this dude, Laurence Graff. And he has piles of money. What does he do with it? He gobbles up the world's most valuable diamonds like pints of Chunky Monkey. His latest acquisition was a 24.78-carat piece of pink perfection that sold for a record-breaking $46.16 million. And now back to our regularly scheduled budget deficit....

7. Neil Lane - Jeweler of the Year

My jeweler of the year award has to go to Neil Lane. He's always been a red carpet staple but his monopoly on celebrity weddings in 2010 was staggering. He designed Anna Paquin's bridal jewels, Nicole Richie's wedding band, Jessica Simpson's newsworthy ruby rock - along with the bling for the entire Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise. AND he launched a bridal line with Kay Jewelers to reach the mere mortal market. Just call him the  Kim Kardashian of the jewelry world: He somehow seems to be everywhere. And he's taking it straight to the bank.

6. Black Diamond Blitz

When Howard Stern awarded his 'Tiger Woods Miss Mistress' winner a black diamond ring for her trouble back in March, I feared one of my favorite stones would be forever branded the 'other women'. But Sex And The City II (despite being one of my biggest disappointments this year - see #5 for more) gave black diamonds a glittering close up - and the stone is now a must-have for red carpet divas and regular folks alike. I'm giving it my 'most likely to succeed' award. Stay tuned.

5. Diamond Disappointments

Not to be all Debbie Downer and all...but there were some MAJOR jewelry/fashion bummers this year.

Exhibit A: The Oscars  

When Kathy Ireland's questionable interviewing skills are the only thing worth squawking about - you know you've got a bummer year on your hands.

Exhibit B: Fashion Week: Spring 2011: 

Where. Was. The. Jewelry?

Exhibit C: Sex And The City II: 

My favorite New York women finally jumped the shark. Aiden? In Abu Dhabi? "I Am Woman" karaoke? C'mon!

Exhibit D: Angelina Jolie. 

The world's most stunning actress (a la Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn) can't seem to wear anything but black and diamond studs on the red carpet. And Jennifer Aniston and Julia Roberts are stuck in the muck with her. Help me, Housewives of Beverly Hills. You're my only hope.

4. Where's The Beef?

Lady Gaga wore a meat dress. 'Nuff said.

3. Kanye West's Diamond Dentures

In the third most popular post for 2010, we learned that replacing your teeth with real diamonds might help people forget you're an egomaniac for a week or so. 

2. Chelsea Clinton's Engagement Ring

More people read my post on Chelsea's engagement ring than any other entry in the history of the blog. Despite the fact that I (and all of my other fellow jewelry hounds) STILL haven't found a decent picture of the thing. Hat's off to you, Chels, for keeping us all well out of your business. And for making my Alexa rating skyrocket.

1. The Sapphire Heard 'Round the World.

Hey. Did you hear? Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton. Shocker! Seriously, though, you're going to have to endure many a royal wedding post in 2011 - cuz there's gonna be major crown jewels on display. I'm already hyperventilating.

But perhaps the most important repercussion from all this nonsense, is the resurgence of the Lady Di ring silhouette and sapphires as a popular stone for engagement rings. I hope the trend continues, because if there's one thing I've learned in 2010 - you don't have to break the bank to get a great piece of jewelry these days (JewelClub, anyone?). And that includes engagement rings.

OK. I think I hear the champagne calling my name. (It happens.) I hope you all have a safe and shining New Year. In the meantime, weigh in with your favorite jewelry moments from 2010! As always, I love to hear from you. (Janet - that means you!)

See you on the flip side!