There was a time when we might have saved beautiful things for best, but just as fashion is buoyed by our enthusiasm to get back out into the world, so is fine jewelry. In the past year, we’ve all had more time to streamline our wardrobes to only include items we love, and to learn how to select pieces with real longevity. Your jewelry box can function in much the same way – a tight edit of precious pieces will accompany you through all aspects of your life and style, adding a little luxury to your everyday ensembles and a glamorous accent to evening attire. The jewel to depend on? Diamonds.
“Diamonds should feel special, but they should also feel like everyday treasures,” says Libby Page, NET-A-PORTER senior market editor. “The way you choose your diamonds is a reflection of your personality: if you’re a uniform dresser who has a very refined wardrobe, then choose diamonds that complement each other and have a similar cut or style,” she explains. “However, if you’re eclectic, love vintage shopping, clashing prints and fashion-forward trends, you can mix and match colors, silhouettes and settings. There is no right or wrong way to choose – it’s all about what works with your own style and personality.”
Let us guide you through the capsule collection of precious pieces, each with diamonds as the heroes of their design.
A cocktail or engagement ring
For many women, an engagement ring is their first foray into diamonds, but diamonds shouldn’t be reserved for wedding jewelry alone. A knock-out diamond ring can serve as the lodestar of a chic jewelry collection, whether it’s a traditional solitaire style worn with a wedding band or a right-hand cocktail ring. “It just feels good to wear a magnificent diamond ring,” says Marco Hadjibay, creative director of Bayco – a New York maison renowned for its exceptional diamonds and colored gems. “A ring is [one of] the only jewels that a woman wears just for her personal enjoyment – she can look at her ring on her finger as many times as she wants while she wears it. The same can’t be said about earrings and necklaces,” he explains. Where cocktail jewelry is concerned, a show-stopping central stone in a contemporary setting will turn heads, so consider unusual designs such as Moritz Glik’s shaker style or Selim Mouzannar’s enamel-framed solitaire.
The keystone of your earring collection, diamond studs are essential for their timeless beauty, intrinsic value and their practical purpose. It’s also advisable to regularly wear solid gold studs to avoid any piercing closures, but simple earrings don’t have to be boring. There are plenty of alternative designs or imaginative ways to wear your studs that will feel more contemporary and fashion forward. “I think it’s chic to place matching styles of jewelry in unexpected piercing placements that are not traditional ear lobes,” suggests Maria Tash, the go-to guru for piercing-focused jewelry, and whose jewels are staple pieces for the likes of Hailey Bieber, Rihanna, Adwoa Aboah and Charlize Theron. “For example, to deliberately match jewelry in locations such as the Tash rook, daith or conch, on both the left and right ears, can help to tell a story and emphasize a unique curation,” Tash explains. The trick here is experimentation – try different combinations of individual studs until you find your favorite lineup.
A tennis bracelet
One of the most classic jewels of all is a diamond tennis bracelet. Its simplicity, elegance and casual glamour means it can be worn just as easily with a T-shirt and denim as a cocktail dress – making it one of the most chameleon-esque jewels to have in your arsenal. Because it’s so timeless, it can be tricky to work out exactly which style to go for, though. “A key factor to consider is your lifestyle and the setting that best suits you, whether it be a channel set, prong set or bezel setting,” says Katherine Kim, founder of LA-based brand KatKim. “You can now find more styles that are contemporary, whether it be different diamond sizes or the use of colored stones,” she explains. Eéra’s ‘Paris’ bracelet is modeled after classic tennis styles but fastens with the label’s signature snap hook, while Anita Ko’s emerald-cut design flaunts serious scintillation with almost seven carats of sensational stones.
A ring band
“The perfect wedding band should remain timeless, yet be distinctive,” says Roberto Boghossian, managing partner at Boghossian – an awe-inspiring high jewelry maison that excels in imaginative, ingenious settings. “A wedding band should accompany the wearer through day and night with style and comfort,” he explains. Boghossían’s ‘Merveille’ eternity band flaunts interlocking diamonds set on all four sides of the band, reducing gold to a minimum and flooding each diamond with light. Consider stacking eternity rings in differing metal hues or with particularly tactile appeal – Piaget’s spinning ‘Possession’ ring is a compelling piece that your fingers will keep finding their way to.
“The best way to choose a pair of hoops is to think about their function,” says Thomas Montier Leboucher, co-founder of Parisian brand Viltier. “Are you looking for everyday hoops? Or statement hoops? Party hoops or work hoops?” he asks. “Once you know what you want from them, I would say go for the pair you truly love, instead of going for what is on trend.” Montier Leboucher believes that a comprehensive capsule of hoops can serve all your earring needs. “You need different sizes for different times of the day; perhaps something a bit smaller during the day and then you can go full-on XL for a celebration or drinks with friends,” he says. “Hoops are essentials in your jewelry box, just as having a nice pair of boots is in your wardrobe. They are the jewel that will give a nice kick to an outfit, effortlessly,” he adds.
A collier necklace
In an ideal world, your jewelry box would be filled with ropes of diamonds in varying lengths, but most of us have to be judicious in our choice of one or two special pieces. “To cover all bases, I would suggest a choker, a collier that sits over the collar bones or just beneath, and a longer pendant necklace that accentuates the cleavage or can be worn over clothes,” says Brazilian designer Fernando Jorge. His ‘Sequence’ diamond necklace features stones in graduating sizes – a contemporary interpretation of a classic collier style. “I think it is a very flattering piece that frames the face and draws attention to the neck, [which is] a beautiful part of the body,” he explains. Meanwhile, Sydney Evan’s quirky design offers irreverent charm, and New York brand Stone And Strand’s adjustable style allows you to alter the length to suit your décolletage. “Select something that is simple yet suits your personality and proportions – this piece will unfailingly make you feel confident and special,” says Jorge.
A precious timepiece
“Timepieces are a real investment and, for any avid watch wearer, having something that feels elevated and extra special is important,” says Page. This is where a diamond-adorned watch comes in. “If you’re choosing a timepiece for everyday wear, opt for a diamond-bezel piece or a design with a subtle scattering of stones. However, if you’re looking for a statement after-dark piece then something dramatic like the Hermès ‘Heure H Double Jeu’ will draw welcome attention,” she suggests. Chopard’s ‘Happy Sport’ watch flaunts a playful approach to diamond wearing, with delicate stones that dance around the dial, while Cartier’s ‘Baignoire’ and Piaget’s ‘Limelight Gala’ are both sophisticated timepieces with just the right amount of adornment to highlight their sculptural silhouettes.