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The Fashion Memo

The 7 jewelry-investment pieces every woman needs

Clockwise from top left: chain necklace, Paco Rabanne; sapphire and diamond bracelet, Suzanne Kalan; multi-stone necklace, Foundrae; emerald and diamond ring, Sylva & Cie; rose-gold watch, Cartier; hoop earrings, Jennifer Fisher; pear ear cuff, Mizuki; diamond cuff, Piaget; chain hoop earrings, Bottega Veneta

Fine jewelry is full of intrinsic and sentimental value – it lasts forever, can be dressed up or down and creates fond memories. Here are the seven jewelry investment pieces you’ll never tire of. By SARAH ROYCE-GREENSILL


Hoop earrings

Hoop earrings are a style perennial; no jewelry collection is complete without at least one pair. For such a simple design, they’re remarkably versatile: oversized gold hoops are a summer essential, while lobes stacked with tiny ‘huggies’ – made famous by Maria Tash – are the modern way to wear diamonds.

Beginners should start with fine gold hoops such as Jennifer Fisher’s ultra-lightweight designs. “There’s a reason hoops have been around for centuries – they’re incredibly comfortable and go with everything,” says Fisher, whose designs are loved by A-listers including Yara Shahidi and Margot Robbie.

The ultimate hoop-earring collection should also include a pair of mid-sized chubby hoops, such as Bottega Veneta’s sculptural pair for everyday wear, along with a shot of color in the form of Alison Lou’s ‘Jelly’ hoops or Sophie Bille Brahe’s pearl-adorned design, perfect for adding instant elegance. And, further proof that hoop earrings aren’t just for daytime, Anita Ko’s ultra-glamorous rose-gold hoops are embellished with more than three carats of diamonds, making them the perfect finishing touch for most after-dark looks.

Ear cuffs

“I love to stack my cuffs up the ear, wearing two or three at a time,” says Anita Ko. “I usually concentrate on one ear, but will adorn both for a glamorous evening look. They bring so much light and energy around the face.”

Multiple ear piercings are a chance to mix and match precious hoops and studs, curating an ‘ear compilation’ that’s entirely unique. But cartilage piercings aren’t without their downsides. Enter the ear cuff: the versatile way to achieve a cool and contemporary look, without the piercing or pain.

“I don’t think there’s anything cooler than a sparkly ear party, and the ear cuff has added a whole new layer to the way we adorn our ears,” says Ko, who describes her ear cuffs as “rings for the ear”. In various shades of gold, often studded with diamonds or colored sapphires, her designs range from a pared-back, plain rose-gold hoop to a wave-shaped cuff inlaid with baguette-cut diamonds.

Mizuki’s ear cuffs are finished with pearls; Jacquie Aiche adds chains for a boho vibe; and Melissa Kaye injects a burst of color with electric-blue or hot-pink enamel alongside brilliant-cut diamonds. Endlessly versatile, ear cuffs can be worn at any point along the ear lobe to enliven your everyday look or add a modern edge to after-dark attire. Repossi has demonstrated that ear cuffs have a place on the red carpet, with the likes of Tilda Swinton, Cate Blanchett and Keira Knightley pairing the brand’s dazzling diamond cuffs with their couture gowns.

A classic watch

A watch is the ultimate everyday accessory; the finishing touch that makes any outfit complete. Every watch wardrobe should include a pared-back classic by an established brand that carries both style and horological cachet.

Round dials are universally flattering, while square or rectangular dials are the epitome of elegance. Choose whichever-color metal you wear most, and invest in the best materials and craftsmanship that your budget allows.

The beautifully minimalist dial of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s ‘Master Ultra Thin Moon’ comes with pictograms that indicate the phases of the moon and the date: an aesthetically beautiful detail as well as a useful function. The label’s ‘Reverso’ watch, created in the 1930s for polo players, is redolent of the art-deco era, as is Cartier’s ‘Baignoire’, with a chic brown strap that will only get better with age.

Cartier’s ‘Ballon Bleu’, as worn by the Duchess of Cambridge, is another understated yet instantly recognizable design: in practical and durable stainless steel, it will never date. The Hermès ‘Heure H’, meanwhile, is a more contemporary design that has earned a place on the world’s most fashionable wrists. Its interchangeable strap means it will complement any ensemble.

A diamond bracelet

Known as a tennis bracelet after the US champion Chris Evert wore hers on court in the 1970s, a diamond bracelet is one of the hardest-working pieces in any jewelry collection. Smart enough for the office, and glamorous enough for black-tie dinners, it adds just the right amount of sparkle to your closet.

“Diamond bracelets look great on everyone; they will never go out of style and can be worn day to night,” says Suzanne Kalan, who reinvents the classic style by using a melange of her signature ‘Firework’ baguette-cut diamonds. “You can wear one bracelet for a minimal look or stack them up for impact. Just have fun with them; they’re so comfortable that you forget you have them on.”

Anita Ko also wraps the wrist in baguette-cut diamonds and rose gold: a beautifully simple, contemporary take on the classic design. Ofira’s graphic diamond-set bangle comes in white or yellow gold, ideal for mixing your metals, and Repossi adds an architectural element with jagged white-gold peaks; particularly striking when stacked against a classic timepiece. Melissa Kaye, meanwhile, adds a pop of color with black enamel and yellow gold set amongst the white diamonds, while Pomellato’s sculptural diamond-studded interpretation offers a contemporary twist on this classic piece.

A cocktail ring

Popularized in the Prohibition-era 1920s, when flapper girls wore oversized rings to draw attention to their illicit drinks, cocktail rings are redolent of an era of bygone glamour. Forget less-is-more minimalism or dainty layers of diamonds; the joy of a cocktail ring is that you only need a single piece to make a statement.

Traditional cocktail rings feature large colored gemstones accented by diamonds. Amrapali’s 3.49ct emerald, surrounded by rose-cut diamonds, is a timeless example, brought up to date with blackened gold. Usually worn on the right hand, cocktail rings are a symbol of independence and self-love. Selim Mouzannar’s triple cluster of morganite and diamonds, inspired by the architecture of the designer’s native Beirut, is proof that more really is more, while Sylva & Cie’s tanzantine ring can’t fail to attract attention.

Cocktail rings are a no-brainer evening accessory, but for true decadence, wear yours in the daytime, dressed down with jeans, a tee and a relaxed blazer. With dazzling inlaid trolleite and tourmaline set in responsibly sourced gold, Retrouvaí’s chunky, domed ring is an heirloom piece of epic proportions.