Enamored with Enameled Jewelry
Rainbow bright enamel is an eye-catching addition to any jewelry lover’s collection. Fine enamel jewelry is crafted by fusing powdered glass to a metal base. The resulting creations are a spectacular blend, where high-gloss hues meet the elegant sheen of metal. An easy way to introduce color to the most staid or sophisticated outfits, high society dames and carefree boho girls alike gravitate toward enamel’s entrancing shine.
Many new designers are leveraging the look of enamel in their work. Jewelry designer Aaron Basha, for example, uses enamel as a key element in his playful, whimsical creations. Necklace chains and link bracelets in white, yellow, or rose gold are adorned with a range of petite enamel charms: tiny baby shoes, vibrant ladybugs, even glossy evil eye talismans. Many charms feature enamel that is cleverly dotted with diamond accents or precious gems, such as the lucky horseshoes inset with a spattering of pink sapphires.
A striking element of enamel jewelry is its eye-catchingly bright colors, which designer Silvio Hidalgo uses to spectacular effect in his collections. Known as “the king of stackable rings,” Hidalgo utilizes enamel to create unique, bold jewelry that the wearer can mix and match to her heart’s content. Two types of enamel are utilized in Hidalgo’s work. The first is transparent enamel in wide variety of colors, which can be used to reveal tiny engraved details in the precious metal below. The second is opaque enamel, which is a solid glaze of rich color that completely coats the metal. A simple stack of enamel rings may suit one wearer, while another may choose to use the glittering enamel colors to offset a more substantial Hidalgo creation in diamonds.
Style setters have long leaned on enamel to add a pop of color to their ensembles. Effortlessly chic Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis wore her gold and enamel bracelets by Jean Schlumberger so often that they came to be known as “Jackie bracelets.” Schlumberger’s designs can still be found at Tiffany & Co., where he worked as a celebrated in-house designer through the 1970s. His enamel bracelets are the cream of the crop, featuring his signature paillonné enamel (carefully laying enamel over gold leaves) studded with precious metal accents—such as dots or diamond shapes—as well as evenly spaced bands that span the length of the bracelet. Schlumberger’s enamel designs went beyond his famous bracelets, however. His enamel work can be seen on detailed brooches (such as his detailed Diamond Two-Fish Brooch) as well as luminous enamel rings criss-crossed with oversized pave Xs, to symbolize love.
Enamel makes a sound fashion/wardrobe investment. Playful enough to appear trendy, hotly hued bangles and rings are nonetheless a perennial wardrobe player, making them a perfect accessory to rely on to add a different attitude to the most staid wardrobe selections. Enamel is also an effective wardrobe crossover item. Flirty enamel bangles can dress up khaki capris and a navy blazer in the spring, or just as easily add movement and color to the most high-end jewel toned gown. The versatile and vivacious qualities of enamel certainly set this substance apart in the fine jewelry world.
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