Accent Advisor

Q: Which classic/timeless pieces are most likely to become keepsakes or heirlooms?
Those that hold their value, can be passed to the next generation, or the piece that becomes your signature. We have a client who is never (ever!) seen without a beautiful strand of pearls that her husband bought her many years ago; whether at the grocery store or at a gala, her pearls say it all. And that’s the key: finding a statement piece of jewelry (“statement” need not mean “expensive”) and letting it become your trademark. We’ve noticed that when times are tougher and discretionary spending more limited, jewelry becomes even more personal and relationship-driven. If you buy only one item this year, make it special and enduring.

Q: I know women who wear fashion jewelry like bangles or bold cuffs, but they buy these pieces at clothing stores as opposed to jewelers (even if they have to repurchase the pieces when they tarnish). What are your thoughts on this?
I think many women balance trendy fashion jewelry that they don’t expect to last forever with items that they cherish,wear often and want to last. Since a great bangle is a classic that will be in style forever, it’s worth investing in something both fabulous and enduring.

Q: Which items should I consider buying this season?
For both ladies and gents, a good watch is an absolute must! If you can invest in only one great piece of jewelry, let it be a practical and stylish watch to enjoy for many years. It should cross over into any activity, and should dress up or down. When you have more to invest, consider buying both a “dress” and a “sports” watch. But in the interim, one great watch transcends numerous styles and ventures! Three other ideas for ladies: 1) a beautiful strand of pearls, either classic round or baroque (uneven) shaped; 2) diamond stud earrings, a true go-witheverything item to wear with denim or ball gowns; and 3) a necklace or pendant with personal meaning, like your children’s names or initials, an important date, a display of faith or spirituality. (If you’ve ever noticed women constantly touching their necklaces, it’s likely because they feel an emotional connection to the symbol.)

Q: What’s the difference between antique jewelry and estate jewelry?
“Estate” is a popular jewelry label, but does not specify the period of manufacture. “Estate” is primarily used to describe jewelry that is previously owned. The term “antique” generally applies to jewelry items that are at least 100 years old, the benchmark used by government officials for duty-free importing of antiques. For spring 2012, everything old is new again, so consider both of these options, or try resetting one of your own family heirlooms.