BEHIND THE BAUBLES: FLAT 128

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If you’re searching for a unique piece of British jewelry, look no further than Flat 128. Founder Elizabeth DuBois lived in London throughout her 20s. During trips back and forth across the pond, the New York native found that people were constantly inquiring about her jewelry—British pieces that weren’t available stateside. It wasn’t long after that her dream of curating a UK lifestyle store in a beloved New York City neighborhood was realized. And, as you’ll see in tomorrow’s post (with a giveaway!), the West Village store is as charming as the founder herself.

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Shop It: Comfort Station, $265 |  SMITH/GREY, $140 | Yunus & Eliza, $325 | Clarice Price Thomas, $205 | Rachel Boston, $250 | Eleanor Bolton, $375 | Julia Burness, $330

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BEHIND THE BAUBLES: VRAI & ORO

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If you haven’t already fallen in love with Vrai & Oro, you haven’t been paying attention to Monday or Tuesday’s posts! In addition to offering fine jewelry without the markups (details here), the L.A.-based brand prides itself on a mantra to “Live Authentic.” The brand isn’t about trends. It isn’t about over embellishment. It isn’t about fast fashion. Vrai & Oro embodies quality, simplicity and transparency. Read on to learn more about Vanessa Stofenmacher and Chelsea Nicholson, the entrepreneurs behind the baubles. Then, sign up here to receive $10 off your first purchase. 

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Shop It:* Baguette Diamond Necklace, $315 | Double Stacked Ring in Silver, $65 | Baguette Diamond Earrings, $430 | Thick Stacking Ring, $175 | Diamond Line Necklace, $295 | Baguette Diamond Ring, $230 | Line Earrings, $70 | Small Hoop Earrings, $130 | Set of Three Skinny Stacking Rings, $125

*All items are solid gold, unless otherwise noted

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BEHIND THE BAUBLES: RACHAEL RYEN JEWELRY

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As I continue to shop for my own jewelry collection, I find myself shunning fast fashion accessories and opting for the pieces that will last a lifetime—a difficult task on a limited budget. Fortunately designer Rachael Byers sought to fill that void in the marketplace. “It was difficult to find a beautiful, genuine stone that wasn’t set in solid gold with a price to match. The fine jewelry was overly traditional and the costume and fashion jewelry was cheaply made or way too trendy to invest in,” she explained. Rachael began using design techniques of fine jewelry to create 14k gold vermeil, gold-filled and sterling silver jewelry punctuated by vibrant, colorful semi-precious gemstones and diamonds, and in 2011, the Rachael Ryen Jewelry Collection was launched. 

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Shop It: Hasma Charm Necklace, $69 | Square Link Bracelet, $60 | Diamond Bar Necklace, $425 | Vintage Bezel Gemstone Earrings, $55 | Long Drop Earrings, $148 | Round Prong Set Ring, $225 | Diamond Hollow Circle Ring, $445 | Button Star Stud Earrings, $69

Follow Rachael Ryen Jewelry: TwitterFacebookInstagram, Tumblr, Pinterest

Reminder: Enter to win $300 to spend on art at UGallery.com!

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BEHIND THE BAUBLES: CHARM & CHAIN

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Receiving editorial praise within a year of its November 2008 launch, Charm & Chain has become a premier destination for women’s designer jewelry. Ali Galgano, the woman behind it all, sought to expand the role of jewelry in a woman’s wardrobe, resulting in an e-commerce site with a well-curated selection of enviable—and on trend—gems to suit women’s varying styles and budget.

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Shop It: Lele Sadoughi, $265 | Dannijo, $495 | ASHA, $225 | Ginette NY, $660 | Vita Fede, $225 | Margaret Elizabeth, $88 | Eddie Borgo, $315

Follow Charm & Chain: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram

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BEHIND THE BAUBLES: KARA ROSS

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The love of jewelry design has been with Kara Ross since she was a teenager returning home from a trip to Africa with a native gemstone in hand. Her mother took her to a Jeweler’s Row in Philadelphia where she created a square cut ring on an 18 karat gold band with diamonds. Kara decided to pursue a career in jewelry shortly after college and a brief job in advertising at Harper’s Bazaar, becoming a certified Gemologist and officially launching her company in 2003. 

She is now an award-winning designer who has showcased her work in museums across the country and has embarked on noteworthy collaborations, including one with the White House. Kara was selected by President Obama and the First Lady to create gifts for visiting heads of state from magnolia wood that originated on the White House lawn. As you’ll see below, Kara crafted bracelets reminiscent of the signature "shirt cuff bracelets" from her KARA by Kara Ross fashion collection—the piece that made me first fall for her designs years ago. 

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Shop It: Petra Split Pendant in Rubellite and Amethyst, $6,500 | Pangea Stacking Bangle, $2,500 | Zig Zag Studs, $795 | Petra Split Pendant in Green Beryl and Blue Topaz, $8,200 | Cava Open Link Earrings, $3,495 | Hydra Contour Ring, $7,500 | Petra Narrow Split Cuff, $33,000 | Petra Split Ring, $6,850

Follow Kara Ross: TwitterFacebookInstagram, Pinterest, Tumblr

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BEHIND THE BAUBLES: MAU

One of my favorite things about the “Behind the Baubles” series is the opportunity to introduce you to emerging jewelry designers. I came across Marianna Maurer’s debut spring collection, MAU, a few weeks ago and fell in love with the architectural, minimalist designs. (It doesn’t get much better than the facet cuff, which is actually Marianna’s most often worn piece.) Handmade in L.A., each piece is crafted from recycled materials including sterling silver and 14k gold. 

Shop It: Six Point Cuff, $228 | Floret Ring, $160 | Facet Cuff, $192 | Simple Fold Studs, $94 | Simple Fold Ring, $120 | Four Point Earrings, $118 | Bulbous Ring, $185

Follow MAU: TwitterFacebookInstagram

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BEHIND THE BAUBLES: KATTRI

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Strong, geometric designs are the hallmark of KATTRI, a fine jewelry collection by Amanda Gerbasi. Her work isn’t over the top and it isn’t overwrought with details. Instead, it’s refreshingly straightforward with bold gemstones and even bolder lines. (I’m head over heels for the white gold and crystal Polygon Ring that looks like a glamorous shard of ice.) The collection launched last year as a Kickstarter campaign, but Amanda’s jewelry roots run over a century deep. In 1900, her great-great grandmother designed and sold jewelry after emigrating from Spain to Brazil.

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Shop It: Quadrant Necklace, £2,190 // Parabola Pendant, £1,275 // Quadrant Earring, £1,470 // Polygon Ring, £1,950 // Hyperbola Pendant, £1,740 // Polygon Flat Ring, £1,125 // Hyperbola Earrings£2,295

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Behind the Baubles: Golden Thread

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The arrowhead necklace in yesterday’s post doesn’t even begin to illustrate the array of pendants and other customizable gems available at Golden Thread. Jennifer Welker, a former neonatal nurse, launched the collection in 2010 focusing on luxe pieces that could be personalized by layering, adding a monogram, incorporating a birthstone and even choosing a preferred metal color to create a signature piece as unique as the woman wearing it. Her collection has been featured on NBC’s Today  show and in the pages of top publications, such as InStyle, People StyleWatch and Redbook magazines.

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Shop It: Small Disc with Diamond Bezel, $1,880 // Small Star Charm, $40 // Small Framed Gold Disc, $460 // Cut-Out Earrings, $280 // Diamond Triangle Earrings, $600 // Signet Ring, $120 // XOXO Charm, $40 // Small Edge Crest, $460 

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Behind the Baubles: Elizabeth JEAN

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After fulfilling her dream of visiting 21 countries before her 21st birthday, Elizabeth Stewart earned a Bachelor of Interior Architecture from Australia’s Monash University. She never dreamed her career would lead to jewelry design until a family member commissioned her to create a small collection. Since then, Elizabeth’s line has blossomed into her own label (Elizabeth JEAN), an online boutique and even an editorial placement in Vogue

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Shop It: Lana Necklace (my favorite!), $339 // Cecile Studs, $165 // Hudson Bracelet, $269 // Florence Ring, $144 // Laurel Ring, $165 // Penelope Earrings, $219 // Vienna Ring, $175 // Viktor Armband, $179

Follow Elizabeth JEAN: TwitterFacebookInstagram, Pinterest

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Behind the Baubles: KALAN by Suzanne Kalan

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Suzanne Kalan started her jewelry line in 1988 after her daughter, Patile, was born. Patile joined the industry nearly 25 years later and began designing the KALAN by Suzanne Kalan collection. Set with diamonds and white sapphires, the candy-colored baubles are just as bright and optimistic as Patile herself. 

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Items from the collection are available at various retailers, including Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue (there’s a 20% Friends & Family discount on jewelry that you can use right now), and Amazon

Follow Suzanne Kalan: FacebookInstagram

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