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

Follow Vrai & Oro: TwitterFacebookInstagram, Pinterest

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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: 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: 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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Behind the Baubles: Lacee Alexandra

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Inspired by the organic imperfection of nature and decay, Lacee Norris launched Lacee Alexandra, a jewelry collection that embraces these forms in a sophisticated, wearable way. Lacee’s artistic nature was apparent at a young age when she spent time in her grandmother’s studio painting miniatures. In 2008, she began studying fine art and design at California State University Long Beach and enrolled in her first jewelry making class on a whim, igniting a passion for what would eventually become her career. Lacee still resides in Long Beach, hand crafting her collection with sterling silver, 14k gold, black spinels and black diamonds. 

Lacee is offering B&B readers a 30% discount through April 29! Just use code BAUBLES at checkout!

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Shop It: Transitions Pendant, $360 // Treasured Pieces Lariat, $183 // Collected Crevice Necklace, $397 // Staggered Hoops, $350 // Eternal Stacker, $95 // Moments Band, $125 // Staggered Studs, $350 // Pieces of One Studs, $79

Follow Lacee Alexandra: FacebookInstagramPinterest

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The Collection | Bel-Air by Gerard Yosca

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I have no doubt that you’ve already fallen for Gerard Yosca’s latest collection and, as with most jewelry affairs, it was probably love at first sight. (Really, how could you resist the signature mod blossoms? I’ve been styling this necklace to no end and, as you’ll see next week, it goes with just about everything.) However, I find the passion for a coveted piece intensifies after learning about its inspiration. I can just imagine the person residing in that A. Quincy Jones home reaching for Gerard’s gems before her midday martini. Poolside, of course.*

*I’m not sure if the Sidney F. and Frances Brody House actually had a pool. That’s the great thing about the imagination, isn’t it? 

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Style It | The Statement Necklace

Gerard Yosca’s latest collection is a good one (more on that tomorrow) and the statement necklaces steal the show. Whether you prefer to wear one standout piece or layer with abandon, it takes a healthy dose of panache to pull off a bold bauble. Gerard’s tips will have you effortlessly incorporating a statement necklace into your wardrobe in no time.

Take heed of that final guideline. The piece you select should be one you’ll love for years. I promise it’s worth the investment.

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Behind the Baubles: Rue Gembon

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Chain-store jewelry can be lackluster (especially when everyone owns the same thing) and great costume jewelry can come with a high price tag, which is why Joyce Lam (left) and Niki Allworth sought to create an online destination with affordable, eye-catching statement gems: Rue Gembon. Before launching the site, Joyce had plenty of experience in the fashion arena (3.1 Phillip Lim, Women’s Wear Daily, Elle), then ventured into styling under Kate Lanphear’s wing. Niki left behind the accounting industry to pursue her passion for fashion graphic design and began freelancing.

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Shop It: Andreia Earrings, $27 (my favorite!) // Celeste Bracelet, $90 // Liana Necklace, $71 // Jacquelyn Earrings, $27 // Carissa Gun Necklace, $62 // Darla Topaz Ring, $60 // Alea Bronze Ring, $35

Follow Rue Gembon: TwitterFacebookTumblrInstagramPinterest

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