BMJ Blog

Trend Watch: Asymmetry in Jewelry

Posted on September 14, 2017 by Mary Hood | 0 Comments

You've probably noticed asymmetrical jewelry lately. Whether it’s in the form of “mismatched” earrings or modern, amorphous clusters of stones, this trend combines a youthful spirit of creativity with contemporary elegance. The following pieces are all about individuality and breaking the rules with a twinkle in your eye. You’ll find that despite the apparent geometrical imbalance of this jewelry, each piece manifests its own, unique brand of visual balance.

Trend Watch: Asymmetry in Jewelry | Barbara Michelle Jacobs Blog

Barbara Michelle Jacobs Esperanza Twig Hoop Earrings

Made with 100% reclaimed silver and cast from Central Park twigs, these sexy, oxidized sterling silver earrings come with a removable white silver pod. Perfect for sultry evenings out.

Trend Watch: Asymmetry in Jewelry | Barbara Michelle Jacobs Blog

Barbara Michelle Jacobs Blue Sapphire Solitaire Engagement Ring

The subtle asymmetry of the silver band in this sapphire solitaire engagement ring comes from the twig that was cast for this ring. Sometimes the most beautiful things are found in nature—and nature plays by her own design rules.

Trend Watch: Asymmetry in Jewelry | Barbara Michelle Jacobs Blog

Tessa Packard London Courtesan’s Earrings in Blue

These cleverly asymmetrical earrings are decorated with pave-set black diamonds, carved lapis, and suspended sapphire, smoky quartz, and tourmaline gemstones. Truly a glamorous set for the woman with a creative edge.

Trend Watch: Asymmetry in Jewelry | Barbara Michelle Jacobs Blog

Jordan Alexander Gold Ring with Diamonds and Feather

This remarkable ring is indeed an attention-grabbing statement piece that combines mixed metals and several small diamonds with a large pearl.

Trend Watch: Asymmetry in Jewelry | Barbara Michelle Jacobs Blog

Inspired by crusty yet beautiful old boats and pier beams, these “mismatched” sterling silver barnacle studs are a fun choice for anyone who loves life by the beach.

Trend Watch: Asymmetry in Jewelry | Barbara Michelle Jacobs Blog

Xiao Wang Mismatching Gravity Earrings

These stunning asymmetrical earrings come with lots of movement and sparkle. They’re the jewelry equivalent of a fine glass of champagne accompanied by your favorite jazz track.

Trend Watch: Asymmetry in Jewelry | Barbara Michelle Jacobs Blog

MeiraT Diamond & Semiprecious Stone Bracelet

Described as “artfully imperfect,” this delicate bracelet combines small diamonds with a beautiful stone (choices include labradorite, blue opal, mother-of-pearl, and ruby).

Trend Watch: Asymmetry in Jewelry | Barbara Michelle Jacobs Blog

Eden Presley Golden Mantra Choker

Combining three trends in one—mantras, asymmetry, and chokers, oh my!—this fun, customizable necklace was created to remind us of what’s important in life.

What’s your favorite asymmetrical piece?

You may also be interested in: Tassel Jewelry, Plus DIY Beaded Tassel



Photos: Barbara Michelle Jacobs, Tessa Packard London, Jordan Alexander, Casey Sharpe, Nordstrom

Posted in asymmetry, earrings, jewelry trends, necklaces, rings, trend watch

Best Coffee Table Jewelry Books

Posted on August 24, 2017 by Mary Hood | 0 Comments

Although no jewelry gift can quite compare to actual jewelry, these stunning coffee table books come close. Think of these tomes as the diamonds of the book world--they're gorgeous, beautifully crafted, and designed to last (both literally and figuratively--the incredible jewelry in these books depict will never be passé). 

Like a diamond, these books are an investment. However, each one educates as much as it looks pretty sitting in the center of your living room or on your nightstand. Any one of these books would make a perfect gift for a jewelry lover--or just a treat for you!

1. Vogue: The Jewellery, by Carol Woolton 

Best Coffee Table Jewelry Books | Barbara Michelle Jacobs Jewelry Blog

Carol Woolton is the jewelry editor of British Vogue and an expert on historic and antique jewelry. This beautiful collection highlights the most memorable jewelry moments in Vogue and features both costume and fine jewelry. Illustrating the variety of jewelry featured in the magazine over the years, 300 pieces are organized into five sections: Show-stoppers, Rock Chick, Minimalist, Exotic, and Classical.

2. The Impossible Collection of Jewelry, by Vivienne Becker

Best Coffee Table Jewelry Books | Barbara Michelle Jacobs Jewelry Blog

Jewelry historian Vivienne Becker captures the milestones of jewelry design from the last century in The Impossible Collection. From the Art Nouveau period to the pre-new millennium era, 100 pieces are showcased for their design and the fascinating stories behind them. Featured designers include Cartier, Van Cleef, David Webb, and Boivin.

3. Pearls, by Beatrix Chadour-Sampson

Best Coffee Table Jewelry Books | Barbara Michelle Jacobs Jewelry Blog

Spanning centuries and cultures, Pearls traces the history of pearls' role as symbols of status and glamour--and in some contexts, purity. The book begins with a discussion pearls in the Roman Empire and concludes with a feature on pearls (and the impact of their cultured counterparts) in the modern era.

4. Jewels of the Rennaissance, by Yvonne Hackenbrock

Best Coffee Table Jewelry Books | Barbara Michelle Jacobs Jewelry Blog

The European Renaissance is one of the most interesting periods for jewelry design. Written by Renaissance and world jewelry authority Yvonne Hackenbroch, Jewels of the Renaissance overflows with stunning images of some of the most creative pieces from this artistic period. Hackenbroch also weaves in the compelling stories behind the pieces--including tales about who wore the jewelry, who created it, and who commissioned it.

5. Emerald: Twenty-One Centuries of Jewelled Opulence and Power, by Joanna Hardy

Best Coffee Table Jewelry Books | Barbara Michelle Jacobs Jewelry Blog

Split into three parts, Emerald celebrates the green gemstone that's reported to be 20 times rarer than a diamond. The first section features emerald jewelry worn by celebrities including Angelina Jolie, Princess Diana, and Elizabeth Taylor. This section also illustrates how emeralds have been featured in art and advertising. The second section covers historic emerald pieces--some created millennia ago, others created by the likes of Cartier, Boucheron, Bulgari, and Harry Winston. The final section discusses the emerald trade and features specially commissioned photos from four continents. 

6. Bejewelled Treasures: The Al-Thani Collection, by Susan Stronge

Best Coffee Table Jewelry Books | Barbara Michelle Jacobs Jewelry Blog

This book features 100 of the most spectacular pieces of a single Victoria & Albert jewelry collection, the Al-Thani Collection. Enjoy gorgeous photos of pieces previously owned by the great maharajas, nizams, sultans, and emperors of India from the 17th to the 20th century. Bejewelled Treasures also examines how Indian jewelry influenced theAvantee-Garde pieces of European jewelry designers (including Cartier). 


Which of these jewelry coffee table books is on your wishlist?

You may also be interested in: How to Sweetly Hint for Gifts

7 Lovely Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping Ideas

Eco-Friendly Jewelry: DIY Spoon Rings


Photos: Amazaon

Posted in books, celebrities, design, gems, gemstones, gifts

Trend Watch: Wellness Jewelry

Posted on August 03, 2017 by Mary Hood | 0 Comments

The fashion world has taken note of the increasing focus on wellness (see all of the yoga class-friendly athleisure for proof!)—and trendy jewelry has followed suit. Combining wellness traditions (like aromatherapy, meditation charms, and crystal healing) with high-end style, the following wellness pieces aim to help you cultivate inner peace—and look good while doing it! These pieces can help facilitate meditation or simply serve as a reminder to practice self-care in the middle of a busy day.    

Taryn Toomey Aquamarine Necklace

Trend Watch: Wellness Jewelry

Aquamarine is believed to soothe the emotional body, support the throat chakra, and promote healthy and open communication.

VLTA Essential Oil Diffusing Jewelry

Trend Watch: Wellness Jewelry

These beautiful eco-friendly pieces can house a small amount of essential oils (about 15 drops) that gently diffuse while you’re wearing the jewelry. The charm may also be used to topically apply essential oils for a more immersive essential oil experience.

Satya Jewelry Renewed Self Tassel Earrings

Trend Watch: Wellness Jewelry

Inspired by summer’s rejuvenating quality, these silk tassel earrings are designed to soothe the senses while the gold lotus symbolizes new beginnings.

Prana Jewelry Ganesh Necklace

Trend Watch: Wellness Jewelry

Ganesh, the Indian god of removing obstacles and fostering new beginnings, is depicted in 22 karat gold alongside an amethyst tusk and a garnet stone. Together, these three charms are designed to inspire compassion, love, success, and good fortune.

The Tulsi Project Yoga-Inspired Jewelry

Trend Watch: Wellness Jewelry

Inscribed with phrases like “Om Shanti” and “Namaste,” these pieces are designed to inspire self-love: “I hope to inspire in the women who wear my designs a sense of self-love because I think that once we can begin to love and accept ourselves for who we are, we can extend that love outwards to others much more easily,” says founder and designer Tiffany Taylor Kenney. Part of the proceeds from Tulsi Project jewelry goes toward the ASPCA and Feeding America.

The Sage Lifestyle Amazonite Pendant on Ombre Sky Ribbon by Sage Machado

Trend Watch: Wellness Jewelry

The tranquil color of Amazonite is celebrated for the way it inspires emotional balance and loving actions while reducing worry and fear.

Do you own any wellness jewelry? Which of these pieces is your favorite?
You may also like: Crystals in Beauty Products



Photos: Taryn Toomey, VLTA, Satya, Prana Jewelry, The Tulsi Project, The Sage Lifestyle

Posted in contemporary, crystal healing, crystal therapy, crystals, jewelry trends, necklaces

From the Studio: Mermaid Necklace and Earrings

Posted on July 14, 2017 by Barbara Polinsky | 0 Comments

When I create new jewelry designs, the process often involves a good bit of play and organic discovery. Like cooking without a recipe, I take a little bit of this and a little bit of that until I have a piece that’s complete and pleasing to the eye.

From the Studio: Mermaid Necklace and Earrings

I recently created this necklace and complementing earring set using a variety of stones with various textures. For the necklace, I used tourmaline, opal, green garnet, and iolite—some stones are faceted while others are not. I soldered clusters of stones together and used granules to separate the clusters. I then attached the resulting product to a leather necklace cord. I’m calling this the “mermaid necklace” because the beautiful blues and greens remind me of the ocean—not to mention the luster of the stones recalls the glint of sunshine on sea water.

From the Studio: Mermaid Necklace and Earrings

From the Studio: Mermaid Necklace and Earrings

For the earrings, I also went for a fun yet pretty touch and made them asymmetrical. Stones in the right earring include turquoise, blue zircon, and sapphire. Stones in the left earring include _____, ____, and turquoise.  Each of the stones are bezel set, but you’ll notice that one bezel setting on each earring has a different texture; these bezel settings were hammered to add a touch of organic texture. Although the earrings are asymmetrical, they hang at the same length.

The metal used in the earrings and the necklace is 22 karat gold.

You may also be interested in:

Where does Boho Style Come From?

What Is Art Deco Jewelry

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Posted in asymmetrical, bezel, earrings, necklace

Four Pieces of “Smart” Jewelry You Don’t Want to Miss

Posted on June 01, 2017 by Mary Hood | 0 Comments

Although it may seem like Apple Watches and FitBits dominate the smart jewelry scene, those two companies certainly aren’t your only options when it comes to the marriage of technology and accessories.

Whether you’d like to track your fitness, stay on top of notifications by the minute, or store special messages and photos from a loved one, there’s a beautiful piece of smart jewelry for you. The following are just four of the chic and innovative pieces that can help you seamlessly integrate fashion and organization. 

1. Ringly

Four Pieces of “Smart” Jewelry You Don’t Want to Miss | Barbara Michelle Jacobs Blog

Ringly produces cocktail rings as well as pendants and bangles—and they’re all smart. Ringly can track your activity levels and communicate those with your phone via Bluetooth technology. Using Ringly’s app, you can program your Ringly device to notify you if you get a notification on your phone (and you can choose the kind of notifications you receive). The jewelry will subtly vibrate when you receive one of these notifications. 

2. Altrius

Four Pieces of “Smart” Jewelry You Don’t Want to Miss | Barbara Michelle Jacobs Blog

Like Ringly, Altrius smart jewelry can “buzz” you when you receive certain notifications on your phone.  The brand explains that by “reducing smartphone” dependance (i.e. not checking your phone every few minutes for notifications), you’ll reduce your daily stress and feel more in charge of your time. (That sounds like a pretty good deal!)

3. Bellabeat Leaf

Four Pieces of “Smart” Jewelry You Don’t Want to Miss | Barbara Michelle Jacobs Blog

Love being in touch with your body? A Bellabeat Leaf attaches to your lapel or a special bracelet and monitors your heart rate, sleep patterns, and menstrual cycles; stores the info on your phone via Bluetooth; and even provides fitness recommendations through its app. Bellabeat has a six-month battery and a 14-day memory. 

Galatea Momento Pearls—Pearl Jewelry that Speaks

Four Pieces of “Smart” Jewelry You Don’t Want to Miss | Barbara Michelle Jacobs Blog

Four Pieces of “Smart” Jewelry You Don’t Want to Miss | Barbara Michelle Jacobs Blog

These stunning pearl pieces are unlike most pieces of smart jewelry. Instead of using Bluetooth technology, they use near-field communication (NFC). Each Galatea Momento Pearl piece contains an NFC chip that houses photos and recorded messages. These can be accessed by tapping the jewelry against an NFC-enabled phone. No special app required.

Do you wear smart jewelry?

You may also be interested in: What Are the Different Types of Opals?



Photos: Respective Brands

Posted in fun, jewelry trends, pearls, smart jewelry, technology, Trends

Crystals in Beauty Products

Posted on April 06, 2017 by Mary Hood | 0 Comments

 Crystals in Beauty Products | Barbara Michelle Jacobs Blog 

The belief in crystal healing has been around for ages, but recently, these magic stones have made their way into more mainstream beauty and wellness lines. For some, crystal-infused beauty products may play an important role in daily spiritual rituals. For others, these products may simply be an outlet for dabbling in the now glamorized world of the occult. Either way, it’s hard to deny that crystals in beauty products may make getting ready just a little more fun.

I first heard of crystal-infused beauty products when I was given a sample of Modern Minerals Lotus Wei Infused Lip Gloss. Instantly in love with the product, I looked up the ingredients and was surprised to learn that there was tourmaline in the tube—right along with the coconut oil and shea butter! The gem is in the gloss to “uplift and awaken positivity.” A spiritual lipgloss was certainly a first for me.

In my work as a beauty editor, I embrace healthy skepticism about any product, and I try to learn more about popular ingredients by delving into peer-reviewed studies. On the other hand, what’s the point of beautification rituals if they don’t impart joy? I also acknowledge that many things, such as one’s spiritual practice, elude the reach of science. And that’s okay. In fact, it’s kind of nice.

Modern Minerals is not alone in its inclusion of stones in makeup or skincare goodies, of course. The following stones appear in multiple products with the purpose of beautifying the wearer while also imparting spiritual benefit. I encourage you to give them a try, have fun, and see for yourself.


Celebrated as the most powerful crystal for healing the soul and amplifying positive energy, quartz is believed to absorb, store, release, and unblock energy. According to crystal philosophy, this “master healer” boosts immunity and serves just about any condition.

Crystals in Beauty Products | Barbara Michelle Jacobs Blog

Try Aquarian Soul Cactus Flower & Quartz Essence Spray. This spray is designed to enhance meditation and calm anxieties. Infused with the full moon-ripened flower essence of desert cacti, this magical mist promotes spiritual vision and opening of the heart chakra. A quartz is included in the bottle. 


Associated with passion, wisdom, sensuality, and beauty, garnet is prized for its ability to revitalize the body and spirit and inspire hope. In skincare, crushed garnet is used as a gentle exfoliant.

Crystals in Beauty Products | Barbara Michelle Jacobs Blog

Try Lotus Wei Joy Juice Mist. Formulated to inspire joy, laugher, and euphoria while dissolving the feeling of the weight of the world in on your shoulders, this fragrant toner is infused with garnet and a host of flower essences, including those of african daisy, lotus, chocolate flower, and pink spirea.


A stone known for it’s power to boost intuition and aid in meditation and lucid dreaming, the amethyst is a calming stone. It’s believed to inspire patience and peace while clearing negative energy.

Crystals in Beauty Products | Barbara Michelle Jacobs Blog

Try Aquarian Soul Headache Oil . Created with pure almond oil and essential oils, this roll-on headache oil has a refreshing, minty and lightly floral fragrance. The oil is designed to soothe pounding headaches. The blend is infused with both quartz and amethyst to help dispel anger, fear, and anxiety while encouraging tranquil energy.

Rose Quartz

The stone of love, rose quartz is believed to inspire self-love as well as compassion for family, friends, and lovers. Rose quarts warms and soothes the spirit of those around it. It is also used to raise self-esteem and attract potential romantic partners.

Crystals in Beauty Products | Barbara Michelle Jacobs Blog 

Try KORA Organics Vitamin Enhanced Lip Balm. Crafted with jojoba, avocado, and rosehip oils and infused with rose quartz, this lip balm nourishes lips while potentially enhancing the wearer’s love energy. 


Tourmaline is believed to be particularly suited for those coping with hardship, loss, and emotional pain and is credited with the ability to dispel the fear or sense that one is being victimized. Crystal healing proponents also believe that tourmaline is anti-aging.

Crystals in Beauty Products | Barbara Michelle Jacobs Blog

Try Aveda Tourmaline Charged Hydrating Cream. Finely-powdered tourmaline and marine extracts deliver radiance and anti-aging benefits to thirsty skin.

**You can also DIY your own crystal healing beauty product by adding a crystal to a bottle of pure body oil—like argan, macula, or almond oil.**

Have you tried crystal-infused beauty products?
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Photos: @PeaceDumpling, Aquarian Soul, Lotus Wei, KORA Organics, Aveda

Posted in beauty, beauty products, crystal healing, crystals, DIY

Trend Watch: Tassel Jewelry, Plus DIY Beaded Tassels

Posted on December 15, 2016 by Mary Hood | 0 Comments

2016 has played host to several fun and innovative trends. From glass nail art to Renaissance-inspired evening wear, there’s no shortage of ways to express yourself. The jewelry department is no different. Tassel jewelry, in particular, has made a splash this year.

The cool thing about this trend is that there are so many ways to wear it—from big tassels to tiny tassels, from a single tassel to several tassels, tassels are appearing on earrings, rings, necklaces, and bracelets. Some tassels are beaded, others are made of metal, and some are made with good-old-fashioned upholstery thread. Indeed, no two pieces of tassel jewelry look alike.

Here are just a few examples of this festive trend:

Trend Alert: Tassel Jewelry, Plus DIY Beaded Tassels | BMJ Blog

Lanvin Striped Tassel Earrings


Trend Alert: Tassel Jewelry, Plus DIY Beaded Tassels | BMJ Blog

Farfetch Aurelie Bidermann Tassel Bracelet

Trend Alert: Tassel Jewelry, Plus DIY Beaded Tassels | BMJ Blog

Eddie Borgo Silver Tone Tassel Necklace 

Trend Alert: Tassel Jewelry, Plus DIY Beaded Tassels | BMJ Blog

Oscar de la Renta Acqua Polka Dot Beaded Tassel Earrings

 Trend Alert: Tassel Jewelry, Plus DIY Beaded Tassels | BMJ Blog

Isabel Marant Mild Bead and Tassel Necklace

 Trend Alert: Tassel Jewelry, Plus DIY Beaded Tassels | BMJ Blog

Bib Tassel Statement Necklace

Want to try your hand at a beaded tassel? They’re actually easier than they look!

DIY beaded tassel instructions:

1. Cut roughly seven inches of ribbon (ribbon may be around ½-inch thick). You will be sewing your beaded tassel trailers onto this ribbon. The ribbon will also provide the base of the tassel.

2. Cut a length of fireline thread or upholstery thread. Choose a length that you’re comfortable working with (you’ll probably use more than one piece of thread.) Thread your needle.

3. Starting in the middle of the ribbon, thread the thread through the ribbon, leaving yourself a few inches of a tail (will be glued later).

4. Using a ruler for reference for trailer length, thread your needle through the beads you’ve chosen until you reach the desired length for your tassel trailer.

5. Loop the thread over the last bead, and run your needle and thread back through the entire row of beads (excluding the last). Gently tighten until the trailer is flush against the ribbon (but not so tight that it buckles).

6. Loop the thread back into the ribbon about a bead’s width away from the first strand, and repeat the process in step 5 until you have desired number of tassel trailers. (You may need to grab another thread if you run out of length along the way.

7. Fold the remaining un-beaded ribbon over the row of beads. Trim the other side ¼ inch past the end. Fold the ¼-inch bit over the raw edge, and roll the ribbon tightly until you have a round shape.

8. Create a few stitches along the top edge of the ribbon to secure the roll in place. Then create a stitch at the bottom of the ribbon, and stitch your way back to the top.

9. Trim any remaining thread tails, and glue them down.

10. Take a length of thread through your needle, and knot a single bead at the bottom of the thread. Add more beads to this thread—you’ll want your beaded thread long enough to be able to wrap around the rolled ribbon.

11. When you’re ready to wrap this around the top, use a little bit of glue as you go to prevent making a sticky mess. Let dry for at least an hour.

12. To create a beaded loop from which to hang the tassel, take your threaded needle, and run your needle through a few of the beads at the top of the tassel, coming out one side of the top of the tassel. Add five beads to your needle, and go through a bead on the other side of the top of the tassel. Weave your thread through a few more of the beads and tie off your thread. And you’re done!

If you’re a visual learner, check out this video tutorial for making a beaded tassel.


Photos: Lanvin, Farfetch, The Outlet, Halsbrook, Matches Fashion, Meijer Style

Posted in DIY, tassels, trend watch

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