The latest Neiman Marcus "book" hath arrived in all of its metallic silver and turquoise splendor to my mailbox. Amidst the above-the-knee hemlines and long dresses and short tube dresses and trapeze dresses (so confused, so confused, head huuuuurts) there are the so-called "Statement Rings."
The "Statement Rings" are big knuckle-busters that, well, make a big, um, statement. They're sort of this year's version of last year's cocktail ring. Which was last year's version of the previous year's brightly-colored bubble gum machine ring. Which was that year's version of... you get the idea.
Some are beautiful, some are so-so, and some are downright awful. Some of them play that mark-up game wherein they are priced at such a ridiculously inflated price point because you would not otherwise purchase them. You know the ones? If you saw them priced for what they're worth you'd think something was terribly wrong? Right. So take a look at the good, the bad, and the very, very awful. And some nice surprises, too.
At left is a Stephen Dweck cushion-cut green agate ring set in polished bronze. It's offered in sizes 6 or 7.
I picked it because it's green and I like green.
It's available for $330.
Agate and bronze for $330?! Why is it $330? Well, because you wouldn't pay $30 for it, would you, now? And not at Neiman Marcus. That's why.
Moving right along. While it's no secret that I am not a huge fan of David Yurman, he has this "statement" thing down to a science and this one is damn near the pick of the litter. In fact, you could take almost any of the Yurman puppies home and not kick your own ass, which is more than I can say for something I am going to show you later on.
This piece is sterling silver and 18K white gold with a big amethyst and .41 carats of pavé diamonds for $1325. P.S. Most of the $1325 is in those diamonds and the gold. Amethysts, while large and colorful are cheap. Particularly ones that are light purple like this one. Still, it's quite a pretty ring and way more bang for the comparative buck than the Dweck.
These are cable-shanked oval rings in either citrine or smoky quartz with rhodolite garnet, garnet and diamond accents set in sterling silver and 18 karat yellow gold.
The citrine is $1650 and the smoky quartz is $1450.
Again, the money is in the gold and diamonds for the most part. You can spend money on citrine, but it's gotta be Madeira or similar. That one is simply large.
This is called the Palu Saddle ring from John Hardy for $750.
It is made in Bali, and fashioned of woven sterling silver and hammered 22-karat gold.
To me, this one is unusual and different, yet recognizable at the same time. Hardy lovers will feel comfortable with the woven silver and the silver and gold combination. Newcomers to Hardy will like the hammered high-karat gold. It's not what is expected and it's chunky, but also graceful.
The only "statements" that this $4,250 "imported" (read: CHINA) ring makes are:
1. I like kitschy, krappy kitties.
2. Someone best hide the credit cards from me.
3. I want to buy Kimora Lee Simmons a new gold toilet. Because everyone needs a gold-plated throne. Eek.
(all photos from Neiman Marcus)