Beth Bernstein knows her diamonds — both the real ones and the fake. And she should: her first book, a memoir, My Charmed Life: Rocky Romances, Family Connections and Searching For A Band of Gold, is out in stores today. The best part? She doesn’t discriminate! Read on for her tips on how to get the most sparkle from your fakies…
When it comes to buying diamonds, it’s all about the 4C’s: cut, color, clarity and carat weight. But the savvy Recessionista knows that it’s often more important to have the other C’s: consumer awareness, creativity, craft (or craftiness!) and collectibility when buying jewels.
Today, it’s all about making a personal statement with pieces that are unique yet accessibly priced without being throwaway chic. For summer and beyond, instead of splurging on traditional diamonds, go with the white hot trends of rock crystal, white topaz, white sapphire, and Herkimer Diamonds (fun fact: they are actually quartz that come from the Herkimer mines in New York but are clear and lustrous, giving them their name).
These stones are sparkly but offer a bit more bling when set in oxidized (or darkened) sterling silver. Or if you are on a really tight budget, try them with antiqued brass-finishes, which are sure to add more dazzle to your gems. How do you pull off these stones? Glad you asked!
Make a Statement. Buy bold pieces like large cocktail rings, layered pendants, and chandelier or long drop earrings.
Mix it up. Don’t be afraid to combine these clear stones with other gem colors. They look mysterious and sexy when paired with black and have a more regal, red carpet feeling when worn with other affordable stones like amethyst, rose quartz, blue/purple chalcedony, and deep citrine, which are all part of the vast quartz family.
Dress them up or down. The best way to rock these gems really depends on the wearer’s personal style. Swinging earrings and long necklaces look best with the wispy summer whites or this season’s big trend of flapper-style slip dresses. But you can also rock the same jewels nonchalantly with your favorite white jeans and a tank top.
These white diamond substitutes feel light and airy, and let’s be honest…your friends won’t be able to tell the difference!
Beth Bernstein is senior editor of the leading jewelry trade INSTORE and INDESIGN magazines and a jewelry stylist for private clients. She is the designer and creator of Bethany B Jewelry, writer of first person essays on relationships for woman’s magazines and previously a wardrobe stylist for Comedy Central and MTV.