I love jewelry with secrets. When I was 17, I bought my first poison ring. It was sterling silver filigree, and I purchased it from an antiques dealer in Mystic, Connecticut. As I did not have the murderous tendencies of Lucrezia Borgia, nor did I have a cocaine habit, I really had nothing to put in the ring other than sugar.
I practised, smoothly and gracefully, emptying the contents of the ring in a swift motion into my iced tea on more than one occasion (I like to think of this as my “Flirt with Affectation” which can also be linked to “The Cigarette Holder Obsession of 1994”, but I digress). It didn’t really matter that I had nothing to put in the ring. What mattered was that no one else would know – and that possibilities existed.
A few years ago, a lovely antique jewelry dealer on 47th street was helping me to procure a fairly large moonstone when I looked into her case and saw a most unusual ring. It was a globe shaped piece of clear quartz, almost embraced by a white gold setting; it appeared to be an incredibly chic cocktail ring from the ’60s. Sharona, the seller, saw my enamored gaze and took it out of the case.
Handing it to me she said, “You must see its secret. Look straight down into it!”
I held the ring in my hand and looked down into the crystal ball. There at the very bottom was a round brilliant cut diamond, sparkling away. I’ll say it right now: I COVETED that ring. Sharona offered to sell it to me at an incredible price, but, alas, it was vintage Chaumet and still very expensive.
I’ve never been able to get that ring out of my mind and have been creating pieces of jewelry inspired by it, and fueled by my desire to wear my own crystal ball ever since.
In my previous collection I created the “Oracle ” bracelet: it is a large, cuff-style bracelet etched with a floral design from the Victorian era. In the center of the bracelet is a 4mm faceted amethyst set under a 20mm bezel set, clear quartz cabochon. It is a very strong piece and quite bold.
More recently for my “Smoke and Mirrors” collection I’ve created two Oracle rings. They are oval in shape and have a small diamond set under a clear quartz or faceted quartz cabochon. On the sides of the ring are rubies or sapphires burnished set within stars. I made them and they still fascinate me.