American Gem Trade AssociationAdd More Color To Your Life

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By Deborah Yonick, jewelry style expert

Leading ladies graced the red carpet at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards® Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood with vivid gem-set jewels, especially emerald, a star favorite at recent awards shows and premieres. Many of the stars wore jewelry designed by members of the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA).

Best Supporting Actress nominee, the ravishing redhead Amy Adams, wore a jaw-dropping $1.35 million worth of Cartier jewelry, including 30.75-carat carved emerald and diamond platinum haute joaillerie secret watch bracelet worth over $1 million, and a diamond platinum necklace with a 33.24-carat emerald pendant.

Also in emerald: Best Actress nominee Annette Bening in rare Colombian 66-carat gem emerald briolette platinum earrings by Hollywood designer darling Lorraine Schwartz, valued at $4 million; and Reese Witherspoon, Oscar presenter, with Neil Lane emerald earrings totaling 35 carats with diamonds in platinum and a 10-carat emerald ring ($60,000)—a part of her million dollar look.

Next to emeralds, sapphires and mixed gem designs popped on celebrities like Penelope Cruz in a10-carat pink sapphire and diamond platinum ring by Chopard; Gwyneth Paltrow in Louis Vuitton 18K gold multi-stone earrings and brooch from its L'Ame du Voyage collection; and Celine Dion with green spinel and diamond pendant necklace in 18K gold from the historical archives of AGTA Member Bulgari. Another great example was worn by Laura Unkrich, wife of Lee Unkrich, who won for Best Animated Feature for “Toy Story 3”—a blue sapphire necklace and earrings by Omi Gems and blue sapphire ring by Shaftel & Co. for the AGTA Collection.

A show-stopping vintage suite of Van Cleef & Arpel gem-set gold jewels adorned Oscar presenter, Marisa Tomei's dramatic 1950 couture gown by Charles James from Lily et Cie including 1960 estate earrings set with four yellow Ceylon sapphires totaling 54 carats, six blue sapphires totaling 5 carats, 20 emeralds totaling 3.5 carats, and 88 diamonds totaling 9 carats; and bracelet set with five yellow Ceylon sapphires totaling 88 carats, 95 blue sapphires totaling 18 carats, 29 emeralds totaling 4 carats, and 164 diamonds totaling 14 carats.

Another red carpet WOW was Natalie Portman in rich rubellite tourmaline bead tassel earrings by AGTA Member Tiffany & Co. atop her deep violet-hued Rodarte gown. In fact, shades of purple and lilac were popular color choices, next to tomato and chili reds at the Oscars, although neutrals like blush and champagne remain favorites. Worth a mention: Best Costume nominee Mary Zophres wearing orange sapphire mosaic filigree earrings by Dallas Prince for the AGTA Collection and Film Editing nominee Pamela Martin in yellow sapphire and diamond earrings by Shaftel & Co. for the AGTA Collection.

Pearls cultivated a few good fans on the red carpet as well as adorning such stars as “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” Lynn Collins with South Sea pearl and tanzanite earrings and bracelet by Paspaley for the AGTA Collection; and Jacki Weaver, nominee for Best Supporting Actress for “Animal Kingdom” in South Sea pearl and diamond earrings, also Paspaley. Brazilian model and arm candy for actor Matthew McConaughey, Camilla Alves, also was spotted in a pearl and diamond platinum ring and earrings designed by Lorraine Schwartz. Actress Deborra-Lee Furness wore a conch and natural pearl necklace, another LS design, worth over $1 million, and pearl and diamond platinum ring.

Among the prevailing red carpet jewelry trends are the careful placement of pieces and a less is more philosophy. Despite a continuation of the strapless silhouette, necks remained mostly bare, and even lobes went unadorned, with a few bracelets and rings generally the preferred accessories. But there were some very notable earrings (as mentioned), with gem drop, pendant and modified chandelier styles favored.

New Hollywood
While white diamond jewels recall the glamour of Old Hollywood, colored diamonds are becoming the benchmark for the allure of New Hollywood. Typically, yellow diamonds are choice, as worn at the Oscars by Cate Blanchett in vintage Van Cleef & Arpel fancy vivid yellow diamond earrings (totaling 6 carats); Penelope Cruz in fancy yellow diamond chandelier earrings (totaling 27 carats); Florence Welch in yellow and white diamond flower gold ring and earrings by Lorraine Schwartz; and Aishwarya Rai in Lorraine Schwartz brown diamond platinum brooch and canary yellow and brown diamond bracelet.

Covering all of the red carpet glamour, E! Entertainment host Giuliana Rancic sparkled herself in Chopard “Turtle” ring with 10-carat fancy deep brown yellow diamond accented by 4 carats of brown and 2 carats of white diamonds set in rose gold, and “Tiger” earrings featuring grey moonstones (totaling 77 carats) with orange, yellow, and black diamonds set in yellow and white gold, both designs from the jeweler's “Animal World Collection”.

Also notable: Jennifer Lawrence, Best Actress nominee for her leading role in “Winter's Bone,” shined in Chopard's fancy-yellow, radiant-cut diamond platinum stiletto earrings (totaling 16 carats); and Mira Jacob, wife of Jed Rothstein, nominated for Best Documentary Short Subject “Killing in the Name,” radiated in a 42-carat yellow diamond and gold bracelet, and 10-carat fancy yellow diamond ring by Shaftel & Co. for the AGTA Collection.

Next to colored diamonds, rough diamonds are also intriguing Hollywood's elite, like Entertainment Tonight correspondent Maria Menounos wore on the red carpet—rough diamond sliced earrings by Sutra.

Party Like
Oscar style coverage extends beyond the illustrious red carpet at the Kodak, to include photo opps around town from viewing to post parties with Hollywood's elite on parade in their paparazzi best. Perhaps the top after-party, The Governor's Ball, saw its producer Cheryl Ceccheto setting the stage in a green tourmaline suite, with the necklace, a 2011 AGTA Spectrum Award™ winner, by Cynthia Renee and the earrings by fellow AGTA Spectrum Award™ -winning designer Jeffrey Bilgore, both for the AGTA Collection.

Vanity Fair's shindig was awash in color, including actresses Juliette Lewis in a lapis and diamond platinum cocktail ring and sapphire and diamond platinum wide cuff, and Jennifer Westfeldt in aquamarine and diamond platinum drop earrings and large aquamarine and diamond platinum cocktail ring; entertainment reporter Lauren Sanchez in big kunzite and diamond chandelier earrings and a moonstone and diamond platinum wide cuff; and Madonna in black and white diamond jewelry and large black onyx and diamond platinum ring—all Neil Lane.

Moreover, viral video sensation Shira Lazar reported on the red carpet in jewelry from AGTA Member Erica Courtney's Zultantite Collection, including the Turkish color-change gem set in an 18K gold lotus cuff bracelet with pink sapphires, and ring and flower burst earrings with diamond accents.

Oscar's Jewelry Pointers

  • Color is transforming, whether you're adding a hue pop, complementing a shade, or keeping it simple in monotones.
  • Earrings continue to be a favorite accessory, especially in gemmy drop, pendant and chandelier styles.
  • Emerald is a style diva's top gem choice.
  • New Hollywood embraces color in diamonds.
  • Multi-stone designs are back in style.
  • Statement gemstone rings and stacked gem-encrusted bangles and cuffs are hot.
  • Selective jewelry placement makes just the right statement.
  • Sometimes, less is more!

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