Of a Kind

Diamond Mini Tusk Necklace by Gabriela Artigas for Of a Kind

BUY / 40 of a kind / $340

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Of a Kind

Champagne Diamond Tiny Solitaire Ring by Blanca Monrós Gómez for Of a Kind

BUY / 45 of a kind / $215

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So Fresh and So Clean: Learn How to Take Care of Your Jewelry—It’s Time

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Owning big-girl jewelry feels a whole lot less special when your favorite cuff gets tarnished, a clasp on your go-to necklace breaks, or a stone on a stunner of a ring loses its luster. Here’s how to keep your pieces lookin’ all shiny and new. —erica

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Brass with sass, c/o K/LLER. GET IT.

SHINING UP BRASS, BRONZE, AND COPPER

+ “For brass, bronze, and copper, this Noxon polish is the best stuff I have used to polish up jewelry and objects back to their shiny state” —Alyson Fox

+ “If my bronze gets too dark, I use this lemon juice and baking soda mix.” —Astrid Chastka of Metalepsis Projects

+ “To get rid of tarnish, take a slice of lemon, sprinkle it with salt, and then rub that little lemon gently onto your jewelry. If you want to polish your piece to restore shine and luster, you can use lint-free fabric and some elbow grease or, to speed up the process, add some toothpaste or a paste made with baking soda and water to your elbow grease.” —Jeet Sohal of Bare

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A Bande des Quatres ring that makes a very strong case for silver jewelry. GET IT.

POLISHING SILVER

+ “Silver gets tarnished easily. The best way to clean it is with Tarn-X. Dip a soft-bristled toothbrush in it, and brush it on jewelry. Use rubber gloves when you use it—the product is corrosive—and immediately wash the piece with water and gentle dish soap.” —Erin Wahed of Bande des Quatres

+ “Clean it with toothpaste and an old toothbrush—it will get clean and shiny again. To keep your sterling silver pieces from tarnishing, store them in Ziploc bags.” —Nina Egli of Toujours Toi Family Affairs

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In the market for studs that stand-out? Hortense says go fish. GET ‘EM.

CLEANING SOLID GOLD

+ “Hot water and dish soap—it works perfectly.” —Hortense Bonneau of Hortense Jewelry

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Ah, Mociun does mismatched in the best of ways. GET ‘EM.

CARING FOR STONES

+ “We recommend having the tightness of the stones checked regularly by a professional. Depending on the wear the piece receives, they should be checked every four to six months. Stones should also be checked more often at home using a simple pin. And, if using a steam machine to clean your piece, be aware that small pieces of dirt may be holding a loose stone in place, so when this dirt is cleaned away, the stone may fall out. Always check the tightness of stones after steam-cleaning!” —Caitlin Mociun of Mociun

+ “Diamonds in open settings tend to get dirty quickly, so clean them a few times a year. Use a small tea cup or shallow container, fill with hot water, and add a drop of mild hand soap along with a little bit of ammonia (like Windex or a similar glass cleaner). Immerse the ring in the bath and let the ring rest for about 5 minutes. Swish it around a little bit in the bath before removing and rinsing with plain water. Tap it dry with a cotton cloth. Keep in mind that this is only for diamonds and not to be done with emeralds or rubies.” Blanca Monrós Gómez

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Wood can be way chic, and Sophie Monet knows it. GET IT.

RESTORING WOOD

+ “To get the natural luster back, rub olive oil all over it. Make sure to fill in the nooks and crannies. Let stand for a few minutes, and then buff and wipe with a paper towel.” —Sophie Okulick of Sophie Monet

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Even the closure on this Collette Ishiyama necklace is a stunner. GET IT.

DOING MINOR REPAIRS

+ “Everyone I know has a stash of jewelry that they cant wear because it’s broken, but with a few tools, it’s so easy to fix jump-rings or turn a lone earring into a necklace pendant with the help of a plier set like this or this.” —Astrid Chastka of Metalepsis Projects

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Can’t stop staring at this Stanmore cuff—seriously cannot. GET IT.

STORING AND WEARING

+ “Never shower with jewelry on! Water in major cities is very harsh and highly corrosive.” —Tere Artigas of Gabriela Artigas

+ “Put your jewelry on only after applying any makeup, oils, or sprays. Never spray perfume or hairspray directly onto jewelry. Also, jewelry should never be worn in a swimming poo or hot tub. Chlorinated water can cause a chemical reaction with the metal in your jewelry, potentially changing the color.” —Caitlin Mociun of Mociun

+ “Don’t store your jewelry in the bathroom! It’s tempting if that’s where you get ready, but the humidity will cause metal to tarnish quickly.” —Collette Ishiyama

If this is making you wanna amass some kick-ass jewelry, you’ve come to the right place…

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Of a Kind

Black Diamond Bar Necklace by Aili for Of a Kind

BUY / 35 of a kind / $255

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Go Way Back: Engagement Rings

A symbol of true love? Eh, not so much. The history behind the exchange of a ring to celebrate an engagement is a little more, well, mercenary. Read on to find out how a simple band of metal evolved from a contract-sealer to whole industry. —bea kochimage

The Origin: This one goes waaaay back, folks. Rumor has it that the Egyptians wore gold or silver rings on the third finger of their left hand because they believed it was connected directly to the heart by the vena amoris—vein of love, in case you don’t speak Latin. But the first documented use of an engagement ring goes to Pope Nicolas I in 866 BC. Pope Nicolas was all about the sanctity of marriage, and he wrote that when a man becomes engaged to a woman, he gives her a “ring of faith,” like the 4th century Roman one pictured above.

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The Evolution: In 1477, Archduke Maximilian of Austria totally changed the game, giving his betrothed, Mary of Burgundy, an engagement ring in the shape of an M. But what was really revolutionary was his choice of stone: That M was made out of flattened diamonds. The marriage was obviously a productive one, as the family portrait, circa 1515, above clearly demonstrates.

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In the 17th century, poesy rings—named for the short, romantic verses inscribed on the inside of the band—became popular. They were exchanged by, as Lil Jon would say, lovers and friends. This example, from the British Museum, reads, “Many are the stars I see but in my eye no star like thee.”

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After diamonds were discovered in South Africa in 1866, diamond engagement rings became increasingly popular. But the Victorians were a sentimental lot, so they were also into personalized jewelry. Prince Albert gave Victoria, pictured up there, a intertwined snake ring for their engagement, and she loved it so much that she was buried with it.

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The demand for diamond engagement rings took a serious hit after the Great Depression. So in 1938, De Beers made it its business to make diamonds cool again.

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The campaign was a huge-time success, thanks in large part to a woman named Frances Gerety. You might not know her name, but you are definitely familiar with her work: She coined “A Diamond is Forever” in 1947, and Advertising Age named it the slogan of the century (eat it, Nike) in 1999.

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Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton’s love story = an epic tale. And though he gifted her plenty of gems through the years, nothing comes close to the ring he gave her in 1968: 33.19 carats that even had a name, the Krupp diamond.

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In the eighties, De Beers did it again, this time with an ad campaign telling men just how much they oughta be spending—a benchmark that is still used today.

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Before Brangelina, there was, of course, Brad and Jen. In 2001, Brad famously sues Dalmani International for replicating the ring he designed for his first wifey.

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In 2008, Beyoncé makes “putting a ring on it” a thing, and the following January, Obama is caught on camera doing the signature hand flip.

imageThe Right Now: After a courtship (and pregnancy) played out as publicly as possible„ Kimye makes it official! And Kanye does it up crazy, renting out the San Francisco Giants stadium and giving Kim a self-designed ring with a 15-carat whopper of a diamond.

Waaay more back stories this way.

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Of a Kind

Raw Double Diamond Necklace by Erica Weiner for Of a Kind

BUY / 100 of a kind / $208

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Get a Load of the Stones That Are Most Key to Giantlion

Behold: the designer’s fave five.

“I am such a magpie! I have so many sparkly things in my studio—so many African beads and stones and metal castings, and they all sit in their designated Tupperware,” says Caroline Whittington Young of the fresher-than-fresh line Giantlion. So, of all of this goodness, what’s she drawn to the most? Here, her five top stones right now. —genevieve ang

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Quartz
“It is such a common stone and is so easy to find—but it can take on so many different personalities based on it’s shapes. I usually work with clear quartz—it can be raw and rustic, but refined as well. My Of a Kind edition is actually made from a really rare diamond quartz—so it’s extra-sparkly!”

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Aquamarine
“It’s my birthstone. When I started working with these stones, I started collecting them in a more raw state because I hadn’t seen raw aquamarine in a lot of jewelry. The color is one of my absolute favorites—it’s very elegant, bright, and just darn beautiful.”

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Pyrite
“One of my very first designs was a pyrite cube ring, which has been hugely popular. I usually buy stones that speak to me and hoard them for a while until the right design comes along—not every stone I get will be perfect for a specific design, but it might lend itself nicely to another design down the road.”

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Diamonds
“I never thought of myself as a diamond girl until I got engaged! I like using a lot of very small diamonds in a pave style. I like using diamonds more as a subtle accent piece.”

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Turquoise
“A lot of my turquoise is from the U.S., from Arizona. The stones I buy are from the Sleeping Beauty Mine and are totally natural, which is really special because a lot of turquoise out there now is dyed. I’ve been using turquoise in its round state—a very simple bezel with just the stone. I don’t want to hide it with anything else.”

Caroline made some quartz beauties that we think you’re gonna love.

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Of a Kind

Esther Knuckle Ring by Bande des Quatres for Of a Kind 

BUY / 50 of a kind / $163

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Of a Kind

White Diamond Pharos Ring by Steven Shein for Of a Kind

BUY / 50 of a kind / $195

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Of a Kind

Black Diamond Square Earrings by Mociun for Of a Kind

BUY / 65 of a kind / $260

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