Baubles, bangles, big shiny things

If you’re going to wear jewelry, why not go glam and go big? The rocks presented here are sure to knock your socks off. And yet, they’re so finely crafted that they will never detract from the most important jewel in the crown – you.

Oscar de la Renta

“Every woman needs extraordinary jewelry,” Oscar says, and we agree. As with his couture and home accents, de la Renta is never afraid to be bold and go for baroque. His pieces use large, intensely colored Swarovski crystals and glass stones – such as these in Neiman Marcus’ exclusive aubergine shade – and set them in 24-karat gold plate cuffs and geometric pendants. We love that the earrings are clip, allowing for easy removal as you kick off your heels – after kicking up your heels – put up your feet and exult in another sartorial, social triumph. Necklace, $885; cuff, $535; earrings, $465; ring, $295. Available at

Alex Soldier

Alex Soldier’s antiquity-inspired aqua chalcedony and diamonds Symbolica collection were a favorite of blonde beauties this summer, from Paris Hilton at the Cannes Film Festival to Christie Brinkley on the cover of Social Life magazine. But now Soldier has turned from the bearable lightness of these sea-colored stones to the saturated emerald hue of his Astra earrings and stingray cuff and Coronaria brooch, all limited edition pieces made in New York City. The filigree design and shadowy settings render the stones the color of absinthe in firelight. Intoxicating indeed. Earrings in green agate and white quartz doublet with black spinel, $3,500; matching cuff, $1,900; brooch in green agate and white quartz doublet with rhodolite garnets and signature metalwork, $2,500. Available at

José and Maria Barrera

These New York-based designers are known for their drop chandelier earrings and cuffs in crystals and semiprecious stones. But they also know just how devastating a big stone can be when it’s set among beads. (Princess Diana’s midnight sapphire brooch in her pearl choker, anyone?) Here a necklace of red lacquered shell beads, red glass stones and Austrian crystals, accompanied by a matching five-strand bracelet and the aforementioned earrings, supply the drop-dead effect. Necklace, $740; bracelet and earrings, $525 each. Available at, where you’ll also find more clip drop chandelier earrings from this duo.

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