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Jewelry: Golden Moment

Jill Newman

Fashion designers tend to dabble in fine jewelry, creating a few pieces every now and then to underscore a seasonal trend or to add glamour to a runway show. But Ralph Lauren does not dabble in anything: His first fine jewelry collection is a joint venture with Richemont, the Swiss luxury-goods empire that owns Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, and it made its debut in the luxurious new Ralph Lauren store on Madison Avenue last fall, in the company’s first jewelry and watch salon.

"For me, this collection is the height of beauty and luxury, and represents the kind of timeless glamour that I’ve always loved," says Lauren, who gracefully infuses his classic American aesthetic into a range of women’s gold jewelry pieces adorned with diamonds, colored gemstones, and pearls. His signature equestrian theme appears in a bracelet with a sleek diamond-covered horse head on an alligator strap, while his romantic style finds full expression in chandelier earrings with black and white diamonds, pink sapphires, amethysts, and rubellites, with a detachable third tier. His playful rings include chunky, modern chains; elegant diamond links; and colorful cocktail designs.

A diamond-covered, stirrup-shaped watchcase on a link band illustrates the craftsmanship of the Swiss-made pieces. The watch features more than 1,500 hand-set diamonds—weighing a total of nearly 25 carats—that give every curve a surprisingly smooth, tactile quality. The pieces are priced from $1,400 for a gold ring to $159,000 for a chain-link necklace with 2,646 diamonds, which takes a craftsman about 200 hours to make. More proof that Ralph Lauren’s jewelry is not about a seasonal fashion moment, but is here to stay.

Ralph Lauren Watch and Jewelry Co., 212.434.8000, www.ralphlaurenjewelry.com

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Photo by Agence Pustetto