Jewels: A Tony Duquette love story

Designer. Theater producer. Visionary. These are some of the ways people described Tony Duquette whose insanely gorgeous 32 piece collection of unique jewels went up for sale last August. The amazing Frank Everett, Sales Director for Sotheby's Jewelry in New York invited me to Sotheby's to take an exclusive view (and let's be honest- try on) prior to the pieces hitting their first-ever online only sale. According to Frank, Tony Duquette was a man of many talents including interior, costume and of course jewelry design. His "more is more" aesthetic were coveted by women like the Duchess of Windsor. If I was one to throw caution to the wind, I would have cleared out my savings to purchase a cocktail ring! 

 

 Hitha Herzog showing off a stunning Tony Duquette bracelet. 

Hitha Herzog showing off a stunning Tony Duquette bracelet. 

 Hitha Herzog wearing a Tony Duquette bracelet.

Hitha Herzog wearing a Tony Duquette bracelet.

 A few Tony Duquette cocktail rings. 

A few Tony Duquette cocktail rings. 

 An assortment of Tony Duquette pieces. 

An assortment of Tony Duquette pieces. 

 Hitha in Tony Duquette, a stunning violet dress, and cheetah print high heels.

Hitha in Tony Duquette, a stunning violet dress, and cheetah print high heels.

 Frank Everett, Sales Director for Sotheby's Jewelry in New York with Hitha Herzog.

Frank Everett, Sales Director for Sotheby's Jewelry in New York with Hitha Herzog.

Gold for sale: $$$ good, "hoodwinking" bad.

One of my favorite jewelers and good friend Tina Tang (former equities trader at Goldman Sachs) came up with an easy, step-by-step guide to selling your gold if you are not a commodities trader (hint* it does not include sending it away in a package to some sketchy place called "We Buy Gold"). With gold sales hitting record highs (trading at 1358. 28 the last time I checked) and unemployment rates still topping out at 9.4%, selling gold may seem like a viable option, BUT before you clear out your or a loved one's  jewelry case (kidding about the loved one- hello, that's stealing!) PLEASE do your reseach and read all of the fine print. This is gold we are talking about, people.

How to sell your gold jewelry and not get hoodwinked. by Tina Tang  

First, before going to sell your gold for cash, you must remember that it is a business.  The gold buyers are not doing a charity. They are trying to make a living. Thus, you cannot expect to get the price in which gold spot is trading on the international market. At the same time, you also do not want to be taken advantage of. Here are a few of my suggestions:

1. Know where the gold spot market is.  Also know that 14kt gold is 58% pure gold, 18kt is 75% pure gold.  Gold spot is the pure gold trading amount. KITCO.com is a good source for pricing.

2. Know how much your jewelry weighs in pennyweight (DWT).  The gold buyers will be quoting you on  gold weight.  You just need a cheap scale or can ask a local jeweler to weigh your gold for you.

3. If you know weight and gold carat, you can plug numbers into this calculator:  http://www.dendritics.com/scales/metal-calc.asp

4.  You are now armed with facts, with this pick 3 gold buyers to get quotes.  3 quotes allows you to see what is fair and who has the best price. The last time I sold some gold I took home $2000!

You can always contact us for advice at any time.  Our customer service:  orders@tinatang.com

Lia Sophia's over the top take on jewelry.

Why is it that Lia Sophia NEVER comes out with a bad collection?? Jen and I went to the launch party of Lia Sophia's spring collection at the Rose Club (different than the Rose Bar- Rose Club is located at the Plaza Hotel/condos/building on 59th street) right after I got back from Switzerland and it. was. RIDICULOUS. Dani Stahl and Elena Kiam never cease to amaze me. Here were some of my favorite pieces:

I like all of these earrings, but I REALLY love the gold with the black squares. They are so overtly "big Texan cheese" I started giggling thinking of some oil wife rockin' them at a Republican cocktail party. H-O-T.

YESSS this necklace rules!! But wearing it with just a black dress seems too plain and obvious.  I would rock it with a deep red silk dupioni dress from Calypso.

Another OTT Texas size necklace. Hello-awesome!

Taser someone and look fashionable at the same time!!

TASER just unveiled the leopard print stun gun with a built in MP3 player at CES in Vegas this morning just in case you want to look hot while pumping mega volts of electricity into a potentially dangerous person. To read the AP article, click here. Below is a picture of the weapon/accessory. Would you get one?? taser_c2_1.jpg

First look: Christian Louboutin handbags!!

I know it's hard to think about Spring when it is literally 10 degrees outside (for those of us stuck here in NYC) but the new Christian Louboutin bags are about to hit the stores!! Here are a couple I thought were interesting: louboutin-bag-1.jpg

 The Minilou Marron is great match with a khaki dress and a pair of leather wedges or heels. It's sleek, classic and will only fit your lipstick, wallet and keys!

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Here is the Minilou in black!

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This is the Loubette in Bronze. It's a little too punk rock for me, but I think with the right outfit (skinny jeans, white t-shirt and stacked patent leather heels) it could be ok.

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Ahh the Fred Noir!! This bag is totally me. It's big and nuetral, with multiple handles. I love it!!

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Hmm. Patent leather and neon are big for Spring '08, but I am still on the fence with this Mini Aionoeud. Maybe with an all black outfit? Or a white tank top and a pair of camo pants and heels??

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Another patent bag from Christian Louboutin. The Col Roule Noir has the potential to be be cute, but the mini dangley high heels on the chain handles are just dumb.

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YES!! This bag (Newspaper Bleu) reminds me of this handbag my mom used to have in the early 80s. This would be my "going out" handbag.

Hitha earrings.

jemma-lulu.jpg (OK this is not a Jemma Lulu "Hitha" bracelet, but I still love it!!)  

You've heard of purchasing and naming a star, tree even an island after a loved one, but what about a pair of earrings, a bracelet or necklace?? Jemma Lulu, NYC accessory designer will help you do just that.  Gina Lu (the person behind Jemma Lulu) will have a lengthy conversation with you about the apple of your eye, asking all kinds of questions about what they look like, their interests, hopes and dreams (just kidding about the hopes and dreams part). Next she goes to work creating a piece that reflect the person. Talk about a totally personalized gift!! Three years ago, Lu created a pair of "Hitha earrings" for me made with peridot and citrine stones and they are SO GORGEOUS. I went to check out some of Lu's new spring collection today (come February, all of her designs will be done in precious metals and stones- that's right- bling baby!) and everything was exquisite. Until then, you can check out her semi-precious collections at www.jemmalulu.com.

What's on the inside matters.

my-handbag.jpg 

I found this picture taken at a party I threw in 2006- I love how you can see the entire contents of my handbag. What's in there is pretty typical. The bag is a Botkier circa 2004. In the middle is my ginormous Vuitton wallet stuffed with reciepts (I obsessively get a reciept for EVERYTHING), and my allergy medicine. On the side, you can see all of my lipstick and glosses, keys and wallet which holds all the important cards-like my kinkos copy card and NYPD press pass. ALSO you can see all of my mail which I carry around all week until I can go through it on the weekends...

My handbag is my ball and chain.

sienna-miller.jpg (Sienna Miller carrying a handbag that looks like mine)  

How heavy do you think your hand bag is? The Daily Mail reports the average weight of a woman's hand bag is 5.2 lbs!! What's more, in the next decade we are going to see that amount go up to 6.6 lbs!! Carrying gadgets like iPods, Blackberrys, iPhones, cell phones not to mention the ten tubes of lipstick, lip gloss and chapstick are to blame for the added poundage. No wonder my arm feels like it's about to fall off every time I carry my bag around!!

The Hills invades our closets...again.

 Keggy belts

 (Our favorite example of a brightly colored, reversible belt is brought to you by Keggy. Price $132, for more information visit www.keggy.com.)

According to Lauren Conrad in a FoxNews.com piece, brightly colored reversible belts are so totally in for spring. I never quite got into the wide waist belt trend but these belts by Keggy seem acceptible. This is how I would wear them: Seven for all Mankind wide leg ginger jeans, a white tank top doubled up, and a pair of wedge espadrilles and gold hoops. For all you skinny minnys out there, this belt would look great cinched at the waist over a brightly colored dress!!

Holiday season is handbag season.

fc_citytote2.jpg  (The City Tote $468)

Jet Setter Tote

(The Jet Setter Jr. $492)

Every year my totally sweet amazing ex-boyfriend makes a splurge purchase on a handbag for me (as a joint birthday and holiday gift).  I am currently obsessing over the Foley and Corrina City Tote, but I can't decide if it is too 15 minutes ago. I also LOVE the Jet Setter tote in black because it is so huge...