Thursday, January 25, 2007

Chocolate Gold Gems

When I first suggested writing about chocolate gold jewelry, my colleagues thought I meant chocolate candy shaped into rings, bracelets, charms, necklaces, etc.; thinking, perhaps, that it was a rather quaint new Valentine gift idea but never dreaming that I meant the real thing: brown gold jewelry.

Spiral brown gold and diamond earrings, $37,050, from de Grisogono.
We have yellow gold, white gold, pink gold and black gold and anodized silver. Why not add brown to the gold lexicon? Worn with all the wonderful brown fashions available these days, brown gold also creates a tonal quality against camel, adds soft contrast to creamy white and gives the all-black urban style a new dimension. This new combination of fashion and style is exactly what Fawaz Gruosi imagined several years ago, after he established his hold on black diamonds and then, deciding that his midnight diamonds would look newer against a blackened background, created a fashion for blackened metal with signature de Grisogono pavéed gemstones.

Last year, Gruosi launched his “Browny Brown Gold” concept with watches. The idea fired the imaginations of de Grisogono customers, and the company immediately added jewelry. Almost every new collection will include some of these rich chocolate statements. De Grisogono jewelry always leans toward the bold and flamboyant rather than modest, and the browny brown earrings, rings, and watches dazzle with their icings of yellow diamonds, brown diamonds, yellow sapphires, orange sapphires and golden pearls.

Gruosi gets this molten color via a process called PVD (for physical vaporization and deposition), during which rose gold is bombarded electronically, which makes the metal change color and hold that color deeply enough so that it will not scratch off.
Watch with browned white gold case, brown diamonds, guilloché and polished brown dial, and a chocolate galuchat strap; $29,500.

Layered earrings with white diamonds and orange and yellow sapphires, $27,100.

Circles earrings of brown gold with 80 white diamonds (totaling 1.8 carats), $10,650.

All from de Grisogono at 824 Madison Avenue, 212-439-4220.
Recently, another Italian designer, Licia Mattioli, was inspired to create her Cocoa Collection, in part, because Turin, where she lives and works, is known for its exquisite chocolates. The first chocolate candy factory was founded there in the 1800s. Using the electronic bombardment process to change rose gold to brown, Mattioli chooses to mix her new brown gold with rose gold elements in her softly tailored designs that circle the 150-year-old company’s historic association with exquisite, hand-crafted gold links and chains. “We always start a collection from a new chain or link,” says Mattioli,” “developing the pieces by interpreting modern luxury through intriguing, new colors and materials.”
Chocolate and rose gold ring accented with diamonds, $1,650; chocolate and rose gold link necklace, $5,450; both by Mattioli and available at SoHo Gem stores at 780 Madison Avenue, 212-794-2630 and at 367 West Broadway, 212-625-3004.
One could develop a taste for these exquisite Valentine chocolates fairly quickly, and the best part is that this new eye-candy treat is that, while it could become addictive, it is absolutely calorie-free.