I love costume jewelry as much as every other mid-30s mama at Forever 21 drooling over their insanely cheap and adorable baubles. Furthermore, when I lived in NYC, nothing cheered me up more than a new pair of earrings purchased off of a Prince Street vendor (haggled, of course, for at least a few bucks less than the asking price - when in Rome...). And I proudly admit that Joan Rivers sucks me into QVC each and every time I catch her on with her ridiculously gaudy pieces. I've never made a purchase but my hand has reached for the phone a few times. Anyhow, there comes a time in every girl's life when she deserves a real piece of gold. Engagement rings and wedding bands are a given so I'm not going to waste my time going there (even though Tacori is by far my favorite ring line - Tony at Valley's Gem on Ventura Boulevard in Studio City, California does an incredible job replicating their pieces with his own twist. I have two of his rings and they are GORGE!). After my second son was born, Fred surprised me - after a bit of nudging towards her store from me - with two initial charms from the often imitated, never replicated Helen Ficalora. Freddie earned may-jah brownie points for opting for the diamond initial pendants - I only wanted the engraved gold pendants, but I'll never complain about a diamond splurge. They are delicate, elegant, and completely original. Two years later for my birthday, he surprised me with a heart charm (again, in diamonds - the man is G-O-O-D) and I wear them all together almost every day. And I always get complimented on them.
I've also had the pleasure of personally visiting the Helen Ficalora store in NYC off of Lafayette in Soho and it is nothing short of a girly girl's dream. Everything is pink and the jewels are all dainty and so so purty. I bought a pair of the white gold carved rose earrings and made a wish list in my head of about twenty other pieces I want. Go to www.helenficalora.com and check it out!