Bring on the bling for the holidays
And happy birthday to a certain little jeweler with the robin's-egg-blue box. Tiffany & Co. is 175 years old.
Pacific NW associate editor
Crows and humans: attracted to shiny things. And today we celebrate all things shiny (watch for crows). Bring on the bling this holiday season and be bedazzled.
Science!: Personal adornment is defined as having "no other purpose than to look appealing." (That works.) History!: There are beads 100,000 years old.
Lovely to receive, easy to deliver.
175 and counting
Let us wish a certain little jeweler with the robin's-egg-blue box happy birthday. Tiffany & Co. is 175 years old this year. (Yikes!) How to celebrate? Buy wrinkle cream? Nope. Create new precious metal, which shall be known across the land as Rubedo ("redness" in Latin).
That's how it's marketed. Technically, it's an alloy (gold, copper, silver). The pinkish mixture comes in pieces priced from $200 to $7,500. Prices are less than gold versions, higher than silver. Tiffany 1837 RUBEDO jewelry designs are inscribed with the signature of founder Charles Lewis Tiffany. Available only for 2012.
More festivities: THE Tiffany Diamond, 128.54 carats, has been reset. Now starring as a pendant dripping in white diamonds of more than 120 carats. Price? There is no price; not for sale. See at Holly Golightly's Tiffany (HQ) in New York City.
Find the rest in Seattle at Pacific Place and University Village, and at Bellevue Square.
History!: Mr. Tiffany brought us not only his eponymous jewelry store but also the country's first retail catalog. Thanks, Chuck! www.tiffany.com.
Fun fact: Great Seal of the United States (see back of $1 bill). Redesigned by Tiffany, 1880.
Fork it over
Perhaps one's budget is not quite, ah-hem, Tiffany friendly. We've got a handcrafted trinket for that. Spoonman. Mike Kelley, the Northwest's own. Turning discarded flatware into jewelry (recycling!) since 1971.
"Spoonman Creations is nestled in the beautiful hills of an Oregon paradise, where we hide from 'regular' people while making our creations." Spoonman is funny. And he does emerge to offer his wares at the Portland Saturday Market March through Christmas Eve. Sometimes he's up in our parts: Folklife, Fremont Solstice. Always at www.spoonman.com.
Can't hurt your wallet for more than $29. Best-sellers are Double Curled Fork Bracelets ($29), Curled Fork Treble Clef Earrings ($15). Big business: Between 40,000 and 60,000 pieces of flatware re-imagined each year.
Maybe bling's not your thing. Maybe you go your own indie way, prefer your metal a little heavier in choices of personal ornamentation. We bring you blacksmith Erica Gordon: Steel Toe Studios in Seattle's Georgetown neighborhood.
Erica combines traditional blacksmithing techniques with renegade materials (bike cogs, washers, industrial castoffs) and ideas for modern, functional accessories primarily from recycled and re-purposed steel. She crafts a variety of last-longer-than-a-lifetime belt buckles and handmade leather and rubber belts to go with.
Each piece is hand forged, welded and finished, with a protective wax coating. The leather straps are made in house. Buckles in the $100 department; belts around $45. Find at Click! Design That Fits in West Seattle, 4540 California Ave. S.W.; and Nube Green on Capitol Hill, 921 E. Pine St. Also, Steel Toe holiday open house (forge fired up, food, drink!) 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 15, 5020 Ohio Ave. S., Seattle. Check www.steeltoestudios.com for other events.