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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Tiffany's Alternative

When Jeanne and I returned from our respective vacations, we got right on Gchat Monday morning to spill about the various adventures we had by land and by lake. I came back from Denver thinking Colorado was much too casual for me with slight altitude sickness, and Jeanne came back sunburned from a week on the beach in Tahoe. One gem of a story was when Jeanne was handed a set of beautiful silver bracelets to hold while a family friend went wakeboarding. The bracelets, of course, were lovely, and made by Tiffany & Co.:

They're delicate and ladylike, we love the aquamarine and it's certainly not a fuddy-duddy old tennis bracelet. Of course, our first instinct is to run straight off to Etsy for alternatives!

Sueanne Shirzay's Olivia Pearl and Aquamarine Bracelet is a steal at $42, and has so much more personality than the Tiffany version. Talk about a perfect seaside bracelet, I love the tapered coin pearls.

Going gold, JulieBsJewels has gold wire-wrapped Swarovski aquamarine crystal cuff bracelet that is just too delicate and lovely. It reminds me of the ancient Roman jewelry you see in museums--simple and elegant.

Jewelsbykat makes the substantial Raindrop bracelet for those of us who look silly wearing teensy thin bracelets (me). For a more hardcore yet understated look, you can wear the double chain with pearls on the top of your wrist so the larger faceted rounds just peek out when you move or walk.

SamanthaJeanDesigns has a similar cross between the chunky jewels and understated silver chain bracelet in her Morgan bracelet. I love how raw-yet-polished the aquamarine globes look.

While none of these are perfect matches for the Elsa Peretti piece, I always prefer to support small independent artists and jewelrymakers when I do make big-ticket purchases. Often, the prices are better, the quality is handmade from the heart, and it's not the same ol' silver bracelet every other girl has! Although we sure wouldn't mind some Don Draper-ish gentleman coming home with a Tiffany box for us someday...we might even settle for the eminently huggable Harry Crane.

What do you do when you get that "I HAVE TO HAVE IT" feeling? Do you set your heart on that one thing, or do you go for the acceptable alternative?

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