Great pretenders Guys, can you tell if your wife/girlfriend has faked it? Are you sure that the diamond ring you gave her last year, the one she wears all the time, really is the same one you gave her last year? Because the chances are, she took it off while cooking dinner and it’s long since found its way to landfill, and what you’re looking at is the replacement she bought at Carat for about £200. Equally, ladies, are you certain those diamond hoops he gave you for your anniversary are not actually “man-made” stones set in silver? The truth is, both sexes can get away with it now, thanks to Carat, and latterly Bouton, who make can-barely-tell-it’s-not-the-real-thing jewellery that looks like the finest you’d find on Bond Street. This new breed of jeweller treats fakes with as much care and attention as the real thing. At Carat, it takes nine months to train the pavé-setters to work with their crystal-derived ”gems”, because all its pieces are hand-set in sterling silver or 9ct yellow or white gold. At Bouton, it’s silver with rhodium or 18ct-gold plating. Fooling a partner isn’t the only reason to buy this stuff. Those who can afford to decorate themselves in the real thing will often duplicate their rocks with a pretend version to avoid travelling with too precious a load. And Carat says many women with the trappings of wealth — Chanel handbag, Rolex watch, tennis bracelet — come in for a replica in a different colourway in order to update their look without the expense. Then there are the women who want the look of a luxury lifestyle, but lack the bank balance. Whatever the reason, faking it — or perhaps we should call it ”making believe” — has never been so easy. All-day dazzle Time and fine jewellery wait for no man (or woman). Which is why, increasingly, pieces are being designed to be worn every day; it’s less pomp and circumstance and more daycare and business lunch. “The Astley Clarke woman wears fine jewellery in the boardroom as well as at the opera,” says Bec Clarke, founder of the online luxury jewellery emporium. As Helen David, fashion director at Harrods, puts it: “These daytime styles are understated, delicate and extremely wearable.” No wonder Harrods has a newly expanded Fine Jewellery Room to display them in. Shine on. Standout colour From watches to pendants and neckwear to earrings, colour is still key. So don’t be afraid to jazz things up, and feel free to engage in the clash of the colour titans — if it doesn’t stand out, it isn’t trying hard enough. Hold tight It’s time to rev up your clutch bag. From fashion’s souped-up McQueen style through to the Tory Burch bejewelled version, these are, in every sense, the heavyweights of the accessory world. Ethnic inspiration Indian-inspired jewellery is back. So says Dr Amin Jaffer, whose book on the subject, Beyond Extravagance: A Royal Collection of Gems and Jewels (Assouline £165), has just been published. “There’s an abundance of gemstones and precious metals in India, both natural and traded. Rubies, sapphires, spinels, pearls, emeralds and diamonds were all believed to possess a cosmic significance. By happily juxtaposing them, you create a balanced horoscope for the wearer.” Check out Amrapali, the Indian jeweller famed for its standout pieces, which has a shop in Knightsbridge, and Pippa Small, whose Navaratna collection channels the ethnic vibe.
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