When it comes to personal style, this is no time to be subtle. Romance is in the air, spring is on the horizon and work is underway to kick the pandemic for good—that all adds up to a compelling case for adding some flash to your substance this year. Once social events get back into full swing, gem-laden options such as these from Southwest Florida merchants should be poised to become the jewels of your collection.
Gems of Note
As a destination for ornamentation, Gems of Note is an ideal spot to find all that glitters. “Pink diamonds, blue diamonds, green diamonds … I have all those,” says gemologist Brian Denney. “They’re all good, but pink diamonds are always a popular option.” Especially this time of year, and even more especially considering his selection ranges from a heart-shaped pink diamond pendant in white gold to rings featuring pink stones from the Argyle Diamond mine in Australia. Plus, standouts in other shades include a dazzling cushion-cut “fancy intense yellow” 6.3-carat diamond on a platinum band, and a radiant moonstone of nearly 10 carats surrounded by sapphires and diamonds in 18k white gold. It never hurts to have options, after all.
2400 Tamiami Trail N., Naples, gemsofnote.com
Scot Congress and his family are proud of their connection to the place they call home—the store’s signature SeaLife collection, inspired by the beauty of the islands and primarily crafted in their studio, is filled with shells, starfish and nautical imagery wrought in silver and gold, and even includes coins recovered from the Spanish treasure fleet that sank near Vero Beach in 1715. Alternately, you could choose to evoke the shades of the sea with the dreamy glimmer of this “Sleeping Beauty” turquoise ring set in 18k gold and surrounded by pave diamonds, and a 7-carat emerald-cut diamond in a platinum setting improves any aesthetic.
2075 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, congressjewelers.com
Gulfcoast Coin & Jewelry
Stunning, stupendous, stellar … frankly, regardless of how glorifying the adjectives or how lavishly they’re strung together, it’s tough to imagine any description managing to outdo this simple number: 20 carats. That’s the (immense) size of this in untreated Royal Blue Sri Lankan sapphire at the center of a beautiful platinum and 18k gold ring, proof positive that Mike Joyce and his staff truly specialize in elegant precious stones in addition to rare coins, bullion and precious metals since 1975. Gulfcoast maintains a multimillion-dollar inventory of some truly exquisite pieces of jewelry. We’re also partial to the set of platinum earrings with square step-cut emeralds set off by diamonds. Pro tip: Keep an eye out for their jewelry and rare coin auctions.
14181 S. Tamiami Trail, Fort Myers, gulfcoastcoin.com
An offshoot of a Cape Cod original—there’s a third location over in Delray Beach—Unique Boutique is clearly a carefully chosen collection of beauty. “We’ve been here for 20 years, and we have amazing jewelry,” says manager Nancy Harper, noting the emphasis on handmade items from artists around the country who work in small quantities. Case in point: “Gabriel Ofiesh doesn’t sell very many places”—just about a dozen in the United States—“so it’s very special.” The diamond-studded pieces in his Orbit collection are heavenly, and Ofiesh’s square 18k gold rings are great starring vehicles for tourmalines, aquamarines and more.