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Fashion jewelry to the stars made with fine jewelry techniques

If you know Beyoncé, the Kardashians, Nicki Minaj, Christina Aguilera and Mariah Carey, then you should know Anna Zuckerman.

Miami-based Zuckerman is top of mind for Hollywood celebrity stylists when it comes to statement red carpet jewelry. With the comeback of tennis necklaces and rivieres in recent years, she’s also become a household name for her Diamond Coated Crystalline pieces.

“Classy, prestigious, but accessible — it’s for the person who wants to wear diamonds but just can’t,” she says during the opening of her Rustan’s Makati pop-up. You could be concerned about the petty crimes in Los Angeles, prefer some ethical sparkle, or want to invest in something else. “This is an alternative. They can put their money somewhere else, like real estate.”

It was nearly six months ago when she got the call from Nedy Tantoco, the late Rustan’s CEO. “She found me under the rock in Florida through US publications and fell in love with my jewelry. When we got introduced we bonded like we knew each other for a very long time.”

“The fact that Nedy fell in love with my jewelry is the biggest compliment. I was flying in to have dinner with her family, but instead I flew in to her funeral,” she laments. “I know she’s watching; she’s here with us today.”

The fine jewelry secret to Zuckerman’s never-flipping necklaces and bracelets? “Each link is made by hand with a slight curve so when you wear it they never turn.

It’s not hard to see what drew Tantoco to the pieces in the first place. Celebrity power aside, she designed her pieces to make you feel like a star yourself.

“It is made just like any high-carat fine jewelry will be made,” she says.

And she knows her stuff. Zuckerman comes from a family of goldsmiths and fine jewelers and studied gemology at the Gemological Institute of America. Now 48, she has 25 years of experience designing jewelry for the who’s who of Hollywood.

The switch to demi-fine all began one fateful trip with her husband. “I was traveling in Italy and walked into an expensive jewelry store and fell in love with a necklace,” she recalls. Platinum and covered in diamonds and rubies, she says, “It was $3.2 million. I was in love — in lust! — and my husband was having it gift-wrapped, and I said, ‘Are you crazy?’”

“That necklace stayed in my head. When I came home, I started sketching, and created a better necklace for under $3,000.” That piece is now the Worth Avenue statement necklace, still available at the pop-up as of press time.

Her father and mentor, now in his 80s and still designing fine jewelry, was the most surprised. She recalls, “He said, ‘What are you doing? I thought you love diamonds!’ And I said, ‘Yes, but I want everybody to sparkle.’ It’s all about making everyone feel confident, not just the celebrities.”

Kelly Misa and Danie Valdepeñas

To recreate that diamond sparkle, she created Diamond Coated Crystalline, a revolutionary process using nanotechnology. “We have a technique where we liquify a real lab-grown diamond and we take high-grade cubic zirconia and coat it, almost like teeth veneers or acrylic nails,” she explains.

The permanent coating adds a natural diamond sparkle to all her designs, resulting in lab-grown gemstones and precious metals. “It looks like a diamond and feels like a diamond, except you’re not paying hundreds of thousands of dollars,” she says. Her pieces are crafted in rhodium-plated sterling silver to prevent tarnishing and assembled in the US.

Aside from her proprietary crystallines, Zuckerman made sure to craft each piece with fine jewelry knowhow. “Fashion jewelry is lighter; you can feel it. It can sometimes make your fingers turn green,” she compares. Not her pieces. “Every ring has an under-gallery, hand-carved, all finished beautifully with platinum. All my gems, especially the yellow gems, look like yellow diamonds.”

While known for her show-stopping statement pieces, her casual ones like tennis bracelets, rivieres and studs are her best-sellers, and not just for their accessible price points.

“They never flip,” she points out. Her adjustable never-flipping bolo necklace is the perfect stacking piece. It’s very thin and has diamond crystallines all the way around. Her tennis bracelets are made for stacking with other bracelets and cuffs or watches, while her riviere necklaces — the epitome of a day-to-night piece — are distinguished by the three-carat stone in the front. “Each link is made by hand with a slight curve so when you wear it they never turn.”

As for her studs, “They will sit right in the middle of the ear because they have a specific large backing that’s never going to turn.”

Donnie Tantoco, president of Rustan Commercial Corporation, and Anna Zuckerman

When she’s not being a mom to her daughter (a budding jewelry designer) and her neurospace enthusiast son or being a dynamic duo with her husband, a luxury home builder and holistic medicine practitioner (he’s also in the country for a medical mission in Bulacan), she’s perfecting her pieces. “I don’t have a life. I dream of all of my designs,” she admits.

“I believe we should bring old elegance back,” she says. “You can’t leave the house without wearing earrings to complete the outfit. How many shoes do women need? They should have just as many accessories.”

The Anna Zuckerman line now has 4,000 items. The Rustan’s pop-up carries over 200 items of her best-sellers. Her next move? Expanding that Zuckerman sparkle to men as well as their children. While men and kids can wear her pieces today, she emphasizes elegance and wants to create according to their proportions. She hints she’s “combining leather metal filigree for men,” while the children’s line is perfect for mommy’s mini-me.

Now expanding outside of the US to Europe and Asia with Rustan’s Makati as her first stop, Zuckerman is as passionate as she was when she first started. She says, “My satisfaction is the confidence and smile of the person wearing it.”

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The Anna Zuckerman pop-up will be in Rustan’s Makati until Sunday, February 25.

Credit belongs to : www.philstar.com

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