What I learned from your favorite posts of 2010

Keith Richards napping between sets. Try wearing this belt to the office.

Lesson 1: Everybody wants to be a rock star, or at least look like one. Proven by the fact that my first post on how to wear jewelry like a rock star is the most visited page on The Jewelry Loupe this year, even though I posted it last year. It featured this shot of Keith Richards, who perfected the bohemian rock star look more three decades ago in a haze of drug-induced creative abandon.

The rocker look really hasn’t changed much, as you can see by my equally-popular second post on how to wear jewelry like a rock star. Here we see how Steven Tyler of Aerosmith has taken Keith’s look and made it his own, apparently with the occasional use of girls’ clothing, and how Tommy Lee has done the same with copious amounts of tattoos.

Steven Tyler wearing Loree Rodkin ring, Borgioni bracelets and Royal Order cross

Let’s face it, if you have the attitude and the torso, multiple pendants piled on bare chests and skulls stacked on fingers all go well with a screaming guitar riff. It’s a look that says: “I am an artist and a rocker who will put so much into this performance, I’ll probably pass out in my dressing room afterwards.”

Or sometimes it just says: I am a smart, hardworking guy who likes to dress like a rock star on the weekend.

Emma Bracfield Juicy Rings (photography Eydis Einarsdottir)

Lesson 2: Lots of you are trying to master jewelry photography. Photographing jewelry is tricky. That’s why some pros do nothing else – and they do it really well. A few have generously shared their images and secrets on lighting, focus and setup in one post, Photoshop retouching in another, and finally, tricks for shooting a variety of different gemstones. Thousands of people check out these photography posts. Stay tuned for more on this subject in 2011.

Lesson 3: You’re baffled by hallmarks and want to know more. I don’t blame you. Those tiny codes stamped into jewelry and watches are a complicated puzzle and learning to decipher it can be the key to scoring a rare treasure instead of making a costly mistake. I tracked down the ultimate experts on jewelry hallmarks and got them to lay down the basics. Consider it a primer. There is plenty more to be said on this topic and we’ll get to it in 2011. What’s more, we’ll do it without  making your eyes glaze over.

JAR ring that inspired Samantha's ring in Sex & the City: the Movie (photo Cathleen McCarthy)

Lesson 4: We aren’t completely sick of Sex & the City yet – well, the jewelry anyway. Especially that auction scene in the first movie where Samantha fails to nab that fabulously ostentatious diamond-encrusted flower ring. I know this because my post on the JAR ring that inspired Samantha’s still gets lots of hits. And while we’re on the subject of JAR….

Lesson 5: There was never a more mysterious and intriguing jewelry designer than Joel Arthur Rosenthal. That would explain why my profile of JAR is a top draw. Okay, some of you just pull it up to ogle the pretty pictures. It’s not easy to find JAR jewels! I promise I’ll keep digging for intriguing jewels and the stories behind them.

Many thanks to all of you who visited this site in 2010, followed me on Twitter and Facebook, and shared my passion for beautiful jewels. Have a wonderful, prosperous, creatively stimulating new year. Hope to see you back here soon!