When it comes to jewellery, I’m usually pragmatic. So, evergreen designs that don’t wear out with time are usually top of the line for me. Occasionally though, I’d splurge on the unconventional, using the price as a proxy indicator of quality, although I’ve learnt over the years that the stated price isn’t always commensurate with quality. At Charlotte Ehinger-Schwarz 1876, however, you’ll find a pleasant convergence of quality and price. So, if you’re willing to pay a slight premium for individuality and good quality, I’ll certainly recommend a visit to Charlotte’s.
It was about 8 years ago when I first chanced upon Charlotte Atelier which was then renamed to what it is today. The real draw for me then was their concept of a ring centerpiece that was interchangeable.
Complete with a chunky stainless steel body of an impressive size, this ring is really quite a stunner. What’s really great is the huge range of attachments that you can buy to create your own customised rings. A word of caution, though, Ms Florence Neo – Director of Charlotte Ehinger-Schwarz 1876 – will not be responsible for your addiction! That, interestingly, is the way she began her entrepreneurial journey with this flagship store. From personal obsessison to public sales, Florence has been in this for more than 10 years now, a fact she’s totally unpretentious about.
In fact, Charlotte has been doing so well that this husband-and-wife team is now into their third outlet at the Marina Bay Sands. My personal favourite – the outlet at Suntec City – still draws the regular jewellery junkies and many fresh faces who’d like something unusual to add to their collection of gems and designer precious metals. Just the right place to be, I must say, because Charlotte’s got everything to suit every taste – from the privately conservative to the expressively flamboyant!
The multiple attachments are really easy to fix. You just need the tool (which you can get with the ring), a nifty set of fingers and a good eye for the right combination of colours, texture, theme, and voila! A totally stunning ring in seconds! The following is a picture of how a typical changeable ring looks, stripped down to its individual parts:
So, you can imagine how much fun it is to be able to go out with a different look each time, to match different outfits and moods, and create quite a conversation during your watercooler breaks!
Along with their change of name or perhaps more in spite of it, Charlotte’s expanded their product offering to include the black and white ceramic rings and other premium jewellery. So don’t be fooled by the blog title and go away thinking that Charlotte’s only about rings. In fact, they’ve got beautiful pendant pieces, lustrous Tahitian Pearls in every setting imaginable, and unique items like the Niessing Ring (tension rings), the crinkled gold jewellery and the famous Gabrielle diamonds with 105 facets and in twelve unique shapes! What you see here are only four different ones, taken without a proper studio setting, tripods, extravagant floodlights, and the works (i.e. the photos mayn’t do these topgrade gems justice!).
The Niessing Ring is also a stroke of genius. Not requiring the use of a claw or adhesive agents, the ring possesses enough tension to keep the stone in place, allowing for a full view of the gem. That way, you can appreciate the clarity and brilliance of the stone without visual hindrance. The technology behind the Niessing Ring also allows for movement of the set stone, adding yet another dimension to aesthetics and such creative ring design as seen in the Runway, the Abacus, and theAcrobat below.
Florence tells me that the patented crinkled gold jewellery was also a simple idea that had gained artistic prominence in the world of premium jewellery. Like Isaac Newton who discovered the law of gravity in a falling apple, so did this crinkled masterpiece come from an idea as simple as a crushed piece of paper. How amazing is that?
Well, having the opportunity to interview Florence was really a dream come true. How many of us really know about the lives of those whose shopfronts we see day in and out. If not for My Favourite Things, I would’ve been happily satisfied with the jewellery but not know the person behind this entrepreneurial success.
Anyway, what’s a girl to do when she gets to try on such fine jewellery for free? She tries them, and takes a whole lot of photographs in them!
So, want to hear more about how to choose and take care of your jewellery? Join me on Evening Drive from 5 to 8 pm only on Symphony 92.4fm.