04 Jan2008


It doesn’t cost you anything to look. And what better time to leisurely view the windows of some of Manhattan’s finest jewelers than early afternoon on a pleasantly chilly (not frigid) Christmas Eve? Here is the Marketman & Family “window report” at the four shops we were able to photograph on our recent trip… Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, Graff and Asprey. This is SERIOUS bling. First up, some green ice at Van Cleef and Arpels. A mega-stunning pair of emerald and diamond drop earrings and a matching ring. My mom would have loved these… although they are a bit more matrona-ish than even she could handle. Emeralds were her birth stone, and throughout her 70 year life she always wanted/wished for an emerald, but that was not to be… On the right person, these rocks would look brilliant at Christmas Eve dinner… A bit over the top, if you ask me. :)


If green isn’t your thing, how about something in red from the windows of Cartier? While the display cases screamed the signature deep holiday red, the selections were decidedly downscale at this smaller Cartier outlet on Madison Avenue, not the main store. Serious ice hunters would consider these doodads or baubles, not the big-time stuff…


I am not totally certain, but I think these earrings were either at Cartier or at Chanel, and while these seem a bit more reasonable/wearable bling…sI have no doubt they are wickedly overpriced…


But if you had serious zeroes in your bank account, GRAFF is the only place to go. Some of the most stunning rocks on the planet have come through these doors. And gazing into their windows would give a diamond-a-holic a nervous breakdown. The rocks are rocks. I have never been into this store but the two dozen or so pieces in the windows are always simple yet mind-bogglingly extravagant!


While some rings in the window are only 2-4 carats in size, their quality is incomparable…


And the boulders make an appearance once in a while, as well…


The new Asprey store was ablaze on Madison Avenue…


…and you may want to consider this necklace of massive semi-precious stones in their window… Hmm, all this window shopping got us extremely hungry… so stay tuned for the Christmas Eve Dinner post, coming up after a post on other great store windows on the Madison Avenue stroll of Marketman & Family…



  1. Maria Clara says:

    I guess diamonds and emeralds are the main reason Elizabeth Taylor remarried Richard Burton. I heard from jewelry aficionados the most expensive living jeweler right now is Joel Arthur Rosenthal world renown as JAR no periods in between an American based in Paris but very reclusive. His creations are most sought by the First Wife’s Club, Hollywood actresses, CEO’s wife, Baroness and European Royalties. I’m wishing upon my lucky star that someday I will be decked with these glitters and stones and further wish that I have my own full set of natural teeth when this happen!

    Jan 4, 2008 | 11:55 am


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  3. shalimar says:

    well i could not afford these blings but i always look at them for the craftmanship
    esp asprey in london… feast for the eyes indeed but as my work require me to pick up my boss blings I do take time to look at the details of design.

    Jan 4, 2008 | 12:27 pm

  4. Duday says:

    It really rocks! Big Time, stunning! and would create a zero balance to my bank accounts.

    Jan 4, 2008 | 12:28 pm

  5. Madeline says:

    It is just free to dream! When you dream, make it big! Some dreams do come true.
    Even if we can afford that, it is sometimes hard to wear those jewelries here in the Philippines. You have to choose which areas are really safe. You can probably wear those jewelries in tightly guarded hotels.

    Maria Clara, thanks for that information regarding JAR! There are some things nice to know.

    Jan 4, 2008 | 12:35 pm

  6. Gwiz says:

    “While some rings in the window are only 2-4 carats in size,….”

    Hahaha, ONLY 2-4 carats! One would be lucky to see 1-carats so casually displayed on shop windows here in Manila. =) My balae’s alajera carts around her ware of 2-carats & up so secretively you’d think she was peddling the crown jewels. ^wink^

    Ice is really not my kind of thing (it’s good, too, that I cannot afford them, hehe). But I appreciate beautiful jewelry designs. I wouldn’t be above wearing paste that is beautifully set. Do I hear, “Que horror!” somewhere out there? Another ^wink^

    Jan 4, 2008 | 1:51 pm

  7. Chunky says:


    Jan 4, 2008 | 2:53 pm

  8. nina says:

    Wow, those emeralds are gorgeous!!! My birthstone is emerald so I am also dreamning of nice emerald jewelry. hehehehe

    Jan 4, 2008 | 7:05 pm

  9. aggy says:

    Happy new year and thanks for sharing all your NY posts with us. Though I’ve been in the US for the past 6 years now, NY is still on my list of places to visit. I really enjoyed your posts on NY restos and places a while back and will definitely “research” them when we get the chance to visit.

    Jan 4, 2008 | 9:39 pm

  10. Tommy says:

    Not meaning to be scrooge here but haven’t they already artificially recreated the diamond? I think I saw it on CNN, with the manufacturers saying that they can even produce colored diamonds. There was even a debate on whether having the REAL thing was so much better than a lab produced version. Rather than calling it artificial they preferred to call it “cultured”, a term borrowed from the pearl industry. Just food for thought.

    Jan 4, 2008 | 10:10 pm

  11. Ted says:

    Been residing in the US for the past 25 yrs but have never been to NY, been to about 12 or so states already and have live for the most part in 3, but I guess you really can’t say you’ve lived in the US until you’ve been to NY. This city’s always on my list to visit, but other priorities hamper that notion. Someday, somehow and those places you’ve mentioned MM would be the places i would be visiting first ;-) Happy New Year to you.

    Jan 4, 2008 | 10:42 pm

  12. fried-neurons says:

    Nice rocks!

    Supposedly, during the Marcos years, Van Cleef & Arpels used to shut its doors to the public whenever Madame was there to shop, so that she could have exclusive use of the store.

    Jan 4, 2008 | 11:34 pm

  13. Tricia says:

    Really nice pics! It’s been 20 years since I last went to NY. Now I know why my sis keep asking me to visit her there *sigh*

    How about watches MM? :)

    I collecting watch pieces!

    Jan 5, 2008 | 12:28 am

  14. iris says:

    Those are really pretty.

    Jan 5, 2008 | 2:40 am

  15. elaine says:

    When my family and I did New York, we checked out the diamond district along fifth ave. I was never a jewelry person but I was a bit awed at the fabulous pieces and knew that I wouldn’t able to afford any of the stuff displayed anyway…I just contented myself with the local alehera back home..they have good craftsmanship as well…

    Jan 5, 2008 | 4:36 am

  16. Marketman says:

    elaine, the diamond district is chock full of diamonds. But I also agree with our local craftspeople and jewelers doing a nice job. We just need the stones… :) Iris, they were pretty. Tricia, sorry, no watch pics… fried neurons, we must have been in NY at the same time! And I was staying in the neighborhood you were shopping in. If I knew that ahead of time, I could have dropped off a bottle of mangosteen jam! :) Ted, you MUST do a visit to New York, it is essential… Tommy, I completely unerstand your sentiment. Good synthetic rocks seem like a reasonable alternative to the real thing…but that’s the point I guess, they aren’t the real kahouna. My wife wanted to have her engagement ring checked when I gave it to her because I always used to say cubic zirconia was good enough for me…heehee. aggy, you too must do New York! nina, save, save, save! Chunky, thanks! Gwiz, 2-4 carats is huge, but there were several 30-50 carats on display too!!! :) Madeline, yes, these items do seem wholly inappropriate in the Philippines, in the same way really fancy cars look out of place too. Duday, zero balance? Mine would be negative?! shalimar, I love Asprey, mostly for the silver… MC, yes I have heard of JAR…

    Jan 5, 2008 | 6:43 am

  17. fried-neurons says:

    Yeah, I thought about that when you mentioned bringing half a suitcase full of mangosteen jam in one of your previous posts. LOL.

    Sounds like you were in the Upper East Side, though. I didn’t go to the Madison Ave La Maison du Chocolat… went to the one at 30 Rock, and didn’t actually venture any farther uptown than 53rd and Fifth. But I would’ve trekked uptown in a heartbeat for mangosteen jam! LOL.

    (Incidentally, this was my fourth or fifth time visiting NYC during the holidays, and I have NEVER seen crowds this thick at Midtown. Grabe! Everywhere… Rockefeller, Saks, Bryant Park, the South Street Seaport, all packed with people. It made me dizzy!).

    Jan 5, 2008 | 8:31 am

  18. bernadette says:

    My cousin and her husband happen to be jewellers in New York and I had the memorable experience of tagging along with her as she went buying for rocks or stones or ice as you call it.:-) I forgot the street in Manhattan but the Jewish community have the dominance in the jewellery business. Their “storerooms” have doors like vaults and you go through cameras as well as a good id check before being allowed to come in. Inside, is a veritable Ali Baba’s cave (sorry for the analogy :-)). Small piles of rubies, emeralds, diamonds, amethysts, etc.—all of different sizes and shapes!…with, of course, a Jewish guy, and his weighing instruments and magnifying glass pieces behind each table. It was really awesome and sort of intimidating. But I love the colors and can see what a clear stone should look like!

    Jan 5, 2008 | 8:37 am

  19. The Steak Lady says:

    Can i just say drooooool :-) Happy New Year MM and family!

    Jan 5, 2008 | 5:43 pm

  20. nunosapunso says:

    much as I would have liked to buy “real” jewelry as opposed to ethnic/silver ones, my social circles aren’t really into them and parties we hold are very casual…so even the small pieces that my relatives gave me are just lying in a box..never worn.

    still I enjoy looking at such window shops but know that like cocktail dresses, the chances of me getting to wear one for a social occasion is near nil.

    Jan 7, 2008 | 6:18 pm

  21. Ted says:

    Fried Neurons, foreign tourists specially from Europe are coming not only to NY but also SF and other cities here due to the decline in the $ value, they are all having a great bargain here. Just saw an article yesterday that about 2M+ tourists alighted in NY and about 1M in SF.

    Jan 8, 2008 | 6:14 am

  22. DuchessG says:

    Just to add something to Tommy’s comment about the ‘cultured’ diamonds. I believe they are also called Russian Diamonds, they look like the real thing but are not. That’s what the A list celebs do with their precious bubbles, they get an exact replica of the real thing and wear the copy instead. My grandmother, mother & aunt were all into high end jewels & through an amature’s eye they may seem to appear the real thing. Makakaloko talaga!

    Jan 8, 2008 | 9:37 pm

  23. dragon says:

    Russian diamonds were the cultured diamonds a quarter of a century ago…ten years ago it was Moissanite…I believe they’ve come up with a “better” culture, albeit more expensive. My late mom was a private jeweler aka alahera..

    Jun 12, 2008 | 2:20 pm


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