There is something particularly special about a woman jewelry shopping for herself. It’s a personal indulgence; a purchase meant to bring her joy every time she looks at her new sparkle, as well as a certain feeling of accomplishment that comes with investing in something purely for adornment. Whenever I think of saving my money for something special, it’s inevitably jewelry. Shoes are my guilty pleasure, but they are better purchased in a fleeting moment of impulse. It makes it more fun.
Jewelry, on the other hand, is something that benefits from delayed gratification. I always felt proud about saving my petty cash for some shimmer. Of course, the targets have changed over the years. When I was younger, it would be a hippie-dippie oversized sterling silver moonstone ring and later it was an enamel floral cocktail ring by Kenneth Jay Lane that I considered a major splurge. After working in jewelry production, however, my sights are set a bit higher as I appreciate the craftsmanship and beauty of each piece so much more. My tastes still veer towards the teeny, the delicate, and sometimes the slightly edgy, which is why Phoenix Roze is a fast favorite of mine.
Stepping into this boutique is an experience–the lighting is low, there are mirrors everywhere, and the eye candy is highlighted quietly behind minimalist glass displays. It almost feels like a mini museum of gems, but the mood is anything but stodgy. You are incited to come close, look at the pieces at your leisure, try on something if you like. No scare tactics here. I took my time noticing the subtle nuances of each piece and my wish list grew longer by the minute. Mini hoops set with emeralds (my birthstone), an incredible arrow ring (pictured at top), and a dainty necklace featuring a trio of tiny bezel-set diamonds topped my list.
That is, until Margaux and I spotted this little solitaire ring strung on a thin gold chain. We’re totally smitten! Such a sweet and inventive way to put a ring on it ;)
Regardless of your tastes, each piece at Phoenix Roze feels personal and precious, even if you can only loosen your pursestrings enough for a sterling silver incarnation. I also appreciate the use of colored gemstones, a rarity among many local jewelers who prefer a more monochromatic look and stick to diamonds. Moonstone, aquamarine, chrysoprase and amethyst all have their place here and the selection is so much more interesting for it. I was also lucky enough to meet the designer himself, a man who clearly enjoys every minute of his work. Guy Rozenstrich handcrafts each piece in the West Village spot and really takes care to engage his customers. He came over to show me a gorgeous, custom rose-cut engagement ring and then graciously invited me to an uptown soirée to fête his new boutique opening on Madison. An opportunity to shop some more pretties? Yes, please!
The Upper East Side location is just as special, with lots of organic elements like petrified wood and mineral clusters to enhance the simplicity of the jewelry. In addition to the signature line, there is also a magnificent vintage display that the designer has obviously carefully curated. With a new location close to home, I know exactly where to set my sights for my next special purchase, when the day comes. They say sometimes a rose is just a rose, but I’d beg to differ ;)
I used to collect antique skeleton keys as a kid, so this mini rose gold version is an obvious pick.
I saw a couple of trendy ladies wearing the cat’s claw studs (in the small tray) and I instantly fell in love with them. Tiny, but edgy.
How sweet is that teeny trio necklace?
If you wanna go for a personal choice, these pave initials are instant crowd-pleasers.
These antique ruby and diamond chandeliers are fit for a princess.
I had to try on something shiny! The perfect tiny hoops, with just a little extra dangle to zhush it up a bit.