How Diamond Nexus Fulfilled the Dreams of a Lifelong Jewelry Lover


Making friends with Weimaraner at Eureka! Burger.

I was not a little girl who played dress-up in her mother’s things. This is odd, given I am the quintessential girly girl who derives profound joy from designer resale and consignment stores both on the East and West coasts.

In elementary school, I hated P.E., and in the 4th grade I convinced the teacher (who moonlighted as an assistant water polo coach for the Olympics) to let me clean and organize his office instead of playing soccer or field hockey or anything else abhorrent to me. I loved to swim and dance, but anything involving a ball, particularly when other children wanted to kick or shove me to get it, did not appeal to me. My thought: “Well, if it means so much to you to have the ball, go ahead.” I was also not a fan of anything which made me or my clothes dirty (which would later in life altogether rule out camping). Less of a tomboy never existed.

But even at 7, I loved pretty, sparkly things. My paternal grandmother, who grew up in bone-crushing poverty as the youngest of ten in a Jewish tenement back East, owned beautiful jewelry which I very much enjoyed looking at and touching. Grandma bought me tiny little diamond studs (.25 carats each) when I finished the 6th grade, and before that, she would always hide my little gold presents in her one-bedroom rental in West Hollywood off the Sunset Strip. We played “hot and cold” and she would shiver when I was far (well, not that far as the apartment was only 700 square feet) and pant, as one does in extreme heat, when I got close to the meticulously wrapped gift.

I grew up around the industry—not Hollywood proper, as that was rarely where star actors, directors, writers, and producers lived (particularly not in the 1970s and 1980s)—and attended an industry liberal and performing arts elementary school in Santa Monica before going to a same sex prep school in Bel Air, where stunning tennis bracelets and drop earrings were ubiquitous in the carpool lane. My mother, however, never wore anything but costume jewelry, aside from her combination yellow gold and diamond band which my father designed himself. She is beyond frugal and will not spend money on herself, though she is generous with others.

When I graduated from Yale in 1995, my parents bought me 1 carat diamond studs. Sadly, they were lost in a local move in 2006 and in 2009, Mom sent me the Diamond Nexus catalogue so that I could replace them ( When I saw the tennis bracelets, I instantly began to drool (in what I hope was a ladylike fashion). I saved up for the Adoration and in April 2010, I fulfilled my lifelong desire for a tennis bracelet. To this day, the sparkly 9 carat bracelet in white gold fills me with joy as it dangles loosely on my small wrists.

Since 2010, I’ve collected a jewelry wardrobe which includes rings, pendants, bracelets and earrings from both the traditional line in 14K white gold and the more affordable Lorian line (a patented alloy of sterling and platinum). I lucked out with a very substantial ring, mistaken in New York City, where I now spend three months a year, for an heirloom. The “right hand fashion band” was originally just under $2400 dollars but I bought it on a Thursday E-Steal for just $599, likely because it was a size 5 and a custom ring which didn’t work out for whatever reason.

At Rue Lepic in San Francisco. Adoration bracelet, Oasis eternity band, Cathy bangle and the right-hand band. DN pieces are so authentic they pair well with heirlooms like these flower pearl earrings in 14K yellow gold which were my grandmother's over half a century ago.

I wear that on the fourth finger of my right hand, which nicely offsets the delicate Cathy bangle. On my left hand, I wear the Oasis eternity band, whose stones and setting a Tel Aviv jeweler in the diamond business admired on the 63rd Street subway this summer. A few months ago, I bought two pair of the Mia drop earrings, one for me and one for Mom. They are my favorite pair of earrings from Diamond Nexus and Mom was overjoyed at Mother’s Day when she opened the beautiful cherry box in which all DN products arrive. My Fly Away with Me pendant in an elegant bezeled white gold setting for just $139 on a Thursday e-steal remains one of my favorite pieces on a 13-inch snake chain.

All told, I have probably spent about 3500 dollars in the last three years to assemble a jewelry wardrobe which, if mined, would have cost about 30,000 dollars (particularly with the price of gold, which has skyrocketed to 1700 or 1800 dollars per ounce). I feel deep gratitude to Diamond Nexus as I clearly inherited Grandma’s jewelry gene without inheriting her resources! At this point in my life, I would never be able to afford mined pieces of this quality and size.

Diamond Nexus does not sell “fake” or “costume” jewelry. These are diamonds (with all the properties of the 4 Cs); they just aren’t mined. As I have said many times on my Facebook and Victorian Chick: diamonds look like diamonds and zirconia looks like zirconia. There’s nothing wrong with zirconia and I have a Pandora ring I really like; it just doesn’t look like a diamond. West Los Angeles GIA-certified appraisers and Upper East Side jewelers (in yarmulkes no less) cannot discern my Diamond Nexus pieces are simulants unless they don goggles.

After the Afghan Whigs show in San Francisco's legendary Fillmore Theater in November. DN can be worn at elegant dinners or galas as well as rock concerts. It's great for everyday as well as special occasions.

Diamond Nexus sells a combination of synthetics and simulants. Synthetics are identical to mined diamonds optically, physically and chemically, whereas simulants are identical just optically and physically. The key is for the stone to behave and look like a mined diamond (or other stone, like an emerald, ruby or sapphire). Anyone who has ever bought even a good CZ knows that the stones fade with time, too soft to withstand contact with everyday items like soap, shampoo, hairspray, lotion as well as pollution, while DN stones are as durable and lasting as natural diamonds.

Two years ago, I was at a party for the merger of Allianz and Pimco at the Yale Club of NYC. An extremely handsome, young investment banker (think Chris Noth at 30 with a Jersey accent) sidled up to me at the bar and, spying my Adoration tennis bracelet, said, “Wow, someone thinks you’re special.” I suppose I’d mentioned that I was a Ph.D. Candidate in English downstairs and he knew that such a person would not likely wear an 8000 or 9000 dollar bracelet. Usually, I tell people the truth, but he was kind of an arrogant jerk, so I just smiled coyly and batted my eyelashes!

DN is perfect for work as well: "power jewelry." I mix my white with yellow jewelry, both costume and real.

Apart from appreciating the quality and affordability of Diamond Nexus jewelry, one can feel good about wearing manmade instead of mined stones. A little basic web research will prove that the process by which diamonds are mined is hardly pretty.

When my divorced friend was about to propose to his ex-wife, she told him that she wanted a “conflict-free” engagement ring. Soon thereafter, his parents found a Tacori at auction for just $7000 dollars worth close to $30,000. He told them to pick it up and when she saw the ring, her scruples instantly vanished. In the last two years, DN has made an impressive entrance into market for affordable engagement and wedding rings (engagement-wedding-rings?gclid=CPLGpr7897MCFQinPAod1AwAxg). I am in awe of the variety and quality of the rings, which range from solitaires to three-stones to vintage and custom rings. I love dozens but am particularly struck by the subtlety, intricacy and elegance of the Tabitha, just 635 (down from 749).


I’m not a Prius-driving tree-hugging vegan by any stretch of the imagination. I love meat and I smoked for 4 years before switching to V2 cigarettes. But if, without radically or negatively altering my lifestyle, I can do something positive for the earth and its inhabitants, I’m all for it.

Diamond Nexus has allowed me to wear jewelry of the sort I saw on classmates’ moms and restaurants and school functions throughout my admittedly privileged youth. All my pieces provide enduring and profound pleasure and I highly recommend Diamond Nexus for jewelry lovers like me who are not in a financial position to shop at Tacori, Tiffany, Cartier and the like.

A final note: I am not married, nor do I have no plans to be married in the near future. If you don’t want to wait for a man (or if applicable, an inheritance) to be decked out in jewelry, Diamond Nexus allows you to shine and sparkle like a princess without a man! Now that Tabitha has dipped below 700, I’m tempted to buy it for my fourth finger on the right hand.

The holidays are upon us! The Lorian line offers beautiful pieces starting at 100 dollars (the Mia is just 150): it’s a perfect way to express your love to the women in your life (wife, mother, sister, aunt, niece or daughter) for all they do to make your life better. I have very high standards in this area and promise that you and your loved ones will adore everything from Diamond Nexus.

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