You don’t really forget meeting Annoushka Ducas, founder of Links of London and, latterly, of her eponymous jewellery brand, Annoushka, much beloved of Dublin 4 young wans who buy themselves “starter jewels” (I am assured this is a real thing). I’m not sure what it is about Ducas. Well, maybe I am: she’s utterly, totally, genuinely
The cynic in me is convinced that being lovely – like dressing well, and getting up in the morning – is easier for the filthily rich among us. The other part of me (very small, so it is) finds Ducas’s enthusiasm not just for her own jewellery but for jewellery in general and, more importantly, the wearing of it (she’s very much against keeping gems for Sunday best) captivating.
That all being said, Ducas is single-handedly responsible for my new and lasting desire for jewellery. And not any old jewellery; I’m talking expensive, ridiculously expensive, sell-your-car-and-live-off-toast expensive, jewels. I ogle the windows of Boodles; I occasionally glance, haughtily, at the Tiffany counter in BT. I long to adorn myself in long, slim gold chains; chunky charm bracelets (one for every port, you know) and vintage-style gemstone rings.
So, until I find my rich oligarch husband, my dreams will remain just that. But sharing is caring, don’t they say?
1. Larkspur & Hawk’s topaz earrings, €998.98 at The Outnet
That nearly-€1,000 price tag, just so we’re all aware, is a mere 45% of the original price – so really, they’re almost free. I love these earrings: the colour, the oxidised silver (even though of course I have no idea what oxidised silver is or why I should care about it), the size (mid-sized, lacking the ostentation of enormous earrings but big enough to get noticed). I even love the price tag. Imagine how spoiled I’d feel if I bought them! VERY.
2. Eclipse Porcupine hoop earrings, £795 at Annoushka
I have seen these earrings in action, which is why I want them exponentially more than anything else in the world INCLUDING WORLD PEACE. They’re the smartest little things: miniature hoops that you can then hook all of the other expensive jewels Annoushka sells on to, making myriad earring combinations just like those dress-me wheels except, you know, expensive and with diamonds. Upside-down diamonds, even. (Whatever will they think of next?)
3. Reversible acquamarine gold ring, £4,685 by Marie Helen de Taillac at Browns
I am wondering what would have to have occurred in my life for me to own £5,000 worth of ring. A windfall of some sort. A sudden and worrying disregard for human life and morals. My mother would probably have to be dead (she’d never stand for it). I would have to be 100 per cent sure that not one of my family or friends was struggling financially, and Ireland would have to have a 0% homelessness rate. So … but isn’t it lovely all the same? Reversible an’ all. It’s just like a mood ring except, y’know, five grand.
4. Butterfly Leaves cuff by Phoebe Coleman, €386.22 at My Wardrobe
Every glamorous granny I’ve ever seen has had a big bangle thing. You know the types – slightly tanned with a red lip and a ream of bangles winding up the papery skin on their arms. (I say that with the greatest respect; I genuinely think older skin, with its texture that sits somewhere between paper and silk, is incredibly beautiful.) This Phoebe Coleman cuff is, by comparison to what’s come before, fairly good value – and it’ll last you well into your golden years.
5. Olivia Collings’s 1850s diamond ring, €25,620
This Victorian era ring contains four carats of diamonds and is cast in 18k gold – not to mention the fact that it’s survived through two world wars and is obviously very resilient. In all seriousness, I absolutely adore this ring; I’m a sucker for vintage diamonds and this is about as vintage as it comes. If I go by the logic that my future husband has to spend a quarter of his earnings on the engagement ring, and I marry someone who can afford this … well. It’s looking quite likely that I’ll get the other four, isn’t it?