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A Charming Jewelry Tale
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In our jewelry pages in the current issue of Promenade, we are featuring baubles and bijoux that people collect:  Talismans, lockets, amulets; vintage jewelry; stackable jewelry; and charms for charm bracelets (or even charm necklaces). The latter is particularly dear to me, as I still have (and wear!) my charm bracelet, started when I was eight years old. Every time I bring it to my jeweler’s to add another charm—which I do buy, but really far and few between at this stage of my life—my jeweler says that he could blackmail me, became he knows so much about me from my bracelet’s charms and all the history they bear.  (Dare I say that they tattle?)

One of the charm bracelets we have featured in this story is from Carolee, celebrating its fortieth year in business. Founded by Carolee Friedlander in 1972, the company has been at the forefront of stylish costume jewelry for these forty years -- always creating collections that you would salivate for. (Full disclosure: Yes, I have many Carolee pieces.) There have been collections inspired by Jackie O, the Duchess of Windsor, and countless other ladies of taste. There have been fabulous pin collections, great bridal jewelry, and the lavish Luxe Collection that has taken costume jewelry to new heights…and I may say new widths, too, since Carolee is now sold in 33 countries around the world. That is pretty broad distribution, an acknowledgement of the universality of the four-times-yearly collections and a tribute to the skill and acumen of the company’s astute designers.

Perhaps the best thing that the company has done was to mark its 25th anniversary by partnering with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. From that time ‘til now (and I would assume forevermore, given the company’s commitment), Carolee has created specific pieces for purchase that strike a fashionable note for women, and which strike a ka-ching with the charitable cash register: A portion of the purchase prices of these special pieces goes to the Foundation.

Newest to join the ranks of these singular pieces are three charm bracelets (above, from left - click here for a larger version): one created for Bloomingdale’s ($95), one for Lord & Taylor ($65), and one for Macy’s ($55).  Each is different and exclusive to the specific department store. They are gold- or silver-tone and really adorable.  The best part, however, is that $5.00 of the purchase price of each goes to the BCRF.  They are cute and fun -- the Bloomie’s bracelet features, among its charms, the signature Little Brown Bag.  You’ll recognize other icons, as well, on the bracelets...and you’ll want to snap them up immediately, as they were produced in limited editions. If you feel you need more charms, you can always buy two bracelets!  (Then you won’t have a meddlesome jeweler knowning all your life’s secrets, were you to add your own charms!)

Posted on June 05, 2012 - by

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About the Author: About the Author: Ruth J. Katz is a well-known shopping and service writer based in New York City. She has written about shopping for 25 years for New York magazine; covered the topic on-air at Fox-TV for several years as the Home Services expert; and had her own show on both the USA and Lifetime Cable networks. Katz wrote extensively for The New York Times as well, and contributed periodically to the New York Daily News. She is a passionate shopper, always looking for not merely a good buy, but the best buy, ferreting out a "steal" or discovering up-and-coming designers. She has written five books and is a former contributing editor to Hearst's Redbook, Classic Home, and Colonial Homes; she is currently a Contributing Editor of New York Home, Golf Connoisseur, The Modern Estate, and Promenade magazines. She is also the former Shopping Director for Davler Media's Manhattan Living.

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