Luxury Jewelry: Raw food diets, tree trunk coffee tables, and stones that seem carved from the side of a cliff are all part of a larger trend that indicates a yearning for simpler times.
So it is with jewelry designer Dara Dubinet who is based in Venice, Calif. Her Raw Collection of natural jewelry includes expansive hunks of seemingly untouched stones that look as if they have been plunked into settings that don't quite fit.
That's because Dubinet prefers to have Mother Nature do the crafting, then she "embraces" the stones with 18 kt gold or sterling silver.
There are spinels and aquamarines that resemble hard sugar candies. And a ring with a mishapen topaz has a forlorn look about it, almost like it has been run over by a truck.
But there is an allure in the gritty authenticity of Dubinet's approach. She believes that the stones have absorbed the earth's raw healing energies for thousands of years and are able to affect the wearer.
An area on Dubinet's website called Desires allows shoppers to search for jewelry based on the healing qualities they most desire. Someone seeking love is directed to look at pieces with morganite, rose quartz, peridot, rhodoscrosite and ruby.
Britney Spears was recently photographed in Dubinet's Watermelon Tourmaline ring, with that stone thought to ignite passion, vitality, sexuality and excitement - just right for a young woman on a concert tour.
And back in 2008, Madonna acquired the $5,100 Black Onyx Gypsy Ring, designed to protect from negativity and past emotional entanglements. Given Madonna's new boyfriend and family expansion plans, that all seems to have clicked.
By Bernadette Morra