Who Brings the HEAT: Behind Jewelry Blogger Maven ~ Diamonds in the Library

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Who Brings the HEAT // is a regular column focusing on individuals who are marking their mark in their industry.

I first connected with the DC-based blogger Diamonds in the Library last year; we both attended JCK’s Luxury Privé in NYC last July.  Her love for both all things sparkly (jewelry of course) and books truly shows and she has taken passion full time now – from being a full-time editor with Federal government for the last three years, Becky is now full-time jewelry influencer with her Diamonds in The Library.  I caught up with Becky last week and she shares with us her latest designers, jewelry tips and more!


CTS: 1.Your Story…

DTL: I’ve always been drawn to jewelry, as long as I can remember. When I was little, I was all about those pop beads – the little plastic pearls that you could snap into each other to make longer chains – and stick-on earrings. When I studied abroad in college, I tried to bring home a piece of jewelry from every country I visited (I didn’t always succeed, due to my tiny budget, but I enjoyed looking). It was a couple of years after college when I really had my jewelry awakening: the realization that jewelry wasn’t just something amazing I could wear and admire, but actually a whole world in and of itself and a field of study that I could throw myself into.

My jewelry epiphany really happened when I had my first real office job, about a year after college. I was living with my parents to take care of my mom, who was going through a bone marrow transplant, and I pretty much spent all of my time at work, at the hospital, or doing household things so that my dad could be at the hospital. (For the record, my mom recovered and is doing great these days.) Me discovering the online world of jewelry was like a person in a desert finding an oasis. Here was this wonderful, complicated, fascinating universe for me to explore, just when I most badly needed something good to focus on. I threw myself into learning everything I could in my spare time. Over the next couple of years my knowledge grew, my mom recovered, and my life simplified, I decided I wanted a way to record what I was learning and share it with other people like me, who were just waiting for someone to open the door.

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CTS: 2. Your personal style when it comes to jewelry…

DTL: My signature look typically involves mixing precious jewelry with costume pieces (a style that I recently learned was also favored by one Miss Coco Chanel). It’s not unusual to see me with my fingers sporting 200 year old Victorian gold, diamond, emerald, and ruby rings along with a $13 necklace that’s probably made of plastic. I’m a big believer in having fun with your look: wear what you love, and don’t worry too much about what the rules might be.

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CTS: 3. First jewel you coveted…

DTL: My mom had a pair of beaded earring that looked like birds, with long colorful tassel-tails. I used to play with them like they were dolls, making up stories for them as I moved them around across the landscape of my parents’ bedspread. I’m not sure if that counts, since I more wanted to use them as toys than wear them, but they’re deeply etched in my memory as wonderful, mysterious objects that I loved.

CTS: 4. Favorite piece for every day…

DTL: This is a tricky question. I almost always wear earrings, but my everyday earrings tend to be a rotating round of studs that don’t require many studs. My favorite everyday pieces are those that make me feel something: a Victorian lion ring to remind me that I am fierce, a gold T-Rex that makes me feel connected to my husband, that kind of thing; pieces that both adorn me and give me strength. My daily choices of jewelry usually have more to do with how I want to feel that day than how I want to look.


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CTS: 5. It’s almost holiday party season what would you wear (jewelry)…

DTL: For the winter holidays, I like to channel winter itself and go for frosty, sparkling pieces that pop in the dim light of evening soirees. My big bling’s are mostly fake, but I don’t let that stop me.

I also always feel sentimental around the holidays, which makes me want to wear pieces with special significance: like a brooch that was my grandmother’s or a gold heart necklace with my name engraved on it that was a gift from my parents when I was much younger.


CTS: 6. Your Favorite Jewelry Fashion Icon

DTL: I learned from a book that I read yesterday (Wartski: The First 150 years) that Vivienne Westwood owns an antique coral tiara that she likes to wear while riding her bicycle. So, due to that extremely badass fact, I think I’m going to have to pick her for right now.


CTS: 7. Your favorite jewelry designers…

DTL: I would probably give a different answer to this question every day. Here’s a list of some contemporary brands I’m excited about right now:

  1.  Anthony Lent. Beautiful, sculptural jewelry. Impeccable craftsmanship and limitless creativity.
  2. Unhada Jewelry. Designer Jocelyn of Unhada is inspired by fairy tales, which speaks directly to the dreamer in me. Her time living in Thailand infuses her designs with a bright, exotic-feeling flavor and inspires her to use bolder color combinations than a lot of designers would.
  3. Jane Taylor jewelry. Wonderful, delicious, juicy, megawatt colored gems combined in spectacular ways. I haven’t seen their jewelry yet in person and it kills me. Working on remedying that ASAP.
  4. And so many more! It’s an exciting time in the field of contemporary jewelry. I think that the internet is helping to open people’s minds to new ways of thinking about jewelry, just as it’s also making it easier for more people to become involved in jewelry design.


CTS: 8. Tips you can share on the best way to store jewelry & cleaning

DTL: I think that the best way to store jewelry is very individual. For me, it’s all about having my pieces visible so that I remember to wear them. The vast majority of my collection hangs on my wall on Command hooks and earrings racks so that I can survey it all with once glance before I leave the house. It lets me see all of my options at once and picture how they’ll look together. My most valuable pieces I store elsewhere, but for the bulk of my everyday pieces, visibility is key.

The best advice I can give anyone when it comes to cleaning jewelry is: remember to do it, and remember to learn how to do it. Different metals and gemstones require different treatment, and if you act without double-checking that you’re doing the right thing you can end up permanently damaging the piece you’re trying to clean. Always, always, always research the intended use of jewelry cleaner before you put it on anything you care about. When in doubt, a bowl of water with a drop or two of dish soap and a soft toothbrush are almost always a safe way to go.

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DTL doing the Wonder Woman pose at DC’s Women’s Jewelry Association photo contest (she won!)

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DTL at Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) DC Chapter