Thursday, December 13, 2007

The presents. The planning. The parents.

All this obligatory socializing and mandatory merriment calls for a lot of dressing up. And more often than not, a lot of drinking. What better way to trim your holiday attire than with the aptly named cocktail ring?

The not-so-tiny trinkets once favored by flappers during Prohibition and then, eventually, your grandmother, are once again the accessory du jour. And like restaurant portions, handbags and carbon footprints, today's versions are bigger than ever.

A smoky quartz by Gucci weighs in at a whopping 21 carats and is set into an 18-karat gold band by the Italian house's iconic horse bits. Tiffany offers a more prim amethyst in a classic emerald cut, natch. More artful is Philly-based jeweler Paul Morelli's trio of sculptural obsidian stones.

Then there's the real deal -- vintage. Such as the hefty citrine stone perched atop an intricately etched gold ring with branch detailing, from the eclectic jewelry case at GoodWood.

For a more playful interpretation, there's Banana Republic's faceted candy-looking ring or Meredith Kahn's edgy pyramid, cast in a black resin.

Local artist Dawn Benedetto uses sterling silver bands and a cluster of hand-pressed glass beads to form baubles she dubs "roe rings" due to their resemblance to salmon roe. A cocktail ring modeled after an appetizer? Bring on the party.

-- Cory Ohlendorf

© 2007 The Washington Post Company