Judith Ripka Jewelry Complete Guide-Review: 18K Gold, Sterling Silver, Gemstones
Judith Ripka belongs to a category of jewelry brands where the designer exercises full control over the creative process. Such brands as David Yurman, James Avery, and others also appear on that privileged list, though they will employ designers who introduce different styles into the selection. Conversely, an enterprise of the scale of Tiffany and Co. accommodates under its roof several famous artists – Elsa Peretti, Jean Shlumberger, Paloma Picasso, and Frank Gehry – who create their own distinct collections.
Judith Ripka's position (advantage) as the chief creative director allows her to make jewelry of a comprehensive vision that's uniquely and individually hers. She nurtured and cultivated all the ideas embodied in the rings, necklaces, bracelets and pendants – and it is that level of care and detail that made the company so popular among fine jewelry enthusiasts.
The brand continues to grow, opening new boutiques, and adding new collections.
Judith Ripka mentions texture as one of the “signature details” in her pieces – but we would like to dwell on this quality, and unpack it a little bit. A closer look reveals that the jewelry exhibits various types of segmentation and rhythm – essentially areas and levels, each one being different from the other, and complimenting its neighbour – leading to a classic case of a whole that's more than the sum of its parts.
The detailed rope borders in particular introduce elements reminiscent of some Persian carpet designs (and David Yurman cable collection), and lend the necklaces and the rings a lightly stylized oriental flair. Other characteristics include a complex use of the lobster claw closure, matte gold finish, and hidden hearts.
Judith Ripka uses strictly precious metals (sterling silver and 18K gold), diamonds, some quite rare, pearls, and a range of gemstones: amethysts, citrine, turquoise, quartz and others.
Rings comprise a department of several dozens designs: oval, square, and round stone rings featuring a large, central, multi-faceted onyx or quartz (various colors), flanked by sapphires and diamonds; bands encrusted with multiple small diamonds; pave cushion rings of various sizes, also diamond; a range of bands presenting complex filigree scroll work; elegant prong rings (getting closer to engagement type); doublet pieces, and more. Material include mother-of-pearl, precious and semi-precious stones, pearls, crystals, turquoise, and others.
Bracelets include cuff, bangle, and link variations, executed in white, yellow, or pink gold, and sterling silver. Diamonds once again play a supporting role, encompassing larger colored precious gems, or interacting with gold in metallic pieces. Estate, Ambrosia Town, Moderna, Country, Linen, Garland and Berge are among the most popular collections; prices range from several hundred to several (and more) thousand USD.
Necklaces department offers link, chain and pendant type pieces, often decorated with gemstone of bead accents, closing with classic lobster claw or toggle bar. Combines with a several earring, ring, and bracelet designs to create jewelry sets; includes Eclipse, Fontaine, Evil Eye, Twin Heart, and other collections.
Pendants and Clip-ons reinterpret familiar collection themes – generous crystal stones, intricate surrounding metal and scroll work – and inject them into multi-purpose pieces of jewelry of round, square, oval, and heart shapes. Diamonds, rubies, sapphires, onyx, and other stones.
Earrings constitute Judith Ripka's largest jewelry department: over a hundred models describing an arch of classic hoop, drop, stud, wire, and chandelier designs. Soft, lucid crystals continue to dominate the pieces as central decorative components, supported by 18K gold of yellow, white, or rose tones.
Diamonds: we dedicate a special review to diamonds in an endeavor to understand how (subtly) the designer employs this precious stone to enhance the bracelets, rings, and necklaces – while giving the jewelry another aesthetic dimension.