Health & Fitness
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Precious gems meant to last

Just in time for the holidays, two esteemed costume jewelers and an L.A. fashion designer have debuted heirloom-worthy fine jewelry collections.

Alexis Bittar

After more than 20 years of designing costume jewelry, New York designer Alexis Bittar has extended his line with a 140-piece fine jewelry collection that hit stores in September. Offering a polished-meets-punk take on classic styles such as tennis bracelets, cocktail rings and drop earrings, the line showcases marquis-cut precious and semiprecious stones set in either 18-karat gold or oxidized sterling silver with 18-karat gold accents. The aesthetic is more delicate and refined than Bittar's trademark look, such as the chunky, crystal-embellished Lucite bangles that first put him on the map.

What: Alexis Bittar Fine

How Much: $295-$16,000

Where: The Alexis Bittar stores at 1612 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, (310) 452-6901, and at 8383 W. 3rd St., West Hollywood (323) 951-9803 and

Aurélie Bidermann

Parisian jewelry designer Aurelie Bidermann debuted her namesake jewelry line a decade ago and is known for her glamorous designs with a bohemian bent, such as braided chain bracelets and gilded lace cuffs. The designer often references nature and finds inspiration in her travels. In November, Bidermann introduced a 40-piece fine jewelry collection featuring styles that evoke India or Greece and organic shapes, such as a colorful gem-embellished shell pendant, diamond-laden ladybirds with moveable wings and hand-engraved nautili set with multicolored sapphires. Precious gems contrast with matte patina and hammered finishes, so the pieces feel relaxed enough to wear day or night.

What: Aurélie Bidermann Fine Jewelry

How Much: $3,000-$75,000

Where: Barneys New York, 9570 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, (310) 276-4400

Karyn Craven

Los Angeles-based fashion designer Karyn Craven's fashion line Burning Torch, founded in 1999, added fine jewelry in November. Until now, the designer has offered just a handful of cosume pieces each season. The new Craven Iteri line, handcrafted in Bali, melds global influences with age-old metal-working techniques. Featuring precious and semi-precious stones, each piece is stamped with an inspirational word in Latin. A portion of proceeds will benefit the John Fawcett Foundation ( to assist underprivileged individuals in Indonesia.

What: Craven Iteri

How Much: $225-$6,400

Where: Burning Torch boutique, 1627 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, (310) 399-1920


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