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The Fashion Statement: Jewelry is Buggin' Out

What's with fine jewelry's never ending fascination with creepy crawlers?

The trend has been in full swing for years now, but the craze just won't. Just look at Isabelle Adjani (above) who had fish (courtesy of De Grisogono) wrapped around her wrists at the Cannes Film Festival in May.

Thousands of dollars worth of gems diamonds, sapphires, blue topaz, rubies and more have gotten turned into frogs, dragonflies, spiders, reptiles, snakes, butterflies, bugs, stingrays, sea urchins...and all manner of little creatures.

I get serpents, particularly for their Ancient Egyptian connotations and mystical meaning. I wouldn't turn down Roberto Cavalli's Swarovski serpent bracelet, tagged $675, or Virgin's Saints and Angels temptation bracelet, $635, adorned with Pacific opals.

But you should see the price tag for bird-like claws and insects! For $1,188, you can get stacked rings that look like talons on designer Pamela Love's site. You can also snap up a very large cuff by Aurélie Bidermann, an 18K rendition of a web for $1,795 at Neiman Marcus has bug stud earrings by Ileana Makri, for $3,750.

Dragonflies do quite well, too. At Ylang 23, Cathy Waterman's dragonfly bracelet is going for $28,800 while Barneys New York is promoting Vernissage's pendant necklaces, $1,650.

Chinese jeweler Wendy Yeu has a ring so opulent and so buggy, it deserves a paragraph all its own. Set in 18K white gold, the ring is all flowers and bugs in the form of brown diamonds, black agate, fluorite, green garnet, yellow and orange sapphires embellished with pink amethyst, kunzite, green amethyst, lemon quartz and blue topaz gemstones. It will spend 11,000 British pounds if you want to own it.

But the king of critters in the jewelry world is the spider. One of the best spiders I've seen recently is Padma's spider earrings, $3,970, at Neimans. I'm sure the 14-karat matte yellow gold and the faceted lemon quartz the size of a lolly pop has something to do with the appeal.

The buggy trend has gone so far as to involve the real the thing. documented a Giant Madagascar Hissing Cockroach. ALIVE! Encrusted with Swarovski crystals. Pin the wriggly thing to your clothing, fingers or wrist. If you treat him right and feed him, he'll live about a year. I think I'll pass.

Some people in the fine jewelry business I've talked to recently say the reason bugs are so huge is there is a new generation that can't related to traditional fine jewelry. Instead, they like subversive aspect of insects which ultimately takes the "precious" out of precious gems.

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