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Archive for the ‘Jewellery’ Category

#89 - Cufflinks

#89 - Cufflinks

Cufflinks
Price: Accepting the French

In the immortal words of Little Orphan Annie, “you are never fully dressed without a smile”. This whimsical idea may apply to the vast majority of pencil pushing middle managers trying to keep their head above water in spite of a partner that believes shopping at the newly opened Crate & Barrel is akin to the second coming of Jesus. This little cliché certainly does not apply to the proverbial upper crust. While custom tailored shirts are a staple of any well-to-do wardrobe, they hardly provide the opportunity to flex one’s personality and showcase their avant-garde sense of fashion. Enter the French cuff and Louis XIV’s fashion forward gift to the world, gilded studs called cufflinks.

To the everyday man and woman who feel that Starbucks charging $1.50 for a cup of Joe is unconstitutional the idea of spending hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, on two chunks of semi-precious metal in place of a twelve cent button must seem certifiably ridiculous. It is this difference in the classes that keeps Pabst and Camaros popular in trailer parks and cufflinks in vogue on the Upper East Side of New York. Naturally, throwing on any old piece of kitschy jewelry won’t cut it at the club. While your groomsmen, who believe white socks and tuxedos go together like fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches, will commend you on your compass with built-in thermometer or roulette table cufflinks, you have a better chance of catching Dora the Explorer in Playboy than seeing Gordon Gekko adopting your mischievous sense of fashion or glimpsing Bruce Wayne sporting batman logo cufflinks. Instead, rich people opt for subtle designs that reflect their personal interests. This may be collecting impressionist art, classic cars or a layman’s interest in Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations and its influence on the credit default swap crisis of 2008.

If you don’t feel a burning desire to retire your dress shirts and adopt French cuffs throughout your wardrobe, fear not! There are two things to remember when befriending the wealthy; as any first year associate on Wall Street quickly learns rich people don’t like when common folk wear cufflinks and complimenting a rich person’s sense of fashion is substantially less expense than dressing like them. While wearing cufflinks will not ingratiate you, asking leading questions will. The trick to making friends with the rich is to walk the fine line between ass kissing and cerebral flattery. For example, telling a wealthy man or woman that their cufflinks are really impressive is blatant brown nosing. Asking if their sense of fashion enhances their success or if their success enhances their stylish appearance is the fast track to gaining the respect of the rich. So next time you button-up before work, think about those inconspicuous pieces of cuff candy and consider how they could enhance your own life.

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#77- Pearl Necklaces

#77- Pearl Necklaces

Pearl Necklaces
Price: Strangers Staring at Her Chest

Pearl necklaces mean different things to different people. To some they are an expensive sphere pulled from the slimy innards of an ocean pearl, to others they are a timeless gift of class and elegance while a minority of pranksters perceives a pearl necklace as a rite of passage that simultaneously impresses their mates and ensures they never have another date with the recipient of their unwelcome endowment. Regardless of one’s leanings when it comes to this social Rorschach test, it is undeniable that rich people love pearl necklaces, Mikimoto or otherwise.

To understand what the rich love about pearls, it is imperative that one understands how they little treasures are formed. A pearl begins its life as a grain of sand or other irritant that finds its way into a pearl oyster. Over the next few years, the oyster coats the irritant with iridescent layers, transforming it into a beautiful gem ready to be harvested with the hopes that it will be destined for Fifth Avenue, Bond Street or Place Vendome due to superior upbringing and strength of lineage. This journey is subconsciously reminiscent of a rich person’s own childhood path. Humble beginnings as an irritant in their parent’s lives, handed off to a nanny for upbringing before being shipped off to boarding school from which they will emerge as an Ivy League scholar and eventual investment banker, hedge fund magnate, corporate lawyer in one of the country’s finest firms or possibly a guest of the American penal system for three to five years with time off for good behavior. If the latter is avoided, they will then meet a proper girl that mother approves of and replay this cycle of life.

Typically, this is when pearls of wisdom are shared around befriending the wealthy. In the case of pearl necklaces, it is best to steer clear of these as a means to make friends. There is simply too much danger of drumming up suppressed psychological scars. You may as well chain a chaise lounge to your leg and ask them to tell you about their feelings. That said, if you have the patience, by all means feel free to open Pandora’s Box. You can fill the role of therapist and in the event that you lack ethics and believe J. Edgar Hoover was simply diligent in remembering details, you will have enough ammo to ensure that young Cornelius puts your name forward as a suitable candidate to secure membership at his club, but like an oyster you will be seen as a slime ball beneath a hard and rough exterior rather than naturally cultured!

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#57 - Monocles

#57 - Monocles

Monocles
Price: Single-Eyed Vision

There are a lot of things that rich people love that are cool. There are also things that rich people like that are ridiculous. Monocles are ridiculous and only rich people or TV bad guys wear them. If you find yourself facing someone with a single lens wedged into their eye socket it is your duty to suppress your laughter and keep Monopoly man, Colonel Klink and James Bond evil genius comparisons to yourself, at least to their face.

An important distinction to be made about people that wear monocles is that they are eccentric. Not all rich people are eccentric but all eccentric people are rich. It has been said that the difference between crazy and eccentric is around a million dollars. This means you won’t see poor people wearing monocles because they have important things to buy like Cheetos, Nascar tee-shirts and velour art for the trailer. On the other hand, rich people have no idea how to spend all of their money so top hats, coat tails and monocles are a statement of class and superior upbringing.

As with everything that rich people do, you can use this to make fun of them or make this the basis of a lasting friendship. You’ll have to ask yourself if this is the type of friend you want but if you do it is easy to appeal to their eccentricity. Start by ignoring their conspiracy theories about the Carnegie family tapping their phone. Next, draw obvious parallels to important historical figures that wore a monocle like Joseph Chamberlain and Karl Marx. Ask if Rockefeller wore a monocle. If they haven’t hijacked the conversation by now, comment on how unique they are. Rich people love to be different so if you haven’t become a trusted confidant by now it is time to gracefully walk away. For your own entertainment, this is the right time to shock them into raising an eyebrow so that their eyepiece falls into their champagne flute. Do not pass go and do not collect $200!

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#50 - Gold

#50 - Gold

Gold
Price: $955.40 per oz

Rich people love gold. There are many ways to own this precious metal such as jewelry, watches, gold toilets, gold bricks or holding it in a trading account as an investment. While it is nice to have an enormous gold Rolex adorning one’s wrist this is hardly appropriate small talk at a cocktail party. As any good stock broker will tell you, if you truly want to make friends with the rich it is important to understand why investing in this metal is so important to the wealthy. Simply put, gold represents exclusivity and a safe harbor for their wealth.

Gold has played an important role in wealth starting in ancient Egypt, Rome, and Greece and now plays a central role in global stock markets. As with other rare metals, there can never be any more or any less of this element on the planet and unlike other substances such as oil, water and even diamonds which are constantly being producing and eliminated by Mother Earth, the amount of gold is finite. It is estimated that the volume of gold refined in the history of mankind would fill a room no more than 66 cubic feet or roughly 25 grams per person alive today. With these trivia tidbits in hand you can contribute to discussions about inane yet popular topics among the rich like the validity of the gold standard and why investing in gold is an important hedge against inflation. You don’t need to know anything about these topics because once you get your wealthy counterpart started, there will be no shutting them up.

It is imperative not to confuse owning gold with wearing gold as a trait among the wealthy. To some, wearing gold chains is a means to advertise that they are rich. Think Mister T or your corvette driving, insurance selling neighbor. They are not rich! Your neighbor’s chains represent his entire net worth unless you include the sound system that makes his license plate vibrate when he pumps out “Ice Ice Baby” as a sign of his virility. The only value those chains have is selling them at a steep discount to the loud mouth on TV that screams “WE BUY GOLD!” Steer clear of these people or you will be labeled a douche bag with no chance of gaining access to the influential elite. As a final note, gold is so exclusive that the good people who created the table of anniversary gifts pushed gold out to the landmark 50th celebration to save most people from having to spend that kind of money. Note, emailing this post to someone reaching a half century of marriage will not suffice. If you do, you may as well buy yourself a silk shirt, a new shark’s tooth pendant and invest in chest hair plugs.

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#17 - Personal Bodyguards

#17 - Personal Bodyguards

Bilyeu Group
Price: US $1,500 per day per guard

Rich people love personal body guards. While protection is a factor in the love affair that the rich have with personal protection, bodyguards are an important social accessory, akin to Bottega handbags, Tiffany key pendants and Patek Philippe watches. Any self respecting well-to-do socialite would be remiss to leave home without their favorite Bilyeu, Icon or Blackwater security professional. In fact, corporations spend millions to keep their CEOs and top executives out of harm’s way.

There are many security accessories that the rich must have; home security, armoured vehicles, hand guns, chauffeured vehicles, safe rooms, property guards, personal protection dogs, risk assessments and back-up power systems but none carry the exclusivity of personal body guards. There are many monikers that security personnel adopt to ensure that the wealthy feel their money is well spent, but as they say a rose by any name smells the same. There are VIP, executive, celebrity and personal bodyguards and each fulfills the same purpose; provide wealthy individuals the opportunity to become the centre of attention among their peers by nonchalantly mentioning the 6’5”, 235lb gent acting as their bodyguard.

Numerous choices exist for you to express your self-importance through the use of a well-dressed and a well-paid bully. You may opt for round-the-clock security to plan daily driving routes, pat down visitors and generally intimidate anyone that is granted the privilege to meet with you. Salaries start at roughly $75,000 per year and climb rapidly with experience and additional training. The other option is to hire services on an as-needed basis. While the per diem for these mercenaries is $1,500 it ensures that the novelty of your bone crushing sidekick is not lost on your social circle. Beware the perils of securing personal protection, Whitney Houston was never the same after her and Kevin Costner tasted the forbidden fruit of bodyguard romance!

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#14 - Patek Philippe Watches

#14 - Patek Philippe Watches

Patek Philippe Ref. 5004G
Price: $241,000 

Rich people love luxury watches. Rich people know that anyone can afford a Rolex or a Cartier and that TAG Heuer makes an excellent holiday gift for the gardener. To ensure that you have something in common with rich people, conversational knowledge of Patek Philippe is required. Unbeknownst to the masses, most luxury watches are manual winding movements, a feature greatly appreciated by aficionados. Refer to a quartz crystal and you are sure to be identified as a bus-riding commoner who appreciates the hourly chime feature of your Timex more than Patek’s moon phase complication.

Some of the world’s most expensive watches to cross Sotheby’s auction desks, fetching more than $11 million, have been built by Patek; great news if you prefer a used timepiece. If shiny and new are more intriguing, choose from a catalog of 203 exquisite Patek Phillipe watches. The 5004G is a hallmark of virtuosity and the most complicated model in the Patek line of stopwatches. Features include perpetual calendar, 24-hour display, precision moon phase mechanism and an ingenious rattrapante device. Not surprisingly, the 5004G tracks day, month, date, leap years and is available in white gold, yellow gold, platinum or rose gold with white or black face.

Are the Bugatti payments delaying Patek ownership this quarter yet you still need to impress the wealthy? Infer ownership by speaking of the Patek Philippe Magazine published twice a year exclusively for owners. Offhandedly reference the Calatrava Cross adopted by Patek, formerly the emblem of brave Spanish Knights. Use the French term ‘bienfacture’ or know the story of Henry Graves Jr. With this knowledge in hand, you are en route to meeting a sugar daddy willing to adorn your wrist with Suisse chronographs.

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