Serpenti yellow-gold bracelet with peridot head and demi-pavé diamonds, Bulgari ($32,900).
Coiled around wrists or slithering across décolletage, snakes have been prominent in jewelry design throughout the ages. Cleopatra, perhaps the first fashion trendsetter, famously wore a gold snake armband and a cobra-adorned protective crown, and ever since the lithe form has been a provocative muse. Elhussien Ahmed, of Fink’s Jewelers in Tysons Corner, has noticed a new emphasis on the serpent in jewelry design. “I think designers are trying to return to the romantic period by using Victorian motifs in modern designs, in addition to going back to Mother Earth, which is full of endless inspiration,” he says.
Bulgari, which introduced its snake-themed Serpenti collection about 60 years ago, is updating the classic line with a bold twist: the addition of colorful semiprecious stones. Each piece is crafted in rose or yellow gold, with pavé diamond scales and accents of rubellite, peridot, and moon quartz to emphasize the texture and movement of the dynamic creatures. The Collection at Chevy Chase, 301-986-8610