Long Island is a virtual (rock) Candy Land when it comes to jewelry stores and, wow, do they run the gamut. There are "the royals," where offerings can fall into that mega-bling, knock-your-socks-off, movie-star, red-carpet category, some of it worth millions. On the opposite side of the spectrum are the more homespun types in which art and heart collide, and you can find one-of-a-kinders that won't ravage your pocketbook. And then, there's so much in between. Across the board, however, the best stores strive toward one goal: to make you happy. (And there is something about jewelry that does that, isn't there?) Have a look at a few of our favorites.
Joseph Maio, owner of this small, glamorous jewelry gallery in Sag Harbor, considers himself a curator of sorts, handpicking each piece of jewelry on display. About 25 designers range from better-known types such as Gurhan to up-and-coming artists.
Prices range from $150 to $2,000, and there is a hip, graphic vibe to the merchandise such as a stop-you-in-your-tracks pair of 18k hand-textured earrings, adorned with blue zircons (at $1,750, it's a high-impact piece). Adornments also sells accessories including handbags.
WHERE: 83 Main St., Sag Harbor
INFO: 631-725-0051, adornmentsfinejewelry.com
Glenn Bradford Jewelers
There's plenty to buy at these boutiques (pictured, Port Washington store), featuring displaying large canvases painted by owner Glenn Bradford's wife, Sharyne, a fine artist.
Bradford is a spiritual sort who is more than happy to take customers on a sentimental journey via jewelry. Lockets of his own design tell a grandmother's story in tiny letters, or a charming bracelet marks the birth date of a child.
His signature logo, a graceful shape (known as the "Bradford Swirl"), which he often uses as a clasp, represents "forever," and his specialty is the reinvention of old jewelry.
He delights in magically transforming an outré piece into something spectacular.
WHERE: 279 Main St., Port Washington and 10B Jobs Ln., Southampton
INFO: 516-767-1600 (Port Washington) and 631-400-9800 (Southampton), glennbradford.com
HL Gross & Bro.
This venerable jewelry store founded in 1910 has an astounding selection of wedding rings from big names such as Tacori, Scott Kay, Jeff Cooper and Vatche. Want to create your own ring? Get this: There are 40,000 loose diamonds available on the store's website, where you can build your own engagement ring. Michael Gross, the president and fourth-generation jeweler of the family, says brides and grooms come from other countries for the selection and competitive prices.
Not in the market for an engagement ring? Find everything you need at this Old World store, including pearl earrings and a full estate department that includes high-end watches. Gross also does appraisals and will take jewelry on consignment.
WHERE: 840 Franklin Ave., Garden City
INFO: 1-800-979-1910, since1910.com/hl-gross-jewelers
Jennifer Miller Jewelry
Nestled down one of the side turns Main Street in East Hampton tends to take, this store is one of five locations (the others in Southampton, Manhattan, Miami Beach, FL and Palm Beach, FL). Each carries a line of jewelry designed by Jennifer Miller, as well as hundreds of other creators, and features both authentic and costume jewelry.
WHERE: 55 Main St., Suite C, East Hampton
INFO: 631-329-9061, jennifermillerjewelry.com
Jewels by Viggi
Tucked into this European-style stucco building is Viggi Arbusman, this jewelry-family matriarch who is known for her good taste, fantastical design and charm. She is an enchantress who, within minutes, will know everything about you, your family and the pricey piece you've long dreamed about. The diminutive, 5-foot-1 Viggi says, "I hate when people say they can't carry something. I like big." And it's all there, including million-dollar-plus diamonds, dramatic pearl necklaces, a massive collection of pink diamonds she's only too happy to trot out, and even handsome silver cuff links that run a few hundred dollars.
WHERE: 65 Middle Neck Rd., Great Neck
INFO: 855-348-4444, viggi.com
Katherine Tess Fine Jewelry
Showcases here are set into the wall, rather than those lean-over types, so you go eye-to-eye with the goods -- some quite pricey. Find the unexpected -- a Venetian glass Medusa on leather, sanded wood balls with diamond orbs and jade Buddhas and loads of black rhodium (as in black gold) so hip and definitely fresh. Tess' philosophy is all about not matching. "Nothing should go together," she insists.
WHERE: 4355 Old Northern Blvd., Roslyn
Prepare to go on jewelry sensory overload at what is arguably Long Island's king of bling. Find swoon-worthy international brands such as Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, along with plenty from American designers such as David Yurman and Penny Preville among the choices in the London jewelry universe. About a quarter of the selection is dedicated to watches -- an incredible selection from Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Patek Phillippe, Panerai and Harry Winston. And don't forget to check out the vast selection of diamond studs -- from the sublime to the ridiculous ... in a good way.
WHERE: 2 Main St., Suite 1, East Hampton (631-329-3939); 2046 Northern Blvd., Manhasset (516-627-7475); 47 Main St., Southampton (631-287-4499); 180 Wheatley Plaza, Greenvale (516-621-8844); 28 School St., Glen Cove (516-671-3154)
Find watches galore at this 34-year-old jewelry emporium owned by husband-and-wife team Louis and Laura Maddaloni, who have developed a large following for their unusual collection of luxury timepieces, including Ulysse Nardin and Glashutte Original. Laura Maddaloni calls the 4,000-square-foot store "eclectic -- classic with a touch of funkiness. We focus on trends in fashion and jewelry."
WHERE: 1870 E. Jericho Tpke., Huntington
INFO: 631-499-8800, maddalonijewelers.com
Fashion and jewelry combust at this Long Island go-to. At the classic European-style, 4,000-square-foot store, "You're always in for a surprise," says co-president Lauren Kulchinsky. Every case "has a story to tell," and "features at least five pieces your mother always said you should have with a major twist." Among the store's breakout stars is Kristen Farrell, whose medieval-inspired romantic collection is a favorite of Bethenny Frankel (Farrell designed Frankel's famously reality-show-hyped engagement ring and wedding bands) and Gwyneth Paltrow. There's a bridal bar where big white diamonds are in vogue along with fancy pink varieties. Find jewelry with diamonds and great watches including Perrelet beloved by musicians and rock stars, and an astounding collection of opals -- fire, jelly, water. "It's not only about what's happening in jewelry. That's changed, and fashion is equally important," says Kulchinsky, who attends Fashion Week in New York and Europe. "My clients feel like they hired a jewelry stylist when they come here."
WHERE: 7945 Jericho Tpke., Woodbury
INFO: 516-496-8171, mayfairrocks.com
Rocky Point Jewelers
Owner Anthony Bongiovanni Jr. likes to promote a warm family atmosphere at his two stores. Find engagement rings, pearls, estate jewelry and a good selection of watches, including several varieties of pocket watches, some vintage. Bongiovanni doesn't market through e-mail. "We do things the old-fashioned way, by phone or by writing a letter." Along with that, says Bongiovanni, comes unparalleled service. "We bend over backwards."
WHERE: 29 Rocky Point-Yaphank Road., Suite 3, Rocky Point (631-744-4446); and 137 Main St., Stony Brook (631-751-3751)
Tiffany & Co.
Lucky for Long Island to have an outpost of the world's most famous jewelry store, where civility and luxury meld into a serene environment filled with the stuff of dreams. For some, the mere sight of the iconic robin's egg blue box is enough to cause a fainting spell. While this two-century-old establishment offers some of the planet's most outrageous jewels, mere mortals are welcome. Designer Elsa Peretti's classic silver bean pendant at $200 is one affordable standout if you happen to be one such mere mortal. Of course, there's her "Diamonds by the Yard" necklace ($32,000) that you can fantasize about.
Collectors will find loads of whimsical pieces, and watches become family heirlooms -- the Tiffany Cocktail watches, with faces encrusted with diamonds, further complemented by diamond-dipped crowns, are $22,000. But, whether you're a member of the carriage trade or not, expect to be treated as such at this store, where politeness and excellent service is valued as much as the goods.
WHERE: 1980 Northern Blvd., Manhasset
INFO: 516-869-0800, tiffany.com