{Giveaway} A $300 ravishing red necklace from Bess Heitner

bessheitnerFOF Bess Heitner wears many hats, but we wanted to showcase her jewelry business, Bess Heitner Jewelry Designs, which features stones and gems from around the world in colorful and distinctive pieces. Ranging from $58 earrings to necklaces for more than $2,000, Bess keeps FOFs in mind when designing her collection. Today, she’s giving away a ravishing red necklace, “Multi-Coral Torsade” (retail value: $300), which is made of coral “in every shade,” freshwater pearls, and lacquered bone toggle. To win this beautiful necklace, first visit Bess’ website, then comment below with the name of your favorite piece and why. 1 FOF will win!

How old are you?

How did you launch your business?
Even as a kid I tinkered with design. My mother was a millinery buyer at Bloomingdale’s in the days when no fashionable woman would be seen outside without a hat. Our home was filled with brightly colored ribbons, flowers, pins, felt shapes and all the fixings for elaborate bonnets. I discovered I had a flair for combining forms, textures, and colors. Before long I was helping my mother concoct her elaborate creations. After my husband died in June 2000, I began taking jewelry courses to help me figure out what to do next. I have never enjoyed anything as much as this. In my “second act,” I found my true passion that I love more than anything I’ve ever done.

What were you doing before?
I taught English in Japan and at the New School for Social Research in New York. I was a professional writer and worked with my husband, a Japanese TV producer, on documentaries. I also created costumes for several feature films.

Where are you based?
My studio is in Manhattan where I make each one-of-a-kind and limited edition piece by hand.

What is your typical workday like?
Designing and jewelry making take up a large part of each day. I also write blog posts and do other business and PR tasks. Some days I have private appointments with clients. And I always spend an hour or two studying fashion magazines and favorite websites for inspiration.

opulentpearls-citrineWhat jewelry do you sell?
I sell necklaces, earrings, pins, and bracelets in a wide variety of styles.

Where do the stones and gems come from?
I get my materials from a few trusted vendors. Most of my top quality gems and minerals, such as Peruvian Opal, Brazilian amethyst and tourmaline, rubies and other interesting stones come from Brazil, Australia, Africa and India. The pearls come from China and Australia.

What trends have you noticed with jewelry this year?
I like the bold statement pieces that are in now because I favor drama, bold shapes, and vivid color in my own work. Chains and ropes also are popular and have
South Sea Pearl Brazilian Citrine Collar

always been favorites of mine. Long before the Gatsby and Boho trends hit, I began offering many kinds of ropes with clasps that are versatile and can be doubled, tripled, worn as lariats, or wrapped around the wrist many times.

What are your best-selling items?
The multi-coral torsade I am offering is very popular because it looks great with bright white, picks up the colors in strong prints, and perks up almost every shade. Genuine coral is becoming extinct so people are glad to get this. A raw iridescent quartz collar I designed in several colors has been selling well because it makes a dramatic statement.

Why does your collection looks good on FOFs?
Women over fifty know who they are and aren’t afraid to make unique statements at work and in their personal lives. I design wearable artwork, pieces that are both contemporary and timeless, that echo the qualities of the women who wear them. I use stones, pearls, and tiny crystals that flatter the skin. And my pieces are versatile; easy to wear in a work setting, in casual surroundings or on a dressy occasion.

To win this necklace, first visit Bess’ website; then comment below with the name of your favorite piece and why. 1 FOF will win!

P.S. Want to get your hands on one of Bess’ designs now? All of her products are 25% off until July 24.

1 FOF will win. (See official rules, here.) Contest closes July 24, 2013 at midnight E.S.T. Contest limited to residents of the continental U.S.

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  • Oh, I LOVE the handpainted ballet dancer! Dance has been so integral to my family… but, I could choose so many!

  • Renee Aitken

    i love all of the jewelry, especially all of the coral necklaces. my favorite one is the Iridescent Quartz-Cobalt blue necklace. those colors of blue are so beautiful, like the colors of the waters i’ve seen in pictures, so peaceful and bright looking. i love those blues and i see what i probably will be saving my money for, it will match a blue top i already have~

  • Carol Washington

    My favorite necklace was titled “Baby Love”. I am in love with the use of hearts in jewelry and also like colored semi-precious stones. I really enjoy wearing jewelry made from natural materials from around the world .I may not be able to visit these exotic places, but I can enjoy the beatuy through jewelry!

  • gailyn shepherd

    I like most of the jewelry. Love the speckled heart earrings.

  • Luckycooz

    Wow, what a collection of beautiful jewelry! I have just spent an hour on the website and couldn’t stop looking. I have so many favorites! I absolutely love the Precious Cluster Earrings Pink Opal! I can just imagine wearing them peaking out from underneath my bob! I also love the white and gold opal. Just gorgeous!

  • Christine DiMauro

    My favorite piece is my mother’s initial medallion.

  • jean olaughlin

    The Tahitian Rope Necklace

  • Melissa Cordier

    Ametrine w/ Stalactite Pendant. I LOVE Ametrine, and it is a gemstone that you don’t see much of in jewelry. This is simply stunning!

  • Sarah

    Love the red

  • joyzkim

    Beautiful Jewelry and great sale prices….love everything but one of my favorites was the Tahitian Rope

  • nanja

    I love pearls so the Nesting necklace is my favorite The coin shaped pearls are really unusual and very eye catching.

  • My favorite piece is the Marcasite Garnet Purse Locket. I love garnets and this piece just jumped off the screen.

  • Raine

    I love the ‘Natural Peach Branch Coral Collar’, it’s such a gorgeous color and the design is so unique. I would wear it with a neutral outfit (most likely with my dark skinny jeans & a white tank) and make the necklace the focus of my look. I think the color would bring out highlights in my hair and improve my skin’s appearance. I just feel like I’m vacationing somewhere exotic when I look at it.

  • Veronica Garrett

    The Tahitian Rope Necklace is my favorite. I could wear it with a lot of my outfits. It is a beautiful accessory.

  • margaracantu

    i loved the whole venetian glass collection, such amazing handwork! I especially liked the beautiful golden butterfly pendants, as well as the star and ladybug designs… just beautiful!

  • wonderfulme

    The Champagne Coin Pearls with venetian glass clasp is gorgeous! A must have.

  • Sherry Ann Abrams

    Ravishing red necklace on me a FOF= a winning combination! This beautiful multi-coral torsade by Bess Heitner would indeed look fabulous with a turquoise blouse and would be the topping on any summer white outfit! My favorite piece from the collection is the Florite Teardrops necklace. My birthstone is garnet which accents the florite; a genius stone that helps energize the body and raise the power of concentration. A very healing stone to adore a neck!

  • Delia Sadler


  • To me an outfit isn’t complete without statement jewelry, and by the way I have always felt that way and wore statement pieces at a very young age, I don’t think it’s exclusive to 50’s and over, some women are just plain confident at any age and love making a statement! I love the Natural Wonder Necklace: http://bessheitner.com/naturalwonder.aspx (I use Rutilated Quartz in My Meditation, so I love that this uses Rutilated Quartz in it!)

  • scoutcrs13

    I love the coral necklace pictured, but am also fond of the Sea and Sky Torsaud!

  • Patricia Assanowicz

    I love the hand painted Russian Art Nouveau jewelry, it truly amazes me how time consuming it must be to actually paint a work of art, all of these are so very beautiful, to have a chance to actually win one of these masterpieces is a dream come true, these artists are one of a kind, just as their jewelry is.

  • Janet George

    I love the Peruvian Opal Peacock Pearl Necklace or anything Opal.

  • Geri Kleeman

    Sea and Sky Torsade – I love those colors for summer time – they always look great against my skin and with my eyes. It’s a bold necklace but not too big.

  • Veronica Tefoglou

    My favouriite piece is the Amethyst Citrine Earrings

  • Laura Borud

    I like the Disc-O, it’s so different and striking. Also love the Blue Sapphire Topaz dangle earrings. Blue is my favorite color.

  • Kathryn Young

    The beautiful AAA pearls and Aquamarine drop necklace–beautiful colors and Aquamarine is my birthstone! Beautiful designs, Bess!

  • Audrey

    The Watermelon Twist is very cool, eye-catching and versatile. It will add just the right touch to just about any outfit! The colors are awesome…. who doesn’t love the purple and green?!

  • Howard

    My DW would love this ravishing red necklace. Perfect!

  • Deb Trott

    Lapis Sterling Vintage Collar & Sparkling Sapphires…Stunning and very eye catching

  • lolo

    The Tiger Eye…. the Purple Agate Slice….the Peruvian Opal Chrysocolla….the Ametrine with Stalactite….How do you pick just ONE?? It is like a candy store with all your favorites and new ones you just discovered!

  • Aquamarine multi Opal pendant… reminds me of Moonstone and I think the Rock Candy is awesome too…All Beautiful Jewelry!!

  • Karen Mumpower

    Florite Florets

  • Priscilla

    Carnelian Coral Bib Necklace. It’s simple, yet elegant.

  • meredlp

    My favorite from Bess Heitner’s lovely collection is the Aquamarine Tourmaline Collar because the colors remind me of sa and sky and look cool and refreshing.

  • my very favorite piece was the Russian Miniatures “girl with pearl earrings” but all of her jewelry is unique & beautiful

  • I love the heart and roses it is so beautiful! I love the color i have never see a necklace like this before red is my favor color to wear it would make so many dresses I own

  • hofken

    I like the various shapes and colors of the Wood Wonder Stone Rope Necklace

  • msortet

    You don’t see venetian glass very often. I love the entire collection but my favorite is the “Verde Marino Venetian Blown Glass Necklace!”

  • kmariem18

    I love the simplicity of the citrine tourmaline pendant

  • The entire collection is lovely, although my favourite is the “Ultra Opulent Freeform Natural” in the pearl section because it is one-of-a-kind like me!!!

  • Vera Jane

    I love the Peruvian Opal Chrysocolla Gold Link Rope. The colors are just beautiful.

  • Sandy

    I love the earrings – Precious Clusters-Chalcedony , or the Aqua Calcedony Labradorite Precious Cluster Earrings. They would go beautifully with a glass-blown necklace I have.

  • AJB

    Precious Clusters Brazilian Amethyst necklace

  • marlene

    Love red! So I will pick the multi color necklace.

  • jill

    I love this red one! But I also like the ballerina Russian Laquer one.

  • adriannebraun

    My favorite piece is the New Zealand Abalone Collar- I love statement necklaces, and the opalescence of the abalone would pair well with many outfits! http://bessheitner.com/newzealandabalonecollar.aspx adriannebraun@yahoo.com

  • Jennifer Essad

    the pieces in her catalog are gorgeous – I’m in love with the “Chrysocolla Venetian Collar” – I wear denim all the time so I know I would wear this often.

  • lolaphong

    how could i pass up an item that is comprised of two my favorite types of jewelery.
    Just have to have Champagne Coin pearls with Venetian Glass Clasp
    The pearl, a miracle of nature, and Venetian Glass–man made and oh so precious.

  • Debbie Opper

    What an artisan Bess Heitner! I love it all. For today, I’d go for the Russian Coral Silver Pendant (statement piece!), or any of your Venetian Glass earrings. I love the wire, the proportion, and the occasional Swarovski crystal!

  • Gayla

    I would love to win the red necklace.. I love the twisted red necklace and I am sure it will get raves on my neck!

  • Becky Beer

    Hi, not sure if you Do read the comments, but here is mine: I too make jewelry, for too many years to mention. My first thought is “1980’s” , not in a bad way, just in a large, fussy way. Second: I’m a big fan of the more “raw” stones etc. I think they have so much more personality than the cut, polish, shiny, stones. Please visit My” face book “page and “like” it Only One Jewelry Designs And yep, I like all the Raw gem stone pieces the best, and the Coral .

  • Betsy

    any of the Coral necklaces … something I don’t have!

  • Sallyois

    I like the Aquamarine Orb necklace. The blue colorization of this precious stone necklace is amazing.

  • kgritts

    I love the handpainted Russian pieces – especially the girl with the pearl earring. Beautiful!

  • kay wolter

    Aqua fantasy favorite favorite I can’t pick just this one also Frost Fantasy and Amy Kahn Russel Amazonite TUrquise Earrings all amazing

  • sharon

    the carnelian coral bib necklace, love the coral and style

  • Connie Williamson

    I sure would look good wearing that Peruvian Opal Chrysocolla Pendant Necklace.

  • Jewel Hopson

    I would love to show off that decadent red coral necklace. I think I’d feel mysteriously sexy in wearing the New Zealand abalone collar. Some say clothes makes the woman. I say it’s the accessories.

    • I love your comment about accessories make the woman. Can I quote you?

  • Carol Smith

    I absolutely love coral but real coral is expensive. Love, love, love the coral necklaces especially with the Venetian center piece. I am also crazy about earrings and there were quite a few like the Canadian Jade that really caught my eye. I would love to win a coral necklace, it would be like a dream come true!

  • Soledad

    Bess Heitner, I saw many things in each collection that I really like. Seeing as I have been unemployed for a number of years, I can only hope that I win this coral necklace; red is one of my favorite colors.

  • L. Rose

    I am surprised how wonderful the various items look but I think I am most taken with the Venetian Coral Floret Collar. The color is breathtaking and reminds of something my late mother would have worn

  • linda

    I certainly hope I win this red coral torsade, because it is my favorite piece in the whole collection! But, then there’s the magnificent South Sea Pearl Brazilian Citrine Collar…and the….So many beautiful pieces of jewelry. It would make me as happy to wear something from Bess as it has made Bess to create it. I am thrilled for her that she has found a new passion in her life-kudos!

    • I really appreciate your passionate words about me and my passion. Thanks so much.

  • Azure treasure, I love the mixture of colors and design.

  • Just have to say the Peach Coral Collar would look great on me! It is my favorite necklace.

  • All of the necklaces are lovely but I particularly like the South Sea Pearl necklace which would set off any black top.

  • spirit_kim

    There are so many lovely pieces. I love color but, I am also drawn to the Zanfirico Heart necklace as one of my favorites. I love the combination of the subtle colors, gorgeous. I also like the placement of the heart, it is all perfect. Casual and sophisticated.

  • Marsha Crain

    I love the shades of Peru. The colors match a lot of my suits.

  • Cecilia

    The Coral necklace would be perfect to wear to my daughter’s wedding in Oct.

  • The Coral necklace would be my favorite up against my olive skin and salt and pepper hair, it would make me glow!

  • Dolores Terese

    Don’t miss…WEB BLISS!

  • Dolores Terese

    Check out the MAG! n WEB BLISS

  • like he Agate Slice Earrings, because I could wear with so many outfits

  • Fran

    The Azure Treasure could be my absolute favorite necklace. A classic that would go with everything from a little black dress to jeans and a white blouse. Love it…..

  • velder dixon

    love the pearl necklace

  • White Ice Torsade: White Pearl Rainbow Moonstone is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE of all the wonderful piece I saw. It is utterly feminine and just elegant!!!

  • Toni Hughes

    Dichroic Heart Earrings. I love all the earring and I was torn between these and the coin pearl earrings in silver

  • Betty Herbert

    I loved the vintage valentine and the multi-colored coral tosade. Deep red is one of my best colors.

  • I couldn’t decide between the Abalone collar and the White Ice Torsade. However, I love the multi coral give away necklace. I don’t usually like red……but this one is stunning.

  • beth

    the pic of the pearl and stone with the fancy antique looking clasp looks like a fav of mine!!

  • wizardewu

    My favorite is the Amazing Ametrine. Amethyst is my birthstone. The colors in this necklace are wonderful.

  • carol catto

    My favorite piece is the pearl necklace.

  • belindabg

    Love the Agate Slice Earrings! But everything is just SO LOVELY!

  • Mary

    I love so many of the pieces that it was hard to pick just one… but since I have to I would select the mother of pearl collar

  • lindawwww

    My favourite piece is Rock Candy – delicate and elegant!

  • fabulous MiMi

    My favorite piece is the Sea and Sky Turquoise necklace because those are my favorite colors, and it looks like summer, but I do have to say that the ravishing red necklace is absolutely stunning and I would love to own it!

  • My favorite is Rock Candy! I just love this piece…but then I really do love every piece in the Bess Heitner collection!!

  • Sherry Stokes

    I love the Coral Collage piece. The necklace has a raw appeal. The brilliant pieces of coral come alive against the brown agate. It looks earthy, but sophisticated. When I see the necklace it makes me think of exotic places and adventures that I haven’t had yet!

  • Deanna O

    Tuxedo Venetian glass collar – would go with everything I wear. It looks like you can dress it up or down and that it’s very comfortable/light. Two of my favorite pieces are ones that I already own but I can’t recommend them because there aren’t any more available.

  • Dorothy Campbell

    I love the color red, this necklace is stunning! Would love to win!!!!!

  • I lu v the red!!! would like to win it….

  • Elise

    I am a great Bess Heitner fan and love so many of her pieces. Right now one of my favorites is the wood nesting agate necklace for its combination of texture and shape. I can see from her interview that one of her many talents is to assemble these in beautiful combinations…which she certainly does.

  • The yellow jade venetian bracelet “speaks ” to me for some reason. I guess I’m partial to venetian glass and venice (Murano glass) and the color just jumps out at me. I’m also a former teacher who has started a jewelry business and kind of taking the same path as you did. I love making jewelry but I’m just a beginner. My second career I guess along with being a yoga teacher. I would love to wear the bracelet when I teach yoga!

  • chuckles

    I like all your stuff but am partial to the red necklace, though the pearl one is a close runner up.

  • joyce

    I like the aqua green calcite collar.The colors are beautiful,amnd would lok pretty with my eyes.

  • Marci

    I love the Peach Coral Collar necklace!

  • eddyrobey

    The New Zealand abalone collar is just my style

  • Linda Davis Siess

    Oh, her Frost Waterfall is breathtaking! I love the mix of shapes and subtle colors in her pieces, just lovely; dramatic – yet very wearable!

    • Two years ago I made my Waterfall line with faceted garnet, labradorite, iolite, and rainbow moonstone all scattered with top notch pearls. These have been incredibly popular — one woman bought the frost waterfall to wear for her wedding. The iolite is sold out completely and I only have one or two of the rainbow moonstone (frost) left. FYI they can never be made again. Please sign up on my site to get news about new designs and special sales.

  • Sandra Marshall

    I love the Charoite collar-just beautiful. Fabulous site and the red necklace is definitely something I would love to have.

  • Nancy L

    Bess has a fabulous eye for colors & textures in her lovely jewelry! Her site is in my Favorites!
    All are great… If I were to choose one, it’s Coral Collage! (I think ‘Olive’!) Her ballsy choice of red coral with the other colors is truly magnificant! I would wear this Coral Collage in a heartbeat… and the red torsade necklace she is giving away would be worn on the other days.

  • Connied54

    The Ravishing Red Necklace is my favorite because I love red coral! It is my favorite color.

  • Elizabeth Alvarado

    This is lovely!

  • Susan Lockwood

    I absolutely love her red necklace because it is my favorite color.

  • Scruples

    While I own several classic pearl strands along with matching bracelets and earrings, the Champagne Coin pearls with Venetian Glass Clasp is my choice for a day or night fashion statement because it is at once both classic and modern. I would show the stunning clasp alongside the wear-everywhere multi-strand of shimmering, sand-colored coin pearls.

  • Suzanne Giroux

    Biwa Rope: 14K Aqua, Gold, Black is what I would choose and the reason would be it is gorgeous and blue and green are two of my favorite colours and the black biwa pearls just make it pop

  • WoW, very impressive designs on the website. I will return for a closer look. That coral necklace is my absolute favorite color and it is my birthday this month!

    • Happy Birthday! It’s MY birthday this month too – July 24.

  • Beth Weatherford

    I love the Copper Gold Deco Rope. All of the jewelry is awesome…I also loved the venetian glass pieces.

  • I love the statement necklaces and any of them that come up close around my neck.

  • Mamavalveeta03

    Besides being my favorite because of the gorgeous combination of turquoise shades, which I love with black or white clothing, it just says “Summer” to me! And I think it would be extremely flattering and lengthening to my neck, filling in a v-neck top. http://bessheitner.com/peruvianopalchrysocollapendantnecklace.aspx

  • omiobabbinocaro

    For years I bought Russian lacquer boxes from a woman who was trying to raise funds for Russian artists so I while I really love the Russian pendants the Green Tourmaline Torsade is absolutely my favorite piece.

  • NoreenB

    So hard to pick a favorite, but I love the Aquamarine Amethyst collar! This line of jewelry is just my style!

  • danielle brigandi

    i love the color red for everyting

  • Jennifer Kielty

    I loved the Aqua Green Chrysocoilia Circle Collar from the Statement Jewelry Selection. I wear a lot of shades of blue, so,it would go perfectly with my wardrobe. I hope to win!

  • love genuine Italian Branch Coral Pearl neclace

  • I loved the Ametrine with Stalactite Pendant necklace in the Statement Jewelry category. I looked at all of her pieces and it was hard to decide. I also really liked the Russian pendant. They were hand painted and quite beautiful. But I did love the color and shape of the Ametrine pendant. I wear a lot of purple, pink and red.
    All of Ms. Heitner’s work is exquisite and I would love to own one of her pieces.

  • Fran Herzig

    I’m bowled over by the multi-coral torsade. It’d definitely a must for Fab over Fifty chicks.

  • Jacquie

    I love the coral and jade fish necklace. I am tall and wear alot of black, white and grey linen for summer. This piece would have the punch to set that off.

  • Zenaida

    I like the “New Zealand Abalone Collar” because it looks so glamorous. I also like the “Multi-Coral Torsade” because it would look great with my skin tone.

  • Mary G

    I like the Imperial Jasper Collar; its colors are interesting and unusual.