If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen sneak peeks of my NYC Taxi and Passenger “Maneater” ring, but the ring is finally making its official debut as December’s Jewel of the Month.
One side of the ring shows the Manhattan skyline.
On the other side, the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge. I like to say that this is one cab driver that won’t give you grief for going over the Brooklyn Bridge!
My favorite part is the rear view. Two tiny rubies serve as brake lights and “I Heart NY” is engraved on the bumper.
As with my other Maneater rings, there’s a little man hidden inside the shank of the ring. In this case, it’s an 18K-white-gold businessman, seen from behind with his briefcase in his hand, desperately trying to hail this cab.
I gave the definitive description of my Maneater ring collection when I wrote about the Bull and Bullfighter design in April.
The rings are inspired by my lifelong interest in powerful women. My signature Wendy Brandes jewelry line started with pieces that were named after real-life bad-ass women, including the warrior queen Xenobia and the 12th-century Empress Matilda. A lot of these strong women have been called “dragon lady” or “man eater” in pejorative ways. A tough man is just a guy doing his job, but there always has to be some kind of mean-sounding name for a tough woman, right? I got to thinking that some of these wimmins might have relished being called these names. I’m sure 7th-century Empress Wu would have been like, “Ha ha ha! Dragon lady! YOU’RE RIGHT!” before she executed the guy who spoke those words. Accordingly, each Maneater ring has a triumphant animal on top and a man tucked away inside the band.”
The NYC Taxi and Passenger was actually the fifth of the eight-ring series. The sixth ring — the Pink Elephant and Tipsy Writer — grabbed Jewel of the Month honors before this one, because the elephant received honorable mention at the AGTA Spectrum Awards in October.
As with the other Maneater rings, the various parts of the design were initially carved in wax and then cast in gold. In total, the 18K yellow and white gold in the ring weighs 23 grams (there are 31.1 grams in a troy ounce of gold). Usually the casting progress goes smoothly, but this time I had a little trouble getting the taxi just right. First the taxi was made too small. Then it was made larger, but both times in 18K rose gold. A yellow taxi in rose gold? No.
At least we were able to use the rose-gold taxi to do the layout for the gems, so I was able to order those and have them ready by the time the new, yellow-gold taxi came in.
When the yellow-gold version came in, the gem setter drilled holes for the stones.
I used 92 yellow diamonds totaling 0.59 carats; 92 white diamonds totaling 0.46 carats; and 130 black diamonds totaling 1.04 carats.
This summer, I took the ring to the big JCK jewelry trade show in Las Vegas even though it wasn’t quite finished. It didn’t have the engravings on the sides yet.
Everyone loved the ring and I started to wonder if adding the planned engravings was going to be “too much.” Then I remembered that when it comes to my luxury jewelry, too much detail is never enough! I came back to New York and did the engravings as originally planned. I’m so glad I did! The version without the engraving looks incomplete to me now.
Here’s a side view of the finished ring being worn.
Here’s another shot from above.
This is perfect as a holiday present for someone who loves New York City … and a gift-giver who has an unlimited budget, because this is definitely a luxury item. One size 6 is available for December 24 delivery. I refer to the Maneater rings as “limited edition” rather than one-of-a-kind designs because I will, of course, make a new ring for someone who is not a size 6. I don’t discriminate against differently sized fingers! All finger sizes are good. However, a custom order will take six to eight weeks to complete. Contact me now via info at wendybrandes dot com if you’re looking for a ring that will be ready by spring! I anticipate doing three of these rings — including this one — at the most, so regardless of your size, you’ll have a very rare piece of jewelry. I like to make my customers feel special!
wow, completely exquisite ring. Would it give me special powers when riding in NYC cabs?
Of course! Actually, all my jewelry comes with special powers 😉
Sheila (of Ephemera) says
It’s made perfect by the two bridges engraved on it – I love this one!
Without the engraving it wouldn’t have been as good! I realize I have to always go with my first instincts!
That’s one of the most incredible pieces I’ve ever seen. I love all the exquisite detail!
Thank you so much 🙂
I LOVE THIS RING!!!!!
This is THE ring for real new yorkers. FANTASTIC!! I love the red rubies as lights in the back and I love NY! And you don’t have to be from Brooklyn to love – The Brooklyn Bridge and city-scape ring murals, but it certainly helps. LOL
FORGET ABOU’IT THIS IS The real – NEW YORKER RING. The anti-uber!! I can picture this taxi as a pendant too!! just sayin’
Congratulations for capturing the beauty and excitement of NYC!
Secret word: Brandes
The anti-Uber! I love it!
I don’t think I’m ever going to get my jaw off the ground. Holy God woman you are and incredible designer.
Thank you! xoxo
I agree. This ring is fabulous! And I second the idea of a taxi pendant.
Definitely will be more taxi-related items!