ALMOST ROYAL JEWELS: Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York and Weight Watchers spokeswoman, is now a jewelry designer. Ferguson signed with K&G Creations, the Boca Raton, Fla.-based company that created Moissanite, to design a line of jewelry incorporating the laboratory-made stones.

The first collection, called Sarah Ferguson for K&G Creations, will bow in the second quarter and will include rings, necklaces and earrings. All of Ferguson's net proceeds from the line will go to the Sarah Ferguson Foundation for Children.

She will be the spokeswoman for Moissanite jewelry and will make in-store appearances at all Finlay-operated jewelry counters within stores such as Macy's and Lord & Taylor.

CRYSTAL CLEAR: Watch companies are known for trying to outdo one another. Enter a new contender, Krieger, which recently introduced the Mysterium watch. The watch's case is made of transparent aluminum.

"We came across this material four years ago and immediately knew that we wanted to build it into a case construction," said Lance Burstyn, president and founder of the 19-year-old, Miami-based company.

Krieger will only produce about 250 Mysterium watches, which will bow at high-end watch retailers in February. Prices start at around $8,000 and can climb to more than $100,000 for a version with diamonds. A print advertising campaign for the watch, which has classified technology, is set for this spring.

"It has a great ‘wow' factor," said Burstyn. "The U.S. government even [called and] asked us how we do it."

TOP HONORS: Roberto Coin and Peter Webster of Roberto Coin SpA. and Fortunoff Fine Jewelry & Silverware Inc. president Helene Fortunoff were among the honorees at the fourth annual Gem Awards gala on Jan. 13 at New York's Cipriani 42nd Street.

Webster and Coin picked up the Excellence in Marketing Award, while Fortunoff was given a Lifetime Achievement Award presented by actress Lauren Bacall. Other honorees at the event presented by the Jewelry Information Center included NBC's Katie Couric and Pamela Fiori, editor in chief of Town & Country, for Excellence in Journalism. About 600 people attended.AMERICAN APPOINTMENT: Linda Whitehead has been named vice president of merchandising and marketing for American Essentials, the New York-based brand that produces legwear for Michael Kors and Calvin Klein, among other licenses.

Whitehead has more than 20 years of experience in the legwear market, first working as a buyer of men's and women's socks and pantyhose for Marks & Spencer and then running the women's hosiery division at Toronto-based Phantom Industries, where she cultivated the Silks brand. Whitehead's role is new for the brand. She reports to chief executive officer Jordan Lipson.

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