The O Bracelets
Christine Brandt
Hessonite Garnet Gems with Wood, designed by Christine Brandt, $132
The women in Rwanda who make these bracelets are using African gemstones (amethyst, garnet, prehnite, aquamarine, and rose quartz—another way to support the local economy), and each bracelet comes with an O charm or toggle. For a real hit of luxe, we asked New York City jewelry designer Christine Brandt to donate her artistry. Brandt's fantastical rings, cuffs, and pendants are the sort of wearable sculpture that shows up in fashion magazines. For this project, she channeled her high-end creativity into a simple concept that accommodates the native materials and the abilities of women living with no electricity or running water, not to mention sophisticated tools. (Go to to see more of her work.)