Why I Wear Diamonds: A Look Inside My Diamond Jewelry Collection

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After collecting jewelry for most of my life, I’ve recently realized the reason why the majority of my collection consists of diamonds. I have gone through phases where I buy and acquire, collecting several pieces at once…followed by a breakthrough period where I sell, purge and stash away. Through all of this, I’ve noticed my favorite pieces, ones I would never consider selling and never tire of, are my diamonds. There is something unique about diamonds that is slightly magical — the rarity of one single stone alone is quite breathtaking. Thinking about how it formed deep within the Earth, how it came to be, how it was mined, how it was cut, how it was sold and how it was made to fit a design; all of this fascinates me. Which is why partnering with Real is a Diamond to tell you this story seemed like a no-brainer to me — their platform has been created to educate about diamonds, their rarity, their romance and all that they stand for. As our world is forever evolving, I feel like this message can stop time, just for a moment at least, and initiate people of all walks to evaluate what is rare and authentic in their own lives. One would immediately realize that these are the best parts of our world and we should foster and protect them, as we should diamonds..

My diamond jewelry collection is easily one of the most precious things in my life. Many of my rings date back to the turn-of-the-century, so the diamonds are mostly old mine cuts and old European cuts, which take their rarity to new heights. Heirlooms like these make me stop and think what kind of legacy do I want to leave behind and what items will I pass down. Diamonds are perfect mementos that stand the test of time–they are ideal heirlooms.

Several rings shown above in my collection have been purchased or received to comemorate a special occasion or milestone in my life. As soon as I look at these particular pieces, I automatically am brought back to that moment. My 30th birthday for example, I bought myself an Edwardian diamond ring off of eBay that was probably way more money than I should have been spending at that moment, but looking back now, it was one of the best purchases ever. The ring to me is timeless in every sense, so I wear it all the time–diamonds are like that, they can be worn on any occasion. Another ring was a Christmas gift from my husband, several were to comemorate a trip or jewelry jaunt, and others were from very special people purchased by myself from their personal, private collections. These rings have so many stories to tell and that’s solely with my possession of them–I can’t imagine what their full stories reveal.

Of course the most prominent ring in the bunch is my antique diamond engagement ring. It’s the most worn of them all and most dear to me. It symbolizes my relationship with my husband, our promise to one another and is just as real and rare as our love for one another. There are over 7 billion people on this planet, and we chose each other; and while there are so many kinds of diamonds, I chose this ring as a representation of our love.

We want to know what diamond jewelry is rare and precious to you? What pieces mark a special occasion or milestone in your life? Tag them using the hashtag #RealisRare

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Doyle & Doyle Debuts Rare Collection of Antique Jewels

1 doyle doyle antique jewelry rings crosses

Doyle & Doyle is thrilled to debut pieces from a spectacular cache of rare antique jewels, all acquired from a single collector. Including jewelry from ancient Rome, 17th century Spain, and 19th century France, these are the best examples of their type and many are hallmarked by well known jewelers. Keep reading for a sneak peek of the historic collection before it goes on exhibition at Doyle & Doyle in September.

2 doyle doyle micromosaic bangle brooch vatican workshop 3 doyle doyle antique micromosaic bangle vatican workshop

These exquisite micromosaic pieces date to the mid-19th century and are hallmarked for the Vatican Workshop of the Papal State.The Vatican’s mosaic studio was founded in the 16th century, its skilled artisans create artworks commissioned by wealthy patrons and pieces for the Pope to give as gifts. The Sistine Chapel ceiling by Michelangelo, Saint Peter’s Square designed by Bernini, and Raphael’s “The School of Athens” are among the many masterpieces you can discover at the Vatican. Originally founded in the 16th century, the skilled artisans working in the Vatican’s mosaic studio create pieces for the Pope to give as gifts and artworks commissioned by wealthy patrons. They also oversee and maintain the ten thousand square meters of colorful mosaics that adorn Saint Peter’s Basilica. This bangle and brooch are beautifully made, featuring glass tesserae so tiny that the designs look like paintings in shades of red, blue, green, and white. Perhaps a wealthy young man purchased them during his Grand Tour through Europe, or they were gifts to an important Church official. No matter their origin, they are little works of art that display the incredible skill of the Vatican’s workshop.

4 doyle doyle antique spanish gold crucifix choker long gold chains

The collection includes other ecclesiastical jewels in addition to the Vatican micromosaics, including a variety of gem-set and enameled crosses from many different periods. This striking dimensional crucifix cross is Spanish from the 17th century, detailed with enamel and engraving that resembles wood grain. Although probably not original, we love it worn on the black ribbon choker, especially when layered with antique gold guard chains. Although these are museum quality jewels, they’re definitely wearable!

5 doyle doyle antique diamond heart spanish reliquary

There are also charming examples of sentimental and devotional jewelry. The rose cut diamond encrusted heart hangs from a sweet rose gold dove. The diamonds are foil backed and you can see hints of pink, gold, and even green reflecting through the stones. The rare late 17th century Spanish reliquary pendant is a small compartment that holds a tiny bit of a saint’s blood. It’s backed by a hand painted figure of a female saint and framed by emeralds and garnets. This type of jewel was probably a private devotional artwork. Spain being an intensely Catholic country, people believed in the power of saints to affect their daily life. In additional to more traditional liturgy, 17th century Spaniards prayed to their personal saint to intervene and make their lives better.

6 doyle doyle arts and crafts turquoise pendant art nouveau enamel winged female pendant Gaston Laffitte

The other half of this incredible collection is comprised of museum quality Arts & Crafts and Art Nouveau jewelry. The Arts & Crafts Movement was a direct response to the mechanization and poor working conditions engendered by the Industrial Revolution in the mid-19th century. Adherents looked to the Middle Ages, nature, and popular folk art for inspiration, seeking to return to an idyllic time before mass production. Shying away from precious materials, Arts & Crafts jewelers favored readily available gemstones, such as garnet, amethyst, citrine, opal, and moonstone. The delicate gold pendant is British, comprised of hand wrought wirework set with bright blue turquoise and glowing moonstone.

7 doyle doyle art nouveau plique a jour enamel necklace Gaston Laffitte silver locket Lucien Coudray

By the end of the century, Art Nouveau artists took the theme of nature to the next level. Art Nouveau jewelry often incorporated idealized female forms with swirling, whiplash hair framed by sensuous flora, like this striking silver mirror locket. Dating to 1900, this lovely piece is hallmarked for French jeweler Lucien Coudray. Coudray specialized in engraving medals and won several prizes for his artistry. Another popular form was a winged female with gossamer enamel wings studded with tiny gems or pearls. This statuesque dragonfly woman was created around 1900 and bears the hallmark of noted Art Nouveau jeweler, Gaston Laffitte. The light filters through the translucent green plique-a-jour enamel wings, creating a delicate stained glass effect.

This is just a small preview of the incredible historic collection – want to see it all? Doyle & Doyle is putting on a public exhibition in September. Email [email protected] for more information and to get on the invite list!

This post was contributed by Juliet Rotenberg of Doyle & Doyle, thank you!!

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Want more?! To check out the store tour of Doyle & Doyle, click here.

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Weekday Wardrobe: New Favorites

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Since coming back from Vegas and NYC, my days have been long and filled with writing and running all kinds of errands. From Sunday morning brunches, to post office runs, to family dinners, my style has been changing daily and almost always depends on what I have planned. Some days I’m lucky if I get a chance to breathe fresh air outside, while other days I’ve spent more time on the road in my car than normal…but that is what I like about being self-employed and I’m excited for the summer.

Most recently, I was playing in my jewelry box and for some reason or another a lightbulb went off–I took my collection of figas and strung them on my hardwire gold collar necklace. As soon as I put the necklace on I knew that this was one of my greatest moves I’ve ever made. I’m obsessed with the look and it totally caters to my collecting mantra by displaying my pieces perfectly. I actually have 6 more figas that don’t have jumprings, so I’m off now to get them put on by my jeweler.

I’ve also been experimenting with different kinds of earrings to create a “full” look, meaning ALL the way up my ear. To achieve this look without the pain of multiple piercings, I suggest some comfortable ear cuffs. Some are more comfortable than others and it depends on the craftsmanship, so try them out–see if you’re able to wear for a full day before committing to buy.

In the first photo shown, I’m wearing a pair of ombré amethyst ear studs with jackets by Jewelmak. These are so cool and give me a pop of color, which is perfect for summertime. I kept it simple up top with 14k gold balls studs in various sizes, a Paige Novick diamond ear cuff and a vintage swirl motif ear cuff I found on Ruby Lane.

The photo below shows off my figa necklace and a carved opal necklace I recently sold. My earring look is simple to recreate; two pearl stud earrings of various sizes and a gold huggie earring from Stacy Nolan.

Weekday Wardrobe | Gem Gossip

Day One: (spent doing emails all day and typing blog posts, hence the Beavis & Butthead t-shirt)

Elongated lapis and enamel ring, from Sarah’s Vintage & Estate Jewelry in Buffalo, NY

Antique diamond & sapphire ring from Excalibur Jewelry found in Tucson this year

Pear-shaped vintage lapis ring that I can’t stop wearing because it is so comfortable and bold

Weekday Wardrobe | Gem Gossip

Day Two:

Diamond crossover pinky ring by Halleh Jewelry

“Ring One” from my Gem Gossip Jewelry line, since retired

Fringe ring in 14k yellow gold by Ashley Childs

A stack of “Ring One with diamond” from my Gem Gossip Jewelry line, since retired

Weekday Wardrobe | Gem Gossip

Day Three:

Oval vintage Mexican ring done in 14k yellow gold

Crescent moon ring in 14k yellow gold by Amanda Hunt Jewelry

Dendritic agate ring from Joden Jewelry in Grove City, PA

Weekday Wardrobe | Gem Gossip

Day Four:

Glass + 10k yellow gold ring, heirloom from my Gram

elongated diamond ring turn-of-the-century from my friend Priscilla

Diamond shaped ring set with old cut brown diamonds, from STORE 5a

Weekday Wardrobe | Gem Gossip

Day 5:

turquoise baby rings, worn as pinky ring and midi ring

Victorian turquoise ring from eBay

Victorian turquoise ring with engraving on entire closed-back, from Gold Hatpin

Turquoise and diamond cluster ring found at the Nashville Flea Market

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WANT MORE? Check out my past Weekday Wardrobe posts

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Newest Finds from Your Jewelry Finder, June 2017 Edition

Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip

This time of year always seems to provoke a sense of “out with the old, and in with the new!” And by that I don’t mean throw out your antique jewelry and swap it for modern pieces–I mean to take into consideration some of my Spring Cleaning your Jewelry Box suggestions and buy some pieces that really count! Rings that make your jaw drop, necklaces and pendants that make your heart flutter, bracelets that make you feel warm inside and earrings that you know will look amazing on you–that’s what we all need! It seems that Ashley of Jewelry Finds® is not short on remarkable pieces of jewelry. She makes it her mission to bring her customers new acquisitions and is dedicated to working long days and nights to get them up on her website for you! That’s why we’ve teamed up to bring you a monthly digest of all her latest finds, to keep you in the loop and up-to-date. We don’t want you to miss a “piece of a lifetime” or something that you “should’ve, would’ve, could’ve” because as jewelry collectors, we know that happens far too often! So whether you check GemGossip.com religiously or have signed up for our newsletter, be on the lookout for our monthly “new arrivals” post from Jewelry Finds! ® — Something Old. Something New. Something You™

Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip

Left photo:

18k rose yellow gold Victorian 1890’s Blue Sapphire & Old Mine Cut Diamond Bypass Ring, Price: $2,999

14k yellow gold Victorian Sapphire Circa 1880’s Natural Violet Blue Cushion Sapphire Old European Cut Diamond Halo Ring, Price: $3,999

Platinum Antique Sapphire Diamond Circa 1915 Filigree Old European Cut Halo Ring, Price: $7,999

Platinum Art Deco Circa 1930’s Vintage 1.72ct t.w. Old Mine Cut Diamond Engagement Ring, Price: $6,500

Platinum Art Deco 1.63ct t.w. Circa 1930’s Vintage Old European Cut Diamond Engagement Ring, Price: $7,450

14k yellow gold Vintage Yellow Sapphire Circa 1940’s Retro Natural Yellow Sapphire & Diamond Ring, Price: $7,500

Emerald and diamond dinner ring, reserved please inquire, [email protected]

Platinum Art Deco Emerald Engagement Circa 1930’s Vintage 2.53ct t.w. Old Diamond Halo Ring, Price: $4,400

18k yellow gold Vintage Estate 1950’s Cornflower Blue Sapphire Asscher Diamond Halo Ring, Price: $5,999

Right photo:

top bracelet is reserved please inquire, [email protected]

14k yellow gold Art Deco Bracelet Peridot Lattice Bangle Filigree Circa 1930’s Hinged Bangle, Price: $1,450

18k & 14k yellow gold Antique Art Nouveau 2.71ct t.w. Sapphire Rose Cut Diamond Hinged Bangle, Price: $4,999

Platinum Art Deco Diamond Bracelet Circa 1930’s Old Antique Cut Diamond Filigree Geometrical Tennis Bracelet, Price: $8,999

Platinum, 14k yellow gold Antique Edwardian 1920’s Old European Cut Rose Cut Diamond Filigree Heavy Bracelet, Price: $4,499

Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip

Left photo:

Platinum & 18k Large Antique 1900’s 2.95ct t.w. Antique Cut Diamond Bow Necklace, Price: $6,250

14k white gold Vintage 1940’s 12.80ct t.w. Early Retro Persian Turquoise & Transitional Round Brilliant Cut Diamond Pendant Necklace, Price: $5,999

14k & silver Antique Victorian 1880’s Old Mine Cut Diamond Pendant, Price: $4,200

Platinum & 14k white gold Estate Large 5.60ct t.w. Solid Black Opal & Diamonds By The Yard Necklace, Price: $4,999

Emerald cut diamond necklace, reserved please inquire, [email protected]

14k white gold Vintage Art Deco Circa 1930’s Filigree Carved Crystal Old European Cut Diamond Pendant, Price: $799

18k white gold Vintage Aquamarine Diamond Pendant Circa 1970’s Aquamarine Pear Shape Diamond Necklace, Price: $3,800

Right photo:

Platinum Edwardian 1920’s Cultured Pearl & Old European Cut Diamond Ring, Price: $1,899

Platinum, 14k gold Art Deco Double Diamond Ring Circa 1930’s 1.28ct t.w. Old European Cut Diamond Ring, Price: $5,500

Platinum Vintage 8.46ct t.w. Emerald Cut Aquamarine Ring Circa 1940’s Diamond Ring, Price: $3,999

onyx ring, reserved please inquire [email protected]

18k white gold Art Deco Vintage 1930’s Aquamarine Diamond Ring, Price: $1,199

Platinum & 18k Edwardian Diamond Navette Ring Circa 1915 Blue Lab Sapphires & Old Rose Cut Diamonds, Price: $1,995

Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip

Left photo:

14k yellow gold Victorian Sapphire Ring Circa 1880’s Natural Violet Blue Cushion Sapphire Old European Cut Diamond Halo Ring, Price: $3,999

14k yellow gold & platinum Vintage 5.60ct t.w. Emerald Cut Amethyst Circa 1940’s Jones & Woodland Ring, Price: $1,599

14k yellow gold Victorian Enormous 7.03ct 12mm Cabochon Moonstone Ring, Price: $2,999

18k yellow gold Unique Rose Cut Ring Pave’ Diamond Serpent Wrap Cocktail Unique Statement Ring, Price: $5,999

18k yellow gold Vintage Art Deco 1930’s Old European Cut Diamond Milgrain Navette Cocktail Ring, Price: $3,999

14k yellow gold, silver Antique Art Nouveau Peridot Old Mine Cut Diamond Ring Circa 1900’s Floral Statement Ring, Price: $4,400

Opal ring reserved please inquire, [email protected]

Right photo:

Platinum Art Deco Old European Cut Diamond Sapphire Chandelier Earrings, Price: $15,000

Vintage Diamond Art Deco Earrings Circa 1930’s Filigree Old European Cut Single Cut Diamond Chandelier, Price: $4,500

18k yellow gold Estate Large Clover Shaped Multi Colored Cabochon Pink & Green Tourmaline Diamond Chandelier Earrings, Price: $3,500

Platinum, 18k gold Vintage 4.15ct t.w. Art Deco Emerald Diamond Earrings Circa 1930’s Chandelier Earrings, Price: $9,950

Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip

Left photo:

first two necklaces reserved, please inquire [email protected]

18k yellow gold Vintage H.Stern Estate 1980’s Aquamarine Diamond Pendant, Price: $4,200

Art Nouveau 1900’s Antique Old Rose Mine Cut Diamond 18k Yellow Gold Platinum Locket, Price: $2,000

Platinum & 14k Edwardian Vintage .75ct t.w. Circa 1920’s Old European Cut & Rose Cut Diamond Star Motif Pendant, Price: $2,999

Right photo:

Art Deco Wedding Band Platinum Three Stone Baguette Diamond 1930’s Stacking Ring, Price: $995

Platinum Vintage Diamond Wedding 1940’s Seven 7 Stone Diamond Wedding Band, Price: $699

18k white gold Art Deco 1930’s 0.20ct t.w. Ten Diamond Vintage Wedding Band, Price: $599

Platinum Art Deco Circa 1930’s 1.16ct t.w. Old European Cut Diamond Filigree Ring, Price: $3,499

Platinum Antique Diamond Filigree Engraved Wedding Band Circa 1920’s 8 Stone Single Cut Bead Set, Price: $1,350

18k yellow gold Antique Circa 1890’s Victorian 5 Stone Opal Old Mine Cut Diamond Ring, Price: $1,850

18k yellow gold Art Deco Five Stone Wedding Band Circa 1930’s, Price: $2,600

>> Need to see any of these pieces in a video? Check out Jewelry Finds Youtube channel for 360 views!


This sponsored post was brought to you in collaboration with Jewelry Finds. ®

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Top Ten Best Jewelry Looks of the 2017 Met Gala

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This year’s theme for the evening’s Met Gala was “The Art of the In-Between”. The exhibit offers a retrospective of designer Rei Kawakubo of the famed design house Comme des Garçons. Stars and socialites embraced the juxtaposition of redefining the traditional placement of jewelry by wearing key pieces around the ear, in the hair and in some cases even backwards. The red carpet dazzled with both futuristic, avant-garde statement pieces and traditional vintage diamonds from iconic jewelers.

Below is a selection of the most striking examples we found to be featured on the red carpet. We are counting down our top ten looks, including the above look worn by Chinese fashion model Liu Wen.

1. Liu Wen wearing Chanel fine jewelry, photos via NY Mag.

Met Gala | Gem Gossip

2. Claire Danes wore an antique yellow gold and seed pearl earrings and antique cut steel arrow brooch, circa 1850, worn in the hair by Fred Leighton.

Met Gala | Gem Gossip

3. Karen Elson stuns in Tiffany & Co. earrings and ring.

Met Gala | Gem Gossip

4. Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen wearing a plethora of what looks like vintage baubles.

Met Gala | Gem Gossip

5. Actress Elle Fanning wore an Art Deco aquamarine and diamond bandeau, circa 1920s, in platinum along with 6.0 tcw diamond studs in platinum by Fred Leighton.

Met Gala | Gem Gossip

6. Kate Bosworth wore vintage ruby and diamond earrings and a vintage diamond necklace by Cartier.

Met Gala | Gem Gossip

7. Katie Holmes wore a fabulous set of antique diamond and paste necklaces from Kentshire.

Met Gala | Gem Gossip

8. Kerry Washington wore a safety- pin choker by Michael Kors Collection.

Met Gala | Gem Gossip

9. Sarah Paulson wore custom Calder-inspired sapphire in oxidized gold chandelier earrings by Irene Neuwirth.

Met Gala | Gem Gossip

10. Cassie wore a custom-made diamond ear cuff by Indonesian designer Rinaldy A. Yunardi.

All above photos via Getty images.

This post was collaboratively written by:

wwwdaily Laura Lee Fulham | T: @WhoWoreWhatDly | W: www.whoworewhatdaily.com

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Q & A with Ashley of Jewelry Finds

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One of the most abundant comments I receive from people is gratitude for instilling a love for antique items, specifically jewelry, into the younger generation. If all else fails, I feel like I’ve contributed to the greater good of this world by promoting an appreciation for the past, rather than buying fast and new products. I’m always excited to profile someone that is younger than me and exudes a passion for antique jewelry which they’ve been fostering on their own, making it their occupation and being successful at it! That’s why I’m really excited to feature Ashley of Jewelry Finds, an online-based antique and vintage jewelry shop that has been run by her and her mother since 2013. Let’s find out more, shall we?

Q&A

I was 20 years old enjoying burgers and shakes around midnight with my friends at a diner in my hometown of Bethesda, Maryland. Suddenly, a woman I had never met walked right up my table and asked if I had ever considered selling jewelry before. Maybe she liked way I laughed? How I talked to people? The way I scarfed down my cheeseburger in 30 seconds? Whatever it was, I now know it was fate. Fast forward two months later and I had my first big city job at Washington D.C.’s oldest antique jeweler. Shortly thereafter, my antique jewelry fairytale was written and I was given an old brooch that changed my life!

Visit my website to read my magical and true story: https://www.jewelryfinds.com/about.html

Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip

Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip

Q&A

So my love affair of jewelry professionally goes back 13+ years but I actually used to model in jewelry stores for their holiday trunk shows in high school! So I think 17 years?! I am a GIA alumni and love learning about any type of jewelry from any era on any given day! To acquire my pieces I have hundreds of contacts with jewelry wholesalers and auction houses. They know how particular I am and how I like to hand select everything myself! I only pick unique, well preserved and heirloom quality pieces for my clients. I don’t offer pieces in my collection unless I would want it for myself!

I joined the online retail world in 2013 with four pieces of my own jewelry for sale and since it has grown to over 200 carefully hand curated heirloom quality pieces of art! I am strictly a web-based business so I have the time to add new pieces weekly! Check back often! Just click on my ‘Newest Finds’ section on my website or click on the link below:

https://www.jewelryfinds.com/products/newest-finds.html

In case you were wondering how I got ALL of this done, I didn’t want to forget the backbone of the company and co-owner of Jewelry Finds®, my mom Janet! She is Jewelry Finds® amazing photographer, videographer, bookkeeper, graphic designer, website designer, shipping expert and my BEST FRIEND! She loves jewelry just as much as I do and I make sure to spoil her every chance I get! We both share a love for antique jewelry, cute animals and Joni Mitchell. She’s the web guru. I’m the jewelry guru. It was a match made in heaven for a web based antique fine jewelry business from the very start.

Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip

Q&A

Hands down, my favorite piece in my collection for sale is this enormous and rare Art Nouveau enamel and diamond ring! It features gorgeous shaded green and pastel yellow enameling, chunky old mine cut diamonds, and a central Peruzzi cut diamond weighing approximately .80cts . This ring is made entirely in era appropriate brushed 18k green-yellow gold. It’s a museum worthy piece!

Here is the link everyone and don’t forget to watch it’s YouTube video!

https://www.jewelryfinds.com/product/antique-diamond-ring-art-nouveau-1900s-green-enamel-cushion-cut-peruzzi-diamond-18k-yellow-gold-statement-ring.html

Featured front-and-center in photo below:

Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip

Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip

Q&A

1) A pristine and classic ‘Moi Et Toi’ early Edwardian ‘Tiffany & Co.’ old European cut diamond and natural emerald bypass ring with original hallmarks.

2) This Victorian moonstone and old mine cut diamond heart locket with intricate enameling & hand engraving.

3) And last but not least, a pair of late Victorian chandelier earrings measuring over just over 2.5” inches long made in era appropriate 14k yellow gold with sterling silver tops. These earrings featured almost three carats of chunky and sparkling old mine cut, table cut, and antique pear cut diamonds. Ugh. Officially depressed!

one two three Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip

Q&A

My Victorian 14k Yellow Gold & Old Mine Cut Diamond Brooch, of course!

(This brooch changed Ashley’s life, read the full story & see it here >> https://www.jewelryfinds.com/about.html )

Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip

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Gem Gossip Visits Pippin Vintage Jewelry in NYC

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

Pippin Vintage Jewelry storefront — and off to the left, which you can almost see, Pippin Home which is their sister store, full of vintage decor, clothes and knick knacks

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

What you see as you walk in the doorway–just like rummaging through a treasure hunter’s best kept secret!

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

Some easy favorites from their fine jewelry case.

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

A look into the jewelry case! Wow, so many treasures!

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

Besides the two large fine jewelry cases, the store is a mix of costume jewelry neatly displayed, vintage purses and other items, as you can see here.

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

Pippin Vintage has some really gorgeous antique engagement rings; their price points are amazing too!

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

A fun mix of vintage fine rings from Pippin Vintage–and look at that display! Such a cool idea!

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

Love these vintage purses!

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

Some more favorites currently available from Pippin Vintage!

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

The costume jewelry displays on this side of the store are so fun!

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

I’ve never loved a trio more than these three! That coral navette is so cool!

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

Two stunning antique diamond brooches from Pippin Vintage.

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

Another look into the fine jewelry case! See anything you like?!

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

These diamond earrings belong on a beautiful bride!

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

Was enchanted by this charm display–three tiers of charms and the best part, it closes, folding into a box.

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

Pairing the onyx with the elongated sapphire and diamond ring is a match made in heaven! And that rose cut diamond cluster?! Yes!

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

So many rings, so little time!

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

Pippin Vintage is located on a cozy street in Chelsea, NYC

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

If you love vintage purses and handbags, like the one above, you gotta check out Pippin Vintage–they have quite a few stashed all around the store.

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

With each season and holiday, Pippin Vintage changes their decor. I arrived just as the Autumn leaves were going up for their Fall displays.

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

Two very special pieces, this amethyst brooch and this bold quartz ring!

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

Lots of ladies in Pippin Vintage, makes the place even prettier!

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

If you’re on the engagement ring hunt, be sure to stop by Pippin Vintage Jewelry.

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

So much goodness in one photo!

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

An extraordinary sapphire and diamond ring from Pippin Vintage.

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

The girls of Pippin Vintage (not pictured, owners Stephen & Rachel)

Pippin Vintage | Gem Gossip

Just can’t get enough of this combo! If you see any here you like, contact Pippin Vintage!

I love finding hidden gems–those stores you might walk right by and never have known what treasures await inside. Pippin Vintage Jewelry is exactly one of those stores! Think of it like a long lost treasure trove or attic which once belonged to a group of the coolest, hippest girls of the past, now transformed into a store for all to rummage through! And that’s exactly what owners Rachel and Stephen set out to create, a space that inspires adornment, an eclectic collection for those who love jewelry and things of the past, right in the heart of Chelsea. You can tell from my photos that Pippin Vintage is one of those stores that you can spend quite some time in and not realize the hours slipping by, while at the same time you are transported back in time with every item you see. From the entire wall filled with vintage costume jewelry, to the antique clutches and purses, even fashionable hats from the bygone eras, the entire store is a whimsy.

Pippin Vintage Jewelry first began before it was an actual store. Back during the times of the old Chelsea Flea Markets, Stephen would sell his preloved treasures found at auctions in the Northeast, and when I say treasures, I mean a little bit of everything! Jewelry was a part of the equation, but a small part, and it needed more attention than what it was getting. Rachel noticed this right away, she always had a penchant for jewels, especially the antique kind. With some organization and a woman’s touch, jewelry soon became their best seller. Eventually the Chelsea Flea Markets closed down for good and the duo found themselves looking for a space to rent with a dream to open a store. In 2006 they happened upon the most ideal spot and in the spring of 2007, Pippin Vintage opened its doors for the first time.

One thing is for sure, Pippin Vintage Jewelry has thrived upon their enthusiastic and dedicated customers. They love their NYC people–to the owners, being a part of the city that never sleeps is their favorite part of this business. One thing I noticed is their approachable pricing. For many, buying things in the city is just so darn expensive. But not here. Pippin Vintage accounts value as one of their most important parts of their business model. They even encourage trades amongst their fine jewelry clients who may have some fine jewelry they don’t wear anymore, but may have found something they want amongst the cases. And yes, there are two whole cases within their fine jewelry selection. Lots of rings, charms, earrings, necklaces and bracelets from many different time periods. Their price points are great too; you can find items like small gold charms for a couple hundred dollars, while also displayed next to a diamond Art Deco bracelet for $25,000. That’s what I love about this shop, it is a true treasure hunt in the heart of NYC.

I’ve enjoyed my time while visiting and even more so while emailing with Rachel. Her stories intrigue me, like the one about her experience with an estate of a “hoarder” who lived in the Bronx. She was a seamstress during the 1920s/30s and had hoards of buttons, jewelry and collection of Bakelite jewelry. Rachel said you walked in the door and everything was jam packed from floor to ceiling of stuff! I’m sure it was an unforgettable experience.

If you get the chance to visit NYC, make sure to put Pippin Vintage Jewelry on your itinerary! The neighborhood that the store is located in is just the cutest and their home goods store is also a must see–Pippin Home–which sells vintage and antique furniture, home decor, trinkets and some clothes. It is just right next door. May I also suggest the Mexican restaurant across the street–Serenata. One of the best lunches I’ve ever had!

Thanks Pippin Vintage for having me! I will be back next time I’m in town!

Pippin Vintage

112 W 17th St.

New York, NY 10011

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Gem Gossip Visits Greenwich St. Jewelers in NYC

 

Family jewels: sisters Christina and Jennifer, owners of Greenwich St. Jewelers

Greenwich St. Jwlrs | Gem Gossip

Greenwich St. Jewelers loves their Beverley K. Collection–perfect if you love an antique look but want something brand new

Greenwich St. Jwlrs | Gem Gossip

The Greenwich St. Jewelers storefront, in the heart of the financial district in NYC

Greenwich St. Jwlrs | Gem Gossip

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The Gentleman’s Guide to Buying Vintage Engagement Rings

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So you know that she wants a vintage engagement ring, but what now? This handy and comprehensive guide, written by the experts at Estate Diamond Jewelry will hopefully shed some light on a journey fraught with potential pitfalls for the uninformed, and make the whole process much easier than it otherwise might be.

A Quick Rundown on the Vintage Eras

We believe that understanding the vintage jewelry eras is very important. These terms are repeated endlessly throughout the vintage jewelry scene, and recognizing the vintage jewelry eras is the first step to beginning to understand vintage jewelry.

The Victorian Era spanned from 1836 – 1901

Victorian-Rings

The Edwardian Era spanned from 1901 – 1915

Edwardian-Rings

The Art Deco Era spanned from 1920 – 1939

Art-Deco-Rings

The Retro Era spanned from 1935 – 1950

Retro-Rings

The earliest era is the Georgian Era, spanning from 1714 – 1835, unfortunately, there aren’t many genuine Georgian Rings available on the market anymore. Most of the genuine Georgian rings are not in a stable enough condition to wear on a daily basis. The Art Nouveau Era, spanned from 1895 – 1910, and partially overlapped the Victorian and Edwardian Era. The Art Nouveau designs and motifs however, didn’t really lend themselves to be easily adapted to the traditional vintage engagement ring. The rings shown above can be found here.

The Four C’s and Diamond Quality

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The Four ‘C’s of diamond classification are Carat (size), Clarity (flawlessness), Color (how “white” it is) and Cut (the quality of the cut and how the finished stone appears). A reputable dealer will happily go over each of these with you for any stone that catches your eye. Even if you have a modest budget, it is important that you feel comfortable and have a good understanding of the stone that you are interested in.

Also, bear in mind that compromising in one area will get you a strength in another. If size is important to you, you may have to compromise on clarity or color to find a diamond within your budget.

The Classes of Diamonds

Carat – The larger the number the heavier the diamond weighs. One carat weighs 200 mg.

Color – The whiteness of the diamond. The whitest diamonds are ranked as a D. The diamonds get more yellow as the letters move closer to Z.

Clarity – The clarity of a diamond ranges from F (no inclusions), IF, VVS1, VVS2, VS1, VS2, SI1, SI2, I1, I2, and I3 (included).

Cut – The cut measures the perfection of the facets of the diamond. There are four standard rankings: excellent, very good, good, and fair. (Please note that antique diamonds tend to rank lower on this scale because they were cut by hand.)

For a comprehensive walk-through on everything that you need to know about diamonds, click here.

Determining Antique Diamonds

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Determining the age of a diamond accurately is very hard, even for experts, but we can give you a few tips to help you at least determine if the diamond is old.

  • The culet. If you look down the center of the diamond and see a culet (a rounded facet at the bottom) there likelyhood of the diamond being old is extremely high.
  • The table. The table is the flat surface at the top of the diamond. Current GIA standards favor a larger table surface. Older diamonds will usually have much smaller tables.
  • The girdle. A frosted girdle is good indicator that the diamond is old.

For more information on dating antique diamonds and why antique diamonds are treasured, click here.

The Style and Design

Most people have heard the term “solitaire ring” without ever really fully understanding what it means. A solitaire ring is simply a ring with a single stone, usually but not exclusively a diamond, and has become an iconic representation of an engagement ring. But solitaires, as popular as they have become in recent years are just one in an almost endless array of designs for engagement rings.

There are several popular periods for antique engagement rings, many of which have gone on to influence modern day designs significantly. One of the most important periods for design generally, and which had a terrific impact on ring design was the Art Deco period of the early 20th Century. Art Deco is demonstrated by symmetrical, even at times quite aggressive designs that lend themselves perfectly to drawing the eye to the diamond of the engagement ring.

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Considered a little more “edgy” that earlier style periods, both in construction and intent, the symmetry of engagement rings from this period manages to stay clear of straying into what might otherwise have been early “bling” by the considered cut and placement of the stones. It isn’t unusual to see a center diamond surrounded by a pavement of small sapphires or rubies, or even other diamonds. This can allow the center diamond to be a little smaller and, therefore, a little less expensive whilst appearing bigger than it really is.

The fact is, though, that style is a very personal thing. Find something you like, and then ask yourself will your future fiancé like it. Actually looking at her current ring collection before you start shopping, or the ones she wears at least, will give you some idea of what to look for. If she has rings she wears all the time, don’t be afraid to look for an engagement ring that might compliment them, whether by color or design.

Platinum is the metal of choice for the band of the ring, due to it being hypoallergenic, but the choices extend to gold in many colors, giving a wide range of choices. Antique rings from the Victorian Era will very likely have silver in them as well.

To understand a little bit more about vintage motifs and styles, click here.

The Budget

Only you can decide how much your budget should be. Of all the questions that you and your fiancée will be asked about the ring, “How much was it” won’t – or at least shouldn’t – be one of them. As long as you stay within your budget, don’t be drawn into overpaying for a ring just so that you can brag about the cost.

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If your fiancée is really the one for you, you could put an old beer can ring pull on her finger and it wouldn’t matter. (Don’t do that, by the way, the tactic only works in movies.) Leave the cost boasts to the celebrities.

De Beers, the diamond mining and dealing giant first coined the phrase “A month’s salary that lasts a lifetime” to boost sales within a falling diamond market during the lean years of the 1930s. They upgraded it to “Two month’s salary…” by the 1980s, so it seems their campaign paid off.

So is two month’s salary a fair price? It all depends.

Will it be a single solitaire diamond, or one with more stones in the setting? Will it have different stones such as sapphires or rubies as well as the diamonds. How big will the stones be? What will the quality of the stones and the setting be?

Any one of them can make a huge difference to the cost of the ring. The key is NOT to see the vintage ring as an investment, although it will more than likely rise in value, but to see it as part of your life story. A permanent, irrefutable element in a story that now involves two people.

Set your budget and have a cast iron determination to stay within it. Or at least within 20% of the top end if you see something you really like. Whether this is two month’s salary or just enough so you can eat this week makes no difference. The main thing is to find a ring that you’ll both love. An engagement ring isn’t just a piece of jewelry, it is the guardian of a treasured moment that you will share forever.

Quality and Assurances

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This is where finding a reputable dealer with a sound background and credentials becomes crucial.

Most vintage engagement rings will have one primary (and possibly many accenting) diamonds within the setting. As mentioned above, diamonds come in a wide range of qualities and, by extension, values. The best diamonds sell for very high prices and have lots of nuances, but that doesn’t mean lower valued stones should be overlooked.

To all but the practised eye of an expert, many of the internal flaws and color tints that lower some value from the stone will be all but undetectable to an untrained eye, even yours. A trained and honest salesperson should be able to navigate you along the path, educating you along the way, and helping you make this important decision.

Certifications and Insurance

If you have a budget that allows you to consider a diamond in excess of 1 carat, you should get a certification or appraisal into the grading of the stone. These are independently produced and certify the quality of the diamond should you need it at any point for insurance or other purposes.

Speaking of insurance, make sure you get the right level of cover for the ring you buy. There are specialist jewelry insurers as well as cover being usually available from your home and contents insurer. Have the ring re-valued every couple of years and make sure you upgrade the cover if needed. Not that the emotional value of an engagement ring can ever be measured, but loss and damage does happen and a “free” replacement is better than paying twice.

For more information on how to insure your jewelry, click here.

A Final Thought

The value of an engagement ring can’t just be measured in dollars, it’s far too important to simply be a financial thing. What it signifies is a partnership that is taking a significant step forward and which will define you both for decades to come. Above all else, buy an engagement ring that shows the purchase wasn’t just about you. We all like, and need, to feel appreciated so keep that in mind when you make the single biggest “I appreciate you” statement of your life.

This post was written and brought to you by Estate Diamond Jewelry.

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The Best Diamonds in Seattle, WA

My trip to Seattle had me traveling all over this beautiful city located in the US’s Northwest in search of the best jewelry to be seen! I quickly discovered that Seattle may be nicknamed the “Emerald City,” but it sure had a lot of amazing DIAMONDS. Thanks to 1001 Diamonds, I put together a list of the TOP FIVE best shops in Seattle to find diamonds. Whether you’re looking for your perfect engagement ring, a right hand ring with diamonds, a diamond necklace or bracelet, or even a pair of diamond earrings, these places have it all. Let’s start with number five:

Isadora’s Antique & Estate Jewelry —

A store certainly not short on diamonds, Isadora’s had the most amazing selection of vintage and antique pieces. If an antique diamond is what you’re seeking, this is the place to go! Anything from antique rose cuts to Old European cuts, their cases were full. The store also had an impressive selection of antique earrings, which is a niche not normally covered well by other antique jewelry shops. The photo above depicts a brilliant selection of what they have to offer. That antique diamond necklace is insane! The rings range from late 1800s to early 1930s, and each truly is so unique. To read more about this shop click here.

Diamonds in Seattle | Gem Gossip

Alexandria Rossoff Rare Jewels & Finds —

Antique and modern engagement ring selection here is two thumbs up! The price range lets you find something no matter your budget, and Alexandria’s experience in the business will allow you to customize what you want if necessary. From bold solitaire diamond styles, to antique clusters and everything in between, this shop is a must see. The diamonds’ cut, clarity and color also is shown in a wide variety, which is what I like as well. A diamond with a low color? Yes, you can find that here, but you can also find high ranking colors too. No discrimination here–as long as it sparkles. That’s important!

Diamonds in Seattle | Gem Gossip

Alana Jewelry —

One of the most shopped at Seattle jewelry stores for many reasons, Alana Jewelry always carries LOTS of diamonds because they are in demand! Many of their customers walk into the store because it is located in a busy mall and end up leaving with diamonds, never planning on it beforehand. The heavy foot traffic allows for their diamond inventory to be constantly changing and consistently well-versed. In order to appeal to many different tastes, they have all sorts of styles, eras, shapes, sizes and price ranges. Alana Jewelry sells both antique and modern jewelry, with appraisals on all their diamonds.

Diamonds in Seattle | Gem Gossip

TWIST —

Wanting something more unique but brand new? TWIST has you covered! Their wide variety of fine jewelry, with designers specializing in diamonds in particular will leave you breathless. So many new innovations are coming to the forefront and TWIST is always the first to release them. Inverted diamonds? They have them! Black, grey, brown and other “rustic” diamonds? Yes, they have them! A quick glance at their bridal selection will have you wanting something unlike anyone else, thanks to their fine curation of stunning jewels. Shop diamond specialists like TAP by Todd Pownell, Mandrel Studio, Rebecca Overmann, Mallary Marks, Cathy Waterman, and SO MANY more!

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