Arik Kastan Debuts New Styles at Couture 2017

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Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

Arik Kastan and their team have been busy debuting some new designs and collections while out in Vegas for Couture. Buyers, press, journalists all hovered over their booth to get a glimpse of the new styles and fun gemstone combinations that still have people talking. As usual, Arik Kastan’s booth was one that couldn’t be missed when attending this year’s tradeshow.

If you missed out attending Vegas, we’ve got you covered in this installment–which is shown here on Gem Gossip, as well as all of Arik Kastan’s Newsletter subscribers. Be sure to sign up if you haven’t below!

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A padlock on a thin chain is all you need for a night out in Vegas! This one has us telling our friends it is perfect in every way. Classic and cool for a modern woman who still likes a nod from the past.

Oval cluster padlock in emerald + diamonds, Price: $2,360


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We weren’t ready for how much of an impact we would bring to Couture with our green agate pieces! Comments like, “what stone is this, it is amazing?!” and “this green color is glowing!!” have really made us proud. This ring is one of our favorites.

Five-Stone Art Deco ring in green agate + sapphire, Price: $1,280


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Since we are on a green/blue kick, we’ve changed things up by using emeralds and turquoise. This earring style and gemstone combo are totally chic, and we could picture these on a summer getaway on a plane near you!

Deco Rhombus Drop Earrings in turquoise + emerald, Price: $1,830

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To go along with the above earrings, we’ve created this ring which is sweet as can be! It is stack-ready and as we’ve said before, awaiting summer. Try wearing this one on your pinky if you’re wanting to do something more unique. Your friends will catch on.

Deco Lilac ring in turquoise + emerald, Price: $1,170

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

Feeling the summer heat over here in Vegas, which is why we’re opting to keep our necklace situation simple. We have been wearing the Aster necklace most of the week and it has brought the right amount of sparkle and femininity to our lives. Definitely our kind of Vegas vibes.

Aster Pendant in diamonds, Price: $1,830


Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

Before we head back to LA from scorching Vegas, we want to point out our Delilah ring because SHE’S CUTE. One of our most-requested rings during our trade show and we can’t wait to see these on your fingers!

Delilah ring in emerald + diamonds, Price: $2,200

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

We couldn’t wait to show off our newest vintage-inspired bow rings which debuted at Couture. And the newest gemstone color combo that had store and editors swooning–green agate and sapphires. Look out for them to hit the website soon! Can’t wait? Email [email protected]

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Source: GossipGem.com

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My Jewel Box: What I Bought In Tucson & Miami 2017

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Hey guys & gals.

hahaha

I’ve never started a blog post like that before. Should I just leave it? Ok, I will.

Here is the long overdue blog post about the items I brought back from my trips to Tucson & Miami. Anytime I go to a jewelry show, I never know what I’m going to find so the energy is always slightly tense and adrenaline is constantly flowing. If I buy something at a show, I never know for certain if I’m going to keep it or sell it–I’ve realized I have to bring it home and introduce it into my collection, wear it a few times, and decide if it feels like it should be mine forever or not. I can’t tell you how I determine that, I just know.

This time around in Tucson, I never knew I would find a piece of jewelry I would love and end up keeping. I was totally focused on buying gems, crystals and random minerals (see second photo) but when I stopped by the Excalibur Estate Jewelry booth at AGTA in Tucson, the ring kind of found me. It didn’t help that I had been searching for a special client of mine for something just like this, but it was out of her budget. I bought it anyway. The whole rest of the trip, I treated it as though it was for my client and that I would be saying goodbye to it as soon as I got home. Every time I thought about selling it, I couldn’t! I also kept looking at pictures of it (actually the exact photo in this blog post) the whole plane ride home. I had to keep it.

My next trip to Miami was only a week later, so normally I would be like “my budget is DONE” after buying something like that in Tucson. I had some good timing with my EBTH sale being launched the same day Miami started. I took my entire inventory and put it up for auction with EBTH–sort of nail-biting as every piece is sold at no reserve–so yes several pieces went for hundreds less than retail value, but I was able to justify finding and buying three amazing new pieces for my personal collection.

The three rings in the last photo above on the left are my Miami Antique Show finds. The furthest one on the left is from Shelly Storch Fine Jewelry–I found it early on in the day on my last day, I made an offer which wasn’t accepted and then came back right before I left at the end of the day. This is one of those rings that you simply can’t stop staring at! The turquoise and black enamel ring was found at Haig’s of Rochester and I love the contrast of the turquoise with the enamel. I think it may have been a stick pin conversion–while most stick pins are tiny, this one is pretty large, which is what I like about it as well. The last purchase from the Miami Antique Show is the Art Nouveau diamond and black enamel ring from Marlene Wong Alvarado Antique & Estate Jewelry. She is a seller who has been in the business for YEARS and is based out of Corpus Christi, Texas. She told me she personally wore that ring for over 20 years, as it was in her personal collection and this was the first time she was offering it for sale. I told her I would take good care of it! It is marked Syman and I couldn’t find much about this maker online. I posted a photo of the ring on a Facebook Group I’m a member of–Antique Jewelry Identification Group–and my friend Jenn believes that it is a Colorado based company from the early 1900s. If you know more about this maker, please contact me!

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? Check out what else is in my jewel box!

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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

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The Art Deco Era spanned from 1920 – 1939

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The Retro Era spanned from 1935 – 1950

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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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Thanks to Gossip Gem

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Leslie Hindman Auction Set For September 11th & 12th, 2016

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An incredible trio of opal jewelry, spanning different time periods, yet look wonderful together–these are offered back-to-back in lots 85, 86 & 87 on day one of the September sale featured at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers

I couldn’t be more excited for the September sale from Leslie Hindman Auctioneers! One reason might be because something from my personal collection will be auctioned off in this sale–can you believe that?! My first time ever consigning a piece of jewelry to an auction house! More on that later, but there are so many other reasons to be excited too. Starting with the incredible assortment of jewelry to hit the auction block–ready for the next treasure hunter, jewelry dreamer, or obsessive collector. The Chicago-based auction house has a two-day event for their expansive sale of 1,335 pieces of jewelry! The sale has been divided into two separate days–Sunday, September 11th starting at NOON CST and the following day, Monday, September 12th beginning at 10am CST. I will be tuning in via online live-bidding, sitting on the edge of my seat, rooting for lot 97, and bidding on some favorites.

So what sets this auction apart from the rest?

Alexander Eblen, Director of the Fine Jewelry Dept. at Leslie Hindman, explains, “It will be a feast for enthusiasts who enjoy seeing an eclectic unbroken timeline of different jewelry aesthetics and construction offered at auction with inclusive and attainable starting estimates. Think everything from platinum, diamond and seed pearl tassel pendants from the “flapper” period to bold, idiosyncratic sculptural jewels from the 1960’s, aesthetics all over the map.”

In particular, two large estates–Property from the Estate of Robert and Lois Orchard, St. Louis, Missouri and Property from the Estate of Rebecca Cook Schoonmaker, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania–both with prominent pieces have contributed a large amount of sparkle to this exciting sale. Eblen says, “The Schoonmaker and Orchard estates in particular have allowed us to bring incredible curated yet broad selections from the Edwardian, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Retro eras all the way to the 1960’s, 1970’s and more contemporary.”

I’ve picked my favorites and of course, had to include the ring I consigned with Leslie Hindman. My experience consigning the ring was one of the easiest things I’ve ever done! I sent off pictures, immediately heard back from Alex via email…we discussed the fine print, then was sent a mailing label prepaid and ready to go! Hope this is the beginning to many more items being sold at auction in the future!

Day One//September 11th, 2016:

Lot 91 Leslie Hindman Lot 94 Leslie Hindman Lot 97 Leslie Hindman Lot 99 Leslie Hindman Lot 102 Leslie Hindman Lot 106 Leslie Hindman Lot 114 Leslie Hindman

Lot 91: Reminiscent of my engagement ring, this particular diamond ring features two diamonds in a bypass design–you may call it a moi et toi style. Unlike mine, this one is done in platinum and white gold. One diamond is approximately 0.92 carats, while the other is 0.81 carats. Love this style for obvious reasons and this piece would make a wonderful engagement ring. Estimate: $2500-3500

Lot 94: The Edwardian period is probably my most favorite jewelry time period, so no wonder I am infatuated with this ring. Set with one central emerald that is a round mixed cut and then surrounded by intricately done diamonds in the typical garland style of the time period. Platinum-topped gold is the metal of this ring and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Estimate: $1000-2000

Lot 97: OMG! It’s my ring! Looking elegant as ever in its professional photo–I feel like a proud mother. Yes, this ring is from my personal collection and for the first time ever I decided to consign something to auction. I created this ring out of two stick pins, combining two different time periods into one with this unique design. The pearl is pretty insane and for most pearl enthusiasts, highly collectible. I can’t wait to see how it does! Estimate: $1500-2500

Lot 99: This ring stands out to me because of the unique design and the interesting coloring of the diamonds used. Most would strive for exact color matches when it comes to multiple diamonds within a single piece of jewelry. This ring is different because the diamond colors are all over the scale, even including a light champagne colored diamond. I actually love that! It gives the piece some vibrancy and whoever wins this ring is very lucky! Estimate: $4000-6000

Lot 102: Another very fine example of the Edwardian period shown here with this pendant necklace. You can see all the intricate openwork within the platinum metal and the lacey details. The diamond in the center is a nice 2.08 carats, with a handmade chain and pearl accents. This is as good as it gets! Estimate: $12000-18000

Lot 106: Tassels seem to be all the rage right now in “top trending” jewelry. This tassel proves how timeless this design can be because it was made nearly 100 years ago. Done in platinum with seed pearls with 0.64 carats total of diamonds. Perfect from every angle! Estimate: $3000-5000

Lot 114: Something about this lariet necklace I just love! I think it is the combination of pearls and black onyx hearts that make it elegant but not too elegant. The strand is an impressive 42 inches in length, topped off with diamond and platinum accents. This would love amazing styled with a blouse and wide leg pants. I can see it now! Estimate: $300-500

Day Two//September 12th, 2016:

Lot 597 Leslie Hindman Lot 729 Leslie Hindman Lot 883 Leslie Hindman Lot 1011 Leslie Hindman Lot 1139 Leslie Hindman Lot 1157 Leslie Hindman

Lot 597: Day two provides some great jewels, including this Art Deco ring, a throwback to an amazing era. Set with a total of 2.76 carats of diamonds, this sparkler is an ideal right hand ring with an heirloom feel. It is done in platinum and I love the elongated silhouette of this ring. Estimate: $3000-5000

Lot 729: I can never have a list of top picks without throwing in a snake ring. This one is really cool! Everything from the coiled body, to the texture of the gold and the unique marquise cut diamond makes this ring really special. It is a size 8 and I can’t forget to mention the emerald eyes! Estimate: $300-500

Lot 883: Here are your summer time earrings right here! These speak volumes to me–fun, flirty, and can ultimately transform any outfit. They are statement-making in their own right, just toss your hair up and put on these and you’re good to go. The earrings are done in 18k yellow gold and ready to party. Estimate: $400-600

Lot 1011: Another neat pair of 18k yellow gold earrings–these hammered studs with diamonds. Domed in design and four-prong set with a 0.10 carat diamond in each, these are fun everyday earrings that are something “more than just a diamond stud.” I love them. Estimate: $150-250

Lot 1139: I can never turn down a blue enamel backdrop ring. The color sets the tone for the overlay of diamonds in the best way possible. The elongated style of the ring makes it a sure thing for me. The diamonds total nearly one carat and I bet it looks even better when worn! Estimate: $600-800

Lot 1157: A multi-gem ring as colorful as a rainbow–such a great floral patterned ring. The gemstones are tourmaline, peridot, citrine and diamond and stamped 18k gold. The details of the gold finish around the bezels allow the texture to make the ring even more unique. A ring like this will brighten your day, any day. Estimate: $200-300

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.

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Jewelry Collection Stories: Alisa of Erstwhile Jewelry

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Today’s Jewelry Collection Story comes from one half of the Erstwhile Jewelry duo, Alisa Klusner. Inheriting a love for gems and antiques from both her grandmother and mother, Alisa is now enchanted by gems and antiques found by her husband Jared. The married team have a great eye for beautiful, drool-worthy pieces–anything from a sapphire and diamond Art Deco ring, to a retro ruby and diamond piece, they have all the best. More recently the two collaborated on their own vintage-inspired line By Erstwhile, which features wedding bands, engagement rings, a really cool ear cuff, and some pendants. Excited to share Alisa’s story:

“I’ve been collecting my whole life. My grandmother and I would thrift and go to flea markets together every weekend. She had little boxes of gems found at flea markets and brought from the mother land, Russia. I loved how carefully she cared for these little treasures. I think, for me, the romance began there. My collecting began probably from my grandmother’s first few little gifts that were small but very sweet. My mother has always been a lover of fine jewels and over the years she’s also gifted me with jewels commemorating special occasions.”

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“Now my husband, an antiques dealer, gifts me with gems. So my collection consists mostly of jewels he’s given me, little relics from my childhood, and pieces I “borrow” from Erstwhile.”

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On her favorite motifs…

“Anything that brings about a feeling of nostalgia I love. My favorite motifs are found in Georgian and Victorian Mourning rings. They’re jewels made and worn to remember lost loved ones. Usually inscribed with the name of the deceased and date and place of death. These were worn to remind the wearer of mortality as in those days it was a constant threat. Many times you can find ‘memento mori’ inscribed on these jewels, a Latin expression meaning ‘remember death’. Typical motifs and looks were black jet (the stone in the ring below), black and white enamel on yellow gold, and painted weeping willows.”

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“I am passionate about bringing back the concept of treasuring your possessions. Everything in our culture is so disposable now. I get caught up in it myself. But you get on that merry go round and forget to appreciate the things you have. Unlike my grandmother, who treasured those few bright little jewels. Many of the rings we find may have gotten scraped or melted and lost. When you see 100 rings at once, all thrown together, they can lose their individual luster. The work comes when you need to spot those special pieces and put them in a context/curate them in a way that let’s their light shine. And instead of someone buying a disposable trendy piece of jewelry, they can buy this special piece, hand made using precious metals and gems over 100 years ago. A piece that can and should be loved for a lifetime. That’s my passion, the possibility that these jewels will outlast all of us. And we’re just stewards of them for now.”

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“I like to join Jared on shopping trips to London, Paris, and even Upstate NY. Antique jewelry shows are fun too! Treasure hunting for jewelry has massively changed in the last few years with the internet and Instagram. It used to be that you could find amazing jewels in pawn and antique shops in little towns around the US. But everything’s online now and the romance of the hunt has gone a bit.”

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“My engagement ring is my most special and favorite piece. Jared just happened upon it and immediately knew it was for me. Surprisingly he didn’t agonize over dozens of rings. It was just this one from the start. And it’s perfect.”

Erstwhile Jewelry

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Source: GossipGem.com

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Las Vegas Antique Jewelry Show 2016

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First stop, Lenore Dailey’s booth–always. Great jewelry, great gossip and a feast for the eyes.

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Excalibur Jewelry always has some stunners–like these opals and gigantic emerald. OakGem had this malachite Egyptian Revival pendant I flipped over.

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Sky Gems boasting this fabulous tray of various corundum and emeralds. The trio of crowned hearts from Lowther Antiques is SO special!

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Lenore Dailey’s booth had this jaw-dropping faceted amethyst pendant, I couldn’t stop staring! And this opal ring is INSANE–I snapped this photo just as I was leaving and don’t remember whose booth it is from.

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Both these photos are from Key Amour, owner Dana is so nice! I love the opal pendant it just glowed. And the stack of rings from her booth was fun to create.

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A booth shot of Mary Ann-tiques’ booth, always full of great items, you gotta look long and hard. The next photo is actually me with a bunch of antique reproductions and I appreciated the vendor immediately disclosing this as soon as I asked about them!

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Ann Marie Stanton always has some really interesting pieces! Love this Egyptian Revival pendant and carved opal brooch.

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Had to stop by Jogani’s booth and be immediately mesmerized by his diamond rings. His handmade ring boxes wowed me too!

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Lucy Verity had the cutest little Victorian ring box, nestled with the daintiest Victorian rings! We also loved the snake wrapped around the crescent moon brooch found at Under the Crown.

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My next stop was Jacob’s Estate Jewelry where I oogled over all the jewelry, especially these artisan-made earrings set with really interesting opaque gems. Sugilite is the funky, deep-purple colored gem used in the one pair.

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Prepare to be amazed by this huge emerald ring, weighing in at 19.86 carats! Found at Pat Saling’s booth. The other photos is LOTS of diamond Art Deco rings from Lenore Dailey’s booth.

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The most glorious opal rings from The Gold Hatpin, seen here. And another piece from Pat Saling, set with an abundance of colored gemstones, creating a rainbow burst for your wrist!

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Platt Boutique had a great lineup of really interesting, noteworthy bracelets. I love the heavy gold ones. And the urn mourning ring was an awesome find, from Lowther Antiques!

Ah, another year in Las Vegas for the annual jewelry shows has come and gone! I arrived late the night before in Vegas and made sure I had a hearty room service dinner to prepare for the next day spent at the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry Show, opening day! This year I tagged along with Katie of Vada Jewelry who was buying unique pieces to add to her finely curated antique and vintage jewelry selection of Vada. The vibe on opening day was busy and bustling–seems year after year the show gets more crowded on the first day, and then it tapers off. Day two was by far less busy. I’m a huge fan of how laid back the antique show is compared to other jewelry shows in Vegas. The fact that it opens at 11am rather than 9:30am also is pretty cool in my book.

Rumor has it that next year’s antique show will not be at The Paris, so I’m trying to see how this settles with me, as next year’s Original Miami Beach show is also supposed to be located somewhere other than where it has been for ages! Change–I guess that’s the theme for next year and for people in the antiques industry, we don’t like change! ha!

Two full days at the antique show proved to be ideal (as I learned from last year)–I was able to get some great photos for both my blog and some other projects I was working on. Some shopping was done, bought a couple things for @shopGemGossip and if you’ve been reading my blog since the beginning, I always have to commemorate the trip with a purchase for my own personal jewel box. More on that in a separate post! 😉

Just want to take the time to thank all the wonderful people of the antique jewelry world for making my trip year after year more fun than the last! Check out the captions and above photos for a play-by-play of my two-day antique excursion.

Thanks for another great year, Las Vegas Antique Jewelry Show…can’t wait until next year!

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Q & A with Dover Jewelry, A Leader in Antique & Estate Jewelry

Dover Jewelry | Gem Gossip Dover Jewelry has been my go-to spot for all things antique and estate jewelry since my very first purchase online EVER involving jewelry! If you don’t believe me, just read the blog post I wrote about the white gold, sapphire eternity band that I bought from Dover way back in 2008. That post was the second blog post written on GemGossip.com so it is ancient! 😉 The next blog post I wrote featured a diamond bypass ring that I fell in love with from Dover which gave me my original love and inspiration for my antique engagement ring. You can see the post here. It’s funny how rough and dicey those first few months of blogging were, but I was just starting out…trying to find my voice.

It is evident that Dover Jewelry has been on my radar for a very long time and their excellence in the jewelry industry reaches far beyond my eight years blogging, in fact Dover Jewelry has been in bussiness for over 25 years. Their collection and inventory exceeds all expectations and is constantly growing. I had to know more about this company, so I asked five important questions–hope you enjoy the interview!

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Our fascination with antique jewelry began in a small antique store, tucked away in one of Boston’s most affluent suburbs. And as reputations grow, so did ours – Dover Jewelry was the place to find that special piece, that necklace never duplicated in any of Boston’s most glamorous ballrooms or select intimate parties. Boston, the place of our roots, was good to us and we loved the city as we became increasingly more recognized and trusted amongst the “Bean Town” Elite. But, as our businesses became more and more successful, the draw of Miami’s exploding International Celebrity loomed on our horizon. No place was there more of a demand for beauty, craftsmanship and value. We could not ignore the force that drew us to the gateway of Latin America, and a center point of Fashion excellence like that of Downtown Miami. It was a decision that swept us upward and onward to international markets, exquisite finds and an ever increasing and appreciative clientele.

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Dover is based in the heart of Miami’s diamond district, where our expert Jewelry staff maintains a passion for the rare and exceptional. We pride ourselves in our extensive knowledge and expertise of current market values of precious stones and metals around the globe. Growing our formidable team of over 15 employees provides the quality support and premium service our clients deserve. Our in-house Master Jeweler, GIA gemologist, videographers, selling professionals, globally procured buyers and experienced customer service team in the jewelry industry strive to provide our clients with a singular purchasing experience, 100% personal attention and satisfaction.

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Dover Jewelry procures an extensive collection of unique estate items, retailing in excess of over 300 pieces per week. This rigorous turnover, allows our globally sourced team of buyers to allocate a steady selection of fresh and rare collections. From the halls of the most infamous trade shows in Miami, NY, and Las Vegas to the Grandest exhibitions in Hong Kong, Basel, France and Latin America.

Closer to home, we have the privilege of welcoming the most treasured collections from local families and celebrities who are looking for an unsurpassed level of discrete estate buying and evaluations. Those who have decided it’s time to pass their rare jewels along to someone who will love and cherish them as much as they once did.

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On one memorable occasion we were asked to go to New York to meet an elderly lady who had acquired a fabulous collection of fine gems dating back to her great grandmother. As with many immigrants at that time, escaping persecution from their Russian Homeland, any valuables were immediately confiscated and yet her grandmother knew that the survival of herself and her lineage was incumbent upon these precious gems which were sewn into their jacket linings in hopes of surviving the long migration to America.

Slowly, and with the supervision of our gemology team, we have been able to guide her on the most lucrative times to liquidate her collection in order to safeguard her heirs fortune, as did her great grandmother.

Dover Jewelry | Gem Gossip

This magnificent rare diamond antique brooch is handcrafted in solid 18k gold with a silver top. A fabulous composition of some 109 round old european cut diamonds approx. 7.00 cttw, G-H color, almost all VS clarity and 3 pinkish white natural pearls, approx. 5.5mm in diameter.

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It is difficult to say what sets us apart – perhaps it is our extensive search for true Antique and Estate Fine Jewels which is an expertise in itself. We revel in the craftsmanship and the flawless stones that distinguish the magnificent from the ordinary. And best of all is the value in which our buyers or sellers receive for their items.

To find those original rare items – that have been the basis for mass reproduction with other jewelers, requires a vast education in gemology, antique periods and the ability to instill trust beyond reproach with our customers. Dover Jewelry maintains the integrity, and “one on one” service of a fine locally based boutique establishment, coupled with global connections to service our customers in a worldwide marketplace.

Whether you are in the market for rare jewels, or a treasured memory of something your grandmother once wore, our collection represents a walk through the history of jewelry from the lacy, floral scrolls of the Edwardian period to the geometric cuts that characterize Art Deco baubles. Loyalty to these fine vintage pieces is often passed down through generations of a family, symbolizing a way of life and it is just that kind of enduring heirloom that is proving its worth in our collection today.

One of the great joys of fine jewelry is that the very best materials are completely timeless and although old jewels have been locked away in banks and boxes, we all know tangible treasures are far more fascinating. With this in mind, we invite you to experience our glittering array of antique gems. Not only to be viewed, but more importantly to be tried on, loved and brought sparkling back to life!

Dover Jewelry | Gem Gossip

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Dover Jewelry.

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Leslie Hindman Auction Has Some of the Prettiest Rings Ever! December 6 & 7, 2015

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Are you a ring junkie like myself?! Well look no further for your holiday wish list because the upcoming Important Jewelry sale at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers has some of the prettiest pieces I’ve seen, ever! The Chicago-based auction house has been gearing up for this two-day sale that includes over 1,000 lots of jewelry and gemstones. The sale begins at noon on Sunday, December 6th and continues the following day for the second half, beginning at 10am CST. As most conoisseurs are eyeing up the three main themed arenas that have sprung up while putting this auction together (colored stones, signed jewelry and rare diamonds), I’ve put my own spin on the sale, because what else would I look for other than rings?! Bold Art Deco diamond stunners, flashy opal decadance, and a Georgian enamel and garnet ring fit for a queen. Take a look at my favorites!

First half: Sunday, December 6th, 2015

Lot 19: Pristine condition and gorgeous enamel/gemstone combination, this Georgian ring may date back to the 1800s, but its wear and tear is minimal. In the center is an octagonal cabochon garnet and dispersed rose cut diamonds. The ring is a size 7 1/2, with white, blue and gold enameling throughout. Estimate: $800-1,2000

Lot 33: This black opal ring caught my attention right away–the vibrant play-of-color is undeniable, practically every color of the rainbow is shown. It is no wonder the high quality of this piece because it is signed Tiffany & Co. It also features six Old European cut diamonds and is a size 6. Property of a private collector. Estimate: $5,000-7,000

Lot 60: Eye-popping platinum, diamond and sapphire ring with a geometric style featuring calibre cut gemstones. The different tones of sapphire are played up here to their advantage, using the lighter and darker to create a pattern. The center diamond is approximately 1.25 carats, set in a milgrain bezel mounting. Such a gorgeous ring! Estimate: $6,000-8,000

Lot 71: Such a fine and fun example of the power enamel can have on a piece of jewelry–white enamel accents the design work on this particular ring, a color not often used solely alone, often being paired with other colors or used sparingly as an accent. The central cabochon cut sapphire is glowing amongst the concentric circles of rose cut diamonds and white enamel. What a striking piece! Estimate: $3,000-5,000

Lot 82: Another Art Deco geometric stunner–this one features calibre cut emeralds and onyx, along with an insane old cushion cut diamond in the center that is approximately 2.37 carats! I love the black and green combination, along with the design–this is such a special ring. Estimate: $10,000-15,000

Lot 121: This elongated Art Deco ring is set with one central Old European cut diamond, flanked North-South by square step cut sapphires, all surrounded by a rectangle of smaller Old European cut diamonds. My favorite part is the open metal-work on the shoulders of the piece–very simple lines, very 1920s. Love it. Estimate: $800-1,200

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The second half: Monday, December 7th, 2015

Lot 633: Maybe because this ring reminds me of my “something blue” that I wore on my wedding day, I love this one just as much! Set with a heart-shaped aquamarine in the center surrounded by white and colored diamonds (most likely irradiated to enhance their color), the ring is done in platinum and 18k gold. Let’s embrace hearts! Estimate: $1,000-2,000

Lot 763: A cute serpent ring done in 14k yellow gold with lime green and black enameling. The snake’s eyes are rubies and an opal is set in its head. Such an electric piece! Estimate: $150-250

Lot 859: A tablet of onyx never looked so sharp! A halo of diamonds surrounds the black onyx and set on a really unique shank. Done in yellow gold and ready to wear! Estimate: $200-300

Lot 908: Amethyst–a stone that I need more of in my personal collection, this just may be it! The oval cut amethyst is surrounded by two rows of diamonds in a two-tone setting with a large cocktail feel. Estimate: $400-600

Lot 951: Another vintage ring, this time an all-diamond look! The shape of this ring is so sweet, featuring a central Old European cut diamond that measures approximately 0.81 carats surrounded by various sized round brilliant and single cut diamonds. Would love to see this paired with other antique and vintage rings, or even stacked! Estimate: $800-1,200

Lot 999: A beautiful oval of diamonds and sapphires creates this Art Deco ring done in platinum. I could see this being someone’s “something blue” on their wedding day. Dainty yet bold at the same time, this will truly be one of those rings you treasure forever. Estimate: $300-500

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.


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Shop Vintage & Antique Jewelry at ESQUELETO

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A store amongst my “I’m dying to visit” list is ESQUELETO–located in two different cities, Los Angeles and Oakland, California. A little over four years ago, the store opened its doors in Oakland with the intention of bringing together favorite designers and fellow artisans whom owner Lauren Wolf admired, along with being a place to showcase her own work. Lauren is quite an accomplished jewelry artist herself, with a line of jewelry every rustic, modern bride is swooning over. I personally love her style and aesthetic and think it pairs immensely well with vintage and antique jewelry–perfect for stacking and mixing.

Speaking of antique jewelry, ESQUELETO‘s latest venture has been introducing old pieces into their stores and online with rave reviews. The shop started out small–very small, as in four pieces of antique jewelry–just to test customer reaction, and they immediately sold out! This prompted Lauren and the staff at ESQUELETO to begin to take vintage and antique seriously and build a larger collection to offer. LA store manager Alexis Adams says, “I think the vintage pieces resonate with people because of the intrinsic history – it’s fascinating to think about where a piece has been, who has worn it, who created it. Also, they are just really, really gorgeous!” We couldn’t agree more here at Gem Gossip!

ESQUELETO’s vintage and antique jewelry inventory has certainly expanded, where Lauren and her staff have been sourcing new and exciting pieces from dealers, jewelry shows and even friends. They have quite an eclectic collection, with lots of antique engagement rings as well as alternative bridal options for the ever-evolving modern bride. Alexis notes, “Vintage engagement rings have become very popular lately at our store, with many brides looking for rings that are both totally unique and timeless in design. We also have seen many clients stacking in elaborate ways–mixing styles from different eras.” ESQUELETO’s antique offering has expanded based on these findings, with loads of diamond Art Deco rings, sentimental Victorian amulets and rings, some lockets and a few Georgian pieces. Each item plucked from history and awaiting its new owner, with a full future ahead.

I’m obsessed with their “Stack of the Week” segment on the ESQUELETO website. It is ideal for those shopping solely online because it gives you an idea of size/proportion of each ring, as well as how to style each piece. “Stack of the Week” is essentially a mini-tutorial on how to wear and style rings, and provides LOTS of inspiration! I’ve displayed six of my favorites above and if you click on any of them, it will take you to their page devoted to “Stack of the Week.”

One last thing, ESQUELETO is having a Vintage Trunk Show in LA on November 14th–from 11am-6pm featuring Laurel of PASS IT ON, LTD. So if you’re in the LA area next Saturday, stop by!!

 

 

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30 Days of Engagement Rings: The Best of the Best Right Now!

30 Days of Engagement Rings

As my big day is looming closer and closer, I’ve decided to dedicate all of August to bringing you the best out there in terms of engagement rings! So if you’re in the market for an engagement ring or wanting to upgrade/redesign your current one, this is the ultimate engagement ring guide. Thirty breath-taking rings, covering different and unique styles, taking into consideration the top requests of brides-to-be, pulling together all my resources to narrow it down to 30. It should be mentioned that no one has paid me to be included in this list; it is truly a compilation that took several days to put together, focusing solely on choosing a wide variety of timeless rings that I felt every bride would say YES to and treasure for years to come!

So without further ado, the 30 Days of Engagement Rings!!

Day 1: From Craig Evan Small >> Center Old Mine cut diamond 1.25 ct. flanked by smaller diamonds, circa 1910.

Day 2: From Craig Evan Small >> Platinum 1.40 ct. center diamond set with calibre cut sapphire accents, circa 1920s.

Day 3: From Craig Evan Small >> A Victorian cluster ring, clover motif in 18k yellow gold set with three Old Mine cut diamonds totaling 3.00 carats.

Day 4: From Craig Evan Small >> Edwardian dome-shaped in platinum for a low-profile feel set with a 1.23 ct. center Old European cut diamond.

Day 5: From Erstwhile Jewelry >> A cross between a marquise cut and an oval cut–a “moval” 3.25 ct. outstanding diamond with French origin.

Day 6: From Polly Wales Jewelry >> Five pyramid halo ring featuring inverted diamonds for an alternative look.

Day 7: From McTeigue & McClelland >> European Ideal cut diamond Aperta Stretta ring 1.43 carats in 18k & Platinum.

Day 8: From Lang Antiques >> Such a unique Victorian cluster ring with an Old Mine cut center approx. 0.80 ct. center surrounded by bezel set diamonds.

Day 9: From A.Brandt+Son >> This dome of filigree is a popular look from the Art Deco Era, this ring has since sold, however their inventory is large!

Day 10: From Sophie Bille Brahe >> The Escalier de Lune ring in 18k yellow gold would make an awesome alternative engagement ring.

Day 11: From Sarah Swell Jewelry >> The Fern Dell Solitaire ring in 18k yellow gold has such a unique silhouette with a nature-inspired feel.

Day 12: From Karen Karch Jewelry >> The Floating Star Tiara ring fit for a queen–or just a really badass chic!

Day 13: From Filigree Jewelers >> Classic filigree style of the 1920s set with a 1.19 ct. Old European cut diamond.

Day 14: From Sofia Kaman >> The Twiggy Band with a yellow sapphire bezel set for those who don’t want a diamond.

Day 15: From Mirlo NY >> Trillion cut white sapphire prong set on a 14k gold band–great option for those who can’t afford a diamond right away.

Day 16: From Alison Lou >> Their “Mrs.” rings because these would make a cool option for an engagement ring–personalize the gemstone and letter.

Day 17: From Taffin Jewelry >> Try something really different like a shield cut diamond or enamel band.

Day 18: From Gatsby Jewellery >> A spin on a classic solitaire featuring a 1.23 ct. Old European cut diamond in platinum.

Day 19: From Macklowe Gallery >> A gorgeous Art Deco ring in platinum set with 1.59 ct. Old European cut diamond flanked by marquise cut diamonds.

Day 20: From Jade Trau >> The Rae Wrap ring is like a swoop of gold wrapped around your finger with a big diamond sparkling at the end.

Day 21: From Joden Jewelers >> A truly unique antique ring set with 4 Old European cut diamonds in a cluster of nearly 3 carats total!

Day 22: From Elisa Solomon Jewelry >> A one-of-a-kind antique rose cut heart ring with antique rose cut melee gives off a Bohemain vibe.

Day 23: From Trumpet & Horn >> Named the Cloverdale ring this Edwardian engagement ring is perfect those wanted something no one else has!

Day 24: From Levy’s Fine Jewelry >> Emerald accents make this alternative antique ring even more stunning–it has since sold, but click link for more!

Day 25: From Doyle & Doyle >> An Old European cut Victorian ring with black enamel detail for an impeccably stylish bride-to-be.

Day 26: From A La Vieille Russie >> Unique Arts & Crafts domed ring with black enamel filled etched designs, set with three diamonds.

Day 27: From Berganza >> A crossover, bypass style (similar to my personal engagement ring) set with a 2.28 ct. & 2.18 ct. diamonds.

Day 28: From Estate Diamond Jewelry >> Classic three-stone diamond ring, this one set in platinum with Old European cut diamonds and bezel settings.

Day 29: From Excalibur Estate Jewelry >> A nicely decorated BIG European cut diamond, try 3.56 ct., framed by scalloped parenthesis of diamonds.

Day 30: From The Three Graces >> Heart-shaped diamond set in a modern platinum mounting flanked by a rose cut diamond.

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