Jewelry Collection Stories: Kate of @LuxCharmJewelry

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This month’s Jewelry Collection Story comes from Kate of @LuxCharmJewelry and it is a good one! Kate is a full-time art teacher and part-time jewelry enthusiast and collector. You may already be following her on Instagram, but if not you must. Her collection is pretty amazing and her story may resonate with many of you. So without further ado, I give you Kate’s collection story:

I’ve always loved jewelry. I have early memories of playing “dress up” and “jewelry store” with my grandmother Louise. She kept her jewelry in the top dresser drawer. Oh how I loved looking inside those little boxes and seeing all the sparkly jewels inside! We would arrange her jewels on top of carefully arranged bits of pretty fabrics and embroidered handkerchiefs and take turns “shopping.” It was so much fun trying on her white dress gloves and high heels and playing with all those pretty things.

When I was around 10 years old, my dad started giving me jewelry every year for Christmas, mostly rings. One year, I received a topaz ring that had the most amazing shade of bright blue. I adored that ring! Another favorite ring given to me by my dad was a gold signet ring that he had monogramed with my initials. I think I was around 15 at the time. It’s a classic look that will never go out of style and one I wear often today.

One of my favorite early jewelry memories was when my family went out to dinner before my high school senior award night. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was about to win the top artist award in my class, and my parents bought me this beautiful southwestern sterling bracelet and turquoise ring to mark the occasion. For high school graduation, I received a large, modernist sterling and gold ring. At the time, I wasn’t into yellow gold, and these bold sterling pieces were among the most beautiful pieces I owned. Luckily, my parents have continued the tradition of gifting me jewelry for special occasions, and I cherish them all. These pieces help to serve as reminders of special times in my life. My sweet husband has also joined in on the tradition and I have received many beautiful pieces from him now over the years, including my very first (and favorite) Victorian bird bangle bracelet and my beloved antique turquoise and diamond halo ring.

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As a teenager, I was really into second-hand shops–mainly for vintage clothes and small decorative items, but eventually I started picking up inexpensive jewelry and odds-and-ends; like pendants, chokers, chains, etc. At about the same time, I started making beaded jewelry and even gifting and selling pieces to my friends.

Years later, I decided to try my hand at selling handmade jewelry on Etsy. It was a fun, challenging, and creative outlet. Those were the relative early days of Etsy, and I grew as it grew. I did this for a couple of years and slowly started incorporating more and more vintage jewelry components and findings into my pieces. Eventually, the competition increased and my enthusiasm waivered, so I put my shop on hold.

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My love affair with antique jewelry began about eight years ago when my mom and I were antiquing at one of my favorite stores in Richmond, IN. My mom fell head-over-heels for this old gold cameo ring. At first, I was like, “What? Cameos? Ugh, I don’t get it.” Then much to my surprise, my mom professed her life-long love affair with cameos, citing stories from her youth. The shop owner quoted her a low price and my mom quickly bought the ring. She wasn’t one to make fine jewelry purchases on our excursions together, so I was intrigued and wanted to know more. I couldn’t stop staring at this unusual reddish-orange cameo ring on our drive back home; I was fascinated by it. It didn’t look like the girly, pink cameos I was used to seeing. It was more masculine in style and the gold was a rich rose color. The shop owner estimated the ring to be about 120 years old.

To my knowledge, I had never seen a ring that old before and now I wanted one for myself! The more I researched, the more I realized what an amazing deal my mom got on that ring. Sure, it was more than I was used to spending on random antique mall purchases (about $85), but still affordable. This made antique jewelry seem obtainable to me for the first time ever. I started reading jewelry books, researching online, and educating myself on antique jewelry. I liked learning the history behind each piece. It’s a perfect fit for me– combining my love of history, research, sentiment, story, etc.

Inspired by my new passion and focus, I reopened my Etsy shop–selling only vintage and antique jewelry. I absolutely loved hunting for old jewelry, even cameos! Thinking back to that special trip to Richmond with my mom, I believe this was the critical moment that later turned this new interest into a full-blown hobby and part-time job for me.

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Today I have such a deep and sincere appreciation for antique jewelry; I tend to collect a little bit of everything. All in all, I tend to go more for Victorian, Art Nouveau, and Art Deco pieces. Rings are probably my favorite type of jewelry to wear and collect. I love everything from dainty to bold, statement rings. I also love antique bangles and Deco necklaces in all sorts of finishes, metals, and styles.

One of my favorite things to collect are watches. My favorite makers are Longines and Bucherer. I have everything from watch pins, watch rings, wristwatches, and pocket watches. And I really love long enamel watch necklaces. My love of watch necklaces probably began when I scored an amazing Bucherer red guilloche enamel watch ball necklace for $60 in a small, local antique shop. I later learned this was a remarkable deal for one with its original enamel chain in perfect condition. I’ve since added about 10 more to my collection over the years. I just can’t stop myself when I see a beautiful one for a good price. I have such a weakness for fine guilloche enamel-work.

In addition, I love bird-themed jewelry and have many bird bangles, lockets, etc. I tend to favor cool-color pieces in general (it must be the Pisces in me!). I am very fond of blue–sapphires, lapis, zircon, and turquoise to name a few. Pale lavender chalcedony, dreamy moonstones, and that particular shade of green commonly used in Art Deco pieces–are all personal favorites. I have a growing collection of snake rings, too.

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I enjoy shopping at small, local places best. The Midwest is a gold mine for antiques of all kinds. The big jewelry enthusiasts seem to live on either coast and being stuck in the middle has its advantages… lower prices and less pickers. But this seems to get harder every year. My favorite display cases and shops seem to be shutting down. The old dealers retire; some pass away. I think part of me has also wanted to open a brick and mortar shop, but the risks are scary.

Currently, I seem to have the most luck shopping at antique shows and online auctions. I’m always on the hunt for new pieces. I would love to own more niello jewelry, antique enamel bracelets, and gutta percha bangles inlaid with gold. I have a thing for portrait paintings but oddly, own no portrait jewelry. I interned at the National Portrait Gallery right after college and it’s a subject I’m really interested in. I would love to find the perfect emerald ring and more “name” or “initial” jewelry to represent the important people in my life.

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Recently I celebrated a milestone birthday (hello, 40!) and had been hunting for the perfect aquamarine birthstone piece of jewelry for months. Then it finally happened…a huge, honking, 14-carat, Victorian, pear-shaped aqua ring in 15K gold popped up on my Instagram feed. Its large size, unfussy setting, and perfect pale-blue color, stopped me dead in my tracks. A direct quote from the seller was, “a mesmerizing, dreamy, huge piece of magic.” Indeed it was. I sold three personal collection rings to make room for this special ring, the latest addition to my jewelry box.

Back when I started wearing, selling, and collecting antique jewelry, I was the only one I knew who did. I just bought what I liked and what I could afford at the time. It wasn’t until I joined IG a couple of years ago that I found other like-minded people who loved and appreciated old jewelry as much as I do. Like most sellers/collectors, I am searching for more high quality and unusual pieces nowadays. Lately, there seems to be more competition, more reproductions, and higher prices on the online auction sites, making it harder to “score” a deal. While I may not be selling forever, I know I will be wearing and enjoying my jewelry for the rest of my life. It brings me so much joy. Marking special occasions and making new memories with jewelry are so important to me. Jewelry has a way of keeping our memories alive…providing a tangible reminder… connecting us to the people, places, and significant moments we cherish in life. Happy hunting!

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? Check out the other Jewelry Collection Stories

You can follow Kate –> @LuxCharmJewelry

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How to Buy and Care for Antique Jewelry

Ancient Victorian Bangle Bracelet

Purchasing antique jewelry means buying something truly special. Each necklace, watch, earring, and brooch has a long history behind it that makes the piece unique, even if it was just one among hundreds when it was new. Learning to recognize and appreciate quality antique jewelry comes with time and practice, but we’ll begin with some basic knowledge to get you started.

First off, let’s clear the air about something. The terms “antique” and “vintage” are not one and the same. “Antique” has a legally defined meaning, whereas “vintage” does not. While both terms are often thrown around imprudently, the US Customs Agency defines an antique as something that is at least 100 years old and less than 50 percent restored. The term “vintage” merely describes an item that was popular in another era, though some trade specialists apply a 50- to 100-year age bracket to the term.

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What to Look For:

Every antique belongs to an era, and you might discover that you prefer one over the other. Learn the styles and distinctions of the Georgian (1790-1831), Victorian (1837-1901), Edwardian (1901-1915), and other eras famous for their distinct styles of jewelry. Many of these eras contain smaller periods when specific themes gained popularity.

Familiarize yourself with the designs, materials, and manufacturing techniques of the desired era and period. Victorian Romantic period jewelry typically features animals, flowers, and other nature-related themes, while the Grand Victorian era was known for large, dark gemstones, silver, and engravings of the Queen, for example.

If you must inspect an antique engagement ring yourself, invest in a loupe. A loupe is a small magnifying glass used by jewelers and watchmakers. Look for workshops in your town or even online to train your eye on what to look for and how to use it. Be sure to check the piece’s condition. Search for rust and discoloration, solder where the piece might have been broken and put back together, and other forms of wear and tear.

Where to Buy:

You can purchase antique jewelry from several types of merchants, but your knowledge and skill in recognizing fakes and appraising genuine pieces will largely govern where you should shop. We’ll list a few types of outlets here from the lowest to highest degree of knowledge required.

Professional jewelers and consignment stores: Brick and mortar stores with professional staff and reputations to lose are the safest bet for buying antique jewelry if you don’t have time to invest in learning the ins and outs of the trade yourself. Experts can make recommendations, and you can see each piece in person.

Online retailers and professional marketplaces: The best deals can often be found online from reputable ecommerce outlets. While you don’t get a hands-on look at each piece, these e-stores usually include multiple photos, detailed descriptions, and sometimes even live support staff to answer any questions you might have. 1stdibs is an excellent option for online antique jewelry shoppers.

Online from reputable merchants: Online consumer-to-consumer marketplaces like eBay can offer great deals on antique jewelry, but make sure to thoroughly check the merchant’s rating, customer reviews, and return policy. Compare prices at multiple vendors, and always remember: if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Estate sales and auctions: At this point, you’re pretty much on your own for verifying and appraising a piece of jewelry. Bring your loupe and be ready to do some research. Don’t count on the merchant to be knowledgeable or honest about what they are selling.

Tiffany Amethyst & Diamond Ring

Cleaning & Care:

Now that you’ve bought your antique bracelet, spend some time keeping it in good condition. Store jewelry in a soft-lined container at a moderate temperature with multiple compartments. Apply beauty products like makeup and hairspray prior to putting on your jewelry, as the chemicals in these products can cause harm. Don’t wear your jewelry when bathing, exercising, or cleaning, as chemicals and sweat can cause corrosion and discoloration.

If you notice a stone is loose or some other malfunction, take the piece to a jeweler who is experienced in handling antiques. Don’t use ultrasonic cleaners and beware of dip cleaners that can eat away at enamel and other coatings. Jewelry polishing cloths are a good all-around solution. It’s always better to under-clean than to over-clean.

Every type of metal, coating, and stone have different cleaning and storage requirements, so invest some time researching what’s best for your piece. Sterling silver should be stored somewhere airtight, for example, while pieces containing pearls should be stored somewhere breathable.

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Give the Gift of Tiffany & Co. This Season

There’s just something mesmerizing about that signature robin egg blue box tied perfectly with a white ribbon bearing the words “Tiffany & Co.,” especially when it is placed under the Christmas tree. For years, the jewelers have produced exquisite creations born from the passion of defining simplistic style and elegance. Their designs consist of some of the most iconic pieces in their collections, renowned for the mark they have made in the world of high-end fashion. With Tiffany & Co., there is an item available for every loved one on the holiday shopping list, as their craftsmanship steps beyond the boundary of jewelry-making to cross the realm of home goods, watches, accessories, baby items and more.

In our jewelry inventory specials at Luxury Bazaar, we have a vast selection of authentic Tiffany & Co. models that are waiting to touch the heart of a friend, family member or significant other this winter. To help you pinpoint the right items for your moment of gift-giving, use this guide as your holiday shopping road map.

For the Antique Collector

Ladies with a penchant for flaunting vintage style will croon over the 18K Yellow Gold Rope Diamond & Ruby Cocktail Ring by Tiffany & Co. for $1,650. A raft of rubies and diamonds float among a sea of 18K yellow gold ropes to produce a timeless elegance. This ring is for the lady who is not afraid to go big and bold with a design that is hard to go unnoticed.

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For the Accessorizer

Fall’s latest must-have fashion accessory has been the brooch, appearing in multiple designer collections across the runways. Surprise the accessorizer in your life with the 18K Yellow Gold Wreath Brooch by Tiffany & Co. for $2,400, which features intricate leaves fabricated from 18K yellow gold. It can be worn to accent almost any accessory or item, such as a headband, handbag, sweater or belt.

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For the Modern Stylist

Fashion trends are always changing, and a true fashionista is always one to keep up. Help her don the most recent looks with the 18K Yellow Gold Bangle Bracelet by Tiffany & Co. for $4,400 to accent her outfits. The simplistic design presents a distinguished appearance for making the ultimate statement.

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For the Engagement

Planning to bend down on one knee and ask for her hand in marriage over the holidays? Have the Platinum .49ct Diamond Engagement Ring by Tiffany & Co. for $3,900 ready for the right moment. A thick platinum band showcases seven twinkling diamonds that meet at the center stone. The glimmer of the diamonds is sure to catch her off guard just as much as the unforeseen betrothal.

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For the Gentleman

The Atlas 18K Yellow Gold Tie Clip by Tiffany & Co. for $850 is a must-have item for any gentleman who prefers to don a sophisticated style. The bold roman numerals that protrude from the clip reflect the “strength in numbers” symbolism of the brand’s Atlas Collection. This 18K yellow gold clip expresses masculine classiness as it functions to keep the tie straight for a uniform and neat appearance.

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For the Diamond Lover

One of the most lavish Tiffany & Co. items available in our inventory is the 18K Yellow Gold & Diamond Floral Collar Necklace for $32,000, suitable for the woman who favors an over-the-top bravura. Glittering diamonds wrap in a twirling pattern amongst a rope of intricately carved 18K yellow gold flower-like motifs in the form of an extravagant collar piece. This extraordinary necklace is also part of a complete set that can also be purchased together, which includes a matching pair of earrings, ring and bracelet.

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Tiffany & Co. offers an item to accommodate any personality type for accomplishing your holiday shopping mission. Their creations are forever timeless and are ideal for representing the special bond between those you cherish. To view more models from our selection, visit our website for further browsing.

The post Give the Gift of Tiffany & Co. This Season appeared first on The Luxury Bazaar Blog.

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Dupuis Fine Jewelry Fall Jewels Auction Set for November 22nd, 2015

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My favorite time of year for jewelry auctions is just before the holidays, as each auction house gears up for this busy time by providing some of the best, show-stopping pieces they’ve been ever-so-keenly stashing away until now. From heart-palpitating rings, to diamond-dripping earrings and everything in between, Dupuis Fine Jewelry has anything you’ve ever dreamed of in one auction–their Fall Jewels sale. The auction is scheduled for Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 where you can log-in online and bid or see the auction live in their Toronto headquarters. Some day I’d love to make it out to Toronto to visit Dupuis, but for now I’m glad I can at least tune in from the comfort of my home!

I’ve picked my favorites from the upcoming sale, as this was not an easy task! So many striking pieces, whether you collect antique or have your eye on something a little more modern, there is so much to choose from. Check out my picks above and below!

Be sure to sign-up for the auction and get approved before the big day on Sunday, November 22nd!

Lot 2: A David Webb piece unlike any I’ve seen before–this ring is set with one blue zircon surrounded by turquoise set in 18k yellow gold. The gemstone combination is very intriguing, as is the textured fluted band. Such a cool ring!

Lot 210: This brooch is very striking as you don’t see very much peridot jewelry and the color is an intense light green. I love the design work of the round stones surrounded by bezel-set diamonds in an abstract floral style. The brooch is done in 14k gold and boasts a unique pair of rectangular cut peridots.

Lot 211: A pair of micromosaic ear pendants mounted in 10k gold and dating back to mid-19th century. The Vedute di Roma dark blue glass swing pendants are decorated by polychrome tesserae, with oval tops depicting the Arch of Constantine and the Imperial Forum, with suspending teardrop shapes depicting the Colosseum and the Pantheon. So amazing!

Lot 246: Circa 1870, available with its original box, this antique quartz and gold demi-parure is a rare piece! The gold consists of heavy bead work, textured granulation and acanthus leaves…along with a pair of matching ear pendants. Such a great piece of history right here.

Lot 271: Two sumptuous gold pieces by Henry Dunay–one is a hinged bangle bracelet and the other is a ring, both done in 18k yellow gold. If you know me personally, you know that I used to do beauty pageants when I was a little girl–these two pieces remind me of a spike crown that was the grand prize at one of the pageants that was highly sought after. Sad to say I never won that title, but winning this lot would be even better!

Lot 327: A magnificent cross, set with amethyst, pearls, peridot and diamonds. This piece caught my eye because of the matte finish and the unique gemstone combination it has. It is made by Birks and is done in 14k matte yellow gold. It even has a hinged hidden compartment in the back.

Lot 355: An emerald ring prettier than the Emerald City! An astounding 31.49 carats of emerald, entirely certified by AGS stating that its origin is Columbia. My oh my what an amazing ring! To make it even more grand, the emerald is flanked by two bullet-shaped diamonds and two trapezoid diamonds, all set in platinum.

Lot 358: Can you blame me for having an affliction for double diamond rings?! This one is having me reconsider my engagement ring–love the North-South setting of the two stones, as well as the uniqueness of the mismatched color of each Old European cut diamond. That’s about 3.75 carats total right there, all set in platinum!

Lot 394: Platinum and gold combine to create these luminous floral earrings set with diamonds and aquamarine. A total of approximately four carats worth of diamonds curve around the leaf-settings creating a floral motif which decorates the ear lobe in the most festive way.

Lot 396: A fully set aquamarine necklace which drips of aquamarine and diamond icicles–what a glorious holiday gift this would make?! The necklace is mounted in 14k gold, with Russian assay marks and maker’s mark for Vassili Efimovitch Baladanov, and the length: 15 3/4 inches.

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Dupuis Auctions.

Dupuis Auction November 22nd

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Designer Spotlight: Alexis Kletjian Jewelry

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For Alexis Kletjian, designing jewelry came about as she saw a void in the market for pieces that custom fit the wearer and had a “never-take-me-off” heirloom feel. Most designer pieces are made as a one-size-fits-all deal, where an “average” wrist may be far from average for most people. In a world where sizes range in the most beautiful way possible and a small may be large to someone or a large might be small, Alexis has come along with a line which solves these sizing issues with a made-to-fit promise and a high-quality feel that you don’t get anywhere else.

Knowing this as being the inspiration behind her jewelry line, meeting Alexis in person sort of ties everything together. As I approach most days as being 5-foot-1 on a good day, flats are not a part of my life and when people say to me, “Wow you’re so tiny,” let’s just say a response of “Wow you’re so average sized” is thankfully not said. Alexis totally can relate because she too is petite, and when she let me try on a few of her custom bangles she makes, I laughed in disbelief, as this was the first time in my ENTIRE life (no exaggeration) that I tried on a bangle bracelet that fit me! I’ve always never liked bangles and I fully understand now why I prematurely thought this–I’ve been trying on all the one-size-fits-all ones at stores, which are way too big for me! Her bangles feel amazing on and have a level of comfort to them I have never realized could come from a bangle. She had me hooked and I wanted to see/know more…

The Alexis Kletjian Jewelry line consists of three collections: Eternal, Lucky Star and Lotus, all handcrafted in 14k & 18k gold. Eternal consists of those incredible bangles I was just telling you about, as well as diamond eternity rings and plain eternity rings (great stackable staples for every jewelry collection). Everything designed with an eternal flow of sparkle as inspiration, enlightening everyone who calls these pieces personal favorites and wears them on a daily basis.

Alexis’ Lucky Star collection is inspired by the star motif found in Victorian jewelry, as Alexis is also a collector and admirer of antique jewelry. She says, “I wanted to pay homage to this classic design while also making it modern, and in essence, timeless. By using the historical motif and my own design interchangeably throughout my collection, I have created what I believe to be a classic and iconic design that can be identified and recognized as Alexis Kletjian.” Stacking bands is rose, yellow and white gold, as well as shield pendants, circular earrings and heart charms, all featuring the star-motif set diamond are a part of this collection.

Having the urge to create a modern-day talisman sparked the Lotus collection, which consists of shield pendants in a variety of gemstones and gold choices. This selection of pieces is more organic than the others, with nature and beauty as a main focus/inspiration. The shield represents protection, but is not all rigid as it may seem, as it is sparkles with gemstones which are set on the front.

As we sat and chatted all night upon our first meet-up, Alexis’ love for jewelry and where this all stemmed from was a fun conversation we had. She grew up playing with gems, as her parents owned a jewelry shop in the Boston Jewelers Building. Growing up, she went from playing behind the showcases, to playing with the gemstones and raw materials of jewelry. She recollects a strong connection to these things and although she went off to school for Fashion Design, jewelry was always present in everything she did. One huge thing fashion design has taught her is the importance of scale, which she incorporates into every design. We also talked about how amazing the Gemological Institute of America is and our classes; GIA prepares one to be a graduate gemologist, which Alexis is currently pursuing (as her daughter delightfully plays with her reference books from her studies when she is not using them).

Above you will see many of the pieces from her three collections, as well as a few that are not yet up on her website. A new and upcoming Bespoke collection is in the making, which features some special one-of-a-kind gemstones cut by TopNotch Faceting. A large portion of what Alexis does is custom, so if you want to work one-on-one with her, feel free to reach out by sending her an email at [email protected]

She also curates her collection for retailers’ needs–offering flexibility in the creation of each piece through a choice of metals and gemstones, where each customer is offered the opportunity to personalize the design. Her main goal is to create fine jewelry that is destined to become a treasured piece, one that is never taken off, always in constant rotation, “quality, not quantity.”

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Alexis Kletjian Jewelry.

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Accessorizing for NYC Fashion Week: A Style Guide

Today marks the start of the much anticipated New York City Fashion Week, which focuses on designer collections for the spring and summer of 2016. Fashion enthusiasts can finally gain insight into what the newest trends will be, especially when it comes to accessories. The runway debut of designer pieces by well-renowned fashion labels has influenced us to create styling inspirations of our own. While the city buzzes with excitement over the industry’s latest creations, here we picture accessory trends you might see as well as styles we think you should wear in honor of the showcase.

 

Crystal Necklaces

Giant crystal pendants were seen throughout the 2015 fall and winter collections of Lavin last February, so you may notice them hanging from the necks of connoisseurs. For a sophisticated, sultry vibe, ladies may like the Crystal Haze 18K White Gold Hematite & Crystal Diamond Pendant Necklace by Stephen Webster for $5,500.

NYC FASHION WEEK

Flower Necklaces

Nude colored florals may make the cut throughout the week, as they are favored for a romantic fall ensemble. For an extra vibrant sparkle, put on the 18K White Gold Multi-Sapphire & Diamond Flower Pendant Necklace by Salavetti for $3,050.

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Quilted Features

Chanel has had a fetish for implementing quilted elements in their designs, such as quilted cuffs. Their famous Matelassé pattern appears on many of their accessories, including the Matelassé 18K White Gold Diamond Band Ring for $2,950.

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Linked Earrings

Another fall/winter trend is double chain earrings, which present a tough, yet edgy appearance. Rock the look with earrings that have chain-like elements, such as the 18K Rose Gold Link Dangle Earrings by Roberto Coin for $1,225.

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Brooches

Brooches are expected to be the “it” item for fall, appearing in the autumn collections of Balenciaga, Prada and Dolce & Gabbana. We definitely think it will be an accessory noticed during fashion week. Avant-garde designs like the Platinum & Diamond Brooch for $8,500 may be present.

NYC FASHION WEEK5

Chain Chokers

Chokers have been the ultimate statement necklace as of recently, and this season you might expect to see bold, oversized chains. To join in on the trend, wear the 18K Yellow Gold Chain Choker Necklace by Pomellato for $8,350.

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Color Variations of Tones

Some of the spring and summer 2015 collections are designed with the inspiration of tonal color variations. Accessories such as the Le Baiser du Dragon 18K White Gold Bangle Bracelet by Cartier for $4,950, which features two dark tonal colors, may make a debut on the runway this week.

NYC FASHION WEEK7

Bold Yellows

For spring, some of the designers are making use of vibrant yellow shades to produce a modern, romantic look. Be fashion-forward by donning the 18K Multi-Gold Light Fancy Yellow Diamond Engagement Ring by Natalie K for $19,500.

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What accessory styles do you think you’ll see during the NYC Fashion Week? To view more luxury jewelry items by high-end fashion brands, visit our jewelry inventory specials.

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The Jewelry That Will Have You in a Bidding War at Fellows Auction!

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Ever been involved in a bidding war?! If you’re an antique jewelry collector you’ve been in AT LEAST one and know exactly what the item was and how you felt in that moment! Most introverts become heart-thumping, rash decision-makers and most shy, timid people become voracious, crazy bidders during a high stakes auction, when favorite pieces are up on the block. I, myself, have been guilty of this–no matter how much you plan ahead and write down your absolute highest offer and promise yourself not to go over it, all that means nothing when it is “crunch time.” Last week, for example, I lost out on a ring by $25 just because I tried to be good and not exceed my maximum limit I set for that particular item. Now, when I think back, would I have gladly paid an extra $25 to own that ring?! YES! So there is always a good vs. evil concept going on with bidding and sometimes you are your own worst enemy. Some of my favorite auction wins involved a stroke of good luck, so that plays into it as well!

It’s not even September yet and I already had to peek at Fellows’ Antique & Modern Sale as soon as they posted their catalog online. Their September sale is going to be a good one, with numerous items that are incredibly desirable! I’ve got my list going, now it is your turn to pick out your favorite items you will be bidding on when auction day comes–September 17th, 2015. My prediction? These 12 items will be causing some bidding battles and leaving some people heart-broken and the winners feeling amazing! Let’s take a closer look at these pieces:

Lot 9: This late 19th century Emerald bangle bracelet has exquisite gems that are such a deep forest-green color, which will attract buyers and collectors from all over! The engraving throughout the bangle is a nice touch and if you pay attention, you will find the matching earrings and necklace that go along with this bracelet! How great would it be to acquire the whole set?!

Lot 18: A fun and playful station necklace, this vintage piece is done in 9k gold with beads of malachite, a very trendy gemstone in today’s fashion world. This necklace is hip and could make any outfit better! A fine piece of jewelry that isn’t going to break the bank, yet continue to hold its value.

Lot 91: An incredible Art Nouveau diamond and sapphire dress clip turned necklace! The style of this piece is quite unique, I’ve never seen anything like it. Talk about a stunning piece of history, one that will stand out in someone’s collection.

Lot 195: Ughh, this ring brings me to tears when I look at it!! If you want to focus on creating the most insane navette ring collection, just watch what comes up to auction from Fellows–I swear they have the best navettes ever! This one is seriously the best I’ve ever seen…but I may be retracting that statement next month when seeing their next batch of jewels…

Lot 203: I’ve seen some amazing rings be made out of arrow jabot pins and this one would be a great one to use–set with diamonds and onyx. I’ve also seen lots of these popping up everywhere as earrings, with the arrow seemingly poking through one’s ear. Lots of possibilities with this one!

Lot 225: These diamond “webbing” motif rings are my weakness and this particular ring is a fine example. Typical of the Edwardian time period, this ring is set with an oval sapphire in the center and diamonds all around. Who will win this beauty?!

Lot 251: A very geometric bangle bracelet which is vintage and set with the coolest, boldest hexagon amethysts. If you’re looking for a unique piece with a big splash of color, this is it! I think this might be small enough to fit me?! I might be bidding…

Lot 484: A precious pair of coral drop earrings with a dainty diamond clover detail up top. These earrings are antique with rose cut diamonds and are something that can be worn daily.

Lot 488: Another cute pair of earrings, these are diamond bird stud earrings with dangling diamonds in each of their beaks. How adorable?! Perfect for any animal or bird lover, or even a nature lover.

Lot 514: A rare early 20th century black ribbon choker necklace, featuring a plaque of diamonds and pearls in a bow motif. Funny to see something like this which was very popular then and have it slowly becoming popular again today! This would be right on trend now.

Lot 517: A glorious pair of rose cut diamond dangle earrings circa late 1800s with black enamel detail. What makes these special besides all the original rose cuts is how the backs had brooch fittings added at a later date so they can be worn as earrings or brooches. So neat!

Lot 584: Can you tell I’m infatuated with the clover trefoil motif?! I love how this ring features slightly different pearl overtones–one white, one more peach, one more purple/pink. Definitely a special ring that will cause some high bidding come auction day!

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Fellows Auctions

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Rago Arts Unreserved Auction Set for August 27, 2015

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Auction season has just begun and Rago Arts has an unreserved auction fit to whet your appetite for some dazzling pieces of antique, vintage and estate jewelry (amongst some other things). This should hold you over until their heart-stopping December Sale, which is always incredible and knocks everyone’s socks off! This year supposedly is supposed to be insane (ssshhh, you didn’t hear that from me!)–but this comes with a fair warning to save those pennies!!

Rago’s features an Unreserved Auction on August 27, 2015 which showcases just over 250 lots of jewelry! The auction is unreserved, which means that everything in the auction must be sold at the highest price offered that day, whatever it may be. This sale features a varied selection of late 19th through 20th-century antique and period jewelry, modern gemstone jewelry, engagement and bridal jewelry, designer fashion jewelry and bijoux, as well as designer couture; period English, American and Continental furniture; lighting; rugs; porcelain; glass silver; and fine art. The sale begins at 10am where you know you can count of me logging in from wherever I may be and bidding from my computer.

I’ve chosen my must-bid lots and it is incredibly exciting to think that each have “no reserve.” Can’t wait to bid!

Lot 350: I’ve seen panthers, lions, serpents, dolphin-looking fish, gargoyles–but THIS?! This is so unique! It’s an eagle and its beak holds a chunky safety chain. Those Victorians sure knew how to design them! It’s 18k yellow gold and may be Italian in origin, circa 1870. Estimate: $800-1,200

Lot 354: Seriously obsessed with this 18k yellow gold enameled and gem-set serpent ring. It dates to around the first half of the 20th century and the combination of the light blue and black enamel is perfection. Ring size 11. Estimate: $300-500

Lot 366: Now this is a cute combo: a yellow gold pearl and diamond pendant and a two-tone emerald and diamond ring. Not only do these two complement one another, they are also great staples to a collection. Also a great lot for a beginner collector to start with! Estimate: $300-500

Lot 381: I would call this cannetille at its finest! This 18k yellow gold bracelet is created by cannetille work which is inspired by embroidery, using gold and is sort of similar to filigree, but definitely looks different. Cannetille is more 3D using scrolls, coils and springs to create an effect. Estimate: $400-600

Lot 399: A trio of some great pieces–a Victorian agate ring, a turquoise hinged bangle bracelet and a gold-filled hand-etched pocket watch case (without the movement). I’m loving the agate ring, particularly the shoulders of the piece. Estimate: $400-600

Lot 469: Created during the 1950s when a sort of “Victorian Revivial” in the jewelry world was happening, this ring is a prime example from that time. It is done in 14k yellow gold, approximately 0.80 carats total of round brilliant cut diamonds and some navy blue enamel. Ring is size 6. Estimate: $400-500

Lot 485: I love the randomness of this lot, each piece is pretty cool. Starting with a ram’s head pendant, a duck brooch with an onyx glass body, a pair of gold earrings which feature gold cameos of women, and an enamel bar pin that depicts a Barber’s pole. Estimate: $300-500

Lot 495: Malachite happens to be one of my favorite gemstones, so this long necklace is great! When I say long, I mean 31 inches–which is a generous length of 14k gold beads and malachite beads. Perfect for fall and winter coming up! Estimate: $500-700

Lot 511: Two fantastic pairs of earrings–one drop style and the other studs. The drops are pave set with diamonds with a teardrop shape dangling from diamond hoops, done in 14k white gold. The studs are a beautiful pair of sapphire and diamond flowers. Estimate: $600-800

Lot 531: Classic diamond studs had to be included, especially since these are set in my favorite way–the three-prong style! The diamonds are both Transitional cuts and are approximately 0.80 ct. each. Estimate: $1,000-1,500

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Rago Arts Auction.

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Balancing Style with the Italian Craftsmanship of Damiani Jewelry

In the fashion world, there are no such things as styling rules; there are only guidelines. One of the best style guidelines to follow is dressing to achieve a balanced appearance. While imbalanced outfits are just as trendy, a balanced look offers a presentation of unity, elegance and sophistication. Of course, a balanced ensemble heavily relies on shoes and accessories to pull the look together, and what better way to express a healthy, luxury lifestyle than with high-end jewelry? One of the best upscale jewelry labels for generating a poised and polished allure is the Italian jewelry line Damiani.

Damiani bases its gorgeous jewelry designs on the perfection of elegance intermixed with lavish beauty. Each Damiani jewelry model is entirely handmade with a strong focus on detail to produce an exquisite masterpiece of goldsmith art. Damiani’s taste in jewelry making is modern and classy, which can be seen in the incorporation of gold, white gold, diamonds and gemstones throughout their designs.

So, whether you need an extra pop of color, a distinct accent or a matching element to complete your balanced look, Damiani designs are a great option. We just received numerous new Damiani models in our high-end jewelry selection available for purchase. Here are a few of our favorites.

Wearing one accent on the wrist, such as the White Ceramic 18K Rose Gold and Diamond Bangle Bracelet by Damiani for $795, is a common tactic used to balance out an outfit. Wearing white is a popular fashion trend this season, and this accessory fits it flawlessly. D-shaped motifs travel along the ceramic bangle with a single diamond set on one of them.

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The 18K Multi-Gold Diamond Rosebud Pendant Necklace by Damiani for $1,800 magnificently displays the label’s passion for developing designs with composure and accuracy. The spherical pendant showcases symmetrical details in the shape of a rosebud made of rose gold and white gold. Shimmering diamonds are set in the middle to replicate the beauty of a flower beginning to bloom.

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Earrings are a great addition to a formal or casual ensemble because they quickly produce an all-over balanced appeal. For a feminine vibe that is sure to turn heads, the 18K White Gold Diamond Flower Drop Earrings by Damiani for $1,575 make the perfect embellishment. Two diamond-clad white gold flowers dangle from a smaller set at the top to produce a chic look.

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To even out the attire’s color pallet, ladies can go with the 18K White Gold Diamond and Sapphire Dome Ring by Damiani for $4,100, which makes a bold statement with its bulky, shiny design. A cluster of blue sapphires and twinkling diamonds are set in the center to exhibit a boost of color.

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Damiani demonstrates its passion for incorporating balanced elements in their jewelry pieces especially in the 18K Yellow Gold Diamond Band Ring for $575, which was co-designed with Brad Pitt as a unisex wedding band. Five ceramic accents are set in between two circular lines of gold with a diamond accent on the outside.

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At Luxury Bazaar, we have a wide selection of authentic Damiani items that have just been added to our collection, priced at up to 72% off of the retail value. View more unique Damiani jewelry pieces located in our jewelry inventory specials. Achieve an attractive mixture of balance and glamour in your style with luxury jewelry items by Damiani, the masterminds behind the art of Italian goldsmithery.

The post Balancing Style with the Italian Craftsmanship of Damiani Jewelry appeared first on The Luxury Bazaar Blog.

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Gem Gossip Visits Freeman’s Auction House in Philadelphia, PA

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Freeman’s auction house and I have an intense relationship. They seem to always have a piece that I fall deeply in love with and lose out at the very last moment come auction time. I will never forget this diamond and platinum ring from the 1920s–it was sensational. A size 3.5 (which would actually fit my ring finger perfectly, who else could say that is a “perfect” size?!) the center diamond was a chunky pear cut with a large culet…it was jaw-dropping in all the right ways. I nervously logged in on my computer for the live-sale and bid several times before my last and final bid didn’t hold up to whomever claimed it in the end. A tragedy that day…and will forever weigh heavy on my heart, as I cannot come to terms with even deleting the email in my inbox that says as the subject line, “Sorry you didn’t win this time.” A reminder, as Allia Dhody, a member of Freeman’s Jewelry Department, exclaims to me, “Make sure to call in next time–be a phone-bidder!” I will take that strategy to the next round, although Allia doesn’t realize, my visit to Freeman’s has made me want to come back more often and especially during live auctions.

My next chance at bidding and winning at Freeman’s will be coming sooner than I thought–they are gearing up for their September and November jewelry sales. On my visit, I got to preview some of the items that will be featured in both upcoming sales–their Autumn Estate Jewelry sale slated for September 16, 2015 and their Jewelry & Watches sale which falls on November 2, 2015.

I had such a fun time playing with the jewelry and getting to talk to the ladies of Freeman’s. Susannah and Cara were a delight to hang out with while I was drooling over the jewelry and taking photos. Allia Dhody is Freeman’s Jewelry Specialist who handles each piece, taking down the item’s specs by measuring, grading and counting, as well as cataloging. As a gradutate gemologist, her role at Freeman’s is a vital one. As a buyer, the public can rely on not only the great reputation of Freeman’s 210-year history, but the expertise of Allia’s gemology skills. People bid with confidence–that’s an important part of the Freeman’s legacy.

I’m excited for the September and November sales–be sure to mark them on your calendars (I will be reminding everyone when the dates get closer). Here is a run down on some of the pieces that will be up for auction, which are pictured above:

Freeman’s Autumn Estate Jewelry sale; September 16, 2015:

18k yellow gold Pig purse with a mesh body and details like a tail, legs, etc. French assay marks, estimate $800-1,200

A pair of diamond and 14k gold old mine cut diamond cluster drop earrings, approx. 2.20 carats total, estimate $800-1,200

A diamond and cultured pearl cluster ring set in 14k yellow gold, center diamond approx. 0.85 ct., estimate $500-700

Victorian garnet and high carat gold necklace which measures 15.25 inches in length, estimate $1,800-2,500

Pair of Victorian enamel and 18k gold bangle bracelets which measures 5.75 inside length, estimate $800-1,200

Art Deco calibre-cut ruby and diamond platinum ring with elongated shape, estimate $800-1,200

A blue zircon suite consisting of a pair of earrings, ring, bracelet and necklace all circa early 1900s, estimate $2,500-3,000

Art Deco diamond and platinum brooch set with Old European cut and Old Mine cut diamonds, totaling 2.10 carats, estimate $800-1,200

Art Deco diamond and platinum ring with pierced milgrain set with Old Mine and Old European cut diamonds, estimate $1,000-1,500

Freeman’s Jewelry & Watches sale; November 2, 2015

Diamond and sapphire bypass ring set with pear shaped diamond and pear shaped sapphire in platinum, estimate $5,000-7,000

Belle Époque diamond and platinum ring set with a 3.25 ct center diamond, estimate $12,000-15,000

Serpent necklace done in 18k yellow gold set with diamonds and ruby eyes, estimate $3,000-5,000

David Webb 18k yellow gold cuff featuring a repoussé frog and cabochon emerald eyes, estimate $9,000-14,000

Marcus & Co. diamond and platinum-topped 18k gold brooch, with a center diamond approx. 3.20 ct., estimate $20,000-30,000

David Webb turquoise and diamond 18k yellow gold matching earrings and ring, estimate $2,000-3,000

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Freeman’s Auction
1808 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 563-9275
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