30 Ways to Incorporate Your Love of Jewelry into Summertime!

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Summer is next week–can you believe it?! Are you ready?! One of my most favorite things to do in the summer is to plan activities that I wouldn’t normally get to do…this involves taking days off from work, surrounding myself with people I love, and living my best life. I also like making lists or a group of goals to complete over the summer–they can be wishful thinking or very, very serious. I thought it would be fun to put together a list of 30 Ways to Incorporate Your Love of Jewelry just in time for summer!

1. Pick a gemstone, any gemstone, and learn all about it.

2. Find a gem show that is coming to your area and attend!

3. Have a gem or mineral specimen collection? Reorganize it in a cool way.

4. Plan a trip to go gem mining.

5. Do you have a favorite Instagrammer in our jewelry community? Plan a summer meetup.

6. Pick a state that is somewhat close to you, and research the best jewelry store they have to offer. Plan a visit!

7. Make a cool treat on a hot day–these gem ice trays can be filled with any fruity liquid!

8. Find a gemstone print top, bathing suit or towel and wear it to the beach.

9. Reserve a day at the nail salon and go for a gemstone manicure!

10. Buy that jewelry book you’ve been eyeing and lay by the pool with it!

11. Scout out some amazing flowers in your city, buy them, and take some jewelry photos with them.

12. Find a new way of wearing some of your favorite pieces of jewelry.

13. Take a day to clean your most-worn pieces of jewelry.

14. Plan a SWAP party with friends that also love jewelry.

15. Pick a time period you don’t know as much about as your favorite jewelry period, and learn about it!

16. Spend an entire day “hunting” for antique jewelry online–but do it by a pool.

17. Learn about crystal healing and depending on where you live, schedule an appointment with an expert.

18. Throw a gemstone-themed party!

19. Learn about a new designer you’ve never heard of before.

20. Need a new way to store your jewelry? Splurge on a jewelry cabinet and reconfigure it if necessary.

21. Take a jewelry making class.

22. Decide on creating a charm bracelet or necklace–gather charms, buy some new ones and put it together.

23. Get something very special and sentimental made into a piece of jewelry.

24. Size all of your fingers and keep it written down.

25. Get registered to bid at your favorite auction houses.

26. Put on all your favorite Art Deco jewels and watch a 1920s old movie.

27. Hit up your local estate sales or garage sales. You never know!

28. Tell someone thank you by gifting them a piece of jewelry.

29. Get lost on Pinterest by searching “antique jewelry” or “jewelry.”

30. Pick your favorite medium (water colors, arcryllics, pencil, etc) and try drawing/painting a diamond.

xoxoGemGossip

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Let me know which of these you want to do! –> @gemgossip

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Jewelry Collection Stories: Danielle of @jasmyntea

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This month’s Jewelry Collection Story comes from a favorite Instagram collector of mine and it’s not because we share the same name, although that helps 😉 It is because Danielle’s style and curation of such a fine collection is unlike any other! She has a fierce eye for what she loves and I’ve been wanting to know her story for quite awhile now. We finally got her story (she is a busy San Francisco dweller, with a full-time job that doesn’t involve jewelry) and she has provided some amazing photos of her personal collection. Let’s dive into her story!

“I have always been a collector. Whether it was collecting vintage jewelry, or vintage clothing, or books on costume and fashion. I’m always looking for unique items that speak to me in some way. I first fell in love with jewelry when I was about 12 and would ride my bike to the thrift store to look for treasures. I always liked vintage clothing, shoes, jewelry and scarves. Old pieces have stories within them. And I always liked to imagine the travels the pieces went through before I became their custodian.

My mother does not really wear much jewelry. Most of the jewelry she wears, except her wedding band, was probably given to her by her sisters or her daughters. She has very few pieces, so I didn’t really grow up surrounded by jewelry. I didn’t know one of my grandmothers as they both passed away before I was born. But I do wear her gold framed glasses from the 1940s every day as my own eyeglasses. I love this connection with my past. My other grandmother didn’t really have much affinity for jewelry either. So I’m not really sure where my love of jewelry and antiques comes from–but I can tell you that I’m obsessed 🙂

When I first started collecting jewelry in high school I liked vintage brooches and small enamel pins. This was what I could afford to purchase. From vintage pins, I branched out to vintage sterling. I always loved going to antique stores and hunting for unusual, inexpensive pieces. My early collection included David Anderson Norwegian pins and bracelets, sterling charm bracelets, bakelite bangles, and funky long beads to layer. I always liked layering, mixing and creating a story with my jewelry. As my style evolved I also liked to support local jewelry artists, so I would go to fairs and stores that sold the work of local jewelry artists and try to pick pieces I liked. My modern collection is made of up certain designers – Marla Aaron, Judy Geib, Gabriela Kiss, Louison Rare and Fine (GemstoneGypsy), Jean Jean Vintage, Gillian Conroy, Variance Objects, Dahlia Khanner, Alberian and Aulde, Amali Jewelry and local San Francisco artists Betsy Barron and Alix Bluh. I tend to gravitate towards jewelry artists versus major designer jewelry. Although one of the first pieces I completely coveted when I was 16 was Tiffany’s Elsa Perreti sterling bean necklace.

In the recent years I have gravitated towards building my antique collection. I love to go to antique fairs and shows, stop in small antique shops when I travel and I follow many antique jewelry sellers on IG. If you are curious, my first IG discovery was Erie Basin and my early purchases were a Toi et Moi Victorian diamond ring and a French link bracelet that many people have asked if they could purchase from me. Finding the antique jewelry community on IG has been very meaningful to me. I feel like I’ve found a crew of fellow jewelry enthusiasts that I can geek out about Georgian jewels, or old cut diamonds, or how to style antique and modern jewelry together. Before IG I never really participated in social media. Finding the IG community of jewelry lovers has been a nice addition in my life, so I don’t drive my husband and sons nuts with my jewelry interests. I’ve also enjoyed meeting fellow IG collectors on my travels.

I can’t really categorize what I collect, because I look for unusual pieces or pieces that resonate for me in some way. I feel like I am the custodian of the pieces I collect. I can’t always articulate why I fall in love with pieces. Sometimes the piece feels sentimental, sometimes the piece will fill an aspect of my collection that I need for a look I’m striving for. On a broad level, I like Georgian and Victorian jewelry. And then I like modern pieces that provide contrast for the more sweet/sentimental antique pieces. I love to mix antique and modern pieces together. Probably my favorite thing to mix are Marla Aaron locks with my antique necklaces, charms and brooches. Mixing and styling jewelry is a creative outlet for me. It’s self-expression—what I’m trying to put out there on a given day. I mix everything: yellow, rose, green gold, platinum and silver. On most days I have on five types of metal. I actually tend to prefer wearing mixed metals versus monochromatic styling. Although sometimes I like to do all gold or all silver or all one kind of gemstone.

I’m sentimental when it comes to jewelry. I always wear a Marla Aaron lock which to me symbolizes to hold fast to what’s important. I once did post on IG about how my modern jewelry spirit animal is my engraved Marla Aaron lock that has all family initials hidden within the engraved design. If I had to pick an antique spirit animal it would probably either be antique chains or signet rings. My thorn necklace (by Gillian Conroy) symbolizes that life has thorns to deal with but I am strong enough to weather the thorns. My hand bloodstone signet ring from Metier with the word “confido,” which means trust, reminds me to trust myself. And then on any given day, my other jewelry represents other items of importance to me or things I’m trying to stay centered about. My Mizpah ring from TheOneILoveNYC is for my husband and me, and my Souvenir bangle from Lucy Verity hasn’t left my wrist since I got it last year – I look down and remember. My Lenore heart rings: to remember love, my signets: to remember the people who are important to me, my memento mori ring from Nvitblanche: to remember to live in the moment, my ruby locket from Circa 1700 has diamonds in it from my mother-in-law in the amount of Pi carats (ok I’m a definite geek). Recently my husband and I gave each other Gabriela Kiss eye rings to symbolize us watching over each other.

You may wonder what pieces I am on the hunt for next. I try to keep an open mind when I am hunting for jewelry, because you never know what you might find. I always ask myself does this resonate for me, will I really wear it and reach for this piece everyday? I like to purchase pieces that I will wear, I don’t like for jewelry to just sit in my jewelry box. I don’t necessarily keep a running wish list. Although at the beginning of 2016 I did an IG jewelry wishlist post and when I look back on it now, I did end up collecting some of the items on my wishlist during 2016, (like my French cut eternity band from Platt Boutique Jewelry). Right now I’m coveting high carat gold items – 22K gold bands (I just got one from Metier) and poesy rings, a Georgian memento mori ring and chains, always more chains. Recently, I’ve been loving layering a lot of gold watch chains.

In closing, almost every piece I wear holds meaning for me of something I want to remember or a story I want to tell that day with my jewelry. Jewelry wearing and styling is my personal storytelling.”

xoxoGemGossip

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You can follow Danielle –> @jasmyntea

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Q & A with Mother/Daughter Duo of Charmco

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There are quite a few jewelry businesses that feature mother-daughter duos in this industry. Each one having a story rich in passion, a love for what they’re doing AND for one another, and above all, a special bond you truly can’t have with anyone else. Mother’s Day is quickly approaching, and jewelry is a wonderful and powerful gift to give any mother–but a charm that has significance and meaning, one that connects you two together will make her heart sing! Even better if you get that charm from Charmco, a mother-daughter run business that has been deeply connected to charms and promotes this in every way possible! After hearing their story, you’ll not only want to start your own charm collection (if you haven’t already), but also buy your mom a personalized charm for her to unwrap on Mother’s Day!

Q1 | Gem Gossip

It started with my grandma Boomie’s charm bracelet. I remember when she would visit my sister and I would go over each and every charm and beg her to tell us what they were and she would have fun telling us stories. My mother inherited the bracelet and decided to use a few of these special charms to build a bracelet for us. ​She searched for the rest of the charms to make the bracelets meaningful to us; I lived in NYC and worked in communications while my sister was working on a farm in Bali so you can imagine how different the bracelets could be! It was hard to find great charms to add so it took quite a while. When she gifted us the bracelets, needless to say we were both blown away! Wherever I wore my charm bracelet it seemed to spark a conversation- I even remember showing my charms to a stranger on the subway and going over what each little treasure meant to me. My mother had always been a collector of vintage and antique jewelry and I loved the idea of starting a business where we could help people find great charms so we launched C.H.A.R.M, an acronym for “Charms Have A Real Meaning”. An awesome name for our company but not a great one for a web based retailer so a few years later we became Charmco.

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Q2 | Gem Gossip

We started traveling and educating ourselves and collecting and by Spring 2002, we began to work with private clients in NYC by appointment to make custom charm bracelets. Soon after that we developed our first website. It was an informational site which had a questionnaire in a pdf form that was downloaded by customers with questions that were supposed to reveal their true charm nature! We had piles of forms come in and we would build a sampling of their bracelet based on the answers. We were sending charm bracelet all over the US and were featured in a variety of popular magazines and had a great word of mouth business. We started doing trunk shows at Bergdorf Goodman and for about 3 years we sold through Bergdorfs, Neiman Marcus and Fragments showroom and to a variety of boutiques. We moved our focus online in 2005 with an ecommerce site and now Charmco is home to over 700 collection charms all made in NYC, more than 1000 vintage charms, charm bracelets and necklaces to mix and match.

Charmco | Gem Gossip Q3 | Gem Gossip

A charm bracelet or charm necklace is so personal, it tells your story, your travels and your loves– all around. It’s a piece of jewelry that’s classic so it avoids being on trend one season and out the next. It can be passed down from one generation to the next and get transformed into the next person’s wearable life story. The charms I have from my Grandmother are some of my most precious. Charm gifting, in itself, becomes a tradition. We have mothers, husbands, daughters, sisters, friends, grandmothers returning every year on the dot for another charm for their bracelet. Charm bracelets, unlike any other jewelry is a growing reflection of one’s life.

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Q4 | Gem Gossip

Some of our all time favorites are also some of the most popular charms. My absolute favorite is our Custom Calendar; a charm where your special date is marked with a Diamond and which is entirely bespoke. Other classics are an engraved monogram disc, retro baby booties that can be engraved with a birth date or a name ​and famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, which we make 4 different ways. Our all time most popular category is travel; a classic charm bracelet theme. ​New styles people are loving include our new martini glass with a Diamond olive and our elephant mom and baby charm. The martini glass is classic and has a fun diamond olive spark to it and the elephant mom and baby gets an “aww” from everyone when they see the mom carrying the little baby with her trunk.

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Q5 | Gem Gossip

We see more symbolic charms like unicorns and lightning bolts rising in popularity. The infinity symbol is a charm that’s popular at the moment and I think it’s a concept charm that people embrace right now.

Charmco | Gem Gossip Q6 | Gem Gossip

Lisa:

The charm bracelet that inspired our business has evolved through the years. I have custom calendars for each of my two daughter’s birthdays. I paired them with a mini vintage rooster and rat charm to mark their Chinese Zodiac for our three years in Hong Kong. One of my favorite charms is a movable roulette wheel with a little bead that moves with a shake and lands on a winning number. I still test my luck! I also have always cherished my devil that pops out of the martini shaker. I do like a good dry vodka martini! I’ve just started building a separate travel charm necklace and my favorite piece on this necklace isn’t the most “fantastic” charm but it means a lot to me. It’s a golden mountain range of Crested Butte Colorado where I got engaged to my husband. The day I found that charm, I also learned I was pregnant with my first daughter Audrey, so it has super special meaning!

Leslie:

I tend to think in themes and Diamonds are my birthstone. One of my favorite charm bracelets is packed with Diamond charms I have collected over the years. The light bulb charm literally “lights” up with all my good ideas! My Sputnik bracelet features five vintage gem-filled Sputniks inspired by the 1950’s space satellite. My main charm bracelet is like a short bio of my life with quirks and all. I have a vintage crystal photo globe charm with a photo of my ex husband (father to my daughters) on one side and my husband of the past 35 years on the other! I also have a vintage troll doll, which represents my era that I love and a taxi meter that rotates from vacant to occupied to forever – A classic love charm.

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Top-left: Lisa’s Travel Necklace — Top-right: Leslie’s Sputnik charm bracelet

Bottom-left: Lisa’s main charm bracelet — Bottom-right: Leslie’s main charm bracelet

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This sponsored post was brought to you in collaboration with Charmco.

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The New Jean Jean Vintage Cachet Collection

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Something very odd is happening in my jewelry box. Yes, rings and cocktail rings have always and will always rule–but another category has taken a dramatic increase as of late, charms! I’ve been enjoying their collectible nature, as many of you know I’m such a collector at heart, so naturally these are a great fit. Whether it is a charm that reminds me of something in my life or just something that appeals to me, I’ve been gathering quite a few these past few months.

And then I saw these from Jean Jean Vintage and couldn’t have fallen more in love! Introducing the Cachet Collection–Cachet being French for a “seal affixed to a document or letter.” Each tiny charm is a double sided wax seal stamped nugget of gold, flattened to perfection. They are sentimental, romantic and most importantly adorable. And the subtleness of the charm allows you to wear one or ten! Add is to your favorite necklace or chain…or maybe even a charm bracelet?!

There are 14 different Cachet charms from Jean Jean Vintage–each featuring two original Victorian wax seal stamps, depicting different messages, some even hidden or not as obvious. You can currently purchase all 14 on the Jean Jean Vintage Etsy page in 10k yellow gold, however if you’d like 14k yellow, white or rose gold, even 18k or platinum, custom orders can be done! There are even ways to add diamonds and other gemstones, which creates a whole new dimension to them! With the holidays quickly approaching, the price points on these are great for friends and family gift giving. Each of the 14 designs are special, so be sure to read about each and decipher which one is right for you!

I picked no.6–the two sides are as follows: side 1 ∙ a dog seated, at attention, in front of a tombstone with an hourglass on top. In French, the phrase reads “le temps passe, l’amitié reste / time passes, friendship remains.” side 2 ∙ day of the week, “Samedi / Saturday.” Of course I had to pick the one with a dog. I’ve been wearing mine on a vintage 1950s child’s “add a pearl” necklace chain, that is super short, so it is almost a choker on me. I like this charm sitting higher up, but I’m sure I will be changing it up a lot and wearing it often! Thanks Duff of Jean Jean Vintage for creating these amazing charms and gifting me one!

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Gem Gossip Visits Heritage Auctions in NYC

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What is so special about all of these pieces?! They were once owned by Shirley Temple! Heritage Auctions has a collection of Shirley Temple’s jewelry that will go up for auction December 5th-6th

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Outside the Heritage Auctions offices in NYC

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I loved getting to preview these jewels before they went up for auction in September’s Signature Sale

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Heritage Auctions is one of my favorites to bid for luxury items because I know they are authentic and what they offer is pretty incredible! I even fell for some of their high-end designer bags!

Heritage Auctions | Gem Gossip

This necklace is 18k white gold by Mattia Cielo and the earring are by Vhernier done in chalcedony. Both were auctioned off in the September Sale.

Heritage Auctions | Gem Gossip

Three items from Shirley Temple–this charm bracelet is exquisite, made up of platinum and diamond charms! And wow, these diamond rings!

Heritage Auctions | Gem Gossip

A closeup of the jewels once owned by Shirley Temple–the Tiffany & Co. bracelet was custom made for her, as her favorite color was orange!

Heritage Auctions | Gem Gossip

A fun and flirty lapis drop pendant with added pearls which create a tassel. And yes, I’ve said it before tassels are in! This once belonged to Shirley Temple

Heritage Auctions | Gem Gossip

Channeling Wonder Woman with these cuffs by Van Cleef & Arpels. These were gifts from Jackie Kennedy Onassis.

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Feeling these two together, both in Heritage Auctions’ September Signature Sale.

Heritage Auctions | Gem Gossip

A lapis and diamond necklace by Salvador Dali

Heritage Auctions | Gem Gossip

These cuffs sold for over $162,000! Amazing!

Heritage Auctions | Gem Gossip

These Cartier panther earrings are everything!

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Love the diversity of what Heritage Auctions offers–here are three bracelets, three very different price points and different eras!

Heritage Auctions | Gem Gossip

All my favorite rings from the September Signature Sale–that moonstone is amazing! It is by Paula Crevoshay

Heritage Auctions always has something exciting going on, whether it is a celebrity’s jewels going up at auction or a fun preview touring across the US, or sales taking place at one of their multiple locations of Dallas, NYC, San Francisco, Chicago, Florida, Houston, and Beverly Hills (also a few worldwide). That’s what I like about Heritage Auctions…their ongoing reach at finding pieces to sell is incomparable, they are the experts. The company is a collector’s best friend, as they encourage the hobby of collecting but also want curation to be an important aspect for all collectors, so selling is just as important. Heritage is here to do both of these aspects for you–to help you buy and to help you sell–and their specialized categories are numerous, so whatever you are interested in, Heritage probably has a department for you! I like to focus on jewelry, so for me Heritage is great because not only do they have their Signature Sales, three per year, and Tuesday night auctions, which happen every Tuesday night, so jewelry lovers are fully satisfied.

I visited their headquarters last January in Dallas and got to see the facility first-hand, as well as try on some amazing pieces. This time around when I visited NYC, I got to checkout their east-coast location in the city that never sleeps. Just as suspected, the jewels were incredible and if you want to get excited for an upcoming sale, their December Signature Sale will be an event not to be missed! A lot of the pieces I tried on were from yesterday’s September Signature Sale, where bidders were setting records and auction hammers were flying. A significant lot featuring a pair of matching 18k yellow gold cuffs by Van Cleef & Arpels, were gifted on a wedding day by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to her step sister and sold for $162,500! Being able to wear them and photograph them myself is an honor in and of itself.

Heritage Auctions continually is a dominant source for designer jewelry–like Tiffany & Co., Cartier, Blvgari, David Webb, amongst many, many others. Their December Signature Sale, slated for December 5th-6th as a two-day event, has numerous designer pieces. But what you may not realize when glancing at a Tiffany & Co. bracelet or a Blvgari suite in that particular sale is who those pieces once belonged to. Heritage Auctions is so excited to be offering the jewels of Shirley Temple in their December sale! There are several pieces, many of which I got to try on in the photos above. Although the stories behind the jewels, like where or who they are from, when did she wear them, what were her favorites, may not be known, the fact that they were once hers make them that much more special.

Take a look at December’s upcoming catalog, more jewelry will be added as it becomes available:

8.43 carat Emerald cut diamond ring set in platinum, once owned by Shirley Temple

Lapis and pearl tassel necklace, once owned by Shirley Temple

Tiffany & Co. orange enamel and turquoise bracelet, once owned by Shirley Temple

Art Deco platinum charm bracelet featuring 15 charms, once owned by Shirley Temple

Matching pair of Blvgari rings, one in ruby and one in emerald, once owned by Shirley Temple


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Heritage Auctions

445 Park Ave #3

New York, NY 10022

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May Is Gold Month, Celebrate with Some Gold Trends!

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The allure of gold is unlike any other metal–it conjures up so many feelings when I look at my favorite yellow gold bracelet brought back from Italy by my grandparents over 20 years ago, or when I wear my gold hoops that I purchased when I graduated from high school. I can sense the power, the value and the weight of the gold, but I can also feel the memories, the sentiment, and the love behind each piece. Celebrating gold is something I do everyday, as it is hands-down my favorite metal used for jewelry, so having an entire month dedicated to GOLD and promoting everything about it makes me happy! Over at May Is Gold Month, they have committed to spreading the knowledge of karat gold, promoting the wearability of gold with weekly trends, even providing some deals and contests for readers as well. For me, it’s a passion I can stand behind too, right there with them!

My love for karat gold jewelry has brought me on so many journeys with my #JewelryRoadTrip and working with LoveGold for two years, I’ve put on some miles all in the name of gold. I love the fact that gold has been found on every continent and it is my lifelong dream to be able to pan for gold and actually find some! I like to relate my quest for finding and featuring gold jewelry stores/designers on my blog as being similar to the gold miners of the big Gold Rush of 1849. In fact, it is one of my most favorite things to research and learn about. The power of gold is depicted best in situations like the California Gold Rush, where hundreds of thousands of gold-seekers put everything on the line in search of one thing. Gold’s impact reached far greater than just the discovery of it alone and it will always remain the number one selling metal for luxury and jewelry items.

How you wear and style karat gold jewelry is a whole different realm of gold. My biggest tip would be to try new ideas and trends–don’t ever wear the same pieces of jewelry every single day for the rest of your life! If you need some suggestions, May Is Gold Month has put together some weekly trends that you can easily focus on and I’m here to help suggest ways of taking each and making them your own. Let’s start from the top!

MayIsGoldMonth | Gem Gossip

Trend #1: GOLD HOOPS

A gold jewelry staple that will never go out of style, gold hoops are a piece of karat gold jewelry you must own! Thick or thin, large or small…the style and size does not matter, it’s how you wear them and what you wear them with that is most important! I like to wear mine stacked on one ear, with each being similar in size and style. I left my other lobe bare to give it a dramatic effect. Karat gold hoops can really add a spice to your style–a small addition with a big impact.

MayIsGoldMonth | Gem Gossip

Trend #2: LIGHTLY LAYERED

This is a great trend because you can combine lots of small, karat gold jewels to create one big, impactful look. I’ve always had a thing for tiny gold bracelets and each one has a unique style. Some are from Italy from my grandparents so they are very sentimental to me, while one I bought from a gold kiosk in the middle of the mall, and another is from Kay Jewelers. Wearing them all together is fun and every time my arm moves, they move around with me. The small karat gold rings are fun to stack and layer as well, so both types of jewelry play off one another.

MayIsGoldMonth | Gem Gossip

Trend #3: GOLD RINGS

This trend comes way too natural for me–I don’t ever leave the house with just ONE gold ring. However, there’s a skilled art to stacking rings and piling on whatever you have just won’t cut it. I like large, elongated rings to go on the biggest finger–the middle finger–and that works as a good starting point. Combine rings that have a special meaning with pieces that are trendy. I love the geometrical trends that are happening right now, so I opted for a lightweight, but still 14k solid gold version of this trend to cut the cost. One thing is for certain though, whenever you buy a piece of karat gold jewelry, it is an investment that you won’t regret.

MayIsGoldMonth | Gem Gossip

Trend #4: SYMBOLISM

Gold jewelry is often highly symbolic, whether it’s a talisman, a good luck charm or a piece of jewelry that means something more than what meets the eye. For me, I have many karat gold charms in my life that hold a symbolic meaning like my Figas, and my lucky locket passed down to me by my Gram. My newest additions are the lapis scarab (if you follow me on Instagram, I’ve sold two large lapis scarab pieces recently and sort of regretted selling–and then I found like mini version of it just recently on my trip to DC, from The Antique Guild) and a gold heart ring box that holds an almost identical miniature version of my engagement ring, recently purchased from A.Brandt + Son. The charm is so neat because it opens and closes, and the craftsmanship is impeccable.

MayIsGoldMonth | Gem Gossip

Trend #5: WRIST BLISS

What a dueling pair of wrists! My bracelet style is quite bipolar–I love a great karat gold Victorian hinged bracelet but then I also can go very modern, chunky with a large, heavy men’s Cuban Link chain. Talk about opposites! I love both for different reasons, but that’s the beauty of having different styles and karat gold jewelry has SO many styles. I’ve collected the Victorian gold bracelets over the years from my job being an appraiser, but the Cuban Link chain is my husband’s! I hope to own a matching one some day…one that actually fits though! His is huge on me!

MayIsGoldMonth | Gem Gossip

Trend #6: NECK CANDY

Necklaces are the type of jewelry I own the least of, but surprisingly that has been changing lately! I think it’s because I like wearing necklaces that are more than just a chain and a pendant or charm. That’s when I got the bright idea of turning my gold cross charm bracelet into a necklace by adding a gold bracelet to each end and extending the length. It easily transforms it into a close-fitting statement necklace that everyone asks about…and even better, each cross has a story. I’ve also added my Fox & Bond Mini necklace to the mix to make the look more interesting. The Mini is a miniature solitaire ring which features a special engraving on the inside.

This post was brought to you in collaboration with May Is Gold Month.

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Jewelry Road Trip: Washington, DC & Alexandria, VA

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Recently I took a trip to the Washington, DC area. I had two speaking engagements that I was a part of–the first one being DC’s GIA Alumni chapter meeting and the second one AGS Conclave. Excitement was what this trip was all about after I realized both were in the same area, however one week apart. I could have flown in and out for both occasions, but since I had never been to DC before, I decided to make an entire trip out of it! So this blog post compiles all that I did in between those two events (which I already wrote about here and here). It was also a very special trip because I brought my mom along with me (who also had never been to DC before) and we took a few days to drive up to Pennsylvania and visit my Gram too.

Day One in DC started with having the entire morning and most of the afternoon to ourselves before my 7pm presentation. It was a rainy day unfortunately, but we made the most of it by checking out two museums. All the photos above are from our visit to Hillwood Estate–a gorgeous mansion once owned by Marjorie Merriweather Post back in the 1950s. Marjorie is an incredibly interesting person, as her wealth was acquired by her father who founded Postum Cereal Company (General Foods) which she took over at the young age of 27 when her father passed away. She was a collector and lover of jewelry, arts and gardens. When she decorated her large estate, she deliberately knew she wanted it to become a museum one day, as she was driven to open up the doors to the public. Most importantly, she wanted to share the lifetime of joy she got out of collecting with everyone else. To learn more about Marjorie Merriweather Post, check out this video.

After our time spent at Hillwood, we dined at the cafe on the premises which was great and then headed to Tudor Place, another much smaller and older estate open to the public through guided tours only. We also weren’t allowed to take any pictures and I was saddened to not experience very many pieces of jewelry on the tour–only a very small curio cabinet with less than ten items. The area in which Tudor Place is located is just the cutest though.

Hillwood Museum

4155 Linnean Ave. NW

Washington, DC 20008

Tudor Place

1644 31st St NW

Washington, DC 20007

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Jewelry Collection Stories: Sunny’s Charm Collection

Sunny Bond Charm Bracelet Sunny Bond Charm Bracelet

Excited to share this collection story because it is unique–just as the person behind it is and she is unique in all the right ways! Sunny Bond is one of those jewelry friends you can’t get enough of and I sadly only get to see her a few times a year. But when I do see her, she usually has a new piece she is wearing that we can talk about or we are at an antique show, both in the zone, hunting down treasures. Sunny can usually be found hunkered over a bin of some sort, sifting through things, in hopes of uncovering a cool charm she has yet to lay eyes on. Her charm collection is extensive and truly a work of art! I’ll let her tell you the rest! 😉

“My Collection Story is definitely individual, just like a collection should be. I have an obsession with charms. I’ll never get over how something so small, perfect, and articulated, can be made out of gold and precious materials.”

Sunny Bond Charm Bracelet Sunny Bond Charm Bracelet

“Seeing and playing with a tiny charm transports me back to childhood. I would play with my Mom’s charm bracelets, built for her by my grandmother, and marvel at these tiny little toys. The mousetrap, the mini deck of cards, and the tiny Ferris wheel were always among my favorites.”

Sunny Bond Charm Bracelet Sunny Bond Charm Bracelet

“For my 7th birthday my Mom began my charm story. The Art Nouveau women, a favorite motif of hers, and the Egyptian charms, a favorite of mine, are a constant. Over the years, my husband and I have added to this bracelet with some of our life’s milestones.

The first year Gordon and I were married we decided to start a new tradition together. Every Christmas, Gordon finds a vintage charm for me that symbolizes our year together. The first was a bride and groom from the 1950s.”

Sunny Bond Charm BraceletSunny Bond Charm Bracelet

“Our second year, a tiny gold record, meant to symbolize his steadily growing obsession, and a crate of California Oranges as a We moved to California and lived to tell the tale charm. Last year it was a book of diamonds that swings open to reveal “I LOVE YOU”, symbolizing the year of work that went into launching Fox & Bond (www.foxandbond.com). Along with those special memories, together we add love tokens that carry meaning for us; a hot water bottle, playing cards, a David Bowie lightning bolt, a martini shaker (you know, Bond)… little treasures that make up our love story.

The best aspect of charm collecting is that they tell your life story, show your travels, your memories, constant reminders of where you’ve been, the times that you treasure most and want to hold close forever.”

Sunny Bond Charm Bracelet Sunny Bond Charm Bracelet

“My personal project and latest obsession has been my Charm Necklace. Like any charm collection, I’m not sure if it will ever be finished, but I feel ready to share it with the world! It’s a combination of family pieces and large scale charms I’ve found along the way. One of my major inspirations was the fabulous Sally Morrison, who has an incredible Charm Necklace! The open Russer Capricorn, the fully functional Ferris wheel, and the almond locket are among my current favorites. It’s such a bold piece and when I wear it, I feel fierce!”

Sunny Bond Charm Bracelet Sunny Bond Charm Bracelet

“Last but not least is the piece I wear everyday, with my most sentimental favorites. Charm bracelets can be tricky to wear daily, but a simple charm story is easy just to throw on and go!

The star is my F&B Hand Painted Pet Portrait with my beautiful pup Fanny. We make them custom, hand painted with your furry best friend, and trust me, they are seriously incredible. Alongside Fanny is my Art Deco DEAREST charm, given to me by Gordon on our wedding day, my Victorian red glass heart locket, Fanny’s and my BFF charms, hand-engraved with her name (hers hangs on her collar), and three F&B Mini’s that hold sentimental value to me; a Diamond Rose Gold Mini engraved with our wedding date “June 1st, 2013”, a Diamond White Gold Mini engraved with my in-laws’ wedding date “11.26.75” (my mother-in-law has a matching one), and a special Tsavorite Garnet Mini symbolizing mine and my mother’s January birthdays.

A lifetime charm obsession has fueled our buying for Fox & Bond. We have a devoted collection, The Charm Shop, as well as The Pet Portraits, and The Mini’s. They are incredibly personal and sentimental mementos and can be worn on their own, or together, building your life story.

These precious little treasures mean so much to me, and I’m sure you jewelry lovers out there feel the same way.”

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Gem Gossip Visits Trademark Antiques in Pennsylvania

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Necklace Stories: Four Figas, Four Different Ways

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Gem Gossip Jewel Box

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Gem Gossip Jewel Box

Gem Gossip Jewel Box

Gem Gossip Jewel Box

Remember that time I decided to make a New Year’s Resolution where I can only buy one ring per month for the entire year?! Yeah, I do too…I, like, just made that resolution and I already want to break it. But I must not falter, I must resist temptation. Oddly enough, other parts of my jewelry collection are growing! Hmmm…strange how that works! 😉 For example, I bought a brooch. I bought a curb-link necklace (photo is of it twisted into a makeshift ring, because I can’t help it, ring obsessed). I’ve even strung a ring onto a gold chain and created one of my most favorite necklaces ever (that way it doesn’t count as being a ring if it is worn as a necklace)! Yes, truly loving my new Charlton & Lola Japa ring–a 14k gold ring that features nine sacred gold balls elevated off the main band. When the Japa ring is worn on the finger, it can easily be turned with just the flick of the thumb, becoming an aid in meditation, a soulful piece of gold. This is one of those pieces that you just fall in love with, both the design and comfort of the piece, and end up wearing daily. The Japa ring made me start looking into my necklace and charm collection. I began to pull favorite charms and started to create mini-vignettes of charms that complemented one another. Hope you enjoy!

Necklace One: one malachite figa (from James McHone Jewelry), one St. Anthony medallion (passed down to me by my dad), one green enamel dangling fish (passed down to me from my mom who was gifted it by my grandma after a trip to Italy)

Necklace Two: one figa with gold nails and gold bracelet (!!) (from James McHone Jewelry), one Italian horn pendant (passed down to me by my dad), one Victorian heart padlock (from eBay), one Fox & Bond Mini (from Fox & Bond, engraved with my wedding date)

Necklace Three: the necklace is actually a Y-necklace which I experimented with adding charms to and I love how it looks with charms (from Bea Millen), one Japa ring (from Charlton & Lola), one amethyst figa charm (from James McHone Jewelry), and one Amoré heart charm (from Pasquale Bruni)

Necklace Four: one rose quartz figa charm (from James McHone Jewelry), one Edwardian carved mother of pearl religious medallion (from where I used to work), one gold heart key (gift from my grandma after she got back from Italy)

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