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

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

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

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

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

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

This sponsored blog post was brought to you in collaboration with Real is a Diamond.

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Jewelry Collection Stories: @homeoftheland

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Today’s latest installment of Jewelry Collection Stories comes from Jemima who we all know in our jewelry community as @homeoftheland. I love her taste in jewelry and her personal collection reflects just that! She isn’t afraid to wear bold pieces and I’ve enjoyed connecting her with the seller of one of her most exquisite pieces–the elongated diamond ring. I’ll let her tell you about her collection, take it away:

I inherited the jewelry fever from my mother who is pragmatic and no-nonsense in most every other way but still wants her jewels. My father was happy to oblige her with some beautiful antique pieces they picked out together for special occasions and she has no qualms about filling the gaps in her collection herself. She recently bought an outrageous Edwardian emerald and diamond three stone ring at the Hillsborough Antique Show that I lust after constantly. I collected vintage Gucci bags from the 1960’s and 1970’s for many years (I still own and love them) before I started to transition more to jewelry over a decade ago when I could afford some of the pieces I wanted.

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There is something I love in every era but I always look for big, evocative, narrative pieces. I did visuals for retailer Anthropologie for a very long time and jewelry is an integral part of my bougie-boho aesthetic. Dainty pieces just disappear on me (although I love admiring them on other people). I love figurative animal jewelry and have acquired everything from Victorian snakes to a 1980’s Kieselstien-Cord alligator ring to my contemporary Elsa Peretti scorpion necklace. Another one of my favorite pieces is a long Edwardian diamond ring that I first lusted over on a fellow Instagramer. When Danielle at Gem Gossip posted that the owner was letting it go, I jumped on it.

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There have been studies that people get more gratification from spending money on experiences rather than objects. To me beautiful jewelry is both an object and an experience every time you wear it. Rings are my favorite because you can admire them while you wear them. I love the craftsmanship- the touch of the hand. There is an emotional connection to a piece that was exquisitely made. I also love that jewelry speaks to the time and place that it was made whether it be from the Victorian era or the Dynasty/Dallas 1980’s.

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I fell in love with snake jewelry because of the baby sitter that stayed with my brother and I when my parents went off on their world travels. She was an original hippie Deadhead with an old BMW 2002. She had this amazing jeweled gold Victorian snake coil bracelet that she inherited. She’d casually wear it on her upper arm with jeans and a beat up tank top. I convinced her to let me borrow it for my senior prom. I hated my dress and my date, and the hairstylist screwed up my updo but it was worth it because I got to wear the snake.

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You can follow Jemima –> @HomeoftheLand

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The Ten Best Rings Currently For Sale at The Three Graces

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One of my most frequently asked questions I get is, “where do you find all these amazing vintage and antique jewels?!” And my answer may surprise you, as most would envision me scouring flea markets, old attics and the like to find things like these featured above. It might be easy for me to say ONLINE and it is totally true. Websites like The Three Graces do the hard work for you, scouting out the most unique, wearable and head-turning jewels out there and we should appreciate that! I like knowing that anytime I go on TheThreeGraces.com I can find a whole new batch of sparkly, rare, vintage and antique pieces that expert Lisa Stockhammer Mial has sourced, authenticated, cleaned up and ready for its next lifetime. They also have some pretty special perks like a “no questions asked, free return policy,” offer layaway, and most every ring can be sized to fit! And what is easier than simply logging on to a website and ogling over New Arrivals?!

I got to do just that when choosing my favorite top ten rings that are currently for sale at The Three Graces. A mix of pieces I would love to own, rings that remind me of some favorites from my personal collection, and some that I can’t believe are still available (quick, grab them before someone else does!). Let’s start from the top!

Emerald Art Deco Ring & Diamond Filigree Halo Ring

1. There’s something unique about an Art Deco ring shaped like this emerald and diamond one! Not only does it elongate the finger, but it surely gets people staring. I love how delicate yet statement-making this ring is. Set in platinum with a stunning emerald, currently a size 6.5 and ready for a finger to shine on! Price: $4,950

2. At first I thought this would make such a beautiful engagement ring but then I saw the photos created by The Three Graces with my picks and I am really loving how this ring also looks as a right hand ring! I love when rings are versatile like that and this one definitely doesn’t have a bad angle even if you tried. The center diamond is just over a half carat and has a gorgeous sparkle to it. Price: $3,650

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Deco Rock Crystal Ring & Large Moonstone Sapphire Cluster Ring

3. This ring is one of the best examples of rock crystal jewelry I’ve seen! I love the contrast of the blue sapphires along with the frostiness of the crystal and white diamond. This ring would be a perfect anniversary or birthday gift and I can almost guarantee this will get a lot of wear–it goes with everything! It is currently a size 7 1/4 and done in 14k white gold. Price: $1,350

4. If you know my personal collection as well as you know your own, you will understand why I HAD to choose this grand moonstone and sapphire ring! I have an almost identical one in my collection and the compliments that I get on it are nonstop. If you’ve been wanting to find something similar, this is it! Currently a size 5 1/2 with 2.88 carats of bright blue sapphires. Price: $4.450

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Antique Citrine Ring & Vintage Amethyst Halo Ring

5. A pop of yellow added to any outfit instantly brightens everything! That’s why I love this citrine ring so much–I quickly become happy as soon as I look at it. I think this would be an ideal ring to wear in the summer and it could easily transition to fall wardrobes and colors. This art deco ring is currently a size 4 1/2 and can be resized for its new owner. Price: $1,275

6. Purple was my favorite color for most of my childhood. Anyone lucky enough to have a February birthdate can call amethyst their birthstone and this particular ring would be perfect for you. Or if you’re like me and just love the color purple, then yes you deserve this ring too. Currently a size 8 1/4 and can be sized to your liking. Price: $1,350

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Bohemian Turquoise Ring & Bold Opal Cluster Ring

7. Turquoise is one of my most favorite gemstones–I can’t get enough of it! When most people think of turquoise, they think of Persian turquoise and although that is most desirable and valuable, I actually like when turquoise shows veining, different patterns and depth of color. This particular ring has great natural veining and I love the design–simple yet bold! The ring is done in 8k yellow gold and currently a size 6 3/4. Price: $650

8. So we all know my obsession with opals and if I didn’t have so many opal rings, THIS would be in my virtual shopping cart right now. Everything about it is amazing to me–the design (large oval cluster), the opals (a nice play-of-color that glows in the right light), and the size (big and bold). Don’t miss out on this vintage one-of-a-kind, done in 10k yellow gold. Price: $2,195

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Edwardian Diamond Heart Ring & “Four Corners” Sapphire, Diamond Ring

9. Never thought I’d be such a sucker for hearts, but I absolutely love them, especially the antique versions. This is an exceptional ring, dating back to the Edwardian period and set with rose cut diamonds in a silver topped setting. The band is done in 14k yellow gold and currently a size 5 1/2. If you love heart jewelry as much as I do, you won’t let this one slip away! Price: $3,850

10. Ok, this ring is one that will stop you dead in your tracks and I’m so in love with it! The design is really unique–The Three Graces describes it perfectly by saying, “modernist flavor with strong design elements.” The intensity of the blue sapphires is insane and it is one in a million. This ring deserves a good home that provides lots of love and care! 😉 Price: $4,450

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This sponsored post was brought to you in collaboration with The Three Graces.

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Weekday Wardrobe: Accessorizing Rings & Clutches

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Lately I’ve been all about wearing my newest addition to my necklace collection–this 14k yellow gold thick collar that I picked up from Arrow & Anchor Antiques. We did a trunk show together and of course, ended up buying something from her gorgeous selection. When you’re a jewelry lover (addict?) you tend to do that.

I’ve also been sorting through my vintage clutch collection, mostly which came from eBay and antique shops from my travels. Getting them out and pairing them up with different rings has been a fun thing to do, especially over the holidays. Wearing festive attire usually isn’t my thing, but I want to add something fun and different to what I normally wear when I attend holiday parties, so having these clutches is perfect for my style. I thought it would be cool to incorporate them into my Weekday Wardrobe post for this month since I promised more of these posts. Hope you enjoy!

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Day One:

Navy blue enameled shield conversion ring (used to be a stick pin) — enamel refinished by Platt Boutique Jewelry

18k yellow gold Lapis ring from Sarah’s Vintage & Estate Jewelry — enamel and side stone repair by Platt Boutique Jewelry

14k yellow gold linked rings created by myself using scrap gold items and bracelet safety chains

Weekday Wardrobe | Gem Gossip

Day Two:

Victorian trio opal ring found at Brimfield in 2014

Retro flower ring with diamond, my first ever Ruby Lane purchase back in 2008 (still one of my favorites)

Opal flower cluster ring found at Nashville’s first ever Big Flea

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Day Three:

14k yellow gold Victorian thimble ring found at the Nashville flea market

14k yellow gold boulder opal ring specially made by BCE Jewelry for me 🙂

14k yellow gold Gemini Twins enamel ring found on eBay

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Day Four:

Star sapphire and enamel antique ring found from OakGem at the Miami Antique Show in 2015

Victorian dendritic agate ring found at Joden Jewelry

Victorian turquoise and diamond ring found at the Vegas Antique Show in 2013

Weekday Wardrobe | Gem Gossip

Day Five:

Edwardian diamond ring found on eBay

Platinum and diamond ring found from Hampton Estate Auction (my Christmas present from Matt this year)

14k white gold three stone diamond ring from eBay (one of my very first purchases off eBay, it originally had a ruby in the center)

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My Jewel Box: Elongated Antique Diamond Ring Obsession

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One look at these photos and you will realize my growing obsession for elongated antique diamond rings. I can’t even remember really where or why it all started, but each one is incredibly unique, thoughtfully intricate and immaculately designed. Most of these types of rings are from the Edwardian period, where the tops are done in platinum and the shank and setting is done in yellow gold. The diamonds are almost always imperfectly perfect–wonky cuts, usually Old Mine cuts mixed with some Old European cuts, maybe even a single cut where the tiniest stones lay. The shapes and silhouette can be worn either way, so there’s no “upside down” side to these pieces! Some tend to be more geometric than others, while some have lacy attributes. Some look like a diamond creature, while others look very floral and feminine. I’ve noticed these diamonds tend to be high on the clarity scale, but often are very low on the color scale, sometimes even playing off the different levels of yellow-ness within the design itself.

Oddly enough, I’ve found most of my entire collection of these particular rings on eBay! While in Las Vegas, I added another to my collection (the one on my pointer finger in the above photos). It was a surprisingly good find and per usual, fell into place…as I was wrapping up my last full day at the show and was about to head out, I stumbled upon it! It was sold to me by Bluestone Trading Company based out of Cleveland, Ohio. It was love at first sight and definitely a happy moment when I realized I hadn’t found anything for myself the past two days at the shows yet. The worst would have been if I bought something else that I totally wasn’t in love with and spent my money, and then found this afterwards! That’s my worst nightmare! haha It was a great way to commemorate the trip, as it was one of the most busy/hard-working weekends of my life!

I’ve seen some amazing auction archives with gorgeous examples of elongated Edwardian diamond rings. Sad that I missed out on them, but excited that they may resurface onto the market someday. These kinds of rings are an investment piece, that’s for sure! So, you either have to continually save so when you do find one, you are able to buy it. Or buy it on credit and pay it off eventually over time or sell a few smaller rings to pay for one large one like these. I never thought I would have a collection like this back when I started my blog in 2008. It is crazy to see how far my love for jewelry has come and how many miles I’ve traveled all in the name of jewels!!

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Favorite Instagrams: Early 2016

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davidwebbjewels captures this opal, diamond and enamel ring in the best way possible

gemfever posted this ring for sale and I am so bummed to have missed out on it

susannahlovis displaying an amazing opal heart and diamond ring that makes my own heart beat fast

trafalgarjewellers is ready for the brooch to have its come-back this year

hakan_groth takes a picture of this ceiling painting located in Napoleon’s Library at Compiègne

spencerfinejewelry in awe at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris

jesswinzelberg and her incredible drop earrings she designs, all available on her website

giuliaballetti snapped this photo from an antique shop in Bournemouth which looks lovely

butterlaneantiques sold this 18th century love token pendant/brooch which also hurts my heart it got away

maelgwns_muse playing with some of her treasures, like this Edwardian diamond ring

catbirdnyc photographs the two prettiest pieces from their collection–the Marie Diamond ring and Black Magic Opal ring

reliquarysf layers some of their finest gold necklaces and pendants from their vintage/antique collection

metiersf displays lots of beautiful pendants and necklaces–Qu’Hier-Que Demain

ferrermiret posted this incredible portrait miniature pendant with the dangling heart lock at the bottom

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Favorite Instagrams: Early 2016

davidwebbjewels gemfever susannahlovis trafalgarjewellers hakan_groth spencerfinejewelry jesswinzelberg giuliaballetti butterlaneantiques maelgwns_muse catbirdnyc reliquarysf metiersf ferrermiret

davidwebbjewels captures this opal, diamond and enamel ring in the best way possible

gemfever posted this ring for sale and I am so bummed to have missed out on it

susannahlovis displaying an amazing opal heart and diamond ring that makes my own heart beat fast

trafalgarjewellers is ready for the brooch to have its come-back this year

hakan_groth takes a picture of this ceiling painting located in Napoleon’s Library at Compiègne

spencerfinejewelry in awe at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris

jesswinzelberg and her incredible drop earrings she designs, all available on her website

giuliaballetti snapped this photo from an antique shop in Bournemouth which looks lovely

butterlaneantiques sold this 18th century love token pendant/brooch which also hurts my heart it got away

maelgwns_muse playing with some of her treasures, like this Edwardian diamond ring

catbirdnyc photographs the two prettiest pieces from their collection–the Marie Diamond ring and Black Magic Opal ring

reliquarysf layers some of their finest gold necklaces and pendants from their vintage/antique collection

metiersf displays lots of beautiful pendants and necklaces–Qu’Hier-Que Demain

ferrermiret posted this incredible portrait miniature pendant with the dangling heart lock at the bottom

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My Jewel Box: A Clover, A Gator, & Diamonds!

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After browsing the “My Jewel Box” category, I realized there are quite a few pieces from my personal collection that are missing! I’ve always had it as my goal to write about every piece in my collection and file it under this category, but c’est la vie, right?! Trying to catch up as best as I can in the next few days!

The first photo features four of my all-time favorite rings along with a pair of costume jewelry clip-on earrings that have a very special meaning. Let’s start from the bottom (cuz now we’re here) this ring is from the Jewelry Box of Lake Forest and you can read its full story here. The next ring is insane and I cannot believe what a good deal I got off eBay, you can read its full story here. The ring set with a web of diamonds and sapphires is my first pawn shop score ever–and to think I almost didn’t get it because I had just moved to Tennessee and didn’t quite have any money/job…luckily layaway is a thing and this pawn shop offered it! No matter how much my style has changed since seven years ago–that ring is still one of my favorites. The top ring I bought myself for my 30th birthday, it was an eBay score and a “make offer” deal. The costume earrings were bought by my mom at a garage sale years ago, I remember her buying them and I also remember all the flea markets and garage sales she brought me to growing up. I think that is where my treasure hunting instinct began.

The second photo features two odd rings from my collection and I say odd because if one would not think of these rings when describing my style. I actually love these rings and for some reason they easily transport me to feeling very cool. The alligator ring is stamped 14k Italy and is from Joint Venture Jewelry–I spotted it on their website one day while browsing, something I like to do at least once a month. They always have some neat things! The gun ring is one of those types of rings that resemble a gumball machine kind of ring–it is even just as lightweight as one, but this one is actually the real deal. It has a sort of badassness to it.

The last picture is one of my favorite stacks ever and favorite photos ever (it is currently my iPhone background). I’m wearing a Tiffany & Co. open Atlas ring on my pinky (a gift from Matt for my 30th birthday), my engagement ring, and Edwardian Old Mine cut diamond ring and the newest addition–a natural pearl and diamond clover ring from Joden Jewelers in Grove City, PA–which came home with me from my Pennsylvania Jewelry Road Trip!

What are some new rings you’ve added to your collection?!


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Jewelry Store: The Jewelry Box of Lake Forest

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Tucked away in a city named after its two man-made lakes, in laid-back, sunny southern California is The Jewelry Box of Lake Forest–a wonderfully smart jewelry store with a 25-year history. If the title of being one of America’s safest cities doesn’t draw you in, this jewelry store will! Continually voted best of Orange County several years in a row, this store is easily people’s top choice. And now, mine too thanks to social media. I found The Jewelry Box of Lake Forest after being mesmerized by their gorgeous photos posted throughout Facebook & Instagram. It wasn’t long until they posted something that really caught my attention–an Edwardian diamond ring in an elongated, finger-flattering silhouette. Before I knew it, I was learning first-hand at how amazing their customer service was as well. With such a lovely staff made up of caring, knowledgeable people, it is easy to notice the passion behind the store, and where it started from from the beginning.

Owners Jack and Christine began their journey in the jewelry industry working for a national department store chain. Both were in regional management positions, but for different parts of the country. With larger goals in mind, both had visions of owning their own store one day. Dreams became a reality in 2001 when they opened The Jewelry Box of Lake Forest. Their successful store has been able to give back, with many special events benefiting Breast Cancer and giving back to the community.

The inventory runs the gamut, with new fashionable pieces of jewelry and “previously enjoyed,” their take on vintage and antique jewelry. With new items being added daily, their customers love to stop by frequently and check out what is new to the store. Other services like appraisals, repair work and restyling old, unwanted jewelry are also their specialty. If you’re like me, and can’t make it to their store, following their updates online is one sure way of receiving a purple box with their name on it! Although I do hope to visit some day!

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My Jewel Box: Edwardian Diamond Ring from Jewelry Box of Lake Forest

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Just a quick blog post today (been working on something HUGE all weekend and today) to show you my latest acquisition! I am so in love with this Edwardian diamond ring from a store in Lake Forest, California called The Jewelry Box of Lake Forest. I found them on social media and have been following for quite some time now–when they posted this ring, I was smitten! More on the jewelry store itself later, but in the meantime check out their Facebook page and website! A must follow!

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