Ten Facts You Didn’t Know About Gem Gossip

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Above features every “logo” aka Banner I’ve had over the past nine years, from first inception until now. The evolution shows the progression and most recently we dropped our tagline which we’ve had since day one.

With each passing July, I sit and ponder the beginnings of my blog Gem Gossip–all that it has done and accomplished, and all the potential that lies ahead. It was nine years ago that I first started this website with the sole purpose of connecting with others that love jewelry as much as I do. I never imagined that I would be doing this full-time nine years later and creating my own path. And I have YOU to thank for all this–those who read my blog daily, follow my social media accounts, “like” my photos and send encouraging emails. Thank you. You truly don’t know what it means to me and I’m forever grateful.

To celebrate this year, I’m reminiscing like crazy and sharing with you some facts you might not have known about Gem Gossip! I thought this would be a fun and personal blog post, and I’d love to hear some interesting tidbits regarding YOU and Gem Gossip. Does a blog post stick out in your memory? How did you find or stumble upon my blog? Did I help you out in a way that I don’t know about? I’d love to know! You can email me, write it in the comments below, or share on Instagram–I’ll be posting this on there as well.

PS: There will also be a giveaway coming up, but I have to hit 160k followers on Instagram first, so stay tuned!

The Facts:

1. I started my blog as a result of moving to Tennessee–after uprooting from the only house I had ever lived in my whole life in Upstate NY to TN, I had a lot of time on my hands. I had no job, no car (I sold my car because I didn’t want to drive it 11 hours by myself lol), and knew no one in my new town. I finally decided to invest my time and energy into learning about my biggest passion I had been carrying around with me my whole life–JEWELRY!

2. I was in a long distance relationship at the time I started Gem Gossip. It was because of my ex-boyfriend who suggested I should start a blog about jewelry after I had constantly filled his inbox daily with long hyperlinks of jewelry that I thought was “really cool.” He told me he didn’t care about the jewelry and that I needed an outlet to share my passion with others who felt the same way!

3. The name “Gem Gossip” was conceived after a brainstorm session with my sisters on what to name my future jewelry blog. I knew I couldn’t have my URL be daniellemiele.com because NO ONE knows how to pronounce my last name. It had to be catchy, simple, relate to jewelry and easy to say. I was looking at my sister’s fashion magazines and saw one of the actresses from Gossip Girl on the front cover (that show was the most popular around that time). I whispered aloud, “Gossip Gem” … and then “Gem Gossip” and it all clicked!

4. One of my first emails I’ve ever received from a jewelry designer was from Carolyn Tyler, after I had featured some of her work on my brand new blog. Her email was so encouraging and the excitement that I felt from receiving positive feedback was worth more than gold to me in that moment. I will never forget that kind exchange.

5. On the flipside of that, I’ve received several negative emails over the past nine years. One that called me Southern white trash (I’m from NY, so nice try) and a few that poked fun of my features that included photos of me modeling jewelry. This is both alarming on many levels but also quite comical, in my opinion.

6. The first seven years of writing Gem Gossip were all done part-time on weekends or after work. I was a nanny for the very first year and a half when I moved to Tennessee, and then eventually worked full-time at an antique jewelry store for five years. I would sit behind a microscope Tuesday through Saturday, with a pile of jewelry in a room without windows and crank out appraisals…and then come home bursting with creative energy, not wanting to do anything else except work on my blog.

7. One of my first big writing gigs was for LoveGold–I had no idea at the time how much I would learn in such a positive way from the 2 1/2 years of working with them. I produced exactly 100 pieces of exclusive content for LoveGold and traveled thousands of miles. And I still can’t get enough of yellow gold.

8. I once had a meeting with a very prestigious celebrity stylist. After learning I lived in Nashville she asked me about my love of country music. I told her I hated country music and she kept saying, “So you don’t like Taylor Swift? Not even Taylor Swift??” and I was adamant about not liking Taylor Swift. It was then and there that I realized I could have easily changed my answer to better fit our conversation; for her to “like” me. But I didn’t. I am who I am and I’m not changing for anyone. It is a memory that still sticks with me to this day…and it was with me a few weeks ago when I had some big meetings in NYC.

9. My #JewelryRoadTrip project involves a lot of travel, appointment making and on-the-spot creativity when visiting stores and designers’ work spaces. My husband Matt usually is the photographer behind all my #JewelryRoadTrip features but there was one big trip he couldn’t make–all my Pennsylvania coverage. My mom ended up coming along with me and taking all the photos. She was SO nervous and wanted to do a good job. I think she did great and it is still such a memorable trip for both of us. It was one of the first literal road trips where we drove my Prius up from Nashville and across the entire state of Pennsylvania over the course of four days. My car surpassed the 100k mileage mark on that trip and we celebrated by eating Arby’s (my favorite road trip fast food place…wait, maybe I am white trash?? See #5).

10. One of my most proud moments was being a co-curator at the Doyle & Doyle Vault series, where the NYC-based antique jewelry store put on their version of a month-long museum exhibition. I chose the topic of Sentimental Rings and several of my personal pieces, including my grandparents’ wedding bands and my grandma’s engagement ring were a part of the exhibit. In order for her ring to get to me, my grandma had to mail me her beloved ring. We both were so nervous for this feat–I had been tracking the package every step of the way. On the day of delivery, it was pouring rain. My alerts told me it had been delivered at my doorstep, but it was nowhere to be found. I was having a full-on panic attack over this. I ran outside in the rain in search of the package. To my surprise, it was sitting on the stoop of my neighbor a few doors down from me. It wasn’t just any neighbor…it was our neighbor that we were in a fully committed “poop war” with. What could I possibly mean by this? Well his dog would go to the bathroom in our yard almost daily…so my husband would take the dog poop and put it on their porch. Dumbest thing ever, but we were totally into it at the time lol. I grabbed the package off their porch and ran back home. That day ended the “poop war” and they moved shortly afterward, so all crisis averted. (By the way, my grandma’s Italian handwriting is the reason for the incorrect delivery–insert Italian hand gesture meaning WTF).

xoxoGemGossip

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Original Miami Antique Show 2017

The biggest change this year: the new location–the Miami-Dade County Expo Center where the fair happens every year

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Left: I always flock to Lucy Verity for her jewel box of treasures–both her original antique displays and wealth of knowledge, paired with her hilarious demeanor always gives me good energy. Right: The back of a pocket watch that I wish I would’ve bought!

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Left: Spiders creep me out, but this necklace is on a different level! I LOVE it! Right: A box of chocolates has nothing on this box of Jogani jewels!

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Stopped by DK Bressler to “oooh & awe” and this made my heart beat faster! A very early piece with original fitted box.

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These case photos give me life and make me excited for next year!

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Left: We felt amethyst was a huge sensation at the antique show–this relatively inexpensive stone will be trending for sure. Right: Rows of mourning rings from Spare Room Antiques are always so interesting and never macabre.

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Left: I couldn’t tell you how many amazing pieces Mary Anntiques had, so if I had to narrow it down to only two, it would be this carved emerald cameo and lapis ring. Right: I zoomed in on a ring I had been trying to track down for forever–but the booth was busy and I was leaving!

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Insane diamonds found at Dover Jewelry–the one on my pointer is nearly 20 carats! This will probably be on a celebrity’s finger in the future…just wonder which one?!

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Left: Died for opals at the show–especially this brooch from Gold Hatpin. Right: Ah, this ring. Fit like a glove and is probably the best thing I’ve ever seen. From Select Antique Jewelry.

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What is the Best Gem Show in Tucson? AGTA GemFair, A Must See!

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Outside of AGTA Gem Fair where you can pull up and valet your car–my parking skills thinks this is a great idea

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Oh my opals! From Exhibitor Only Beads based out of Atlanta

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Freaked for this huge yellow sapphire from Mayer & Watt

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Both photos above were found at Under the Crown Jewelry — the carved scarab moonstone struck a cord with me and I loved learning about their Crown Jubilee faceted diamonds, their trademarked diamond cut which is fashioned from an Old Mine or Old European cut diamond. There are two sets of crown facets and two sets of pavilion facets. It’s the only diamond that has the crown and pavilion in perfect harmony!

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The view above–AGTA is huge, with over 300+ exhibitors, you truly need AT LEAST two days to cover the show–for me I took two days, plus a third day to come back to buy some things that kept haunting me.

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These types of set ups lead to a treasure hunt unlike any other! Whether you have a piece of jewelry in mind you’re designing or just let yourself gravitate toward certain stones…it is a fun experience!

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If I want to see the cream of the crop, I visit Omi Prive where I got to try on incredible sapphires, emerald, zircon and tsavorites. Amazing!

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I loved the concept that Pala International devised with these “Collectors Sets” of gems–each a unique assortment of gemstones, perfect for a collector or connoisseur.

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Gold rush has come over the AGTA Gem Fair! Lots of vintage goodies from Excalibur Jewelry

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Left: a yummy watermelon tourmaline from Kimberly Collins Gems

Right: an insanely perfect specimen of chrysocolla from Rare Earth Mining Co.

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Seriously enchanted by these kite-shaped emeralds from Manak–these need to be rings ASAP!

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Just browsing the many aisles upon aisles of gems, jewels, and treasures at AGTA.

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Left: more watermelon tourmaline and Right: some insane opals from exhibitor Robert Shapiro

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No caption needed–you may be already able to tell these insane gems and rings are Omi Prive.

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Opals of different patterns and translucency all in one display! These are from Joel Price Inc.

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More favorite finds: the two inlay stone pieces are from Rare Earth Mining Co. and I think they are my favorites of the entire Tucson trip! Left shows more opals, which I loved this unique display–really showed off each one individually.

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Some incredible rings from Excalibur Jewelry, spanning all different ages and styles.

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Loved learning about sunstones from Desert Sun Mining & Gems–each one is mined in Oregon (I even have a map and dvd to learn even more)!

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As you may have guessed, I spent some serious time at the Excalibur booth, just because antique jewelry is my main love. All of these rings are special in their own way and I just loved this diamond bow necklace featuring a giant emerald cut emerald!

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One of the “Collectors’ Sets” from Pala International–love the variety of shapes, sizes and varieties of gems.

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Pairing gemstones is quite the task–these gemstone pairs from Kimberly Collins Gems give any jeweler or designer so many options!

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Left: this huge opal lay on an exhibitor’s table with a sign that read “please touch, please take my photo” Right: colorful earrings from Campbellian Collection–can you spot the mismatched pairs?!

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I also loved these rings from Campbellian Collection–from the bright colors to the unique designs, so good!

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Some gemstones cut by the master Clay Zava featured here–including the snowcone cut which is slightly out of focus on the bottom.

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Are you planning your trip for next year yet?? I feel like by now you might be!

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Of course Mayer & Watt would have some insane trapiche emeralds–what amazing earrings would these make?!

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Left: myself with the very talented Clay Zava of Zava Mastercuts, Right: Mayer & Watt was proud to present this incredible 190 ct aquarmarine sculpture with under-the-sea motifs like an octopus and other sea creatures carved into the piece. It is called “Love at First Sight” and was created by Susan Allen & Michael Cristie. Also included in the piece is a 470 c. chrysoprase, a 10.3 mm Tahitian pearl and 0.63 ctw of diamonds in 18k yellow gold.

AGTA | Gem Gossip

From Lightning Ridge mine in Australia, this incredible opal featured at exhibitor Joel Price at AGTA.

I haven’t made the journey out to the desert for the Tucson Gem Shows in five years! Can you believe it?! I’m usually focused on the Miami Antique Show and for the first time in years, the two shows don’t overlap as much as they usually do–that makes me very happy and also very travel worn, but I’m up for the challenge!

The AGTA Gem Fair has been happening since 1981 and is a tradeshow that is open to wholesale only, where they cater to those stores, designers and clients who are discerning, looking to find the best jewelry, gemstones, and so much more. There are several aspects about AGTA that sets it apart from other gem shows in Tucson during this week, and when attending your first AGTA Gem Fair like myself, you quickly learn and take notice! This year’s show spanned from January 31st-February 5th, at the Tucson Convention Center–a glorious facility with all the necessary features for a large tradeshow. A huge plus for AGTA show-attendees is the fact that you can shop and buy with confidence knowing each exhibitor is a Member of the AGTA. Every exhibitor is a United States or Canada-based professional, who adhere to a rigorous code of ethics. Quality, value and selection–all high standards of AGTA, providing sources you can trust.

Other great features include valet parking–which my rental car would like to personally thank AGTA for this, as I nicked my car a few times trying to parallel park in Tucson. Good times. Also, the variety of food trucks outside the show was really cool! We all have been there before–super hungry during a tradeshow with limited options for dining. This was such a neat way to remedy hunger and also be on trend–because everyone loves a food truck! And other perks including some obvious-yet-vital things like air conditioning! Yes, the desert gets toasty in late January/early February, and with most shows outdoors in the sun, we sometimes forget how nice an indoor, air conditioned show can be!

My first day at the show, I just come off a four hour plane ride + two hour car drive, so I knew exactly where to head on the show floor–the antique jewelry vendors!! I was pleasantly surprised to find that there were actually a few and they each easily gave me life. I enjoyed oogling over Excalibur’s jewels and Under the Crown’s diamonds, of course learning a thing or two, as I always do from my antique friends. I may or may not have bought something amazing from Excalibur on day three–just because I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and although the piece was supposed to be for a client of mine, I’m 89% sure I’m now keeping it for myself. Oh lord, I need help.

Day two of the AGTA show included exploring every aisle and seeing what I could find! Certain gemstones caught my attention–chrysocolla, sunstones, insane opals, fancy kite-shapes, etc. I was mesmerized by everything from Rare Earth Mining Co. and died a little when I saw some of the inlay pieces. Every single booth had something unique and if I had LOTS of money to spend, I would buy one thing from each exhibitor, most definitely. I remember someone saying that the people roaming the aisles is like a Who’s Who among jewelry designers, and you’ll likely get star-struck on many occasions. This was totally true! Running into some of my favorite designers was definitely a perk of attending the show and seeing each one in his or her own element, focusing in on designing and finding the right stones was fun.

My last day in Tucson was supposed to be roaming the highway shows and I actually ended up finding myself back at AGTA! There were several pieces that kept haunting me and I knew I had to come back to make them my own. I also wanted to spend some time at the Mayer & Watt booth because not only are Simon’s gems incredible but he always has a keen sense on the gem industry and what is currently going on. I also am a big fan of his app–called Mayer & Watt–if you download it, you will see an entire database of gems! Both inventory and sold items are pictured, along with a Gemipedia, which gives you LOTS of information about each stone. The app is fun to go through and also done really well, most importantly the photography is gorgeous! So you must download it when you get the chance!!

I know many of you loved seeing my updates from Tucson and are wanting to plan ahead for next year already! Well you’re in luck, AGTA already has announced next year’s dates–so put January 30th-February 4th, 2018 in your calendar! I know I already am counting down the days (and saving my money lol)!

What a fun trip this has been–special shoutout to Abby of @nomadgold for being my sidekick, helping me with photography and convincing one another to YES buy that, definitely! Also thank you to AGTA for providing accommodations while in Tucson.

Follow along with my AGTA GemFair coverage over on Instagram >> @gemgossip AGTA | Gem Gossip

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Gem Gossip Visits J.S. Fearnley in Atlanta, GA

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How to Edit your Jewelry Collection & Know When to Sell

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My jewelry collection has gone through SO MANY changes this past year. As a collector, it is important to edit your collection no matter what it is that you collect. My ring collection, for example, has shrunk by at least fifty rings recently and normally this would freak me out, but I actually feel really good about this decision. I recently came across this photo of my collection and was astonished by how many rings I actually had. A more recent photo is shown above, and you can see the amount that has been edited. This decision has allowed me to refine and be precisive about what I like, allowed me to purchase items that I thought were out of my budget, and allowed me to grow my collection in a new way (even though I was subtracting from my collection). You might be wondering how you can do the same, so I’ve put together some tips and recommendations on how you can do just that! And as always, happy collecting!

1. Although I’ve never read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, I’ve spoken with people who have and read a few blogs about this decluttering strategy. A part of me fears this technique, since I live in a world where I love my things and have way too many things, while another part of me thrives off of getting rid of stuff. It is a never-ending battle–but just as Marie teaches in her book, you must take each item and ask yourself if it sparks joy? Do this with your jewelry collection! You’d be surprised at what items you’ve been holding on to for the most random reasons, and how they actually spark the opposite of joy.

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2. Go through all your jewelry items and remove pieces that need repairs–these could be rings with missing stones, jewelry that you’ve always hated but wanted to give a “makeover” to, pieces that rarely get worn, or items that you’ve been meaning to convert into something else. Removing these from your main jewelry box will allow you to focus on what you have that is wearable and you often see things in a different light when there is less.

Once you’ve removed these items, put them in little baggies or envelopes and write on them what needs to be done to each piece so that you are able to love it again and wear it again. Is it a ring sizing? Write down “size ring to 5 to fit my ring finger” and then place it in a pile. If you’re redesigning pieces you own, feel free to draw to the best of your ability your design idea.

Now that you have all your “repair” items, find a reputable jeweler that you know and trust. Hopefully you’ve worked with him or her before so you know what to expect and know their capabilities. Set a goal of dropping off 2-3 items per week until all your repairs are finally finished. You’ll get momentum going once you’ve picked up your first batch of finished items–it’s like getting a new piece of jewelry all over again!

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3. Certain gemstones turn me off and you have to get comfortable with yourself as a collector to realize that. This means buying things at one time that you realize aren’t for you or just simply don’t like anymore. There are a few gemstones and gemstone colors that I’m not a fan of, but I used to be–colors that don’t really go with my skintone or aren’t pleasing to my eye as much as another color family. The point is to recognize this, either sell or repurpose these items to “edit” your collection, and then take the money you’ve made from selling these items to buy jewelry that fits within your new editing parameters.

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4. Trends come and go, but in the world of jewelry–certain trends stay longer than most disposable fashion trends. Also, like many trends, they can resurface several years from now and those items you “wish you had that you sold years ago” could be the next coolest thing. So, if you have a piece of jewelry that may be considered “trendy” but you honestly love it, but wearing it today may not necessarily fit with what you’re wearing now–I would think twice about selling something like this!

A prime example of this for me and my collection was the dainty jewelry trend (which is still actually very strong today). I liked this trend at first and it also fit with my budget a few years ago. I started gravitating toward bigger, bolder pieces and have never been able to look at a dainty ring the same again. I ended up selling most of my dainty rings and found that selling like five dainty rings could get me one bold piece, which was music to my ears. The bigger pieces bring me more joy and hopefully that doesn’t change anytime soon! 😉

Another examples of this is gold chains. Growing up, I received a lot of gold chains from my grandparents as gifts from Italy. I went through a phase in college where I only wore this one chain of my dad’s with a medallion of St. Anthony on it (my dad gave me both), so I sold every other chain I owned because I simply never wore anything else. Today, I would kill to have some of those chains now–there was some really cool pieces which now would be very trendy with the chain layering trend that is happening today.

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5. Knowing when, what and how to sell is a big task that has some complications here and there, but luckily if you purchased your items you want to now sell at the right price back then, it should be able to yield the same price if not more today. Jewelry is great like that because gold and gemstones are almost always valuable (I’m not talking about fashion jewelry or costume pieces).

If you haven’t worn a piece of jewelry for over five years, I think it is safe to say you should sell it–or at least ask yourself, why haven’t you worn it? Once you’ve gathered pieces that you feel ok with selling, now you have to figure out what platform you’d like to sell them.

Sites like eBay, Etsy and Ruby Lane are all great options if you have a large amount of pieces you’d like to sell. If you open a shop on any of these sites and you’re not a formal antique seller, it is important that you state that in your bio/about section. There is a big difference between a dealer and a collector who has lots of items and just wants to sell them. Be open to making mistakes and allowing to accept returns if it is your first time selling.

If you’re a collector on Instagram and a part of the Instagram Antique Jewelry Community (idk why I capitalized that lol) then selling some items on your Instagram page is a fast and easy way to accomplish that. It is also fee-free, whereas with the sites I mentioned above take a fee if you sell through them. But this option is only as good as the size of your audience. Etsy, eBay and Ruby Lane have thousands and thousands of visitors everyday, whereas your Instagram page might be short of that number.

You can also TRADE — I started the hashtag #gemgossipSWAP for those interested in posting items they’re willing to part with and find others’ who want to trade as well. I’ve personally used the hashtag myself and am now the proud owner of a ring I traded with someone.

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? You won’t believe what my jewelry box looked like 7 years ago

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Five Important Things I Learned from Being a Jewelry Appraiser

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Never in a million years did I ever think I would have a profession such as “jewelry appraiser.” It was something that I fell into by chance and I’m grateful/thankful everyday for that–because although I never thought it would be something I would do, there wasn’t a day that went by which I didn’t learn something new during that time. My mind was like a sponge during the first few months of picking up the skills of jewelry appraising–from measuring, to formulating, comparing and researching–everything came almost naturally for me. Market values and research were aspects I really enjoyed about the job. Things like checking out auctions results, following market trends, and so on–these are things I still do to this day although I don’t appraise jewelry on a regular basis anymore. From the moment I picked up the profession and for five years straight, I appraised piles of 10-25 pieces on a weekly basis–that is, fully written up, documented appraisals for insurance purposes. I’ve worked with clients of all walks of life, even traveling to rural Illinois to appraise an entire estate of about 100 items.

Being a jewelry appraiser is a fun job and very rewarding, but also has its downfalls. For me, personally, I worked in an office with no windows. The days were long when you had piles of jewelry to appraise–just you and a microscope. My eyesight has never been the same, but obviously aging will also do that to you. I enjoyed breaking stereotypes of a “typical appraiser.” Young women usually aren’t the ones getting pulled from the back of a jewelry store when someone has a question about their jewelry. I remember a customer telling me, “wait you’re the appraiser? I was expecting an older man!”

I’ve been putting together this list for awhile now and wanted to share my top insights/important things I’ve learned from my five years of being a jewelry appraiser–let’s start from the top:

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1. While most appraisals I’ve done were dealing with happy clients that were getting insurance on their items to hopefully prevent anything bad from happening so they could potentially be covered–I also dealt with the opposite. So many disgruntled clients who were stolen from or lost an item that they deemed “irreplaceable” only to have it vanish. It happens–jewelry gets stolen, jewelry gets lost. I couldn’t recommend getting your jewelry appraised enough! I have never heard so many of the same stories of how things got stolen–the caregiver, the plumber, a son/daughter’s friend that came over, the list goes on. Bottom line, if you frequently have people coming in/out of your house–your jewelry items need to be insured and hidden.

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2. I’ve also appraised lots of items that were randomly found by people–whether it was on the ground, inside an old house that was being renovated, or at garage sales in a junk pile–dreams do come true and treasure is still out there!! My favorite story comes from a lady who was renovating a house that was recently purchased. She was moving an old, tall grandfather clock that was left with the house, when she noticed something behind the pendulum part of the clock. It was a ring box with a solitaire ring inside. She thought for sure it was fake, but sure enough it was an Old European cut diamond that was 1.50 carats and worth $10k!

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3. There are a lot of appraisers out there that aren’t doing it right. They think putting a crazy high value on a retail replacement appraisal will make their customer happy because it is nowhere near what they paid for that same item. So, this in turn makes the customer incredibly satisfied, thinking they got a steal of a deal. It is crazy because I honestly can’t even find comparables or a way to justify valuing some jewelry items so high. In the end, it doesn’t really help anyone because the customer ends up paying higher deductibles on insurance and also when they go to sell their jewelry, they have this clouded value of what they think that item is worth. Find an appraiser that is putting reasonable values on things and not outlandish replacement values.

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4. If there is any type of jewelry that I feel doesn’t hold its value over time, it would have to be watches. I know so many people are going to hate me for saying this, including my husband who invests in Rolexes (not smart lol), but it is true. Resale values on watches are usually less than 1/3 of what you paid for it. That is relatively speaking though. And yes, there are some watches that age like fine wine and hold, if not increase, their value.

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5. You’re only slightly offending your appraiser when you ask to be present while appraising your jewelry. This was my number one request I would get asked when people would make an appraisal appointment. It was hard to make exceptions for people and allow them to come back into normally-closed-quarters for the public. But at the same time, I could relate and understand where they were coming from. I can’t imagine leaving my engagement ring with someone for several days to get appraised. So while it may easily be taken offensively from an appraiser’s point of view, looking at it from a concerned client’s point of view helps. And yes, I would make exceptions–but no, not everyone does!

xoxoGemGossip

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*All above photos are pieces of jewelry I’ve appraised during my five years as a jewelry appraiser. None of them belong to me.

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The Ten Best Vintage Engagement Rings from Trumpet & Horn

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I dream of Travel

80’s -90’s kids in India might remember watching “I dream of Jeannie” (in color) a fantasy comedy starring Larry Hagman and Barbara Eden. With the Naivety only eight-year-olds could muster, I told my friends that I liked the show – how the Jeannie travels or conjures up things with a blink of an eye I was teased as “Jeanie (Genie)” for the rest of my school life

80’s -90’s kids in India might remember watching “I dream of Jeannie” (in color) a fantasy comedy starring Larry Hagman and Barbara Eden. With the Naivety only eight-year-olds could muster, I told my friends that I liked the show – how the Jeannie travels or conjures up things with a blink of an eye I was teased as “Jeanie (Genie)” for the rest of my school life. So much so that I got the confidence to wear a single ponytail once again only in my late 20’s. Jokes aside, I have always been drawn towards the exotic, the Jeannie, treasures, magic carpets and the works; a calling that could be fulfilled only through travel.

I have friends and relatives who shop obsessively for silk sarees, designer jeans and dresses or gold jewelry. There are those who splurge on suits, cars, watches, and shoes. Though I do like having fine things in life much as the next person (A pair of solitaire earrings or a Chanel bag would be welcome gifts) I wouldn’t mind wearing basic tees or kurtas bought five years ago and jewelry made up of orphaned beads to save money for travel. A lot of them consider me crazy for living this way, but they fail to understand that while shopping brings momentary pleasure, traveling fills you with memories that last a lifetime. Only a few understand that I want to be a traveller and not just a tourist.

I am fortunate to be raised by parents (and grandparents) who believed that traveling is the truest form of education. All through my childhood, I saw my mother travel like a local and my father always traveled in comfort. My style is, therefore, a mixture of both – I splurge on one aspect of the trip, focus on comfort for another but act like a local for rest of the trip.
My travels – whether they involve a ride around the Icy Himalayan mountains of Nepal, dancing in Rajasthan, playing with tigers in Chiang Mai or shopping in the colorful Gujarat markets they always include a learning of some sort particularly with regard to art, craft, and design. They also always have a bead, gemstone or jewelry purchase or skill training tied up with them. These travels and the purchases are a sort of coming age symbols in my life.


I remember buying a Shell brooch in Mysore (at the age of 9) for my mother and my first pearl earrings (at 11 after saving money for almost a year) in New Delhi. I bought my first precious gemstone in Columbo and my first silver jewelry in Nepal.
Sayuri bloomed as a business in the early days mainly due to the fact that I would travel to markets across the country (and yes later abroad) to buy beads and supplies that were not available locally. I was never afraid to experiment with materials that were foreign to me and combining them with local skills and ideas is what enabled me to become a mixed media artist.

As a kid, I wasn’t interested in visiting Europe or America but was very curious to explore the east – Nepal, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Hong Kong, and Indonesia. Having done 3 out of 6, now I am extremely interested in the west. I would love to

– Go for cycle rides in Amsterdam and look at the tulips and windmills
– Walk around the street of Rome and soak up both culture as well as Fashion. Well, Let’s throw in Greece (gorgeous Santorini), Barcelona ( to see Antonio Gaudi’s work) and Paris into the itinerary while I imagine myself in Europe
visit Kutch during the full moon in January, The temples, forts and palaces in Madhya Pradesh and the North East a month after the rains when it’s dry yet green
Last but not the least Visit AmericaLas Vegas casinos, Grand Canyon, Manhattan and yes Disneyworld. I know, that is a strange combination yet it is completely acceptable to the child in my adult body. As the fifth avenue is way beyond my budget, even in my dreams, I‘ll exchange them for the shoppable (is that even a word?) Michaels and vintage stores. And most importantly attend Beadfest or the bead and button show and CHA. I want to take up lots of classes, shop, and meet all my blogging and designer friends from the US.


These are my dream travel plans and I hope that a very important one among them comes true very very soon. Do share with me your dream travel plans and destinations. If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would you?

I am blogging about my dreams and passions for the Club Mahindra #DreamTrails activity at BlogAdda. You can get a Club Mahindra Membership to own your holidays!

I hope you found it interesting
Cheers

[||||Thanks to:jewelsofsayuri blog|Special thanks to:jewelsofsayuri blog|Greetings to:jewelsofsayuri blog |Source: jewelsofsayuri|More at:jewelsofsayuri blog|

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Gold & Diamond Constellation Rings by Jessie V E Jewellery

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There have been a few instances where I’ve been completely, over-the-moon obsessed with a piece of new, designer jewelry. And hey, this is one of them! Jessie Evans, designer behind the brand Jessie V E Jewellery truly nailed it with these constellation ring designs, each more unique than the other, depicting horoscope signs. As any Virgo would confess, mine is perfection, but that may be just the type of person a Virgo is–as I RIPPED open the package when I received it, utterly destroying what my sign is abundantly known for. I chose yellow gold and diamonds (rose cut diamonds are a limited edition option, !!) and honestly haven’t taken my ring off since. The comfort is five stars.

Having just launched Jessie V E Jewellery this past October, the line may be new, but the designer herself has many years in the business under her belt! Photography was Jessie’s first passion and she studied that up until enrolling in Silversmithing, Goldsmithing and Jewellery Degree at the University for the Creative Arts in Kent, UK. After graduating, she went straight into a job as a production assistant for Elizabeth Gage, working her way into design, painting the designs for clients and carving wax to be made into incredible pieces. Five years later, Jessie felt the timing was right to go off on her own. On designing and being a jewelry designer, Jessie says, “There’s no better feeling than designing a piece that then becomes somebody’s most treasured possession or a really special piece to them. I think it’s probably that feeling that makes jewellery my passion–it’s like the excitement when someone is opening a birthday/Christmas gift you bought them, and you just know they’re going to love it. I get to have that feeling almost every day!”

The Constellation collection puts a spin on Zodiac signs, swapping out stars for diamonds and wrapping them around your finger. For Jessie, the inspiration behind the collection was simple: “I’ve always been fascinated by the nights sky, the stars and the Greek mythological stories surrounding the constellations. Imagination at its finest! I also find that whenever I am inspired by something, I tend to ‘think in diamonds.’ Instantly the stars were replaced with diamonds in my head and it just kind grew from there. I find that people are usually strangely attached or fiercely proud of their own star sign, and I loved the idea of creating a collection that speaks to people on that level. I also wanted to make each sign as wearable and aesthetically pleasing as the others, so by using the constellations, each piece consists of the same makeup, it’s just the layout that varies.”

I feel big things are in store for Jessie V E Jewellery and I can’t wait to see what the future holds. Of course, the Constellation rings look insane when they’re all combined together–I included some photos to show that aspect off–and plan to add a few more to my collection (maybe one representing my husband’s sign or my sisters’ signs?!). You also must check out the other collections over on her website, see below for details.

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Jessie V E Jewellery.

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The December Sale at Rago Auction Will Make Your Head Spin!

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Rago Auction has a December Sale every year and I’ve been writing about it since 2008. Seven years later and I’m still excited as ever when their catalog goes live. This year I personally gasped with each and every piece, frantically reading descriptions and estimated values, slightly hyperventilating and wondering how this incredible selection came to be! I’m glad it wasn’t just me, because even the jewelry specialists at Rago, Sarah Churgin and Katherine Van Dell, had nothing to say but, “This December 2015 auction offers jewelry so beautiful, it makes you cry.” So be ready to feel all warm inside when you see the full lineup of lots online. The sale is set for December 6th, 2015 where it can be seen live, in-person at their headquarters in Lambertville, New Jersey or online at Bidsquare or Rago’s website.

<< The December Jewelry Sale, Sunday, December 6th, 2015 at 11am EST >>

Lot 1015: This was the first piece from the sale that made me cry a little. Such a perfect example of Art Nouveau–the opals, the elongated siholette, the flowing lines. It is very feminine and elegant, just as jewelry circa 1905 suggests. Even better–it has provenance. The design is based on an Essay on Broom Corn by E. Colonna, from the collection of Dora Jane Janson. Literature: Janson, Dora Jane. From Slave to Siren. The Duke University Museum of Art. 1971 Estimate: $3,000-4,000

Lot 1025: An incredibly vibrant brooch by Louis Comfort Tiffany, signed Tiffany & Co. set with a juicy peridot in the center. The convex disk is chased with scrolls and geometric motifs enameled in shades of green, blue and black accents. Done in 18k gold and circa 1910–such a beautiful piece of history from the famous world of Tiffany. Estimate: $6,000-8,000

Lot 1030: After appraising jewelry for over five years, I’ve seen only a handful of items signed Walton & Co. and they are usually superior quality. This unique peacock ring caught my eye and I love that it is created from a black opal and demantoid garnets–such a killer combination. Ring is a size 7. Estimate: $1,000-1,500

Lot 1044: A beautifully suspended festoon necklace made up of oval and teardrop adventurine all set in gold. Measuring 15 inches in length, this necklace sits higher up on the neck and flatters immensely. I love this style of necklace and the uniqueness of the gemstones makes this piece extra special. Estimate: $800-1,200

Lot 1119: This lot comes with three items, but I’m completely in love with the serpent/scarab brooch which is quite amazing! If you look closely, you will see three snakes–a main curled one compromising the circular brooch, then another one forming the surround of the scarab, and finally joining the two parts is a bail which is actually a mini-snake! So cool! Not to mention the scarab is made out of carved opal! Estimate: $1,400-1,800

Lot 1159: As novelty as these rings may seem, they are highly collectible and rare–what a pair these two! The moonstone carved baby face is surrounded by onyx and Old European cut diamonds. A carved moonstone is always a favorite motif, but the baby faces are pretty rare. The little terrier dog is precious–made out of carved amethyst and enamel eyes/tongue. Whoever wins these, I’m sure can’t help but to smile whenever these are worn. Estimate: $1,200-1,800

Lot 1235: After a honeymoon in Arizona, I’ve become obsessed with Native American jewelry. Probably the most quintesential Native American jeweler was Charles Loloma, from the Hopi tribe who created over the top items like this incredible ring. The stone work was always was set him apart from others–here we have lapis, turquoise and coral, all set in a staggered, concentric inlay. Amazing. Estimate: $2,000-3,000

Lot 1257: Entwined mermaids…should I even describe this any further?! Estimate: $1,400-1,800

Lot 1314: An untreated Burma sapphire with the dreamiest shade of blue you’ve ever seen! Heavenly surrounded by a turban of round brilliant cut diamonds, size 6 1/2 in 14k white gold. So divine! Estimate: $4,000-6,000

Lot 1319: Bold, statement-making earrings are exactly what these are! Four milky aquamarines, all surrounded by diamonds and sapphires create this look–done in 18k gold by ZWIKKER & ZACHER. Best part? They detach so you can do a day/night type of look switching from studs to dangles. Estimate: $2,000-3,000

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