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

WANT MORE? Search my summer favorites

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

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Gem Gossip Visits M. Flynn Jewelry in Boston, MA

Come along with me as I take you inside M. Flynn in Boston!

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Such a gorgeous selection of engagement & wedding — these are a mix of Anna Sheffield & M. Flynn’s own bridal designs, shop bridal

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Getting the store tour from co-founder Megan

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some of Page Sargisson zodiac medallions, a best-seller

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I’m wearing some pieces from M. Flynn’s estate selection, the necklace was created out of a collection of vintage hat charms!

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I love the crystal chandeliers and white fixtures–it is its own jewel box!

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Some more vintage pieces from their estate section: antique buttons turned into pendants, a scottie dog, and a stick pin converted into a pendant

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The entire back wall is covered in crystals floating from invisible wire–it is quite magical!

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M. Flynn has all the right studs to create an epic ear stack, shop earrings — and loving the turquoise selection, Mociun + vintage

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Turquoise has taken over a section of this case and we’re not mad at that.

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A fun line of jewelry called Loquet allows you to customize gems and gold trinkets inside a rock crystal dome

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Wearing rings by Misa Jewelry and necklaces by Page Sargisson

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M. Flynn loves working one-on-one with clients to help them find the perfect piece!

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I can’t get enough of these estate pieces!

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The shop has been open since 2009 and is located amongst some amazing restaurants and walking areas.

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Nautical, New England style fully represented in the Turk’s Head collection by AGA Correa

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Fashion jewelry also lines the shelves of the shop, along with jewelry books and other jewel-inspired gifts

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An up-close shot of the necklaces from Page Sargisson & diamond Misa Jewelry

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Shop M. Flynn’s estate collection

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myself with the founders & owners of M. Flynn, sister duo Megan & Moria

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Gorgeous crystal chandeliers are the perfect touch to the light and airy decor

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Vintage charms found at M. Flynn

A dazzling curtain of crystals which doubles as artwork…all the best jewelry books one can fathom…flawless displays…sparkling jewelry of all kinds…and one mascot named Stu. This reads as the ultimate recipe for a beautiful, successful jewelry store, which happens to be a real-life place. It is called M. Flynn Jewelry and the shop is located in Boston, Massachusetts. I was lucky enough to visit the store on my #JewelryRoadTrip, where I learned all about its beginnings, what it has to offer, as well as the two sisters behind the namesake: Megan & Moria Flynn!

Opened in 2009, the store fostered the sisters’ love for all things sparkly. Elizabeth Taylor is a jewelry icon for all of the world, but for Megan & Moria, she is everything! They wanted to create a space where they can serve multiple needs for their clients and the store has evolved over the past several years, growing along the way. Their are a few important features of M. Flynn Jewelry–so let’s break down each one!

Their own line of jewelry: if you need classic, every day wear pieces the M. Flynn line is just what you’re looking for. Gemstone rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings make up the line, including bridal options as well. They also have a collaboration collection called the Gates Collection which they’ve created along with an interior designer/blogger that is highly popular–Erin Gates.

Designer jewelry: M. Flynn has been expanding each year, adding new designers they feel are a good fit for both their store and the Boston area. Some of the best selling and favorites are Adel Chefridi, Page Sargisson, EF Collection, Misa Jewelry, Mociun, Loquet, Kelly Bello, and more.

Bridal jewelry: An ideal destination for all your wedding needs, M. Flynn can create your dream ring! They also have a large assortment of finished pieces from their own designs, as well as top designer engagement rings from Anna Sheffield, Mociun, Misa Jewelry, and Page Sargisson. They also have a selection of men’s wedding bands too!

Estate Jewelry: All periods, all styles–M. Flynn loves it all, so if it is delicate and sentimental or retro and unique, you will find it here. Lots of rings, some earrings and necklaces, and a large assortment of charms. This section is ever-changing and always one-of-a-kind, so check back often!

Fashion Jewelry: I know Gem Gossip does not cover fashion jewelry at all, but it is noteworthy that M. Flynn does carry fashion jewelry–lots of different designers, such as Lizzie Fortunato, Pamela Love, and Alexis Bittar–and great price points for gift-giving season.

Gifts/Accessories: Who knew jewelry-related gifts were so fun?! Gem Water bottles, jewelry travel cases, fragrances, cards, candles, jewelry books…you name it, they have it! I need this store in my life during the holidays!

Custom design: Besides all the above amazingness, M. Flynn also can custom design your dream piece. Whether you bring in family stones or have nothing at all except for a few slight ideas, they are here to help with that. You will be loving the finished result and coming back for more.

Hope you enjoy browsing the above photos from my visit–I know you will have heart-emoji eyes while doing so. Megan & Moria are truly so nice and have such a passion for what they do–I also have major respect for Megan getting her gemology degree at GIA. Not many store owners do so and I think that’s amazing! Next time you’re in Boston, pop in and say hi–make sure to pet Stu for me!

M Flynn

40 Waltham St.

Boston, MA 02118

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Vegas Prep: Interview with Marion Fasel of The Adventurine

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We are excited to kick off a fun series this week on Gem Gossip — these next five blog features will get you excited and prepped for Vegas Jewelry Week, which is quickly approaching! I’ve asked five people–a mix of designers, editors, and industry insiders–to contribute their insights from this epic event that happens once a year. I’m asking for advice, tips, favorite parts, and much more! Whether it will be your first time attending or you are a professional (and can pack with your eyes closed), these interviews will pique your curiousity and you’ll definitely learn a thing or two! One thing is for sure, we all are SO EXCITED for Vegas.

We are starting the week out with Marion Fasel who is celebrating a big milestone in a few weeks–her online magazine The Adventurine turns one year old at the end of the month. She strategically launched the same day Vegas Jewelry Week began last year and has been covering all kinds of jewelry topics since then (many of which are pictured above). But don’t let the small digit fool you, Marion has been in the jewelry industry for over 25 years. Most notably, she was InStyle’s Contributing Editor of Fine Jewelry & Watches for nearly two decades, has written eight books, and has helped curate several museum exhibitions. It’s no secret I am her number one fan and have been continually cheering her on since I discovered her flipping through the pages of InStyle magazine. Let’s find out more:

How many times have you attended Vegas jewelry week?

I have been 12 times. I haven’t missed a jewelry week in Vegas since the Couture show relocated from the Phoenician in Scottsdale to the Wynn in 2005.


Biggest tip for Vegas jewelry week you’d give your rookie self on the eve of your first time going to Vegas?

I’d give my rookie self a fun tip and a few practical tips.

My fun tip is about gambling. I’d tell myself to gamble. You are in Vegas—some fun must be had. Then I would say, skip the slots. Go in the early evening to the Encore where it can be quiet and find a Black Jack dealer with an empty table. There are usually several. Tell the dealer, you don’t know much about the game but would like to learn. The dealers are incredibly knowledgeable and thrilled to share their tips. If you allow them to guide you about what “the book” says for your hand, you will win. Trust me on this. Just let them tell you how to play.

One practical tip, don’t let the bellhop take your luggage when you check in. Just take it to your room yourself. If you don’t, you have to wait for it. They won’t leave it in your room unless you are there. Sometimes they are fast, but sometimes they take a while which keeps you waiting in your room before hitting the trade show floor or doing anything your heart desires.

Drink lots of water. It’s the desert and you will get dehydrated even indoors.

Oh, and have a clear strategy for who you want to see. There are a lot of great jewelry designers there and you won’t be able to see everyone, so do a careful edit on your agenda and leave breathing room to explore. The time to explore is key.

Name five things you ALWAYS bring to Vegas Jewelry Week.

I wear heels so I bring Band-Aids. I bring my gambling budget, usually around $200. I bring loads of jewelry, because it’s a jewelry crowd and its Vegas so it’s fun to get decked out. Beyond that it’s pretty standard phone charger, camera, computer. I don’t travel light.

One big difference from last year to this year?

Well, last year I launched my online magazine TheAdventurine.com one day before the Couture show started. The timing was not a coincidence. It’s really the beginning of the formal jewelry season. You see how the trends and designers are shaping up at Couture. I wanted my website anniversary to coincide with the Couture show. I guess the biggest difference is now The Adventurine is humming away.

Favorite things about Vegas Jewelry Week.

Winning at Black Jack. I am kidding. Meeting a talented new designer or just seeing a great new collection from an established designer are my favorite things.

Biggest pet peeve about Vegas Jewelry Week.

It is a bit odd being indoors for a week. During the course of the show, it’s not usual for some people to never step outside for more than a few minutes on the terrace off the trade show floor or to walk to the taxi stand to go out to dinner. I try to make my way to La Cave as often as possible to sit in the outdoor café there for lunch, dinner or drinks.

Weirdest thing to happen to you during Vegas Jewelry Week in the past.

I won a Vespa at the Couture Awards. It’s probably one of the most wonderful and weird things that has ever happened to me anywhere. I actually like public speaking but when I went on stage to accept the scooter, I was so shocked and happy, I was virtually speechless.

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? Check out my coverage from last year

You can follow Marion –> @marionfasel & @theadventurine

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Metal & Smith Jewelry Show Debuts in NYC with Much Enthusiasm

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Some unique rings by Ilana Ariel Collections, based out of NYC

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Was so floored by the beautiful designs of Margery Hirschey Fine Jewelry, obviously a fan of opal, who is based out of Colorado

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Some diamond favorites by TAP by Todd Pownell who came from Cleveland, OH to exhibit

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Another who traveled far: all the way from Japan, Kataoka Jewelry

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Would wear everything from Katey Walker Fine Jewelry, I couldn’t pick a favorite! Just look at this ear cuff!

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Loved meeting East Fourth Street Jewelry who is based out of Minnesota

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Adding some west coast vibes to the show, Sarah Swell Jewelry stopped people in the tracks with her unique designs

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A favorite of mine, Nancy Newberg continues to be most wearable and necessary to someone’s jewel box!

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I was way too enchanted by Variance Objects and all their handcrafted jewels, especially these stud earrings!

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Finally met Jennifer Dawes and her sustainable, “outside the box” bridal pieces. She is based out of Sonoma County, California!

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Anabel Higgins Jewelry uses vintage and antique motifs as her main inspiration when designing, often using authentic components when creating pieces!

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Geometry never looked so good thanks to Selin Kent and her designs. She is based out of NYC but hails from Istanbul, Turkey.

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The lovely displays of Margery Hirschey–makes you want to dive into the smooth velvet and stay awhile.

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Pointed perfection from Marli, a fine jewelry brand for the modern woman, based out of NYC.

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Take a look at this sketchbook from Christine Huber who is one that pays attention to detail. Her designs are full of surprises and handcrafted beautifully.

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Designer Lisa of Charlton & Lola knows how to create a good stack, her colorful creations have fingers happy and collectors wanting more.

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Ambyr Childers displays her jewelry on rose quartz and I learned of her Native American heritage which impacts her designs, with each piece being spiritually blessed.

Samantha Knight Jewelry brought out her fine jewelry line along with her curation of fine antique pieces, like these five stunning rings. I want the snake!!

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Finally got to meet Uma K Jewelry, her jewels and energy are 100 and these are some of my favorites.

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Monica Marcella’s gorgeous pendants–moss agate, dendritic agate and enhydro quartz are one-of-a-kind favorites.

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Emanuela Duca is from Italy and uses rich, 18k yellow gold to create these rings.

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LOVE this display from Workhorse Jewels–these vintage vitrines are perfect for holding their vintage inspired stacking jewels. And yes, they make antique-inspired baby rings, but in rings sizes that are fitting for today’s fingers.

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Hannah Blount Jewelry handcrafts every piece in her Boston studio and is as sweet and funny as her whimsical jewels are!

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Vrai & Oro are based out of LA and strive to create essential fine gold pieces at a fraction of the cost–getting rid of markup and sold online-only.

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I never wanted a lamb so bad (besides a real baby lamb) before seeing these little lamb rings by Julie Lamb (yes, that’s her real last name).

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LuLu and Shay Jewelry is based out of NYC and I can’t get enough of her handmade pieces, especially her matte gold finish and totally dying for a sapphire Bud Ring!

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I love finally getting to try on something you’ve been wanting on for the first time–that’s what I was feeling when meeting Elizabeth Buenaventura and her amazing collection. Her Starfish ring is on my wish list!

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If you want to be blown away by design, just check out Roule & Company. Many of their designs feature cage-like enclosures, encasing loose gems for a fun, kinetic piece. They are based in NYC.

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Someone inspired by antique jewelry is usually a jewelry designer I can get down with! Liz Phillips’ had a collection that took Art Deco details and brought them into today’s world.

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Tola Jewelry’s phrase is Alchemy + Architecture and her jewels embody and depict that phrase perfectly. Her handmade cuffs, seen here, mold to the wrist and feel like second skin.

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Yama Jewelry is created by an architect turned goldsmith and designer–the pieces are fun, bold and done in 14k or 18k gold.

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Sophie Ratner is a recent graduate of The Rhode Island School of Design and I loved seeing her pretty and feminine designs on display.

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Cherut Jewelry is based out of Tel Aviv and is designed by Shani Erez who draws from her surroundings and background to create this modern, ultra-chic line.

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Bleecker and Prince is a cool line that showcases jewelry like above–chunky, bold gems carved into jewelry…and then it has a totally opposite look, with pieces that are delicate and layer-ready done in gold and gemstones. Love the Yin and the Yang of this collection.

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One to watch: Gillian Steinhardt whose designs were bold (what I love) and some incorporated hands (which I absolutely love)…and then I saw that some of the hands had red enamel nail polish on the nails and I was hooked.

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Eriness Jewelry shows you exactly how to stack it up!

Metal & Smith Moratorium Jewelry is based in NYC and shall I say, mixes goth with glam? Or badassness with diamonds? I like that better.

Creating something new and different, something that is needed and challenges what is currently offered is not for the faint of heart. It takes great determination, a driven and clear path, a concise vision and lots of enthusiastic supporters to pull it off. Metal & Smith was envisioned by co-founder Lee Wright as an experience for fine jewelry brands to present their work for potential buyers, press and stylists in a laid back, open environment. Something similar to a trade show, yet unlike a trade show in every way possible. I was honored and excited to be on board with Metal & Smith as an Advisor and help curate which jewelry talent was invited to this exclusive one-day event which took place September 19th, in NYC.

Attending the event was so much fun as I immediately could feel the enthusiasm from everyone there, whether they were exhibiting, attending or helping. Designers had one day to show off their work, which brought talent from as far as Israel, Japan and all over the US. Having a great location started with NYC as a diverse, upbeat backdrop and the Mercantile Annex offered the perfect setting for this new type of jewelry show. All white floors and walls, large windows, plenty of sunlight, and table top displays, all of which are features not typical for a jewelry show, but were first and foremost for Metal & Smith. I like to call these distinguishing features a blogger’s dream because taking photos is so important in our job and the backdrop/lighting at most jewelry shows is, well, completely horrible! I couldn’t have been happier snapping photos at Metal & Smith thanks to something extrememly rare being present–THE SUN. The differences didn’t stop there.

Having a list of exhibitors that did not exceed more than 50 may be the smartest part about Metal & Smith. First off, being able to FOCUS on 50 was doable and not feeling overwhelmed helped tremendously. It also gave the event a feeling of exclusivity. My goal was to visit all 50 designers and although I spent a total of 5 hours at the show and thought I had visited everyone, I realized once I had left that I had forgotten a whole section! I enjoyed that the event was one day only, from 1-9pm, which is another aspect about Metal & Smith that sets it apart.

One thing is for sure, the Metal & Smith show is a great place to discover new talent. Just as the event had their debut last week, so did many of their exhibitors, with several who exhibited for the first time ever that day. It was unchartered territory for many, but you would not have guessed by their confidence and proud displays. Jewelry stores and luxury lifestyle stores who like to be on the cutting edge of what’s new and now have a unique opportunity with Metal & Smith for this exact reason! There is no one jumping on the band wagon here–just trend setters and the next big thing happening.

I want to thank every jewelry designer who graciously spent some time with me during the show–whether it was showing me your work or meeting me for the first time, it was a special day. I’m also very grateful to be a part of this show and can’t wait until January 2017! (Yes, a new date has been added!)

(Check out the captions of each photo for more info on designers, etc.)

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? Check out my Vintage & Antique Inventory

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Gem Gossip Visits Fox’s Seattle in Seattle, WA

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Gurhan 24k gold necklace, Rings by Todd Reed, Atelier Zobel, Arman Lotus Shield ring, Arman wide hammered ring with black diamonds

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All rings by SUWA

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One-of-a-kind fire opal + Tahitian pearl pendant necklace by Mikimoto

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Rough diamond Octahedron pendants by SUWA, platinum & yellow gold

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Sethi Couture necklaces: diamond bar necklace, fan necklace , rings by Alex Sepkus

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The history behind the next stop on my Seattle #JewelryRoadTrip is quite fascinating. Just a block away from Hotel Vintage where we were staying, the walk to Fox’s Seattle was easy and beautiful. Upon entering the shop I knew it was unlike any other place I’ve been to before.

Open since 1912, the same year the Titanic sank, US suffragettes paraded NYC, and Arizona & New Mexico were admitted into the US as official states, Fox’s opened its doors to the public. The shop sold mostly gems, little knick knacks, and some jewelry, taking a chance at this fortuitous business. It was unfortunately struggling and needed to be sold. It was then purchased by Sid Thal in 1948, keeping its name Fox’s Gem Shop only because the new owners couldn’t afford to paint over the sign.

The store grew over time, eventually becoming the leading retailer in fine jewelry, but had always been a labor of love for Sid Thal and his wife. Sid apparently was quite the character! Known around town in the social scene and iconic for driving around a Classic Austin “London Cab” and sporting a British bowler hat. These attributes were later used to help market the jewelry store. Their daughter, Joy Thal joined the family business in 1975, along with her artistic husband Chai Mann, and have been at it ever since! It was such an honor to meet the pair during my visit. They have a discerning eye when it comes to jewelry as well as being able to articulately create a luxurious space for said jewelry.

I spent most of my time while visiting Fox’s with Chai & Joy’s daughter Zoey who officially began working at the store in 2003, where her stint was only supposed to be temporary, but she obviously fell in love with everything about the jewelry world. She was named President in 2013. Most recently Fox’s changed their name from Fox’s Gem Shop to Fox’s Seattle and moved locations to where it situates today, just outside The Fairmount Olympic Hotel. Calling the store beautiful is quite the understatement. My visit lined up well with the unveiling of their newly launched Todd Reed boutique, the only jewelry store to have a mini boutique consisting of Todd Reed anywhere else!

Fox’s Seattle is quite proud of the designers they feature, as they are invested in them emotionally, which radiates through and through! They have been a huge fan and supporter of Alex Sepkus and his work, carrying his jewelry for over 25 years! Fox’s loves Alex Sepkus’ one-of-a-kind pieces and they make certain they get dibs on his very best. I was enchanted by their selection of his pieces–I had to create a cool stack incorporating his work. Fox’s taught me that every piece is finished by hand under a microscope!

I love learning about new designers–the longer I’m in this industry, the less I am actually already familiar with, so finding someone new is exhilarating! Enter SUWA, a Japanese jewelry company known for their precision when setting stones. They follow the facet pattern on every gem to position it in exact alignment with its neighbor. I loved their rough diamond octahedron pendants and totally want one! They do some incredible things with rough diamonds as well as faceted.

Mixing Fox’s designer repertoire was seamless–case in point: my stack featuring Todd Reed, Atelier Zobel, and Arman. Big names, bold looks. Like jewelry a little more on the dainty side? Fox’s Seattle has you covered too! A favorite designer, Sethi Couture bring on the layer-ready delights, each meant to be passed down through generations. Their selection of Gurhan Jewelry is also quite top notch. I died a little over the 24k yellow gold spike necklace. I’m sure it has a legitimate name, but I’m going to call it the spike necklace!

Thanks everyone at Fox’s Seattle for welcoming me into your gorgeous store! It was so great meeting everyone and sharing your passion for a few hours…I can see why you are so proud of the legacy of this store and it will no doubt flourish for years to come! If you’re in the Seattle area, be sure to stop by, you won’t want to miss it!

FoxsSeattle logo

405 University St.

Seattle, WA 98101

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Gem Gossip Visits TWIST in Seattle, WA

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GREAT MIX of designers: top left, going down–Ileana Makri, Fernando Jorge, Marc Alary; top right, going down–Spinelli Kilcollin, Marc Alary, Sophie Bille Brahe

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Love the artisan-made cases, organized by designer

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Wearing all Polly Wales

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Trying on some Kothari pieces

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The colorful world of Jamie Joseph, some best-sellers!

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A nice stack of Dorette rings, I’m in love!!

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…and can’t forget the matching Dorette necklace

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All these are by Judy Geib: emerald bracelet, circular band, number ring, emerald ring

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Rings by Marie-Hélène de Taillac

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Checking out the bridal selection, it’s like a store within a store!

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Some of my bridal favorites! Pinky is Rebecca Overmann, ring finger is Mandrel Studio, middle finger is Mandrel Studio, pointer finger both rings by Mallary Marks (awesome necklace in background)

TWIST has been well-known for their incredible selection of fine designer jewelry for years! I realized a few weeks ago that my second blog post I ever wrote on Gem Gossip, I featured some selections from their website, so saying I’ve been a fan for awhile may be an understatement. Those not akin to the Pacific Northwest may not realize that TWIST has TWO locations, one in Seattle, WA and one in Portland, OR. Most are familiar with their popular website twistonline.com where people from around the world can shop their highly sought after curation of designer jewelry from the comfort of their home! I gush as I profess having a love affair with their newsletters. Anytime new designers are added or new pieces are added to their website, an eye-catching newsletter gets sent to my inbox, alerting me to check out what’s new. And for TWIST, anything that they do is one step ahead of the curve. I learn of new, upcoming designers often from TWIST and love seeing how they curate their selection from all that is out there and available. Each piece is special, unique and often tells a story.

Walking into TWIST was like a fantasy becoming a reality. The store is located in Pacific Place shopping center, where some of the best shopping can be done in Seattle. A quick toss of the keys to the valet and off we were where five floors of shops awaited, TWIST being on level one. An aspect that defines TWIST since the beginning is their devotion to artists, so although jewelry now rules their main focus, some eclectic pieces of art (and although jewelry can be considered art) are still a part of the store. Items like sculptures, blown glass and pottery to be exact. Case in point, the giant penguin that stands majestically outside the storefront. It was created by artist Leo Sewell who transforms scrap metal and junk into fun animals. This piece has become iconic to the shop since first opening in 1999.

The jewelry sprawls across multiple cases at TWIST, organized by designer and neatly displayed in artisan-made cases. Everyday pieces mixed in with one-of-a-kind, over-the-top…super cool alongside funky and chic, the jewelry is quite endless in terms of possibilities and truly such a fun shopping experience. The moment you think, “where is the engagement rings and bridal selection?,” you stumble upon the tucked away bridal boutique that is just as unique as the rest of the store. Traditional mixed with alternative, with their favorite designers putting a spin on what they would consider bridal, this section reveals much to swoon over. Yes, there are diamonds, but there are also “rustic” diamonds, specially cut diamonds, inverted diamonds, fancy colored diamonds and so much more. I hope my photos above prepared you for some kickass jewelry!

Perusing the jewelry cases with Cullen, store manager and partner of TWIST, proved to be a Who’s Who of the jewelry world. My favorite designers, pieces I’ve been coveting, and works of art I’ve had to stare at for a few minutes to grasp its amazingness, all in one place. Polly Wales and her masterfully-crafted jewelry set off one section of the store–both her staples and her most recent collection was displayed. I got to experience French designer Marie-Hélène de Taillac and her eye-popping colorful designs. She proves how color can be so fun and within one piece, a whole rainbow of spectral colors can be found. Arik Kastan, a brand I’m more than familiar with, was on display–but did you know they create an exclusive matte gold collection just for TWIST?! I’ve actually never seen it before because the pieces go straight to TWIST, so this was so great to see in person. It is funny how just changing one aspect, like the finish of the gold, can create a whole new look. And for the first time ever, I got to experience Judy Geib, a designer who hand-fabricates everything out of her Brooklyn studio. She is a phenomena in her own right, being self-taught, and on top of that, she mainly works with opals and emeralds, two of the most difficult gemstones to work with (very soft stones). There were SO many great designers featured, for a full list check out this link.

I don’t think I can say enough positive things about TWIST, so I’m going to leave you with this idea–if you’re in the area or planning a trip to the Pacific Northwest, make sure you visit either their Seattle or Portland locations. You could easily spend hours in here, so plan accordingly. (I also recommend the wine bar located at Pacific Place, Sixth Avenue Wine Sellers for before or after visiting!) 😉

Thanks Cullen and TWIST for showing me some amazing designer jewelry while in Seattle on my #JewelryRoadTrip, I’ll be catching up in the meantime via newsletter!

TWIST logo

Pacific Place, 600 Pine St #300

Seattle, WA 98101

(TWIST’s other location, Portland, OR)

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Best of the Couture Show 2016

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Jacquie Aiche drew in buyers and press with window displays rich in colors, jewels and crystals from Tucson Gem Show. Inside, displays were already styled in layers and layers (the way her jewels are meant to be worn) making it easy for merchandisers to choose what to buy!

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Stopped by Suzy Landa Jewelry to get a dose of COLOR–her juicy gemstones always brighten my day and so does the designer herself! So awesome!

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Ilias Lalaounis’ tradition of bold gold pieces is wonderfully carried out through his four daughters who now are continuing his legacy. Every year I enjoy seeing his designs, as they immediately transport me to Greece and his heyday of accessorizing stars. I couldn’t pick a favorite!

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Neha Dani wowed and inspired–I felt like I was back at the MET looking at the JAR exhibit for a second. The technicolored gold, hand-set diamonds, intricate work, where each mechanism, each stone, each design is precisely thought-out. Loved all!

Couture | Gem Gossip

Loved all the shapes, patterns and colors seen at Kavant & Sharart! This young husband and wife duo have really been cultivating their styles and merging them flawlessly. I want so many pieces from their line!

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Pamela Love tapped into every night sky watcher’s dreams with the creation of this Lapis & diamond moon phase collar necklace. It feels so good in person too! I love her rings–the opal arrowhead was killer and the play-of-color on it was just right. And bet you didn’t realize the ring on my pointer finger flips!

Couture | Gem Gossip

Jordan Alexander Jewelry first grabbed my attention at the Nashville Fashion Show. Now a year later, they’ve put their focus from pearls to diamonds and other gemstones. And I love all the use of gold!

Couture | Gem Gossip

I believe this is Anthony Lent’s third year exhibiting and although I have a rule to see new designers every year, he is the only one to break this rule! Seen three years in a row and will never not be captivated by his designs.

Couture | Gem Gossip

Eva Fehren’s geometric designs were amazing to see for the first time in person. Loved her display as well, as seen above.

“Danielle, please call you grandmother. She’s worried about you. And did you make it to Vegas? You never even told us.” I immediately deleted the voicemail from my iPhone, which was hot to the touch because of all the charging and photo-downloading it incurred while at the jewelry shows in Vegas. Something about Vegas every year I find it liberating to block out everything going on in my personal life and back home, and truly immerse myself in the four-day jewel fest called Couture. Excuse me, five-day jewel fest–I just had to look it up, and wow, really? Five days? A little excessive? NOPE. Never. In fact, this year I spent the most time I’ve ever spent at Couture and still felt like I needed more time.

Couture 2016: Venni Vetti Vecci. And the best year yet. Remember that time I forgot my business cards? Ah, yes rookie mistake, but not this year. Remember that time I spent only six hours at Couture? Massively stupid mistake, but no, not this year. I came prepared, I packed my bags efficiently, and made a handful of appointments (enough I could count on both hands–not too many where I felt like I had planned way too much in such short of time). This year was all about enjoying my time, having fun and learning. Sometimes events like these can be stressful and far too often taken way too seriously. What is the fun in that?

This year, Couture was upbeat–the designers, the buyers, the atmosphere–even all my “whoops, I’m sorry I didn’t make an appointment” appointments. I loved seeing people whom I haven’t seen in forever and reconnecting with those who I sometimes talk to on a daily basis.

Some highlights for me are shown above. One of them being finally meeting Jacquie Aiche and experiencing her alluring booth full of layer heaven. I can easily see how and why people like Rihanna are die-hard fans of her jewelry–it is a lifestyle, not just a jewelry line. For a second year in a row, I clamored over Ilias Lalaounis’ designs as if I were in Greece and happened to stumble upon his boutique. It reminds me of my life goal of going to Greece and visiting both the Lalaounis museum and stores. Someday.

Other highlights include seeing the guys of Anthony Lent Jewelry who continually put the enchantment back into jewelry, as most designs have lost that aspect over time, especially all that is made now in factories or mass produced items. I love that everything he makes, he creates himself in his studio in Pennsylvania. Neha Dani was also a great highlight–such stunningly beautiful designs that easily wow. Huge fan of the technicolor gold she uses as well. Pamela Love had such a great line-up at her booth, of course the pièce de résistance for me was the lapis and diamond moon phase collar necklace that we took outside to photograph. Once posted on Instagram, it got 6,500+ likes–the most I’ve ever gotten in my 4+ year Instagram lifetime.

Loved seeing everyone at Couture this year–if I didn’t get a chance to swing by your booth, I’m SO sorry. Time was short but I will make a valiant effort next time around. Can you believe that I am totally stoked for next year already?! I am.

Can’t get enough of Couture? Read what I had to say from the years past: 2013, 2014, 2015

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Rock Vault Amazes at Couture 2016

Rachel Boston Jewellery

Incredibly unique designs by Rachel Boston Jewellery, including some alternative bridal

Completed Works 3

The fluid, free-flowing designs of Completedworks are done in 18k yellow gold and are mesmerizing

Imogen Belfield

Newly crowned “Best in Gold” Couture Design Award Winner, Imogen Belfield, known for her “rockesque” designs

Jacqueline Cullen

Extremely cool Jacqueline Cullen Jewels are all done using Whitby Jet, yes just like the Victorian Jet jewelry from the late 1800s

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These rings by Lily Kamper made me say, “WOW!” They are set with specially carved agates

Lily Kamper

And here are her signature necklaces done in Perspex and Marble set with end caps of 18k gold and gemstones, by Lily Kamper

RUIFIER

Was so excited to get to see RUIFIER’s designs in person! The colors and geometric shapes are everything!

Shimell & Madden

Shimell & Madden also blew me away–extremely modern, with lines and curves making up the collection. Love the matte finish and the multiple shanks.

Jordan Askill Completed Works 2

Photo on the left, Jordan Askill’s necklace made of rock crystal with a 3D panther carved out of white cacholong set on top. The photo on the right features more rings from Completedworks.

If you’ve ever wanted to sneak off, away from all the hustle and bustle of Couture, and be instantly amazed, refreshed and wishing you spoke with a British accent, I highly suggest checking out Stephen Webster’s jewelry initiative called Rock Vault. This mini-ballroom hosts eight highly talented British designers, all whom are bringing their insanely gifted skills to the US. As I strolled along to each designer and spoke with them about their creations and inspirations, it became clear as to why Stephen Webster started Rock Vault in the first place!

“Rock Vault is a jewellery initiative to support, showcase and promote Britain’s most innovative, fine jewellery talent. Curated by Stephen Webster, this unique showcasing initiative has been developed by the BFC to nurture the creative fine jewellery talent based in London. It gives these designers the opportunity to further develop their businesses, as well as exposure amongst both UK and international media and retailers.”

I felt positive vibes from every designer featured in Rock Vault–an overall sense of excitement and gratitude, radiating with pride for not only their work but to be showcased in Las Vegas at the Couture show. Above you’ll find some photos I snapped, at least one from each designer featured in Rock Vault. Here’s a little more about each designer:

Rachel Boston Jewellery: a young, talented designer born and based in London with a wild imagination. Nominated for numerous awards, including New Designer of the Year at the UK Jewellery Awards. I’m completely obsessed with her Anceps ring done in 18k yellow gold from her latest collection called CONTRA. Fun fact: Rachel got married in Vegas after the show! Congrats to her!!

Completedworks: Flowing lines, bold architecture, fluid shapes…Completedworks was on my list of “must-sees” for Couture since I began planning. Artistic Director Anna Jewsbury has a unique background in Mathematics and Philosophy, which truly defines the line. The Pillar collection is inspired by architectural ruins, like the classical columns, and they are done in white and black marble, jade set in 18k yellow gold.

Imogen Belfield: with a background in Fine Arts and Sculpture, one look at Imogen’s designs and you can see how that path has influenced her creations. Her fine line just recently launched, with each piece being carvings all hand-done, which take on the form of rocks. The gemstones she uses are quite unique as well–I was taken back by the hot pink stone in one of her designs–so cool! It is actually an extreme heat-treated onyx (you can see the neon pink color in the photo I took above). She also just won the Couture Design Award for “best in gold” category!

Jacqueline Cullen: precious Whitby jet–a prehistoric fossil which dates back 180 million years which is most well-known in jewelry form from Victorian mourning jewelry. Jacqueline creates contemporary pieces of jewelry using this now very rare organic material. Her designs are innovative and have graced the pages of magazines and celebrities alike.

Lily Kamper: her love for unusual material combinations and modern luxury define Lily’s aesthetic. Her iconic pendant necklaces made of marble and perspex are all hand cut. She also has a bridal line just as unique as her other designs and her newest collection features hardstone jewels set in 18k yellow gold.

RUIFIER: I’ve been following this brand for a few years now and so excited to finally see their collection in person! RUIFIER knows how to push boundaries and create really unique pieces. They also have a knack for choosing great color combinations and gemstones for each design.

Shimell & Madden: created by duo Luke Shimell and Emma Madden, this London-based jewelry line fuses high-quality craftsmanship with scientific design and universal concepts. Each piece looks as though it belongs in a museum, while at the same time, extremely wearable. I was instantly wowed by this jewelry line.

Jordan Askill: last but not least, this jewelry line is evocative, nature-inspired and jaw-dropping. From the gemstones used to the designs themselves, each part of the overall design is planned out with utmost precision. Jordan’s background working for Alexander McQueen and throughout the fashion industry helps embellish his journey as a jewelry designer. His work and accolades extend far and wide for such a young designer, I can’t wait to see what is next for him!

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Gem Gossip Visits Metier in San Francisco, CA

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I can’t even begin to explain how excited I was to visit Metier in San Francisco on my #JewelryRoadTrip?! It was childhood relived, where I couldn’t sleep the night before–so those bags under my eyes are true life, no photoshop people. I had met Sheri about two years ago at the epic antique jewelry show in Miami…and then finally met Trina the following year (as in, a month ago) at the same show. However, prior to that I had admired their aesthetic and overall style since I first laid eyes on their website–back when jewelry was just a very small portion of their store, which carried mostly high end fashion (think, Dries van Noten and Isabel Marant). I even remember coveting a pair of Current Elliott jeans from their website, only to see them sell out in a matter of days!

Sheri and Trina have an edge to what they are doing, whether it was with clothing or jewelry–they knew how to style it, how to take immensely appealing photos, and make customers want to buy what they have to offer! When the store closed its doors back in 2012, everyone was devastated–but one thing that stayed with them was customers’ enthusiasm for the jewelry they sold. And as a matter of fact, the duo’s love for jewelry, especially the antique and estate pieces, had become an awesome passion which lucky for us, they decided to stick with! They reopened their doors, this time in a new location–Hayes Valley–with a focus on jewelry, some accessories, antiques and curiosities. Their taste in all things covetable is stronger than ever and I would measure their number of items desired per square foot at a record-breaking high.

As expected, the neighborhood Metier is located in reflects what the store feels like and is all about. Right down to the double-hung door, the enchanting deep blue walls with gold leafing, to the decor (I’m looking at you, stuffed pheasant)–the details were all there to convince any visitor that they have in fact walked into a real life jewelry box. We’ve rearranged the jewelry cases slightly for photography purposes, so some photos may not reflect the true arrangement of everything. I wanted to get in deep with my camera and shoot the stills and vignettes that Sheri and Trina style within the glass jewelry cases, because these are some of the best I’ve seen! Each piece is placed with great care, has a story to tell and beckons you to become a part of that story. I love the new designer pieces (like BCE Jewelry, Gabriella Kiss, Marla Aaron) they’ve curated for Metier because they mix extremely well with all the antique and vintage.

I had such a wonderful time playing with the incredible pieces of Metier and sadly didn’t want to leave! It was awesome to spend some time with Trina and Sheri, as we visited 20th Century Cafe afterward, which is their favorite little chill spot and absolutely adorable. I highly recommend that as your day trip if visiting San Francisco–check out Metier for a few hours and then walk over to 20th Century Cafe for lunch. Best day ever.

Below you’ll find some of my favorite items from my visit, just click on the items to shop!

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Gem Gossip Visits D&H Sustainable Jewelers in San Francisco, CA

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I was really excited to stop by D&H Sustainable Jewelers in San Francisco on my #JewelryRoadTrip! The name of the shop comes from the first letters of both owners’ last names–Lindsay Daunell and Shawn Higgins. Another very important word is in the name–Sustainable–the foundation on which they’ve built everything around since day one. Every facet within D&H Sustainable Jewelers is done with an eco-conscientiousness in mind, and the jewelry is just the beginning! The duo first opened in 2011 and since then, a buzz has been created of how they are doing things differently and doing them right. Case in point, these three aspects of D&H Sustainable: ethical artisan jewelry, custom design, and wine bar! Yes, a wine bar! It was one of the first things I noticed when I visited the store–along the backside of the shop, up a few stairs, a dedicated area to wine and relaxation (a great contrast to how most people visualize jewelry shopping to be like) where the Rose Cut Wine Bar sits in all its glory. D&H is proud to call their wine bar one of the only featured in a luxury jewelry store in the US. And this is where the word “sustainable” comes into play again, because the wine is organic, the actual wine bar itself is made from a fallen sycamore tree and that jewelry case you were just browsing in, also made from recycled materials!

Their shop is located on Market St. and has a great selection of jewelry. D&H Sustainable Jewelers has two large, separate cases for bridal jewelry–one for men’s and one for women’s. There are lots of options, including vintage and antique choices, even custom designs which you can help create yourself during a design consultation. Their men’s selection is one of the most diverse I’ve ever seen–so many really unique and distinctive bands, lots of 18k yellow gold, different finishes and even bands with wood! I really liked their diamond size depiction that is displayed in the bridal jewelry case–the model shows diamond sizes illustrated with various shaped CZs. Not only does it look cool but it is a good reference to use when showing customers who don’t know what a two carat vs. a four carat diamond would look like on a finger in terms of size. I made sure to take a photo of it (shown above).

D&H Sustainable also carries some designer jewelry as well as vintage and antique. Jacquie Aiche is one of their featured designers–pieces that are set with shark teeth, trilobites, and arrowheads are amongst their favorites, including mine! Elliot Gaskin Jewelry is also another featured artist who also happens to be based in San Francisco. As with all antique jewelry, each piece is unique and one-of-a-kind. The selection featured at D&H Sustainable was great–I loved their retro snake ring set with an onyx and their Victorian black enamel ring, shown in a stacked photo above. Their selection of new designer jewelry mixed really well with what they had available in vintage and antique. I was also drawn to their custom made signet rings–the originality of them and the gemstones chosen made them really special. Lapis, turquoise, black jade…some with diamonds, some without; really nice, timeless rings.

If you’re ever in the San Francisco area on Market St., you must visit D&H Sustainable Jewelers and see how this store is changing the way jewelry is made and purchased one ethically sourced item at a time!

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D&H Sustainable Jewelers

2323 Market St.

San Francisco, CA 94114

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