Antique & Vintage Engagement Rings Perfect for a Summer Proposal

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If you read articles frequently on the Internet about “the perfect time to propose” you’ll find that both jewelry stores and the general public see an up tick in proposals and engagement ring shopping around the holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s). If you ask any girl awaiting that fateful question of, “will you marry me” you’ll most definitely find that to her, ANYTIME is an ideal time to propose. I personally think that the summer would be a perfect moment to get down on one knee. You could plan a summer getaway, do something fun outdoors, go to the beach…the ideas are endless–and there’s just something special about the summer that one can’t describe.

I’ve teamed up with Bailey’s Fine Jewelry to bring you some enticing engagement ring choices to create ideas for styles you may want to explore or to even find your ring for you (it could be one of these featured!). With four locations across North Carolina, Bailey’s has an incredible selection of engagement ring choices that can’t be beat. And if perhaps you want something vintage or antique, they also specialize in that category as well, which is what we’re going to be focusing on! These rings have just been acquired and have just gotten their close-ups. Now the last step for them is to get slipped onto a forever finger. Will it be yours?

Alternative Elongated Antique Styles

One of my favorite antique styles is this elongated look, which I think makes such a stunning engagement ring choice. These will make anyone do a double take, especially if you want a bold look. Who says all engagement rings need to be a single stone? There are so many different styles with this design–some more scalloped than others, some more floral in design, others very geometric and pointy. All these below would make great choices. You can shop and get more info on each by clicking directly on each photo.

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Fancy Floral Alternative Choices

Flowers are more than just a pretty plant–they are highly symbolic, especially in vintage and antique jewelry and are timeless choices for an engagement ring. Every wedding includes a gorgeous bouquet, but the sad part is that bouquet will die. I have mine sitting at the top of my closet, collecting dust and I’m unsure if I should throw it out or keep it. With a flower arrangement worn on your finger made of diamonds, you never have to worry about it dying! Below are some wonderful choices if you’re into floral engagement rings–click on the photos to get more info and pricing.

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Bring Back the Band

For a sleek, easy going engagement ring style that is can be worn every day, a simple band style is becoming quite popular. The wider style allows you to not have to wear a wedding band–so a two-in-one kind of ring is a smart choice for many. The vintage styles above showcase diamonds and design styles unlike any solitaire you’ll find and it is the unique patterns that often draw people to this choice. You can shop the below styles by clicking on the photos!

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Add a Splash of Color

Sometimes an all-diamond look is not for everyone. Some women prefer color and live colorful lives – and so should their engagement ring! Lucky for you, gemstones come in all sorts of colors, and with an educated choice, you can find the perfect stone for you. Whether you are a lover of pinks, greens, blues or even orange, vintage and antique jewelry utilize lots of stone examples, and the possibilities are endless. When choosing softer stones, be aware that you shouldn’t wear them everyday! Below are some great examples and if you click on the photos you can shop each one!

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This sponsored blog post was brought to you in collaboration with Bailey’s Fine Jewelry.

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My Jewel Box: Five Ring Additions to Round Out 2016

My Jewel Box | Gem Gossip

I was giving myself a good chuckle yesterday because I’ve gotten a few comments from people asking why I stopped my YouTube videos–especially my main series Gem Gossip Read & Wear. The point of the series was to try to keep in tact a New Year’s Resolution I made last year–which was to only buy one ring per month, and also read one jewelry book per month. As with most resolutions, I started out strong–almost too strong. I knew my demise was near. Sure enough, I couldn’t keep up and bought way too many rings. Also my sister who edits and creates all the video content was having health difficulties, so that contributed to my sudden drop off from YouTube as well. Hopefully I’ll be back with something new and exciting, so stay tuned.

As the year came to a close (nearly 20 days ago, are you kidding me?!) I kind of went over board with the additions to my collection. So much so that I haven’t been keeping up with the My Jewel Box posts–so I’m compiling a bunch of my acquisitions into this one post! Five rings, to be exact–all acquired in November/December. Wanted to share the stories behind and details for those interested–BECAUSE I LOVE READING STUFF LIKE THAT. Hope you do too! 😉

My Jewel Box | Gem Gossip

This beauty was my Christmas gift from my husband this year–yes, another antique elongated diamond ring. “Don’t you have enough of those kinds of rings?!” Umm, no. I seriously cannot get enough of this style–something about it. This particular ring was found at auction from Hampton Estate Auction. It’s platinum and set with Old European cut diamonds, a 1920s piece through and through. Most of my other elongated rings are from earlier than that–so this was fun to add to the collection.

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Q & A with Leeorah of Lulu & Shay Jewelry

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Leeorah Betan-Hartman is naturally talented in many ways, but we are so ever thankful she has chosen to hone her skills with jewelry design with Lulu & Shay. Her creations are enchanting. Her finishes are unfinished perfection. Her style is effortless cool. And I want so many of her pieces! I got the chance to meet her and her husband at Metal & Smith in September, happily trying on my favorites and seeing everything in person for the first time. Excited to catch up with her and see what she has going on in the new year!

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I am always working on new pieces for not only my next collection, but I find that I often return to the collections that are the foundation of my jewelry line, adding a nuance or a different take on the theme. Right now I am working on some new pieces for my Luna Diaries Collection– an intimate look into Victorian inspired jewelry. Victorian jewelry is rich with meaning. The carved symbols and motifs are not just pretty embellishments; each have hidden symbolism and even the gemstones have multiple meanings. I am so intrigued and amazed by the romanticism of the jewelry of that era. I feel that the rich history of these pieces mix well with the natural and flowing feeling of my pieces that are influenced by nature and our surroundings – completing a full thought and story when layered and worn together.

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Even as a young child I had a deep affinity for jewelry. I would sneak into my mom’s jewelry box and try on each of her pieces of jewelry, gazing at all the different stones and colors. I also made my own jewelry as a child– first with beads and with polymer clay and then evolving into more intricate bead and wire wrap pieces. In college I earned a B.F.A. in film and pursued a fulfilling career in editing film trailers, but I missed working with my hands. I started taking classes in metal-smithing and wax carving in NYC. Wax carving allows me the opportunity to create not only more finely detailed pieces but also freer flowing and organic ones. I just love the freedom and creativity I have while working with wax.

Once I had a cohesive collection, I launched Lulu & Shay. I wanted a name that had personal meaning like the jewelry I was creating. Lulu is a nickname I had as a child, and Shay is my husband’s childhood nickname. My two passions — jewelry and film — are joined as I use the story telling nature of film to apply a narrative element in my jewelry line. Editing films requires distilling a big picture into its key elements, and I strive to mirror that in my jewelry making. Each piece can tell a story of its own while striking a personal connection with the wearer.

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Tucson Gem Show: Don’t Miss the JOGS Show!

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JOGS Tucson Gem and Jewelry Show is one of the leading jewelry events in North America, let alone the annual Tucson Gem Shows. It brings approximately 40,000 visitors to the Tucson region annually, including international and national dealers from across the globe. Jewelry manufacturers, miners, stone cutters, carvers, jewelry designers, importers and treasure hunters from 26 countries make the trek to Tucson every year! This annual show is an absolute must for jewelry hunters chasing unique jewelry and gems masterpieces, stunning new jewelry lines that manufacturers were preparing all year long for the JOGS Show buyers, making JOGS perfect event for restocking for the new year.

I would recommend checking out the JOGS Show for at least 2 or more days—why?? Because it features more than 800 booths! They also offer cool things like jewelry making classes and seminars (over 200 possibilities with classes taught by world renowned designers and craftspeople). The atmosphere is friendly and inviting, just an overall upbeat and warm place. You never know who you might run into—new business contacts, stone collectors, miners, and jewelry designers. Those are just a few special reasons to love and attend the JOGS show. Other reasons include amazing deals (liquidation prices mean you could buy a ring for under $100 and see that very same ring at a store or mall a few months later for $100s), be ahead of the trend forecast (much of what is offered will become the next upcoming trends), and other perks like free parking, free shuttles and complimentary brunch buffet for qualified buyers.

JOGS gained popularity by having diverse international and domestic pavilions: Amber Jewelry – direct manufacturers and designers from Poland, Russia, Lithuania, Indonesia and Columbia with large variety of amber cameos, carvings, beads and designer jewelry; Southwest/Native Americans – handmade Native American Jewelry, Southwestern/Indian Arts and Crafts reflect the mastery of techniques; Major miners and dealers with finished sterling silver jewelry, cabochons, beads and rough from the world’s best turquoise mines; Indonesian/Bali Jewelry Manufacturers – direct manufacturers and designers of sterling silver and gold jewelry with semi-precious stones, shells, wood, pearls and corals, handmade from Bali and all around Indonesia; Silver Manufacturers​ – superior selection of finished sterling silver jewelry presented by the largest silver jewelry manufacturers and famous jewelry designers from USA, India, Mexico, Thailand, Indonesia, Italy and other countries; Nepal Group – ethnic tribal handcrafted jewelry, crafts and gifts from Nepal and Tibet; International ​Jewelry ​Designers; ​International ​Gemstones – international dealers bring their stocks of gemstones, precious and semi-precious from low to exceptional quality; rarest colored stones, cut stones, specimen, cabs, rough, fossils and beads from Thailand, India, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Columbia, Africa, Russia, Bolivia, and other countries and Stone/Mineral Decor – finished gemstone products, rough materials for decor purposes: sculptures, luxury fountains, stone and petrified wood furniture, onyx decorative home and kitchen decor, hand carved interior decorations from China, Madagascar, Brazil, Africa, and much more.

Registration is already open. To save time in line, pre-register now, just follow the link here.

JOGS Tucson Show is a not to be missed gem and jewelry event of the year!

This post was brought to you in collaboration with JOGS.

JOGS Gem and Jewelry Show

Show Dates: Jan 26 – Feb 6, 2017

10 am – 6 pm, last day Feb 6 10 am – 4 pm

Address: Tucson Expo Center, 3750 E Irvington Rd, Tucson, AZ 85714

Pre-registration link: http://jogsshow.com/register/?cmpn=gemgossip

For more info please visit www.jogsshow.com


>> P.S. JOGS Gem and Jewelry Show 2017 will host the biggest clam in the world!!!! from Volker Bassen (Volker Bassen will be showcasing it at JOGS Tucson Show along with other unique pieces).

He found the clam personally in East Africa. Once cleaned and polished it weighted 355 kg, making it the biggest giant clam in the world! It took him a week to clean out the giant clam as it was full of calcified lime stone, almost as hard as cement. To his surprise, he found a blister pearl the size of a tomato followed by a smaller one, 2 pearls in one clam! He called the largest of the pearls ‘Pearl of Noah’ and the smaller pearl ‘Pearl of Siv’ (names of his sons). Being 1256 carats, the Pearl of Noah is the largest T.Gigantea pearl ever found while the Pearl of Siv being 758 carats, making it the second largest T.Gigantea pearl in the world. The pearls are now in Switzerland to be dated, estimated age between 200,000 to 240,000 years old, making them the oldest baroque pearls ever found. The clam is absolutely unique and largest one and will be presented exclusively at JOGS Tucson Gem and Jewelry Show only.

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Decorate Your Ears this Holiday with Arik Kastan

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Arik Kastan

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

Add a little twinkle to your ears this holiday season! The Starlight Drop earrings add effortless elegance to any outfit, whether its your holiday dress or your casual jean and t-shirt look. Set with labradorite in the center, surrounded by garnets.

Starlight drop earrings, Price: $858

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

We love these drop earrings done in 14k rose gold and rose cut diamonds. The ornate design of the round floral cluster is a great for a double-take reaction. You’ll have heads turning when wearing these, whether it’s at a holiday party or New Year’s bash!

Nouveau Flower drop earrings, Price: $1,826

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Chic and dramatic, these Pinwheel drop earrings will make her mouth drop if she unwrapped these sparklers. A holiday morning surprise is our favorite kind of treat and these earrings will do just the trick.

Pinwheel drop earrings, Price: $1,540

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Your ears will be feeling fabulous with these cluster earrings from Arik Kastan. We’ve combined a labradorite in the center along with some dark blue sapphires to create this edgy and romantic pair of beauties. They are 100% holiday appropriate.

Stargazer drop earrings, Price: $1,220

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

Just as dahlias can represent grace and inner strength, these drop earrings were designed based on these beautiful flowers. We’ve set them with blue sapphires in the center and rose cut diamonds for the petals. Of course, our signature and exclusive 14k rose gold just makes them pop!

Dahlia drop earrings, Price: $1,540

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Video Series: Gem Gossip Read & Wear for February 2016

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Hey! Can you believe I made it through two whole months keeping this New Year’s resolution?! I know, neither can I! So February has come and gone, and I thought sticking to a strict one ring purchase per month and one book purchase per month would be difficult, I actually was struggling with finding something to buy. February was really busy for me with lots of travel and a content-heavy schedule…so most days were spent behind a computer writing all day. Jewelry is always on my mind, but certainly this time the buying aspect was not really in the equation.

The Ring:

I decided to log into eBay since I hadn’t been on since way before Christmas–I had actually personally “banned” myself from eBay because, let’s be honest, it can get a jewelry-loving girl into a lot of trouble. I wasn’t very deep into my search when I came across a “baby” ring that featured the word Nevada in a style typical of the California Gold Rush era souvenir jewelry. This was a really intriguing time in history, during the mid-1800s when around 300,000 people flocked to California in search for gold. From this movement, lots of sounvenir jewelry was created. Some fine examples are highlighted in the auction lot I mention in the video–this lot is from Rago Arts’ December 2015 sale where the estimated value of the items more than tripled in the final bid price of $5,000. The “Colorado” ring from that lot really caught my attention and I’ve been on the hunt for one similar ever since. That’s how this “Nevada” ring sparked my interest and luckily no bidding was necessary as it was a “Buy It Now.” Although I do love the excitement of an auction, sometimes the quick click of an “Add to Cart” is what is needed to soothe a jewelry obsession.

The Book:

As I stated in the video, I bought Jewels & Jewellery by Clare Phillips while visiting London in 2014. I was so enchanted by my visit to the Victoria & Albert Museum, that I had to bring home this book which features many of the jewels within their jewelry galleries. Can you believe their galleries contain over 4,000 items of jewelry?! They way everything is displayed makes it even more magnificient. Luckily for you, you don’t have to catch a flight to London or pack this heavy book in your suitcase like I did–you can just order it below! Let your mail carrier do the heavy lifting for you! 😉

Important Links:

February’s Ring Purchase: Antique “Nevada” old miner’s souvenir ring, www.eBay.com

February’s Book Purchase: Jewels & Jewellery by Clare Phillips

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Necklace Stories: Four Figas, Four Different Ways

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

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

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

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

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

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Trademark Antiques Debuts New Website!

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With a mission to become everyone’s go-to jewelry destination, where buying antique and vintage jewelry online becomes the preferred way to shop, Trademark Antiques is one step closer to this goal with the launch of their new website! This website brings together every entity of their business, from their inventory listed on Etsy, to their exciting blog which captures their buying trips and insights into what they sell, to links where you can find all their social media platforms all in one place! Husband and wife team, Jessica and Jason, have been working hard since 2008 to bring to life antique jewelry from the bygone eras. They’ve built a growing fanbase and a group of loyal customers, so with the debut of their new website, the duo could not be more excited! Jessica says, “We want our website to give our customer an intimate insight into our products and to the creative efforts involved in sourcing and bringing each of our pieces to market. In short, we hope to make Trademark Antiques more like the corner jewelry store in your hometown where you know us and we know you.”

For most people who know Trademark Antiques, their antique conversion pieces are truly spectacular and the best out there right now. People are obsessed with their colorful enamel flower rings which sell out within minutes of posting. There are even people who specifically collect just those enamel flowers because of Trademark Antiques! As Jessica noted, “Without a doubt, our on-trend conversion jewelry is our most popular and best selling jewelry. We personally design our conversion jewelry line using reclaimed antique and vintage jewelry parts. These pieces are nearly always unique, one-of-a-kind creations…We were honored this month to have our line of conversion jewelry featured in the March issue of British Glamour Magazine — the #1 Women’s magazine in the U.K.” What an amazing accomplishment!

I love starting out a new year talking about goals and being positive, and it seems as though Trademark Antiques is on the same page! Lots of goals this year–like launching a newsletter, a jewelry look book, a YouTube channel with short videos, and forming partnerships with other vintage sellers are all in the works. The husband and wife team also hope to expand so that they are able to double the size of their inventory offering. More jewelry is always a good idea and we are just as excited! Jessica exclaims, “This year is all about expanding our business to meet growing demand for our offerings and exploring new media avenues and partnerships to bring our customers into our world. This summer, our website will begin to incorporate short, yet exciting, videos sharing jewelry advice as well as tips and brief travel clips from our jewelry adventures.”

If you’d like to read about how Trademark Antiques came to be, make sure you read my blog post from last year. I’ve picked some of my current favorites from their inventory; each can be clicked on for more info and pricing. And be sure to check out their new website and follow their social media channels below!

 

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Video Series: Gem Gossip Read & Wear for January 2016

Gem Gossip Read & Wear

Hey friends! So I’ve decided to make a video series and although I’m new to this and very unfamiliar with speaking in front of a camera, I realize that I should just go for it and hopefully improve along the way–so this is my first ever video (so please be nice).

The point of the series is to document a New Year’s resolution of mine–which is to be more selective when buying for my personal collection. With that, I decided to also go through my personal collection and sell some pieces that I haven’t worn in awhile, even if I still love them. Every collector should come to a point where they fine-tune and heavily curate their collection. It took about seven years for me to finally realize I should go through and start selling some pieces that don’t strike me anymore. The New Year’s resolution put a number on how many pieces I can buy in 2016–I decided to limit myself to one ring per month! If I buy three in one month for example, that will count as three months! This doesn’t count if it is a gift.

To go along with this resolution, I’ve been wanting to read and educate myself more, so I’ve also decided to read/purchase one book monthly. I will share the book in these “Read & Wear” videos in a sort of book talk fashion without revealing too much and provide links to purchase on Amazon, or wherever it can be found!

Excited to share this idea with you all and here is the first in a series of 12: January! Hope you enjoy!

Important links:

January’s ring purchase: Georgian aquamarine solitaire purchased at the Original Miami Beach Antique Show from Lucy Verity

January’s book purchase and current read: Guy Ladrière Collection of Gems and Rings

Guy Ladriere Collection

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