The Knot: 3 Awesome Alternative Engagement Ring Styles to Consider

The Knot | Gem Gossip

We are incredibly pumped to reveal some exciting news–I am going to be contributing monthly features over at The Knot! The online destination and magazine are both leaders in all things bridal, reaching 8 out of 10 brides in America with more than 11 million monthly unique visitors! I’m looking forward to applying my gemological knowledge and style expertise, along with my taste and creative energy, to The Knot and reach a larger audience.

Look out for my posts–I will be sharing them on my social media platforms and I will try to post them here as well!

Here’s my first one–I’ve rounded up some alternative engagement ring styles. Here’s the link:

https://www.theknot.com/content/alternative-engagement-rings

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? Check out other engagement ring stories

More GGem

Continue Reading

Why Some Gemstones Make Terrible Engagement Rings

Some Gems Make Terrible Engagement Rings | Gem Gossip

The above gemstones are all beautiful, but which would make a great engagement ring and which two are bad choices for an everyday wear piece?

Alternative engagement rings have been popular long before Princess Diana (and subsequently Kate Middleton) donned a blue sapphire. In fact, diamonds weren’t commonly used in engagement rings until the early 20th century. Stones were picked based on birthdays, symbolism, and what color was in-vogue at the time.

While it can be exciting to imagine an engagement ring with mystical and trendy stones like opal and moonstone, these gemstones actually make terrible engagement rings. So terrible that you might find yourself sulking over a ruined ring with a stone that has been chipped and gouged beyond repair. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Why Won’t Some Gemstones Work?

Even though I don’t recommend wearing your rings ALL the time, most engagement rings are worn nearly every day. Even if you are the gentlest person on the planet, your engagement ring will always be subject to potential damage. Some stones simply shouldn’t take that risk because the gemstone may not be hard enough to handle even the slightest impact.

Every gemstone has a hardness factor, which basically tells us how much bumping and scraping a gem can take before it becomes scratched or damaged. This hardness is ranked between 1-10 on what is known as the Mohs Scale of Hardness. In theory, the higher the number on the Mohs Scale, the harder and more durable the gemstone is. There are exceptions to this rule, but generally, the lower the number, the more you shouldn’t use this stone as an engagement ring.

How Does the Mohs Scale Figure Out Hardness?

The best way I can think to explain this is exactly how I learned it in my Geology 101 class my Freshman year of college. Let’s see if you can follow, and for those of you that already know this, bear with me. The Mohs Scale ranks a gemstone’s hardness by whether or not it can be scratched by other gemstones or materials. If the gemstone being scratched shows a mark or abrasion, it is softer than (or equal to) the material that scratched it. If the hardness is equal, the gemstone that was scratched should also be able to effectively scratch the material that scratched it.

Since diamonds are ranked highest on the Mohs Scale at a 10, they should essentially be able to scratch every other gemstone’s surface.

Why Diamonds are Forever

One reason diamonds are so prized for engagement rings is because of their rank on the Mohs Scale. At a 10, diamonds are the hardest substance known to man. In fact, no other gemstone comes close to this hardness factor. This doesn’t mean diamonds are indestructible (more on this in a future post), but it does mean that it is much more difficult to damage a diamond than say a garnet that ranks between 6.5 – 7.5.

What Stones are the Absolute Worst for Engagement Rings?

Not to dissuade you, but if a gemstone makes this list, you’ll really want to rethink your strategy before using it in an engagement ring. That’s not to say you couldn’t. Some of these stones are significantly less expensive than diamonds, so if they become damaged, they could easily be replaced.

A word of warning though — take extra care not to get sentimentally attached to the stone itself, since you might be forced to replace it someday. You could also opt to not wear the ring every day. Save it for special occasions and wear your wedding band instead. There are no engagement ring rules stating you have to wear your ring seven days a week, and who says you should only have one!

But, regardless, these gemstones will make the worst non-diamond engagement rings:

  1. Opal: Ranks 5.5 – 6.5 and is very susceptible to crazing and chipping.
  2. Moonstone: Ranks 6 – 6.5 with a polished cab surface that is easy to scratch.
  3. Pearl: Ranks 2.5 – 4.5 and has a nacre coating that can peel away.
  4. Emerald: Ranks 7.5 – 8 which is hard but this stone is very prone to cracking.
  5. Garnet: Ranks 6.5 – 7 and will easily show age around facet edges in time.

Best Engagement Ring Stones Other Than Diamonds:

All hope is not lost if you’re set on using a gemstone other than a diamond for your engagement ring. Even though most of these gemstones aren’t as durable as diamonds, they will stay in great shape for a lifetime as long as you take proper care of your jewelry.

Here are some of my favorite alternative engagement ring stones:

  1. Aquamarine: Ranks 7.5 – 8 and has a gorgeous pale blue color.
  2. Blue Sapphire: Ranks 9 with a classic, timeless appeal.
  3. Ruby: Ranks 9 and is perfect for a more feminine style.
  4. Morganite: Ranks 7.5 – 8, is pale with peach undertones.

There are so many other gemstones not listed here and other factors that affect durability, too. But this guide should at least get you started. Remember to always look up a gemstone’s hardness on the Mohs Scale. If it ranks below a 6, do a little more research and weigh your options. Good luck and happy hunting!

This post was contributed by:

Ageless Heirlooms Lauren Thomann | I: @agelessheirlooms | W: www.agelessheirlooms.com

Continue Gossip Gem

Continue Reading

The Ten Best Rings Currently For Sale at The Three Graces

The Three Graces | Gem Gossip The Three Graces | Gem Gossip The Three Graces | Gem Gossip The Three Graces | Gem Gossip The Three Graces | Gem Gossip The Three Graces | Gem Gossip The Three Graces | Gem Gossip The Three Graces | Gem Gossip The Three Graces | Gem Gossip

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

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

Emerald Art Deco Ring & Diamond Filigree Halo Ring

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

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

The Three Graces | Gem Gossip The Three Graces | Gem Gossip

Deco Rock Crystal Ring & Large Moonstone Sapphire Cluster Ring

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

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

The Three Graces | Gem Gossip The Three Graces | Gem Gossip

Antique Citrine Ring & Vintage Amethyst Halo Ring

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

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

The Three Graces | Gem Gossip The Three Graces | Gem Gossip

Bohemian Turquoise Ring & Bold Opal Cluster Ring

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

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

The Three Graces | Gem Gossip The Three Graces | Gem Gossip

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

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

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

The Three Graces | Gem Gossip The Three Graces | Gem Gossip

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

logo_onWhite-f6e85bd25186a421bde514574d2402d9

Follow on Facebook

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Pinterest

Follow on Instagram

Sign up for Newsletter

Thanks to Gossip Gem

Continue Reading

How to Clean Antique Jewelry: The Important Do’s & Don’ts

How to Clean Jewelry | Gem Gossip How to Clean Jewelry | Gem Gossip How to Clean Jewelry | Gem Gossip How to Clean Jewelry | Gem Gossip

For anyone that’s unfamiliar, antique jewelry is any piece of jewelry that is more than 100 years old. That’s a lot of years for dirt to collect under gemstones, metal to patina, and for grime to take away from the inherent beauty of the heirloom. It’s tempting to pick up a polishing cloth and buff away years of unwanted residue. But wait! Before you do that…

There is a right way and a wrong way to clean antique jewelry. We’ve compiled some basic do’s and don’ts you must know before you potentially ruin your investment.

*Remember, this is a general guide for fine antique jewelry. Some antique jewelry like cameos or hair jewelry require special care beyond what is listed here.

D O N ‘ T


1. Polish away patina on old rose or yellow gold jewelry

Patina is something that takes years to form. Some reproduction jewelry will actually try to fake this patina in order to make an item appear older than it is. For Georgian and Victorian jewelry, it’s important not to go overboard with polishing. You don’t want the yellow gold to be so light and shine like the day it was made.

Be careful if you’re having your rings resized by someone not familiar with antique jewelry. The tendency is to take rings to a high polish once the sizing is done. Advise them only to lightly polish the portion where the gold has been added or taken away on the bottom of the ring shank.

2. Use ultrasonic machines

There are times when it is okay to put antique jewelry into an ultrasonic machine for a very quick clean, and I mean quick. But to err on the side of caution, avoid using them altogether. If you have a platinum and diamond engagement ring from the 1920’s, an ultrasonic machine might be okay if the stones are tight and the prongs are in good shape. Most of the time though, the subtle but intense vibrations from these machines can do more harm than good.

3. Submerge jewelry for a long period

Liquid can be detrimental to some antique jewelry, especially jewelry with cameos, opals, seed pearls, or any other soft stone. For fragile jewelry, it’s best not to completely saturate the piece with liquid at all. Instead, lightly clean with a damp brush or cloth.

4. Clean with harsh chemicals like ammonia

The internet will often tell you how wonderful ammonia is for making your diamonds shine. This might work (in moderation) for new jewelry, but antique jewelry deserves a much gentler approach. Avoid harsh detergents, ammonia, and please never use household cleaners containing bleach!

D O


1. Make a gentle cleaning solution

Sometimes the best way to clean your antique jewelry is by making your own DIY cleaning solution. Most jewelry cleaners you find in the store will cost you a lot more money and may not even be as effective. They may even contain harsh chemicals.

To make your own solution, mix lukewarm water with a small amount of mild soap like Dove until it is sudsy. The key here is in the cleaning technique, not necessarily in the solution.

2. Use a soft toothbrush and lint free cloth

Once you make your solution, it’s time to clean your antique jewelry. You’ll either submerge the item for a few minutes to loosen grime, or if your item contains soft stones, you lightly dampen your toothbrush. Before you begin, make sure no stones are loose.

Then, gently brush your jewelry, paying attention to areas like underneath the stone and underneath the prongs. Use slow circular motions using only light pressure. If the piece is extremely dirty, don’t be tempted to use more pressure; instead, implement more patience. Submerge your jewelry into the solution again (if your jewelry can handle it) then gently repeat, repeat, repeat.

3. Make sure to rinse and dry thoroughly

You don’t want to give fragile jewelry a bath, but you want to be sure you remove any soap residue that might build up and defeat the whole purpose of cleaning your jewelry. Run the jewelry under lukewarm water and pat dry. For rings, take a polishing cloth and very lightly buff the shank, avoiding any area near stones or engravings. Let jewelry completely dry before putting it away.

4. Have the right expectations

Antique jewelry is never meant to look new. If this is your intention when cleaning jewelry, think again. Sure, you want to remove dirt, grime, bacteria, and all that other gross stuff. But you don’t want to take away years of character and patina. Is there a scratch in the gold? Leave it, don’t have it buffed away. Is the gold too dark for your liking? Consider a more modern replica like those from Arik Kastan instead.

How do you clean your antique jewelry? Any tips I missed? Let us know in the comments.

This post was contributed by:

Ageless Heirlooms Lauren Thomann | I: @agelessheirlooms | W: www.agelessheirlooms.com

Source: GossipGem.com

Continue Reading

Charm Your Mom for Mother’s Day with Arik Kastan

mothersday Arik Kastan Arik Kastan

Simple, sweet and very symbolic…our Sweetheart Padlock is such an ideal Mother’s Day gift. It is done in our signature 14k rose gold and set with a garnet.

Sweetheart Padlock Necklace, Price: $990

Arik Kastan

Let your mom know she has the key to your heart with our Victorian Key pendant. One of our favorites to layer and makes the perfect gift!

Victorian Key pendant, Price: $920

Arik Kastan

Showing off our new Deco Rhombus pendant just in time for Mother’s Day! Does she love rubies and sapphires? Who doesn’t?! Show your mom how precious she is to you with this Deco-inspired piece.

Deco Rhombus pendant, Price: $1,210

Arik Kastan

For the mom who likes to make more of a statement we’ve got you covered! Our Stained Glass Windows Padlockis the perfect piece. You can’t go wrong with our bright and shimmery moonstones accented by pops of opals.

Stained Glass Windows Padlock, Price: $2,310

Arik Kastan

Our Hexagon Flower Padlock will surely charm mom on her special day. We have a few different gemstone combinations and one of our favorites is the amethyst and ruby, as seen here. We’ve got three words for you: Add to cart.

Hexagon Flower Padlock, Price: $1,740

Arik Kastan

Keep your mom protected with the Evil Eye pendant necklace. It can be her lucky charm! Set with colorful opals and a bright green emerald.

Evil Eye pendant necklace, Price: $1,840

Arik Kastan

It’s our Hexagon Flower Padlock in another one of our favorite gemstone combinations–sapphire in the center and emeralds surrounding it! With a little more edge, the padlock is sure to turn heads and make your mom fee like the special person that she is!

Hexagon Flower Padlock, Price: $1,740

ArikKastan button

Don’t miss another Arik Kastan Newsletter!

* indicates required

Continue Gossip Gem

Continue Reading

Reawaken Your Spring Jewelry Wardrobe with Arik Kastan

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip Arik Kastan

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

Inspired by one of Arik Kastan’s favorite kinds of flowers, the Sunflower ring will brighten your day and your finger! Each petal is adorned with an opal because the designer is all about the details!

Sunflower ring, Price: $1,300

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

Feels like instant spring when you add these flower blossom studs to your earlobes. My pick for this season–get them in moonstones! You’ll thank me later!

Blossom stud earrings, Price: $924

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

If I had to pick a favorite, I’d say I’m just a little obsessed with the newest design–the Lunar ring! Arik Kastan hand-selected the opals and moonstones so it appears as if the phases of the moon are displayed.

Lunar ring, Price: $1,590

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

Dreamy in every sense, the Ring Around the Moon padlock necklace features an iridescent moonstone surrounded by emeralds. You better have this on lock for spring!

Ring Around the Moon padlock necklace, Price: $3,180

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

The Double Gypsy Cigar band will be your statement piece for spring! It is bold enough to wear on its own and versatile enough to go with just about anything.

Double Gypsy Cigar Band ring, Price: $2,290

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

If you want to add one piece to your neck game for spring, let me suggest the gorgeous Evil Eye pendant necklace. It is easy to layer, goes with everything, and is totally unique! The power of protection never looked so good!

Evil Eye pendant necklace, Price: $1,840

ArikKastan button arikkastan

Don’t miss another Arik Kastan Newsletter!

* indicates required

Source: GossipGem.com

Continue Reading

Alex Cooper Has An Upcoming Auction You Won’t Want to Miss!

Alex Cooper Auction sapphire-wings-ring pendant-earrings Lot 30 Alex Cooper Auction Lot 43 Alex Cooper Auction Lot 43 Alex Cooper Auction Lot 46 Alex Cooper Auction Lot 47 Alex Cooper Auction Lot 47 Alex Cooper Auction Lot 60 Alex Cooper Auction Lot 78 Alex Cooper Auction Lot 86 Alex Cooper Auction Lot 93 Alex Cooper Auction Lot 114 Alex Cooper Auction Lot 119 Alex Cooper Auction

Alex Cooper is one of my favorite auction houses to keep up with, as I’m constantly checking their auction calendar in hopes of their catalog going live. Good news–I’m here to alert you to an upcoming auction and my favorite picks so you don’t have to be clueless! Alex Cooper has their spring Gallery Sale set for April 6th & 8th, 2017 with nearly 200 lots of fine jewelry, spanning all eras and styles. All jewelry lots are scheduled for an April 6th sale date and I’ve got the lowdown on all my top picks, featured above.

I hope you make certain to register to bid–you can bid online via Alex Cooper or on LiveAuctioneers.com

Lot 30: I’ve been seeing a lot of these dress clips that are truly gorgeous and over-the-top resurfacing. I feel like they are having their second wind, as I’ve seen them reimagined, styled in different ways never before seen. This one is an example of one of the prettiest I’ve seen–done in platinum, diamonds and sapphires. If you look closely, there are bullet-shaped and half-moon diamonds, making it truly special. Estimate: $1,000-1,500

Lot 43: A ring so enchanting it needs both views shown! I love this enamel dream–set with old European cut diamonds and bright blue enamel–it carries itself with its bold look. It is done in 14k yellow gold and currently a size 7 1/4. I can picture this styled with so many different looks; a fashionista’s fantasy. Estimate: $700-900

Lot 46: This brooch caught my eye because of the calibre cut aquamarine that is set in it, along with the diamonds. This piece is really unique and I love a few things about it–one being the size of it (2.5 inches in length, not too big or too small), two being the color combo (light blue of the aquamarine and the white of the diamonds), and three being that it is a brooch (can be incorporated into your wardrobe in so many ways). Just pin and go! Estimate: $700-900

Lot 47: I said “omg” upon seeing this circular medallion pendant! Not only do I love a good medallion, but the subject being an Egyptian pharaoh has won me over. On top of all that, the details are all colorfully enameled with white, blue, red and green. And I felt it was totally necessary to show off the back with the extra photo because it is THAT good. Look at that winged goddess on the back, such a cool design. Estimate: $1,000-1,500

Lot 60: One of my most favorite purchases last year was a solid gold wire choker. It was something that gets A LOT of wear, almost daily. I love it because it is so versatile (I can wear it alone, layered, add a pendant to it…) and totally on trend. These two gold wire necklaces up for auction are both 14k gold and I love the groove in the center, ready for pendants or enhancers to be added. Estimate: $500-700

Lot 78: I picked these 14k white gold diamond snowflake dangle earrings because I have a very similar pair of stud earrings which I love. These immediately transport me to a pretty wintertime setting, with snowflakes falling and holiday happiness. These earrings feature two carats total of diamonds. Estimate: $300-500

Lot 86: As many of you know, I have a special place in my heart for bypass rings. This one is pretty unique–with the crossover design and including a swirl of diamonds intertwined. The two main diamonds weigh approximately 0.78 carats and 0.82 carats. Estimate: $3,000-3,500

Lot 93: With the rarity of these pairs of wedding bracelets getting tougher and tougher to find, this makes lot 93 that much better. You’ve got an immaculate pair of wedding bracelets and both are present. I love the buckle motif of these gold plated bracelets and the best part is the black enamel details! Estimate: $200-400

Lot 114: I love lots like these where you get a few rings, not just one! They often complement each other so whomever wins the lot already has a ring stack ready to be worn! This particular lot features a tiger’s eye ring, a Victorian pearl ring and a lemon quartz ring. What a great grouping! Estimate: $80-200

Lot 119: Lastly, this cameo and intaglio pair stood out to me–a Grecian beauty and fair maiden! Just as a cameo is the opposite of an intaglio, these two couldn’t be anymore different. I love the juxtaposition between them. The black onyx intaglio is done in 9k gold and the cameo is 14k gold. Estimate: $100-300

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Alex Cooper Auctions.

Logo-2015

Want more? Learn how to bid online at auction by reading my top five tips!

Continue Gossip Gem

Continue Reading

An Alternative Engagement Ring + Custom Top Notch Faceting Sapphire

Gem Gossip | Top Notch Faceting Gem Gossip | Top Notch Faceting Gem Gossip | Top Notch Faceting Gem Gossip | Top Notch Faceting

Back in July of last year I alerted my readers to my search for an alternative, more “user-friendly” engagement ring for everyday wear. I also penned a “Rules of Engagement” blog post which generated a lot of feedback and I enjoyed hearing everyone’s take on something that is often not talked about. If you haven’t read the blog post–I totally encourage you!

Well since then, I’ve been on the hunt for a genuine sapphire to replace the synthetic one that was in this antique cluster ring from Maejean Vintage. Sometimes when hunting for jewelry, you have to keep in mind that if the piece is not exactly “perfect” to you, there’s always ways of changing out gemstones, or re-enameling a piece that has heavy enamel damage, or resetting the design to make it more appealing. You have to train your eye to envision a piece of jewelry reimagined.

Finding a sapphire was tougher than I thought! Browsing online proved tough because I knew I had to be able to see the gemstone in person to judge if it was the right color blue that I wanted. I realized the best place to find something would most likely be in Tucson at the annual gem shows. I was ready to make it one of my projects while in Tucson a few months ago. At that point I realized I was going to have to buy a stone and get it recut so it would properly fit. I kept finding sapphires I really loved the colors of but hated to think of spending so much money on a larger stone that would just need cutting down. I figured my best bet would be to buy a more affordable price per carat sapphire, and hopefully once recut, it would look better than the lower price point that it truly is/was.

That goal was sort of lofty but I knew Jean-Noel of Top Notch Faceting could turn my ordinary stone into something magical. After some Top Notch Faceting, the once dark blue sapphire opened up and now has a brighter, more brilliant shine and sparkle. The blue lightened up a bit, but still has its velvety color which is what I wanted from the very beginning. I love that the stone is not a cookie-cutter cut–it has its own unique shape and style that Jean-Noel is known for and makes the stone and now ring that much more special.

I’m so happy with how this ring came out and it is truly a testament to having patience and making sure every step of the creation process is exactly what you want. Settling for something less than what you are envisioning just because it would be quicker is not always the answer. I’m also loving the fact that this ring will become important in my jewelry wardrobe and it is from some of my favorite people in the jewelry industry–Maejean Vintage & Top Notch Faceting.

Let me know your thoughts on the ring! Would love to hear!

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? Check out what else is in my jewel box!

More GGem

Continue Reading

Jewelry Marketing 101: What’s NOT Working

Gem Gossip

So you’re the creative type…or the type that has a unique eye. You’re a jewelry designer, an antique jewelry seller, or someone that has jewelry ready to sell. Jewelry marketing is a whole different realm of what most would consider typical jewelry business tasks. It is something I never thought I would be able to give my opinion on, but I can because I’ve lived it and found myself in this sector of the business more than I realized. I’m trying to break down my tips into simple steps anyone can take, whether you’re a veteran in this business and want to try something new or if you just graduated from a trade school with a jewelry collection on the horizon. So here is my list of ways you can market your brand or your jewelry line, with an emphasis on things that also DON’T work!

1. Photography is everything! Invest in a good camera or better yet, someone that is a photographer with jewelry or product photography as their specialty. If you ask anyone, they will tell you–jewelry is so hard to photograph! And they’re right.

Good photos may be a key aspect to showing off jewelry and that isn’t groundbreaking news. But what I’m about to say next might be: don’t use photos that are highly photoshopped or unrealistic. As a consumer, we want to see the actual piece of jewelry in a real setting–make it relatable, attainable. I don’t want to see an overphotoshopped model wearing jewelry in a posed setting with a fake smile. I want to see real women wearing jewelry in their everyday lives. Editorial shoots are cool, but just don’t overphotoshop.

Gem Gossip

2. Social media platforms are SO important. Set yours up to look professional, concise and engaging. You want someone to look at your page and become interested. Grab their attention. Something that is quite popular right now is having a condensed, clean look that all flows together. Basically, a uniform and on-brand look. Every picture fits with your brand and is professionally executed.

This sounds all good, but I’m actually going to tell you the opposite. I like when jewelry brands mix things up, keep me on my toes and post photos that are off-the-cusp. Keep me INTERESTED. Uniform branding is often BORING. For example, here’s what not to do: first post is a high res image of a ring, next photo is a quote, next photo is the jewelry worn on a model, next image is a bunch of flowers, and then it repeats without missing a step. Nothing random ever thrown in the mix. Don’t do that!

I’ve asked Brooke of Arrow & Anchor Antiques, which boasts nearly 18k followers on Instagram with only 550 posts ever, what her opinion on the matter is…she says,“I am hesitant to have a uniform branding for my company. My aesthetic is my brand and it’s all over the place. I dig that. It may not appeal to the masses, but is that really my target audience? I’m selling one-of-a-kind vintage and antique pieces that might be better sold in an intimate setting like a trunk show or private sale.”

Continue Reading