Jewelry Collection Stories: Emily of @GemCircus

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We are kicking off July with an incredible jewelry collection story from Emily, also known as @GemCircus. If you’re a part of the jewelry Instagram community, you’ll easily recognize some of the jaw-dropping pieces in Emily’s personal collection. From the way she styles her necklace layers, to ring stacks, arm parties, and everything in between, we love her taste and enthusiasm for antique jewelry. I’m so excited she has agreed to share her story with us, so let’s sit back and enjoy:

My love for vintage and antique collecting started when I was a teenager, after my family moved to Vancouver, Canada, from Hong Kong in the early 1990s. I remember it was July when we arrived and I would walk to the nearby library every other day to borrow books to read (our container didn’t arrive almost a month later so all I have in my room were merely a bed, a built-in closet and my backpack). I started to notice our neighbours’ garage sales in my walks and I was amused at the things people were selling – from snow cone machines to music records, jewelry to stuff toys. That summer of looking through other people’s belongings and engaging in rapports gave me a sense of belonging and connection to the community. Ever since then I have become a frequent visitor to community flea markets, thrift shops and antique shows.

My jewelry obsession started around early twenties with vintage jewelry, in particular charms and silver filigree bracelets. I love to style them on mixed metal chains and I still love styling them now.

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I wasn’t picky and didn’t have a favourite period at that time so I usually picked up quirky little things like brooches, pins, jewel “plaques” (which I found out they were called “clasps” later) etc. Even though my collecting seemed to be random at that time, I was already drawn to jewelry that have motifs, like this brass crescent with hand and arrow and the clasped hand ring that I found in a thrift store. Looking back, I believe my love for antique sentimental jewelry originates from this pair!

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A lot of my Instagram followers already knew that I adore Georgian and Victorian sentimental and mourning jewelry, as well as portrait jewelry. This probably relates to my “innate sensitiveness” (as Carl Jung coined it) and the way I see jewelry as not merely an adornment but also a medium for expression, an art, an identity of who we are.

After I started reading books on lover’s eye, portrait miniature and mourning jewelry, I became obsessed with researching stories behind the jewelry that I collect. I realized that the brass crescent and the hand motif ring are not ‘funky little things’ as I thought in my teenage days, they actually carry specific meanings – love, new relationship and friendship – in the Victorian era. As my jewelry collection matures over time, I began to search for jewelry with motifs or meanings, like the urn, masquerade (masked lady), hand (figa, clasped hand, claddagh), heart (double-heart, flaming heart), star and crescent, buckle, swallow, snake, fern, acoutistic (“REGARD” and “DEAREST”) and Halley’s comet etc.

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I like to think that every piece of antique jewelry carries its own story of those before us, and I’m a custodian carrying on its legacy while creating my story with my collection. I love styling and always try to mix and match, experiment with different stacking and mixed metal, and do simple conversions to make every piece wearable. You can see from my Instagram photos that I’ve worn a big opal crescent brooch with another monkey brooch in the middle, stacked seven Art Deco wedding bands to make a statement ring, wrapped my wrist with antique chains and added a micromosaic brooch on top, stacked an Art Deco paste bracelet with a Hermes red enamel bangle, wore brooches on hats, and layered antique gold chains with watch chains. The fun is endless!

I shop everywhere but recently it’s largely online as there aren’t any antique jewelry shops in Hong Kong. I love the Instagram community as I’ve met so many wonderful souls (many of whom have become friends for life) around the world that share my obsession in antique jewelry. I always visit antique and jewelry shops when I travel too. It has been a tradition to bring back a piece of jewelry from each city that I visit.

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One of my obsession is Georgian masquerade jewelry: masked lady ring with ruby bonnet and rose cut diamonds from @karendeakin.antiques ; locket from @abrandtandson and the most recently acquired oval ring from @bijouxvictim

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Ring stacking is a daily essential for me: Georgian blue enamel rose cut diamond urn ring from @lenoredailey ; the moonstone on the mourning ring was a gift from my jeweler in Vancouver (he has kept it for 40 years!) and it fits perfectly on the bezel of the once empty mourning ring; flat cut garnet band from @antiqueanimaljewelry

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Mourning rings and figas: these enamel mourning rings are too big to wear so I usually wear them on gold chains as pendants. The twin coral figas were acquired from different continents yet they look so much alike. The one with emerald and diamonds was found in a UK auction and the one with seed pearl top was found in an antique show in Vancouver.

xoxoGemGossip

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You can follow Emily –> @GemCircus

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Jewels at my Doorstep: Alexis Kletjian Jewelry

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All the April showers have rained down on us all month long and I’m here waiting for the May flowers, which will hopefully be worth the wait! Spring is one of my most favorite times of the year; a time of rebirth, growth, freshness and strength. What better way than to capture all that in our latest Jewels at my Doorstep shoot because it is so fitting with the designer being featured–Alexis Kletjian. Her jewelry is created and designed with the intention of being a part of your every day wardrobe, being passed down, and becoming a part of your legacy. The word legacy is very important to Alexis–it is a word she often thinks of when celebrating milestones, both in life and online. Celebration often goes hand-in-hand with giving/receiving jewelry, and it is exactly that idea which Alexis feels her jewelry line lends itself perfectly with. She also celebrates online anytime her social media platforms hit a special milestone and she gives back by drawing names from anyone who has emailed her with their legacy story! Winner receives $1000 good toward a piece from the Alexis Kletjian collections.

A milestone like a birthday, anniversary or holiday are all ideal moments to share a piece of Alexis Kletjian jewelry–a shield pendant, a hexagon band, or any of her initial charms–there are so many great pieces. I was really excited to see her jewels, as I haven’t seen them in awhile. I also got to experience some never-before-seen pieces she has been busy cooking up! Like the emerald and diamond crossover ring and the opal lotus star pendant with one-of-a-kind boulder opals. Definitely some of my favorite pieces! We can’t forget the Retiarii earrings because those need their own special introduction. Glamorous, sleek and bold–shining bright with diamonds set in the “netting” of the design (a retiarii is an ancient gladiator net used to protect oneself in battle) and dangling with two specially cut chrysoberyls by Top Notch Faceting. These earrings can be customized, as Alexis also makes them in all gold, all diamonds, or all diamonds + moonstone. The bangles were beyond belief, as they came done in 18k gold with three different eternity style gemstone varieties: demantoid garnet, chrome diopside, and tanzanite. Lastly, we must discuss my obsession with these “crystal ball” looking rings because when I look into them, I can see my future. They are actually prehnite cabochons and although you might not have ever heard of that stone before, get familiar! Alexis just put it on the map.

Our shoot was set on a glorious spring morning in Nashville; our location being Belmont University–one of the prettiest schools I’ve ever been to. They are known for their lavish gardens, with over 14,000 tulips (imported from the Netherlands), and over 100 species of trees and shrubs. Efforts have been put in place to keep the campus classified as a tree sanctuary. The photos were shot by Lauren Newman Photography and we used as much of the gardens, plants, trees and flowers as possible in all the shots. We hope you enjoy!

Earrings:

18k yellow gold Retiarii earrings set with diamonds and dangling chrysoberyls cut by TopNotch Faceting

18k yellow gold mini star stud earrings set with diamonds

Bracelets:

18k yellow gold Oscar bangle set with demantoid garnets

18k yellow gold Oscar bangle set with chrome diopside

18k yellow gold Oscar bangle set with tanzanite

Necklaces:

14k yellow gold Lotus shield pendant set with tanzanite and diamonds

14k yellow gold Lucky star shield pendant set with an emerald

18k yellow gold Lotus star pendant set with boulder opals

Rings:

18k yellow gold prehnite cabochon signet rings, in two different sizes

14k yellow gold mini hexagon bands, one in emerald and one in diamonds

14k yellow gold hexagon bands, one in demantoid garnet and one in diamonds

14k yellow gold emerald and diamond crossover ring

Shop Now:

online at alexiskletjian.com OR email [email protected]

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This sponsored post was brought to you in collaboration with Alexis Kletjian Jewelry.

Alexis Kletjian Jewelry

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Just in Time for Easter: Fabergé Eggs from A La Vieille Russie

ALVR | Faberge

Miniature white enamel egg set with a red enamel coin of Elizabeth I and four cushion-cut sapphires. By Fabergé, ca. 1895.

ALVR | Faberge

Miniature egg with white enamel stripes and set with a turquoise. By Fabergé , workmaster A. Hollming, ca. 1900.

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A jouré yellow and green gold egg, punctuated with rose diamonds around the center. By Fabergé , workmaster A. Hollming, ca. 1900.

ALVR | Faberge

A two-color gold-mounted egg-form aventurine quartz hand seal on brilliant translucent green enamel base. By Faberge, St. Petersburg, ca. 1900.

Legendary Fabergé eggs–eggs so popular, that almost everyone knows what you’re talking about when you mention their name. For me, these were my first obsession above all other types of jewelry. I remember going to my local public library and wanting to check out a book on making crafts out of egg cartons–I saw the recommendation on Reading Rainbow! Instead, I found my way to a book on Fabergé eggs and was infatuated. In fact, for the first time in my life, I loved the book so much I never returned it. I didn’t care it was wrong because this book lit up my life! My second run in with Fabergé eggs happened when I was in high school. I became obsessed with watching Joan Rivers on QVC and admired her love of Fabergé eggs. Back then, she had created her own jewelry line with bundles of three eggs per chain of her own miniature versions of “Fabergé eggs.” I ordered my first trio of eggs and was hooked. I can’t remember how many I collected over the next few years, but after graduating college, I was able to pay for my trip to study abroad from selling my Joan Rivers Egg Collection. It was quite a few. I honestly wish I still had those eggs, but I wouldn’t trade my overseas experience for anything!

It is no myth that Fabergé eggs are enchanting, often mysterious, and full of intrigue. If you were married to a Russian tsar, the ideal Easter gift would be a Fabergé egg designed by none other than Carl Fabergé himself. The first ever Fabergé egg was made in 1885 and presented to Alexander III. Since then, it varies as to how many are apparently out there, but some sources say 65 Imperial eggs were made, some say 50, some say 52, but it is known that only 43 have survived–there is a really comprehensive table that describes each, citing where the egg is now. A few are cited as “Lost” and it is with lots of hope that they will be recovered someday.

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Circular aquamarine and diamond Imperial Presentation brooch with an Imperial crown decoration. By Fabergé, workmaster A. Hollming, St. Petersburg, ca. 1913.

Natural pearl and diamond floral brooch with blue enamel border. By Fabergé, Moscow, 1896-1908.

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Diamond and green garnet necklace mounted in platinum. By Fabergé, ca. 1900.

Natural pearl ruby and diamond necklace set in platinum and gold. By Fabergé, ca.1900.

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Fabergé gold-mounted lozenge-form brooch, set with diamonds and red enamel wreath over white guilloché enamel ground. By Fabergé, St. Petersburg, ca 1890.

Lozenge brooch with a central cabochon moonstone, set with rose diamonds, and white enamel. By Fabergé, workmaster A. Hollming, St. Petersburg, ca. 1900.

Fabergé eggs created for the general public, not just zsars, continued being the company’s most popular pieces. In the year 1900, the House of Fabergé was completed which literally was a large building which centralized all the operations–bringing together workshops, artisans, a design department, even Carl Fabergé’s own place of residence, in one large building. Throughout the turn-of-the-century, Fabergé turned out elaborate pieces of jewelry, decorative drinking cups and bowls, items for writing, miniature hardstone animals, a wide variety of photo frames (as Kodak launched its first camera), and much, much more. He employed hundreds of craftsmen under conditions that were very superior, with great pay. As success continued, expansion happened, until the first World War broke out in 1914. The House of Fabergé lost a lot of workers to the draft, precious metals were haulted to use, so the items that were produced during this time were created from materials like copper, nephrite, brass, and silver. Carl Fabergé ultimately fled Russia and died in 1920.

Many of the pieces of jewlery and decorative arts which Fabergé created during its height of success are highly collectible. A La Vieille Russie, a shop in NYC, has specialized in Fabergé since opening in 1961. You’ll be amazed by these authentic, one-of-a-kind Fabergé items, including some eggs that ALVR currently has in their inventory. If you haven’t read the blog post featuring my visit to ALVR, you must! Here is the link.

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White enamel and two-color gold hanging bellpush. Contained in original fitted hollywood box. By Fabergé, St. Petersburg, workmaster H. Wigström, ca. 1915.

Carved two-color jasper miniature egg in the form of a Kingfisher with diamond eyes. By Fabergé, Moscow, ca. 1900.

Gold-mounted brilliant pink guilloché enamel egg-form pendant locket, the opening set with rose diamonds. By Fabergé, workmaster M. Perchin. St. Petersburg, ca. 1895.

Anyway, I thought the quick history on Fabergé paired with some pieces that are available would make my readers very happy on Easter! Hope you enjoyed!

Works Cited:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fabergé_egg

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts app called Fabergé at VMFA

This sponsored blog post was brought to you in collaboration with A La Vieille Russie.

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SHOW ME YOUR RINGS! XC

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from top to bottom:

jhadleyjewelry and her amazing one-finger wonder, the mani is everything too

lynn_ban shows how color can be powerful and so is the phrase “more is more”

jessicamccormackdiamonds gets in the spirit of Valentine’s Day with rubies

amygreggjewelry sets free form opals and bold gems into her amazing designs

roseark combining several designers–Selin Kent, Christina Magdolna Jewelry, Amy Gregg & Queen Vee

lfrankjewelry does a good triple stone and of course major cluster

diamondsinthelibrary found another twinned heart ring at the Miami Antique Show but didn’t buy it

luckandlockets has the blues in the best way possible–Georgian blues

oldgoldobsession has an amazing collection of portrait miniatures–the furthest on the right is from the Miami show

Source: GossipGem.com

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Jewelry Collection Stories: Leslie of @PinkPirahnah

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This month’s Jewelry Collection Story comes from someone I’ve actually met in person, which doesn’t happen too often since so many people from our lovely Instagram community are from all parts of the world. Leslie came to the GIA Alumni meeting when I spoke in DC last summer and I recognized her right away because of the opal ring she was wearing! Funny how sometimes that happens. It has been fun getting to know her on Instagram and am so excited she agreed to share her personal collection story with us–take it away Leslie:

“I am a total museum junky by nature and my love for classical art and history runs deep. However, jewelry as art was not on my radar until about 12 years ago when I found my first vintage piece, the pretzel ring. Yes, I had a few token pieces of mall jewelry but I never really thought there was much substance to jewelry until I discovered the vintage and antique world. A golden pretzel with diamond salt appealed to my sense of humor and art. It was also meaningful to me as a Speech Pathologist working with my special needs children on requesting items, one of those items was actually pretzels! I can’t tell you how many kiddos have actually tried to lick it over the years! This one ring started an obsession but also introduced me to my friend Lara from Icon Style in NYC. I learned so much from her over the next few years and with her help I really grew my collection and love for all eras.

My current collection includes Victorian, Edwardian, Art Nouveau. Art Deco, Vintage and a few Georgian pieces. I don’t necessarily have a preferred era but I think the biggest appeal of antique and vintage jewelry is how unique and detailed the pieces can be. Color is a big factor for me but most importantly I like quirk. If it’s funny or unique, I have to have it! I love to mix and match eras and pile it on pretty thick. Certainly, no one would accuse me of neglecting my jewelry.

One thing I wear every day is obviously my Art Deco engagement ring. I had always assumed I would get a Victorian cluster ring but when I tried this piece on I fell hard for its lively black opal.

The one motif that I am magnetically drawn to is snakes. I can spot a serpent in a jewelry case like a shark scenting blood in the water. In fact, I found my tiny snake earrings despite their purposely discreet location in my friend’s display case. In the histories of various civilizations, snakes have come to symbolize many ideas but my favorite is that of eternal love. Symbolism aside, snakes have the unique visual impact that I find hard to resist.

Charms are another obsession I have. I try to limit myself but I just love some of the funny and super detailed pieces you can find. My favorite charm is my vintage gold ghost. He is perfectly crafted and has the most beautiful brown marquise diamond eyes that peek from behind his sheet.

Another style of jewelry I desperately love is Art Deco era “pools of light.” Layering these rock crystal orbs is addictive but also causes some serious neck strain. I have several pieces but the most interesting one is a rock crystal orb the size of a jaw breaker. It is completely encased in an open silver work shell depicting bunnies paddling in canoes.

Rings are my go-to to buy and again I don’t discriminate. I collect a variety of stones, styles, and metals. One thing I don’t like to do is size my rings. I have a few exceptions but in general I try not to alter the finger bling that comes into my collection. If one is too big I simply stack it with gold bands to adjust the fit.

When I was first collecting I would shop at Icon Style in NYC and I would go to all the big NYC shows religiously. Having relocated to the DMV area I have had more opportunities to go to antiquing in rural areas but also go to the bigger shows like the DC flea and the Baltimore Antique Show. I don’t shop online much but I have found several lovely pieces through the Instagram community.”

xoxoGemGossip

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Jewels at my Doorstep: MATEO New York

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Let’s Face It: Face Jewelry is All the Rage!

Anthony Lent Jewelry Face Jewelry | Gem Gossip

If someone says to you, “face jewelry is my latest obsession,” you might think they mean those decals and metal parts hanging from eyebrows and on foreheads a la Givenchy and their Fall 2015 runway looks. Or you might think they mean cameo jewelry. I’m actually talking about new, designer jewelry that depicts faces as a main design motif. For one reason or another, I’ve always been drawn to faces in jewelry–whether they are beautiful, scary, happy or horrified…or all the above, like Anthony Lent’s Emotions eternity band. As of recently, I realized that there are quite a few “face jewelry” superstars on today’s market. I wanted to collect several here and display them within this blog post, but most importantly–I want to get your feedback on face jewelry. Do you like it? Which piece is your favorite? And do you know of any others (I KNOW I’m missing some)?

King of faces (and hands, and butts, and lips…) Anthony Lent’s moonfaces are a jolly kind of face jewelry. This photo depicts the assortment of sizes, styles and options that his iconic sculpted design is available in.

Clockwise, starting at the top:

Peculiar pendants by Fraser Hamilton which combine the abstractness of the face with the style of his work–totally love them

Hannah Blount created this Lioness diamond lady ring using white and gray diamonds–this piece was inspired by Art Nouveau cameos and is handmade by Hannah in her Boston studio

My newest discovery–Rush Jewelry Design–does this awesome face pendant done in 18k yellow gold, called the Beast of Burden

I instantly became obsessed with this necklace by Amsterdam Sauer, a Brazilian jewelry company founded in the 1940s. This piece is a part of their Tribes Collection, along with a few other face jewels.

Lady of the Cosmos earrings by Cleopatra’s Bling will totally brighten anyone’s day! I love this design–the faces are almost cartoony but I wouldn’t put them in the same category as emoji jewelry. This is a new level!

Of course, as mentioned in the beginning paragraph, the Emotions ring by Anthony Lent will amaze you and yes, you’re seeing multiple emotions in one ring. And notice that the faces share eyes…now wrap that around your brain and try to reflect of what this ring could possibly symbolize!

Another piece by Hannah Blount, this one more well-known–her signature Grey Lady ring done in yellow gold, which comes in three different sizes, little, medium, big!

Last but not least, in the middle hangs a quirky little pendant, tribal mask dude slurping up some diamond drool. Probably the best thing you’ll see all year. This cool design is by dmdmetal!

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Weekday Wardrobe: 5 Ring Stacks + Necklace Layer Look

Weekday Wardrobe | Gem Gossip

You didn’t think I forgot about the Weekday Wardrobe posts, did you?! Well, to be honest, I almost did. Promise I’ll start being better about rounding up my weekly looks and putting them into blog posts. This month’s ring stacks and jewelry looks have been fun, mixing and matching new finds and playing around more with charms and necklaces. I’m addicted to my black velvet choker and realized how much more chic it can make any necklace look when paired with it! Above, I’m wearing mine with my Starling Jewelry emerald necklace called the Colette Pave necklace. This cutie is so simple and perfect to wear every day. I like the craftsmanship of the piece–it is made really well and the chain is Italian. Emeralds are becoming my obsession. My longer chain holds my sentimental and favorite charms–my two Fox & Bond Minis, representing our wedding day and 1st year of marriage, and my Jean Jean Vintage Cachet Charm, which I’ve developed a habit for holding onto whenever I’m nervous.

Below you’ll find five different ring stacks I’ve worn this week, let’s start with Day One!

Weekday Wardrobe | Gem Gossip

Day One:

14k gold antique thick band, favorite pinky ring, found on eBay

Onyx two-tone gold filigree ring, a Christmas present to myself last year, from Sunday & Sunday Antiques

Garnet and diamond with blue enamel “comet” ring, from Skinner Auctions

10k gold and glass ring that used to be my Gram’s wedding ring

Weekday Wardrobe | Gem Gossip

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12 of My Latest Obsessions + Tips on How To Stay Focused

Gem Gossip Obsessions

1. My diamond collection: diamonds make me happy and so does my collection of antique elongated rings. Just looking at these brings me joy and satisfaction–I see hard work, long hours and lots of dedication. I love my new antique ring box given to me by Sarah of Sarah’s Vintage & Estate Jewelry from my latest #JewelryRoadTrip adventure.

Gem Gossip Obsessions

2. Luckily for me, my office (where I sit and complete almost every single blog post) is incredibly inspiring to me. My walls are filled with treasures I’ve collected over the years–like these gold frames. I’ve turned an entire wall into a gallery wall which houses them. The other walls feature a gallery of gold mirrors, book shelves filled with jewelry books, and the last and final wall is in the works. Can’t wait to reveal that one soon!

Gem Gossip Obsessions

3. Speaking of jewelry books, they are definitely an obsession. I’ve been loving my latest favorite–Wartski: The First 150 Years by Geoffrey Munn, given to me by Mr. Munn himself. I pinch myself sometimes reminiscing about visiting that store in London back in 2014. You can read the blog post from that visit here and you can order the book here.

Gem Gossip Obsessions

4. My crystal point collection makes me happy as it is eye-catching in every way possible. It is one of my newest collections, so watching it grow has been fun– it has been slow but steady. My first ones I ever got came from my trip to Raleigh when I went to a local gem show that happened to fall on the same day I was making an in-store appearance at Bailey’s Fine Jewelry. Such a special memory.

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Gem Gossip Visits Shamila Fine Jewelry in Seattle, WA

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While a majority of my Seattle #JewelryRoadTrip was spent in the downtown area of Seattle, I was able to change the scene up a bit with my next visit. Shamila Fine Jewelry has called Seattle home for several years, with a private design studio tucked away in Fremont–an artsy district, where the views are captivating and the inspiration is flowing. For Shamlia, her extensive travels and worldwide thinking have shaped her collections and it is no surprise that she has clients that live all over the globe. Her customers end up being collectors and obsessed with her pieces, with the first purchase never being the last! I’ve met Shamila at tradeshows in the past but had only seen a couple pieces of her work at a time – she always wears her gold stacking rings or a cocktail rutilated quartz ring. I was so excited to not only get the chance to see her collection in its entirety, but to also catch up for more than just a few minutes with this warm-hearted soul. She is one of those types of people that you want to be around, with a contagious positive spirit!

Shamila’s background is quite interesting, she was born and raised in Tanzania, then moved to Canada as a teenager where she had the opportunity to live in both Toronto and in Vancouver, and has since called Seattle home. This however, was not before spending an exciting year living in the West Indies, where a work assignment with the UN and the WHO sent her to the Island where wonders never cease – St.Lucia! She has lived in many parts of the world, as she describes herself as “comfortable out of her comfort zone.” Her studies brought her to the University of British Columbia in Vancouver BC, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology and International Affairs. In 2009 she apprenticed for many weeks in Instanbul where she learned from the best. Seattle has been a great place to call home for Shamila, as an easy gateway for her jetset life, ideal food destination for her foodie habit, and the weather pairs perfectly with her obsession with shirt dresses!

For Shamila, designing jewelry began as a hobby about 14 years ago when she first moved to Seattle. It started off with beads from a local bead store and when that didn’t satisfy her, she began looking for bigger and better. Shamila’s drive lead her to seek out rare stones, like specially Labradorite from Madagascar. Her hobby continually grew and brought her more and more happiness than she ever thought. Keyword here is hobby, so still this wasn’t a full-time thing for her. Alas, she was at a crossroads where many passionate people find themselves—choosing what you love vs. being realistic and sticking with her day job, she vividly remembers what made her decide to put everything on the line with jewelry. She says that choosing jewelry would be, “A career that would allow me to travel the world, to find beauty in the often overlooked, to make deep and lasting connections with those I worked with, while being able to give back on many different levels.” That was it—she was choosing jewelry, and yes, this decision came right at the brink of the recession. But she was ready for the challenge and it was the best decision she has ever made.

Inspiration abounds for Shamila when designing jewelry. She says, “When I am designing pieces I am thinking about who is going to wear them, sometimes the clients are such muses, especially when they are collectors, you get to know what they love and like. Quality is of utmost importance. I like to offer luxury in the details. The weight of the piece, the curvature of the shank, the subtle polish of the metal, the way the stones are cut, and how the light reflects off of them.” Design ideas pop into her head frequently, without warning. Travel is a huge inspiration, although there is a time and a place for these ideas. There is an art to holding onto inspirations and releasing them when they are ready. I think Shamila has mastered this, especially when she says, “Creating is not linear to me. It is like a careful yet chaotic orbit of paths; I just do what feels right for the stone and for the experience I am having at that point in my life.” All her designs are proudly handmade in Seattle. Having everything created locally is extremely important to Shamila and her objective, as well as keeping everything as ethically sourced as possible.

One thing I love so much about her designs is how she showcases the gemstone’s beauty above all else. A rutilated quartz is poised gracefully within a setting, while a labradorite is captured ideally to show off its unique labradorescence. Shamila loves using gems that are specially cut, which takes her collections to a whole new level.

Speaking of specially cut gemstones, her carved citrine and amethyst minaret stacking rings are what dreams are made of! A week later and I’m still thinking about them. If you’re unfamiliar with what a minaret is, it is found in Islamic architecture and is a distinctive feature, where prayer is called out–oftentimes similar to a tower. Shamila’s Lokum Lale Luxe collection features these minaret carved gemstones in different styles, not just rings! I’m wearing a few in the photos above, like the lariat necklaces and dangle earrings. I especially love the variety of gemstones that this carving style comes in–like Pyrite?! So amazing to see pyrite not only used in fine jewelry but carved into a shape like that. Other stones besides the citrine and amethyst include lapis, turquoise, black spinel, lemon quartz, London blue topaz, smokey quartz, chalcedony, rose quartz, carnelian, rock crystal quartz and green onyx.

Another collection that blew me away, Shamila’s stacking rings made of specially cut gemstones–round and square checkerboard, honeycomb and rosecut faceted stones. Pops of color are huge for accessorizing and these rings are ideal to pull off some colorful looks. These rings are the kind you just can’t have one of, so the more the merrier. I’ve stacked several in the photos above. They are so fun to wear and have a loyal, local collector base! Want something unique and gets people wondering, “What kind of gemstone is that?!” Then you HAVE to check out her Flèches d’Amour collection which uses rutilated quartz and rutilated topaz. Not many gemstones feature inclusions that make them even more beautiful than they already are! These gemstones are so unique and Shamila does a great job of enhancing their beauty!

I want to thank Shamila for welcoming me into her design studio and allowing me to learn about her as a designer, while experiencing her jewelry first-hand. I hope you are now familiar with her work if you weren’t already–and if you’d like to get a chance to see her designs in person yourself, she has many upcoming shows where she exhibits. Like this Saturday & Sunday in Glencoe, IL at the Glencoe Festival of Art…as well as August 13th & 14th in Los Gatos, CA at Los Gatos Fiesta de Artes. Be sure to continually check back on the EVENTS page of her website or sign up for her jewel-laden newsletter to know before anyone else! More dates, especially during the holidays, will be announced soon.

>> If you’re interested in any of the pieces shown, please contact Shamila.

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