Ten Facts You Didn’t Know About Gem Gossip

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

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

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

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

The Facts:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Gems of Knowledge Podcast Appearance!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend! I know I don’t normally put out a new blog post on Saturday/Sunday, but I just had to share this as it was just posted an hour ago. I made an appearance as the first special guest on the newly launched Gems of Knowledge, a cool concept that combines podcast and Youtube video into one! Watch as I speak with the host David Bellman of Bellman Jewelers located in New Hampshire, along with Justin Krall and Rachel Putney. We talk about how Gem Gossip was born, my Jewelry Road Trip project, my ring collection and about becoming a Graduate Gemologist. You can also witness someone interrupting the podcast 😉

Just want to thank Gems of Knowledge for having me as their first guest and hope I can visit Bellman Jewelers someday soon!

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Gem Gossip Visits Sunday & Sunday Antiques, NE Ohio

Sunday & Sunday | Gem Gossip

A look into one of Sunday & Sunday Antiques’ ring boxes

Sunday & Sunday | Gem Gossip

Diamonds rings and pocket watch chains are just some of their specialties

Sunday & Sunday | Gem Gossip

You can shop these: turquoise, opal & garnet, opal cluster

Sunday & Sunday | Gem Gossip

You can shop these: Rhodolite garnet dangle, opal cluster, rhodolite and pearl dangle

Sunday & Sunday | Gem Gossip

Cameos are one of Carolyn’s most favorite kind of jewelry

Sunday & Sunday | Gem Gossip

This Topaz is beckoning you to dive in!

Sunday & Sunday | Gem Gossip

Lots of diamond rings and two bangles

Sunday & Sunday | Gem Gossip

You can shop these: opal & garnet, turquoise, opal cluster

Sunday & Sunday | Gem Gossip

Shop my necklaces here & here

Sunday & Sunday | Gem Gossip

Some of my personal favorites, all are available!

Sunday & Sunday | Gem Gossip

Where shall I begin???

Sunday & Sunday | Gem Gossip

Shop these from left to right: here, here, here, here

Sunday & Sunday | Gem Gossip

Just a cool cat cameo, shop him here

Sunday & Sunday | Gem Gossip

Love these three dainty necklaces, shop these here, here, here

Sunday & Sunday | Gem Gossip

One of the most intricate and fancy blackamoors I’ve ever seen!

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Sunday & Sunday has a great selection of signet rings

Sunday & Sunday | Gem Gossip

A diamond and sapphire Art Deco brooch/necklace pendant, so stunning!

Sunday & Sunday | Gem Gossip

A closer look into the ring box…

Sunday & Sunday | Gem Gossip

Which elongated diamond ring is your favorite?!

Sunday & Sunday | Gem Gossip

Love the variety of turquoise rings, shop here, here, here

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Shop the snake ring, synthetic ruby navette, lava cameo

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Shop the onyx & diamond, blue wedgwood

Sunday & Sunday | Gem Gossip

Putting Ohio on the Jewelry Road Trip map was a goal of mine for this year, and I’m so happy that it started out with an adventurous and jewel-filled excursion to the Northeastern portion of this great state. Carolyn & Ed are a husband and wife dream team that are known as Sunday & Sunday Antiques. With nearly 35 years in the antique business, they are ones you’ll want to bookmark and constantly check their inventory, because with their experience, collectors’ eye and connections, they find some amazing pieces. For me, it all started when I first connected with Carolyn a couple Decembers ago. I stumbled upon an onyx ring with tri-colored gold details from the 1920s and had to have it. I usually discover virtual shops and jewelry to buy via Instagram, and this was an Etsy-browse find–so I made sure to encourage Sunday & Sunday Antiques to join Instagram! A few years later, Carolyn has been hooked since the day she joined and boasts over 31k followers.

I knew visiting with Sunday & Sunday Antiques was going to be fun–lots of inventory (with the best part being that most of it is actually listed, ready to purchase), lots of laughs, and lots of stories. Growing up, Carolyn had always been attracted to shiny things and she even worked at a jewelry store briefly before meeting her sparkliest treasure–her husband Ed! He had grown up in the business, having his dad as his apprentice, learning how to fix and restore watches, as well as repairing jewelry since he was a teenager. While most kids were out running around causing chaos, Ed was tinkering at flea markets and finding things that caught his eye. Once Carolyn & Ed were married, they formed Sunday & Sunday Antiques and set up at antique shows all across the US. They would travel all around, buying and selling, making memories and friends along the way.

Carolyn made a really smart move by being an early adopter of the Internet. In the antique jewelry world, 8-10 years ago NO ONE was really on the world wide web–only a few big names that have continued to lead the pack had a website, if anything. Sunday & Sunday is a proud member of Ruby Lane, with a platinum status since joining in 2000. They also are on Etsy, which they joined in early 2009. The husband and wife duo complement each other in terms of putting their strengths to work to run their online antique business. Carolyn has got the photography down to a science, with a position-shoot-next method that will turn heads. She also is in charge of listing, answering emails, shipping and appraising. Ed does a lot of the buying and meticulously restores and checks each piece before listing. He has a knack for perfection and in a business like this, customers appreciate that. Transitioning their business from traveling shows to strictly online-only has been a great leap of faith, but one they are enjoying to the fullest and very thankful for every step of the way. And don’t mention the word retirement to either of them–antiques are a way of life!

The passion that both Ed & Carolyn have for antiques and antique jewelry resonates throughout every part of their life. It was awesome to connect with such great people and get an inside look into their world. I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing it as well through my eyes and be sure to check out more from Sunday & Sunday Antiques around the web:

Sunday & Sunday Antiques

Sunday & Sunday Antiques

North East, Ohio

Ruby Lane

Etsy

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Jewelry Collection Stories: Heather of @SpeakeasyJewels

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I was lucky enough to meet Heather before our Instagram community of collectors came into formation. It was during a time when she was in search of the perfect antique engagement ring and I was working full time at a local antique jewelry store in Nashville. We had been emailing back and forth and had a few contenders. What better way to seal the deal than a 12-hour road trip to Nashville?! I got to meet Heather and her future husband, help her try on some gorgeous jewels and it was a great day! Four years later she is sharing her jewelry collection here with us! Take it away Heather:

When and why did I start collecting jewelry? For weeks I couldn’t get my jewel story rolling because the answers were evading me. I cannot recall a time when I didn’t love jewelry and have memories as little girl sifting through any jewelry box or drawer I encountered, much to the chagrin of the women around me. I swear I’ve recovered from this behavior or at least ask permission before rifling. I thought it was my paternal grandma who sparked the collector in me since she was an avid one herself, but I was missing something or rather someone.

It should have been obvious since I worked for him for almost a decade – my Dad is the reason I am a collector. Classic cars, particularly Cadillacs of the 1950s and ‘60s, are his passion. He instilled in me an appreciation for the past and a desire to preserve relics of history. I often find there is an unspoken bond between those of us who collect vintage and antique no matter the category. The way he reflects on the ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program through which many classic cars were destroyed echoes the horror we jewelry collectors feel when thinking about scrapping and melting. He understands why I collect antique and vintage jewelry and for Christmas a few years ago gifted me my first loupe with my initials engraved on the side – it is something I cherish. I hope one day I can pass along to my children the same tinkerer and antiquarian heart he has given me.

Speakeasy Jewels Collection Speakeasy Jewels Collection

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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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Book Review: GEM the Definitive Visual Guide

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Earlier this year I finally did something every American needs to do at least once in their lifetime: I visited Washington DC and the Smithsonian. I could have spent the entire day, from open until close, in the National Museum of Natural History–their National Gem & Mineral Collection is one of the best, not to mention some of the most exquisite finished pieces of jewelry, each with such incredible history. When I found out about the newest book release from the Smithsonian, I knew it was going to be comprehensive and chalk-full of colorful examples of all things I love (gems and jewels). And hey, I was right. I’ve been flipping and stopping, gawking and reading all day.

First off, the breakdown. The Introduction highlights the basics, because whether you’re a student or a novice, a professional or a graduate gemologist, we all need to review the foundation. The best part about the intro is the photos–vibrant depictions of each term and visually appealing on every level. The next section brings Native Elements to life: gold, silver, platinum, copper, bronze and diamonds, mixed in with some special vignettes about important and noteworthy pieces. The largest section, speaking in terms of breadth and depth, is all about Gemstones! From Agate to Zircon and everything in between, each stone is given a description, scientific specs, and gorgeous examples featuring the particular gem in different forms (rough, faceted, carved, set in jewelry, etc). Rocks and Minerals make up the final section of the book, before the very end–a very handy directory, glossary and index.

Hopefully my photos will give you an idea as well of what this amazing book is all about! I think it is perfect for every gem lover, jewelry enthusiast, or person who loves to learn. This book needs to be in the libraries of every middle school and high school! If I happened upon this when I was in middle school, my future in the gem and jewelry industry may have started even earlier than it did. My jewelry book library is pretty extensive, but this particular title is unlike anything out there. I love it!

 

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Gem Gossip Visits Alana Jewelry in Seattle, WA

Alana Jewelry | Gem Gossip Alana Jewelry | Gem Gossip

Elongated Etruscan revival ring, onyx ring on ring finger, banded agate shield ring, Victorian bangles

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Fabulous Art Deco diamond & emerald bracelet, 1950s emerald & diamond ring, 1950s emerald & diamond pendant

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Topaz & Black Opal bracelet, carved opal cameo ring, oval opal in filigree setting, rectangular opal in filigree setting, garnet doublet surrounded by opal cluster ring

Alana Jewelry | Gem Gossip Alana Jewelry | Gem Gossip Alana Jewelry | Gem Gossip Alana Jewelry | Gem Gossip

This bracelet is CRAZY! Genuine Topaz & Zircon set in 14k white gold, Retro abstract citrine ring, turquoise & diamond navette, citrine filigree ring, large oval turquoise ring

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Garnet & blue enamel ring, sapphire & diamond cluster ring

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From left to right: garnet dragon ring, pearl & emerald ring, diamond oval ring, Victorian Etruscan revival onyx ring, round Moonstone cluster ring, East-West diamond Edwardian ring, moonstone cluster ring, enamel woman conversion ring

Alana Jewelry | Gem Gossip Alana Jewelry | Gem Gossip

Boy, were bucket list items being checked off rapidly on this #JewelryRoadTrip to Seattle! Alana Jewelry has been high on my list of places I wanted to see for SO long now. It was about a 30 minute drive from Hotel Vintage in Downtown Seattle, and it was nice to get out of the city and explore more. Alana Jewelry is located in the Northgate Mall and has been there since day one! The store is easy to get to if you park near JC Penney or near the food court. Who would have ever thought that some of the best antique jewelry in the country is located in a place where you can buy some Auntie Anne’s pretzels, find your inner goth at Hot Topic and call it a day?! I was actually feeling quite emo after all the jewelry that Alana has to offer–it is mind-blowing in the best way possible! They love being located inside a mall for many reasons, for one the foot traffic alone is seriously good. Countless sales have been made from people who didn’t intend on going to a jewelry store to buy jewelry, but they happened to be at a mall to buy something else on their list, and the jewelry found them!

The first thing I noticed and what stood out to me were their displays! They are unlike anything I’ve seen–everything has a place, everything tells a story. There’s old black & white photographs mixed in with a few other trinkets here and there, but for the most part–every display matches, using a clean beige color display. A few black velvet ones can be spotted for certain sections, but for the most part, everything has a consistent flow. Most importantly, height is used to an advantage, where you have almost a “stadium-seating” effect with the jewelry displays, so everything can be packed in tighter. This means eye candy galore! And it’s ok if you stand in front of a small section and zone out. I know I sure did.

It was such an honor to meet the founder and owner Alana herself and hear her story in her own words rather than via email. If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you may remember I did a blog post featuring the store back in January of 2015. You can read the blog post here. It tells the story of Alana Antique & Estate Jewelry, how it came to be and the story is so inspiring, all written by Alana herself. You totally should read the post before you go on–it will take about 4 minutes! 😉 I also got to meet Heather, Alana’s daughter, as well as a few sales associates of the store.

I tried on so many pieces! It was really hard to choose just a select few, but I thought of it as, “if I were to be able to buy whatever I wanted right now, what would I choose?!” Of course, I chose a lot of rings, pieces that were really unique and also had to hone in on the best opals I could find. I learned that Alana Jewelry doesn’t have to look far for the jewelry they sell, it comes to them! They are constantly buying in store and have special buying hours for those interested in selling. Alana Jewelry has continually been ranked highest sales per square foot in the mall, a title Alana is really proud of, as if you could remember from her original story she was breaking out in hives the first day she opened their doors to the public. Now over 20 years later, she has so much joy from the store she can’t even begin to describe it.

This store visit has brought ME so much joy, thanks everyone at Alana Jewelry for showing me your wonderful store. I can’t wait to tell everyone about it and hopefully the next time someone visits Seattle, they make the trip out of downtown and to the Northgate Mall to see you!

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Northgate Mall 401 NE Northgate Way #520

Seattle, WA 98125

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Gem Gossip Visits Alexandria Rossoff Jewels & Rare Finds in Seattle, WA

Alexandria Rossoff | Gem GossipAlexandria Rossoff | Gem Gossip

Diamond cluster navette ring, Five-stone Edwardian ring

Alexandria Rossoff | Gem Gossip

Edwardian diamond cluster dangle earrings

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Left to right: Emerald ring #1, Emerald ring #2, Emerald ring #3, Green tourmaline ring

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Mid-Century Tiffany & Co. earrings, thick Retro yellow gold snake chain necklace

Alexandria Rossoff | Gem Gossip

Emerald cut diamond ring with sapphire side stones, large sapphire ring with diamond side stones

Alexandria Rossoff | Gem Gossip Alexandria Rossoff | Gem Gossip

Festoon diamond necklace, diamond rose cut dangle earrings

Alexandria Rossoff | Gem Gossip

Pearl, sapphire and diamond bar brooch, Matching Edwardian pearl and diamond bracelet

Alexandria Rossoff | Gem Gossip Alexandria Rossoff | Gem Gossip Alexandria Rossoff | Gem Gossip

Three-diamond Gypsy band, Hexagonal Amethyst ring, Victorian pearl band, smaller amethyst surrounded by pearls, larger amethyst surrounded by pearls set in filigree

Alexandria Rossoff | Gem Gossip Alexandria Rossoff | Gem Gossip

Round halo ring, cute Old Mine cut ring, domed filigree ring, domed filigree ring on right hand

Alexandria Rossoff | Gem Gossip Alexandria Rossoff | Gem Gossip

Golden Beryl ring, Alexandrite ring, large antique Opal ring, snake ring

Next stop on the Seattle #JewelryRoadTrip was Alexandria Rossoff Jewels & Rare Finds, a stone’s throw away from where we were staying, Hotel Vintage. We walked to the shop which is located on 4th Avenue; lucky for us it was a beautiful and sunny summer day in Seattle. If you’re planning a trip to the Pacific Northwest, I would highly recommend the summertime. Alexandria’s store has been on my radar for quite some time, in fact, back in 2010 when I would write about stores I hope to visit one day, this store was one of my features. I also named Alexandria Rossoff my favorite Facebook “Like” back in 2012. And one of my most favorite people in the jewelry industry, Levi Higgs, actually interned at Alexandria Rossoff’s back when he went to the University of Washington for his undergraduate degree. He now lives in NYC and works for David Webb.

I had so much anticipation going into this visit that excitement wouldn’t even begin to describe it! Meeting Alexandria for the first time was like meeting a longtime friend, as she has been in the jewelry business since 1980. She has worked in every aspect of this business and is a wealth of knowledge, as well as being regarded as the antique jewelry expert in the Seattle area. Her business has changed addresses a few times over the years, which has allowed Alex to creatively depict the feel for each storefront and reinvent her brand. Her partner brings a unique aspect to her antique jewelry business, with the ability to design jewelry, hand-engrave and make waxes for casting. This adds a whole new dimension to the store.

Walking into Alexandria Rossoff Jewels & Rare Finds, you’ll notice the elegance of the store paired with some Hollywood Glamour. The floor to ceiling windows allow some glorious sunlight to fill the entire space, easily becoming a selling tool as the gemstones light up with sparkle. The engagement and bridal selection is filled with antique and vintage diamond rings, along with some alternative options, like sapphires, rubies, even pearl suites fit for that stunningly beautiful wedding day look! I love the display fixtures and how each told a story–whether it was color-coordinated, gem-coordinated or era-coordinated–the vignettes help put together a look. And boy, did I get busy putting together some looks! Hope you enjoy the photos above, fixed with captions to depict pieces you can easily shop online. If you see pieces I’m wearing that aren’t online, simply email [email protected]

Alexandria Rossoff is a must-see if you’re in the Seattle area! Next time you’re there, snap some photos and tag me on Instagram–I’d love to see how my visit inspired yours.

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1304 4th Ave.

Seattle, WA 98101

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Your Guide to Brimfield Flea Market from Someone Who Has Gone Twice

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I decided to go to Brimfield this year, almost instantly after I received the sad news about Jewelry Camp being canceled this summer. I was eagerly saving my money and planning on attending Jewelry Camp after missing out year after year (I’ve gone only once, when they came to Atlanta). I wasn’t really planning on going to Brimfield, but thought it would be a fun jewelry adventure since the one I had planned on wasn’t happening. I like changing things up and experimenting so that I’m able to compare my experiences in order to give the best advice possible. So with this trip, I did everything opposite of what I did two years ago when I visited for the first time! Hope you enjoy my findings and it helps you plan your trip better!

I went in May rather than September.

I heard so many opinions about which of the three yearly Brimfield shows has the most jewelry. Was it May or July? Could it be September?? After going in May and September, I would have to say they were actually pretty equal! The plus side for going in May compared to September was the weather–September was brutally hot and this time around the weather was fantastic. It did get really hot, but it was tolerable.

I went later in the week rather than the first two days.

So last time when I went in September, I went Tuesday and Wednesday. This time in May I went Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Findings: Tuesday-Friday are the best days to attend, skip out on Saturday if possible–it is way too busy and no new fields are open that day, just all the ones that have opened previously throughout the week.

I stayed in Sturbridge rather than Amherst.

Last time I stayed further away from Brimfield, in Amherst at the Lord Jeffery Inn, a 50-minute drive to Brimfield. This time I stayed closer, in Sturbridge at the Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center, a 10-minute drive to Brimfield. Findings: Most people who attend Brimfield stay in Sturbridge, so the traffic is pretty heavy. The 10-minute drive actually turned out to be 45 minutes one morning! Crazy! I enjoyed both hotels for different reasons–the Lord Jeffery is definitely quaint and historic, the rooms are smaller than the hotel in Sturbridge but have a slight luxurious feel. Sturbridge Host has an awesome location, right on the lake, with picturesque scenery, but the rooms are very outdated (like 1980s). I also enjoyed Sturbridge’s restaurants and antique shops, which we got to check out. Huge fan of Jimmy D’s sandwich shop–omg, had the best Club sandwich with ginger ale, best meal ever.

I did 3 days at Brimfield rather than 2 days.

I felt like I should have stayed longer last time I went–it felt wasteful to fly all that way and journey all that way to go just two days and leave. So this time we stayed four nights and went for three days in a row. I definitely suggest three days as the ideal number of days to go–except my three days included Saturday, which wasn’t a great day to attend in my opinion–so make sure your three days lands on the week-days.

I brought a small backpack rather than a purse.

Omg I can’t tell you how much better I felt compared to two years ago when I brought a large purse! A small backpack is where it is at! This way, both hands were free to roam and treasure hunt, and I packed very light. The only things in my backpack were cash, keys and wallet.

We took several car breaks.

Last time I went we parked our rental car and never came back to it until we were completely done for the day. This time we did things differently–after 3-4 hours out on the fields we would go back to the car and turn up the AC all the way and just sit/relax for 30 minutes. That “recharge” time helped tremendously.

Overall, the trip was a success and I was able to buy a lot more than I did the first time I went. I wanted to bring back lots of items to be able to sell, so I’ve listed 20+ items already in my @shopGEMGOSSIP account. The last two photos here depict all my loot. I also bought a couple things for my personal collection, like a couple baby rings, a garnet cabochon Victorian ring with black enamel in immaculate condition.

I also got to spend some time with Laura & Amanda of MaeJean Vintage which was fun–it was awesome to see their haul of jewels all in one place. I picked some favorites and took a photo (pictured above, the one with the signet rings, etc). The sisters have such a passion for what they are doing and it is so fun to watch their business grow. I also got to meet Village Green Antiques who was set up at Brimfield–I bought a few things from her, including a baby ring I am keeping for my personal collection.

We also got to see an episode of Flea Market Flip being filmed while we were there–almost blindedly ran into Lara Spencer while she was on camera! Yikes! It was really cool to see the production team and all that goes into a show like that. Can’t wait to watch the episode; hope I’m not in any of the scenes, I was a sweaty mess!

>> Planning on attending Brimfield? Then you should read my first Brimfield Guide, as well as this one and this one.

xoxoGemGossip

Source: GossipGem.com

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Gem Gossip Visits Lang Antiques in San Francisco, CA

Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip

ABOVE–Click for more info, Rings left to right: Ring 1, Ring 2, Ring 3, Ring 4, Ring 5, Ring 6

Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip

ABOVE–Click for more info, left to right: Brooch, Ring 1, Ring 2, Ring 3, Ring 4

Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip

ABOVE–Click here for more info on snake bracelet

Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip

ABOVE–Click for more info, Rings left to right: Ring 1, Ring 2, Ring 3, Ring 4, Ring 5, Ring 6

Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip

ABOVE–Click for more info, left to right: Pendant 1, Pendant 2

Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip

ABOVE–Click for more info, Rings left to right: Ring 1, Ring 2, Ring 3, Ring 4, Ring 5, Ring 6

Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip

ABOVE–Click for more info, top to bottom: Bracelets, Rings

Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip

ABOVE–Click for more info, left to right: Ring, Bracelet 1, Bracelet 2, Bracelet 3, Bracelet 4

Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip

ABOVE–Click for more info, left to right: Ring 1, Ring 2, Ring 3, Ring 4

Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip

ABOVE–Click for more info, left to right: Ring 1, Ring 2, Ring 3, Ring 4, Ring 5, Ring 6, Ring 7

Lang Antiques | Gem Gossip

Anytime I get asked, “Of all your travels so far, which store takes your breath away the most?” I always immediately think of Lang Antiques in San Francisco! This store easily takes the cake for so many reasons, number one being SO MANY JEWELS…although I’ll never say too many–since you can never have too much of a good thing. Lang Antiques was the first store visit I ever did, when the very beginnings of my idea of doing a “Jewelry Road Trip,” were being formed. I can’t believe that was six years ago! It is quite humbling to realize that Suzanne, co-owner of Lang Antiques, was eager to show me her store and graciously teach and encourage me at such an early point in my career. She is just as enthusiastic today as she was six years ago, and between the both of us, a lot has changed!

The main change for Lang Antiques since my first visit six years ago–location! A totally new store, although it moved only two doors down from its original spot, the space is much larger and has a whole new look. After checking out all my photos from my recent visit (above) it is neat to compare with my visit six years ago from this blog post. Once you compare the two, you will also notice another change–no more sterling silver holloware. Lang Antiques has turned their focus totally on antique and estate jewelry, and their jaw-dropping inventory and selection is a true testament to that. Just as much as Lang Antiques likes to sell jewelry, they also love to buy. Lucky for us, those who don’t live in San Francisco get to experience their store online, which is consistently updated with “New Arrivals.” I appreciate an antique jewelry store who is diligent in keeping up with inventory and constantly bringing new pieces to their website. Lang Antiques’ website has also been a favorite of mine to browse, anytime of the day! It is also very educational and helps to brush up on learning pricing and identifying gemstones and eras.

I hope you enjoy the many photos we took from our Lang Antiques visit–there were so many favorites and not enough time in a day to try everything on! I was bowled over quite a few times with some of the pieces. If you’re searching for a really special piece or a significant piece of jewelry to commemorate an occasion, Lang Antiques WILL have it! If you’re looking for an antique engagement ring or wedding band–or even some jewels to wear on your wedding day, Lang Antiques has such an amazing selection. If you’re saving for a “holy grail” piece–I bet Lang Antiques will have it! My “holy grail” piece from Lang’s is my moonstone and sapphire cluster ring, often worn in Instagram photos. I will treasure it forever! Special thanks to Suzanne for having me again–this time I won’t go six years before visiting again! And also to Nicole who handles all of Lang Antiques’ marketing and social media as Marketing Manager, it was awesome to meet you!

LangAntiques

309 Sutter St.

San Francisco, CA 94108

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