Jewelry Collection Stories: Kate of @LuxCharmJewelry

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This month’s Jewelry Collection Story comes from Kate of @LuxCharmJewelry and it is a good one! Kate is a full-time art teacher and part-time jewelry enthusiast and collector. You may already be following her on Instagram, but if not you must. Her collection is pretty amazing and her story may resonate with many of you. So without further ado, I give you Kate’s collection story:

I’ve always loved jewelry. I have early memories of playing “dress up” and “jewelry store” with my grandmother Louise. She kept her jewelry in the top dresser drawer. Oh how I loved looking inside those little boxes and seeing all the sparkly jewels inside! We would arrange her jewels on top of carefully arranged bits of pretty fabrics and embroidered handkerchiefs and take turns “shopping.” It was so much fun trying on her white dress gloves and high heels and playing with all those pretty things.

When I was around 10 years old, my dad started giving me jewelry every year for Christmas, mostly rings. One year, I received a topaz ring that had the most amazing shade of bright blue. I adored that ring! Another favorite ring given to me by my dad was a gold signet ring that he had monogramed with my initials. I think I was around 15 at the time. It’s a classic look that will never go out of style and one I wear often today.

One of my favorite early jewelry memories was when my family went out to dinner before my high school senior award night. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was about to win the top artist award in my class, and my parents bought me this beautiful southwestern sterling bracelet and turquoise ring to mark the occasion. For high school graduation, I received a large, modernist sterling and gold ring. At the time, I wasn’t into yellow gold, and these bold sterling pieces were among the most beautiful pieces I owned. Luckily, my parents have continued the tradition of gifting me jewelry for special occasions, and I cherish them all. These pieces help to serve as reminders of special times in my life. My sweet husband has also joined in on the tradition and I have received many beautiful pieces from him now over the years, including my very first (and favorite) Victorian bird bangle bracelet and my beloved antique turquoise and diamond halo ring.

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As a teenager, I was really into second-hand shops–mainly for vintage clothes and small decorative items, but eventually I started picking up inexpensive jewelry and odds-and-ends; like pendants, chokers, chains, etc. At about the same time, I started making beaded jewelry and even gifting and selling pieces to my friends.

Years later, I decided to try my hand at selling handmade jewelry on Etsy. It was a fun, challenging, and creative outlet. Those were the relative early days of Etsy, and I grew as it grew. I did this for a couple of years and slowly started incorporating more and more vintage jewelry components and findings into my pieces. Eventually, the competition increased and my enthusiasm waivered, so I put my shop on hold.

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My love affair with antique jewelry began about eight years ago when my mom and I were antiquing at one of my favorite stores in Richmond, IN. My mom fell head-over-heels for this old gold cameo ring. At first, I was like, “What? Cameos? Ugh, I don’t get it.” Then much to my surprise, my mom professed her life-long love affair with cameos, citing stories from her youth. The shop owner quoted her a low price and my mom quickly bought the ring. She wasn’t one to make fine jewelry purchases on our excursions together, so I was intrigued and wanted to know more. I couldn’t stop staring at this unusual reddish-orange cameo ring on our drive back home; I was fascinated by it. It didn’t look like the girly, pink cameos I was used to seeing. It was more masculine in style and the gold was a rich rose color. The shop owner estimated the ring to be about 120 years old.

To my knowledge, I had never seen a ring that old before and now I wanted one for myself! The more I researched, the more I realized what an amazing deal my mom got on that ring. Sure, it was more than I was used to spending on random antique mall purchases (about $85), but still affordable. This made antique jewelry seem obtainable to me for the first time ever. I started reading jewelry books, researching online, and educating myself on antique jewelry. I liked learning the history behind each piece. It’s a perfect fit for me– combining my love of history, research, sentiment, story, etc.

Inspired by my new passion and focus, I reopened my Etsy shop–selling only vintage and antique jewelry. I absolutely loved hunting for old jewelry, even cameos! Thinking back to that special trip to Richmond with my mom, I believe this was the critical moment that later turned this new interest into a full-blown hobby and part-time job for me.

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Today I have such a deep and sincere appreciation for antique jewelry; I tend to collect a little bit of everything. All in all, I tend to go more for Victorian, Art Nouveau, and Art Deco pieces. Rings are probably my favorite type of jewelry to wear and collect. I love everything from dainty to bold, statement rings. I also love antique bangles and Deco necklaces in all sorts of finishes, metals, and styles.

One of my favorite things to collect are watches. My favorite makers are Longines and Bucherer. I have everything from watch pins, watch rings, wristwatches, and pocket watches. And I really love long enamel watch necklaces. My love of watch necklaces probably began when I scored an amazing Bucherer red guilloche enamel watch ball necklace for $60 in a small, local antique shop. I later learned this was a remarkable deal for one with its original enamel chain in perfect condition. I’ve since added about 10 more to my collection over the years. I just can’t stop myself when I see a beautiful one for a good price. I have such a weakness for fine guilloche enamel-work.

In addition, I love bird-themed jewelry and have many bird bangles, lockets, etc. I tend to favor cool-color pieces in general (it must be the Pisces in me!). I am very fond of blue–sapphires, lapis, zircon, and turquoise to name a few. Pale lavender chalcedony, dreamy moonstones, and that particular shade of green commonly used in Art Deco pieces–are all personal favorites. I have a growing collection of snake rings, too.

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I enjoy shopping at small, local places best. The Midwest is a gold mine for antiques of all kinds. The big jewelry enthusiasts seem to live on either coast and being stuck in the middle has its advantages… lower prices and less pickers. But this seems to get harder every year. My favorite display cases and shops seem to be shutting down. The old dealers retire; some pass away. I think part of me has also wanted to open a brick and mortar shop, but the risks are scary.

Currently, I seem to have the most luck shopping at antique shows and online auctions. I’m always on the hunt for new pieces. I would love to own more niello jewelry, antique enamel bracelets, and gutta percha bangles inlaid with gold. I have a thing for portrait paintings but oddly, own no portrait jewelry. I interned at the National Portrait Gallery right after college and it’s a subject I’m really interested in. I would love to find the perfect emerald ring and more “name” or “initial” jewelry to represent the important people in my life.

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Recently I celebrated a milestone birthday (hello, 40!) and had been hunting for the perfect aquamarine birthstone piece of jewelry for months. Then it finally happened…a huge, honking, 14-carat, Victorian, pear-shaped aqua ring in 15K gold popped up on my Instagram feed. Its large size, unfussy setting, and perfect pale-blue color, stopped me dead in my tracks. A direct quote from the seller was, “a mesmerizing, dreamy, huge piece of magic.” Indeed it was. I sold three personal collection rings to make room for this special ring, the latest addition to my jewelry box.

Back when I started wearing, selling, and collecting antique jewelry, I was the only one I knew who did. I just bought what I liked and what I could afford at the time. It wasn’t until I joined IG a couple of years ago that I found other like-minded people who loved and appreciated old jewelry as much as I do. Like most sellers/collectors, I am searching for more high quality and unusual pieces nowadays. Lately, there seems to be more competition, more reproductions, and higher prices on the online auction sites, making it harder to “score” a deal. While I may not be selling forever, I know I will be wearing and enjoying my jewelry for the rest of my life. It brings me so much joy. Marking special occasions and making new memories with jewelry are so important to me. Jewelry has a way of keeping our memories alive…providing a tangible reminder… connecting us to the people, places, and significant moments we cherish in life. Happy hunting!

xoxoGemGossip

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Jewelry Collection Stories: Danielle of @jasmyntea

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This month’s Jewelry Collection Story comes from a favorite Instagram collector of mine and it’s not because we share the same name, although that helps 😉 It is because Danielle’s style and curation of such a fine collection is unlike any other! She has a fierce eye for what she loves and I’ve been wanting to know her story for quite awhile now. We finally got her story (she is a busy San Francisco dweller, with a full-time job that doesn’t involve jewelry) and she has provided some amazing photos of her personal collection. Let’s dive into her story!

“I have always been a collector. Whether it was collecting vintage jewelry, or vintage clothing, or books on costume and fashion. I’m always looking for unique items that speak to me in some way. I first fell in love with jewelry when I was about 12 and would ride my bike to the thrift store to look for treasures. I always liked vintage clothing, shoes, jewelry and scarves. Old pieces have stories within them. And I always liked to imagine the travels the pieces went through before I became their custodian.

My mother does not really wear much jewelry. Most of the jewelry she wears, except her wedding band, was probably given to her by her sisters or her daughters. She has very few pieces, so I didn’t really grow up surrounded by jewelry. I didn’t know one of my grandmothers as they both passed away before I was born. But I do wear her gold framed glasses from the 1940s every day as my own eyeglasses. I love this connection with my past. My other grandmother didn’t really have much affinity for jewelry either. So I’m not really sure where my love of jewelry and antiques comes from–but I can tell you that I’m obsessed 🙂

When I first started collecting jewelry in high school I liked vintage brooches and small enamel pins. This was what I could afford to purchase. From vintage pins, I branched out to vintage sterling. I always loved going to antique stores and hunting for unusual, inexpensive pieces. My early collection included David Anderson Norwegian pins and bracelets, sterling charm bracelets, bakelite bangles, and funky long beads to layer. I always liked layering, mixing and creating a story with my jewelry. As my style evolved I also liked to support local jewelry artists, so I would go to fairs and stores that sold the work of local jewelry artists and try to pick pieces I liked. My modern collection is made of up certain designers – Marla Aaron, Judy Geib, Gabriela Kiss, Louison Rare and Fine (GemstoneGypsy), Jean Jean Vintage, Gillian Conroy, Variance Objects, Dahlia Khanner, Alberian and Aulde, Amali Jewelry and local San Francisco artists Betsy Barron and Alix Bluh. I tend to gravitate towards jewelry artists versus major designer jewelry. Although one of the first pieces I completely coveted when I was 16 was Tiffany’s Elsa Perreti sterling bean necklace.

In the recent years I have gravitated towards building my antique collection. I love to go to antique fairs and shows, stop in small antique shops when I travel and I follow many antique jewelry sellers on IG. If you are curious, my first IG discovery was Erie Basin and my early purchases were a Toi et Moi Victorian diamond ring and a French link bracelet that many people have asked if they could purchase from me. Finding the antique jewelry community on IG has been very meaningful to me. I feel like I’ve found a crew of fellow jewelry enthusiasts that I can geek out about Georgian jewels, or old cut diamonds, or how to style antique and modern jewelry together. Before IG I never really participated in social media. Finding the IG community of jewelry lovers has been a nice addition in my life, so I don’t drive my husband and sons nuts with my jewelry interests. I’ve also enjoyed meeting fellow IG collectors on my travels.

I can’t really categorize what I collect, because I look for unusual pieces or pieces that resonate for me in some way. I feel like I am the custodian of the pieces I collect. I can’t always articulate why I fall in love with pieces. Sometimes the piece feels sentimental, sometimes the piece will fill an aspect of my collection that I need for a look I’m striving for. On a broad level, I like Georgian and Victorian jewelry. And then I like modern pieces that provide contrast for the more sweet/sentimental antique pieces. I love to mix antique and modern pieces together. Probably my favorite thing to mix are Marla Aaron locks with my antique necklaces, charms and brooches. Mixing and styling jewelry is a creative outlet for me. It’s self-expression—what I’m trying to put out there on a given day. I mix everything: yellow, rose, green gold, platinum and silver. On most days I have on five types of metal. I actually tend to prefer wearing mixed metals versus monochromatic styling. Although sometimes I like to do all gold or all silver or all one kind of gemstone.

I’m sentimental when it comes to jewelry. I always wear a Marla Aaron lock which to me symbolizes to hold fast to what’s important. I once did post on IG about how my modern jewelry spirit animal is my engraved Marla Aaron lock that has all family initials hidden within the engraved design. If I had to pick an antique spirit animal it would probably either be antique chains or signet rings. My thorn necklace (by Gillian Conroy) symbolizes that life has thorns to deal with but I am strong enough to weather the thorns. My hand bloodstone signet ring from Metier with the word “confido,” which means trust, reminds me to trust myself. And then on any given day, my other jewelry represents other items of importance to me or things I’m trying to stay centered about. My Mizpah ring from TheOneILoveNYC is for my husband and me, and my Souvenir bangle from Lucy Verity hasn’t left my wrist since I got it last year – I look down and remember. My Lenore heart rings: to remember love, my signets: to remember the people who are important to me, my memento mori ring from Nvitblanche: to remember to live in the moment, my ruby locket from Circa 1700 has diamonds in it from my mother-in-law in the amount of Pi carats (ok I’m a definite geek). Recently my husband and I gave each other Gabriela Kiss eye rings to symbolize us watching over each other.

You may wonder what pieces I am on the hunt for next. I try to keep an open mind when I am hunting for jewelry, because you never know what you might find. I always ask myself does this resonate for me, will I really wear it and reach for this piece everyday? I like to purchase pieces that I will wear, I don’t like for jewelry to just sit in my jewelry box. I don’t necessarily keep a running wish list. Although at the beginning of 2016 I did an IG jewelry wishlist post and when I look back on it now, I did end up collecting some of the items on my wishlist during 2016, (like my French cut eternity band from Platt Boutique Jewelry). Right now I’m coveting high carat gold items – 22K gold bands (I just got one from Metier) and poesy rings, a Georgian memento mori ring and chains, always more chains. Recently, I’ve been loving layering a lot of gold watch chains.

In closing, almost every piece I wear holds meaning for me of something I want to remember or a story I want to tell that day with my jewelry. Jewelry wearing and styling is my personal storytelling.”

xoxoGemGossip

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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.

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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

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Shop my necklaces here & here

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Some of my personal favorites, all are available!

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Where shall I begin???

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

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Just a cool cat cameo, shop him here

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

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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

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

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A closer look into the ring box…

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Which elongated diamond ring is your favorite?!

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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

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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:

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Metropolitan museum of Art New York

In my last post on “One day in New York City” I wrote about my visit to the MET – the mother of all museums and a temple of art. The one on Fifth avenue that I visited, is over 2 million sqft in area and has over 5000 years of art.

In my last post on “One day in New York City” I wrote about my visit to the MET – the mother of all museums and a temple of art. The one on Fifth avenue that I visited, is over 2 million sqft in area and has over 5000 years of art. Before my visit, I had planned on seeing the Greek exhibit, Some renaissance paintings, Impressionist wing and the Manus Machina exhibit as I thought only that was possible in the four hours that I had there. But as soon as I stepped inside I became greedy, (yes, this was the FOMO that I was talking about in my previous posts) and wanted to see more. I ended up seeing both the Greek and Roman wings, the Polynesian, Americas, and a part of the Arts of Africa wing, Modern art – realism, Impressionism, a little bit of post-modern art, a portion of the Old masters section, the Manus Machina exhibit, a section of the Byzantine gallery, and the Egyptian section with the mummies and the temple. To streamline the visit, I looked only at Jewelry and accessory exhibits in the Roman, Americas, and Egyptian wing.
Here are pictures of a few favourites. You can find the pictures from the impressionist wing in my post on Expression of impressions. I apologise in advance for the dull and sometimes unsharp pictures; a lot of the exhibits had dim lighting and flash photography was not permitted.

Metropolitan museum of Art New York

Greek and Roman
These were the first two galleries that I saw and they far surpassed my expectations. Even after seeing the entire gallery I couldn’t believe the amazing craftsmanship of the jewelry that was displayed. I have studied Greek art and taught Greek ideals and costumes for a while now but truth be told I never expected them to be so well made with intricate work and luscious stones. The Intaglio rings and Signet rings of the emperors and officers in garnet and coral were fascinating.

greek jewelry

Of all the jewelry that I saw, I was most fascinated by this Greek Hair bun ornament. I have seen variations of this ( Kondai valai – Hair burn fillet) being worn in India, but I never expected to see a Greek version of it, that too it gold. The round focal is reminiscent of the traditional Indian “Naga choodamani” where a snake is the focal instead of a woman’s face. Could this have been a probable Indo-Greek Design collaboration?

greek hair ornament

Polynesia and Americas
This was the wing I didn’t even plan to see – I thin I might not find anything more than some totems or masks here. Boy, I was wrong. This was the wing that I spent the most time in and enjoyed the most. I was like watching all the ‘Treasure hunt” movies at once and being transported to an era that was mythical, rich and full of glory.

wooden mask totem
The jewelry was from various places like Panama, Costa Rica, and Columbia and warranties its own post so I’ll offer only a glimpse here. The elaborate nose rings, plain pectoral ornaments, burial masks and pendants were beyond amazing. Could the head beads have been worn by Head hunters of the period?
columbian gold jewelry
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Alex Cooper’s July 21st, 2016 Gallery Auction

Lot 100 | Alex Cooper Auction Lot 9 | Alex Cooper Auction Lot 21 | Alex Cooper Auction Lot 46 | Alex Cooper Auction lot 75 | Alex Cooper Auction Lot 79 | Alex Cooper Auction lot 89| Alex Cooper Auction Lot 98 | Alex Cooper Auction Lot 99 | Alex Cooper Auction lot 104 | Alex Cooper Auction lot 110 | Alex Cooper Auction lot 128 | Alex Cooper Auction lot 131 | Alex Cooper Auction

The summertime is not typically known as auction season, but the jewelry auctions that do happen should not be missed. This is where some of the best scores can be found, deals to be had and collections to be grown. Why? Because this time of the year most are out of the loop or on vacation! Case in point, Alex Cooper and their July 21st Gallery Auction! The variety of items they have coming up at auction this month is great for all levels of collectors–from beginners to advanced–and of course their heart-stopping center fold: lot number 100, a rare Australian black opal ring from Temple St. Clair. Totally out-of-this-world!

Read more about my top picks from the sale below. Be sure to sign up in advance to bid and mark July 21st on your calendar!

Alex Cooper Gallery Auction, July 21st at NOON located in Towson, MD.

Lot 100: A rare Australian black opal ring from Temple St. Clair–the piece is handcrafted, hallmarked and comes with a certificate from the IGI. Such an exquisite piece and comes with original box! The bezel is set with multi-colored sapphires, fine details like that make this ring so special. The opal itself is incredible in its own right, weighing in at 8.73 carats. Estimate: $40-50,000

Lot 9: Designer pieces of jewelry are smart buys when bidding at auction. Once you buy designer at auction, you’ll never want to pay full price again! Alex Cooper has some great designer pieces in this sale, like this Cartier ring. Done in 18k white gold and set with diamonds, this piece dates back to the 90s and is called the Nouvelle ring. It is a size 6! Estimate: $3,000-3,5000

Lot 21: Another prime example of a collectible designer piece is this ring by Van Cleef & Arpels. Known for their high quality and superb craftsmanship, this piece is done in 18k white gold set with diamonds and a cabochon sapphire. Such a pretty floral-inspired design and such a great starting price for a Van Cleef piece! Estimate: $4,000-5,000

Lot 46: Start your collection off by bidding on a lot like this, where several rings are included! This easily expands or begins your collection and these pieces are great staples. The carved intaglio crest ring done in bloodstone stands out to me, a perfect Victorian piece. The others also from the same time period would stack together seamlessly. Estimate: $200-400

Lot 75: Can you blame me for making sure to include this ring in my favorites?! Bypass style always has my heart–this one is done in platinum with two round brilliant cut diamonds, perfectly matched, both approximately 0.80 carats each. The baguette and round diamond accents are a great complement to this style and finishes off the piece nicely. Estimate: $2,000-3,000

Lot 79: Oh man, I love a good locket and this one is pure dreamy! Art Nouveau 14k yellow gold depicting a woman set with a diamond, the piece is engraved with a beautiful “R” on the back, along with two photos on the inside. You must check out the extra photos on the website! Estimate: $250-400

Lot 89: Wildly geometric, my kind of ring! This piece is done in 14k yellow gold and set with an oval cut diamond and round sapphire. The ring is a size 4.75 and easily would mix and match with any collection. Estimate: $300-500

Lot 98: And I couldn’t talk about designer jewelry without including a piece from Tiffany & Co.! A very vintage Tiffany & Co. crossover ring done in 18k yellow gold set with sapphires. This style is very 1950s/60s and truly transports you back in time when Hollywood starlets wore pieces like this on set. Such a cool piece paying homage to a nostalgic time period. Estimate: $1,500-2,500

Lot 99: Need an upgrade? This will do! A three carat stunner set in a classic vintage fishtail setting which is done in platinum of course! The baguette diamonds do a perfect job of complementing the center stone. This ring sure does sparkle and would make a great engagement ring destined to be passed on through generations! Estimate: $25,000-30,000

Lot 104: Four vintage rings, one lot…and one bid to win them all! A great collection featuring two solitaire rings, one lapis signet ring and one opal quatre foil cluster. The cool thing about auction lots that include several rings is if there are pieces that don’t fit your style, you could always sell the ones you don’t want. Estimate: $200-400

Lot 110: A dazzling old mine cut diamond sits at the center of this gorgeous bar pin circa 1920s. The piece is entirely platinum and in excellent condition. Just how big is that center diamond? Approximately 1.50 carats! Estimate: $800-1,000

Lot 128: Couldn’t help but include this cute ring–another bypass style, this time using floral motifs. The diamonds are marquise cuts with a round cut for the center. White and yellow diamonds, with the yellow diamonds most likely heat-treated. Estimate: $2,500-3,000

Lot 131: This ring caught my eye! I love a good dome ring and this one is particularly unique. Done in 18k yellow and white gold, the yellow gold is used brilliantly to make the design really pop! The diamonds are also used in an exceptional way, baguettes and rounds to create a weaved look. Estimate: $1,500-2,000

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

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

Source: GossipGem.com

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

Brimfield | Gem Gossip Brimfield | Gem Gossip Brimfield | Gem Gossip Brimfield | Gem Gossip Brimfield | Gem Gossip Brimfield | Gem Gossip Brimfield | Gem Gossip Brimfield | Gem Gossip Brimfield | Gem Gossip Brimfield | Gem Gossip Brimfield | Gem Gossip Brimfield | Gem Gossip Brimfield | Gem Gossip Brimfield | Gem Gossip Brimfield | Gem Gossip Brimfield | Gem Gossip Brimfield | Gem Gossip Brimfield | Gem Gossip

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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Say "I Do" with The Eden Collective’s Bridal Collection

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As much as I needed a bridal selection like this when I first began to even think about engagement rings, I’m glad The Eden Collective is just now launching this fine, curated selection. I wouldn’t know which to choose, there are so many stunning, heirloom pieces ready to be treasured for a lifetime. The collection is a natural extension of Eden’s desire to provide unique and personally meaningful pieces to her clients. It focuses on bridal options, with a hand-selected bunch of original antique and vintage pieces, coinciding amongst some new pieces created with antique inspiration and often cast from original pieces. Wedding band options are plentiful, along with lots of alternative engagement ring choices–something that has been buzzing a lot around the world of all things bridal as of late. And I’m totally on board with it! Future brides are no longer wanting a solitaire diamond with a plain gold band. Even more so, they don’t even want diamonds! They want different, unique, one-of-a-kind

Here’s where The Eden Collective‘s new bridal collection comes into play just in the knick of time.

Eden says, “I think the bridal market has expanded beyond the diamond solitaire “box” to encompass individual expression and a desire for deeper personal meaning in one’s ring choices. It’s like wearing white after Labor Day: the old rules are obsolete and speak to a different time. There’s value in tradition certainly, and beautiful sparkling diamonds will always have a place (though I do prefer the antique cuts) but I think the time has come for acceptance of personal choice and the myriad of variation that can make your engagement ring uniquely yours.”

We couldn’t agree any louder and prouder. To start the collection, The Eden Collective created the stunning boulder opal ring, the first within a series of original pieces which will focus and bring to light gemstones and their romantic gemlore. Gemstones on deck? Eden excitedly says, “Turquoise, opal, moonstone, amethyst, ruby, sapphire… Gems that have symbolic reference to love, fidelity, patience, communication, truthfulness, passion and nurturing affection: all the things a happy successful relationship is based on.”

If you’re currently scoping the jewelry world for your future engagement ring or wedding band…or even a special anniversary piece of jewelry, make sure to check out the new collection from The Eden Collective. Find meaning behind the gemstone, discover something deeper than “just a ring” and create lasting memories.

Some of the pieces featured in the above photoshoot:

14k yellow gold one-of-a-kind handmade boulder opal ring an Eden Collective original, Price: $1,050

14k Moonstone and demantoid garnet flower statement ring (antique pin conversion)

14k LOVE midi (vintage pin conversion), Price: $250

Original 14k bug cuff with diamond eyes, Price: $338

14k moonstone and diamond engagement ring, Price: $525

14k sapphire, ruby and diamond heart pinky (antique pin conversion), Price: $225

14k rose gold vintage ruby eternity wedding band, Price: $725

14k green and white enamel moonstone engagement ring (antique pin conversion), Price: $450

14k Agate statement ring (antique pin conversion)

Antique moonstone trilogy ring, Price: $495

14k gold mine cut diamond enamel flower statement ring (antique pin conversion), Price: $700

14k yellow gold vintage amethyst solitaire ring, Price: $350

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Favorite Instagrams: Early Spring 2016

therockhuntress marteau.co decemberanchor baliplatform kentshire margeryhirschey janetaylorjewelry bulgariofficial jhadleyjewelry alixbluhjewelry juliewolfdesign metiersf jeanjeanvintage sarahandsebastianjewellery

therockhuntress adoring some agates from her collection

marteau.co says the heat is on with her coral ring collection, mixed in with a few others

decemberanchor has an epic date ring collection, love this photo

baliplatform shows off a customer photo, wearing ruffles and gold necklaces, great combo

kentshire reveals the most perfect antique bangle, enamel, lines and a buckle

margeryhirschey visited Tucson and shot this awesome vignette of some yellow sapphires as bright as the sun

janetaylorjewelry puts the O! in COLOR, love the purple and yellow combo

bulgariofficial has probably my most favorite watches, even though I hardly wear watches

jhadleyjewelry piles it all on, lots of pink and lots of sparkle

alexbluhjewelry custom created these beauties–I’m a huge fan of the signet ring

juliewolfdesign playing with design and antiques

metiersf puts a spin on your typical hat–just add an antique brooch!

jeanjeanvintage is entranced by this vintage Hermes scallop ring in 18k yellow gold

sarahandsebastianjewellery shoot a photo of their Nimbus ring matched up with a large black diamond pin ring

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

D&H Sustainable | Gem Gossip D&H Sustainable | Gem Gossip D&H Sustainable | Gem Gossip D&H Sustainable | Gem Gossip D&H Sustainable | Gem Gossip D&H Sustainable | Gem Gossip D&H Sustainable | Gem Gossip D&H Sustainable | Gem Gossip D&H Sustainable | Gem Gossip D&H Sustainable | Gem Gossip D&H Sustainable | Gem Gossip D&H Sustainable | Gem Gossip D&H Sustainable | Gem Gossip D&H Sustainable | Gem Gossip D&H Sustainable | Gem Gossip D&H Sustainable | Gem Gossip D&H Sustainable | Gem Gossip D&H Sustainable | Gem Gossip D&H Sustainable | Gem Gossip

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

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

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

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

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D&H Sustainable Jewelers

2323 Market St.

San Francisco, CA 94114

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Source: GossipGem.com

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