PRECIOUS ENCOUNTER : SARAH APPLETON

WHITE bIRD is pleased to welcome Sarah Appleton among its designers ! Paris based jeweler, Sarah is a descendant of the Bonebakker family, with a legacy lasting over two hundred years in the silver and goldsmith business. Defined by a clean aesthetic, the silhouettes are fluid and modern, often catching the eye when the gold or a precisely placed diamond reflects the light. The namesake collections embody an easy and timeless elegance meant to be worn and loved daily. The designer agreed to share her memories and her inspirations in an interview…

What is your first jewellery memory ?

My first piece of jewelry was an original Native American Fetish Necklace given to me by my grandmother, which hung on my wall growing up and something I still have in my collection. She was also a jewelry collector and would only wear one statement piece either made for her by my uncle or a magnificent art deco ring.

What’s the first piece that you designed ?

Starting at three, I would make earring collections with my older sister out of paper and other odd materials, which I would then tape to my ears.  At about  twelve, I had my first experience working with metal soldering together a silver twisted ring.  Then about 10 years ago in New York I started working in gold and made the Pull Through earrings as a solution to feeling unbalanced wearing any other earrings.

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What is your favorite stone ? Why ? 

I don’t have a single favorite stone, I absolutely love working with diamonds (especially Navettes) and natural sapphires.

Do you have a piece of jewellery that you wear all year-round ?

Double Navette Ring.

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Who are your favorite jewellery designers ?

Suzanne Belperron , René Boivin , Buccellati  and the Yazzie family.

What are your greatest design influences ?

The subtleties in art, architecture, nature, and our experiences.

What do you listen to in your studio ?

When I have music playing, mixes my fiancé makes for me with 90s hip hop, soul and funk. Also a little bit of Buena vista social club, la son charanga , Nina Simone, Django Reinhardt, Rhianna, Kaytranada, Disclosure, Chet Faker, The XX… Depending on my mood.  Apart from music I listen to audio books and NPR radio. Other times it is just studio sounds, Paris rain and the birds chirping in the garden below.

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If you were not a jewellery designer, what would you do?

Artist, or wood furniture designer.

Which famous people (living or dead) inspire you the most ?

Most importantly the people in my life, along with Lucy Dodd, Dorothea Rockburne, Ellsworth Kelly, Tadao Ando, Richard Serra, James Turrell …

What is your dream destination ?

My list is never-ending, but this year I would like to take a trip to go sapphire hunting and surfing in Sri Lanka.

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Photos credits: Sarah Appleton

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One to Follow: @newtwiststore

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I’ve been noticing more and more jewelry stores across the US starting to focus solely on social media, a category of business that once was not thought of as being serious, let alone needing a full-time, specialized department for it. But now more than ever, with brick & mortar stores closing regularly, it is those stores that are developing their Instagram pages, revamping websites, setting up e-commerce shops, as well as holding down their brick & mortar stores, that are rising above the rest and doing better than ever!

NewTw!st has done just that and more! Their website has been recently redesigned, giving it a user-friendly experience with lots of dynamic photos of product, and they’ve taken on their Instagram account full-force by having the most colorful, stop-in-your-tracks photographs. NewTw!st carries some unique designer jewelry and I love how the photos capture the personality of each piece in the way that it deserves. Playful earrings spread out in an almost delicious way, ring stacks that are well thought out, jewelry groupings that are color-coded and pleasing to the eye…their expertise in merchandising reaches far beyond an in-store jewelry display.

I’m hoping to get a chance to visit NewTw!st in person–located in Eugene, Oregon up in the Pacific Northwest. Hopefully soon enough! In the meantime, you’ll be like me and totally enjoy following on Instagram

Click here to follow NewTw!st on Instagram.

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Q & A with Ashley of Jewelry Finds

Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip

One of the most abundant comments I receive from people is gratitude for instilling a love for antique items, specifically jewelry, into the younger generation. If all else fails, I feel like I’ve contributed to the greater good of this world by promoting an appreciation for the past, rather than buying fast and new products. I’m always excited to profile someone that is younger than me and exudes a passion for antique jewelry which they’ve been fostering on their own, making it their occupation and being successful at it! That’s why I’m really excited to feature Ashley of Jewelry Finds, an online-based antique and vintage jewelry shop that has been run by her and her mother since 2013. Let’s find out more, shall we?

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I was 20 years old enjoying burgers and shakes around midnight with my friends at a diner in my hometown of Bethesda, Maryland. Suddenly, a woman I had never met walked right up my table and asked if I had ever considered selling jewelry before. Maybe she liked way I laughed? How I talked to people? The way I scarfed down my cheeseburger in 30 seconds? Whatever it was, I now know it was fate. Fast forward two months later and I had my first big city job at Washington D.C.’s oldest antique jeweler. Shortly thereafter, my antique jewelry fairytale was written and I was given an old brooch that changed my life!

Visit my website to read my magical and true story: https://www.jewelryfinds.com/about.html

Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip

Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip

Q&A

So my love affair of jewelry professionally goes back 13+ years but I actually used to model in jewelry stores for their holiday trunk shows in high school! So I think 17 years?! I am a GIA alumni and love learning about any type of jewelry from any era on any given day! To acquire my pieces I have hundreds of contacts with jewelry wholesalers and auction houses. They know how particular I am and how I like to hand select everything myself! I only pick unique, well preserved and heirloom quality pieces for my clients. I don’t offer pieces in my collection unless I would want it for myself!

I joined the online retail world in 2013 with four pieces of my own jewelry for sale and since it has grown to over 200 carefully hand curated heirloom quality pieces of art! I am strictly a web-based business so I have the time to add new pieces weekly! Check back often! Just click on my ‘Newest Finds’ section on my website or click on the link below:

https://www.jewelryfinds.com/products/newest-finds.html

In case you were wondering how I got ALL of this done, I didn’t want to forget the backbone of the company and co-owner of Jewelry Finds®, my mom Janet! She is Jewelry Finds® amazing photographer, videographer, bookkeeper, graphic designer, website designer, shipping expert and my BEST FRIEND! She loves jewelry just as much as I do and I make sure to spoil her every chance I get! We both share a love for antique jewelry, cute animals and Joni Mitchell. She’s the web guru. I’m the jewelry guru. It was a match made in heaven for a web based antique fine jewelry business from the very start.

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Q&A

Hands down, my favorite piece in my collection for sale is this enormous and rare Art Nouveau enamel and diamond ring! It features gorgeous shaded green and pastel yellow enameling, chunky old mine cut diamonds, and a central Peruzzi cut diamond weighing approximately .80cts . This ring is made entirely in era appropriate brushed 18k green-yellow gold. It’s a museum worthy piece!

Here is the link everyone and don’t forget to watch it’s YouTube video!

https://www.jewelryfinds.com/product/antique-diamond-ring-art-nouveau-1900s-green-enamel-cushion-cut-peruzzi-diamond-18k-yellow-gold-statement-ring.html

Featured front-and-center in photo below:

Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip

Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip

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1) A pristine and classic ‘Moi Et Toi’ early Edwardian ‘Tiffany & Co.’ old European cut diamond and natural emerald bypass ring with original hallmarks.

2) This Victorian moonstone and old mine cut diamond heart locket with intricate enameling & hand engraving.

3) And last but not least, a pair of late Victorian chandelier earrings measuring over just over 2.5” inches long made in era appropriate 14k yellow gold with sterling silver tops. These earrings featured almost three carats of chunky and sparkling old mine cut, table cut, and antique pear cut diamonds. Ugh. Officially depressed!

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Q&A

My Victorian 14k Yellow Gold & Old Mine Cut Diamond Brooch, of course!

(This brooch changed Ashley’s life, read the full story & see it here >> https://www.jewelryfinds.com/about.html )

Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip

Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip Jewelry Finds | Gem Gossip

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

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PRECIOUS ENCOUNTER : CATHY WATERMAN

The famous American designer Cathy Waterman answered our questions !
It is after a career in film production that she begins to create jewellery inspired by nature and fairy tales. Handmade in her Los Angeles studio, her jewellery are made with a particular attention to details for our greatest happiness…

What is your first jewelry memory ? 

When I was a little girl, my family travelled to Europe and in Paris, in a store window, I saw a little heart shaped gold charm with simple engraved images of a boy and a girl … for a long time, it was what I thought about when I thought about Paris and about love. When I got back, my parents surprised me with that charm which I must have worn but have absolutely no recollection of wearing. For me, it was the idea of love and the mystery of Paris, and not the object that moved me.

What the first piece that you designed ? 

The first pieces I designed were a collection of jewels that were 22k gold and inspired by history and my love for castles and crowns and were hammered and set with princess cut diamonds, sapphires and rubies. They evoked buried treasure and had little pearls and the beginning of my obsession with lace.

What is your favorite stone ? Why ? 

I love turquoise. It’s a healing stone and I wear it year round always feel good with it on. I love the color and that it calms me. I love color and my favorite is green, every single of the million shades of it…emeralds, tourmalines, garnets, etc… On the other hand, I love to work with diamonds because by their nature, they allow me to create light…not big diamonds but more the little ones that I set in lace and watch twinkle as I move through the day and into night.

Do you have a piece of jewellery that you wear all year round ? 

I wear a leather necklace with many charms dangling, all of which are personal and are the talismans of my life : a locket with photos of my family, two engraved child charms (one with my kids names on it and one that my mom wore with the names of her progeny), a gold pair of wings that are a copy of a set on my dad’s air force uniform, a juggler charm from my muse collection, because, what mother isn’t a juggler ?

Who are your favorite jewellery designers ? 

I love some old Buccellati pieces and so much of the work of the art nouveau jewelers, pieces that I like to visit at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs.

What are your greatest design influences ? 

Nature and history and travels and frankly, things I’ve not seen yet are my inspiration. There’s nothing more glorious and humbling than nature and it has provided the motifs for my work from the beginning… I travel everywhere and see things that bring me to my knees in wonder… And I’m a history lover and the stories it tells become movies in my head and jewels in the studio.

What do you listen to in your studio ? 

Music at every single moment of my life. I grew up in a house where it was Broadway Show Tunes and Franck Sinatra and Barbra Streisand records on as well as Opera and I have super eclectic tastes and on shuffle it jumps from Puccini to Sade to Taylor Swift to Swahili lessons.

If you weren’t a jewellery designer, what would you do ? 

I would be a teacher. I love kids and for the past 13 years have devoted a morning or two each week to a school in Compton and have had some of the best times of my life in a classroom. Or I would be a landscape architect and build gardens that I dream about.

Which famous people (living or dead) inspire you the most ? 

I’m inspired by people who bravely pursue their dreams in the face of challenges and the explorers who went where no one else has gone. I wish that I had that kind of courage. By name, Mahatma Gandhi, Steve Jobs, whoever invented the Internet, Le Corbusier, Nelson Mandela, Dr. Martin Luther King, Kobe Bryant.

Photos credits : My Little Paris, Cathy Waterman

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PRECIOUS ENCOUNTER : LOQUET LONDON

Loquet London is a British luxury jewellery concept created by Sheherazade Goldsmith with her friend Laura Bailey in June 2013. Inspired by the age-old idea of a keepsake-locket combined with a modern desire to personalize and tell a woman’s stories, the gold framed crystal ‘Loquet’ is designed to open and be personalized with collectable charms and birthstones. From a lucky horseshoe, a gold initial, a September sapphire or a diamond studded shooting star, each ‘Loquet’ is a unique and bespoke gift, a love letter coded in charms.

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What is your first jewellery memory ?

Making pieces with colored beads, under the sun. Long afternoons spent creating jewels for friends and family.

What’s the first piece that you designed ? 

Our beloved Loquet – finding the right opening mechanism was a challenge, as the design is very technical.

What is your favorite stone and why ?

Has to be a diamond. It’s simplicity and it’s chameleon quality.

Do you have a piece of jewellery that you wear all year round ?

My medium heart loquet. It’s my lucky talisman, filled with charms relating to the people I love and laugh with most.

What are your greatest design influences ? 

Travel – the adventure fuels so much inspiration.

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What do you listen to in your studio ? 

A bit of everyone – a mash up.

If you weren’t a jewellery designer what would you be ? 

A plantswoman.

Which famous people (living or dead) inspire you the most ? 

So many …but all are trumped by my kids.

What is your dream destination ? 

Somewhere wild, with scarcely anyone else in sight, both mountainous and surrounded by the sea, with seasons that bring tropical weather as well as now.

Photo credits : Loquet London and Garance Doré 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Spring Cleaning Your Jewelry Box: Gem Gossip’s Tips!

Gem Gossip

It’s that time of year–spring cleaning! I tried Googling some spring cleaning facts and came up with 77% of people say they spring clean every year. I’m not sure how accurate that is, but I would think that is a decent amount and glad to know that. I guess the other 23% are either lazy or have a hoarding problem…? I am definitely in the percentage that spring cleans…and I actually like to do a deep cleaning a couple times a year, not just once. When people mention spring cleaning, most think of their house–but I’d like to focus in on spring cleaning jewelry for this article. And just like spring cleaning your house, there are several similarities to spring cleaning your jewelry and the end results will have you feeling revitalized and happy.

Let’s get started:

1. Storage Solutions:

Keeping your jewelry safe, all in one place and consistently visible are three key points for a superb storage solution. I highly recommend the jewelry box that I own, however I did make a lot of changes to it–like ripping out shelves and swapping them out for more ring storage. The jewelry box that I have is from Lori Greiner and I bought mine off QVC about 8 years ago. Since then, they have made a few modifications to the design, but overall it is the same: a mirrored “cabinet” that has built-in everything! Here’s a similar one for sale at Target. It’s ok to have other jewelry boxes–I have several antique ones that I use for either travel or taking photos with–but for the most part, I keep everything in one home base.

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2. Clean Your Actual Jewelry:

After you’ve established your storing options, it wouldn’t be called “spring cleaning” unless we actually cleaned our jewelry! I will admit that I don’t clean my jewelry daily…or weekly…or even monthly for that matter. The only exception to this would be my engagement ring which I make sure to clean monthly and earrings that I wear often. Because I have so many rings, there are very many that get worn only a handful of times in one year, so I often wear and return back to its storing spot without cleaning.

An occasion like spring cleaning is the best time to give all your jewelry a good soak. For this step, I want to stress that many antique pieces should not be cleaned at all. Items like foiled backed gemstones, hair jewelry, mourning pieces, tiny rose cut diamonds that are often irreplaceable, pearls and seed pearls, and other soft gemstone jewelry. This cleaning step I mostly do with my all gold pieces, 80% of my diamond jewelry, sapphire and ruby pieces. First, I get a soft toothbrush and run warm water and dunk the brush in Mr. Clean. I gently brush over each piece and then stick it in my ultrasonic cleaner. I have one I bought from Gesswein–the one that has a steamer and cleaner in one (but my steamer broke after one year of working beautifully). Those who know the power and strength of a steam cleaner will never go back to cleaning diamonds any other way–so sadly my broken steamer is also breaking my heart. Need a new one! I usually use water and either a small cap full of Mr. Clean or whatever cleaning solution your machine comes with.

Depending on how dirty each piece is would equal how long you put each item in the cleaner, but I would say 15-20 minutes is plenty. Another perk of having a jewelry background is having a really handy tool at my grasp–a microscope! I usually take a peek at my gemstone jewelry pieces and check all the stones before throwing them into the cleaner. Loose stones will only get looser, or even worse–fall out in the cleaner. That’s my only other pre-caution.

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3. Go Through Each Item:

Now that you have all your jewelry out of storage and mystery boxes, under beds, and out of old socks (yes, people stash things everywhere), it is a great idea to give each item a thorough evaluation. This is when you decide if you want to keep, trade, or sell–maybe even redesign. You should also take some photos of all your jewelry for inventory purposes and insurance purposes. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve looked through old photos and said, “hey, whatever happened to THAT ring??”

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4. Clean Your Actual Jewelry Box:

Day in and day out you open up your jewelry box, make your selections and then move on with your daily routine. A lot of dust, debris and dirty fingers can add up on your jewelry box, so it is just as important to clean your jewelry storage solution. I made a video of myself doing this and posted it on Instagram–it got a lot of attention because I was using a vaccuum hose attachment and using it without taking any of my rings out of the case. Of course I was being careful, but it is much smarter to do this step when everything is out. My biggest problem is Chiefy’s white hairs that somehow get on the black velvet padding of my jewelry cabinet. Using a hose attachment on my vaccuum is the best solution for this, but you can also use a lint roller. I also make sure to Windex the mirror on the front of my jewelry box and dust/polish the outer wood.

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5. The Finishing Touch:

You’re now on the last and final step to spring cleaning your jewelry box! You should feel really good by now and the best part is about to start. I suggest you put on your favorite tunes (obviously I will suggest Girl Talk Radio on Pandora) and get to work.

Start with organizing within each category–earrings, necklaces, bracelets, charms, and rings. I organize my earrings by studs, dangles, ear cuffs, etc. I have a row of pearl studs, a row of diamond studs…even yellow gold and white gold are separated. I used to organize my rings by how I acquired them–so I would just add my newest acquistion in the next available spot. I realized this wasn’t working out very well and one day I took everything out and organized it differently. I put similar styles together, similar stones together and motifs together. All my moonstone rings are together and they look way cooler that way. You can group by color of gemstone if you’d like–similar to how a closet is organized (definitely not my closet, but coveted closets). I have all my baby rings in a section of their own. I don’t have a particular way of organizing my bracelets or necklaces because I simply don’t have that many.

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I hope these tips will help you and motivate you to SPRING CLEAN your jewelry box! If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask me–you can email me at [email protected] or Tweet me! @gemgossip

I’d love to see your photos or videos of you spring cleaning your jewelry box–please tag me!!

xoxoGemGossip

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Karen Liberman’s latest arrivals

The unparelleled curiosity of Karen Liberman, her taste for travel and her Mediterranean family heritage are inexhaustible sources of inspiration for the Australian designer. Let’s take another look at her latest arrivals.

22-kt gold, silver and ancient roman or byzantine coin rings

Karen’s jewellery are often unique. Thought and designed by the designer, they are handmade in her Jaipur’s workshops by local craftmen.

22-kt gold and rough diamonds “Losange” rings 

Karen is constantly in search for stones with frank and astonishing colors through the lapidaries of the whole world. She loves to pair these with the bronze pieces that have made her success.

22-kt gold and ancient coins necklaces and earrings

22-kt gold, ancient coins and pink and blue sapphires necklaces 

Diamonds, sapphires and rubies take on unique and mesmerizing graphic shapes and you can easily picture them adorning the neck and wrists of Ottoman sultanas.

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Five Investment Pieces You Need In Your Jewelry Wardrobe

Gem Gossip

I’ve been collecting fine jewelry for over fifteen years now and it is interesting to look back on pieces that I purchased in the beginning. I like to ask myself if those items were a good investment and part of evaluating that is knowing how much wear I’ve gotten out of each piece since purchasing. Your investment is only as good as how much joy and wear the piece of jewelry is providing for you–I am a firm believer in that!

But what if you don’t know where to start? Let’s say you’re new to collecting fine jewelry and only own a few odds and ends. You’ve got to start somewhere and being able to create a look by accessorizing your daily outfits with these pieces is a must. So let’s start with a list I’ve compiled of the five investment pieces you need to have in your jewelry wardrobe. These are staples that are meant to be classics, which never go out of style and will continue to get worn for years to come. These are pieces you should not feel bad for splurging on and rightfully so. These are future heirlooms, diamond encrusted, solid gold, hefty pieces that will be worth the same, if not more later on.

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