Jewelry Collection Stories: Lindsey of @ParkAvenueAntiques

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I’ve followed Lindsey of Park Avenue Antiques for a very long time! My first interaction with her was sort of humorous–I remember being on my way out the door to go antiquing for the day with my mom and sister. I was waiting on a ring to go up on the auction block so I unpleasantly made them wait until it did, not realizing it wouldn’t be until another 45 minutes. I can’t remeber exactly why I lost out on the ring, but while in the car finally on our way, I took a screenshot of the ring and posted it on Instagram with the caption, “Who outbid me on this portrait ring?! Confess!!” Lindsey was sweet enough to message me to tell me she had been the final bidder on it and graciously offered it for sale. A story too good to be made up, I’ve treasured that ring ever since! Over the years, we’ve continued to follow each other–even one point I tried meeting up at an antique show, but kept missing her! Hopefully meeting will be in the cards for us in the future, but until then…let’s check out her amazing jewelry collection!

Like many of you, I have been attracted to sparkly things for as far back as I can remember. As a little girl, I collected rocks and minerals, little buttons and sea glass. My father was an antiques dealer and the two of us were always on an “antiquing adventure”. One of our favorite places to visit was Roycroft Antiques in East Aurora, NY. They had a wooden whisky barrel filled with buttons and beads and I would dig through that barrel until my hands were black! Who knows what I thought I’d find in there! It was all about the hunt….

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I share this silver filigree necklace with my daughter Cameron. The three Edwardian silver bears represent her and her two brothers.

Around the age of 5, we moved to Hershey, Pennsylvania. It was a difficult transition. My parents both worked two jobs and I was home alone a lot. My mother always found ways to show me how much I was loved and that she was thinking of me. She came up with a hide and seek game we called “Rubber Legs” which involved hiding a yellow plastic figure. Before she left for work in the morning, she would hide Rubber Legs somewhere for me to find. Then I would hide him somewhere for her. I almost always hid him in her antique spool cabinet/jewelry box. It was a magical place where I wasn’t supposed to “dig around” but I couldn’t help myself! There were sparkly rings, beautiful strings of trade beads, flapper necklaces and cameos. She had all kinds of treasures but my favorite piece was a little gold acorn charm that rattled when shaken.

Once we moved to Hershey, adventures in antiquing with dad still continued. He opened an antique lighting shop in Adamstown, PA in the Black Angus Antiques Mall. Most Sundays I would tag along to help him but really spent most of my days with other dealers. I was fascinated with their knowledge in various fields and eager to hear their stories. This is where my love for jewelry and antiques really started.

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LEFT: Georgian sapphire and rose cut diamond bow brooch in silver topped gold, purchased at the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch Show

When collecting jewelry became a serious passion, I invested in books. Jewelry books on private collections, construction, symbolism, intaglios, various periods and markings. My jewelry library has helped me to educate myself and develop a true respect for the craftsmanship and symbolism that these pieces hold. I try to add one book to my collection every month. I would encourage any aspiring jewelry collector to do this as well.

RIGHT: Eight years ago, I was newly divorced and the only jewelry I had was my and my grandmothers wedding ring. I put some money aside and decided I’d like to create a piece of jewelry that would represent my family. I hoped to create a ring that could be passed on to one of my children. The first jeweler I went to was a rather unpleasant experience. I nearly gave up on my idea but decided to give it one more try. This is when I met Skip Colflesh, the owner of The Jeweler’s Bench in Hershey, PA. He helped me create the perfect ring. We used the diamonds in my grandmothers wedding ring, my engagement ring and each of the children’s birthstones. The first time I saw the ring it was an emotional experience. It was a perfect representation of my life’s journey. The diamonds no longer felt like the loss of a loved one or a failed marriage – they were now something beautiful and very personal. But more than that, I was so grateful for the friendship that had come out of designing the ring together. Skip has become one of my dearest friends and also my mentor. Friends make all the difference.

Park Avenue Antiques

I really don’t have a specific type of jewelry or period that I collect. I am mostly drawn to gemstones and figural pieces but my collection is quite varied. My most heavily worn pieces of jewelry are my watch chains. I love connecting them together for different looks and wearing them with various pendants.

Here are a few of my favorite necklaces:

LEFT: Painted enamel mourning locket depicting a young girl and her dog. It reads “Mary Rutherfurd Prime April 16, 1810 – Died September 9, 1835”

SECOND FROM LEFT: Opal pendant from Arts & Crafts Movement. This pendant reminds me of my favorite spring flower, lilac, and the opals are absolutely electric. I bought this in an antique store in England.

THIRD FROM LEFT: Not easy to pick a favorite, but if I had to, this would be it! Raj Era moonstone pendant from @saintespritofchelsea Beautifully crafted in silver and gold with huge shimmering moonstone cabochons.

CENTER: 19th c Kerosang with faceted white zircon.

Park Avenue Antiques

Here are a few of my favorite rings:

Victorian era amethyst and pearl serpent ring was purchased from David Ashville of Ashville Fine Arts.

The kunzite and diamond ring I bought from @blackamooruk. I believe this ring was originally an early 20th century brooch that was carefully converted. I love the size of the kunzite and it fits my finger perfectly.

The Victorian topaz ring was purchased from @ishyantiques.

The art deco moonstone ring is one of my favorites. It was purchased from Brad Wilson of Wilson’s Estate Jewelry in Philadelphia, PA.

The massive cameo ring I created using a 19th century cameo from @antiquestoreinwayne and a custom gold setting created by Skip Colflesh @thejewelersbenchofhershey.

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LEFT: Agate tree ring – This is one of my creations. I used an agate sourced from an old cufflink mounted in a setting made by @thejewelersbenchofherehey Victorian chrysoberyl and gold band @westandsonjewellery

RIGHT: This is my most recent purchase. My dear friend Will @martindaleasianarts recently took me on a day trip to a quaint town about an hour outside of London where I found it in an antiques shop.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity. I am honored to be a part of the Instagram jewelry community. Your posts have greatly enhanced my knowledge and appreciation for all types of jewelry and the friendships that have developed because of our shared passion for jewelry are priceless to me.

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? Check out the other Jewelry Collection Stories

You can follow Lindsey –> @ParkAvenueAntiques

Source: GossipGem.com

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Holiday Gift Guide: Ready-to-Wear & Tools

How quickly time flies! The holidays are on the way. It’s always a good idea to have ready-to-wear or quick-finish concepts in mind to round out your inventory in a pinch. Sales can be difficult to forecast in the fourth quarter. Ready-to-wear basics can also be easy upsells at holiday events.

And don’t forget jewelry making tools for your own holiday list or the other metalsmiths and beaders in your life. Here is a rundown on some of my personal favorites coming into the 2018 holiday season.

Ready-to-Wear Easy Upsell Items

Ready-to wear hoop earrings

We have you covered if you love hoops. From 15-65mm we have hoop earring findings in sterling silver and gold-filled with styles ranging from plain and diamond-cut to sparkly wire hoops that would look beautiful hanging from the tree. Hoop earrings are having a moment this year, so they are sure to be strong sellers as stocking stuffers.

Fancy finger rings and bands

Another favorite item is fancy finger rings. We carry hundreds of ring styles including stacking, midi, and bands in sterling silver, gold-filled, rose gold-filled and solid gold. With our large ring selection, I’m sure you’ll find something you love. We anticipate a huge demand for rings this year. Be sure to stock up early and plan your buying ahead as best you can. Manufacturers are already warning that capacity will be strained for bestselling basics.

Ready-to-wear finished neck chains

How can you go wrong with chain? We have hundreds of finished chain bracelets and necklaces that are ready-to-wear, from thin and lightweight to large and heavy. These easily stand out on their own as a wonderful gift.

Or, create finished fashion chains from some of our fancy footage options. The sequin chain style shown in the header image above is one of our bestselling chains of the year. Customers will love layering sparkle in with your custom pendant chains and statement necklaces. You can never have too many chains!

Treat Yourself

Metalsmith Hand Tool Starter KitFor the jewelry makers in your life, we have different starter kits available, from soldering to wire-wrapping: however, my personal favorite is the hand tool starter kit which has all of the jewelry making tools you need to get started plus soldering supplies, too.  This is a great investment especially if you’re a student on a tight budget.

Jewelry tool bench polisher

One of our favorite items in the Halstead Studio is the jewelry tumbler. It’s nice when you can throw a piece into the tumbler and let it finish up in there as you move on to other projects. The mirror-finish looks so good, too!

Bench polishing metalsmith tool

To make quick work of your polishing, the bench polisher is a great purchase. It does the job quickly whether you use it to buff or polish your jewelry. It also comes with two abrasive buffing wheels so you can remove firescale and oxidization right away.

Last, but not least, we have a 12pc set of mini forming stakes that would make a great gift for a metalsmith. It’s perfect for shaping metal such as rings and cuffs and it comes with a nice wooden stand. We also sell stakes individually and those would make excellent stocking stuffers. Forming stakes are trending. It’s the perfect time to hone your hammering skills and try out a new technique.

Have a wonderful holiday season!

Shop Now for Sterling Silver Jewelry Supplies
 
Shop Now for Metalsmithing Tools and Supplies

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James D. Julia Auction Features 60 Jewelry Items in Upcoming Sale

Hey Gem Gossip readers! As many of you know, writing about upcoming auctions is one of my favorite topics–I’ve written nearly 100 blog posts on this topic throughout the past almost nine years of having this blog! I live it, breathe it, and am constantly talking about jewelry auctions. I love discovering new auction houses and I’m excited to be writing about James D. Julia Auction house today since I never have featured them before. They have an upcoming sale on June 16th, 2017 that is called “June Rare Lamps, Glass & Fine Jewelry Auction” which is of interest, particularly the 60 lots of fine jewelry items which is at the very beginning of the sale.

James D. Julia Inc. is located in Fairfield, Maine and has been in business for over fifty years. The company began in 1965 by Arthur Julia as a small country auction house which quickly grew over the years. Current owner James D. Julia purchased the company from his father in 1974 after graduating college. Always staying current with the times has been a key to the success of this auction house–state-of-the-art catalogs, photos and descriptions as well as an easy interactive website where bidding can take place from anywhere in the world have allowed an auction house located in Maine compete with world-known names. They are currently ranked as one of the top ten antique auction houses in North America.

The June 16th auction features 60 lots of jewelry items–pieces from the low 100s on up to six-figure digits–so a pretty large assortment. Diamond rings, lots of emeralds, a high-end Breitling watch, jewelry suites, pearls, gorgeous every day jewelry, and everything in between. One of my favorite lots is the last one in the jewelry section–a group of 40 jewelry books! I am such a jewelry book nerd and this lot features a bunch of rare, out-of-print titles. It is definitely worth checking out and the people of James D. Julia were kind enough to create an interactive catalog (embedded above) which features all 60 of the jewelry lots! It is also worthy to note, many of the pieces, starting with lot #1019 as noted in the catalog, are from a private Texas Estate collection which is completely unreserved and thus could result in some excellent buying opportunities.

Here are some of my favorites highlighted:

Lot 1005: A stunning all-diamond bypass style ring, set in 14k white gold and an estimated 1.78 carats total. I love the bypass style, with this piece having three diamonds set at a diagonal. If you’re thinking of a unique alternative engagement ring, this would be a great choice! Estimate: $2,000-3,000

Lot 1007: The most expensive/highest estimate piece in the sale–this 10.02 carat natural fancy intense yellow diamond ring! This rare and unique stone is VS-1 in clarity and comes with a diamond certificate from GIA. To accompany the center stone, it is beautifully flanked on each side by bullet shaped diamonds, VVS/VS clarity and FG in color. The ring is done in platinum and 18k white gold. Estimate: $130,000-160,000

Lot 1016: Elegant and charming, this diamond pendant necklace features gorgeous bright white diamonds set into a Art Nouveau treasure. It features a dangling bezel set diamond at the bottom and hangs from a 16″ chain. Nothing like a piece of history. Estimate: $1,500-2,500

Lot 1020: A vintage Cartier ring of finest quality–composed of one center emerald cut diamond and two emerald cut emeralds on each side. The ring is done in platinum with 18k yellow gold settings. Center diamond weighs 1.98 carats and the emeralds are Columbian. Can’t get much better than that! Estimate: $20,000-30,000

Lot 1023: I like this ring because it has a bypass style but it also has sort of a serpent look to it! The ring is set with a modified-fan cut emerald and lots of diamond accents, 1.75 carats to be exact! This ring is trendy and classic at the same time. I could easily pair with other pieces for a fun look. Estimate: $1,200-1,800

Lot 1035: If you love a good multi-gemstone piece of jewelry, this one is my pick for you! This cuff is done in 18k yellow gold and bezel set with multiple gemstones of all colors! We’ve got rubies, emeralds, sapphires, and an unidentified yellow stone…all of various shapes and sizes. A truly well-made and exquisite piece! Estimate: $500-800

Lot 1052: This necklace caught my attention the first time I ever looked at this catalog. It consists of a multi-serpent pendant that hangs from a gold toggle necklace–the various gemstones are peridot, garnet, amethyst, and citrine. The layers of serpents graduate in size, as do the gemstones. I’ve never seen a pendant quite like this one before and I’ve always been drawn to serpent jewelry. Estimate: $600-900

Lot 1060: Remember the lot of jewelry books I talked about above–this is the lot! It features 40 different jewelry reference books, including several out-of-print titles. 100 Years of Collectible Jewelry, Cameos Old & New, Jewelry in America 1600-1900, and The Art of Fine Jewelry are definitely intriguing me and I feel like I will be bidding on this lot come auction day!

This sponsored blog post was brought to you in collaboration with James D. Julia.

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All Good Things Come In Sets!

CIRCA considers Bulgari one of our favorite jewelry designers. Our client came in with this lovely bracelet with matching earrings. The pastel colors define their iconic appeal. They were her mother-in-law’s. Upon her passing there were several items our client inherited, many of which she will be wearing for years to come. Not these though. “I just can’t make them mine,” she confided in us. “…so I suppose I’ll be making them yours.”

Check out other sets we’ve purchased below!

David Webb White Enamel, Diamond & Gold Equestrian Set

CIRCA buys entire collections of jewelry. You’d be pretty surprised at how consistent some can be. At CIRCA we are lucky enough to be offered a window into the personal taste of certain collectors. It can be quite an honor. This collector’s remarkable David Webb white enamel jewelry helped to define her signature look. When it was time to sell, our client was also looking for our consistency. In this case it was our time honored consistent commitment to meet privately, offer in writing, pay immediately.

Bulgari Serpenti Diamond & Gold Watch, Earring & Ring Set

Since its creation CIRCA 1940, the iconic Bulgari Serpenti has frequently evolved from its original design, continuously slithering alongside women’s fashion to exude the bold glamour of each new decade. The serpent has since become an essential mascot in Bulgari’s jewelry collection, coveted by some of the world’s most glamorous women. Elizabeth Taylor’s wrist was famously adorned by a custom bejeweled Serpenti while on the set of her acclaimed film, Cleopatra. On a visit to our Hong Kong office, our client showed us her collection and was thrilled upon hearing our offer. Her jewelry and diamonds really were worth more at CIRCA.

Cartier Djigar Diamond & Gold Earring Set

This purchase came as a referral from a longtime client in Chicago. The Cartier suite was accompanied by our most recent satisfied client who in turn told us of the friends she would refer. The Djigar earrings and ring suite depict elephants walking. Legend has it that elephants never forget. And you should never forget the lengths to which CIRCA will go to to make a satisfied client of you

The post All Good Things Come In Sets! appeared first on CIRCA.

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The Knot: 3 Awesome Alternative Engagement Ring Styles to Consider

The Knot | Gem Gossip

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

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

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

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

xoxoGemGossip

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Timeless Classics: Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambras

We could never imagine having the thought, “Oh no… Not another Alhambra bracelet…” when we see these iconic Van Cleef & Arpels pieces come into CIRCA’s buying room. Our client was pretty sure the style had been played out. “No! In fact, VCA’s turquoise Alhambra just makes some of our customers completely crazy.” “How crazy?” she asked. We wrote down our offer, to which see responded, “I see. I’ll be back with the Alhambra necklace.” Marvel at other classic examples and their stories below!

Van Cleef & Arpels Magic Alhambra Necklace (Mother of Pearl)

We got this stunning mother of pearl Magic Alhambra in our buying room just in time for our client to trade up for a Mother’s Day treat this year. There’s nothing like flowers for mama!

Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra Earrings (Malachite)

More than half of CIRCA’s clients return to sell to us again, which speaks volumes about the service we provide. We recently purchased these VCA malachite Alhambra earrings from a client who has been coming to us for many years. We strive to provide the best price for your signed jewelry, and to give you the best selling experience as well.

Van Cleef & Arpels Magic Alhambra Bracelet (Mother of Pearl & Black Onyx)

Always a favorite, this Alhambra bracelet in mother of pearl and black onyx is one of the iconic stars in the VCA lineup. The Magic Alhambra debuted in 2006. Its charms of varying sizes is what separates magic from others in the collection. Our client decided to hold on to the necklace but felt the bracelet was “too matchy”. When a piece you have doesn’t quite fit in your collection it may be time to visit CIRCA.

The post Timeless Classics: Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambras appeared first on CIRCA.

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