Travel Inspiration & Antique Jewelry from 1stdibs

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European churches have the finest inspiration for those who crave a wanderlust attitude, or are into designing, or even just want a whole new perspective.  I've been infactuated with the photography from MisterPeter! on his Flickr account--with hundreds of photos from European tours, with an emphasis on churches.  They are so beautiful and incredibly breath-taking.  They have even inspired me to coordinate some jewelry picks from 1stdibs...enjoy!

All jewelry can be found on 1stdibs...

Pink Quartz and diamond earrings set in 14k white gold by Suarez from Luxury Bazaar

Incredible 18k yellow gold aquamarine, diamond and sapphire bracelet by Temple St. Clair from MILLER

Seed pearl and pink topaz Victorian dangle earrings set in 15k gold from The Spare Room

 

Australian black opal with diamonds, sapphires & tsavorites from Maurice Fine Jewelry

Unusual baroque pearl and labradorite ring circa 1970s from OakGem

Extraordinary black opal ring with enamel accents circa early 1900s from A. Brandt & Son

 

Bold 18k yellow gold earrings by iLias Lalaounis from OakGem

Large gold cameo of Zeus circa 1870 set in 14k gold with diamonds on each shoulder from MARIE E BETTELEY, INC

Antique Victorian 14k gold multi-drop necklace circa 1900s from Park Place

 

 

SHOW ME YOUR RINGS! LXVIII

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{from top to bottom:

Ageless Heirlooms proves you can mix metals and styles of antique jewelry

some favorite ring designs from Nora Kogan Jewelry 

Baker & Black Jewelry wearing a most coveted Caduceus ring & Sagan Bombé ring

Katie Diamond Jewelry says PEACE with stacks of Kora eternity rings in multiple gemstones

theneonteaparty posts her personal collection with a gem panther ring and big flower

shelley_burr has a mouth-watering personal collection--love the big intaglio mixed with diamonds

a most exquisite memorial ring complete with urn from Bell & Bird 

bali PLATFORM jewelry showcasing another wish list ring of mine--the Yaya ring by LeeLooBird Jewelry

yvokalo creates a great combo of rich, buttery yellow gold and black}

How to Create Your Own Gem Gossip Jewelry Cabinet

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I was really excited and proud to launch my first-ever Gem Gossip video just before the holidays.  The video gives viewers an inside look into my typical day as a jewelry blogger and collector.  To think, it all started with a love for jewelry, and with six and a half years of hard work and dedication I’ve created an enormous amount of information in this field on GemGossip.com.  

After receiving lots of feedback on the video, I noticed an overwhelming amount of questions about how I store all my rings.  Whether you want to call it a jewelry closet, jewelry cabinet, an armoire, or jewelry cupboard, my way of storing my rings has caused a lot of stir!  I’m here to answer all those curious minds about what you just saw!  

My secret is the Lori Greiner mirrored jewelry cabinet.  This solution keeps one very important piece of advice in mind that I have for people—if it is out of sight, it is out of mind!  Each piece of jewelry stored in this cabinet is visible.  If you have one of those jewelry boxes that has tiny compartments or you keep your pieces in boxes hidden from sight, I say ditch those! There is nothing that I hate more than a piece of jewelry that gets no wear!  I bought mine off of QVC several years ago and as a jewelry connoisseur, have yet to fill it up completely! (Yes, there is THAT much room!) Of course, I've tweaked mine the best way possible for my own needs, which involved ripping out shelves, some hot glue and creativity. I bought velvet ring liners that had ring slots and cut them to size.  I then used some hot glue and laid each down, and waited for it to dry.  These new ring slots took the place of necklace hooks, but since I don’t wear too many necklaces and alternative space for necklaces on the door, it has allowed me for better use of the cabinet space!  Might even rip out one more row for more rings (which I actually did, video shown above)!  I also love the earring racks which allow you to not take the backs off each earring when storing them away. Another perk is the variety of color the jewelry box comes in--black, white, cherry, walnut and antique oak.

Here are all the links you need to create your own jewelry cabinet:

Lori Greiner stand-up mirrored jewelry cabinet from QVC

 

 

 

Fidra Jewellers Reports: Ring Exhibit at the Ashmolean Museum

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Very excited to bring you this story brought to you by Fidra Jewellers, one of my most favorite antique jewelry stores in England which I love to daydream about and hope to visit someday!  The shop is located in Brighton. To learn more, read this blog post I wrote in my archives.  Thank you Helen for contributing such a fun post:

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If you have a 'thing' for rings and you're ever at a loose end in Oxford, the Ashmolean Museum has a fascinating 'Finger Ring' collection which is well worth a view. The Ashmolean is the oldest university museum in the world. It started out in 1683, initially as a building to house the cabinet of curiosities that Elias Ashmole had collected.  

The collection of Finger Rings consists of a diverse selection of rings with amazing hand-wrought detail ranging from Pharonic Egypt to Victorian Britain, and what this wonderfully varied collection particularly celebrates is the personal significance that each of the rings had to its wearer. 

The wearing of rings has throughout history a meaning which is personal to each piece....

'Often in history and in legend...a story turns upon the fact that that a ring or jewel is recognised as belonging to someone important...and it is true that rings were known and recognised as powerful symbols and that the passing of a ring from one person to another could have an awesome significance'.' --Scarisbrook/Henig; Finger Rings.

The stunning collection is housed in a purpose-built octagonal shaped cabinet and the rings are grouped together in types with many early and rare rings including:

 

  • Rings significant for legal and business purposes, denoting power such as intricately carved Roman and Etruscan seal rings.

 

  • Rings marking the key events in the lives of their owners such as marriage and death are instanced in the beautiful Renaissance fede love and marriage rings and the exquisitely enamelled 17th century momento mori rings.

 

  • Papal and other ecclesiastical rings demonstrating the strength of religious faith or authority of the wearer include rings with prayers, Biblical inscriptions and iconography.

 

  • Amulet rings such as the fourteenth century toadstone rings, showing belief in the supernatural power of some gemstones.

 

It's a real feast for the eyes....the only frustrating thing about this rich and diverse collection for a jewellery junkie such as myself, is that you can't pick them up to examine them or even try them on!

 

The museum is free to visit, however the whole collection can be viewed here:

http://www.ashmolean.org/ash/objects/makegallery.php?pmu=153&mu=152&gty=brow&sec=&dtn=20&cpa=1

Or you can buy the book that accompanies the exhibit:

Communion by Joy: A Tale of Two Gemstones #LoveGold

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Gemstones are incredible treasures--to imagine how they formed, solely by Mother Nature, makes them even more unbelievable. It is also amazing to think about how you, of all people in this entire world, happen to end up with a certain gem and are now responsible for its new journey as a faceted stone. I've had the privilege of being an owner to two very special gemstones--a Tanzanian Rhodolite Garnet, 2.12 carats, from the extremely talented gemstone wizard Top Notch Faceting and this crazy cool opal from Australia I got years ago in Tucson. Both stones seemed to always want to be more than just gemstones--they longed to be a gorgeous piece of finished jewelry.  It was up to me as their new owner to decide what their transformation would look like--would they become rings or necklaces?  What design would be best?  Which designer could make them come alive? What metal would I choose?  With so many possibilities, they sat for a few years before everything fell into place! 

I knew I wanted my stones to be set in yellow gold, as both garnet and opal look radiant in yellow gold. The rich, wine-colored rhodolite garnet glistens against the bright yellow gold; same with opal.  The shapes of these two stones is what makes them so unique as well--a Top Notch Faceted stone is unlike any others, with his award-winning technique and passion for each gemstone he works on. The opal is elongated which would primarily make for a great drop pendant--but I knew I craved something different and not your typically designed piece of jewelry. Of course, we all know how ring-obsessed I am, so it wouldn't be right if I had made these stones into anything else!  The last parts of the tale of two gemstones are the most crucial, yet easiest decisions for myself. After working with and thoroughly enjoying my Eye of the Warrior ring that I received last fall from Communion by Joy, I knew I not only loved her aesthetic but I trusted her judgement as a designer and creative spirit.  I sent Joy my stones without any instruction besides my ring size and the requirement of 14k yellow gold. That's it!  I let her as a designer run free with what the stones spoke to her--something most people that get custom work done seldom do.  

I was so pleased with the outcome of what Joy has created.  A morning of therapeutic wax carving, mixed with meditation, followed by casting has yielded these two beautiful rings that will forever be in my collection.

Another exciting bit of information on Joy's jewelry--her fine jewelry collection has officially launched, as well as her one-of-a-kind pieces, which includes some limited edition items.  This marks the beginning of an era that Joy has been working towards and she is excited to be working exclusively in precious metals.  As always, her signature style and West Coast aura are still front and center of each and every design.  Excited to see what is to come for this talented woman!

 

This post was brought to you in collaboration with LoveGold

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Typical Tuesday with Katherine Van Dell of Rago Arts

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Name: Katherine Van Dell

Job: Jewelry Specialist at Rago Arts auction house

Location: Lambertville, NJ

The Three Graces Launches New Look, New Website!

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As long as I can remember, The Three Graces was my online fantasy world of jewels.  Established in 2002, owner Lisa Stockhammer-Mial has always been someone I highly admired based on the fact that she loves antique jewelry and has single-handedly made this passion her life.  And oh what a life it has been!  Continuously working hard to bring her clients the best of the best in terms of antique jewelry, Lisa scours the US and Europe for new finds.  Just as I have been loyally coming back to her website since day one, I can connect with her passion and see it come out in the pages online at TheThreeGraces.com.  What I’ve always enjoyed about my online experience with their website is how chock-full of education it is regarding jewelry. In the very beginning of my jewelry career, The Three Graces’ website taught me so much—at that point in my life, I could hardly afford groceries for the week, so although I wasn’t planning on purchasing anything, I always came back for the learning experience and eye candy.  Years later, it is the sincerity of a passion that has kept me as a fan and now a client.  It is what every solid business should set out to accomplish and I experienced it first-hand.

Improving and revinventing is an aspect for so many businesses and brands, and is a lot harder than most would think.  The stars have to align, timing is everything and decisions have to be made.  Change, especially if you’ve been doing something a certain way for many years, is often very difficult.  The Three Graces decided to make some changes—several, actually—and have clearly nailed it with their “makeover.”  Some of these changes include a new logo (which went from an image of The Three Graces taken from a 7th century enamel slide bracelet to a more modern golden, circular image of the letters T & G) a complete redesign of their website (several new features for even easier transactions), and lots of new lifestyle images that feature the jewelry worn as well as editorial style photos. 

The Three Graces has added some features to their newly unveiled website that I love—like “New Markdowns” section. Although not new, but equally ingenious, the “What’s Selling” section where customers can request to put a specific item on hold.  If you happen to see the ring of your dreams on hold, don’t get down immediately—it may still become available!  Of course, the “New Arrivals” section is my favorite and checked on often—The Three Graces updates this section a few times per day!  Their “Jewelry Archive” features over 100 pages of past sold items that any jewelry enthusiast would love to pore over.  Sometimes a picture, no matter how many angles are shown, cannot do a piece of jewelry justice—so The Three Graces has added videos to several listings where you can view the sparkle in action!  

The newly launched website and new look only enhances The Three Graces experience. The impeccable customer service and expertise remains priority.  I’m excited to see what else is to come in the future for this company and so glad that I’ve become a lifelong customer, where it first began with stumbling upon the website.  

Check out the newly launched website, TheThreeGraces.com

 

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GIVEAWAY ALL FEBRUARY: Kaura Jewels

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If you've heard the news, Gem Gossip is hosting giveaways all month long in February! We're excited to give back to all our amazing followers, readers and loyal fans!  Each Monday, a new GIVEAWAY will be posted...just follow the instructions on how to enter (each may be different) and we will be selecting a winner every Friday! There will be FOUR amazing pieces of jewelry up for grabs and I made sure each one is unique and different from one another!

Our fourth and final giveaway item comes from Kaura Jewels, a designer I first saw designs from when I went to JCK Luxury preview in NYC.  I loved her pieces and am so excited to offer this giveaway for my readers! Win this 14 karat gold ring with pink sapphires from the "Balance" collection by @kaurajewels. Recognized as #JCKrisingstar2014, her debut collection is inspired by ancient Indian armor and weaponry. All pieces are made in LA.

FOURTH GIVEAWAY:

 14k yellow gold ring with seven pink sapphires from the "Balance" collection, size 6

From Kaura Jewels

How to Enter-------> 1. Follow @kaurajewels on Instagram

                                2. go to Kaura Jewels FB page "Like" and enter contest on "Giveaway" tab 

3. comment on photo posted on Instagram and tag a friend when done.

 

>> GOOD LUCK!!

Favorite Instagrams: February 2015

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gemfever photographed the most exquisite little Victorian pearl and diamond ring, being surrounded by some Tahitians

charmcony if I haven't already been tempted at collecting antique Figa charms--this image sealed the deal!

goodgirljewelry holding up a fluorite slab from her gem collection

asos displaying some fun sunglasses that have me wishing for sunny weather

gemstonegypsy posted these incredible late 2nd century byzantine gold rings from Rome, on view at the Museo Nazionale Romano

marissanaples modeling some gorgeous Sylva Cie pendants available at their store

workhorsejewels stacked up some of their swoon-worthy jewels in the rosiest rose gold

eriebasin always has the most delightful jewelry case displays in his shop

watchanish tripping on someone's insane watch collection--I love collectors and their possessions 

fd_gallery features a belle époque emerald and diamond brooch formerly in the collection of Anita Delgado, 5th wife of the Maharaja of Kapurthala

leolarevives is a favorite antique jewelry shop on Etsy of mine--she is based in Hungary

bellandbird photographs this immaculate striped enamel band that is engraved February, 18th 1867

ruggedandfancy capturing some of Bobo Intriguing Objects' amazing wares and curios

theantiqueguild love this Georgian pendant set with diamonds and enamel

My Jewel Box: Frozen Antique Rings

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I'm pretty sure there is a correlation between online shopping and snow days. After growing up with snow days as being a common occurrence, moving down south and experiencing their "snow days" is usually somewhat comical. But, these past few days have truly been a rarity with an ice storm that has pretty much shut the whole city down. The roads have not been treated, so no one ventures out and most businesses are closed. This leaves everyone stuck at home with lots of freetime paired with boredom. Solution? Online shopping! Here are all my current favorites from my personal jewelry box, some of which were purchased online, with some new pieces I haven't talked about yet!

From left to right:

Edwardian diamond elogated ring set in gold, with platinum-top STORY HERE

my grandmother's 10k gold and glass cluster ring STORY HERE

my latest date ring added to my collection a Victorian 14k gold '01 from MarketSquare Jewelers

Victorian 14k yellow gold signet ring with an M engraved and small old cut diamonds from eBay 

center Edwardian diamond elongated ring set in gold with platinum-top STORY HERE

Victorian monogram ring conversion, used to be a flat nameplate affixed to a black ribbon

Edwardian diamond ring set with an old cushion cut diamond and single cut diamonds

14k yellow gold Emma fringe ring designed by Ashley Childs