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Must-Have Jewelry Books!


kismetbymilka michellefantacijewelry reverienyc newtwiststore dimarashidofficail isadorasantiquejewelry gemstonegypsy plukka leannefordstylist

{from top to bottom:

Kismet by Milka laying it on heavy with the black diamond goodness

Michelle Fantaci showing how sweaters and stacks are going to make me actually miss winter

@reverienyc has collected all these rings over the years, all from Pippin Vintage

New Twist basking in the sunlight AND glory of rings!

Dima Jewellery loving this shot of their rings by @sauce_rocks and so do I

Isadora's Antique Jewelry features several opal rings from their shop, all which complement each other so well

Gemstone Gypsy stacking up some of her everyday essentials, topped off by a snake

Plukka goes bold for honeycomb inspired statement rings all available on their website

Leanne Ford, stylist, shares her personal favorites all antique and so, so pretty}


My Jewel Box: Mixing Old & New

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A big part of my jewelry style philosophy is mixing old, vintage and antique, with new.  There's definitely an artform to it, with the process being very inspirational and almost meditative to me.  I've brought out some favorites of my jewelry box and played around--some pieces I haven't written about--and even one tiny new addition that I'm really happy about!  More below:

First photo:

  • Pearl & Diamond sideways crossover ring, circa late 1800s, purchased from eBay with the intention of selling but couldn't part with!
  • 18k yellow gold coral and sapphire vintage ring, circa 1960s, purchased on a jewelry road trip to Ohio. The full story on that ring here!
  • a figure-8 pearl and sapphire conversion ring, given to me by Matt for Christmas 2013--he says it is from eBay

Second photo:

  • my love for antique baby rings continues, as I have an affinity toward any with a D engraved; my newest comes from Antique Jewelry Addiction (furthest on left), I spotted it in an Instagram post, which featured several other antique baby rings for sale.  The others are from eBay!

 Third photo:

  • the REGARD ring is my only acrostic Victorian piece I own--I got it from @alyssaniki in what was my first ever "trade" which was a fun idea--I gave her a pair of watermelon tourmaline earrings for this ring
  • Emma Fringe ring in 14k yellow gold from Ashley Childs
  • a 9k British cluster ring featuring a citrine and pearls, purchased from eBay


>> Feel free to share how you mix old and new by tagging @gemgossip on Instagram!


Jewelry Book Review: Fascination British & Continental Jewelry 1785-1885

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A book like Fascination: British and Continental Jewelry 1785-1885 The Collection of Nancy and Gilbert Levine is the type of jewelry book that I am constantly longing for--a glimpse into someone's personal collection, featuring descriptions of each piece and hopefully a little insight into the collector's mind.  This is exactly what you get with this book and I am forever grateful!  A special thanks to Lenore Dailey who recommended this book via Instagram--what a wonderful community we have as jewelry collectors!

As with most collections, it always starts with one piece and one beautiful story.  For collectors Nancy Levine and the late Gilbert Levine, whose collection of over 200 pieces is chronicled here, it was an Assyrian bangle bracelet that started it all.  The couple were on a trip in London during the 1960s and stumbled upon this piece in a shop window.  It was then that they fell in love with the sheer beauty and craftsmanship of the time period, and an obsession was born.  Since then, the collection has been graciously loaned to be featured in several museums across the United States, with the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach, Florida being a long-holding curator as well as the force behind this publication.  It is very magical, as a collector, to hear the words used to describe Ms. Levine when she gushed over her pieces--pouring out historical information like an expert and with a spark in her eye. It is a feeling most collectors understand!

The book showcases the collection in beautiful, colored photographs with excellent descriptions of each piece which will both fascinate and educate any reader.  I love Ms. Levine's introduction titled, "On Collecting." The book is divided into sections based on time period and themes, with a focus on jewelry from 1785-1885 only--a truly unique time period in both jewelry and history.  Although this book doesn't focus too much on the historical aspect, it does give a brief overview of what was going on during that period of 100 years before getting into the jewelry, which helps to understand the aspects of the jewelry more fully.  The sections are broken down into Jewelry of the Gentry, Cannetille, William IV, The Bourbon Restoration, Early Victorian, Cameos, Revivalist, Late Victorian, Second Empire, Mosaics, Mourning, Souvenir, Evening Glitter, Religious Symbols, Earrings, and Jewelry of the Less Affluent.

I have to admit, this time period is one I know the least about, so reading this book really had my knowledge growing!  I won't give too much information away, other than it is a must-have for any antique jewelry collector!  Here are just a few key points I learned from this amazing, chronicled collection:


  • A couple seed-pearl demi-parures were featured in this book--I didn't know that they were worn mostly by single women, as diamonds were worn mostly at night by married women.  
  • The invention of the Argand lamp during the 1780s had influenced jewelry gold finishes--the use of matte contrasted with polished gold--which was now made visible by these new lamps.
  • Tassie cameos were invented by Scotsman James Tassie--they were sulphur-wax molds cast with a potash-lead paste, essentially paste cameos, made to satisfy the needs of the less affluent to collect exquisitely carved cameos held by the affluent.
  • Revivalist jewelry is a term used to describe pieces of this time period where styles of the past--like Etruscan, Egyptian, etc--were becoming en vogue.  This was due to many archaeological finds of the time, excavations taking place in Italy, Greece and the Middle East. Increased ability to travel also helped fuel this reawakening of jewelry style.
  • There are two types of mosaics: Roman & Florentine (the picture above of the micro mosaics feature all Roman types.


To buy a copy for yourself: (I bought a used copy through Amazon and it was signed by the curator!)

Typical Tuesday with Katie of Elizabeth Street Jewelry


Name: Katie Finn

Job: jewelry designer, metalsmith, founder of Elizabeth Street Jewelry

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Jewelry Auction Set for April 23rd, 2015 from Alex Cooper Auctions

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This spring season has been quite the busy one on the auction forefront!  With spring in the air, time to clean out your jewelry "closet" and not only sell some pieces you haven't worn in a few years, but also buy some new ones!  Pieces that you've been needing and continue to wish you owned--now is the time to buy!  If you've always wanted a Victorian bangle bracelet or a statement ring to wear on special occasions--an auction like Alex Cooper Auctions is the perfect place to buy.  And if you're on a spring cleaning kick and decide to part with a few items from your jewelry box, Alex Cooper Auctions also will gladly consign your fine jewelry.  A few simple steps on how to go about doing that can be found here.  It is as easy as getting a pre-sale evaluation, consign, and wait for your item to go up at auction!  

Now, if you're looking to add to your jewelry collection, like me, there is an auction coming up on April 23rd, 2015 at 3pm EST that you won't want to miss! Above are my favorites from the lineup--you can view the entire catalog online here.

Lot 4: I chose this ring solely because how incredibly huge the center diamond is--try about 10 carats of Oval! It is currently set in a gent's 14k yellow gold mounting, but can easily be changed by whomever is the lucky bidder. Excessively large diamonds can be bought at bargain prices at auction!

Lot 27: This appealing Art Deco diamond ring will flatter the hand of whomever wins it--a nice slightly domed silhouette set with two half carat Old European cut diamonds in platinum.  Very chic!

Lot 29: I am a sucker for painted portrait rings, especially ones that are in amazing condition--which is getting harder and harder to find!  Mounted in 14k yellow gold, this hand-painted piece depicts a young man and woman.

Lot 35: As a jewelry collector, I feel that everyone's collection should have an Art Deco onyx ring set with a diamond.  There are so many variations out there, this one is quite captivating. I also like how versatile a ring like this is--you can wear it with almost anything and make it your go-to ring!  This one is set in 10k yellow gold.

Lot 64: The geometrical, Art Deco shape of this opal and diamond pendant is awesome, plus I like the touch of the dangling diamond hanging off from the main portion of the pendant.  This piece is done in 14k white gold and features lots of old cut diamonds that sparkle brilliantly.

Lot 138: Another pendant necklace that I'm loving is this all-original blue zircon filigree piece that has a touch of seed pearls around each zircon.  The pearls and the flow of this necklace is very feminine and reminiscent of the era.  The piece is done in 14k gold.

Lot 83: Looking for a perfect wedding day staple or a dramatic push present?  These filigree diamond tennis bracelets always do the trick.  Such a timeless piece sent from a bygone era.  Set in platinum, this particular bracelet is set with a few Old European cut diamonds.

Lot 167: This ring reminds me of my epic "comet ring" score because of the diamonds and enamel work surrounding it.  Mounted in 14k yellow gold set with a radiant cut sapphire and surrounded by diamonds, this is one of those "show-stopping" pieces everyone needs in their personal collections.

Lot 243: Such a precious and adorable piece--a large heart-shaped amethyst pin with a tiny bird perched politely and acts as a prong.  This could certainly act as a token of love and become a very sentimental piece for someone.  It is mounted in 14k yellow gold.

Lot 224: An incredible Etruscan flexible braided link bracelet with a lion grasping a diamond in its mouth!  Such a neat piece and it reminds me of a bracelet I once lusted after and never knew what ended up happening to it! Wish I would've purchased it now...don't let that happen to you!  Start bidding! :)


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



Favorite Instagrams: Spring 2015

victoiredecastellane ebjewel mariehelenedetaillac bellflowerbay sankalthani ireneneuwirth oakgem treasuregarland mineralien sofiakaman paula_dolubizno jennifergandia sacraluna elizabethgarvin

victoiredecastellane capturing what she does best--designing amazing pieces for Dior

ebjewel admiring some art at the Armory Show, along with her ring she designed

mariehelenedetaillac these cluster rings are like neon signs, loving the electric colors

bellflowerbay bought this print at the V&A Museum last year and is proud that it safely returned home with no wrinkles

sankalthani posts this beautiful painting by Fanny Nushka Moreaux

ireneneuwirth on her way to Paris--who could ever want a plain charm necklace now?!  Gemstones only!

oakgem with a new selection of jewelry headed to their online storefront

treasuregarland fascinated by this incredible painted portrait ring with various gemstones surrounding it

mineralien zooming in hardcore into blue apatite in gently pink morganite--field of view 8.2mm

sofiakaman and seven unique vintage rings available at their store in Venice, CA

paula_pink_with_diamonds makes bespoke jewelry including these covetable necklaces

jennifergandia posted this really cool image by Blake Wright, leaving her gemstoned

sacraluna is the perfect feed to follow if you love gemstones and mineral specimens

ElizabethGarvin sprawls out an amazing array of gemstones


Custom Wedding Bands Fit for Your Antique Engagement Ring



With today's trends leaning toward unique engagement rings, especially antique pieces, many future brides are having trouble finding the perfect wedding band to complement their ring. Quinn's Goldsmith has been solving this dilemma since 1990. Whether you have an Art Deco engagement ring with an odd silhouette or a center diamond with a fancy shape, Quinn's will custom create a wedding band that will fit up flawlessly to your unique ring. If you're in the market for creating a custom wedding band with Quinn's, mention you've read this article on Gem Gossip and receive 1/2 off on a custom wax carving!

Most recently, owner Terry Quinn has been busy with his award-winning designs and running his two full-service jewelry store locations--Woodbridge, VA & Historic Occoquan, VA. For two years in a row now, he won a multinational competition held by the Independent Jewelers Organization!  Two designs won last year and four designs won for this year!  Such an amazing accomplishment!  His life journey is truly remarkable, with a commendable 25 year jewelry career, but it doesn't begin there!  It is his passion, talent and desire to give back that makes him such a shining star.  


Some examples of their custom made wedding sets

Terry Quinn's Award-winning designs --

18k yellow gold opal, tanzanite and diamond pendant

14k white gold green tourmaline and diamond pendant

14k yellow gold opal and diamond pendant


Occoquan Location
199 Union Street
Occoquan, VA - 22125

(703) 494-1662


Woodbridge Location
14901 Potomac Town Place Suite 170
Woodbridge, VA - 22191
(703) 878-1622

Jewelry Store: Filigree Jewelers in Minneapolis, MN


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I love discovering stores that make me want to jump on the next plane headed that way!  Filigree Jewelers has me seriously tracking down flights to Minneapolis, with their unique array of antique and estate jewelry. Best known for their selection of antique engagement rings which range in price points for every budget, Filigree Jewelers has many highly coveted Art Deco engagement rings. With over 30 years of combined experience, owners Brent and Catherine have brought the decadence of antique jewelry to Minneapolis--a niche that was missing prior to their store opening in 2010.  

Catherine's love for jewelry grew at a very early age when she got to see her mother come home from a long day's work at her and her husband's antique jewelry store and she was covered in jewels!  Catherine's parents owned the oldest antique jewelry firm in San Francisco--Gus Farber and D Tenenbaum Inc; established in 1923. Legends within this business, she learned from the best and began her own career at the age of 23 managing her father's business, located at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel.  A few years and a marriage later, she and her husband got the opportunity to open their very own luxury jewelry store in La Jolla, CA along with Catherine's uncle.  The store carried only high-end pieces by the most world-renowned designers Buccellati, Cartier, Mauboussin and Tiffany just to name a few!  

A desire to start a family and their own business led the couple to Minneapolis, where Filigree Jewelers was established!  Catherine says, "We have such a passion for antique jewelry and wanted to offer Minneapolis something that no one else was doing. We have tailored our inventory with a main focus on fine quality antique and vintage engagement rings. We pride ourselves in painstakingly restoring every piece before it hit our website and showroom floor. Brent is meticulous in reviewing each piece for quality and design. From milgrain to repoussé; we bring every piece back to its original condition."

Their showroom is by appointment only, but they do welcome walk-ins!  The location is quite unique--situated in the Warehouse district of Minneapolis, in an incredible historic building--the Colonial Warehouse building. Perfectly suited for historic pieces with lots of character! As you can see from the interior photos, the building's original architecture is still present and complements Filigree Jewelers' overall vibe.  

Don't live in Minneapolis? Not a problem!  Their inventory is beautifully showcased on their website, which gets updated frequently, as well as their social media channels.  Both Catherine and Brent encourage online shoppers to give them a call if you have any questions about any of the pieces featured.  They strive to give impeccable customer service, whether you stop in and visit or shop from your computer!

Follow Filigree Jewelers on FacebookInstagram & Pinterest!


Filigree Jewelers
212 Third Avenue North
Minneapolis, MN 55401
By Appointment Only

Rago Arts Jewelry Auction Set for April 15th & 16th

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Two separate jewelry sales are slated for Rago Arts Auction, happening back-to-back in a two day span--April 15th and April 16th, 2015. The two sales--the Inaugural Fine Jewelry Spring Sale (April 15th), along with the Unreserved Jewelry Sale (April 16th) are both jam-packed with dazzling jewelry and cannot be missed!  I, of course, will be logging in from my computer and watching the action from the comfort of my home. I've enjoyed browsing the catalog, choosing highlights from both sales--the April 15th sale favorites are above, while the April 16th sale favorites are below.  

New to bidding at auction?  This webpage should answer all your questions. Rago Arts hosts bidding online through both Bidsquare and LiveAuctioneers, so you can register through either of those sites to begin bidding as well.

Inaugural Fine Jewelry Spring Sale//April 15th, 2015

Lot 42: This incredible, show-stopping fringe necklace is set with banded agates and diamonds. A contemporary rendition of a turn-of-the-century piece, the round brilliant cut and marquise cut diamonds give away its age. This would look stunning around the neck.  Estimate: $3800-4800

Lot 75: A ring with a shape like this will capture anyone's attention! This designer piece stamped Cirio, as in Maison Cirio, is set with a bicolor tourmaline and diamonds. The Italian design house has created a masterpiece with this one! Estimate: $750

Lot 124: A wreath-inspired elongated diamond ring, set with round brilliant cut diamonds totaling about one carat, all set in 14k yellow gold.  I love this style of ring and this one appears to flatter the finger very well! Estimate: $800-1200

Lot 125: If you are a fox jewelry fan, this lot is for you!  Two foxes--one set as a full brooch, the other more of a bar pin/safety pin style.  Both set in silver topped gold with rose cut diamonds and ruby eyes.  Estimate: $800-1200

Lot 146: I love a good lot where all the items in it are desirable! This one includes two rings and a pair of earrings.  The rings are both Art Deco--one is set with a large blue zircon in the center, surrounded by diamonds and the other is a navette shaped ring set with all diamonds.  The earrings are created from a pair of cufflinks--very cool!  Estimate: $1000-1500

Lot 206: This lot consists of six pins and one lapel watch--a plethora of anique goodies!  They range in dates from 1890-1915 and are all gold, either 10k or 14k.  I love the seed pearl sunburst pin and the enameled pieces.  Estimate: $1000-1500

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Unreserved Fine Jewelry Sale//April 16th, 2015

Lot 604a: This Victorian rose cut diamond bangle features a floral cluster in the center of this exquisite bracelet. The piece is in great condition and tests for at least 10k gold. Estimate: $350-450

Lot 626: There's nothing like an Art Deco diamond and sapphire dinner ring--this one is so gorgeous, set with Old European cut diamonds and chevron shaped synthetic sapphires. It is a size 6 1/2.  Estimate: $700-900

Lot 635: Enameled pansy jewelry is always a favorite amongst collectors.  This lot comes with several--a bracelet with seven pansy charms on a multi-strand chain, two pansy brooches, and one pansy ring.  This is the ultimate collection for enameled pansy lovers! Estimate: $500-700

Lot 640: Such a sweet combination of sapphires and river pearls in cluster settings!  This lot features a pair of earrings and matching ring.  Estimate: $500-600

Lot 679: Love these trio of unusual designs--the furthest on the left is a bypass style ring set in 18k gold with a tiger's eye and bone disc each bezel set, the center is also set in 18k gold holding a banded agate rod, and the third ring is a bypass style set with a swirl of diamonds, also 18k gold.  Estimate: $300-450

Lot 816: A perfect pair--an Old Mine cut diamond cluster saddle ring and an Egyptian Revival enameled ring set with a large oval cabochon cut onyx.  Both are a size 7 1/2.  Estimate: $500-700


This post was brought to you in collaboration with Rago Arts Auction.


My Jewel Box: Workhorse Rings + Some Favorites

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I am a sucker for sentimental jewelry--but who isn't?!  Some people get lucky and have relatives that pass down glorious family heirlooms, both precious in memories and price.  But what if you love jewelry but don't have the luxury of having family heirlooms?  To start, you can invest in your own pieces so someday you can pass down sentimental jewels and begin a family tradition.  

Workhorse Jewelry has some of the best sentimental, modern pieces for everyday wear I've seen! I'm wearing the Amina buckle ring in 14k yellow gold and a very special made-to-order Aric ring in all 14k yellow gold, both from Workhorse Jewelry.  Their Aric ring is shown online and in their collection with a sterling band and gold heart, but I had it specially made in all gold--which is one thing I love so much about their collection, you can get many pieces made to your preferences.  I also had the ring engraved on the inside.  I wanted something to commemorate my grandparents and their sweet relationship--so I had sort of an inside joke inscribed which reads, SHUT THE FAN OFF.  It stems from my yearly visits to their winter home in Florida during my college years--every January my sister and I would make the journey down there for some sun.  Oddly enough, every visit seemed like clouds and wind more than sunshine and pool, but we realized we enjoyed being with my grandparents more than our excuse to our friends of saying "we're going on vacation."  My grandparents were married over 50 years, their bond was undeniable and what was most fun to watch was how much my grandpa cared for my grandma.  He would do anything to make sure she was happy and comfortable.  We all went out one evening for pizza at a local restaurant, and if you've ever been with my grandparents you would know that between their Italian accents and very specific requests, you would always feel a little timid to go out to dinner with them.  After several requests by my grandpa to turn down the AC after seeing my grandma grandpa proceeded to stand up in front of the whole restaurant and yell, SHUT THE FAN OFF and make a riveting Italian hand gesture--the kind Italians always make when they're fed up with something. At the time, I was definitely embarrassed...but when I look back it was one of my most memorable and fondest insights into their love...completely funny now, especially when my sister and I tell that story to people and reenact it.  

A ring with a sentimental quote or inside joke is a treasure I recommend for anyone and everyone! Take a look at all Workhorse Jewelry has to offer and see if customizable engraving is available on your favorite piece.  It will be both special and wearable at the same time, and years from now you will be proud to pass it on.

Rings showcased above:

14k yellow gold Aric ring featuring Greek key band and heart, with engraving on inside from Workhorse Jewelry

14k rose gold engagement ring with two Old European cut diamonds in a bypass setting

14k yellow gold curved feather ring custom made from an earring (the other earring is available to be made into a ring)

14k yellow gold vintage narrow navette turquoise ring from James McHone Jewelry

14k yellow gold opal and diamond ring from Charlie & Marcelle

14k yellow gold Amina buckle ring from Workhorse Jewelry