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Gem Gossip Turns EIGHT Years Old!

#gemgossipturns8

I don't know how this happened, but Gem Gossip celebrates another year in July! Turning 8 years old is a huge milestone--the number 8 is crazy significant in my life and I hope this will be the best year yet! I'm so thankful for all that has come out of creating Gem Gossip and I still vividly remember writing my first blog post like it was yesterday. My taste has grown, my knowledge has grown, my friends and acquaintances have grown...so much positive has come out of this blog; more than I could have ever expected.

As a way of saying thanks, I'm hosting EIGHT, yes EIGHT, giveaways all month long. I can't wait for you all to see the prizes that could be yours--I've spent a long time putting the perfect items together, with personal favorites amongst them. 

I also like to ask YOU as a reader, follower, fan...what do you want to see more of?  See less of? Please leave some feedback because I like to listen. After all, you are most important in this equation!  So let me know--you can tweet me, email me, or comment in the comment section!

Thanks everyone and cheers to turning 8!

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? You may also enjoy taking a peek into my jewelry box.


Five Things I've Learned Through Online Bidding at Auction

Jewelry Auctions | Gem Gossip Jewelry Auctions | Gem Gossip

All three rings above are from Skinner Auction, won through online bidding

Jewelry Auctions | Gem Gossip

From left to right: sapphire & diamond navette ring from Fellows Auction, gold "Love, Peace, Hope" ring from Hampton Estate Auction, sapphire ring from Richard Winterton Auctioneers

Jewelry Auctions | Gem Gossip

From left to right: snake ring from Hampton Estate Auction, Yellow topaz from Burns White Galleries, X band from Fellows Auction, diamond and black enamel elongated ring from EBTH

You've seen me show off jewelry won at auction on here and on my Instagram page. I've bid online at auction multiple times, with various platforms, different auction houses--even different countries. I'm here to break it down for you, to make bidding at auction less intimidating and hopefully you come up a winner. But winning isn't something that always happens for me--eight times out of ten I come up short and end up defeated. It takes time, effort and practice--but most importantly luck and intelligence. The first few times I bid online I was SO nervous!  (And when I say bid online, I'm not talking about bidding on eBay. I'm referring to bidding live at a real-life auction, just virtually via computer.) When I was a beginner at this, I usually lost or ended up missing certain items I was looking out for..a few times I didn't even realize you had to register beforehand!  A good portion of my personal collection consists of pieces won at auction, my wins came from Skinner, Fellows, Hampton Estate Auction, Richard Winterton Auctioneers, and Burns White Galleries. 

In total, I've placed 11 winning bids on rings that are currently in my personal collection! Some of these are the most unique pieces and my absolute favorites.  Some of these are the best "deals" I've scored as well. I have never purchased something at auction that I would say is worth less than I paid for it. In fact, many items are worth twice, three times, even four times more than what I paid. So if that doesn't entice you enough, here are some lessons I've learned along the way to help you even more:

1. Register at least one week in advance of auction date.

I didn't realize this when I first started out, but you need to fill out a few online forms before you can bid!  Most auction houses have to also "approve" of you bidding as well, so the paperwork completion is not an automatic in. Sometimes the process can take a few days, depending on how backed up they get. It is also noteworthy to know that every auction house requires different forms before allowing you to bid. Some even require a scanned copy of your driver's license and credit card!

2. Register with several websites which host auctions.

This is helpful because there are so many great websites which host live bidding. They also act as an auction calendar, pulling up reminders and suggesting items they believe fit what you're looking for. Sometimes they even approve you to bid at auctions you didn't even sign up for, just in case you decide to bid last minute. It is like early bird check-in. 

My favorites:

liveauctioneers.com

bidsquare.com

invaluable.com

paddle8.com

ebth.com

3. Login and bid live.

I hardly ever win bids that I place on items weeks or days prior to auction. It is almost like wasting a bid. I suggest figuring out the date and time a particular auction is set to go live, time it correctly, and login/bid live. This also helps to get a feel for how people are bidding--are items going for crazy prices?  Are there more floor bidders or online bidders? It also helps you view how the process goes. For example, item is called up for auction, bidders bid, "final call" happens and hammer!

4. Don't forget about the fees.

These might surprise you! When bidding, make sure your "max" bid isn't truly your max amount you're wanting to pay, because there are fees involved! If you are within the US and are bidding at a US auction, the fees usually include a buyer's premium (with the % varying depending on auction house), taxes if applicable, and shipping & handling. Premiums can get high--for example, my winning bid on one ring was $1,000 with a $230 premium added. 

When bidding outside of the US, things can get tricky. Money conversion usually confuses me, so half of the time I'm not sure if I'm bidding in US dollars or British pounds. Make sure you know your conversions! Many British auction houses charge a VAT as well as a premium, so make sure you read before you agree to bid!

5. Opt to phone bid vs. bid online.

This is my newest discovery. I've never bid over the phone until a few weeks ago with Michaan's Auction house. Rumor has it that if you place a winning bid via phone, your premium is lower than if you were to place that same bid online. Also, phone bidding was super easy--I had to fill out a form and include the lot I was interested in bidding on. About 3 minutes prior to my lot going up, I received a phone call.  You can hear everything live in the background, so you really feel like you're there!  The person on the other end will say, "it's now at X amount, do you want to bid or pass?" and continue until you're done. 

A few things I could easily find negative about phone bidding--one, if you're a person who would rather text someone than call someone, you would probably prefer online bidding vs. phone bidding. Yes, even if the premiums are higher, you would still opt for this lol. Two, you feel more obligated or slightly pressured to bid higher/longer with another person on the phone vs. you in the privacy of your online world hitting the "bid" button. At least I did.

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? You may also enjoy taking a peek into my jewelry box.


Top Ten of the BEST Rings Available at EraGem

Era Gem | Gem Gossip Era Gem | Gem Gossip Era Gem | Gem Gossip Era Gem | Gem Gossip Era Gem | Gem Gossip Era Gem | Gem Gossip Era Gem | Gem Gossip Era Gem | Gem Gossip Era Gem | Gem Gossip Era Gem | Gem Gossip Era Gem | Gem Gossip Era Gem | Gem Gossip Era Gem | Gem Gossip

I love browsing EraGem frequently to view their new arrivals in case there is something I can't live without! EraGem has such a great selection and keen eye for providing the best in antique and estate jewelry. With the company based in Bellevue, Washington, visiting the store is may not be an option for many, including myself. Luckily their inventory is updated regularly online and easy to shop from the goodness of my computer screen. Recently, I went ahead with my usual check-in to EraGem.com and had way too many favorites!  And like a dream come true, I got to pick my TOP TEN favorite rings currently available and they were all sent to me for "review." And by "review," I mean play with, lust over and stare at!  

I obviously had way too much fun with this group of ten--each one unique in its own way and highly covetable. So, without further ado--here are my TOP TEN from EraGem:

Era Gem | Gem Gossip Era Gem | Gem Gossip

1. Aquamarine--a gemstone named after seawater, with such a calming blue color. This particular ring available from EraGem really caught my eye not only because of the gemstone but the bi-color gold. Green gold and rose gold is a rare and unique combination--you can see it here in this ring. The aqua is approximately 1.70 carats and is circa 1940s. Price: $1,799 (click on photo for details)

2. Wow, jaw-dropping in every way possible! If you are looking for a statement-making opal ring, this is it! It truly glows thanks to the play-of-color of the opal as well as it being categorized as a jelly opal (more transparent than a typical opal). To make it even more outstanding, the setting is so beautiful with the perfect amount and size diamonds. This opal is its own galaxy and from every different angle, it looks different. Love it! Price: $4,499 (click on photo for details)

Era Gem | Gem Gossip Era Gem | Gem Gossip

3. If you follow my blog you know I love malachite! Vintage malachite rings are getting harder and harder to find, at least in my opinion. This particular ring is from the 1960s and I love the size and heft of it. So comfortable and a piece that would fit in with any wardrobe. The diamonds on both sides are a cool touch and the split shank is pretty cool too. Price: $1,899 (click on photo for details)

4. Comfort level, 10 out of 10! This handmade twist ring is one of those that you put on and never take off. I love the hammered finish and the maker's mark is hand etched on the inside of the ring.  I can see and feel the time and effort it took to handmake this ring. One end is set with an emerald, the other is set with a champagne diamond. A unique duo for such an eclectic ring. Price: $1,469 (click on photo for details)

Era Gem | Gem Gossip Era Gem | Gem Gossip

5. I love a good architecturally bold gold ring--this particular piece jumped out at me while browsing EraGem. Let me just say for the record, this ring in person is quite different than any photo could show. The feel and smoothness of this ring when worn is so hard to photograph, but it is totally all there! It is one of those rings that when you put it on, you're one with the ring. Sounds weird, but if you collect and wear rings, you know what I mean! Love the design, love the feel. Marked 18k "Gabriel" and would love to know more about the ring's origins. Price: $1,599 (click on photo for details)

6. A cameo unlike any cameo, striking at first for its color, then once you realize the army green shade contrasting against the purple/brown hue, you start to really like and want this ring! I don't own many cameos--shell cameos tend to not go well with my skin color and my wardrobe. But THIS. On another level! The seed pearls surrounding the hardstone cameo add a feminine touch. Price: $1,999 (click on photo for details)

Era Gem | Gem Gossip Era Gem | Gem Gossip

7. A cocktail ring is named a cocktail ring because of pieces like this! The true definition. And can we talk about the lapis and turquoise combination?! An underrated duo. This ring deserves some sunny skies and a nice refreshing beverage. I like it for the index or middle finger, definitely. And yes, statement-making enough to wear alone, no other rings. Extra bonus with the pyrite flecks in the lapis. Price: $2,399 (click on photo for details)

8. Faceted hematite? Have you seen a ring like this before?!  Apparently faceted hematite was a thing in the 1970s, unfortunately I feel like a lot of this type of jewelry got melted. This ring truly knocked my socks off and I kinda fell in love. I like darker stones and may have an overload of onyx, so acquiring this ring was cool for my collection--another stone on the dark side that wasn't an onyx or black enamel. Yes, you heard that right--I loved it so much I couldn't bear sending it back to EraGem with the others. Price: mine.

Era Gem | Gem Gossip Era Gem | Gem Gossip

9. Probably the most photogenic out of the bunch and for good reasons. This massive crystal opal ring is stunning. I couldn't stop staring at it. Whoever ends up with this ring will have many, many wonderful years looking into this galactic opal. It is truly mesmerizing. The metal on the inside of this flower ring is antiqued, meaning it is blackened which makes everything stand out even more--both the colors of the opal and the design of the ring. EraGem has really outdone itself with this one! Price: $4,999 (click on photo for details)

10. Last but certainly not least, I picked this pear-shaped opal ring because not everyone loves a huge, cocktail ring and not everyone loves yellow gold. This ring is done in 14k white gold and is classic through and through. Perfect for a graduation gift or for someone who has a birthday or anniversary in October. The diamonds that surround the opal are bright, white and sparkle like crazy. Price: $1,499 (click on photo for details)

This post was brought to you in collaboration with EraGem.

Era Gem | Gem Gossip

eragem

Gem Gossip Jewel Box Photos

GemGossipJewelBox GemGossipJewelBox GemGossipJewelBox GemGossipJewelBox

I became obsessed with pictures of LOTS of rings in ring trays or velvet ring slots sometime last year.  Just like my Show Me Your Rings project, I tried finding as many pictures as possible, only to be disappointed by the scarcity of what I found. So, I posted the ones I did find and snapped some of my own!  I then asked others to do the same...and that's how #gemgossipjewelbox was born!  The hashtags on Instagram for some reason have not been a very reliable place to keep all of the pictures. I've been trying to post and save as many as possible, with this Pinterest board below the main place to house all the pictures. 

If you'd like to contribute a picture, be sure to tag me @gemgossip as well as use the hashtag #gemgossipjewelbox and if you'd like to keep up with these, follow on Pinterest!

SHOW ME YOUR RINGS! LXXXIV 

brookegregson larisalavinsjewelry ronhamijewels lili_claspe eneres_inc vermaestatedepartment gemstonegypsy henridaussi kurtribbhagen

 {from top to bottom:

Brooke Gregson and her boulder opals get me everytime, even if it is summer and that sweater is in the picture

Larisa Laivins Jewelry perfectly pulls of turquoise and yellow gold my favorite combo

Ron Hami spices things up with stackable diamond rings

Lili Clapse Jewelry is a brand I just learned about but these are the cutest rings

@eneres_inc has a stunning collection and is worth a follow if you love antique jewelry

Verma Estate Department brings it with a jaw-dropping collection, tempted since one of their locations is Atlanta

Gemstone Gypsy showing her top three favorite acquisitions from 2015 love them all!

Henri Daussi knows how to do diamonds right, yellows and whites

Kurt Ribbhagen is an antique jewelry shop located in Stockholm, Sweden!}

Top Five Designer Jewelry Brands You NEED In Your Jewel Box

Couture | Gem Gossip Couture | Gem Gossip Couture | Gem Gossip Couture | Gem Gossip Couture | Gem Gossip

There are so many pieces of jewelry out there! It is almost mind-boggling thinking about the number of options we have as consumers, along with all the push and pull we get from the media..."buy this," "save 50% on this," "check out this season's must-haves."  And with more and more celebrity endorsements and blogger sponsorships, you might not know who to turn to for advice anymore! 

Well, I've put together my current list for the Top Five Designer Jewelry Brands which you need in your jewel box--and these are chosen based on my own opinion.  This is not a sponsored blog post nor did I receive any compensation to choose any of these five designers! I simply think what they are doing right now is amazing and by adding any or all of these designers to your jewelry box will no doubt be an investment in more ways than one!

1. Buddha Mama Jewelry: I was really impressed after seeing all the new collections at this year's Couture show and truly floored by the vibrant colors, rich gold and enamel work, with enamel being a huge focus for the girls this year. I loved every bit of it!  When buying a piece from Buddha Mama, you can't really go wrong--they also have big and bold if that is your style, lots of statement pieces, some spiritual pieces and if color is your thing--tons of options!

>> My pick? I would go for either one of their shaker cuffs (of course custom fit, as no cuff ever fits me ) or one of their 20k Marquise pendants outfitted with a color combo that gives you the best zen vibes you can find.

2. Nancy Newberg Jewelry: I love this line of jewelry because it is one that you can put on with anything--jeans and t-shirt, ball gown, pajamas--and just works. The jewelry is sophisticated yet cool, refined yet slightly edgy. The rings you see in the photo above, those can be worn alone, with no other jewelry whatsoever, and you'd still be best dressed in terms of jewelry wherever you are.

>> My choice? Either the ring pictured in yellow gold or one of her newest domed ball rings.

3. Venyx: This stunning line by Eugenie Niarchos totally transports you to another world. The uniqueness of it alone puts it in the top five. If you like colorful, most of her designs will be the perfect addition to your jewelry box; color is a big part of her line. The black-light responsive enamel rings are really cool too. Bottom line, if you want something that will truly get people talking and curious as to the story behind a piece, then Venyx is for you.

>> My pick? Anything with a rainbow of gems will do, but if I had to choose, a Moonshell rainbow ring.

4. NC Rocks: A favorite newcomer of many, NC Rocks truly "rocked" it at Couture. Adding a piece from their collection to your jewelry box would be a smart thing to do, as I only see them growing and continually expanding their collection. Start now and continue collecting! Their enamel pieces are incredible--love the Art Deco inspired designs.

>> My choice? Either the middle ring I'm wearing in the above photo or the Venice ring.

5. Alison Lou Jewelry: Investing in a young and hip jewelry designer like Alison Lou is smart and her jewelry is worth every penny. Every jewelry box needs a piece when you look at it, it makes you smile. That's exactly what kind of jewelry Alison designs...whether it's a ring that features your favorite emoji, a pair of earrings delicately enameled in your favorite color, or a necklace that is personalized, her jewels are just as sentimental as they are trendy.

>> My fave? Her Wildflowers by the Yard necklace...or if you're more of a ring girl, any of her enamel eternity bands are amazing.

 

 

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? You may also enjoy reading these Q&A interviews.


Best of the Couture Show 2016

Couture | Gem Gossip Couture | Gem Gossip Couture | Gem Gossip Couture | Gem Gossip

Jacquie Aiche drew in buyers and press with window displays rich in colors, jewels and crystals from Tucson Gem Show. Inside, displays were already styled in layers and layers (the way her jewels are meant to be worn) making it easy for merchandisers to choose what to buy!

Couture | Gem Gossip

Stopped by Suzy Landa Jewelry to get a dose of COLOR--her juicy gemstones always brighten my day and so does the designer herself! So awesome!

Couture | Gem Gossip Untitled Untitled

Ilias Lalaounis' tradition of bold gold pieces is wonderfully carried out through his four daughters who now are continuing his legacy. Every year I enjoy seeing his designs, as they immediately transport me to Greece and his heyday of accessorizing stars. I couldn't pick a favorite!

Couture | Gem Gossip Couture | Gem Gossip Couture | Gem Gossip

Neha Dani wowed and inspired--I felt like I was back at the MET looking at the JAR exhibit for a second. The technicolored gold, hand-set diamonds, intricate work, where each mechanism, each stone, each design is precisely thought-out. Loved all!

Couture | Gem Gossip

Loved all the shapes, patterns and colors seen at Kavant & Sharart! This young husband and wife duo have really been cultivating their styles and merging them flawlessly. I want so many pieces from their line!

Couture | Gem Gossip Couture | Gem Gossip

Pamela Love tapped into every night sky watcher's dreams with the creation of this Lapis & diamond moon phase collar necklace. It feels so good in person too! I love her rings--the opal arrowhead was killer and the play-of-color on it was just right. And bet you didn't realize the ring on my pointer finger flips!

Couture | Gem Gossip

Jordan Alexander Jewelry first grabbed my attention at the Nashville Fashion Show. Now a year later, they've put their focus from pearls to diamonds and other gemstones. And I love all the use of gold!

Couture | Gem Gossip

I believe this is Anthony Lent's third year exhibiting and although I have a rule to see new designers every year, he is the only one to break this rule! Seen three years in a row and will never not be captivated by his designs.

Couture | Gem Gossip

Eva Fehren's geometric designs were amazing to see for the first time in person. Loved her display as well, as seen above.

"Danielle, please call you grandmother. She's worried about you. And did you make it to Vegas? You never even told us." I immediately deleted the voicemail from my iPhone, which was hot to the touch because of all the charging and photo-downloading it incurred while at the jewelry shows in Vegas. Something about Vegas every year I find it liberating to block out everything going on in my personal life and back home, and truly immerse myself in the four-day jewel fest called Couture.  Excuse me, five-day jewel fest--I just had to look it up, and wow, really?  Five days? A little excessive? NOPE. Never. In fact, this year I spent the most time I've ever spent at Couture and still felt like I needed more time. 

Couture 2016: Venni Vetti Vecci. And the best year yet. Remember that time I forgot my business cards? Ah, yes rookie mistake, but not this year. Remember that time I spent only six hours at Couture? Massively stupid mistake, but no, not this year.  I came prepared, I packed my bags efficiently, and made a handful of appointments (enough I could count on both hands--not too many where I felt like I had planned way too much in such short of time). This year was all about enjoying my time, having fun and learning. Sometimes events like these can be stressful and far too often taken way too seriously. What is the fun in that? 

This year, Couture was upbeat--the designers, the buyers, the atmosphere--even all my "whoops, I'm sorry I didn't make an appointment" appointments. I loved seeing people whom I haven't seen in forever and reconnecting with those who I sometimes talk to on a daily basis. 

Some highlights for me are shown above.  One of them being finally meeting Jacquie Aiche and experiencing her alluring booth full of layer heaven. I can easily see how and why people like Rihanna are die-hard fans of her jewelry--it is a lifestyle, not just a jewelry line. For a second year in a row, I clamored over Ilias Lalaounis' designs as if I were in Greece and happened to stumble upon his boutique.  It reminds me of my life goal of going to Greece and visiting both the Lalaounis museum and stores. Someday.

Other highlights include seeing the guys of Anthony Lent Jewelry who continually put the enchantment back into jewelry, as most designs have lost that aspect over time, especially all that is made now in factories or mass produced items. I love that everything he makes, he creates himself in his studio in Pennsylvania. Neha Dani was also a great highlight--such stunningly beautiful designs that easily wow. Huge fan of the technicolor gold she uses as well. Pamela Love had such a great line-up at her booth, of course the pièce de résistance for me was the lapis and diamond moon phase collar necklace that we took outside to photograph. Once posted on Instagram, it got 6,500+ likes--the most I've ever gotten in my 4+ year Instagram lifetime. 

Loved seeing everyone at Couture this year--if I didn't get a chance to swing by your booth, I'm SO sorry. Time was short but I will make a valiant effort next time around. Can you believe that I am totally stoked for next year already?! I am. 

Can't get enough of Couture? Read what I had to say from the years past: 2013, 2014, 2015

 

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Arik Kastan Launches New Designs at Couture

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

Arik Kastan has been busy debuting some new designs and collections out in Vegas earlier this month! The team was so excited to show off new pieces in front of thousands of buyers, press and journalists.

Take a look at the photos here, taken at the tradeshow...can you spot the new designs?  New favorites?!

>> Didn't attend the event, no worries--here's some things you missed! 

Vegas Favorites

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

A padlock on a thin chain is all you need for a night out in Vegas! And this particular piece has a surprise--one side is moonstone, the other is labradorite. Hey, there's your day to night change-up right there! ;)

Double-sided padlock, Price: $2,398

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

We've added lapis to our lineup and have never looked back! Completely obsessed with how this deep, opaque blue looks with all that is trending in fashion right now. Don't forget to stack for full potential.

Signature Three-Stone ring in Lapis, Price: $990

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

We've got the case of the blues, in the best way possible--we've introduced a whole lineup of aquamarine beauties while in Vegas! As you can see, this one is gorgeous on its own or stacks nicely.

Oval Eternity band in aquamarine, Price: $1,240

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

Feeling the summer heat over here in Vegas, which goes perfectly with our Blossom Stud earrings. We opted for the gemstone combo shown here, onyx and aquamarine--a little edgy, a little flirty. Definitely our kind of Vegas vibes.

Blossom Stud earrings, Price: $1,334

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

If we could have one wish out here in Vegas, it would be to spend some time by the pool! This ring will help with that--one glance leaves you feeling cooled off and in a tranquil state. Thanks turquoise and emeralds!

Pebble Stone ring, Price: $1,725

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

Last but not least, we couldn't help but add a little spice to our repertoire with these earrings! Bold and beautiful, set with garnets in a floral motif. Turn heads with these babies on!

Stained Glass Drop earrings, Price: $1,496

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

The latest favorite TRIO, with two brand new designs--the MOSAIC band on the very top and COMPASS ring right below. Look out for them to hit the website soon! Can't wait? Email info@arikkastan.com

browseentirecollection

Rock Vault Amazes at Couture 2016

Rachel Boston Jewellery

Incredibly unique designs by Rachel Boston Jewellery, including some alternative bridal

Completed Works 3

The fluid, free-flowing designs of Completedworks are done in 18k yellow gold and are mesmerizing

Imogen Belfield

Newly crowned "Best in Gold" Couture Design Award Winner, Imogen Belfield, known for her "rockesque" designs

Jacqueline Cullen

Extremely cool Jacqueline Cullen Jewels are all done using Whitby Jet, yes just like the Victorian Jet jewelry from the late 1800s

Lily Kamper 2

These rings by Lily Kamper made me say, "WOW!" They are set with specially carved agates

Lily Kamper

And here are her signature necklaces done in Perspex and Marble set with end caps of 18k gold and gemstones, by Lily Kamper

RUIFIER

Was so excited to get to see RUIFIER's designs in person! The colors and geometric shapes are everything!

Shimell & Madden

Shimell & Madden also blew me away--extremely modern, with lines and curves making up the collection. Love the matte finish and the multiple shanks.

Jordan Askill Completed Works 2

Photo on the left, Jordan Askill's necklace made of rock crystal with a 3D panther carved out of white cacholong set on top. The photo on the right features more rings from Completedworks.

If you've ever wanted to sneak off, away from all the hustle and bustle of Couture, and be instantly amazed, refreshed and wishing you spoke with a British accent, I highly suggest checking out Stephen Webster's jewelry initiative called Rock Vault. This mini-ballroom hosts eight highly talented British designers, all whom are bringing their insanely gifted skills to the US. As I strolled along to each designer and spoke with them about their creations and inspirations, it became clear as to why Stephen Webster started Rock Vault in the first place!

"Rock Vault is a jewellery initiative to support, showcase and promote Britain’s most innovative, fine jewellery talent. Curated by Stephen Webster, this unique showcasing initiative has been developed by the BFC to nurture the creative fine jewellery talent based in London. It gives these designers the opportunity to further develop their businesses, as well as exposure amongst both UK and international media and retailers."

I felt positive vibes from every designer featured in Rock Vault--an overall sense of excitement and gratitude, radiating with pride for not only their work but to be showcased in Las Vegas at the Couture show. Above you'll find some photos I snapped, at least one from each designer featured in Rock Vault. Here's a little more about each designer:

Rachel Boston Jewellery: a young, talented designer born and based in London with a wild imagination. Nominated for numerous awards, including New Designer of the Year at the UK Jewellery Awards. I'm completely obsessed with her Anceps ring done in 18k yellow gold from her latest collection called CONTRA. Fun fact: Rachel got married in Vegas after the show! Congrats to her!!

Completedworks: Flowing lines, bold architecture, fluid shapes...Completedworks was on my list of "must-sees" for Couture since I began planning. Artistic Director Anna Jewsbury has a unique background in Mathematics and Philosophy, which truly defines the line. The Pillar collection is inspired by architectural ruins, like the classical columns, and they are done in white and black marble, jade set in 18k yellow gold.

Imogen Belfield: with a background in Fine Arts and Sculpture, one look at Imogen's designs and you can see how that path has influenced her creations. Her fine line just recently launched, with each piece being carvings all hand-done, which take on the form of rocks. The gemstones she uses are quite unique as well--I was taken back by the hot pink stone in one of her designs--so cool! It is actually an extreme heat-treated onyx (you can see the neon pink color in the photo I took above). She also just won the Couture Design Award for "best in gold" category!

Jacqueline Cullen: precious Whitby jet--a prehistoric fossil which dates back 180 million years which is most well-known in jewelry form from Victorian mourning jewelry. Jacqueline creates contemporary pieces of jewelry using this now very rare organic material. Her designs are innovative and have graced the pages of magazines and celebrities alike. 

Lily Kamper: her love for unusual material combinations and modern luxury define Lily's aesthetic. Her iconic pendant necklaces made of marble and perspex are all hand cut. She also has a bridal line just as unique as her other designs and her newest collection features hardstone jewels set in 18k yellow gold.

RUIFIER: I've been following this brand for a few years now and so excited to finally see their collection in person! RUIFIER knows how to push boundaries and create really unique pieces. They also have a knack for choosing great color combinations and gemstones for each design. 

Shimell & Madden: created by duo Luke Shimell and Emma Madden, this London-based jewelry line fuses high-quality craftsmanship with scientific design and universal concepts. Each piece looks as though it belongs in a museum, while at the same time, extremely wearable. I was instantly wowed by this jewelry line.

Jordan Askill: last but not least, this jewelry line is evocative, nature-inspired and jaw-dropping. From the gemstones used to the designs themselves, each part of the overall design is planned out with utmost precision. Jordan's background working for Alexander McQueen and throughout the fashion industry helps embellish his journey as a jewelry designer. His work and accolades extend far and wide for such a young designer, I can't wait to see what is next for him!

 

xoxoGemGossip

My Jewel Box: Elongated Antique Diamond Ring Obsession

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One look at these photos and you will realize my growing obsession for elongated antique diamond rings. I can't even remember really where or why it all started, but each one is incredibly unique, thoughtfully intricate and immaculately designed. Most of these types of rings are from the Edwardian period, where the tops are done in platinum and the shank and setting is done in yellow gold. The diamonds are almost always imperfectly perfect--wonky cuts, usually Old Mine cuts mixed with some Old European cuts, maybe even a single cut where the tiniest stones lay. The shapes and silhouette can be worn either way, so there's no "upside down" side to these pieces! Some tend to be more geometric than others, while some have lacy attributes. Some look like a diamond creature, while others look very floral and feminine. I've noticed these diamonds tend to be high on the clarity scale, but often are very low on the color scale, sometimes even playing off the different levels of yellow-ness within the design itself. 

Oddly enough, I've found most of my entire collection of these particular rings on eBay! While in Las Vegas, I added another to my collection (the one on my pointer finger in the above photos). It was a surprisingly good find and per usual, fell into place...as I was wrapping up my last full day at the show and was about to head out, I stumbled upon it!  It was sold to me by Bluestone Trading Company based out of Cleveland, Ohio. It was love at first sight and definitely a happy moment when I realized I hadn't found anything for myself the past two days at the shows yet. The worst would have been if I bought something else that I totally wasn't in love with and spent my money, and then found this afterwards! That's my worst nightmare!  haha It was a great way to commemorate the trip, as it was one of the most busy/hard-working weekends of my life! 

I've seen some amazing auction archives with gorgeous examples of elongated Edwardian diamond rings. Sad that I missed out on them, but excited that they may resurface onto the market someday. These kinds of rings are an investment piece, that's for sure! So, you either have to continually save so when you do find one, you are able to buy it.  Or buy it on credit and pay it off eventually over time or sell a few smaller rings to pay for one large one like these. I never thought I would have a collection like this back when I started my blog in 2008.  It is crazy to see how far my love for jewelry has come and how many miles I've traveled all in the name of jewels!!

 

xoxoGemGossip