This might be my favorite thing I ever bought. The story of how I acquired this kooky charm is definitely worth its own blog post! If you read my blog, you may have seen that I visited Sarah's Vintage & Estate Jewelry in Buffalo, NY on my quick trip back home. I loved visiting the store, meeting the owner Sarah and everything about that day--it was magical. What happened afterwards when I got home to Nashville, you could say, was also magical and somewhat mysterious.
So here is what happened...
I was going through photos on my iPhone as I do every weekend, trying to delete things from the previous week and organize my life. When I visit stores, I take photos with a professional camera and barely use my iPhone. I did however take a couple pictures with my iPhone during my visit--I remember trying to see what the best angle would be to shoot images without getting a ton of reflection from the windows--so I was "test shooting" photos. A few of these test shots captured some pieces of jewelry I overlooked on my visit, the main being the above 14k yellow gold Peg Doll charm. I was scrolling through the photos and there she was clear as day amongst all the other blurry shots. I was like, "What is this?! This is amazing!!"
I knew I had to reach out to Sarah and ask about the charm, hoping it was still in her store. I envisioned her response being like, "A doll charm? I have no idea what you're talking about, I've never had something like that before" ...and it being a twilight zone situation. haha But sure enough, she still had it and the rest is history!
I posted a photo of the charm earlier today and asked if anyone knew any information on this unique piece. Special thanks to Eden of The Eden Collective who had a similar charm at one point and did some digging on it. She called it a "Peg Doll" charm most likely from the 1930s, originating in Germany. These peg doll charms were very popular back then. If anyone knows anything else, I'd be happy to hear! And also would love to see any interesting or unique charms in your collection too!
WANT MORE? See more from my personal jewel box!
I own three rings that feature moonstone: clover ring from Fancy Flea Antiques, cluster ring set with one large moonstone surrounded by Montana Sapphires from Lang Antiques, & cluster ring set with a center garnet from Diamond Addiction
One of my favorite moonstone finds on Etsy: Athena cameo from Otherwise Engaged
I'm usually really good about keeping my jewelry clean and organized, neatly putting away what I've worn each day back in its place before bedtime. That has NOT been the case these past few weeks! My piles of worn jewels began to stack up--one on the dresser and the other on my nightstand. It got out of hand when I opened up my jewelry box and it looked bare! So I turned on some good music and started to put each item back, one by one. This led to some reorganizing and of course, purging (hence why I added some pieces to @shopGEMGOSSIP).
Whenever I reorganize my jewelry box, I sharpen my aesthetic and narrow my taste. I also notice things I don't normally notice if I were to keep everything in the same place every time. This particular time I noticed my moonstones glistening in the sunlight. I only own three rings that feature moonstone, but they are surely my favorites! I decided to gather all three for a photo (above) and enjoy the enchanting gemstone for what it is all at once.
I'm asking you to do the same: gather all your moonstone rings and jewels you own and snap a photo. Post it on Instagram and tag #MoonstoneMonday and tag @gemgossip in the photo! I'll post some of my favorites! I also picked some of my favorite moonstone pieces that are currently online for sale! See above! Happy Monday!!
WANT MORE? Learn about Sapphire, Emerald & Ruby here!
Probably my most asked question is always in regards to Instagram--what are my biggest tips, how does one utilize hashtags efficiently, when is the best time to post, what type of content is most engaging? From large companies to small tech blogs, I've given my two cents all over the place, yet the questions still remain. So, rather than regurgitating my advice time and time again, I've decided to create this blog post. It now lives on my site so it can act as a reference, a place to turn to, a link you share and advice you take seriously. This will also make my life easier because the next time someone from such-and-such publication emails me to ask for tips on how jewelry stores and designers can use Instagram, all I have to do now is send them this hyperlink! ;) So here are my top pieces of advice, in no particular order!
1. The point of Instagram is VISUAL--it is rooted in the concept of photo-sharing, so that idea must be the first and foremost important aspect of how YOU should utilize Instagram. Post photos that are visually appealing...be picky about it...and create your own idea of how you want your jewelry store, jewelry line or designs to be portrayed. Vibrant photos, edited photos, YES! Never post a blurry photo! Never add so many filters you can't seem to remember what the photo originally looked like! (When I mention edited photos, please be aware that there is a healthy balance of editing--overly edited photos are not good either!) You most definitely should crop...you most definitely should remove those jewelry store tags...and you most definitely should ask someone for help if you don't know how to do any of those things!
This photo above is a typical "Gem Gossip" photo I would post on Instagram--it is visually appealing, makes someone stop from scrolling to get a better look and features what I'm passionate about.
2. Posting consistently may be the biggest piece of advice I can give. I've done this since day one of signing up for Instagram and couldn't stress enough how important it is. This not only keeps your followers engaged but keeps them wanting and coming back for more! If you are a jewelry designer or store, I would recommend at least once per day. If you choose once per day, a designated time which you continually post may be the key so followers know and expect something from you. I post at least four times per day, maybe a little less on the weekends, or more if something exciting is going on.
3. Use relevant hashtags! Figuring this out is easy--find other accounts that you would consider "successful" in the jewelry industry and take a look at what hashtags they are using. Also take a look at what you are posting and figure out the main keywords that describe it, then use those as hashtags--for example: are you posting a photo of an emerald ring? Then use hashtag emerald or hashtag emerald ring. So-- #emerald #emeraldring
But beware! My pet peeve is overuse of hashtags. I would advise no more than ten hashtags per photo. Most people don't agree with me, but I think too many hashtags looks sloppy.
The hashtag I created #showmeyourrings is very popular and should be used when posting a photo of lots of rings! I've noticed some people using it for every picture they post!! That's so not right! With that said, use hashtags purposefully, not simply copy/paste a list of 20+ popular hashtags. I've seen selfies with the hashtag #showmeyourrings lol not cool.
Another typical "Gem Gossip" photo I would post on Instagram--in terms of hashtags, I would first and foremost use #showmeyourrings then maybe #antiquerings #ringsofinstagram and throw in #personalcollection so people know they are not for sale.
4. Interact and engage with your followers! Again, another reason and main purpose of this app: to connect with others that have the same passion as you. Before I signed up for Instagram, I had been writing my blog for several years and had a few friends who I connected with through email. We both shared a passion for antique jewelry and were in our 20s at the time...a very small group of people fit this description and I wished/hoped for more people out there to connect with. Once I established myself on Instagram, I found so many others who love antique jewelry just as much as myself. I got really excited. It became a place where we all could "gather" and share our interests openly and connect on many levels--we became our own little community.
With that said, interaction in the sincerest form is amazing and much needed on Instagram. Sure there are those out there who like to comment/like every post possible in order to gain followers, not friends...but those who truly ask questions, comment sincerely--those are the people whom you need to be engaging with!
If you are a jewelry store or designer and someone asks, "what stone is that?" or "is this piece still available?" make sure to answer in a timely manner! Sometimes I see jewelry store accounts where no one has responded and it has been several days, even weeks,with no response and that makes me sad. Such a missed opportunity for displaying customer service in a virtual atmosphere, which may be just as important as greeting someone who walks into your store. Don't miss those opportunities!
A perfect example of how to make a sale through Instagram: I posted these three pendants each individually on my feed and received lots of likes/feedback but no one actually purchased them. A few months later, I posted THIS PHOTO ABOVE with the same items styled, shown worn, and they sold within hours.
5. If you want to include parts of your personal life into your feed it is a great way to connect even further with your followers. I like to include my two dogs into the mix of jewelry posts. I used to post LOTS of personal photos, but overtime realized that that's not what my followers were following me for--they want to see the jewelry! With that said, sometimes too many personal photos, selfies, or party photos can steer your brand in the wrong direction. Have a good balance of this by making sure what you're selling or focusing on always comes first.
Well, I hope these five tips help give you a general idea of the most important pieces of advice I could give. The Instagram app is pivotal for the jewelry industry because it is so visual. Find ways to make it your own and work for you!
>> If you have any questions, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org
An incredible trio of opal jewelry, spanning different time periods, yet look wonderful together--these are offered back-to-back in lots 85, 86 & 87 on day one of the September sale featured at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers
I couldn't be more excited for the September sale from Leslie Hindman Auctioneers! One reason might be because something from my personal collection will be auctioned off in this sale--can you believe that?! My first time ever consigning a piece of jewelry to an auction house! More on that later, but there are so many other reasons to be excited too. Starting with the incredible assortment of jewelry to hit the auction block--ready for the next treasure hunter, jewelry dreamer, or obsessive collector. The Chicago-based auction house has a two-day event for their expansive sale of 1,335 pieces of jewelry! The sale has been divided into two separate days--Sunday, September 11th starting at NOON CST and the following day, Monday, September 12th beginning at 10am CST. I will be tuning in via online live-bidding, sitting on the edge of my seat, rooting for lot 97, and bidding on some favorites.
So what sets this auction apart from the rest?
Alexander Eblen, Director of the Fine Jewelry Dept. at Leslie Hindman, explains, "It will be a feast for enthusiasts who enjoy seeing an eclectic unbroken timeline of different jewelry aesthetics and construction offered at auction with inclusive and attainable starting estimates. Think everything from platinum, diamond and seed pearl tassel pendants from the “flapper” period to bold, idiosyncratic sculptural jewels from the 1960’s, aesthetics all over the map."
In particular, two large estates--Property from the Estate of Robert and Lois Orchard, St. Louis, Missouri and Property from the Estate of Rebecca Cook Schoonmaker, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania--both with prominent pieces have contributed a large amount of sparkle to this exciting sale. Eblen says, "The Schoonmaker and Orchard estates in particular have allowed us to bring incredible curated yet broad selections from the Edwardian, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Retro eras all the way to the 1960’s, 1970’s and more contemporary."
I've picked my favorites and of course, had to include the ring I consigned with Leslie Hindman. My experience consigning the ring was one of the easiest things I've ever done! I sent off pictures, immediately heard back from Alex via email...we discussed the fine print, then was sent a mailing label prepaid and ready to go! Hope this is the beginning to many more items being sold at auction in the future!
Day One//September 11th, 2016:
Lot 91: Reminiscent of my engagement ring, this particular diamond ring features two diamonds in a bypass design--you may call it a moi et toi style. Unlike mine, this one is done in platinum and white gold. One diamond is approximately 0.92 carats, while the other is 0.81 carats. Love this style for obvious reasons and this piece would make a wonderful engagement ring. Estimate: $2500-3500
Lot 94: The Edwardian period is probably my most favorite jewelry time period, so no wonder I am infatuated with this ring. Set with one central emerald that is a round mixed cut and then surrounded by intricately done diamonds in the typical garland style of the time period. Platinum-topped gold is the metal of this ring and I wouldn't have it any other way! Estimate: $1000-2000
Lot 97: OMG! It's my ring! Looking elegant as ever in its professional photo--I feel like a proud mother. Yes, this ring is from my personal collection and for the first time ever I decided to consign something to auction. I created this ring out of two stick pins, combining two different time periods into one with this unique design. The pearl is pretty insane and for most pearl enthusiasts, highly collectible. I can't wait to see how it does! Estimate: $1500-2500
Lot 99: This ring stands out to me because of the unique design and the interesting coloring of the diamonds used. Most would strive for exact color matches when it comes to multiple diamonds within a single piece of jewelry. This ring is different because the diamond colors are all over the scale, even including a light champagne colored diamond. I actually love that! It gives the piece some vibrancy and whoever wins this ring is very lucky! Estimate: $4000-6000
Lot 102: Another very fine example of the Edwardian period shown here with this pendant necklace. You can see all the intricate openwork within the platinum metal and the lacey details. The diamond in the center is a nice 2.08 carats, with a handmade chain and pearl accents. This is as good as it gets! Estimate: $12000-18000
Lot 106: Tassels seem to be all the rage right now in "top trending" jewelry. This tassel proves how timeless this design can be because it was made nearly 100 years ago. Done in platinum with seed pearls with 0.64 carats total of diamonds. Perfect from every angle! Estimate: $3000-5000
Lot 114: Something about this lariet necklace I just love! I think it is the combination of pearls and black onyx hearts that make it elegant but not too elegant. The strand is an impressive 42 inches in length, topped off with diamond and platinum accents. This would love amazing styled with a blouse and wide leg pants. I can see it now! Estimate: $300-500
Day Two//September 12th, 2016:
Lot 597: Day two provides some great jewels, including this Art Deco ring, a throwback to an amazing era. Set with a total of 2.76 carats of diamonds, this sparkler is an ideal right hand ring with an heirloom feel. It is done in platinum and I love the elongated silhouette of this ring. Estimate: $3000-5000
Lot 729: I can never have a list of top picks without throwing in a snake ring. This one is really cool! Everything from the coiled body, to the texture of the gold and the unique marquise cut diamond makes this ring really special. It is a size 8 and I can't forget to mention the emerald eyes! Estimate: $300-500
Lot 883: Here are your summer time earrings right here! These speak volumes to me--fun, flirty, and can ultimately transform any outfit. They are statement-making in their own right, just toss your hair up and put on these and you're good to go. The earrings are done in 18k yellow gold and ready to party. Estimate: $400-600
Lot 1011: Another neat pair of 18k yellow gold earrings--these hammered studs with diamonds. Domed in design and four-prong set with a 0.10 carat diamond in each, these are fun everyday earrings that are something "more than just a diamond stud." I love them. Estimate: $150-250
Lot 1139: I can never turn down a blue enamel backdrop ring. The color sets the tone for the overlay of diamonds in the best way possible. The elongated style of the ring makes it a sure thing for me. The diamonds total nearly one carat and I bet it looks even better when worn! Estimate: $600-800
Lot 1157: A multi-gem ring as colorful as a rainbow--such a great floral patterned ring. The gemstones are tourmaline, peridot, citrine and diamond and stamped 18k gold. The details of the gold finish around the bezels allow the texture to make the ring even more unique. A ring like this will brighten your day, any day. Estimate: $200-300
This post was brought to you in collaboration with Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.
1. My diamond collection: diamonds make me happy and so does my collection of antique elongated rings. Just looking at these brings me joy and satisfaction--I see hard work, long hours and lots of dedication. I love my new antique ring box given to me by Sarah of Sarah's Vintage & Estate Jewelry from my latest #JewelryRoadTrip adventure.
2. Luckily for me, my office (where I sit and complete almost every single blog post) is incredibly inspiring to me. My walls are filled with treasures I've collected over the years--like these gold frames. I've turned an entire wall into a gallery wall which houses them. The other walls feature a gallery of gold mirrors, book shelves filled with jewelry books, and the last and final wall is in the works. Can't wait to reveal that one soon!
3. Speaking of jewelry books, they are definitely an obsession. I've been loving my latest favorite--Wartski: The First 150 Years by Geoffrey Munn, given to me by Mr. Munn himself. I pinch myself sometimes reminiscing about visiting that store in London back in 2014. You can read the blog post from that visit here and you can order the book here.
4. My crystal point collection makes me happy as it is eye-catching in every way possible. It is one of my newest collections, so watching it grow has been fun-- it has been slow but steady. My first ones I ever got came from my trip to Raleigh when I went to a local gem show that happened to fall on the same day I was making an in-store appearance at Bailey's Fine Jewelry. Such a special memory.
5. My newest acquisition--the middle lapis ring from Sarah's Vintage & Estate Jewelry, paired with a turquoise ring and a funky bypass ring set with lapis and chrysoprase. Funny, I bought that bypass ring off of eBay back in 2008 for $79 and I remember feeling like I paid way too much. lol
6. I have a secret, well not-so-secret, passion for photographing the sunset. The colors get me every time and no two are ever alike. The collage I made here starts with the upper left which I took with my iPhone and is the sunset from a few days ago from outside my bedroom window! The one next to it is a sunset from our honeymoon, directly below that is a beach sunset from our Florida vacation in April, and the last one is from Arkansas the night of the Roberson's jewelry event.
7. Pretty colors and embracing color is what I've been working on this year. I tend to gravitate toward neutral colors in most aspects of my life, especially clothing, but this year I'm changing that. Mixing colors in gemstones and wearing a rainbow of gems is something I'm really enjoying. The middle finger ring is one of my favorite acquisitions, found on Instagram and traded with a few pieces of mine. Trading is fun!
8. Everything Walters Faith is doing right now is very inspiring--not only their jewelry designs but their latest campaign called the “I AM” campaign. It highlights the fine jewelry line’s capacity to transcend one generation to the next and features five women spanning ages 20’s to 60’s, whose diverse appeal is as timeless as the jewelry they are wearing. Love it!
9. Excuse the inappropriate photo but I just LOVE these socks. It is all in the details here and I bought three pairs for myself and haven't found it necessary to wear my plain black ankle socks. I only want my "Fuck off" embroidered socks from Brandy Melville. Now if I only lived in someplace like NYC where people would get close enough on a flight of stairs to read these.
10. My growing Figa collection brings a huge smile to my face and has been becoming one of those things that I actually don't really wear, I just like to stare at them. I know that is so wrong on so many different levels--and I know I'm the first to say, "Jewelry is meant to be worn!" but gosh, I just love staring at these!
11. One day I knocked down all my rocks and minerals that were displayed in a vintage type setter tray that hung on a wall. They fell down onto a black nightstand and lay just beautifully against the dark color for a background. I ended up taking my entire collection down and rearranging them like so--then I took this photo. To date, it is my favorite photo of my gem collection. I have specimens in this collection that I got in 4th grade. So many memories in one photo.
12. I'm not much of a "less is more" person, but some days I like to go minimal with my style, including my rings. My favorite piece to do this with is my Otto Jewels heart ring. Pairing this style with vintage t-shirts and my Converse is a look I can't get enough of.
With my travel schedule and being frequently discombobulated, sometimes I go through ruts of being uninspired. Whether it is feeling out of sorts, tired of seeing the same old designs, or content that seems regurgitated from influencers--lately I've been the MOST uninspired ever!
I found a great remedy for this--so if you ever are feeling this way, here is what worked for me! I immersed myself in all things that I love: my obsessions, things that I collect, favorite items, designers' work that inspires me. I decided to round up all of my favorites and show you! Above are all my current obsessions, with captions explaining each. The above twelve things helped me get reinspired and feel like myself again. Here are some other tips that help me readjust my attitude when stuck in a rut, along with my favorite Pinterest board from @GemGossip on Pinterest--the "My Style" board. Hope all these tips help!
>> What inspires you?!
Tips for staying focused and freeing yourself of negativity:
1. Too much of something is never good. Sometimes I notice overstimulation when it comes to social media can be a culprit for feeling overwhelmed or uninspired. The people whom you follow may be constantly posting negative things, politically driven articles, or going off on rants. You don't want that in your life! There's something very exhilerating with blocking that out--a simple unfollow or unfriend can do wonders. Feeling guilty for unfriending? No one will probably notice anyway.
2. Try to make a schedule or To-Do list to keep you on track! I've noticed on days where I don't, I feel like a lot of time is wasted or I seem to go off on tangents that lead me nowhere. Having goals and tasks to do each day is key.
3. It's ok to say NO! I was really bad at this, however now I feel like I say "no" too often! Ha! Whenever I'm approached with something, I like to think how it applies to me, my website, my aesthetic...how is this going to benefit me? How is this going to benefit the other person? Keeping in mind my original goal for Gem Gossip since day one has helped with making a lot of the decisions I make on a daily basis.
4. Distance yourself from people who are simply using you. This is the strangest and most recent lesson I've been working on. Never in a million years would I have thought I would have to think, "why is this person wanting to be my friend?" and really try to figure out the answer behind this question. Gut instinct has helped a lot with this and it is sad that there are people out there reaching out to me simply for themselves, or to get a shoutout on Instagram, or to try and learn what I do so they can do the same. Be your own person.
5. Spend time with people that really matter. Close family and friends that have your back no matter what are the best. Sometimes getting caught up in the day-to-day busy schedules of life can result in not getting to see or talk to these important people. No matter how busy you are, take time to call, chat, or hang out with your favorites. A dinner date with your husband, a surprise visit to your parents' house, babysitting for a friend--those experiences will have more of a positive impact than watching tv, scrolling through social media, or answering emails.
My trip to Seattle had me traveling all over this beautiful city located in the US's Northwest in search of the best jewelry to be seen! I quickly discovered that Seattle may be nicknamed the "Emerald City," but it sure had a lot of amazing DIAMONDS. Thanks to 1001 Diamonds, I put together a list of the TOP FIVE best shops in Seattle to find diamonds. Whether you're looking for your perfect engagement ring, a right hand ring with diamonds, a diamond necklace or bracelet, or even a pair of diamond earrings, these places have it all. Let's start with number five:
A store certainly not short on diamonds, Isadora's had the most amazing selection of vintage and antique pieces. If an antique diamond is what you're seeking, this is the place to go! Anything from antique rose cuts to Old European cuts, their cases were full. The store also had an impressive selection of antique earrings, which is a niche not normally covered well by other antique jewelry shops. The photo above depicts a brilliant selection of what they have to offer. That antique diamond necklace is insane! The rings range from late 1800s to early 1930s, and each truly is so unique. To read more about this shop click here.
Antique and modern engagement ring selection here is two thumbs up! The price range lets you find something no matter your budget, and Alexandria's experience in the business will allow you to customize what you want if necessary. From bold solitaire diamond styles, to antique clusters and everything in between, this shop is a must see. The diamonds' cut, clarity and color also is shown in a wide variety, which is what I like as well. A diamond with a low color? Yes, you can find that here, but you can also find high ranking colors too. No discrimination here--as long as it sparkles. That's important!
One of the most shopped at Seattle jewelry stores for many reasons, Alana Jewelry always carries LOTS of diamonds because they are in demand! Many of their customers walk into the store because it is located in a busy mall and end up leaving with diamonds, never planning on it beforehand. The heavy foot traffic allows for their diamond inventory to be constantly changing and consistently well-versed. In order to appeal to many different tastes, they have all sorts of styles, eras, shapes, sizes and price ranges. Alana Jewelry sells both antique and modern jewelry, with appraisals on all their diamonds.
Wanting something more unique but brand new? TWIST has you covered! Their wide variety of fine jewelry, with designers specializing in diamonds in particular will leave you breathless. So many new innovations are coming to the forefront and TWIST is always the first to release them. Inverted diamonds? They have them! Black, grey, brown and other "rustic" diamonds? Yes, they have them! A quick glance at their bridal selection will have you wanting something unlike anyone else, thanks to their fine curation of stunning jewels. Shop diamond specialists like TAP by Todd Pownell, Mandrel Studio, Rebecca Overmann, Mallary Marks, Cathy Waterman, and SO MANY more!
The diamond inventory from EraGem is constantly changing and growing. When I visited their showroom there were so many engagement rings that could potentially be someone's "dream ring!" Lots of Old European cut diamonds in their original settings, done in platinum, white gold and even the growingly popular yellow gold. In the photo, most of these were so new they weren't even on their website yet--talk about "fresh finds." By now, all of those should be up or possibly sold already. If you're looking for a diamond engagement ring or a piece of diamond jewelry for a special milestone, be sure to check EraGem's website straight away.
To learn more about diamonds and experience diamonds in every way possible, check out 1001 Diamonds. Here are all their platforms:
This post was brought to you in collaboration with 1001 Diamonds.
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Pinterest
Follow on Twitter
Follow on Instagram
I grew up in Upstate New York. My small town upbringing didn't allow my young self to be acquainted with jewelry very well. Only a couple mall jewelry stores is all I knew and unfortunately, all I thought existed in this world. Luckily the world wide web had opened my eyes to all that is out there, with the goal of my #JewelryRoadTrip project is to be the world's eyes and ears for searching out the best. Buffalo, NY was a short hour and 45 minute drive from where I lived and was visited almost on a quarterly basis as it was the closest city within driving distance. Ten years ago Sarah's Vintage & Estate Jewelry opened its doors in Williamsville, NY and I had just graduated from college, not really getting any more chances to visit the city. Then I moved south to Nashville and if you've been following my blog, you know the rest of that story! I don't go home often to visit friends or family, but recently I got a chance thanks to my sister moving back and some serious frequent flyer miles. I discovered Sarah's Vintage & Estate Jewelry on Instagram and have been an avid follower of her finds. I knew she was based in Buffalo and hoped that someday the stars would align!
Sarah's Vintage & Estate Jewelry is owned by Sarah who grew up with a father in the jewelry business--he owned a jewelry store himself! Sarah found herself following in his footsteps back in 1984 when she started buying and selling jewelry while traveling the world. Selling high end costume jewelry is where she found success, with clients who owned boutiques on Madison Avenue in NYC and other dealers on the East Coast. Soon Sarah graduated to working with fine jewelry and found herself setting up at the big markets and shows which specialized in antique and estate jewelry. Shows like Las Vegas, Baltimore, and Miami were where she exhibited and sold jewelry for many years. Wanting a more permanent store, she decided on opening Sarah's Vintage & Estate Jewelry in 2006 and has been open ever since! Being Buffalo's leading source of antique and estate jewelry, Sarah is changing the game for the city and educating them on what it means to own a piece of history.
I'm so glad I got to visit! Not only is Sarah as sweet and kind-hearted as many have told me--she also is impressively knowledgeable about vintage jewelry and has an amazing inventory. I browsed the three main glass cases first--filled with lots of rings, including engagement and wedding bands, diamonds and antique pieces. Next, I took a long, hard look at the tall glass cases which boasted five-levels of jewelry! From high up top to "get down on your knees" low, the jewelry ranged in ages from Georgian pieces on up to new and modern. Whatever you prefer or collect, I bet Sarah's Vintage & Estate Jewelry has it! I love her prices--so very fair and she also offers layaway. Her store alone may have me visiting family more often! ;)
Hope you enjoy my photos from my visit and if you see anything in any of the photos that you're curious about, want a price, or would like to purchase, don't hesitate to email Sarah. You can also call the store at (716) 633-3738. I brought home a gorgeous lapis ring and an antique baby ring, which I will treasure forever! Thanks Sarah and can't wait to see you again!
5459 Main Street
Williamsville, NY 14221
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Instagram
Wearing turquoise & diamond earrings, boulder opal and chrysocolla malachite necklaces
Pretty pops of color are Kathryn's signature style, rutilated quartz & pink opal are a favorite
This tassel necklace is done in 18k yellow gold with an adjustable chain (also available in rose or white gold, with a variety of gemstone choices)
Checking out all the jewelry at Kathryn's studio
So much color--which is your favorite?!
Love this sleek look in black onyx and 18k yellow gold
All the jewelry can be found on her gallery page
Tassel earrings are WAY fun to wear!
Time to pick favorites!
These four look great together, pink opal, rainbow moonstone, labradorite & chrysoprase
They look good lined up, color-coded and all!
Speaking with Kathryn and learning about her story
Never one to mix brown and black, but Smokey Quartz & Onyx?! YES!!
A rainbow lineup, stones sourced from all over the globe
Mermaid hair with mermaid rings, that pink opal is calling my name!
Black & gold is a favorite color combo for Kathryn too!
Kathryn's latest earring designs, they are SO GOOD, I stacked them together
Jewelry designer Kathryn and I stopping to pose for the camera
The sheen on this Labradorite ring is unlike anything I've seen!
My last stop on my Seattle #JewelryRoadTrip was color-filled and very inspiring! The jewelry studio of Kathryn Elyse Jewelry took me into her faceted world, where this new, first-time mother is head-over-heels in love with gems! Her studio is as picturesque as you could get in a city that looks like a postcard from every angle. I was so excited to meet Kathryn and spend some time with a young and aspiring designer, to get some perspective on being a newcomer and see some fascinating gems.
Kathryn Elyse Jewelry wasn't always on the path to a jewelry-centric life. After graduating from college, she took a job as a personal banker. As I read in this shocking interview, Kathryn was robbed at gunpoint just weeks into her first "real world" job. It was then and there she realized life was too short to not follow your dreams and passion. She had always loved jewelry; growing up making earrings and necklaces out of beads, artistically prompted by her mother who fostered Kathryn's creativity as she was a school teacher. Soon after she realized she wanted to take her jewelry designing to a serious level, she enrolled at the prestigious Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts located in San Francisco. There she learned all the skills her jewelry-making soul was craving.
Equipped now with the capabilities of a jewelry designer and creator, she took her lifetime of design inspiration and put it to work! Kathryn developed an entire line rich in color, texture and high-wearability for customers and clientele hungry for just that. Seeing her jewelry in person, it comes off as very elegant, with an underlying playfulness that you have to bring out by wearing the pieces! Each piece can go with so many looks--dressed up or dressed down. I think that's what makes her line so unique--it is so versatile and fun.
Kathryn is looking forward to what is next for her young, budding company. With trips to the Tucson Gem Show already under her belt, she is continually designing new pieces and finding inspiration everywhere she travels. Thought it would be a fun way to get to know Kathryn through a list of FAVORITES of hers below. And thanks to Kathryn for welcoming me into your studio and sharing your beautiful world with me!
Gemstone to wear?
I tend to have a gemstone du jour – daily gravitating to a new beauty. My most sentimental gemstone is now emerald as it’s my son’s birthstone. Even with emerald’s vibrancy, I treat the vivid pop of color like a neutral mixing with other hued gemstone pieces and my attire.
Gemstone to work with?
I love playing and contrasting various color and texture. Like accenting saturated opaque (chrysoprase) or iridescent (labradorite and rainbow moonstone) gems with the brilliant refraction of diamonds. I definitely gravitate to stones with unique, one of a kind properties like inclusions (beryls) or asymmetrical formations (Australian boulder opals). Because of this, I actually prefer “perfectly imperfect” sapphires and emeralds, for example, that have interesting inclusions over highly transparent ones. Variations and fissures can’t be replicated giving the specimen unparalleled character. The variety of rainbow and texture is a testament to Earth’s miraculous geology and what draws me to each stone I hand select to work with and enhance.
Just as gemstones come from all over the globe, the best way for me to recharge and ignite creativity is through travel. The colorful rooftops of Lisbon, geometric precision of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, and jewel toned sunsets in Santorini were invigorating experiences I’ll cherish forever. When I don’t have the luxury of physically travelling, admiring the world’s beauty through another perspective is stimulating. I can’t get enough of the @dailyoverview Instagram feed and am eagerly anticipating their upcoming book.
Rose gold – it complements any skin tone gorgeously! I made both my husband and my wedding bands in the radiant metal.
Magazines! Leisurely flipping through glossy prints brings me so much pleasure but unfortunately I don’t have enough free time and I feel guilty when subscriptions pile up.
Anything live! My latest concert was Adele – which is unlikely to ever be topped.
Rowy, my one year old Australian labradoodle and real life teddy bear. Everyone swears he is part human based off his affectionate and spunky personality.
Part about being a mom?
Nothing is more heartwarming than gazing at my most beautiful creation and hearing his giggle!
Local Seattle restaurant?
I love how diverse and constantly expanding the Seattle food scene is. Altura is my ultimate favorite for intimate and romantic occasions; Canon’s creative cocktails, Westward’s waterfront ambience, The Walrus and the Carpenter’s oysters, Stateside and Revel’s Asian fusion; The London Plane’s brunch, and everything at Deru Market (especially the chocolate peanut butter cake)
Local Seattle store?
Mario’s and La Ree are the best for investment pieces and basics alike; Totokaelo’s modern minimalist store aesthetic, and Essenza for the most delicious fragrances, candles and gifts
Local Seattle activity?
Anything and everything on the water – boating Lake Washington, waterfront dog parks, and ferrying across the sound
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Pinterest
Follow on Twitter
Follow on Instagram
Above, I take a seat with owner Michael and put together my "wishlist"
Although most of my #JewelryRoadTrip was spent in Seattle, Bellevue is only a short drive and is the fastest growing and largest suburb of Seattle. It is also where EraGem calls home! After putting together a fun photoshoot using my TOP TEN favorite rings from their inventory last month, I couldn't wait to see more from them and had to make the trip.
EraGem first started in 2006 but the company had a different name--Weston Jewelry. They specialize in antique and estate jewelry, always offering LOTS of rings of all kinds (my obvious favorite) like engagement rings, cocktail rings, designer rings, and gemstone rings. Founders Michael and Weston both grew up around fathers who owned stores--Michael's father owned an antique business and Weston's had a photography shop. It was kismet that the two combined forces for an antique jewelry business because one of the biggest factors that leads a successful online jewelry business is great photography. Their main focus was eBay, where they sold for many years and built up an amazing reputation and name, along with a huge clientele. It wasn't until 2012 when they rebranded everything, changing their name to EraGem, and launched their own e-commerce website. I love the name--not only is it short, catchy and perfect for antique jewelry, but as Michael points out, ERA can also be an acronym for Estate Retro Antique. Smart. What's even smarter is they have the jewelry photography game on lock, with their images catching the attention of Google, who always seems to rank their images really high in any type of "antique jewelry" search. It is one accomplishment they are proud of--and the other? Their top-of-the-line customer service. Free overnight shipping, 60-day money back guarantee, and lifetime warranty. They also offer a no-interest layaway plan, which I appreciate tremendously as layaway is how I was able to start a collection of jewelry.
The EraGem showroom is a great asset for the company and since opening its doors to the public, the founding duo have added Mike's brothers Maslow & Mark to the team, as well as Jennifer. The idea of having a showroom for a mostly online business is sometimes actually necessary--people who are local can take advantage of the close proximity and be able to try things on in person, they also set up buying appointments at their showroom as well. A showroom visit starts with making a wishlist online, as all their inventory is listed on their website. Choose your favorites and set up an appointment--EraGem will take care of the rest! The team will pull the items on your wishlist, so when you arrive, they will be presented to you. If you're like me and totally forgot to put a wishlist together, you can sit down at their computer and search together by describing what you are looking for--you can start by gemstone and filter from there, or by price range, even by designer, it's up to you! I ended up picking A LOT of good things.
Thanks EraGem for welcoming me into your showroom--I had such a fun time playing with your jewels and seeing how things are done at such a ground-breaking antique and estate jewelry store. Below, you'll be able to shop my top ten favorites from my visit and in the meantime, I'll be frequently checking back to see all your DAILY new arrivals!
12000 NE 8th St #101
Bellevue, WA 98005
Follow on Twitter
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Pinterest
Follow on Instagram
From left to right: garnet dragon ring, pearl & emerald ring, diamond oval ring, Victorian Etruscan revival onyx ring, round Moonstone cluster ring, East-West diamond Edwardian ring, moonstone cluster ring, enamel woman conversion ring
Boy, were bucket list items being checked off rapidly on this #JewelryRoadTrip to Seattle! Alana Jewelry has been high on my list of places I wanted to see for SO long now. It was about a 30 minute drive from Hotel Vintage in Downtown Seattle, and it was nice to get out of the city and explore more. Alana Jewelry is located in the Northgate Mall and has been there since day one! The store is easy to get to if you park near JC Penney or near the food court. Who would have ever thought that some of the best antique jewelry in the country is located in a place where you can buy some Auntie Anne's pretzels, find your inner goth at Hot Topic and call it a day?! I was actually feeling quite emo after all the jewelry that Alana has to offer--it is mind-blowing in the best way possible! They love being located inside a mall for many reasons, for one the foot traffic alone is seriously good. Countless sales have been made from people who didn't intend on going to a jewelry store to buy jewelry, but they happened to be at a mall to buy something else on their list, and the jewelry found them!
The first thing I noticed and what stood out to me were their displays! They are unlike anything I've seen--everything has a place, everything tells a story. There's old black & white photographs mixed in with a few other trinkets here and there, but for the most part--every display matches, using a clean beige color display. A few black velvet ones can be spotted for certain sections, but for the most part, everything has a consistent flow. Most importantly, height is used to an advantage, where you have almost a "stadium-seating" effect with the jewelry displays, so everything can be packed in tighter. This means eye candy galore! And it's ok if you stand in front of a small section and zone out. I know I sure did.
It was such an honor to meet the founder and owner Alana herself and hear her story in her own words rather than via email. If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you may remember I did a blog post featuring the store back in January of 2015. You can read the blog post here. It tells the story of Alana Antique & Estate Jewelry, how it came to be and the story is so inspiring, all written by Alana herself. You totally should read the post before you go on--it will take about 4 minutes! ;) I also got to meet Heather, Alana's daughter, as well as a few sales associates of the store.
I tried on so many pieces! It was really hard to choose just a select few, but I thought of it as, "if I were to be able to buy whatever I wanted right now, what would I choose?!" Of course, I chose a lot of rings, pieces that were really unique and also had to hone in on the best opals I could find. I learned that Alana Jewelry doesn't have to look far for the jewelry they sell, it comes to them! They are constantly buying in store and have special buying hours for those interested in selling. Alana Jewelry has continually been ranked highest sales per square foot in the mall, a title Alana is really proud of, as if you could remember from her original story she was breaking out in hives the first day she opened their doors to the public. Now over 20 years later, she has so much joy from the store she can't even begin to describe it.
This store visit has brought ME so much joy, thanks everyone at Alana Jewelry for showing me your wonderful store. I can't wait to tell everyone about it and hopefully the next time someone visits Seattle, they make the trip out of downtown and to the Northgate Mall to see you!
Northgate Mall 401 NE Northgate Way #520
Seattle, WA 98125
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Instagram
Follow on Pinterest
Follow on Twitter