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Why I Buy Diamonds When I Want to Celebrate Myself 

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I can think of many examples of an ideal time, as a woman, to buy yourself a piece of jewelry: new job, promotion, birthday, special anniversary, surviving a rough week/month/year. The idea of female self-purchase is a category that has been on the rise since the day I started Gem Gossip over nine years ago. Jewelry in general should not be wrongfully stereotyped as only suitable as a gift from a male. Women should buy jewelry for themselves and be proud!

Diamonds are, in my opinion, the best kind of gemstone to invest in when buying yourself something special because of their timelessness, romance and value. They are the best kind of symbol for celebrating yourself at any point or milestone in your life.

For me, I recently celebrated an interesting “milestone” — it was more like a goal, which I will explain, but my point is there doesn’t have to be a life-changing moment for you to buy yourself a diamond. You decide for yourself why you deserve it and that is all that should matter!

For a few months, I was realizing that my closet was pretty full but I was constantly wearing the same five shirts and two pairs of jeans almost everyday. I had shirts and pants that were several years old and also hadn’t been worn. So I cleaned out my closet and brought everything I didn’t want anymore to consignment shops, a task I had been putting off for ages.

Once I started letting things go, I couldn’t stop! I went through my jewelry, my trinkets and knick knacks I had collected over the years of antiquing, and even cleaned out some kitchen appliances I never use (our panini maker had only been used once!). Not only was letting things go good for my soul, but I earned some serious cash too. I decided to take all the money I had collected and buy an antique diamond ring. Each time that I wear it I get a sense of accomplishment over and over again for eliminating all of that excess once and for all. And swapping out all the dispensable items I had for something like a diamond ring has me feeling overjoyed, grateful and accomplished! I would love to hear your stories for any special moment, milestones or personal goal you achieved where you celebrated yourself with a diamond. Share in the comments below!​

This sponsored blog post was brought to you in collaboration with Real is a Diamond.

Gem Gossip Visits H1912 in Princeton, NJ

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Hamilton Jewelers has a storied past with a history that dates back to the very beginning in 1912 when the store was founded. Since then, it has remained in the hands of the same family and continued to grow each year. Today, you can find a few locations--Princeton, NJ and two Palm Beach, FL stores. I was lucky enough to visit their newest addition to the Hamilton legacy, H1912 (a shop just a few doors down from their main store) which opened in October of 2015. What makes H1912 so special is that it is a concept store, where they specialize in vintage and antique jewelry, watches and designer pieces. I knew I was in for a treat, as I was looking forward to seeing a store built on over 100 years of expertise, paired with a new vision for antique and vintage jewelry.

My trip started out with a flight from Nashville to Newark, followed by a one hour Uber ride into Princeton, NJ. As we entered the downtown area of Princeton, where both Hamilton Jewelers & H1912 are located, I instantly became an excited tourist as we passed by shops, restaurants and small crowds of people. The esteemed Princeton University sits in the middle of it all, and if you're looking for a historic hotel to stay, the Nassau Inn was perfect! It is always fun to say you stayed at the same hotel as George Washington and Paul Revere. If you'd like to know more about things to do in Princeton and what we did, be sure to sign up for our newsletter as we like to update you with our Jewelry Road Trip experiences there too!

I was welcomed by Lea D'Onofrio, Store Director of H1912 who has been passionately involved in bringing new concepts and ideas to the new store. Customer service is an area that Lea and her team go above and beyond with everyday, even seen on my short visit there. Some unique aspects that set H1912 apart include having their own signature cold pressed juices from local favorite Tico's that they give out to customers, which changes seasonally. The store also donates a percentage of sales every month to a local charity or organization--in the past they've donated to The Bag Project (supplies emergency bags to children in foster care or shelters), breast cancer awareness foundation, Send Hunger Packing Princeton, SAVE animal shelter and many others. 

I had the privilege of meeting Anne Russell, Vice President and head buyer of both Hamilton Jewelers and H1912. Having an eye for jewelry and knowing what her clients are looking for comes second nature for Anne and worldwide buying trips are part of her job. I love seeing a store's designer picks and merchandise, and I truly believe no one can duplicate a store and have it be successful; it all boils down to knowing your client, years and years of experience, geography and store concept. The selection at both Hamilton Jewelers & H1912 is truly unique and exceptional. I enjoyed getting a quick tour of Hamilton Jewelers and hopefully will get to feature them soon! I also had the honor of meeting and speaking with Martin Siegel, 2nd generation and current Chairman of the Hamilton legacy. Martin's father Irving Siegel was the one who started it all back in 1912. Martin didn't miss a beat when meeting me and wanting to learn all about what I do. We talked about his favorite pieces in the store (a garnet necklace circa 1841 that comes with original box) and some of his favorite memories selling jewelry. He may be in his mid 80s, but you would never guess from his quick wit and spunk. 

Every jewelry case at H1912 is stocked with rare and unique pieces that have been found from all over and ultimately displayed beautifully at the store, ready for its next chapter. Every item is hand-picked and then carefully examined by a team of jewelers who make sure each piece is in excellent condition before it walks out the door. If a band needs channels rebuilt, stones tightened, or a final polish, H1912 has their staff of jewelers always there to assist in this important step of reselling vintage and antique (a step often overlooked in today's realm of online sellers). The store also really enjoys repurposing brooches into more wearable pieces of jewelry--I even watched one of their jewelers working on a piece that took bracelet links and was turning them into earrings!

H1912 has an entire case dedicated to luxury, preowned watches like Rolex, Cartier, Audemars Piguet and many more--even a large selection of watch straps. Another case is composed entirely of vintage and antique engagement rings, like Art Deco diamonds, vintage clusters, some unique alternative bridal picks featuring colored gemstones. The first case on the right features designer pieces, many of which are highly sought after--lots of Tiffany & Co., David Yurman, Cartier, Bvlgari, Van Cleef & Arpels and more. The largest case has no particular theme, just LOTS of jewelry, displayed in curated themes which all play off one another. I also love the fact that the displays are handmade to fit the store's aesthetic. 

I had such a fun trip to Princeton, NJ to visit H1912, I'm so glad I got to spend the day with the amazing team behind the brand and see everything they have to offer, even behind the scenes too! If you're ever in the Princeton area, you must stop by--and don't forget to follow them virtually to keep up-to-date with new arrivals and lots of other fun news!




104 Nassau Street

Princeton, NJ 08542

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Shine This Holiday Season with Arik Kastan Jewels

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The holidays are fast approaching--we know you're already getting frantic about it! So fear not, let us take away the burden of shopping and searching for that ideal keepsake or special gift (for either yourself or a special loved one) as we happily make some suggestions for you!

We've put together a list of TEN PIECES from Arik Kastan that have been most popular over the past year and give you easy access, JUST A CLICK AWAY, and these will be at your doorstep and in the hands of your recipient!

Give someone a gift that will make her jaw-drop, cry tears of joy, and want to tell all her friends! We KNOW any of these pieces below will surely do just that!

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

Put some twinkle on your fingers with this sapphire and diamond ring--one of our top holiday picks because it goes with everything and looks amazing all year round. Yes please!

Center Compass Ring, Price: $2,180

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

Go bold this year and choose this flower padlock as your holiday gift. Set with deep red garnets and beautiful diamonds, we know you will style it with all your fall & winter looks.

Grande Flower Padlock, Price: $2,400

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

If you're trying to cut back on the holiday sweets this year, the Poppy ring can be your guilt-free substitute!  A dome of diamonds is the core of this design and we absolutely love it! 

Poppy ring, Price: $1,980

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

Dark and sultry, layer-ready...don't hold back if this garnet and sapphire padlock is neatly wrapped and gifted to you this holiday season. Tear into the package and rejoice!

Oval Stained Glass Padlock, Price: $1,810

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

Another favorite of ours is this striking sapphire and diamond ring called the Grande Fleur. Light up your holiday morning by unwrapping this baby!

Grande Fleur ring, Price: $2,860

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

No holiday season is complete without an ideal gift for anyone on your list--mom, grandma, aunt, girlfriend, BFF--the Starling ring is universally awesome. And everyone loves sapphires!

Starling ring, Price: $1,410

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

The Square Padlocks have become a best-seller and we totally understand why!  Try it in sapphire for a cool, versatile look.

Square padlock in sapphire, Price: $1,900

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

The Stained Glass Window ring in labradorite has won our hearts and it will win yours too! Can you imagine unwrapping this as a gift?!  Or you can be the gift-giver with this piece and instantly win the holidays!

Stained Glass Window ring, Price: $1,430

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

You can't get any sweeter than the Jasmine pendant. This piece is set with moonstone and labradorite for a magical feel--as they say, this time of year can be very magical!

Jasmine pendant in moonstone & labradorite, Price: $1,130

Arik Kastan | Gem Gossip

Inspired by a time of the past, the Edwardian Ribbon ring beckons one to slow down and enjoy the moment. Unwrap this sweet ring this holiday season and embrace all the memories you and your family create.

Edwardian Ribbon ring, Price: $1,920

Top Picks from Upcoming New Orleans Auction Jewelry Sale

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My first trip to New Orleans a few months ago was one of my most favorite trips I've ever taken and although the stars did not align for me to visit the south's premiere auction house, New Orleans Auction, I was able to keep them in my rolodex. The company opened its doors in 1991 and have been offering some impressive and record-shattering items ever since. Their latest upcoming auction is slated for November 18th, 2017 and I've been keeping a close eye on their vast acquisitions as this sale unfolded. The catalog is jam-packed with over 450 lots of jewelry, watches and furs. My favorites are shown here, however make sure you check out the entire catalog online, as it was very difficult for me to narrow down my list of top picks.

>> You can also bid online via Invaluable or liveauctioneers.

Lot 279: A stunning diamond and sapphire ring opens the list of favorites for me--I could see this ring being worn as an engagement ring or right hand ring. The diamond in the center is a gorgeous marquise cut, weighing 2.86 carats and having VS-2 clarity and I color. The sapphires that surround the central diamond add color and pizazz to the piece! Estimate: $25,000-40,000

Lot 435: Bold black enamel always does it for me--and this ring is such a stunner! Done in 10k yellow gold in a pinwheel style, this ring is set with approx. 1.20 carats of round brilliant cut diamonds that sparkle like crazy. The ring is a size 5 and ready to be accessorized in the best way possible. Estimate: $600-900

Lot 401: Something about the elongated shape and the gemstone combo of this ring had me saving it to my favorites list! This pieces is done in platinum with a round transitional cut diamond in the center that weighs approx. 1.06 carats. Diamonds, emeralds and even onyx make up the accent stones and each are immaculately cut to fit. Estimate: $14,000-18,000

Lot 267: One of my most favorite stones is kunzite and this necklace is composed of a pear-shaped kunzite with pink sapphire accents. I love the long length of the pendant and how it dangles flawlessly. Funny how you don't have to be a pink-loving person to fall in love with this gemstone. This enchanting piece is done in 18k white gold and is ready to be wrapped and placed under someone's tree. Estimate: $3,000-5,000

Lot 463: Simple yet classic, this three station necklace is one of my top picks because I could see myself wearing it daily. Black onyx pieces have always been a favorite of mine and especially when they are outfitted in diamonds as well. I love how the diamonds are embedded beautifully in this pendant. Done in 10k yellow gold and hanging from a gold-filled chain, ready to be worn. Estimate: $800-1,200 

New Orleans Auction | Gem Gossip New Orleans Auction | Gem Gossip New Orleans Auction | Gem Gossip New Orleans Auction | Gem Gossip

Lot 125: This ring has such a fun gemstone combination -- opal and lapis! I immediately put it on my list of favorites as I am a sucker for anything done in lapis and opal is a favorite gemstone of mine, so this piece is just everything. Set in 14k yellow gold, an Ethiopian opal sits in the center, flanked by lapis on each side and diamonds in the corners. The ring is a size 7 1/4. Estimate: $700-1,000

Lot 123: Every auction has a show-stopping opal and for this particular auction, this lot is it! The opal is big, bold and has an incredible play-of-color. As if this ring couldn't get any better, the opal is flanked by half-moon diamonds and done in platinum. Over the top on all accounts! Estimate: $4,500-7,000

Lot 241: I'm completely obsessed with blue colored gemstones, especially lapis and blue topaz, so when I saw this ring I kind of lost it. It is done in 14k yellow gold and finished with gold details over top the lapis, which makes the ring even more unique! The ring is a size 7. Estimate: $600-900

Lot 338: At first glance you may think this is a heart-shaped sapphire but it is actually a tanzanite! The ring is done in platinum and comes with a GIA certificate for the center stone. Diamonds accent the entire ring, totaling about 0.86 carats. Estimate: $4,500-7,000

New Orleans Auction | Gem Gossip New Orleans Auction | Gem Gossip

Lot 131: This Grecian-style bib necklace is statement worthy, in excellent condition and done in 18k yellow gold. It measures 17 inches in length and when worn with the right clothing collar, will have people asking you about it all the time! I have a similar necklace and I've even worn it layered with a longer length chain with charms on it--such a great combo! Estimate: $3,500-5,000

Lot 355: Elegant and refined, this gorgeous diamond necklace features approx. 9.43 carats of fancy yellow diamonds and 4.79 carats of white diamonds in a bib style. Done in 14k white gold, this piece will surely turn heads and should be worn, in my opinion, everyday. Although special occasions would be where it can ideally shine--can you picture yourself wearing it?!  Estimate: $35,000-50,000

New Orleans Auction | Gem Gossip New Orleans Auction | Gem Gossip

Lot 419: This platinum ring is an Art Deco-inspired piece that features both diamonds and rubies! It is designed around a unique half-moon diamond that almost looks like a belt buckle ring. I love the added dimension with the square cut rubies giving it some color and flavor. I could see this worn as a right hand ring or even an engagement ring for an alternative bride. Estimate: $2,500-4,000

Lot 410: This cushion cut diamond is just grabbing for my attention! The cushion cut has been winning me over as one of my most favorite diamond cuts recently, and this 2.56 carat beauty is certainly stunning. Set in an 18k white gold mounting, the center diamond is a VS-2 clarity, K color and features a split shank style mount. What a gorgeous engagement ring this would make! Estimate: $9,000-12,000

This sponsored blog post was brought to you in collaboration with New Orleans Auction.

New Orleans Auction

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Dupuis Auctioneers Important Jewels Sale Set for November 19, 2017

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Gearing up for the busy yet incredibly epic holiday season for auction houses around the world, with Dupuis Auctioneers kicking things off with their Fall Important Jewels sale. The Canadian auction house has meticulously curated over 450 items that will be set to go under the hammer on November 19th, 2017. Whether you love Victorian jewelry, modern diamonds, stylish fine necklaces, fun earrings, loose gemstones, stackable bracelets, signed designer pieces, or everything in between, Dupuis' fall sale has something that will grab your attention. It was very tough to choose only a few highlights, but these are my favorites and be sure to take a look on your own at the catalog which is online, following the link below:

Dupuis Important Jewels Auction >> November 19, 2017

Lot 21: Gorgeous at every detail, this Art Deco aquamarine pendant necklace features a long cushion shaped aqua that weighs approx. 22 carats! The delicate setting is whimsical and feminine, and I especially love the black enamel details. The chain is unique because it features filigree tracery stations linked with chain, done in 14k white gold. The pendant is set in 18k white gold. Estimate: $640-960 

Lot 36: Taking it back further to another time period, this Art Nouveau necklace dates to 1905 and features a rare gemstone: a cat's eye tourmaline. Typical of the turn-of-the-century style, the necklace showcases some beautiful nature-inspired design work and accented with pearls.  The necklace measures 15 inches in length and is a mix of 10k & 14k gold. Estimate: $2,880-3,200

Lot 103: A breath-taking Renaissance Revival necklace like you've never seen!  Set with peridot, pearls, enamel, and diamonds this stunning piece is in immaculate condition. It measures 15 1/2 inches in length and surely looks grand when worn. What a collector's piece! Estimate: $2,080-2,880.

Lot 108: This colorful necklace instantly grabbed my attention and when I read the description, I became even more interested. The piece is composed of coral, jadeite beads, and black bakelite. Unlike most bakelite jewelry, this piece is done in 18k yellow gold. The bottom coral teardrop is detachable. Estimate: $2,400-3,200

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Lot 122: Did you realize Victorians liked hot pink? This all-original pink sapphire and diamond ring dates back to the late 1800s and it is astonishingly trendy if worn today. The bright pink of the sapphire center stone just radiates, as it is surrounded by old cut diamonds. Done in 18k gold with silver top and ready for your finger. Estimate: $4,000-5,600

Lot 185: I chose this lot as one to highlight because it feels like such an ideal engagement ring and I whole heartedly support buying your engagement ring at auction. I think it adds another romantic dimension to the ring's story. This ring is an old mine cut diamond which is bezel set, sits flush to the finger and done in platinum and 14k white gold. Estimate: $2,400-4,000

Lot 223: A bracelet and earring suite in case there's a day where you want nothing but ALL THE GEMS. I am totally in love with vintage pieces that feature an array of collage-like gemstones in every color. This set is extra special because it is done in a wide bracelet style, which I adore. The bracelet is 14k and the earrings are 18k. Estimate: $2,720-3,520

Lot 237.02: Since the latest trend in jewelry is all about the ear pendant, these earrings seem like just the sensation we're coveting. Luscious emeralds are set in both the top and bottom of these earrings, which are done in 18k yellow gold. They are totally regal! Estimate: $8,000-12,000


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Lot 240: I am a sucker for Kunzite, which is why I had to include this necklace in my top picks. Not only does it use the beautiful pale pink stone, but it has such a unique setting which utilizes the heart-shape in a elegant way by "crowning" it. The piece is done in platinum and is extremely detailed. Estimate: $1,360-1,760

Lot 288: Something fun, timeless and very Belle Époque is this necklace/bracelet done in diamonds, pearls and platinum. What's different about this piece besides it being over the top is that it detaches and can be worn as a bracelet. I love a good tassel and the time period of this piece was the height of a striking tassel motif. Estimate: $14,400-19,200


Dupuis Auction | Gem Gossip Dupuis Auction | Gem Gossip

Lot 400: If you know me, you know that my bucket list jewelry item is a David Webb animal bracelet. With all the different possibilities out there, I can never narrow down my preference to a certain animal or certain style...until I saw this one! I love the black and white enamel of the tiger and the green stones are such a great contrast. I will be stalking this lot, for sure! Estimate: $24,000-32,000

Lot 415: I've included this striking diamond necklace because after seeing it, couldn't take my eyes off it!  Done in a fringe style, with diamond dripping down from three sections, the piece is done in 18k white gold and features approx. 2.55 carats total of diamonds. With London assay marks that indicate 1965, this necklace was probably worn by an English starlet during the 60s. How fun! Estimate: $8,000-12,000

Dupuis Auction | Gem Gossip Dupuis Auction | Gem Gossip

Lot 425: These diamond cluster earrings are far from simple, as they total over seven carats of old cut stones, but are the perfect "upgrade" as I would trade my entire earring collection just for this single pair. Lots of sparkle from them which goes a long way. These are the type of earrings you put on one day and never take off! Estimate: $19,200-24,000

Lot 469: The créme de la créme of diamond rings--a 7.06 carat emerald cut with VVS-1 clarity, F color sits in the center of this 18k white gold set stunner. It is simply mouth-watering and ready for a new home. Could this be your new engagement ring? Or maybe right hand anniversary gift? Estimate: $160,000-208,000


This sponsored blog post was brought to you in collaboration with Dupuis.