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Newsflash: There are NO RULES to Engagement Rings, Married or Not!

Gem Gossip engagement ring

My engagement ring, all original Victorian diamond bypass ring

Gem Gossip Engagement ring

My newly acquired alternative, "everyday" engagement ring from MaeJean Vintage

Men's Wedding Bands | Gem Gossip

My husband's one-finger stack of all his wedding bands, he likes to change out depending on what he is wearing/doing each day

Engagement rings...wedding bands...what is it with these symbolic pieces of jewelry that have so many people embracing the idea of wearing the same ring everyday for the rest of their life?  It is monumental to think about really.  In a world where every person seems to have differing opinions on just about everything, we all can agree to wear a ring on our left hand, ring finger when we decide to marry. But really, it is so much more than just "deciding to marry," and I think that in of itself is the whole meaning behind the ring--what it represents, vows and all. HOWEVER...

The rules of engagement rings and wedding bands have been on my mind a lot lately and I think it is because I am one who eagerly is open to breaking rules, especially conventional ones (I'm still catching snide comments for not changing my last name). My husband and I love our wedding jewelry. My engagement ring is easily my favorite ring I own (which says a lot)...it is incredibly special to me, heavily symbolic and overtime has become its own celebrity. People know me for my ring...it has been Googled thousands of times, which is slightly alarming. My husband's wedding band is very special to him--I bought it shortly after we got engaged and it is the most expensive piece of jewelry I've ever purchased to date (which, again, says a lot). With all that being said, we don't wear our rings every day. And even more so, it's not a big deal. Some days we feel like wearing them, other times we wear no jewelry at all, even crazier, we wear different rings on that left hand, ring finger. In fact, my husband has SEVERAL (noted in the photo above) rings he wears as his wedding band, not just the one we exchanged on our wedding day.  As a couple who enjoys fashion and getting dressed in the morning, anyone else who can understand that and is also passionate about fashion knows that rules are the worst. I say, if you don't feel like wearing something one day, why should you force yourself to wear it?!  Why do we as a society automatically assume someone is in marital troubles when they are spotted without their wedding ring? Why can't they just be having a fashion revelation or just plain didn't want to wear the ring? For someone like me, wearing the same ring every single day is the definition of insanity. I know Albert Einstein said something like that... (lol)

I know I don't have answers to these rhetorical questions I've just posed, but I felt I wanted to get these ideas and words out--maybe start a conversation and get other's opinions. Would love to know what you think about this subject--do you wear your engagement ring and wedding band everyday? If your significant other didn't wear their ring one day, do you get mad? Why?

I've also been actively searching for a more "user-friendly" engagement ring for everyday wear, as mine is so delicate (being Victorian, characteristically thin for the style of it) and I've had a few "close calls" banging it around and getting it caught on things. I still want to wear it as much as possible, but I've found an alternative and I'm really excited about it. I wanted a sapphire cluster for an alternative engagement ring and when I saw the one pictured above posted by MaeJean Vintage, I knew it was the one.  I love the tear-drop shape of it, as I had been set on a large oval cluster (like Princess Diana's, now Princess Kate's ring). For some reason, the look was not "me." This one sang its own tune when I slipped it on my hand.  Next plan of action is to get a genuine sapphire cut to replace the current synthetic.  I'll keep you along for the transformation journey! And thanks MaeJean Vintage, you girls have some serious treasure hunting skills!!

 

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? You may also enjoy seeing the jewelry I wore on my wedding day.


A Review of Forevermark Diamonds

Forevermark | Gem Gossip Forevermark | Gem Gossip Forevermark | Gem Gossip Forevermark | Gem Gossip Forevermark | Gem Gossip Forevermark | Gem Gossip Forevermark | Gem Gossip Forevermark | Gem Gossip Forevermark | Gem Gossip Forevermark | Gem Gossip Forevermark | Gem Gossip Forevermark | Gem Gossip Forevermark | Gem Gossip

Consumers are constantly evolving. Those interested in buying diamonds are wanting more questions answered than ever before: where did my diamond come from? Was it sourced ethically? Is my diamond worth what I paid for it? How will I know this exact diamond is mine?  Exclusivity and rarity are becoming more and more important, as well as the feeling of confidence in what is one buying. All this added up to the creation of Forevermark and their authentic promise to each and every client who buys a diamond. Forevermark launched in January of 2011 with over 128 years of diamond expertise being a part of the De Beers Group. I wanted to learn more myself about Forevermark and their diamonds, so I got the full experience from my nearest local retailer who carries them--King Jewelers in Nashville, TN. Turns out, King Jewelers was one of the first to adopt Forevermark Diamonds into their repertoire--as David King explained, "Forevermark stands for rarity, something desired by a new group of clients that has recently been growing in the last few years."  Only sold through a select group of "authorized" jewelers, Forevermark is discerning in every step of the process.

What is cool in a nerdy, gem way is Forevermark's diamond inscription which I got to see first-hand with a special inscription viewer which King Jeweler's displays at their store. It was so interesting to learn that less than 1% of the world's diamonds can become a Forevermark diamond. What's more is once a diamond’s provenance and quality have been confirmed, it is inscribed with a unique number that represents the Forevermark promise: that the diamond is beautiful, rare and responsibly sourced. Only then does it become a Forevermark diamond! The inscription is invisible to the naked eye, but with the viewer, you can see the unique number, along with the Forevermark logo. The inscription is 1/20th of a micron deep – 1/5,000th the depth of a human hair – and is placed on the table facet of the diamond, using confidential, proprietary technology. After purchasing a Forevermark diamond, you can register your diamond using the unique number so it is tied to your name forever.

A diamond's journey from beginning to end is typically characterized by a lot of unknowns. With Forevermark, hand-selection and quality control define each step, with no unknowns. It starts with sourcingwhere every Forevermark diamond comes from a mine that has been carefully selected and approved according to strict criteria. Forevermark, as part of The De Beers Group, gives back to the communities where its diamonds are minedFor every acre of land used for mining, five acres are dedicated to the conservation of nature. Additionally, Forevermark, as part of The De Beers Group, contributes to the provision of good quality healthcare and education, and supports women entrepreneurs and their businesses. 

Next, the rough that was mined gets sorted by their experts, with color and clarity being at the forefront. Cutting and polishing come next, where strict standards are held for the craftsmen who carry out this task. Each facet is carefully planned out and will unlock the beauty of the diamond. Now the diamonds are off to be selected and graded, where the Forevermark Diamond Institute has a rigorous 17-step procedure, which includes hand grading. Any Forevermark diamond over 1/2 carat also receives a Forevermark Grading Report which certifies its grade. Those 10 points or larger are then inscribed with a unique number and the Forevermark logo. This careful selection process ensures you end up with a diamond that you can be really proud to give or wear forever, a true value when you are purchasing a diamond.

Ready for consumers, the last step of the journey is to be sold by an authorized Forevermark jeweler as a loose stone or set in a piece of jewelry. Forevermark jewelry, is designed and manufactured by select design partners.

Thanks Forevermark for giving me the opportunity to learn more about your beautiful, important cause. The next time you or myself will see these on the red carpet or at an authorized jeweler, I will be happy to know so much more than just the name. Diamonds are indeed wonderful, but knowing you have a responsibly sourced, rare and high-quality diamond makes that much of a difference. De Beers coined the term, A Diamond is Forever, and its authenticity and allure couldn't be more real! 

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Forevermark.

Forevermark | Gem Gossip

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Alex Cooper's July 21st, 2016 Gallery Auction 

Lot 100 | Alex Cooper Auction Lot 9 | Alex Cooper Auction Lot 21 | Alex Cooper Auction Lot 46 | Alex Cooper Auction lot 75 | Alex Cooper Auction Lot 79 | Alex Cooper Auction lot 89| Alex Cooper Auction Lot 98 | Alex Cooper Auction Lot 99 | Alex Cooper Auction lot 104 | Alex Cooper Auction lot 110 | Alex Cooper Auction lot 128 | Alex Cooper Auction lot 131 | Alex Cooper Auction

The summertime is not typically known as auction season, but the jewelry auctions that do happen should not be missed.  This is where some of the best scores can be found, deals to be had and collections to be grown. Why? Because this time of the year most are out of the loop or on vacation! Case in point, Alex Cooper and their July 21st Gallery Auction! The variety of items they have coming up at auction this month is great for all levels of collectors--from beginners to advanced--and of course their heart-stopping center fold: lot number 100, a rare Australian black opal ring from Temple St. Clair. Totally out-of-this-world! 

Read more about my top picks from the sale below. Be sure to sign up in advance to bid and mark July 21st on your calendar!

Alex Cooper Gallery Auction, July 21st at NOON located in Towson, MD.

Lot 100: A rare Australian black opal ring from Temple St. Clair--the piece is handcrafted, hallmarked and comes with a certificate from the IGI. Such an exquisite piece and comes with original box! The bezel is set with multi-colored sapphires, fine details like that make this ring so special. The opal itself is incredible in its own right, weighing in at 8.73 carats. Estimate: $40-50,000

Lot 9: Designer pieces of jewelry are smart buys when bidding at auction. Once you buy designer at auction, you'll never want to pay full price again! Alex Cooper has some great designer pieces in this sale, like this Cartier ring. Done in 18k white gold and set with diamonds, this piece dates back to the 90s and is called the Nouvelle ring. It is a size 6! Estimate: $3,000-3,5000

Lot 21: Another prime example of a collectible designer piece is this ring by Van Cleef & Arpels. Known for their high quality and superb craftsmanship, this piece is done in 18k white gold set with diamonds and a cabochon sapphire. Such a pretty floral-inspired design and such a great starting price for a Van Cleef piece! Estimate: $4,000-5,000

Lot 46: Start your collection off by bidding on a lot like this, where several rings are included! This easily expands or begins your collection and these pieces are great staples.  The carved intaglio crest ring done in bloodstone stands out to me, a perfect Victorian piece. The others also from the same time period would stack together seamlessly. Estimate: $200-400

Lot 75: Can you blame me for making sure to include this ring in my favorites?! Bypass style always has my heart--this one is done in platinum with two round brilliant cut diamonds, perfectly matched, both approximately 0.80 carats each. The baguette and round diamond accents are a great complement to this style and finishes off the piece nicely. Estimate: $2,000-3,000

Lot 79: Oh man, I love a good locket and this one is pure dreamy!  Art Nouveau 14k yellow gold depicting a woman set with a diamond, the piece is engraved with a beautiful "R" on the back, along with two photos on the inside.  You must check out the extra photos on the website! Estimate: $250-400

Lot 89: Wildly geometric, my kind of ring! This piece is done in 14k yellow gold and set with an oval cut diamond and round sapphire. The ring is a size 4.75 and easily would mix and match with any collection. Estimate: $300-500

Lot 98: And I couldn't talk about designer jewelry without including a piece from Tiffany & Co.! A very vintage Tiffany & Co. crossover ring done in 18k yellow gold set with sapphires. This style is very 1950s/60s and truly transports you back in time when Hollywood starlets wore pieces like this on set. Such a cool piece paying homage to a nostalgic time period. Estimate: $1,500-2,500

Lot 99: Need an upgrade? This will do! A three carat stunner set in a classic vintage fishtail setting which is done in platinum of course!  The baguette diamonds do a perfect job of complementing the center stone. This ring sure does sparkle and would make a great engagement ring destined to be passed on through generations! Estimate: $25,000-30,000

Lot 104: Four vintage rings, one lot...and one bid to win them all!  A great collection featuring two solitaire rings, one lapis signet ring and one opal quatre foil cluster. The cool thing about auction lots that include several rings is if there are pieces that don't fit your style, you could always sell the ones you don't want. Estimate: $200-400

Lot 110: A dazzling old mine cut diamond sits at the center of this gorgeous bar pin circa 1920s. The piece is entirely platinum and in excellent condition. Just how big is that center diamond? Approximately 1.50 carats! Estimate: $800-1,000

Lot 128: Couldn't help but include this cute ring--another bypass style, this time using floral motifs. The diamonds are marquise cuts with a round cut for the center.  White and yellow diamonds, with the yellow diamonds most likely heat-treated. Estimate: $2,500-3,000

Lot 131: This ring caught my eye! I love a good dome ring and this one is particularly unique. Done in 18k yellow and white gold, the yellow gold is used brilliantly to make the design really pop! The diamonds are also used in an exceptional way, baguettes and rounds to create a weaved look. Estimate: $1,500-2,000

 

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

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Want more? Learn how to bid online at auction by reading my top five tips!

Jewelry Collection Stories: Alisa of Erstwhile Jewelry

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Today's Jewelry Collection Story comes from one half of the Erstwhile Jewelry duo, Alisa Klusner. Inheriting a love for gems and antiques from both her grandmother and mother, Alisa is now enchanted by gems and antiques found by her husband Jared.  The married team have a great eye for beautiful, drool-worthy pieces--anything from a sapphire and diamond Art Deco ring, to a retro ruby and diamond piece, they have all the best. More recently the two collaborated on their own vintage-inspired line By Erstwhile, which features wedding bands, engagement rings, a really cool ear cuff, and some pendants.  Excited to share Alisa's story:

"I’ve been collecting my whole life. My grandmother and I would thrift and go to flea markets together every weekend. She had little boxes of gems found at flea markets and brought from the mother land, Russia. I loved how carefully she cared for these little treasures. I think, for me, the romance began there. My collecting began probably from my grandmother’s first few little gifts that were small but very sweet. My mother has always been a lover of fine jewels and over the years she’s also gifted me with jewels commemorating special occasions."

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"Now my husband, an antiques dealer, gifts me with gems. So my collection consists mostly of jewels he’s given me, little relics from my childhood, and pieces I “borrow” from Erstwhile."

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On her favorite motifs...

"Anything that brings about a feeling of nostalgia I love. My favorite motifs are found in Georgian and Victorian Mourning rings. They’re jewels made and worn to remember lost loved ones. Usually inscribed with the name of the deceased and date and place of death. These were worn to remind the wearer of mortality as in those days it was a constant threat. Many times you can find ‘memento mori' inscribed on these jewels, a Latin expression meaning ‘remember death’. Typical motifs and looks were black jet (the stone in the ring below), black and white enamel on yellow gold, and painted weeping willows."

alisa-klusner-erstwhile-jewelry-sally-pinera-4

"I am passionate about bringing back the concept of treasuring your possessions. Everything in our culture is so disposable now. I get caught up in it myself. But you get on that merry go round and forget to appreciate the things you have. Unlike my grandmother, who treasured those few bright little jewels. Many of the rings we find may have gotten scraped or melted and lost. When you see 100 rings at once, all thrown together, they can lose their individual luster. The work comes when you need to spot those special pieces and put them in a context/curate them in a way that let’s their light shine. And instead of someone buying a disposable trendy piece of jewelry, they can buy this special piece, hand made using precious metals and gems over 100 years ago. A piece that can and should be loved for a lifetime. That’s my passion, the possibility that these jewels will outlast all of us. And we’re just stewards of them for now."

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"I like to join Jared on shopping trips to London, Paris, and even Upstate NY. Antique jewelry shows are fun too! Treasure hunting for jewelry has massively changed in the last few years with the internet and Instagram. It used to be that you could find amazing jewels in pawn and antique shops in little towns around the US. But everything’s online now and the romance of the hunt has gone a bit."

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"My engagement ring is my most special and favorite piece. Jared just happened upon it and immediately knew it was for me. Surprisingly he didn’t agonize over dozens of rings. It was just this one from the start. And it’s perfect."

 

Erstwhile Jewelry

 

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WANT MORE? Check out other jewelry collections I've featured, here.

YES! I CAN buy that! -- Jewelry Under $500

Jewelry Under $500 | Gem Gossip

I asked for feedback...you gave it...and I listened! Someone requested I feature more budget-friendly jewelry, so I put together a list of 20 items all under $500 that I would want to have in my own jewelry box!  I made sure to gather a good mix of both modern and vintage/antique--so some of the pieces are one-of-a-kind and once sold, they are gone! Going on a virtual shopping spree is my favorite thing to do (well, besides the real thing) so I hope you enjoy this post just as much as I have putting it together!  So without further ado, here are the goods!

1) 14k yellow gold pink sapphire, diamond, and amethyst ring from Ross-Simons, Price: $389

2) 10k yellow gold citrine three-stone vintage ring from The Eden Collective, Price: $375

3) 14k yellow gold diamond curved bar bracelet by Zoe Chicco, Price: $500

4) 14k rose gold (comes in white or yellow too) diamond V-tip ring by Jacquie Aiche, Price: $365

5) 14k yellow gold shaker necklaces with shattered sapphires by Elisa Solomon, Price: $440

6) 14k yellow gold agate Figa charm set with peridot from CHARMCO, Price: $495

7) 14k white gold diamond and opal Moon Flower earring by Catbird, Price: $448 (for just one earring)

8) 14k yellow gold short sheer drop earrings by Lana Jewelry, Price: $500

9) 14k yellow gold Victorian ACROSTIC ring spelling out REGARD from Fox & Bond, Price $400

10) 14k yellow gold velvet choker with emoji charm (you choose from numerous colors and charm options) by Alison Lou, Price: $250


Jewelry Under $500 | Gem Gossip

11) 14k yellow gold diamond spiral "Carly Brooke" ring by Dana Rebecca Designs, Price: $330

12) 10k yellow gold Ethiopian opal vintage solitaire ring from Market Square Jewelers, Price: $445

13) 14k rose gold (also comes in yellow) "Charing Cross" vintage-inspired ring from Trumpet & Horn, Price: $475

14) 14k yellow gold circle stud earrings with black diamond briolette by Stacy Nolan Jewelry, Price: $365

15) 14k yellow gold (comes in rose and white also) diamond and ruby dagger single earring by Louison Fine, Price: $350

16) 18k yellow gold Moonface stud earrings (7mm) by Anthony Lent Jewelry, Price: $460

17) 9k yellow gold Antique Victorian locket with enamel from Metier SF, Price: $468

18) 14k yellow gold moonstone skull ring by Margaret Cross Jewelry, Price: $485

19) 14k yellow (comes in rose and white also) diamond and opal drop studs by Jennie Kwon Designs, Price: $295 (just for one earring)

20) 10k yellow gold Ray studs in your choice of blue opal or mother of pearl by Ursa Major Jewelry, Price: $380

xoxoGemGossip

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


Gem Gossip x Vada Jewelry Collaboration

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Vada x Gem Gossip Vada x Gem Gossip Vada x Gem Gossip Vada x Gem Gossip Vada x Gem Gossip Vada x Gem Gossip Vada x Gem Gossip

The second ring has dropped in my designer ring collaborations--this one I've teamed up with Vada Jewelry to launch an edgy, cool piece with black enameling. Katie, designer behind Vada, loved the idea and was totally on board and we are so proud to finally release it!

THE CONCEPT: good vs. evil is encountered on a daily basis, in this ring the good is represented by the gold, while the black is evil. Eventhough at times it may seem we are surrounded by evil, we can overcome it, be the bigger person and make better choices. This is what this ring represents in our eyes as we created this concept, however you can interpret it however it fits your life!  This ring is bold, hefty and easily stackable (as you can see in the stylized photo). 

We wanted to offer some options, so you can choose to have the black enameling as we originally designed it, or no enameling at all!  Please allow 4-6 weeks for orders, as each is custom made.  Both our logos are stamped on the inside, the Vada Jewelry logo as well as GG for Gem Gossip, along with the 14k hallmark. We hope you enjoy this ring as much as we do!

xoxo Gem Gossip & Vada Jewelry

Vada x Gem Gossip

TO ORDER:

Vada x Gem Gossip Ring
size 4

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)

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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)

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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.

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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.

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Gem Gossip Jewel Box Photos

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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!