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Jewels at my Doorstep: Loren Nicole 

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There's something magical about high karat gold and Loren Nicole understands exactly what I mean! I was eager to work on another Jewels at my Doorstep feature for this designer, this time around with new jewelry--so new, in fact, many pieces were fresh off her jeweler's bench. As with all the jewelry that Loren designs, everything is inspired by ancient techniques, she uses 22k gold, and each piece is handmade by herself in her California studio. Her brand has a clear vision and goal for its clients and collectors to feel connected with the past when wearing her pieces. If these gorgeous jewels can reawaken a curiousity in someone to learn about the past, visit a museum, or read a history book, then Loren says her job as a jewelry designer has reached its ultimate level.

Individually, each 22k gold necklace is bold and dynamic on its own, but when you mix them and layer the lengths just right, the entire look is pretty incredible. For these new pieces, as you can tell from the photos, they are meant to be layered. When asking Loren about her new collection, that's exactly what she said she set out to do: "I revisited all the jewelry I have made since day one, laid it out on the table and pulled the pieces that felt the most wearable and can be easily layered. I modified a few designs and added in a couple new designs that I felt were missing, like key pieces in the history of jewelry, such as a signet ring (ours inspired but an Ancient Egyptian Shape) and a tassel earring." Her signet ring is made with hammered 22k gold and can feature a stone or no stone, as you can see both versions in the photos. These rings are beyond comfortable and I love the shape of them. I even think they would make a kickass engagement ring. 

When creating tassels as a part of Loren's core collection, the material used had to be unique--silk tassels and beaded tassels just weren't speaking to her. She instantly thought of horsehair and now that they have been created and have become a part of the collection, the horsehair makes so much sense on so many levels. For one, being ancient inspired, horses have always been a huge part of so many civilizations over centuries past, that connection is deeply rooted. The texture of the horsehair paired with the richness of 22k gold is a complete match made in heaven, even the colors are beautiful. The horsehair can also take customization to a whole new level as you can use your own horse's hair--it can be a way of commemorating a horse or keeping it close to you in the form of jewelry. We all know someone who absolutely loves horses and I think this introduction of horsehair tassel earrings to her collection is quite genius!

I hope you've enjoyed learning about and seeing some of the newest pieces from Loren Nicole. Knowing that each piece is handmade by Loren herself goes a long way with me and I love her line even more for that. Just to put it in perspective, I asked Loren how long it takes to make a couple of her handwoven chains. The 20" woven tube chain takes about 25 hours to make and weighs one ounce. The open woven Roman chain takes about 15 hours and weighs one ounce as well. I don't think I ever want to wear a thin, factory made chain ever again!

 

All photography shot by SWAK Photography  

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Loren Nicole.

Loren Nicole

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2017 Holiday Gift Guide: Jewelry Wish List

Holiday Wish List, GemGossip.com

Kicking off the holiday season, we've compiled a wish list that every serious jewelry fiend would swoon over. These are my top must-haves from favorite designers, antique jewelry shops and dealers and some fun things thrown in the mix. Each day, this blog post will be updated with one item and in case you need a better way to remember, a Newsletter will go out highlighting the designer or items we've hand-selected. (You can sign up here.)This time of year is always special, but it goes by SO quickly--we want this list to help you plan without taking time out from your busy life. So let's get the list going!! You can follow along on Instagram with the hashtag: #GemGossipWishList

Full disclosure: There is a small fee designers had to pay to be involved in this project. I receive zero commission based on how many pieces of each item sell during this promotion--this is not a commission-based program.

Bce Jewelry

Designer: BCE Jewelry

Why is she on the list: Her jewelry is a personal favorite of mine, as I own a few pieces (most recently an ancient coin bezel set necklace). Each piece is handmade in California, which I love--small business, great people, beautiful pieces. I also love the style and design of her rings and think they pair REALLY well with antique jewelry. Find a gem that speaks to you and your style/collection and you won't be disappointed!

Fox + Bond

Designer: Fox & Bond

Why are they on the list: Rainbow has been hugely popular this year and I'm loving all things colorful--these ombré rings light up any stack instantly with their eye-catching style and boldness. The stones are hand-selected when creating each ombré palette and handmade in LA. Every collection needs a F&B Ombré ring!

Rebecca Fogg Jewelry

Designer: Rebecca Fogg Jewelry

Why is she on the list: We are obsessed with her Egyptian-inspired pieces she creates in her Upstate NY studio and we love supporting new, up-and-coming designers. Each piece is handmade using recycled metals. Can we also mention our obsession with her snake charm holder?! 

Charmco

Online Destination: Charmco

Why are they on our list: It's no secret that Charmco is my number one spot to search for charms. My figa collection is extensive and whenever I post a photo on Instagram, it saddens me to receive a barrage of messages asking for prices, only to copy/paste the same response of "sorry these are not for sale." SO, here you go--these are all for sale and ready for new homes! Start your very own figa collection this holiday season!

Morgan Patricia Designs

Designer: Morgan Patricia Designs

Why is she on the list: I discovered Morgan Patricia Designs thanks to another fellow jewelry designer--I gave her page one look and was instantly drawn in. Three words: mermaid inspired jewelry. Growing up, The Little Mermaid was one of my favorite movies, so her line brings back some nostalgia. Who wouldn't want to feel like a mermaid dripping in handmade jewels inspired by the ocean?! Her opal pieces are to die for!

Verma Estate

Online Destination: Verma Estate Jewelry

Why are they on our list: The holidays are all about surprises and what better way than to surprise your loved one with a proposal! We've chosen Verma Estate Jewelry because they have a wide selection of completely gorgeous vintage and antique diamond engagement rings, all of which are more than ideal to propose with. Spanning several time periods and both traditional and non-traditional styles, you'll be completely satisfied browsing their new website.

Mini Mini Jewels

Designer: Mini Mini Jewels

Why are they on our list: We are obsessed with zodiac jewelry, so discovering this newly launched jewelry line that had created their own "mini" zodiac symbols in stud earring form was a treat. You can even customize by choosing which gemstone you prefer. Just check out the Celestial Collection of their website and shop away!

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Designer: Gigi Ferranti Jewelry

Why is she on our list: Modern stackers are a popular category for gift-giving because they fit so well with most people's jewelry they already wear! Gigi Ferranti creates some of the best-quality and sleekest designed stackables out there right now. She also has price points for every budget, check out the Gift Ideas section on her website.

Workhorse Jewelry

Designer: Workhorse Jewelry

Why are they on our list: For so many reasons: vintage-inspired, great price points, perfect gifts, stack-friendly pieces that mesh well with other collections...I could go on! Workhorse Jewelry gets its inspiration from sentimental Victorian pieces of the bygone era. Oftentimes, original Victorian jewelry is too fragile or too small beyond sizing to repair and that's why I love Workhorse because their pieces can be worn everyday and made to fit you, all while keeping the Victorian look. Shop now to receive your order in time for the holidays!

Trumpet & Horn

Online Destination: Trumpet & Horn

Why are they on our list: All throughout the year, we eagerly await our weekly email from Trumpet & Horn revealing their new arrivals. There is always something that catches my eye, whether its an Art Deco right hand ring or Edwardian engagement ring. Browse their website and find gift giving ideas for all price points--lots of earring options for under $500 and fun vintage rings for under $1,000. We love this company and all that they do!

Nouvel Heritage

Designer: Nouvel Heritage

Why are they on the list: I'm obsessed with Nouvel Heritage's gem adorned Vendome earrings, pictured above. NH also just launched a new TRY&WEAR option which allows shoppers to order a jewelry sample to try and wear for a period of 30 days for only 10% of retail price, so shoppers can be confident in their choice before making a purchase. Love this idea!

Bario Neal

Designer: Bario Neal

Why are they on our list: We can't think of a better gift than a fanned or curved band that will instantly transform your engagement ring. A small addition can go a long way! Plus, we love Bario Neal because they're always finding ways to give back, like their current promo which gives you a discount for donating to a local nonprofit they've partnered with; check out their website for more details! Promo ends at the end of the month.

Mini Museum | Gem Gossip

Designer: Mini Museum

Why are they on our list: Hold 29 rare and unique objects that span billions of years all in your hand with this cool specimen display made of acrylic. The above is the third edition of this Limited Edition run, the first and second editions have since sold out! This piece includes a tiny swatch from Steve Jobs' sweater, a rough opal from Australia, 14 billion year old Moldavite, Space Gems (aka Peridot), and cake from Charles and Diana's wedding, among several other items. It's a great gift for all ages and displays beautifully!

Doyle & Doyle

Antique Destination: Doyle & Doyle

Why are they on our list: The holidays aren't complete without a NYC trip to Doyle & Doyle. Their museum-like interior boasts rings and jewels from all different time periods and is like a fairy tale for jewelry lovers. For instance, these rings shown above are all available and span from the Renaissance period (the emerald cabochon) to the Georgian period (spy two rings), Victorian Era (pinkish ruby), through the glamorous Art Deco period, and the most modern is the mid 20th century aquamarine cocktail ring! Shop all that they have to offer, you can't go wrong!

The Eden Collective

Antique Destination: The Eden Collective

Why are they on our list: Eden continually posts her finds on Instagram and her Etsy shop is filled with nearly 500 items, all of which are incredibly unique. Anytime she comes back from a buying trip, her 33k Instagram followers are chomping at the bit to see her newest finds, and I'm one of them! Above are some of her latest arrivals, with a mix of creepy and cool and gorgeous boulder opal one-of-a-kinds she has been delving into lately. We can't get enough!

 

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WANT MORE GIFT IDEAS? Check out these books for jewelry lovers

The Most Important Holiday Gift for Jewelry Lovers: A Brown Jewelry Safe

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As the days in December go by, I'm continually doing my jewelry duty by recommending all my favorite designers, shops and antique jewelry stores for all you holiday shoppers to buy jewelry from. But there's one more important, very luxurious but often necessary item that I haven't told you about until now! You can have loads and loads of jewelry, but if you are not keeping it organized or safe then you're doing yourself a disservice. That's why this year, above anything else, you should be wishing for a jewelry safe from Brown Safe! Or even better, make owning a safe from Brown Safe your New Year's resolution! 

I love the Brown Safes for so many reasons, one of the most important being that it protects your precious possessions. But also on top of that, they are designed to keep you highly organized. Customization is key; these aren't your average safes. They are specifically designed for gems and jewelry. You are offered a variety of layouts that allow you to build your own safe based on your needs. Luxurious finishes are another option you can choose when going through the steps of designing your own safe, along with outside color, interior finishes and lighting. By far my favorite part would be the drawer layout options, click to view all 18 possibilities. You know I was eyeing up the "drawer built for 100 rings." 

Here are the steps to designing your own safe:

1. Pick your size: mini, small, medium or large (of course, custom sizes can be made as well)

2. Choose your colors and finishes:

Outside color: there are seven options including a custom paint job

Hardware finish: silver, gold, bronze

Lock type: dial, electronic, or biometric

Interior wood finish: there's eight different luxurious wood options, as well as custom

Suede or velvet interior

Drawer pulls & drawer layout inserts: a few different pull options and all 18 layout options

3. Add-on options: lighting, door-mounted necklace rack, watch winders, door-mounted mirror, pedestal, three-spoke handle

4. Hinge location & door swing capabilties: should your safe swing open on the left or right and should it open to a 90 degree angle or 135 degree angle

5. Security levels: fire protection and security add-ons like alarms, etc.

If you're like me, you're drooling at the thought of all the possibilities of a custom safe. So hop on over to the Brown Safe website and start going through the steps and exploring the options! It is fun and gets you thinking about safe-guarding your jewels as they truly are little investments. 

 

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

 

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Holiday Gift-Giving: A Birthstone for Every Month

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I like to gift jewelry during the holidays, for many obvious reasons, but the main one being that jewelry is a gift that lasts a lifetime. Personalization is an aspect I take very seriously when it comes to jewelry because I think it makes it even more special. However, not everyone wants a name plate necklace, or monogram piece...we're talking personalization on a subtle scale: birthstone jewelry!

Luckily, Hunt Country Jewelers exists because they create some of the best birthstone jewels around. The secret to their success is that they are able to import gemstone rough straight from the source, from all over the world, and cut it themselves! They get most of their rough from East Africa, but they also import from China, South America and even Russia, occasionally. This is truly a small business that does it all--from rough to finished piece. The variety of gemstones that they offer is quite vast, so they truly have a birthstone for every month!

The above photos are all unique gemstones from Hunt Country Jewelers--you've got aquamarine, peridot and tourmaline in the first photo, along with peridot, pearls, amethyst, citrine, and more aquamarine. The photo with the rings features sapphire, tanzanite and zircon! So juicy and bold, you can see why gemstone jewelry makes a wonderful gift and the quality you get from Hunt Country Jewelers is unlike any other!

I absolutely love birthstone jewelry and think it makes a great holiday gift because the possibilities are endless! The gemstone doesn't have to represent the intended person--it could stand for children, significant others, or even the month in which something eventful/meaningful happened. I lucked out because I adore my birthstone: sapphires! However, I also love opals and although I wasn't born in October, I did get married in October, so in my world, opals are just as much my stone as are sapphires. You can do this too!

To give you a run down on the birthstones by month:

January: Garnet

February: Amethyst

March: Aquamarine, Bloodstone

April: Diamond

May: Emerald

June: Pearl, Alexandrite, Moonstone

July: Ruby

August: Peridot, Spinel, Sardonyx

September: Sapphire

October: Opal, Tourmaline

November: Citrine, Topaz

December: Zircon, Turquoise, Tanzanite

Source: American Gem Society

Be sure to check out Hunt Country Jewelers online, where you'll find a large selection of both loose gemstones and finished jewelry all available from the click of a button. If you're in the Purcellville, VA area, make sure to stop by--their showroom is gorgeous!

This sponsored blog post was brought to you in collaboration with Hunt Country Jewelers.

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Jewels at my Doorstep: Motif Collection by David Webb

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The iconic and powerful designs we all know and love of famous American jeweler David Webb just got a little more accessible, and fashion forward women everywhere are springing for their car keys to drive to their nearest location to try these on!  The collection is called Motif and it is inspired by pieces within the archives that date back to the mid-1970s which play upon symbols like arrows, zig zags, the letter U, and the rhombus shape. The geometric forms and patterns are given a bold look, created in black and white enamel, 18k gold, platinum and diamonds, true to David Webb's signature style. What is different about this new collection is the size and price point, compared to what we typically see from David Webb. The Motif Collection is smaller in scale, allowing prices to range from $4,700 to $11,800. This also allows for stacking, which is clearly one of my favorite aspects of wearing jewelry.

I was really excited to have the opportunity to style, stack and play with the Motif Collection as the jewels arrived at my doorstep for this collaboration. I experienced first hand how these pieces easily lend themselves to stacking and the black and white colors make them classic and timeless. I styled the necklaces in a layered formation, choosing all black enamel. I absolutely love these necklaces, worn solo or in a grouping. The rings were another favorite of mine, as seen here I paired my engagement ring with a black enamel and diamond Scape ring from the collection and Instagram went crazy. I'm now slightly obsessing over that ring by looking at that photo far too often throughout the day. Although not shown in these photos, I also took two Scape rings and stacked them together, flat-sides touching, to create an architectural wonder. 

The entire Motif Collection is easy to wear and can be dressed up or down. Seen here, I'm wearing a casual dress and the jewelry just pops! After the photoshoot, I changed into jeans and a vintage t-shirt and the look was just as strong and felt appropriate. I couldn't get over how comfortable the bracelets felt--I could have lived in them, so taking them off to send back to David Webb was extra hard! And the earrings were also very fun, as I chose to wear the Unity earrings alone, with nothing else...and then changed them out to wear the two different versions of the double diamond earrings, both on one ear! Most people would think you can't stack a bold dangle earring, but I think otherwise!

The Motif Collection can be found at David Webb's retail locations in New York and Beverly Hills, Bergdorf Goodman, select Saks and Neiman Marcus locations, and several leading independent jewelers. The collection is also available online at DavidWebb.com

Pieces featured in this blog post:

Necklaces:

Unity Necklace, in both black & white enamel, diamonds, 18k gold, and platinum -- Price: $5,800

Skip Necklace, in both black & white enamel, diamonds, 18k gold, and platinum -- Price: $5,400

Arrow Necklace, in both black & white enamel, diamonds, 18k gold, and platinum -- Price: $5,900

Scape Necklace, in both black & white enamel, diamonds, 18k gold, and platinum -- Price: $5,400

Shield Necklace, in both black & white enamel, diamonds, 18k gold, and platinum -- Price: $6,400

Bracelets:

Studlette Bangle, in both black & white enamel, diamonds, 18k gold, and platinum -- Price: $11,800

Double Diamond Bracelet, in black enamel, diamonds, 18k gold, and platinum -- Price: $9,800

Skip Bracelet, in black enamel, diamonds, 18k gold, and platinum -- Price: $11,000

Rings:

Scape Ring, in both black & white enamel, diamonds, 18k gold, and platinum -- Price: $4,700

Hero Ring, in both black & white enamel, diamonds, 18k gold, and platinum -- Price: $8,800

Earrings:

Unity Earrings, in both black & white enamel, diamonds, 18k gold, and platinum -- Price: $6,800

Double Diamond Earrings, in both black & white enamel, diamonds, 18k gold, and platinum -- Price: $9,300

Double Diamond Earrings (smaller version), in both black & white enamel, diamonds, 18k gold, and platinum -- Price: $7,700


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

Photos by Cameron Powell.

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