Jewelry Store: The Jewelry Box of Lake Forest 

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Tucked away in a city named after its two man-made lakes, in laid-back, sunny southern California is The Jewelry Box of Lake Forest--a wonderfully smart jewelry store with a 25-year history.  If the title of being one of America's safest cities doesn't draw you in, this jewelry store will!  Continually voted best of Orange County several years in a row, this store is easily people's top choice.  And now, mine too thanks to social media.  I found The Jewelry Box of Lake Forest after being mesmerized by their gorgeous photos posted throughout Facebook & Instagram.  It wasn't long until they posted something that really caught my attention--an Edwardian diamond ring in an elongated, finger-flattering silhouette.  Before I knew it, I was learning first-hand at how amazing their customer service was as well.  With such a lovely staff made up of caring, knowledgeable people, it is easy to notice the passion behind the store, and where it started from from the beginning.  

Owners Jack and Christine began their journey in the jewelry industry working for a national department store chain.  Both were in regional management positions, but for different parts of the country.  With larger goals in mind, both had visions of owning their own store one day.  Dreams became a reality in 2001 when they opened The Jewelry Box of Lake Forest.  Their successful store has been able to give back, with many special events benefiting Breast Cancer and giving back to the community.  

The inventory runs the gamut, with new fashionable pieces of jewelry and "previously enjoyed," their take on vintage and antique jewelry.  With new items being added daily, their customers love to stop by frequently and check out what is new to the store.  Other services like appraisals, repair work and restyling old, unwanted jewelry are also their specialty.  If you're like me, and can't make it to their store, following their updates online is one sure way of receiving a purple box with their name on it!  Although I do hope to visit some day!

For more from The Jewelry Box of Lake Forest visit their website, Facebook & Instagram.

>> Click here to see the ring I bought from The Jewelry Box of Lake Forest!

My Jewel Box: Trikona Ring from Krysos + Chandi #LoveGold 

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There's nothing more perfect than a gold ring that can transform your jewelry wardrobe by being able to mix and match with what you already have.  The Trikona ring by Krysos + Chandi is the best example I have come across! You can call it a "crown" or a "zig zag" or even a "golden squiggle" but whatever you think it looks like, you will be surprised at how many different ways you can wear it!  

The Trikona ring is a custom piece, done in 14k yellow gold, made in NYC.  The design is a contemporary celebration of the geometric mysticism of the triangle.  The pointy shape is very on-point (no pun intended) with fashion and as well as design. I used six different rings of my own to play with to create different looks with my two Trikona rings.  Rings I used:

 

  • a 14k wide black enamel band
  • a 14k gold prong set turquoise band
  • several paper thin 14k gold bands
  • a 14k gold circular eternity band
  • an 18k gold X-pattern cut-out band
  • my Brian Brundage double marquise diamond ring in 14k gold

 

After playing for hours, we set out for a fun photoshoot located at a haunted Confederate cemetery from the Civil War.  We thought we surely would be spooked, but luckily a class of 5-6 year olds was busy touring the area, and kept us from losing our cool.  Across from the cemetery is a mansion that served as a makeshift hospital during the Battle of Franklin, tending to more than 300 wounded soldiers, with estimates of about 2,500 dead from that battle alone.  The stark white fence that encircled the plantation was an abrupt symbol to all that went down 150 years ago...but acted as the perfect backdrop to some bright golden rings.  We took the last few snapshots and made sure to leave before the sun got too low!  Here's to Halloween and stacking rings!

 

This post was brought to you in collaboration with LoveGold

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Hampton Estate Auction Fine Jewelry Sale, November 3rd, 2014

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Auction season is in full swing, and Hampton Estate Auctions has another jewelry-filled auction coming up November 3rd, 2014! This one is not to be missed--with antique bracelets, bold earrings, vintage rings, pretty pendants, top-brand watches and a mix of coins, there is something for everyone. The timing of this auction is perfect for the holiday season, so get ready to add some pieces to your holiday wish list after browsing the catalog online. I easily found some favorites (shown above) and I think there are plenty more not shown…you'll have to check out more on the Hampton Estate Auction website.

(be sure to sign up to bid here)

Lot 79: an antique 14k yellow gold brooch with pearls and enamel work. I love this style of brooch, which generally dates back to the Victorian Era. These types of pins look fabulous on a suit jacket. Starting bid: $800

Lot 96: a ring duo consisting of a black sapphire and opal navette ring, both 14k yellow gold.  The uniqueness of these rings totally intrigues me.  The black sapphire has such a modernist, abstract look.  Starting bid: $220

Lot 98: an 18k gold antique bracelet set with a pearl and diamonds.  The design on this bracelet is incredible!  It is bold enough to be a statement piece and would look elegant on a wedding day.  Starting bid: $800

Lot 144: a diamond buckle ring, done in 18k gold with European hallmarks.  A good, retro buckle ring should be in everyone's collection!  So funky and cool!  This one is made really well.  Starting bid: $400

Lot 145: an 18k yellow gold enameled cigar band.  Although the enamel shows some damage, the overall look of the ring is still great.  I've always wanted a cigar band and the red enamel against the yellow gold is just classic! Starting bid: $350

Lot 148: a Retro, 1940s buckle ring set with diamonds and rubies.  If you miss out of the first buckle ring, this auction gives you another shot with this gorgeous retro piece!  Such a stunner.  Starting bid: $260

Lot 151: a pair of diamond skull stud earrings in 14k yellow gold.  For the badass in you, these skull studs are the subtle hint you've always wanted!  So cool!  Starting bid: $200

Lot 152: an 18k yellow gold textured finish bangle bracelet set with sapphires.  I can't imagine a cooler bangle bracelet right now--which my readers know, my Ankh obsession is real and I've never seen it done in a bracelet before!  Starting bid: $550

Lot 175: a large graduated malachite bead necklace.  Malachite is one of my favorite gemstones, and this necklace has a big, bold look to it...would be something that turns heads, for sure!  Starting bid: $50

Lot 179: an Art Deco enamel camel brooch set with diamonds, sapphires, and emeralds.  Suddenly, I am a huge fan of camels!!  This brooch is adorable and a true sentiment of the 1920s.  How grand it is! Starting bid: $1,000

Lot 217: a 14k yellow gold Old Mine cut diamond elongated ring.  This is my pick of the entire auction!  Everyone knows of my affinity with antique diamond elongated rings--this one is a beauty!  Starting bid: $750

Lot 326: an 18k yellow gold Art Deco gemstone and diamond ring.  This ring is outstanding!  The shape and outline of the piece is very unique, and whoever wins this ring is one very lucky person!  Starting bid: $1,000

 

 

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Hampton Estate Auction

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Jewelry Collection Stories: The Girls of Gray & Davis

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The girls of Gray & Davis love antique jewelry and working in the heart of NYC's diamond district, they get to experience the hustle and bustle of the fast-paced jewelry world each and every day!  With the company's torch being passed on to these girls, the shop is shining brighter than ever...but before Gray retired, she gifted each with a special piece from her personal collection.  So happy to share each with you:

 

We could tell you a story about each piece of jewelry we own personally; whom it came from, the occasion we received it and maybe even that person who wore it before us.  When Gem Gossip asked us to share some jewels from our personal collections, all three of us were decidedly sure which pieces we would like to talk about.

47th Street is a bit of a boy’s club, so when our founder, Gray Boone, started Gray & Davis over a decade ago, she immediately stood out in a good way. Armed with an inexhaustible knowledge of antique jewelry and old-fashioned southern charm, her tiny booth quickly became a favorite shop for New York City collectors and couples. She was more than a boss to us, she was our mentor. She taught us about the historical relevance of jewelry, how crucial it is to stand by your word in this industry, and the importance of appreciating not just antique diamonds but also Berlin Iron, jewelry made of woven hair, and paste demi parures. She expanded our interests; things that didn’t feel precious at first became the most storied. Now, we love it all!

Gray retired last year, and it was her wish that Gray & Davis be carried on. Before she left she chose and gifted each of us a piece from her personal stash of treasure.

We knew how much these pieces meant to her and we are flattered and honored to have them in our own collections.  Wearing these pieces will forever remind us of Gray. She instilled in us a need to collect and preserve antiquities and a desire to share them. We are grateful for our founder/mentor for all the lessons, opportunities, and yes of course the jewels, too :)

 

Ali’s whimsical Victorian 18K yellow gold earrings set with rhodolite garnets and fringe! They still look funky and fun over 130 years after they were made.  Crazy earrings are an antique dealer’s staple. 

Laura’s awesome 1920’s long cut-steel tassel necklace. It’s easy to imagine this glittering necklace going out for a night on the town in Jazz-age New York or on present day Laura, whose height and monochromatic color palate are well suited. 

Anna’s pair of 19th century bangle bracelets.  Talk about wild! These are hard to put into words, flat gold disks atop oxidized silver coils, perfectly esoteric for a soon-to-be Master in the History of Decorative Arts.  

>> To read about my visit to Gray & Davis, click here.


Q & A with Sara Weinstock

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With a busy schedule of attending fashion week in all the best cities, trunk shows across the US, and designing full-time, this active lifestyle is a dream come true for the jewelry designer. Sara Weinstock debuted her collection in 2008, and with only five years under her belt, has been able to supply stores with her jewelry worldwide! This is fitting because her jewelry has such a sophisticated global aesthetic that it can be worn for multiple occasions, in many different settings and cultures. I've had my eye on the Tsavorite garnet saddle ring for awhile now, with such a large conglomerate of that electric green in Tsavorite garnet, the ring just pops! With a showroom in Los Angeles, her jet-set life lends easily to those who want to see her jewelry in their own city. Check her trunk show schedule for more details!

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We have just returned from New York Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week and have picked up new accounts worldwide! We are thrilled to be growing the brand with such highly acclaimed and luxurious companies.

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I attended GIA and while raising my children I worked for another designer developing his collection as well as traveling to trade shows world wide. It was with his company that I found my love for designing and began developing my own collection which would launch in Nov. of 2008.

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Having people recognize my name and say "Aren't you a jewelry designer."  It does feel good to be acknowledged for something that brings me great joy.

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We will continue to design new collections that will launch at various times of the year. We hope to be a household brand and sold in more like minded stores in the future.

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Well of course my white diamond rose gold saddle ring is my/our favorite!

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Five Gold Favorites from London, England #LoveGold

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Looking back on my trip to London, England, I am in disbelief that it was five months ago! The whole trip seems like a magical dream and I am hoping to get a chance to go back someday. There are a few pieces of gold jewelry that I haven't shared yet from my trip that I still keep thinking about. They are beautiful in many ways, and continue to remind me of the journey and the stores I got to visit.

1. This 19th century Lapis and gold necklace I tried on from S J Phillips is stunning and so unique! The handmade chain measures 14 inches in length, although very short in terms of necklace length standards, it can be doubled-up to form a bracelet. I've never before tried something on that made me feel both transported back in time, as well as ultra-chic and modern! A true oxymoron that still beckons to be remembered, circa 1870.

2. A visit to Louisa Guinness Gallery revealed so many pieces I had never seen before, and so many designers to be discovered.  I was in awe of many pieces designed by Anish Kapoor, seen here on the marble table and on my finger.  He is the brains behind Chicago's Cloud Gate aka The Bean and you can see his similarities between his jewelry and sculptures.  The Atlas ring that I'm wearing is one I keep thinking about--done in 18k yellow gold, the design reminds me of the concept of infinity and space, with the circular shape being duplicated in that manner.

3. A quick trip to Solange Azagury-Partridge had me feeling love at first sight.  It was so quick, in fact, that I was basically faced with a kind of, "if your house was burning down, what's one thing you would save," situation. Only, it involved being able to try on one piece out of her entire amazing collections.  I chose right because I still keep thinking about the incredible fringe ring, done in 18k yellow gold.  This flat topped woven ring with chain fringe sprinkled with diamonds was all that I had imagined--fun, flirty, and luscious.  

4. A plethora of fede gimmel rings were showcased at S J Phillips and I couldn't get over how many amazing ones they had for sale.  In the United States these are very rare, and the selection across the pond was bountiful, however each came with a price!  I loved trying them all on and opening up the clasped hands to reveal a heart. Some even opened to reveal double hearts!  Lots of different styles and sizes, with these kinds of rings, sizing is an issue, so it must fit!  Only two fit me well, but I didn't like the styles enough to buy.

5. Although mostly known for their men's jewelry, Tateossian had a selection of women's jewelry that was small, yet each piece was covetable.  Two rings from their black diamonds collection had me hooked--the snake is done in 18k yellow gold with black diamonds, and the other ring is so cool, it is 18k yellow gold with faceted black diamond beads.  I'm glad the "King of Cufflinks" has ventured into broadening their women's line because everything is gorgeous.  Loved visiting Tateossian off of Bond Street!

>> For more must-see jewelry stores in London, check out LoveGold’s shopping guide!

 

This post was brought to you in collaboration with LoveGold

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Jewelry Collection Stories: Xiao Wang

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"To me there's something very mysterious and magical about antique jewelry, they have so much history and stories to tell." Xiao Wang says jewelry is in her DNA. With an incredibly popular jewelry line just recently launched, a modeling career and love for fashion--not to mention some cute chihuahua babies, she has a fun and fabulous life living in NYC. But what came before all this? A deep love for antique jewelry! She has been collecting for six years, and coincidently that is how old Gem Gossip is, which she has been a fan of since the beginning! We've emailed each other years ago, I even have a Victorian ring from her collection. Finally getting a chance to meet at Couture this year was such a great experience and long time coming! Xiao even came to check out the Doyle & Doyle event, where she reconnected her love for antique jewelry after focusing on designing her new collections. It was fun showing her more from my personal collection!

With New York City being her home, it is easily also her favorite place to treasure hunt. The Chelsea Showplace antique center is one of her top choices, which hosts private "galleries" open to the public seven days a week, located on 25th Street. Xiao also has luck traveling to Upstate New York to find antique treasures.

Antique rings from every time period are key pieces in her personal collection, and she loves a good brooch! The cute rooster is not only a part of her collection, but a great inspiration to her new designs.  "The Lavalier pendant in velvet box, I loved it when I saw it and purchased it right away, when I was paying for it I asked the seller if the blue stone was a sapphire, he and I both took a look under the loop and we both noticed it changed colors, turns out it was an alexandrite!"  This is proof of what all antique jewelry collectors are tuned into--the thrill of the hunt and not knowing what you'll find next!

Thanks for sharing your personal antique jewelry collection, Xiao Wang.  To check out her jewelry designs, head over to her website.  All photos by Tiff Pemberton.  

Top Ring Stacks from Gem Gossip

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Wanted to capture all my favorite ring stacks from these past few months. Picking out different rings each and every morning can sometimes be a blur--I'm glad I have an outlet to capture some of my best work before I forget what I wore! To me, wearing different rings everyday is just as sensible as wearing a different outfit everyday. Early morning ring choosing has become a creative outlet for myself, and I would have to say I base my choices on what I'm wearing, my mood and everything else is random. I never know what I will come up with! Here are some of my favorites above--some looks were chosen based on what I had planned for that specific day, like lots of love and luck tokens for a long day ahead. Others were picked based on a new ring I got and wanted to wear, adding ones from my personal collection that I felt complimented the newbies.

>> Make sure to document your best ring stacks and hashtag them #showmeyourrings so I can see!

 

SHOW ME YOUR RINGS! LXII

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Stone & Strand layering some rings from their beautifully curated online boutique

@rebecca_june creates such an appealing stack, love all her rings!

Maria Duenas Jacobs shows how mixing high and low is the ultimate way to go (note to self: need LuLu Frost code ring)

Love Adorned having a joyous time mixing and matching some rings from wwake

Excalibur Jewelry with a unique trillion diamond ring, paired with a very wide and thin diamond band

iDazzle trying on some pieces from Delphine Jewelry, so edgy and cool

Workhorse Jewels layering their remakes of classic antique baby rings

Talon NYC showing her everyday rings, most from her line and the ruby from Conroy & Wilcox

in love with Sunny S. Bond's wedding day jewels, so elegant and sentimental}

 

Fall for Opals with Arik Kastan

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It is October--lots of changes going on all around us!  The leaves are turning colors, the temperatures are getting cooler, long sleeves and boots are in full effect--let's not forget about the ever-important gemstone of this beautiful month--the OPAL!  Known for its phenomena called play-of-color, the kaleidoscope of colors swirl in different patterns, making each opal individually unique.  With no two being exactly alike, October babies are very proud of their birthstone.  However, anyone can wear an opal and Arik Kastan has some incredible pieces to satisfy your opal needs.  

Whether you want a bold look, like the Peacock ring, set with opals clustered around a single rose cut diamond…or a dainty, subdued stack consisting of an opal eternity band, and other stackable opal rings from the Arik Kastan line…it is all about the casual glow of opals for fall!  Something about sweaters and opals, they just go so well together!  A continued favorite of the Arik Kastan jewelry line--the blossom stud earrings, seen here set in all opals--are stunning for fall.  Try several pairs mixed and matched with your fall wardrobe for a fun look!

If you are into superstition and folklore, opals have a rich history. In the Middle Ages, opal was considered a stone that could provide great luck because it was believed to possess all the virtues of each gemstone whose color was represented in the color spectrum of the opal.  It also brings wearers clarity and enhances memory, as the stone is mostly made up of water.  Any of these opal jewels from Arik Kastan can be your lucky talisman! Take your pick!