Ask Gem Gossip, Volume One!

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I've decided to add another segment to Gem Gossip after getting LOTS of questions in my inbox and finding it difficult to answer everyone!  Since I love to connect with my readers, I thought it was unfair that I couldn't find time to answer everyone--so, Ask Gem Gossip was created!  This will allow me to take the necessary time to get back to everyone's questions, and letting others in on our conversations!  Whenever I post an #AskGemGossip photo on Instagram, you can ask your question in the comment section.  Or you can always fill out the Contact page, with the subject #AskGemGossip...Hope you enjoy!

 

@taniadundou writes: If you ever see a portrait ring similar to your blindfold lady, I’d be super interested! But maybe you don’t see those in your travels in North America?  Do you have one era that you collect more than others?

Gem Gossip answers: yes!  I rarely come across rings with painted portraits here in the States, that is why when traveling abroad I made sure to buy things that I knew I would never or rarely see here.  That portrait ring was one of them!  I do tend to be infatuated with the Victorian Era more than others, but also love Art Deco.  Lately I’ve been on a 60s/70s kick, loving big bold all-gold designs.

 

@theoneilovenyc writes: I have way too many questions for this IG post haha, but alas, I’ll ask one.  What is your favorite book on antique jewelry symbolism? I’ve been searching in every direction to find an encyclopedia of such...

Gem Gossip answers: I’m working on a compiled list of all the jewelry books one would need to create a nice library...more on that soon!  But, yes...you’re right, there’s not really a book that focuses solely on jewelry symbolism--there totally should be!  But the book, Jewellery in the Age of Queen Victoria: A Mirror to the World has a chapter called The Language of Jewellery which pertains to symbolism!

 

@brittchamp3 writes: What is the best place to shop for antique jewelry?

Gem Gossip answers: This is a tough question to narrow it down to one particular place, because I feel like there’s many stores out there I have yet to discover...but the one place I would say would be the World Wide Web!  Sites like eBay, Etsy and Ruby Lane make it easy for a collector to find what they’ve been searching for right from the comfort of their home.  I also recently became a huge fan of live auctions--some of my best finds came from an auction house.  For a list of the best auction houses, click here.

 

@lisajshuler writes: What is the one piece that got away that you still think about?  I know we insane jewelry lovers all have many, but what is the one that stands out?

Gem Gossip answers: Ughh...I can still remember the day and all that was happening.  It was eBay of course, and the biggest, mossy green emerald and diamond ring had just alerted me on my phone that it was about to end.  I was in the middle of an appraisal for a client and couldn’t really bid.  I remember slyly typing in some ridiculous bid and having to put my phone away immediately after.  I wasn’t able to check my phone until a few hours later, only to see I was outbid and that the ring was more perfect than ever!  

 

@shopfiligree writes: What are your top 3 favorite pieces from your personal collection?

Gem Gossip answers: My antique engagement ring--my garnet, diamond and enamel ring from Skinner auction house--and my Gram’s gold and glass ring she gave to me.  (pictured above)

 

Flowers & Insects, Antique Jewels from The Eden Collective

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The Eden Collective continues to offer some incredible pieces of antique jewelry, and the latest batch of acquisitions does not disappoint! Inspired by the summer season, Eden has been working hard on some flower rings and insect trinkets, most of which have been created using antique elements and incidentals.  I love the idea of repurposing parts of jewelry, whether they are unwearable or broken, and turning them into treasures that can be worn and look cool!  Eden knows all about that, having been brought along to auctions and sales with her father since she could remember!  She loves all things antique and vintage, and with an eye for styling which she has done for many years, she is keen on what catches the eye!  

The above photos depict the beauties she currently has for sale in her Etsy shop--if not listed, make sure to start a conversation with her to ask if certain items are still available, or what you're looking for! I recently purchased a Date Ring, dated 1922, from her shop (pictured inset) and I am so in love!  I have found that it pairs so well with other antique rings and is stackable too.  Can't wait to collect more!

Above photos, from top to bottom:

 

Photo One:
1. repurposed 10k art nouveau lace pin with baroque seed pearls and sapphire mounted on our own design 10k scroll shank
2. big bug ring: repurposed amethyst paste body from stick pin with recycled garnet and diamond accents, the rest 14k our design
3. antique ostby barton with garnet baby ring as midi
4. antique ostby barton baby signet as midi
5. antique 14k and diamond flower bracelet 
Photo Two:
1. repurposed antique bird micro mosaic (was a button) set in 14k with our own design scroll shank in 14k
2. our own bicolor gold (rose inner band and yellow outer bands) gimmel ring with diamond set cuffs & posy motto engraved on the inner band “endless be my love for thee”
Photo Three:
1. rose cut diamond fly: repurposed from antique collar button. our 14k shank fly is 14k and sterling with ruby eyes.
2. our own design bug cuff midi will be available in 14k or 10k with diamond eyes/ other stones as requested
3 repurposed antique rose cut diamond set sterling fly on 1920’s onyx ring set in 10k filigree mounting
Photo Four:
1.  our sterling silver big bee ring repurposed and molded from a vintage brooch and mounted on our thick ribbed shank
2. our newest! “pollinate me” crossover ring in sterling with 14k shank and bee body and recycled diamonds
Photo Five: 
1. 10k “amor” ring our design after vintage ring found in Merida, Yucatan
2. little bug ring: recycled cabochon sapphire and opal, 14k shank and wings, etc. our design
3. antique art nouveau enamel forget me not stick pin repurposed as ( midi) ring
Photo Six:
1. antique 14k art nouveau enameled pansy stick pin with diamond repurposed as ( midi) ring
2. antique 14k art nouveau enameled pansy pin with diamond mounted on our own design 14k scroll shank
3. antique 14k pansy stick pin repurposed as ring
 

 

SHOW ME YOUR RINGS! LVIII

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{from top to bottom:

annesophiemgx trying on some of the latest Messika Jewelry

Bochic confidently sporting the Conquistador collection in black and white

Colette Jewelry mixes snakes with leaves, very symbolic 

Far & Wild having an impromptu photoshoot with some gorgeous rings

Jaimie Geller Jewelry enjoying a fresh batch of Carbon & Hyde Jewelry

Maria Nilsdotter and her well known claws and skulls

Metiersf stacking some antique rings that compliment each other incredibly well

NecessaryExcess creatively shows me her rings, some of her personal pieces mixed with Jemma Wynne

White Bird Jewellery loves Lito Jewels, these are some cool rings!}

Obsession: Gold Lockets #LoveGold

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Here’s a little secret for you--you can file this under things you may not know about Gem Gossip: lockets were my first collection and eBay obsession.  Of course I was still in high school, so every locket I found on eBay was costume jewelry, but I did have one 14k yellow gold locket that had “Danielle” engraved on the outside, which was a birthday gift from my parents when I turned 12.  Since then, I lost interest in lockets...until recently!  An auction score from Fellows landed me with a yellow gold etched locket, but not an ordinary locket which hangs from a chain--this is an unusual locket ring.  I’ve been wearing it nonstop lately, although I have yet to place any mini-photos into the locket.  

My newfound love for lockets has led me to search out some amazing yellow gold lockets, each available and ready for a new lifestory.  

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Lockets:

18k yellow gold masked woman enameled portrait locket, from Lang Antiques, Price: $2250

15k yellow gold Victorian turquoise and diamond flower locket, from Metier SF, Price: $2400

15k yellow gold archaeological Revival Victorian locket, from The Three Graces, Price: $1575

14k yellow gold black enamel and pearl locket, from Metier SF, Price: $950

14k yellow gold with rendering of a female circa 1910, from The Three Graces, Price: $2650

14k yellow gold Etruscan Revival locket with hand granulation and bloomed finish, from Metier SF, Price: $2100

 


This post was brought to you in collaboration with LoveGold

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Private Viewing of Kavant & Sharart Jewelry

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I've been eager to see the limited unveiling of Kavant & Sharart since I first learned that the design duo decided to merge their jewelry skills into one. What is amusing about this team is that they are husband and wife who compliment one another very well.  Each has their own aesthetic and their own vision, and when they come together it makes for some beautiful jewelry designs.  

I have been following Sharlinn's designs since 2012, when we worked on a Designer Spotlight feature for Gem Gossip.  Since then, her jewelry design skills have been honed and perfected--she loves taking inspiration from Art Deco design and Oriental Arts. Her aesthetic juxtaposes Kenny's avant-garde style, so it was only right to combine their forces into one, Kavant & Sharart! The will surely make a phenomenal debut later this summer! More on that later!

Seeing the pieces at my very own private viewing was something quite special and I was extremely impressed with both the dynamic uniqueness of the designs and the wearability of the pieces.  I think those two concepts are huge for both clients and store owners when choosing jewelry to buy and stock their stores with.  These pieces could be worn to a dinner party and steal the show, and they could also be casually worn everyday and become a staple piece within one's wardrobe.  I felt honored to get to play with the jewelry and get a feel for them up close and personal.

All of the pieces are done is 18k yellow, rose or white gold, with all genuine gemstones and pearls.  The diamond slice pieces were show-stopping, with the earrings being one of the first pieces I wanted to try on. Surrounding the diamond slices are round champagne and white diamonds, all set in 18k gold.  I paired those with the diamond two-finger ring that comfortably swirls around your fingers.

My favorite earrings were the Bird-of-paradise or also known as crane flower abalone shell earrings, done in 18k yellow gold with champagne diamonds.  I thought the shape of the earrings was really futuristic and wore a pair on one ear--the look was so inspiring!  I could see it being done on the red carpet and making waves in the fashion trend category.  

I always love seeing pearls done in new, organic ways--and these freshwater Baroque pearl rings look amazing in these Kavant & Sharart designs.  Each pearl is surrounded by diamonds, with the one flanked by abalone shell, all in such an avant-garde style.  They felt amazing on and I didn't want to take them off!  

The geode slice necklace pendants are really cool too!  They have a very marine-like, under the sea, look to them...perfect for summer!  I could picture them being worn on a long chain or layered on multiple length chains. So many possibilities!  

I enjoyed my time with Sharlinn and Kenny, seeing their designs in person was so much fun!  This married couple can create some gorgeous jewelry and are so incredibly nice and adorable!  Thanks for such an inspiring day! 

Gem Gossip Visits Wright & Teague in London! #LoveGold

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The Burlington Arcade in London is such a magical place.  If you love jewelry, it is a must-see--both artisan and designer jewelry, as well as some of the most incredible antique jewelry you've ever seen, all in one place. Each shop is set up with a storefront with a large window, and all the best eye-candy displayed beautifully, it is hard to NOT draw you in. To make matters worse, the main center aisle of the Burlington Arcade is lined with red carpet, making you feel as if you are a celebrity in your own movie, arranged to choose any piece of jewelry you want to take home.  If you wake yourself up from this fantasy like I did, I was eagerly at the doorstep of Wright & Teague--an ingenious duo who craft some exquisite jewelry.  

These two, better known as Gary Wright and Sheila Teague (hence Wright & Teague), have a gallery that glitters with gold and fine gemstones. I was intrigued by the long Mneme drop earrings right away, and had to try them on! They are created with concave forms of 18k yellow gold and are named after the Greek muse of memory. The earrings are designed to subtly light the face and create full-on glamour--I was fulfilling so many wishes all within the first few minutes of being there!  Next up--rings!  The earrings that graciously lit-up my face had their own ring counterpart, but very much larger and statement making.  The Phoenix Sun ring glowed on my hand, and the rubies added to the warmth of this aptly titled ring.  I paired it with the Daedalus ring and then also with their iconic Naga ring which features a serpent as a symbol of wisdom and rebirth.  

As I was about to bid farewell, I learned a surprising fact that turned this shop into an enchanting space. Below us...below the showroom...lies a workshop that could rival Santa's secret workshop in the North Pole! Instead of toy-making, jewelry making, designing, brainstorming, hammering, casting...is done here.  Each piece that was beautifully displayed in the showroom was made from beginning to end beneath the customers and shoppers daily.  

The musings and creative genius behind Wright & Teague is captured beautifully in this video, produced by Bonnie Wright, daughter of the duo.  If you log onto LoveGold, you can enter their prize drawing daily, which gives away three pieces of Wright & Teague gold jewelry--Treasure Heart, Weeny Heart 18k gold necklace, OR Iliad 18k gold bangle OR Serengeti III 18k gold earrings!  

 

This post was brought to you in collaboration with LoveGold

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Favorite Instagram Pictures: July 2014

claire_fivestory necessaryexcess liseannefrankfurt nakarmstrong deborahpagani erstwhilejewelry markatthemuseum jillnewman eriebasinby_couture/ylang23 hillarymacklowe bellandbird agelessheirloomsamedeonyc

claire_fivestory shows off an epic ring, a one-of-a-kind from Ara Vartanian

necessaryexcess has good taste in Rolex watches...and Cartier bracelets...and life

liseannefrankfurt captures a cool picture while visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium

nakarmstrong is such an incredibly talented jewelry designer, can't get enough of his designs 

deborahpagani recently spotted on Rita Ora, she's wearing the Geisha Fan ring

erstwhilejewelry knows how to pick them! gorgeous turquoise and diamond Victorian ring

markatthemuseum visited the Pier Antique Show and I just love this shot

jillnewman spotted this amazing necklace by Pasquale Bruni at Baselworld

eriebasin a hoard of new acquisitions is sometimes incredibly glamorous for this shop

by_couture was taken over by ylang23 and this picture of Joanne's personal stash is bananas

hillarymacklowe has some pretty rings on display

bellandbird enjoys collecting salvaged photos from bygone lockets, so cool

AgelessHeirlooms scoped out this Victorian serpent bracelet and necklace that recently sold at Sothebys

amedeonyc totally wanting a turquoise skull and diamond ring like this one

 

When In Scotland: James Ness & Son Antique Jewelry 

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There are so many incredible antique jewelry stores worldwide, not just in the United States, that sometimes I wish I were able to teleport and visit each one!  Newly discovered and already incredibly obsessed, a jewelry store located in Edinburgh, Scotland, is a new favorite of mine.  James Ness & Son has been in business since 1919 and they sell antique jewelry, each with a piece of history.  With rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings and brooches dating back to the early 1800s, their selection is ever-changing and fun to keep up with.  Right now, they have an aquamarine and diamond Art Deco ring that is to-die-for!  I was coveting a moonstone and diamond elongated ring, pictured above, but it has since sold.  

Located on Queensferry Street, the shop also does repair work, appraisals, pearl restringing and buys old/unwanted jewelry.  Their expertise allows them to buy some amazing pieces and their website allows them to sell globally!  They've also just launched their Instagram page, so check them out over there @james.ness

If you've ever visited the shop or better yet, purchased a piece of jewelry from James Ness & Son, send me a photo! Would love to see!

James Ness & Son
38 Queensferry Street
Edinburgh, EH2 4QY
Scotland, UK

A Quick Getaway to Rosemary Beach, Florida!

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Although it seems like I am constantly traveling or planning my next trip, I realized I haven't really been on a "relaxing" vacation in quite some time. Most trips are planned around someone's wedding we have to attend, or a trip for work, or a jewelry store on my must-see list. This time around, a trip with no plans except for to relax on the beach and eat good food was in order! We stayed at The Pearl resort in Rosemary Beach and had an amazing time. There were no distractions--no jewelry stores for miles and a horrible wifi connection (a blessing in disguise)! We spent an entire day at the beach, where we both conquered our fear of swimming in the ocean. Packing for a few days at the beach is incredibly easy--throw in some bikinis, a sunhat, sunglasses and a few outfits for dinner, and you're good to go! The jewelry side of packing was easy too. I left all my gemstones home, and went for an all yellow gold look.  Lots of stackable gold bands, with different textures and patterns. The more tan your skin gets on vacation, the better yellow gold looks! This is my ideal jewelry look for an active, fun-filled summer!

Jewels at my Doorstep: Deborah Pagani Jewelry #LoveGold

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Crazy, sexy, cool may be the title of TLC's album from 1994, but it also accurately describes Deborah Pagani's fine jewelry collection today. Her jewelry line exudes a big city vibe, mixed with an old school Deco flair. Based in New York City, Deborah has many inspirations that come from living in the Big Apple. The aptly titled, New York City Ring (which just debuted last week at Barney's) is seen here in the photoshoot, fresh from its big reveal.  I immediately loved its versatility--I thought it looked great stacked one ontop the other, or worn on the middle or index finger, and also thought it would look great on a man.  Hooray for unisex rings!

My attempt at bringing skyscrapers and an urban-inspired theme didn't quite pan out.  There's only so much you can do in Nashville, but a NY-chic look is all I needed for these stunning jewels to pop! The earrings were lightweight on my ear lobes--I wore them the entire day--and have an ideal length. The bangle is sleek and thin, plus the dangling pave diamond pyramid makes for such a feminine touch. The newest pieces, the two New York City rings, compliment Deborah's past collections.  The two versions, one with pave diamonds, the other plain with one diamond, make for a tough decision when choosing between the two. Wearing both together is the brightest solution!  A backdrop of shady trees and corn fields surprisingly suites the shiny citified jewelry of Deborah Pagani!    

Jewelry Details:

18k yellow gold Dynasty Earrings with white diamonds, 0.85 ctw Price: $7,135
18k yellow gold New York City Ring with pave diamonds, 0.32 ctw Price: $3,180
18k yellow gold New York City Ring plain with diamond 0.015 ct, Price: $2,430
18k yellow gold Pyramid Bangle bracelet with diamonds, 0.87 ctw Price: $3,690

 

This post was brought to you in collaboration with LoveGold

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