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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{from top to bottom:

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!

 

Doyle & Doyle Preview Party: What I Wore #LoveGold

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The Doyle & Doyle Preview Party was so much fun!  To read more about the event itself, click here.  With so many details, things to remember, on top of traveling, it was important to pull together a flawless jewelry look for the event beforehand, which included lots of planning!  As far as an outfit--that part didn't come together as easily for me as the jewelry!  I knew right away what jewelry I wanted to wear.

Nicole Landaw is best known for her eclectic pieces, most of which are perfect for everyday wear.  Her 14k gold and pearl spiders are quite different.  Each are individually hand-formed in unique sizes, with custom configurations and color combinations!  I knew right away I wanted a large spider in 14k yellow gold, with a grey Tahitian pearl body to wear to the event, as my pièce de résistance.  Styling the spider was tricky--you had to get the right balance of cool/chic vs. creepy/weird. I noticed anything black automatically made the whole look have a Halloween vibe, and I did not want to look like I was wearing a witch costume!  I settled on a red lace top (which used to be a dress) paired with black lacquered skinny pants.  A few people at the party commented how the lace was quite fitting, as it resembled a spider web--the perfect backdrop for my spider friend.

Nora Kogan has been a favorite jewelry designer of mine since I first laid eyes on her lovely enameled snake rings.  When she posted pictures of her latest pieces from her new Death on the Nile collection, I couldn't have been more obsessed.  I wanted a pair of her large Ankh earrings in 14k yellow gold for the event!  Luckily Nora is the nicest/coolest person ever, and immediately got to work on a custom pair for me, and they arrived just in time!  What's even more special is she attended the event and I got to finally meet her in person!  

With the main event unveiling some very important Sentimental Rings co-curated by myself and the Doyle sisters, I knew my ring game had to be superb.  I basically wore my three biggest/boldest antique rings, mixed with some gold antique baby rings, and of course my engagement ring.  It was so much fun for people who came to the event and who have seen/read about these rings to actually get to see them in person! I enjoyed talking about my rings--both on display at the event and on my fingers--as well as checking out what everyone else was wearing.  That was my kind of party!

>> To win a pair of the same earrings I wore to the event (Large Ankh earrings by Nora Kogan) enter an exclusive giveaway here!

 

 

This post was brought to you in collaboration with LoveGold

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Typical Tuesday with Gem Gossip

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The newest segment on Gem Gossip, titled Typical Tuesday, takes you into a day in the life of some of the coolest jewelry industry insiders! From jewelry historians, to jewelry shop keepers, jewelry designers and jewelry consultants, you'll get a chance to see what it is like to be in their shoes--at least for one day!

I'm up as the first participant--

Name: Danielle

Job: gemologist, appraiser and jewelry blogger

Location: Nashville, TN

 

My Jewel Box: Edwardian Diamond Ring from Jewelry Box of Lake Forest

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Just a quick blog post today (been working on something HUGE all weekend and today) to show you my latest acquisition! I am so in love with this Edwardian diamond ring from a store in Lake Forest, California called The Jewelry Box of Lake Forest. I found them on social media and have been following for quite some time now--when they posted this ring, I was smitten! More on the jewelry store itself later, but in the meantime check out their Facebook page and website! A must follow!

Hampton Estate Auction Fine Jewelry Sale, October 20th, 2014

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The Hampton Estate Auction house is gearing up for their next upcoming auction, set for October 20th, 2014.  A newcomer to the game, with their first official auction just last year, already quickly garnering flocks of bidders and jewelry enthusiasts’ attention; myself being one of them!  I scored a “Hope, Peace, Love” word ring in 18k yellow gold just as my love for 60/70s gold jewelry had blossomed.  From bidding, to auction completion, and everything in between, my experience with Hampton Estate Auction was flawless.  Which leads me to the perfect reason to bid again, in their upcoming October sale!  

Browsing through the lots, there are quite a few pieces that catch my attention.  The appraiser in me is also checking out the prices, and I must say, they are also amazing!  Spanning many different time periods, from Victorian pieces to jewelry only a few years old, the selection is unbeatable.  Whether you are on the hunt for your next piece for your collection or looking for that perfect wedding day jewelry look, they’ve got you covered!  I spotted so many gorgeous diamond pendants and earrings that would look gorgeous on a bride.  Lots of potential birthday gifts or anniversary gifts as well!

Below are details on my top 12 lots in the October 20th, Hampton Estate Auction:

(be sure to sign up to bid here)

Lot 42: 14k yellow gold Old Mine cut diamond, three-stone Victorian ring.  Love the bypass setting on this ring (sort of reminds me of my engagement ring) and the daintiness of it.  Would make a great anniversary gift (past, present, future). Starting bid: $300

Lot 46: 14k gold Art Deco sapphire and diamond ring.  This beauty is grand enough to be worn by itself as a right-hand ring.  If your anniversary or birthday is in September, this would be an amazing piece to represent a special September date.  Wonder what it would look like stacked?!  Starting bid: $200

Lot 50: 14k yellow gold bangle bracelet with navy blue enameling and set with diamonds.  I am a sucker for enamel work, and the dark blue is a favorite hue, up against the richness of yellow gold.  The bracelet has a hinged clasp with a figure eight safety and would compliment any bracelet stack.  Starting bid: $1,000

Lot 61: 14k yellow gold opal and sapphire ring.  This stunning ring looks as though it is turn-of-the-century, although I would have to see it in person!  The filigree work, paired with the opal and sapphires are a winning combination!  So pretty.  Starting bid: $1,300

Lot 71: 14k yellow gold Victorian pearl bangle.  This slip-on bracelet has such a unique link design and I love the crowned heart motif.  Would look gorgeous mixed with a Victorian bracelet stack, perfect for an antique bracelet collector.  Starting bid: $350 

Lot 80: 14k yellow gold Victorian snake necklace set with Rhodolite garnets.  Here’s your chance at owning one of these sought-after Victorian serpent necklaces, only this time at a reasonable price!  Oh so coveted, these necklaces are collectors’ items.  Starting bid: $1,600

Lot 106: 14k yellow gold lapis doorknocker earrings circa 1960s.  These earrings are swoon-worthy!  Lapis is one of my favorite gemstones and I love when it is paired with yellow gold.  These would be incredibly statement-making, worn with a chic outfit.  Starting bid: $550

Lot 129: set of two 18k yellow gold rings both set with coral.  These two rings are a great starting collection for someone wanting to begin collecting antique jewelry or someone wanting to try online auction bidding for the first time.  You can’t go wrong!  I love the carvings on the one ring, and the other is such a cute stacking ring.  Starting bid: $10

Lot 191: 18k yellow gold geometric bracelet.  Talk about a statement piece!  I love the all-gold, bold look of this bracelet.  I can picture it worn on top of a sweater sleeve for fall or winter, paired with some gorgeous boots.  Starting bid: $500

Lot 239: 14k yellow gold, seed pearl and black faceted bead bracelet.  I’ve seen only one other almost identical bracelet in my lifetime, and I was kicking myself for not buying it!  I think this is the universe’s way of giving me a second chance?!  I will definitely be bidding! Starting bid: $200

Lot 369: 14k gold diamond and emerald necklace circa late 1800s. This exquisite Belle Époque necklace hangs gorgeously, with rose cut diamond dangles.  The emeralds give it just enough pop of color.  Definitely wedding-day worthy!  Starting bid: $1,600

Lot 405: 18k white gold diamond and sapphire Art Deco ring.  Bold and stunning--this ring is immaculately set with Old European cut diamonds and French cut sapphires.  A piece to be passed on within the family, to treasure forever.  Starting bid: $500

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

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Doyle & Doyle, Gem Gossip THE VAULT Preview Party

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New York City has a whole different feel to it, and you experience it as soon as you get off the plane, walk down the streets, and see the flashing hustle and bustle. My laid back vibe and newfound southern charm quickly fade, and as soon as I step out of my Uber car (no taxis please), I can feel the confidence and excitement radiating off the skyscrapers. I was so ready to begin a fun night on Wednesday, as Doyle & Doyle and myself unveiled THE VAULT's 2nd edition, "Sentimental Rings: From Birth to Death and In-between."

The topic of rings was a no-brainer for me--if you know me, you know that rings are my passion, my obsession…basically, my LIFE. Sentimental rings always have either a story behind them or a mystery. I love that. And bringing these pieces together into one curation was incredible. I am extremely thankful and gracious for each and every person who came to the event to show your support and it meant more than I realized it would! Getting the opportunity to work alongside the Doyle sisters was a once in a lifetime moment, a true highlight of my career. Both Elizabeth and Pamela are such huge role models for me and have set such a precedent in the antique jewelry world. It was an honor to be a part of this! Deanne and Teresa of Avant Collective--thank you as well, you two are so fun! And the staff at Doyle & Doyle are awesome! Such a fun-spirited place to be!

I will leave you with my opening thoughts from the catalog that accompanies the exhibit. Make sure if you are in the NYC area, to stop by and check it out--runs from October 9th through November 9th, 2014.

Collecting rings has become my passion, which should be better known as my crazy obsession.  From the bold geometric and diamond dazzlers of the Art Deco period, to the poetic poesy rings of the early devotional times, and everything in between!  And I mean everything--right now I’m on a 1960s/70s kick, searching out and coveting the biggest and strangest designs I can find!

Something so small has got me hooked and I am now seeking out my next big find!  The thrill of the hunt has me awake at 5am and logged onto a live auction thousands of miles away, planning trips across the country, scouring online, all while constantly trading the latest inside scoop with some of the best antique dealers out there.  My most recent jaunt had me flying across the Atlantic and meeting up with a fellow antique ring collector who I hadn’t met in person before.  We planned an entire trip based on treasure hunting in London, England and I never had so much fun in my life!  Our visit to the Victoria & Albert Museum, an entire day at Portobello Road, and a trip to the famous Grays Antique Centre had me inspired in a whole new way.  I grew a penchant for Victorian Era jewelry and a deep connection with sentimental rings.

This newfound love has led me to choose it as the topic of my first ever museum curation on behalf of Doyle & Doyle.  There are many types of rings that can be considered sentimental, whether it be an austere memento mori ring with skulls and crossbones, or a wedding ring once worn by your grandmother, which has now been passed down.  Or how about a late 1800s ring with a child’s tooth set among solid gold.  Yes, teeth, hair, portraits, enamel work, secret engravings...these all make up the obscure and compelling details of sentimental jewelry.  It is a category I like to revere as most important, because I feel everyone should own a piece of jewelry that has some sort of sentimental meaning behind it.  

We hope you enjoy this selection of sentimental rings both from Doyle & Doyle and my very own personal collection.  Each piece represents a type within this category, all of which are highly collectible and rare in their own right, with a history both deep and sometimes unknown.  

 

* What I wore: earrings by Nora Kogan 14k yellow gold large Ankh earrings, rings all my own antique/vintage pieces, Spider brooch in 14k yellow gold with a Tahitian pearl body by Nicole Landaw Jewelry

Gem Gossip Visits Patricia Marie Fine Jewelry Studio #LoveGold

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I sometimes forget how awesome Nashville can be. Today I had the opportunity to visit the jewelry studio of Patricia Marie Fine Jewelry right in my own backyard--no need to fly to LA or NYC!  Her richly elegant designs are handcrafted in Nashville as well, making them homegrown, infused with southern hospitality.  Patricia's jewelry studio is like walking into a boutique in Paris--utterly chic, complete with a crystal chandelier and gold gilt mirrors. Many of the pieces that decorate the space are picked up on her numerous trips to flea markets around the world, also inspiring new jewelry designs. With a chicken coop in the backyard just outside of the jewelry studio, complete with several chickens, each appropriately named matching their personality, you can imagine what a typical day would be like for this California-born designer in the heart of Nashville.

Antiques and vintage motifs are important aspects of her work, like the hand earrings, made of 18k yellow gold, which have a hidden hook, providing an opportunity to dangle different charms from the grasping hand. This motif was often found in Victorian jewelry, with it symbolizing numerous messages depending on the position of the hand.  I love Patricia's use of Roman coins within her jewelry designs as well.  Her ritual of acquiring the coins, gently cleaning each one, uncovering mysteries about their past, and finally, carefully matching up pairs and designing, is something truly special to her.  

The incredible gemstones she uses in each design are also something to behold--I was suddenly drawn to the soft opaque pink shades of rose quartz, and the adularescence in the mystical moonstones.  Sometimes a gemstone itself can spark an idea, and Patricia gets to work with her pencils and clear drawing paper, with her fluffy dog and cat sitting by her side.  Learning first-hand how layering is truly an artform, I experienced an ultimate necklace stack, consisting of a heavy, hammered chain in 18k yellow gold, an 18k chain stationed with rose quartz and toggled end, affixed with a breathtaking gemstone medallion, and mixed in between was a doubled-up Leah chain in 18k gold.  The look couldn't have been better, just like my visit!  Hope to see more from this local designer soon!

Details of some of the jewelry pictured:

18k yellow gold stationed rose quartz chain with toggle clasp

18k yellow gold medallion set with rose quartz, pink tourmaline, morganite, and diamonds

18k yellow gold heavy, hammered chain

18k yellow gold smaller hammered "Leah" chain

18k yellow gold "hand" earrings with hidden hook 

 

This post was brought to you in collaboration with LoveGold

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