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Must-Have Jewelry Books!

Favorite Instagrams: Early Spring 2015

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levi_higgs is mesmerized by this star sapphire ring by Verdura Jewelry he spotted at the Sothebys preview

elizapagejewelry getting ready for their Ila and I trunk show, looking gorgeous

georgjensen smushed pansies and gold jewelry make for a perfect photo

jeanjeanvintage taking a moment to enjoy these beauties before listing them in her Etsy shop

idazzle is dazzled by this piece of jewelry by Barbara Heinrich, so magical

anninavogel has a new project, taking vintage Hermes silk scarves and placing them in antique lockets

lovegoldlive posts this image from The Native Fox featuring a tailored suit jacket and gold jewelry

lfrankjewelry sporting the cutest look with big bead necklaces, rings and a casual ponytail 

townandcountrymagjewelry has a serious crush on this Tiffany & Co. from their holiday luncheon 

craigevansmall has the most amazing creatures in a sorts of gems and shapes

roseark is surrounded by love with these mantas, the more the merrier

n_mendelvich captures this sketch, the beginning of a very beautiful opal ring

xiaowangjewelry is taken by this open living/working space mixed with antique, vintage finds

theoneilovenyc is charmed by Susan Siegel conversion necklaces, perfect for layering

 

The "It-Ring" of the Season, Spinelli Kilcollin #LoveGold

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Every season, the fashion world claims an "It-Bag," a purse or handbag every fashionable girl must own! Oftentimes the criteria for this highly acclaimed title is classic, not trendy, and can be a staple within one's wardrobe for years to come.  Even better, the movie world sometimes has their very own, "It-Girl" who is so lovable and talented that she lands role-after-role in many feature films.  Well, if the jewelry world had its own "It-Ring," I would declare the Sonny Gold ring by Spinelli Kilcollin just that!  

Why, do you ask?  Well, it is simple:

Classic look: the Sonny Gold ring combines classic pieces like a diamond eternity band and two plain gold bands into the design.  All three are timeless on their own, but when combined and looped together, the look is sophisticated and slightly edgy.

Goes with anything/everything: I love the kind of rings that can easily be dressed up or down--this ring is definitely one of those!  I can easily wear it with jeans and a tee, or paired with an elegant dress--day or night, dressy or casual!

Comfortable: a really important aspect of good design in rings is comfort and this ring is surprisingly comfortable any way you wear it!  It is so comfortable that you will want to turn it into an everyday staple and almost never take it off!

Interchangeable: the genius designs of Spinelli Kilcollin allow you to wear your ring in multiple ways.  Try wearing all three rings on one finger for a stacked look, or loop each on separate fingers for a more dramatic effect.  I've even tried two of the rings on one finger and one on the other--it looked so unique!

Will someday be a future heirloom: this 18k gold ring has value as a piece of luxury and future heirloom. Passing it down to future generations 40-50 years from now will be a definite, and its quality and craftsmanship will withstand the tests of time.  

 

This post was brought to you in collaboration with LoveGold

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Join Me at Bailey's Fine Jewelry Estate Trunk Show in Raleigh, NC

Bailey's Estate Show - Cameron Village

Bailey's Fine Jewelry is hosting a traveling estate jewelry trunk show and I will be making a personal appearance at their Cameron Village location on Saturday, March 28th in Raleigh, North Carolina! Stop by to shop some gorgeous estate pieces--I'd love to help you pick out something for your collection and would be grateful to meet some of you! Stay tuned for more from my visit to Bailey's Fine Jewelry!

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Bailey's Fine Jewelry.

 

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From Rough to Facet: Gems of 1stdibs

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Whether you've seen gemstone specimens in real life, in museums, or only in pictures, there's no doubt that the idea of these things being created by Mother Nature deep inside the Earth has left your mind blown. No matter how many I have seen, it still boggles my mind.  It takes so many talents, on many different levels and wavelengths to take that "rock" and turn it into something beautiful we call a gemstone, and then set it into a jewelry design, with it all ending wonderfully with it going home with you into your jewelry box.  The steps along the way are all so very important, but have you ever stopped and looked down at a piece of jewelry you're wearing and try to think where that stone first began on its journey to you?!  

These pieces of fine jewelry, pictured alongside their rough counterpart, help juxtapose the incredible phenomena each piece experiences within their journey.  All are found on 1stdibs:

 

18k yellow gold Fantasy cut amethyst dangle earrings by Peter Suchy from Peter Suchy Jewelers via 1stdibs

Lover's eye brooch surrounded by amethyst with hair compartment from Fourtane via 1stdibs

18k yellow gold big amethyst rings circa 1880s from Kentshire Galleries via 1stdibs

 

Edwardian aquamarine and diamond bow pendant from Lang Antiques via 1stdibs

Art Deco aquamarine and diamond brooch from Nally via 1stdibs

Art Deco aquamarine and diamond white gold ring from Peter Suchy Jewelers via 1stdibs

 

Victorian malachite and gold urn necklace done in 15k gold from A.Brandt & Son via 1stdibs

18k yellow gold malachite and diamond ring circa 1970s from OakGem via 1stdibs 

Victorian malachite drop earrings set in gold from Fourtane via 1stdibs

 

Book Review: Rings: Jewelry of Power, Love and Loyalty by Diana Scarisbrick

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The book, Rings: Jewelry of Power, Love and Loyalty will forever go down in history as one of the most epic jewelry tomes.  Every page turned, a slight gasp can easily become hyperventilation with illustrations depicting some incredible rings.  There are so many examples of fine, historic rings dating back to the Byzantine 6th & 7th Century, even earlier Greek and Roman examples and Egyptian hieroglyphic engraved rings.  The information-packed book is one to be studied and may I suggest, keeping a notebook on hand for note-taking and jotting down facts that grab your attention.  Like one of my favorite facts--something I hadn't known before--enamel was introduced in the 14th Century to ornament flowers and leaves on shoulders of rings. Since then, enamel has continued to be a favorite of designers and even consumers, like myself. I have always had a thing for enameled jewelry--the fine examples shown in this book of 14th Century enameled rings will blow you away!

I purchased this book several years ago and read it little by little in between working long hours and keeping up with a blog.  Recently, I decided to sit down and finish what I had started and read the entire book...and I am so glad that I devoted the time to doing so!  

Most of the pieces featured come from the collection of Mr. Benjamin Zucker, as well as the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen, the Freud Museum in London, the Cartier Collection and various private collectors.  The book travels through both time and topics, each chapter depicting a theme and running through the examples of rings significant to that theme starting from the first glimpses and then continuing on upward. The book starts out with a very important topic--Signets--perhaps the essence of rings and where they all began. A topic both adamant and necessary--Love, Marriage and Friendship--is by far a leading chapter and very informational.  Favorites amongst collectors, like a gimmel ring or fede ring, are depicted here.  My favorite part was reading the Latin inscriptions inside posy rings, like In Thee Made I My Choyce Alone, Love Is The Bond of Peace, God Above Joynd Us In Love, Love Me Only, Kepe Me In Mynd, Feare God Love Me, Love Well Thy Frende Tyll Deathe de Parte.  

Amongst other topics, Memento Mori and Memorial rings are discussed--which are especially interesting to learn about and also as a collector, to be aware of the difference between them, although sometimes it could be a fine line!  Understanding history's greatest events and how they've shaped jewelry/ring design is abundant throughout this book and this topic is terribly intriguing.  Memento Mori jewelry would never even exist if the excruciatingly high mortality rates were such a part of everyday life during the 17th Century.  

I also enjoyed the last chapter called The Ring as an Accessory which delves into rings with a purpose, like ring watches, rings that hold handkerchiefs, and the famous calendar rings which were all the rage during the early 1800s.  An extensive bibliography, notes to the text, notes to the illustrations and index end the book.  As a reader, you are left wanting to reading more by Diana Scarisbrick, and you'll be lucky to find out she has written a few more in the category of Jewelry.  Happy reading!

 

Trend Alert: Colorful Gems Set in Yellow Gold #LoveGold

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It is a shame that we only have one color of the year, chosen by Pantone--in a world full of diversity and endless possibilities, surely one would think at least maybe a top five?!  Whether it is Marsala or Radiant Orchid, or whatever fancy title given to a hue, I'm declaring BOLD COLORS the trend for Spring/Summer 2015! This can be captured by some brilliant gemstones in all shades of juicy colors--citrus yellow citrine, icy blue topaz, mossy green emerald, or royal purple amethyst. The best part about these vibrant colors is that, in my opinion, they pair best with yellow gold.  Colored gemstones and yellow gold go gloriously together--a white metal just isn't the same!  Vivid colors for spring and summer is just what we need after a long, cold winter. While photographing some of my brightest gem set rings in yellow gold that I could find, I was instantly ready for sunshine and warmer temperatures...maybe even a beach!  

Are you ready for this Spring/Summer jewelry trend?!  What is your favorite bold color?

Rings pictured:

14k yellow gold antique moonstone cluster ring from James McHone Jewelry in Virginia

14k yellow gold blue topaz heart ring custom made as my "something blue" for my future wedding

18k yellow gold yellow topaz heart ring from Burns White Galleries live auction

14k yellow gold emerald cut emerald circa 1890s

14k yellow gold multi-gemstone pinwheel ring from Jewelry Television (used to be a pendant)

14k yellow gold custom-made Australian opal ring by Communion by Joy

 

This post was brought to you in collaboration with LoveGold

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Jewelry Road Trip: When in...Corona del Mar, CA

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This blog post is brought to you by Julie of Juler's Row who recently visited Corona del Mar in California and did some Gem Gossip Correspondent work by visiting two local jewelry stores in the area.  Let's take a look at what she found: 

William Harold & Sons

From the moment I saw this store’s Instagram feed I knew I had to make a trip; it was well worth it.  Located in the heart of Newport Beach, William Harold & Sons is walking distance from the beach, marinas, and some of the best restaurants.  William Harold and his brother started a jewelry repair and manufacturing business in 1946 in St. Louis, Missouri.  After a vacation to Southern California in 1960, William Harold decided to move his company to “The Golden State” where his repair business continued to grow, including clients such as Robinsons, Sears, and Zales. The storefront calls The Balboa Peninsula home where William’s son, Tim Harold is the store owner and William’s grandson, Tim Harold Jr. is the store manager.  William Harold & Sons has the expertise of William Jr., a master gold and platinum smith with over 45 years of experience.  The store has an absolutely amazing selection of estate pieces; a favorite from the trip was a stunning Tiffany & Co., Tsavorite Garnet and Diamond ring.  

Website: wmharold.com

Instagram: @wmharoldjewels

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Corona del Mar Jewelry Consignment

When I came across Corona del Mar Jewelry Consignment I had very high hopes for what was in store.  The shop is located on the side of Highway 1, which runs the length of the California Coast and provides some of the best scenery you can imagine.  Max Gilland, the shop owner, has been in the jewelry business for over 35 years, starting his career selling gemstones across the U.S. under the name Gem World Inc. and then opening Corona del Mar Jewelry Consignment in 2004.  The shop provided a great selection of estate jewelry ranging in period as well as price point.  I was completely taken by the two Retro, ruby and diamonds rings as well as a yellow gold horse bracelet that I had a very hard time leaving behind.

Email: cdmjewelry@yahoo.com

Jewelry Collection Stories: @LuckandLockets

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Today we take a look into the jewelry box of @LuckandLockets to see her favorite treasures and the stories behind them!  I love her attitude on her collection and if you think you can't collect antique jewelry because you live either a busy life or live nowhere near an antique jewelry shop, think again!  She has done most all her shopping through Instagram alone and has created quite the collection!  I'm sure you'll notice all our jewelry friends represented in her collection!  Enjoy!

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Collecting antique jewelry takes patience, a roving eye and a lot of time!  I work full time in crazy hectic NYC and have a family, too, so there isn't a whole lot of down time to treasure hunt (trust me -- try dragging a 10 year old boy and a husband to the antiques stores while on vacation!)  So, what a godsend that so many amazing antique jewelry vendors sell online, open 24/7.  It wasn't so long ago that it was a novelty to buy fine antique jewelry online -- all without seeing or feeling it in person, from a seller thousands of miles away.   An article I read in Vogue a few years ago opened a whole new world of antiquing possibilities to me -- it was precisely about the growing numbers of women who were investing in jewelry for themselves – buying over the internet!  I was sold and have not looked back.

I search for pieces that are "niche" -- rare and unusual in some way, yet wearable in the real world (I love a tiara as much as Lady Mary, but no-can-do on NYC subways!)  Georgian pieces are wonderful and romantic, because they pre-date mass production and I love the handcrafted and "imperfect."  I also adore figural pieces, and anything with a message or story.  The web has been a great way to source unusual pieces from home --after the work emails are done, dinner dishes washed and child is in bed!  And when I found Instagram, I was hooked!  In fact, I have found some of my favorite pieces through my IG feed -- from an amazing community of antique jewelry enthusiasts, who share a similar aesthetic and passion (and who happen to ferret out unique pieces from their sources).  

Here are some of the rings I found through my IG feeds – representative of some of my favorite motifs and materials -- and I think many of them are definitely one of a kind!  

From left to right:

Thumb:  (Bottom) Georgian enameled memorial ring, inscribed 1806 … from @shopfiligree.  I love the modern, austere vibe of this ring, even though it is over 200 years old.  This is my go-to stacker.  

(Top) Art Nouveau “Night and Day” signet ring . . . from @eriebasin.  The gold on this ring has that wonderful, soft, velvety texture that only comes with age.  The surprise to this ring?  Each shoulder is carved with a distinct Art Nouveau "maiden" --  one has her eyes closed in sleep (Night) and the other is wide-eyed (Day).  I am not engraving this one -- it just seems perfect and pristine the way it is.

First Finger:  (Bottom) Mid-Victorian green-eyed snake ring in rare 16k . . . from @theedencollective.  Every antique ring collection needs at least one snake.  I picked this one for its detail and dimensional quality -- its head is rearing up, and a tiny tongue is just visible in its parted mouth.   A little creepy, in a good way.

(Top)  Late Georgian-era French ring set with fat, juicy foiled garnets . . . from @theoneilovenyc.  The color of these stones is incredible, and the foil has remained intact all these years.  One of my all time favorites.   

Middle Finger:  (Bottom) Art Nouveau-era ring set with the most incredible turquoise scarab . . . from @duvenay.  No other way to put this, but I LOOOVE this ring for its bold scale, handmade setting and of course that soft, dreamy turquoise.  This stone came from the Porterfield Turquoise Mines in New Mexico, owned at the time by the family of @duvenay.  I feel honored to wear this cherished piece.  

(Top) Victorian hard stone cameo of Mary Queen of Scots (a favorite of mine) ornately framed . . . again from @duvenay.  This ring is a little crazytown, right up my alley -- probably an old conversion.  It's chunky, but feminine because, well, it's a cameo!

Ring Finger:  (Bottom) OK, it's not easy to pick a single favorite, but this could be IT.  Victorian elephant carnelian intaglio ring . . . from @Circa1700.  The intaglio is the star -- incredible skilled detailed carving in a perfect minimal setting.  The British hallmarks are all there, but a little bit of a mystery as to the year...long story, but it hardly matters, as I am never giving this one up!

(Top) Victorian-era French pave turquoise initial ring . . . another from @theedencollective.  All I can say is thank goodness I did not change my name when I got married, just so I could get this ring.  Some things are meant to be.

Pinky:  Georgian flat cut garnet eternity band ...from @lisajshuler.  I have searched more antiques booths than I care to count for this ring, and yet I found it on IG.  I eyed this baby long enough to gestate a real live human one (at least it felt like it) and cursed the Georgian ladies for their tiny fingers . . . until I sized my pinky and realized I could make this Georgian mine.

 

Not to be completely ring-centric, here is a group of some of my favorite pendants recently sourced online.  

Clockwise from the top:

Top:  Massive English Victorian rock crystal orb, with a jeweled snake coiled around it.  Mesmerizing and mystical.  (See detailed photo).

Right:  French Belle Epoque onyx locket, set with a dragon  -- or is it a basilisk?  Either way, I love this guardian mama.     

Bottom:  Art Nouveau Austro-Hungarian Plique-a-Jour locket.  I am loco for enamel and lockets -- and bonus that the lady is wearing jewelry.  

Left:  Victorian coral figa (in fact, an entire coral arm).  This piece is so ridiculously over the top it had my name all over it.  A figa ARM clutching a bunch of lucky coral horns?  AND wearing a turquoise gold bracelet AND an Etruscan style turquoise embellished "cap sleeve"??!!  Crazy in the best way.  My uber lucky charm.

Center:  Victorian Scottish seal, with a carved citrine.  I have a deep fondness for this one.  The top is deeply carved with flora and fauna, depicting a game of "Hare and Hounds", a precursor to Paper Chase.  The seal itself is a wonderful citrine intaglio of a coat of arms, with a one word, yet powerful motto "Essayez” ("Try").  I wear this when I need a reminder to go for it!

 

SHOW ME YOUR RINGS! LXIX

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Victoria Sterling has some amazing vertical rings in her shop, a favorite silhouette of mine

Circa1700 found a perfect pairing, a Victorian eternal love snake coiled next to a garnet five stone band

Stone and Strand playing with some "ice" how incredible is each one?!

Sothebys featuring some insane diamonds from their Magnificent & Noble Jewels sale in Geneva

I am obsessing over adrilakatos personal collection, so many great pieces

The One I Love with a fist-full of yumminess stacking ever so perfectly

melissa_harris_jewellery showing some of her designs on a rainy day

thegemdiaries finds some tokens of adoration at Quadrum Gallery

Shaesby stacking like they mean it, lots of cool choices

Five Gold Ring Looks You Need Now! #LoveGold

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So many rings, so many different ways of wearing them...what is a girl to do?!  Lately I've been taking a look at my ring stacks each day and sort of "analyzing" them.  After all, I choose them every morning on a whim, almost instinctively based on what I'm feeling that very moment.  Instagram has been an awesome tool for acting as a diary of sorts--a ring diary--capturing so many feelings, emotions and bits of everyday life in each photo of my daily ring choices.  It is incredible to look back at photos from a year ago or even two years ago, look at my ring stack and instantly know so much more going on in the photo besides which rings I'm wearing! 

What have my latest gold ring looks revealed this time around?!  These five photos share some styling tips that anyone can adopt and can help steer you in the right direction when deciding what to buy next for your jewelry wardrobe!  Let's take a look:

Look One/Style Tip: Wear all the same designer at once!

Yes, mixing designers and old/new jewelry is fun and all, but have you ever worn lots of rings from the same designer?!  If the designer has a distinctive aesthetic, it is emphasized even more if you wear many of their pieces at once.  In this photo, I'm wearing all Communion by Joy--her bohemian, laid-back feel shines through, and all three play off one another.   

Look Two/Style Tip: Stack antique rings all from the same Era!

Again, mixing is usually my go-to look, but wearing lots of rings from the same Era is an awesome look! In this photo, I am wearing all Victorian Era--with many rings having an untold history and sentimental secrets that will forever be untold.  The blue enamel one, for example, is 14k gold and on the inside it is inscribed "13th Sept. 1869," so intriguing!  All these are available at Arrow & Anchor Antiques.

Look Three/Style Tip: If you're going for a bold look, remember to balance!

If I want to make a bold statement with your rings and are trying to put a ring on almost every finger, it is all about balance!  Leave at least one finger free and stack similar widths--in this photo I noticed it looked better to make the height match up as well--so I used either wide bands or two rings stacked on top of one another.  Balance turned out to be more important than I thought!

Look Four/Style Tip: Put a bow on it!

I've had these bow rings in my collection for years and I always look them over.  They are nice on their own, but I rediscovered from an old Instagram post that if you stack them with the right ring, they look like a present!  A solitaire looks best paired with a bow, but in my photo, I have a small cluster as one of my pairings.  Next time you see a gold bow ring, purchase it and create your own "present" on your finger!

Look Five/Style Tip: Try antique baby rings as midi-rings!

It is no surprise, I've been personally collecting baby rings and wearing them as midi-rings for a few years now.  If you haven't tried out the midi-ring, you must!  If you think it will be uncomfortable or you will lose the ring, it does take awhile to get used to.  I've also worn antique baby rings on my pinky, which is just as fun, but a little more safe.

 

 

 

This post was brought to you in collaboration with LoveGold

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