Just as many would associate deep dish pizza with Chicago, I like to associate Gold Hatpin as the windy city staple which abundantly feeds my sparkle appetite. A literal hidden gem--the store is tucked away in the back of an antique shop--owner Diane Richardson has been in business for over 30 years. I've been visiting Diane every time I'd attend the Vegas or Miami antique shows, as she has continually set up at both, including the Baltimore show which I have yet to see (which she won't be attending this year). What is fun about her store in Oak Park is that her entire inventory is there--so you'll see way more jewelry when you visit her in Chicago than seeing her at a show!
Jewelry slowly came into Diane's life and antique jewelry became her passion overtime. Although not her main path in the beginning, she ultimately was destined for a life of learning, treasure hunting, dealing and showcasing antique jewelry, all of which her lifelong clients know her for and love her for. Piece by piece things came together--from her love of colorful fabrics from Home Economics studies, to an interest in archaeology and antiques, to a deep connection with a sentimental heirloom that had ties to the California Gold Rush, a topic she had coincidently just learned about in school at the time, everything fell into place.
The Gold Hatpin stands out to me as a shop you cannot miss for several reasons. One is its treasure hunting vibe--what I mean by this is it has a very large amount of inventory, which you could look at for hours, leave for lunch, and then come back again and still see "new" things you missed the first time around. Another reason, and one of the most important--Diane's amazing prices. If this shop were in LA or NYC everything would be at least double the price. I like buying from shop owners that are fair and reasonable, two things which Diane gets gold stars for. Other qualities include trustworthiness, sweetness & kindness, and always fun to talk to! I also am continually stunned by the variety of jewelry that Gold Hatpin has--from rare Georgian pieces, to sentimental Victorian items, sparkly Art Deco engagement rings, a large assortment of wedding bands, unique mid-century jewels, and even some modern pieces. I tell people, no matter what era of jewelry you're into or if you're hunting for something very specific, chances are, if you visit Diane at her store or at a show you won't leave empty-handed!
Speaking of not leaving empty-handed, I found a very unique turquoise ring while on my visit to Gold Hatpin that had to come home with me! It's in a few of the photos above--I couldn't resist the unusual coloring of the turquoise (it has a yellow-blue color) and also a long engraving on the inside, behind the stone not on the shank. The engraving reads, "Cherished Memories 17 Aug 1918 Eddie to Cal" Can't leave something that special behind! I also had serious contemplations with A LOT of the jewelry I featured above--so if you're feeling the same way, feel free to call Diane to ask about a piece at 708-445-0610 or go to www.goldhatpin.com (you can send one of the photos from above of any of the things you're interested in).
Some of my favorite pieces from Diane's current inventory include the carved lapis necklace and earrings set from the 1940s (the necklace clasp is also a piece of carved lapis), and the onyx and rock crystal chandelier style earrings made in Italy and done in 18k white gold. I could have played with just the rings for hours and hours. Like the coral and onyx bypass ring is such a cool piece and it sure is photogenic! The lapis ring selection was plentiful--a gemstone that I seem to gravitate toward and really love. I also wear a lot of black and onyx is one gemstone I can't seem to get enough of--when I saw that geometric shaped, calibre-cut onyx ring I immediately knew it was something special! That ring belongs in an eclectic collection, for sure! The serpent necklace, the amethyst Erté ring, the diamond navette rings...my wish list goes on and on.
Next time you are in the Chicago area, make certain you set aside some time to visit Gold Hatpin. You won't be disappointed!
Downtown Oak Park
125 N Marion Street
Oak Park, IL 60301
Follow on Instagram
Amethyst dangle earrings: Lot 11
Georgian emerald bracelet: Lot 4
Peridot necklace (comes with matching earrings): Lot 27
Blue topaz collar necklace: Lot 247
Blue enamel (made to look like lapis) and diamond brooch: Lot 54
Peridot necklace and matching earrings suite: Lot 27
Moonstone Y-Necklace: Lot 17
Cartier cigar band: Lot 214
Gothic Revival bracelet: Lot 9
I couldn't tell you how much I was looking forward to meeting the jewelry team behind the Fine Jewelry Department at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers in Chicago, IL. I've been in touch with the infamous windy-city based auction house since finding them online a few years ago. It started off with me registering to bid online at a few of their highlighted jewelry auctions, then I started to feature some of my favorite picks right here on Gem Gossip...then last year I consigned a ring of mine for Leslie Hindman to sell at auction. I was so pleased with how the whole experience panned out, from beginning to end, that I yet again consigned another ring from my personal collection. And what a treat it was to visit in person! Looking through auction catalogs is probably one of my most favorite activities, and to have that experience come to life is a dream come true.
Just as Leslie Hindman Auctioneers seeks out the finest in art, furniture, decorative arts and jewelry, their loyal clients have been bidding with the auction house for years, and have a distinct eye for the best too! Imagine my excitement as I entered the building to find a live auction going on right in front of my eyes--can you believe I've never actually been to an auction in real time (besides the car auctions with my dad, but those are outside and umm, unrefined to say the least)?! I received the grand tour and timing was great because all the furniture, fine art and decorative pieces that were currently selling in the auction room were neatly displayed between two large, sun-filled rooms. It looked like walking through an interior decorator's portfolio. I spotted some gold mirrors and portrait paintings that I couldn't stop staring at, but headed toward the jewelry department to get down to business.
Leslie Hindman's Fine Jewelry & Timepieces department consists of Alex Eblen, graduate gemologist and director, James Wallace, graduate gemologist and timepieces specialist, two account specialists Madeline Schroeder & Katie Meyer, another graduate gemologist Meredith Derman, and finally, a cataloguer and jewelry specialist Jamie Henderson. Everyone had set up my favorite jewels in a large spread, front and center of the jewelry department, waiting for their time to shine. This experience for me, is comparable to visiting a dog adoption center--these pieces of jewelry were once loved, worn, and for whatever reason need to find new homes. Just like a dogs, I can't help but want to take everything home with me! Instead of "cute and cuddly," the jewels are so gorgeous and jaw-dropping.
Speaking of the jewelry I got to see, everything will be auctioned off on Sunday, April 23rd, 2017 starting at noon CST with the second round starting the following day at 10am, and ultimately complete when the last lot is sold. This auction features 1,238 lots of some of the best pieces of fine jewelry, loose gemstones and timepieces. I've gone through and picked my favorites, which are seen here in these photos--a neat glimpse into seeing what the jewelry looks like on! I know every cataloguer in the game does the utmost to fully describe each item, including measurements of how wide and long pieces are, but it's the buyers that can often overlook those details. I've been guilty of this myself--the garnet comet ring I bought at auction surprised me so much when I received it in the mail. It was WAY bigger than what I had thought it would be, even though the millimeter size of the stone was given. It ended up being a good surprise--and I hope these photos help put into perspective what each piece would look like on and how they could potentially fit into your collection!
Here's all the important links you need to know if you plan on bidding at this sale.
Date: Day One April 23, 2017 NOON CST, Day Two April 24, 2017 10am CST
Have questions? email someone from the jewelry department directly at email@example.com
1338 W Lake St.
Chicago, IL 60607
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on Pinterest
Follow on Instagram
Miniature white enamel egg set with a red enamel coin of Elizabeth I and four cushion-cut sapphires. By Fabergé, ca. 1895.
Miniature egg with white enamel stripes and set with a turquoise. By Fabergé , workmaster A. Hollming, ca. 1900.
A jouré yellow and green gold egg, punctuated with rose diamonds around the center. By Fabergé , workmaster A. Hollming, ca. 1900.
A two-color gold-mounted egg-form aventurine quartz hand seal on brilliant translucent green enamel base. By Faberge, St. Petersburg, ca. 1900.
Legendary Fabergé eggs--eggs so popular, that almost everyone knows what you're talking about when you mention their name. For me, these were my first obsession above all other types of jewelry. I remember going to my local public library and wanting to check out a book on making crafts out of egg cartons--I saw the recommendation on Reading Rainbow! Instead, I found my way to a book on Fabergé eggs and was infatuated. In fact, for the first time in my life, I loved the book so much I never returned it. I didn't care it was wrong because this book lit up my life! My second run in with Fabergé eggs happened when I was in high school. I became obsessed with watching Joan Rivers on QVC and admired her love of Fabergé eggs. Back then, she had created her own jewelry line with bundles of three eggs per chain of her own miniature versions of "Fabergé eggs." I ordered my first trio of eggs and was hooked. I can't remember how many I collected over the next few years, but after graduating college, I was able to pay for my trip to study abroad from selling my Joan Rivers Egg Collection. It was quite a few. I honestly wish I still had those eggs, but I wouldn't trade my overseas experience for anything!
It is no myth that Fabergé eggs are enchanting, often mysterious, and full of intrigue. If you were married to a Russian tsar, the ideal Easter gift would be a Fabergé egg designed by none other than Carl Fabergé himself. The first ever Fabergé egg was made in 1885 and presented to Alexander III. Since then, it varies as to how many are apparently out there, but some sources say 65 Imperial eggs were made, some say 50, some say 52, but it is known that only 43 have survived--there is a really comprehensive table that describes each, citing where the egg is now. A few are cited as "Lost" and it is with lots of hope that they will be recovered someday.
Circular aquamarine and diamond Imperial Presentation brooch with an Imperial crown decoration. By Fabergé, workmaster A. Hollming, St. Petersburg, ca. 1913.
Natural pearl and diamond floral brooch with blue enamel border. By Fabergé, Moscow, 1896-1908.
Diamond and green garnet necklace mounted in platinum. By Fabergé, ca. 1900.
Natural pearl ruby and diamond necklace set in platinum and gold. By Fabergé, ca.1900.
Fabergé gold-mounted lozenge-form brooch, set with diamonds and red enamel wreath over white guilloché enamel ground. By Fabergé, St. Petersburg, ca 1890.
Lozenge brooch with a central cabochon moonstone, set with rose diamonds, and white enamel. By Fabergé, workmaster A. Hollming, St. Petersburg, ca. 1900.
Fabergé eggs created for the general public, not just zsars, continued being the company's most popular pieces. In the year 1900, the House of Fabergé was completed which literally was a large building which centralized all the operations--bringing together workshops, artisans, a design department, even Carl Fabergé's own place of residence, in one large building. Throughout the turn-of-the-century, Fabergé turned out elaborate pieces of jewelry, decorative drinking cups and bowls, items for writing, miniature hardstone animals, a wide variety of photo frames (as Kodak launched its first camera), and much, much more. He employed hundreds of craftsmen under conditions that were very superior, with great pay. As success continued, expansion happened, until the first World War broke out in 1914. The House of Fabergé lost a lot of workers to the draft, precious metals were haulted to use, so the items that were produced during this time were created from materials like copper, nephrite, brass, and silver. Carl Fabergé ultimately fled Russia and died in 1920.
Many of the pieces of jewlery and decorative arts which Fabergé created during its height of success are highly collectible. A La Vieille Russie, a shop in NYC, has specialized in Fabergé since opening in 1961. You'll be amazed by these authentic, one-of-a-kind Fabergé items, including some eggs that ALVR currently has in their inventory. If you haven't read the blog post featuring my visit to ALVR, you must! Here is the link.
White enamel and two-color gold hanging bellpush. Contained in original fitted hollywood box. By Fabergé, St. Petersburg, workmaster H. Wigström, ca. 1915.
Carved two-color jasper miniature egg in the form of a Kingfisher with diamond eyes. By Fabergé, Moscow, ca. 1900.
Gold-mounted brilliant pink guilloché enamel egg-form pendant locket, the opening set with rose diamonds. By Fabergé, workmaster M. Perchin. St. Petersburg, ca. 1895.
Anyway, I thought the quick history on Fabergé paired with some pieces that are available would make my readers very happy on Easter! Hope you enjoyed!
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts app called Fabergé at VMFA
This sponsored blog post was brought to you in collaboration with A La Vieille Russie.
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Pinterest
Follow on Twitter
Follow on Instagram
Bonhams New York, April 24, 2017
133 lots of jewelry top off the upcoming New York sale from Bonhams. This is my first blog post featuring the highly respected auction house which is a global enterprise, having eight different locations worldwide. Their history as an auction house is one for the books, as they've been shattering records and facilitating some of the best exchanges in the world. In the US, we have three Bonhams locations, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco (primary sales rooms are New York, Los Angeles, London and Hong Kong), with their online presence @BonhamsJewels Instagram which focuses on all things jewelry. It is a delight to look at and with every upcoming sale, the excitement and momentum is contagious. There are some serious lust-worthy jewels in their New York sale, which I'm going to be covering within this blog post.
The sale date is April 24th, 2017 and the start time is 3pm EST. If you want to get in on the fun, be sure to register to bid in advance of the sale date and surely don't be intimidated by bidding online! If I can do it, you can do it! Let's talk highlights...
I can't pinpoint one particular pièce de résistance of the entire sale, so I'm going to choose these four jewels and make them my final answer! One aspect of Bonhams' sales is the wow-factor. There are always pieces that make you stop and stare--whether they are big diamonds, fancy colored stones, bold sapphires or juicy emeralds--this is exactly what I'm talking about!
Lot 124: If you know a thing or two about fancy yellow diamonds, you'll realize this ring is IT. The center stone clocks in at 6.32 carats--color rating of fancy vivid yellow and clarity is VVS-1. I can't even fathom something so remarkable as the center stone, however to make it even more amazing, it also is set in a ring with two diamonds on each side. These said diamonds are GIA certified as well and are a 2.08 ct & 2.07 ct, both F color stones with VS-1/2 clarity. If you want to see this baby on a hand, click here. Estimate: $400,000-600,000
Lot 129: Nothing more chic than a pair of day/night diamond earrings from Van Cleef & Arpels. A definite highlight of the sale, these earrings are set with nearly 30 carats of diamonds! Wow! All rounds, pear and marquise cuts which are done in platinum and 18k white gold for a stunning pair. The dangles can be removed to reveal stud earrings for an easy, on-the-go look! Estimate: $60,000-80,000
Lot 132: Ok, if you've been following me lately, you've realized I've kind of been obsessed over dress clips lately. For some reason, I keep seeing them pop up everywhere, including some great ones at auction. This one is crème de la crème, being signed Cartier and circa 1935. This Art Deco clip is set with a stunning Burmese ruby, over five carats of diamonds and sugarloaf and cabochon cut rubies. Such an elegant piece of history. Estimate: $300,000-400,000
Lot 133: Leading the sale is this catalog cover star--an exquisite diamond riviére necklace. This piece is composed of 63 diamonds which graduate in size; the biggest diamond in the center weighing 3.05 carats. All in all, the grand total carat weight is approximately 44 carats! A once-in-a-lifetime necklace for a very special lady...and if you're wondering, it's done in platinum. Estimate: $200,000-300,000
Lot 6: Anytime I see the words "black opal" I know it's going to be pretty incredible. I don't think I've ever met a black opal I didn't like. This particular necklace is extra special because it is circa 1915 and attributed to Louis Comfort Tiffany for Tiffany & Co. The detail in this piece is great as the chain is accented by demantoid garnets and sapphire--and also love the gold filigree. Estimate: $15,000-25,000
Lot 8: An Arts & Crafts necklace that is quite unique--set with a citrine and some diamonds, circa 1915. I love the silhouette of this piece, with the draped chains and dangle. The craftsmanship of the chain sets it apart from others I've seen. And the colors--perfect for fall! Estimate: $7,000-9,000
Lot 104: As we've seen lately, heart shaped gem cuts are going strong. This pendant necklace is a bold 4.46 carats of a heart cut diamond, done in platinum. The specs on the diamond are VS-1 clarity and D color. I can picture it sparkling from a neck and looking gorgeous. It is simple, however anything but dainty! Estimate: $75,000-95,000
Lot 20: I think this is one of the most beautiful rings I've seen up at auction in awhile. Mounted in platinum, set with a large 8.36 carat emerald and surrounded by diamonds, onyx and smaller emeralds. I love everything about this ring--from the style, to the gemstone combination, to the width of it. An heirloom that will be treasured for years to come--I am already jealous of whomever places the winning bid. Estimate: $15,000-20,000
Lot 22: This fun Tiffany & Co. ring has a striking color combination made up by the coral and blue enamel. Of course it is from the 1970s, a time period I'm obsessed with--their jewels and music, yes please. Done in 18k yellow gold with some diamond accent to finish off the design, this ring will stop people in their tracks! Bet! Estimate: $5,000-7,000
Lot 69: A ring that could single-handedly bring back the marquise cut as the most popular diamond cut! The ring is set with a VVS-2 clarity, I color diamond that is GIA certified. It weighs 6.07 carats and one request--making a major impact on the finger. I also love the fact that it is done in 18k yellow gold. Estimate: $70,000-80,000
Lot 5: This pendant/brooch is two pieces of jewelry in one! And did I mention the style and design is just breath-taking?! Lozenge-shaped emeralds dazzle with old European cut and old mine cut diamonds are set in this plaque style pendant, set in platinum. Estimate: $9,000-12,000
Lot 17: Of course I had to include another dress clip because I'm smitten with them. This one is more affordable than the amazing Cartier one mentioned earlier--but still just as gorgeous. And this one is also Art Deco, done in diamonds, sapphire, spinel and black onyx, all set in platinum. Estimate: $5,000-7,000
Lot 125: THESE. The cuts on these diamonds make them look like real ice--they are pear-shaped rose cut diamonds as petals and then the center of each flower is a fancy pink diamond. Such a great combination. The earrings total 17.59 carats of diamonds and are done in 18k white and rose gold. Estimate: $70,000-90,000
This sponsored blog post was brought to you in collaboration with Bonhams New York.
Follow on Instagram
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
We've updated the @shopGemGossip page with a few items--two of them being these brooch conversion rings which I've just gotten them back from my jeweler yesterday. I love the way they turned out because most importantly, it is all about comfort with these conversion pieces. I've been seeing a lot lately that don't look so comfortable or even reasonable to wear--pointy ends, seed pearls, or too gigantic for a finger. These are what I would call Goldilocks style--just right!
I also picked up this 18k yellow gold ankh bracelet that I thought was killer. I love the look of it, especially stacked with a gold watch and other bracelets. Egyptian Revival is one of my favorite types of jewelry, which is why I had to have this bracelet for my shop.
All items are listed on my separate Instagram page, check it out @shopGEMGOSSIP
WANT MORE? These are still available.