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SHOW ME YOUR RINGS! XCIV

metiersf PebbleandPolish Grazielagems EdenPresleyJewelry SofiaKaman MarketSquareJewelers ColetteJewelry mspaltenjewelry loganhollowelljewelry

{from top to bottom:

Metiersf always serves up some dreamy ring inspo and I'm loving this eclectic mix of new and antique

Pebble & Polish is sporting a wintry mix of antique diamond rings and we love it

Graziela Gems has a fun Instagram account to follow and I love this shot of their Everest ring

Eden Presley Jewelry stacking to the fullest with some of their latest pieces, lots of pearls

Sofia Kaman sparkly bright with some pieces from their vintage and antique selection of their California store

Market Square Jewelers goes bold with this jumbo stack of ten rings!

Colette Jewelry mixes leopard print and diamonds and we approve

M.Spalten Jewelry shows off some radianting opals from their collection 

Logan Hollowell Jewelry poses in front of a mesmerizing sunset with some beautiful staples}

 

The Best Jewelry from the 2018 Golden Globes

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This year's Golden Globes were a first of its kind. While most would feel appalled to have shown up wearing a color that overly-dominated the red carpet, this year wearing the same color as everyone else was celebrated and necessary for a greater cause. Both women and men wore black to stand in solidarity for so many injustices women face, gender inequality and multiple other issues that are hot topics. Hopefully by shedding some light, these topics won't go unchallenged or unchanged.

The color black served as a beautiful backdrop for bold jewels, sparkly gems and unique silhouettes. I was slightly disappointed in the amount of jewelry that I saw on the red carpet this year. So many wrists were left bare, necklines gleamed with no jewelry and some jewelry choices seemed too minimal for my taste. Even a few heavy-hitters like Debra Messing and Jennifer Aniston, who are often seen stacked and loaded with jewels on the red carpet, showed up with a toned down look.

I did, however, love all the diamonds that I saw, as the April birthstone dominated this year by far. Wearing black didn't allow much room for color at all, so when color was added it was mostly done through accessories like jewelry! We saw pops of color with mostly emeralds, which was surprising, as it seemed like everyone was in on the black + green color combo. But if you dig deeper into the meaning of these green gems, you'll find that they served more of a purpose than just being a bold contrast against black. Emeralds signify hope, renewal and growth, and inspire an ongoing search for meaning, justice, compassion, and harmony. Here are my top five favorite looks of the Golden Globes 2018:

1. Zoe Kravitz wearing mega-bold emerald cut emerald earrings. The earrings are by Lorraine Schwartz and the emeralds total 130 carats and are set in black jade!! (above)

DS-X4MzUQAAUwnt.jpg-large Dove Cameron

2. Dove Cameron dripping in diamond waterfall earrings, as well as some diamond rings which couldn't be seen too well in photos, only live on the red carpet.

Katherine Langford Katherine Langford

3. Katherine Langford has me seeing stars--wearing Prada and shining in Chopard diamonds on her ears and fingers. She has a pop of pink color in one of her bold rings on her pointer finger. I also love the diamond dangle earring worn on the upper part of the ear!

Jessica Biel Jessica Biel

4. Jessica Biel's jewelry is just gorgeous--as most women were bare on their wrists, Jessica is a breath of fresh air with this Bvlgari diamond bracelet stack. The earrings are also Bvlgari and cascade downward, creating a beautiful look. They seem to be 1940s or 1950s in style, but I haven't confirmed any details yet since this post is so early.

Issa Rae Issa Rae

5. Issa Rae was easily one of my favorites the moment I saw the bright green emerald hanging from a lengthy and bold diamond chain. The necklace from Lorraine Schwartz was a perfect red carpet stunner, especially with the dress she chose. The stud earrings are also a good choice, in my opinion, as most would have maybe left the ears without any earrings and I'm glad she is wearing something subtle rather than nothing at all.

 

*all photos via Getty Images, and/or supplied by the jewelry brands themselves

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? Check out my past red carpet rundowns

PS: if you don't follow our jewelry tribe's LIVE TWEETS during red carpet sessions, you're truly missing out! So much fun. Here was my most popular live-tweet:

One to Follow: Soho Gem

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Soho Gem is a boutique jewelry store in New York City's SoHo district (my personal favorite area to stay when visiting the city)! I have enjoyed learning about the store, its traditions and what makes this boutique special after working with them for the past six months on an Instagram promotion. Every piece is handmade, using hand-selected gems and utmost quality. Their line of bridal engagement rings and delicate wedding bands has put them on the map, with word-of-mouth spreading like wildfire amongst brides in NYC. They treat each bride with top notch service, making their once-in-a-lifetime experience unforgetable!

Most recently, Soho Gem has partnered with a gem mine in Madagascar allowing them to be in control of every step of the process. From the mining, selecting of the rough, to the cutting and polishing, owners Irina Ferry & Maria Benavides are able to provide the best and be as transparent as possible. While most stores simply receive their inventory through vendors in the mail, Soho Gem is deeply rooted in the jewelry process--from mine to market to new owner! 

 

Click here to follow Soho Gem on Instagram.

 

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? Check out my other favorite Instagrams

Shop Gem Gossip: Handmade Watermelon Tourmaline Rings

Gem Gossip watermelon tourmaline Gem Gossip watermelon tourmaline Gem Gossip watermelon tourmaline

The holidays came and went so furiously I never had time to talk about these one-of-a-kind watermelon tourmaline rings I had handmade. They are from a designer based in LA, Sona Weaver, and I was able to hand-select each stone. Once I decided on my gems, each was handmade into a beautiful ring using 14k yellow gold with a brushed finish. They were done in time for the holidays and my trunk show I had locally in Nashville! Luckily I still have four left--the two on my ring finger, bottom middle finger and top pointer finger! The large ones are $950 each and the smaller ones are $795 each.

Hope you had an amazing holiday!  We're pumped to be back as 2018 will be our 10th year--lots of exciting things to come!

 

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? Check out my entire inventory.

Identifying Georgian Jewelry: Fakes, Repros, and Traditional Styles

Georgian Jewelry Book A great resource for Georgian Jewelry lovers, this book

We're back with another installment written by Lisa of Lisa Kramer Vintage, giving us an in-depth look into the Georgian Jewelry fakes that are out there in the marketplace. If you missed part one of this educational experience, you can check it out here. Take it away, Lisa:

The popularity of Georgian jewelry has resulted in the market being flooded with fakes. One way to learn to identify fake Georgian jewelry is to familiarize yourself with pieces that are being sold as “reproductions”. This jewelry quickly hits the secondary market as genuine antiques. In addition, there have been Georgian revivals in the past, so you might come across pieces in the Georgian style that are old, but not as old as genuine pieces. And finally, there are some traditional forms of jewelry that have been worn for hundreds of years and are still being made, and it’s worth familiarizing yourself with these styles.

Pinterest: For the last couple of years I’ve been creating a Pinterest board of jewelry being sold as antique reproductions. This board also includes examples of companies selling traditional forms of jewelry that often get mistaken as antique. At the time of pinning all of these items had live links to where they were being sold (although, over time, some of these links have disappeared). As I come across new sources I add them to the board so it's worth checking back periodically. If you study these pins you will begin to recognize pieces that you have seen for sale as genuine antiques.

eBay repros: Hundreds of pieces of jewelry are being sold on eBay as antique reproductions, many of which I’ve posted on my Pinterest board. However, a couple of pieces have been turning up on the market with great frequency and deserve special attention.

This “Victorian Reproduction Rose cut diamond Georgian flower brooch” was available for years on eBay for $199:

Fake Georgian brooch

I've seen this piece for sale as a genuine Georgian piece in numerous places and always for many times its eBay price. I’ve also seen components of this brooch being sold as genuine Georgian jewelry: the leaves and flowers dangling from earwires and chains; a flower mounted on a ring shank; the central section mounted on a silver cuff. This piece is handmade in India so there are minor differences between each piece, but it is easily recognizable.

For several years these Iberian style rose-cut diamond and emerald earrings were available on eBay for $299 and they were a nice “look” for the money:

Iberian style earrings

However recently they have been turning up on the secondary market as genuine 18th century pieces selling for thousands of dollars. These earrings are handmade in India and every pair seems to have minor differences, but with the same overall design and construction.

Georgian revivals: in the late 19th and early 20th century Georgian styles became popular, resulting in Georgian revival pieces that are now genuine antiques themselves, or nearly so.

What to look for: Georgian revival pieces are usually heavier than genuine Georgian pieces and the crimped settings are often cast, rather than constructed of thin sheet metal.

This Georgian revival necklace with blue enamel was made by Harold A. Lazarus who worked in England in the first half of the 20th century and did high quality reproductions of Georgian and Victorian pieces.

 

Harold A Lazarus necklace front Harold A Lazarus necklace back

As beautiful as it is however, note how the settings are cast and much heavier than you’d find in a genuine Georgian piece.

Also look at the setting of this stick pin:

Stick pin front Stick pin back

This type of crimped-look casting was used a lot in the Victorian era.

Notice the open-back settings and heavy castings of this early 20th century amethyst paste riviere:

Georgian style riviere front Georgian style riviere back

I’ve seen many pieces with this construction, probably all by the same manufacturer. Most have accents of small clear stones between the larger colored stones.

Georgian style portrait miniatures were also revived in the late 19th century. Following the centenary of the French revolution images of Marie Antoinette (or similar 18th century fancy ladies) became popular as the subject of miniatures; they are not as finely painted as a genuine Georgian miniature and their frames are not of typical Georgian construction.

Marie Antoinette

Traditional French jewelry: there are some French companies that sell traditional forms of jewelry – saint esprits, poissarde earrings, crosses – that sometimes get mistaken as antique. This jewelry is of good quality, and not inexpensive, but is worth studying since it can end up on the secondary market. I’ve posted many of these pieces on the Pinterest board and one of their Saint Esprit pendants in this post as an example.

Saint esprit

Dutch rose cut diamond rings: since the late 19th century Georgian-style rose-cut diamond cluster rings have been made in the Netherlands. These rings are generally of high quality and, since they are usually hallmarked, they are not considered fakes but rather a traditional style. However, they sometimes get mistaken for Georgian rings. What to look for: the Dutch hallmark for gold is an oak leaf and even the earliest of the oak leaf marks post-date the Georgian era and the vast majority are from the 20th century. Check out the Antique Jewelry University video in the reference section below to see some of these rings and their characteristics.

Eye miniatures: reputable references estimate that only about 1000 genuine eye miniatures exist today and I’ve seen almost that many for sale in the last few years. Eye miniatures were only made for about 30 years, so they are very rare.

What to look for: since Georgian eyes were custom-made pieces, the painting of the eye should fit perfectly in its frame; there should not be gaps betweem the edge of the miniature and the setting nor should parts of the eye or eyebrow be cut off or sit too close to the edge of the frame. Faked pieces often utilize a genuine Georgian or Victorian brooch or ring with a hair compartment and insert a new eye under the crystal. Sometimes eyes are cut out of larger portrait miniatures and you may see remnants of the rest of the face. And sometimes eyes will seem cartoonish; originals were finely painted with tiny brushes and beautifully rendered.

Memorial and sentimental jewelry: for a while it seemed that the skill it took to create enamel memorial rings precluded their being faked. However, as their price has risen, a number of pieces have hit the market recently that seem “questionable”, so proceed with caution.

Also think about how easy it is for an engraver to add a date or phrase to a piece of jewelry. An engraver can easily take a plain gold band and make it into a posey ring by adding a sentimental phrase inside; since genuine posey rings sell for at least ten times that of a similar plain gold band, you can see the incentive. Look for age-appropriate wear and buy from a specialist dealer who can show you the subtleties that make the piece authentic.

Rarity: if you suddenly start to see a lot of similar, supposedly rare, items this is a clue that there may be a new source of fakes on the market. Sometimes, if the craftsmanship is unusually good, even experts can be fooled when they first hit the market and it is only after multiple examples start turning up that suspicions are aroused. Also if a dealer makes claims about the royal origins of their pieces, beware. Unless there is a paper trail showing royal provenance, this is most likely a fairy tale.

Design: While some Georgian jewelry, like cannetile (filigree) pieces, can be elaborate, in general the designs are fairly restrained. Beware of pieces that seem too “fancy” or that don’t have a harmonious design. Fakers often get creative, a little TOO creative.

Beware of motifs that are currently very popular: snakes! skulls! flaming hearts! crowned hearts! witch’s hearts! Popularity breeds fakes. I’ve seen skulls hanging from snakes, skulls surrounded by snakes, hearts floating above skulls. Fakers must figure that if one motif is good, then two must be better. So look closely at how the piece is constructed when you come across pieces with these motifs, especially if a piece contains more than one.

Also beware of “Frankenjewels” which are genuine antique pieces that have been embellished with new, popular, elements. There are infamous Bulgarian dealers on eBay that slap skulls on Victorian pieces and sell them as early memento mori jewelry (the same dealers also sell completely new fake pieces also laden with skulls).

Conclusion: if you study the genuine Georgian jewelry shown in my previous post and in the resources below, you will begin to recognize patterns in its design and construction. Some of this is subtle, but if your gut tells you that something is “off”, listen to it and look carefully. And if you add to that familiarity with the fakes, repros, and traditional styles discussed above you will be well on your way to being able to identify Georgian jewelry.

Resources:

Lisa Kramer Vintage Pinterest board of repros and fakes

Antique Jewelry University: particularly useful is this video where they evaluate three Georgian-style rings element-by-element. Scroll down to the bottom of the page in this link for the video. 

Georgian Jewellery” by Ginny Redington Dawes and Olivia Collings. This book is the bible on the subject. It has a chapter about Georgian fakes.

Antique Paste Jewellery” by M.D.S. Lewis. There is a chapter on reproduction paste jewelry from the early 20th century.

World Hallmarks, Volume 1”, by William Whetstone, Danusia Niklewicz, and Lindy Mautula. This is the standard reference for European hallmarks.