I'm so excited to share this month's Jewelry Collection Story with you all because I know how much we collectively love the Maejean Vintage sisters! You probably own at least one piece from their Etsy shop, with over 12,000 sales made to date, I'm more apt to say you probably own several pieces! I know I do! It is fascinating to think over 12,000+ items have passed through these sisters' hands--it leads one to be curious as to what is in their personal collections?! What pieces have they come across over the years that they just couldn't bear to sell?! What jewels struck a chord with Laura and Amanda?
We are so lucky both were eager to share and put together these photos and stories of their collections. We decided to do a two-day, back-to-back event featuring the collections of both sisters--first up is Amanda's collection, the younger of the two sisters!
These are some of the necklaces in my collection. The most special one is the dog tag that belonged to my Pop-Pop when he was in the USMC. I feel honored to have inherited it. The garnet cluster pendant was a Valentine's Day present from my honey. I adore it! Sometimes I wear it on a long gold chain and other times I wear it as a choker.
My most recent acquisition: an antique pale amethyst with a seed pearl halo which I wear in memory of my Aunt Cindy.
My favorite bracelets are the gold filled bangles that I love to stack, and the two silver bracelets I inherited from my mother (the charm and the cuff), which she use to wear when she was in her twenties. The platinum and diamond pin is a family heirloom that I occasionally wear on a chain or a dress for special occasions!
Left: I don't wear earrings often, but when I do I keep it simple with the Victorian paste stones, or dress it up with my garnet dangles. Right: Vintage and antique rings in my jewelry collection. I am always on the look out for rings that feature sparkly old cut diamonds, endearing terms (my PET ring is one of my favorites!), or unique shapes!
My vintage jewelry collection really started around the time my sister and I opened our online vintage jewelry store, Maejean Vintage, in 2010. My collection is definitely smaller than I would ideally like, because I have such a hard time keeping pieces for myself! I know a lot of other sellers have that same guilty feeling when keeping a piece instead of selling it! Because of this, I only keep a piece in my collection if I absolutely ADORE it and it speaks to me on a personal level.
When I first started collecting, I was drawn to dainty and intricate pieces, mostly from the Art Deco Era. As my knowledge of different eras developed, so did my collection! My jewelry consists of pieces from the Victorian, Edwardian, Art Deco, Mid Century, and Modern eras. I am finding myself more drawn to bigger and bolder pieces as time goes on. I especially have a soft spot for rings!
Being a student at GIA has introduced me to the wonderful world of gemstones, so I am definitely drawn to gemstone jewelry -- especially diamonds, garnets, emeralds and sapphires!
I have had the best luck finding jewelry for my personal collection at antique flea markets - especially the large flea market that happens three times a year in Brimfield, MA! I love flea markets because it really is like a big treasure hunt and I also enjoy the ability to haggle ;). eBay and Etsy have also been great marketplaces for finding unique pieces from all over the globe!
A lot of my pieces have strong sentimental value to me and represent people, places, or different times in my life. I recently acquired this amethyst and seed pearl ring which I wear in memory of my aunt, who adored the color purple. Seed pearls can represent tears, which is also very fitting.
Antique jewelry is my biggest passion - I love imagining where the pieces have been, and who cherished them before they came to me. I feel so lucky to have a career in connecting other people with sparkly old gems! <3
You can follow Maejean Vintage --> @MaejeanVintage
With every milestone comes a round of gratefulness, mixed with some disbelief. We are celebrating yet another milestone with Gem Gossip--hitting 150k followers over on Instagram! We are so thankful to each and every person who makes my feed a part of your day. 150,000 people is a lot of humans--it can seem overwhelming at first, but what is most important within that number are the individuals I've been able to connect with over the past few years. Whether it was helping with jewelry advice, or asking me to source a special piece for a special milestone, or just those who have continually messaged me with kind words--I will be forever connected and thankful!
As a way of saying thanks, I've teamed up with Celia Brown Jewelry--a brand I admire and think is doing something extraordinary right now with her unique designs. We are offering a giveaway, one ring from the following three choices shown in the above photo.
Which would you pick if you are chosen the winner?! And how would you stack it with your current jewelry?
If you're as excited as I am for this giveaway, I'll get right to the rules on how to enter:
2. Tag at least THREE friends you think should enter! Good luck!!
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You have exactly ONE WEEK to enter, winner will be announced on March 20th at 6pm CST. Be sure to follow ALL steps, if your account is set to private, I won't be able to see if you've followed step one!
Back in July of last year I alerted my readers to my search for an alternative, more "user-friendly" engagement ring for everyday wear. I also penned a "Rules of Engagement" blog post which generated a lot of feedback and I enjoyed hearing everyone's take on something that is often not talked about. If you haven't read the blog post--I totally encourage you!
Well since then, I've been on the hunt for a genuine sapphire to replace the synthetic one that was in this antique cluster ring from Maejean Vintage. Sometimes when hunting for jewelry, you have to keep in mind that if the piece is not exactly "perfect" to you, there's always ways of changing out gemstones, or re-enameling a piece that has heavy enamel damage, or resetting the design to make it more appealing. You have to train your eye to envision a piece of jewelry reimagined.
Finding a sapphire was tougher than I thought! Browsing online proved tough because I knew I had to be able to see the gemstone in person to judge if it was the right color blue that I wanted. I realized the best place to find something would most likely be in Tucson at the annual gem shows. I was ready to make it one of my projects while in Tucson a few months ago. At that point I realized I was going to have to buy a stone and get it recut so it would properly fit. I kept finding sapphires I really loved the colors of but hated to think of spending so much money on a larger stone that would just need cutting down. I figured my best bet would be to buy a more affordable price per carat sapphire, and hopefully once recut, it would look better than the lower price point that it truly is/was.
That goal was sort of lofty but I knew Jean-Noel of Top Notch Faceting could turn my ordinary stone into something magical. After some Top Notch Faceting, the once dark blue sapphire opened up and now has a brighter, more brilliant shine and sparkle. The blue lightened up a bit, but still has its velvety color which is what I wanted from the very beginning. I love that the stone is not a cookie-cutter cut--it has its own unique shape and style that Jean-Noel is known for and makes the stone and now ring that much more special.
I'm so happy with how this ring came out and it is truly a testament to having patience and making sure every step of the creation process is exactly what you want. Settling for something less than what you are envisioning just because it would be quicker is not always the answer. I'm also loving the fact that this ring will become important in my jewelry wardrobe and it is from some of my favorite people in the jewelry industry--Maejean Vintage & Top Notch Faceting.
Let me know your thoughts on the ring! Would love to hear!
WANT MORE? Check out what else is in my jewel box!
New stash alert!
Wanted to let you know--if you haven't already seen the newest additions to the @shopGEMGOSSIP page, here they all are! So many gorgeous rings--some fun opals, lots of sparkly diamonds, even a yummy green chyrsoprase. A few have already been sold and are sitting pretty in their new homes.
I do offer layaway--if you see something you might want, but don't currently have the money you can put it on layaway. You can pay 1/3 every thirty days for 3 months--no fees! All purchases this month receive a quartz geode and a Gem Gossip pen. If you follow on Instagram @shopGEMGOSSIP I've also posted videos of all these rings as well--you just need to have the latest version of Instagram to view the sliding image function.
I accept PayPal, money order, checks, Venmo and credit cards. Email email@example.com for all inquiries!
WANT MORE? Check out what is in MY jewel box!
Hey guys & gals.
I've never started a blog post like that before. Should I just leave it? Ok, I will.
Here is the long overdue blog post about the items I brought back from my trips to Tucson & Miami. Anytime I go to a jewelry show, I never know what I'm going to find so the energy is always slightly tense and adrenaline is constantly flowing. If I buy something at a show, I never know for certain if I'm going to keep it or sell it--I've realized I have to bring it home and introduce it into my collection, wear it a few times, and decide if it feels like it should be mine forever or not. I can't tell you how I determine that, I just know.
This time around in Tucson, I never knew I would find a piece of jewelry I would love and end up keeping. I was totally focused on buying gems, crystals and random minerals (see second photo) but when I stopped by the Excalibur Estate Jewelry booth at AGTA in Tucson, the ring kind of found me. It didn't help that I had been searching for a special client of mine for something just like this, but it was out of her budget. I bought it anyway. The whole rest of the trip, I treated it as though it was for my client and that I would be saying goodbye to it as soon as I got home. Every time I thought about selling it, I couldn't! I also kept looking at pictures of it (actually the exact photo in this blog post) the whole plane ride home. I had to keep it.
My next trip to Miami was only a week later, so normally I would be like "my budget is DONE" after buying something like that in Tucson. I had some good timing with my EBTH sale being launched the same day Miami started. I took my entire inventory and put it up for auction with EBTH--sort of nail-biting as every piece is sold at no reserve--so yes several pieces went for hundreds less than retail value, but I was able to justify finding and buying three amazing new pieces for my personal collection.
The three rings in the last photo above on the left are my Miami Antique Show finds. The furthest one on the left is from Shelly Storch Fine Jewelry--I found it early on in the day on my last day, I made an offer which wasn't accepted and then came back right before I left at the end of the day. This is one of those rings that you simply can't stop staring at! The turquoise and black enamel ring was found at Haig's of Rochester and I love the contrast of the turquoise with the enamel. I think it may have been a stick pin conversion--while most stick pins are tiny, this one is pretty large, which is what I like about it as well. The last purchase from the Miami Antique Show is the Art Nouveau diamond and black enamel ring from Marlene Wong Alvarado Antique & Estate Jewelry. She is a seller who has been in the business for YEARS and is based out of Corpus Christi, Texas. She told me she personally wore that ring for over 20 years, as it was in her personal collection and this was the first time she was offering it for sale. I told her I would take good care of it! It is marked Syman and I couldn't find much about this maker online. I posted a photo of the ring on a Facebook Group I'm a member of--Antique Jewelry Identification Group--and my friend Jenn believes that it is a Colorado based company from the early 1900s. If you know more about this maker, please contact me!
WANT MORE? Check out what else is in my jewel box!