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Jewels at my Doorstep: MATEO New York

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Photography by Lauren Newman

Powerfully creative, remarkably chic--Mateo New York is a line of jewelry created by Matthew "Mateo" Harris, Jamaican born creative who feasts on inspiration and jewelry, 24/7. His creations speak for themselves, often described as minimalistic designs, yet are bursting with feeling, power and innovation. I would never call it "trendy" jewelry--these pieces are staples for the fashionistas, obsessions of the creative geniuses, and everyday classics for the it-girl. I dare you to put on one of his chokers and not feel cool. The tying of the velvet bow that every choker isn't complete without doing so will give you endless possibilities of wearing it--either in the back, off to the side, or be daring and wear the bow toward the front!  

I was so excited to get to spend a few days with Mateo's pieces--I tried them on, wore them out and of course, styled the above looks and put them into a photoshoot. I was inspired by his latest venture--opening up a flagship store in Nolita, NYC, where I felt his style, mixed with big city vibes, created a sleek look. The store is exactly his aesthetic and is a vital part of his brand. Getting customers to walk into the inviting space, see and try-on his pieces, is just the first step in a life-long client for Mateo--and it is something that online shopping lacks. But don't let that stop you from visiting his website and browsing/shopping online! Just know that his pieces are that much more amazing in person! ;)

Picking out the items was tough for me because I pretty much love every single piece that Mateo makes!  If you love geometric jewelry, you'll die over all the endless shapes and Calder-inspired mobile designs. The 14k yellow gold Mobile Shapes earrings were fun, playful and affordable luxury items that set the tone of my shoot. They instantly turned my ear lobes into a work of art. The chokers are a definite favorite and if you're in the market to buy one, I suggest you get one of Mateo's! I've tried on way too many cheap-feeling ones from other designers and his is the real deal! The Semi-Circle Disc earrings created the second look and I felt that wet, slicked hair was necessary for it. Whether it is circles, squares or triangles--Mateo takes ordinary shapes and makes them extraordinary. Hope to own a piece for myself in the future!

Shop my look:

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Mateo

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What is the Best Gem Show in Tucson? AGTA GemFair, A Must See!

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Outside of AGTA Gem Fair where you can pull up and valet your car--my parking skills thinks this is a great idea

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Oh my opals! From Exhibitor Only Beads based out of Atlanta

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Freaked for this huge yellow sapphire from Mayer & Watt

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Both photos above were found at Under the Crown Jewelry -- the carved scarab moonstone struck a cord with me and I loved learning about their Crown Jubilee faceted diamonds, their trademarked diamond cut which is fashioned from an Old Mine or Old European cut diamond. There are two sets of crown facets and two sets of pavilion facets. It's the only diamond that has the crown and pavilion in perfect harmony!

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The view above--AGTA is huge, with over 300+ exhibitors, you truly need AT LEAST two days to cover the show--for me I took two days, plus a third day to come back to buy some things that kept haunting me.

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These types of set ups lead to a treasure hunt unlike any other! Whether you have a piece of jewelry in mind you're designing or just let yourself gravitate toward certain stones...it is a fun experience!

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If I want to see the cream of the crop, I visit Omi Prive where I got to try on incredible sapphires, emerald, zircon and tsavorites. Amazing!

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I loved the concept that Pala International devised with these "Collectors Sets" of gems--each a unique assortment of gemstones, perfect for a collector or connoisseur.

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Gold rush has come over the AGTA Gem Fair! Lots of vintage goodies from Excalibur Jewelry

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Left: a yummy watermelon tourmaline from Kimberly Collins Gems

Right: an insanely perfect specimen of chrysocolla from Rare Earth Mining Co.

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Seriously enchanted by these kite-shaped emeralds from Manak--these need to be rings ASAP!

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Just browsing the many aisles upon aisles of gems, jewels, and treasures at AGTA.

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Left: more watermelon tourmaline and Right: some insane opals from exhibitor Robert Shapiro

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No caption needed--you may be already able to tell these insane gems and rings are Omi Prive.

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Opals of different patterns and translucency all in one display! These are from Joel Price Inc.

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More favorite finds: the two inlay stone pieces are from Rare Earth Mining Co. and I think they are my favorites of the entire Tucson trip! Left shows more opals, which I loved this unique display--really showed off each one individually.

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Some incredible rings from Excalibur Jewelry, spanning all different ages and styles.

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Loved learning about sunstones from Desert Sun Mining & Gems--each one is mined in Oregon (I even have a map and dvd to learn even more)!

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As you may have guessed, I spent some serious time at the Excalibur booth, just because antique jewelry is my main love. All of these rings are special in their own way and I just loved this diamond bow necklace featuring a giant emerald cut emerald!

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One of the "Collectors' Sets" from Pala International--love the variety of shapes, sizes and varieties of gems.

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Pairing gemstones is quite the task--these gemstone pairs from Kimberly Collins Gems give any jeweler or designer so many options!

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Left: this huge opal lay on an exhibitor's table with a sign that read "please touch, please take my photo" Right: colorful earrings from Campbellian Collection--can you spot the mismatched pairs?!

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I also loved these rings from Campbellian Collection--from the bright colors to the unique designs, so good!

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Some gemstones cut by the master Clay Zava featured here--including the snowcone cut which is slightly out of focus on the bottom.

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Are you planning your trip for next year yet?? I feel like by now you might be!

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Of course Mayer & Watt would have some insane trapiche emeralds--what amazing earrings would these make?!

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Left: myself with the very talented Clay Zava of Zava Mastercuts, Right: Mayer & Watt was proud to present this incredible 190 ct aquarmarine sculpture with under-the-sea motifs like an octopus and other sea creatures carved into the piece. It is called "Love at First Sight" and was created by Susan Allen & Michael Cristie. Also included in the piece is a 470 c. chrysoprase, a 10.3 mm Tahitian pearl and 0.63 ctw of diamonds in 18k yellow gold.

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From Lightning Ridge mine in Australia, this incredible opal featured at exhibitor Joel Price at AGTA.

I haven't made the journey out to the desert for the Tucson Gem Shows in five years! Can you believe it?! I'm usually focused on the Miami Antique Show and for the first time in years, the two shows don't overlap as much as they usually do--that makes me very happy and also very travel worn, but I'm up for the challenge!

The AGTA Gem Fair has been happening since 1981 and is a tradeshow that is open to wholesale only, where they cater to those stores, designers and clients who are discerning, looking to find the best jewelry, gemstones, and so much more. There are several aspects about AGTA that sets it apart from other gem shows in Tucson during this week, and when attending your first AGTA Gem Fair like myself, you quickly learn and take notice! This year's show spanned from January 31st-February 5th, at the Tucson Convention Center--a glorious facility with all the necessary features for a large tradeshow. A huge plus for AGTA show-attendees is the fact that you can shop and buy with confidence knowing each exhibitor is a Member of the AGTA. Every exhibitor is a United States or Canada-based professional, who adhere to a rigorous code of ethics. Quality, value and selection--all high standards of AGTA, providing sources you can trust.

Other great features include valet parking--which my rental car would like to personally thank AGTA for this, as I nicked my car a few times trying to parallel park in Tucson. Good times. Also, the variety of food trucks outside the show was really cool!  We all have been there before--super hungry during a tradeshow with limited options for dining. This was such a neat way to remedy hunger and also be on trend--because everyone loves a food truck! And other perks including some obvious-yet-vital things like air conditioning! Yes, the desert gets toasty in late January/early February, and with most shows outdoors in the sun, we sometimes forget how nice an indoor, air conditioned show can be!

My first day at the show, I just come off a four hour plane ride + two hour car drive, so I knew exactly where to head on the show floor--the antique jewelry vendors!!  I was pleasantly surprised to find that there were actually a few and they each easily gave me life. I enjoyed oogling over Excalibur's jewels and Under the Crown's diamonds, of course learning a thing or two, as I always do from my antique friends. I may or may not have bought something amazing from Excalibur on day three--just because I couldn't stop thinking about it, and although the piece was supposed to be for a client of mine, I'm 89% sure I'm now keeping it for myself. Oh lord, I need help.

Day two of the AGTA show included exploring every aisle and seeing what I could find! Certain gemstones caught my attention--chrysocolla, sunstones, insane opals, fancy kite-shapes, etc. I was mesmerized by everything from Rare Earth Mining Co. and died a little when I saw some of the inlay pieces. Every single booth had something unique and if I had LOTS of money to spend, I would buy one thing from each exhibitor, most definitely. I remember someone saying that the people roaming the aisles is like a Who's Who among jewelry designers, and you'll likely get star-struck on many occasions. This was totally true! Running into some of my favorite designers was definitely a perk of attending the show and seeing each one in his or her own element, focusing in on designing and finding the right stones was fun. 

My last day in Tucson was supposed to be roaming the highway shows and I actually ended up finding myself back at AGTA! There were several pieces that kept haunting me and I knew I had to come back to make them my own. I also wanted to spend some time at the Mayer & Watt booth because not only are Simon's gems incredible but he always has a keen sense on the gem industry and what is currently going on. I also am a big fan of his app--called Mayer & Watt--if you download it, you will see an entire database of gems! Both inventory and sold items are pictured, along with a Gemipedia, which gives you LOTS of information about each stone. The app is fun to go through and also done really well, most importantly the photography is gorgeous! So you must download it when you get the chance!!

I know many of you loved seeing my updates from Tucson and are wanting to plan ahead for next year already! Well you're in luck, AGTA already has announced next year's dates--so put January 30th-February 4th, 2018 in your calendar! I know I already am counting down the days (and saving my money lol)!

What a fun trip this has been--special shoutout to Abby of @nomadgold for being my sidekick, helping me with photography and convincing one another to YES buy that, definitely! Also thank you to AGTA for providing accommodations while in Tucson.

Follow along with my AGTA GemFair coverage over on Instagram >> @gemgossip AGTA | Gem Gossip

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Valentine's Day Picks from KAVADOR

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Launched in 2015, Kavador was created with a main goal in mind: to dig into the vaults of jewelry stores around the country and give these hidden jewels their time to shine online! Jennie Pastor, CEO and Founder of Kavador, and myself have a few things in common. One of them being that we both realize there are so many amazing pieces of jewelry out there belonging to smaller, independent jewelers that don't have the means to promote their inventory online. Websites are expensive and having one that is fully functional with e-commerce capability is often way over a jewelry store owner's head. Just as I like to travel the US, visiting jewelry stores to showcase all that is out there, Kavador does as well! Only they have a whole team dedicated to curating items they find and listing them online, available for purchase. Kavador has quickly become a growing marketplace for stores to sell their pieces and for jewelry lovers to frequent often to find new treasures. And if you glance at their inventory, you'll recognize right away how this website needs to be on your radar and checked regularly! Their SOLD gallery is fun to look at as well, although it is slightly sad because they've already found their forever home.

I'm so excited to partner with Kavador--not only have I gotten the chance to learn more about this amazing company and speak with Jennie (interview below) but I also got to curate my own favorites just in time for Valentine's Day. I've also got a special treat for everyone--have $150 credit on me! Have fun exploring the vaults of Kavador and use code GEMGOSSIP150 from now until the end of February for your $150 credit.

>> Shop my Valentine's Day Picks here! <<

Hope you enjoy my interview with CEO Jennie Pastor--and be sure to follow Kavador here:

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As a kid, I have always been attracted to glitter and sparkle - I made my own accessories, tinkered with colorful nails and clothes and hair... No surprise then that I married into a family of jewelers and gemologists!

My family has been in the fine jewelry business for over 40 years, owning and operating independent retail jewelry stores and developing relationships with jewelry lovers and buyers as they select and maintain jewelry for generations. I've personally watched how dramatically the industry has changed in the last decade, specifically the challenges faced by independent local retailers in the face of changing consumer buying patterns and reduced in-store foot traffic.

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The concept of Kavador began at a family dinner - my father-in-law, who owns a number of local fine jewelry stores, was lamenting the outsized expense and poor returns of his recent investment in a new custom website. His expertise is in fine jewelry and in-person sales and customer service; digital marketing and e-commerce are not in his bag of tricks! Our family then began exploring the issue together: how could local independent jewelers reap the benefits of the growth in online jewelry sales without damaging their local brand and bottom line?

And from that dinner, Kavador was born...

We saw a startling need for an online marketplace specifically for fine jewelry which would give local retail jewelers and designers a platform to sell jewelry to a broad, national audience through a trusted brand with digital marketing expertise, and give fine jewelry consumers unique access to these treasures otherwise hidden in local jewelers' vaults.

We launched Kavador in late 2015, and have been happily adding new retail jeweler partners and uniting spectacular jewelry with new owners since!

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Kavador's audience is looking for pieces that speak to their individuality and style - statement cocktail rings, with colored gemstones and intricate designs, continue to be big sellers. More broadly, we have seen a real shift in preferences from mass-produced, generic jewelry from big brands toward vintage and estate pieces with bold colors, interesting settings, and... character.

A few of our most recent sales included:

Isa: a multi-colored pave sapphire bracelet

Phoenix: a 34ct cabochon cut Amethyst cocktail ring

Laksha: 15ct blue Topaz cocktail ring

Keely: a Tsavorite Garnet and Diamond butterfly necklace

We curate just one of each piece, so we shed a happy tear each time one of these standout treasures finds a new home - but we're thrilled that our buyers have found their match!

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These last 18 months have been such an adventure!! But my favorite Kavador treasure hunting memory, the one that really affirmed for me this concept of partnering with local jewelers to bring their treasures online, actually happened shortly before we officially launched.

We were out there pitching the Kavador idea to our family's jeweler network and to local jewelers in our town, trying to convince them to take a chance with us, list jewelry online through our start-up brand as part of our launch collection... And one of those meetings, with a local multi-generation family-owned jewelry business, became less of a new business meeting and more of a jewelry gossip session. His collection included mostly estate jewelry, including some spectacular vintage and antique pieces - and the owner was so excited to talk about the unique design features and histories of every item, even flaws became assets (because it gave those pieces "unique character")!! I think we were there for over three hours, most of it going through his jewelry piece by piece, as if he were a teacher talking about individual students.

This jeweler ultimately became part of our "launch crew" of retail jeweler partners, and we are thrilled to have his special treasures available for an online audience that would never otherwise have the opportunity to see them.

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Kavador recently launched a new and enhanced website in November, and the momentum these last few months has been really exciting! We have been adding new retail partners and new jewelry at a steady clip, expanding our marketing campaigns and social media following, and absolutely LOVE hearing from happy customers - some of whom will soon be helping us curate their favorites on the website!

Our dream is for Kavador to become for small, local jewelers and designers what Etsy has become for independent artists and craftsmen - a trusted marketplace for selling special, standout fine jewelry. Jewelry consumers have a clear appetite for special pieces, and a preference for supporting small businesses. Kavador's mission is to unite these consumers with specially-curated inventory from local jewelers, thus helping these jewelers continue to thrive.

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This sponsored post was brought to you in collaboration with Kavador -- all photography by Gem Gossip.

 

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Gem Gossip Visits J.S. Fearnley in Atlanta, GA

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I hit the road running--with the start of 2017, we have a lot of ground to cover for #JewelryRoadTrip! So far I've visited lots of towns in Texas, big cities in California, both the state of Washington and the capitol DC, NYC, and a few towns/states in between. I wanted to start with somewhere not too far--in fact it is only a 3 hour and 45 minute drive--to a city that is continuously growing, and also has the most requests from people living there, asking me if I have recommendations for antique and vintage jewelry. That city is Atlanta, Georgia! I've visited on numerous occasions but never found a spot I could recommend for amazing estate jewelry--until now. So grateful to have come across J.S. Fearnley, a family-owned company which has a gorgeous showroom in the heart of Buckhead, an affluent part of Atlanta, and conveniently located across the street from the St. Regis Hotel. 

The Beginnings

J.S. Fearnley first began in 1986 and started out as a jewelry shop where their niche was custom design jewelry. Since then, they have evolved into the premier luxury destination for fine antique jewelry with a specialty for Buccellati, Cartier, and Van Cleef & Arpels, just to name a few. Their showroom is by appointment only due to their fully-packed show schedule (more on that schedule below). Should you be so lucky to get some time to spend at the showroom, you'll notice right away the jewelry books that line the shelves. Once you enter the showroom further, you'll see the display cases standing at a perfect level to gaze upon, as I did for a very long time! Each one is themed--differing by gemstone or designer, and grouped accordingly. There's even a case full of Buccellati jewelry, in fact, Buccellati is their specialty (they are one of the largest Estate Buccellati dealers in the country) so there are several cases FULL of this iconic Italian jewelry house.  J.S. Fearnley is constantly taking in new and exciting pieces to bring to their clientele, so their inventory is changing regularly. 

The People

Steven Fearnley is the man behind it all and since starting into the jewelry biz in the 80s, hasn't looked back. A fascination with geology and rocks sparked his interest, and he attended the Gemological Institute of America right out of school. His son Alex is following in his footsteps, taking on many of his roles, including getting his graduate gemology degree as well and hitting the road for every tradeshow. Emily Waterfall brings her expertise from working for Sotheby's auction house in NYC to J.S. Fearnley where she now calls Atlanta home for the past five years. Another member of the team not pictured in this photograph is Mr. David McKeone. His many years of successful business ventures and jewelry buying have added another much needed role with J.S. Fearnley. Everyone is very passionate about jewelry and gemstones and it is abundantly clear from the moment you walk into J.S. Fearnley!

Shop Online

Besides exhibiting at shows and having a showroom in Atlanta, J.S. Fearnley also has a large online presence, with their website jsfearnley.com The site is updated regularly with new arrivals and any inquiries on the items are encouraged by the team at J.S. Fearnley! Anyone can view the latest inventory on the website and contact directly by calling (404-812-6464) or emailing (info@jsfearnley.com). As you can see, their inventory runs the gamut, from anything like a Cartier rolling ring, to an Art Deco diamond and platinum chain, to a Tiffany Schlumberger ring, on up through a big Columbian emerald ring. You can also check them out on 1stdibsSo, if antique jewelry interests you and you can't make it to any of their shows or visiting in Atlanta isn't in the near future--be sure to save their website and check back frequently. 

Trade Show Schedule

Jewelry show season has just begun--February showcases a long haul of shows, starting with Miami, Naples, Palm Beach and in the beginning of March, Hong Kong. Here are the show dates and cities:

February 2 - 5, 2017 Miami Beach Jewelry & Antiques Show, Booth 410

February 9 - 11, 2017 Atlanta Cathedral Antiques Show, Booth 9 

February 10 - 13, 2017 The Original Miami Antique Show, Booth 5907 

February 15 - 21, 2017 Palm Beach Jewelry, Art & Antique Show, Booth 300 

February 24 - 28, 2017 Naples Art, Antique & Jewelry Show, Booth 100 

March 2 - 6, 2017 Hong Kong International Jewellery Show, Booth CEC CH-P05

Shop my favorites below:

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JS Fearnley

 

87 West Paces Ferry Rd NW # C

Atlanta, GA 30305

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Shop All Your Favorite Jewelry Categories at Fellows Auctions

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I haven't written about a Fellows Auction in quite some time, but that doesn't mean I never stopped checking out their incredible jewels that would stir up bidding wars month after month. I've always been a huge fan of their Antique & Modern Sales and Fellows' has an upcoming sale in February that can't be missed. The sale is set for February 9th, 2017 and it comes just in time for Valentine's Day. I suggest grabbing your honey and sitting down to look over the jewelry catalog together. Pick out your favorites and potential Valentine's gifts, then pull up a chair and get down to bidding on February 9th! I've done some of the leg work for you, choosing my favorites in every jewelry category: necklaces, rings, earrings and bracelets! 

Let's dive into the details below:

Necklaces:

Lot 123: This exquisite necklace grabbed my attention right away!  It looks like something regal and very important. Set with old cut diamonds and lapis, all in platinum!  It is an early 20th century piece that every collector needs. The diamonds total 1.20 carats.

Lot 168: Delicate yet striking in every way, this necklace would make the most precious Valentine's gift. A beautiful openwork design, set with feminine seed pearls. I love how they trickle down from the bail and the sapphire is just the perfect gemstone for this piece; all set in platinum, original early 20th century piece.

Lot 268: A late Victorian peridot necklace with stunning diamond wreath detail. This necklace may be over 100 years old, but it still is beautiful as ever! I know so many August babies have trouble finding peridot pieces of jewelry, so this is a great option for those August-born ladies. Plus, greenery is the Pantone color of the year!

Rings:

Lot 306: Elongated and bold, sapphires and diamonds...yes, you are seeing why I love this ring so much! I also appreciate the mixture of metals in this one piece--with the yellow gold bezels for the oval sapphires and the shank, and mixed with a platinum top. I would love to see this ring on a finger--I bet it looks gorgeous! 

Lot 406: One hundred lots from my first ring pick is this sweet turquoise and diamond ring. I love the unique style of it, although a cluster ring isn't groundbreaking, it becomes different since it also has side diamonds in a bypass style. All the diamonds are old European cuts and look original to the piece. If you love turquoise, you should totally bid on this piece!

Lot 421: Navette rings are a style I can't get enough of and there's something special about this particular one. All of those old diamond cuts clustered together, surrounding the single round emerald in the center. I love the stylized shoulders of the the shank on this late Victorian ring. Someone needs to make this a part of their collection!

Earrings:

Lot 285: These earrings immediately were a favorite for this category for a few reasons--one being their all-diamond design. Something about diamonds set in white gold has such a classic look. Plus, I love the round cuts mixed with the baguettes and squares. Geometry at its finest! Total diamond weight on these is 1.20 carats.

Lot 438: I chose these earrings because I love the multi-colored sapphires used as well as the unique design of these hoops. These 18k yellow gold earrings would look great dressed up or down, giving any outfit some color. Brighten up your day, a boring outfit or your winter blues with these babies!

Lot 500: Something about these funky dangles puts a smile on my face. Done in yellow gold and set with emeralds and diamonds, I just love the V-shaped design. It is both chic and futuristic at the same time. I also love the size of these earrings--I think they are an ideal size, right in between dainty and bold, or what I like to call "just right."

Bracelets:

Lot 152: This late 19th century hinged bracelet features a Victorian motif that I just can't get enough of--a dome of light blue enamel. To top it off, the diamond star pattern is another favorite motif, so this bracelet is just glorius to me. The detail work is beautiful and in amazing condition. Best part? It's French!

Lot 286: It was the bold blues of the sapphires and the intricate engraving details that made me look twice at this hinged bracelet. Upon further inspection, the sapphires graduate in size, starting with the biggest in the center. Rose cut diamonds highlight and accent, giving this piece five stars from me! Safety chain included.

Lot 466: One snake bracelet to rule them all--a mid-Victorian articulated snake bracelet set with turquoise and red gem eyes most definitely made my top picks for bracelets. The bracelet measures just over 6 1/2 inches and I can picture it stacked wonderfully with some other Victorian bangles of the same era.  

This sponsored post was brought to you in collaboration with Fellows Auctions

 

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