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Entries in antique engagement ring (17)

The Best Non-Diamond Engagement Rings

The Knot | Gem Gossip

 

My latest article for The Knot touches upon a fiercely popular bridal trend that has everyone saying YES I NEED MORE COLOR. Have you noticed brides opting for gemstones other than a diamond for their engagement rings? We have! We decided to explore these non-diamond options and weigh in on the subject with our gemologist expertise. This led us to picking the top gemstones that make the best alternatives, usually based on hardness. Take a look by clicking the link below:

https://www.theknot.com/content/non-diamond-engagement-rings

xoxoGemGossip

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Jewelry Collection Stories: Heather of @SpeakeasyJewels

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I was lucky enough to meet Heather before our Instagram community of collectors came into formation. It was during a time when she was in search of the perfect antique engagement ring and I was working full time at a local antique jewelry store in Nashville. We had been emailing back and forth and had a few contenders. What better way to seal the deal than a 12-hour road trip to Nashville?!  I got to meet Heather and her future husband, help her try on some gorgeous jewels and it was a great day! Four years later she is sharing her jewelry collection here with us! Take it away Heather:

When and why did I start collecting jewelry? For weeks I couldn’t get my jewel story rolling because the answers were evading me. I cannot recall a time when I didn’t love jewelry and have memories as little girl sifting through any jewelry box or drawer I encountered, much to the chagrin of the women around me. I swear I’ve recovered from this behavior or at least ask permission before rifling. I thought it was my paternal grandma who sparked the collector in me since she was an avid one herself, but I was missing something or rather someone.

It should have been obvious since I worked for him for almost a decade - my Dad is the reason I am a collector. Classic cars, particularly Cadillacs of the 1950s and ‘60s, are his passion. He instilled in me an appreciation for the past and a desire to preserve relics of history. I often find there is an unspoken bond between those of us who collect vintage and antique no matter the category. The way he reflects on the ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program through which many classic cars were destroyed echoes the horror we jewelry collectors feel when thinking about scrapping and melting. He understands why I collect antique and vintage jewelry and for Christmas a few years ago gifted me my first loupe with my initials engraved on the side – it is something I cherish. I hope one day I can pass along to my children the same tinkerer and antiquarian heart he has given me.

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My Dad’s interest in and confusion of eBay is when I really started collecting. Years ago he was restoring a 1962 Cadillac Series 62 and it became part of my job to locate vintage chrome tail fins, hubcaps, hood ornaments, etc. etc. you name it. It was through hunting down his car parts I found the vintage and antique jewelry category. I came in at the tail end of the eBay glory days, but it was enough to give me the jump-start I needed.

I still cruise eBay from time to time, but many of my recent acquisitions are sourced directly from the wonderful collectors and sellers on Instagram. I also like to get out and actively hunt because it’s important to touch and interact – you never know what you’re going to find or who you’re going to meet. Travelling the US throughout the years has given me the opportunity to explore new hunting grounds and connect with collectors. i.e. In 2012, boyfriend/fiancé/cool dude (whoever he was to me at that time) and I set out on a roadtrip to Tennessee to pick up an engagement ring sourced through the expertise of Gem Gossip – cowboy boots, antique jewelry and partying in Music City? It was a fun way to get engaged.

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I am also lucky to have a great store in my area– Sarah’s Vintage & Estate Jewelry – with a vast inventory of jewels and knowledgeable owner. One of my first fine antique pieces came from Sarah’s – an 18k white gold Art Deco garnet and diamond die-struck ring with floral details. It was a birthday present from my then boyfriend (now husband). It is something I’ll never sell and hope it passes down as an heirloom in our family. I’m passionate about antique and vintage jewelry because it connects us not only to the past, but the future. I often times wonder, especially when a ring has an inscription, who owned it before me and what was her life like? Where did she wear the ring and who gave it to her? Then I think about who will wear it after and hope he/she cares for it as much as I did.

I appreciate and covet pieces from all time periods, but Edwardian/Belle Époque and Art Deco are tops and not just because the style and craftsmanship are extraordinary (all the lacy, flowing, filigree, geometric, platinum detail work and diamonds?! I mean, come on!) It’s also the optimism, opulence, rebellious attitudes and glorious cocktails of these times that call to me– hey, my handle isn’t speakeasyewels for nothing. It’s no secret that one of my favorite pieces is an Edwardian c. 1910s elongated ring with OEC diamonds in a scrolly platinum setting. It’s just fun to wear and when I have it on I like to think about crafting and consuming classic cocktails with bitters or egg whites, but then I remember I’m not a mixologist. Happy hunting and holidays to you all. Cheers!

 

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? Check out the other Jewelry Collection Stories

You can follow Heather --> @speakeasyjewels

Ring Envy Over at Gerard Leon in Los Angeles!

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Los Angeles is home to so many amazing jewelry designers, antique and estate jewelry shops and jewelry artisans. Luckily, I found Gerard Leon who specializes in handcrafted engagement rings, vintage and antique, as well as a talent for hand engraving!

An engagement represents a time of celebration and unity. The engagement ring is what defines and captures such a joyous occasion, and becomes the symbol of love. This grand gesture is something two people will remember for a lifetime and the ring (hopefully) for generations to come. What makes the ring special is the story behind it, and at Gerard Leon, their rings always tell a story. Their slogan is, "Your ring, our tradition" which beautifully represents the relationship between jeweler and customer.

Engagement rings have become more and more unique and one-of-a-kind as of late. Gerard Leon acknowledges this and wants to help you make your engagement ring dreams come true!  Some may have dreamt of the fairytale wedding and the diamond ring fit for a princess, while others may prefer vibrant emeralds or sapphires, round or cushion shapes. The 1930’s French Art Deco inspired Diamond Halo was a very popular ring style in it’s time, and while trends have come and go, this diamond ring will stay forever as a classic. Gerard Leon recognizes that while diamonds lead the way as the most popular center stone, gemstones such as sapphires, rubies, and emeralds have also emerged as viable and lovely choices for an engagement ring. With the endless options of gemstones and designs, the world of engagement rings has never been so infinite.

There is an art to making each piece special. This is demonstrated by the artful design of the ring, from the cut of the stones to the shape and fit itself. With attention to skill and craftsmanship, Gerard Leon’s history in the art of engagement rings allow for all of their pieces to be made by true artisans. When you know your ring is made by those truly akin to their craft, it makes you appreciate, value and cherish your ring even more than you already do. Whether you choose a sapphire or a diamond, your ring will be created for you to love forever.

Any lover of jewelry will tell you that a diamond ring set in beautifully crafted solid gold is a well-valued possession. For example, the Art Deco Old European Diamond Solitaire Ring in 14k White Gold is considered vintage, but with it’s handmade and artfully crafted past, it has withstood time. The hexagonal shape of this ring has many angles and can be viewed in an array of forms. Both yellow gold and white gold compliment the diamond center stone. In fact, they make the stone stand out by accentuating its brilliance. 

When shopping at Gerard Leon, you will find their expertise, craftsmanship and reliability are all you need when selecting the perfect engagement ring. With such skilled artisans and endlessly beautiful designs, the ring of her dreams can be found here. Be sure to check them out if you are in the LA area!

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Gerard Leon.

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Q & A with Dover Jewelry, A Leader in Antique & Estate Jewelry

Dover Jewelry | Gem Gossip Dover Jewelry has been my go-to spot for all things antique and estate jewelry since my very first purchase online EVER involving jewelry! If you don't believe me, just read the blog post I wrote about the white gold, sapphire eternity band that I bought from Dover way back in 2008. That post was the second blog post written on GemGossip.com so it is ancient! ;) The next blog post I wrote featured a diamond bypass ring that I fell in love with from Dover which gave me my original love and inspiration for my antique engagement ring. You can see the post here.  It's funny how rough and dicey those first few months of blogging were, but I was just starting out...trying to find my voice. 

It is evident that Dover Jewelry has been on my radar for a very long time and their excellence in the jewelry industry reaches far beyond my eight years blogging, in fact Dover Jewelry has been in bussiness for over 25 years. Their collection and inventory exceeds all expectations and is constantly growing. I had to know more about this company, so I asked five important questions--hope you enjoy the interview!

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Our fascination with antique jewelry began in a small antique store, tucked away in one of Boston’s most affluent suburbs. And as reputations grow, so did ours – Dover Jewelry was the place to find that special piece, that necklace never duplicated in any of Boston’s most glamorous ballrooms or select intimate parties. Boston, the place of our roots, was good to us and we loved the city as we became increasingly more recognized and trusted amongst the “Bean Town” Elite. But, as our businesses became more and more successful, the draw of Miami’s exploding International Celebrity loomed on our horizon. No place was there more of a demand for beauty, craftsmanship and value. We could not ignore the force that drew us to the gateway of Latin America, and a center point of Fashion excellence like that of Downtown Miami. It was a decision that swept us upward and onward to international markets, exquisite finds and an ever increasing and appreciative clientele.

 

Dover Jewelry | Gem Gossip

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Dover is based in the heart of Miami’s diamond district, where our expert Jewelry staff maintains a passion for the rare and exceptional. We pride ourselves in our extensive knowledge and expertise of current market values of precious stones and metals around the globe. Growing our formidable team of over 15 employees provides the quality support and premium service our clients deserve. Our in-house Master Jeweler, GIA gemologist, videographers, selling professionals, globally procured buyers and experienced customer service team in the jewelry industry strive to provide our clients with a singular purchasing experience, 100% personal attention and satisfaction.

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Dover Jewelry procures an extensive collection of unique estate items, retailing in excess of over 300 pieces per week. This rigorous turnover, allows our globally sourced team of buyers to allocate a steady selection of fresh and rare collections. From the halls of the most infamous trade shows in Miami, NY, and Las Vegas to the Grandest exhibitions in Hong Kong, Basel, France and Latin America.

Closer to home, we have the privilege of welcoming the most treasured collections from local families and celebrities who are looking for an unsurpassed level of discrete estate buying and evaluations. Those who have decided it’s time to pass their rare jewels along to someone who will love and cherish them as much as they once did.

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On one memorable occasion we were asked to go to New York to meet an elderly lady who had acquired a fabulous collection of fine gems dating back to her great grandmother. As with many immigrants at that time, escaping persecution from their Russian Homeland, any valuables were immediately confiscated and yet her grandmother knew that the survival of herself and her lineage was incumbent upon these precious gems which were sewn into their jacket linings in hopes of surviving the long migration to America.

Slowly, and with the supervision of our gemology team, we have been able to guide her on the most lucrative times to liquidate her collection in order to safeguard her heirs fortune, as did her great grandmother.

Dover Jewelry | Gem Gossip

This magnificent rare diamond antique brooch is handcrafted in solid 18k gold with a silver top. A fabulous composition of some 109 round old european cut diamonds approx. 7.00 cttw, G-H color, almost all VS clarity and 3 pinkish white natural pearls, approx. 5.5mm in diameter.

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It is difficult to say what sets us apart – perhaps it is our extensive search for true Antique and Estate Fine Jewels which is an expertise in itself. We revel in the craftsmanship and the flawless stones that distinguish the magnificent from the ordinary. And best of all is the value in which our buyers or sellers receive for their items.

To find those original rare items - that have been the basis for mass reproduction with other jewelers, requires a vast education in gemology, antique periods and the ability to instill trust beyond reproach with our customers. Dover Jewelry maintains the integrity, and “one on one” service of a fine locally based  boutique establishment, coupled with global connections to service our customers in a worldwide marketplace.

Whether you are in the market for rare jewels, or a treasured memory of something your grandmother once wore, our collection represents a walk through the history of jewelry from the lacy, floral scrolls of the Edwardian period to the geometric cuts that characterize Art Deco baubles. Loyalty to these fine vintage pieces is often passed down through generations of a family, symbolizing a way of life and it is just that kind of enduring heirloom that is proving its worth in our collection today.

One of the great joys of fine jewelry is that the very best materials are completely timeless and although old jewels have been locked away in banks and boxes, we all know tangible treasures are far more fascinating. With this in mind, we invite you to experience our glittering array of antique gems. Not only to be viewed, but more importantly to be tried on, loved and brought sparkling back to life!

Dover Jewelry | Gem Gossip

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Dover Jewelry.

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Gem Gossip Visits Fox & Bond Jewelry in LA

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Los Angeles could easily be called the city of dreams, where one can go to call home and make things happen amongst other dream-followers and enlightened spirits. This was the case as my airplane landed in busy LAX and all the glittering lights of the city looked like jewels waiting to be discovered. I knew I had a busy week ahead, filled with appointments, the ever elusive LA traffic and meeting lots of new people, so it was a fitting setting to be in this city. I grabbed my schedule, put on my best lipstick...newly married husband in tow with the camera and off we went!

I spent my first day with Sunny & Blair of newly launched Fox & Bond Jewelry, where two young entrepreneurs are taking the antique jewelry world and making it their own. Targeted to women of all ages, Fox & Bond aims to bring antique jewelry to a new generation, opening the eyes of younger women and catering to the more experienced jewelry collector as well. Fox & Bond makes it easy for you to create a jewelry collection that will be treasured for years to come.  Each collection is highly curated, meaning there is not a single item in their inventory you wouldn't want right here, right now. Mixing, stacking antique with modern is their mantra and highly encouraged, with necklaces, rings and bracelets that make it natural to do!

As Sunny welcomed me to LA, we had a lot of catching up to do; I've known her since the beginning of 2011 when she worked for Heritage Auctions and I interviewed her for Gem Gossip. Since then, we've become pretty good friends and YES her name totally suits her, as does her new place to call home in LA, where the sun is always shining. We started out the day with brunch and jewels, what else could be better?!  Glancing at the Fox & Bond inventory was a mouth-watering feast.  All of my favorite things, like Victorian stackable bands, elongated Edwardian rings, cute charms, layer-ready necklaces, bold bangles and earrings that flatter!  

I dove right in, mixing and matching Fox & Bond Jewelry to my heart's content, as Fanny the dog made an appearance, making the day even more complete by adding the furry friend's hilarious character to the mix. After brunch, a convertible was awaiting.  An old school silver Benz convertible to be exact, so obviously I did what one does at this occasion in LA--I stacked up the jewels and saturated my arms and fingers, put on my bejeweled bustier and fur stole and we rolled!  Up into the hills we went, with blue-collar men in work trucks laughing at us. The Victorian and turquoise bangle bracelets were a perfect accessory--the larger of the three features an Etruscan Revival style with domed ovals of light blue enameling set with pearls. This piece is stunning in person! I also felt like the other two Victorian bracelets were meant to be all stacked together, as they make the best trio.

To end the day, we sipped wine and had a late lunch LA-style outside people watching.  Sharing jewelry stories is a favorite pastime of ours, so it was so great to see how Sunny wears her charms and keeps them close to her heart with a long chain. I snapped a photo of her collection which features a painted dog portrait of Fanny (available by special order, with your dog(s) or cat(s) very own portrait) and several of her Fox & Box Minis--each have a special date engraved on all three.  To interrupt our sentimental moment, our sliders arrived and we pigged out like never before!  Jewelry makes you hungry!

Thanks so much Fox & Bond Jewelry for having me and I'm so excited for what is to come for you both! Blair Fox and Sunny Bond are even more beautiful and genuine than the jewelry they sell, and I'm lucky to call them my friends!

A few highlighted pieces:

Blue enamel snake ring, Price: $1,245

Edwardian elongated diamond ring, Price: $1,850

Aquamarine and ruby bow ring, Price: $2,975

North-South-East-West diamond ring, Price: $2,200

Etruscan Revival light blue enamel bangle bracelet, Price: $4,850

Turquoise and pearl bangle bracelet, Price: $2,250

Turquoise bypass bangle bracelet, Price: $1,900

Victorian garnet and snake necklace, Price: $3,850

Turquoise and diamond cluster necklace, Price: $2,600

Heart and arrow necklace, Price: $675

 

Fox& Bond

 

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