Entries in antique jewelry (394)
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!
This month's Jewelry Collection Story comes from someone I've actually met in person, which doesn't happen too often since so many people from our lovely Instagram community are from all parts of the world. Leslie came to the GIA Alumni meeting when I spoke in DC last summer and I recognized her right away because of the opal ring she was wearing! Funny how sometimes that happens. It has been fun getting to know her on Instagram and am so excited she agreed to share her personal collection story with us--take it away Leslie:
"I am a total museum junky by nature and my love for classical art and history runs deep. However, jewelry as art was not on my radar until about 12 years ago when I found my first vintage piece, the pretzel ring. Yes, I had a few token pieces of mall jewelry but I never really thought there was much substance to jewelry until I discovered the vintage and antique world. A golden pretzel with diamond salt appealed to my sense of humor and art. It was also meaningful to me as a Speech Pathologist working with my special needs children on requesting items, one of those items was actually pretzels! I can’t tell you how many kiddos have actually tried to lick it over the years! This one ring started an obsession but also introduced me to my friend Lara from Icon Style in NYC. I learned so much from her over the next few years and with her help I really grew my collection and love for all eras.
My current collection includes Victorian, Edwardian, Art Nouveau. Art Deco, Vintage and a few Georgian pieces. I don’t necessarily have a preferred era but I think the biggest appeal of antique and vintage jewelry is how unique and detailed the pieces can be. Color is a big factor for me but most importantly I like quirk. If it’s funny or unique, I have to have it! I love to mix and match eras and pile it on pretty thick. Certainly, no one would accuse me of neglecting my jewelry.
One thing I wear every day is obviously my Art Deco engagement ring. I had always assumed I would get a Victorian cluster ring but when I tried this piece on I fell hard for its lively black opal.
The one motif that I am magnetically drawn to is snakes. I can spot a serpent in a jewelry case like a shark scenting blood in the water. In fact, I found my tiny snake earrings despite their purposely discreet location in my friend’s display case. In the histories of various civilizations, snakes have come to symbolize many ideas but my favorite is that of eternal love. Symbolism aside, snakes have the unique visual impact that I find hard to resist.
Charms are another obsession I have. I try to limit myself but I just love some of the funny and super detailed pieces you can find. My favorite charm is my vintage gold ghost. He is perfectly crafted and has the most beautiful brown marquise diamond eyes that peek from behind his sheet.
Another style of jewelry I desperately love is Art Deco era “pools of light.” Layering these rock crystal orbs is addictive but also causes some serious neck strain. I have several pieces but the most interesting one is a rock crystal orb the size of a jaw breaker. It is completely encased in an open silver work shell depicting bunnies paddling in canoes.
Rings are my go-to to buy and again I don’t discriminate. I collect a variety of stones, styles, and metals. One thing I don’t like to do is size my rings. I have a few exceptions but in general I try not to alter the finger bling that comes into my collection. If one is too big I simply stack it with gold bands to adjust the fit.
When I was first collecting I would shop at Icon Style in NYC and I would go to all the big NYC shows religiously. Having relocated to the DMV area I have had more opportunities to go to antiquing in rural areas but also go to the bigger shows like the DC flea and the Baltimore Antique Show. I don’t shop online much but I have found several lovely pieces through the Instagram community."
You can follow Leslie --> @pinkpirahnah
The biggest change this year: the new location--the Miami-Dade County Expo Center where the fair happens every year
Left: I always flock to Lucy Verity for her jewel box of treasures--both her original antique displays and wealth of knowledge, paired with her hilarious demeanor always gives me good energy. Right: The back of a pocket watch that I wish I would've bought!
Left: Spiders creep me out, but this necklace is on a different level! I LOVE it! Right: A box of chocolates has nothing on this box of Jogani jewels!
Stopped by DK Bressler to "oooh & awe" and this made my heart beat faster! A very early piece with original fitted box.
These case photos give me life and make me excited for next year!
Left: We felt amethyst was a huge sensation at the antique show--this relatively inexpensive stone will be trending for sure. Right: Rows of mourning rings from Spare Room Antiques are always so interesting and never macabre.
Left: I couldn't tell you how many amazing pieces Mary Anntiques had, so if I had to narrow it down to only two, it would be this carved emerald cameo and lapis ring. Right: I zoomed in on a ring I had been trying to track down for forever--but the booth was busy and I was leaving!
Insane diamonds found at Dover Jewelry--the one on my pointer is nearly 20 carats! This will probably be on a celebrity's finger in the future...just wonder which one?!
Left: Died for opals at the show--especially this brooch from Gold Hatpin. Right: Ah, this ring. Fit like a glove and is probably the best thing I've ever seen. From Select Antique Jewelry.
Left: All three of these rings are over-the-top perfect! From Poli Trading Company. Right: If these earrings were just a littttttle lighter, they would be my forever pair. Lapis and the unique gold work is to-die-for.
More case photos, just teasing you with all the goodies!
Brooke of Arrow & Anchor Antiques, myself and the lovely Lenore Dailey. Her booth is always bustling with fans and friends who have so much love for her!
Left: Some amazing rock crystal figas from D & E Singer Inc.--the one on the left is now in the hands of Vada Jewelry! Right: Clayton Antiques always has some of the most unique rings--lots of opals and dying for the turquoise and pearl navette one!
Left: Some pretty emeralds from Gold Hatpin--I love the mix of styles here and showing how they can all work together just because of the common gemstone. Right: Ok, this necklace was insane--the opals are doublets though but the style of it and the long hand-made chain made it incredible.
If my manicure had a spirit animal, it would be this ring from DK Bressler. So gorgeous.
Left: I love seeing Michael Goldstein and all his incredible diamonds--like this major portrait rose cut. Right: Loving the style on Madeline who works at Haig's of Rochester--the arm party, the solid gold Kieselstein choker and you can't see her earrings in this picture, but they are amazing!
Left: Something about these earrings made me stop and stare. Right: Nutty for navettes; all from Jacob's Estate Jewelry.
More case photos--you may recognize the one on the left being Lenore Dailey's because of how vibrant and gorgeous it is!
Left: Excalibur Jewelry had this cool opal butterfly wing necklace--you could actually make the wings flutter, it was articulated. Right: Spotted a piece from Jewelry Nerd at a booth manned by Art Adorned. Loved looking at everything!
Left: I begged to buy the case but got shot down. Vintage and antique ring cases are my weakness. Right: This necklace is just WOW.
Left: This mourning ring features an urn--a highly collectible motif and it was just in the most immaculate condition. From Clayton Antiques. Right: Another piece that is a great example of portrait jewelry--seems like I've only seen pieces like this in books.
Let's settle in while I come off my Miami high. I always get so, so excited about the Original Miami Antique Show and this year had even more built up about it since a few things were different. For one, the biggest change being the location of the show--entirely different, at the Miami-Dade County Expo Center, a cool 30-40 minute drive from its usual location. The new digs had a lot of people frustrated because us antique lovers usually hate change...we have our traditions, our rituals, our hotel we stay at every year, our restaurant down the street that we go to every year...so unfortunately many people didn't come this year because of this and I'm sad to say they missed out. This was one of the best shows I've ever been to. Another change, for me at least, was the amount of days I spent at the show. In the past this was always a quick trip where I got one full day and a few extra hours the following day before I had to leave and go back home. You can never fully enjoy a show of this magnitude if you constantly feel like you're racing against the clock. This year I stayed three full days at the show and am so glad I did. The last change was something I had remembered my dad saying to me--which I quoted him from last year's blog post--it was in regards to how much money I was bringing to the show. Last year I didn't bring very much and he told me "That's like going to a casino to gamble and bringing a twenty!" So this year I had been saving my money and sold quite a few pieces of jewelry to reinvest.
I don't think the weather could have been any better as well--that weekend was warm and sunny, to the point where I was contemplating moving to Florida. The new location had three main buildings: one large building which housed the Arnold & Fuchs Halls--two very large sections of booths, the second building housed Edwards Hall, and the third building which wasn't connected but not too far housed the Pavilion. As you may have guessed, walking was even more involved than before because how spread out everything was, but you only noticed it once you got back to your hotel room and were falling asleep as soon as you sat down. After attending the show for five years and getting used to where certain dealers were located and things like that, I have to admit I was struggling the first day. By the second day though, I had already relearned the floor plan and off to a great start. It actually did have a few benefits to being in a whole new layout and location because I looked at everything with fresh eyes. The two pieces I bought for myself were from dealers I had never worked with or seen before, so I was really happy.
Jewelry highlights of the year?! The buzz around the show could be summed up into a few words shared by quite a few people I talked to; "wow this year is really good, so many great pieces of jewelry." And I couldn't agree more. It seemed like every booth had several really special items and highly sellable pieces. This year I thought it would be smart to caption my photos above, so you can not only see all my jewelry highlights but know where each is from--just in case you see something that strikes your fancy you can at least attempt to contact the dealer.
What did I bring home from the show?! Oh man. I went overboard this year, so I feel like that should be a separate blog post. But if you're too eager to find out, you can click here. I revealed my finds on Instagram. I will blog the details later and be sure to follow @shopGemGossip on Instagram where I will be listing a couple items for sale!
Again, I will be counting down the days until next year and so funny to read last year's post and see how it says that I hope to stay longer and bring more money next time. I'm glad these posts are keeping me accountable and are like my virtual diary entries. Cheers to next year!!