Search Gem Gossip!
Welcome!

meet contact

 

twitter button3 button1 GemGossipYouTube pinterest tumblr

Store & Designer Directory

Web

Sponsored By:

Tal-VITAL-BannerAd-200x500-2

Gem Gossip Friends
MaeJeanVintage Alexis Kletjian Levy's Fine Jewelry Beladora.com 200x500-EstateBanner-gemgossip8 GemSetLove Gem Gossip_200x400_3_1
The Archives
Shop My Picks!
Follow on Pinterest!

 

Entries in antique ring collection (3)

Jewelry Collection Stories: Kate of @LuxCharmJewelry

Luxcharm | Gem Gossip Luxcharm | Gem Gossip Luxcharm | Gem Gossip

This month's Jewelry Collection Story comes from Kate of @LuxCharmJewelry and it is a good one! Kate is a full-time art teacher and part-time jewelry enthusiast and collector. You may already be following her on Instagram, but if not you must. Her collection is pretty amazing and her story may resonate with many of you. So without further ado, I give you Kate's collection story:

I’ve always loved jewelry. I have early memories of playing "dress up" and "jewelry store" with my grandmother Louise. She kept her jewelry in the top dresser drawer. Oh how I loved looking inside those little boxes and seeing all the sparkly jewels inside! We would arrange her jewels on top of carefully arranged bits of pretty fabrics and embroidered handkerchiefs and take turns "shopping." It was so much fun trying on her white dress gloves and high heels and playing with all those pretty things.

When I was around 10 years old, my dad started giving me jewelry every year for Christmas, mostly rings. One year, I received a topaz ring that had the most amazing shade of bright blue. I adored that ring! Another favorite ring given to me by my dad was a gold signet ring that he had monogramed with my initials. I think I was around 15 at the time. It’s a classic look that will never go out of style and one I wear often today.

One of my favorite early jewelry memories was when my family went out to dinner before my high school senior award night. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was about to win the top artist award in my class, and my parents bought me this beautiful southwestern sterling bracelet and turquoise ring to mark the occasion. For high school graduation, I received a large, modernist sterling and gold ring. At the time, I wasn’t into yellow gold, and these bold sterling pieces were among the most beautiful pieces I owned. Luckily, my parents have continued the tradition of gifting me jewelry for special occasions, and I cherish them all. These pieces help to serve as reminders of special times in my life. My sweet husband has also joined in on the tradition and I have received many beautiful pieces from him now over the years, including my very first (and favorite) Victorian bird bangle bracelet and my beloved antique turquoise and diamond halo ring.

Luxcharm | Gem Gossip Luxcharm | Gem Gossip Luxcharm | Gem Gossip

As a teenager, I was really into second-hand shops--mainly for vintage clothes and small decorative items, but eventually I started picking up inexpensive jewelry and odds-and-ends; like pendants, chokers, chains, etc. At about the same time, I started making beaded jewelry and even gifting and selling pieces to my friends.

Years later, I decided to try my hand at selling handmade jewelry on Etsy. It was a fun, challenging, and creative outlet. Those were the relative early days of Etsy, and I grew as it grew. I did this for a couple of years and slowly started incorporating more and more vintage jewelry components and findings into my pieces. Eventually, the competition increased and my enthusiasm waivered, so I put my shop on hold.

Luxcharm | Gem Gossip Luxcharm | Gem Gossip Luxcharm | Gem Gossip

My love affair with antique jewelry began about eight years ago when my mom and I were antiquing at one of my favorite stores in Richmond, IN. My mom fell head-over-heels for this old gold cameo ring. At first, I was like, "What? Cameos? Ugh, I don’t get it." Then much to my surprise, my mom professed her life-long love affair with cameos, citing stories from her youth. The shop owner quoted her a low price and my mom quickly bought the ring. She wasn’t one to make fine jewelry purchases on our excursions together, so I was intrigued and wanted to know more. I couldn’t stop staring at this unusual reddish-orange cameo ring on our drive back home; I was fascinated by it. It didn’t look like the girly, pink cameos I was used to seeing. It was more masculine in style and the gold was a rich rose color. The shop owner estimated the ring to be about 120 years old.

To my knowledge, I had never seen a ring that old before and now I wanted one for myself! The more I researched, the more I realized what an amazing deal my mom got on that ring. Sure, it was more than I was used to spending on random antique mall purchases (about $85), but still affordable. This made antique jewelry seem obtainable to me for the first time ever. I started reading jewelry books, researching online, and educating myself on antique jewelry. I liked learning the history behind each piece. It’s a perfect fit for me-- combining my love of history, research, sentiment, story, etc.

Inspired by my new passion and focus, I reopened my Etsy shop--selling only vintage and antique jewelry. I absolutely loved hunting for old jewelry, even cameos! Thinking back to that special trip to Richmond with my mom, I believe this was the critical moment that later turned this new interest into a full-blown hobby and part-time job for me.

Luxcharm | Gem Gossip Luxcharm | Gem Gossip Luxcharm | Gem Gossip

Today I have such a deep and sincere appreciation for antique jewelry; I tend to collect a little bit of everything. All in all, I tend to go more for Victorian, Art Nouveau, and Art Deco pieces. Rings are probably my favorite type of jewelry to wear and collect. I love everything from dainty to bold, statement rings. I also love antique bangles and Deco necklaces in all sorts of finishes, metals, and styles.

One of my favorite things to collect are watches. My favorite makers are Longines and Bucherer. I have everything from watch pins, watch rings, wristwatches, and pocket watches. And I really love long enamel watch necklaces. My love of watch necklaces probably began when I scored an amazing Bucherer red guilloche enamel watch ball necklace for $60 in a small, local antique shop. I later learned this was a remarkable deal for one with its original enamel chain in perfect condition. I’ve since added about 10 more to my collection over the years. I just can’t stop myself when I see a beautiful one for a good price. I have such a weakness for fine guilloche enamel-work.

In addition, I love bird-themed jewelry and have many bird bangles, lockets, etc. I tend to favor cool-color pieces in general (it must be the Pisces in me!). I am very fond of blue--sapphires, lapis, zircon, and turquoise to name a few. Pale lavender chalcedony, dreamy moonstones, and that particular shade of green commonly used in Art Deco pieces--are all personal favorites. I have a growing collection of snake rings, too.

Luxcharm | Gem Gossip Luxcharm | Gem Gossip Luxcharm | Gem Gossip

I enjoy shopping at small, local places best. The Midwest is a gold mine for antiques of all kinds. The big jewelry enthusiasts seem to live on either coast and being stuck in the middle has its advantages... lower prices and less pickers. But this seems to get harder every year. My favorite display cases and shops seem to be shutting down. The old dealers retire; some pass away. I think part of me has also wanted to open a brick and mortar shop, but the risks are scary.

Currently, I seem to have the most luck shopping at antique shows and online auctions. I’m always on the hunt for new pieces. I would love to own more niello jewelry, antique enamel bracelets, and gutta percha bangles inlaid with gold. I have a thing for portrait paintings but oddly, own no portrait jewelry. I interned at the National Portrait Gallery right after college and it’s a subject I’m really interested in. I would love to find the perfect emerald ring and more "name" or "initial" jewelry to represent the important people in my life.

Luxcharm | Gem Gossip Luxcharm | Gem Gossip

Recently I celebrated a milestone birthday (hello, 40!) and had been hunting for the perfect aquamarine birthstone piece of jewelry for months. Then it finally happened...a huge, honking, 14-carat, Victorian, pear-shaped aqua ring in 15K gold popped up on my Instagram feed. Its large size, unfussy setting, and perfect pale-blue color, stopped me dead in my tracks. A direct quote from the seller was, "a mesmerizing, dreamy, huge piece of magic." Indeed it was. I sold three personal collection rings to make room for this special ring, the latest addition to my jewelry box.

Back when I started wearing, selling, and collecting antique jewelry, I was the only one I knew who did. I just bought what I liked and what I could afford at the time. It wasn’t until I joined IG a couple of years ago that I found other like-minded people who loved and appreciated old jewelry as much as I do. Like most sellers/collectors, I am searching for more high quality and unusual pieces nowadays. Lately, there seems to be more competition, more reproductions, and higher prices on the online auction sites, making it harder to "score" a deal. While I may not be selling forever, I know I will be wearing and enjoying my jewelry for the rest of my life. It brings me so much joy. Marking special occasions and making new memories with jewelry are so important to me. Jewelry has a way of keeping our memories alive...providing a tangible reminder... connecting us to the people, places, and significant moments we cherish in life. Happy hunting!

 

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? Check out the other Jewelry Collection Stories

You can follow Kate --> @LuxCharmJewelry

Jewelry Collection Stories: Danielle of @jasmyntea

Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossop Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip Jasmyntea | Gem Gossip

This month's Jewelry Collection Story comes from a favorite Instagram collector of mine and it's not because we share the same name, although that helps ;) It is because Danielle's style and curation of such a fine collection is unlike any other!  She has a fierce eye for what she loves and I've been wanting to know her story for quite awhile now. We finally got her story (she is a busy San Francisco dweller, with a full-time job that doesn't involve jewelry) and she has provided some amazing photos of her personal collection. Let's dive into her story!

"I have always been a collector. Whether it was collecting vintage jewelry, or vintage clothing, or books on costume and fashion. I’m always looking for unique items that speak to me in some way.   I first fell in love with jewelry when I was about 12 and would ride my bike to the thrift store to look for treasures. I always liked vintage clothing, shoes, jewelry and scarves. Old pieces have stories within them. And I always liked to imagine the travels the pieces went through before I became their custodian.

My mother does not really wear much jewelry. Most of the jewelry she wears, except her wedding band, was probably given to her by her sisters or her daughters. She has very few pieces, so I didn’t really grow up surrounded by jewelry. I didn’t know one of my grandmothers as they both passed away before I was born. But I do wear her gold framed glasses from the 1940s every day as my own eyeglasses. I love this connection with my past. My other grandmother didn’t really have much affinity for jewelry either.  So I’m not really sure where my love of jewelry and antiques comes from--but I can tell you that I’m obsessed :-)

When I first started collecting jewelry in high school I liked vintage brooches and small enamel pins. This was what I could afford to purchase. From vintage pins, I branched out to vintage sterling. I always loved going to antique stores and hunting for unusual, inexpensive pieces. My early collection included David Anderson Norwegian pins and bracelets, sterling charm bracelets, bakelite bangles, and funky long beads to layer.  I always liked layering, mixing and creating a story with my jewelry. As my style evolved I also liked to support local jewelry artists, so I would go to fairs and stores that sold the work of local jewelry artists and try to pick pieces I liked.  My modern collection is made of up certain designers – Marla Aaron, Judy Geib, Gabriela Kiss, Louison Rare and Fine (GemstoneGypsy), Jean Jean Vintage, Gillian Conroy, Variance Objects, Dahlia Khanner, Alberian and Aulde, Amali Jewelry and local San Francisco artists Betsy Barron and Alix Bluh. I tend to gravitate towards jewelry artists versus major designer jewelry.  Although one of the first pieces I completely coveted when I was 16 was Tiffany’s Elsa Perreti sterling bean necklace.

In the recent years I have gravitated towards building my antique collection. I love to go to antique fairs and shows, stop in small antique shops when I travel and I follow many antique jewelry sellers on IG. If you are curious, my first IG discovery was Erie Basin and my early purchases were a Toi et Moi Victorian diamond ring and a French link bracelet that many people have asked if they could purchase from me.  Finding the antique jewelry community on IG has been very meaningful to me. I feel like I’ve found a crew of fellow jewelry enthusiasts that I can geek out about Georgian jewels, or old cut diamonds, or how to style antique and modern jewelry together. Before IG I never really participated in social media. Finding the IG community of jewelry lovers has been a nice addition in my life, so I don’t drive my husband and sons nuts with my jewelry interests. I’ve also enjoyed meeting fellow IG collectors on my travels. 

I can’t really categorize what I collect, because I look for unusual pieces or pieces that resonate for me in some way. I feel like I am the custodian of the pieces I collect.  I can’t always articulate why I fall in love with pieces.  Sometimes the piece feels sentimental, sometimes the piece will fill an aspect of my collection that I need for a look I’m striving for. On a broad level, I like Georgian and Victorian jewelry. And then I like modern pieces that provide contrast for the more sweet/sentimental antique pieces. I love to mix antique and modern pieces together. Probably my favorite thing to mix are Marla Aaron locks with my antique necklaces, charms and brooches. Mixing and styling jewelry is a creative outlet for me. It’s self-expression—what I’m trying to put out there on a given day. I mix everything: yellow, rose, green gold, platinum and silver. On most days I have on five types of metal. I actually tend to prefer wearing mixed metals versus monochromatic styling. Although sometimes I like to do all gold or all silver or all one kind of gemstone. 

I’m sentimental when it comes to jewelry. I always wear a Marla Aaron lock which to me symbolizes to hold fast to what’s important. I once did post on IG about how my modern jewelry spirit animal is my engraved Marla Aaron lock that has all family initials hidden within the engraved design. If I had to pick an antique spirit animal it would probably either be antique chains or signet rings. My thorn necklace (by Gillian Conroy) symbolizes that life has thorns to deal with but I am strong enough to weather the thorns. My hand bloodstone signet ring from Metier with the word “confido,” which means trust, reminds me to trust myself. And then on any given day, my other jewelry represents other items of importance to me or things I’m trying to stay centered about.  My Mizpah ring from TheOneILoveNYC is for my husband and me, and my Souvenir bangle from Lucy Verity hasn’t left my wrist since I got it last year - I look down and remember. My Lenore heart rings: to remember love, my signets: to remember the people who are important to me, my memento mori ring from Nvitblanche: to remember to live in the moment, my ruby locket from Circa 1700 has diamonds in it from my mother-in-law in the amount of Pi carats (ok I’m a definite geek).  Recently my husband and I gave each other Gabriela Kiss eye rings to symbolize us watching over each other. 

You may wonder what pieces I am on the hunt for next.  I try to keep an open mind when I am hunting for jewelry, because you never know what you might find. I always ask myself does this resonate for me, will I really wear it and reach for this piece everyday?  I like to purchase pieces that I will wear, I don’t like for jewelry to just sit in my jewelry box. I don’t necessarily keep a running wish list. Although at the beginning of 2016 I did an IG jewelry wishlist post and when I look back on it now, I did end up collecting some of the items on my wishlist during 2016, (like my French cut eternity band from Platt Boutique Jewelry).  Right now I’m coveting high carat gold items - 22K gold bands (I just got one from Metier) and poesy rings, a Georgian memento mori ring and chains, always more chains.  Recently, I've been loving layering a lot of gold watch chains.

In closing, almost every piece I wear holds meaning for me of something I want to remember or a story I want to tell that day with my jewelry. Jewelry wearing and styling is my personal storytelling."

 

 

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? Check out the other Jewelry Collection Stories

You can follow Danielle --> @jasmyntea

Jewelry Collection Stories: Jenn of Bellflower Bay

Bellflower Bay | Gem Gossip

Continuing this week with Jewelry Collection Stories, the next collection is one I am really excited about. I've known Jenn of Bellflower Bay for several years, as she was one of my first friends I've met through Gem Gossip, and it is also special to see her collection and know that I was present when she purchased of few of the pieces shown. We've gone to London together and attended a jewelry conference in Chicago together...can't wait to see where our jewelry-loving friendship takes us next! What a great connector this blog has been. Take it away, Jenn:

Above: Black collection (l-r): Edwardian onyx & diamond long ring (acquired at Round Top Antiques Fair, outside of Austin, TX);

Middle finger, top is a Victorian agate & snake ring from @theoneilovenyc; bottom middle finger is a 1930’/ 40’s onyx and diamond ring made by Korean jeweler T.Y. Lee (side note: when researching the hallmark on this one, I found that American and other foreign GIs purchased rings from T.Y. Lee during WW2 and brought them home to their sweethearts when the war was over);

Index finger, top is an enamel and rose cut diamond mourning ring which says “in memory of” on the opposite side-- from the Pier Show (NYC); bottom index is a Victorian black & white agate and diamond cameo from a jewelry store in CT.

Bellflower Bay | Gem Gossip

Dendritic agate & sterling ring: the piece I’m proudest of. After collecting for a few years, my mom and I decided to take a jewelry-making course. We trudged over to the 92nd street Y from our respective homes every Sunday for about six weeks. I highly recommend this course to any collector; it showed us just how much goddamn work it took to manipulate these materials, and gave us a much deeper appreciation for the skill that so many jewelers have.

Bellflower Bay | Gem Gossip

Garnet collection (l-r): top ring finger is a Victorian garnet and diamond ring, a Christmas present from my husband that he got from @agelessheirlooms; bottom ring finger is a Georgian/ Early Victorian dendritic agate and garnet, found at Portobello road by @heartofsolidgold and @gemstonegypsy;

Middle finger: top is a bohemian garnet ring found in The Netherlands by my friend @quaintlytracy; bottom middle is a Georgian garnet halo mourning ring with a decorated urn in the center surrounded by the names of the deceased married couple “Tho. Blundell a38// Ellen Blundell a34” (Christmas gift from fella);

Index: top is a retro 1940’s “lovebird” ring with garnet center; bottom index is a crazy-ass ring of indeterminate origin—sold to me as a Victorian piece many, many years ago when I was a newbie (aka naïve & trusting) collector, but it appears to be a mish-mash of pieces from different eras. I like it anyhow.

Bellflower Bay | Gem Gossip

Turquoise & Snakes: top ring finger was originally an all turquoise cocktail ring from the 50’s, but I worked with a lovely jeweler to switch out the center stone for that wonderful old diamond. Bottom ring finger is a Victorian turquoise & accent diamond cluster from in New Orleans, LA. It was our first trip to that amazing city, and my husband bought this for me as a birthday present. We were told that the woman who used to run the store had passed away recently, and when they went through her desk & safe, they found a small bag full of pretty little rings she had set aside (and had been apparently doing so for decades); this was one of them.

Middle finger is all snakes: top is a Victorian ruby & turquoise from Brodney in Boston, MA.; next is a 22k gold & ruby ring from a jewelry store in CT.; under that is a 9k & blue glass snake which was a gift from @heartofsolidgold; and then a vintage 18k wrap around snake from a jewelry store in Astoria, NY.

Index finger: Georgian double crowned gold & silver heart with turnaround, coral and table cut diamonds. I stalked this ring for over THREE years on the Ruby Lane store Robbins’ Roost Antiques, and then put it on layaway for almost a year. Bottom index finger: Victorian diamond and turquoise halo, from the same Astoria jeweler. (Also on layaway after much stalking!)

Bellflower Bay | Gem Gossip

Bling collection: “Why does she have so many engagement rings?” you may ask. Good question! Well, my fella is very sentimental, and wanted to propose with his grandmother’s ring (third down from the top), but after a bit, I realized it wasn’t quite my style. It’s a difficult topic to brooch, but listen ladies: you’re the one who has to wear the ring! So don’t be afraid to say something. Second down is the one I picked out: 18 ct Edwardian filigree. Top band is one of my wedding bands, an Edwardian diamond “bow” ring. Bottom ring finger was my grandmother’s engagement ring. Sometimes I wear them all just to confuse people!

Middle finger, top to bottom: grandma’s wedding band; ridiculous diamond cluster inherited when grandma passed (made in the 60’s with old family diamonds); platinum, ruby, and diamond Victorian (ish) cluster ring, which was one of my best early purchases.

Index finger: top is an antique platinum oblong mine cut diamond ring from this past Christmas; the next is an Edwardian era platinum, diamond and carved amethyst ring; last is a strange filigree ring studded with rose cut diamonds.

Bellflower Bay | Gem Gossip

Some more bling collection: ring finger: contemporary emerald snake ring from @gemstonegypsy (goes with EVERYTHING); aquamarine & diamond navette made from an old pin of my grandma’s (my mom has a matching one).

Middle finger: vintage three diamond band; platinum engraved band that was my great-grandmother’s; retro mixed gold & diamond band; Victorian buckle ring; diamond cluster ring that I’m on the process of acquiring from @heartofsolidgold; Georgian blue enamel & mine cut diamond ring from Portobello Road (UK).

Index finger: Victorian gold & silver navette with a mix of rose & mine cut diamonds.

Bellflower Bay | Gem Gossip

Wild rings, Pt 1: Victorian 18 ct & Banded agate “puzzle” ring with engraved floral band (series of carvings “say” something—haven’t figured it out yet!); Victorian painted ship ring from Brimfield.

Middle finger: Emerald and diamond lion ring converted from a Victorian cufflink (@heartofsolidgold has its twin); Victorian 18k emerald ring.

Index: Edwardian/ Deco Platinum Emerald and sapphire halo ring from Gray’s antiques in London; Edwardian platinum and sapphire elongated ring from the Pier show, NYC.

Bellflower Bay | Gem Gossip

Wild rings Pt. 2: Victorian boulder opal; retro multi-gem “sputnik” ring (name so as it resembled the satellite).

Middle finger: 1930’s (dated in band) opal and diamond halo ring from Brooklyn jewelry shop; Gold, garnet and opal “fortune tellers” ring (Side note: I first saw this ring many years ago on Ruby Lane and hesitated; my loss—someone snatched it up. I looked for ages and happened upon it one day on eBay, listed so weirdly that it never would have come up on my searches. I made what I thought to be a generous offer on the timed auction listing; the seller declined. I ended up winning it for $100 less than what I offered. I feel like there are so many lessons in this story!) No clue when it’s from. I thought Noveau, but it could be revival.

Index finger: Victorian enamel “J” baby ring; antique gold bird & anchor signet.

Bellflower Bay | Gem Gossip

Earrings: I have a bigger earring collection than this, but these are a sampling of the more interesting: vintage ruby pyramid studs; French Victorian era jet glass and 9k rose gold star earrings; contemporary earrings by wonderful artist Kristi Sword (@kristiswordjewelry)—I first saw her work at the art jewelry gallery GALERIE NOEL GUYOMARC'H (http://www.galerienoelguyomarch.com/) when we visited Montreal and I fell deeply in love with the otherworldliness of her pieces. My fella got me this pair.

Bellflower Bay | Gem Gossip

Sentimental: I’m not super mushy about jewelry—as a collector, I feel like you should love your pieces, but keep some distance so you can trade up in the future, but even I fall victim to sentiment! Ring finger is a turquoise and silver ring that my grandma got in Arizona in the 70’s—it was the first piece of interesting vintage jewelry anyone ever gave me.

Middle finger: my mom and I used old family stones to design this white gold, diamond and emerald moon with a jeweler from Queens; the Vintage coral and diamond cameo is from a shop on Cape May.

Index finger: promise ring from my dad to my mom when they began dating (it didn’t work out—they married and divorced each other TWICE, but I still like it); Vintage gold star ring from ebay that I wear as a wedding band most of the time.

Bellflower Bay | Gem Gossip

Necklaces & charms: my favorites, basically. Antique garnet star converted by @gemstonegypsy from a pin won at Fellows auction; vintage gold & enamel chatting birds charm from my mom; Victorian spider locket.

Bellflower Bay | Gem Gossip

Necklaces (cont): old diamond necklace, won at auction; huge-ass heavy retro revival locket (inherited from grandma); Vintage diamond & opal necklace won at Rago auction; fire opal bead necklace from Nora Kogan jewelry.

Bellflower Bay | Gem Gossip

Art Nouveau diamond lady bracelet, won at a Rago auction a few years ago.

Bellflower Bay | Gem Gossip

Two delicate Victorian bracelets!

Bellflower Bay | Gem Gossip

Cool antique knife I bought at a garage sale on Long Island; some lady was making her husband sell his knife collection! I carry this most of the time, except (obviously) to the airport, which did happen once it and it cost me $40 to ship it back to my house. I paid $3 for the knife.