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Entries in art nouveau jewelry (4)

The Ten Best Rings Currently For Sale at The Three Graces

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One of my most frequently asked questions I get is, "where do you find all these amazing vintage and antique jewels?!" And my answer may surprise you, as most would envision me scouring flea markets, old attics and the like to find things like these featured above. It might be easy for me to say ONLINE and it is totally true. Websites like The Three Graces do the hard work for you, scouting out the most unique, wearable and head-turning jewels out there and we should appreciate that! I like knowing that anytime I go on I can find a whole new batch of sparkly, rare, vintage and antique pieces that expert Lisa Stockhammer Mial has sourced, authenticated, cleaned up and ready for its next lifetime. They also have some pretty special perks like a "no questions asked, free return policy," offer layaway, and most every ring can be sized to fit! And what is easier than simply logging on to a website and ogling over New Arrivals?!

I got to do just that when choosing my favorite top ten rings that are currently for sale at The Three Graces. A mix of pieces I would love to own, rings that remind me of some favorites from my personal collection, and some that I can't believe are still available (quick, grab them before someone else does!). Let's start from the top!

Emerald Art Deco Ring & Diamond Filigree Halo Ring

1. There's something unique about an Art Deco ring shaped like this emerald and diamond one! Not only does it elongate the finger, but it surely gets people staring. I love how delicate yet statement-making this ring is. Set in platinum with a stunning emerald, currently a size 6.5 and ready for a finger to shine on! Price: $4,950

2. At first I thought this would make such a beautiful engagement ring but then I saw the photos created by The Three Graces with my picks and I am really loving how this ring also looks as a right hand ring! I love when rings are versatile like that and this one definitely doesn't have a bad angle even if you tried. The center diamond is just over a half carat and has a gorgeous sparkle to it. Price: $3,650

The Three Graces | Gem Gossip The Three Graces | Gem Gossip

Deco Rock Crystal Ring & Large Moonstone Sapphire Cluster Ring

3. This ring is one of the best examples of rock crystal jewelry I've seen!  I love the contrast of the blue sapphires along with the frostiness of the crystal and white diamond. This ring would be a perfect anniversary or birthday gift and I can almost guarantee this will get a lot of wear--it goes with everything! It is currently a size 7 1/4 and done in 14k white gold. Price: $1,350

4. If you know my personal collection as well as you know your own, you will understand why I HAD to choose this grand moonstone and sapphire ring!  I have an almost identical one in my collection and the compliments that I get on it are nonstop. If you've been wanting to find something similar, this is it! Currently a size 5 1/2 with 2.88 carats of bright blue sapphires. Price: $4.450

The Three Graces | Gem Gossip The Three Graces | Gem Gossip

Antique Citrine Ring & Vintage Amethyst Halo Ring

5. A pop of yellow added to any outfit instantly brightens everything! That's why I love this citrine ring so much--I quickly become happy as soon as I look at it. I think this would be an ideal ring to wear in the summer and it could easily transition to fall wardrobes and colors. This art deco ring is currently a size 4 1/2 and can be resized for its new owner. Price: $1,275

6. Purple was my favorite color for most of my childhood. Anyone lucky enough to have a February birthdate can call amethyst their birthstone and this particular ring would be perfect for you. Or if you're like me and just love the color purple, then yes you deserve this ring too. Currently a size 8 1/4 and can be sized to your liking. Price: $1,350

The Three Graces | Gem Gossip The Three Graces | Gem Gossip

Bohemian Turquoise Ring & Bold Opal Cluster Ring

7. Turquoise is one of my most favorite gemstones--I can't get enough of it! When most people think of turquoise, they think of Persian turquoise and although that is most desirable and valuable, I actually like when turquoise shows veining, different patterns and depth of color. This particular ring has great natural veining and I love the design--simple yet bold! The ring is done in 8k yellow gold and currently a size 6 3/4. Price: $650

8. So we all know my obsession with opals and if I didn't have so many opal rings, THIS would be in my virtual shopping cart right now. Everything about it is amazing to me--the design (large oval cluster), the opals (a nice play-of-color that glows in the right light), and the size (big and bold). Don't miss out on this vintage one-of-a-kind, done in 10k yellow gold. Price: $2,195

The Three Graces | Gem Gossip The Three Graces | Gem Gossip

Edwardian Diamond Heart Ring & "Four Corners" Sapphire, Diamond Ring

9. Never thought I'd be such a sucker for hearts, but I absolutely love them, especially the antique versions. This is an exceptional ring, dating back to the Edwardian period and set with rose cut diamonds in a silver topped setting. The band is done in 14k yellow gold and currently a size 5 1/2. If you love heart jewelry as much as I do, you won't let this one slip away! Price: $3,850

10. Ok, this ring is one that will stop you dead in your tracks and I'm so in love with it! The design is really unique--The Three Graces describes it perfectly by saying, "modernist flavor with strong design elements." The intensity of the blue sapphires is insane and it is one in a million. This ring deserves a good home that provides lots of love and care! ;) Price: $4,450

The Three Graces | Gem Gossip The Three Graces | Gem Gossip

This sponsored post was brought to you in collaboration with The Three Graces.




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The December Sale at Rago Auction Will Make Your Head Spin!

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Rago Auction has a December Sale every year and I've been writing about it since 2008.  Seven years later and I'm still excited as ever when their catalog goes live. This year I personally gasped with each and every piece, frantically reading descriptions and estimated values, slightly hyperventilating and wondering how this incredible selection came to be! I'm glad it wasn't just me, because even the jewelry specialists at Rago, Sarah Churgin and Katherine Van Dell, had nothing to say but, "This December 2015 auction offers jewelry so beautiful, it makes you cry." So be ready to feel all warm inside when you see the full lineup of lots online. The sale is set for December 6th, 2015 where it can be seen live, in-person at their headquarters in Lambertville, New Jersey or online at Bidsquare or Rago's website. 

<< The December Jewelry Sale, Sunday, December 6th, 2015 at 11am EST >>

Lot 1015: This was the first piece from the sale that made me cry a little. Such a perfect example of Art Nouveau--the opals, the elongated siholette, the flowing lines. It is very feminine and elegant, just as jewelry circa 1905 suggests.  Even better--it has provenance. The design is based on an Essay on Broom Corn by E. Colonna, from the collection of Dora Jane Janson. Literature: Janson, Dora Jane. From Slave to Siren. The Duke University Museum of Art. 1971 Estimate: $3,000-4,000

Lot 1025: An incredibly vibrant brooch by Louis Comfort Tiffany, signed Tiffany & Co. set with a juicy peridot in the center. The convex disk is chased with scrolls and geometric motifs enameled in shades of green, blue and black accents. Done in 18k gold and circa 1910--such a beautiful piece of history from the famous world of Tiffany. Estimate: $6,000-8,000

Lot 1030: After appraising jewelry for over five years, I've seen only a handful of items signed Walton & Co. and they are usually superior quality. This unique peacock ring caught my eye and I love that it is created from a black opal and demantoid garnets--such a killer combination. Ring is a size 7. Estimate: $1,000-1,500

Lot 1044: A beautifully suspended festoon necklace made up of oval and teardrop adventurine all set in gold. Measuring 15 inches in length, this necklace sits higher up on the neck and flatters immensely. I love this style of necklace and the uniqueness of the gemstones makes this piece extra special. Estimate: $800-1,200

Lot 1119: This lot comes with three items, but I'm completely in love with the serpent/scarab brooch which is quite amazing! If you look closely, you will see three snakes--a main curled one compromising the circular brooch, then another one forming the surround of the scarab, and finally joining the two parts is a bail which is actually a mini-snake! So cool! Not to mention the scarab is made out of carved opal! Estimate: $1,400-1,800

Lot 1159: As novelty as these rings may seem, they are highly collectible and rare--what a pair these two! The moonstone carved baby face is surrounded by onyx and Old European cut diamonds. A carved moonstone is always a favorite motif, but the baby faces are pretty rare. The little terrier dog is precious--made out of carved amethyst and enamel eyes/tongue. Whoever wins these, I'm sure can't help but to smile whenever these are worn. Estimate: $1,200-1,800

Lot 1235: After a honeymoon in Arizona, I've become obsessed with Native American jewelry. Probably the most quintesential Native American jeweler was Charles Loloma, from the Hopi tribe who created over the top items like this incredible ring. The stone work was always was set him apart from others--here we have lapis, turquoise and coral, all set in a staggered, concentric inlay. Amazing. Estimate: $2,000-3,000

Lot 1257: Entwined mermaids...should I even describe this any further?! Estimate: $1,400-1,800

Lot 1314: An untreated Burma sapphire with the dreamiest shade of blue you've ever seen! Heavenly surrounded by a turban of round brilliant cut diamonds, size 6 1/2 in 14k white gold. So divine! Estimate: $4,000-6,000

Lot 1319: Bold, statement-making earrings are exactly what these are! Four milky aquamarines, all surrounded by diamonds and sapphires create this look--done in 18k gold by ZWIKKER & ZACHER. Best part? They detach so you can do a day/night type of look switching from studs to dangles. Estimate: $2,000-3,000


This post was brought to you in collaboration with Rago Arts Auction.


Maker & Muse: Women & 20th Century Art Jewelry

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Learning is one of my most favorite things to do, so each year I try to partake in something educational that is jewelry-related.  This year, an exhibit held in conjunction with a jewelry conference made for an enticing trip to Chicago for ASJRA's Women & 20th Century Art Jewelry event.  The conference featured speakers with expertise in some pretty interesting jewelry topics related to Art Nouveau jewelry and Chicago Arts & Crafts jewelry. I was really excited to hear Elyse Zorn Karlin speak about her role curating the exhibit at the Richard H. Driehaus Museum, located in Chicago, which is also the topic of a newly released (Feb. 2015) jewelry book, shown above.  A weekend of jewelry learning, visiting the exhibit to see the jewelry in person, and catching up with my jewelry BFF, Jenn of Bellflower Bay made for a perfect weekend!

After meeting up at the airport upon disembarking our planes, Jenn and I got off to a fun start with some jewelry treasure hunting in Chicago.  With a limited amount of time we headed over to Oak Park and visited Gem Jewelry Boutique and The Gold Hatpin. Chicago-style pizza was next on our menu of things-to-do and our room at the Dana Hotel & Spa was the perfect backdrop for our jewelry trip.  The next morning we headed to the carriage house of the Glessner House Museum, where the conference took place--ideally fitting since it was the former home of Mrs. Frances Glessner, an accomplished Chicago Arts & Crafts jeweler and member of a prominent family. The conference focused on Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts Jewelry, a topic that I find very interesting and a time period that I needed to build more knowledge on.  

The topics included:

Art Nouveau Jewelry; Yvonne Markowitz and Emily Banis Stoerher 

Arts & Crafts Jewelry in Chicago; Sharon Darling

Beyond Chicago: Midwestern Arts & Crafts Jewelry and Metalworkers; Darcy Evon

The Jewels of Louis Comfort Tiffany; Annamarie Sandecki

British Arts & Crafts Jewelry in the Richard H. Driehaus Collection; Elyse Zorn Karlin

Jugendstil Jewelry; Janis Staggs

Madeline Yale Wynne: I Hate Pretty Work; Suzanne Flynt

The collection of early 20th Century Art Nouveau jewelry that Mr. Driehaus has collected over the past 15 years and has carefully chosen to put on display for the world to see was entirely too fascinating for me! Being surrounded by stained glass and furniture of the same time period, in a restored mansion made the experience that much more special.  The unique tiled walls, marble upon marble everywhere, and art all corresponding, as if you stepped back in time. The book Maker & Muse takes you through each piece of jewelry on display, along with background information on the time period and remarks from curators and Mr. Driehaus himself.  The groundbreaking exhibit is the most extensive to date in terms of extent of a collection from jewelry of this particular time period.  The intention of the exhibit is to also highlight the role of women, both as inspiration and muse during this time, as well as designers and makers themselves.  I took several photos from my visit to the museum, which is awesome that they let you take photos since so many of the latest headlining jewelry exhibits ban photo-taking.  Featured are more than 250 pieces of jewelry, all created during this time where artisans were reacting to the industrialization of the world and forging new alternative designs with a bold artistic emphasis.  Every piece is detailed, handwrought and inspired by nature, flowing lines and women.  For the most part, the jewelry on display is a part of Mr. Driehaus' collection, but several pieces are pulled and displayed from prominent private collectors, including Neil Lane.  

>> To visit the Richard H. Driehaus jewelry exhibit, check out the museum's website; on exhibit from February 14, 2015-January 3, 2016.

>> To purchase a copy of Maker and Muse: Women and Early Twentieth Century Art Jewelry, click here. .




The Richard H. Driehaus Museum
40 East Erie Street
Chicago, Illinois 60611



Jewelry Time Periods: Art Nouveau Period


The Art Nouveau Period (1895-1915) was an uncontrived time, as it came about as an artistic revolt against all that was popular and commonplace of the 19th Century.  This time period did not last too long, but created many sought after collectibles, art, architecture and jewelry.  Focus was given to craftsmanship and creativity, since people felt things were becoming too industrial and imitative.   Ironically, the reason for its coming to be, became the time period's demise, after it became commercialized and cheaply copied.

Some motifs and distinctive elements of this time period:

  • natural subjects: flowers, insects, birds

  • curving, asymmetrical lines and designs

  • female visage or silhouette with long, flowing hair

  • enameling & plique à jour (stained glass effect)

  • butterflies, dragonflies, swans, reptiles, snakes/serpents, orchids, irises, creepy/nightmarish things- bats, owls, vultures

  • opals, amber, horn, ivory were often used; even were used sparingly

Important People of the Time:

  • René Lalique- French designer, worked for Cartier, Boucheron, created pieces for Samuel Bing's Paris shop Maison de I'Art Nouveau

  • Georges Fouquet