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Entries in designer jewelry (245)

Gem Gossip Visits Thalia Jewelry in San Francisco, CA

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In the world of Instagram, I've been following Thalia Jewelry since the beginning!  Don't ask me how I found her or who found who, but as they say, the rest is history! The designer behind the brand is Rachel Clinnick, and just as beautiful as the jewelry she creates, she shines just as bright as her jewels. Her story is really interesting, especially when it starts out with a young, bright-eyed girl who collected vintage and estate jewelry! Most girls her age were playing with Barbie dolls and taking piano lessons--Rachel was going to estate sales and auctions. Both Rachel and I instantly connected over our love for antiques, both jewelry and decor. We met at her San Francisco-based office, where she had pieces pulled from stores she is featured in, as well as some new pieces just completed. 

Her jewelry is sold in several stores around the US--word of mouth, referrals and the internet have all been powerful tools for Thalia Jewelry. Many of them local in San Francisco, like Gallery of Jewels, Lirielle, and Blanc Boutique slightly north up in San Anselmo, with some others in Colorado (The Golden Bear) and NYC. Private appointments and commissions are a good portion of the business, where she conducts meetings with clients in Santa Barbara, Dallas and Manhattan. Her designs exhibit Byzantine and Etruscan influences, as you can see from the photos I took modeling her jewelry. Heavy, 22k yellow gold embody most of her designs, with a few in platinum. Snakes, shipwreck and ancient coins, bold gemstones, handweaved chains, and talismans are Rachel's obsessions and a good portion of what her designs consist of.  The weight and feel of her jewelry is what gets me--I love the look of heavy, buttery yellow gold. Her jewelry will make you want to throw out all your dainty things in exchange for one big, chunky chain.  I love it!  I've never been more over dainty jewelry than I am now, and I'm so glad I got to experience Thalia Jewelry at this point in my style evolution. Perfect timing.

Amongst the Thalia Jewelry line, the collections include: Serpents & Shipwrecks, Celestial Collection, Gatsby Collection, Mint Collection, Treasures Collection...and a wedding/bridal collection. Rachel is currently working on a collection called Roman Holiday and it continues the Old World influences. Think Ancient Rome mixed with English Royalty. Can't wait to see more!

Another part of Thalia Jewelry is her estate and antique jewelry she collects and sells often. I got to see a few pieces she has, including that antique openwork pendant with seed pearls, which is currently for sale. Such an enchanting piece! And since Rachel has been treasure hunting since she was a little girl, she is pretty darn good at it. She has also developed some great relationships with dealers who know what she likes and scout things out for her.

I had so much fun getting to know Rachel and connecting with her and her designs. Our San Francisco trip was one of the best so far on my #JewelryRoadTrip and the weather could not have been better all week for us.  Although visiting Thalia Jewelry was our last stop and if you couldn't tell, in the photos I was actually battling some gusty winds and light rain sprinkles! I took it like a champ!

Thalia Jewelry

You should get to know Thalia Jewelry:

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Gem Gossip Visits Gallery of Jewels in San Francisco, CA

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My next stop on my #JewelryRoadTrip in San Francisco was Gallery of Jewels. This store has three locations, each which reflect the neighborhood it is situated in--all very distinctive and great to experience. I visited Gallery of Jewels' Union Square gallery, where the area is known as the central arts, theater, and hotel district, with lots of shopping! I love the street the gallery is on--as it sits ideally amongst the hustle and bustle of the area. Across the street I had lunch at Cafe Taza, a tiny counter-service restaurant with few seating, but really great food!

The concept of Gallery of Jewels focuses everything on the designers that make up their stores, showcasing fine talent within the jewelry community and putting the spotlight on each of them. Seeking out new and upcoming designers is a passion of Bill Hoover & Dona Taylor, a duo who first opened up their doors back in the 90s with the same concept in mind. Since then, Gallery of Jewels carries over 100 designers and have helped launched the careers of many up-and-coming design talents. A true testimony to how well respected and loved Gallery of Jewels is, the store won first place as JCK's best designer retailer 2015/16 as voted for by the artists. This is a huge win as there are SO many stores across the United States up for nomination. And well deserved, I may add.

As soon as I walked through the doors I was enchanted by the color scheme and pillars, naturally. Each glass curio holds LOTS of designers, displayed impeccably on glass shelves, where staring is appropriate. Mirrors are important in jewelry stores--if you have customers trying on earrings and necklaces, a mirror is vital. Gallery of Jewels houses lots of mirrors in all sorts of shapes and sizes. The center of the store houses the bridal section with lots of engagement ring options and wedding bands. Bridal appointments can be made for one-on-one time with a sales associate and for some odd reason, I've never come across that feature before! I love the concept and think it's perfect for future brides, especially if one has lots of questions. 

Another concept that may go unnoticed by most but really struck me was how the front door of the jewelry store was propped open, inviting passers-by to come into the store. With jewelry stores, you often come in contact with closed doors, locked doors, even doors with no windows and a buzzer for safety. This open, welcoming environment is quite refreshing and I immediately could see why Bill and Dona have created such a warm and respected brand.

One of my favorite parts of visiting Gallery of Jewels was seeing how many times I said, "Wow, I've never heard of this designer before!" I came across so many great pieces from familiar and unfamiliar designers--I love learning and experiencing new talent.  Designers like Lisa Kim Fine Jewelry, Anne Sportun, Megan Thorne, Sethi Couture, Todd Pownell, and Zoe Chicco were those designers whom I love and enjoyed seeing on display. New-to-me designers that I discovered while visiting were Monica Marcella, Marian Maurer, and Jason Dow. Click on the names to view their collections.

A few favorite pieces I tried on during my visit:

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mml lisakim2 lisakim jasondowtoddpownell

Gallery of Jewels

Union Square location

427 Post Street at Powell

San Francisco, CA 94102

(Gallery of Jewels other locations: 24th Street Gallery & Fillmore Street Gallery)

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Gladiator Ring from Doryn Wallach Jewelry

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Gladiator ring

I've had this blog post planned for awhile now--couldn't wait to share the amazing black diamond Gladiator ring that my sister-in-law received over the holiday from designer Doryn Wallach. Every time I was about to publish, something came up or another deadline was moved ahead, putting this sometimes to the backburner. I had finally decided that Monday would be the day to post, and as I sat Sunday afternoon typing up this very blog post, I heard the news of the untimely passing of Cindy Edelstein. I was incredibly saddened and completely in shock. In this day and age, with technology at our fingertips, and Cindy always being on the up-and-up of technology (heck, she was the only person I was following on Periscope who ever actually broadcast anything) I raced over to her Twitter page, her Facebook and Instagram because I just couldn't believe it...I thought for sure she had just favored a tweet of mine or liked a post. This couldn't be happening. 

It was Cindy who introduced me to Doryn Wallach, whose incredible designs have now become a favorite and even became a part of my sister-in-law's jewelry collection. It was Cindy who called me last year to tell me about my nomination for the WJA Award for Excellence.  It was always her smile and embracing kindness we will forever remember and never forget. So many people in the jewelry industry are tremendously grateful for the work she has done throughout her career, including myself. I looked back to see what the last Tweet in which Cindy "favorited" of mine, and it was one from my wedding day--the one about getting married on the same date as my grandparents got married back in 1956. That's so special, as she was.  I will miss her.

*Seen above, the black diamond gladiator ring was made just for my sister-in-law within a matter of days for a special event, all thanks to Doryn Wallach.

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Q & A with Camille of Nouvel Heritage

Nouvel Heritage | Gem Gossip

What were you doing at the tender age of 21?! Sipping your "first" glass of alcohol, studying for college exams, bar hopping with friends...? How about launching your own jewelry line?! Camille has opted for the latter, at such a young age, she has accomplished what most would in a lifetime. Her jewelry line Nouvel Heritage is handmade in Paris, with each piece highly customized, built specifically for each order, with engraving always an option. I was so grateful to receive a piece by Nouvel Heritage for my personal collection, a trio of coral branch rings NH1500, one set with spinel, one set with an opal bead, and one set with Paraiba tourmaline, made just for me. I had each engraved on the inside--one with my name, and the other two my sister's names, as we are a trio as well! I've been enjoying stacking them with other rings from my collection--sometimes wearing all three together, while other times just wearing one. I love the look of one on each finger! 

Camille's collections are so wearable, with every piece having a special touch which makes each design that much more personal and covetable. Like little tassles you can wear in multiple ways, a necklace which you can have engraved with YOUR OWN LIP PRINT (yes, all you need is dark lipstick, a piece of paper and a smartphone), bracelets which you can stack and link together, and much more! Be sure to check out her website to see everything!!

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We are currently developing a new collection that will come out beginning of March. We are also working on adding new pieces to our existing collections for the Spring/Summer season. I am very excited about it, there are going to be a lot of very colorful pieces! And as always, they can all be personalized and they offer a wide range of styling possibilities.

Nouvel Heritage | Gem Gossip

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Jewelry design has always been a part of my life; my mother really shared her passion with me very early on and for as long as I can remember we would imagine and draw jewelry pieces inspired from our travels or from the various art books she would collect. Everyday we would imagine: “oh, wouldn’t that be a great idea for a jewelry?”

I started with high-school field-discovery internships at Chaumet, the jewelry brand on Place Vendome, and it did create a vocation in me, I remember feeling very strongly that this was the industry I would want to evolve in.

Soon after that my mother, former chairwoman of Cartier, bought a workshop on Rue de la Paix, I would spend all my free-time, including vacations, helping out and learning about the business. I went through every department there, from designing to stone sorting and manufacturing, I even manufactured a piece of jewelry of my own. I always thought it was important to understand how a piece is manufactured. Everything for Nouvel Heritage is hand-made so when we conceptualize and draw the jewelry we must think of how it can be translated into an actual piece.

Nouvel Heritage | Gem Gossip

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Definitely the day we launched Nouvel Heritage! I hope it will be the day I remember as the day that started my career. I am 21 and a senior in college so I still have so much more to experience in my career.

Nouvel Heritage | Gem Gossip

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Graduating from college is definitely at the top of my goals list. I am an Entrepreneurship major so working on Nouvel Heritage is already a dream come true; I am both working in the jewelry industry and on my own venture.

2016 will also be the first full year of Nouvel Heritage’s existence. We are expecting and hoping for more brand visibility this year. We have several projects coming up this year that we are very excited about!

My dream is that Nouvel Heritage become the to-go place for bespoke and personalized jewelry. I also strongly believe in the online market. Our online platform is what enables us to be so flexible to clients’ demand and make personalized jewelry.

Nouvel Heritage | Gem Gossip

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My signet ring- personalized with my initials! I just received it as a surprise-gift from my mother for Christmas. It was a surprise because I designed it but I wasn’t aware that she had it made for me. It is actually one of the signature pieces for our upcoming collection. I can’t wait for you to see it! It is very unique and I believe is the kind of piece that last a lifetime.

Nouvel Heritage | Gem Gossip

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Nouvel Heritage; all original photography by GemGossip.

Nouvel Heritage

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Q & A with Stacy Nolan Jewelry

Stacy Nolan Jewelry

Stacy Nolan has the imagination of a boundless wonderer paired with a perfectionist's detail-oriented brain. If you've held a piece of her jewelry, you would immediately notice the back of the jewel is just as gorgeous as the front! It has been a delight to discover her designs and see the craftsmanship--hence why I thought it would be neat to create some GIF images showing the front and back of the pieces. Her signature flower back displays that attention to detail which so many designers can't seem to get quite right. For Stacy, something as simple as a solitaire gem-set pendant isn't complete without a flower open-metalworked back! Are you a jewelry store owner looking for someone like Stacy to complete your jewelry inventory lineup?! You should get in touch!! 

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So right now, I am finally getting to create a series of one-of-a-kind pieces I’ve been dreaming about literally for years: a collection of pendants loosely inspired by tarot cards. I make all this jewelry that is easy and wearable because I think about making jewelry for someone like me -- I’m active, I’m moving, my style evolves and changes, and so, as a designer, I get to dream up new things that fit with that lifestyle, but they have to be practical. I like to be smart about my purchases, I like to be smart about what I wear, because I want it to go with all the different things that I wear -- it needs to be timeless and classic. But the tarot collection is an opportunity for me to express a larger range of aesthetics. The first one in the series is the Tarot Star. I’ve made all sorts of stars and crescents and other celestial shapes for years, but now I have the chance, literally, to put the entire cosmos together in one piece. And moving onto the next piece is also literally like drawing a card from the deck: you have no idea what it is until you turn it over and take a look.

Stacy Nolan | Gem Gossip Stacy Nolan | Gem Gossip

 

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I was a business major in college because it was the PRACTICAL thing to do, when the reality was that I just loved making things. I always had, and fortunately it didn’t take TOO long before I set my career path straight. I was already making my own handmade designs with gemstone beads and findings, and taking metalworking classes on the side, until a friend pushed me to learn about the gems I was working with. The six months I spent down in Carlsbad at GIA were the start of my real education. When I came back to Los Angeles, I was swept up into a job as the in-house gemologist and buyer for a private jeweler who worked with musicians and athletes and all sorts of big LA personalities (and this was at the time that hip-hop bling was really popular!), but then, only a month after I started, the production manager suddenly quit and I found myself covering both jobs while they searched for a replacement. They never did -- I ran the show. That was eleven years ago. And thus began my love affair with manufacturing diamond jewelry.

StacyNolan | Gem Gossip

 

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My proudest moment in my career so far, ironically, wasn’t even about what I did. When my now-husband and I traveled to India and he proposed, he gave me a ring that he had managed to design and produce using all of my people downtown -- without me having any clue that he was doing it and in spite of the fact that I told him not to get me a ring! I wanted to fall in love with a stone just like I fell in love with him -- when the right one came along -- and so his ring was a compromise: it was a simple twist in a white gold band, for, as he explained, a twist is the beginning of any good knot. It was so sweet, and the idea of that theme -- the twist of fate -- really stuck with me. I wound up developing an entire collection inspired by the twist, including some men’s pieces (his wedding band was one of them). The best part of the whole story: I realized that the love for what I do really resonates with others, that my excitement about this work is apparent -- even when I thought he wasn’t listening.

Stacy Nolan Twist Ring | Gem Gossip Stacy Nolan Twist Ring | Gem Gossip Stacy Nolan Twist Ring | Gem Gossip

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This past year went beyond every expectation I had, mostly because of a few partnerships that blossomed in a truly beautiful way. Even though I run my own business, it is such a pleasure to work with other people -- and to work hard for our shared goals. I love the collaboration, I love the structure, I love that going to work with the people behind these partnerships enables me to get out and see all sorts of new places. (One venture will even take me back to India next month, where I’ll source stones, smooth out operations, and seek out inspiration in one of the most amazing places on Earth.) So my biggest goals for 2016 are to connect with some new, extraordinary people while continuing to build on the collaborations already in place.

 

 

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That’s tough...one of the perks of being a jewelry designer is that I get to change up my jewelry so often! I go through all kinds of different phases, and most everything I sell is something that I wear. But the one I always love wearing and will continue to wear is my diamond eternity pinky ring. In 18 years it has rarely come off. I bought the first version at a little jewelry store in the French Quarter in New Orleans, when I was in high school visiting Tulane’s campus. When I came home from the visit, my grandmother saw me wearing it and exclaimed, “You can’t wear that! It looks too much like a wedding ring!” Which, honestly, made me love it even more. But, I thought, she might be right, people might get confused, so I took it to a shop and got it sized down to fit my pinky. The next version I made in the early days of my company, when I knew more about the diamond quality and setting. That style has been a mainstay in my collection. It is simple, elegant and goes with all my other rings!

Stacy Nolan Jewelry | Gem Gossip Stacy Nolan | Gem Gossip

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Stacy Nolan Jewelry.

Stacy Nolan Jewelry