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Entries in diamond ring (44)

Q & A with LA BRUNE & LA BLONDE Jewelry

Q&A LA BRUNE & LA BLONDE

A unique concept came into the minds of Veronique Tournet and her partner when they launched LA BRUNE & LA BLONDE in 2011--a jewelry line that focuses on diamonds free from settings. Everything from the way the diamond sparkles, to how it is worn was completely different once this new concept was applied to the duo's designs. Each diamond is drilled, pierced and offset into a dangling, bare-aesthetic design and the minimal looks have been highly-coveted by fashionistas worldwide. If you're in the NYC area, Bloomingdale's carries the line so you can see it in person!

I got the chance to catch up with Veronique and ask her a few questions about her jewelry line, which will soon be on top of your wish list!

 

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The new Ad campaign that will highlight our « Nude diamond » concept. We want this ad to be both impactful and fun.

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I worked for Boucheron and Mauboussin for more than 15 years before launching my own jewelry brand. I wanted to create a brand presenting diamonds directly on the skin. In our LA BRUNE & LA BLONDE collections, there is no gold between the diamond and the skin. That is why our packaging is a real cosmetic jar!

LA BRUNE & LA BLONDE “19351920968_fc7246ae21_b"

The moment we decided to drill the diamonds. It was like a sacrilege but this is the most important thing we did. We wanted to show the diamonds from every angle and allow the light to play with them; never done before.

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Our goal is to expand LA BRUNE & LA BLONDE as an international brand with a focus on the US market. This is our very own “Manifest Destiny” so to speak!

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The « Octopus » Boucheron ring offered by my significant other to celebrate the birth of our second child.

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To see more, check out their website: LA BRUNE & LA BLONDE.

 

LA BRUNE & LA BLONDE

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One to Follow: @Walters_Faith

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Walters Faith Jewelry has been creating a buzz since launching in 2013. They've captured an audience that needed jewelry badly, and that audience happens to be the unisex crowd. Now more than ever, unisex jewelry is on the rise and Walters Faith has created lots of options of hefty, handcrafted pieces. From their wide, ridged bands in multiple gold colors, to their links and hexagonal motif, all pieces are architecturally pleasing and staples in so many wardrobes.

Their latest venture is a collaboration with Olivia Chantecaille, launching a capsule collection of diamond, sapphire and amethyst pendant necklaces inspired by the elegance and luxury of beauty compacts. The collaboration between jewelry designers and beauty guru brings two worlds together that usually are very separate, and the end results are beautiful! That's why Walters Faith is this month's One To Follow! 

 

xoxoGemGossip

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Jewelry Collection Stories: Malena of Malena's Boutique

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Instagram is such a great haven to meet fellow antique jewelry collectors and connect with them--most my stories about finding people kind of begin like that, and this story is no different. I posted a photo of my dendritic agate ring and it caught Malena's attention because she has a similar one in her West Chester, PA boutique. She commented on my photo and I checked out her page only to find an insane diamond ring which I needed to see more of!  She gladly took some photos for me to show me and our conversation grew from there. Malena's Boutique is aptly named; her shop is filled with vintage and antique finds--from clothing to jewelry, both costume and precious. Her store has been on countless lists concerning "best of Philly" and she enjoys every moment of it. I caught up with Malena and her personal jewelry collection--here is her story:

"Even as a child I felt a gravitational-like pull towards clothing and and jewelry of past eras. By twelve I started buying vintage clothing at thrift shops and dreaming of attending fashion design school. I opened my vintage boutique about a year after graduating from Pratt and will be celebrating 14 years in business this June. On a daily basis sellers bring pieces in that they inherited or no longer fit a need in their wardrobe. I also buy from jewelers who are accustomed to pulling out stones and melting gorgeous old settings (the thought of which makes me flinch!) On some days I sort through items of up to 10 people so I am exposed to easily thousands of items each week.

To me certain pieces romance their way into my collection. I try to be "good" and not keep things that are intended for the boutique, but sometimes it's just love at first sight and they become part of my treasury. Slightly quirky or oversized antique pieces resonate with me. I didn't even realize I had a locket collection until a dear friend of mine commented on how many unusual ones I had! My favorite is oblong sterling silver with simple engraving of the year 1920, but on the inside the owner had written a note where the photo was supposed to go that reads, "DARN YOUR CURIOSITY" I so wish I could have met this woman and learned her story behind the note.

My most recent acquisition is the rose gold watch chain ring with diamond buckle. It articulates and the tab can be pulled to resize the ring smaller. I've always been drawn to the buckle motif, but the pairing of it with rose gold and the unusual construction just made it too unusual to pass up. I purchased the turquoise ring with emerald cut stones from a jeweler who had pulled the center stone and was going to scrap the platinum setting. I had a stone cutter find and set the sugarloaf Turquoise, it's one of my most favorite pieces. Turquoise set in gold or platinum is something I collect, I am restoring some Victorian turquoise Acorn earrings at the moment I can't wait to wear.

My extra long filigree dinner ring is definitely in my top 5 pieces I own. It was originally owned by a teller at my bank. Her mother willed her a collection of rings but this one doesn't suit her style or lifestyle. She went to a few jewelers in our small town to sell it, but was horrified to hear they were going to melt it and pull the stones. One of the jewelers suggested to bring it to me, that I may want to keep it as is and they were right. I bought it and wear it almost everyday. Sometimes we see each other at the bank and it makes her happy to see it being enjoyed regularly and not destroyed.

Vibrant Plique a Jour Egyptian revival jewelry is my latest love. The feminine colors juxtaposed with less-than-lady-like scarab beetle motifs fascinates me. I haven't yet settled on a piece I need to own, but who knows, it could walk into my shop at any moment."

xoxoGemGossip

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You can follow Malena --> @msmalena

Five Important Things I Learned from Being a Jewelry Appraiser

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Never in a million years did I ever think I would have a profession such as "jewelry appraiser." It was something that I fell into by chance and I'm grateful/thankful everyday for that--because although I never thought it would be something I would do, there wasn't a day that went by which I didn't learn something new during that time. My mind was like a sponge during the first few months of picking up the skills of jewelry appraising--from measuring, to formulating, comparing and researching--everything came almost naturally for me.  Market values and research were aspects I really enjoyed about the job. Things like checking out auctions results, following market trends, and so on--these are things I still do to this day although I don't appraise jewelry on a regular basis anymore. From the moment I picked up the profession and for five years straight, I appraised piles of 10-25 pieces on a weekly basis--that is, fully written up, documented appraisals for insurance purposes. I've worked with clients of all walks of life, even traveling to rural Illinois to appraise an entire estate of about 100 items.

Being a jewelry appraiser is a fun job and very rewarding, but also has its downfalls. For me, personally, I worked in an office with no windows.  The days were long when you had piles of jewelry to appraise--just you and a microscope. My eyesight has never been the same, but obviously aging will also do that to you. I enjoyed breaking stereotypes of a "typical appraiser." Young women usually aren't the ones getting pulled from the back of a jewelry store when someone has a question about their jewelry. I remember a customer telling me, "wait you're the appraiser?  I was expecting an older man!"

I've been putting together this list for awhile now and wanted to share my top insights/important things I've learned from my five years of being a jewelry appraiser--let's start from the top:

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1. While most appraisals I've done were dealing with happy clients that were getting insurance on their items to hopefully prevent anything bad from happening so they could potentially be covered--I also dealt with the opposite. So many disgruntled clients who were stolen from or lost an item that they deemed "irreplaceable" only to have it vanish. It happens--jewelry gets stolen, jewelry gets lost. I couldn't recommend getting your jewelry appraised enough! I have never heard so many of the same stories of how things got stolen--the caregiver, the plumber, a son/daughter's friend that came over, the list goes on. Bottom line, if you frequently have people coming in/out of your house--your jewelry items need to be insured and hidden.

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2. I've also appraised lots of items that were randomly found by people--whether it was on the ground, inside an old house that was being renovated, or at garage sales in a junk pile--dreams do come true and treasure is still out there!!  My favorite story comes from a lady who was renovating a house that was recently purchased. She was moving an old, tall grandfather clock that was left with the house, when she noticed something behind the pendulum part of the clock. It was a ring box with a solitaire ring inside. She thought for sure it was fake, but sure enough it was an Old European cut diamond that was 1.50 carats and worth $10k!

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3. There are a lot of appraisers out there that aren't doing it right. They think putting a crazy high value on a retail replacement appraisal will make their customer happy because it is nowhere near what they paid for that same item. So, this in turn makes the customer incredibly satisfied, thinking they got a steal of a deal. It is crazy because I honestly can't even find comparables or a way to justify valuing some jewelry items so high. In the end, it doesn't really help anyone because the customer ends up paying higher deductibles on insurance and also when they go to sell their jewelry, they have this clouded value of what they think that item is worth. Find an appraiser that is putting reasonable values on things and not outlandish replacement values.

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4. If there is any type of jewelry that I feel doesn't hold its value over time, it would have to be watches. I know so many people are going to hate me for saying this, including my husband who invests in Rolexes (not smart lol), but it is true. Resale values on watches are usually less than 1/3 of what you paid for it. That is relatively speaking though. And yes, there are some watches that age like fine wine and hold, if not increase, their value.

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5. You're only slightly offending your appraiser when you ask to be present while appraising your jewelry. This was my number one request I would get asked when people would make an appraisal appointment. It was hard to make exceptions for people and allow them to come back into normally-closed-quarters for the public. But at the same time, I could relate and understand where they were coming from. I can't imagine leaving my engagement ring with someone for several days to get appraised. So while it may easily be taken offensively from an appraiser's point of view, looking at it from a concerned client's point of view helps. And yes, I would make exceptions--but no, not everyone does!

 

xoxoGemGossip

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*All above photos are pieces of jewelry I've appraised during my five years as a jewelry appraiser. None of them belong to me.

Jewelry Collection Stories: @Thing_Finder

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We may know her as @Thing_Finder but in real life she is Jen Lord, a last name fitting for her because she may very well be the "lord of the rings."  One of the few Canadian antique jewelry collectors we have in our tight-knit Instagram community, and she brings her antique loving style to everyone daily on her Instagram page, as well as her Etsy shop. A newly wed, whom we all celebrated as she tied the knot on her wedding day and gave us followers glimpses into her private ceremony via Instagram. As she curates and collects more jewels, she learns about every aspect of each piece she owns, even if it means doing some extensive research, I wanted to get a peek into her jewelry box and see what defines Jen as a collector. Let's see what she has to say:

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"My passion for collecting started young, very young. My earliest jewellery memories were those with my Gran and Nana, both of whom share a love of jewellery, and fine jewellery at that. I always volunteered to “clean their rings,” which for me meant a soapy dish, a small toothbrush and a labour of love. These quiet moments allowed me to study the stones, the mountings, and work to bring out their most brilliant shine. These early stolen moments with jewels, would create an insatiable appetite, a lust never quite quenched."

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"When I hit about 12 years of age, babysitting and “picking” afforded me a modest jewellery budget. I used to walk from school to all the thrift stores, and then home via Victoria’s Antique Row, selling what small finds I could to the local dealers. Perhaps they took pity on a this small child peddling her wares, but I started to develop relationships with the dealers and the learning was immense, not to speak of the small profits it afforded."

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"My first love in jewellery was Art Deco. Those clean lines, architectural elements and elegant touches, I lusted for it like nothing else. Boys, couldn’t hold my interest the same way a finely crafted diamond cocktail ring could, there wasn’t a hope! These days I would say I go through “jewellery phases.” It isn’t that I ever lose love for one period or another, but I tend to collect in waves and then cull. Jewellery to me is a life long love affair.

Good jewellery makes my heart race, my voice sing, and fills my mind with wonder and excitement. Jewels are talismans of our journey through life. In birth and in death, in marriage and in loss, jewelry in tied to some of the most important milestones and experiences in our lives. To that end, the most meaningful jewellery for me, is that linked to these times. Mourning jewellery has to be one of the most compelling and romantic of all collecting genres for me. I feel so honoured to be able to own such sentimental and deeply personal artifacts of the past. I think only those who feel as I do about antique jewellery can really understand the feeling of awe and respect that these pieces impart on us."

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"As for where I find my jewellery, the more important question is where do I not?! I literally will go anywhere, search anywhere to find what I am looking for. Stinky thrift stores, dusty pawn shops, web sites with poor images bring it on, I am game!"

On how she thought of the Instagram handle "Thing Finder:"

"It comes from this Pippi Longstocking quote:

“I don’t know what you are going to do,” said Pippi, “but I know I can’t lie around and be lazy. I am a Thing-Finder, and when you’re a Thing-Finder you don’t have a minute to spare.”

“What did you say you are?” asked Annika.

“A Thing-Finder.”

“What’s that?” asked Tommy.

“Somebody who hunts for things, naturally. What else could it be?” said Pippi as she swept all the flour left on the floor into a little pile.

“The whole world is full of things, and somebody has to look for them. And that’s just what a Thing-Finder does,” she finished.

“What kind of things?” asked Annika.

“Oh, all kinds,” said Pippi. “Lumps of gold, ostrich feathers, dead rats, candy snapcrackers, little tiny screws, and things like that.”

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"My collection is quite varied, from my oldest piece, a memorial ring from 1716 to statement rings from the mid 20th century. I’m inspired by nature, the rare and unusual, and of course other collectors! To me jewellery is my favourite way to express myself and I have been known to change up my jewellery several times in a day. I feel very lucky to have found a great jeweller, Roger, who works with me to create conversion and one of pieces to further expand my collection. I never really know what direction my collecting with take next, but I do know, it doesn’t stop here!"

>> Thanks Jen for sharing your passion and jewels with us! Follow her on Instagram for everyday musings: @Thing_Finder