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Entries in estate jewelry (214)

Valentine's Day Picks from KAVADOR

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Launched in 2015, Kavador was created with a main goal in mind: to dig into the vaults of jewelry stores around the country and give these hidden jewels their time to shine online! Jennie Pastor, CEO and Founder of Kavador, and myself have a few things in common. One of them being that we both realize there are so many amazing pieces of jewelry out there belonging to smaller, independent jewelers that don't have the means to promote their inventory online. Websites are expensive and having one that is fully functional with e-commerce capability is often way over a jewelry store owner's head. Just as I like to travel the US, visiting jewelry stores to showcase all that is out there, Kavador does as well! Only they have a whole team dedicated to curating items they find and listing them online, available for purchase. Kavador has quickly become a growing marketplace for stores to sell their pieces and for jewelry lovers to frequent often to find new treasures. And if you glance at their inventory, you'll recognize right away how this website needs to be on your radar and checked regularly! Their SOLD gallery is fun to look at as well, although it is slightly sad because they've already found their forever home.

I'm so excited to partner with Kavador--not only have I gotten the chance to learn more about this amazing company and speak with Jennie (interview below) but I also got to curate my own favorites just in time for Valentine's Day. I've also got a special treat for everyone--have $150 credit on me! Have fun exploring the vaults of Kavador and use code GEMGOSSIP150 from now until the end of February for your $150 credit.

>> Shop my Valentine's Day Picks here! <<

Hope you enjoy my interview with CEO Jennie Pastor--and be sure to follow Kavador here:

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As a kid, I have always been attracted to glitter and sparkle - I made my own accessories, tinkered with colorful nails and clothes and hair... No surprise then that I married into a family of jewelers and gemologists!

My family has been in the fine jewelry business for over 40 years, owning and operating independent retail jewelry stores and developing relationships with jewelry lovers and buyers as they select and maintain jewelry for generations. I've personally watched how dramatically the industry has changed in the last decade, specifically the challenges faced by independent local retailers in the face of changing consumer buying patterns and reduced in-store foot traffic.

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The concept of Kavador began at a family dinner - my father-in-law, who owns a number of local fine jewelry stores, was lamenting the outsized expense and poor returns of his recent investment in a new custom website. His expertise is in fine jewelry and in-person sales and customer service; digital marketing and e-commerce are not in his bag of tricks! Our family then began exploring the issue together: how could local independent jewelers reap the benefits of the growth in online jewelry sales without damaging their local brand and bottom line?

And from that dinner, Kavador was born...

We saw a startling need for an online marketplace specifically for fine jewelry which would give local retail jewelers and designers a platform to sell jewelry to a broad, national audience through a trusted brand with digital marketing expertise, and give fine jewelry consumers unique access to these treasures otherwise hidden in local jewelers' vaults.

We launched Kavador in late 2015, and have been happily adding new retail jeweler partners and uniting spectacular jewelry with new owners since!

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Kavador's audience is looking for pieces that speak to their individuality and style - statement cocktail rings, with colored gemstones and intricate designs, continue to be big sellers. More broadly, we have seen a real shift in preferences from mass-produced, generic jewelry from big brands toward vintage and estate pieces with bold colors, interesting settings, and... character.

A few of our most recent sales included:

Isa: a multi-colored pave sapphire bracelet

Phoenix: a 34ct cabochon cut Amethyst cocktail ring

Laksha: 15ct blue Topaz cocktail ring

Keely: a Tsavorite Garnet and Diamond butterfly necklace

We curate just one of each piece, so we shed a happy tear each time one of these standout treasures finds a new home - but we're thrilled that our buyers have found their match!

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These last 18 months have been such an adventure!! But my favorite Kavador treasure hunting memory, the one that really affirmed for me this concept of partnering with local jewelers to bring their treasures online, actually happened shortly before we officially launched.

We were out there pitching the Kavador idea to our family's jeweler network and to local jewelers in our town, trying to convince them to take a chance with us, list jewelry online through our start-up brand as part of our launch collection... And one of those meetings, with a local multi-generation family-owned jewelry business, became less of a new business meeting and more of a jewelry gossip session. His collection included mostly estate jewelry, including some spectacular vintage and antique pieces - and the owner was so excited to talk about the unique design features and histories of every item, even flaws became assets (because it gave those pieces "unique character")!! I think we were there for over three hours, most of it going through his jewelry piece by piece, as if he were a teacher talking about individual students.

This jeweler ultimately became part of our "launch crew" of retail jeweler partners, and we are thrilled to have his special treasures available for an online audience that would never otherwise have the opportunity to see them.

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Kavador recently launched a new and enhanced website in November, and the momentum these last few months has been really exciting! We have been adding new retail partners and new jewelry at a steady clip, expanding our marketing campaigns and social media following, and absolutely LOVE hearing from happy customers - some of whom will soon be helping us curate their favorites on the website!

Our dream is for Kavador to become for small, local jewelers and designers what Etsy has become for independent artists and craftsmen - a trusted marketplace for selling special, standout fine jewelry. Jewelry consumers have a clear appetite for special pieces, and a preference for supporting small businesses. Kavador's mission is to unite these consumers with specially-curated inventory from local jewelers, thus helping these jewelers continue to thrive.

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This sponsored post was brought to you in collaboration with Kavador -- all photography by Gem Gossip.

 

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Shop All Your Favorite Jewelry Categories at Fellows Auctions

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I haven't written about a Fellows Auction in quite some time, but that doesn't mean I never stopped checking out their incredible jewels that would stir up bidding wars month after month. I've always been a huge fan of their Antique & Modern Sales and Fellows' has an upcoming sale in February that can't be missed. The sale is set for February 9th, 2017 and it comes just in time for Valentine's Day. I suggest grabbing your honey and sitting down to look over the jewelry catalog together. Pick out your favorites and potential Valentine's gifts, then pull up a chair and get down to bidding on February 9th! I've done some of the leg work for you, choosing my favorites in every jewelry category: necklaces, rings, earrings and bracelets! 

Let's dive into the details below:

Necklaces:

Lot 123: This exquisite necklace grabbed my attention right away!  It looks like something regal and very important. Set with old cut diamonds and lapis, all in platinum!  It is an early 20th century piece that every collector needs. The diamonds total 1.20 carats.

Lot 168: Delicate yet striking in every way, this necklace would make the most precious Valentine's gift. A beautiful openwork design, set with feminine seed pearls. I love how they trickle down from the bail and the sapphire is just the perfect gemstone for this piece; all set in platinum, original early 20th century piece.

Lot 268: A late Victorian peridot necklace with stunning diamond wreath detail. This necklace may be over 100 years old, but it still is beautiful as ever! I know so many August babies have trouble finding peridot pieces of jewelry, so this is a great option for those August-born ladies. Plus, greenery is the Pantone color of the year!

Rings:

Lot 306: Elongated and bold, sapphires and diamonds...yes, you are seeing why I love this ring so much! I also appreciate the mixture of metals in this one piece--with the yellow gold bezels for the oval sapphires and the shank, and mixed with a platinum top. I would love to see this ring on a finger--I bet it looks gorgeous! 

Lot 406: One hundred lots from my first ring pick is this sweet turquoise and diamond ring. I love the unique style of it, although a cluster ring isn't groundbreaking, it becomes different since it also has side diamonds in a bypass style. All the diamonds are old European cuts and look original to the piece. If you love turquoise, you should totally bid on this piece!

Lot 421: Navette rings are a style I can't get enough of and there's something special about this particular one. All of those old diamond cuts clustered together, surrounding the single round emerald in the center. I love the stylized shoulders of the the shank on this late Victorian ring. Someone needs to make this a part of their collection!

Earrings:

Lot 285: These earrings immediately were a favorite for this category for a few reasons--one being their all-diamond design. Something about diamonds set in white gold has such a classic look. Plus, I love the round cuts mixed with the baguettes and squares. Geometry at its finest! Total diamond weight on these is 1.20 carats.

Lot 438: I chose these earrings because I love the multi-colored sapphires used as well as the unique design of these hoops. These 18k yellow gold earrings would look great dressed up or down, giving any outfit some color. Brighten up your day, a boring outfit or your winter blues with these babies!

Lot 500: Something about these funky dangles puts a smile on my face. Done in yellow gold and set with emeralds and diamonds, I just love the V-shaped design. It is both chic and futuristic at the same time. I also love the size of these earrings--I think they are an ideal size, right in between dainty and bold, or what I like to call "just right."

Bracelets:

Lot 152: This late 19th century hinged bracelet features a Victorian motif that I just can't get enough of--a dome of light blue enamel. To top it off, the diamond star pattern is another favorite motif, so this bracelet is just glorius to me. The detail work is beautiful and in amazing condition. Best part? It's French!

Lot 286: It was the bold blues of the sapphires and the intricate engraving details that made me look twice at this hinged bracelet. Upon further inspection, the sapphires graduate in size, starting with the biggest in the center. Rose cut diamonds highlight and accent, giving this piece five stars from me! Safety chain included.

Lot 466: One snake bracelet to rule them all--a mid-Victorian articulated snake bracelet set with turquoise and red gem eyes most definitely made my top picks for bracelets. The bracelet measures just over 6 1/2 inches and I can picture it stacked wonderfully with some other Victorian bangles of the same era.  

This sponsored post was brought to you in collaboration with Fellows Auctions

 

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How to Edit your Jewelry Collection & Know When to Sell

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My jewelry collection has gone through SO MANY changes this past year. As a collector, it is important to edit your collection no matter what it is that you collect. My ring collection, for example, has shrunk by at least fifty rings recently and normally this would freak me out, but I actually feel really good about this decision. I recently came across this photo of my collection and was astonished by how many rings I actually had. A more recent photo is shown above, and you can see the amount that has been edited. This decision has allowed me to refine and be precisive about what I like, allowed me to purchase items that I thought were out of my budget, and allowed me to grow my collection in a new way (even though I was subtracting from my collection). You might be wondering how you can do the same, so I've put together some tips and recommendations on how you can do just that! And as always, happy collecting!

1. Although I've never read Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, I've spoken with people who have and read a few blogs about this decluttering strategy. A part of me fears this technique, since I live in a world where I love my things and have way too many things, while another part of me thrives off of getting rid of stuff. It is a never-ending battle--but just as Marie teaches in her book, you must take each item and ask yourself if it sparks joy? Do this with your jewelry collection! You'd be surprised at what items you've been holding on to for the most random reasons, and how they actually spark the opposite of joy. 

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2. Go through all your jewelry items and remove pieces that need repairs--these could be rings with missing stones, jewelry that you've always hated but wanted to give a "makeover" to, pieces that rarely get worn, or items that you've been meaning to convert into something else. Removing these from your main jewelry box will allow you to focus on what you have that is wearable and you often see things in a different light when there is less.

Once you've removed these items, put them in little baggies or envelopes and write on them what needs to be done to each piece so that you are able to love it again and wear it again. Is it a ring sizing? Write down "size ring to 5 to fit my ring finger" and then place it in a pile. If you're redesigning pieces you own, feel free to draw to the best of your ability your design idea.

Now that you have all your "repair" items, find a reputable jeweler that you know and trust. Hopefully you've worked with him or her before so you know what to expect and know their capabilities. Set a goal of dropping off 2-3 items per week until all your repairs are finally finished. You'll get momentum going once you've picked up your first batch of finished items--it's like getting a new piece of jewelry all over again! 

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3. Certain gemstones turn me off and you have to get comfortable with yourself as a collector to realize that. This means buying things at one time that you realize aren't for you or just simply don't like anymore. There are a few gemstones and gemstone colors that I'm not a fan of, but I used to be--colors that don't really go with my skintone or aren't pleasing to my eye as much as another color family. The point is to recognize this, either sell or repurpose these items to "edit" your collection, and then take the money you've made from selling these items to buy jewelry that fits within your new editing parameters.

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4. Trends come and go, but in the world of jewelry--certain trends stay longer than most disposable fashion trends. Also, like many trends, they can resurface several years from now and those items you "wish you had that you sold years ago" could be the next coolest thing. So, if you have a piece of jewelry that may be considered "trendy" but you honestly love it, but wearing it today may not necessarily fit with what you're wearing now--I would think twice about selling something like this! 

A prime example of this for me and my collection was the dainty jewelry trend (which is still actually very strong today). I liked this trend at first and it also fit with my budget a few years ago. I started gravitating toward bigger, bolder pieces and have never been able to look at a dainty ring the same again. I ended up selling most of my dainty rings and found that selling like five dainty rings could get me one bold piece, which was music to my ears. The bigger pieces bring me more joy and hopefully that doesn't change anytime soon! ;)

Another examples of this is gold chains. Growing up, I received a lot of gold chains from my grandparents as gifts from Italy. I went through a phase in college where I only wore this one chain of my dad's with a medallion of St. Anthony on it (my dad gave me both), so I sold every other chain I owned because I simply never wore anything else. Today, I would kill to have some of those chains now--there was some really cool pieces which now would be very trendy with the chain layering trend that is happening today.

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5. Knowing when, what and how to sell is a big task that has some complications here and there, but luckily if you purchased your items you want to now sell at the right price back then, it should be able to yield the same price if not more today. Jewelry is great like that because gold and gemstones are almost always valuable (I'm not talking about fashion jewelry or costume pieces). 

If you haven't worn a piece of jewelry for over five years, I think it is safe to say you should sell it--or at least ask yourself, why haven't you worn it?  Once you've gathered pieces that you feel ok with selling, now you have to figure out what platform you'd like to sell them.

Sites like eBay, Etsy and Ruby Lane are all great options if you have a large amount of pieces you'd like to sell. If you open a shop on any of these sites and you're not a formal antique seller, it is important that you state that in your bio/about section. There is a big difference between a dealer and a collector who has lots of items and just wants to sell them. Be open to making mistakes and allowing to accept returns if it is your first time selling. 

If you're a collector on Instagram and a part of the Instagram Antique Jewelry Community (idk why I capitalized that lol) then selling some items on your Instagram page is a fast and easy way to accomplish that. It is also fee-free, whereas with the sites I mentioned above take a fee if you sell through them. But this option is only as good as the size of your audience. Etsy, eBay and Ruby Lane have thousands and thousands of visitors everyday, whereas your Instagram page might be short of that number.

You can also TRADE -- I started the hashtag #gemgossipSWAP for those interested in posting items they're willing to part with and find others' who want to trade as well. I've personally used the hashtag myself and am now the proud owner of a ring I traded with someone.

 

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? You won't believe what my jewelry box looked like 7 years ago

Weekday Wardrobe: Accessorizing Rings & Clutches

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Lately I've been all about wearing my newest addition to my necklace collection--this 14k yellow gold thick collar that I picked up from Arrow & Anchor Antiques. We did a trunk show together and of course, ended up buying something from her gorgeous selection. When you're a jewelry lover (addict?) you tend to do that.

I've also been sorting through my vintage clutch collection, mostly which came from eBay and antique shops from my travels. Getting them out and pairing them up with different rings has been a fun thing to do, especially over the holidays. Wearing festive attire usually isn't my thing, but I want to add something fun and different to what I normally wear when I attend holiday parties, so having these clutches is perfect for my style. I thought it would be cool to incorporate them into my Weekday Wardrobe post for this month since I promised more of these posts. Hope you enjoy!

Weekday Wardrobe | Gem Gossip

Day One:

Navy blue enameled shield conversion ring (used to be a stick pin) -- enamel refinished by Platt Boutique Jewelry

18k yellow gold Lapis ring from Sarah's Vintage & Estate Jewelry -- enamel and side stone repair by Platt Boutique Jewelry

14k yellow gold linked rings created by myself using scrap gold items and bracelet safety chains 

Weekday Wardrobe | Gem Gossip

Day Two:

Victorian trio opal ring found at Brimfield in 2014

Retro flower ring with diamond, my first ever Ruby Lane purchase back in 2008 (still one of my favorites)

Opal flower cluster ring found at Nashville's first ever Big Flea

Weekday Wardrobe | Gem Gossip

Day Three:

14k yellow gold Victorian thimble ring found at the Nashville flea market

14k yellow gold boulder opal ring specially made by BCE Jewelry for me :)

14k yellow gold Gemini Twins enamel ring found on eBay

Weekday Wardrobe | Gem Gossip

Day Four:

Star sapphire and enamel antique ring found from OakGem at the Miami Antique Show in 2015

Victorian dendritic agate ring found at Joden Jewelry

Victorian turquoise and diamond ring found at the Vegas Antique Show in 2013

Weekday Wardrobe | Gem Gossip

Day Five:

Edwardian diamond ring found on eBay

Platinum and diamond ring found from Hampton Estate Auction (my Christmas present from Matt this year)

14k white gold three stone diamond ring from eBay (one of my very first purchases off eBay, it originally had a ruby in the center)

 

xoxoGemGossip

WANT MORE? Check out my past Weekday Wardrobe posts

shopGEMGOSSIP Updates!

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Happy January! As a way to celebrate the new year, we're having a sale on all garnet jewelry that is available at shopGEMGOSSIP. The first photo above illustrates every garnet item we have--so take your pick! This rich gemstone is a favorite of mine and I love it paired with burgundy nails. Every garnet item is 15% off all month long.

We're also striving to add new pieces once per month to keep things fresh and on a schedule. The holidays were a different story, but I wanted to provide as many jewels as possible during that time of year. We sold over 50 items and couldn't thank you enough for the support. My jewelry box is oddly looking bare, it is the strangest thing.

If you place an order in January or February, you get a FREE GIFT! This also includes if you've had a layaway, and your final payment is in either January or February.

Excited for what is to come and hope that I will find YOU that something special for your jewelry collection. As always, if you have anything you've been searching for--feel free to drop me an email. We have a couple buying trips planned for January and February.

All items shown above are AVAILABLE! To shop click here.

 

xoxoGemGossip

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