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Entries in estate jewelry (204)

The Ten Best Vintage Engagement Rings from Trumpet & Horn

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A dream came true over the weekend. Trumpet & Horn sent me a package of jewels, ten to be exact, and I got to live, laugh, love with them for a few days. Of course, every Cinderella has a midnight clock waiting to strike, and I had to send them all back--but don't be sad, if any of these catch your fancy, you can own them!  So my dream does have a happy ending. 

Trumpet & Horn has been the leading online destination for gorgeous antique and vintage jewelry since 2012. Since launching four years ago, they have made hundreds of brides happy with engagement rings and wedding bands. They've collaborated with wedding dress designer Claire Pettibone on an exclusive collection of rings and bands, reminiscent of her intricate bridal dresses and style. The collection is quite the success, you must check out the gallery of designs.  Trumpet & Horn also has their own vintage-inspired collection of rings, along with their authentic vintage and antique jewelry sourced from all over by owner Jerry and his team.

I've been enjoying the Trumpet & Horn newsletter for years--they provide "new arrivals" every Tuesday right to your inbox. It is worth signing up for, especially if you are busy and forget to consistently check their website. You never know if your dream ring might be the next new arrival! You would have first dibs easily! Also in September (tomorrow!) Trumpet & Horn is offering 15% off all sapphires during the month, so some great incentive for all you sapphire lovers out there!

Enjoy the photos of the ten rings and get the full break down of each below:

Trumpet & Horn | Gem Gossip Trumpet & Horn | Gem Gossip

1. Just the right amount of color, this Persian turquoise cluster ring is a little glam and a little low key. Its journey didn't start out as a ring--it actually was an earring and has now been transformed perfectly by Trumpet & Horn. I love the shank that they have added--it is super comfortable and the split-shank style is so fitting.

Ring is called Bridgeton, Price: $2,950

2. These bold step cut aquamarine rings were popular during the late Art Deco, early Retro period. I've seen quite a few in my time from appraising jewelry for five years, but this particular ring is different than the other similar ones. For starters, it isn't as huge and fake-looking as most--sure it is still a bold piece, but the size of the aquamarine (approx. 10 carats) is surprisingly ideal. I would want this as my "something blue" if I were getting married! 

Ring is called St. Tropez, Price: $4,250

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3. Mesmerizing moonstone. I just can't get enough of this gemstone and it seems to be gaining in popularity. This particular ring shows off everything wonderful about this gem--the solitaire setting really focuses all attention to the stone. It is simple yet bold enough to stand alone. But if you are stack-obsessed, this can do that too!

Ring is called Resthaven, Price: $1,050

4. When I unwrapped this sapphire and diamond cluster ring from Trumpet & Horn, my mouth dropped. The ring was glowing in the light. I have a sweet spot for Victorian jewelry and this ring dates back to the late 1800s. The Old Mine cut diamonds that surround the sapphire make it even more special, totaling approximately 0.80 carats.

Ring is called Oakley, Price: $4,500

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5. Another phenomenal gemstone that we can't get enough of: Opals. This ring is all-original Victorian Era and features three oval cut opals that have some major fire! If you look at some of the photos above that depict this opal ring, the flashes of color are pretty glorious. I loved stacking it with the peridot ring, so you can see it easily stacks. Whatever gemstone it pairs with, those colors are brought out in the opals. So neat! 

Ring is called Brushy Ridge, Price: $1,975

6. And here is the peridot ring I just mentioned! Peridot was a popular choice of gemstone during the Victorian Era and this ring is a fine example of just that. August's birthstone is sometimes hard to find--there are lots of diamond, sapphire, ruby and emerald jewels out there--but you don't often see peridot. Any August babies out there looking for your perfect birthstone ring, this is it!

Ring is called Grand Isle, Price: $3,950

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7. A golden ring consisting of a natural ruby, an amazing silhouette in a navette shape and sparkling diamonds to finish it off. This ring has it all. If you like your rubies more on the pink-side of the spectrum, this is a good choice for you. It dates back to the Victorian Era and done in 18k yellow gold. Would make the best unconventional engagement ring.

Ring is called Prairie, Price: $2,100

8. This emerald and white sapphire cluster ring for those who like their clusters more reminiscent of floral patterns. I love the size of this ring in general and the comfort level is a 10/10. Set with an oval cut emerald approximately 0.50 carat surrounded by white sapphires--yes, you may have first glanced and thought these were diamonds.  I did too! Makes it very affordable and budget-friendly.

Ring is called Stratton, Price: $1,750

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9. Garnet lovers rejoice! Trumpet & Horn has a big, juicy garnet for you and it comes in this ring setting that shows it off impeccably. This early Victorian ring features an oval cut garnet in a six-prong setting with hand-engraved details on the side. I think this ring would be perfect for a January birthday gift, or if you're celebrating a January anniversary...or maybe even a push present for an upcoming January baby. 

Ring is called Whitmore, Price: $1,275

10. We couldn't do a top ten ring countdown without including a pearl ring in the mix. This one is extra special because it features some calibre cut synthetic rubies surrounding it and also has a French origin (French hallmarks). Love the two-tone metal, with the yellow gold shank with white gold accents. 

Ring is called Red Roof, Price: $1,250

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Trumpet & Horn.



My Jewel Box: A Peg Doll Charm from the 1930s

Peg Doll Charm | Gem Gossip Peg doll charm | Gem Gossip Peg Doll Charm | Gem Gossip

This might be my favorite thing I ever bought. The story of how I acquired this kooky charm is definitely worth its own blog post!  If you read my blog, you may have seen that I visited Sarah's Vintage & Estate Jewelry in Buffalo, NY on my quick trip back home. I loved visiting the store, meeting the owner Sarah and everything about that day--it was magical.  What happened afterwards when I got home to Nashville, you could say, was also magical and somewhat mysterious.

So here is what happened...

I was going through photos on my iPhone as I do every weekend, trying to delete things from the previous week and organize my life. When I visit stores, I take photos with a professional camera and barely use my iPhone.  I did however take a couple pictures with my iPhone during my visit--I remember trying to see what the best angle would be to shoot images without getting a ton of reflection from the windows--so I was "test shooting" photos. A few of these test shots captured some pieces of jewelry I overlooked on my visit, the main being the above 14k yellow gold Peg Doll charm. I was scrolling through the photos and there she was clear as day amongst all the other blurry shots. I was like, "What is this?! This is amazing!!" 

I knew I had to reach out to Sarah and ask about the charm, hoping it was still in her store. I envisioned her response being like, "A doll charm? I have no idea what you're talking about, I've never had something like that before" ...and it being a twilight zone situation. haha But sure enough, she still had it and the rest is history! 

I posted a photo of the charm earlier today and asked if anyone knew any information on this unique piece. Special thanks to Eden of The Eden Collective who had a similar charm at one point and did some digging on it. She called it a "Peg Doll" charm most likely from the 1930s, originating in Germany. These peg doll charms were very popular back then.  If anyone knows anything else, I'd be happy to hear! And also would love to see any interesting or unique charms in your collection too! 



WANT MORE? See more from my personal jewel box!

Gem Gossip Visits Sarah's Vintage & Estate Jewelry in Buffalo, NY

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I grew up in Upstate New York. My small town upbringing didn't allow my young self to be acquainted with jewelry very well. Only a couple mall jewelry stores is all I knew and unfortunately, all I thought existed in this world. Luckily the world wide web had opened my eyes to all that is out there, with the goal of my #JewelryRoadTrip project is to be the world's eyes and ears for searching out the best. Buffalo, NY was a short hour and 45 minute drive from where I lived and was visited almost on a quarterly basis as it was the closest city within driving distance. Ten years ago Sarah's Vintage & Estate Jewelry opened its doors in Williamsville, NY and I had just graduated from college, not really getting any more chances to visit the city. Then I moved south to Nashville and if you've been following my blog, you know the rest of that story!  I don't go home often to visit friends or family, but recently I got a chance thanks to my sister moving back and some serious frequent flyer miles. I discovered Sarah's Vintage & Estate Jewelry on Instagram and have been an avid follower of her finds. I knew she was based in Buffalo and hoped that someday the stars would align!

Sarah's Vintage & Estate Jewelry is owned by Sarah who grew up with a father in the jewelry business--he owned a jewelry store himself! Sarah found herself following in his footsteps back in 1984 when she started buying and selling jewelry while traveling the world. Selling high end costume jewelry is where she found success, with clients who owned boutiques on Madison Avenue in NYC and other dealers on the East Coast. Soon Sarah graduated to working with fine jewelry and found herself setting up at the big markets and shows which specialized in antique and estate jewelry. Shows like Las Vegas, Baltimore, and Miami were where she exhibited and sold jewelry for many years. Wanting a more permanent store, she decided on opening Sarah's Vintage & Estate Jewelry in 2006 and has been open ever since! Being Buffalo's leading source of antique and estate jewelry, Sarah is changing the game for the city and educating them on what it means to own a piece of history. 

I'm so glad I got to visit! Not only is Sarah as sweet and kind-hearted as many have told me--she also is impressively knowledgeable about vintage jewelry and has an amazing inventory.  I browsed the three main glass cases first--filled with lots of rings, including engagement and wedding bands, diamonds and antique pieces. Next, I took a long, hard look at the tall glass cases which boasted five-levels of jewelry! From high up top to "get down on your knees" low, the jewelry ranged in ages from Georgian pieces on up to new and modern. Whatever you prefer or collect, I bet Sarah's Vintage & Estate Jewelry has it! I love her prices--so very fair and she also offers layaway. Her store alone may have me visiting family more often! ;)

Hope you enjoy my photos from my visit and if you see anything in any of the photos that you're curious about, want a price, or would like to purchase, don't hesitate to email Sarah. You can also call the store at (716) 633-3738. I brought home a gorgeous lapis ring and an antique baby ring, which I will treasure forever! Thanks Sarah and can't wait to see you again!


Sarah's Logo

5459 Main Street

Williamsville, NY 14221

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Gem Gossip Visits EraGem in Bellevue, WA

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Above, I take a seat with owner Michael and put together my "wishlist"

Although most of my #JewelryRoadTrip was spent in Seattle, Bellevue is only a short drive and is the fastest growing and largest suburb of Seattle. It is also where EraGem calls home! After putting together a fun photoshoot using my TOP TEN favorite rings from their inventory last month, I couldn't wait to see more from them and had to make the trip. 

EraGem first started in 2006 but the company had a different name--Weston Jewelry. They specialize in antique and estate jewelry, always offering LOTS of rings of all kinds (my obvious favorite) like engagement rings, cocktail rings, designer rings, and gemstone rings. Founders Michael and Weston both grew up around fathers who owned stores--Michael's father owned an antique business and Weston's had a photography shop. It was kismet that the two combined forces for an antique jewelry business because one of the biggest factors that leads a successful online jewelry business is great photography. Their main focus was eBay, where they sold for many years and built up an amazing reputation and name, along with a huge clientele. It wasn't until 2012 when they rebranded everything, changing their name to EraGem, and launched their own e-commerce website. I love the name--not only is it short, catchy and perfect for antique jewelry, but as Michael points out, ERA can also be an acronym for Estate Retro Antique. Smart. What's even smarter is they have the jewelry photography game on lock, with their images catching the attention of Google, who always seems to rank their images really high in any type of "antique jewelry" search. It is one accomplishment they are proud of--and the other? Their top-of-the-line customer service. Free overnight shipping, 60-day money back guarantee, and lifetime warranty. They also offer a no-interest layaway plan, which I appreciate tremendously as layaway is how I was able to start a collection of jewelry.

The EraGem showroom is a great asset for the company and since opening its doors to the public, the founding duo have added Mike's brothers Maslow & Mark to the team, as well as Jennifer.  The idea of having a showroom for a mostly online business is sometimes actually necessary--people who are local can take advantage of the close proximity and be able to try things on in person, they also set up buying appointments at their showroom as well. A showroom visit starts with making a wishlist online, as all their inventory is listed on their website. Choose your favorites and set up an appointment--EraGem will take care of the rest! The team will pull the items on your wishlist, so when you arrive, they will be presented to you. If you're like me and totally forgot to put a wishlist together, you can sit down at their computer and search together by describing what you are looking for--you can start by gemstone and filter from there, or by price range, even by designer, it's up to you! I ended up picking A LOT of good things.

Thanks EraGem for welcoming me into your showroom--I had such a fun time playing with your jewels and seeing how things are done at such a ground-breaking antique and estate jewelry store. Below, you'll be able to shop my top ten favorites from my visit and in the meantime, I'll be frequently checking back to see all your DAILY new arrivals!

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12000 NE 8th St #101

Bellevue, WA 98005

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Alex Cooper's July 21st, 2016 Gallery Auction 

Lot 100 | Alex Cooper Auction Lot 9 | Alex Cooper Auction Lot 21 | Alex Cooper Auction Lot 46 | Alex Cooper Auction lot 75 | Alex Cooper Auction Lot 79 | Alex Cooper Auction lot 89| Alex Cooper Auction Lot 98 | Alex Cooper Auction Lot 99 | Alex Cooper Auction lot 104 | Alex Cooper Auction lot 110 | Alex Cooper Auction lot 128 | Alex Cooper Auction lot 131 | Alex Cooper Auction

The summertime is not typically known as auction season, but the jewelry auctions that do happen should not be missed.  This is where some of the best scores can be found, deals to be had and collections to be grown. Why? Because this time of the year most are out of the loop or on vacation! Case in point, Alex Cooper and their July 21st Gallery Auction! The variety of items they have coming up at auction this month is great for all levels of collectors--from beginners to advanced--and of course their heart-stopping center fold: lot number 100, a rare Australian black opal ring from Temple St. Clair. Totally out-of-this-world! 

Read more about my top picks from the sale below. Be sure to sign up in advance to bid and mark July 21st on your calendar!

Alex Cooper Gallery Auction, July 21st at NOON located in Towson, MD.

Lot 100: A rare Australian black opal ring from Temple St. Clair--the piece is handcrafted, hallmarked and comes with a certificate from the IGI. Such an exquisite piece and comes with original box! The bezel is set with multi-colored sapphires, fine details like that make this ring so special. The opal itself is incredible in its own right, weighing in at 8.73 carats. Estimate: $40-50,000

Lot 9: Designer pieces of jewelry are smart buys when bidding at auction. Once you buy designer at auction, you'll never want to pay full price again! Alex Cooper has some great designer pieces in this sale, like this Cartier ring. Done in 18k white gold and set with diamonds, this piece dates back to the 90s and is called the Nouvelle ring. It is a size 6! Estimate: $3,000-3,5000

Lot 21: Another prime example of a collectible designer piece is this ring by Van Cleef & Arpels. Known for their high quality and superb craftsmanship, this piece is done in 18k white gold set with diamonds and a cabochon sapphire. Such a pretty floral-inspired design and such a great starting price for a Van Cleef piece! Estimate: $4,000-5,000

Lot 46: Start your collection off by bidding on a lot like this, where several rings are included! This easily expands or begins your collection and these pieces are great staples.  The carved intaglio crest ring done in bloodstone stands out to me, a perfect Victorian piece. The others also from the same time period would stack together seamlessly. Estimate: $200-400

Lot 75: Can you blame me for making sure to include this ring in my favorites?! Bypass style always has my heart--this one is done in platinum with two round brilliant cut diamonds, perfectly matched, both approximately 0.80 carats each. The baguette and round diamond accents are a great complement to this style and finishes off the piece nicely. Estimate: $2,000-3,000

Lot 79: Oh man, I love a good locket and this one is pure dreamy!  Art Nouveau 14k yellow gold depicting a woman set with a diamond, the piece is engraved with a beautiful "R" on the back, along with two photos on the inside.  You must check out the extra photos on the website! Estimate: $250-400

Lot 89: Wildly geometric, my kind of ring! This piece is done in 14k yellow gold and set with an oval cut diamond and round sapphire. The ring is a size 4.75 and easily would mix and match with any collection. Estimate: $300-500

Lot 98: And I couldn't talk about designer jewelry without including a piece from Tiffany & Co.! A very vintage Tiffany & Co. crossover ring done in 18k yellow gold set with sapphires. This style is very 1950s/60s and truly transports you back in time when Hollywood starlets wore pieces like this on set. Such a cool piece paying homage to a nostalgic time period. Estimate: $1,500-2,500

Lot 99: Need an upgrade? This will do! A three carat stunner set in a classic vintage fishtail setting which is done in platinum of course!  The baguette diamonds do a perfect job of complementing the center stone. This ring sure does sparkle and would make a great engagement ring destined to be passed on through generations! Estimate: $25,000-30,000

Lot 104: Four vintage rings, one lot...and one bid to win them all!  A great collection featuring two solitaire rings, one lapis signet ring and one opal quatre foil cluster. The cool thing about auction lots that include several rings is if there are pieces that don't fit your style, you could always sell the ones you don't want. Estimate: $200-400

Lot 110: A dazzling old mine cut diamond sits at the center of this gorgeous bar pin circa 1920s. The piece is entirely platinum and in excellent condition. Just how big is that center diamond? Approximately 1.50 carats! Estimate: $800-1,000

Lot 128: Couldn't help but include this cute ring--another bypass style, this time using floral motifs. The diamonds are marquise cuts with a round cut for the center.  White and yellow diamonds, with the yellow diamonds most likely heat-treated. Estimate: $2,500-3,000

Lot 131: This ring caught my eye! I love a good dome ring and this one is particularly unique. Done in 18k yellow and white gold, the yellow gold is used brilliantly to make the design really pop! The diamonds are also used in an exceptional way, baguettes and rounds to create a weaved look. Estimate: $1,500-2,000


This post was brought to you in collaboration with Alex Cooper Auctions. 



Want more? Learn how to bid online at auction by reading my top five tips!