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Entries in gold jewelry (79)

Jewels at my Doorstep: MATEO New York

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Photography by Lauren Newman

Powerfully creative, remarkably chic--Mateo New York is a line of jewelry created by Matthew "Mateo" Harris, Jamaican born creative who feasts on inspiration and jewelry, 24/7. His creations speak for themselves, often described as minimalistic designs, yet are bursting with feeling, power and innovation. I would never call it "trendy" jewelry--these pieces are staples for the fashionistas, obsessions of the creative geniuses, and everyday classics for the it-girl. I dare you to put on one of his chokers and not feel cool. The tying of the velvet bow that every choker isn't complete without doing so will give you endless possibilities of wearing it--either in the back, off to the side, or be daring and wear the bow toward the front!  

I was so excited to get to spend a few days with Mateo's pieces--I tried them on, wore them out and of course, styled the above looks and put them into a photoshoot. I was inspired by his latest venture--opening up a flagship store in Nolita, NYC, where I felt his style, mixed with big city vibes, created a sleek look. The store is exactly his aesthetic and is a vital part of his brand. Getting customers to walk into the inviting space, see and try-on his pieces, is just the first step in a life-long client for Mateo--and it is something that online shopping lacks. But don't let that stop you from visiting his website and browsing/shopping online! Just know that his pieces are that much more amazing in person! ;)

Picking out the items was tough for me because I pretty much love every single piece that Mateo makes!  If you love geometric jewelry, you'll die over all the endless shapes and Calder-inspired mobile designs. The 14k yellow gold Mobile Shapes earrings were fun, playful and affordable luxury items that set the tone of my shoot. They instantly turned my ear lobes into a work of art. The chokers are a definite favorite and if you're in the market to buy one, I suggest you get one of Mateo's! I've tried on way too many cheap-feeling ones from other designers and his is the real deal! The Semi-Circle Disc earrings created the second look and I felt that wet, slicked hair was necessary for it. Whether it is circles, squares or triangles--Mateo takes ordinary shapes and makes them extraordinary. Hope to own a piece for myself in the future!

Shop my look:

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May Is Gold Month, Celebrate with Some Gold Trends!

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The allure of gold is unlike any other metal--it conjures up so many feelings when I look at my favorite yellow gold bracelet brought back from Italy by my grandparents over 20 years ago, or when I wear my gold hoops that I purchased when I graduated from high school. I can sense the power, the value and the weight of the gold, but I can also feel the memories, the sentiment, and the love behind each piece. Celebrating gold is something I do everyday, as it is hands-down my favorite metal used for jewelry, so having an entire month dedicated to GOLD and promoting everything about it makes me happy!  Over at May Is Gold Month, they have committed to spreading the knowledge of karat gold, promoting the wearability of gold with weekly trends, even providing some deals and contests for readers as well. For me, it's a passion I can stand behind too, right there with them!

My love for karat gold jewelry has brought me on so many journeys with my #JewelryRoadTrip and working with LoveGold for two years, I've put on some miles all in the name of gold. I love the fact that gold has been found on every continent and it is my lifelong dream to be able to pan for gold and actually find some! I like to relate my quest for finding and featuring gold jewelry stores/designers on my blog as being similar to the gold miners of the big Gold Rush of 1849. In fact, it is one of my most favorite things to research and learn about. The power of gold is depicted best in situations like the California Gold Rush, where hundreds of thousands of gold-seekers put everything on the line in search of one thing. Gold's impact reached far greater than just the discovery of it alone and it will always remain the number one selling metal for luxury and jewelry items.

How you wear and style karat gold jewelry is a whole different realm of gold. My biggest tip would be to try new ideas and trends--don't ever wear the same pieces of jewelry every single day for the rest of your life! If you need some suggestions, May Is Gold Month has put together some weekly trends that you can easily focus on and I'm here to help suggest ways of taking each and making them your own.  Let's start from the top!

MayIsGoldMonth | Gem Gossip

Trend #1: GOLD HOOPS

A gold jewelry staple that will never go out of style, gold hoops are a piece of karat gold jewelry you must own! Thick or thin, large or small...the style and size does not matter, it's how you wear them and what you wear them with that is most important! I like to wear mine stacked on one ear, with each being similar in size and style. I left my other lobe bare to give it a dramatic effect. Karat gold hoops can really add a spice to your style--a small addition with a big impact. 

MayIsGoldMonth | Gem Gossip

Trend #2: LIGHTLY LAYERED

This is a great trend because you can combine lots of small, karat gold jewels to create one big, impactful look. I've always had a thing for tiny gold bracelets and each one has a unique style. Some are from Italy from my grandparents so they are very sentimental to me, while one I bought from a gold kiosk in the middle of the mall, and another is from Kay Jewelers. Wearing them all together is fun and every time my arm moves, they move around with me. The small karat gold rings are fun to stack and layer as well, so both types of jewelry play off one another. 

MayIsGoldMonth | Gem Gossip

Trend #3: GOLD RINGS

This trend comes way too natural for me--I don't ever leave the house with just ONE gold ring. However, there's a skilled art to stacking rings and piling on whatever you have just won't cut it. I like large, elongated rings to go on the biggest finger--the middle finger--and that works as a good starting point. Combine rings that have a special meaning with pieces that are trendy. I love the geometrical trends that are happening right now, so I opted for a lightweight, but still 14k solid gold version of this trend to cut the cost. One thing is for certain though, whenever you buy a piece of karat gold jewelry, it is an investment that you won't regret.

MayIsGoldMonth | Gem Gossip

Trend #4: SYMBOLISM

Gold jewelry is often highly symbolic, whether it's a talisman, a good luck charm or a piece of jewelry that means something more than what meets the eye. For me, I have many karat gold charms in my life that hold a symbolic meaning like my Figas, and my lucky locket passed down to me by my Gram. My newest additions are the lapis scarab (if you follow me on Instagram, I've sold two large lapis scarab pieces recently and sort of regretted selling--and then I found like mini version of it just recently on my trip to DC, from The Antique Guild) and a gold heart ring box that holds an almost identical miniature version of my engagement ring, recently purchased from A.Brandt + Son. The charm is so neat because it opens and closes, and the craftsmanship is impeccable. 

MayIsGoldMonth | Gem Gossip

Trend #5: WRIST BLISS

What a dueling pair of wrists! My bracelet style is quite bipolar--I love a great karat gold Victorian hinged bracelet but then I also can go very modern, chunky with a large, heavy men's Cuban Link chain. Talk about opposites! I love both for different reasons, but that's the beauty of having different styles and karat gold jewelry has SO many styles. I've collected the Victorian gold bracelets over the years from my job being an appraiser, but the Cuban Link chain is my husband's! I hope to own a matching one some day...one that actually fits though! His is huge on me!

MayIsGoldMonth | Gem Gossip

Trend #6: NECK CANDY

Necklaces are the type of jewelry I own the least of, but surprisingly that has been changing lately! I think it's because I like wearing necklaces that are more than just a chain and a pendant or charm. That's when I got the bright idea of turning my gold cross charm bracelet into a necklace by adding a gold bracelet to each end and extending the length. It easily transforms it into a close-fitting statement necklace that everyone asks about...and even better, each cross has a story. I've also added my Fox & Bond Mini necklace to the mix to make the look more interesting.  The Mini is a miniature solitaire ring which features a special engraving on the inside. 

This post was brought to you in collaboration with May Is Gold Month.

 

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Q & A with Lisa Kim Fine Jewelry

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With each collection released and each encounter I have with Lisa Kim Fine Jewelry, I am more and more intrigued...spellbound, you could say. From the first concept of the lookbook (which I still have laid out like a coffee table best seller) to her enchanting video launch depicting her vision and a glimpse into her world, Lisa Kim strikes again, this time debuting a new collection called The Seabeast. The concept and inspiration will leave you curious to see what is next and the new pieces are gorgeous. Highly wearable ear climbers, earrings, necklaces and a unique ring make up The Seabeast collection. If you're like me, you want to know more about the pieces and some insights into the designer, so here you go! Hope you enjoy:

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My boyfriend and I love to cook. We were in the kitchen making dinner one day several months ago when he told me about the cockentrice, which originated from the Middle Ages in Europe. A suckling pig and a capon were sewn together to create a whole new beast that was roasted and served on a platter. This was culinary drama designed to amaze and delight guests while feeding them. The idea of a creature made of different parts stuck in my head and it shaped the story behind The Seabeast. Mythological beasts are mash-ups anyway; the unicorn is a horse with a horn, the manticore is a lion with a human head, rows of shark-like teeth, bat wings, and a scorpion tail.

I offer different iterations of the same animal in The Seabeast. The initial release features pendants and earrings that are fusions of scales, fins, waves, and shark teeth. I always like to leave some interpretation up to the viewer so I tend to steer away from literal design; but with this collection I felt compelled to design The Eye of The Beast, which is a departure for me. There are other pieces in the collection with ferocious teeth and spines like the ones you find on crab shells and conch shells.

Did Leviathan really exist? Was there a Kraken that smashed ships to their doom? Did the Midgard Serpent truly wrap itself around the world? Is it still there? Could it be that these myths and tall tales were about one and the same creature that has ruled the deepest and the most secret parts of the Earth all this time? Science would tell us otherwise, but we can't really say for certain that this creature is pure fiction. I like to think that this beast once lived and that its parts were scattered. Once re-assembled, it will live again. I aim to suspend your disbelief. I want you to possess a piece of this creature and take on its power and believe that it is real.

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From an early age I would draw and write stories while listening to music. This led me to my first career as a storyboard artist in animation. It was a fun occupation for sure but I never stopped dreaming stories of heroes in my fantasy world.

I was still working in animation when I signed up for a wax carving course at a small jewelry school here in L.A. One month into the course I committed to becoming a jewelry designer and business owner. I quit my job in 2011.

I took a bench jeweler course at the school. In the following year I interned for fashion designer Michael Schmidt where I got to work on some amazing metal projects for pop artists. After that I went to work for Tony Swatton, a blacksmith, bladesmith, leatherworker, costumer - a truly remarkable maker of all things. If you’ve watched film and tv in the past thirty years, chances are you’ve seen his work. (Remember the Vikings from the Capital One commercials? Tony made all of their gear.) Michael and Tony are two very different guys but they had one thing in common: They made incredible accessories that punched up a performer’s onstage presence. I came away from these places feeling really empowered by the things we worked on. I really wanted to create that feeling with statement fine jewelry.

I had the fortune of studying chasing and repoussé under European masters Valentin Yotkov and Davide Bigazzi. Chasing and repoussé are ancient metalworking techniques that allowed me to create my signature cuff bracelets that remind everyone of Wonder Woman. My bracelets are made by hand using tools and thousands of hammer blows. It’s a more efficient use of metal compared to casting - this means I can go pretty large with my designs and they remain surprisingly light in weight.

I am a member of AGTA and I serve as Communications Chair at WJA Los Angeles. In 2013 I received the Carelle-WJA Grant in Honor of Brooke Tivol McGrath. This was a cash grant of $5,000 that allowed me to produce a look book with my first collection that helped me establish the look of my brand. I feel incredibly blessed to have received this aid from WJA.

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Selling my first piece – a custom rubelite ring in 18k gold. My passion lies in bespoke pieces for fierce and independent women. You know who they are –they’re the ones who speak up and turn heads whenever they enter a room.

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I aim to grow this collection over the coming months. You can expect to see more parts of the beast. There will be one-of-a-kinds with colored stones, pearls, and diamonds.

I would like to partner with more retailers. Consumer values have been changing a lot these past few years and retailers have had to evolve with this. I strongly believe brick-and-mortar stores are still incredibly important despite the rise of e-commerce. Women know what they want more than ever before. They will always want a place where they can experience jewelry in person and connect with it.

From the very beginning my goal has been to create magic in metal. This is my raison d’être. Running a business involves wearing all kinds of hats which I love, but at the end of the day all I want is bad-ass jewelry for our bad-ass selves.

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My cavansite ring. It’s the one piece I made for myself so far. It looks magical and everyone always asks about it. It has heft like all my other designs. My pieces aren’t just pleasing to look at - they have to feel substantial and luxurious, too. My jewelry has presence just like the women who wear it.

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This post was brought to you in collaboration with Lisa Kim Fine Jewelry.

 

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Check out Diamonds in the Library, who also is featuring the new collection today as well!

Q & A with Onirikka Fine Jewelry


Onirikka | Gem Gossip Visually caught up in the moment, I stumbled upon Onirikka Fine Jewelry one day while browsing Instagram and immediately got swept up in their feed. I was drawn in by the pops of color given off by the bright bubble gum topazes and quartz gems featured in the Klasica rings, all set in 18k yellow gold. I dug deeper to find a few more collections, each unique and stunning. Like the Prisma Collection, which mixes all the right colors of sapphires and sprinkles in some white diamonds for good measure. The Trinity Collection is all diamonds, mostly bezel set in clusters of three, all done in 18k gold. It's classic with a twist. And finally, the Unika Collection is just as you would suspect--one-of-a-kind designs that let designer Gloria Rank create freely.

Each piece is handmade in New York City, keeping in mind the mantra of the line--jewelry is a legacy. The creativity is never-ending for the El Salvador born Rank, who finds inspiration everywhere she goes. 

Such fun and unique designs led me to a few questions, wanting to know more about the designer behind these jewels and what's in store for the future. Hope you enjoy my Q & A with the Gloria, creator of Onirikka Fine Jewelry:


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I'm always working on new pieces for the next collection, so I'm looking forward to showing some new designs in exciting materials. But what I'm really most excited about is showing Onirikka at an upcoming jewelry show. Stay tuned for details!

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I can truly say that my love for jewelry started in childhood, always feeling a special connection to it. Then I studied design at Le Arti Orafe in Florence where I was able to nurture and express my passion for jewelry design. About midway through my career, I married my husband and 13 years later, we have two children in my hometown of San Salvador, El Salvador. For a few years, I put my jewelry career on pause for a little while but am excited to now be back doing what I love. I jumped back in with an intensive jewelry design course at GIA in New York. My first collection came out in 2011 and flourished by privately selling in El Salvador. A few years after that, I launched a proper label to tap into other markets and now the brand stands where it is today.

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I feel a great sense of pride every time I am recognized from a jewelry industry expert. I am still learning and finding my voice through jewelry, which I suspect will continue to evolve throughout my career. And with every step forward, every single accomplishment, as small as it may seem, is a step closer to reaching my goals.

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I am very guided by my goals and dreams. In fact, the name Onirikka comes from Oneiric, which means "From Dreams." My ultimate dream, and where I see the company going, is to be sold in five major retail stores, creating enough brand awareness to open an Onirikka Fine Jewelry flagship store in major cities. I also hope to launch a kids line and ultimately, to create a foundation that supports performing arts in my native country, El Salvador, and in other countries where dance, theatre and art are not taken seriously.

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As we know, jewelry is a very emotional business. So my absolute favorite piece of jewelry is not the coolest or trendiest. Instead, it's a vintage gold and diamond brooch that hangs from a pearl necklace, which I received as a gift from my grandmother, when I turned 18. I love everything about it; it's intricate, delicate and meaningful. I still vividly remember the day she gave it to me, and her happiness when she handed it over. Two other favorite pieces are my vintage engagement ring, which belonged to my husband's grandmother, and a black and white frog ring, designed by myself, inspired on balance.

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This post was brought to you in collaboration with Onirikka Fine Jewelry & YaYa Publicity.

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Necklace Stories: Four Figas, Four Different Ways

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Remember that time I decided to make a New Year's Resolution where I can only buy one ring per month for the entire year?!  Yeah, I do too...I, like, just made that resolution and I already want to break it. But I must not falter, I must resist temptation. Oddly enough, other parts of my jewelry collection are growing! Hmmm...strange how that works! ;) For example, I bought a brooch.  I bought a curb-link necklace (photo is of it twisted into a makeshift ring, because I can't help it, ring obsessed). I've even strung a ring onto a gold chain and created one of my most favorite necklaces ever (that way it doesn't count as being a ring if it is worn as a necklace)! Yes, truly loving my new Charlton & Lola Japa ring--a 14k gold ring that features nine sacred gold balls elevated off the main band. When the Japa ring is worn on the finger, it can easily be turned with just the flick of the thumb, becoming an aid in meditation, a soulful piece of gold. This is one of those pieces that you just fall in love with, both the design and comfort of the piece, and end up wearing daily. The Japa ring made me start looking into my necklace and charm collection. I began to pull favorite charms and started to create mini-vignettes of charms that complemented one another. Hope you enjoy!

Necklace One: one malachite figa (from James McHone Jewelry), one St. Anthony medallion (passed down to me by my dad), one green enamel dangling fish (passed down to me from my mom who was gifted it by my grandma after a trip to Italy)

Necklace Two: one figa with gold nails and gold bracelet (!!) (from James McHone Jewelry), one Italian horn pendant (passed down to me by my dad), one Victorian heart padlock (from eBay), one Fox & Bond Mini (from Fox & Bond, engraved with my wedding date)

Necklace Three: the necklace is actually a Y-necklace which I experimented with adding charms to and I love how it looks with charms (from Bea Millen), one Japa ring (from Charlton & Lola), one amethyst figa charm (from James McHone Jewelry), and one Amoré heart charm (from Pasquale Bruni)

Necklace Four: one rose quartz figa charm (from James McHone Jewelry), one Edwardian carved mother of pearl religious medallion (from where I used to work), one gold heart key (gift from my grandma after she got back from Italy)

 

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