Entries in jewelry blog (850)
Back in July of last year I alerted my readers to my search for an alternative, more "user-friendly" engagement ring for everyday wear. I also penned a "Rules of Engagement" blog post which generated a lot of feedback and I enjoyed hearing everyone's take on something that is often not talked about. If you haven't read the blog post--I totally encourage you!
Well since then, I've been on the hunt for a genuine sapphire to replace the synthetic one that was in this antique cluster ring from Maejean Vintage. Sometimes when hunting for jewelry, you have to keep in mind that if the piece is not exactly "perfect" to you, there's always ways of changing out gemstones, or re-enameling a piece that has heavy enamel damage, or resetting the design to make it more appealing. You have to train your eye to envision a piece of jewelry reimagined.
Finding a sapphire was tougher than I thought! Browsing online proved tough because I knew I had to be able to see the gemstone in person to judge if it was the right color blue that I wanted. I realized the best place to find something would most likely be in Tucson at the annual gem shows. I was ready to make it one of my projects while in Tucson a few months ago. At that point I realized I was going to have to buy a stone and get it recut so it would properly fit. I kept finding sapphires I really loved the colors of but hated to think of spending so much money on a larger stone that would just need cutting down. I figured my best bet would be to buy a more affordable price per carat sapphire, and hopefully once recut, it would look better than the lower price point that it truly is/was.
That goal was sort of lofty but I knew Jean-Noel of Top Notch Faceting could turn my ordinary stone into something magical. After some Top Notch Faceting, the once dark blue sapphire opened up and now has a brighter, more brilliant shine and sparkle. The blue lightened up a bit, but still has its velvety color which is what I wanted from the very beginning. I love that the stone is not a cookie-cutter cut--it has its own unique shape and style that Jean-Noel is known for and makes the stone and now ring that much more special.
I'm so happy with how this ring came out and it is truly a testament to having patience and making sure every step of the creation process is exactly what you want. Settling for something less than what you are envisioning just because it would be quicker is not always the answer. I'm also loving the fact that this ring will become important in my jewelry wardrobe and it is from some of my favorite people in the jewelry industry--Maejean Vintage & Top Notch Faceting.
Let me know your thoughts on the ring! Would love to hear!
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New stash alert!
Wanted to let you know--if you haven't already seen the newest additions to the @shopGEMGOSSIP page, here they all are! So many gorgeous rings--some fun opals, lots of sparkly diamonds, even a yummy green chyrsoprase. A few have already been sold and are sitting pretty in their new homes.
I do offer layaway--if you see something you might want, but don't currently have the money you can put it on layaway. You can pay 1/3 every thirty days for 3 months--no fees! All purchases this month receive a quartz geode and a Gem Gossip pen. If you follow on Instagram @shopGEMGOSSIP I've also posted videos of all these rings as well--you just need to have the latest version of Instagram to view the sliding image function.
I accept PayPal, money order, checks, Venmo and credit cards. Email email@example.com for all inquiries!
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Hey guys & gals.
I've never started a blog post like that before. Should I just leave it? Ok, I will.
Here is the long overdue blog post about the items I brought back from my trips to Tucson & Miami. Anytime I go to a jewelry show, I never know what I'm going to find so the energy is always slightly tense and adrenaline is constantly flowing. If I buy something at a show, I never know for certain if I'm going to keep it or sell it--I've realized I have to bring it home and introduce it into my collection, wear it a few times, and decide if it feels like it should be mine forever or not. I can't tell you how I determine that, I just know.
This time around in Tucson, I never knew I would find a piece of jewelry I would love and end up keeping. I was totally focused on buying gems, crystals and random minerals (see second photo) but when I stopped by the Excalibur Estate Jewelry booth at AGTA in Tucson, the ring kind of found me. It didn't help that I had been searching for a special client of mine for something just like this, but it was out of her budget. I bought it anyway. The whole rest of the trip, I treated it as though it was for my client and that I would be saying goodbye to it as soon as I got home. Every time I thought about selling it, I couldn't! I also kept looking at pictures of it (actually the exact photo in this blog post) the whole plane ride home. I had to keep it.
My next trip to Miami was only a week later, so normally I would be like "my budget is DONE" after buying something like that in Tucson. I had some good timing with my EBTH sale being launched the same day Miami started. I took my entire inventory and put it up for auction with EBTH--sort of nail-biting as every piece is sold at no reserve--so yes several pieces went for hundreds less than retail value, but I was able to justify finding and buying three amazing new pieces for my personal collection.
The three rings in the last photo above on the left are my Miami Antique Show finds. The furthest one on the left is from Shelly Storch Fine Jewelry--I found it early on in the day on my last day, I made an offer which wasn't accepted and then came back right before I left at the end of the day. This is one of those rings that you simply can't stop staring at! The turquoise and black enamel ring was found at Haig's of Rochester and I love the contrast of the turquoise with the enamel. I think it may have been a stick pin conversion--while most stick pins are tiny, this one is pretty large, which is what I like about it as well. The last purchase from the Miami Antique Show is the Art Nouveau diamond and black enamel ring from Marlene Wong Alvarado Antique & Estate Jewelry. She is a seller who has been in the business for YEARS and is based out of Corpus Christi, Texas. She told me she personally wore that ring for over 20 years, as it was in her personal collection and this was the first time she was offering it for sale. I told her I would take good care of it! It is marked Syman and I couldn't find much about this maker online. I posted a photo of the ring on a Facebook Group I'm a member of--Antique Jewelry Identification Group--and my friend Jenn believes that it is a Colorado based company from the early 1900s. If you know more about this maker, please contact me!
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The Instagram likes are no lie--people love Dana Seng's jewelry designs. Whether it is the stackable appeal or the fashionable looks each piece has, Dana is doing it right. It is hard to win over millennials in this fast-paced society we live in, however this new company has been working hard at creating jewelry that is fun, has a good value and can be worn by all ages. And just like that, people are catching on and wanting their own Dana Seng Jewelry pieces. The personalized birthstone initials are one of Dana's most popular designs (I have my own sapphire D necklace) and it is easy to understand why. The personalization of both the gemstone used, as well as the initial chosen, is unique because of the two-step process. Most items only have one element that can be personalized--this has two!
I caught up with the designer herself to see what she has been up to:
I am currently working on designing new styles to add to my Eternity Collection for this Spring/Summer season. I am very anxious to share these new designs because I am putting in my all in each and every one of them. I am also sharing my signature Birthstone & Initial collection with many of our fans out there.
I started working at my husband’s wholesale company as an engagement ring designer. I was and still am very skillful at jewelry designing. So, I began my own Dana Seng Jewelry line. I use my passion and knowledge to create exceptionally unique styles that are rarely to be found.
I would say that by showing my Birthstone & Initial Collection out there to our fans and the fact that they absolutely loved it was a proudest moment of my jewelry career.
Also opening up my own showroom and launching the website were huge highlights so far. My showroom is located in downtown Los Angeles and I just love how beautiful it is! Everything came together.
To be honest, I create every piece of my design out of passion. I use a pen and a paper to scratch out all the ideas that I have and put them together. So my future goal is to continue to design unique and comfortable jewelry pieces with high quality materials and sell them at an affordable price point to our consumers.
I would have to say an initial necklace that my grandmother gifted me when I was a teenager. I am very thankful and so grateful for this particular gift because it inspires me to figure out many unique designs.
This sponsored post was brought to you in collaboration with Dana Seng Jewelry.
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This month's Jewelry Collection Story comes from someone I've actually met in person, which doesn't happen too often since so many people from our lovely Instagram community are from all parts of the world. Leslie came to the GIA Alumni meeting when I spoke in DC last summer and I recognized her right away because of the opal ring she was wearing! Funny how sometimes that happens. It has been fun getting to know her on Instagram and am so excited she agreed to share her personal collection story with us--take it away Leslie:
"I am a total museum junky by nature and my love for classical art and history runs deep. However, jewelry as art was not on my radar until about 12 years ago when I found my first vintage piece, the pretzel ring. Yes, I had a few token pieces of mall jewelry but I never really thought there was much substance to jewelry until I discovered the vintage and antique world. A golden pretzel with diamond salt appealed to my sense of humor and art. It was also meaningful to me as a Speech Pathologist working with my special needs children on requesting items, one of those items was actually pretzels! I can’t tell you how many kiddos have actually tried to lick it over the years! This one ring started an obsession but also introduced me to my friend Lara from Icon Style in NYC. I learned so much from her over the next few years and with her help I really grew my collection and love for all eras.
My current collection includes Victorian, Edwardian, Art Nouveau. Art Deco, Vintage and a few Georgian pieces. I don’t necessarily have a preferred era but I think the biggest appeal of antique and vintage jewelry is how unique and detailed the pieces can be. Color is a big factor for me but most importantly I like quirk. If it’s funny or unique, I have to have it! I love to mix and match eras and pile it on pretty thick. Certainly, no one would accuse me of neglecting my jewelry.
One thing I wear every day is obviously my Art Deco engagement ring. I had always assumed I would get a Victorian cluster ring but when I tried this piece on I fell hard for its lively black opal.
The one motif that I am magnetically drawn to is snakes. I can spot a serpent in a jewelry case like a shark scenting blood in the water. In fact, I found my tiny snake earrings despite their purposely discreet location in my friend’s display case. In the histories of various civilizations, snakes have come to symbolize many ideas but my favorite is that of eternal love. Symbolism aside, snakes have the unique visual impact that I find hard to resist.
Charms are another obsession I have. I try to limit myself but I just love some of the funny and super detailed pieces you can find. My favorite charm is my vintage gold ghost. He is perfectly crafted and has the most beautiful brown marquise diamond eyes that peek from behind his sheet.
Another style of jewelry I desperately love is Art Deco era “pools of light.” Layering these rock crystal orbs is addictive but also causes some serious neck strain. I have several pieces but the most interesting one is a rock crystal orb the size of a jaw breaker. It is completely encased in an open silver work shell depicting bunnies paddling in canoes.
Rings are my go-to to buy and again I don’t discriminate. I collect a variety of stones, styles, and metals. One thing I don’t like to do is size my rings. I have a few exceptions but in general I try not to alter the finger bling that comes into my collection. If one is too big I simply stack it with gold bands to adjust the fit.
When I was first collecting I would shop at Icon Style in NYC and I would go to all the big NYC shows religiously. Having relocated to the DMV area I have had more opportunities to go to antiquing in rural areas but also go to the bigger shows like the DC flea and the Baltimore Antique Show. I don’t shop online much but I have found several lovely pieces through the Instagram community."
You can follow Leslie --> @pinkpirahnah