Entries in jewelry collection (37)
Continuing on from yesterday's Jewelry Collection Story, today we are peeking inside the personal jewelry box of Laura--the other half of Maejean Vintage. Just like her sister, Laura has a love for sentimental and family heirloom pieces. She also added a very important piece into her collection last fall--an engagement ring! And just as expected, it is stunning in every way possible.
If you're new to Gem Gossip, you may have missed my visit to the Maejean Vintage offices in Pennsylvania in July of 2015. No worries, I've got the link for you right here -- so make sure you read it or revisit it; it's a must-see!
We hope you enjoy a look at Laura's collection and if you missed yesterday's post, here is the link to her sister Amanda's collection story.
Above: Laura’s engagement ring! It took almost two years of searching until we found my dream ring. With being in the industry myself, I couldn't let him purchase a ring at normal retail prices. We ended up getting an amazing deal on it! Marty proposed to me on my 30th birthday, September 22nd 2016, before leaving for our beach trip.
From a very young age, I was completely enthralled with jewelry; It’s hard to recall back to a time I was not collecting it! When I was a little four month old baby, the first thing I “reached for” was my Mom-mom’s vintage 14k gold garnet cluster ring, which she often wore. When our Mom-mom passed away, I inherited the sentimental ring around 10 years old. Also around this age, my grandmother (on my father’s side) gave me a 14k gold sapphire ring for Christmas. Since then, I have been officially hooked on jewelry and have been collecting for two solid decades! (Guess I am giving away that I have hit the age 30 milestone!)
I am a huge fan of filigree designs in jewelry. The ornate scrolling metal work gets me every time! Lately I have been on the hunt for special figural animal jewelry that speaks to me. I am hoping to add a special antique fox and / or dog design ring to my collection soon!
Vintage jewelry is my passion because of its beauty, history, sentimental value, and craftsmanship. The history of vintage jewelry is so fascinating - from the design periods, symbolism, provenance, and decoding maker’s marks.
I love to pick up special vintage jewelry wherever I go! Whenever I travel to a different area for any occasion, I absolutely have to check out the coin shops, antique malls, auctions, and flea markets. Each marketplace has its own special perks. There’s the thrill of bidding at auction, excitement of finding a valuable piece for a few dollars at a market, and the satisfaction of “saving” a piece destined to be melted down for its precious metal at a coin shop.
My family heirloom jewelry is all extremely special to me! Interestingly enough, some of the jewelry passed down to me has unknown origins. Part of the collection was given to me by an unknown family member when I was extremely young to “play” with. We believe the family member must have thought the pieces were all costume jewelry, without value. I am extremely thankful that I somehow managed to safely keep these pieces over the decades. As I gained more knowledge of antique jewelry years later, I realized the pieces were mostly fine antique jewelry including 10k rose gold Victorian Era jewels!
You can follow Maejean Vintage --> @MaejeanVintage
I'm so excited to share this month's Jewelry Collection Story with you all because I know how much we collectively love the Maejean Vintage sisters! You probably own at least one piece from their Etsy shop, with over 12,000 sales made to date, I'm more apt to say you probably own several pieces! I know I do! It is fascinating to think over 12,000+ items have passed through these sisters' hands--it leads one to be curious as to what is in their personal collections?! What pieces have they come across over the years that they just couldn't bear to sell?! What jewels struck a chord with Laura and Amanda?
We are so lucky both were eager to share and put together these photos and stories of their collections. We decided to do a two-day, back-to-back event featuring the collections of both sisters--first up is Amanda's collection, the younger of the two sisters!
These are some of the necklaces in my collection. The most special one is the dog tag that belonged to my Pop-Pop when he was in the USMC. I feel honored to have inherited it. The garnet cluster pendant was a Valentine's Day present from my honey. I adore it! Sometimes I wear it on a long gold chain and other times I wear it as a choker.
My most recent acquisition: an antique pale amethyst with a seed pearl halo which I wear in memory of my Aunt Cindy.
My favorite bracelets are the gold filled bangles that I love to stack, and the two silver bracelets I inherited from my mother (the charm and the cuff), which she use to wear when she was in her twenties. The platinum and diamond pin is a family heirloom that I occasionally wear on a chain or a dress for special occasions!
Left: I don't wear earrings often, but when I do I keep it simple with the Victorian paste stones, or dress it up with my garnet dangles. Right: Vintage and antique rings in my jewelry collection. I am always on the look out for rings that feature sparkly old cut diamonds, endearing terms (my PET ring is one of my favorites!), or unique shapes!
My vintage jewelry collection really started around the time my sister and I opened our online vintage jewelry store, Maejean Vintage, in 2010. My collection is definitely smaller than I would ideally like, because I have such a hard time keeping pieces for myself! I know a lot of other sellers have that same guilty feeling when keeping a piece instead of selling it! Because of this, I only keep a piece in my collection if I absolutely ADORE it and it speaks to me on a personal level.
When I first started collecting, I was drawn to dainty and intricate pieces, mostly from the Art Deco Era. As my knowledge of different eras developed, so did my collection! My jewelry consists of pieces from the Victorian, Edwardian, Art Deco, Mid Century, and Modern eras. I am finding myself more drawn to bigger and bolder pieces as time goes on. I especially have a soft spot for rings!
Being a student at GIA has introduced me to the wonderful world of gemstones, so I am definitely drawn to gemstone jewelry -- especially diamonds, garnets, emeralds and sapphires!
I have had the best luck finding jewelry for my personal collection at antique flea markets - especially the large flea market that happens three times a year in Brimfield, MA! I love flea markets because it really is like a big treasure hunt and I also enjoy the ability to haggle ;). eBay and Etsy have also been great marketplaces for finding unique pieces from all over the globe!
A lot of my pieces have strong sentimental value to me and represent people, places, or different times in my life. I recently acquired this amethyst and seed pearl ring which I wear in memory of my aunt, who adored the color purple. Seed pearls can represent tears, which is also very fitting.
Antique jewelry is my biggest passion - I love imagining where the pieces have been, and who cherished them before they came to me. I feel so lucky to have a career in connecting other people with sparkly old gems! <3
You can follow Maejean Vintage --> @MaejeanVintage
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
Hey Everyone! Just wanted to let you all know something pretty exciting--I took nearly 50 pieces from my personal collection and put them on Everything But the House (EBTH)! What is so great about this auction website is the amount of unique, highly curated items that go up for bidding every day of the week. You can basically shop estate sales from the comfort of your own home. I can't tell you how many things I've purchased from EBTH--several large gold mirrors (as pictured in my feature), one of my absolute favorite rings, and a lot of rock & mineral specimens. The variety of what you can find is impressive!
Another really great thing, for buyers at least, is that everything starts out at $1! And no reserves on anything! I have some amazing pieces of jewelry that have really high values, up now in its own auction--but HURRY! Bidding ends on February 16th!!
WANT MORE? See more from my jewel box!
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."
You can follow Malena --> @msmalena