Entries in jewelry collection stories (10)
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
I easily gravitated toward Anya's Instagram feed when I first discovered "GemFever" and caught my own gemstone fever because of it. Her taste is truly refined and she has a great eye! So many of her sold archives are pieces I had wished I pounced on when they were first listed...and incidently her jewels she does sell often become "sold" faster than you can email her. It was a surprise to meet her in person at my GIA Alumni presentation in DC and let me just say, it was like talking to someone I had known my whole life! So happy that she is sharing her collection with us today:
Jewelry has always drawn me in, I love having wearable treasures and I’m addicted to gemstones. I chose the name “gem fever” to identify myself on various online platforms because that’s how gemstones make me feel – feverish, excited, passionate.
The pieces I currently have in my jewelry box I’ve collected over the last six years or so. I discovered Etsy in 2010 and loved finding shops with one of a kind handmade pieces that I’d never find in a local jewelry store. Though recently I’ve concentrated on fine vintage jewelry, I still wear a few pieces from Etsy artists that I really treasure (for example the pomegranate pendant from Winged Lion and the scrimshaw ring from Linda Layden).
Since I sell vintage jewelry, quite a few pieces have transitioned from my shop to my personal collection, and vice versa. I’ve noticed that the pieces that stick around tend to be the ones that sweep me off my feet unexpectedly. I may find them when I’m looking for something else and the jewels pick me to be their caretaker. This happened with my most beloved piece – my Old Mine Cut diamond earrings. I was browsing at Intergem, more or less looking for a vintage diamond ring. I stopped by the booth of the vendor Efim Gilin and asked to see a few things. Elena, who is a very friendly and talented seller, pulled out these earrings even though I hadn’t been asking about earrings at all. The moment I saw them, they took my breath away. I don’t think I’d ever felt such a rush from buying a piece of jewelry before, I just had to have them. They were above my budget so I put them on layaway, then worked and reworked my budget so I could pay them off as soon as possible. When the time came, my husband and I took a trip to New York to pick them up, and had a fantastic time. We’ve made quite a few trips together to check out jewels around the country, or to go to shows, and it’s always great fun.
I love going to antique shows to check out jewelry in person. But my absolute favorite place to look for vintage pieces is still eBay – I love the treasure hunt. Shopping on eBay is a skill, you have to get a feel for the condition of pieces, watch out for fakes and reproductions, avoid shady sellers with fake listings, and so on. If you’re willing to put in the time to search and take the risks, eBay can really pay off.
My personal collection is constantly evolving, and I like to keep it fairly small. I tend to wear a few favorites regularly, and go through phases of favorites (currently my emerald ring gets the most wear). My ongoing obsession is vintage diamonds, I’ve been on the hunt for the “perfect” old cut for years. I love that no two vintage diamonds are exactly alike. I’ve temporarily owned a few stunning stones, but ended up selling each one because the excitement of the search is addictive. One day, I’ll commit to a vintage diamond engagement ring, but for now I’m wearing a French cut diamond band that I had custom made using vintage diamonds from a cocktail ring I found on eBay, set into a platinum bezel band by the talented designer Caysie van Bebber from CvB Inspired Design. When it comes to metals, I enjoy both rich yellow gold and the coolness of platinum. Overall, I’d say I keep pieces in my personal collection when they fill me with joy.
In the future, I’d like to add more gemstones to my collection. There is an opal and spinel ring in the works. I am craving more emeralds, plus a blue sapphire that would draw me in like the vast starry sky (a girl can dream!). I would love a vintage diamond cocktail ring like Danielle’s incredible Edwardian pieces.
And of course, I’m excited to see which jewels will find me unexpectedly and change my collection in ways I can’t yet imagine.
Platinum pearl and diamond ring & plat. diamond band | Silver scrimshaw ring from Linda Layden on Etsy | Onyx and blue zircon ring in 14k yellow gold | Whimsical baroque pearl ring in yellow gold | Buckle ring from the wonderful @jewelleryhannah on Instagram
Victorian yellow gold locket | White gold, diamond, and White South Sea pearl earrings that are surprisingly versatile and wearable | Victorian miniature portrait brooch that looks great on anything | Yellow gold griffin that I fell in love with and named George | Silver and white topaz pendant, a present from my mom.
My Victorian bohemian garnet collection, I love the earrings especially.
(left) These vintage silver, marcasite, and etched glass earrings were an eBay find that I instantly fell in love with. I’ve never been able to wear long earrings until I tried on these beauties. I get compliments on them every single time I wear them!
(right) A few of my favorite rings :) Custom made French cut diamond band, vintage diamond eternity | Emerald and diamond ring won at auction on eBay (I held my breath for a week waiting for this auction to end!) | Old European cut diamond halo ring – the first diamond halo in my collection, the one that made me change my “no halos” mindset. I love jewelry that surprises me and makes me rethink previous notions.
(left) Jewels that make me feel beautiful and feminine – earrings and my Beautiful Lady brooch.
(right) My current favorite – vintage emerald ring.
(left) Both my husband and I fell in love with this piece from Winged Lion on Etsy and hubby gave it to me as a present. I treasure it.
(right) My beloved Old Mine Cut diamond earrings, and French cut diamond band. I’m a huge nerd when it comes to vintage diamonds and these two pieces are the stars of my collection.
You can follow Anya --> @gemfever
We are ringing in the New Year today with an inspiring and gorgeous Jewelry Collection Story from Angela, or what we may like to call her "Gemstone Gypsy." I find her collection entirely intriguing and I love how sentimental and closely tied to her heritage many of the pieces are. Let's get right into it:
"I've loved jewelry since I was a child. My maternal grandmother is a serious collector who worked for Tiffany and Hermes and taught me how to appreciate everything from major Victorian rings to beautiful Chanel costume pieces. She’s real, old New York – always in head to toe black, purple Chanel lipstick and Ferragamo shoes – and I idolized her as a child! I would sit with her in her apartment, riveted, while she showed me what things were made of and explained why they were valued. She really impressed upon me the importance of quality construction, too, and how to spot it. My paternal side is Brooklyn Italian, and they love their gold! So since an early age I had lots of adornment around me.
Anyone who knows me also knows that I'm hugely sentimental, so apart from the aesthetic aspect of jewelry, I love what it means in a personal sense. In the end, regardless of material, a piece’s value is truly in the story it carries, and what it becomes in the eye of the beholder. The simplest, most inexpensive thing can become hugely meaningful if it is loved or given with love, and I find that so magical."
Above: My collection of vintage + antique yellow gold Italian/Catholic protection charms, shown on top of pictures of my grandmothers in Brooklyn in the early 1920s-30s. A Gold Rush-era gold nugget lock, American Victorian 10k carnelian cross, and Victorian goldfill locket.
"My personal jewelry collection is not enormous (though my husband would definitely disagree!) but it is pretty varied - everything from Georgian gold rings to Mexican silver pieces from the 70s. I've also built up a fair amount of contemporary, handmade pieces as well, many of them made by jewelers I know personally and count as friends. It makes the pieces that much more special! I do have certain themes I stick to – eras, styles and stones I love.
I’m drawn to sapphires because they are my husband’s birthstone. I love rubies, just because. Georgian, Victorian + Art Deco are my favorite eras to collect. I always go for big, statement rings over anything else. And, if given the choice, I’d pick any of what I call the “soft stones” – agates, turquoise, lapis, coral – over diamonds (though a few diamonds never hurt anyone ;)"
Above: My wedding jewelry: Bands - Vintage 18k split band, Art Deco 18k and french cut sapphire eternity band from @duvenay, Art Deco 14k-lined platinum engraved band from Metier SF; My engagement ring, a 1920s sapphire + mine cut diamond target ring from London, and my wedding gift, a Georgian rose/old cut diamond cluster ring, also from London.
"My solid gold safety pin earrings from my Jewels for Gypsies line are one piece I literally wear every single day and never take off. They’re like a great combo of a stud and a hoop – you can sleep in them comfortably, they look chic if you want to dress them up but also have just the right amount of rocker edge to lend to any outfit."
Above: L-R: My Jewels for Gypsies 14k Safety Pin Earrings, Vintage 18k white gold and diamond safety pin pendant from @GoldAdore, 18k + Sapphire Indian Snake Hoops from @lisajshuler_apocketofrocks.
"Another favorite would be my necklace of Italian protection and religious charms – some I’ve had since childhood, some which my husband has given me or I’ve collected over the years. I wear them every day and rarely take them off, and all the women in my family do too – we’re very superstitious! If the necklace doesn’t match what I’m wearing (rare!) I’ll pin a few to my underwear, just in case."
Above: My everyday neck game: Jewels for Gypsies large 14k feather pendant in yellow gold with pavé rubies, a french-cut ruby and gold cross I bought in London, my 1940s 18k ruby + diamond A. Augis "I Love You More Every Day" pendant (a gift from my husband), and a 14k + ruby dagger, which is probably the piece people most commonly try to buy off my neck (I say no every time)!
Above: Victorian sterling, 14k gold, diamond and mother of pearl Miraculous medal - my 30th birthday gift from my husband, purchased from @theoneilovenyc.
One of my favorite pairs of earrings - diamond + 14k talons by my hugely talented friend Noriko Sugawara (of N+A New York). She's probably the best jeweler I know and she taught me how to make jewelry way back when.
Above: Assorted stick pin necklaces I made (l-r): a Georgian collet-set diamond, a 14k Tiffany & Co. Fishhook (formerly a tie tack of my dad's), and a platinum + diamond "J" for my husband, from @ishyantiques. The Victorian garnet is from @theoneilovenyc.
"I have a Victorian Garnet cabochon ring with a halo of opals that my husband gave me one birthday early on in our relationship that’s really special to me. Garnet is my birthstone, and I love the symbolism of fidelity it carries with it. It’s the first antique, and the first ring he ever gave me, so it holds a lot of meaning for me. I even make a point to wear it to weddings and family occasions to lend love and positive symbolism to the event."
Above: Symbols of Love: A Victorian garnet + opal halo ring, a 1930s band inscribed "Amor Vincit Omnia" (love conquers all, also from my husband), and a ring I made from a Georgian garnet lace pin I added a hand-carved 18k band and foil back aquamarine to.
Snakes! (l-r) A French Art Deco gold and diamond snake, Victorian garnet + opal snake from @heartofsolidgold, and a Victorian garnet snake scored from Ebay (!), which I wear every day.
"My antique ring collection is still growing - I have about 40 antique rings total, though to be honest I mostly just wear a few favorites daily. I've been collecting pieces my whole life, but really only seriously for about 3-4 years."
Above: Turquoise dreams (l-r): An Art Deco 22k pinky ring, 18k + Persian turquoise Late Victorian band from @_butterlaneantiques, an American Victorian turquoise ring, and a ring I made from a Victorian square-cut turquoise + old-cut diamond horseshoe pin.
Love Gold! (l-r): 1920s 18k "William Tell" signet from @_butterlaneantiques, 14k gold + sapphire class ring circa 1917 (my grandmother's birth year), a Victorian 18k + diamond Gypsy Ring, and a hand-sawn 1946 Half Penny pyramid ring made by my very dear + talented friend @racheleardleysomerset, whose work reminds me that you can still be a quality maker in today's world.
"The best story I have about a personal piece would have to be the one behind this funny Edwardian Sapphire and Diamond ring I inherited. My friends and I refer to it as "The Cat Eye Mask" ring because that's what it reminds us of. My mom found it in the bottom of a box full of trash in my grandfather’s apartment, right before he died. It almost got thrown away! She gave it to me a few years ago and I rarely wear it, but I would never sell it because I just think I was meant to own it. My cousin and best friend even wore it in her wedding as her “something blue,” just in case the good luck attached to it rubs off."
Above: The infamous "Cat Eye Mask" Edwardian diamond + sapphire ring that was rescued from the trash, in its original box.
"My favorite places to treasure hunt are with special dealers I have met over the years and love to hang out with and buy things from here in New York City. I also try to make the trip to London when I can to visit friends and shop at Portobello road at least once a year. As far as non-secret spots, I love Etsy – there are beautiful, quality pieces there at all price points, and a lot of really cool new handmade stuff as well. The Pier Antique Shows in Manhattan are great, too, and open to the public – I recommend going with a friend or two for second opinions! I personally always try to shop with at least one of my girls: Jenn (@bellflowerbay) and Christy (@this_is_ferro) – they’re my posse, and I can barely make decisions without them! As far as brick-and-morter stores, my favorite is Metier in San Francisco – they’re tiny but perfectly stocked with old and new; I always try to pop in while I’m in town!"
Above: My collection of agates (l-r): A Victorian dendritic agate ring from @decemberanchor, an 18k bloodstone intaglio "A" ring I got years ago on Ebay, an amazing Victorian bloodstone statement ring from Metier SF, an Art Deco moss agate dinner ring from Ruby Lane, a 1920s banded agate stunner from @eriecanalcollectors, and my first Instagram purchase - a Victorian moss agate ring from my friend Lauren of @agelessheirlooms.
Above: Part of my collection of silver bracelets (top to bottom): a coin souvenir bracelet from all the countries my filmmaker grandfather visited, made for my mom when she was a child, a vintage sterling silver buckle bracelet, a vintage Taxco Mexican silver buckle bracelet, a Victorian sterling Albertina watch chain bracelet (each individual link is hallmarked!).
"My dream piece? This is tricky – I want so many antique gems, the list is a mile long! I guess if I had to settle on something, it would be the Hermes Boucle Sellier silver bracelet. They reissued a huge version of it three or four years ago, and I’m totally obsessed. I have a vintage Chain d'Ancre (one of the early, super heavy ones) that I inherited from my grandmother, and have since built a stack of beautiful Indian and Mexican sterling bracelets around it, that I wear constantly. My dream has always been to be one of those fabulous old ladies with bracelets up to my elbows, and that bracelet is definitely a piece that I feel like I really NEED to complete my collection. I was visiting the jeweler who apprenticed me not long ago, and he was polishing one for a private client. I was completely transfixed and could not stop staring until he finally let me try it on. All I could think was, “Could I make it out the door in time?” but that thing is so heavy, it would probably drag me down as I ran off with it!"
Above: The two prizes of my bracelet collection: A vintage Hermes sterling silver chaine d'ancre bracelet I inherited, and a vintage 14k + diamond curb chain I bought to celebrate an accomplishment.
There's always those kind of people that you feel like you've known your entire life and for me, Natalie is exactly that kind of person! I got to meet her for the first time on my trip to LA just last month and her passion for jewelry is electric. She has been lighting up Instagram and other social media platforms for Jewels by Grace as their Instagram manager and photographer (as of February 2016, she no longer works for Jewels by Grace). So happy to have her share her new, yet growing collection with us today--take it away, Natalie:
"I have been attracted to sparkly things for as long as I can remember, an attraction that quickly became an enthusiastic hobby, which has since manifested itself into a full-blown love of gems and jewels. It has also helped persuade me to attend GIA in the pursuit of becoming a Graduate Gemologist, which I am really excited about! I’ve been a collector for a long time, but have only recently begun collecting fine jewelry. My first piece of memorable jewelry is a yellow gold necklace with six pearls, it was given to me by my beloved uncle when I turned 6. My next most significant piece was a mother of pearl and white gold ring with a freeform, organic vibe that my mother designed and had made for me when I graduated high school. My third most memorable piece was also my first antique jewel, an early Art Deco-era diamond and sapphire dome ring. This was a college graduation present from my late grandmother, a particularly special gift because it was one of the few remaining pieces of jewelry from my great-grandmother’s estate. These pieces will forever remain some of my most cherished treasures, and they have definitely aided in sparking my interest in jewelry.
Fast forward a few years to when I was newly engaged and searching for thee perfect wedding band to pair with my antique ring. Enter Grace Lavarro of Jewels by Grace, and the platinum french cut and single cut diamond eternity band that started it all. What quickly followed was a custom pair of pear-shaped rose cut diamond earrings that my mother designed for me, as well as a diamond wedding band that I designed for my husband. I was hooked, not only were the jewels beautiful, but so was the amazing, generous woman behind them.
Since that fateful time two years ago, I have had the pleasure of working with Grace as a jewelry photographer and managing the Instagram account for Jewels by Grace. I have been taking much joy in familiarizing myself with this wonderful industry, as well as getting to play with the numerous jaw-dropping pieces that come our way. Given my extreme lack of self-control, especially when it comes to antique jewels, I ended up “adopting” many of the pieces in my personal collection from Grace. I also love to collect pieces from other friends in the jewelry industry, two of my latest acquisitions have been a Georgian diamond pendant necklace conversion piece from Angela of GemstoneGypsy, as well as an antique table cut and rose cut diamond ring from Laurel of LaurelStearns.
Lenore Dailey once told me that I was an “old soul” when it came to the jewels I gravitated towards, and I couldn't agree more. I love antique jewels - the rarity, the unique designs and cuts used, and the undeniable sense of time passed and enduring beauty simply delight me. I will forever be in awe of the level of craftsmanship that exists in pieces that have been on this earth for hundreds of years--don’t even get me started on Byzantine and Medieval jewelry! I hope to add a few ancient jewels to my collection in the near future, but for now I am quite happy with my antique and vintage pieces. My favorite design eras would have to be Georgian, Victorian, and Edwardian, though there are some contemporary designers that are also creating amazing designs.
What you see below is much of my humble fine jewelry collection (Please keep in mind I’ve only been collecting for about a year or so!), with the addition of a few pieces from my bling partner-in-crime’s (aka my mother’s) collection for some added sparkle. Enjoy!"
My own gemmy version of an ISpy page, a photo that is representative of the collector in me. to name a few: antique gold pendants, an antique figa (from LenoreDailey), a rose cut diamond and gold claw pendant (from MarketSquareJewelers), a big ol’ pearl, raw almandine garnets, turquoise from the No. 8 Mine, boulder opal specimens from Australia, gold nuggets from a trip to Alaska, vintage and antique gold stick pins, a 17ct bi-color quartz, and a lapiz lazuli standing point (from The Opaque) to name a few!
Current favorites, including the Georgian citrine ring my husband surprised me with and the early Art Deco-era gold signet ring that was found with all three of my initials! Also a Victorian rose cut garnet 5-stone ring, vintage hexagonal opal ring (from Jenn of BellflowerBay), and a new addition: Victorian old mine cut diamond and crystal opal earring-to-ring conversion (from Jewels by Grace).
You can never have too many navettes, including two of my favorites: a perfectly grungy antique foil-backed rose cut diamond navette ring (my score from this year’s Antique Show in Las Vegas) and my mini Victorian old mine and old European cut diamond navette ring, in buttery 18t yellow gold (Jewels by Grace). #nevertoomanynavettes
Ring stacking, one of my favorite pastimes. Clockwise from top left:
- Admiring the attention to detail shown to the shanks of these antique rings.
- Colored gemstones in action in the fading sunlight.
- Some bands from my collection.
- Rings designed by my mother, including the giant onyx and silver ring she manufactured for me! Also shown is a 6-stone August Vintage Round diamond band she & I designed with JbG.
Ring stacking, part two. Clockwise from top left:
- The fleet of navettes in action.
- A sampling of my yellow gold jewelry, including my late uncle’s massively chunky ring, and a sentimental double-row diamond ring from my mother (from my father, who never buys jewelry~).
- Antique rings doing their thing.
- A few more antique rings.
A spectrum of colored gemstones: Victorian rose cut garnet 5-stone ring, antique ruby and diamond navette ring (from Jewels by Grace), vintage pink sapphire and diamond ring (a family heirloom from my husband’s family that was given to me on our wedding day), Georgian citrine shield ring, vintage hexagonal opal ring (from Jenn of BellflowerBay), Victorian old mine cut diamond and crystal opal earring-to-ring conversion (JbG), antique emerald and diamond navette ring (JbG), Victorian bloodstone ring, antique Persian turquoise ring, sleeping beauty turquoise ring (from SkyDogJewelry), aquamarine ring, vintage Native American moonstone ring.
Rings, my favorite type of jewelry, especially when they are vintage or antique: antique faint pink rose cut diamond tablet ring (JbG), Art Deco-era geometric diamond ring, vintage old European cut diamond dinner ring (JbG)
The crème de la crème of my wedding ring stack, an antique cushion cut diamond halo ring (inscribed 1809!) in platinum, on a peachy rose gold shank. This diamond had me at hello; for all the beautiful jewels I’ve seen while working with Grace, this ring truly called out to me. I loved the fact that it was so old, and yet the elongated octagonal design was beautifully simple and timeless.
Earrings; from left: beautiful paste and rose gold earrings (a Christmas gift from the wonderful Grace herself), my great grandmother’s antique amethyst and pearl earrings, the earrings my mother surprised me with on my wedding day, a pair of old European cut diamond earrings my mother had made for herself.
Jewels that belonged to my grandmother who passed recently; I wear the solid gold nugget almost daily as a reminder of her love. The gold cartouche was acquired in Egypt by her many decades ago.
A close-up of my wedding day bracelet, a surprise gift from my mother, with each charm being hand selected to bring us luck. The locket opens up to pictures of my husband and I as kids!
>> You can follow Natalie on Instagram @fortheloveofgems