Entries in jewelry collection (37)
My jewelry collection has gone through SO MANY changes this past year. As a collector, it is important to edit your collection no matter what it is that you collect. My ring collection, for example, has shrunk by at least fifty rings recently and normally this would freak me out, but I actually feel really good about this decision. I recently came across this photo of my collection and was astonished by how many rings I actually had. A more recent photo is shown above, and you can see the amount that has been edited. This decision has allowed me to refine and be precisive about what I like, allowed me to purchase items that I thought were out of my budget, and allowed me to grow my collection in a new way (even though I was subtracting from my collection). You might be wondering how you can do the same, so I've put together some tips and recommendations on how you can do just that! And as always, happy collecting!
1. Although I've never read Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, I've spoken with people who have and read a few blogs about this decluttering strategy. A part of me fears this technique, since I live in a world where I love my things and have way too many things, while another part of me thrives off of getting rid of stuff. It is a never-ending battle--but just as Marie teaches in her book, you must take each item and ask yourself if it sparks joy? Do this with your jewelry collection! You'd be surprised at what items you've been holding on to for the most random reasons, and how they actually spark the opposite of joy.
2. Go through all your jewelry items and remove pieces that need repairs--these could be rings with missing stones, jewelry that you've always hated but wanted to give a "makeover" to, pieces that rarely get worn, or items that you've been meaning to convert into something else. Removing these from your main jewelry box will allow you to focus on what you have that is wearable and you often see things in a different light when there is less.
Once you've removed these items, put them in little baggies or envelopes and write on them what needs to be done to each piece so that you are able to love it again and wear it again. Is it a ring sizing? Write down "size ring to 5 to fit my ring finger" and then place it in a pile. If you're redesigning pieces you own, feel free to draw to the best of your ability your design idea.
Now that you have all your "repair" items, find a reputable jeweler that you know and trust. Hopefully you've worked with him or her before so you know what to expect and know their capabilities. Set a goal of dropping off 2-3 items per week until all your repairs are finally finished. You'll get momentum going once you've picked up your first batch of finished items--it's like getting a new piece of jewelry all over again!
3. Certain gemstones turn me off and you have to get comfortable with yourself as a collector to realize that. This means buying things at one time that you realize aren't for you or just simply don't like anymore. There are a few gemstones and gemstone colors that I'm not a fan of, but I used to be--colors that don't really go with my skintone or aren't pleasing to my eye as much as another color family. The point is to recognize this, either sell or repurpose these items to "edit" your collection, and then take the money you've made from selling these items to buy jewelry that fits within your new editing parameters.
4. Trends come and go, but in the world of jewelry--certain trends stay longer than most disposable fashion trends. Also, like many trends, they can resurface several years from now and those items you "wish you had that you sold years ago" could be the next coolest thing. So, if you have a piece of jewelry that may be considered "trendy" but you honestly love it, but wearing it today may not necessarily fit with what you're wearing now--I would think twice about selling something like this!
A prime example of this for me and my collection was the dainty jewelry trend (which is still actually very strong today). I liked this trend at first and it also fit with my budget a few years ago. I started gravitating toward bigger, bolder pieces and have never been able to look at a dainty ring the same again. I ended up selling most of my dainty rings and found that selling like five dainty rings could get me one bold piece, which was music to my ears. The bigger pieces bring me more joy and hopefully that doesn't change anytime soon! ;)
Another examples of this is gold chains. Growing up, I received a lot of gold chains from my grandparents as gifts from Italy. I went through a phase in college where I only wore this one chain of my dad's with a medallion of St. Anthony on it (my dad gave me both), so I sold every other chain I owned because I simply never wore anything else. Today, I would kill to have some of those chains now--there was some really cool pieces which now would be very trendy with the chain layering trend that is happening today.
5. Knowing when, what and how to sell is a big task that has some complications here and there, but luckily if you purchased your items you want to now sell at the right price back then, it should be able to yield the same price if not more today. Jewelry is great like that because gold and gemstones are almost always valuable (I'm not talking about fashion jewelry or costume pieces).
If you haven't worn a piece of jewelry for over five years, I think it is safe to say you should sell it--or at least ask yourself, why haven't you worn it? Once you've gathered pieces that you feel ok with selling, now you have to figure out what platform you'd like to sell them.
Sites like eBay, Etsy and Ruby Lane are all great options if you have a large amount of pieces you'd like to sell. If you open a shop on any of these sites and you're not a formal antique seller, it is important that you state that in your bio/about section. There is a big difference between a dealer and a collector who has lots of items and just wants to sell them. Be open to making mistakes and allowing to accept returns if it is your first time selling.
If you're a collector on Instagram and a part of the Instagram Antique Jewelry Community (idk why I capitalized that lol) then selling some items on your Instagram page is a fast and easy way to accomplish that. It is also fee-free, whereas with the sites I mentioned above take a fee if you sell through them. But this option is only as good as the size of your audience. Etsy, eBay and Ruby Lane have thousands and thousands of visitors everyday, whereas your Instagram page might be short of that number.
You can also TRADE -- I started the hashtag #gemgossipSWAP for those interested in posting items they're willing to part with and find others' who want to trade as well. I've personally used the hashtag myself and am now the proud owner of a ring I traded with someone.
I was giving myself a good chuckle yesterday because I've gotten a few comments from people asking why I stopped my YouTube videos--especially my main series Gem Gossip Read & Wear. The point of the series was to try to keep in tact a New Year's Resolution I made last year--which was to only buy one ring per month, and also read one jewelry book per month. As with most resolutions, I started out strong--almost too strong. I knew my demise was near. Sure enough, I couldn't keep up and bought way too many rings. Also my sister who edits and creates all the video content was having health difficulties, so that contributed to my sudden drop off from YouTube as well. Hopefully I'll be back with something new and exciting, so stay tuned.
As the year came to a close (nearly 20 days ago, are you kidding me?!) I kind of went over board with the additions to my collection. So much so that I haven't been keeping up with the My Jewel Box posts--so I'm compiling a bunch of my acquisitions into this one post! Five rings, to be exact--all acquired in November/December. Wanted to share the stories behind and details for those interested--BECAUSE I LOVE READING STUFF LIKE THAT. Hope you do too! ;)
This beauty was my Christmas gift from my husband this year--yes, another antique elongated diamond ring. "Don't you have enough of those kinds of rings?!" Umm, no. I seriously cannot get enough of this style--something about it. This particular ring was found at auction from Hampton Estate Auction. It's platinum and set with Old European cut diamonds, a 1920s piece through and through. Most of my other elongated rings are from earlier than that--so this was fun to add to the collection.
For some reason this opal cluster ring caught my attention like no other! Some might not think it is anything special...10k gold...a few simple opals in a cluster design, nothing groundbreaking. But the glow in these opals, I mean, you can't put a price on something like this! Well, actually you can...and then I'll buy it. I found this baby at Nashville's first ever Big Flea. It was from a booth that had LOTS of items and I spent quite some time looking. When I saw it my heart obviously did that flutter thing--and of course, the lady in charge of the booth was busy with other people--so for a good while I stood there pale as ever, thinking someone would swoop in and grab it lol.
This ring was actually not a ring at first--it came to me as a brooch! There were certain signs I noticed that kind of point to this brooch actually being a ring originally, and I was happy to restore it to its natural state. I was covering the Shirley Temple sale for Heritage Auctions when I came across another sale they were having just a few days after and the amount of amazing lots they had floored me. I automatically thought, "there's no way I'm going to win" upon seeing all the jewelry. Auction day came and it was a late night, constantly checking bids and the proxy bids. I was thrilled to win this brooch and no sooner than I received it, I had it in front of my jeweler, showing him what kind of style band to put on it. I love how it turned out and can't tell you how comfortable it is.
You may have noticed that a lot of my new acquisitions are rarely from eBay (like they always used to be)! I've fallen off the eBay bandwagon and haven't found anything good on it in awhile--I used to search daily, and now I'm down to maybe once a month and I'm usually disappointed. This fun turquoise ring is actually from eBay--the rare occurrence I went on there and actually came away with something decent. I truly miss the good ole eBay days where everything was amazing and authentic...and most of all, cheap! Now it is riddled with knock offs from India and sketchy sellers, along with the same items that haven't sold in 5 years.
The last ring I'd like to highlight has been in the "pipeline" for a couple months and I've been clearly obsessed with it because if you follow me on Instagram, you've seen this a lot! ;) It is designed by Becca of BCE Jewelry and when we met up over dinner in Nashville late last summer, she brought along some major drool-worthy jewels and some loose stones. I fell in love with three opals that magically looked as though they belonged together. We went back and forth on the configuration (I even posted two different versions and asked for YOUR opinion) and in the end, I settled on what Becca had originally designed for the layout. I love her aesthetic and style of her jewelry designs, and so pumped to finally own something from her. Can't wait to see what is in store for her future!
WANT MORE? See more from my personal jewel box!
Receiving jewelry books for the holidays is one of my favorite things ever. I usually have some down time in between Christmas and New Year's where I try to organize my life, my goals, get my mind focused, and a lot of this is done without leaving my house for a few days. Rather than feeling cooped up, I actually enjoy this time of year and take a few days off to lose myself into a good jewelry book. This time around I couldn't wait to read Jewels on Queen by Anne Schofield, a gift from my mom. I read the entire book front to back in one sitting and it left me wanting more--so obviously that's when Googling began. But overall, I felt this is such a lovely book.
So what exactly does this book feature? Unlike the title, you may first guess that the book is all about the Queen of England and her jewelry collection. The book actually does not mention the Queen at all--in fact, it is about another "queen," a well-known antique shop located on Queen Street in Australia, Anne Schofield Antiques. This book is amazing because it delves into Anne's collection--things she has purchased, sold and acquired--over the past 50 years of being an antiques dealer. It is like my "Jewelry Collection Stories" only in book form; more in depth and LOTS of pictures. If you enjoy that type of reading, then you'll love this book as much as I do.
The beginning of Jewels on Queen gives you a little background and insight into Anne's life and how she ended up being an antique jewelry dealer/shop owner. Her story is really unique and I actually related to a few parts that were almost identical to my story. The chapters are broken down into jewelry categories that Anne specialized the most in--like cameos, sentimental jewelry, souvenir jewelry, Art Deco, etc. Every chapter highlights her personal story relating to the topic and shows some really iconic pieces she has come across over her career. Anne has a special story about her visits to London--like visiting Wartski and SJ Phillips. I love the details and revelations about her personal life that she mixes in with the jewelry stories--it's fun and easy reading.
Anne Schofield's Antiques is still open today in Woollahra, Australia. If you can't hop on a plane and visit, I suggest buying this book and learning about Anne and her story from the comfort of your home! Happy reading!
To purchase your own copy of Jewels on Queen by Anne Schofield, click below:
To end out the year, our last Jewelry Collection Story comes from Jennifer, or as many may know her on Instagram, @Dupkaspike. Her collection is eclectic, heavily sentimental and so fun to look at. She captured her collecting essence perfectly in these photos. Now if only I can meet her one day and she them in person! ;) ...take it away Jennifer:
I can’t say that I have always loved jewelry, but I can pinpoint the moment when the love affair began. When I was 16, my Dad took me into Keil’s, an antique jewelry store on Royal Street in New Orleans, and bought me two rings. One was a mother of pearl cameo with an onyx surround, and another was a rose gold carnelian with a gold inlaid intaglio of a Rose of Sharon.
It was an important moment in my understanding of jewelry. My Mom was a big Southwestern jewelry fan (I’ve inherited her collection), but it wasn’t something that resonated strongly with me, though I admired it. I was drawn more to the sentimental, and to the personal.
I did not do a lot of collecting in early adulthood. My husband is Chinese, and so over the years and when we married, I received traditional Chinese 22k gold and jade pieces as gifts, which I look forward to passing on to my children. Traditional Chinese don’t really like lower-karat gold pieces and I liked history and sentiment; so we were in agreement that mall jewelry wasn’t really for me. The jade pieces are my favorites of these, as is a giant 22k dragon and phoenix ring.
Over the years I have gravitated to certain genres. As an amateur painter, I adore portrait miniatures, and greatly admire the skill required to produce them. I don’t have many, but I’m always on the lookout for special pieces. Recently I acquired a large Georgian locket brooch, from CJ Antiques, surrounded by amethysts and plan to commission a portrait of my kids and dog. One piece I wear often I got from Duvenay, a pretty portrait of Marie Antoinette, with a diamond halo that was converted from a stickpin.
I’m a strong believer in personalization, so mostly every new piece I own has some engraving or dedication on it. When my kids were born, I bought heavy Tiffany Lucida wedding bands and had their names engraved on the outside and their birthdates on the inside. Similarly, I had their names and birthdates engraved on the inside of gemstone and diamond stacking rings. I have several stacking rings, which I love to mix with larger pieces. One set I wear all the time is two ruby keeper rings from Jewellery Hannah, as well as a giardinetto from Pocket of Rocks. Last year I worked with Hoard Jewelry on engraving to flat gold bands for them with personalized messages. One has the cipher of a "nonsense" love song my son used to sing to me as a child when he was barely verbal; only he and I understand it. He later told me that it was his love song to his Mom, and so of course my heart melted. Other antique engraved pieces of jewelry with dedications or initials I own are mostly amatory, including a Russian rock crystal locket with diamond initials on the face that once held hair; a tiny acrostic locket with engraving and locket space for hair; a large, double heart picture frame, and a banded agate mourning locket. A favorite bangle acquired from Lenore Dailey spells, “Dieu Vous Garde,” or “God Protect You.” I also have a locket with that motif. One of my very favorite pieces it is really quite special. I got it from Glorious Antique Jewelry. It is dated 1790 and has some interesting initials on the back, and a lovely message on the front, “Pour ma Sophie pour toujours ma petite cherie toût, 1790” which roughly translates to, “To my Sophie, you will always be my little darling, 1790.”
I love LOVE, and as such can’t seem to stop seeking out pansy jewelry. I have several enamel and gemstone pieces—a pendant and pocket watch. Pansy jewelry of course was symbolic of the French for “ Pense à moi,” or “ Think of me.” Similarly a Georgian pendant brooch I find myself wearing often simply says, “ L’Amour,” and is decorated with two seed pearl lovebirds. A garnet and white enamel pendant reads in Latin, “ Dulcis Vita::Tibi Vita,” or “ The Good “ Life; Your Life.” One piece I have, ruby hearts with diamond wings, was acquired from Park Avenue Jewelry and I decided to convert it from a brooch to a necklace. I’m a strong believer that jewelry should be worn, and I realized that it would get a lot more use for me personally as a necklace. I got this piece as my mother was dying, and it will always be very special to me as a remembrance of her.
French St. Esprit pieces are also a love and I get a lot of use out of a French regional cross I found. One of the St. Esprits is probably late 18th century and makes a political statement, with its red and blue pastes. A favorite piece of mine is an 1835 rose cut diamond, gold and silver Halley’s Comet pendant (likely converted from a brooch) that I got from Inez Stodel.
You can follow Jennifer --> @dupkaspike
Hashtags are really useful. I've found some of my best accounts, employees, and purchases simply because of clicking on and searching through specific hashtags. The first ever Instagram post that December Anchor posted was a jelly opal cluster ring that caught my eye after searching through the #showmeyourrings hashtag. A few emails later, I purchased the ring and became great acquaintences with Amanda. Over 200 posts later, she has shared her love for jewelry with nearly 5,000 followers. Can't wait to share her personal collection now:
I've appreciated jewelry for the majority of my life. I've always thought that jewelry is special and beautiful. For me, jewelry also became a part of my family's traditions. Before jewelry, I collected rocks and my parents realized that rock collecting was important to me. Throughout my childhood, my parents and I collected rocks, learned about them, and occasionally, my parents bought me a piece of jewelry. I didn't realize this until recently, but the fact that my parents were enthusiastic about something that I was enthusiastic about really encouraged me to keep learning about gemstones and to of course continue collecting jewelry. We unintentionally created our own sparkly family traditions.
It was my mother who helped me learn to appreciate antiques. Her and I would enjoy shopping at estate sales and garage sales where we would search for antiques. It always seemed that our first question when shopping was, "where is the jewelry?" My jewelry collection is mainly antique rings however, I have a new goal of adding Victorian bracelets to my jewelry box. I think I gravitate towards antique jewelry because they have such unique details. I like studying the different designs that were common for a certain era. I started realizing that when people would tell me that they liked one of my rings, I would thank them along with telling them when the ring was made even though they didn't ask.
Searching for antique jewelry is one of my happy places. I celebrate every time I find a rare ring or a type of jewelry that's on my wish list. I don't remember a time that I wasn't amazed by jewelry.
(Left) Jewelry can hold such symbolism and wonderful memories. The letter "S" pendant was my father's. He wore it every single day. My father passed away many years ago and when I look at his pendant I clearly remember how this piece of jewelry was a part of his every day life. The anchor pendant was a gift my father gave my mother for Christmas in the very early years of their marriage. The anchor ring was designed by the incredibly kind and thoughtful @bethbjeweled. Beth and I were discussing one of the rings she had for sale when she asked me why I named my jewelry shop "December Anchor." I told her about the anchor pendant and my inspiration. My dad was one of the most supportive people I've ever known. When I started to think about selling antique and vintage jewelry I just knew he would have been extremely supportive of my new goal. His birthday was in December, he gave the anchor to my mom in December and the anchor represents hope. My brother and I decided "December Anchor" was the name of the shop. After hearing my story, Beth immediately told me she would like to design a piece of jewelry for me that would represent December Anchor. The ring includes a vintage yellow gold anchor and Beth had the great idea of including turquoise since it is one of December's birthstones. Her kindness was so amazing. The jewelry community on Instagram is fantastic.
(Right) My favorite part of this enamel portrait ring is the daisy flowers in her hair.
Garnets are my birthstone and one of my favorite gemstones. This five stone garnet ring from the Georgian era is one of those rings that I was so happy to finally find. I purchased the garnet flower ring from @bellflowerbay. The pear shape garnets in this ring are so wonderful.
This is my favorite letter "A" ring. I purchased the Victorian sapphire and ruby ring from @apocketofrocks. My favorite part of this ring is that the sapphires are more round-shaped and the rubies are more cushion-shaped.
These date/year rings are becoming rare in my opinion so I'm always super happy when I find these rings. I purchased the onyx and rose cut diamond 1890 ring from @luxcharmjewelry. The 1910 ring was purchased from @vulpeculajewelry.
I was really happy to find this 1929 ring because that is the year my wonderful grandmother was born.
(Left) The very generous and kind @lenoredailey often provides the opportunity to win some jewelry. I won this amazing yellow sapphire and rose cut diamond ring from @lenoredailey last year. @gemstonegypsy created a great ring with this Georgian era rose cut diamond that was in its original sterling silver setting.
(Right) This Victorian era sapphire and diamond ring I purchased from @vulpeculajewelry is one of those rings that I know will always be one of my favorites. The shape of the ring and the way the gemstones are set amazes me.
This mourning/memorial ring is very different from the other mourning rings in my collection. The ring reads "FORGET ME NOT" on the outside of the band. There was a time where I all bought was antique horseshoes and rose cut diamonds. This rose cut diamond horseshoe ring was a great addition to my collection.
Surprising information right here. I collect anchor jewelry. Okay, not surprising at all. I see a lot of vintage anchor jewelry however, I don't find a lot of antique anchor jewelry. Both of these rings are from the Victorian era. The cameo was most likely a stick pin that was later made into a ring. The enamel faith, hope and love ring is my favorite ring.
You can follow Amanda --> @decemberanchor