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Entries in jewelry collection (40)

Jewelry Collection Stories: Heather of @SpeakeasyJewels

Speakeasy Jewels Collection Speakeasy Jewels Collection Speakeasy Jewels Collection Speakeasy Jewels Collection

I was lucky enough to meet Heather before our Instagram community of collectors came into formation. It was during a time when she was in search of the perfect antique engagement ring and I was working full time at a local antique jewelry store in Nashville. We had been emailing back and forth and had a few contenders. What better way to seal the deal than a 12-hour road trip to Nashville?!  I got to meet Heather and her future husband, help her try on some gorgeous jewels and it was a great day! Four years later she is sharing her jewelry collection here with us! Take it away Heather:

When and why did I start collecting jewelry? For weeks I couldn’t get my jewel story rolling because the answers were evading me. I cannot recall a time when I didn’t love jewelry and have memories as little girl sifting through any jewelry box or drawer I encountered, much to the chagrin of the women around me. I swear I’ve recovered from this behavior or at least ask permission before rifling. I thought it was my paternal grandma who sparked the collector in me since she was an avid one herself, but I was missing something or rather someone.

It should have been obvious since I worked for him for almost a decade - my Dad is the reason I am a collector. Classic cars, particularly Cadillacs of the 1950s and ‘60s, are his passion. He instilled in me an appreciation for the past and a desire to preserve relics of history. I often find there is an unspoken bond between those of us who collect vintage and antique no matter the category. The way he reflects on the ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program through which many classic cars were destroyed echoes the horror we jewelry collectors feel when thinking about scrapping and melting. He understands why I collect antique and vintage jewelry and for Christmas a few years ago gifted me my first loupe with my initials engraved on the side – it is something I cherish. I hope one day I can pass along to my children the same tinkerer and antiquarian heart he has given me.

Speakeasy Jewels Collection Speakeasy Jewels Collection Speakeasy Jewels Collection Speakeasy Jewels Collection

My Dad’s interest in and confusion of eBay is when I really started collecting. Years ago he was restoring a 1962 Cadillac Series 62 and it became part of my job to locate vintage chrome tail fins, hubcaps, hood ornaments, etc. etc. you name it. It was through hunting down his car parts I found the vintage and antique jewelry category. I came in at the tail end of the eBay glory days, but it was enough to give me the jump-start I needed.

I still cruise eBay from time to time, but many of my recent acquisitions are sourced directly from the wonderful collectors and sellers on Instagram. I also like to get out and actively hunt because it’s important to touch and interact – you never know what you’re going to find or who you’re going to meet. Travelling the US throughout the years has given me the opportunity to explore new hunting grounds and connect with collectors. i.e. In 2012, boyfriend/fiancé/cool dude (whoever he was to me at that time) and I set out on a roadtrip to Tennessee to pick up an engagement ring sourced through the expertise of Gem Gossip – cowboy boots, antique jewelry and partying in Music City? It was a fun way to get engaged.

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I am also lucky to have a great store in my area– Sarah’s Vintage & Estate Jewelry – with a vast inventory of jewels and knowledgeable owner. One of my first fine antique pieces came from Sarah’s – an 18k white gold Art Deco garnet and diamond die-struck ring with floral details. It was a birthday present from my then boyfriend (now husband). It is something I’ll never sell and hope it passes down as an heirloom in our family. I’m passionate about antique and vintage jewelry because it connects us not only to the past, but the future. I often times wonder, especially when a ring has an inscription, who owned it before me and what was her life like? Where did she wear the ring and who gave it to her? Then I think about who will wear it after and hope he/she cares for it as much as I did.

I appreciate and covet pieces from all time periods, but Edwardian/Belle Époque and Art Deco are tops and not just because the style and craftsmanship are extraordinary (all the lacy, flowing, filigree, geometric, platinum detail work and diamonds?! I mean, come on!) It’s also the optimism, opulence, rebellious attitudes and glorious cocktails of these times that call to me– hey, my handle isn’t speakeasyewels for nothing. It’s no secret that one of my favorite pieces is an Edwardian c. 1910s elongated ring with OEC diamonds in a scrolly platinum setting. It’s just fun to wear and when I have it on I like to think about crafting and consuming classic cocktails with bitters or egg whites, but then I remember I’m not a mixologist. Happy hunting and holidays to you all. Cheers!



WANT MORE? Check out the other Jewelry Collection Stories

You can follow Heather --> @speakeasyjewels

Jewelry Collection Stories: Kate of @Turquoise_Row

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Kate has a striking collection of antique jewelry--with lots of turquoise Victorian pieces, which perfectly matches her Instagram moniker @Turquoise_Row. She lives in Australia and although she may be on the other side of the world, her daily Instagram posts of her beautiful collection have me feeling as close as a stone's throw away. Happy to have Kate sharing her personal jewelry collection with Gem Gossip today; take it away Kate:

When I was young I never wore jewellery or really had any interest in it at all; what I loved was history. It was really my love of history more than a love for jewellery that got me interested in antique jewellery. I love thinking of what was happening in the world when jewellery was made, and who might have owned it originally. I guess this is what really draws me to antique jewellery – it tells us so much about the time in which it was made, but no matter how much time passes its purpose stays pretty much the same: it's just pretty. Unlike so many antiques that become obsolete, antique jewellery continues to be wearable and beautiful no matter how much time passes.

My jewellery story starts on my 18th birthday, when my parents gave me a beautiful late Victorian turquoise ring. I remember the first time I wore the ring thinking ‘I can't believe this is 100 years old and I get to wear it’ – it really blew my mind to think I was wearing a tiny piece of history. That was six years ago, and since then I’ve become a bit obsessed, and most of what I do now revolves around jewellery. I ended up being able to combine jewellery with ancient Egypt and wrote my undergrad thesis on 12th Dynasty Egyptian jewellery.

I don’t think I really have a theme to my collection, although I usually gravitate towards yellow gold Victorian pieces. Lately I have been adding a few vintage rings to my collection; I guess I’m thinking of jewellery less as a piece of history now, and thinking more about the beauty of a piece, or the craftsmanship and work that goes into handmade pieces.

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(left) My favourite pieces aren't the rarest or most valuable in my collection, but the pieces that I have the fondest memories of. This black enamel and seed pearl mourning ring I bought after my grandfather passed away. I don't wear it so much now, but I wore it pretty much every day for two years after he passed. It's not in great condition, partly due to how much I've worn it, but I still absolutely love it.

(right) This diamond and sapphire ring was the first antique ring I bought for myself. There was an old cut ruby where the modern sapphire is (the ruby fell out) and the larger diamond is chipped, but it was the inscription that really attracted me to it. There are old Chinese symbols for ‘luck’ and ‘money’ inside the band.

Turquoise_Row Collection

This is my first ever antique ring, the row of turquoise cabochons (hence the name Turquoise Row) along with a diamond and sapphire ring I bought when I was in Russia. The turquoise ring I don't often wear now; it was badly damaged by a jeweller a few years ago. I eventually want to have it repaired and bring it back to its former glory.

Turquoise_Row Collection

Both of these rings are from @ishyantiques (the scarab ring was made by @jewelleryhannah) and they are two that I wear all the time. The rest of my favourite rings I don't necessarily wear that often, but I wear one of these nearly every day. I bought the scarab because of my love of ancient Egypt; I looked for a scarab ring for ages before I found this one. It wasn't what I pictured when I was looking, but when I saw it I loved it straight away. The anchor doesn’t really have any meaning behind it; I just think it’s beautiful.

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I only have a small collection of charms, but they are some of my most sentimental pieces. The chain was my first ever piece of jewellery – a gift from my great Aunt on my 5th birthday (along with the Snoopy charm). It took me about 15 years to start wearing it, but now it's my go-to chain. The locket was a 21st gift from my parents and still has the original glass picture of a man inside (who I've named Percy). The lovely little birdie with a hanging diamond was hand made by @jewelleryhannah; it's one of my few modern pieces but has so much character! The bell is the most precious piece of jewellery I have; it was originally a stickpin given to my Nan by her father when she was a little girl. The pin part broke off and only the bell on a chain sat in her jewellery box until she gave it to me. It isn't my most valuable piece, but it's the one I would be most upset over if I lost it; there are always more beautiful antiques, but I could never replace the sentimental value of this piece.




WANT MORE? Check out the other Jewelry Collection Stories

You can follow Kate --> @turquoise_row

My Jewel Box: I'm Suddenly Charmed by Charms

Charms | Gem Gossip

Most of my personal collection of charms consists of pieces I've had since I was little or items that were passed down to me. Like my Baptismal medal and my dad's Italian horn. The green enamel fish and heart key charm were from my grandparents' and were gifts from different trips to Italy.

Charms | Gem Gossip

I walked into Ocean Beach Antique Mall with no necklaces and left with my new favorite trio--these three go together in the best way possible. California has the best vintage 50s/60s jewelry. Also, tiki tribal guy needs a name and turns out, is not bad luck as first assumed.

Charms | Gem Gossip

Only have one chain? Go for it! Adding your entire collection to one chain is COOL. And I recommend it!

Charms | Gem Gossip

You can bring your neck game and charm party to a whole new level by an easy DIY. Buy some black velvet at a craft store (I have three different thickness sizes) and sew some velcro to the ends for easy adjusting. Chokers are great layer-ready pieces and velvet allows you to pin and hang other jewelry from it!

Charms | Gem Gossip

Another look at my personal charm collection. Vintage medals are a favorite of mine, although I only have one, they make a big statement by themselves. The doll is in a category of its own!!

Charms | Gem Gossip

Although I mostly sell rings, lately I've been offering some great charms and necklaces over on @shopGEMGOSSIP

Charms | Gem Gossip

See what I mean?! The more the merrier!

I've admired charms for a very long time, they just never were something I focused on or absolutely loved. I went several years without wearing a single necklace, let alone a charm dangling from a chain. It was safe to say my neck felt the "no jewel" love and over time things started to change. I began appreciating charms for their sentimental value and enjoyed the many possibilities of what kinds of charms are out there. Of course, vintage and antique charms were always my cup of tea. After converting a few stick pins into charm rings over the last few years and not wearing them that much, I realized that charms may be meant for the neck and hang from a chain, as they should. 

As I finally let myself obsess over charms for the first time ever, I of course began traditions and yearly acquisitions. Like the Fox & Bond Mini became my anniversary celebration piece, adding one every year of marriage to my newly growing charm collection. I started with the diamond set Mini with my wedding date engraved on the inside shank, along with our initials. After just celebrating our first year of marriage, I added another, this time randomly choosing an amethyst (I think I'm going to randomly choose the gemstone set for each year just by whatever gem I'm feeling at the time) and "1 year" engraved on the inside. 

I'm also still obsessing over the Jean Jean Vintage Cachet Collection charm and will probably add another to my fam.  As you can tell, charms become more and more addicting as you immerse yourself into their collectible world. So many Hollywood starlets had a charm bracelet, which they collected charms on--like Elizabeth Taylor and Jackie O. 

I would love to see your charm collection! Use hashtag #gemgossipCharms on Instagram--I will be posting some of my favorites all week!



WANT MORE? Check out my Vintage & Antique Inventory

Jewelry Collection Stories: @Thing_Finder

Thing_Finder | Gem Gossip Thing_Finder | Gem Gossip

We may know her as @Thing_Finder but in real life she is Jen Lord, a last name fitting for her because she may very well be the "lord of the rings."  One of the few Canadian antique jewelry collectors we have in our tight-knit Instagram community, and she brings her antique loving style to everyone daily on her Instagram page, as well as her Etsy shop. A newly wed, whom we all celebrated as she tied the knot on her wedding day and gave us followers glimpses into her private ceremony via Instagram. As she curates and collects more jewels, she learns about every aspect of each piece she owns, even if it means doing some extensive research, I wanted to get a peek into her jewelry box and see what defines Jen as a collector. Let's see what she has to say:

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"My passion for collecting started young, very young. My earliest jewellery memories were those with my Gran and Nana, both of whom share a love of jewellery, and fine jewellery at that. I always volunteered to “clean their rings,” which for me meant a soapy dish, a small toothbrush and a labour of love. These quiet moments allowed me to study the stones, the mountings, and work to bring out their most brilliant shine. These early stolen moments with jewels, would create an insatiable appetite, a lust never quite quenched."

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"When I hit about 12 years of age, babysitting and “picking” afforded me a modest jewellery budget. I used to walk from school to all the thrift stores, and then home via Victoria’s Antique Row, selling what small finds I could to the local dealers. Perhaps they took pity on a this small child peddling her wares, but I started to develop relationships with the dealers and the learning was immense, not to speak of the small profits it afforded."

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"My first love in jewellery was Art Deco. Those clean lines, architectural elements and elegant touches, I lusted for it like nothing else. Boys, couldn’t hold my interest the same way a finely crafted diamond cocktail ring could, there wasn’t a hope! These days I would say I go through “jewellery phases.” It isn’t that I ever lose love for one period or another, but I tend to collect in waves and then cull. Jewellery to me is a life long love affair.

Good jewellery makes my heart race, my voice sing, and fills my mind with wonder and excitement. Jewels are talismans of our journey through life. In birth and in death, in marriage and in loss, jewelry in tied to some of the most important milestones and experiences in our lives. To that end, the most meaningful jewellery for me, is that linked to these times. Mourning jewellery has to be one of the most compelling and romantic of all collecting genres for me. I feel so honoured to be able to own such sentimental and deeply personal artifacts of the past. I think only those who feel as I do about antique jewellery can really understand the feeling of awe and respect that these pieces impart on us."

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"As for where I find my jewellery, the more important question is where do I not?! I literally will go anywhere, search anywhere to find what I am looking for. Stinky thrift stores, dusty pawn shops, web sites with poor images bring it on, I am game!"

On how she thought of the Instagram handle "Thing Finder:"

"It comes from this Pippi Longstocking quote:

“I don’t know what you are going to do,” said Pippi, “but I know I can’t lie around and be lazy. I am a Thing-Finder, and when you’re a Thing-Finder you don’t have a minute to spare.”

“What did you say you are?” asked Annika.

“A Thing-Finder.”

“What’s that?” asked Tommy.

“Somebody who hunts for things, naturally. What else could it be?” said Pippi as she swept all the flour left on the floor into a little pile.

“The whole world is full of things, and somebody has to look for them. And that’s just what a Thing-Finder does,” she finished.

“What kind of things?” asked Annika.

“Oh, all kinds,” said Pippi. “Lumps of gold, ostrich feathers, dead rats, candy snapcrackers, little tiny screws, and things like that.”

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"My collection is quite varied, from my oldest piece, a memorial ring from 1716 to statement rings from the mid 20th century. I’m inspired by nature, the rare and unusual, and of course other collectors! To me jewellery is my favourite way to express myself and I have been known to change up my jewellery several times in a day. I feel very lucky to have found a great jeweller, Roger, who works with me to create conversion and one of pieces to further expand my collection. I never really know what direction my collecting with take next, but I do know, it doesn’t stop here!"

>> Thanks Jen for sharing your passion and jewels with us! Follow her on Instagram for everyday musings: @Thing_Finder

12 of My Latest Obsessions + Tips on How To Stay Focused

Gem Gossip Obsessions

1. My diamond collection: diamonds make me happy and so does my collection of antique elongated rings. Just looking at these brings me joy and satisfaction--I see hard work, long hours and lots of dedication. I love my new antique ring box given to me by Sarah of Sarah's Vintage & Estate Jewelry from my latest #JewelryRoadTrip adventure.

Gem Gossip Obsessions

2. Luckily for me, my office (where I sit and complete almost every single blog post) is incredibly inspiring to me. My walls are filled with treasures I've collected over the years--like these gold frames. I've turned an entire wall into a gallery wall which houses them. The other walls feature a gallery of gold mirrors, book shelves filled with jewelry books, and the last and final wall is in the works. Can't wait to reveal that one soon!

Gem Gossip Obsessions

3. Speaking of jewelry books, they are definitely an obsession. I've been loving my latest favorite--Wartski: The First 150 Years by Geoffrey Munn, given to me by Mr. Munn himself. I pinch myself sometimes reminiscing about visiting that store in London back in 2014. You can read the blog post from that visit here and you can order the book here.

Gem Gossip Obsessions

4. My crystal point collection makes me happy as it is eye-catching in every way possible. It is one of my newest collections, so watching it grow has been fun-- it has been slow but steady. My first ones I ever got came from my trip to Raleigh when I went to a local gem show that happened to fall on the same day I was making an in-store appearance at Bailey's Fine Jewelry. Such a special memory.

Gem Gossip Obsessions

5. My newest acquisition--the middle lapis ring from Sarah's Vintage & Estate Jewelry, paired with a turquoise ring and a funky bypass ring set with lapis and chrysoprase. Funny, I bought that bypass ring off of eBay back in 2008 for $79 and I remember feeling like I paid way too much. lol


6. I have a secret, well not-so-secret, passion for photographing the sunset. The colors get me every time and no two are ever alike. The collage I made here starts with the upper left which I took with my iPhone and is the sunset from a few days ago from outside my bedroom window! The one next to it is a sunset from our honeymoon, directly below that is a beach sunset from our Florida vacation in April, and the last one is from Arkansas the night of the Roberson's jewelry event.

Gem Gossip Obsessions

7. Pretty colors and embracing color is what I've been working on this year. I tend to gravitate toward neutral colors in most aspects of my life, especially clothing, but this year I'm changing that. Mixing colors in gemstones and wearing a rainbow of gems is something I'm really enjoying. The middle finger ring is one of my favorite acquisitions, found on Instagram and traded with a few pieces of mine. Trading is fun!

Gem Gossip Obsession

8. Everything Walters Faith is doing right now is very inspiring--not only their jewelry designs but their latest campaign called the “I AM” campaign. It highlights the fine jewelry line’s capacity to transcend one generation to the next and features five women spanning ages 20’s to 60’s, whose diverse appeal is as timeless as the jewelry they are wearing. Love it!

Gem Gossip Obsessions

9. Excuse the inappropriate photo but I just LOVE these socks. It is all in the details here and I bought three pairs for myself and haven't found it necessary to wear my plain black ankle socks. I only want my "Fuck off" embroidered socks from Brandy Melville. Now if I only lived in someplace like NYC where people would get close enough on a flight of stairs to read these.

Gem Gossip Obsession

10. My growing Figa collection brings a huge smile to my face and has been becoming one of those things that I actually don't really wear, I just like to stare at them. I know that is so wrong on so many different levels--and I know I'm the first to say, "Jewelry is meant to be worn!" but gosh, I just love staring at these!


11. One day I knocked down all my rocks and minerals that were displayed in a vintage type setter tray that hung on a wall. They fell down onto a black nightstand and lay just beautifully against the dark color for a background. I ended up taking my entire collection down and rearranging them like so--then I took this photo. To date, it is my favorite photo of my gem collection. I have specimens in this collection that I got in 4th grade. So many memories in one photo.

Gem Gossip Obsessions

12. I'm not much of a "less is more" person, but some days I like to go minimal with my style, including my rings. My favorite piece to do this with is my Otto Jewels heart ring. Pairing this style with vintage t-shirts and my Converse is a look I can't get enough of.

With my travel schedule and being frequently discombobulated, sometimes I go through ruts of being uninspired. Whether it is feeling out of sorts, tired of seeing the same old designs, or content that seems regurgitated from influencers--lately I've been the MOST uninspired ever!  

I found a great remedy for this--so if you ever are feeling this way, here is what worked for me!  I immersed myself in all things that I love: my obsessions, things that I collect, favorite items, designers' work that inspires me. I decided to round up all of my favorites and show you! Above are all my current obsessions, with captions explaining each. The above twelve things helped me get reinspired and feel like myself again. Here are some other tips that help me readjust my attitude when stuck in a rut, along with my favorite Pinterest board from @GemGossip on Pinterest--the "My Style" board. Hope all these tips help!

>> What inspires you?!

Tips for staying focused and freeing yourself of negativity: 

1. Too much of something is never good. Sometimes I notice overstimulation when it comes to social media can be a culprit for feeling overwhelmed or uninspired. The people whom you follow may be constantly posting negative things, politically driven articles, or going off on rants. You don't want that in your life!  There's something very exhilerating with blocking that out--a simple unfollow or unfriend can do wonders. Feeling guilty for unfriending? No one will probably notice anyway. 

2. Try to make a schedule or To-Do list to keep you on track! I've noticed on days where I don't, I feel like a lot of time is wasted or I seem to go off on tangents that lead me nowhere.  Having goals and tasks to do each day is key.

3. It's ok to say NO! I was really bad at this, however now I feel like I say "no" too often! Ha! Whenever I'm approached with something, I like to think how it applies to me, my website, my is this going to benefit me? How is this going to benefit the other person? Keeping in mind my original goal for Gem Gossip since day one has helped with making a lot of the decisions I make on a daily basis. 

4. Distance yourself from people who are simply using you. This is the strangest and most recent lesson I've been working on. Never in a million years would I have thought I would have to think, "why is this person wanting to be my friend?" and really try to figure out the answer behind this question. Gut instinct has helped a lot with this and it is sad that there are people out there reaching out to me simply for themselves, or to get a shoutout on Instagram, or to try and learn what I do so they can do the same. Be your own person.

5. Spend time with people that really matter. Close family and friends that have your back no matter what are the best. Sometimes getting caught up in the day-to-day busy schedules of life can result in not getting to see or talk to these important people. No matter how busy you are, take time to call, chat, or hang out with your favorites. A dinner date with your husband, a surprise visit to your parents' house, babysitting for a friend--those experiences will have more of a positive impact than watching tv, scrolling through social media, or answering emails.



WANT MORE? You may also enjoy all my Inspiration Boards I've created over the years.

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