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Entries in jewelry collection (37)

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."

Thing_Finder | Gem Gossip Thing_Finder | Gem Gossip

"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.”

Thing_Finder | Gem Gossip Thing_Finder | Gem Gossip

"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

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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!

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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 aesthetic...how 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.


 

xoxoGemGossip

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

Jewelry Collection Stories: Alisa of Erstwhile Jewelry

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Today's Jewelry Collection Story comes from one half of the Erstwhile Jewelry duo, Alisa Klusner. Inheriting a love for gems and antiques from both her grandmother and mother, Alisa is now enchanted by gems and antiques found by her husband Jared.  The married team have a great eye for beautiful, drool-worthy pieces--anything from a sapphire and diamond Art Deco ring, to a retro ruby and diamond piece, they have all the best. More recently the two collaborated on their own vintage-inspired line By Erstwhile, which features wedding bands, engagement rings, a really cool ear cuff, and some pendants.  Excited to share Alisa's story:

"I’ve been collecting my whole life. My grandmother and I would thrift and go to flea markets together every weekend. She had little boxes of gems found at flea markets and brought from the mother land, Russia. I loved how carefully she cared for these little treasures. I think, for me, the romance began there. My collecting began probably from my grandmother’s first few little gifts that were small but very sweet. My mother has always been a lover of fine jewels and over the years she’s also gifted me with jewels commemorating special occasions."

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"Now my husband, an antiques dealer, gifts me with gems. So my collection consists mostly of jewels he’s given me, little relics from my childhood, and pieces I “borrow” from Erstwhile."

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On her favorite motifs...

"Anything that brings about a feeling of nostalgia I love. My favorite motifs are found in Georgian and Victorian Mourning rings. They’re jewels made and worn to remember lost loved ones. Usually inscribed with the name of the deceased and date and place of death. These were worn to remind the wearer of mortality as in those days it was a constant threat. Many times you can find ‘memento mori' inscribed on these jewels, a Latin expression meaning ‘remember death’. Typical motifs and looks were black jet (the stone in the ring below), black and white enamel on yellow gold, and painted weeping willows."

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"I am passionate about bringing back the concept of treasuring your possessions. Everything in our culture is so disposable now. I get caught up in it myself. But you get on that merry go round and forget to appreciate the things you have. Unlike my grandmother, who treasured those few bright little jewels. Many of the rings we find may have gotten scraped or melted and lost. When you see 100 rings at once, all thrown together, they can lose their individual luster. The work comes when you need to spot those special pieces and put them in a context/curate them in a way that let’s their light shine. And instead of someone buying a disposable trendy piece of jewelry, they can buy this special piece, hand made using precious metals and gems over 100 years ago. A piece that can and should be loved for a lifetime. That’s my passion, the possibility that these jewels will outlast all of us. And we’re just stewards of them for now."

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"I like to join Jared on shopping trips to London, Paris, and even Upstate NY. Antique jewelry shows are fun too! Treasure hunting for jewelry has massively changed in the last few years with the internet and Instagram. It used to be that you could find amazing jewels in pawn and antique shops in little towns around the US. But everything’s online now and the romance of the hunt has gone a bit."

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"My engagement ring is my most special and favorite piece. Jared just happened upon it and immediately knew it was for me. Surprisingly he didn’t agonize over dozens of rings. It was just this one from the start. And it’s perfect."

 

Erstwhile Jewelry

 

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WANT MORE? Check out other jewelry collections I've featured, here.

My Jewel Box: Elongated Antique Diamond Ring Obsession

Gem Gossip Jewel Box Gem Gossip Jewel Box Gem Gossip Jewel Box Gem Gossip Jewel Box

One look at these photos and you will realize my growing obsession for elongated antique diamond rings. I can't even remember really where or why it all started, but each one is incredibly unique, thoughtfully intricate and immaculately designed. Most of these types of rings are from the Edwardian period, where the tops are done in platinum and the shank and setting is done in yellow gold. The diamonds are almost always imperfectly perfect--wonky cuts, usually Old Mine cuts mixed with some Old European cuts, maybe even a single cut where the tiniest stones lay. The shapes and silhouette can be worn either way, so there's no "upside down" side to these pieces! Some tend to be more geometric than others, while some have lacy attributes. Some look like a diamond creature, while others look very floral and feminine. I've noticed these diamonds tend to be high on the clarity scale, but often are very low on the color scale, sometimes even playing off the different levels of yellow-ness within the design itself. 

Oddly enough, I've found most of my entire collection of these particular rings on eBay! While in Las Vegas, I added another to my collection (the one on my pointer finger in the above photos). It was a surprisingly good find and per usual, fell into place...as I was wrapping up my last full day at the show and was about to head out, I stumbled upon it!  It was sold to me by Bluestone Trading Company based out of Cleveland, Ohio. It was love at first sight and definitely a happy moment when I realized I hadn't found anything for myself the past two days at the shows yet. The worst would have been if I bought something else that I totally wasn't in love with and spent my money, and then found this afterwards! That's my worst nightmare!  haha It was a great way to commemorate the trip, as it was one of the most busy/hard-working weekends of my life! 

I've seen some amazing auction archives with gorgeous examples of elongated Edwardian diamond rings. Sad that I missed out on them, but excited that they may resurface onto the market someday. These kinds of rings are an investment piece, that's for sure! So, you either have to continually save so when you do find one, you are able to buy it.  Or buy it on credit and pay it off eventually over time or sell a few smaller rings to pay for one large one like these. I never thought I would have a collection like this back when I started my blog in 2008.  It is crazy to see how far my love for jewelry has come and how many miles I've traveled all in the name of jewels!!

 

xoxoGemGossip

Jewelry Collection Stories: Mia from The One I Love NYC

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Undoubtedly in love with jewels, Mia launched The One I Love NYC in 2013, a place where fellow jewelry lovers can go to shop for fine vintage and antique jewelry all from the comfort of their home. Her jewelry collection story is shaped by the people she loves, both family and friends, and even people in the biz who have become her family and friends over these past few years. Excited to share Mia's personal collection story with you today:

"Ever since I can remember I‘ve had a love affair with jewelry. As a child, I would rummage through my grandmother’s jewelry box and try on every single piece, until there was no more room left around my arms, fingers or neck. This infatuation carried on into my adulthood, when I began collecting antique rings during college.

That being said, I’ve always had more of a dealer’s mentality when it came to my own purchases, meaning that I barely ever buy pieces for myself. My love of jewelry stems from an appreciation of its sentimental value before all else. I fell in love with the rituals of the Victorian and Georgian era, and the belief that every milestone, happy or sad, should be decorated with adornment. Antiques are a piece of history; a legacy that carries on the story of those before us, and our story, long after we’re gone.

My jewelry obsessions tend to mature over time. I have a strong admiration for Georgian era jewelry, particularly pieces that are embellished with flat top garnets and rose cut diamonds, because let’s be honest, who doesn’t? The workmanship of this era is beyond comparison: being forged by hand, and under candlelight no less! It’s impossible to look at a piece of Georgian jewelry with all its intricate detail, and not be amazed that these pieces have withstood the test of time.

As for motif, I am drawn towards snakes, skulls, and pretty much all symbolism of eternal life. I have an affinity for cards, which most definitely comes from my grandfather, who taught me every game in the book.

One basic theme throughout all my jewelry is that every single piece holds the memory of a moment in time, and was given to me as a token of love and friendship by someone I hold dear to my heart. Jewelry memorializes those we love, as it has for centuries before now, and that's what has always driven my passion for adornment.

Of course, my love of all things jewelry grew into a need to understand the details of stones, metals, and fabrication. Understanding the details of such things adds not only to the personal value of each piece, but the ability to truly respect its creation.

When it comes to modern jewelry, I tend to be geared towards designers who are inspired by my favorite eras. The majority of our Designer Collection at The One I Love is filled with pieces I saw and loved, then wanted to carry. Almost every designer piece I own, I also sell, because I honor and respect the craftsmanship of the designs and the history they symbolize."

Pictured above: My grandfather's wedding band & my grandmother's class ring. Their bond symbolized the sweetest love I’ve ever known. Alongside it is my grandmother’s diamond necklace, given to me right after she passed. It is the only piece that never leaves my body."

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I love watches, and my Rolex Daytona was a gift from my family when I graduated college. On the back it is inscribed with “You Are My Sunshine”, a song my grandmother would sing to me as a kid. Pictured beside it is a French Victorian sterling silver chain bracelet.

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Pictured is a Victorian onyx and turquoise Figa with gold detail. This was given to me by Edon (@littlewolfcollective), my dear friend and photographer. Also, a Victorian agate specimen set in 15K gold, once a brooch turned into a pendant. Lastly, an antique coin found by my friend Elizabeth, who fabricated the 14K gold setting herself.

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These two pieces are my every day necklaces. The Pave Ruby Wishbone is a staple piece from The One I Love, and the pave lightening bolt is from my friend and designer, Christina Albina.

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Ahh, the cards! Perhaps my most swoon worthy pieces. The bracelet is a Georgian era charm bracelet, hand fabricated in 22K gold with cards painted on ivory. The detail on this piece is absolutely incredible. A gift from a wonderful friend and colleague, and since it’s too delicate to wear I’m actually having it framed in a shadow box. Call me crazy but I could literally stare at it for hours; that is art! The necklace is a vintage card charm that rarely comes off my neck.

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The skull eternity band (by @vulpeculajewelry) was also a gift from my friend Elizabeth. She had it engraved with “E.K. to M.M. with love.” Something I did not realize until far after it was given to me! The @Nvitblanche All Seeing Eye Ring is a piece I’ve been obsessed with for a long time, and was designed by my friend and mentor, David Hines. Funny story: There is a super talented little old man who does the enameling for the eyes, and let’s just say that asking him for specific colors should be considered a suggestion rather than an requirement. You may go in there with a vision, but you never quite know what you’re leaving with. Somehow, it always comes out looking perfect in its own right. The Art Deco emerald eternity band is set in 14K gold, and was a birthday gift from two of my closest girl friends. The Ouroboros ring, a friendship ring between me and my BFF (people still do that, right?), is adorned with sapphires, diamonds, and rubies. She shares my love of pretty much everything, but particularly all things shiny and old.

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Pictured are pieces that were given to me by Angela (@gemstonegypsy). She’s a very talented designer, and created the rad snake ring and safety pin earring. She gifted me the safety pin earring on my 29th Birthday, and I wear it almost daily. The vintage J.O.B. ring was given to me because I’m “married to my job,“ and to know me is to know that this holds more truth than I care to admit! Something I laugh about every time I wear it.

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The Victorian turquoise and rose cut diamond flower ring was given to me by my parents, and is one of my favorites because the craftsmanship is incredible, especially on the petals! This was purchased from one of my favorite stores, @metierSF. The Georgian flat top garnet ring was given to me by a client, and at my own trunk show too! This was a purchase from @vulpeculajewelry. I love how the stones are all set at different angles.

*All Photographs by Little Wolf Collective

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