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Entries in jewelry collection (40)

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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My Jewel Box: Elongated Antique Diamond Ring Obsession

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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

A Jewelry Instagram You Can Shop!

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Although I haven't officially announced this over on here, I'd like to take the time to do just that! The Instagram account @shopGEMGOSSIP launched just before the holidays and became a quick and easy way to list items both from my inventory and personal collection that I have for sale. I get so many questions on my original Instagram (@GemGossip) of prices on items that are a part of my personal collection and not for sale, so I decided to make a whole new page. This new page is intended to be a running inventory of items I have for sale, with full descriptions and prices listed--so no time wasted emailing to learn a ring size or price, it is all right there! I love shopping on Instagram as well, but saw how difficult it was on some pages to get information or pricing, as well as not knowing if items were for sale or already sold. I am making sure @shopGEMGOSSIP is up-to-date and clearly labeled SOLD the moment something sells!  

Hope you all enjoy! Check out the page ---> @shopGEMGOSSIP

 

xoxoGemGossip

Jewelry Collection Stories: Brooke of Arrow & Anchor Antiques

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I met Brooke back in 2012 when she came to me for some appraisals on jewelry of hers. I guess you could say, the rest is history! But really though, once I saw her collection and began talking with her that day four years ago, I saw we had much more in common than just a love for jewelry. Since then we've traveled many miles together, spent thousands of dollars together, took hundreds of pictures of jewelry and laughed all along the way. I enjoy helping her build Arrow & Anchor Antiques and talking about jewelry nonstop. Here's a collection that continues to get fine tuned and curated. Can't wait to see where her collection is several years from now, and most importantly 40 years from now, when we're scooting around the Miami Beach Antique Show together all cute and wrinkly, covered in jewels:

"My collection is small, as I've only been collecting for 6 or 7 years, so a short time in the grand scheme of collecting. I'm obsessed with Art Nouveau and mid-century modern jewelry right now. My latest craze is Victorian silver bangles, although I thought Danielle wouldn't speak to me after I confessed this. Our text convo is posted on my Instagram. Jewelry to me is my personal way of expressing myself. My fashion style is basic (Vintage Levis and an old tee). Rings on every finger alll day every day. Most of them tell a story but the ones that don't will eventually!"

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First photo: Favorite rings -- Arik Kastan 2 Stone Garnet and Rose Gold Ring. Tamar is the beauty behind Arik Kastan. Danielle and I had an amazing night with her in Vegas years ago and I have adored her ever since (that seems to happen often in this industry). Her pieces are everything that I love from a good modern jewelry piece. The quality is amazing and the stones are insanely beautiful.

Meredith Khan Love Twist Ring - I mean, this ring explains itself. It is truly an amazing design. Very comfortable and well crafted. I wear it everyday. 

14k Gold Serpent Ring - I have only had this ring for a month and I have lost it twice. I actually saged it yesterday in hopes that I can remove whatever energy is making this ring disappear. 

Azurmalachite pinky ring from Vulpecula Jewelry

Second photo: My mom handed both of these bracelets down to me. She made both. The first is a delicate silver cuff with a star and wings. The second was created out of coins from her travels. The sound that the coin bracelet makes is really nice.

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My favorite piece of jewelry is this Sagittarius Cartier ring from the 1970s. I’m an Aquarius. I collect zodiac rings from Cartier--they are hard to find. When I find one I quickly buy it...no thought just pure excitement and panic to get it first.

Favorite places to find antique jewelry and treasure hunt? eBay, Etsy, trade shows, Ruby Lane, Instagram, and one favorite place in driving distance from my house in Nashville.

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First photo: both these rings are special because they are from Danielle!

Second photo: I had a 9 year relationship that ended in 2014. I kept the original setting from my engagement ring as a reminder of exactly what a certain moment felt like (I will leave it at that). I had the inner bezel polished so now it is just a platinum setting without the center stone. It sounds depressing but it is a positive reminder for me that I made the right decision. You can be in a long term relationship with a wonderful person and still feel completely lonely if you don’t have a solid relationship with yourself.

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First photo: I love vintage watches and have a small collection available through Arrow and Anchor. My Cartier Love Bracelet hasn't left my wrist in 3 years.

Second photo: A few of my Cartier Zodiac rings!

Follow Brooke on Instagram @ArrowandAnchorAntiques


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