Entries in jewelry collection (37)
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
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!"
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.
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.
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.
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
We are ringing in the New Year today with an inspiring and gorgeous Jewelry Collection Story from Angela, or what we may like to call her "Gemstone Gypsy." I find her collection entirely intriguing and I love how sentimental and closely tied to her heritage many of the pieces are. Let's get right into it:
"I've loved jewelry since I was a child. My maternal grandmother is a serious collector who worked for Tiffany and Hermes and taught me how to appreciate everything from major Victorian rings to beautiful Chanel costume pieces. She’s real, old New York – always in head to toe black, purple Chanel lipstick and Ferragamo shoes – and I idolized her as a child! I would sit with her in her apartment, riveted, while she showed me what things were made of and explained why they were valued. She really impressed upon me the importance of quality construction, too, and how to spot it. My paternal side is Brooklyn Italian, and they love their gold! So since an early age I had lots of adornment around me.
Anyone who knows me also knows that I'm hugely sentimental, so apart from the aesthetic aspect of jewelry, I love what it means in a personal sense. In the end, regardless of material, a piece’s value is truly in the story it carries, and what it becomes in the eye of the beholder. The simplest, most inexpensive thing can become hugely meaningful if it is loved or given with love, and I find that so magical."
Above: My collection of vintage + antique yellow gold Italian/Catholic protection charms, shown on top of pictures of my grandmothers in Brooklyn in the early 1920s-30s. A Gold Rush-era gold nugget lock, American Victorian 10k carnelian cross, and Victorian goldfill locket.
"My personal jewelry collection is not enormous (though my husband would definitely disagree!) but it is pretty varied - everything from Georgian gold rings to Mexican silver pieces from the 70s. I've also built up a fair amount of contemporary, handmade pieces as well, many of them made by jewelers I know personally and count as friends. It makes the pieces that much more special! I do have certain themes I stick to – eras, styles and stones I love.
I’m drawn to sapphires because they are my husband’s birthstone. I love rubies, just because. Georgian, Victorian + Art Deco are my favorite eras to collect. I always go for big, statement rings over anything else. And, if given the choice, I’d pick any of what I call the “soft stones” – agates, turquoise, lapis, coral – over diamonds (though a few diamonds never hurt anyone ;)"
Above: My wedding jewelry: Bands - Vintage 18k split band, Art Deco 18k and french cut sapphire eternity band from @duvenay, Art Deco 14k-lined platinum engraved band from Metier SF; My engagement ring, a 1920s sapphire + mine cut diamond target ring from London, and my wedding gift, a Georgian rose/old cut diamond cluster ring, also from London.
"My solid gold safety pin earrings from my Jewels for Gypsies line are one piece I literally wear every single day and never take off. They’re like a great combo of a stud and a hoop – you can sleep in them comfortably, they look chic if you want to dress them up but also have just the right amount of rocker edge to lend to any outfit."
Above: L-R: My Jewels for Gypsies 14k Safety Pin Earrings, Vintage 18k white gold and diamond safety pin pendant from @GoldAdore, 18k + Sapphire Indian Snake Hoops from @lisajshuler_apocketofrocks.
"Another favorite would be my necklace of Italian protection and religious charms – some I’ve had since childhood, some which my husband has given me or I’ve collected over the years. I wear them every day and rarely take them off, and all the women in my family do too – we’re very superstitious! If the necklace doesn’t match what I’m wearing (rare!) I’ll pin a few to my underwear, just in case."
Above: My everyday neck game: Jewels for Gypsies large 14k feather pendant in yellow gold with pavé rubies, a french-cut ruby and gold cross I bought in London, my 1940s 18k ruby + diamond A. Augis "I Love You More Every Day" pendant (a gift from my husband), and a 14k + ruby dagger, which is probably the piece people most commonly try to buy off my neck (I say no every time)!
Above: Victorian sterling, 14k gold, diamond and mother of pearl Miraculous medal - my 30th birthday gift from my husband, purchased from @theoneilovenyc.
One of my favorite pairs of earrings - diamond + 14k talons by my hugely talented friend Noriko Sugawara (of N+A New York). She's probably the best jeweler I know and she taught me how to make jewelry way back when.
Above: Assorted stick pin necklaces I made (l-r): a Georgian collet-set diamond, a 14k Tiffany & Co. Fishhook (formerly a tie tack of my dad's), and a platinum + diamond "J" for my husband, from @ishyantiques. The Victorian garnet is from @theoneilovenyc.
"I have a Victorian Garnet cabochon ring with a halo of opals that my husband gave me one birthday early on in our relationship that’s really special to me. Garnet is my birthstone, and I love the symbolism of fidelity it carries with it. It’s the first antique, and the first ring he ever gave me, so it holds a lot of meaning for me. I even make a point to wear it to weddings and family occasions to lend love and positive symbolism to the event."
Above: Symbols of Love: A Victorian garnet + opal halo ring, a 1930s band inscribed "Amor Vincit Omnia" (love conquers all, also from my husband), and a ring I made from a Georgian garnet lace pin I added a hand-carved 18k band and foil back aquamarine to.
Snakes! (l-r) A French Art Deco gold and diamond snake, Victorian garnet + opal snake from @heartofsolidgold, and a Victorian garnet snake scored from Ebay (!), which I wear every day.
"My antique ring collection is still growing - I have about 40 antique rings total, though to be honest I mostly just wear a few favorites daily. I've been collecting pieces my whole life, but really only seriously for about 3-4 years."
Above: Turquoise dreams (l-r): An Art Deco 22k pinky ring, 18k + Persian turquoise Late Victorian band from @_butterlaneantiques, an American Victorian turquoise ring, and a ring I made from a Victorian square-cut turquoise + old-cut diamond horseshoe pin.
Love Gold! (l-r): 1920s 18k "William Tell" signet from @_butterlaneantiques, 14k gold + sapphire class ring circa 1917 (my grandmother's birth year), a Victorian 18k + diamond Gypsy Ring, and a hand-sawn 1946 Half Penny pyramid ring made by my very dear + talented friend @racheleardleysomerset, whose work reminds me that you can still be a quality maker in today's world.
"The best story I have about a personal piece would have to be the one behind this funny Edwardian Sapphire and Diamond ring I inherited. My friends and I refer to it as "The Cat Eye Mask" ring because that's what it reminds us of. My mom found it in the bottom of a box full of trash in my grandfather’s apartment, right before he died. It almost got thrown away! She gave it to me a few years ago and I rarely wear it, but I would never sell it because I just think I was meant to own it. My cousin and best friend even wore it in her wedding as her “something blue,” just in case the good luck attached to it rubs off."
Above: The infamous "Cat Eye Mask" Edwardian diamond + sapphire ring that was rescued from the trash, in its original box.
"My favorite places to treasure hunt are with special dealers I have met over the years and love to hang out with and buy things from here in New York City. I also try to make the trip to London when I can to visit friends and shop at Portobello road at least once a year. As far as non-secret spots, I love Etsy – there are beautiful, quality pieces there at all price points, and a lot of really cool new handmade stuff as well. The Pier Antique Shows in Manhattan are great, too, and open to the public – I recommend going with a friend or two for second opinions! I personally always try to shop with at least one of my girls: Jenn (@bellflowerbay) and Christy (@this_is_ferro) – they’re my posse, and I can barely make decisions without them! As far as brick-and-morter stores, my favorite is Metier in San Francisco – they’re tiny but perfectly stocked with old and new; I always try to pop in while I’m in town!"
Above: My collection of agates (l-r): A Victorian dendritic agate ring from @decemberanchor, an 18k bloodstone intaglio "A" ring I got years ago on Ebay, an amazing Victorian bloodstone statement ring from Metier SF, an Art Deco moss agate dinner ring from Ruby Lane, a 1920s banded agate stunner from @eriecanalcollectors, and my first Instagram purchase - a Victorian moss agate ring from my friend Lauren of @agelessheirlooms.
Above: Part of my collection of silver bracelets (top to bottom): a coin souvenir bracelet from all the countries my filmmaker grandfather visited, made for my mom when she was a child, a vintage sterling silver buckle bracelet, a vintage Taxco Mexican silver buckle bracelet, a Victorian sterling Albertina watch chain bracelet (each individual link is hallmarked!).
"My dream piece? This is tricky – I want so many antique gems, the list is a mile long! I guess if I had to settle on something, it would be the Hermes Boucle Sellier silver bracelet. They reissued a huge version of it three or four years ago, and I’m totally obsessed. I have a vintage Chain d'Ancre (one of the early, super heavy ones) that I inherited from my grandmother, and have since built a stack of beautiful Indian and Mexican sterling bracelets around it, that I wear constantly. My dream has always been to be one of those fabulous old ladies with bracelets up to my elbows, and that bracelet is definitely a piece that I feel like I really NEED to complete my collection. I was visiting the jeweler who apprenticed me not long ago, and he was polishing one for a private client. I was completely transfixed and could not stop staring until he finally let me try it on. All I could think was, “Could I make it out the door in time?” but that thing is so heavy, it would probably drag me down as I ran off with it!"
Above: The two prizes of my bracelet collection: A vintage Hermes sterling silver chaine d'ancre bracelet I inherited, and a vintage 14k + diamond curb chain I bought to celebrate an accomplishment.
This entire week I am dedicating to the Jewelry Collection Stories segment, as I feel this is the perfect way to end 2015. What an amazing year! I can't think of a better way to leave you than with FIVE amazing collection stories from some incredible collectors of jewelry. It is a great way to reflect on what we have as collectors and what we have to look forward to in the upcoming year! Start planning some antiquing trips, jewelry show visits and hours of hunting online--2016 is your year!
Our first Jewelry Collection Story comes from Alison--or what our circle knows her as: @duvenay. I've been such a fan following her on Instagram and seeing her gorgeous collection, it is a treat to see it in her own words right here:
"I have always loved jewelry. The first toy I remember is a long necklace of orange beads that my favorite aunt gave me. I have always gravitated towards antique jewelry. I’m a genealogist, so I especially love pieces that I can research, that have a history, or a story to tell. Here are some of my favorite pieces, starting with the Georgian era:
(Above) I love mourning rings. I know it’s weird, but I’m obsessed with urns! My favorite part is the back, if there is a good inscription.
At the top is my beloved “A” ring, for my first name (Alison), which incorporates some of my absolute favorite things: blue enamel, old mine cut diamonds, and a royal cypher. I wear this ring during the day, in a very casual way. It’s quite large and was definitely meant for a man, which I love. Below it are a Georgian mourning pendant (left) and a Georgian portrait miniature (right), also with blue enamel.
Above is a closeup of my “A” ring. This ring is definitely at the top of my list of all time favorite rings.
I’m particularly fond of Grand Tour souvenir jewelry from the Victorian era. My fascination began when I was given the gold “ROMA” ring from my aunt. Later, she unearthed an album detailing the late 1800’s Grand Tour by her great grandmother, Ella. It is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Each page has either drawings by her, calling cards of people she met along the way, hotel postcards, or most commonly, pressed flowers taken from every place she visited. My favorite is an invitation to a masked ball she attended while in France. After that, I was smitten with the whole idea of the Grand Tour. For me it has special meaning as well, because I grew up abroad, and later studied in Italy. My father was in the Foreign Service, and my parents met in East Africa, and for some reason, my family has one way or another, always been associated with travel.
Above, from left, are a pair of earrings with paintings of the Taj Mahal. These are very special to me because I lived in India as a little girl. Next is a Victorian micro mosaic ring from the Vatican workshop, another ring with an amazing painting of Istanbul, a micro mosaic ring of my favorite ruins - the Roman Forum, and my ROMA ring. The coins spell PACE on the reverse, which means peace in Italian.
Above is a closeup of the Taj Mahal earrings.
Speaking of India, I think my fascination with snakes stems from my childhood there. Snakes came up a lot in casual conversation. There was the time my brother almost stepped on a baby cobra, because he foolishly walked outside in bare feet at night, and people would tell my mom things like “never park your car under a tree." The reason had something to do with snakes. I don’t like them in real life, only in gold or silver, and preferably with gemstones. Top right snake above is my favorite, it is a cobra from India with an amazing ruby. It was my mother’s.
Above--a garnet cabochon with snakes and a large gold snake with an old mine cut diamond. Both are Victorian.
I also like to collect jewelry from the Victorian Etruscan Revival period. I love stars, and they were a common theme during this time period. I also love that ancient techniques with gold were revived during this time.
Above, clockwise from left are a 22 carat gold and garnet ring from circa 1880, a memorial bracelet, a gold snake from the same era, a pavé turquoise dome ring with a diamond star, a memorial locket pendant with a star, and a painted portrait of an Egyptian woman, also from around 1880.
I also love Edwardian rings, and this is one of my favorites. It had been in the same family its entire life, having been custom made for the original owner and passed down to the wife of the last surviving heir. The reason she sold it to me is very sad but funny. She told me she had always admired her mother in law, who was from a well-to-do English family, and was thrilled to have inherited this ring from her. She felt loved and appreciated by the gesture, and she had always adored the ring. But after her husband died and she became a widow, she found her mother in law’s diary, and discovered that on her wedding day, her mother in law had written “Today my son married a Russian spy.” (She is in fact, Ukrainian) She was deeply offended by this, and could never again stand the sight of the ring. She actually referred to it as the “Spy Ring." Having grown up with a Dad who was a Russian language expert for the U.S. government during the cold war, I met lots of “spies,” so I reassured her that I could handle the “Spy Ring.” I love the old cut diamonds and the pear shaped ruby, and the stylized fleur de lis design. I also think it looks like a butterfly.
Last but not least, my very favorite ring of all is also Edwardian - my engagement ring!
The Figa--rich in history and quite elusive to some. What does it mean? And where did the talisman originate? I was mesmerized by a collection which has been in the making for years--that of Ariana Boussard-Reifel, owner of Marteau (formerly Mode Marteau) who has a penchant for vintage and antique anything, but especially jewelry. I had to know more about her collection and asked for her expertise on the topic of the Figa, so she has put together a wonderful blog post for us. Be sure to check out her newly launched website, Marteau.
"I am a collector first and I choose my conquest second. The act of collecting, more than the act of possessing is what enchants me. It’s all about the thrill of the hunt, the seeking and the vanquishing. Unlike some whose collections are focused, I devour jewelry that spans time and space. In this way all of history is exposed by the process of searching. Right now, I’m steadily pillaging the world’s supply of antique Mano Figas.
The first one I saw immediately captivated me. It reminded me of Rodin sculptures and Gabriella Kiss earrings. In appearance, it was both beautiful and macabre, clearly showing the labor of its maker in the finely articulated fingers. But it is the story and symbolism that made me a devout collector.
The gesture of the thumb protruded between the pointer finger and middle finger has a variety of different meanings dating back nearly 8,000 years. In Central Asia where the term for it is rosehip, it is an obscene gesture not unlike the middle finger. It means sex in Japan, the number 5 to the Maasai, the letter ‘T’ in American Sign Language, and ‘got your nose’ to every 4-year-old I’ve ever encountered.
But the specific symbolism that gave rise to the charm that we refer to as a Mano Figa originates in Etruscan Italy. Mano means hand and Figa means fig, a slang term for female genitalia. The gesture is undeniably a reference to heterosexual sex. In ancient times it was worn as an incantation to The Goddess, a call for fertility, virility and good times (the fig also has close ties to Bacchus). They were traditionally made of silver or blood coral, sacred elements for Luna, the goddess of the moon and Venus, the goddess of the sea, respectively.
Through time and colonization, the symbol crossed the oceans with Christianity, and beginning in the early 17th century figas began to be produced in South America. Now they are commonly worn throughout Brazil and Peru as a symbol of protection against the evil eye. The obscenity of the gesture is said to distract Satan from his conquest for your soul. Because of the close ties to femininity and motherhood it is traditional in Brazil to tie a tiny black figa to a child’s wrist to ward off bad luck.
For all the richness and history of the mano figa, I can’t help but love them large and small, fine and primitive. Because the gesture carries such breadth of meaning it’s easy to imbue it with the significance you choose. I wear figas daily to feel a connection to my femininity, to represent my love of antiquity, and simply because they are always a good conversation starter."
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