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Entries in jewelry collection (40)

Jewelry Collection Stories: Xiao Wang

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"To me there's something very mysterious and magical about antique jewelry, they have so much history and stories to tell." Xiao Wang says jewelry is in her DNA. With an incredibly popular jewelry line just recently launched, a modeling career and love for fashion--not to mention some cute chihuahua babies, she has a fun and fabulous life living in NYC. But what came before all this? A deep love for antique jewelry! She has been collecting for six years, and coincidently that is how old Gem Gossip is, which she has been a fan of since the beginning! We've emailed each other years ago, I even have a Victorian ring from her collection. Finally getting a chance to meet at Couture this year was such a great experience and long time coming! Xiao even came to check out the Doyle & Doyle event, where she reconnected her love for antique jewelry after focusing on designing her new collections. It was fun showing her more from my personal collection!

With New York City being her home, it is easily also her favorite place to treasure hunt. The Chelsea Showplace antique center is one of her top choices, which hosts private "galleries" open to the public seven days a week, located on 25th Street. Xiao also has luck traveling to Upstate New York to find antique treasures.

Antique rings from every time period are key pieces in her personal collection, and she loves a good brooch! The cute rooster is not only a part of her collection, but a great inspiration to her new designs.  "The Lavalier pendant in velvet box, I loved it when I saw it and purchased it right away, when I was paying for it I asked the seller if the blue stone was a sapphire, he and I both took a look under the loop and we both noticed it changed colors, turns out it was an alexandrite!"  This is proof of what all antique jewelry collectors are tuned into--the thrill of the hunt and not knowing what you'll find next!

Thanks for sharing your personal antique jewelry collection, Xiao Wang.  To check out her jewelry designs, head over to her website.  All photos by Tiff Pemberton.  

Jewelry Collection Stories: The Eden Collective


Many of you know my love for The Eden Collective, an Etsy shop on-point with each and every piece she posts. The more I've gotten to know Eden, the more I realized what a true collector she really is!  A collector since the age of seven, Eden tagged along with her father to auctions and flea markets.  She bought her first ring at a very young age, with the help of some birthday money--a sterling Navajo ring with heart shaped turquoise--and has been hooked ever since (she even still has the ring!)  Her phases of collections were quite fun--a bakelite bracelet phase where she has two boot boxes under her bed with bracelets that she never wears but can't seem to get rid of, a Mexican silver phase, a deco filigree phase ...continuous with a Victorian and Georgian phase.  Collecting jewelry has been somewhat constant for her, with most of her income going toward pretty, shiny things.  A job in college next to a jeweler led to a running tab and lots of hard work.  

Of all the places, flea markets are what gets Eden going--the mere mention of the word, and she becomes instantly happy.  She makes it a point to seek one out every where she travels, with a few of her favorites being Hong Kong, India, Mexico, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Morocco, Italy and of course coast to coast USA--and surprisingly she has never been to Brimfield, which is on her list!

Here are some highlights of her personal collection--none of which are for sale--but she does have an incredible Etsy shop (The Eden Collective) which is a must to add on the Favorites list.  


1. Victorian hand painted miniature portrait worn as bracelet: 14k, old mine cut diamonds, reverses to painting of the little girl’s mother

2. 40s honeycomb belt bracelet: 18k & platinum, brilliant cut diamonds

3. Victorian slide collection bracelet: mix of 10k and 14k slides with enamel, rubies, diamonds, opals, pearls & turquoise

4. Edwardian “X” bangle: 14k yellow gold, rose cut diamonds, opals


1. Victorian micro-mosaic ring: 18k with landscape scene mosaic inset in onyx

2. Early Victorian mourning ring: 18k, enamel, foiled garnet, “in Memory of” in stations around band, engraved on interior

3. Victorian hairwork faith, hope and charity ring: 10k, hair

4. Georgian foiled garnet band: garnets, 18k

5. Vintage witches heart midi ring: 14k

6. Victorian Bohemian garnet ring: 14k shank, gilt metal stone mounting, garnets

7. Victorian micro mosaic: 14k, Roman ruins mosaic set in onyx


1. Victorian converted brooch ring: 14k, mine cut and rose cut diamonds

2. Vintage snake midi: 14k, ruby eyes

3. Early Victorian snake ring: 14k, mine cut diamond, ruby eyes

4. Victorian snake ring: 14k, mine cut diamonds

5. Victorian stick pin conversion pinky ring: 10k, mine cut diamond, ceylon sapphire

6. Victorian snake wrap bracelet: 18k, mine cut diamond

7. 22kt and diamond polki bangle

8. 22kt and diamond polki bangle

9. Victorian snake wrap bracelet: 14k, ruby eyes

*a fun anecdote from Eden about #3 snake ring: "About 15 years ago at my favorite down and dirty flea market- not an antique market but the kind of place where people bring what they cleaned out of their garage, I bought an old sewing box filled with buttons and bits of lace and trims, etc. There was an ancient rusty Sucrets tin in the box that I could not open because it was so rusted but since it was relatively light weight and nothing moved when I shook it, I figured was empty..  I think: maybe someday I’ll try to open it, so throw it back in the box with the buttons. Literally 10 years go by and I’m cleaning out my studio.. decide, since I never found a use for anything in that box, to throw it in a bag to give to Goodwill. Something, I don't know what because I’ve ignored it for 10 years, gets under my skin about that Sucrets tin….  one screw driver and 15 mins later I’ve destroyed the poor thing but the lid is off. Inside is a folded up piece of tissue and inside the tissue is the snake ring."


1. Victorian mourning bracelet: 14k and enamel, drop is 14k and jet with seed pearls engraved on back “Gertrude”

2. Victorian mourning bangle: 14k and enamel with seed pearls

3. Georgian bracelet: 18k, foiled rock crystal, silk velvet ribbon

4. Victorian Albertina watch chain bracelet: 14k, jet

5. Victorian mourning bangle: 14k, enamel, seed pearls


1. 50s hand painted miniature portrait ring: 14k, seed pearls

2. Victorian amethyst converted brooch ring: 18k, amethyst, seed pearls

3. Victorian baby signet midi ring: 10k

4. Victorian baby ring midi: 10k

5. Victorian bypass pinky ring: 14k, rose cut diamonds, natural pearls

6. Victorian love knot bracelet: 14k, mine cut diamond

7. Georgian amethyst bracelet: 15k, amethyst

8. Edwardian bangle: gold-filled, amethyst glass

9. Edwardian bangle: 10k, amethyst


1. Georgian sepia miniature ring: our own conversion of a brooch, 14k, rock crystal, paste, ivory

2. Georgian 18k & rose cut diamond ring

3. Georgian mourning ring midi : 18k, macerated hair painted “B” on mother of pearl

4. Art Deco 14k carved wedding band midi

5. Art Deco Platinum & diamond eternity band

4. Georgian mine cut diamond ring in silver pinch mounting on 18k band

5. Art Deco 14k diamond eternity band

6. Art Deco platinum and diamond “scroll” band

7. Victorian insect ring: 14k, silver, garnet, rose cut diamonds


1. Stuart crystal clasp on Victorian curb link bracelet: 20kt ( thereabouts), rock crystal, hair, engraved on the back “J.S. dy. June 1740 age 4 yrs. 6 mos.”

2. 14k white gold diamond line bracelet

3. Victorian gold-filled curb link bracelet

4. Edwardian 10k bangle

5. Victorian 9k “chain” bangle

6 Edwardian 10k engraved bangle


1. 60s cocktail ring: 14k, lapis, pave diamonds

2. 60s mouse ring: 14k, lapis, ruby eyes, pave diamonds

3. 80s 14k hammered gold ring

4. 70s bracelet: 14k, lapis, coral, pave diamonds

5. 70s pendant attached to bracelet: 14k lapis, coral, pave diamonds


The Life of a Collector: Inside the Mind of Gem Gossip


It's 5am.  Your alarm you've titled "Get Up, It's JEWEL-TIME" sounds off and you quickly fling yourself out of bed. You can barely open your eyes, but you easily type in your username and password and get ready to go head-to-head with buyers who are actually at the auction house which you've just virtually logged into, bidding live somewhere in England.  

Yes, that is a normal week day in the life of an avid-obsessed collector.  A jewelry collector, that is...and to be even more specific--antique rings.  These little, sometimes sparkly, golden hoops of joy.  I can't imagine anything else that I feel so much allure for--the charm and temptation is overwhelming at times.  How can something so unnecessary be so...well, NECESSARY?!  

And since you collect antique rings, you've got that annoying saying, "wow when will I ever see one like that ever again?!  I need it!"  

From one morning bidding session, to another.  I frantically check eBay and my "Watch" list gets longer and longer.  I spend over an hour browsing and realize I shouldn't be spending, rather $aving... So, I've devised my own Savings plan--cut back on what I spend most on, FOOD.  I decide on a new meal plan called, "whatever is in the refrigerator."  A couple handfuls of scredded cheese, a scoop of peanut butter and some leftover walnuts in the pantry.  That should hold me over.  

An hour goes by and I realize that is the worst plan ever.  I then take matters into my own hands and delete my eBay application from my iPhone.  There!  No more bidding.

So where did this undying love for jewelry come from?  I try to think back to when I was little and I do have some fond memories of playing in my mom's jewelry boxes.  Most of her stuff was costume jewelry, but I loved draping on necklaces and piling on bracelets.  My paternal grandmother loved jewelry and still does today.  She would travel to Italy when I was little, and come back with a piece of jewelry for everyone.  I remember being so excited every time she came back from Italy, I always would wonder what she brought back for me. One time it was a heart charm, another time it was a gold bracelet...I still have each piece of 18k Italian gold. Now, my maternal was her that I know I got the collecting bug from!  It is almost a borderline collector/hoarder.  She collected lots of things--owls, wolves, teapots, trains, miniature houses (which she formed an entire mini-city), tin boxes, plates...I know there's more.  The best part of her collecting, which I definitely inherited, was the way she displayed things.  Her small cabin in the woods was basically a mini-museum.  It was so fun to look at each thing and she loved going to garage sales, which was where she bought most of her collectibles.  She now lives in a small townhouse, which she has shelving throughout the entire house in order to display her enormous teapot collection.  

As a collector, I think my favorite things consist of:

1. finding new hidden places, full of the coolest/neatest antique jewelry

2. finding others that share my obsession and talking with them

3. planning my next adventure/buying my next acquisition

So, no matter how broke I become or how much sleep I lose over these little things we call Rings, I have never had an inanimate object bring so much happiness, purpose and drive to my life.  I will always have a memory or story behind each and every one.  And I will continue to collect, and venture to far away places in search of new pieces to add to my special collection.  

Happy collecting!  


My Jewel Box: Victorian Trefoil Ring from Verlaine Davies' Collection


I've recently added an amazing piece to my ring collection and am still freaking out about it.  If you're an avid jewelry reader and book fan, you have Verlaine Davies' book Rings 1800-1910: A Study of English & Related Designs in your collection (if you don't, you NEED it).  Well, a few years ago I got the opportunity to interview her for Gem Gossip--read the interview here.  We recently reconnected and to my surprise, a couple of the rings featured in her book are for sale.  My chance to own a piece from one of my favorite jewelry books happened to strike, and I feel so honored to have it now a part of my collection!  

In the book, Ms. Davies features about 300 Victorian rings from her personal collection, which she has collected over the span of 30 years.  Her travels to England and being a native of England have helped grow her collection, as some of the finest examples of that time period are from England.  I love how the book features photos of the rings, which then in turn, help illustrate different parts, motifs, styles, and examples of turn-of-the-century rings. Such a good read!  

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My ring is featured on page 63, with the caption reading:

Fig 154. Trefoil bezel comprising round amethysts, with a seed pearl in the centre and one in the stem. Thick round wire hoop, transverse ribs on shoulders. Rose gold. American, circa 1895. Bezel diamond 10mm, hoop diameter 16mm.

Top Five Essential Pieces of Gold Jewelry #LoveGold

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Lately I’ve been helping a few clients out with their jewelry collections.  This task came about on a whim, not planning it or advertising it, just kind of stumbled upon something I thoroughly enjoy.  It basically goes down like this: a tired jewelry box is handed over to me, and I go through the items along with the client.  We get rid of the “junk” and sort through real vs. faux.  We discuss ways of reinventing some old pieces that never get worn and gather the items that need repairs (missing stones and broken chains, etc).  I clean the rest of the “keepers” and evaluate the jewelry box.  Within the evaluation, I come up with some suggestions of key pieces to possibly purchase for a better, overall jewelry box, along with some examples.  

I’ve put together my top five essential pieces of gold jewelry that I’ve continually suggested.  So if your jewelry box is in need of a makeover, make sure you at least have these pieces to get you started! 

  1. Bold gold link bracelet: Gold bracelets can come in many different link styles.  Browse around and find one that speaks to you. My essential gold link bracelet in my personal collection comes from Italy brought back by my grandparents when I was younger.  The Italians can make a gorgeous bracelet. 
  2. Classic stackable bands: several dainty, stackable bands are good to have in your jewelry box.  Bands that allow you to mix and match, creating several different looks.  My personal collection has a variety, including some with and without gemstones.
  3. An interesting/conversation worthy antique piece: this could be a family heirloom or an antique piece you went out yourself and purchased.  Something that tells a story, something that has a hidden message, or maybe an engraving written in Latin...?  Anything that has a unique gemstone or enamel work is a great example.  Special motifs--like a crowned heart--tell a story ("I give you my heart and I crown it with my loyalty." ) I have an anchor pendant that I sometimes wear on a long gold necklace.  What is interesting about it is that it is made out of hair!  It is Victorian and baffles anyone that I ever tell!
  4. Everyday stud earrings: Most people tend to wear stud earrings, and having a pair that are your signature studs is important to have!  Are you a pearl stud kind of girl? Or more into diamond studs?  Find a pair that you love and make the purchase.  If you want to be edgy, you can always change up the classics--like go for an emerald cut diamond pair rather than the typical round cut.  In my personal collection, I wear a pair of diamond “X’s” almost everyday.  
  5. An incredibly indulgent splurge item: everyone deserves to splurge on one item, whether it be a ring or a pair of earrings, something that gets your heart racing!  Think about your closet--do you own a pair of shoes or a handbag that is over-the-top?  Well, your jewelry box needs a luxury item too!  In my personal collection I have a Cleopatra-inspired necklace done in 18k yellow gold.  When I wear it, I feel like Elizabeth Taylor.

Above examples of my top five jewelry essentials:

18k Yellow Gold Gucci Lion Head Link Bracelet, from FD via 1stdibs, Price: $6000

Barbara Heinrich Assorted Gemstone 18k Gold Stacking Rings, 1stdibs, Price Upon Request

19th Century 18k Yellow Gold French Portrait Ring, from Pennisi via 1stdibs, Price $5300

22k Yellow Gold Pear-shaped Diamond studs, Julius Cohen via 1stdibs, Price: $8800

18k Yellow Gold Diamond Stripe Ring by LFrank, 1stdibs, Price: $6400


This post was brought to you in collaboration with LoveGold




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