Entries in My Jewel Box (50)
Hey guys & gals.
I've never started a blog post like that before. Should I just leave it? Ok, I will.
Here is the long overdue blog post about the items I brought back from my trips to Tucson & Miami. Anytime I go to a jewelry show, I never know what I'm going to find so the energy is always slightly tense and adrenaline is constantly flowing. If I buy something at a show, I never know for certain if I'm going to keep it or sell it--I've realized I have to bring it home and introduce it into my collection, wear it a few times, and decide if it feels like it should be mine forever or not. I can't tell you how I determine that, I just know.
This time around in Tucson, I never knew I would find a piece of jewelry I would love and end up keeping. I was totally focused on buying gems, crystals and random minerals (see second photo) but when I stopped by the Excalibur Estate Jewelry booth at AGTA in Tucson, the ring kind of found me. It didn't help that I had been searching for a special client of mine for something just like this, but it was out of her budget. I bought it anyway. The whole rest of the trip, I treated it as though it was for my client and that I would be saying goodbye to it as soon as I got home. Every time I thought about selling it, I couldn't! I also kept looking at pictures of it (actually the exact photo in this blog post) the whole plane ride home. I had to keep it.
My next trip to Miami was only a week later, so normally I would be like "my budget is DONE" after buying something like that in Tucson. I had some good timing with my EBTH sale being launched the same day Miami started. I took my entire inventory and put it up for auction with EBTH--sort of nail-biting as every piece is sold at no reserve--so yes several pieces went for hundreds less than retail value, but I was able to justify finding and buying three amazing new pieces for my personal collection.
The three rings in the last photo above on the left are my Miami Antique Show finds. The furthest one on the left is from Shelly Storch Fine Jewelry--I found it early on in the day on my last day, I made an offer which wasn't accepted and then came back right before I left at the end of the day. This is one of those rings that you simply can't stop staring at! The turquoise and black enamel ring was found at Haig's of Rochester and I love the contrast of the turquoise with the enamel. I think it may have been a stick pin conversion--while most stick pins are tiny, this one is pretty large, which is what I like about it as well. The last purchase from the Miami Antique Show is the Art Nouveau diamond and black enamel ring from Marlene Wong Alvarado Antique & Estate Jewelry. She is a seller who has been in the business for YEARS and is based out of Corpus Christi, Texas. She told me she personally wore that ring for over 20 years, as it was in her personal collection and this was the first time she was offering it for sale. I told her I would take good care of it! It is marked Syman and I couldn't find much about this maker online. I posted a photo of the ring on a Facebook Group I'm a member of--Antique Jewelry Identification Group--and my friend Jenn believes that it is a Colorado based company from the early 1900s. If you know more about this maker, please contact me!
WANT MORE? Check out what else is in my jewel box!
I was giving myself a good chuckle yesterday because I've gotten a few comments from people asking why I stopped my YouTube videos--especially my main series Gem Gossip Read & Wear. The point of the series was to try to keep in tact a New Year's Resolution I made last year--which was to only buy one ring per month, and also read one jewelry book per month. As with most resolutions, I started out strong--almost too strong. I knew my demise was near. Sure enough, I couldn't keep up and bought way too many rings. Also my sister who edits and creates all the video content was having health difficulties, so that contributed to my sudden drop off from YouTube as well. Hopefully I'll be back with something new and exciting, so stay tuned.
As the year came to a close (nearly 20 days ago, are you kidding me?!) I kind of went over board with the additions to my collection. So much so that I haven't been keeping up with the My Jewel Box posts--so I'm compiling a bunch of my acquisitions into this one post! Five rings, to be exact--all acquired in November/December. Wanted to share the stories behind and details for those interested--BECAUSE I LOVE READING STUFF LIKE THAT. Hope you do too! ;)
This beauty was my Christmas gift from my husband this year--yes, another antique elongated diamond ring. "Don't you have enough of those kinds of rings?!" Umm, no. I seriously cannot get enough of this style--something about it. This particular ring was found at auction from Hampton Estate Auction. It's platinum and set with Old European cut diamonds, a 1920s piece through and through. Most of my other elongated rings are from earlier than that--so this was fun to add to the collection.
For some reason this opal cluster ring caught my attention like no other! Some might not think it is anything special...10k gold...a few simple opals in a cluster design, nothing groundbreaking. But the glow in these opals, I mean, you can't put a price on something like this! Well, actually you can...and then I'll buy it. I found this baby at Nashville's first ever Big Flea. It was from a booth that had LOTS of items and I spent quite some time looking. When I saw it my heart obviously did that flutter thing--and of course, the lady in charge of the booth was busy with other people--so for a good while I stood there pale as ever, thinking someone would swoop in and grab it lol.
This ring was actually not a ring at first--it came to me as a brooch! There were certain signs I noticed that kind of point to this brooch actually being a ring originally, and I was happy to restore it to its natural state. I was covering the Shirley Temple sale for Heritage Auctions when I came across another sale they were having just a few days after and the amount of amazing lots they had floored me. I automatically thought, "there's no way I'm going to win" upon seeing all the jewelry. Auction day came and it was a late night, constantly checking bids and the proxy bids. I was thrilled to win this brooch and no sooner than I received it, I had it in front of my jeweler, showing him what kind of style band to put on it. I love how it turned out and can't tell you how comfortable it is.
You may have noticed that a lot of my new acquisitions are rarely from eBay (like they always used to be)! I've fallen off the eBay bandwagon and haven't found anything good on it in awhile--I used to search daily, and now I'm down to maybe once a month and I'm usually disappointed. This fun turquoise ring is actually from eBay--the rare occurrence I went on there and actually came away with something decent. I truly miss the good ole eBay days where everything was amazing and authentic...and most of all, cheap! Now it is riddled with knock offs from India and sketchy sellers, along with the same items that haven't sold in 5 years.
The last ring I'd like to highlight has been in the "pipeline" for a couple months and I've been clearly obsessed with it because if you follow me on Instagram, you've seen this a lot! ;) It is designed by Becca of BCE Jewelry and when we met up over dinner in Nashville late last summer, she brought along some major drool-worthy jewels and some loose stones. I fell in love with three opals that magically looked as though they belonged together. We went back and forth on the configuration (I even posted two different versions and asked for YOUR opinion) and in the end, I settled on what Becca had originally designed for the layout. I love her aesthetic and style of her jewelry designs, and so pumped to finally own something from her. Can't wait to see what is in store for her future!
WANT MORE? See more from my personal jewel box!
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.
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.
Only have one chain? Go for it! Adding your entire collection to one chain is COOL. And I recommend it!
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!
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!!
Although I mostly sell rings, lately I've been offering some great charms and necklaces over on @shopGEMGOSSIP
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
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!!
There have been a few instances where I've been completely, over-the-moon obsessed with a piece of new, designer jewelry. And hey, this is one of them! Jessie Evans, designer behind the brand Jessie V E Jewellery truly nailed it with these constellation ring designs, each more unique than the other, depicting horoscope signs. As any Virgo would confess, mine is perfection, but that may be just the type of person a Virgo is--as I RIPPED open the package when I received it, utterly destroying what my sign is abundantly known for. I chose yellow gold and diamonds (rose cut diamonds are a limited edition option, !!) and honestly haven't taken my ring off since. The comfort is five stars.
Having just launched Jessie V E Jewellery this past October, the line may be new, but the designer herself has many years in the business under her belt! Photography was Jessie's first passion and she studied that up until enrolling in Silversmithing, Goldsmithing and Jewellery Degree at the University for the Creative Arts in Kent, UK. After graduating, she went straight into a job as a production assistant for Elizabeth Gage, working her way into design, painting the designs for clients and carving wax to be made into incredible pieces. Five years later, Jessie felt the timing was right to go off on her own. On designing and being a jewelry designer, Jessie says, "There's no better feeling than designing a piece that then becomes somebody's most treasured possession or a really special piece to them. I think it's probably that feeling that makes jewellery my passion--it's like the excitement when someone is opening a birthday/Christmas gift you bought them, and you just know they're going to love it. I get to have that feeling almost every day!"
The Constellation collection puts a spin on Zodiac signs, swapping out stars for diamonds and wrapping them around your finger. For Jessie, the inspiration behind the collection was simple: "I've always been fascinated by the nights sky, the stars and the Greek mythological stories surrounding the constellations. Imagination at its finest! I also find that whenever I am inspired by something, I tend to 'think in diamonds.' Instantly the stars were replaced with diamonds in my head and it just kind grew from there. I find that people are usually strangely attached or fiercely proud of their own star sign, and I loved the idea of creating a collection that speaks to people on that level. I also wanted to make each sign as wearable and aesthetically pleasing as the others, so by using the constellations, each piece consists of the same makeup, it's just the layout that varies."
I feel big things are in store for Jessie V E Jewellery and I can't wait to see what the future holds. Of course, the Constellation rings look insane when they're all combined together--I included some photos to show that aspect off--and plan to add a few more to my collection (maybe one representing my husband's sign or my sisters' signs?!). You also must check out the other collections over on her website, see below for details.
This post was brought to you in collaboration with Jessie V E Jewellery.
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