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Entries in vintage engagement ring (9)

An Alternative Engagement Ring + Custom Top Notch Faceting Sapphire

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Back in July of last year I alerted my readers to my search for an alternative, more "user-friendly" engagement ring for everyday wear. I also penned a "Rules of Engagement" blog post which generated a lot of feedback and I enjoyed hearing everyone's take on something that is often not talked about. If you haven't read the blog post--I totally encourage you!

Well since then, I've been on the hunt for a genuine sapphire to replace the synthetic one that was in this antique cluster ring from Maejean Vintage. Sometimes when hunting for jewelry, you have to keep in mind that if the piece is not exactly "perfect" to you, there's always ways of changing out gemstones, or re-enameling a piece that has heavy enamel damage, or resetting the design to make it more appealing. You have to train your eye to envision a piece of jewelry reimagined. 

Finding a sapphire was tougher than I thought! Browsing online proved tough because I knew I had to be able to see the gemstone in person to judge if it was the right color blue that I wanted. I realized the best place to find something would most likely be in Tucson at the annual gem shows. I was ready to make it one of my projects while in Tucson a few months ago. At that point I realized I was going to have to buy a stone and get it recut so it would properly fit. I kept finding sapphires I really loved the colors of but hated to think of spending so much money on a larger stone that would just need cutting down. I figured my best bet would be to buy a more affordable price per carat sapphire, and hopefully once recut, it would look better than the lower price point that it truly is/was. 

That goal was sort of lofty but I knew Jean-Noel of Top Notch Faceting could turn my ordinary stone into something magical. After some Top Notch Faceting, the once dark blue sapphire opened up and now has a brighter, more brilliant shine and sparkle. The blue lightened up a bit, but still has its velvety color which is what I wanted from the very beginning. I love that the stone is not a cookie-cutter cut--it has its own unique shape and style that Jean-Noel is known for and makes the stone and now ring that much more special. 

I'm so happy with how this ring came out and it is truly a testament to having patience and making sure every step of the creation process is exactly what you want. Settling for something less than what you are envisioning just because it would be quicker is not always the answer. I'm also loving the fact that this ring will become important in my jewelry wardrobe and it is from some of my favorite people in the jewelry industry--Maejean Vintage & Top Notch Faceting. 

Let me know your thoughts on the ring! Would love to hear!



WANT MORE? Check out what else is in my jewel box!


Ring Envy Over at Gerard Leon in Los Angeles!

Gerard Leon | Gem GossipGerardLeon | Gem GossipGerard Leon | Gem GossipGerard Leon | Gem GossipGerard Leon | Gem GossipGerard Leon | Gem GossipGerard Leon | Gem GossipGerard Leon | Gem GossipGerard Leon | Gem GossipGerard Leon | Gem Gossip

Los Angeles is home to so many amazing jewelry designers, antique and estate jewelry shops and jewelry artisans. Luckily, I found Gerard Leon who specializes in handcrafted engagement rings, vintage and antique, as well as a talent for hand engraving!

An engagement represents a time of celebration and unity. The engagement ring is what defines and captures such a joyous occasion, and becomes the symbol of love. This grand gesture is something two people will remember for a lifetime and the ring (hopefully) for generations to come. What makes the ring special is the story behind it, and at Gerard Leon, their rings always tell a story. Their slogan is, "Your ring, our tradition" which beautifully represents the relationship between jeweler and customer.

Engagement rings have become more and more unique and one-of-a-kind as of late. Gerard Leon acknowledges this and wants to help you make your engagement ring dreams come true!  Some may have dreamt of the fairytale wedding and the diamond ring fit for a princess, while others may prefer vibrant emeralds or sapphires, round or cushion shapes. The 1930’s French Art Deco inspired Diamond Halo was a very popular ring style in it’s time, and while trends have come and go, this diamond ring will stay forever as a classic. Gerard Leon recognizes that while diamonds lead the way as the most popular center stone, gemstones such as sapphires, rubies, and emeralds have also emerged as viable and lovely choices for an engagement ring. With the endless options of gemstones and designs, the world of engagement rings has never been so infinite.

There is an art to making each piece special. This is demonstrated by the artful design of the ring, from the cut of the stones to the shape and fit itself. With attention to skill and craftsmanship, Gerard Leon’s history in the art of engagement rings allow for all of their pieces to be made by true artisans. When you know your ring is made by those truly akin to their craft, it makes you appreciate, value and cherish your ring even more than you already do. Whether you choose a sapphire or a diamond, your ring will be created for you to love forever.

Any lover of jewelry will tell you that a diamond ring set in beautifully crafted solid gold is a well-valued possession. For example, the Art Deco Old European Diamond Solitaire Ring in 14k White Gold is considered vintage, but with it’s handmade and artfully crafted past, it has withstood time. The hexagonal shape of this ring has many angles and can be viewed in an array of forms. Both yellow gold and white gold compliment the diamond center stone. In fact, they make the stone stand out by accentuating its brilliance. 

When shopping at Gerard Leon, you will find their expertise, craftsmanship and reliability are all you need when selecting the perfect engagement ring. With such skilled artisans and endlessly beautiful designs, the ring of her dreams can be found here. Be sure to check them out if you are in the LA area!

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Gerard Leon.


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Jewels at my Doorstep: Craig Evan Small Engagement Rings

19354792899_87951bec93_o Craig Evan Small | Gem Gossip Craig Evan Small | Gem Gossip Craig Evan Small | Gem Gossip Craig Evan Small | Gem Gossip Craig Evan Small | Gem Gossip Craig Evan Small | Gem Gossip Craig Evan Small | Gem Gossip craig evan small | gem gossip Craig Evan Small | Gem Gossip Craig Evan Small | Gem Gossip craig evan small | gem gossip 3 Craig Evan Small | Gem Gossip Craig Evan Small | Gem Gossip Craig Evan Small | Gem Gossip Craig Evan Small | Gem Gossip Craig Evan Small | Gem Gossip Victorian Engagement ring Craig Evan Small Edwardian Engagement ring Craig Evan Small Old Mine cut diamond ring Craig Evan Small Art Deco Engagement ring Craig Evan SmallArt Deco sapphire engagement ring Craig Evan Small

At Gem Gossip, we are kicking off the month of August with this special feature! This entire month, the best engagement rings will be featured, with the hashtag #30daysofEngagementRings and we will be searching out the best of the best out there right now!  Our go-to favorite spot for antique engagement rings in LA is  Craig Evan Small, located on North La Cienega Blvd, with hundreds and hundreds of stunning options. I handpicked five of my favorites, each with something special about each one--so whether you like classic styles or something more uncoventional, I've got you covered!

The experience of opening up a package with five different engagement rings was pretty intense.  For once I had to put my own engagement ring aside and wonder what it would be like to start over and imagine myself with different options.  Wearing them on my ring finger was also an interesting experience, espcially after wearing the same one for over 2.5 years. Each one felt memorable on my finger for different reasons and I truly believe any of these five options would make an extraordinary engagement ring that will be treasured for years to come! For the photoshoot, we played with a few different flower combinations and two dresses, keeping a Pacific Northwest, outdoors vibe.  This aesthetic is definitely beautiful in so many ways and although I've never visited that part of the country, it has me wanting to badly.  

The allure of a vintage or antique engagement ring is one that can be best explained by those who own one. These rings are extremely well-made, often times made solely by hand, even the diamonds are usually cut by hand (if it is an all-original piece). We showcase one antique engagement ring from the Victorian Era, which can be easily spotted even by a novice collector.  The yellow gold setting mixed with the chunky Old Mine cut diamonds are an easy giveaway.  The cluster style makes it so unique--no other engaged woman is going to have this ring!  I like that.  

We also have one engagement ring featured that is from the Edwardian Era--a time that spanned from the turn-of-the-century until the late 1910s.  This time period is characterized by ultra feminine styles, lots of diamonds and intricate metal work.  Platinum was a newly discovered metal and was beginning to be used in the designs of this time, at first only topped on yellow gold and then at the very end of the era solely on its own. The domed shape of this ring draws many woman to this style--it is easy to wear and fits comfortably.

The milgrain details and filigree style is characteristic of the Art Deco period, which spans from 1920-1935. These sought-after rings were a flapper girl's dream, set with Old Mine cut or Old European cut diamonds. Toward the end of this time period, geometric styles and adding colored gemstones to the all-white look mixed it up a bit and was very popular. Calibre cut rubies, sapphires and emeralds were a favorite and there is a great example of this with the sapphire detail in one of the five in this shoot! The other two styles seen in the photoshoot are from the Art Deco Era, including a geometric boxy style which looks as though the center diamond should be square, but it is a round Old European cut diamond.  The other is a very classic, almost solitaire Old European cut diamond, which is flanked by a few diamonds on the side.

Rings featured:

18k yellow gold Victorian clover/cluster ring set with three Old Mine cut diamonds, totaling approx. 3.00 carats, size 6.25, Price: $11,000

Platinum Edwardian domed ring featuring a 1.23 ct Old European cut diamond, totaling approx. 1.76 ctw, size 4.75, Price $11,750

Platinum/14k yellow gold 1.25 ct center Old Mine cut diamond flanked by three diamonds on each side, size 5.75, Price: $10,200

Platinum Art Deco boxy-look ring set with 0.86 ct center surrounded by diamonds, Price: SOLD

>> Similar style: Art Deco engagement ring with 1.53 ct center surrounded by diamonds Price: $15,000 

Platinum Art Deco ring featuring 1.40 ct center diamond with calibre cut sapphire accents, size 6, Price: $13,500



Craig Evan Small

731 N La Cienega Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90069

Tel: 310-550-7895

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Jewelry Store: Filigree Jewelers in Minneapolis, MN


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I love discovering stores that make me want to jump on the next plane headed that way!  Filigree Jewelers has me seriously tracking down flights to Minneapolis, with their unique array of antique and estate jewelry. Best known for their selection of antique engagement rings which range in price points for every budget, Filigree Jewelers has many highly coveted Art Deco engagement rings. With over 30 years of combined experience, owners Brent and Catherine have brought the decadence of antique jewelry to Minneapolis--a niche that was missing prior to their store opening in 2010.  

Catherine's love for jewelry grew at a very early age when she got to see her mother come home from a long day's work at her and her husband's antique jewelry store and she was covered in jewels!  Catherine's parents owned the oldest antique jewelry firm in San Francisco--Gus Farber and D Tenenbaum Inc; established in 1923. Legends within this business, she learned from the best and began her own career at the age of 23 managing her father's business, located at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel.  A few years and a marriage later, she and her husband got the opportunity to open their very own luxury jewelry store in La Jolla, CA along with Catherine's uncle.  The store carried only high-end pieces by the most world-renowned designers Buccellati, Cartier, Mauboussin and Tiffany just to name a few!  

A desire to start a family and their own business led the couple to Minneapolis, where Filigree Jewelers was established!  Catherine says, "We have such a passion for antique jewelry and wanted to offer Minneapolis something that no one else was doing. We have tailored our inventory with a main focus on fine quality antique and vintage engagement rings. We pride ourselves in painstakingly restoring every piece before it hit our website and showroom floor. Brent is meticulous in reviewing each piece for quality and design. From milgrain to repoussé; we bring every piece back to its original condition."

Their showroom is by appointment only, but they do welcome walk-ins!  The location is quite unique--situated in the Warehouse district of Minneapolis, in an incredible historic building--the Colonial Warehouse building. Perfectly suited for historic pieces with lots of character! As you can see from the interior photos, the building's original architecture is still present and complements Filigree Jewelers' overall vibe.  

Don't live in Minneapolis? Not a problem!  Their inventory is beautifully showcased on their website, which gets updated frequently, as well as their social media channels.  Both Catherine and Brent encourage online shoppers to give them a call if you have any questions about any of the pieces featured.  They strive to give impeccable customer service, whether you stop in and visit or shop from your computer!

Follow Filigree Jewelers on FacebookInstagram & Pinterest!


Filigree Jewelers
212 Third Avenue North
Minneapolis, MN 55401
By Appointment Only

Q & A with Owner of Trumpet & Horn

Trumpet & horn Trumpet & Horn is new to the antique jewelry scene, launching just a year and a half ago, but has quickly became a favorite jewelry destination!  Husband and wife duo and owners, Jerome & Kim Heidenreich, along with twin brother Tom, are definitely not new to the jewelry industry. With over 30 years in the industry, buying and selling beautiful pieces of jewelry worldwide, their expertise has finally been honed into one amazing business. That is where the genius branding from Kim comes into play, and Trumpet & Horn was born!  

I caught up with Jerry to answer a few questions for Gem Gossip readers:4952675755_33a24f15c0

As a kid growing up in Minneapolis, my Mom would take my brother’s and I to garage sales and flea markets. I loved looking for vintage finds at a very early age. I started collecting vintage beer cans when I was about 12. By the time I was in my teens, I began working in a local jewelry store, as a gift-wrapper, it was there that I discovered my love for fine jewelry.



After being in the wholesale vintage jewelry business both in Europe and US for over 25 years, my wife Kim and I decided that we wanted to try a new approach to selling vintage engagement rings. We both loved the idea of reaching out to other vintage jewelry lovers via an e-commerce platform, where we could share our passions for these great pieces of art with people all over the world. We officially launched Trumpet & Horn in January 2013.

Trumpet & horn Trumpet & horn


I have purchased large collections from Fortune 500 families and single items from people I have met on an airplane. To me , it is all about finding a great piece that is no longer loved, and restoring it to it’s original excellence. I love that I have the ability to share such a wonderful piece of jewelry with someone new who will get to fall in love with it and provide that it with a new home.

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I have acquired many fabulous pieces of jewelry that have been worn by celebrities and the Hollywood elite. A few of my most memorable pieces include cuff links and watches that were owned by Gene Kelly, cuff links that once belonged to Sammy Davis, Jr., a former Archbishop’s gem and gold cross collection, a rock crystal and diamond art deco brooch that belonged to Jackie Kennedy. As far as jar dropping in terms of value, I once possessed a 26 carat fancy yellow vintage cushion cut diamond.

Trumpet & horn Trumpet & horn


My favorite pieces in my collection include a gold and enamel cuff bracelet in the shape of a bear that was given to me by one of my best friends from Chicago. Also, a 18kt solid gold horse drawn carriage with a 25 carat aquamarine top that I purchased in Switzerland. My son used to play with it on my desk when he came to work with me. He thought it was a Hot Wheel toy.

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