Entries in vintage ring (23)
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!
Instagram is such a great haven to meet fellow antique jewelry collectors and connect with them--most my stories about finding people kind of begin like that, and this story is no different. I posted a photo of my dendritic agate ring and it caught Malena's attention because she has a similar one in her West Chester, PA boutique. She commented on my photo and I checked out her page only to find an insane diamond ring which I needed to see more of! She gladly took some photos for me to show me and our conversation grew from there. Malena's Boutique is aptly named; her shop is filled with vintage and antique finds--from clothing to jewelry, both costume and precious. Her store has been on countless lists concerning "best of Philly" and she enjoys every moment of it. I caught up with Malena and her personal jewelry collection--here is her story:
"Even as a child I felt a gravitational-like pull towards clothing and and jewelry of past eras. By twelve I started buying vintage clothing at thrift shops and dreaming of attending fashion design school. I opened my vintage boutique about a year after graduating from Pratt and will be celebrating 14 years in business this June. On a daily basis sellers bring pieces in that they inherited or no longer fit a need in their wardrobe. I also buy from jewelers who are accustomed to pulling out stones and melting gorgeous old settings (the thought of which makes me flinch!) On some days I sort through items of up to 10 people so I am exposed to easily thousands of items each week.
To me certain pieces romance their way into my collection. I try to be "good" and not keep things that are intended for the boutique, but sometimes it's just love at first sight and they become part of my treasury. Slightly quirky or oversized antique pieces resonate with me. I didn't even realize I had a locket collection until a dear friend of mine commented on how many unusual ones I had! My favorite is oblong sterling silver with simple engraving of the year 1920, but on the inside the owner had written a note where the photo was supposed to go that reads, "DARN YOUR CURIOSITY" I so wish I could have met this woman and learned her story behind the note.
My most recent acquisition is the rose gold watch chain ring with diamond buckle. It articulates and the tab can be pulled to resize the ring smaller. I've always been drawn to the buckle motif, but the pairing of it with rose gold and the unusual construction just made it too unusual to pass up. I purchased the turquoise ring with emerald cut stones from a jeweler who had pulled the center stone and was going to scrap the platinum setting. I had a stone cutter find and set the sugarloaf Turquoise, it's one of my most favorite pieces. Turquoise set in gold or platinum is something I collect, I am restoring some Victorian turquoise Acorn earrings at the moment I can't wait to wear.
My extra long filigree dinner ring is definitely in my top 5 pieces I own. It was originally owned by a teller at my bank. Her mother willed her a collection of rings but this one doesn't suit her style or lifestyle. She went to a few jewelers in our small town to sell it, but was horrified to hear they were going to melt it and pull the stones. One of the jewelers suggested to bring it to me, that I may want to keep it as is and they were right. I bought it and wear it almost everyday. Sometimes we see each other at the bank and it makes her happy to see it being enjoyed regularly and not destroyed.
Vibrant Plique a Jour Egyptian revival jewelry is my latest love. The feminine colors juxtaposed with less-than-lady-like scarab beetle motifs fascinates me. I haven't yet settled on a piece I need to own, but who knows, it could walk into my shop at any moment."
You can follow Malena --> @msmalena
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!
I own three rings that feature moonstone: clover ring from Fancy Flea Antiques, cluster ring set with one large moonstone surrounded by Montana Sapphires from Lang Antiques, & cluster ring set with a center garnet from Diamond Addiction
One of my favorite moonstone finds on Etsy: Athena cameo from Otherwise Engaged
I'm usually really good about keeping my jewelry clean and organized, neatly putting away what I've worn each day back in its place before bedtime. That has NOT been the case these past few weeks! My piles of worn jewels began to stack up--one on the dresser and the other on my nightstand. It got out of hand when I opened up my jewelry box and it looked bare! So I turned on some good music and started to put each item back, one by one. This led to some reorganizing and of course, purging (hence why I added some pieces to @shopGEMGOSSIP).
Whenever I reorganize my jewelry box, I sharpen my aesthetic and narrow my taste. I also notice things I don't normally notice if I were to keep everything in the same place every time. This particular time I noticed my moonstones glistening in the sunlight. I only own three rings that feature moonstone, but they are surely my favorites! I decided to gather all three for a photo (above) and enjoy the enchanting gemstone for what it is all at once.
I'm asking you to do the same: gather all your moonstone rings and jewels you own and snap a photo. Post it on Instagram and tag #MoonstoneMonday and tag @gemgossip in the photo! I'll post some of my favorites! I also picked some of my favorite moonstone pieces that are currently online for sale! See above! Happy Monday!!
WANT MORE? Learn about Sapphire, Emerald & Ruby here!
Do you get excited when people you follow on Instagram post an incredible high-res image of a beautiful ring?! Well I do! And these 14 rings set off the "like" scale with big numbers. Some landing on our wish lists, some ending up on our jewelry bucket lists, while others immediately sold and were one-of-a-kind. Goes to show how an incredible ring can come to life on Instagram! Here are my favorites that were posted this year!
Bario Neal created this unique cluster ring and it has everyone stopping in their tracks (also comes in other gemstone combinations)
Leviev Diamonds posted this incredible diamond ring--the various diamond shapes and colors make for a unique presentation
Meredith Kahn debuted her twist ring this year in all gold with a chevron engraved motif, definite wish list
@homeoftheland posted this vintage Navajo ring from the 1970s signed Dar H. which she has been on the hunt for
Gemstone Gypsy posted this insane turquoise and pearl antique ring from Fourtane and everyone agrees it couldn't be more perfect
Erie Basin uncovered this custom made Masonic diamond ring from the 1950s at an estate sale and we're like WOW
Glorious Antique Jewelry posted and sold one of the few rings which started my pink gold and yellow gold obsession
@thirdcoastgems posted this Spinx ring by Line and Hue and it immediately went on my wish list
Erica Weiner gave this epic mourning ring to her business partner Lindsay for Christmas last year, wonder what this year will bring?!
Jewels by Grace posted this insane peridot and enamel ring by Rene Lalique in all its Art Nouveau glory
Mikkel Brogger Jewelry designed this geometric dream called the Susanna Ring
@JeObloy posted this amazing moonstone and diamond ring from Lawrence Jeffrey, and yes, this used to be a brooch
Margaret Cross designs this ring which has been on my wish list for far too long, need it now! Those are Herkimer Diamonds
URSAMAJOR designs this Striped Cushion Inlay ring--this one features lapis, jet and mother of pearl!