@paragonofperfection asks: Career question-I think I’m remembering this correctly from your old bio (forgive me if I’m not!) What made you switch from education/English to jewelry? I’ve always been curious about how you knew you wanted to leave your degree/field and move into your passion/other passion. I find it really inspiring that you did and would love advice/ the story on what your experiences were through the whole process. Fun question–what is your favorite amethyst ring you’ve ever seen?
GemGossip answers: Making the switch from teaching to jewelry was one of the biggest and hardest decisions I ever made. Luckily, the switch was sort of gradual now that I look back, but I had to realize teaching wasn’t right for me (even though I spent LOTS of money on a degree and yes, even a Masters degree). I knew teaching wasn’t for me when every time I had to get ready to go to work in the mornings, I felt sick to stomach with nervousness and not knowing what the day may bring me. Most teachers say one of the best things about teaching is that every day is unpredictable and you never know what is going to happen! Well, for me, I hate that. It was hard to realize that and also recognize that I got into teaching because I love children and being a positive role model, and although being a teacher involves those things, it is SO much more.
Bonus question–Favorite amethyst ring I’ve ever seen is the one pictured above from Carreras Jewelers. The fantasy cut amethysts and the black enamel, paired with yellow gold–brilliant!
@thirdcoastgems asks: What started your passion and love for antique/estate jewelry? Did you have a relative or someone you looked up to that introduced you to the world of jewelry?
GemGossip answers: I’ve always loved jewelry, but what started me with antique jewelry was stumbling upon an antique diamond and sapphire filigree ring at a local jewelry store in my hometown. For more on that experience, read this blog post.
My grandmother who was born and raised in Italy would visit Italy once every two years and bring me back a piece of gold jewelry, but other than that, no one else in my family was/is really into jewelry. Growing up, my parents always brought my sisters and me to flea markets and I remember driving around to people’s houses who responded to their ad in the newspaper “we buy Barbies and G.I. Joes” –two things my parents collected. So I’ve always had an appreciation for older things and also “the hunt.”
@missdewalt asks: What’s the best way to start collecting? What are your feelings on gold plate/fill/solid? If I wanted to buy some beautiful vintage gold earrings/ring in the LA area/online where would you direct me?
GemGossip answers: The best way to start collecting is right now! The sooner you decide to start, the quicker and larger your collection will become. I recommend starting a wish list or inspiration board in which you can search online for styles that you like or certain pieces you love, print them out and have them all in one place and to help you define the sort of styles you like.
Most people who read my blog know that I only collect/write about/ feature pieces of jewelry that are solid gold–10k, 14k, 18k, 22k, etc. (or platinum). Not a fan of gold fill or silver–I have lots of reasons why which I won’t get into, but I like what I like.
LA area jewelry shops for vintage earrings/rings: Platt Boutique, Beladora.com, Craig Evan Small, I know I’m leaving some out..??
@kitkajewel asks: Do any “alternative” materials peak your interest (in 50 years time what will folks be thinking is retro)?
GemGossip answers: Not too many “alternative” materials peak my interest–I am traditional gold and gemstones, through and through! I do think wood is kind of cool for jewelry, but I rarely see it done well.
@missklawrence86 asks: How did you go about customizing your fab jewelry cabinet to make it store so many extra rings?
GemGossip answers: I realized my typically large mirrored jewelry box was getting too small for my growing collection. It would have been pointless to get a new jewelry box, so that is when I decided to alter the one I have! It has lots of space for necklaces–hooks on the inside and more hooks on the door, and I don’t have too many necklaces, so I felt I could go without those. I moved all my necklaces to the door section, and unscrewed the hooks and ripped it off. I then ordered these velvet ring inserts and hot glued/epoxied them into the jewelry box, making sure I measured for size beforehand. I did the same again, adding another ring insert below the already installed one, which tripled the amount of rings the jewelry box originally holds! I love it because they are all in plain sight when I open the door, and makes it really easy for picking and choosing what to wear each day!