I easily gravitated toward Anya’s Instagram feed when I first discovered “GemFever” and caught my own gemstone fever because of it. Her taste is truly refined and she has a great eye! So many of her sold archives are pieces I had wished I pounced on when they were first listed…and incidently her jewels she does sell often become “sold” faster than you can email her. It was a surprise to meet her in person at my GIA Alumni presentation in DC and let me just say, it was like talking to someone I had known my whole life! So happy that she is sharing her collection with us today:
Jewelry has always drawn me in, I love having wearable treasures and I’m addicted to gemstones. I chose the name “gem fever” to identify myself on various online platforms because that’s how gemstones make me feel – feverish, excited, passionate.
The pieces I currently have in my jewelry box I’ve collected over the last six years or so. I discovered Etsy in 2010 and loved finding shops with one of a kind handmade pieces that I’d never find in a local jewelry store. Though recently I’ve concentrated on fine vintage jewelry, I still wear a few pieces from Etsy artists that I really treasure (for example the pomegranate pendant from Winged Lion and the scrimshaw ring from Linda Layden).
Since I sell vintage jewelry, quite a few pieces have transitioned from my shop to my personal collection, and vice versa. I’ve noticed that the pieces that stick around tend to be the ones that sweep me off my feet unexpectedly. I may find them when I’m looking for something else and the jewels pick me to be their caretaker. This happened with my most beloved piece – my Old Mine Cut diamond earrings. I was browsing at Intergem, more or less looking for a vintage diamond ring. I stopped by the booth of the vendor Efim Gilin and asked to see a few things. Elena, who is a very friendly and talented seller, pulled out these earrings even though I hadn’t been asking about earrings at all. The moment I saw them, they took my breath away. I don’t think I’d ever felt such a rush from buying a piece of jewelry before, I just had to have them. They were above my budget so I put them on layaway, then worked and reworked my budget so I could pay them off as soon as possible. When the time came, my husband and I took a trip to New York to pick them up, and had a fantastic time. We’ve made quite a few trips together to check out jewels around the country, or to go to shows, and it’s always great fun.
I love going to antique shows to check out jewelry in person. But my absolute favorite place to look for vintage pieces is still eBay – I love the treasure hunt. Shopping on eBay is a skill, you have to get a feel for the condition of pieces, watch out for fakes and reproductions, avoid shady sellers with fake listings, and so on. If you’re willing to put in the time to search and take the risks, eBay can really pay off.
My personal collection is constantly evolving, and I like to keep it fairly small. I tend to wear a few favorites regularly, and go through phases of favorites (currently my emerald ring gets the most wear). My ongoing obsession is vintage diamonds, I’ve been on the hunt for the “perfect” old cut for years. I love that no two vintage diamonds are exactly alike. I’ve temporarily owned a few stunning stones, but ended up selling each one because the excitement of the search is addictive. One day, I’ll commit to a vintage diamond engagement ring, but for now I’m wearing a French cut diamond band that I had custom made using vintage diamonds from a cocktail ring I found on eBay, set into a platinum bezel band by the talented designer Caysie van Bebber from CvB Inspired Design. When it comes to metals, I enjoy both rich yellow gold and the coolness of platinum. Overall, I’d say I keep pieces in my personal collection when they fill me with joy.
In the future, I’d like to add more gemstones to my collection. There is an opal and spinel ring in the works. I am craving more emeralds, plus a blue sapphire that would draw me in like the vast starry sky (a girl can dream!). I would love a vintage diamond cocktail ring like Danielle’s incredible Edwardian pieces.
And of course, I’m excited to see which jewels will find me unexpectedly and change my collection in ways I can’t yet imagine.
Platinum pearl and diamond ring & plat. diamond band | Silver scrimshaw ring from Linda Layden on Etsy | Onyx and blue zircon ring in 14k yellow gold | Whimsical baroque pearl ring in yellow gold | Buckle ring from the wonderful @jewelleryhannah on Instagram
Victorian yellow gold locket | White gold, diamond, and White South Sea pearl earrings that are surprisingly versatile and wearable | Victorian miniature portrait brooch that looks great on anything | Yellow gold griffin that I fell in love with and named George | Silver and white topaz pendant, a present from my mom.
My Victorian bohemian garnet collection, I love the earrings especially.
(left) These vintage silver, marcasite, and etched glass earrings were an eBay find that I instantly fell in love with. I’ve never been able to wear long earrings until I tried on these beauties. I get compliments on them every single time I wear them!
(right) A few of my favorite rings 🙂 Custom made French cut diamond band, vintage diamond eternity | Emerald and diamond ring won at auction on eBay (I held my breath for a week waiting for this auction to end!) | Old European cut diamond halo ring – the first diamond halo in my collection, the one that made me change my “no halos” mindset. I love jewelry that surprises me and makes me rethink previous notions.
(left) Jewels that make me feel beautiful and feminine – earrings and my Beautiful Lady brooch.
(right) My current favorite – vintage emerald ring.
(left) Both my husband and I fell in love with this piece from Winged Lion on Etsy and hubby gave it to me as a present. I treasure it.
(right) My beloved Old Mine Cut diamond earrings, and French cut diamond band. I’m a huge nerd when it comes to vintage diamonds and these two pieces are the stars of my collection.
You can follow Anya –> @gemfever