Continuing this week with Jewelry Collection Stories, the next collection is one I am really excited about. I’ve known Jenn of Bellflower Bay for several years, as she was one of my first friends I’ve met through Gem Gossip, and it is also special to see her collection and know that I was present when she purchased of few of the pieces shown. We’ve gone to London together and attended a jewelry conference in Chicago together…can’t wait to see where our jewelry-loving friendship takes us next! What a great connector this blog has been. Take it away, Jenn:
Above: Black collection (l-r): Edwardian onyx & diamond long ring (acquired at Round Top Antiques Fair, outside of Austin, TX);
Middle finger, top is a Victorian agate & snake ring from @theoneilovenyc; bottom middle finger is a 1930’/ 40’s onyx and diamond ring made by Korean jeweler T.Y. Lee (side note: when researching the hallmark on this one, I found that American and other foreign GIs purchased rings from T.Y. Lee during WW2 and brought them home to their sweethearts when the war was over);
Index finger, top is an enamel and rose cut diamond mourning ring which says “in memory of” on the opposite side– from the Pier Show (NYC); bottom index is a Victorian black & white agate and diamond cameo from a jewelry store in CT.
Dendritic agate & sterling ring: the piece I’m proudest of. After collecting for a few years, my mom and I decided to take a jewelry-making course. We trudged over to the 92nd street Y from our respective homes every Sunday for about six weeks. I highly recommend this course to any collector; it showed us just how much goddamn work it took to manipulate these materials, and gave us a much deeper appreciation for the skill that so many jewelers have.
Garnet collection (l-r): top ring finger is a Victorian garnet and diamond ring, a Christmas present from my husband that he got from @agelessheirlooms; bottom ring finger is a Georgian/ Early Victorian dendritic agate and garnet, found at Portobello road by @heartofsolidgold and @gemstonegypsy;
Middle finger: top is a bohemian garnet ring found in The Netherlands by my friend @quaintlytracy; bottom middle is a Georgian garnet halo mourning ring with a decorated urn in the center surrounded by the names of the deceased married couple “Tho. Blundell a38// Ellen Blundell a34” (Christmas gift from fella);
Index: top is a retro 1940’s “lovebird” ring with garnet center; bottom index is a crazy-ass ring of indeterminate origin—sold to me as a Victorian piece many, many years ago when I was a newbie (aka naïve & trusting) collector, but it appears to be a mish-mash of pieces from different eras. I like it anyhow.
Turquoise & Snakes: top ring finger was originally an all turquoise cocktail ring from the 50’s, but I worked with a lovely jeweler to switch out the center stone for that wonderful old diamond. Bottom ring finger is a Victorian turquoise & accent diamond cluster from in New Orleans, LA. It was our first trip to that amazing city, and my husband bought this for me as a birthday present. We were told that the woman who used to run the store had passed away recently, and when they went through her desk & safe, they found a small bag full of pretty little rings she had set aside (and had been apparently doing so for decades); this was one of them.
Middle finger is all snakes: top is a Victorian ruby & turquoise from Brodney in Boston, MA.; next is a 22k gold & ruby ring from a jewelry store in CT.; under that is a 9k & blue glass snake which was a gift from @heartofsolidgold; and then a vintage 18k wrap around snake from a jewelry store in Astoria, NY.
Index finger: Georgian double crowned gold & silver heart with turnaround, coral and table cut diamonds. I stalked this ring for over THREE years on the Ruby Lane store Robbins’ Roost Antiques, and then put it on layaway for almost a year. Bottom index finger: Victorian diamond and turquoise halo, from the same Astoria jeweler. (Also on layaway after much stalking!)
Bling collection: “Why does she have so many engagement rings?” you may ask. Good question! Well, my fella is very sentimental, and wanted to propose with his grandmother’s ring (third down from the top), but after a bit, I realized it wasn’t quite my style. It’s a difficult topic to brooch, but listen ladies: you’re the one who has to wear the ring! So don’t be afraid to say something. Second down is the one I picked out: 18 ct Edwardian filigree. Top band is one of my wedding bands, an Edwardian diamond “bow” ring. Bottom ring finger was my grandmother’s engagement ring. Sometimes I wear them all just to confuse people!
Middle finger, top to bottom: grandma’s wedding band; ridiculous diamond cluster inherited when grandma passed (made in the 60’s with old family diamonds); platinum, ruby, and diamond Victorian (ish) cluster ring, which was one of my best early purchases.
Index finger: top is an antique platinum oblong mine cut diamond ring from this past Christmas; the next is an Edwardian era platinum, diamond and carved amethyst ring; last is a strange filigree ring studded with rose cut diamonds.
Some more bling collection: ring finger: contemporary emerald snake ring from @gemstonegypsy (goes with EVERYTHING); aquamarine & diamond navette made from an old pin of my grandma’s (my mom has a matching one).
Middle finger: vintage three diamond band; platinum engraved band that was my great-grandmother’s; retro mixed gold & diamond band; Victorian buckle ring; diamond cluster ring that I’m on the process of acquiring from @heartofsolidgold; Georgian blue enamel & mine cut diamond ring from Portobello Road (UK).
Index finger: Victorian gold & silver navette with a mix of rose & mine cut diamonds.
Wild rings, Pt 1: Victorian 18 ct & Banded agate “puzzle” ring with engraved floral band (series of carvings “say” something—haven’t figured it out yet!); Victorian painted ship ring from Brimfield.
Middle finger: Emerald and diamond lion ring converted from a Victorian cufflink (@heartofsolidgold has its twin); Victorian 18k emerald ring.
Index: Edwardian/ Deco Platinum Emerald and sapphire halo ring from Gray’s antiques in London; Edwardian platinum and sapphire elongated ring from the Pier show, NYC.
Wild rings Pt. 2: Victorian boulder opal; retro multi-gem “sputnik” ring (name so as it resembled the satellite).
Middle finger: 1930’s (dated in band) opal and diamond halo ring from Brooklyn jewelry shop; Gold, garnet and opal “fortune tellers” ring (Side note: I first saw this ring many years ago on Ruby Lane and hesitated; my loss—someone snatched it up. I looked for ages and happened upon it one day on eBay, listed so weirdly that it never would have come up on my searches. I made what I thought to be a generous offer on the timed auction listing; the seller declined. I ended up winning it for $100 less than what I offered. I feel like there are so many lessons in this story!) No clue when it’s from. I thought Noveau, but it could be revival.
Index finger: Victorian enamel “J” baby ring; antique gold bird & anchor signet.
Earrings: I have a bigger earring collection than this, but these are a sampling of the more interesting: vintage ruby pyramid studs; French Victorian era jet glass and 9k rose gold star earrings; contemporary earrings by wonderful artist Kristi Sword (@kristiswordjewelry)—I first saw her work at the art jewelry gallery GALERIE NOEL GUYOMARC’H (http://www.galerienoelguyomarch.com/) when we visited Montreal and I fell deeply in love with the otherworldliness of her pieces. My fella got me this pair.
Sentimental: I’m not super mushy about jewelry—as a collector, I feel like you should love your pieces, but keep some distance so you can trade up in the future, but even I fall victim to sentiment! Ring finger is a turquoise and silver ring that my grandma got in Arizona in the 70’s—it was the first piece of interesting vintage jewelry anyone ever gave me.
Middle finger: my mom and I used old family stones to design this white gold, diamond and emerald moon with a jeweler from Queens; the Vintage coral and diamond cameo is from a shop on Cape May.
Index finger: promise ring from my dad to my mom when they began dating (it didn’t work out—they married and divorced each other TWICE, but I still like it); Vintage gold star ring from ebay that I wear as a wedding band most of the time.
Necklaces & charms: my favorites, basically. Antique garnet star converted by @gemstonegypsy from a pin won at Fellows auction; vintage gold & enamel chatting birds charm from my mom; Victorian spider locket.
Necklaces (cont): old diamond necklace, won at auction; huge-ass heavy retro revival locket (inherited from grandma); Vintage diamond & opal necklace won at Rago auction; fire opal bead necklace from Nora Kogan jewelry.
Art Nouveau diamond lady bracelet, won at a Rago auction a few years ago.
Two delicate Victorian bracelets!
Cool antique knife I bought at a garage sale on Long Island; some lady was making her husband sell his knife collection! I carry this most of the time, except (obviously) to the airport, which did happen once it and it cost me $40 to ship it back to my house. I paid $3 for the knife.