Kate has a striking collection of antique jewelry–with lots of turquoise Victorian pieces, which perfectly matches her Instagram moniker @Turquoise_Row. She lives in Australia and although she may be on the other side of the world, her daily Instagram posts of her beautiful collection have me feeling as close as a stone’s throw away. Happy to have Kate sharing her personal jewelry collection with Gem Gossip today; take it away Kate:
When I was young I never wore jewellery or really had any interest in it at all; what I loved was history. It was really my love of history more than a love for jewellery that got me interested in antique jewellery. I love thinking of what was happening in the world when jewellery was made, and who might have owned it originally. I guess this is what really draws me to antique jewellery – it tells us so much about the time in which it was made, but no matter how much time passes its purpose stays pretty much the same: it’s just pretty. Unlike so many antiques that become obsolete, antique jewellery continues to be wearable and beautiful no matter how much time passes.
My jewellery story starts on my 18th birthday, when my parents gave me a beautiful late Victorian turquoise ring. I remember the first time I wore the ring thinking ‘I can’t believe this is 100 years old and I get to wear it’ – it really blew my mind to think I was wearing a tiny piece of history. That was six years ago, and since then I’ve become a bit obsessed, and most of what I do now revolves around jewellery. I ended up being able to combine jewellery with ancient Egypt and wrote my undergrad thesis on 12th Dynasty Egyptian jewellery.
I don’t think I really have a theme to my collection, although I usually gravitate towards yellow gold Victorian pieces. Lately I have been adding a few vintage rings to my collection; I guess I’m thinking of jewellery less as a piece of history now, and thinking more about the beauty of a piece, or the craftsmanship and work that goes into handmade pieces.
(left) My favourite pieces aren’t the rarest or most valuable in my collection, but the pieces that I have the fondest memories of. This black enamel and seed pearl mourning ring I bought after my grandfather passed away. I don’t wear it so much now, but I wore it pretty much every day for two years after he passed. It’s not in great condition, partly due to how much I’ve worn it, but I still absolutely love it.
(right) This diamond and sapphire ring was the first antique ring I bought for myself. There was an old cut ruby where the modern sapphire is (the ruby fell out) and the larger diamond is chipped, but it was the inscription that really attracted me to it. There are old Chinese symbols for ‘luck’ and ‘money’ inside the band.
This is my first ever antique ring, the row of turquoise cabochons (hence the name Turquoise Row) along with a diamond and sapphire ring I bought when I was in Russia. The turquoise ring I don’t often wear now; it was badly damaged by a jeweller a few years ago. I eventually want to have it repaired and bring it back to its former glory.
Both of these rings are from @ishyantiques (the scarab ring was made by @jewelleryhannah) and they are two that I wear all the time. The rest of my favourite rings I don’t necessarily wear that often, but I wear one of these nearly every day. I bought the scarab because of my love of ancient Egypt; I looked for a scarab ring for ages before I found this one. It wasn’t what I pictured when I was looking, but when I saw it I loved it straight away. The anchor doesn’t really have any meaning behind it; I just think it’s beautiful.
I only have a small collection of charms, but they are some of my most sentimental pieces. The chain was my first ever piece of jewellery – a gift from my great Aunt on my 5th birthday (along with the Snoopy charm). It took me about 15 years to start wearing it, but now it’s my go-to chain. The locket was a 21st gift from my parents and still has the original glass picture of a man inside (who I’ve named Percy). The lovely little birdie with a hanging diamond was hand made by @jewelleryhannah; it’s one of my few modern pieces but has so much character! The bell is the most precious piece of jewellery I have; it was originally a stickpin given to my Nan by her father when she was a little girl. The pin part broke off and only the bell on a chain sat in her jewellery box until she gave it to me. It isn’t my most valuable piece, but it’s the one I would be most upset over if I lost it; there are always more beautiful antiques, but I could never replace the sentimental value of this piece.
You can follow Kate –> @turquoise_row