Looking back on last year, I realized my trips to Miami and Tucson were my biggest buys of the year! I found items for my personal collection that ended up being my most favorite purchases of the entire year, which makes total sense. With that in mind and knowing I probably won’t be traveling much from now until the fall/winter, I told myself I could fully embrace splurging. I always go into attending a gem or jewelry show with an open mindset, without having any inkling of what I want or hope to find. I don’t ever say “I need to find a sapphire bezel set ring” because having something so specific like that usually shuts down your ability to freely browse. Instead I let the pieces find me!
In Tucson I went wild with my #TucsonLoot — I loved continuing this hashtag from the years’ past and encouraging others who attended the shows to post their finds. I just love seeing what people gravitate towards and it is interesting to know that we all have access to the same gems & treasures, we all choose what to buy so differently. My first purchases were the intarsia inlays from Parle Gems as Brecken packed them just to show me at the show. She knew my obsession with these long forgotten 1980s treasures. I’m still figuring out what I want to do with them! I also bought lots of rock crystal points and other crystals for my collection. The amethyst specimen is one of my favorites, as well as the amethyst stalactites I got from Rare Earth Mining Co. I found some polished/tumbled stones that I don’t have in my collection — a kunzite, pinolith from Austria, and green calcite from Pakistan. The ammolites I picked up were mostly gifts as well as the dioptase and mini dicks. I didn’t buy any jewelry in Tucson — only one onyx ring for a client of mine that has been wanting one!
In Miami, however, jewelry was all that I bought! I left with over 20 pieces to sell — some show-stopping rings and lots of charms (after I told myself to stop buying charms) and even some earrings which sold so quick. For myself, I picked up three rings — one that needed some work and two that spoke to me!
The ring that needed work had a missing center stone and lots of worn prongs on delicate opals, all of which was circa late 1800s. You could imagine how nervous I was to bring that ring to my jeweler and my feelings were spot on as two minutes into sizing it resulted in him down on his hands and knees, searching for the missing opal that popped out. Sadly we never found the original opal and I had to rummage through what little he had. I found one that sort of matched and felt ok about it. As for the center stone, I enjoyed reading all your comments on what you think would look best when I asked everyone on Instagram. In the end, I chose a diamond — mostly because I had one that fit perfectly already and didn’t have to buy something. I turned out amazing and it is seriously one of my favorite rings! I bought it from Mollie Francine, an exhibitor that has only been doing the Miami Antique Show for two years!
The retro quatrefoil ring that I brought home was from Park Avenue Antiques and I didn’t even see it the first time around when I looked at Lindsey’s case of goodies. That’s another pointer I suggest for all you treasure hunters — sometimes you have to come back again to the same booth with fresh eyes. The ring is set with shield cut aquamarines and light-colored sapphires. I love the shape of it and it didn’t help that it fit me perfectly. When I got home to inspect it under my microscope, I noticed it was engraved on the shank! It says “EK – WHK 1945” — how cool!
The last item I bought in Miami at the antique show was from The Fab Nab. Her booth was right next to Park Avenue Antiques’ booth, so I was really feeling the buying spirits in this vicinity. I had taken a photo of the ring on the first day of the show and then kept thinking about it the entire night at dinner. I made sure to come back for it in the morning! Luckily it was still there! It is a modern ring set with three elongated opals. I can’t wait to get it sized so I can wear it.
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