Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Antique Jewelry Wish List: Gimmal Ring

Gimmal rings have two or three hoops that fit together to form one complete ring. They were popular in the 16th & 17th centuries and often used as engagement rings. The engaged couple would each wear one hoop and then rejoin them to use as a wedding ring. The witness would hold the third piece of the ring until marriage.

I love this concept. Single solitaire engagement rings these days seem to have no real meaning - what does a single white stone say? Not too much. These rings were personal and had so much meaning. Two people joining together, intertwining their lives.


On the inside names and the date were engraved, or a message.

 Clasped hands were common and the third symbol was typically a heart - very similar to a Claddagh ring which is a traditional Irish ring meaning love & loyalty.

"My whole heart for my whole life"
"My beginning and my end"
"Remember the past, and that there is a future."

I want to bring this concept back - it's like a locket with a secret, meaningful message inside, but no one else knows that it is anything more than a simple band. One day perhaps I will design my own, but for now, I hope to just see one of these stunning antique rings in person.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Best Jewels of the 2014 Emmys

The best part of award shows for me is the jewelry - the dresses are nice and all, but it's the jewelry that's most exciting. And the actual show is always a bit dull - congrats to the winners from Breaking Bad, but overall it seemed like safe choices by the Academy. It definitely catches my attention when someone takes a risk and layers on beautiful gold jewels.
The most stunning jewels of the night were worn by the beautiful Christina Hendricks. She piled on gold jewels by Neil Lane.


This bracelet was my favorite piece of the look - also really loved the earrings. While there was a clear trend of red dresses, Christina was the only lady in red who was dripping in gold jewels.

Also, I am not a fan of "ear climbers." The bolder the better for a red carpet event, in my opinion. What were your favorite moments of the evening (fashion or otherwise)?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Designer love: Ted Muehling

First, I must share this really great short film about Gabriella Kiss. It made me love her much more.

Gabriella's mentor is Ted Muehling who is an incredibly well-respected designer and metalsmith in the jewelry world.

His designs are minimal, nature-inspired and impeccable, similar to Gabrialla's, but he has a style all his own. One that has never been described as less than perfection and his aesthetic is said to be more refined than any other jewelry designer out there.

Ted began designing and creating in 1975 - he creates one-of-a-kind pieces as well as multiples with the help of his very small staff in his NYC studio.


The above three pieces are some of my favorites because of how beautiful the gold is - smooth and simple, yet so interesting in shape. The ring curves and contours in such a pretty way - I hope to get a chance to try it on some day.


And these hoops have made it to my wish list. I love them so. The simple gold wire hoop without an exposed clasp and the intricate beading detail.

Both Gabriella Kiss and Ted Muehling have stolen my heart - I love these designs so!

See more designs from Ted Muehling here and definitely check out the short film.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Designer love: Gabriella Kiss

I've been in a mood, the type that you can't quite explain, but it's there and you have to deal with it. How do I cheer myself up? Puppy time of course, but while I'm at work - jewelry and music.
Gabriella Kiss is a designer my dear friends Sia and Amy introduced me to at Couture. I didn't fall in love with the line then, but a new employee at my company was rocking an amazing Gabriella Kiss stack earlier this week and I began exploring her designs more closely.

The conclusion I came to is that these pieces make me so, so happy. Kind of like the album I discuss later in this post, the designs had to grow on me - it wasn't love at first sight.
Photos below from two amazing stores on the East Coast: Egan Day in Philly and Quadrum Gallery in Boston.

Gabriella Kiss designs for the love of designing - she is one of those elite designers who is very selective about where their work is sold and not concerned with marketing or social media. 

As the daughter of a scientist, she combines her design sense with inspiration from the life cycles of the natural world. Before carving and casting pieces she carefully studies the item to perfect every detail. Her jewelry focuses on the nuances of nature's beauty in a flawless way.

She successfully creates pieces that are both poetic and scientific.

The quirky, yet elegant figurative designs are my favorite, but I also love the very simple pieces which show off the beauty of the stones and metal.

The crescent moon, blue agate and snake rings (show above) are on my wish list! I will someday have an amazing Gabriella Kiss stack of my very own.

Last but not least, these funny little ship earrings which make me smile.
And now for music...
The newest Gaslight Anthem album has been on constant rotation this week. After first listen I didn't love it, but the more I listened, the more I wanted to keep listening. So, I recommend this album! Here is my favorite track: Selected Poems off of 'Get Hurt' by The Gaslight Anthem. 

Other standouts: 1,000 Years, Get Hurt & Break Your Heart
Happy, happy weekend, friends!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Etsy find: Leola Revives

For the past few months I have been in search of the perfect snake ring. Leola Reives owner, K, found it! German made 8ky gold Victorian era ring with a pretty ruby.
Snake rings were popular in the early 1900s and were given as symbols of eternal love. The thin and unique shape of this caught my eye, and a ruby (a favorite stone of mine)! It fits perfect on my finger and I am so pleased.
Visit Leola Reives on Etsy to see some more beautiful pieces curated by K - some of my favorites below.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Must visit: Victoriana Antique Jewelry

There aren't too many places in Colorado to see amazing antique jewelry - I could name four, but that's all. The best, for sure, is Victoriana which is located right in downtown Denver.
The owners opened in 1977 and although they've moved locations a few times, they've been in their current location since 2008 and plan to stay put.
Victoriana is impeccably styled and each jewelry case is perfectly merchandised.

I had the privilege of chatting with one of the owners, Veronica, who is so, so passionate about antique jewels. She told me the story of her wedding ring. It's from the 1920s and features a stunning sapphire.

As we continued the conversation she began to show me her favorite pieces, including some from her personal collection. Her favorite era of jewelry is Georgian, her second favorite is Art Deco.


I, of course, tried on as many rings as possible. Here is a gorgeous Georgian diamond ring.

This stack was created for me by their lovely sales associate, Cory. See many of these rings on their website.

Although I am not typically a fan of amethyst (even though it's my birthstone), when paired with pearls and made in the Georgian era, it's so pretty - so this one was a favorite from the stack. Another favorite is this one - which is so reasonably priced! The whole store has not only a brilliant selection, but the prices are affordable for the quality of the jewelry.

Cory also styled a bracelet stack for me which, given the funds, I would wear daily. I must pause here to say that the vibe in the shop was so nice - very family-oriented and so much passion for jewelry.

This Art Deco ring was purchased by someone at a neighboring store - Veronica was so thrilled to show it to me that she went over to the other shop to borrow for a moment. It's an amazing piece - both Cory and Veronica's faces lit up as they described the ring to me before bringing it over.


A pair of super rad Victorian caste earrings in 14 karat yellow gold with old Georgian carved bone skulls from the memento mori movement. Made by artisan Roy Rover.

This black onyx mourning necklace is from Veronica's personal collection - with the original box! A truly beautiful piece.  

If you're in Denver, you must visit Victoriana! AND they carry Blackbird and the Snow, a designer I wrote about yesterday.  

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Designer love: Blackbird and the Snow

A few weeks ago my friend (and talented photographer), Jen, and I went to the best boutique in Denver for a trunk show. The boutique? Goldyn. The designer? The Boulder-based talent, Marie-Juliette Bird of Blackbird and the Snow

I first saw these jewels at Goldyn and although I was told the designer was based in Boulder it never really registered in my brain. Probably because I thought I knew everyone in the industry in all of Colorado, and also, antique inspiration doesn't come from Boulder - it comes from cities like London.

Marie-Juliette is a natural beauty with a vintage style - she looks like her brand. She's soft spoken but was so easy to talk to. We both moved to Colorado for her boyfriends - she moved from London, I moved from (the slightly closer) Philadelphia. 

Marie-Juliette launched her line in July 2012, but has grown quickly - the pieces are available in countries all over the world while each piece is hand-made in the United States. 

Once you try on these jewels it's obvious why this brand has become popular so quickly - the pieces are well-made and unique yet classic.

My favorite piece - which is on my to-buy list - is the necklace below.

Two ruby covered birds facing each other as though they are holding a banner - instead there is a dainty gold chain. The dainty gold chain against the black colored birds and the bright pop of rubies make this piece so stunning. It looks also looks amazing on - the birds sit perfectly on the collarbone. 

 Marie-Juliette's favorite designs of the moment are these star rings which have a rock & roll edge.

And my dear friend Jen has these hoop earrings on her wish-list! She's a hoop earring gal. 

I also am in love with - like, I've dreamt about it kind of love - her series of moon designs that feature moonstones. The designs she is working on now all include moonstones - which I cannot wait to see, especially after having seen the pretty pieces she's already created with the stone

It was wonderful to chat with Marie-Juliette - she is passionate about antique jewelry - including the symbolism of the shapes and stones - as well as creating beautiful things. 

And jewelry is not Marie-Juliete's only passion, she is also a musician and has a music project called Blackbird and the Storm

See more designs on the Blackbird and the Snow website and check out Goldyn - the owner Vanessa has AMAZING taste (which allows me to get my jewelry fix in Colorado - much harder than you'd expect).