Gifts and Accessories Under $100

Happy Black Friday! Did you wake up to an alarm at 3am or did you choose to just fight a crowd at 7am? I’m not sure if droves and droves of people really do the whole Black Friday “spend-the-night-in-the-parking-lot” type of craziness anymore. I even read that some retailers are just opening an hour earlier and that is it. I’m good with that. I like my sleep and have never really gotten into the whole madness of a one-and-done Friday after Thanksgiving shopping day. The only time I have been Black Friday shopping was with my mom one year, after dark, around 7pm. We went to JCPenney. The sales associates were restocking the racks, shelves, and displays for the next day. The same deals were going on and the store was empty. My mom and I took our time, browsed around at our leisure, and walked out with some amazing deals.

I am more of a cyber Monday shopper. Maybe because I like the idea of sitting in my California king bed, with a big cup of coffee, listening to CMT music, cuddled up with my dogs, and my laptop. I also love to shop with small boutique shops and have really found myself shying away from regular mega retailers. Supporting a small business online or buying from a stay-at-home mom designer makes me tick. The first place I look for gifts in on Etsy. It is just a whole world of regular people just wanting to showcase their talents or found treasures. I love the personal touches and feeling like I am a valued customer and not just another number. Maybe that is because I work for an Etsy store and we care about each individual customer. We have established relationships with folks all around the globe. We are part of special engagements, gift wrap keepsakes for surprise birthday presents, and even have return customers that we get to know personally over the years. We value our customers, each and every one. Our goal is to make each sale special!

This week I wanted to compile a list of a few gems that I have found under $100 on Etsy. These would make lovely gifts for a loved one or just a unique keepsake for yourself. I hope you find this helpful and keep in mind that Etsy is filled with one of a kind stores that are ready to help you find something amazing!

I will start with a few items from our boutique. Jewelry (like Paris) is always a good idea:

This lovely necklace is only $79! Click Here to view the listing.

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These Christmas inspired earrings are $99. Click Here to view the listing.

These lovely diamond studs are $99. Click Here to view the listing.


Scarves are my favorite winter time accessory. Check out some of these:

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Personalized items are very popular this year and they make the gift receiver feel special.

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Here are a few options for hostess gifts if you are wanting to give something to a family member that is hosting Christmas this year.

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Click Here to view listing.

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Another gift-able idea is a DIY gift craft set. This would be perfect for a family with kids or maybe a teenager who is really into design or crafty things.

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Lastly, we don’t want to leave out our beloved men folk. Here are a few Etsy finds for them as well…(he’s actually won’t be that hard to shop for)

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I hope this helps open your shopping spectrum to online boutiques on Etsy. If you have a shop and want to be featured on our blog please let us know! We would love to help out a fellow designer or store owner. Happy Shopping Friends!

September Birthstone ~ Sapphire

We have reached the start of fall folks!

Have you had your first pumpkin spice latte? (Basic, I know!)

Have you been to your local pumpkin patch yet (in Florida that means your local grocery store has put down some hay and created a faux farm experience for you)?

My favorite things about September are the changing weather, even if very slightly, and SAPPHIRES!

Did you know that sapphires come in all colors and when they reach a certain color of red they are rubies? The most desirable color is probably blue but it is nice to have such a durable stone available in any color you fancy.

One particularly famous blue sapphire is the one that Princess Kate wears as her wedding ring. It was originally from Princess Diana. Sapphires are an excellent choice for an everyday piece such as an engagement ring or wedding ring because of their resilience. They are second only to diamond for their hardness.

Here are some other fun facts about sapphires:

~Sapphire is Greek for Blue

~Sapphire is one of the “precious four” which also includes red ruby, green emerald, and diamonds (that’s a good group to be in association with!)

~ Sapphire has industry use because of its hardness. Apple recently used lab-created sapphire in its glass screen.

~ Sapphire, particularly the royal blue color, has been associated with royalty – hence its name

~ There are even special types of sapphires such as the star sapphire and color change sapphire

Because sapphire has been so desired among the masses, cultured sapphires and imitation sapphires were created. Keep in mind that when created sapphires hit the market, they were viewed as an advancement in sparkling science. Created sapphires make it possible for everyone to enjoy their beauty and not just the royals. Synthetic sapphires feature some synthetic counter parts but virtually the same physical and chemical components as a natural sapphire, they were just assisted in a lab by man to make them “grow”.

Our store features a lot of options for sapphire lovers! Check out a few of these…

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Natural Sapphire & Diamond Ring in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Synthetic Star Sapphire in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Natural Sapphire & Diamond Custom Made Ring in our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Vintage Dark Blue Sapphire & Diamond Ring in our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Sapphire & Diamond Tennis Bracelet in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing blog-5

Princess Kate Inspired Sapphire & Diamond Engagement Ring in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

A story of a “used” wedding ring set ~

My husband gave me a “used” or “pre-owned” diamond for my engagement ring. When I tell people that my engagement ring is not “new”, the typical response is usually utter shock, like my husband should be captured by the four horsemen of the apocalypse and taken to where he belongs. I want to address this topic because I have dealt with this for years. Most young ladies want their ring or diamond to be “new” so that it isn’t cursed or something. First off, diamonds aren’t really “new” unless you have a CZ or moissanite that is man made. Otherwise all diamonds come from about 90 miles under the earth’s surface and are made from extreme heat, time, and pressure. It is absurd to think that diamonds jump out of our earth and into your local jewelry retailer. It may catch you off guard to hear that most diamonds are “used” and have a history. This fact has never bothered me, actually I plan to write a book one day about the journeys and love stories of one diamond. I know what the main problem is though. Some people believe that if they get their engagement ring, wedding band, or anniversary gift from a store other than a retail store that there is some deep, dark, story associated with it and it is going to carry a hex that transfers over to them. I really am not that superstitious, even though my great-grandmother was Native American and had all kinds of superstitions that she adhered too. I guess I am more of an optimist. I have sold and traded jewelry that had nothing but happy memories attached. Just because a piece of jewelry is for sale in a second hand or estate jewelry shop does not mean it has a horrid past. Here is a story that I was a part of that may make you rethink “used” jewelry.

An older couple comes into our store and has been married for over 45 years. The sweet wife has had the same wedding set since their first year of marriage and that wedding set has been a part of raising babies, taking family vacations, Christmases, sport practices, graduations, etc. Those rings have been a part of the “American dream” love story. All those years of marriage there were many sacrifices made financially so that this lovely family could thrive. Now the time has come when the nest is empty and there is a little extra income to put a little extra sparkle on the finger of the lady who has given her all to her family for many decades. As the “old” set was traded in for a “new” one, you could tell that it was a celebration of where this couple had come from and where they were now. That loving couple walked out with a gorgeous “new” piece of jewelry and were off to continue their amazing love story. The “old” set was then cleaned, polished, and given a little check up (checking prongs, diamonds, etc) by our professional jeweler. When it was shined up like a new penny, it was put out for sale in our store. A few weeks later a nervous but excited young man walks in. He tells me that he only has so much he can spend on his future bride. They are just starting out, just finished school, just beginning new careers, and just starting their love story. He explains that one day he is going to give his bride the world and the biggest ring that he can buy, but right now he needs just a modest wedding set. One that he can afford but one that will be the apple of her eye. Instantly I knew the one! I pulled out the wedding set that had already been a part of an epic love story and handed it over to the young man for him to take a closer look. With eager hands and slightly embarrassed teary eyes, he said, “that’s it!” He went on to tell me that his future wife loved vintage things and that this little beauty would be the perfect ring to slip on her finger. I was ecstatic that this young man was going to “re-purpose” this “old” set and give it “new” life! Off he went with the small wrapped box bearing the ring that held his future! I just kind of paused for a few moments to reflect on the “passing of the torch”. I hoped that the older couple knew that trading in their rings had given this young man’s dreams a start. He was able to give his love a wedding set of quality that had stood the test of time and yet still eagerly awaited being a part of a new adventure.

I am a romantic at heart and working at a jewelry store that has these types of stories behind many of our pieces, just adds fuel to my passion for vintage (used) jewelry. I will forever view estate, antique, vintage, retro, Art Deco, Art Nouveau jewelry as a way of carrying on a legacy.

Check out a few of our engagement ring/weddings sets from the 1950s and I think you will agree with me that their simple elegance, classy look, and history give them even more appeal!

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Antique Engagement Ring Click Here to View Listing

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Classy Solitaire 1950s Engagement Ring Click Here to View Listing

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Mid-Century Square Illusion Head Solitaire Click Here to View Listing

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Ruby 1950s Engagement Ring Click Here to View Listing

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Antique Two Tone Cluster Engagement Ring Click Here to View Listing

Jewelry Gift Guide

“I want a dishwasher for our anniversary”

“For my birthday this year just mow the lawn”

“For graduation just give your money to my parents to help with tuition”

“This Valentine’s Day I want you to completely forget and ignore me”

“For Christmas let’s just work right through it and not exchange gifts”

I’m sure these phrases have been uttered before but I’m also sure that they are not truly meant. If you struggle with what to give as a good gift for any occasion, let me introduce you to the universal favorite gift ~ JEWELRY! (Shocking right?!? – since I write a jewelry blog :o) These are a few ideas to think about if you are coming up on an event and can’t muster up any ideas. We have a wide range of options so please do not hesitate to ask if you do have an idea and just need help with the execution. Our staff loves to help with these kind of details.

Anniversary ~

I’ll start with this very important life event and give several ideas that might help. When clients come in our store, my first thought is to look up and see what gemstone coincides with that anniversary year (see below chart). This creates a special tradition as well for the future.


(there are other charts that have alternative gemstones too)

Our Etsy store is packed full with many different options for most of these gemstones. If you don’t see something just let us know, our brick and mortar store also have a vast variety.

Another idea is the three stone diamond ring or necklace. This design has a meaningful significance behind the classic look. The middle diamond that is typically slightly larger is meant to stand for your present, the two side diamonds are your past and future. The symbolism is to be unique to you and your love. Other couples have said that it stands for friendship, love, and fidelity. You can make this one your own! Check out a few of these options.

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Three Stone Diamond Ring in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Three Stone Diamond Necklace in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

Birthday~

If you are purchasing for your lady, this is a wide open holiday! Any jewelry item is sure to be well received but a few of my traditional favorites are: diamond studs, diamond tennis bracelets, or a right hand ring. Check out a few of these…

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Diamond Studs in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Diamond Tennis Bracelet in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Right Hand Ring in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

Graduation ~

Our store is based in Gainesville, FL, home of the Gators. We have several University of Florida charms that would be perfect for your UF alumni. If you have a grad at another school I would suggest looking for a piece with their school colors or even just one color. Check out a few of these…

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Gator Charm in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Multi Stone Ring in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

Valentine’s Day ~

We have a lot of great and affordable options for Valentine’s day. If you want to surprise your love this year we have the perfect gifts to suit any budget. Here are a few ideas…

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Cute Valentine Earrings in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Opal Heart Pendant in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

Christmas~ 

Christmas is my favorite holiday. The family time, cooler weather, and festive things to do really makes my heart smile. On Christmas morning I always get most excited about the small box under the tree or in my stocking. Whether it be a classy pair of earrings or a new necklae, the tradition of jewelry at Christmas is one that I hope my hubby always keeps. Here are a few of my choice selections from our store right now…

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Diamond Statement Necklace in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Ornate Diamond Vintage Ring in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Freeform Gemstone Brooch in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

There are many holidays in between (check out my previous post about jewelry gifts for our men folk and wedding day jewelry) but I hope this gets you ready for the gift giving season which in my book should be year round! Happy Friday!

 

August Birthstone ~ Peridot

If August was a gemstone it definitely would be peridot and it just so happens that it’s the birthstone! I think of August as the hottest month, the month that you start longing for fall, and the month that everything in Florida seems to be at its peak in greenness. Peridot as a gemstone embodies all those traits for me. It has a vivid lime green color that makes me think of pool floaties, cut lime wedges in cold beverages, and the lime green summer dresses that make your tan look deeper. The green color is also a wonderful transition color from summer to fall.

Peridot has a long history on God’s “green earth” but also it has been found in fallen meteors and its main mineral, “olivine” has been found on mars! It literally is “out of this world.” All puns aside, peridot is just stunning. It is one of the only gemstones that only comes in the color of green. As many artists know, green comes in many, many different shades and hues; peridot does too. The tones range from yellowish-green to dark brownish-green, just like the changing leaves of fall.

Down to some nitty gritty fun facts about the glowing green peridot:

~ Peridot has “double refraction”, meaning that you see two of each pavilion facet. Which in plain English equals MORE SPARKLE and more color saturation being registered back to your eye.

~ Peridot is not usually treated in any way due to its excellent transparency and intense natural color from the iron content.

~ Some historians believe that the famous emeralds that were loved by Cleopatra were actually peridots. Ancient Romans actually referred to peridots as “evening emeralds” since their green intensity did not darken when the sun went down.

~ Peridot is believed to be the gem that Napoleon gave Josephine to declare his love for her.

~ Peridot has a pretty durable hardness and is comparable to quartz which can be worn daily under reasonable care.

~ Main peridot sources include Burma, Pakistan, China, Vietnam, and the United States (Arizona is the largest contributor).

So whether you love or hate the intense gemstone that is peridot, you can appreciate its unique nature and its historical stamp on our jewelry world. Check out a few peridot accented beauties in our store this month. And Happy Birthday to our August babies!

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Peridot Earrings in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Peridot & Amethyst Bracelet in Our Etsy Store Click Here to View Listing

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Multi-Gemstone Ring with Peridot in Our Etsy Store  Click Here to View Listing

Wearable Art

Jewelry to me is the true definition of wearable art. There is so much to appreciate within a single article of jewelry. The noble metals and gems that are given to us through Mother nature and the way that mere man has molded those gifts into an item to adorn ourselves with, equals a true ingenuitive art form. But being ascetically pleasing or beautiful is in the eye of the beholder, even in the jewelry realm. I want to showcase a few items this week that speak to my artistic soul. Along the way maybe you could explore our store and find an art piece that speaks to you…

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This emerald and diamond necklace has a feminine, dainty elegance to it that seems to transcend any modern trend or style. Certain pieces could be showcased in any generation and be found beautiful and this necklace is all that to me! Emeralds are a precious gemstone that have been in demand since Biblical times and diamonds are one of the most sought after minerals known to man. The repeating pattern of the shapes and the delicate size gives this piece a balance that resonates with my jewelry soul.

Check out the detailed description of this piece here.

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This natural ruby and diamond statement ring has a starburst effect that radiates light and drama. Rubies like this one have been cut by a master stonecutter with a step cut that gives it a refractive index that bends the light from inside the gem’s depths right into your eyes. The purple-ish red color makes for a pure deep red saturation that actually complements most skin tones and wardrobe color choices. To show off the magnificent ruby, the diamonds are set in a halo around the stone with rounds and tapered baguettes shapes.

Check out the detailed description of this piece here .

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Watermelon tourmaline is one of my favorite gemstone miracles. To have two vibrant colors in one gem is nothing short of miraculous in my book. The subtle transition of color, the skill in which it took to cut a gemstone to master this phenomenon, the parallels of an organic gemstone to a delicious fruit found in our farmer’s fields ~ all together just makes me smile. And again, diamonds are used as an instrument to accentuate the beauty of the main centerpiece stone.

Check out the detailed description of this piece here.

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This piece has an interesting artistic appeal to me because of the textures and form. The individual links have a rope like finish that is set off with simple polished areas that in contrast give an elegant dimension that can’t help but be looked at. I suppose this is why it is referred to as a “statement bracelet”. Whether it was handmade or crafted by a machine, the fact that we can take small flecks, chunks or powder of gold found naturally and form it into this creation is ART!

Check out the detailed description of this piece here

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This ring embodies the true beauty of minimal jewelry. I think of minimal jewelry as still “sparkly” and pretty but there is a simplistic, easy-on-the-eyes type of beauty that it gives off. The clean lines of the emerald cut and baguette cut diamonds leave a complete feeling in my artist eye. Nothing is out of place or too funky, it is the equivalent of looking at Crystal Lake in Michigan. It just has a tranquil feeling that everything is right in the world.

Check out the detailed description of this piece here.

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Now I could not complete a blog about artistic jewelry without an abstract, handmade, unique piece such as this beauty. This piece is what most people would call “jewelry art”. It has unique gemstones that by themselves have an artistic element to them. Rutilated quartz and opal have internal colors and strong amplifiers that make them special. Along with those elements this piece also has freeform shapes even including a trillion cut diamond that is considered a “fancy” cut in the diamond world. Even this piece speaks to my creative side.

Check out the detailed description of this piece here.

The Bachelorette ~ JoJo Jewelry & Styling Tips

Yes, I am the basic girl that gets my comfy pants on, big wine glass filled up, and tunes in to ABC on Monday nights to watch my girl JoJo seek out true love. I guess it could be that all the drama is made up by a mastermind producer, but I watch because I think JoJo is just effortlessly charming and beautiful. Effortless ~ that is definitely how I would describe her and her jewelry wardrobe styling. She is like those Instagram girls that just happen to have the right color nail polish on to match all the right accessories, have the right lighting to make their hair look like the sun was just shining down on them, have their makeup perfectly executed and all of that in one tiny photo for you to double tap. How do they do it? It’s all about the styling! Now you could just go out and purchase the exact jewelry that JoJo wore last Monday night or you can find your own pieces that speak to you and pull off the same kind of look. I encourage originality and individuality. Be you! I hope you can take a few helpful hints from this blog and hit the ground running in search of your own signature pieces to make others notice YOUR style!

1) The perfect statement earrings

First off, JoJo rarely wears her hair up. From a girl who also prefers to have my tresses “free to be breezy”, I am always searching for the earrings that can make a statement even amongst my long brunette hair (which may or may not have some JoJo inspired balayage highlights :o) When you see our lovely bachelorette wear a plunging neckline on rose ceremony night you also see a fabulous pair of plunging, long earrings to match. I absolutely love this look. The long dangle accentuates the neckline while elongating your neck and can still hold their own with your hair worn down. Check out a few of these types of earrings from our Etsy store…

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2) The bold ring

Ok, you only usually notice the bold ring when JoJo is holding the guys’ face while their kissing but still, I love the bold rings! If you’re like me and often talk with your hands you might as well give everyone something pretty to look at while your gesturing about. The bold ring comes in many shapes and styles. Pick one that has a color you love, a shape you like, or even one that tells a story.  Maybe it is your birthstone, a color that reminds you of your favorite season, or even a good luck charm that you always wear when you are up against a challenge. Check out a few of my favorites from our Etsy store…

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3) The lariat or long dainty necklace

The lariat is quickly becoming on the rise again because of its alluring style. JoJo’s stylist has put her in these designs often but also likes to layer other dainty necklaces for a very feminine look. Either way, bringing a touch of sparkle to your decollete is never a bad idea. Check out a few of these “dainties” that could be layered or worn alone…

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4) The eye-catching bracelet

Bracelets are also fun to play up your look any time day or night. JoJo has been spotted wearing an eye-catching bracelet in a hot tub, at a dinner, and dressed up. You can always say “yes” to bracelets. I personally like that her stylist just selects one large cuff or polished bracelet at a time. It showcases the bracelet while not overshadowing the rest of your jewelry or outfit. These are a few of our fabulous bracelets that could do just that for you…

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5) Multiple minimal rings on one hand

Gone are the days where you just wear one ring per hand. Style is so versatile now that you can pretty much go with whatever floats your boat. If you are a little concerned about looking too tacky try this tip from JoJo stylist: Wear one bold ring like I mentioned before and wear a tiny band on another finger. This adds a slight Bohemian feel while still being classy. These minimal bands would do the trick…

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I hope these tips will help you achieve that effortless look that we all love about JoJo. If you need any more styling tips, our friendly jewelry professionals are standing by to assist you. Keep on enjoying your Monday night guilty pleasure and here’s hoping that JoJo finds her true love!