What “Vintage” Means To Me…

My grandparents live on a small cattle farm in Florida. There is a little cobblestone drive that leads to the side of the ranch style, brick house, where the garage is. On Saturday mornings when I was younger, we would go over for some of my Papa’s pancakes. He was a cook in the US Air Force and can make pancakes that are so sweet and cake-like that you can almost feel your teeth rotting. As a kid, these were my absolute favorite! Nanny would make bacon, grits, and eggs to go along with these pancakes. (There is no such thing as a simple, small meal on a farm.) I would watch my Nanny scurry about the kitchen that she had cooked in for over 40 years, it was like a well rehearsed dance. She was always dressed to the nines, even on a Saturday morning at 8am, her ruffle apron covering her blouse. She had a gorgeous wedding ring that would sparkle even when caked with pancake batter and she always had great earrings on. She didn’t believe in having “naked holes” or no earrings. Her hair was short and permed and the perfect style to showcase a pair of statement earrings. She was always so put together and beautiful to me. Even the neighbors who would come by early for coffee before starting their day, knew that Nanny would be up, dressed, and ready to receive them.

On the days that Nanny and Papa went to the flea market to sell old tools and other amazing vintage finds, she would still be decked out it all her jewelry. With her diamonds glistening in the Florida sun, she literally didn’t sweat, she sparkled! She was a believer in being thankful for what you had, enjoying it, and not letting it just sit in a box and collect dust.

I guess you could say that “vintage” is not just a type of jewelry style to me, it’s memories of days passed, it’s the smell of pancakes sitting around a farm table, it’s excellent craftsmanship, and it’s pure elegance. Now that I get to work in a place that has tons of beautiful, nostalgic, well-made vintage pieces, I get obsessed with all the amazing jewelry we have to offer. Our boutique has everything that is precious about the word vintage to me. Each piece has been carefully cleaned and inspected. Each piece is photographed to show its beautiful details. Each piece is ready to be a part of what vintage means to you! I’m sure you will be able to find a piece that brings back some memories of childhood. Or maybe you will find a piece that just speaks to you and you’re ready for it to come home with you and be a part of your kids’ and grandkids’ memories. Each piece is ready to become a keepsake for you and generations to come! Here are a few of my favorites!

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A ring like my Nanny’s in our Etsy store… click here to view listing

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A right hand ring similar to my Nanny’s…click here to view listing

Diamond earrings that remind me of the antique ones that I loved as a child…click here to view listing

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Gorgeous Art Deco vintage watch…click here to view listing

One of my favorite antique brooches…click here to view listing

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These RARE Tiffany & Co Diamond Earrings would be my Nanny’s new favs…click here to view listing

One more cluster ring that I love…Click here to view listing

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.

Gemstone Engagement Rings ~& one of my favorite pieces in our Etsy store right now

I have always been obsessed with the royals, even though I am not English or from England. Maybe it is the glamorous fashion, the living in a castle full time, or wearing a crown on a random Tuesday; I am convinced that I should have royal blue blood in my veins.

 

Being in the jewelry industry for most of my life, I have come into contact with many sparkly things. I have my favorites that I lust over as they come and go. I often get enchanted by a diamond that is completely flawless, or a vintage piece with a history, or a gemstone ring that I fantasize may have been a part of the crown jewels. This week I want to highlight one of my favorite pieces in our store right now. Behold this blue sapphire engagement ring!!! ~~

 

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This ring has had me captivated since it first came up for sale and was photographed. It just screams royalty to me! It has a natural, oval faceted cut, blue sapphire in the center with a double halo of diamonds gently encircling it. The sides of the halo have an open infinity type shank that compliments the halo nicely. This particular sapphire has been certified by GIA (Gemological Institute of America) by a graduate gemologist and weighs 3.10cts. It has a deep but lively blue color that is rich and eye-catching. The diamonds are a high quality to add a touch more sparkle to the exquisite sapphire. The setting is crafted from luxurious 18K white gold. I may not have been born into the royal family but this ring would sure make any girl feel like a princess.

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If you are thinking about a possible gemstone ring for your engagement or wedding ring like Princess Kate, bear in mind that dark blue is a very versatile color. Again, I am obsessed with the princess’ every move and fashion choice. I have seen her wear tailored suits, formal ball gowns, low key casual dresses, and even jeans. All the while her sapphire ring is just dazzling away and complimenting her wide range of wardrobe choices. The dark blue color looks elegant with other blue pallets, but also blends well with greens, black, reds, yellows and even pinks. I don’t know if we are ready to accept blue as a neutral yet but it is safe to say that sapphire blue will find an easy home among your day-to-day clothing colors!

 

If you don’t know about our store, we do offer a wide range of estate and vintage pieces. Our pieces have a story and a history, but are ready to have a new life with you. Our pieces are all inspected and evaluated by our GIA trained Accredited Jewelry Professionals and our master jeweler cleans and polishes each piece by hand to make sure it is ready to take your breath away! Take a look at this “favorite” of mine by clicking here. Please follow our weekly blog and favorite us on Etsy to stay up to date on new treasures that we post daily! Thank you for reading and Happy Friday!