What is Estate Jewelry? Do you know the difference between it and Antique jewelry?

Think about it and see if you can tell me the difference.

The answer is:

Estate jewelry applies to anything that is pre-owned:

Period Jewelry such as Victorian, Art Nouveau, Edwardian, Art Deco; Retro
Antique jewelry where the pieces are 100 years or more;
Modern estate jewelry referring  to pieces from the 1960’s to today.

The periods  can also overlap; the Art Nouveau period began around 1895 and ended around 1915, while Edwardian lasted from about 1901 to 1915.

Is jewelry made between 1916 and 2014 considered antique?                                                                                                                                                                                  -If you wait another two years, yes.  Right now, in 2014; no (as it is not 100 years old).

S0 – it  would therefore be good to know what the Periods were and when they were to truly know if they are considered ‘antique’:

Georgian Jewelry (1714–1837)
Early Victorian, romantic jewelry (1837–1855)
Mid-Victorian, grand jewelry (1856–1880)
Late Victorian, aesthetic jewelry (1885–1900)
Arts and crafts jewelry (1894–1923)
Edwardian jewelry (1901–1915)
Art Nouveau jewelry (1895–1915)
Art Deco jewelry (1915–1935)
Retro jewelry (1945–1960)
Art Organique jewelry (20th century )

Once you have digested  and hopefully memorized these periods and their dates, we will discuss the characteristics of each of the periods in upcoming blogs.

Lets Go Shopping for a Gemstone to Put into a Ring

When we see a gemstone we like, most of us ask how many carats it is.
Wrong question.

It is very important to consider the size of the top of the stone (the face).
Some stones are cut much deeper and the top size is smaller.  So
you could have two stones that are the same carat weight and that
look very different in terms of their size: Looking at them side by side,
one could look big across the top and have a shallow setting in the ring
and the other could appear much smaller on top and be much deeper
into the ring’s setting.

So  size is far more important than the carat weight in terms of
appearance since it measures the actual physical size of the gem.

Sure you want to know the carat weight (because everyone usually asks)
but, aside from the color and quality of the stone itself,  it is really the
millimeter size that you and your friends will actually see and admire
when you’re out on the town sporting your gorgeous new gemstone ring.



Add “Sparkle”!

Add “Sparkle” to your wardrobe and have fun putting it all togetherwith this season’s fashion colors and genuine gemstones or Swarovski® crystals in gem colors.

Be on the lookout for clothes following these fashion colors: placid blue,violet tulip, hemlock (green); paloma grey; sand, freesia (gold); cayenne (red/orange), celosia orange, radiant orchid, dazzling (bold) blue

Now the fun part: find gemstones in complementary colors for pendants, bracelets, necklaces, earrings: e.g. hemlock (mint green) with amethyst; celosia orange (melon orange) and freesia (yellow/gold citrine).

All of the colors above go with one another, so you will enjoy mixing and matching – and looking great!


Best Selling Gemstones:

Lapis Lazuli
Pyrope Garnet
Almandine Garnet


Jewelry Innovation for 2014: trends derived from the three Rs: red carpet, runway, and real life

Think gold as the prices are going down and more designers will be creating pieces that are more gold elaborate’. Considering that the price of gold has dropped 29 percent to date, the jewelry industry can happily re-embrace the precious metal once again.

Radiant orchid is the color of the year and it can be mixed with blues, turquoise, orange.  This year look for more gemstones mixed with yellow gold and pieces that you can wear all over your body.

Belly rings, body chains, and ear cuffs aren’t for shrinking violets, but they do offer fun, unusual places to place jewelry—even if they are for places that many aren’t accustomed to adorning. The prevalence of crop tops on spring runways, Jennifer Lawrence’s backlace at the Oscars, the punk trend and the growing popularity of ear cuffs will all help us feel more comfortable placing jewelry wherever……

Innovation in earring wear

Do you need an ear cuff? These celebs love ‘em!

And we do too.  Think about how this look can brighten up your Holiday Look. And the proper ear cuff earring is appropriate for women of all ages.

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Move over earrings. There’s a new must-have accessory for your ear—the ear cuff! Celebs like Jennifer Lawrence and Rita Ora have been rocking the edgier ear bling in place (or sometimes, in addition to) their standard studs or drops for an extra pop of style.

Chunky, bejeweled versions that encircle your ear (like J-Law and Rita’s mega cuffs) are popular for the red carpet, and are a great way to add an unexpected element to your holiday look. Just keep the rest of your jewelry to a minimum when working a sparkly statement cuff. For every day, daintier cuffs worn just at the top of your ear are a more low-key way to rock the trend and look especially cool if you’re going for a stacked look (like Cara Delevigne’s punk-y mix). Even if your style isn’t super edgy, adding a cuff is an easy way to give any outfit a cool, fashion-y feel.

Just stick to one ear cuff—unlike regular earrings, the look is meant to be uneven. Then be sure to show it off by pulling one side of your hair back into a half-up do or rocking a side part.

We agree with Seventeen Magazine on this one …….

Lets think about being innovative while wearing jewelry

Why is it that almost all women wear brooches and pins on their lapel or right or left chest area near the heart? Is there a rule I missed that says that is the place to put it.

I have this wonderful bee pin and I place it on my back. I have a butterfly that I put on my shoulder in a similar way to the way he would land if he did indeed land on my shoulder.  What about a snake pin on our jeans leg?

Start thinking about the different places you could place a pin on some of your outfits to give that outfit a little extra va-va voom.


kate-middleton-03-500x375A popular trend in engagement rings (think of the ring that Prince William gave to his bride to be – Kate) are colored gemstones; gorgeous alternatives to the traditional diamond.

Are you interested in a colored gemstone but not sure which is right for you? If you have an active lifestyle, you’re probably going to want a gem that doesn’t scratch easily.  If so, google the ‘Mohs Scale’, a practical way to compare relative hardness of gemstones based on scratch hardness – each mineral can scratch the one below it on the scale, with the hardest, the diamond, as a 10.  Among the hardest stones, next to diamonds, are the Rubies and the Sapphires.

If you plan on wearing your engagement ring and wedding band every day, I would purchase only the hardest stones: diamond, ruby or sapphire.  After that you could chance stones with an 8 hardness on the scale  but I would not wear anything softer for everyday wear.  They are fine for parties and special occasions, or if the stones is set deep within the metal setting where it is difficult to bump it against anything.

I bought a Tanzanite ring on a vacation cruise.. I loved it but the first time I wore it, I chipped the stone’s edge.  I then had to have the stone recut. After that experience, I changed the design of the setting to insert the stone deep into the metal so the metal would protect the Tanzanite from any accidental bump.

You can understand now why diamonds are the preferred stone for engagements as they do not chip and break with everyday wear. However, as an alternative to the diamond,  I would suggest you consider the following gemstones:



EMERALD 7.5  TO  8

*Don’t forget that diamonds now come in colors:  yellow, pink, brown for example.

How does innovation affect the way jewelers make jewelry today?

‘In the day’, as they say, jewelers were craftspeople who took precious metal and formed it with  molds, saws, files and  torches into the piece of jewelry they were asked to create.  They would work for months on one piece of jewelry, carefully placing each stone in settings to hold them securely.   They would work with thin metal wires to create intricate designs and settings. They needed a very steady hand and good artistic eye.

It is very different today.  Due to time and cost constraints, most modern jewelers operate with CAD “computer-aided design” systems to produce a  model  of the customer’s vision and artist’s sketch and laser welders to help them transform the model into a beautiful piece of fine jewelry.

The procedure of custom design in today’s world would look like this:

1.    Customer has an idea for a piece of jewelry she wants;
2.    She works with a jewelry designer who puts her ‘vision’ on paper as a simple sketch with   dimensions and specifications such as:  Ring Size 6 , Center stone preference: round, marquis;  Metal type, platinum, gold, silver.
3.    The designer transfers the idea to a CAD Program, drawing the design according to the specifications and preferences provided.
4.    When the 3D CAD picture is ready, a picture showing how the piece will look, from all sides and top and bottom, will be shown for client approval.
5.    Upon approval, the CAD data will be transferred to a Perfactory machine which will produce a 3D plastic prototype from the drawing.
6.    This plastic resin prototype will be used to cast the piece in the metal of her choice with “Lost Wax” technology
7.    The casting will be hand finished by a jeweler and, if stones are required, they will be set.



Jewelry Today

In 1899, in an edition of Punch magazine that offered a look at the “coming century,” a man walked into a government office and asked “isn’t there a clerk who can examine patents?” A boy replied “Quite unnecessary, Sir. Everything that can be invented has been invented.” Its a good thing we didn’t listen to him. Innovation and creativity go hand in hand and helped to build the American dream. Innovation represents a mindset of creativity and thinking outside the box.

I grew up in America at a time when innovation was all around me. Everyday there was something new I saw or read about: some things were very BIG like: TV ‘s in our living rooms, Air conditioning, the Internet, Rocketry, Nuclear Fission, and others were less big, but ‘everyday life changing’ like hair perms, zippers, magnetic closures for jewelry and purses, faux fur materials, botox, bathing suits you could tan through, contact lens, digital watches……

You are probably wondering, “What does all this have to do with jewelry?”

Jewelry today is being made differently because of patented technology. Labs are enhancing gems and creating new colors: change is everywhere. At one time, the lapidary techniques for slicing gems didn’t exist but, once they were developed, the jewelry industry took full advantage of the innovation.

Designers are using sliced diamonds and colored stones more creatively every season. We are designing with Cad computers and laser welding. We are able to do things we could only imagine 20 years ago.

So – to the notion that everything that can be invented in jewelry and jewelry design has been already thought of …….I don’t think so…….and its going to be a fun path to explore in my future posts.

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