UK to US: Brooke Gregson

 

nasa14.jpgWe went crazy for these astrological necklaces. The astrology sign necklaces are designed by Brooke Gregson from London and are a beautiful splurge birthday gift for someone you love.

 

Each piece is priced differently and made from 14k brushed and carved yellow gold and diamonds. The Aries (3 diamonds) is just over $1,000 and the most expensive Virgo, is just over $2,600.

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We loved trying our sign (Aquarius) on. The piece is weightier than it appears in photographs and falls below the collar bone. The 14k gold is very shiny and bright. Depending on the sign, the token may be oblong or a smaller circle.

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You can find the entire 12 piece collection here

Not Your Grandmother’s Pearls

 

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We first found these earrings on Instagram and fell in love. They are just a little bit edgy and really stand out against our other pearl pieces.

We’ve been wearing a variation of these since college and these feel like just the right update without being too fussy or prim.

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Made from Pave diamonds, sterling silver, and, of course, a pearl. Available at Irini Designs

Necklace, $685

Earrings, $1268

Do you have any updated pearls you’re wearing lately?

How Do You Know if Something Is Fine Jewelry?

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When we first started wearing and caring about jewelry we made some big purchasing errors. It’s hard to know if the price you’re about to pay is worth it, so here are our tips for making sure you’re buying the real thing.

What is fine jewelry?

Most jewelers define fine  jewelry as anything that’s made with gold, sterling silver, platinum or gemstones. The big clue is that gold has to have at least 10 karats to be considered fine jewelry. The second major thing to know about fine jewelry is that gemstones must be naturally made, not man made. That means that anything  made with cubic zirconia cannot be considered fine jewelry.

How to tell if vintage jewelry is fine jewelry?

Because selling and buying jewelry depends so much on trust, it’s rare to find something mislabeled. However, when you’re buying jewelry second-hand the seller may not always know. Here’s what to look for:

Metals:

How to tell the difference between gold and gold-plated? Use a magnet! Gold is a non-magnetic material. With vintage pieces you can also look for discoloration where the softer gold plate may have rubbed off exposing the non-fine metal underneath.

How to tell the difference between silver and platinum? Most fine jewelry is cast in platinum rather than sterling silver. This is almost 100% the case when there are gemstones in the piece as it is usually not worth it for the jeweler to bother using sterling silver. Platinum is also heavier than silver, which can sometimes be helpful to consider. But the best way we’ve found is just to see if the piece has more of a white-ish or grey-ish tint when something is reflected on it – such as diamond. Platinum is much closer to white than silver.

 

 

Jewelry-gram: Melissa Tyson Designs

We wanted to learn everything we could about Melissa Tyson Designs as soon as we saw her Instagram and this beautiful double banded engagement ring:

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She has been making jewelry for 15 years and as a mother of three has focused on making her production process as green as possible using recycled materials when she can. She also consults with Made By Survivors, which is a pretty rad group and her diamonds are always conflict free.

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Some of our favorite posts show how she transforms customer’s family heirlooms into beautiful and contemporary pieces.

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Our pick from her shop? Emerald Ring, $850 at Melissa Tyson Designs

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Three New Stacking Rings We Love

So far we’ve seen so many beautiful pieces of jewelry and some trends, like gold stacking rings, continue to proliferate. There’s a lot of repetition out in the market but these stacking rings are breaking the mold. Take a look at some of our recent favorites

Cover image from The Things We Keep Instagram

 

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Piet Oval Ring, $298 at Leif 

Designed by Kay Wang for her her collection of jewelry and pretty things called Things We Keep, this beautiful opal ring is one part organic and the other part refined.

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Leaf Signet Ring, $360 at Lily and Dahlia

We love Lily and Dahlia’s Etsy shop. Designed by Shimrit Zagorsky, the shop mostly sells custom wedding rings and engagement rings. Technically this could work as a wedding band but we loved it as soon as we saw it for matching with other pieces.

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Dew Drop Stacking Ring, $275 at Nordstrom

We’ve chronicled our love for East-West stones in a previous blog post and we think these settings will continue to be found on fine jewelry for non-statement rings as well. This one is topaz set on 14k gold. The bubbly texture of the band is also something we’re seeing a lot more and personally love.

Hands Up

There was a charm bracelet in a vintage shop we saw last weekend with the most beautiful sculpted sterling silver hand. Shaped like a fist, the hand was lovely and we would have wanted it for our own charm bracelet, but the store wouldn’t separate the piece on its own.

The Hamsa is as common an image as there can be and is an amulet representing protection – particularly against the evil eye, one of our other favorite symbols in jewelry.

Later we saw this great bracelet from Winden Jewelry, which looks like two small hands when viewed from the top – in an almost Victorian style. This sent us a search for other hand jewelry, our favorites compiled below:

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Embrace cuff, from $155 at Winden Jewelry

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Fraser Hamilton ring, $183 at Wolf & Badger

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As close as we found to our charm bracelet! Right hand bracelet, $245 at Gillian Steinhardt

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Jennifer Zeuner Jewelry long charm necklace, $308 at Saks Fifth Avenue

Leather Fringe Jewelry

We love the look of this Tom Ford cuff which is entirely impractical as jewelry, but something we’d like to hang on our wall. It reminds us of the outfit Carrie wears in Sex and the City with a long fringe purse – totally beautiful but not exactly wearable.

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A leather fringe in winter is a particularly nice combination, when texture is king and turtlenecks and long sleeves mean most of our jewelry is covered up.

Here are a few other leather pieces we love that are a bit more wearable.

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Biker collar, we love the wrapped leather choker, $152 at AhaLife

 

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Tassel Collar  $44 at Bauble Bar

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Tom Ford Tassel cuff, $890 at Neiman Marcus

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Our Pick: Ilaria Leather Necklace, $158 at AhaLife (also available in gold and silver)

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Suede fringe necklace, $54.90 at Express