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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Easter Luxe

pink egg

If you’re anything like me, you probably still color Easter eggs. Give me something I can decorate, sprinkle some glitter on and I’m there! As a kid, I remember my Grandmother having a wonderful, bejeweled egg on a pedestal in her china cabinet (now there’s a word you don’t hear too often anymore!).

Of course at the time I had no idea that it was supposed to look like a Faberge egg, or had I even heard of them. I just knew it was sparkly, dazzling and totally captivated me. I wanted to wear it on a chain or permanently affix it to my head. The fact that it was an actual egg made no difference to me, I was a weird little kid, ok.

Fabrerge eggs have a long and storied history. “It was in 1885 that the first Imperial egg was produced. The beautifully simple egg opened up to reveal a yolk. Inside the yolk was a golden hen and inside the hen was a diamond miniature of the crown and a tiny ruby egg.

The egg was a gift to the Czarina Maria. It reminded her of home and each year thereafter, a new egg was commissioned by the Czar and created by Fabergé for the Czarina. The eggs became elaborately more jeweled, conveyed historical meaning and had a hidden surprise.

FabergeRoseTrellis

The Czar gave his wife an egg every year during the Russian Orthodox Easter festival. From 1895 to 1916, his successor, Nicholas II, gave two Easter eggs each year, one to his wife and one to his mother. A total of fifty Imperial eggs were made for the Russian Czars, but several have been lost. ” (1)

Faberge also made miniature versions of the eggs to be worn as pendants. I had the pleasure of seeing a few of them when I was at Fred Leighton (www.fredleighton.com). These tiny sparkling treasures are difficult to find and an impressive addition to any jewelry collection.

(1) Barbara Crews, “Faberge Eggs,” n.d.,http://collectibles.about.com/od/companyprofiles/p/fabergeeggs.htm(Accessed March 31, 2013).

If you’d like to make an impressive addition to your jewelry collection check out – WWW.FROMTHEASHESVINTAGEJEWELS.COM   New pieces just added!!!

Next sunday April 7th I’ll be at Artists and Fleas in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (www.artistsandfleas.com) – Stop by to say hi and check out the collection !!

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter –WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/FROMTHEASHESVINTAGEJEWELS

WWW.TWITTER.COM/FROMTHEASHES13

Don’t forget to stop by Eight of Swords (www.eightofswords.com) next time your in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to check out the collection!

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2013 in Jewelry

 

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Spring Cleaning

diamond-backgroundWell, it’s time for spring cleaning and I’m not talking closets. Regularly cleaning your jewelry keeps it bright and sparkly, and that’s why we wear it, right?

Most precious and semi-precious stones can be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaning machine, like the ones found in jewelry stores.  However, one major exception is Emeralds. They are softer than many precious gemstones, and often very included. The ultrasonic waves cause vibrations that basically shake the jewelry clean, but they can also enlarge inclusions and can cause the oil that many emeralds are treated with to ooze out. So, the best way to clean emeralds is really just with a damp soft cloth.

Other good options for cleaning jewelry at home are commercial liquid jewelry cleaner, you know the kind in the jar with the little tray and tiny brush, put it in swoosh it around and voila! Good old fashioned mild soapy water and a soft toothbrush work well too.

jewelry cleaner

Other stones require special care because they are porous and the harsh chemicals in most jewelry cleaners can affect them. Pearls, coral, opal and turquoise should generally just be cleaned with a soft damp cloth to preserve their beauty.

An anti-tarnish polishing cloth is an easy way to keep silver, gold and platinum shiny and looking good.

cleaning cloth

A good rule of thumb is to make your jewelry the last thing you put on and the first thing you take off, this is especially important to remember when wearing pearls. Due to their delicate, organic nature many everyday products like makeup, perfume, hairspray and lotion can dull the surface and eat away at the nacre.

New pieces will be on the site soon!!  WWW.FROMTHEASHESVINTAGEJEWELS.COM

Stop by Eight of Swords (www.eightofswords.com) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to check out the collection up close and personal!!

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Twitter-

WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/FROMTHEASHESVINTAGEJEWELS

WWW.TWITTER.COM/FROMTHEASHES13

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2013 in Jewelry

 

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Passover Protection

jewish star Antique finish pewter Star of David with kitchen knife pendant

 

With it being Passover, I figured today would be a good time to celebrate my Jewish half. I mentioned in a previous post how I grew up in a Jewish/Catholic house, coloring Easter eggs and eating matzo all while watching Charlton Heston part the Red Sea. Just your average Passover/Easter holiday at the Cohen’s!

I figured it was time to pay homage to those roots with some cool Star of David jewelry! You don’t often see a lot of edgy, interesting designs featuring symbols of the Jewish religion, the way you do with crosses. Over the years crosses have become almost more of a fashion statement than a symbol of faith.

skull jewish Antique gold tone Star of David medallion with matching candy skull

When I designed my line of Good n’ Evil Protection pendants I decided to include everyone, because we can all use a little help every now and then! So, whether you need some help making it through dinner with your family, or a little help dealing with the fallout after, these tongue-in-cheek pendants might be just the thing for you!

To check out all the Good n’ Evil Protection pendants and to view the complete collection visit – www.fromtheashesvintagejewels.com

Stop by Eight of Swords (www.eightofswords.com) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to check out the collection up close and personal

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Twitter –

www.facebook.com/fromtheashesvintagejewels

www.twitter.com/fromtheashes13

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2013 in Jewelry

 

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Good Luck!

horseshoeThe idea of an amulet, a charm, pendant, something we wear or keep with us for luck, to ward off “evil” spirits, to bring a bit of magic into our lives, or just to give ourselves a sense of wellbeing. Often amulets and talisman are very personal and may have a deep meaning to only the wearer. They could also be something that is generally considered a good luck charm, such as a horseshoe, lucky penny, rabbit’s foot, a four leaf clover or a simple cross pendant on a delicate gold chain.

According to Wikipedia, “amulets and talismans are often considered interchangeable despite their differences. For example, the amulet is an object with natural magical properties, whereas a talisman must be charged with magical powers by a creator.” (1) Who knew this was so involved? So, I wonder what category my lucky horseshoe pendant I had as a kid fit into? Something tells me it wasn’t magical.

Recently, I’ve been wearing a chain with four little “good luck” charms.  An evil eye, that a really good friend brought back from Istanbul for me, a tiny diamond cross, a cubic zirconia Hamsa hand pendant, and a weird little Capricorn astrological pendant with my “lucky” numbers and a microscopic cabochon ruby.

lucky charms

So, the question is this, does wearing a purported “good luck” charm actually bring any good energy your way, or does it have a great big cosmic placebo effect? And then the inverse is also true, just because something bad happens when you’re wearing your sparkly lucky charms, does that mean they’re bad luck and you should trade them in for something new?

This where my weird superstitions come into play! So far there’s no evidence of any of it actually bringing me any good luck, but who knows what would happen if I stopped wearing it! At the very least, jewelry should make you feel good when you wear it So, I guess I’ll continue to wear mine and hope for the best! I hope everyone has a “lucky” day!

New pieces coming soon – http://www.fromtheashesvintagejewels.com

Follow me on Facebook & Twitter –

http://www.facebook.com/fromtheashesvintagejewels

http://www.twitter.com/fromtheashes13

And check me out at Eight of Swords (www.eightofswords.com) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn!!!

(1)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talisman

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2013 in Jewelry

 

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Spring Flowers

krementz-pansy-pin-4069 Late 19th c. pansy from Ameican jeweler Krementz, once based in Newark, NJ

Happy spring! I woke up this morning expecting to step outside into a Disney woodland fantasy of flowers and bluebirds flying around with ribbons in their beaks. Not quite.

It’s finally here, and even though it’s still cold and windy, today is the first day of spring and I couldn’t be happier! So, since there are no flowers outside yet (at least in New York) I figured I’d write about some!

Flowers have been a popular motif in design and jewelry in particular for centuries. Different flowers symbolize different things, but to me they all mean beautiful weather and new beginnings. And that’s what spring is all about, no? In addition to relegating your winter coat to the back of your closet and getting to wear your strappy heels again! Woo hoo!

pansy pearl

Late 19th c. example with enamel and seed pearls

Pansies have been a favorite in jewelry since the late 19th century, predominately in the form of brooches. During the Art Nouveau period, which dates from approximately 1890-1910, artists we’re inspired by nature, leaves, flowers and flowing organic lines. A lot of the pansy brooches created during this period we’re enamel over yellow gold, sometimes accented with seed pearls or diamonds. You also find gem set pansy brooches from the early 20th century. A notable creator of these flowers was American jeweler Oscar Heyman. They still produce these pieces today and they feature invisibly set sapphires, amethyst and yellow diamonds, all evoking the trademark purple and yellow of the pansy.

heyman2  heyman pansy

Two gorgeous examples from American jeweler Oscar Heyman

So, what are you waiting for? Throw on a new outfit, go out and grab spring by the pansies! Enjoy the day and happy spring!

Check me out at – http://www.fromtheashesvintagejewels.com

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter – http://www.facebook.com/fromtheashesvintagejewels

http://www.twitter.com/fromtheashes13

And don’t forget to stop by Eight of Swords (www.eightofswords.com) next time you’re in Brooklyn – now carrying the collection!!

 

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Jewelry Lust

fragmentsIn a city like New York that’s full of interesting stores, with more popping up every day, it’s difficult to narrow it down to one favorite. But, I have and my current obsession is Fragments (www.fragments.com). Located in Soho, Fragments is a fantastic store with an eclectic mix of fashion and fine jewelry.

Founder and CEO Janet Goldman has been quoted as saying “I’m attracted to anything sparkly and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll”.  Her design philosophy is apparent in the well curated collections they carry from independent up and coming designers, as well as more established names. Fragments originally started off specializing in high end costume jewelry and gradually added fine jewelry to the mix.

They now feature over 50 designers and pieces ranging from a fun $60 faceted crystal and macramé bracelet to jaw dropping engagement rings, for couples looking for something other than a six prong Tiffany (www.tiffany.com) setting.

Some of designers whose pieces I’ve been lusting after are-

Catherine Angiel (http://catherineangiel.com/) whose collection of dark and moody Goth meets rock n’ roll pieces are all made in New York.

sword earrings

Stella Flame (http://www.stellaflame.com/) with her Byzantine inspired, jewels that look like they we’re found in a far off bazar.

stella flame

Sutra (http://www.sutrajewels.com/) whose pieces feature juicy colored opals and other organic shaped gemstone slices have recently been seen on Jennifer Hudson at the 2013 Oscars.

85th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

A visit to Fragments is a must on your next trip to Soho! And so is a visit to my website –

www.fromtheashesvintagejewels.com – new pieces just added!!

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter-

www.facebook.com/fromtheashesvintagejewels

www.twitter.com/fromtheashes13

And next time you’re in Brooklyn, stop by Eight of Swords (www.eightofswords.com) in Williamsburg to check out my collection up close and personal.

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2013 in Jewelry

 

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Claddagh Jewels

diamond claddagh

http://www.tinkerscart.com/whitegolddiamondcladdaghring.aspx

Claddagh rings are synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day and everything Irish.  The Claddagh has a long history dating back to the 17 th century. This classic expression of eternal love and friendship depicts a crowned heart held in two hands, the heart symbolizes love, the crown fidelity and the hands friendship.

“The way that a Claddagh ring is worn on the hand is usually intended to convey the wearer’s romantic availability, or lack thereof. Traditionally, if the ring is on the right hand with the heart facing outward and away from the body, this indicates that the person wearing the ring is not in any serious relationship, and may in fact be single and looking for a relationship: “their heart is open.” When worn on the right hand but with the heart facing inward toward the body, this indicates the person wearing the ring is in a relationship, or that “someone has captured their heart”. A Claddagh worn on the left hand ring finger facing outward away from the body generally indicates that the wearer is engaged. When the ring is on the left hand ring finger and facing inward toward the body, it generally means that the person wearing the ring is married.” [1]

The classic claddagh ring we often see is yellow gold without any stones. In the spirit of Saint Patrick’s Day I wanted to find some more inspired styles for you and found these!

claddagh

http://www.etsy.com/listing/56506218/claddagh-ring-chunky-ring-gifts-for-her

Claddagh ruby ring

http://www.celtarts.com/valentines.htm

mens claddagh

http://www.pricerock.com/servlet/the-62779/14k-White-Gold-Men’s/Detail

While you’re shopping check me out at www.fromtheashesvintagejewels.com

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter –

www.facebook.com/fromtheashesvintagejewels

www.twitter.com/fromtheashes13

Now Carrying the line – Eight of Swords (www.eightofswords.com) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Stop by and try me on!

[1] Murphy, Colin, and Donal O’Dea (2006) The Feckin’ Book of Everything Irish. New York, Barnes & Noble. p.126 ISBN 0-7607-8219-9

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2013 in Jewelry

 

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Emerald Isle

emerald shamrockWatching the St. Patrick’s Day parade today I’ve been inspired by everything green and after getting out of the cold and snow on Fifth Avenue, my fingers have finally thawed out enough to type!

Ireland owes its moniker the Emerald Isle, to its bucolic green countryside, not because it’s a prolific source of emeralds. Either way, emerald jewelry is often associated with Ireland and Saint Patrick’s Day.

Emeralds, the traditional birthstone for May, are mined in a number of locations in the world (none of them being Ireland), the most beautiful often from Columbia, but are also found in South America and Africa among other places. One of the most famous Columbian mines is the Muzo mine, near Bogota which produces rich, dark emeralds in green to bluish green shades.

Emeralds are part of the Beryl family of gemstones, which also includes the very popular blue to greenish blue aquamarine and pink to peachy pink morganite. Since color is more of a consideration than clarity when choosing a colored gem, rather than a diamond where the opposite is true, there is a certain amount of inclusions (or flaws) that are generally accepted and expected in emeralds. Inclusions in emeralds are often referred to as “jardin”, which is the French word for garden, due to their wispy appearance. Even though emeralds are a relatively hard stone (7.5 – 8 on the Mohs scale) the inclusions can affect their durability.  The gorgeous green stones are also more prone to scratching and are generally not a great choice to wear everyday.

Check out my website – www.fromtheashesvintagejewels.com

And follow me on Facebook & Twitter –

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Posted by on March 16, 2013 in Jewelry

 

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Charming

gold charms  Charm bracelets are a fun and whimsical way to commemorate and celebrate special occasions, favorite hobbies and fabulous vacations. I have three charm bracelets that I’ve collected and added to over the years. I have a sterling silver bracelet full of vintage charms, a yellow gold bracelet with colorful enamel pieces and a pave set white gold bracelet with sparkling diamond charms. I mean really, go big or go home, I couldn’t have just one! Now, the only thing that’s missing is a classic 1960’s yellow gold and gemstone charm bracelet,…hmmm.

dia charm bracelet   I’ve found charms almost everywhere, from flea markets in Manhattan, antique shows in Pennsylvania, and while traveling in Mexico and France and Italy. I love the sound they make when they jingle around, and they’re just fun and easy to wear. People always stop and ask me about them, because even though at one time they we’re really popular, it’s just not something see a lot anymore.

“The end of WWII saw the explosion of charm jewelry as we know it today. Soldiers leaving Europe and islands in the Pacific purchased little handmade trinkets as gifts to bring home to their sweethearts. Native craftsmen fashioned small bits of metal into little replicas of items common to the locale. Enterprising jewelers in the States quickly picked up on the trend to create charms for all occasions. By the 1950s, the charm bracelet was a must-have accessory for girls and women. “(1)

silver bracelet

Some of my favorites in my collection are the mechanical charms with moveable parts. I have a hinged martini shaker, an old school cigarette case that opens and out pop the cigarettes, a movie camera with a handle that turns, a fish tank with goldfish that spin around and a gumball machine with “gumballs” that shake around inside.

1- Kathleen Oldford,”A History of Charms and Charm Bracelets,” n.d., <http://www.mymotherscharms.com/history.htm (accessed March 14,2013).

If you like the blog don’t forget to follow me on Facebook & Twitter –

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Check out the website – http://www.fromtheashesvintagejewels.com

And stop by Eight of Swords (www.eightofswords.com) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn – Now carrying the collection!!

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2013 in Jewelry

 

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Man Up!

jeans 2

Tasteful jewelry, small, delicate and understated, all things that make me break out into a rash… boooorrring. Come on, if you’re going to wear jewelry, really wear it! Make a statement! Commit to it, try something new and don’t be afraid, it’s only jewelry.

Jewelry is a fun and easy way to change your look or to bring new life to an old favorite in your closet. It says a lot about who you are and what your personal style esthetic is. Now, you don’t want your earrings to say, “I’m super organized, collect cat mugs and head up the local chapter of coupon clippers anonymous, or your necklace to give off a, I host Tupperware parties, drive a station wagon and wear sparkly holiday sweaters vibe,  or maybe you do. In which case, you probably wouldn’t be reading my blog.

Spring is almost here, only eight days away! So, why not try something new that screams, “spring, here I am, check my ass out!” Lately my favorite way to do that has been by wearing multiple big chunky rings, but a pair of statement earrings or an attention grabbing necklace work just as well!

So, go all out and show off the goods, the warmer weather and skimpier clothing is the perfect combo to do just that.

Check out the website at www.fromtheashesvintagejewels.com

And follow me on Facebook and Twitter –

www.facebook.com/fromtheashesvintagejewels & www.twitter.com/fromtheashes13

And don’t forget to stop by Eight of Swords (www.eightofswords.com) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to see the collection in person!!

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2013 in Jewelry

 

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