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Category Archives: www.fromtheashesvintagejewels.com

Breakfast at… Costco?

tiffany picBreakfast at Costco probably consists of a greasy sausage/egg/cheese combo on a soggy roll, eaten at a cafeteria table in the food court. It definitely wouldn’t include Audrey Hepburn in a chic black Givenchy delicately nibbling on a pastry, instead think Roseanne Barr in flannel.

So, it’s no surprise what a huge deal it was when Tiffany & Co. found out that Costco had reportedly been selling diamond engagement rings as Tiffany baubles. A customer at a California Costco noticed the in-store signs advertising Tiffany sparklers at discounted prices and she called the blue box jewelers to tip them off. Tiffany estimates that after years of these misleading sales practices, there are potentially thousands of Costco customers that think they own a genuine Tiffany rock.

Well, bet they’re pissed!

In the jewelry industry you will often hear a round diamond in a simple six prong setting referred to as a “Tiffany” setting, but this seems to run a lot deeper. Personally, I’ve never understood the allure of a Tiffany diamond, I mean no one knows what color box it came in when you’re wearing it! Why pay an incredible mark up, just so you can tuck an empty blue box in your underwear drawer for years? The real way to buy a diamond is from a guy in a grungy little office in a walk up building on 47 street.

For the complete story watch this –  http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000148365

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Metaphor For Love?

parrot pearl2A friend of mine, who has been a jewelry collector for years recently decided it was time to clean out her closet. Well, she found this necklace and thought maybe I could take it apart and use the pieces to make something new, because I try to incorporate vintage findings and other bits of old jewelry into my pieces whenever possible.

My jewelry collection (www.fromtheashesvintagejewels.com) is inspired by antique and vintage jewelry and I love to lend my jewelry a bit of history and make each one a unique, one of a kind jewel.

This necklace is from the 1970’s, from a company called Parrot Pearls. They we’re based in San Fransisco and we’re known for these (I think, really strange) ceramic necklaces. I didn’t know what to do with this thing, I still don’t really.

But, I pick it up everyday, and realized just this morning that it may be a metaphor for life and love. Or, I might just be really jaded! The heart is broken and the groom is missing a leg! I mean c’mon it’s hilarious!

She found the broken pieces a few days ago, but I like it better this way. A groom with a missing limb and a busted up heart! Well, on that note happy Valentines Day, and sure hope you get lucky because that’ll make at least one of us!

 

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Gifts From the Heart

locket

Now, I know this isn’t the most exciting photo and it’s definitely not an impressive piece of jewelry.  It’s an old, dented, scratched, gold filled locket, the gold is even  wearing off in a few spots. It looks like something you’d find at the bottom of a shoebox full of broken crap at a flea market.  It’s not much to look at, but it is the most romantic gift I ever received.

It belonged to my college boyfriend’s grandmother. Apparently she wore it for years and there’s even an indentation from where he bit into it as a baby. You can still see the remnants of an old photograph of him that was once carried inside, close to her heart. The boyfriend was from Paris, and I imagine his grandmother shopping at their neighborhood market in Montmarte, stopping at the cafe,  going to mass at Sacre Coeur,  just going about her life and wearing her locket.

locket 2 I treasure this piece for the story behind it , the thought that was put into it and the memories of a very happy time in my life.

What was the most romantic gift you’ve ever received, for Valentines day, or any other time? Leave a comment, I’d love to know!

Check me out when you have a chance – there are some NEW PIECES to see – www.fromtheashesvintagejewels.com

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Pinky Tuscadero

morganite heart

Pink diamonds. Which one of us wouldn’t want one of those? But, the real question is, who could actually afford one? A better option for most of us, especially, if you buy your own jewelry (like I always do, unfortunately) is Morganite. Morganite is a gorgeous pale, peachy, blush pink color, that is affordable and often found in large sized stones.

I’m going to try not to get too gemologisty on you, but it is part of the Beryl family of gemstones. This is really interesting (ok, maybe I just find it interesting because I’m secretly a gemology nerd), because the most well known Beryl stones are Emerald and Aquamarine,( which are green and blue) and could’nt be further from Morganite. They are often referred to as pink Emeralds or pink Beryl and have been found in Brazil, Madagascar and Namibia, among others. “The gem entered the American market in 1911 when Tiffany & Co. introduced it and named it in honor of J.P. Morgan.” (1)

The sherbety pink stones look especially yummy set into rose gold, like my ring above, because it helps to intensfy the color. I’m usually NEVER a heart person, meaning I don’t like heart shaped jewelry and stones, but I fell in love with the color (and you will too) and just had to have it. There’s no better time of the year than Valentines Day to check it out, and while you’re at it –

check me out! –  www.fromtheashesvintagejewels.com

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Oh, and I couldn’t resist the Pinky Tuscadero reference, being a life long Happy Days fan!!

(1) www.gemsociety.org/info/gems/morganite.htm

 

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Cuffs of Love

wedding bracelets

With Valentines Day this thursday, my mind is drifting off to more romantic times. No, not in my life, in history, of course!!

The Victorian period brought about many romantic and sentimental designs in jewelry. From “regard” jewelry, that spelled out the word using a ruby, emerald, garnet, amethyst, ruby and diamond, to “hair” brooches that would contain a lock of your loved ones hair (also, popular as a form of mourning jewelry), to portrait miniatures, which was a common way to keep the image of a loved one close to your heart before the advent of photography.

One of the most popular love tokens of the Victorian Era were “wedding bracelets”. These were a set of two bracelets that we’re given to the bride to be by her future husband. She would wear one bracelet during the engagement and the other on her wedding day. Which is why, when these bracelet sets are found today, one is usually in better shape than the other due to not being worn as often.

yg bracelet pair

It was also common for these bracelet sets to be broken up, when a mother would eventually give one away to her daughter or daughter in law. So, it is quite something to find a well preserved pair of wedding bracelets still in their original fitted box.

Matching pairs of bangles in different styles have become a popular look on the red carpet, Sometimes you see both layered together on one arm and others it’s one on either arm, which is more of a Wonder Woman, chick power, Clash of the Titans look. I prefer it the second way, but give it a shot and see what works best for you!

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2013 Grammys and the Name Game

2013 Grammys and the Name Game

florence welch Well, there was a definite Pinky ring moment happening on the 2013 Grammy red carpet. That’s right, pinky rings (Woo hoo!! Now I can wear mine again!). Now, before you raid your Grandfather’s top drawer, I’m not talking about Sopranos style, mobster, horse shoe, race tracky, pinky rings. I’m talking cool rock star style and among the stars rockin’ some bling on their littlest finger tonight were Jennifer Lopez, wearing a chunky diamond eternity band from Norman SIlverman along with a large, shiny rose gold cuff bracelet and ring, Florence Welch wearing an interesting snake ring, and Faith Hill showing off a GIANT, emerald cut, diamond solitaire.

carrie underwood    I have a bone to pick with Carrie Underwood tonight. Carrie, when a jeweler lends you a 381 carat diamond necklace (Johnathon Arndt), it’s not because they actually like you or think you’re cute, it’s free advertising for them (Johnathon Arndt). That’s right, you’re a walking, talking PR moment for the lender (Johnathon Arndt). So, when a jeweler (Johnathon Arndt) lends you a piece to wear, as a favor to them (Johnathon Arndt) try to remember their name (Johnathon Arndt) and give them a much deserved shout out (Johnathon Arndt)! Just saying. Oh, and correct pronunciation of a jewelers’s  name is always good too (Kat Dennings). Who the hell is David Lurman??? It’s Y-U-R-M-A-N.

miranda lambert Miranda Lambert was wearing a really interesting suite of jewelry tonight. Not sure who it’s from unfortunately , but she had on a fantastic sunburst style earring with a large oval drusy surrounded by what looked like black opals and maybe quartz or diamonds (?) and two layered blackened cuff bracelets also set with large oval drusys.

.Pharrell  I have to say that I have never been a fan of Pharrell Williams, I actually find his music extremely annoying. Then again, as a classic rock girl I find most contemporary music extremely annoying. But, after Pharrell’s shout out to Serena (a little girl with terminal cancer, who is designing “Hope” bracelets in conjunction with Lorraine Schwartz) I might have to try listening to his music again. Very cool.

Kelly Rowland  Kelly Rowland looked amazing in a sexy black dress and gorgeous Lorraine Schwartz jewels. She was sparkling in a Deco style onyx, diamond and emerald earring and two ginormous emerald rings, one a cushion cut surrounded by multiple shaped diamonds and the other a three stone chunky emerald dazzler. The bright green color really popped against her skin tone and her dress. Green should be her new go to color! And I might have to cut bangs after seeing hers!

Oh, and I have to say I absolutely love the E! red carpet Mani Cam, for the great close ups of rings and bracelets!!

As always, don’t forget to check out my website – www.fromtheashesvintagejewels.com and show me some love on facebook – www.facebook.com/fromtheashesvintagejewels

 

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Snow Day !!!

snowflakeI’ve been in a silly mood all day today. All the impending doom/excitment over a blizzard (especially on a Friday or Sunday) always reminds me of being a kid. That was the best feeling in the world! A three day snow weekend felt like an eternity (an eternity in a good way, not like the eternity being at work feels like).

It’s a snowy Friday night, perfect time to hunker down, curl up with the laptop and shop online! I’m feeling some love for my fellow jewelry designers who show their pieces on Etsy (www.etsy.com). It’s a very cool site where you can find a gazillion neat vintage, handmade and one of a kind pieces. Each seller showcases their items in their very own shop (mine is http://fromtheashesjewels.etsy.com) .

snowflake etsysilver snowflakeThese two snowflake pendants (diamond/18k white gold and silver/freshwater pearl) are both from a Finnish design team called CaiSanni, check them out while your schmoozing around on Etsy and have fun in the snow!!

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Seeing Red

loose rubiesWith Valentine’s day right around the corner (guys are you listening?), I’m inspired by everything red and frilly, and rubies are definitely on that list. Rubies are one of the most beloved gemstones in the world and are often referred to as one of “the big three” precious gemstones, which are rubies, emeralds and sapphires.

Who wouldn’t love a big honking ruby for Valentine’s day, (or any day for that matter!)? Some of the most beautiful rubies in the world have historically come from Burma, now called Myanmar. The most highly prized color of Burmese rubies is referred to as “Pigeon’s Blood”. Unfortunately, most of us can’t afford one of these jewels, so there are alternative red gems to set your heart a-flutter!

big ruby ring

Throughout history, may famous red stones that we’re once thought to be rubies, we’re later proven to be spinel. Probably, the most famous example is the Black Prince’s Ruby, set in the British Royal Crown Jewels. Actually, at one point in time all red gemstones we’re thought to be rubies, until advances we’re made in gemological testing. Wow! I just said gemological testing, I’m really nerding out today!! Fine, I’m actually a closet geek, guess the secret’s out!

Spinel, red especially, isn’t easy to find at retail. But, another much more common red gemstone is garnet. Often, garnet is found in stores in a brownish red variety called Almandite. However, “Pyrope garnet is the most famous of the red garnets. It’s dark, blood red color is attractive, distinct and attractive, often resembling the color of ruby.” (1)

Then, there are also things like, dyed and color coated quartz and topaz, which are super cheap and can come in any color of the rainbow.

So happy shopping, whatever the budget may be!

Don’t forget to check me out at –

www.fromtheashesvintagejewels.com and what the hell, just buy something while you’re there!

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proudly made in Brooklyn NY!!!

1. www.gemselect.com/pyrope-garnet-info.php

 

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New Addition

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This is the newest piece from my collection. The Basilica Chain necklace. As a kid I was always fascinated with Rosary beads. The jewel toned faceted crystals, the filigree beads, the ornate crucifixes. I don’t know, I was a weird little kid.

Every year around the holidays I would visit Saint Patrick’s Cathedral with my family. They had the most amazing collection of rosary beads . I had no idea what they were for (I still don’t really have a handle on it) but, I loved them and wanted them all!

In was inspired by the classic look of rosary beads, but wanted a more modern, wearable edge. So, to create this one of a kind necklace I incorporated a vintage crucifix and vintage chunky, textured chain. There are austrian crystals and cultured pearls dangling from the piece.

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At a long 32″ the chain is very versatile and can be worn a ton of different ways. You can just throw it on over a t-shirt, alone or layered up with other pieces. It can be wrapped around your neck twice as a choker, or multiple times around the wrist for a layered bracelet. You can also wear the crucifix hanging in the front, or on the side with the decorative toggle clasp showing, for a cool I- just -roll -out- of -bed- looking- this- good- everyday -kind of style!

I’ll have this on my website tomorrow, if you’d like a closer look and to get all the details.

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The Jewelry 80/20 Rule

abacusIf you’re anything like me you’re probably thinking, ewwww, percentages? math?  In jewelry?

Well, sort of. You may have heard this before – Women usually wear 20% of their jewelry 80% of the time and 80% of their jewelry 20% of the time.

I was reminded of this last night when I was getting ready to go out & was looking for a pair of earrings. I pulled a few things out, tried them on and was determined not to revert to the old standby, my diamond studs. Hoops, chandeliers, dangles, what kind of mood was I in? Studs… again. It’s just nice when you don’t have to think and you have pieces that go with everything and just make your life easy. I love easy and I loooove not having to think, which would probably explain why I watch so much reality tv!

Back to the 80/20 rule, there’s a lot of truth to that. There are so many things I just “had to have” and…I hardly ever wear them, maybe 20% of the time?  I’m sure you must have these pieces too. Maybe yours is a necklace that’s way to dressy & impractical to actually wear, a giant pair of shoulder duster earrings you splurged on that drag your ears down to your shoulders, a cocktail ring that stands an inch off your hand and threatens to take out a few eyes every time you wear it, or some other ridiculous piece. Sometimes it’s just enough to know you have something, just incase you want to wear it. (Wow, I don’t sound like I have a jewelry hoarding  buying problem!) In the meantime, you can just wear the other 20%.

So, what’s your 20%? Take the poll (below)! And don’t forget to check out my website –

www.fromtheashesvintagejewels.com & my Facebook page – www.facebook.com/fromtheashesvintagejewels & “LIKE” it when you’re there! I’ll be adding new pieces to the website soon!! Please feel free to contact me with any questions at info@fromtheashesvintagejewels.com

 

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