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Field Trip!

picstitchA few more pics from my trip to the museum – (clockwise from left) gold specimens, ammonite (ancient marine fossil) and a large quartz crystal formation

Just incase you been obsessively checking your phone, looking for my latest blog (which I doubt, but I would love it if you we’re!!) I apologize for posting this about 4 days late. I started a new job on monday, one where you have to show up really early, every day of the week!!! It’s been awhile since I’ve had to do that and it’ll take a bit of readjusting.

The museum of Natural History (http://www.amnh.org/) has always been my favorite in New York and since I started a new job yesterday as a diamond grader, I thought a trip to the gemology exhibit was in order over the weekend. What could be better than submerging myself neck-deep in gems, minerals and priceless jewels?

The gemology exhibit is made up of two parts – the Harry Frank Guggenheim Hall of Minerals and the Morgan Memorial Gem Hall. “Drawn from the Museum’s collection of more than 100,000 minerals and gems, specimens in this hall are organized by mineral group, including diamond, sapphire and ruby, emerald and other beryls, opal, garnet, and many others. Rare and unusual gems, synthetic gemstones, and precious metals such as gold, platinum, and silver are also on display. Several exhibit cases feature decorative objects and jewelry spanning three millennia and various cultures.” (1)

Two of the standouts from the collection are the Patricia Emerald and the Star of India, blue star sapphire.

The impressive 632 ct Patricia Emerald exhibits the vibrant bluish-green hue that is highly regarded as the best emerald color and often indicative of stones from Colombia. This large example was mined in Colombia, and has been left uncut to exhibit the natural crystal structure of emerald.

patricia emerald The Patricia Emerald http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/permanent-exhibitions/earth-and-planetary-sciences-halls/morgan-memorial-hall-of-gems/patricia-emerald

The Star of India holds the distinction of being the largest gem  blue star sapphire in the world at 563 cts. Even more impressive is the age of the beautiful blue stone, approximately 2 billion years old! The sapphire exhibits a type of phenomenon referred to as asterism. Asterism is when a group of long, needle thin mineral inclusions intersect within a stone creating a star – like effect.

star of india The Star of India http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/permanent-exhibitions/earth-and-planetary-sciences-halls/morgan-memorial-hall-of-gems/star-of-india

Check out new pieces just added to the website!! WWW.FROMTHEASHESVINTAGEJEWELS.COM

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Next time you’re in Williamsburg Brooklyn, stop by Eight of Swords Tattoo (www.eightofswords.com) to check out their exclusive collection of my jewelry.

(1) American Museum of Natural History “Permanent Exhibitions”http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/permanent-exhibitions/earth-and-planetary-sciences-halls/morgan-memorial-hall-of-gems (accessed May 21,2013)

 
 

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Georgian Treasures

emeralds

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m a slightly obsessed jewelry fanatic and collector. I have a huge collection of jewelry, and although the majority of it is not made up of rare, antique, one of a kind, super valuable, signed or difficult to find pieces, they are all treasures to me.

The most interesting jewels I have are the estate pieces I’ve collected. One in particular actually is a treasure. A pair of Late Georgian period Spanish Emerald earrings. The Georgian period stretched from 1714 to approximately 1837, during the reigns of George I, II, III and IV, in Great Britain.

My earrings date from the late 18th century, around 1780. The earrings are set with square, table cut emeralds, in a yellow gold (probably 15 kt), ornate, scroll pattern openwork setting.  The back of the setting is closed, and the stones are probably foil backed. Foil backing was a popular jewelry setting technique of the period, where a sheet of a colored foil lined the setting to enhance the color of gemstones.

emerald earrs

The earrings are a pendeloque style, which was a popular look during the Georgian period. They are basically a pear shape drop suspended from a bow shaped center with a cluster top at the ear.

“The Pendeloque grew out of the 18th century trend of the girandole, in which three drops suspended from a bow, while a Pendeloque is just one drop. The Spanish and Portuguese colonization of South America in the 16th century lead to an explosion of gold and fine gems on the European market, with emeralds from the famous Muzo mines in Columbia, topaz and other precious gems from Brazil.” (1)

earrs

I had the original ear hook removed and replaced with a post, for easier wear. However, it’s generally never a good idea to alter antique jewelry, because it is more valuable in it’s original form.

Well, after this discussion about my earrings I can’t wait to wear them out, it’s been awhile! Sometimes, half the fun is just knowing you have something in your jewelry box, not necessarily wearing it. Spoken like a true jewelry hoarding collector freakshow!!!

Check out new pieces just added to the website!!  WWW.FROMTHEASHESVINTAGEJEWELS.COM

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Stop by Eight of Swords Tattoo (www.eightofswords.com) in Williamsburg, to see their exclusive collection of my Good n’ Evil Protection Pendants

(1) Metier Paris <http://www.rubylane.com/item/403702-JY_ear_spem1/Spanish-Pendeloque-Emerald-Earrings-C&gt; (accessed April 10, 2013)

 
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Posted by on April 10, 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.

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Posted by on March 16, 2013 in Jewelry

 

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Watch This

watchI have a friend’s wedding to go to in a few weeks and while trying to put together my outfit and jewelry, I thought of something.

My Jewelry pet peeve #652 – When women wear watches out at night, especially with something formal. I know you’re probably thinking this is petty, but this is the kind of stuff I’m tuned into. Jewelry is usually the first thing I’ll notice when it comes to what someone is wearing, I zoom in like radar! I just don’t get it, you changed your shoes, you changed your dress, change the jewelry too!

In general I don’t think watches go with formal dresses (I hate that word, but nothing else really works either, like evening dress?), anyway leave it at home. There’s no reason to wear your office Seiko, with your Valentino. If you do insist on wearing a watch out at night make it something sparkly! Or if a ton of sparkle isn’t quite your thing, a cool antique or vintage style watch with a delicate face and a black cord or satin bracelet works too!

evening watch  citizen watch

The only thing with antique watches is that they often do not keep time reliably, sometimes even after having them overhauled. So, if it’s a super gorgeous piece you can just wear it as a bracelet if it doesn’t work. I had a friend that collected watches and while I think all of hers worked, she didn’t always have them set correctly or even have batteries in them, so hers were always for show. When I worked at Fred Leighton we sold beautiful estate watches, diamond art deco pieces and 1940’s “tutti frutti” watches set with carved rubies, sapphires and emeralds. Those aren’t the type of timepieces that most of us can afford (me included) but there are plenty of other options out there.

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From the Ashes Vintage Jewels now at Eight of Swords (www.eightofswords.com) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

 

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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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