Posts Tagged: jewelry

Estate Jewelry: Mystery Pearls and Secret Love Messages

Next week, London jewelers Symbolic & Chase will be showcasing an historic pearl at the Masterpiece London art and antiques fair.

The pearl, which they believe was owned by Mary Tudor (daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon and Queen of England from 1553-1558), was put up for auction at Christie’s in 2004 by an anonymous family and bought by Symbolic & Chase for $282,090. Since then, the company has determined that this is the pearl depicted in various royal portraits of Mary Tudor, and not the famous “La Peregrina” pearl, which is probably best known for having been bought by Richard Burton as a [...]


Estate Jewelry: A Spider Miscellany

This little spider is American, circa 1900. He’s made of gold and platinum, with diamond-accented legs, demantoid garnet eyes, and a body consisting of water opal (colorless, with an internal bluish or gold glow) and fire opal (variations of bright orange, yellow or red).

Spider cufflinks! Tiny, unnervingly realistic spiders of white gold and black star sapphire rest on beds of mother-of-pearl, set in 14k yellow gold. 


Ask a Jeweler: Nonmetal Bands, Gem Appraisal, and Inherited Damage

1. Could you offer some suggestions for a non-metal engagement ring?

I work as an industrial electrician, and my company has a strict policy prohibiting metallic jewelry (which I am totally on board with, for the record.). For the time being I've pretty much decided not to get an engagement or wedding ring, because it seems silly to pay so much for something that I'd only get to wear a few waking hours a week. I'm ok without the token but … it would be nice to have my reminder that someone cares, especially at work.

As someone who also has a reaction to metal worn for more [...]


Gems of Tucson

"We created a monster." —There are disappointingly few pictures of the jewels mentioned in this description of the "Somewhere In the Rainbow" gem collection, which also has "unusual, even mysterious, circumstances surrounding its ownership," but fortunately there's a website and a Facebook page with more. Plus here's more information about alexandrite, here are pictures of tourmaline, and here's something potentially similar to what apparently brought one young Japanese man to tears.


Ask a Jeweler: Shady Platinum, Sizing Up Your Rings, and the Case For Sapphires

1. My engagement and wedding rings were custom made by a local jeweler in platinum, and have the PLAT marking. I noticed (after over a year of wearing them) that my rings were attracted by a magnet, yet my husband's platinum band isn't.

I recently took the rings back to my jeweler to be cleaned, and I intended to ask him, but I chickened out. The rings cost us several thousand dollars, and the jeweler gave us a valuation certificate when we bought them. Should I be worried?

Don’t worry, your jeweler is legit! Here’s why:

One hundred percent pure platinum is too soft to be used in jewelry, so [...]


An E-Mail Announcement From the Proud New Mommy

From: Mary Ann B., the New Mommy To: Entire Contact List Subject: Our New Gift Has Arrived!

Dear Friends and Family,

Thank you so much for all the well-wishes! After nine months of heartburn and sleepless nights, Dale and I are SO excited to announce … the arrival of my push present!!! (Which accompanied the birth of our baby girl, Sidney.) It’s an emerald pendant necklace and it’s absolutely perfect!!

Hats off to Joanne, who guessed a necklace by the shape of the box I found in Dale’s sock drawer. I could have sworn I was going to get a pair of diamond baguettes because baguettes usually come in a [...]


Estate Jewelry: Theft, Mosquitoes, and the Slipper Acrostic Ring

Circa 1860, this beautiful gold fringe necklace is by Castellani. Using woven chain as a support structure, it features a fringe of tiny flowers and amphorae, with little lapis- and turquoise-colored details in enamel. It was inspired by the Hellenistic “Melos" necklace (c. 330-300 BC) that now resides in the British Museum. Alessandro Castellani (who I told you about in one of my very first columns) actually restored the Melos necklace in the 1860s or 1870s, and the museum bought it from him in 1872.

The Castellani are a favorite of mine, and I was heartbroken to learn of a theft that took place at [...]


The Curse of the [Bling] Ring?

Who stole $1 million worth of Chopard jewelry from a hotel at the Cannes film festival? (Was it Emma Watson?)

Incidentally, here's what Chopard has for everyone these days.


Diamonds for Lunch

Her main account would be De Beers. For the next 25 years, she wrote all of the company’s ads.

An abridged version of how they tricked us into buying so many diamonds. (I guess this comes up every six months or so around here.)

Somewhat relatedly: Tiffany & Co. has a Tumblr. ("A rare green diamond emerges from tiered white diamonds like a cool summer breeze.")


Ask a Jeweler

1. Can I wear it in the shower?

A question for the ages. Or at least for all of the ages since showers have been invented. The three aspects of your jewelry to consider before bringing it into the bubble bath are: mechanical, metal, mineral.

– Mechanical considerations:

See if there are any nooks or crannies (just ate an English muffin) in your jewelry that might trap water. Think lockets, hollow bangles, or rings with closed-back stone settings. Also, see if any part of your jewelry is threaded on string or glued in place. If any of these features are present, it’s best not to wear that item in [...]