nature inspired deco beauty

12th February, 2015

Why We Love This

This feminine, nature-inspired ring is unique for the Art Deco period. Art Deco rings tend to feature bold geometric lines and shapes but this ring has sweet leaf motifs on the shoulders. While the ring has a big presence, it feels very elegant.

diamonds unite!

6th February, 2015

Yes, we dress our friends!

It’s an honor to be the first, well maybe the second consideration, when our friends decide to tie the knot. It’s super fun picking out rings and forever being a part of the people we love :)

We’re hiring!

20th January, 2015

Calling all vintage jewelry and gem lovers! We’re looking for a top-notch editorial & marketing part-time assistant based in New York City.

The details:

You will be working directly me, Alisa, I’m the Co-Founder and Creative Director of ERSTWHILE.

2-3 days a week. Working from both our home office in Williamsburg, Brooklyn & our Midtown showroom location at 5th Avenue & 48th Street.

Your tasks will include:

Coming up with fun & interesting blog post ideas.

Contributing to our Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts.

Coming up with advantageous advertising opportunities.

Helping with photoshoots and lifestyle shots. Sometimes taking the photos yourself.

Assisting in launching our new website, our new blog, and our new *top secret projects.


What we’re looking for:

Experience with social media. Fluent in the blog world. Adept at internet research. An interest in jewelry and/or the antique world. An enthusiasm for photography.. no professionals necessary just someone who knows how to have fun with a camera/iPhone.

Bonus: Have your own blog.

Bonus: Familiarity with Photoshop and/or Lightroom.

Bonus: An interest in jewelry design.

Bonus: Nice hands for ring modeling!


What’s Included?

$15/hr with about 20 hours a week. With exposure to the tight knit antique jewelry world which is virtually impenetrable without a “key” holder, learning the ins-and-outs of running a small business, and lots of jokes. You will have hands on experience with the serious business of diamonds but we don’t take ourselves too seriously and have lots of fun in the office! And there is a lot of room for growth.


If you’re interested, email me at


Our recent write up in Vogue Paris featuring our Instagram account


Rubies…perfect in their loveliness

22nd December, 2014

Vintage Raymond C. Yard Ad Circa 1930

In the 1930′s, demand for diamonds in the US was in decline. Because of this the De Beers Company, who was the sole owner and operator of newly discovered mines in South Africa, began an aggressive marketing campaign using photographs of glam movie stars swathed in diamonds to promote their prized gems.

In the meantime, rubies & emeralds were very much in vogue and definitely had their day in the sun.

Our own ruby find was actually originally a pearl clasp which was repurposed into an engagement ring! Made around 1910 featuring a Burma ruby! Certified Burma rubies command a premium. They are from Myanmar and for centuries this was the prime location for ruby sourcing. Basically the finest and most prized rubies ever to be found, were found here.

Beautiful Myanmar



favorites from my personal collection

21st November, 2014

In clockwise order:

1. As soon as I saw this one, I didn’t bother taking it off, sometimes it’s not clear if I’m going to keep something but if it comes home with me, that’s usually a pretty good sign

* Victorian **mourning ring made with black jet and an old mine cut diamond in the center.

2. These two sweet rings I always wear stacked together, I found them at the same time and they so perfectly matched I couldn’t resist.

Victorian gold ruby ring and Victorian sapphire ring both made in 14K yellow gold.

3. This was handed down to me by Jared’s mother, Susan, a very special gift..

***Edwardian ring made in platinum with a marquise ruby in the center and an outer scalloped design with sweet half moon cut rubies.

4. My engagement ring, which Jared found in his grandfather’s collection. FYI Jared’s grandfather is an antique jeweler as well.

Edwardian diamond engagement ring made in platinum with all bezel set diamonds, the center diamond is a cushion cut diamond orbited by old european cut diamonds.

5. My wedding band which is from our own line of wedding bands part of the By Erstwhile collection, yet to launch!

By Erstwhile wedding band set with old mine cut diamonds.

* The Victorian Era spanned Queen Victoria’s rule of England from 1837 until 1901.

** Mourning jewelry has been around since at least the 16th century, but it is widely associated with the Victorian Era, when mass production made it affordable. The trend reached its high point after the death of Prince Albert in 1861, when Queen Victoria, as well as members of her court, wore black clothing and matching mourning jewelry for decades.

*** Edwardian jewelry (1900-1915) is named after the period of King Edward VII reign. King Edward VII came to power after his mother, Queen Victoria’s death, in 1901. Known for being feminine and delicate with elements like filigree, bows, wreaths, and garland motifs which characterized the “Belle Epoque” style, which lasted 5 years past King Edward’s death

victorian art of diatom arrangement

20th November, 2014

Diatoms are microscopic algae which happen to come in many varieties of sizes and shapes.

Because they’re not seen by the naked eye the artist must find and arrange them under a microscope!

This art form dates back to the early 1800s and reached it’s peak of popularity in the late 19th century.


Diatom arrangements are a perfect example of that Victorian desire to display nature in rational ways.

Organizing and categorizing the natural world was very popular at the time.


These incredible patterns were sold along with other miniature curiosities, including microscopic photographs, to wealthy amateur naturalists who would exhibit them at social gatherings as an amusement.


let’s play dress up

11th November, 2014


In Good Company With Harry & Christie

27th October, 2014

Vogue Paris made a list of their favorite fine jewelry Instagram accounts, including us among Harry Winston & Christie’s Jewelry!

Check out our Instagram account @erstwhilejewelry


vintage jewelry and engagement ring eras

10th October, 2014

4 of a kind

6th October, 2014

Can you pick one?

2.14 Carat Vintage Art Deo Diamond Engagement Ring SOLD

1.78 Carat Vintage Tiffany & Co. Engagement Ring $31,000

2.02 Carat Vintage Art Deco Engagement Ring $35,000

2.04 Carat Vintage Tiffany & Co. Diamond Engagement Ring $40,0000