9th July, 2014
Our beautifully bezel set diamond vintage engagement ring.. perfection.
One advantage of the bezel setting as compared to the prong settings is that the diamond is better protected from accidental rubbing or blows, and is less likely to allow the diamond to scratch. The bezel setting is also more secure, so the diamond is less likely to be dislodged by the wearer’s activity. Example of a bezel setting:
4th July, 2014
Our most recent find.. is a stunning fancy yellow diamond engagement ring made in the late 19th century!
Yellow diamonds are the second most common fancy diamonds. Sometimes referred to as “canary”.
Yellow diamonds are sometimes marketed as “canary”. While it isn’t a proper grading term, it’s commonly used in the trade to describe fancy yellow diamonds.
Fancy diamonds are any diamonds that are colored.. Even in light tones and weak saturation, as long as they show color in the face-up position, they qualify as fancy colors. Red, green, and blue diamonds with medium to dark tones are extremely rare!
Grading fancy color diamonds is complex and specialized.. here are the grading terms:
The Tiffany yellow diamond is one of the largest yellow diamonds ever discovered, it weighed 287.42 carats!
Worn only twice, once by a socialite to a ball and the other by Audrey Hepburn in 1961 for publicity for Breakfast At Tiffany’s.
27th June, 2014
A BREIF HISTORY
Shreve & Co. came about in San Francisco in 1894..
Can you spot the elephants above?!
Opening their first store just 1 month before the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906.
They are the oldest commercial establishment in San Francisco.
This vintage engagement ring was made on or before 1910 by Shreve & Co:
It’s incredible to think that this ring was probably worn during this epic Earthquake!
Likely worn by a Gibson Girl, a classic american beauty during the 1890′s – 1920′s.
25th June, 2014
10th June, 2014
The incredibly romantic Art Deco details are stunning in this vintage beauty!
Art Deco history can be traced back to the early 1920s. The mood during the 1920s was optimistic and the future seemed bright. World War I was over and the economy was booming throughout the world. The roaring twenties ushered in a spirit of frivolity, luxury and a sense of freedom and hopefulness.
Jazz music was all the rage, women had won the right to vote and flappers further liberated women. Leisure travel gained popularity when in 1923, Coco Chanel returned from a cruise to Cannes, sporting a hot new accessory – sun tanned skin!
And just for fun! Art Deco and Chanel inspired nails!
3rd June, 2014
30th May, 2014
What does diamond fluorescence mean?
It’s the trace minerals in a diamond that cause the diamond to glow when lit by ultraviolet light. Diamond fluorescence can also cause a diamond to look cloudy or foggy. About one third of all diamonds fluoresce. 95% of the time the diamond will fluoresce blue the rest of the time it’s yellow. Vintage diamonds often have some fluorescence.
Florescent diamonds got a bad rap years ago and the reasoning behind this is not clear.
One reason was that it was thought that the color grade assigned was lower than it’s apparent color, so people were fearful that they were paying too much for a diamond. Meaning that blue fluorescence can make a diamond appear whiter then it really is.. but as long as a diamond is accurately graded at it’s apparent color then the fluorescence is a bonus.. because your diamond will appear whiter then it’s real grade.
As an owner of a fluorescent diamond you will likely never notice it unless you are in a black light situation.
Fluorescent diamonds are often chosen over a non-fluorescent stones, and many diamond experts actually seek them out for this interesting property. An additional bonus is that they may cost less.
In essence, diamond fluorescence is generally not an issue. Rather, it is a cool effect and a fun feature!
Why would we choose to buy and sell a ring with a diamond that isn’t perfectly clear and white?
When we seek out our pieces we look for unique personality traits.. we like slight color variations, it’s an essence. A clinically perfect stone can feel generic and even provincial.
28th May, 2014
This vintage find is made so elegantly.. perfectly low on the finger in a classic Victorian cluster setting.
I photographed it here on top of some beautiful Victorian lace found at the Brimfield Antique & Collectibles Show.
I like to put our vintage jewels into context.. here are some classic Charles Courtney Curran paintings from around the time this ring was made and worn.
23rd May, 2014
Figuring out what vintage style is your style? Let’s discuss..
Now, they both have old european cut diamonds set in a 4 prong box setting with three diamonds accenting each side. But the one to the left has a larger diamond and is also more intricately designed including hand engravings throughout and the prong setting is also more elaborate. The one the right has a perfectly simple and elegant design..
Now which would you choose?
16th May, 2014
“One day I decided to try to have a complete day without tea.
I was quite shaken. I was quite disturbed.” – Morrissey
Ah, my beloved afternoon pastime, drinking tea either with a fellow tea loving guest or enjoying the serenity of a perfect combination of solitude and tea. Since tea is such a dear love of mine, I consider myself a tea buff.. not quite an authority but I know what I like.. so here are my favorites!
Favorite black tea: MARIAGE FRERES THÉ DES SIGNES® – CHEVAL
- Darjeeling black tea with green lemon, blond orange, sweet kumquat, a hint
of fragrant young ginger and Tibetan goji berries from the Himalayas -
I first had this tea in Paris at the Mariage Freres tea shop pictured below. It has become my staple tea, it’s black tea but with all the hints of citrus and ginger, it’s so refreshing. I’ve never seen it sold stateside so I order it from the Mariage Freres website.
Favorite green tea: BELLOCQ WILD MAO FENG
- Green tea grown in the Yellow Mountains of Anhui, China. It’s light and airy with notes of orchid -
Only available from the Bellocq Tea Atelier
Favorite fruit tisane* tea: CAPITAL TEAS HARBOR BREEZE
- Exotic blend of dried apple, hibiscus, rosehip, dried orange, and calendula petals. Hibiscus aids in weight loss.
This tea provides antioxidants like vitamin C! -
Capital Teas is based in the Washington D.C. area They have an amazing assortment of fruity teas.. get them on their website or in their D.C. stores
Favorite herbal tisane* tea: FLOWER POWER VIBRANCE TEA
- A fortifying and nourishing tea. Vitalizes every system in the body with sweet violet,
red clover, oat, alfalfa, watercress, and stinging nettle. -
Flower Power is a hidden gem in the East Village, in NYC. They have a huge wall of every dried herb, grass, and berry stored in mason jars, all for sale by bulk. Get this nourishing tea on the Flower Power website or in their store (it’s worth a visit).
* tisane tea: herbal tea made from an infusion of herbs, spices, or other plant material in hot water, and usually doesn’t have caffeine.