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Out With The Old, In With The New: What Do I Do With My Old Diamond?

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

-From In Memoriam [Ring out, wild bells] by Lord Alfred Tennyson

We hope everyone’s 2014 is going well so far. As we look forward to the brand new year (while trying to stick to our recently devised resolutions) it reminds us of some jewelry we created which combined the old and new.

People often want to change or upgrade their ring, but then do not know what to do with their old diamond. Sometimes, people inherit diamonds or gemstones and want to set them in new jewelry. Instead of trying to ‘trade in’ former jewels, we recommend creating new jewelry for them. Sentimental stones can take on new life in modern settings, while you can choose the style of jewelry which you prefer. We have been lucky enough to work on several projects like this recently, and the results were phenomenal.

Our first upgrade like this was a personal favorite because it was one of our own staff’s diamonds. Jennifer had a diamond from a previous engagement ring. We created a rose gold bezel setting for it and strung it on a white gold chain to create this beautiful necklace. Jen recommends this for customers as a way to upgrade their engagement ring while still keeping their original diamond ‘close to their heart’.

Adiamor's rose gold diamond bezel pendant
Rose Gold Bezel Pendant

 

Another ring we created was this impressive three halo ring- it is a three stone ring with a halo around each stone! The customer had a classic gold ring with three diamonds in it. We designed this custom setting from pictures that the customer sent us. We removed the three center diamonds from the old ring and set them in the new one, and they loved it!

Adiamor's three halo diamond ring
Three Halo Ring

 

 

Adiamor's diamond halo ring
Twisted Pave Halo

 

 

 

 

 

 

One customer had a family ring with a center diamond and two sapphire side stones. The stones were all lovely, but they wanted something a little more modern with the old diamond. We fashioned exquisite diamond halo earrings for the sapphires, like ESPD5157, and set the center diamond into R2932, our twisted pave halo ring. The results were stunning!

Adiamor's sapphire diamond halo earrings
Sapphire Earrings with Diamond Halos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Is the Delhi Purple Sapphire Really Cursed? Part 4 Haunted Diamonds Series

While not a diamond, the infamous cursed gemstone known as the Delhi Purple Sapphire has a history of misfortune and tragedy for those

The Delhi Purple Sapphire
The Delhi Purple Sapphire

who have been unfortunate enough to have owned it. Mistakenly thought to be a sapphire, the colorful but otherwise unremarkable oval shaped amethyst is mounted in a blackened silver setting, covered with astrological and alchemical symbols along with two carved scarab beetle gemstones.

The origin of this haunted gemstone starts in India, where it was said to have been looted from the Temple of Indra during the murderous Indian Mutiny of 1857 by a Bengal calvaryman named Colonel W. Ferris. Ironically, the temple honored the Hindu deity of war and weather. Ferris stole the

The Temple of Indra
The Temple of Indra

amethyst from the temple, and took it home with him to England, where he and his son, who inherited the gemstone after Ferris’ death, were afflicted with many difficulties, including health and financial ruin. A family friend who took possession of it committed suicide while the gemstone was in his possession. In a macabre twist, the friend willed the gemstone back to Ferris’ son.

The amethyst was later acquired by the unwitting Edward Heron-Allen in 1890. A celebrated author, scientist, scholar and friend to Oscar Wilde, he was perhaps the least likely of owners of the Delhi Purple Sapphire to succumb to the curse. Immediately after acquiring the amethyst, he was beset by misfortune after misfortune. He tried to get rid of the stone several times, by giving it away to two of his friends. One was a singer who lost her voice, the other similarly beset with misfortune.  Both immediately gave the amethyst back to him as quickly as they could to relieve themselves of the cursed stone. In his fear, Heron-Allen threw it into the dark and

Edward Heron-Allen
Edward Heron-Allen

dirty waters of Regent’s Canal to rid himself of it. A mere three months later, a dredger discovered the amethyst who then sold it to a jeweler. The jeweler recognized the gem and returned the amethyst to Heron-Allen, whose belief in the curse only intensified.

He had the gemstone locked away in seven different boxes, sealed with protective charms and sent it to his banker with instructions to never open the box. After his death, his family bestowed the gem to the London Natural History Museum. Heron-Allen had included a note in the boxes which read “This stone is trebly accursed and is stained with the blood, and the dishonor of everyone who has ever owned it.” 

 “Whoever shall then open it, shall first read out this warning, and then do as he pleases with the jewel. My advice to him or her is to cast it into the sea.”  

The curse apparently did not end with the museum’s ownership. John Whittaker, who was Dark_stormin charge of transporting the gem to the first symposium of the Heron-Allen society, experienced several problems when traveling with the stone. First he was stuck while driving in an incredibly violent thunderstorm. “the sky turned black and were overtaken by the most horrific thunderstorm I’ve ever experienced…we considered abandoning the car and my wife was shouting ‘Why did you bring that damned thing??” On the eve of the second annual symposium he was incapacitated by a violent case stomach flu, and he was unable to attend the third symposium due to kidney stones.

Undeterred by the curse, the Natural History Museum of  London decided to display the amethyst as part of their precious gemstone collection at the Vault in 2007.

The Delhi Sapphire on Display
The Delhi Sapphire on Display

To this day, none of Heron-Allen’s descendants will touch the gemstone.

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History of Art Deco Jewelry Designs, Pt 1

The 1920s were a time of dramatic changes in many areas, including the styles of fashion and jewelry. The Art Nouveau movement, which was popular before Art Deco, focused on curving lines, delicate details and natural imagery. In jewelry, figures of women with fairy wings and images from nature were popular, as well as subtle, soft-looking stones such as moonstone and pearl. With the advent of Art Deco, these trends transformed into bolder, more geometric styles, while maintaining the attention to detail. Diamonds were often placed in combination with onyx for a sharp, black and white contrast, or colored gems like emeralds and rubies to form abstract designs.

Art Nouveau and Art Deco Jewelry Examples, Images Courtesy of Lang Antiques & Alson Jewelers
Art Nouveau and Art Deco Jewelry Examples, Images Courtesy of Lang Antiques & Alson Jewelers

These changes in Art Deco jewelry designs mirrored the changes in fashion. With women’s shorter haircuts and lower necklines, long earrings were the perfect accessories to fill up this newly empty space between hair and shoulders. Dresses were looser, with dropped waists and shorter hemlines.  Emphasis was on vertical lines from head to toe, and long necklaces accenting these long lines.

Pearls were very popular as a necklace choice, as well as a variety of gemstones. Women’s foreheads were no longer in styles, and were often covered by hair, tight-fitting cloche hats, and head pieces. This also gave jewelry designers the opportunity to create elaborate decorations for women’s hair, often with precious materials like platinum and diamonds.

Art Deco Bridal Hair Comb, Image Courtesy of One Wed
Art Deco Bridal Hair Comb, Image Courtesy of One Wed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This transformation of style from Art Nouveau to Art Deco was seen in rings, as well. Graceful elements inspired by natural motifs gave way to a more linear graphic style emphasizing the length of the hand. For some curved lines and pave details reminiscent of the Art Nouveau style, check out this ring:

Twisted Pave Halo Engagement Ring by Adiamor
Twisted Pave Halo Engagement Ring by Adiamor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a bolder, more linear look, try this Art Deco-inspired ring.

Art Deco Inspired Asscher Cut Diamond Engagement Ring by Adiamor
Art Deco Inspired Asscher Cut Diamond Engagement Ring by Adiamor

 

 

Want to know how Art Deco got its name?

Curious how King Tut affected the styles of jewelry in the 1920s?

Stay tuned for the next installment, Art Deco Jewelry Designs Part 2: The Heyday.

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Spicing Up Antique Jewelry

You remember the box of old-timey jewelry your mom has had in her closet since you were a kid? At some point, she probably let you comb through it to see if you wanted any of the outdated pieces it contained, but you couldn’t see any way to wear them without facing almost certain ridicule from your closest friends. And it’s no wonder! The jewelry of your grandma’s generation has little to do with the trends of today. Except that’s not entirely true. Now that you’ve been buying your own pieces for awhile, it might be worth taking a peek in the antique jewelry box one again, this time with an open mind and a new idea; to make over your family’s heirlooms.

There’s a lot you can do with antique jewelry to make it modern, and you may find that some items have even come back into vogue and just need a little sprucing up. In addition, some styles are more or less timeless, and might not need much work at all. What you should look for are pieces that have a design that can be easily pinpointed to a particular style or era (Victorian, art deco, art nuveau, etc.), or jewelry that already contains stones. You may also want to choose nicer metals like gold or platinum, since silver will require more maintenance to keep issues like tarnish at bay (plus, more expensive metals just tend to look, well, more expensive).

So once you’ve selected a piece, the first thing you’ll want to do is get it cleaned and repaired. This will give you a better idea of the possibilities. Then, if it already has a stone that you’re not particularly fond of, look into replacing or upgrading it. You really can’t go wrong by making a piece of jewelry suit your tastes by swapping out a dated gemstone for a diamond (which goes with everything). And as a bonus, you already have the setting, so you’re just paying for the stone! As for pieces without stones, this is where you can get creative. Roses are an ongoing favorite, so if you find a sculpted flower amongst your antiques, consider studding the petals with a random assortment of diamond chips or nestle a larger stone in the center. And if your heirloom happens to be a pendant, you can easily have it mounted on a band and wear it as a ring instead for modern appeal.