The Jeweler's Eye
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I am a jewelry designer and gemologist. I love creating beautiful heirloom jewelry for clients all over the world. In this blog, I feature many of my designs and current projects as well as articles about colored gemstones, diamonds and antique jewelry. As a historian and lover of antique and estate jewelry, I am often inspired by jewels from the past.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Antique Cufflinks

Last week I featured several brooches from our Antique and Estate Jewelry showcase. When custom creating a jewel I often draw inspiration from the designs and craftsmanship of jewels created in the past. While the jewels we create are modern and adapted to the client's taste, they are rooted in a timeless tradition of elegant design and fine craftsmanship.

I am always amazed by the great diversity of designs that can be found among antique jewels. This is especially true of the cufflinks created during the early decades of the last century. Below is a holiday sampling of late Victorian and Jazz Age cufflinks from our Antique Cufflink Gallery.

Carrington engraved mother-of-pearl dress set. (J8818)
Carrington & Company created some of the finest dress sets during the Art Deco era.  This pearl and mother-of-pearl set is among them.  The mother-of-pearl centers are beautifully engraved with a pattern reminiscent of exploding fireworks while the swirling scrolls of the white gold borders bring to mind a starry night.  At the center a small pearl rests in a white gold collar with a mille grain edge.  Created in 14kt gold,  circa 1925.

Link & Angell Art Nouveau swirl cufflinks. (J8600)
A tangle of voluptuous scrolls enlivens these striking cufflinks from the turn of the last century.  They feature the tight, twisting swirls favored in American Art Nouveau jewelry design.  Created by Link & Angell in 14kt gold, circa 1900.

Art Deco sapphire cufflinks. (J9093)
Elegant Art Deco cufflinks with dramatic compass rose centers set with small blue sapphires.  Jagged Greek key borders with stylized thistles inside mille grain outer edges complete the design.  Crafted in 14kt gold,  circa 1930.

Art Deco diamond cufflinks. (J9087)
Art Deco cufflinks with intricately engraved centers and dramatic geometric borders.  Small diamonds sparkle in box settings with millegrain edges.  Crafted in 14kt gold,  circa 1925.

Antique 14kt yellow gold and blue enamel Larter cufflinks. (J8980)
Elegant blue and gold cufflinks featuring an endless golden tangle of squiggles.  Surrounding the squiggles are alternating bands of blue enamel and brightly polished gold.  A nice example of the dramatic, imaginative designs of the 1930s and '40s.  Crafted in 14kt gold by Larter & Sons,  circa 1930.

Dramatic Art Deco black enamel cufflinks. (J9054)
Dramatic Art Deco cufflinks with striking black enamel borders and linearly engraved white gold centers.  A nice example of the elegant black-and-white cufflinks of the late 1920s and 1930s.  Crafted in 14kt gold,  circa 1930.

Keller blue sodalite and gold cufflinks. (J9016)
Elegant cufflinks set with beautiful rich blue gemstones that bring to mind dark night skies with a few wispy clouds illuminated in the moonlight.  Known as "sodalite,"  this gemstone, along with Lapis lazuli, was favored during Art Deco period because of its rich, regal blue color.  Created in 14kt gold,  circa 1925.

Elegant antique cufflinks crafted in yellow and white gold. (J8985)
Exuberant two-tone cufflinks from the 1920s.  The yellow gold centers feature classic garlands and swags and are surrounded by white gold borders with a bold geometric design.   Crafted in 14kt gold,  circa 1925.

These and other fine antique cufflinks can be found
in the Antique Cufflink Gallery.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Antique Brooches and Pins

The holidays are fast approaching and we have been busy decorating the gallery for the coming festivities. As so often happens, some of the prettiest ornaments are not on our tree or hanging in the windows. They are sparkling in the antique jewelry showcase.

When custom creating jewels for clients I often look to jewels from the past for inspiration. Jewelry from earlier times was often beautifully crafted and can be found in an incredible variety of styles. Here are a few of my favorite brooches and pins from the late Victorian, Art Nouveau and Art Deco eras. These and other fine antique jewels can be found in the Antique and Estate Jewelry Gallery.

The Victorians' fascination with exotic mythological creatures was only limited by their imagination. A fierce lion-headed serpent with a tail of flame-like acanthus leaves warily guards this brooch with a jealous green eye. A glowing pearl is set in the center. Created by Carter, Howe in 14kt gold, circa 1890.

An exquisite, petite brooch of a woman serenely dreaming amid lucky clovers. The woman's profile and the four-leaf clovers are beautifully enameled in soft pastel shades. The clovers are set with sparkling dew drop-like diamonds. Created by Krementz & Company in 14kt gold, circa 1900.

A beautiful Art Nouveau brooch of intertwined ginkgo leaves surrounding a soft pastel Amethyst. The intricate, flowing design is accented with two small pearls. Created by Whiteside & Blank in 14kt gold, circa 1900.

A striking Krementz Art Nouveau brooch with pastel enamel leaves and pearl clusters surrounding a regal amethyst. A small diamond sparkles at the top of the brooch. Created by Krementz & Company in 14kt gold, circa 1900.

A dramatic Art Deco brooch set with a beautiful honey-colored Citrine. The gold sides of the brooch rise up pyramid-like to support the gemstone. They are decorated with a boldly geometric Greek key design. Crafted in 14kt gold, circa 1930.

Beautifully detailed grape leaves and a cluster of fresh water pearls cascade across the oval frame of this Victorian brooch. In Victorian times grapes and grape leaves were a symbol of Christ, but also carried overtones of Bacchus and riotous revelry. Created by Ostby & Barton in 10kt gold, circa 1890.

A beautiful Art Nouveau brooch of a four-leaf clover set with a small diamond.  The leaves are richly detailed with fine veins and characteristic crescent moons.  A wonderful example of flowing, almost surreal Art Nouveau design.  Created by Whiteside & Blank in 14kt gold, circa 1900.

These brooches and other fine antique jewels can be found
in the Antique and Estate Jewelry Gallery.