What’s better than a gracious, handsome Italian gentleman with a twinkle in his eye? One that designs incredible jewelry! That exactly describes Sergio Antonini, the designer of the venerable Milan jewelry line, Antonini. I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Sergio at the Couture show, and he gave me a tour of his lovely line.

sergio antonini and amy roseveare
Founded by his grandfather in 1919, where he started in dealing loose stones, the line has steadily grown. Sergio, an architect by trade, took over in 1989. It’s clear that his training in architecture and his love for the islands in southern Italy were instrumental in his Vulcano collection. I was quick to try on a this diamond ring. Fabulous, right?!

antonini vulcano ring
They comes in three different sizes.

antonini vulcano rings
The finish on these pieces is very unique. It’s made from gold over rhodium; it’s carved under heat, so that the black shows through. You can really visualize the flow of lava in each and every item. I tried on one of the cuff bracelets.

antonini vulcano bracelet
Another cuff I was wild about is from his Aurea collection, inspired by the Latin word for gold. Its sinuous, organic shape was so comfortable to wear. And who can resist the sparkle of the pave diamonds?

antonini aurea cuff
It’s also made in white gold with diamonds.

antonini aurea cuff
I really admired the Anniversary collection, celebrating 90 years of jewelry design. The finish on the hammered rose gold was especially intriguing, as it wasn’t quite brushed, yet it had a soft glow.

antonini anniversary collection necklace
Antonini also has some exquisite pieces using precious colored stones as well. Take a look as these.

antonini jewelry
antonini ring
antonini snake earrings
The curves, the sensuality, and the sparkle of this line are wonderful. If you’d like a closer look, then click here to find a retail location near you.

Into the Jewelry Box: Luika

When Thanksgiving rolls around, a time for family and friends, I start to pull out some of my more sentimental pieces of jewelry. One day it might be my Nonie’s engagement ring, with its center stone of deep blue glass, weathered with her years of hard labor keeping up the house and garden. Or maybe it’s my mother’s childhood locket, layered with some other necklaces. Whatever the case may be, these pieces hold a very special place in my heart. Clearly Luika, who I’ve known my entire life, feels the same way, as her jewelry box is filled with meaningful treasures. In this third installment of “Into The Jewelry Box,” I had the opportunity to explore some of Luika’s wonderful memories. The first ring that jumped out was this stunning, large citrine cocktail ring with a delicate gold setting.

citrine ring
citrine ring
As is often the case with jewelry, this ring had a story. She and her husband attended a very special Christmas party at the Kennedy Center in 1997. Each year, a different embassy would host the party, and that year it was hosted by the Ambassador of Brazil. After the main program, select guests were invited to a formal dinner, beginning at 11pm. (Late!) The ladies in attendance, including Luika, were given a special gift from the Ambassador — in this case, this lovely ring. How generous!

She also has a collection of many colorful rings, modeled by yours truly.

vintage rings

The top one in the photos is a vintage jade ring — the color is really exquisite. The next one is a beautiful blue star sapphire set in white gold. This was a birthday gift from her husband back in ’62 or ’63. I was really intrigued with the blue star-cut ring. While the blue star itself is a manufactured stone, it’s surrounded by 5 small diamonds in white gold. It belonged to her mother, so I would place the ring to be from somewhere in the 1930’s. It’s so fun! And finally, the double amethyst, which was designed by H.Stern and bought on vacation while in St. Thomas.

This next bracelet is just so cool, and it was a wonderful gift from her husband. He had it made for her, and it’s gold-dipped pennies from 1957, which is the year they first met and had their first date. How romantic is that?! It was one of their customs to always throw pennies in fountains for good wishes, even after they were married. I think my eyes may have gotten a bit misty hearing this story.

1957 penny bracelet
Another very meaningful set for the two of them is this marcasite necklace and earrings, which was her bride gift on the day of her wedding from her loving groom.

marcasite jewelry
Luika was born in September, so her baby ring is set with a sapphire. I think the setting is fantastic. Clearly she was an elegant baby!

sapphire baby ring

Her Benrus evening watch is a classic. This NYC-based watch company was hot, hot, hot in the 1900’s. I wish I could hear the watch tell stories of where it has been.

benrus lady's watch
And finally, I saw these two cameos, which belonged to her mother. Such beautiful detail!

vintage cameos
As you can see, looking through her collection is like taking a walk down memory lane. Do you have pieces like that in your jewelry box? Perhaps some of your Thanksgiving companions will be wearing bits of history themselves– you may want to inquire about what they’re wearing, as there may be a great story behind it.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! xo, Amy:)

Rock on!

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you’re likely aware that searching for sea glass is one of my favorite pastimes. Sea glassing is a seasonal thing, and you really need some good storms to churn up the sand and reveal the real treasures. With California’s on-going drought, there’s been a corresponding drought in sea glass on our beaches. I think that’s what got me started on my new collection…small rocks (found along the beach, rivers, or lakes) that have a thin-lined complete circle on them.

rocks with circles on them
When I posted this image on Instagram, one of my followers told me that her family calls these “wish rocks,” and for each full circle, you get to make a wish. I love that! This got me to thinking that if I find these rocks beautiful, then surely there are some jewelry designers out there who must make some fabulous rock jewelry as well! Well, I was right, and I want to share some of the creative designs I found while searching online.

Rings by Millie Behrens for Norwegian Crafts

millie behrens by norwegiancrafts
Necklace by Katy Farnum

katy farnum necklace
Nicole Ringgold earrings

nicole ringgold earrings
Daniel Posani necklace

daniel posani necklace
Necklace by Authentic Stone

authentic stone necklace
Just goes to show that beauty in nature can be transformed into beauty in jewelry!

Ashley Morgan Designs

When I met Ashley Berman, the talented designer of Ashley Morgan Designs, at her debut trunk show at Neiman Marcus, I have to say that she sparkled just as much as her jewelry!

ashley berman and amy roseveare
She had cases full of her colorful designs, quite a few of which contained delicate, hand-cut tourmaline butterflies. I thought that was very apropos, as butterflies are a Neiman Marcus signature!

ashley morgan designs necklace
ashley morgan designs necklace
I asked her how she got into jewelry design, and here’s what she had to say:

“Growing up in Colorado, I fell in love with the majestic beauty that could only be found in nature. Learning from my creative family – especially my mother who would endlessly entertain me and my two sisters – a creative spark was ignited. While earning my degree at the University of Colorado at Boulder, I strung beads and sold them to local boutiques to pay for tuition, and that was the start. I earned a Masters Degree at the highly respected Revere Academy in San Francisco and simultaneously worked at a San Francisco jewelry store training as a bench jeweler and goldsmith. It was working behind the bench when I developed an appreciation for hands-on bespoke pieces. I learned the intricacies of metals and stones and fell in love with their ability play off one another. Behind that bench, my dream to design my own jewelry was born.”

It’s clear that Ashley has BIG dreams, as her collection is really quite stunning and diverse. I particularly liked some of her diamond slice pieces.

ashley morgan diamond ring
ashley morgan diamond slice earrings
As we spoke, she brought up her daughters and told me how they provide her with inspiration:

“While my designs incorporate many refined, unique stones such as diamond slices, emeralds, and rubies, they’re also infused with a playful whimsy that my children continually impress upon me: drawing outside of the lines, setting stones slightly askew, using pieces that include the beautiful, and often, imperfect details found in nature. All these signature characteristics represent who I am as an artist and the profound impact my children have on my designs. I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my craft with them, nurture their creative spirits, and hopefully inspire them to also follow their individual, authentic dreams. It’s inspiring to watch their imaginations blossom as they play beside me in the studio – their eyes lighting up as they look through the many jewels, often times stacking as many pieces as their little hands can handle.”

I can only imagine what it must feel like for her girls, seeing the sparkle and magic happen right in front of them. It’s a dream come true! Here are a couple of the rings that they may have stacked on their fingers! Lucky girls…

ashley morgan designs ring
ashley morgan designs ring
With such diversity in her collection, I was very curious as to what her current favorite is:

“While it is difficult to pinpoint one particular piece, as each is a labor of love, I always really enjoy the look of stackable pieces, and they’ve maintained a prominent mainstay in my collection over the years. The stackable tourmaline rings, in particular, are a personal favorite, given their array of colors and textures. The stones are versatile and beautiful, making them true lifetime pieces. Whether worn together to form a variegated modern ‘cocktail ring’ or separately for a singular look, they are beautiful. Jewelry should be fun, and impart a sense of wonderment, not limit or confine your style. Stackables do just that.”

ashley  morgan tourmaline stack rings
Not only does Ashley have a beautiful line, but she also has a “Recycled Rocks” program, where she can help you re-design items from your own jewelry box. I’m confident that most people have pieces in their own collections that go unworn, perhaps due to a shift in personal style. This is a great program to get those gems into rotation again!

Many thanks to Ashely, and her husband, Morgan, for the tour of the line. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

Mr. Larkin: Copenhagen via San Francisco

I’m not exactly sure how I stumbled upon the website Mr. Larkin, but I’m so glad I did! It’s a well-curated site that sells women’s ready-to-wear and accessories. Turns out that it started right here in San Francisco in 2008. Their own clothing line was made locally for three years. The founder, Casey Larkin Blond, then took a little family hiatus, and re-opened the business in Copenhagen in 2013 (where she still focuses on local production).

Mr. Larkin now has a brick-and-mortar store in Copenhagen as well, which opened in August 2014. The site sells a variety of indie brands, and they all definitely have a clean, Scandinavian aesthetic. I love the distinct voice in their merchandise, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite pieces of  fashion jewelry they are offering.

Erin Considine Teller Collar

erin considine teller collar
Vibe Harslof Pearl Wrap Earring

vibe harslof pearl wrap earring
Pamela Love Telepathy Ring

pamela love telepathy ring
Vibe Harslof Cuff

vibe harslof hand cuff
Gabriela Artigas Infinate Tusk Ring

gabriela artigas infinite tust ring
Pamela Love Gravitation Earring

pamela love gravitation earring
Quarry Bancroft Ring

quarry bancroft ring
Quarry Kraltz Collar

quarry kraltz collar
So what do you think? Are these pieces that speak to your personal style? If so, you’re in luck, as this company ships worldwide, with bases in both Denmark and Houston, Texas. Happy shopping!

WJA Designers by the Bay

This is the second year I’ve attended the Women’s Jewelry Association’s big event, Designers by the Bay. This event is truly a visual feast, held in the Shreve’s building near Union Square; it’s where Bay Area fine jewelry designers showcase their latest work. There was unfortunately no way to have an intimate look at every case during the time I was there, but there were four designers that really got my attention, and I was able to take a closer look at their lines.

Tura Sugden was a new kid on the block (It was her first show!), but she is going places..quickly. She is based in Noe Valley in San Francisco, where she designs and makes each piece herself. I was taken by the unique settings and stone shapes — look at this spectacular pair of diamond earrings!

tura sugden jewelry
The same amazing detail, created with a German blow-torch, is shown in her studs as well. (I’m especially paying attention to these now that I have my new piercings!)

tura sugden earrings
And what’s not to love about this diamond cuff?

tura sugden diamond cuff
In contrast to the complexity of Tura’s designs, I was also very drawn to the sleek lines of Coleoptere (which means beetle in French). I tried on this shiny gold disc ring (called the wabi sabi ring), with diamonds around the edges. So interesting how the light reflects off the surface of it, making it almost look like a stone of some sort.

coleoptere wabi sabi ring
Here’s a clear photo of it from their website.

coleoptere ring
This Oakland-based company has all female goldsmiths — very unique! They use 18K royal yellow gold, which I learned is a rare buttery color with a touch of green. I thought the design of these asterisk earrings was awesome.

coleoptere earrings
The woman I was standing next to wanted to go home with these stunning gold hair pins…and they’d look fab on her with her long hair!

coleoptere hair pins
Jennifer Dawes is an artist that I’ve wanted to meet for years, and I finally had the pleasure at this event. Based in Santa Rosa, Jennifer’s collection was bursting with color. There were stacks of rings in all hues.

jennifer dawes rings
jennifer dawes rings
With a strong focus on responsible, sustainable jewelry, all of Jennifer’s jewelry is hand fabricated and finished at her studio. I was in love with this necklace, comprised of a very pale emerald above an emerald crystal. The combination of color and texture is sublime.

jennifer dawes necklace
Taking a stroll through her website, this Etruscan double diamond ring spoke to me.

jennifer dawes etruscan double diamond ring
My final showcase for the evening (before the Giant’s won the World Series and I had to get the heck out of SF before the mayhem) was that of Thalia Jewelry. Designer Rachel Clinnick just glowed with delight when showing me her amazing work. I could instantly feel her passion for design. This stack of diamond and opal rings was amazing–especially the one with the diamond teardrop pendant. Yum!

thalia jewelry rings
Most of the pieces are one-of-a-kind. I couldn’t believe how this large Ethiopian opal ring was on fire on my finger!

thalia jewelry opal ring
And this one she dubbed “The King’s ring.” Wowza–very heavy and worthy of royalty indeed!

thalia jewelry ring
Finally, this necklace with it’s diamond pave double snake clasp was beautiful! The clasp is completely interchangeable, allowing you to create different necklace or bracelet looks. Brilliant design!

thalia jewelry double snake clasp
I wish I had been able to stay longer at the event, as there were many more cases beckoning me. So many jewels, so little time…

Anna Inspiring Jewellery: NYC

One of the things I loved about spending a week staying in the Meatpacking district in New York City was that there were tons of great shops just a stone’s throw from my hotel. Many, of course, are national chains, but others are quaint shops that I was so pleased to discover. One of my favorites was Anna Inspiring Jewellry, which my client and I were’t familiar with. Now, we’re both big fans. Here’s a photo from their website which will give you a feel for the line.

anna inspiring jewellery
The jewelry has a very light, delicate feel — most of their pieces are perfect for layering. My client fell in love with these rose gold earrings, which have a pave diamond ball with a long chain that hangs from the back of your ear. Since she recently got a second piercing, she paired it with the same pave ball in a stud.

anna inspiring jewellery earrings
Also at the top of her lust list was this diamond circle ring. With her petite frame, it was the perfect accent — bold, but not overwhelming at all.

anna inspiring jewellery circle ring
There were tons of different bracelets. Click here for the link to see the choices. There’s quite a few with charms with inspiring words. They definitely would make special gifts for people on your list. (Perfect way to get a jump start on  your holiday shopping!)

anna inspiring jewellery bracelets
The delightful owner and designer, Anna, was fortunately in the store on both our visits. She was visiting from Vienna, where they are based. (There’s also a third store in Munich, Germany.) While my client was busy trying on things, I couldn’t resist trying on this double-fingered diamond ring myself. It’s incredibly comfortable, and it doesn’t restrict your finger movement whatsoever.

anna inspiring jewellery ring

I thought the line was exceptionally well-priced, especially given the cost of gold these days. I’m so glad that we discovered this store, and we’ll be sure to come back next trip.

A Tale of Two Piercings

Perhaps it’s Pinterest’s fault…months ago I started coming across photos of women with lovely, delicate ear piercings. Some had numerous, some just a few, but it got me thinking that this would be a fabulous way to get to wear more jewelry…petite raw diamond studs, perhaps a little diamond bar or hoop? Certainly nothing over-the-top — just tasteful with an urban bohemian flair. And then I noticed many of my friends (especially those in the jewelry business) had such creative combinations in their ears. But then, I also know that I’m the girl who faints during a routine blood test. Could I really do this? Then came last Wednesday night. There I was at the Women’s Jewelry Association Designers by the Bay event, and I got into a conversation about it with Laura Forst, from Aesthetic Movement, and a couple other jewelry designers who are also considering making the piercing leap. (side note: Laura’s ears full of diamonds are a beauty to behold.)

“What about this Saturday?” says Laura.
“What are you talking about?” I reply skeptically.
“I know the perfect place,” she says with a grin, “It’s Rose Gold’s Tattoo and Piercing in the Haight.”

I knew full well that I was available on Saturday.

I have never been to the Haight.
I’ve never been to a tattoo parlor.

Fast forward to Saturday.
I’m in the Haight, and I’m in a tattoo place.

Outside. My. Comfort. Zone.  Oh my.

rose gold's tattoo & piercing
We got there right when it opened, so it was still pretty quiet, and we were able to peruse the earring selections. Now let me tell you, this is not like going to the mall where some 16 year-old girl gets out the piercing gun and shoots an ugly-colored Swarovski crystal into your ear. This is serious business. I couldn’t believe the selection of white, yellow, and rose gold options with various stones. (And I’m choosing to ignore the fact that I needed my cheaters to see everything in detail. Ha!)

Some of the possibilities
Some of the possibilities

And certainly there were some options that I was going to stay clear of.

rose gold's tattoo and piercing
Marie McCarthy, the lovely and knowledgeable owner, and my professional piercer, Perry Doig, helped with the selection. I knew I was in good hands. I ended up choosing a bezel-set opal and a little gold four-ball design stud.

Knowing that I’m a fainter (this cannot be emphasized enough!), I was thrilled to know that I would be laying down for this process. Still, my hands were clammy and my stomach was in knots.

It's time!
The first step was to thoroughly clean my ear, and determine where the two piercings would go. He made sure to select locations that were spaced far enough from my original piercing so that I could still wear my regular earrings of different sizes. He also took care to select what would work best with the curves of my ear. I could tell that he’s done this more than once before!

amy roseveare and perry doig
Soon Perry had me doing some breathing exercises, and was calmly talking me through the whole process. He let me go at my own pace and was a consummate professional. I didn’t even have to lay eyes on the needle or other tools he used, which certainly worked for me! I also cannot tell you how conscientious this establishment is with cleanliness. (10 points for that!)

perry doig and amy roseveare
Just a few pinches and NO blood later (at least that I saw), it was all done!

perry doig and amy roseveare
I think the photos he took and put up on Instagram turned out cool. He’s such a cutie!

amy roseveare
I was surprised to learn about the after-care as well. I recall twisting my original piercings and cleaning them with rubbing alcohol back in the day. But apparently this isn’t the best treatment now. Instead, I’m not to touch my new earrings at all. I need to use a saltwater ear bath for 5 minutes twice a day, and use a saltwater spray a few times a day. Here’s a link to the directions. Interesting! And then in 6-8 weeks, I’ll go back to get shorter backs put on the earrings. Currently, they have long posts to allow for swelling.

Since Laura was so amazing with me during this whole process, she treated herself to a new tattoo that she’s been wanting.

laura forst
Do you know what this is the symbol for?

laura forst
Then, it was definitely time to relax and enjoy, so we went across to Magnolia Pub & Brewery for a delicious brunch. (The croque madame was deelish!)

amy roseveare and laura forst
What a fun adventure! Thanks so much to Laura, Perry and Marie for everything…and I can’t wait to start my new little earring collection!