Ring Cones for Chic Ring Display

Here’s the dilemma — how to still enjoy your rings you aren’t wearing? You can only have so many on at a time, right? But if I loved something enough to buy it, then I want to be able to gaze at its loveliness even if it’s not on my finger. The solution? Ring cones! For me, it started with a cute little dish I bought at The Gardener in Berkeley…but the bowl got too full…so I added a metallic ceramic ring cone from West Elm…and then added a shorter bronze one from Upper Metal Class.

ring cones from upper metal class and west elm
Ring cones come in a wide range of materials, price points, and sizes. I think it’s fun to combine different materials and heights, creating a little vignette on your bureau. I could even envision putting a selection of ring cones on a small tray or dish. I wanted to share some of the stylish options I’ve found.

First, a few ceramic designs from Anthropologie. Aren’t the little eyelashes just darling?

anthropologie ring cones
Bohemia Jewelry has a fun Etsy shop with a variety of ring cones. These are a couple of my faves.

bohemi jewelry blue silver strip crackle ring cones
bohemi jewelry white gold triange ring cone
Is wood a material that suits your personal style better? Perhaps you’ll like these from Wooddesigndforyou.

wood designd for you ring cones
I’m very tempted by these cement ring cones with gold leaf from Abigail Jewellery.

abigail jewellery concrete and gold leaf ring cone
And how fab is the color palette in these ceramic ring cones by Meus?

meus ring cones
No joke, this is just the tip of the iceberg (or cone?!). There are endless possibilities out there. What about you? Are you a fan of this concept? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.

What is Georgian Jewelry?

My love of jewelry has no boundaries in terms of time. New, antique, vintage — there’s just so much darn jewelry goodness out there! Typically, I buy what speaks to my heart, whether I know much about it or not (from a reputable source, of course). This is how I wound up with a couple Victorian rings from Metier in the past year or so. But as time goes by, I’m thirsting for knowledge about the different time periods of antique and vintage jewelry: Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian, Art Nouveau, and Art Deco. If I’m wanting to know more, then I’m assuming I should take you all along for the historical ride, right? So let’s dig in to this new blog series, and answer the question, “What is Georgian Jewelry?”


Georgian rose-cut diamond ring from Lang Antiques
Georgian rose-cut diamond ring from Lang Antiques

Georgian jewelry comes from the time period 1714-1837, in which there were four consecutive King Georges reigning in England (the I-IV). It was truly a tumultuous time in history, including the American Revolution and the French Revolution. Marie Antoinette? Catherine the Great? Yep, also part of this time in history. Because this time period covers over 100 years, you can certainly see an evolution in styles. In the early 1700’s jewelry was more in the Baroque style, characterized by a heavier feeling. Things lightened up in the mid 1700’s.

Jewelry was all made by hand of 18K gold (or higher) or silver. Platinum was not yet discovered, and white gold was not used in jewelry. Gold had to be hand hammered into thin sheets before it could be cut up to make jewlery. This process got a bit easier in 1750 when the rolling mill was invented. Interestingly, Georgian jewlery usually doesn’t bear any hallmark stamps of either the maker or the metal content. It was just not done at this time.

There were many popular motifs during this era, including:

  • bows, ribbons and scrolls
  • nature: leaves, flowers, feathers, crescents
  • crowns
  • crosses
  • Greek, Roman and Egyptian motifs

Diamonds were especially popular, and they normally came in one of the following cuts:

  • rose cut: these have a faceted, domed top and a flat bottom (see example in first photo in this article)
  • table cut: a square shape with a flat top and bottom
  • old mine cut: a faceted rounded square, known as “the brilliant cut” of the time period

Colored stones became more en vogue as well around the mid 1700’s. All stones were set with a closed back, often with a foil backing. This foil made the diamonds sparkle brighter and enhanced the color in other gems. (Due to the foil, it’s very important to never wash your hands wearing a Georgian ring. It will wreck it!) Jewelry was worn mainly by the very wealthy and some of the upper middle class. “Paste” jewels (basically cut glass, often foil-backed) were also popular, and the elite sometimes had paste replicas of their good jewels to wear during travel. That way, if they were robbed, they still had the “good stuff” at home.

Now what about the types of jewelry that were popular? Here’s some key styles from the Georgian period:

Girandole earrings: style where there’s three pear-shaped drops hanging from a bow or some other central element (earrings via 1stdibs)

georgian girandole earrings via 1stdibs
Pendeloque earrings: these have a top that’s round or elongated, then a bow, then a larger, complementary drop (earrings via Vignette)

georgian pendeloque earrings via vignette
Chokers: necklaces worn snugly around the neck (paste choker via Belfor Antiques)

georgian paste choker via belfor antiques
Cameos: the design (often a person’s profile) is carved in relief, meaning it protrudes from the base (Shell cameo via Exceptional Vintage)

georgian shell cameo via exceptional vintage
Intaglios: the design is carved into the stone, as opposed to sitting atop the stone (Ring from Butterlane)

georgian tassie intaglio locket ring from erica weiner
Riviere necklaces: a chain of gems, each in their own setting, linked together (necklace from Lang Antiques)

rose cut diamond riviere necklace from lang antiques
Chatelaine: piece of jewelry from which one’s essential items hung, such as keys, a small pouch, a pair of scissors, etc. (Chatelaine photo from the Victoria & Albert Museum)

georgian chatelaine from V&A
Parure: “sets” or “suites” of jewelry, often containing a brooch/pendant, necklace and earrings (Parure from Doyle & Doyle)

georgian amethyst parure from doyle & doyle
Tiaras and Hair Combs

giorgian gold and diamond tiara
Memento Mori/ Mourning jewlery: jewelry to commemorate someone who has passed or to remind one of the inevitability of death (mourning ring via Robbins’ Roost Antiques)

georgian mourning ring via robbins' roost antiques
Hair jewlery: literally jewelry with a person’s hair in it; could be a mother’s hair in jewelry for her children, hair of someone who has passed, a secret lover, etc. (Seed pearl and woven hair brooch via Mary’s pearl gemporium.)

georgian seed pearl and woven hair mourning brooch via mary's pearl gemporium
Lover’s Eye lockets: showed just the single eye of ones lover, so only the wearer knew who it was…(Lover’s eye locket via The Three Graces.)

georgian lover's eye locket via the three graces
There’s also a very interesting type of jewelry from 1804, known as “fer de Berlin” jewelry. At this time, many Germans donated their fine jewelry to support the war against Napoleon. In return, they received replicas of their jewelry made in iron with black lacquer. This is a difficult one for me to wrap my head around. I can’t imagine sacrificing my most precious jewelry — that shows true love of your country!! (Berlin iron bracelet via 1stdibs.com)

georgian berlin iron bracelet via 1stdibs

Unfortunately, there’s not an over-abundance of Georgian jewelry around today. It was often taken apart, melted down, and re-worked. Due to its rarity, you can imagine that quality pieces are an investment. Do you happen own any Georgian jewelry? Or do you know any other interesting facts about the period? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below!

Corey Egan’s New Video

Have you ever looked at a ring on your finger and wondered how it was actually made? Heck, even the process of sizing a ring seems quite mysterious to me! Well this week, San Francisco jewelry designer Corey Egan released a killer video of what exactly goes into handcrafting jewelry. Her husband, Ryan Leggett, was the man behind the camera, and I think they did a fabulous job!

corey egan at the bench
Corey told me, “He filmed me in my element, my downtown San Francisco studio, for three days to capture the footage…you get to see scenes of carving wax for casting, soldering, stone setting, and a look at my manufacturing space.” So without further ado, here’s the video. Sit back, and enjoy this 3 minute journey into the world of jewelry.

Corey Egan Jewelry from coreyegan on Vimeo.


Wasn’t that so cool?! (And did you watch it more than once, like I did??) It’s amazing to me how many tools and machines are used in the process. It’s a real science.

Here’s a look at some of the finished pieces which were shown in the video.

corey egan ring
corey egan necklace
corey egan diamond ring
If you’d like to see more of her collection, you can browse and shop on her website, or click here for a list of stockists.

Nancy Newberg: Jewelry Designer

I’m a big fan of chainlink bracelets, especially those which have an interesting texture, perhaps some mixed metals, and if you throw in some diamonds, I’m IN! So when I started seeing bracelets from Nancy Newberg on Instagram, I knew I had to meet her at the Couture show!

nancy newberg bracelet stack
I may have been hyperventilating a little bit when I tried on this stack. Can you believe how good it is?! (I want them all!) Interspersing some of her bangles really made the combo “pop.” Take a look at the stack of bangles she was wearing…

nancy newberg bracelets
Nancy is a Los Angeles-based designer, about 5 years into her business. With a background in fashion (her fine fashion line was carried in many stores), Nancy found herself with grown children and ready for a new chapter in her life. I’m so glad she chose jewlery as her new avenue of creativity!

nancy newberg cuff
Nancy sketches each piece, and they are all hand-crafted and hand-set in Los Angeles. She uses 14k gold and oxidized silver, accented with diamonds and pearls. She doesn’t use any colored stones, but rather sticks to a neutral color palette. (Like my closet!) I enjoyed trying on her diamond ball rings, which come in three colors.

nancy newberg rings
She also has necklace versions.

nancy newberg necklaces
If these images have you wanting to see more, then click here to see more of Nancy Newberg’s designs.

I’m so glad we were able to meet, Nancy! I definitely have one of your link bracelets on my “jewelry lust list.”


Hangin' with Nancy
Hangin’ with Nancy


Sam Woehrmann: Jewelry Designer

I’m truly amazed how many talented jewelry designers there are here in the San Francisco Bay Area! Sam Woehrmann is definitely one of them, and he recently shared some of his new pieces with me. Because my eyes got wide as saucers when I saw them, I knew I had to share them with you. You can thank me later.


aquaprase, padparadscha sapphires, and brown diamonds in 22k gold and sterling silver
aquaprase, padparadscha sapphires, and brown diamonds in 22k gold and sterling silver

Have you always been a jewelry designer? What led you to your passion in jewelry design?

I have always been designing and making jewelry. I have always been intrigued by gemstones and crystals, ever since I was a little kid. Learning to incorporate these into metal working is what brought me into this line of work.


aquamarine and diamonds in 22/18k gold and sterling silver
aquamarine and diamonds in 22/18k gold and sterling silver

With your most current pieces, what was your inspiration?

My current work is inspired by the stones, both in composition of shapes and color. When I am designing and combining different stones based on a color palette, I think of the color the metal is going to add to the design. I love mixing metals to get more variety in the overall appearance of the piece.


tourmaline, aquamarine, blue topaz, hematite crystal, and black diamond in 22k gold and sterling silver
tourmaline, aquamarine, blue topaz, hematite crystal, and black diamond in 22k gold and sterling silver

How would you describe your aesthetic? What type of woman do you see wearing your jewlery?

I would describe my aesthetic as both modern industrial and whimsical. Many of my pieces are hard-lined but also have a touchable softness to them. I picture a modern woman wearing my pieces, someone that wants to make a statement with an edgy style and that takes chances in life. Someone who thinks outside the box and lets that reflect in her style.


aquaprase, padparadscha sapphires, and brown diamonds in 22/18k gold and sterling silver
aquaprase, padparadscha sapphires, and brown diamonds in 22/18k gold and sterling silver

Just for fun…what you’re fave SF:

Hard to pick favorites in SF since there are so many great options!

Restaurant– anything Asian. Warakubune is my favorite sushi boat place.

Place to unwind– a few of my favorite happy hour spots are gay bars in the Castro with a chill neighborhood feeling that have outdoor patios like the Pilsner Inn and The Mix.

Gallery or storeModern Eden Gallery in North Beach — they exhibit amazing whimsical, fantasy, and sci-fi painting and sculpture. A super talented artist couple own this gallery and are the nicest people!


aquamarine, rose cut grey diamond, and tourmaline crystal in 22k gold and sterling silver
aquamarine, rose cut grey diamond, and tourmaline crystal in 22k gold and sterling silver

Sam — thanks for sharing your work with us all!!

Photo credit: Ralph Gabriner

Just Jules

Julie Romanenko, the designer of Just Jules, is another talented artist I only knew via e-mail and social media. Meeting her in person at the Couture show was long overdue. (And  how perfect that we fortuitously met the night before the show was to start — stars aligning!) Before I even started looking at the treasures in her jewlery cases, I couldn’t help but stare at the stunning opal pendant around her neck, which is one of her signature pieces. The combination of tones in the stone, the unique setting and the layered look is just spot on.

just jules opal necklace
Opals are, in fact, one of her favorite stones — as they are mine. Take a gander at these opal necklaces.

just jules opal necklaces
Here’s an array of her rings, featuring all different stones, including opal.

just jules rings
And what about these opal earrings? The Art Deco details are inspired by the bails on some of the vintage lockets she owns.

just jules opal earrings
Speaking of lockets…Julie takes vintage lockets and re-works them, combining them with new chains, gems and pearls. They are one of the most popular collections in her line, and I can see why. SO easy to wear, and they have so much character.

just jules lockets
Being a master of re-working vintage pieces, can you spot the bracelet in her stack that’s made from an antique pin converted into a bracelet? I think the overall effect of her mix is sensational.

just jules bracelet stack
Just Jules, launched in 1991, is based in Scottsdale. Julie told me she fought making rings for some time, but now she’s obsessed with it. Who wouldn’t be?! Here’s a sampling of diamond rings from her Commitments Collection. Which one is your favorite? I just can’t decide…

just jules diamond rings
Not only is Julie an outstanding jewlery designer, but this gal can bake! She had a big glass cookie jar of homemade sugar cookies on her counter. (Why did I not take a photo of this?!) I may have had one every day…and taken some for the plane ride home. Boy were they yummy!

Julie, so wonderful to finally meet you and try on your jewels. I’m a big fan!! xo

julie romanenko and amy roseveare

July Birthstone: Ruby

I’ve come full circle with my year of birthstone articles, ending with July’s stone, the ruby. (Just for you, mom — happy birthday!) Through my research, I found the ruby to be quite fascinating. It turns out that throughout history, the ruby was considered the most valuable of all stones, even more than a diamond. In the metaphysical world, it has the highest vibration of all stones, so high in fact, that it’s not a stone commonly used in mediation because it’s too darn energetic. Rubies represent love, passion and prosperity. Though I always think of rubies as red, they can actually range from a paler rose to a deep, crimson red (the most valuable). There can be a cast of orange, blue or purple to them, depending on where they are mined.

When you wear a ruby, here’s some of the qualities it will help you with:

-a clear mind
-brings a sense of adventure
-motivation & high energy
-an aphrodisiac
-gets rid of nightmares
-stone of manifestation/following your bliss

Interesting, right?! And to whet your ruby appetite, here’s some stellar pieces of jewelry…

Sidney Garber ruby drop accented band

sidney garber ruby drop accented band
Victorian ruby snake bracelet

victorian ruby snake bracelet
Finn ruby drop thread earrings

finn ruby drop thread earrings
Paul Morelli diamond and ruby meditation bell pendant

paul morelli diamond and ruby meditation bell pendant
Lori Mclean baguette and brilliant cut ruby stacking ring

lori mclean baguette and brilliant cut ruby stacking ring
Annie Fensterstock ruby and diamond earrings

annie fensterstock ruby and diamond earrings
Michelle Fantaci pawn cuff bracelet with ruby and turquoise

michelle fantaci pawn cuff bracelet with ruby and turquoise
Ten Thousand Things 18K ruby pendant with pave set diamonds

ten thousand things 18k ruby pendant with pave set diamonds
Victorian diamond and ruby dinner ring

victorian diamond and ruby dinner ring
Nikos Koulis ruby and diamond ring

nikos koulis ruby and diamond ring
Quite the array, hm? If you could have your choice, which would it be? I hope all you July babies out there have a fantastic birthday!

Erica Molinari: New Work

I was just reading my original post about Erica Molinari from 2012, and so much has changed! First of all, I now personally know and adore Erica. I had the pleasure of sitting at her table at the Couture awards show in 2013, and she couldn’t have been more welcoming and entertaining. She is one cool lady. Seeing her at the show each year since then has been such a treat. Then…there’s her jewelry. Her line has exploded with new designs, and I have to share some of my favorites with you.

So first up, you have to see her work in enamel. I couldn’t get enough of the rings, which come in both white and black.

erica molinari enamel rings
Some have patterns and others have sayings on them. (Did I mention she has bangles as well?) My personal favorite is this black one, which in Italian says, “A beautiful thing is never perfect.” Honestly, I got tears in my eyes when I read it. And not bad with my Polly Wales diamond band, right?

erica molinari and polly wales rings
And take a peek at the details inside the ring as well.

erica molinari ring detail
Here are some more of her new rings, showing how intricate her designs are. Are they vintage? New? This is one of the awesome things about Erica’s line — they are modern interpretations of some very old themes, really adding character and depth to your jewelry collection.

erica molinari rings
This is a perfect segue to her Momento Mori pieces, featuring skulls, skeletons and such.

erica molinari skull rings
I have to say I’m a bit obsessed with this one, which features a skull behind a custom cut white topaz with black enameling on the sides.

erica molinari skull ring
Here’s a side view so you can get a better perspective of the stone.

side view
Oh, right…the skeletons. Hello!!!! Have you ever seen anything like it?

erica molinari skeleton in coffin pendant
Erica has also gone bananas with her stud collection. She told me she wants to have 50 different designs, and right now she’s at 47. I have an inkling she’ll be surpassing her goal in the not-too-distant future.

erica molinari studs
And of course, if adding a little bling is on your agenda, then enjoy these pave diamond rings.

erica molinari pave diamond rings
Erica and Felecia, you’re both amazing women, and I appreciate the tour of the new work!! If you’d like to keep current with the latest, then follow Erica Molinari on Instagram.