Monday, March 23, 2015

1 Year Blog-iversary & Giveaway from Leona Ruby!

Hi everyone, I have a fun giveaway for you all this week. But first, a few words on the special occasion!  It was about a year ago that I started this very jewelry blog. For a long time I had toyed around with the thought in my head, but it wasn't until last spring that I finally decided to go for it.

Since then, I've traded a desk job for a jewelry industry job, started studying gemology and completed my Accredited Jewelry Professional degree, and have been happier than ever for my decision. This blog has allowed me to connect with wonderful people in the industry both in-person and online, and has been a fun avenue to talk about my favorite jewels. Thanks to all of you for reading & following!

I decided to do a little something special to say thanks and celebrate one year. Leona Ruby, the awesome fashion jewelry boutique I interviewed the other week, has kindly donated the cutest pair of faux pearl & gold-plated spike earrings for one lucky reader! We all know I love a good pair of pearls, and these are fabulous with the spike on the back part of the earring.  Edgy pearls...just the way they should be!

Enter using Rafflecopter below - there are three chances for you to enter. If you're more of an Instagram person, head to my profile on Tuesday afternoon for another way to enter, too!

**Winner goes to Dana Truitt! Thanks to everyone who entered through the blog and on Instagram!!**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 19, 2015

DIY: Jewelry Storage

I don't know about you, but jewelry storage is a huge challenge for me. I wish there was a magic storage solution that was able to hold ALL of my necklaces, dangly earrings, stud earrings, rings, and bracelets in one place... but I have yet to find out if anything like this exists. If anyone has been able to find this mythical item, please let a fellow jewelry lover know.

Right now, I have multiple jewelry storage solutions for all my jewelry. I have found that making your own DIY storage works best, and I'm excited about this one I worked on for Divine Caroline recently.  All you do is take an empty picture frame and add decorative metal in place of a photo, and voila - you're able to hang your earrings, both studs and dangly, and it's also a pretty piece to have in your space. I especially like this because it's able to hold & display stud earrings. That has been a huge challenge for me, and this works perfectly!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Jewel of the Week: Emeralds for St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone! I hope you have managed to have your share of the finest Irish delicacies, like green beer and potatoes.  In honor of the green holiday, I'm sharing with you today an emerald ring like no other. It's a vintage Art Deco ring, of course!

This ring is set in platinum with a 1.28 carat round diamond center surrounded by 32 old mine cut diamonds & 30 genuine emeralds, with black onyx bordering in between.  My favorite thing about this ring is how much of a statement it makes - it definitely isn't a piece for the dainty. It really is amazing the detail put into older rings like this from the early 1900's.

Let me know what you think about this gorgeous, vibrant piece!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Jewel of the Week: 2015 JCK Jewelers' Choice Awards Winner

Hi fellow jewelry lovers! You're in for a treat. Let me introduce you to the 2015 JCK Jewelers' Choice award winner, a gorgeous black opal ring from Omi Privé! Omi Privé is a fine jewelry designer that focuses on colored gemstones and fine craftsmanship. The attention to detail on Omi pieces is evident through their designs, and they've been nominated for JCK awards each year since they launched in 2012.

It's pretty obvious why this ring was chosen as a winner by jewelry retailers - it is nothing short of spectacular. It has a 4.33 carat Lightning Ridge black opal in the center, surrounded by tsavorite garnets & blue sapphires and accented with diamonds down the side, all in a warm 18k yellow gold. The opal steals the show with its amazing fire, and the blue sapphires & green tsavorites are the perfect match to bring out the color. Genuine black opals are among the rarest of opals, so this piece is really something.

You'll see this lovely ring gracing the cover of the March 2015 JCK magazine, and it also won the 2015 W Magazine Readers’ Choice Award. The hype is deserved - this ring is amazing, isn't it?!

All images thanks to Omi Privé.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Jewel of the Week: Art Deco Diamond Bracelet with Detachable Clips

Guys...this piece of jewelry is a masterpiece.  It definitely deserves to be Jewel of the Week. We're kickin' it back to the Art Deco time period (again, I's my favorite) with this bracelet. But, it's not just any bracelet. The beautiful, sparkly diamond ends convert to dress clips!

The bracelet is in a gorgeous twist bypass pattern in 18K white gold. The ends are platinum set with 9.5 total carats of round and baguette diamonds, and they detach to be used as dress clips. I personally think they'd be even cooler if the ends converted to earring clips, but I know dress clips were the style back then. I absolutely love the Art Deco pattern of the clips, with the interlocking swirls and all-white diamond look.

Obviously we're dreaming big with its hefty price tag, but hey, a girl can dream and admire its beauty, versatility and overall gorgeousness!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Boutique Spotlight: Leona Ruby

 Today, I'm talking about one of my favorite jewelry stores here in Des Moines - Leona Ruby, located in the East Village! Leona Ruby carries fashion jewelry and some other accessories like scarves & candles. She maintains a very unique inventory and has some of the coolest pieces on hand.  Plus, one of my favorite things about the store is the environment: the store is airy and white, with unique jewelry displays and fun decor.  Oh, and you can't miss the amazing chandelier!

Leona Ruby is owned by Ellen Martinson, who is the brains behind the jewelry inventory and store operations.  I got a chance to catch up with the fellow jewelry-obsessed entrepreneur and ask her a few questions about her store. Her typical day at Leona Ruby pretty much sounds like heaven. Read below to get to know Ellen and Leona Ruby!

BONUS: Stay tuned this week for a fun giveaway, courtesy of Leona Ruby! (Excited yet?!)

When and why did you open Leona Ruby?

I opened Leona Ruby 3 years ago. It was a blossoming of my love affair with jewelry!

What is your background; what did you do before opening Leona Ruby?

I worked for Coach for seven years after graduating from Iowa State University with a degree in marketing.

What kind of jewelry does Leona Ruby carry? What is your specialty?

Leona Ruby carries a very eclectic mix of jewelry from dainty everyday pieces to the striking statement piece. Our specialty is bringing different jewelry to Des Moines from various regions around the world.

What is your favorite part of the jewelry business?

My favorite part of the jewelry business is the discovery aspect. I could search for jewelry for weeks on end.

What is your favorite jewelry designer that you carry and why?

My favorite jewelry designer that we carry is Charles Albert. He has mastered the art of statement and feminine edge, while encompassing some amazing stones.

Describe a typical day in the Leona Ruby store.

A typical day at Leona Ruby consists of helping customers find a new piece to add to their collection, anxiously awaiting the UPS man to see what treasures he has to deliver, merchandising new pieces, placing special orders for clients, planning future lines, utilizing creative energy, and loving every minute of it!

If you had to only wear one kind of jewelry for the rest of your life (rings, bracelets, earrings, or necklaces) what would you choose and why?

If I could only wear one type of jewelry it would definitely be rings. I have always had a special place in my jewelry stash for rings.  I love big bold statement rings, I just can’t seem to get enough of them!

Where do you see Leona Ruby in the next 5-10 years?

In the next 5-10 years we see Leona Ruby expanding to other cities and spreading our love of jewelry.

Describe Leona Ruby in one word:


Friday, February 27, 2015

DIY Ear Cuffs

We all know how awesome ear cuffs are. They totally elevate a look with some added edge, and the style possibilities are endless. They are like a statement necklace, but for your ear = I absolutely love them!

For my latest DIY with, I decided to use some old vintage shoe clips that had enormous potential to become amazing ear cuffs.  I actually had a friend buy these for me when he was at an antique shop because I thought they were vintage ear climbers. Turns out, they were shoe clips! The clips had these sharp hooks on the back, which I knew there was no way anyone in their right mind would put on their ear. So, in comes the ear cuff DIY!

I love how it turned out.  These particular shoe clips were definitely born to be ear cuffs. I made another pair of shoe clips into cuffs as well (pictured above).  You can find shoe clips on Etsy, Ebay or in your local antique shop (check out these, these or these).  A lot of shoe clip shapes are perfect for ear climbers, so that's why they make the perfect ear cuff DIY.  Have at it!