Platinum: The Mysterious Metal

Through much of its history platinum has intrigued, baffled, flummoxed and fascinated scientists and alchemists until this noble metal was finally tamed at the turn of the 20th century. Since that time it has become a favored precious metal used in some of the finest jewelry.

The first platinum discoveries were found 3,000 years ago in ancient Egypt. Traces of platinum were found in gold that was used in caskets in Thebes, which archeologists believe was a natural element in the gold that came from Nubia at that time. Meanwhile, half way around the world, the South Americans were creating ceremonial jewelry and objects for ritual use out of platinum (probably mixed with an alloy) that can be dated back to 100 B.C.

Platinum and the Conquistadors

Platinum didn’t really get much play until the 1500’s when the Spanish conquistadors landed in South America searching for gold. Instead they found platinum, but they thought it was silver and tossed it aside. The conquistadors named this new metal “platina del Pinto” — little silver of Pinto river, which is the name of the river in Colombia where the platinum was found.

In 1557, Julius Caesar Scaliger, an Italian-French scientist analyzed a bit of the mystery metal from South America and found that it was not silver and that it wouldn’t melt.  According to some scientists, Scaliger was the first to make any written mention of platinum.  Not too much happened with platinum until the 1700s  because no one really knew what to do with it. The high melting point of 3,214 degrees Fahrenheit (for comparison, gold has a melting point of 1,947 degrees Fahrenheit) made it difficult if not impossible to work with the metal.

A Platinum Expedition

In the 1740s, Antonio de Ulloa, a Spanish scientist went on an expedition to South America. When he returned to Spain, de Ulloa described platinum and the challenges that the metal presents. During the same decade, Charles Wood, a Jamaican metallurgist studied platinum even smuggling some of the metal into England. He continued his experiments with platinum and came to the conclusion that it was a new metal. In 1750, Wood presented his evidence to the Royal Society of England.  

Wood’s findings were supported by a Swedish scientist Henrik Teofilus Scheffer, who in 1751 presented a paper to the Swedish Academy of Sciences, once more describing the difficulty of working with platinum, but more Importantly identifying it as a precious metal.

Platinum was making news and getting all kinds of attention including from France’s King Louis XV, who announced that it was the only metal fit for a king. This of course, sparked more interest in this intriguing metal. Scientists, alchemists and metallurgists were all focused on one thing: How to make platinum melt. Finally, in the latter half of the 1700’s some scientists figured out how to make very small amounts of the metal liquify. While not a definitive answer at the time, it was a step in the right direction.

The Platinum Age of Spain

Meanwhile, King Charles III of Spain, created a lab for French chemist Pierre-Françoise Chabaneau, who is widely credited as being the first person to figure out how to make platinum malleable enough to use. Chabaneau managed to remove trace elements from platinum and by 1786 he had figured out how to make platinum malleable. King Charles III, however, made sure that the information stayed in Spain, by issuing a royal order that the process was to remain secret. This event debuted the Platinum Age of Spain, during which time malleable platinum was produced in some quantity and sold. This went on until the Napoleonic Wars in 1808, which shut down the industry in Spain.

However, some big steps forward had occurred for platinum. King Charles III commissioned a platinum chalice for Pope Pius VI, which was presented to him in 1789. At the same time the jeweler for King Louis XVI, Marc-Ettienne Janety acquired some malleable platinum from Chabaneau and used it to make buttons, watch chains and other small items.

In 1804, two British chemists, Smithson Tennant and William Hyde Wollaston, figured out how to make larger quantities of platinum malleable. This allowed jewelers to create small, simple pieces of jewelry such as cufflinks. By the end of the 1890’s, Tiffany & Co. and Cartier Paris were both creating jewelry using platinum as was Fabergé.

High heat blow torches became available in the early 20th century that gave jewelers the ability to create lacy, lightweight intricate jewelry from this most precious metal. The white metal was the perfect complement to the white on white look of diamonds and pearls that was the height of fashion in the Edwardian era. Platinum retained its popularity throughout the Art Deco era, but its use in jewelry came to a halt when it was declared a strategic metal and reserved for military use during World War II.

Platinum had a resurgence of popularity in the 1950s when formal jewelry was the style. It fell out of favor during the next three decades and then in the 1990s platinum made a comeback, mainly in bridal and continues to be on trend today, especially in high jewelry.

All jewelry featured in this blog can be found on The Jewelers Circle.

Featured image (top of page): Aquamarine, diamond and platinum brooch, circa 1935, courtesy L’Epoque D’Or.

Authored by Amber Michelle

The Allure of Asscher Cut Diamonds

There are a number of very enchanting antique and vintage cut diamonds that we all know and love – old miners, old Europeans, rose cuts and cushion cuts to name a few. But the most coveted and hardest to find is the Asscher cut diamond – mostly because a limited number were cut in the early 20th century before production ceased. The story of the famed Asscher cut can be traced back to the Asscher family in Amsterdam in the mid 1800s.

The company was founded by Joseph Isaac Asscher in 1854 as IJ Asscher Diamond Company. As the years progressed, Joseph Isaac’s sons – Joseph and Abraham – came into the business and changed the name of the firm to the Asscher Diamond Company. The firm became one of the most prominent diamond cutting businesses in the world. By the turn of the century and early 1900s, Amsterdam was the preeminent global diamond cutting center teeming with cutters and business. And the Asscher family was at the center of it all.

Famous Diamonds

In 1903, Abraham Asscher was tapped to cut the Excelsior Diamond, which at 995-carats was the world’s largest diamond at the time. Discovered in 1893, the diamond languished in a vault for ten years due to some legal issues. When it finally came out of the vault, the diamond was cut into 11 stones, three of which were purchased by Tiffany & Co.

A couple of years later in 1905, the Excelsior’s place as the largest diamond was usurped by the Cullinan which weighed in at an astounding 3,106-carats. The Cullinan diamond was given to King Edward VII, in 1907 as a birthday gift from South Africa’s Transvaal Colony government. King Edward sought the advice of Joseph Asscher on how to best cut the diamond. After much studying and the development of some new tools to cut the diamond, Joseph Asscher cut the rock in 1908. Nine of the polished gems were presented to King Edward and remain in the British Crown Jewels today – The Great Star of Africa and the Smaller Star of Africa were the two largest. The remaining 96 smaller stones stayed with the Asscher Diamond Company as payment for services.

The Asscher Cut Debuts

In 1902, Joseph Isaac’s grandson, also named Joseph, cut the first diamonds that would bear the family name. The Asscher cut was very different from other cuts of the era which tended to be more round and curvy. The Asscher broke with tradition and was a square, with cut corners that created an octagonal shape giving it a distinctly different look and feel from other diamond cuts that were already available. The cut was so unique that Joseph Asscher had it patented, making it the world’s first patented diamond cut.

Its square shape is not the only trait that sets the Asscher cut apart from other diamonds. It was also the extraordinary sparkle of the stone that comes from the cut corners that allow more light return in the diamond. The Asscher cut is similar to an emerald cut in that they are both step cuts, however an emerald cut is rectangular. The Asscher is distinguished by 58 facets, with a high, two-step crown and a deep pavilion. When you look straight down into the diamond from the top, you will see an “X” that is formed by equidistant converging facets, earning the cut the nickname “hall of mirrors” for the amazing light reflection in the stone.

Art Deco era jewelers were enthralled by the Asscher cut and it became one of the most important diamond cuts of the day. Its square shape was new and modern at the time and its linear architectural form was the perfect complement to the straight geometric lines of the jewelry that was being made in the 1920s and 1930s. The Asscher Diamond Company was thriving.

The End and a New Beginning

When World War II ravaged Europe, the Nazis invaded Holland, stormed Amsterdam and arrested the Asscher family and most of the few hundred employees at the company, all of whom were sent to concentration camps. At the end of the war, ten surviving members of the Asscher family returned to Amsterdam as did about 15 of their cutters. The city’s diamond industry had been gutted.

The Asscher family resolved to rebuild their business. And they did, but they stopped cutting the original Asscher. In 1980 the firm was given the Dutch Royal Predicate from Queen Juliana of the Netherlands. The company changed its name to the Royal Asscher Diamond company. A number of years later the firm introduced the Royal Asscher cut, designed by Joseph Asscher’s great grandnephews, Edward and Joop, which was based on the original cut. Sixteen more facets were added to the design for a total of 74 facets that give the diamond extra shimmer.

The firm continues to cut diamonds today with the fifth and sixth generations of the family at the helm, operating at Tolstraat 127, Amsterdam, the same building where the company started in 1854.

Featured image (top of page): Asscher Cut diamond, 1.87-carats, F/VS2, set in platinum with diamonds and natural Burmese rubies, signed Yard, circa 1935, courtesy Berganza Limited.

Authored by Amber Michelle

The Glamour of Art Deco Jewelry

The Jazz Age, The Charleston, Flappers, Tutankhamun, Cubism, Graphic Design, Airplanes, Automobiles, Industrialism, Russe Ballet, “Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industrials Modernes”, Prohibition, Cocktails and Speakeasies defined the Art Deco era.

When: Art Deco, which encompasses all the decorative arts including jewelry was from 1920 to 1939.  It began to manifest a couple of years before World War I and took off when the war ended, building and evolving until World War II came along. Some jewelry historians refer to 1930s Art Deco as Art Moderne or Modernism. The era is also known as the “style between the wars”. Art Deco was fully launched in 1925 at the Paris “Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industrials Modernes” where this new look was on full display.

Famous Makers: Boucheron, Black Starr & Frost, Cartier, Chaumet, Jean Deprès, Georges & Jean Fouquet, Lalique, LaCloche, Mauboussin, Raymond Templier, Tiffany & Co., Van Cleef & Arpels, Raymond Yard

Motifs: Egyptian, Asian, African and Native American Art, Geometric Forms, Flora and Fauna, Architecture, Tassels

The Look: 1920s Art Deco: Flat, Linear, Symmetrical, Geometric, White on White, Black and White, Bold Color, Long Necklaces. 1930s Art Deco: Bigger, Wider Bracelets; Convertible Jewelry, Rounded Scrolling Forms, Bib and Collar Necklaces

Materials: Diamonds, Rubies, Sapphires, Emeralds, Rock Crystal, Onyx, Lapis, Coral, Pearls, Carved Gems, Cabochon Gems, Enamel, Lacquer, Platinum, White Gold, Yellow Gold

The 1920s, often referred to as the “Roaring 20s” was a time of great prosperity and innovation. World War I had just ended bringing major societal changes along with it. In particular, the role of women in society had dramatically changed by the early 1920s. During the war years women went to work holding down the jobs that men had held before leaving to join the war effort. Wardrobe changes were a necessity. Working women ditched their corsets, raised their hemlines and shortened their hair so they could move more easily. In the U.S. some women were further empowered when they won the right to vote in 1920. After enduring the hardships of a world war and a global flu pandemic during the previous few years, by the early 1920s people were ready to dress-up and party.

Prohibition laws from 1920 until their repeal in 1933 made the sale and consumption of liquor illegal in the U.S. The law didn’t stop people from imbibing and the speakeasy launched – secret rooms where revelers would drink hidden away from the world. Flappers — the “it” girls of the era — danced the Charleston in speakeasies and scandalously wore hemlines raised up to their knees, seamed stockings, sleeveless shift dresses, sleek bobbed hair and most shocking of all they wore lipstick, rouged their cheeks and smoked cigarettes. Cigarette holders, cases and minaudières adorned with gems were all part of the glamourous look of the era. And of course every outfit was accessorized with sparkling jewelry.

During the Art Deco era, jewelry design was pared down to its most basic elements creating sleek silhouettes that were easy to wear. It was an embracing of machination and the industrialism that was spreading quickly through the world during that time. The white on white look of diamonds and platinum continued from the Edwardian era, but the jewelry became geometric and streamlined and was often punctuated with patterns created from the use of black onyx, black enamel, ruby, sapphire or emerald. Platinum continued its streak of popularity. Diamonds remained a favorite in the 1920s and 1930s, with pavé becoming an important design element. There were also some new advances in diamond cutting and with that came new diamond shapes that complemented the geometry of jewelry designs – including the Asscher cut and the baguette.

Sautoirs — a long necklace comprised of strands of pearls or colored gemstones, often with a tassel of pearls or pearl and colored gemstone beads — swung from the necks of fashionable women. Cultured pearl production ramped up in the early 1920s making the gems more available and their popularity soared. Flappers wore long ropes of pearls — often knotted — sometimes even letting them dangle chicly down the back of a low cut dress.

Shorter hair made statement earrings an important jewel, with long, linear earrings taking centerstage. The style also worked well with the straight, drop waist dresses of the 1920s.

Bracelets were a favorite in the Art Deco era and were often worn over elbow length gloves and stacked together to create maximum high voltage glamour. Diamonds were the base of these flat, linear bracelets which were embellished with colored gemstones that broke up the whiteness of the diamonds while at the same time outlining and amplifying the geometric forms that were a key look of the era. Wider bracelets were often used to tell the stories of exotic places and were embellished with birds, florals and Egyptian motifs, which had become popular with the discovery and opening of King Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922.

The Maharajahs of India also influenced jewelry design in the 1920s as they took carved rubies, emeralds and sapphires to European jewelers and had them turned into extravagant jewels. Cartier was the leader in this colorful look dubbed tutti-frutti.

Rings followed a similar pattern of geometric shapes covered in diamonds with a line of colored gemstones that defined the symmetry of the design. Multiple rings were worn at the same time often with a big center stone and like bracelets, rings were worn on top of gloves. Brooches and dress clips were worn primarily during the day and they were attached to everything from hats, collars and coat lapels to shoes.

The Bandeau was an important part of jewelry fashion in the 1920s.  A headband worn on the forehead and generally crafted from diamonds did double duty by converting to a necklace, bracelets, brooch and/or dress clips.

In October 1929, the stock market collapsed causing the world to fall into an economic depression that left the global economy in tatters. While millions were unemployed and standing in line at soup kitchens, there were still plenty of people with money and the glamour of the Art Deco era continued, but the style evolved during the 1930s.

Sleek suits, silk and satin gowns that clung to a woman’s figure, long furs and lots of jewelry defined the decade. Hemlines dropped, hair was longer and worn up and the mood was subdued. Prohibition ended and cocktail parties came out in the open, which continued the trend of a big stone ring that looked so glamorous on a hand holding a champagne glass.

Platinum was still the desired metal, but 18-karat white gold was used as a less expensive alternative. Necklaces changed, they were now collars and bibs with some rounding and scrolling beginning to appear that broke up the flat geometric style that had dominated in previous years. Necklaces in the 1930s were often constructed to come apart as two dress clips that could also be put together to wear as one brooch. While brooches and dress clips were highly coveted in the 1920s, they surged in popularity in the 1930s. Suit lapels were the perfect backdrop for a sophisticated brooch while dress clips on each side of a party dress or gown twinkled flirtatiously at night.

Earrings also changed during the 1930s, shortening from long drops to scrolling forms that framed the face. Some earrings even had detachable components. Bracelets became wider and curves and rounded forms began to appear by the end of the 1930s.

The glamourous parties and free-wheeling lifestyle of the Art Deco era ended in 1939 when World War II exploded.

You can find the Art Deco jewelry featured in this article on The Jewelers Circle.

Featured image (top of page): Sapphire, diamond and platinum bracelet, circa 1925, from Ernst Faerber.

Authored by Amber Michelle

Emperor Maximillian’s Diamond Buttons

Have you ever wondered about a rare and exquisite antique piece of jewelry and how it came to be for sale today? All pieces of antique and vintage jewelry have a story to tell, but some stories stand the test of time better, either because the jewel is a family heirloom and the story is passed down with the piece, or because the original owner was a famous historical figure. Sometimes it’s a combination of the two.

This is the story of Emperor Maximillian (1832-1867) and his diamonds buttons that have found their way into today’s jewelry collections. Maximillian was born an Austrian Archduke. He was the second son of Archduke Franz Karl of Austria and Princess Sophie of Bavaria. As a second son, his life path was more open than that of a first born, who was destined to become the next ruler. Instead Maximillian had a very successful career as an officer in the Austrian Imperial Navy where he modernized the institution.

Maximillian Goes to Mexico

In 1859 Maximillian was approached to become the Emperor of Mexico. The country was in tatters from the Reform War and had defaulted on many debts owed internationally. It was thought that having a European ruler would help the country stabilize. Maximillian declined the offer. In order to have its debts repaid, France invaded Mexico in 1862 and a year later the French were in charge of the country. Maximillian was once again asked, by the French, to become Emperor of Mexico and this time he said yes.

He arrived in Mexico with his wife, Charlotte of Belgium in 1864. The country was still reeling from the effects of the Reform War and the dueling factions — liberals and conservatives  —continued to disagree. It’s thought that Maximillian genuinely wanted to help the poor people in the country. He made numerous changes including abolishing child labor, restricting working hours and cancelling the debts of peasants. Maximillian also supported religious freedom and voting rights for those who were not land owners.

The French left Mexico and asked Maximillian to leave with them, instead he chose to stay believing that he could actually help the people of the country. The wealthy class opposed the reforms that Maximillian instituted and he was overthrown by Benito Juarez and his followers. In 1867 he was executed.

Boston, 1981

Fast forward to Boston in 1981. A young woman starting out in the industry, Janet Levy, went on her daily visit to see her great Uncle Sydney DeYoung, the patriarch of J.&S.S. DeYoung, a company specializing in antique and vintage jewelry. When he was 89, Uncle Sydney had a series of strokes and was unable to come to the office, so he asked that any new purchases be brought to him for inspection at the Ritz-Carlton Boston where he was living after his stroke.

One day Janet went to show Uncle Sydney the company’s latest purchases and she handed him a  beautiful antique rose cut diamond ring. She was having a hard time accurately, estimating the weight of the diamond because it was very different from other diamonds that she had seen. For 70 years Uncle Sydney had kept a series of black notebooks, showing tracings of the perimeter of the diamonds he purchased in the past and also measurements of unusual shaped diamonds.  The books were used as references to help estimate the weight of rare and unusual antique shape diamonds. Janet had gone through the series of little black books and there was really nothing comparable in the books to the rose cut diamond she had.

How Uncle Sydney Got Maximillian’s Buttons  

In the early 1930s, during the great depression, one of Emperor Maximillian’s heirs inherited the collection of 76 antique rose cut diamond buttons, belonging to Emperor Maximillian. The antique diamond button collection was brought to Uncle Sydney by one of his customers from the western part of the United States.

Uncle Sydney bought the entire collection of buttons and sold them to Armand Hammer of Hammer Galleries, located on 57th street in New York.  Hammer was an art and jewelry retailer with a great imagination. He realized that many  American customers wanted to purchase items with a royal provenance.  Hammer converted the entire collection of  76 buttons into rings. He developed an advertising campaign “Own a Royal Ring” and began selling the rings in the early 1930’s and continued to sell them through 1947. A letter, dated 1931, from the Museum and Art Collections of the Late Crown Possession in Bavaria, accompanied the set of diamond buttons, confirming that they can be traced back to 1763.

All of the rose cut diamonds in the buttons are thought to be from the Golconda mine in the Northern region (modern day Hydrabad) of India, where the world’s diamonds came from prior to the mid 1800s. Diamonds from the Golconda region were generally larger and higher quality than those from other mines in the area. Additionally, the style of the diamonds indicate that they were cut in the traditional Indian way and most likely brought to Europe by one of the gem traders who went there in search of jewels for the royal and wealthy. It is most likely that at one point the diamonds in Maximillian’s buttons belonged to an Indian Maharajah. Set in silver-topped gold, each button was slightly different, but they all have rose cut diamonds.

After a long and winding journey, the first of four of Emperor Maximillian’s diamond buttons came back to J.&S.S. DeYoung in 1981. Three others have since resurfaced and each one has its fractional diamond weight inscribed in the shank — it’s not just a ring, it’s a real piece of history that’s very personal and tells the story of bygone eras. And that’s the magic of antique jewelry.

You can find Emperor Maximillian’s diamond button ring on the Jewelers Circle.

Featured video (top of page): Rose Cut diamond ring is made from a diamond button that had previously belonged to Emperor Maximillian of Mexico.

Authored by Amber Michelle

The Magic is in the Cut

When it comes to the 4C’s – carat weight, color, clarity and cut — cut is perhaps the most important one. Whether you are aware of it or not, you’re noticing cut, it’s what makes a stone sparkle spectacularly or fall flat. You may look at a diamond and think it looks amazing, or you may look at it and think that something is not quite right —  again it is often cut that you are perceiving. Legendary diamantaire William Goldberg was a strong proponent of cut bringing out the beauty in a diamond and he coined the eponymous firm’s tagline “The Magic is in the Make”. Make is a diamond dealer’s shorthand for cut.

What is Cut?

So what exactly does cut mean? Cut is the arrangement of facets on a stone, while shape is the geometric form – round, pear, marquise, etc. — that is created during the cutting process. Cut is what gives a stone sparkle and brilliance – the return of white light that makes a diamond bright and lively. A skilled diamond cutter can take a rough diamond that is not so great and make it into an amazing gem. So what exactly is a good cut and how does a cutter know what to do?

Master diamond cutter William Lopez, of William Goldberg  talks about what he looks for when he starts to cut a diamond. “When I look at any rough diamond, I decide what will be the biggest, cleanest stone that I can get from the rough,” explains Lopez, who has been cutting diamonds for 52 years. “Then I look at the options, will it be round, emerald or cushion and I give my opinion as to the best way to cut the rough.”

Cut Gives Diamonds Character

According to Saul Goldberg, president of William Goldberg and the second generation in the family business, cut is subjective, each person will have a different opinion about what they like. Cut, he says, is what gives a diamond its character. “A diamond can look great on paper, such as a 10-carat D, flawless, but if it doesn’t have the right cut, it won’t look right when you see it.”

Referencing fancy shape diamonds (anything that is not round) William Goldberg, executive vice president Barry Berg, notes that “the brilliance and life of a diamond is determined by the cut, each cut has to be shaped a certain way to look its best.” That means that not only do the facets on the diamond need to be placed optimally, but the end result has to have the right proportions. Those proportions will vary depending upon the shape of the stone, but generally you want a gem that is not stubby or too elongated.  

“With cut you are trying to get the best brilliance and refraction of light,” agrees Lopez, whose father was a diamond cutter who learned the trade in Puerto Rico and then came to New York City to work. “A cutter is dealing with angles. Top to bottom and bottom to top, certain angles reflect light better. If a stone is too deep on the bottom it will be dark, if it is too shallow it will look glassy. There has to be light bouncing back from the facets to create sparkle.”

Benjamin Goldberg, chief gemologist at William Goldberg is Saul’s son and the third generation to be part of the business, has a slightly different take on the topic. “Cut is a visual aspect of a stone,” he notes. “But clarity can be more important. No one wants to see imperfections.”

Still a well-cut diamond can in some instances minimize the imperfections in a diamond, depending upon where they are in a piece of rough, they can be eliminated altogether or they may land in an area of the finished diamond that is less intrusive.

What Makes a Well Cut Diamond?

So back to our first question, what makes a well cut diamond? “For me, the angles, polish and symmetry all have to be really good. I put a little bit of me into each stone,” says Lopez who learned to cut diamonds from a cutter and friend — Tony Borrero —  who worked in the shop where his dad worked. “Every cutter does something a bit different. It comes from my experience and what I’ve learned over the years. It’s almost a signature. With round stones you pretty much go by the angles, but with fancy shapes you can put more of your artistry into it.”

Ultimately the beauty of cut is, like so many other creative expressions, a highly personal decision based on your own tastes and what your eye perceives as beautiful. At William Goldberg the company principals agree that they prefer to sell a diamond in person, where someone actually looks at the stone rather than selling it based on a gemological laboratory report.

“It comes down to the beauty and character of a diamond,” concludes Saul Goldberg. “You can’t be hung up on the grading report. You have to look at the stone and see how it strikes you. Is it sexy? Does it look good? The stone will talk to you. After all the magic is in the make.”

Featured video (top of page): Diamond cutter William Lopez, from William Goldberg, cutting a diamond.

Authored by Amber Michelle

Colored Diamonds: Rarity and Value

Colored diamonds, also known as fancy colors, are among the rarest and most valuable of all gemstones and they come in an endless kaleidoscope of divine colors. According to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), only one in every 10,000 diamonds found has a fancy color. And of those even fewer are the vibrant colors that are most desired and of course the most pricey.

Up until the middle to late 1990s colored diamonds were shunted to the side and pretty much ignored. As the 1990s progressed colored diamonds began to appear at auction and their marketing machines put these superpowered gemstones into the spotlight. People began to take notice and colored diamonds started to gain in popularity as consumers began to understand more about their beauty, value and rarity. Today, colored diamonds at auction command prices that soar to breath-taking heights. To give you an idea of just how high prices can go, the Pink Star, a 59.60-carat  vivid pink diamond sold at Sotheby’s Geneva for $71 million in 2017. The year before that, the Oppenheimer Blue, a 14.62-carat vivid blue diamond sold at Christie’s Geneva for $57.5 million.

How Diamonds Get Color

Very rare .84-carat, kite-shaped, fancy red diamond, courtesy Swissdiam New York, LLC.

Let’s take a look at how diamonds get their color.  The colors in diamonds come about through trace elements when they are forming in the ground.

  • Yellow diamonds get their color from the presence of nitrogen.
  • Blue diamonds get their color from traces of boron.
  • Green diamonds get their color from natural radiation in the earth.
  • Pink and red diamonds are a bit of a mystery. Gemologists believe that they get their blushing shades from an anomaly in the internal structure of the gem as they are forming.

Many colored diamonds have modifying undertones to the stones, which shift the color and can change the value of the gem. For example, a diamond may be graded as purplish-pink. That means that the main body color of the stone is pink, but it has purple modifiers with pink the dominant color. It will look quite a bit different than an orangey-pink, which has an orange undertone to the pink.  Sometimes the blend of colors in a colored diamond is more balanced and then it will be given a name such as blue-green. Modifying colors may also change the value of a colored diamond. The grade that a colored diamond receives from a gemological laboratory can mean a price difference of many thousands of dollars.

“The modifying undertone colors, such as brown in yellow or pink is usually not good, or gray in blue is not great, for example,” explains Rima Farah, president Swissdiam New York LLC, a firm specializing in colored diamonds with offices in New York and Geneva. “You may get some green in a yellow diamond and people will like that neon color, or you may have some green in a blue. That is attractive and may add value. Some people want that pure color of one tone, but some don’t. Most people also don’t realize that when a color is a ‘pure’ shade it’s not what you necessarily expect. There are times when an undertone can make a color muddy and we don’t want that either. A modifying color may or may not add value, it’s not a hard scientific fact.”

Colored Diamond Grading

There is some important terminology to note when you are looking at colored diamonds. There are three factors for determining color:

  • Hue, which is the dominant color of the stone.
  • Tone is whether the color is light to dark.
  • Saturation of color which can be weak to strong.
Pink and yellow diamond ring features a 1.01-carat oval pink center stone with a 1.01-carat oval intense yellow side stone and a 1.03-carat intense yellow side stone with white diamond surround, courtesy, Swissdiam New York, LLC.

Next based on those three criteria, colored diamonds are once again divided into categories:

  • Fancy and Fancy Light: These stones are paler, softer shades of a color.
  • Fancy Vivid and Fancy Intense: These are the most coveted and desired because the color in the gem is balanced.
  • Fancy Deep: These diamonds are deeper in tone, but not too saturated with color.
  • Fancy Dark: These stones tend to have a dark body color and dark tone.

“These terms only define the color,” comments Farah. “An untrained eye might not see that a light pink diamond is pink, but in a fancy pink, they can see the color. It’s a matter of taste and whether or not someone wants more color, then they will like a vivid or intense color. When the color is too strong, the diamond loses sparkle and the color becomes dull.”

The Cut Factor

Yellow and white diamond ring features a 2-carat round fancy yellow center stone with yellow and white diamond accents, set in 18-karat white gold, courtesy Swissdiam New York, LLC.

Fancy colored diamonds are often also fancy shapes (any shape other than round) because they are cut to bring out the maximum color in the stone.

“Cut has a lot of impact on a colored diamond,” says Farah. “The cut determines whether or not the color is maximized. You can take a round colored diamond which may not have much color and turn it into a radiant or other fancy shape and that will increase the color.”

Farah makes one last, but very important point about purchasing a colored diamond. She notes that when white diamonds have a particular grade many people believe that they look pretty much the same, which is why they are comfortable buying a white diamond sight unseen based on the gemological report. Colored diamonds are different because everybody perceives color differently and because there is so much variation from stone to stone due to modifying colors.

“You can have three colored diamonds with the same information on each grading report,” concludes Farah. “But the stones are not the same. To the eye they will all look different, the value cannot be described by a piece of paper. You have to see the stone in person to really see it.”

Featured image (top of page): Ring features a 3.02-carat, oval intense yellow-green center stone, with yellow and pink diamond accent stones set in 18-karat white gold, courtesy Swissdiam New York, LLC.

Authored by Amber Michelle

Harry Winston: A Diamond Legacy

Floral motif diamond and platinum necklace, converts into two bracelets, circa 1959, courtesy J&SS DeYoung.

From the red carpet to royalty Harry Winston jewels are seen sparkling on some of the world’s best known luminaries at some of the world’s most high profile events. Winston himself became quite famous due to the important diamonds and gemstones that he acquired and through his penchant for sharing his passion for diamonds and gemstones with the public.

Harry Winston was born in New York City in 1896. His father had a small jewelry shop and young Harry spent a great deal of time there. The defining moment for his future career as a purveyor of exceptional diamonds and colored gemstones happened when he was just 12 years old. Winston stopped by a pawn shop and was looking through some costume jewelry, when he saw a green stone. The pawn shop owner thought it was a piece of glass, but Winston knew better. He bought the stone for 50 cents. Two days later he sold it for $800. The piece of glass was actually an emerald.

In 1909, Winston’s family moved to Los Angeles where they opened a store. Young Winston worked there alongside his father before moving back to New York City a few years later.

Harry Winston’s First Company

When Harry Winston arrived back in New York City, in 1920, he opened his first business, the Premier Diamond Company. It was a fortuitous year for Winston, he also met his wife Edna, that same year, although they did not marry until 1933.

After opening the Premier Diamond Company, Winston realized the complexity of the diamond market and breaking into it with few resources. Known for being an astute business person, Winston made a name for himself by purchasing the estates of well-known socialites, industrialists and other notable families. These acquisitions gave Winston access to diamonds and colored gemstones that he would not have otherwise been able to acquire. He often took the jewelry apart and reused the stones in his own creations.

Harry Winston ring with 52-carat Colombian emerald, minor oil, diamonds and gold, 1970s, courtesy Paul Fisher.

Winston opened his eponymous store on Fifth Avenue, in 1932. And a couple of years later he was making headlines with the purchase of the famed Jonker Diamond, the 726-carat rough diamond was discovered in South Africa and named after the miner who found it. Winston brought the rough diamond back to New York and promptly sent it out on a press tour around the country. While on tour the uncut diamond was photographed with stars of the silver screen, Shirley Temple and Claudette Colbert. After its press tour the Jonker was finally cut, yielding 12 gems, with the largest weighing 125.35-carats.

That was the start of Winston and his connection to some of the most important diamonds in the world. Harry Winston has also been the guardian of the Vargas Diamond, Winston Diamond, Star of Independence, The Washington and perhaps most famously, the Hope Diamond.

Court of Jewels

Harry Winston and diamonds were so inextricably intertwined that in 1947 Cosmopolitan Magazine, dubbed him the “King of Diamonds”, a title that stayed with him for the rest of his life. Winston loved sharing his passion for jewels with other people and wanted to make sure that the public was informed about gemstones. He also had a passion for philanthropy, so in 1949 he created another headlining event: “The Court of Jewels” a traveling exhibition of spectacular gemstones and jewelry. The exhibition toured several cities and in each destination  money was raised for local charities. He later donated The Hope Diamond and some of the other items from “The Court of Jewels” to the Smithsonian Institution. In fact, he mailed The Hope Diamond to the museum through the United States Postal Service.

The Harry Winston Cluster

Classic cluster diamond and platinum earrings by Harry Winston, circa 1969, courtesy J&SS DeYoung.

Harry Winston is known for the use of exceptional diamonds and gemstones in its jewelry. Winston always let the stone dictate the design rather than the setting being the main focus. With that in mind, the cluster design is one of his most renowned creations and the idea came from a rather unusual source: A holly wreath.

Winston arrived home in Scarsdale one winter night and glanced at the wreath on his front door that was sparkling with snow and frost. The next day Winston went to his head designer, Nevodon Koumrouyan and together they created the now iconic “cluster” design. The Cluster which features diamonds in round, pear and marquise shapes all in one piece is designed so that the gems are angled and in perfect proportion to each other creating spectacular sparkle. The diamonds are always set in platinum so that the setting is barely visible instead emphasizing the gems so they appear to be floating. It’s a look that is closely associated with the firm.

Hollywood has come knocking on Harry Winston’s doors many times. Its sparklers have been worn in a number of films including the Alfred Hitchcock movie “Notorious”, “The Graduate” and  “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”.  And who could forget Marilyn Monroe in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”  purring the famous line – “talk to me Harry Winston” — as she sang “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend”.  Winston also started the trend of loaning jewels to stars walking the red carpet for various award shows, which earned him a second nickname: Jeweler to the Stars.

Harry Winston passed away in 1978. His son, Ronald Winston took over daily operations of the business until he retired in 2014. The company was sold to Aber Diamond Mine, which later sold the company to Swatch. But Winston’s legacy of “rare jewels of the world” continues to today as a new generation of clients discover the magic of his jewelry.

Authored by Amber Michelle

10 Tips for Evaluating Antique Jewelry

Floral motif Victorian era silver topped gold brooch, en tremblant, set with old mine and rose cut diamonds, converts to hair ornament, French assay marks, infitted case by Henri Blanc Paris. Courtesy, Gorky Antiquites.

Purchasing antique jewelry is a bit like going on a treasure hunt. Each piece is a little bit different, you never know what you’re going to find and of course you’ll know it when you see it. Once you find “the one” you want to be sure that the piece is what it is represented to be, that it is in fact a true antique jewel — which for the purposes of this blog is defined as through the late Victorian period — and not a reproduction.

The first thing you want to do is start by working with a reputable jewelry dealer or retailer. Always ask for any gemological reports and other paperwork that may help to authenticate a piece. While it takes an expert to verify the authenticity of an item, every jewel will give you clues to its background. First you have to know what to look for and then it’s a lot like playing  detective. Careful examination of a piece of jewelry from all angles is necessary. If you’re buying a very expensive or exceptionally rare piece of jewelry, then you may want to have it reviewed by a third-party, such as an appraiser, who does not have an interest in the sale of the jewel.

To help you get started in determining if a piece is worthy of a second opinion, Gail Brett Levine, GG, executive director of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA) offers ten tips for determining if a piece of jewelry is actually an antique. “If you want to find out more about a piece, go to an appraiser who has a jewelry history background,” she advises.

Illustration of C Clasp, used in antique jewelry, image courtesy NAJA.

• A reproduction will normally have modern safety clasps and will not have handmade pin stem and joint tube hinges unless designed to defraud.  “In an antique brooch the pin stem will be considerably longer than the catch,” explains Levine. “The pin will go one-quarter to three eights of an inch over the outline of the brooch. These early clasps were C clasps with no safety catch. The extra length on the pin was there to catch the fabric so the brooch would be held in place more securely.”

• Look at the prongs on a piece for more clues as to its age. In old pieces prongs will be worn smooth. In a reproduction piece the prongs will be large, a bit chubby, and they will show no wear.

• Hinges on a reproduction bracelet will be “wiggly” and heavy. The snap will generally be a “two piece solder” rather than a one-piece bent over snap.

Illustration of 1880 threaded post, image courtesy NAJA.

• The backings of reproduction earrings will be post and friction nut style rather than post and screw nut style. In newly made pieces the post is smooth and the back, or nut, will slide right on to the post. In an antique piece, the nut or post will sometimes have threads, similar to a screw, and the nut will screw onto the post back.

• Threaded areas should show wear and tear in antique jewelry. “With repeated wear the threading on the nut will wear out. The hole in the nut will become enlarged and it doesn’t hold well anymore,” says Levine.

• There were no cultured pearls before approximately 1910. Additionally, cultured pearls were not widely available until the 1920s. The only way to determine if a pearl is natural or cultured is to  have it examined by a gemological laboratory. Older pieces will have handset pearls, where the post is fashioned to fit the drill hole of the pearl, rather than glued pearls.

• Reproduction chains do not show the wear and tear that old chains will show. “The links, especially larger links like you will see in Georgian era jewelry will show indentations in the metal from wear,” comments Levine. “The links on pieces that were worn a lot will rub against each other and you will be able to see an indentation that looks a like a woman’s hourglass figure.”

• In a modern piece you will often find the metal karatage stamped on or near the clasp. The clasps are generally finely made and they will have a tongue that fits into a groove to open and close the jewel. “On antique pieces the clasp is often bulky and thick,” says Levine. “For the most part if a piece of gold jewelry is stamped 18-karat it is European, if it is stamped 15-karat it was made in Britain, 15-karat gold is no longer made so that is an indicator of age. It was also possible to find 9-karat gold, or silver topped gold that made the gems shine more brightly.”

• Make sure that the gemstones — type and cut — and materials are typical of the period and style represented. Various gemstones were discovered at different points in time and some gems were not discovered until the 20th century — for example, there is no tanzanite in antique jewelry. “A good rule of thumb is that generally a sharp cornered or step cut stone will not be in an antique piece,” says Levine. “The technology for that type of cut did not exist at that time. If the piece has sharp corners it does not belong. You start seeing those angular cuts in jewelry starting in the 1920s.”

• Stamped markings for gold karatage will be too crisp and clean in a reproduction, but may be somewhat worn away in an older piece.   

Every piece of jewelry has a story to tell — including its own history. A careful examination of a jewel will tell you much about it, from whether or not it has been repaired, is a reproduction or even its approximate age.

Authored by Amber Michelle

Suzanne Belperron: Visionary Designer

Portrait of Suzanne Belperron and Toi et Moi Virgin Gold ring, all images courtesy Belperron.

Recognized as one of the 20th century’s most influential jewelry designers, Suzanne Belperron remains a bit of an enigma. Fiercely private, almost secretive, her talent was undeniable. Despite being conceived many decades ago, part of the genius of Belperron is that her work looks as contemporary today as when it was first produced.

“She was a woman designing for women at a time when jewelry making was dominated by men,” explains Nico Landrigan, president, Belperron. “She mastered many jewelry making techniques and then combined them all.”

Born Madeleine Suzanne Vuillerme in Saint-Claude, France in 1900, her family moved to Besançon a year later. She became Madame Belperron when she married engineer Jean Belperron in 1924.

Her mother recognized Belperron’s talent at a young age and encouraged her to pursue her art. Belperron attended the Besançon Ecole des Beaux Arts. After graduating from school in 1919, Belperron moved to Paris, where she was hired by the Maison Boivin as a model-maker and designer. She never signed her work, but her style was recognizable and it changed the design aesthetic of the firm. 

Suzanne Belperron and Bernard Herz

Belperron Vintage Pyramide Brooch with sketch.

After a few years at Boivin, Belperron was offered a position by Bernard Herz, a high-end gem and pearl dealer. She was hired to design exclusively under his company name, B. Herz, and was given free rein to design as she pleased. Again she declined to sign her creations famously stating that “my style is my signature.”

So how do you know if a piece is by Belperron? She had a very extensive archives of 9,300 sketches and in 2015 Nico Landrigan and his father Ward, relaunched the brand, after acquiring the archives and the Belperron name and trademark in 1998. One of the things that they needed to figure out before the launch was how to distinguish the newly made Belperron from the vintage pieces.

“The new pieces are signed Belperron in bold block letters,” says Landrigan. “Some pieces are rock crystal or hardstone and there is no space for a signature so we put a coded scratch number on the piece. We have a record of all the pieces we’ve made.”

When Belperron left Boivin for B. Herz, she kept the same workshop, Groené et Darde, and the pieces designed by Belperron have those maker marks. According to Landrigan, the French system of marks is very structured and those pieces with the workshop marks help to identity her vintage jewelry. The Belperron archives can also be accessed to verify that a jewel is actually her design.

“The archives are critical to identifying Belperron’s work,” comments Landrigan. “You have to study how a piece is constructed, see the markings, but without the archives, it’s hard to be sure if the pieces are authentic.”

Belperron and World War II

In 1941 when World War II was on Europe’s doorstep, Bernard Herz asked Belperron to purchase the business from him so she could keep it going during the Nazi occupation of Paris. A year later, he was arrested and sent to jail. Belperron was part of the French Resistance and she was able to get him released, but he was arrested again and she was unable to secure his release the second time. He was sent to a concentration camp and did not survive the war.

Despite the difficulty in accessing materials to make jewelry, Belperron kept the business going throughout the war and in 1945, after spending five years in a prison camp, Bernard Herz’s son Jean Herz returned to Paris. Belperron gave the company back to Herz and he made her an equal partner in the business — Jean Herz-Suzanne Belperron, S.A.R.L.

During her career Belperron challenged traditional thinking about what jewelry should look like and how it is made. She created large-scale, curvaceous and voluptuous pieces that are as stylish now as when they were first made.

“She was an exceptional artist,” observes Landrigan. “I think she foresaw a modern style. She looked into the future. She had restraint and balance in her jewelry. She never gave everything away at a first glance. You really have to zoom in and look at her pieces, the more you look the better it gets.”

Belperron and Serti Couteau

Belperron Paisley Serti Couteau Spinel Earclips.

Landrigan notes that Belperron invented her own style of setting to accommodate her designs. She liked to create pieces with multiple gemstones in different sizes and shapes, so she developed a special setting, serti couteau, or knife edge, to hold the stones in place. The setting technique, which looks like an irregular honeycomb on the back, became a part of the design. The setting allowed Belperron to mount stones of various shapes and sizes into her pieces in a random pattern.  She also pioneered the setting of gemstones into hardstone, a favorite combination was diamonds in rock crystal. Some of her all gold pieces were textured — through the use of microhammering and scratching – to look ancient.

Belperron worked very closely with her clients. She custom made jewels in collaboration with her client, taking meticulous measurements of the fingers and wrists to make sure that the finished jewel was a perfect fit.

In 1963 Belperron was given the Knight of the Legion of Honor award by the French government for her contributions as a jewelry designer. It is the highest distinction given to a French citizen. In 1974, after 55 years in the business, 42 with the Herz family, Belperron and Jean Herz closed up shop and retired. Belperron passed away in Paris in 1983, but her artistic legacy lives on through the jewels she created.

The late great designer Karl Lagerfeld summed up the essence of Belperron’s work when he wrote the forward to the book “The Jewelry of Suzanne Belperron” by Patricia Corbett, Ward Landrigan and Nico Landrigan. “There is a humble splendor you can never find in other designers’ work before her. One feels that the heart always prevailed,” concluded Lagerfeld.

 Authored by Amber Michelle

Treasure Hunters: Women Who Sell Jewelry

The jewelry business is a fascinating world filled with designers who create the sparkling jewels that we love to wear and dealers who find amazing jewelry from bygone eras and give them a second chance to be loved and worn again. We’ve spoken to three women who started jewelry businesses and the path that led them to selling all that sparkles.

Celine Catalaa, French Collection

Celine Catalaa, French Collection

Based in Amsterdam and Paris, Celine Catalaa, travels the world searching for the most unique jewelry. Celine brings a deep passion for jewels with a story — and over a decade’s worth of experience — to her company French collection. She prides herself on discovering some of the best fine jewelry in the market to meet the tastes of her clients. French Collection is Celine’s homage to treasures with a past that come from some of the most famous heritage jewelry houses including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Tiffany & Co. as well as bespoke, one-of-a-kind pieces.

What attracted you to the jewelry business?

When I was growing up, at my house, jewelry was not a business, but a love affair. I have vivid memories from my childhood of a “treasure chest” that belonged to my mother and grandmother. I was always fascinated and emotionally touched by the beautiful and precious little jewels that it contained. I never imagined that I would become a jewelry dealer.

How did you get started in the jewelry business?

I was a journalist and I decided that I needed to make a radical career change. A friend of mine, who really believed in me, gave me some help. When I was 35 years old, I became the oldest intern at Drouot, the famous Hotel des Ventes auction house in Paris. During the few years that I was there, I met many interesting people in the business… including my very talented husband. Changing careers was the best decision I ever made.

What is your favorite era for design and what makes jewelry from that era special?

I can easily fall for a beautiful piece of Art Deco jewelry, but I’m a 1970s lady! I like bold, colorful jewelry. I can’t resist anything with amethyst, turquoise or lapis lazuli. It’s happy jewelry and that’s what we need, don’t you think so?

What makes vintage jewelry relevant today?

Preloved jewelry and vintage jewelry has never been as popular as it is today. There are many reasons. First, there is sustainability, the carbon footprint of a piece of vintage jewelry is close to zero. Vintage jewelry is also very high quality. Most of it is handmade with a high level of craftsmanship. The pieces are also quite rare because most of the jewelry was handmade so the production was limited and pieces were often uniquely one-of-a-kind.

Sara Sze, An Order of Bling

Sara Sze, An Order of Bling

Singapore-based Sara Sze, is a jewelry designer and founder of An Order of Bling. She immortalizes words and phrases into diamond jewelry creations that can be handed down through the generations. Sara’s designs are often inspired by the gem she is working with and this leads to pieces with their own unique personality. A self-taught designer, Sara won the Design Competition in the Singapore International Jewelry Exhibition in July 2019.  During the covid-19 lockdown, she was part of a virtual panel discussion with Fabergé and VAK hosted by the India International Jewelry Show (IIJS). Sara’s jewelry has been featured in the  Robb Report Centennial Edition on pink diamonds, Vogue Singapore, Harper Bazaar Singapore and most recently in Her World.

What attracted you to the jewelry business?

My love affair with Jewelry started when I was 16.  My grandfather gave me my first diamond to mark the occasion. The diamond came with a story about his life that he wanted to share. I remember thinking that no other gift was ever that significant. A family’s oral history and the precious gifts that accompany it are a forever gift.  When I finally had the chance to start my own business, jewelry design felt like the best thing I could do because I wanted to spend my time doing something that had great emotional and social impact. The ability to capture love stories in beautiful pieces that my clients wear next to their skin always pulls me back to the love I share with my family. 

How did you get started in the jewelry business?

I started An Order of Bling in 2016. It was a culmination of all the repressed creative energies that have been bubbling below the surface since I was a child. I do not come from a family that has obvious artistic talent and so I never dreamed I could be a designer. 

You say that you are a “gem whisperer” tell us about what that means to your designs.

Working with diamonds and gemstones is an incredible experience. We are so transient — here for at most one hundred years. However, gems have been here for millions, even billions of years. For me, working with gems over time, they emit a sort of energy that translates into a thought. Not all gems will resonate with me, but the ones that I select for a design at An Order of Bling have a very magnetic pull and the design idea occurs almost instantaneously. It’s like the gem decides how it wants to be presented. The result is usually quite distinctive.

What makes good design?

In my mind, the best bespoke designs truly belong to one person.  They can’t be repeated for someone else because when I conceived it for that person, the whole process involved thinking about who that person is, the emotions they stirred up in me when I met them and the emotions that I saw stirred up in the person who came with them, it’s highly personal. It’s so personal that if someone asked me to make another one of the same design, I would never do it, it’s not right.

Inez Stodel, Inez Stodel Kunsthandel

Inez Stodel and Leonore van der Walls, Inez Stodel, Kunsthandel

Specializing in jewelry and small works of art for over 50 years, Inez Stodel opened her namesake store, Inez Stodel Kunsthandel, in the heart of Amsterdam in 1964. She sells rare and wearable antique jewelry and is known for her extraordinary eye for design and exceptional taste, both of which she developed from watching her antique dealer father sourcing pieces for his store. Her daughter Leonore van der Walls, who was an attorney, joined Inez in the business in 2004.  Jewelry in the collection dates from antiquity to the 1970s and features pieces from esteemed houses including Cartier, Tiffany & Co., Van Cleef & Arpels, Marcus & Co., Mauboussin and Boucheron. The collection also features jewels from renowned designers such as Carlo Giuliano, Alexis Falize, Jean and Georges Fouquet and Seaman Schepps. In addition to jewelry, the company also carries objets de vitrine — boxes, scent bottles, micromosaics and more.

What attracted you to the jewelry business and how did you get started?

My father was an antique dealer and while I was growing-up he took me on some of his buying trips. He opened his store right after World War II and he bought everything from Chinese ceramics and Oceanic art to jewelry. I fell in love with the jewelry. Now, that spark has passed to my daughter, Leonore van der Walls, who is currently managing Inez Stodel as a third generation dealer.

What is your favorite era for design and what makes jewelry from that era special?

I love early jewelry because of its soft appearance and the romance of past eras. It’s the same for vintage gemstones, the way they are cut is softer to the eye. I do not have a preference for any period. I am more interested in the proportions of the design and the quality of the jewel. When a piece of jewelry is pleasing to the eye, then that makes it good. I also love some contemporary designers like Jacob de Groes, who is from The Netherlands.

What makes vintage jewelry relevant today?

It is the workmanship and history, but so much more as well. We, as a society, need to be careful about what we want to produce. By selling antiques we both recycle and upcycle.

Authored by Amber Michelle