Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Another place to visit pretty things

I recently stumbled upon Prather Beeland, Inc - an antique jewelry shop with a small, very reasonably priced collection.  Their ring, earring and pendant selection is especially nice. I am happy to find another online boutique to pop into from time to time!

Friday, June 21, 2013

For Her Majesty

In honor of the anniversary of the first day of Queen Victoria's reign, which began 176 years ago yesterday (June 20, 1837) I listed this ring. It features one of her favorite stones - turquoise. I think my favorite thing about this piece is the range of color in the natural pearls and in the turquoise. I also love the rose gold band and setting. This pairing of seed pearls and turquoise was especially popular in the Late Victorian period, with rubies and diamonds occasionally making an appearance, too. These rings are easy to recognize because of three things: a geometrically framed face set with patterns of calibre cut turquoise and seed pearls, rose gold setting, and decorative chasing on the shoulders. Here are a few other rings in the same style from around the web (images linked).

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Hope Diamond via USPS: Fragile, Registered, Insured

Did you know that when Henry Winston, the prominent American jeweler and gem dealer, donated the Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian in 1958 he mailed it from NYC to Washington, D.C. via USPS First Class Mail? I mean, couldn't someone have driven that thing down?! Here's the play by play, courtesy of the Postal Museum website:

"With his years of experience in shipping jewelry all over the world, Winston chose to have the diamond delivered by registered mail. He told a reporter for the Washington Post that “ . . . [registered mail is] the safest way to ship gems. . . . I’ve sent gems all over the world that way.”

The diamond was placed in a box, wrapped in brown paper, and sent by registered mail, traveling down from New York in a Railway Post Office train car. In Washington, it was immediately taken to the City Post Office (the building that now houses the National Postal Museum), where it was picked up by postal carrier James G. Todd. Todd drove the package to the National Museum of Natural History. The diamond was handed over in a ceremony including Leonard Carmichael, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and Mrs. Harry Winston. The transfer was completed when Carmichael signed the receipt for the registered package. The price paid for shipping the gem, valued at $1 million at the time, was $145.29, most of that for package insurance."

Severen and I are flying to D.C. for a few days this weekend and I'm planning to see both the Hope Diamond (Natural History Museum) and the original USPS package (Postal Museum) while we are there. If I can only make it to see one of them . . . . I might just choose the package!!

Monday, June 17, 2013

My winnings

It was a good weekend of hunting for Jean Jean Vintage! This is about half of what I came home with. You'll see the bracelets and many of the goldtone earrings in the shop this week. They will complement the four necklaces (top row!) that I stocked today. I'm having a retro/tailored moment and really loving bigger, bolder, golder (is that a word?!) pieces. Is it my short haircut that makes me want more modern statement accessories? Who knows - I'm going with it. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

My life in birds

Last night I ordered these three prints from Dutch Door Press. I plan to frame them and hang them together, maybe in our bedroom. They show the state bird and flower of our home states (Iowa, Minnesota), the state where we met and went to college (Minnesota), and the place where we've made our home for the last decade, built our marriage, and started a family (Michigan). I've spent my whole life - not counting 1 1/2 years spread across California, Washington D.C. and Morocco - in these three places. And something tells me I will spend the remainder in one of these states, too. Am I crying as I type this? Maybe a little bit.

Monday, June 10, 2013

I like you, you like me


Did you notice that there is a wee Facebook "Like" icon at the top of the shop and a link to Facebook on the sidebar of the blog now? Yes indeedy, Jean Jean Vintage has a page all its own. Why not mosey over and tell me you like me? Connecting with the shop on Facebook will get you the first look at giveaways, sales, listings and shop previews. The party starts there from now on.

In exchange for your "Like" I'll give each and every one of you a personalized coupon for 20% off the shop through the end of the month. Just drop me a quick note here once you've "liked" the shop and I'll send your coupon code via email the very same day. Thank you for your support!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Pull-down maps from Gritty City Goods

Ugh! I apologize for making false appearances in your reading list these past several hours. I'm trying to work on image mapping and I had a couple false starts! I think I'm getting the hang of it, though, and it will be a fun thing.

In the meantime, I want to share a shop I've been thinking about lately. Gritty City Goods takes vintage prints, puts them on canvas and mounts them like pull-down maps. And who doesn't long for a good pull-down map in the house? Not surprisingly, I am pining after this geological map of France. I could hang it right by my real vintage "France Physique" map. Then my office would be perfect.