I love estate and vintage jewelry. Not in a crazy, pile-it-on, Rhinestone-Rosie sort of way. More like the occasional platinum-deco or art-nouveau-indulgence sort of way.
If you share my enthusiasm (or obsession, as the case may be), Alexandria Rossoff is a name you should know. Besides being an exceptionally regal name, the namesake is also the proprietor of a beautiful boutique full of estate jewels in downtown Seattle, WA.
Alex (I think I can call her Alex) has been involved in jewelry since college, when she was taking jewelry-fabricating classes while pursuing her degree in Geology and Environmental science. She went on to work for several years at Fox’s Gem Shop, a Seattle independent jeweler known for its beautiful jewelry and integrity, where she became the resident estate jewelry expert. While working in the industry, she earned the prestigious title (among others) of Certified Gemologist Appraiser from the American Gem Society, as well as her Graduate Gemologist title from GIA.
Alex opened her own salon in 1999 (celebrating their 10th Anniversary this October of 2009!), where she has a treasure trove of amazing vintage pieces. Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian, Art Deco or Art Nouveau, there are incredible examples of all of those periods and more (click here for a great tutorial on period style descriptions). I have been in to the store, and I love her aesthetic. She manages to find the most appealing examples of those design eras, and they are in excellent condition. Of course, she has to attend her share of important jewelry auctions and travel the world for this kind of inventory. I know, what a drag, huh?
Coveting a lovely vintage engagement ring? This is just one example from her collection:
This pretty cuff would be perfect as a very up-to-date accessory, and with a price under $500, it’s a worthy vintage investment:
And finally, this 5.33 carat Asscher Cut is incredibly rare and amazing. I want:
Buying a piece of estate jewelry means more than just purchasing something. You are buying a piece of history and beginning your own “collection”. Careful though, it’s addicting.
If you are interested in any of the pieces featured, or looking for Antique or Estate jewelry you should definitely look up Alexandria Rossoff. You can ring her her at 206-381-3949, ping her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit her jewel-box of a store at 402 University Street, Seattle, WA 98101. It’s worth it.