unabashedly sentimental

Top 5 Shopping Tips for Vintage Colored Stone Engagement Rings

There is no question that Isadoras specializes in unique vintage engagement rings. It is our our common denominator: every person who crosses our threshold has a love for the rare, unique and individual. Often, the search for the perfect vintage engagement ring leads to the way of a vintage colored stone engagement ring. Of course, each ring suits the individual personality, hand, and aesthetic of the couple choosing it, creating a fall-in-love moment that is by far the most magical thing I have the privilege to witness at Isadoras.  So, here lends the question:

How do I shop for the perfect colored stone engagement ring?

Here are a few tips:

1. The first thing I recommend is be open, have fun, and try things on! Each authentic antique ring and gemstone shows uniquely on each individual hand. This is a Isadoras favorite: A magical vintage cushion cut sapphire solitaire. The fire in this sapphire is an alluring warm indigo.

unique sapphire engagement ring

2. Follow your instinct. For you wonderful partners shopping for your future fiance, let your final choice fall to your intuition. It is relatively easy to fall into over-analysis of details (which are super important too), but I guarantee that just like your unique partner, that perfect ring will speak to you in a special way. Below is my favorite ring- A very architectural Retro ring with a 2.4 carat golden peach sapphire.

shop retro engagement rings unique gemstone

3.  Check out a range of colored gemstones. If you love a ruby, take a peek at garnets! Perhaps you were thinking sapphire, but maybe there’s a Aquamarine the knocks your socks off. There are so many intricacies of tints and tones in gemstones, and you would be surprised how a antique colored stone engagement ring can unexpectedly sing on your hand.

shop garnet gemstone victorian alternative engagement ring

4. Play with size. Depending on the rarity of the stone, you could choose a non traditional engagement ring with a larger gemstone in it. A great example of a large gemstone engagement ring is citrine, amethyst, or aquamarine.

shop big stone engagement ring, aquamarine engagement ring

5. Vintage colored stone bands make fantastic engagement rings. If you/ your significant other is really active, minimal, in a healthcare field, or loves versatility, a antique gemstone band is just perfect! The wonderful thing about a engagement band is often it is lovely and poetic alone, or you can pair multiple vintage bands to create a bigger/ more textured look.

rare deco ruby band

 xoxo ~Gemma

The Beauty of Imperfection

My brother is an enormous J.M. Barrie fan and has read all his books, plays, short stories and other writings. Years ago he told me a portion of one of Barrie’s tales that clarified things for him. Barrie said, and I am paraphrasing as this conversation happened long ago, ‘in each person a flaw resided and that is where the story came from.


This conversation codified something for me. I have always found perfection boring. I understand the drive for perfection but actual perfection leaves me a little cold. It is the flaws that make stories interesting. It is the flaws that make people interesting. It is the flaws that make life interesting. And I feel that way about gemstones to.

Isadoras sells ideals stones, stones that fulfill all the promise of the four c’s. And don’t get me wrong, a D Flawless diamond is a thing of beauty but it never seduces me the way a stone with its own quirks, flaws and ultimately beauty does. A stone with its own idiosyncrasies puts butterflies in my stomach and when one of those stones arrive in our store I find myself inexplicably drawn to it.

The stone, which I hold as, the standard for beautiful stones was in Isadora’s three years ago and my co-worker sold it to someone who wasn’t me (I forgave her but just barely).  I still dream about that emerald. It was a hazy green. Not the deep green considered most valuable but almost the color of spearmint and it had this magical inner glow. It was heavily included, each internal flaw seeming to tell the story of this stone’s birth.


Art Deco Emerald Ring

And when it came time to pick my own engagement ring (with my fiancé’s assistance of course) I looked for a ring with, for a lack of a better word humanity.

There are two diamonds in my engagement ring. Both look hand cut. One is an Old European cut diamond and the other, sitting right next to it, is an Old Mine cut diamond. Two stones that are not the same but still make sense together. And I have to admit the Old Mine cut diamond is my favorite of the two.


Antique Mine Cut Diamond Engagement Ring

An Old Mine cut is similar to a cushion cut. They are both rounded squares but mine is just a hair crooked. And that is why I fell in love with it. It wants to be a square but it just can’t quite achieve it.

I get my stones. I understand them. They speak to me. Everyday I look at them and they make me happy because I see a story in their imperfections. I see the man who cut the stone before a computer was invented. He was cutting blind, discovering within the stone its future. I imagine the women who wore it before me. My setting is 40’s but the stones looks older and I imagine this stone being passed down from woman to woman, each valuing and loving it. And I think about wearing it myself until I am ready to pass it on to a future daughter or niece in all its beautiful imperfection.

Please visit our website for more beautiful vintage engagement rings!

The Beauty of Antique Carnelian Jewelry

Antique and Deco Carnelaian has a certain magnetism to it that is slightly inexplicably other-worldly. The sunny luminosity of the carnelian stone often is intense yet soothing in its warm shades of orange to reddish brown. Antique carnelian jewelry is often set in silver, lending a cool patina accent to the warm orange-y hues.

shop antique carnelian jewelry

As it is August, I start to think about harvest season and (verryy slowly) transitioning to, and readying my fall wardrobe. Carnelian, I think, perfectly accompanies the transition from summer to fall. The textured and cool silver is light and accents the airy-ness of a summer dress, but the deep warmth of carnelian is a true delight with a fall knit or big woolen coat.

antique carnelian jewelry

Historically, this gemstone has been used for centuries as a talisman for healing and protection, and is one of the oldest known gemstones to be used in human history. Due to its great ability to be carved, carnelian was Ancient Rome’s choice as a intaglio wax seal, a tradition that lives on to today, as seen above in this wonderful intaglio arts and crafts carnelian ring. One of the ancient examples of carnelian is from Mesopotamian Queen Puabi- a exquisite beaded cape and headdress dated circa 2550 BCE.  And thus, carnelian has been cemented in our history of human adornment as a delightful and warm gemstone to accompany us though life.

Queen Puabi carnelian. antique carnelian jewelry shop

Queen Puabi jewels  carnelain jewelry antique

One of the most ancient examples of carnelian is from Mesopotamian Queen Puabi- a exquisite beaded cape and headdress dated circa 2550 BCE.

Thus, carnelian has been cemented in our history of human adornment as a delightful and warm gemstone to accompany us though life. Please click on all images to learn more, or visit Isadoras Carnelian HERE.