A couple of weeks ago, I met up with a favourite fellow Instagrammer, Kate from @heartofsolidgold - if you don't already follow her, you really are missing out! Kate has been collecting antique rings for ten years, and her collection is a sight for sore eyes.
I've (virtually) met so many wonderful people since I joined Instagram last year, it's such a shame that most of them live several thousand miles away the other side of the pond! But when Kate and I discovered that we both live in the north of England, we decided we just had to meet up for some tea and cake and a jewellery gossip, to share our jewellery stories and to have a rummage through some of each others' favourite pieces from our personal collections...and, of course, to squeeze in some antique hunting!
Our first stop was my favourite tea room of all time, the famous Bettys in the beautiful ancient city of York. We settled down in the elegant downstairs tea room and got straight to work over a pot of "Blue Sapphire" tea (what else?!) and some delicious homemade cakes.
I took my large antique ring box with all of my own rings and a handful of rings from my shop. Being relatively new collecting rings seriously, I was bowled over by Kate's amazing collection and must have tried on about thirty rings dating from the Georgian era right through to some new handmade rings. We sat there drooling and exclaiming, oblivious to the sideways glances of our fellow diners, who probably thought we were bonkers. Two and a half hours later (!) we decided it was time for some hunting...
The gentle sandstone of York Minster in the sun, and the medieval street of Stonegate.
My #ringsoftheday, all from my personal collection. A gold eagle stickpin conversion, a diamond creeping fox stickpin conversion, an American pierced 'baby' ring, a Victorian paste snake buttonhole conversion ring, and my old mine cut solitaire next to my engagement and handmade wedding ring.
After a few more hours of trying on rings in a couple of our favourite antique shops, I'd earmarked my day's purchase. Pretty much all my personal rings were "a ring with something in the middle", so they all had a central feature like a single stone, a cluster of stones, or a creature-face. I didn't really have anything to stack them with. It's so easy to fall in love with the showstopper rings but to neglect the backdrop and enhancement rings. I plumped for this midcentury diamond half-eternity and in 18ct yellow gold with 18ct white gold settings. Just gorgeous next to my creeping fox! He's got diamonds on the soles of his shoes now.
The day passed in a flash, and before we knew it, the shops had closed and it was getting dark and time to go home. We both had SO MUCH FUN and did not pause for breath all day, it was non-stop jewellery gossiping right the way through. I'm so happy to have met someone who's as obsessed with jewellery as I am, who has the same (if not better!) taste as me, and who has the same finger-sizes as I do! We're already planning our next jewellery meetup <3 #jewelleryaddictsanonymous