Jewellery Mavericks: An interview with Gem Gossip
It is real pleasure to announce the start of our new blog series at Taylor & Hart – Jewllery Mavericks where we will share our conversations with trending jewellery bloggers and influencers. Our hope is to showcase the diversity within the world of precious stones and metals; making the industry more accessible through expert knowledge and artistry.
Our first guest appearance is from the lovely Danielle Miele, founder of Gem Gossip. She started her blog nine years ago and she extended her love for fine jewellery to her career – graduating from the GIA. Gem Gossip is an engaging hub for gemstone and jewellery education, showing expert reviews, beautiful imagery and a distinct interest in antique and bespoke design.
T&H: Who was your greatest influence in shaping your taste in jewellery? Do you remember when and how your passion was kindled?
My paternal grandma is definitely a jewellery influence. She immigrated to the US from Italy in the 1950s and growing up, I always saw her wearing lots of gold jewellery. She often visited her homeland with my grandfather and they would bring back a gold ring, bracelet or necklace for each of their grandchildren (which included me)! I think that truly ignited my love for jewellery.
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If you could only wear one piece of jewellery for the rest of your life, what piece do you choose and why?
This sounds like torture to me! Haha. I would choose my charm necklace because although it is considered one piece of jewellery, it really is several pieces in one! It holds memories, sentimental treasures and tells my life story. I wear it almost every day!
Is there an item which you consider both a simple accessory and a piece of art, both every day and statement?
I’ve really been into earring looks lately and I’ve learned how to “style” an ear in an artistic way using simple earrings. A bold statement piece worn in the first hole, with simple studs in the upper hole(s) with ear cuffs going up the top part of the ear is both stylish and almost like a piece of artwork when you look at it in its entirety.
What are the biggest trends you’re currently seeing in the jewellery industry?
Lots of colour, long shoulder-dusting earrings, statement rings and collar necklaces. I’m also so surprised, in the best way possible, how strong charms are right now—whether people collect charms to form a bracelet or necklace, they are back and very hot right now.
Is custom-designed jewellery a trend or is it here to stay? What are the advantages of custom pieces to off-the-shelf ones?
I think custom jewellery stands the test of time and is highly covetable because it is one-of-a-kind. Consumers are wanting pieces that no one else has or pieces that have been made JUST for them. The word-of-mouth phenomena happens when someone is wearing a custom piece that they are happy with and proud of—it heightens their eagerness to talk about it with people.
Vintage has never been out of fashion, but what about the engagement rings trends? Are there any rules the soon-to-be-engaged should follow when designing the dream engagement ring or should they be led by imagination only?
I think if a couple has decided upon a custom engagement ring, they should have at least tried on several different finished styles beforehand. Seeing a design on a computer screen is SO MUCH different than actually trying it on and seeing it on your hand shape. Every hand and every style looks and suits people differently. With that said, I think style is in the eye of the beholder—whether you like something classic, trendy, alternative or antique—it is your ring and your choice!
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What are the most common misconceptions in the jewellery industry you believe first-time buyers have?
I think first time buyers, especially engagement ring shoppers, read too many articles online that have to do with the “perfect” diamond. To me, colour, clarity, cut do matter, but not as intensely as some hold it to be so—it should not be the only factor in judging what you choose.
When you think about customisation of a ring or jewellery piece, what gets you excited?
I love being able to customise gemstones by choosing which ones to include in a design. I tend to gravitate toward more cool colours, like blues and greens, so I love when I can choose sapphires, emeralds, malachite, lapis, demantoid garnets over rubies, fire opals, garnets; stones that I love to wear vs. stones that I don’t really wear too often. What gets me most excited is when designers are able to engrave on a piece. So a special date, saying or word engraved somewhere on a piece makes it really special.