Starling DarlingsDanielle MieleJewelry Blogger & Founder of Gem Gossip
"I think the word keepsake is interchangeable with the word sentimental or heirloom and I wear something different everyday - including changing up my engagement ring.”
Jewelry blogger, Gemologist, collector of jewelry and founder of Gem Gossip, Danielle Miele is true jewelry aficionado and total sweetheart.
The Nashville native is the one-woman powerhouse behind Gem Gossip, one of the first jewelry blogs out there and a go to source for trends, vintage and designer highlights and gemstone & jewelry education. We were thrilled to met up with Danielle in New York City last September, to hear the stories behind her favorite pieces and learn about the signifigant pull jewelry has always had in her life.
What does “keepsake” mean to you? What piece of jewelry comes to mind when you think of keepsakes? I think the word “keepsake” is interchangeable with the word “sentimental” or “heirloom.” I own several sentimental pieces of jewelry, but my most precious pieces are my grandparents’ original wedding bands from their wedding in Italy. They got married on October 21st, the same date I chose for my wedding day. The bands are inscribed on the inside with their names and the date. First jewelry memory? My first memory about jewelry is definitely of my mom's jewelry box, which was actually the middle part of her dresser. It opened by a cabinet door, which revealed four smaller drawers, each full of jewelry. One box had all her earrings and I remember playing with those, as well as her costume jewelry necklaces with big beads. I would pile them on and walk around the house like I was a queen. What is your favorite piece in your jewelry box? Any jewelry superstitions or rituals? The boulder opal ring that I received on my wedding day as a gift from my husband. I was always superstitious about wearing opals since I wasn't born in October, but opals are one of my favorite gemstones. I decided I wasn't going to let a superstition get in my way, but I had to justify it in my mind. So I came up with my own theory, that since I got married in October and opal is October's birthstone, the special date allows me to wear opals. I found the ring at an antique jewelry store up in Pennsylvania while working on my #JewelryRoadTrip project visiting antique jewelry stores around the country. I kept thinking about the ring after I had returned back home to Nashville and decided to order it. The colors of the opal are insane—it looks different in every light. What is crazy is that I gave the ring to my jeweler five days before I got married and had him remove all of the fancy curlicues surrounding the stone. It was a last-minute decision, which I am happy I made!
What are your everyday pieces of jewelry?
I wear something different everyday; that includes changing up my engagement ring. Sometimes I wear it, sometimes I don't. I wrote an entire blog post about the "rules of engagement rings" which is a good read. Typically, I will always wear a few rings, some earrings (usually a matching pair of gold huggie hoops in my second and third holes), and some delicate layering necklaces
Any favorite antique pieces?
I have a Fede ring circa 1810 that I found and rescued from a scrap gold pile. It was featured in my museum curation I did with [vintage and antique house] Doyle & Doyle in 2014 featuring sentimental rings. Here's a photo: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/27725353932274954/
What jewelry have you bought recently?
Late at night, I like to buy charms on eBay or Ruby Lane. Between 11 p.m. and 1a.m., nothing but trouble happens. I just bought a gumball-machine charm that has little multi-colored metal balls which are supposed to be gumballs. It is the cutest thing.
How many jewelry boxes do you own?
I have one very large one that I've deconstructed multiple times to make it work for me. This usually means ripping out the necklace and bracelet racks and installing ring holders (velvet ring slots). I also own a couple of antique jewelry boxes, including one that I was recently gifted by an antique jewelry store owner when I visited her shop in Buffalo, New York.
Favorite Starling piece?
I love so many pieces because they're simple, versatile and perfect everyday jewels. My favorite would have to be the tiny pavé bar necklace in emerald. The emeralds just pop against the yellow gold. Although it is a delicate piece, it makes a big impact.
Tell us the story of getting your ears pierced.
The great ear-piercing debacle! I was 4 years old and begged my parents to let me get my ears pierced. I would even put stickers on my ears and stare at myself in the mirror, pretending they were pierced. The anticipation was so high that, when my parents finally let me get them pierced, I jumped as the gun pierced my lobes. I ended up with one earring lower than normal, and the other coming out of the bottom of my lobe. My dad eventually took one out and left the other to heal. I had to rock one earring for awhile, but once I got the other ear repierced, I was happier than ever. I still have a gold teddy-bear stud earring that was my pride and joy back in the day.