Located in the historic Pike Place Market, Isadora’s has specialized in exquisite antique jewelry for 38 years. Our discriminating collection includes pieces from the early 1800’s through the 1950’s, without a reproduction to be found. Our precious pieces are sent to North American Gem Lab for independent appraisals. We invite you to call our toll free number for applicable discounts. On many of our pieces, we are able to offer between 10-25% off of appraisal value.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Topaz: December's Birthstone

Named in honor of the Russian monarchy that valued and wore this beautiful stone, the Imperial Topaz is a fantastic gemstone with beautiful peach, pink, orange and champagne hues.

The word “Topaz” comes from the Sanskrit word meaning fire.  And the stone does have a fire like quality.

The ancient Egyptians believed that Ra, the Sun God is the one who gave Topaz its color.  And the topaz was therefore highly valued by the ancient Egyptians.  The Romans also believed it was the sun that gave the topaz its color.
(Ra found here)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Marcasite: A Sparkle for Every Season

What stone was popular to the ancient Greeks, the Inca of Latin America, Cleopatra, Marie Antoinette and Queen Victoria? –Marcasite of course.  Okay maybe not of course, but it’s true and kind of fantastic.

If you are one of the people asking what marcasite is, let me tell you.  (After all spell check does not recognize the word 'marcasite' despite the fact that it is a beautiful stone used in jewelry, well, almost forever.)

Marcasite is a pyrite, otherwise know as iron disulphined (FeS2) and it is a beautiful, metallic, black colored stone, faceted and worn as jewelry.   Cut similar to a rose cut diamond, it typically has a flat bottom and a faceted almost pyramid shaped top.  And it is usually set is sterling silver, displaying an enchanting mystery and sparkle.

Gaining popularity in the later half of the 18th century, Marcasite replaced cut steel jewelry as the non diamond sparkle of choice as jewelers began using exquisite craftsmanship and invention to create the most beautiful and fantastic designs with this sparkling stone.  Its popularity continued well into the Art Deco era where its sparkle gave wonderful life to the industrial lines of the Art Deco era. 

And here it is in it's natural form.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

All of our best wishes for a beautiful Thanksgiving!

The Women at Isadora's

Monday, November 21, 2011

Why Gift Giving Matters to Me

Every August my friend Elizabeth says, “It’s almost Christmas” and I cover my ears and hum a ditty.  And she uncovers my ears and says, “Before you know it, it will be Christmas” and I ignore her.  But here we are three days before Thanksgiving and she is sitting smug with a half filled Christmas closet and I wonder where September and October went. 

I love this Art Deco postcard of a messenger bearing gifts.

And so, as I try and cobble together a Christmas list, I find myself contemplating the nature of Christmas gifts and gift giving in general. 

This beautiful antique necklace is a French love token

I remember the first year I picked out my own Christmas gifts.  I was ten or eleven, and felt it was time I started participating in the gift giving as well as receiving. And so I counted my pennies, consulted with my grandmother and decided to give gifts to five family members.  I don’t remember most of the gifts I gave that year but I do remember giving my mother a beautiful cake platter that she uses to this day.

I always look for antique jewelry pieces with engravings.   This one is particularly sweet reading, "Sons to Mothers 1-13-14"
And I learned something that Christmas, that overused but true truism, it is better to give than to receive.  Or if not that, giving can be really great, because that Christmas I remember anticipating less what I would receive and more the expressions on peoples faces when they opened the presents I had purchased for them.
In Victorian England, Snake Jewelry were popularly gifted between lovers as two snake intertwined symbolized eternal love.
And ever since that Christmas, I have given gifts.  Which depending on the size of my bank account, has varied from the moderately lavish to the homemade.  One year I think I had to glue the wrapping paper shut because I ran out of money for tape.  And like my bank account, my investment emotionally in gift giving has also varied from the perfunctory to the heartfelt.  

Lockets were traditionally a gift given to a loved on and hold that tradition today.  

But this year I want to reinvest myself in why I choose to give gifts.  Because for me, when I get it right, a gift large or small can be an expression of how I value and love my friends and family. A gift can be a wonderful moment, a lasting memory of friendship or love exchanged.  Something my friend can look at and remember how much I love them.

Bands were often a place to engrave a message.  This one reads "WMH to RMN"

One of the very best gifts I’ve ever given was a 1920’s shell cameo with marcasite frame.  I gave it to my grandmother who adores cameos and it is her very favorite one.   She wears it on special occasions and she even rigged a little picture frame for it, so she can keep it on her bedside table whenever she is not wearing it.  For me it was the gift giving equivalent of a home run, because not only it is something she loves for what it is singularly, it is something sentimental and lasting and only a few people know how much which she loves cameos and I am one of them.

This cameo reminds me of the one I gave my grandmother several years ago.

I’ve given gifts that I’ve remembered and given gifts that I’ve forgotten and this year I want to give only memorable gifts.  Gifts that say I see you and I love you. This year I plan to be unabashedly sentimental.  This year I plan to wear my gift giving on my sleeve.

For more beautiful antique jewelry ideas go to isadoras.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What to Buy Men?

I’m married to what the Victorian’s would have termed a dandy and our contemporary society labels a Metro sexual.  He likes clothes.  He likes adornment.  He cares about how he looks and aesthetics.  And it is something I love about him. 

Men's Vintage Amber Cufflinks
But he has a beef with the fashion industry.  What about the men?  So many stores he walks into place such emphasis on women’s fashion that men feel nigh near excluded.  And jewelry stores are sometimes the worst.

Vintage Sterling Silver Cufflinks
But men have one thing women do not (Although women have on occasion fantastically appropriated it). 

French 18KT Yellow Gold Cufflinks
Men have cufflinks.  Sometimes classic, sometimes whimsical, sometimes downright droll, the cufflink is a chance for a man to preen his feathers and express himself.

Art Deco Enamel Cufflinks
Cufflinks are also an item that a man can collect, pass from father to son or receive on important anniversary, birthday or commencement.  It is an heirloom piece that can be worn for a lifetime or multi-generations lifetime when too often, in our disposable culture, clothing fashion seems to be cycling faster than a bullet train.

1960's Vintage Omega Watch
And of course there is always the classic men’s accessory, the perfect watch.  Whether it is a 1940’s Longines with a rectangular face, a Mid 20th Century Hamilton or that perfect 1960’s Omega a la John F. Kennedy a watch is always the perfect and classic men’s accessory, gift and heirloom piece.

For more fantastic men's accessories please go to the Men's Section of our website.  Men's Accessories

Monday, November 14, 2011

Isadora’s Returns From a Buying Trip!!!

We at Isadora’s love, love, love the holidays.  We’re celebration kind of people and we particularly love Christmas, which is why we have been searching the world over for the oldest, the most beautiful and the most exotic jewelry we can imagine for your holiday gift giving needs.

Beautiful Vintage Amber Screw back Earrings
And we are pretty darn proud of what we have found, whether it is:

Mid 20th Century Turquoise & Diamond Cocktail Ring


Vintage Enamel Snake Necklace (With Matching Bracelet)


1920's Old European Cut Diamond Ring
We have it!  We are also excited to unveil our new collection of vintage jewelry from Japan, India and the Golden Triangle.

Spiral Bracelet: In the Golden Triangle, where this bracelet was made, the spiral is know to represent "the repetitive rhythms of life and the being's permanence over the transience of change."

Please stop by soon or sooner to see what we have, as each pieces is one of a kind and there may be only one chance to see these fantastic vintage and antique jewelry finds.  

Monday, November 7, 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011

Citrines: A Golden Birthstone

It is a new month and therefore I get to research and think about a new, fabulous and beautiful birthstone.  And this month it is the citrine, one of my personal favorites.

Edwardian Citrine Heart & Crown Earrings

The citrine is named after the French word “citrin” meaning lemon.  And it will always hold a special place in my heart and on my hand because my very first Isadora’s piece of jewelry was a fantastic whiskey colored 1950’s citrine cocktail ring, a gift from Isadora’s owner. I wear it regularly to this day.

Citrine Cocktail Ring 

There is not much legend attached to the citrine but there doesn’t need to be.  The beauty of the stone speaks for itself.  Sometimes a lemony yellow color and at other times a warm, whiskey hue, it is a stone complex and inviting. 
Victorian Citrine Pendant Necklace

We all have our own connections to stones and to the visual world in general but for me the citrine is a stone that feels simultaneously comfortable and sexy   There is something so natural and warm about the stones golden color and yet it still has that fire and sparkle that makes it oh so much more.

To see more fantastic antique citrine pieces please follow this link: Isadora's Antique Citrine