Antique Jewelry Love | Charlotte, NC
Each day I am showing off the shop of a woman I personally know, and Day 5 is Antique Jewelry Love. Tamrah owns and manages a quite impressive antique and estate jewelry business! I met her this year at a beautiful party on Lake Wylie. I bought a delightfully charming bracelet from her store for my daughter, and I regularly wear an adorable vintage ring that I purchased from her collection. You can browse through her online catalog on Etsy as well as on her main website. I am so very impressed by Tamrah’s talent in acquiring treasures and running such an attractive business.
Q&A With Tamrah
What originally got you into the antique jewelry market?
Actually, it’s funny. I studied art in school and while in school, I completed a two year apprenticeship with a wonderful, contemporary, jewelry designer. The problem was, I was a terrible jeweler. It really gave me an appreciation for how talented these jewelers are who engineer these tiny pieces of art!
After I realized that I was probably NOT going to be making jewelry, I eventually found myself, somewhat desperately, looking for a job. I knew a couple who owned a fine art and antique jewelry gallery and approached them for a job, thinking it would probably be temporary until I decided what I wanted to do. Well, the owner really became a wonderful mentor. He gave me access to every book he had on antique jewelry, encouraged me to start my GIA classes, and taught me what to look for and how to buy antique and vintage jewelry. I really fell in love with the history and sentiment of this part of the business.
Do you have a favorite piece that you have found, and if so, would you the story behind it?
My absolute favorite piece of jewelry happens to be my Grandmother’s ring I received for my 30th birthday from my mom. My grandma was a tiny woman, but she wore this huge ring almost everyday since my grandfather bought it for her. The funny thing was, he picked it up at a small jewelry store because he thought it was pretty, but he didn’t want to spend a lot. The owner told him it was not expensive, just a moonstone in silver, and gave him a great deal. No one realized the value until I cleaned it and took a closer look years later. It turned out to be an original Art Deco piece with a large natural star sapphire set in platinum with diamonds! But what I love most is how much my grandmother treasured her “worthless” ring.
I really love most of the items I have in my Etsy shop, as they are hand picked. But my favorite piece I have for sale is probably the Egyptian Revival Sphinx Necklace. It can actually be worn as a brooch or a necklace, and It has such beautiful detail, it’s really a piece of art. The Egyptian motif was made popular again in decorative arts after the discovery of King Tut’s tomb in the early 1920’s. I bought the brooch from an estate in Raleigh. The original owner was a collector of Egyptian and Egyptian revival art, and I was lucky to spy this little jewel.
What is something most shoppers may not know about your business?
My favorite part of the business is actually discovery. I love sorting through what many consider junk and finding tiny treasures. I am happy to make house calls and sort through large estates. From there I can buy unwanted items, appraise pieces for insurance or estate, inventory items, or recommend equitable disbursement.
What a beautiful collection of jewelry! I love seeing these history come to life as Tamrah brings these stories back with each item in her online store. Thanks for letting me share your business!