reclaimed, restyled and reinvented vintage jewelry

The Two Girls Gems collection is made by hand selecting quality vintage pieces and combining them with modern beads, chains and gemstones. Buckles, clips, brooches and chains are all reinvented; the transformation of each piece inspired by its unique vintage elements. The result is heirloom pieces for the next generation. We take pride in primarily using sterling silver or 14K gold or gold fill.
To see our full collection visit our website

Sunday, May 31, 2015

We LOVE pearls!

Grace Kelly looking ever so chic 
For centuries, pearls have been coveted by every culture and have been a symbol of beauty and purity. Queen Victoria, Jackie Onassis, Audrey Hepburn and Barbara Bush are among some of the leading ladies that made Pearls their legendary jewelry.

Ever classic, always inspiring, we can't get enough of pearls.
Natural pearls are a rarity today but thanks to the cultivation and marketing genius of Miki Moto cultured pearls are highly regarded. Pearls can be both classic and contemporary. They pair up well with either silver or gold and come in many fashionable styles. Learning about types of pearls is important when adding items to your jewelry collection.
These large oversized pearls add a contemporary feel. One of the Olson twins, always stylish.

                                                                       Pearls 101

Pearls, natural or cultured, are formed when a mollusk produces layers of nacre (pronounced NAY-kur) around some type of irritant inside its shell. In natural pearls, the irritant may be another organism from the water. Today almost ALL PEARLS ARE CULTURED. A cultured pearl is when, a mother-of-pearl bead or a piece of tissue is inserted (by man) into the mollusk to start the process. For both, the quality of the nacre dictates the quality of the luster, or shine of the pearl, which is very important to its beauty and its value.  The surface of the pearl should be smooth and free of marks while the overall shape could be round, oval, pear-shaped, or even misshapen. The misshapen pearls are called baroque pearls.

Saltwater pearls take longer to develop, they have a deeper luster and are uniformly round. The freshwater pearls have a faster development, not as deep of a luster and not as round and actually oblong and irregular in shape.
While shopping for pearls, there are various lengths available: A collar fits directly against the throat.  A choker rests at the base of the neck. The princess length reaches near the collarbone. A matinee length is usually 20-24 inches; and the Opera length is 30-36 inches. The longest length, known as a rope, refers to all strands longer than 36 inches. Necklaces can also be classified as uniform (where all pearls are about the same size) or graduated (pearls change uniformly from ends to center).

Luminescent, timeless and treasured throughout the world. 

Needle Nose Pearls
We've make these unique earrings over and over yet every time they are a little different.  The antique watch links are always distinctly unique and full of detail.

  Natural Pearls are extremely rare. Historically, many were found in the Persian Gulf; unfortunately,
   today most have all been harvested.         

Cultured Pearls — are grown in pearl farms. The mollusks are raised until they are old enough to accept the mother-of-pearl bead nucleus. Through a delicate surgical procedure, the technician implants the bead and then the mollusks are returned to the water and cared for while the pearl forms. Not all produce a pearl; and not all the pearls are high quality. Over 10,000 pearls may be sorted before a 16” single strand of beautifully matched pearls is assembled.
A fact about pearls is that they can be found in saltwater and in freshwater. There are also different types of mollusks that produce very different looking pearls.

  1. Saltwater Pearls — these include the akoya cultured pearls grown in Japanese and Chinese waters.  They range in size from 2mm (tiny) to 10mm (rare) and are usually white or cream in color and round in shape.  Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines produce the South Sea pearl – the largest of all the pearls.  They range in size from 9mm to 20mm and can be naturally white, cream, or golden in color. Tahitian pearls are interestingly not exclusively from Tahiti – they’re grown in several of the islands of French Polynesia, including Tahiti. Their typical sizes range from 8mm to 16mm. These naturally colored pearls are collectively called black pearls, but their colors include gray, blue, green, and purple.
  2. Freshwater Pearls — these cultured pearls are grown in freshwater lakes, rivers, and ponds predominately in China. Although many are white and resemble the akoya cultured pearls in shape and size, they can also be produced in various shapes and in an array of pastel colors. Many freshwater pearls don’t have a bead nucleus — only a piece of tissue — resulting in a pearl with thicker nacre than the akoya

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A guide to purchasing vintage and antique jewelry  

The popularity of antique and vintage jewelry especially   diamond engagement rings have grown tremendously in the past couple of decades. In a world of mass-produced items it is no wonder that consumers are longing for something One Of A Kind along with extraordinary craftsmanship that is harder and harder to find without paying an extortionate amount.  As demand for vintage and true antique jewelry has risen particularly from the Edwardian (1901-1910) and Art Deco (1920-1930s) periods, have become more scarce.
Because the demand for antique and vintage engagement rings has outpaced existing supply, many jewelry manufacturers and sellers of antique and vintage jewelry have taken to selling “antique style” or “Art Deco style” rings or hybrid pieces marrying old stones with new settings.

Although many of these newly designed rings are quite beautiful in their own right and likely to satisfy many consumers, those wanting authentic, antique or vintage engagement rings, must use extra scrutiny when making their purchase to avoid getting a new engagement ring made to look like a ring from the 1930s or earlier.  Although reputable sellers will always disclose the use of reproduction settings or the marriage of old stones with more modern mountings, consumers should study up on the basics before making their purchase because there are some unscrupulous or unknowledgeable jewelry sellers who may sell reproduction rings as original period pieces.
These days, in addition to knowing the 4 C’s of diamonds (cut, clarity, color, and carat), those in the market for an antique or vintage diamond engagement ring, should also know the basics on what to look for in a true period piece.  
We’ve shared some tips below that can help you navigate this most important purchase.
A.Know the definitions of Antique & Vintage.  By definition, antique jewelry must be at least 100 years or older.  Vintage jewelry includes jewelry that is at least 25 years old.  Art Deco rings from the 1920s-1930s are vintage, not antique.

B. Know the meaning of “Antique Style” or “Art Deco Style” Jewelry sold in the style of a period piece are later reproductions made to look old.  They are not truly jewelry created from original Art Deco dies.  Pieces  made from molds of original hand-carved dies that were fabricated during the Art Deco period are not Art Deco rings and should never be sold as such.  In addition to using original dies, some jewelry manufacturers cast authentic antique & vintage pieces and create new molds as a means of reproducing antique and vintage jewelry.  Jewelry made using these techniques is considered reproduction jewelry.

C. The metal must match the time period.  Victorian jewelry was either fashioned of yellow gold or silver over yellow gold.  Platinum was not widely used in jewelry making until around the turn of the last century (circa 1900). White gold jewelry was first used around 1912, but not widely available until the 1920s when it became a substitute for platinum that was appropriated for the war efforts. Does the piece show signs of wear?  You generally expect to see signs of wear on antique or vintage ring settings (unless they were seldom worn or kept only in a safe deposit box).  Look for wear to the base of the ring shank and the high points of the ring.

D. Are there signs that the piece was hand-crafted by an artisan or quickly mass manufactured?  Does the piece have a Hallmark? True antique and Art Deco pieces were typically hand-crafted or die-cast by skilled craftsman.  Today’s Art Deco or Antique reproduction diamond rings are often mass-manufactured quickly and do not show the same signs of craftsmanship that one would expect to see in an original piece.  Some of the modern copies tend to have edges that are a bit raspy and the lace-like filigree often lacks polish inside of the punch work.  Modern reproductions are often weightier than their antique or Art Deco counterparts and sometimes the filigree is asymmetrical.

E. Is the cut of the stone consistent with the time period?  Are the gems used consistant with the period? Pearls, Turquoise, and Coral along with Jet were oftern used in period pieces, just to name a few. If looking at a diamond piece, the cut of the diamond should match the time period of the mounting.  The first bruting machines for diamond cutting were invented during the late 1800s, so diamonds cut prior to this time period are generally of irregular shape.  Rose cut diamonds have a flat bottom and faceted dome shaped crown. Mine cut diamonds are cushion-cut in shape (not round) and feature a high crown, deep pavilion, small table, and large culet.  Old European cut diamonds also feature a high crown and a small open culet.  Old European cut stones feature 58 facets and are typically slightly off-round.  Today’s modern round brilliant cut was not introduced until around 1919.  Most Art Deco rings and all Edwardian rings will generally have a mine cut, old European cut, or transitional cut (Transitional cut stones are not exactly Old European cut and not exactly round brilliant.  They were created during the period when diamond cutters were transitioning from Old European to the new standard of round brilliant.)

F-Z. Above all, like art, you should buy the piece because you LOVE it! Not for it’s value, but for it’s beauty. And for the special connection you have with the piece. It’s one of a kind, like YOU.

Happy Hunting. Elizabeth & Sarah