As a young child, I remember admiring the huge Black Alaska Diamond ring my mother would wear whenever she and dad were going out to enjoy an evening away from us children. She would get dressed up and just before leaving the house, she would slip that stunning ring onto her right hand. We didn't see it any other time, it remained safely tucked inside her jewelry box where we couldn't reach it.
More than 15 years later, my mother and I decided to take a drive and stop by some yard sales in her neighborhood. Attending yard sales had not been one of our usual activities but on this Saturday morning, we were looking for an excuse to go out and enjoy the sunshine. About three miles down the road, we happened upon a yard sale and there on the table was a huge Black Alaska Hematite ring (it is the one pictured in the navy blue ring case). I tried it on and it was a perfect fit! What made that find so special was that I had been looking for one like my mothers but the jewelry stores in the 1980's were carrying smaller versions, not nearly as elegant and beautiful as the 1950's originals. I purchased that ring for $15 and as anyone who knows me can confirm, it has hardly left my right hand. I have worn it almost every day; all day, in the shower, doing dishes, housework, and to the office. Contrary to what most people believe, these stones can take a lot of wear and tear. This ring is just as beautiful today (20 years later) as it was when I purchased it.
Over the years, I have picked up two more of these elegant rings (I have to have at least two spares!) from antique shops for excellent prices. The one in the green case is identical to mom's and the one in the blue case is the same only done in white gold which is more rare than the yellow gold.
The pretty drop earrings were found in a full Buxton jewelry box that mom and I purchased at an auction for $5 during the early 1980's. They had originally been screw backs, however, I had a jeweler convert them to pierced so I could enjoy wearing them. They are done in 10kt gold, just like the rings.
My mother purchased the large pendant and clip earrings about five years ago among other costume jewelry and although they are not genuine gold, they compliment my many rings perfectly.
During the 1950's, these large marquise-shaped hematite rings were all the rage, as popular then as the Mood rings of the 1970's or Slave rings of the 1980's. I have had more compliments on my Black Alaska ring than any other. If you have the opportunity to pick up one of the 1950's originals, go for it! They make your hand look graceful and elegant and believe me, no one who sees you wearing it will be looking past it to check your manicure!
PS: To My Mom: Thank you for introducing me to these gorgeous Black Alaska Hematite stones and for sharing my love of vintage jewelry and most of all, "Happy Birthday, I Love You"!!!!