The Jewel That Might Have Been, Part 2


Here is the second installation in our collection of personal stories in our ‘One That Got Away: The Jewel That No Other Could Live Up To’ Series.   Starting in July, we will bring this back as a column with new captivating tales each month.

Nicholle Mogavero | jewelry blogger,

“Some people have buyer’s remorse. I have non-buyer’s remorse. I sometimes get crazy ideas in my head that I need to be responsible and save money. I don’t buy what I want under the guise of  ‘financial responsibility.’ I’m here to tell you that being responsible is highly overrated. Such was the case with a pair of Flemish diamond and emerald earrings from the mid to late 1700’s. The choice to let these earrings slip away, when the price was so right and they coordinate with a Flemish necklace I already own from the same time period, can only be chalked up to temporary insanity! Given the fact that I’ve been in the antique jewelry business for so long, I know that I will never find another pair of earrings for the same price. Undoubtedly, any other similar earrings I see in the future will certainly sell for more.  If I think about it, buying these earrings would have saved me money in the long run! Trust me, when you find what you love, buy it! Nothing quite haunts you like the ones you let slip away.”

Nicholle Mogavero’s earrings that Got Away

Elizabeth Doyle co-owner of retail shop Doyle & Doyle

“The piece that I most regret letting get away was probably the most beautiful pearl necklace that I have ever seen.  A jewelry friend lent it to me for my sister to wear to her wedding.  It was Edwardian with a delicate pierced platinum frame encrusted with diamonds. At the center was a huge natural pearl.  I wanted so badly to buy it for my sister as a wedding gift so she could have it forever, but I just didn’t have the money at the time.  I kept thinking about that necklace and hoping I would finally have the money to purchase it, but then it showed up in an auction catalog at more than double the original price.  I couldn’t even bring myself to watch the auction to see what it sold for.  Maybe one day it will circle back around and this time I will have the money. Maybe I am an optimist about jewelry, but I think pieces have a way of finding a way back to where they belong.”

Elizabeth Doyle’s pearl pendant that Got Away


Sofia Kaman | designer and retailer

“Just sending you this photo makes me all nostalgic and weepy again.  Mine that ‘got away’ is an Art Nouveau ring with opal and diamond (my favorite gems) in tiara-like silhouette. It was complete with French hallmark and a maker’s mark! I scoped it out on the Tadema Gallery website. I inquired and ‘she’ was available, so I started saving for her, for my personal collection, of course. I checked back on her over the course of about a year and she was sold. My heart sank. But some time after that, I checked again and she was back on the market. Glory! She would be mine! I was headed to London and thought how wonderful it would be to pick her up in person. When I contacted the dealer, I was informed she had just sold, again.  This time, devastation. I was so close! Though heartbroken, one wonderful aspect of being a jewelry designer is knowing that the jewels that get away are able to inspire collections and new creations and live on in a new way!”

Sofia Kaman’s ring that Got Away

Susan Cohen designer, Circa 1700

“Gem heartbreak can be a pandemic. And though mine have been many, two still make my heart pang in angst. The first was a rare but striking Victorian elephant intaglio ring that Vulpecula Jewelry posted almost two years ago on Instagram. Within seconds, the jewelry connoisseurs swarmed and the ring was snapped up. More recently, there was another one posted by the ever mesmerizing Bell and Bird — an unusually stunning antique fede ring crafted from turquoise and diamonds that had me at ‘hello.’ Unfortunately it was ‘goodbye’ before I had a chance to say, ‘My precious!’ Both of these gems have been a reminder that the web never sleeps — and that you’d better be on your toes when that dream piece pops up in your feed.”

Lene Vibes | designer, Vibes

“A few years ago, I saw an eight-carat rough orange diamond that was so firey, it was like no other rough I had ever seen before. Both my gem dealer and my pearl dealer came to visit me at the same time, and I also found a mesmerizing green faceted pearl.  I thought these two colors would look breathtaking together. But at the time, I could not afford both. I thought that maybe if I sold some more jewelry that week or that month, then I could purchase the orange diamond.  When I finally decided to do it, the diamond was gone, but the pearl remained, so I did create a piece out of the pearl, which sold almost instantly.  Unfortunately, I haven’t seen a color in a rough diamond that has come close since. I am constantly on the lookout, and one day I hope to find at least something that comes close. If I do, I will try to figure out a way to purchase it and not let it get away.”


Erica Weiner | designer and retailer

“Don’t ask me why I didn’t buy it again, Beth—it’s not making it any easier to do this interview with you.  I have no idea why I didn’t just snap it up. I saw it on Erie Basin’s website, but I was busy and thought it would still be there when I got around to buying it.  It was a 19th century silver souvenir of Jersey, the small island off the coast of France with inlaid granite. And although it wasn’t ‘New Jersey’ where I grew up, it spoke to me because it so boldly spelled out ‘Jersey.’  It wasn’t super-expensive, and due to the fact that I know the owner, there were many times I wanted to call and ask who he sold it to. I wanted to tell him that I would pay anything for it.  But that was just the knowledge that I let it so unwittingly slip through my fingers when I should have just snapped it up the day that I saw it. I still dream about the bracelet and even visit the photo on the website that says ‘sold’ from time to time.”


Erica Weiner’s Bracelet that Got Away