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At Noir Carat, we offer a precise and careful selection of antique jewelry, in 18-carat gold, in a Vintage and timeless style. But this selection only makes sense when it is put into perspective with the values we defend.
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Noir Carat is above all a story. It must be said that at Noir Carat we love jewelry stories but also stories in general! From the precious heritage to the birth of a vocation, the founder of Noir Carat tells how her love for jewelry pushed her to create her online store.
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In the Noir Carat blog, we reveal all the secrets and traditions of the jewels that we cherish so much. You will discover the meaning of the hallmarks, the composition of the different types of gold, the secrets that the different stones hide, but also our “tips & tricks” to properly maintain your gold jewellery.
My friends like to call me Madame Irma or La Castafiore. You can deduce what you want from it ! Me, in both cases, I take it as a compliment !
I have always loved wearing jewelry, those brought back from trips, the fancy ones in gold plated, others more premium in vermeil and some antique gold jewelry. Over time, all my non-gold jewelry, even the ones that were supposed to be of good quality, inevitably ended up getting damaged, losing their gold, oxidizing... What a frustration ! These pieces I had chosen, loved, worn. Some of them were part of me, others represented stages of my life and they were wasting away. Like this ! Without a care in the world. But I kept on buying the same jewels over and over again, and they would wear out and end up in a drawer... It was an endless spiral, an eternal restart.
At the same time I realized little by little that my old jewels, those of the family that had been passed on to me, were not moving. Beyond having a life and a soul, they were loyal and devoted to me in their toughness.
At my parents' and grandparents' houses, I would start long searches in drawers, chests of drawers and other corners of furniture in the hope of finding something. I have skimmed through dusty postcards, lace doilies, old Paris Match magazines! Finally, the ones I have to thank from the bottom of my heart are my precious moms, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers. They are the ones who gave me my first gems, the ones I still wear today. These women, who are so dear to me, have also given me a "taste for beauty".
I knew how to appropriate these precious objects, unique, whose quality still exceeds all my expectations. Despite the years, even the decades, the color of the 18-carat gold remains intact, impeccably golden and brilliant. Wearing only second hand gold jewelry is a choice and a lifestyle that I impose on myself today. So yes, I own a lot less jewelry and I've cut down on my fancy goods consumption considerably (although I'm never immune to the occasional relapse!) but I feel more aligned with my principles.
I get a real kick out of finding gems that already exist for me and for the planet. In our society where we tend to accumulate, to always want more, I see the " second hand " as a way to limit my ecological footprint. That's why I decided to refocus on strong pieces and to put " vintage " jewelry in the spotlight.
But it was necessary to find these jewels ! I could not decently continue to rob my relatives ! It was then that I started to get more interested in antique and vintage jewelry, but also in the meaning of hallmarks, the price of gold, gemology and the different ways to buy it. Various topics but all equally exciting. I have learned a lot (and I continue to learn !) from experts such as jewelers, auctioneers, antique dealers etc.
What a pity that these vintage gems are so little known and not very accessible to the general public. It immediately made me want to put them back on the scene to shine again. What if I offered a sustainable alternative to traditional jewelry by offering a selection of certified vintage gold pieces ?
Noir Carat was born ! I hope you enjoyed this story and that I will have the chance and honor to continue it with you.