Monica McLaughlin
An irreverent but loving investigation into the history and craftsmanship of antique jewelry — tiny objects that often tell us the bigger stories of their age — through pieces cherry-picked from current auctions and dealer websites.
Created 23 Jun 2019
  • The Halloween Edition!
    13 Oct 2021 • 6 min read • 13 8
    Hello friends, and welcome to Dearest’s yearly spoooOOooky edition, in which we revel in the coffins, spiders and old man beards (wait, what?) that inhabit the more unusual corners of the antique and ...
  • A Kashmir sapphire, a tank mask and Cindy Sherman
    19 Sep 2021 • 5 min read • 9 3
    Hi everybody! I’m currently being beaten to death by my day job, so I don’t have any time to go super deep on anything — BUT I don’t want to forget about you, so instead I’ll just list a bunch of thin...
  • Tiny camels, Berlin iron, and a small, aggressive Briton
    13 Aug 2021 • 7 min read • 10 6
    Hi guys. Hey look, a logo! It’s only taken me two years! To be honest, I’m amazed I was able to muster up even that small effort amid the crushing despair of seeing everything we’ve worked so hard for...
  • A tiny golden snake of welcome
    09 Jul 2021 • < 1 min read • 15 4
    Hi everybody! Dearest was recently featured in The Cut, thanks to the recommendation of my brilliant friend Edith Zimmerman — please sign up for her wonderful newsletter Drawing Links; you won’t be di...
  • Salvador Dalí really loved snails
    06 Jul 2021 • 7 min read • 12 6
    On Friday, Sotheby’s Hong Kong will be auctioning “The Key 10138,” an exceptional D color (a.k.a. colorless) pear-shaped unmounted diamond weighing 101.38 carats. It’s a Type IIa diamond, which means ...
  • Sea monsters, zip necklaces and JAR
    08 Jun 2021 • 7 min read • 9 12
    Happy Tuesday, everybody! Right now, the high-end jewelry world is all abuzz over the Magnificent Jewels sale Christie’s is holding today in New York City. Why? Because it includes the largest collect...
  • Horse armor, a royal tiara and the dethroned Italian monarchy
    10 May 2021 • 7 min read • 13 9
    This natural pearl and diamond tiara/necklace from the collection of the royal House of Savoy is one of the highlights of the Sotheby’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels: Part 1 auction on Tu...
  • Stupidly huge diamonds, horrible baby heads and Celeste Holm
    19 Apr 2021 • 7 min read • 13 9
    Hi everybody! So the big Christie’s and Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels auctions happened in New York last week, and to be honest I wasn’t blown away — but if you’ve followed me over the years, you alrea...
  • Fauxbergé scandal at the Hermitage!
    22 Mar 2021 • 10 min read • 12 7
    Hi everybody! This Belle Époque ruby and diamond evening bag was created by Parisian jeweler Julien Duval and sold by the French firm Lacloche Frères. Circa 1905, it takes the form of an 18k gold pig,...
  • Antique betrothal rings, the Dancing Marquess and some octopus spoons
    15 Feb 2021 • 7 min read • 19 11
    Happy belated Valentine’s Day, my friends! I hope you celebrated the chocolate-infused feast day of a beheaded Roman priest in whichever way you prefer, whether that be joyfully, sneeringly or blissfu...
  • View More on Substack »