Sentimental and Timeless Jewelry
Jewelry is something I have been passionate about for many years. I am, admittedly, a sentimental sap so I love wearing pieces that have special meaning behind them. Take my small signet pinky ring for example - they are trendy now, but the original purpose of these rings was to mark an ornate symbol (unique to your family) on sealing wax when sealing an envelope or to sign important documents. This always makes me think of the civil war for some reason - the 1800s, writing secret love letters to a dashing soldier, wearing a romantic cascading dress in a candle lit room... but I digress! Mine is an antique engraved with my family's crest: a medieval looking gryphon holding a key across his beak. I occasionally get a kick out of the intricate process of melting wax and sealing a few envelopes with it but I love it most for it's sentimental value and family heritage. Pieces like this really stand the test of time.
A recent project I decided to take on was finding an additional gold chain to to hold a few charms from my grandmother's charm bracelet she had passed down to me years ago... much like the necklace I constantly wear that was made from a charm from my great-grandmother's charm bracelet (see a theme here?). I asked around and really searched endlessly for a similar but shorter chain to the one I already had (in the photo to the right).
Somehow, in a deep dark hole of Googling, I came across an antique/estate jeweler in Texas that had 14k gold chains identical to mine that were vintage but had never actually been used or worn (and I'll share the love and tell you all of their details below)!
Even though I am a skeptic of buying jewelry online, they did have an Etsy store and plenty of good reviews so I went ahead and ordered two of their chains after speaking with the owner. Not only did the chain look identical to mine, but it was in mint condition. I had a local jeweler put bigger rings on the charms so I could slide them on and off and voila, my "new" necklace was born.
For many reasons, this necklace is incredibly special to me. These charms signify many important things in my grandmother's life: Her 5 children, the time she spent sailing on my grandfather’s boat, her love for tennis, quilting, bridge, singing, and a crest from her college sorority. I will always think of her when I wear it.
You don't necessarily need someone to pass down jewelry to make it sentimental. Below I'm sharing some ideas on how to create a piece that is special and unique to you.
- Find a chain you like, preferably in 14k or higher gold. Go vintage and you won't spend an arm and a leg. Solid gold lasts a lifetime and can be passed down to future generations while gold-filled and gold-plated will tarnish quickly (often only a season of wear). You also can't wear gold-filled or gold-plated jewelry in the ocean or the shower.
- Shop around for gold charms at vintage shops, Etsy, or Ebay and find something that is meaningful to you. There are lots of disc pendants out there but it's more special to find one that might have something symbolic to you already engraved on it.
- Go shopping with a close friend. You will always remember the day you spent together and it will remind you of that friend forever!
- Find a local jeweler that can make small adjustments if necessary. These small adjustments are generally not terribly expensive and gold is a soft metal - meaning it can be manipulated pretty easily.
- Always look for a marking on the jewelry to ensure it is actually 14k, 18k, 24k, etc.
My source I mentioned above for my new/vintage gold chains: DallasVintageJewelry
The owner is really sweet and offered a special code for free shipping because I mentioned them in this story so enter JENKAY at checkout for a discount :)