The Dish On The Best Valentine’s Day Jewelry Related Gift
This Valentine’s day If you are purchasing an item for yourself, leaving hints for your significant other, or buying a gift for a friend or female family member to show them how much they are loved and you prefer a jewelry-related item rather than a piece of jewelry, why not chose a decorative tray or dish in which to place a piece or pieces of jewelry?
There is a wide variety of options if you think creatively—in design, size and price points. And, if you are wondering why you or the person you are gifting would need such an item, here is my story on how I came to collect and even decorate with them.
It started as functional. I was in a hotel room for work and had to take off my jewelry while I showered and changed for an evening cocktail event. I noticed the soap dish and thought aha—I can put the jewelry in that so it wouldn’t just lie on a table or the desk and maybe roll on the floor (it had happened before) and I also wouldn’t have to put it away in the safe for the half an hour it was going to take me to get ready.
The Original Hotel Soap Dishes
Owning antique jewelry and Georgian rings, I then started using my soap dish at home to put my foil-backed rings in before I washed my hands. I took out some of my great grandmother’s beautiful dessert dishes and saucers and began to use them for everything from earrings to bracelets charm necklaces.
One of my great-grandmother’s dishes
I also used planter bottoms, old ashtrays, and even expresso cups. There was some jewelry I never took off like pinky rings, an earring in my third hole, one pendant that was my favorite talisman charm and my mom’s love bracelet from my dad. But pretty much everything else found its way into bowls and dishes –more so than back in my home safe or jewelry cabinet.
Then, like with jewelry, I became obsessed. Every time I went into a shop with decorative items I left with tiny bowls in different shapes and colors with designs and words and larger trays that would work with my décor in my home rather than a mish-mash of utilitarian and beautiful dishes I inherited.
I found that by leaving pieces out and in my sight rather than stashed away, I wore more of my jewelry and I also wasn’t losing stacking rings or half pairs of earrings or forgetting to take my delicate 200-year-old rings off before I washed my hands. Soon it became a way to display some of my favorite pieces and being the superstitious person I am, I thought why not keep my good luck charms out where they could working their magic.
Leaving pieces in trays on my nightstand that I wore during the week
And that’s how I started to discover different companies and shops that sell everything from a simple yet colorful bowl (which are supposed to be used as salt dishes) to ornate trays for letters to artisan small plates and ashtray.
Left to Right, Fornasetti Tray, John Derian Tray in which I left pieces out on two different dressers
Here are some ideas from various sources, some even with symbolism and meaning like the jewelry so popular today:
Fornasetti Mano Con Anelli (Hand With Rings) porcelain Rectangular Ashtray at Amara. There is nothing like a hand filled with different rings to remind you to put yours safely in this ashtray which doubles as a jewelry/trinket tray. Piero Fornasetti was a legendary Italian painter, sculptor, interior decorator and engraver. His son, Barnaba took over his father’s legacy and creates a line of painstakingly crafter home décor which is sold in the U.S. and throughout Europe
Lisa Bayer’s ruby and diamond heart “Trinket Tray” adds a little shine to your nightstand and is as sparkly as some of the jewelry it will hold. Lisa is a NYC-based former jewelry/fashion executive who pivoted into the art world in 2018 when she embarked on illustrating brand messaging and private commissions for designers. The trinket trays are an extension of Lisa’s passion for jewelry and are handcrafted in the U.S. in 100% glass.
Lynn Read’s Vitreluxe collection of salt bowls at The Store At Mad in an array of one of kind glass blown colors are perfect for rings and can be placed near any sink where you wash your hands or by your bedside for when you take your rings off at night. They are also the perfect side for small and stud earrings for those that you don’t wear all of the time. Lynn’s salt bowls are available in warm or cool tones They are approximately 3.25″.
Lynn founded Vitreluxe in 1999. “The name Vitreluxe was derived from two words: vitreous, the brilliant luster of glass and deluxe, the mid-century benchmark of quality.” Today the studio has implemented a system to melt glass with electricity that is generated from 100% renewable energy. Each piece is handmade in Portland, Oregon by Lynn and a dedicated team of artisans.
John Derian’s decoupage under hand-blown glass in small round trays and bowls, rectangular trays, and medium-size oval and rectangular trays are perfect for displaying your jewelry and are all little works of art and symbolism on their own. For the antique lover, these 18th and 19th prints are most popular and each is imbued with specific meanings. John Derian has been in business since 1989, along with his other home décor and furnishings, his decoupage collection is created by artisans in NYC.
Here are a few of my favorites in different shapes and sizes:
The Friendship Love and Truth tray is a size that can hold letters and is a mix of images that evoke all of these themes –the heart held in the palm, the eye suggesting a lover’s eye from the 18th century that was a message between secret lovers set into brooches and the roses for romantic love, and hands held in friendship all speak to the theme of the tray.
The Cupido mini rectangular tray is a medium-size tray and need I say more—it’s a perfect gift to give to one whose heart you want to capture or if to purchase for yourself if you are looking for new love to enter into your life.
Flora’s Dictionary (Hummingbirds) 5×7 oval tray is a nod to the Victorian language of flowers when books began being written on the meaning ascribed to different flowers. The hummingbird represents joy and happiness, another meaningful message on its own and even more so when you put your symbolic jewelry into it. The size is 5 x 7″ oval.
John Derian’s small 4” round Viola plate is a beautiful representation of an old print and in the Victorian language of flowers, purple violets represented faithfulness, loyalty thinking of you. This is a gift that would put a smile on a loved one’s face and make their heart skip a beat.
This Jan Burtz heart-shaped dish is exclusive to ABC Carpet & Home. It’s delicate gold border outlines its natural and irregular forms. Jan has crafted it from creamy porcelain and homemade glazes and the rough-hewn shapes bespeak the free-spirited artistic quality. Jan also creates some other heart-shaped dishes in the same size that can be found at ABC and have a pinkish tone. No two dishes are exactly alike, which adds to the beauty and character of them. The size– 5” high and 5” deep is perfect for rings, earrings, and pendants as long as you keep the chains separate if they are thin chains so that they don’t get tangled in the dish. Great for bangle bracelets as well.
L’Objet Lapis Small Dish is evocative of the night sky and all the mysteries and magic. This dish is for anyone who follows the stars and the constellations—the small dish 5” in diameter is perfect for any of your categories of jewelry. But works particularly well if you like to display your pieces and you have a celestial collection of stars, moons and planetary pieces. It is designed in Limoges porcelain and earthenware with hand-gilded 24K gold accents.
Born and raised in Israel, founder and creative director Elad Yifrach. established himself as an interior designer in Beverly Hills, before taking up residence in New York. An avid traveler, his collections are inspired by a global design sensibility. He launched L’Objet in 2004, with a passion for innovation – in both technique and the use of high-quality materials, which informs all that he creates.
Lauren Sumner Studio’s has created small ceramic ring dishes in a diversity of colors with 22K luster accents. Although on her websites she cites other uses for these rough-hewn little dishes, any jewelry enthusiast can appreciate what they are best for. For the woman who prefers a more crafty approach to her décor. The size is approximately 2.5″ x 2.5″ x .75″. but may vary between pieces. Lauren says, “everything in my shop is completely and designed and created by me, in my Raleigh, N.C., studio.”
The Painted Press’ simple, yet elegant and feminine white and gold dish has a tiny gold heart in the center with gold trim around the edges. It’s quite a perfect Valentine’s day jewelry dish the way it is but it can be personalized with monograms or dates or a saying. Launched in 2014, The Painted Press has been creating ring dishes for bridal rings as well as gifts for bridesmaids, Mother’s Day and all other holidays that one might need a personalized dish with a range of motifs. The heart seemed a natural for Valentine’s Day but if you go to the site there are a lot more options from which to choose
At Jung Lee, which is a luxury shop and is a self-purchasers and gifter’s paradise, a favorite of the shop is the L’Ojet Lito Magnifying Glass Box. Here is the way it is described on the Jung Lee website, “A surrealistic ‘talisman’ of good luck and a traditional symbol of protection, the eye serves as a constant reminder to be aware, to dispel negative energy, and to seek beauty in the everyday. The eye is also a point of connection between two souls. L’OBJET + Lito is a celebration of that connection, between two creators, inviting you to see the design in a whole new light. Whimsical and surreal decorative objects are handcrafted in porcelain with 24-karat gold plating and inlaid with resin details.”The size is S5 L x 4 W x 3.25 H. The Glass with 7x magnification.
Jewelry Designer Jesse Panaz’s who fused gold and glass together also creates Pate De Verre small bowls which are sold at The Store At MAD . The bowls are highly tactile and irregular shaped. Jesses explains, “we can create vibrant hues with a texture and luster that comes from the way we hand crush and cook the glass.” These bowls in 5″ and 3″ sizes are perfect for displaying your jewelry. Due to the textural nature of these trays, I suggest using them to highlight or store one piece of jewelry each in solid gold or platinum without gemstones that could scratch against the geode-like textures.
Jonathan Adler’s LOVE tray gives a nod to the 60’s graphics. It’ reminds us to “make love not war” and taps into the MOD styles found on Carnaby Street and King Road in London. It is crafted from high-fired porcelain with a gold background. A heart that can hold our favorite gems and jewels-those that we…love and that we want to see every day. The tray is approx. 6″W x 5″ D x 1.3″T. Jonathan Adler is a potter, designer and author with a He sells in a wide range of luxury stores and his work spans from furniture to small items of home decor.
Michael Aram’s Butterfly Ginkgo Trinket Tray creates a delicate balance between flora and fauna, with the leaves and twigs of the ginkgo tree metamorphosing into butterflies taking flight. A gift from nature, the ginkgo leaves are associated with healing and the butterfly with change, the perfect messages for Valentine’s Day 2021 and, also for all to come. In the late 1980s, Michael Aram traveled to India after studying art in New York. He went on an inspirational journey, where he discovered a rich metalworking tradition that inspired his turn toward handcrafted design. Michael Aram established a home and workshop in New Delhi. Michael’s objects and decorative items are distinguished by his attention to line, form, and meaning inspiring thoughtful appreciation and bringing a sense of ceremony in their day-to-day use. Each Michael Aram piece is handmade; no two items are exactly alike.