The Jewels of The Past You Will Want to Wear Now

Keyamour bracelets

Keyamour bracelets


Hunting at The Spare Room Antiques

While scoping out the antique and vintage gems at the New York City Jewelry and Watch show, I realized that every piece that picked up worked with the fashion trends I had recently seen on the international Spring 2017 runways. Whether I zoomed in on a Victorian bracelet, an Art Deco brooch or the regal blue enamel of a trio of Georgian rings—I noticed that these styles could also easily be worn with the fall/winter 2017 clothes that I had begun to see out on the streets. Although most of us who collect and wear various periods of jewelry pair the pieces we purchase with our modern wardrobes, there are times that we fall in love with a an extremely early, exceptional jewel and all of a sudden all rational thought goes out the window and we fancy ourselves Cate Blanchett in full regalia in Elizabeth: The Golden Age.

And, while I do believe in snapping up those rare pieces when we can find them (even if we begin to require a museum to show them in) my goal at this show was to uncover the jewels from the past that you will want to wear right now and into spring 2017—five looks that fit the following five criteria:


  • While wearing them, you will not look like you stepped out of a period costume drama (unless this is your everyday style)
  • These jewels are all from various time periods, yet they all work with current fashions recently shown on the fall into spring 2017 international runways.
  • They are wearable, throw-on-and-go jewels, from which you can get a lot of mileage and are not so precious or delicate that you prefer to keep them locked away in your safe or safety deposit box.
  • You did not purchase these jewels to only save for special occasions (those, which may or may never take place).
  • They will retain their value as long as you keep them in good condition. It’s important to care for your jewels: i.e. never shower or swim in them, and if you are klutzy (like me) take them off over a soft surface so as not to drop them on a hard floor or table, particularly if they are set with gemstones or detailed with enamel. (Some of these gems have lasted 200 years and are in excellent shape. If you are good to them—they will continue to last and only grow more rare with time)

THE LOOKS: Pieces to go with the trends and beyond

1- Black Onyx Hinged Bangles, set into rose gold in faceted or buckle styles can go from appearing sleek and streamlined to more feminine, depending on whether you are wearing them with one of the graphic stripes or art prints straight from the spring runway shows or the new bold floral dresses shown from fall into spring. These onyx bangles are as current now as they were when they were crafted during the Victorian era are could act as the LDB of antique jewelry—modern and versatile today and well into the future. Bracelets at Keyamour


2- Victorian Bangles in gold with black or seed pearl detailing can either be worn alone or can also be stacked with bracelets from various time periods. It is the year of the bangle and cuff. Whether you make a statement by piling a bunch high on one arm or wearing them more classically– one or two styles on each wrist—we love the Victorian key symbol bangle and the seed pearl and buttery gold style, popped by the black onyx bracelets mentioned above. Get creative. These bracelets will be with you for a long time to come. Victorian bangles at Glorious Antique Jewelry


 3- Rings Rich with Blue Enameling or glass background can have many meanings depending on the motifs and styling. Many of these rings were created in 18th century France and if the blue enamel or glass sparkled with diamonds, they were known as bagues au Firmament (rings of the heavens) in which the blue represented the night sky and the diamonds represented the celestial patterns of stars. Other rings which where enameled with blue background evoked the color of royalty and were part of the ring rotation of the aristocracy. Still others set with pearls or diamonds in a forget me not flower suggested love or remembrance. Many of these rings did not start out as memorial rings but after a loved one passed, they were engraved with the inscription of the name and date of the person who went before. These three rings, pictured here, are all somewhat unusual. They are indicative of the time period but are unexpected examples. The stars that twinkle in gold, interwoven with a floral design and white enamel is a different take on the diamond stars we see more often against the blue. The wider navette with the seed pearl and center rose diamond forget me not  and the band with the center diamond set into a star are all are all exceptional examples. It might not be advisable to wear them everyday, but they are sturdy enough to be worn often and with all the new blues heading from fall/winter 2016 into spring 2017. Make note to take them off before your wash your hands. Rings from The Spare Room Antiques


4- Gold and Hard Stone Fobs were originally attached to watch chains are available in all different styles, sizes, stones and time periods. The most modern way to wear them—the bigger the better–with larger styles that originated from Georgian, Early Victorian and Edwardian periods. These are available in stones that range from rock crystal and amethyst to bloodstone, sardonyx, carnelian and banded agate. If you are lucky you can find the fobs with family crests, romantic and sentimental French, Latin or Old English sayings and motifs. But those that are plain can also be engraved with monograms or motifs of your choice. Wear one large fob or a bunch of small fobs with other charms on an antique chain dangling from a chased split ring (take noteL renowned houses such as  Gucci are creating similar versions based on the period pieces.) These are just the right styling for winter months when you need a piece that’s long and chunky to wear over a turtleneck but look equally at ease with spring 2017 globe trotting fashion trends. Fobs at Melody Rodgers NYC. horseshoe-pair 5- A Pair of Horseshoe Brooches: Double the luck and multiply the look. These Art Deco brooches are a rare find and one that you will be able to get mileage for both day and evening. And, in keeping with the high contrast black and white we saw on the runway for spring 2017, these are the type of pieces that bespeak the elegance of stylish jewelry, then, now and into the future. You can also wear them in numerous ways: on two opposite shoulders of a dress or the lapels of a jacket, on the pockets of a blazer, on the collars or cuffs of a white shirt, and on the pockets of your favorite black or blue jeans. There are a multitude of looks you can style once you get started. Remember that wearing your horseshoes facing up brings the luck to the wearer and facing down with send the luck outward. It’s up to you how to style your pieces and how the luck is going to roll. Horseshoe Brooches at Spicer-Warin.