Six Jewels That Never Go Out of Style

I have been an antique and period jewelry collector for more than 20 years. I am drawn to different time frames in jewelry’s history and tend to mix them together and with contemporary designer pieces. Many of my friends who are just starting a collection have asked me which are the pieces that work best with current fashion and today’s lifestyle?

There are many pieces that look as relevant today as the day they were created and then there are those that you can modernize with the type of fashion you wear. I tend to be a minimalist and choose my clothes as a backdrop for my jewelry.  Therefore, I can wear stacks of bracelets or a theme of multiple brooches or a great fob chain with charms and pendant and it will not look out of place or dated. But there are pieces that seem to always be ‘in style.’

Here are six of those pieces, seen at the recent TEFAF New York and The New York Jewelry and Watch Show, (both held in New York City at the end of October) that feel as current and chic as when they were designed. Some of the motifs have been re-imagined through the 18th through 21st century by independent designers and renowned houses, but the originals have held their own and have remained ageless and continue to be a timely choice and a good investment for your jewelry collection.

Nailing It

The nail bit motif in jewelry was originally based on the Equestrian sports and hobbies of Victorian England. Earlier versions were engraved with floral designers or were set with a few accent stones while others were created to curl around the wrist as bracelets. They were often featured with a lucky horseshoe This version at Wartski’s is designed as a yellow gold brooch, and set with rubies and diamonds, by A.E. Köchert Germany, circa 1890. It can be worn pinned, hung on a chain as a pendant or hooked to fob chain to lengthen it.

Snake Style

Serpents have been around for centuries but became one of the most popular motifs during Queen Victoria’s reign when Prince Albert proposed with an emerald snake ring.  Soon serpent jewelry appeared all over England, and throughout Europe. Symbolizing eternal love as well as rebirth and renewal,  this Victorian snake at Spicer-Warin is designed in yellow gold with bombe set turquoise head and turquoise cabochon body, diamond mouth and ruby and diamond eyes. A seasonless, timeless, go anywhere and wear with everything jewel.

What A Pair

Wartski’s daisy shaped clips feature black agate petals with vertical white bands with and banded agate pistels within elliptical opaque white enamel stamen and are mounted in yellow gold. They are English, circa 1890. Let me count the ways these clips can be worn: one on each side of a lapel of a jacket, in the hair, clipped on to simple yet wide gold Victorian bangle bracelets, on a leather cord with one stationed at the top and one lower down in the shape of a Y or a lariat.  There are more options from which to choose and they work with all neutral: black, grey, taupe, stone and white fashion. Could you ask for more from your jewels?

What Goes Around

Rivière necklaces first became popular in the 18th Century. They have been re-designed and updated throughout different eras but the Georgian and early Victorian styles like these light and dark amethyst versions at Ishy Antiques are imbued with character and personality. Why not take a page of our style guru Anna Winter’s book and wear two or more at a time?


Off The Cuff

When her husband and legendary jeweler René Boivin passed away, Jeanne Boivin took over the company and hired exceptional, strong and widely creative women designers. One was Juliette Moutard. In 1935, when Moutard designed this rock crystal and diamond cuff for Boivin, did she imagine that this bracelet would be as desirable, bold, wearable and sophisticated today?  This bracelet is at Siegelson, where you can also find rock crystal clips by Suzanne Belperron, who also started her career at Boivin.

Line Up

The linear streamlined diamond bracelets of the Art Deco movement are timeless and never go out of style. This wide style at A La Vieille Russie features is awe-inspiring with over 38 carats of baguette and cushion cuts diamonds set into platinum. It’s one of those pieces that you can dream about while looking for more accessible versions.