Trade Your Jewelry Misses For Must Have Pieces

Marc Jacob’s Fall/Winter 2017/2018 runway show. Although they look great on the catwalk. you will never be able to carry off these hoop earrings.

Every now and then we get drawn in by what the press or marketing campaigns tout as the next hot trend or wardrobe staple. Many of these are fashion faux pas. Remember jodhpurs? Let’s all just agree now that they only look appropriate on true equestrians or costumes on actresses in a horseback riding scene. Let’s stipulate that multi-tiered ruffled white shirts should only be worn by swashbucklers with swords in period films.

Your gems are not exempt from impulse purchases and you might have more than your fair share residing somewhere in the dark recesses of your jewelry box. It’s time to take stock of your jewelry misses that you never miss wearing.  Think of it as the “one in; one out” theory of purchasing. You let one piece go, trade it or melt toward a piece that reflects your individuality and  what works for you.

You might have heard and read about —‘cash for gold’ or a friend who went to a favorite jeweler and traded in a tangled mess of 14K and 18K styles for pieces she’s be coveting and now was able to take home with her.   So, why have you been holding on to jewelry you haven’t worn since, say the ‘80s when you entered the workforce in earrings that only outsized your shoulder pads?  Sure, I’ve been there. You think, these pieces will definitely come back into style and say to yourself, “Trends are cyclical. I need to keep these!” And, yes the ‘70s through the ‘90s have made an appearance on both the spring/summer 2017 and fall/winter 2017/18 runways. But those jewels are exaggerated to play up the clothes, not you. It’s time to give them up.

Don’t ignore those feelings you get every time you catch a glimpse of a “what was I thinking” piece (or, worse yet), jewelry you had to wear because they were gifts from your ex-husband or ex-mother-in-law and you were required to sport them on special occasions. Guess what, you never have to wear them again.

You too, can sell, melt, or trade them for something that is more who you are today.  Take, for example,  the earrings that were so heavy  that when you wore them you felt your lobes hang down to the sides of your chin. Okay,  I exaggerate but sometimes you just need to make a clean break from the jewelry pieces that you once were head over heels for but are no longer in love with. It’s not you; it’s them! Here are four looks I have chosen for the ‘get rid of already’ pile and some stylishly timeless jewels with which to replace them.


Huge mistake! Time to let this golden oldies go.

Ever wonder why you bought those bold yellow gold ultra large buttons or close to the ear  heavy door knocker styles? You know, the ones that you were supposed to wear to accessorize a business suit, a la “Working Girl”? We wore them as we climbed up the corporate ladder and our lobes drooped lower and lower. If you were in as much agony as I was, you took them off ever time you answered the phone, finished a meeting, or when the clock struck 5PM. I give credit to any woman who could kept them on her ears rather than playing with them on her desk. Whoever decided that these were the right accessory for a career woman, was, well, probably a male jewelry designer who didn’t have to experience the pinching pain that would take place about 15 minutes after you left the house. These are the first to be relegated to your— one out pile.

Once they are out of your life, you will be open to trying again with a pair of lightweight hand woven chain teardrop shaped hoops by Amali Fine Jewelry or a sculptural pair of Gabriella Kiss snake hoop earrings with an emerald in each mouth. These   you will wear a lot! Hoops are truly cyclical and both of. these  pairs, which are easy on the lobes, will become treasured jewelry staples.


One of those ‘What was I thinking moments’ when you find these.

Unless you are planning to bring back the 1980s singlehandedly or revisit your ’70s disco days  (and not with a fun themed dance party)  the slinky Omega necklaces need to be exorcized from your jewelry wardrobe. You might have chosen one of these styles to accent your lamé wrap dresses for evening and thought you were so clever because you also could wear it for day with your deep V matte jersey jumpsuits over a white shirt. But these need to been banned from all necks for the next millennium and beyond. The fact that they are still layered in windows on 47th street where guys are handing fliers outside and shouting “We buy gold. You selling?” is a good indication that, yes you should sell and sell quickly.

For a different take on this look and one that seems to come back through different time periods in various more delicate, feminine and sometime sexy incarnations—the rounded or flat wire choker with diamond accents have been seeing a lot of play and might just become a timeless layering piece. These from  from Anita Ko and  is set with  diamond, offers a hint of subtle sparkle around the neck and can be worn with a range of graduated pendants or Y necklaces and lariats.



Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw wearing her nameplate necklace in HBO’s long running series Sex and The City. Photo courtesy of HBO.

Speaking of necklaces, ever since the HBO series Sex and The City first appeared on our TV screens in 1998, women everywhere wanted to imitate Sara Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw style created by costume designer Patricia Field. However, what they were really recreating was Field’s homage to rap and hip-hop stars that wore their jewelry big, bold, gold, and bling-y. Let’s face, before Carrie rocked the  ubiquitous nameplate like no-one before her character,  we owe the trend  to either these music acts or all moms who thought these would make a great sweet sixteen gift.

Since we have moved on from the late ‘90s and SJP has been spotted more recently  in layering elegant large and small rivière necklaces from Larkspur & Hawk mixed with Edwardian pendants, it’s time to retire your nameplates. (Although you might want to keep these as souvenirs). Why not go for an antique or modern monogrammed pendant with your initials entwined and engraved. Or,  better yet, put a spin on this trend by wearing  a ring with a modern heirloom quality—a new ultra large signet ring by Anabel Higgins. You can also try message jewelry that bespeaks who you are like Eden Presley’s bracelet collection with various saying or her new series of rings, my favorite of which  spells out ‘Warrior’.


Should have been left in your Grandmother’s jewelry box but since you’ve inherited  it–I am sure she would not mind you trading it in towards a piece you love.

I am all for antique and retro brooches. Anyone who knows me has seen me wear them in a variety of ways—give me a Georgian, Victorian, Art Nouveau or Art Deco brooch or a fun pair of rock crystal shoe clips and I will know just how to wear them. But there are some retro pieces that should stay in your grandmother’s jewelry box. Even though my own grandmother had taste, style and great Art Deco and retro pieces, like many  of us, she too has a few misses here and there. When she realized this, these were the styles she gave me to play with (when she wasn’t in the same room). These are the style you too might have dressed up in when you were young and even pinned them to your dolls. Sometimes you might have even taken out the stones because you thought it would be fun to go to the Five and Dime an get some more colorful sparkly rhinestones to replace them. (Oh right,  that was me!)

These are the brooches you wouldn’t even try and re-design, convert or re-purpose and should go in the sell or trade-immediately pile. If you find that any of them are signed pieces from smaller makers, they should definitely be traded because they will garner more cash to buy a piece of antique jewelry that is more you, and less

your grandmother’s mishap.

Brooches that are perfect for wearing in numerous ways:  antique styles in gemstone set floral and naturalistic insect motifs. Both from S.J. Phillips.
Now that we have made this decision and cleared out some of those tangled jewels you procrastinated dealing with, doesn’t it create a sense of freedom? If so– Let it the all go and let’s go shopping!