A girl can never have too much jewellery: discuss

I keep saying no more necklaces, no more earrings and then my birthday comes along, or I go to a market, or – much more problematic – I go shopping with my daughter!

We love to frequent vintage shops and markets and I love the whole vintage jewellery look. I have specifically (apart from my silver wedding anniversary ring) gone out to buy nineteenth century rings for my pearl and ruby wedding rings and I wear my grandmother’s 1920 engagement ring.

Recently my husband’s mother died and when clearing out her drawers we found a small treasure chest of vintage jewellery much of it coming from her mother. As a confirmed hoarder she had never thrown out anything even when there were missing stones. Nothing was of any great value, semi-precious stones at best and no real gold only plated but many were really pretty in their own way. Luckily our daughter knew of a jeweller who could replace and repair and he converted all the clip on earrings to hooks, and also all the brooches became pendants. He resized a couple of rings and managed to replace nearly all the missing stones, not an easy feat considering how their cut and shape were very different from modern stones.

]Vintage Grandma's

I also nearly always buy jewellery when travelling, picking up local handicrafts and specialities. Thus I have earrings from Murano glass made in Venice; olivine earrings from Tenerife as well as some made with volcano lava; and of course fresh water pearls from all over the world but especially China, Thailand and Colombia.

I wrote a while back about the pearl exhibition that they held in the Victoria and Albert museum and how pearls are found in many more countries than you can imagine. I am lucky enough to have pearls from many of them in all shapes and colours.

I first fell in love with freshwater pearls when I was in Chinatown in San Francisco. For the first time I saw them being sold in strings where you chose the length you wanted and they knotted them together to make a necklace. over 20 years later I still have these strings of pearls but in the meantime in have acquired more necklaces and earrings in freshwater pearls from all over. Of course freshwater pearls are no longer the exotic item they once were and you can now buy them on Thai run stalls in local UK markets. I am especially fond of the grotesque shapes and am happy to take ones made from pressed pearl powder too so I can buy them at a really good price and often have some really unusual shapes and colours as a result.

Talking of necklaces, I found the ideal way to store them recently – on a very tall candelabra.

necklaces on a candelabra

If you can’t store them completely flat – and who can when they are very long – then hanging them is the best solution but finding something tall enough defeated me, all the offered items in stores were far too short. I was about to drill holes in the wall to hang hooks for them, when, in a second-hand shop I found the ideal item. And I have a unique way of storing my earrings too – in ice-cube trays. [photo here]

1 pair per cube and very easy to see what I have too and use some of the ones that get lost in the multitude.

earrings stored in ice cube trays

So, to answer my own question. Can I have enough? Well I am now being very restrained when going to markets and fairs and only buying when items really really interest me, but then I do know that there is a necklace and matching earrings coming for my Xmas present!

Yes, I can continue to find many excuses for keep on buying.


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