If you know me, you know that I love jewelry. So much so that I hardly ever take it off. From the shower to bed, my favorite pieces stay on me 24/7 - they're like a piece of me! So you can understand my excitement when my friend and jewelry designer Ariel Gordon recently launched Heritage, a wonderfully curated collection of antique jewelry. Ariel traveled the country scouring antique shows, flea markets, and estate collections to find the most unique and beautifully crafted charms, rings and pendants. One of the most frequently asked questions I get is how I layer my necklaces without tangling and where I buy my antique jewelry. So with Ariel's latest capsule collection, Tokens of Affection, launching tomorrow, I thought I'd give you a few tips on how to buy antique jewelry and more importantly, how to wear it.
Tips On Buying & Wearing Antique Jewelry
- GET THE 411: Find out as much information about an antique piece as you can. What's the material: 14k or 18k gold? What year was it made? What's the significance behind the piece? Has it been inspected by an estate jewelry dealer for authenticity?
- WHAT MATTERS TO YOU?: Prioritize what you're looking for when shopping for antique jewelry. For me, a piece needs to speak to me. I need to simply love it at first sight. Then, I want to know more about the piece. What's the significance? And then lastly, I want to know what karat of gold is it - 14k or 18k? I tend to stay away from 10k pieces because I personally think the color is a little too pink and lackluster.
- IF YOU LOVE IT: At the end of the day, if you love it, buy it. The piece needs to be something you will actively wear and love forever. Don't buy as an investment or something you might wear later.
- STACK CHARMS: Cluster your favorite charms together! My maximum number is 3 on a single chain - one large, one medium and one small. And mix in newer pieces, as well!
- NO MORE TANGLES: The key to keeping those layered chains untangled is to wear chains of varying lengths and styles. For example, you don't want to wear a 16" and an 18" chain necklace of the same kind. Mix it up even more - try any combination of snake, robe, cable or curb chains at different thicknesses and lengths.
- SWITCH IT UP: Once in a while, switch up the combination of charms. Play with expected pairings and sizes. Stack, combine and most importantly, have fun!
One of my favorite pieces from Ariel's Flora & Fauna collection is this little 18k oval pendant of a dove carrying branches in its beak - a beautiful symbol of peace! Another favorite is Touch Wood pendant, which is a more formal way of saying "knock on wood" for good luck. Peace and luck? What combo! And finally, I'm obsessed with all cameos from the On the Lanai collection, which launches later in March. The light pink cameo charm is just so subtle and gorgeous and the cameo rings are so bold but also totally feminine.
“It felt inspiring and motivating to me to stop for a moment and reflect on all the different reasons that people have worn jewelry throughout the years - the heritage of the industry that I'm a part of. I get a lot of satisfaction thinking about the sustainable life cycle of jewelry and that I'm bringing new life to old pieces. I design my own collection to live forever and be heirlooms so it's so exciting that I'm getting to honor these pieces in the same way. It's a fantasy of mine that 100 years from now, someone will discover one of my pieces, and it would have the same special meaning to them—with the stories and memories it's collected over the years.”
- - Ariel Gordon
Hearts on hearts on hearts! I've been collecting antique and vintage hearts for years so you can understand my excitement for the launch of Ariel's Tokens of Affection collection tomorrow. I would buy all of them if I could! I own plenty of gold heart charms so I've got my eye on some of the turquoise pieces, which break up the mix of gold so beautifully. And that Victorian enamel double heart pendant? Swoon . . .