My brother gets married next month. True to High WASP form, he gave his fiancée a family ring when they got engaged. In fact, the Burning Man wedding reference is true to form in its own way, but that’s neither here nor there.
My brother also has a diamond and sapphire brooch in his possession, another piece given against the hope of a future wife. But we don’t wear brooches much these days, now do we? So he’s having it made into earrings for his bride on her wedding day. And beyond, of course.
One does not have to receive anything from a grandmother, aunt, or great-grandfather to wear this kind of thing. If you like High WASP style, or simply believe that we need dig no further stones and metal from this earth, you have options. The most straightforward choice, of course, is a vintage ring for your engagement. Emeralds are quite striking. Beauty in the face of flaws. Metaphor, anyone?
You can even find something with a little Edwardian folderol. This 1 ct. diamond sits amidst platinum hearts and arrows.
Should you want to exercise a little Artsy Cousin spirit, rather than hewing to tradition, have a piece reworked. I think the pink sapphire and diamond brooch above could make beautiful earrings. A spray of pink, blue, and green to dangle, diamond scrolls at the earlobe.
Or we can heed the exhortations of east side bride, and sport “more barrettes PLEEZ.” These are bar pins. I would hope they could be used as hair ornaments. This first, something, you know, blue.
What will all this cost? Reworking something like the pink sapphire brooch, especially if the jeweler contributes significant design services, will run at least $1000. Repurposing the bar pins as hair ornaments is a simpler and less expensive project.
Anna told me,
“I convert vintage and antique jewelry into pieces that can be worn everyday and on special occasions. These one-of-a-kind items are often saved from the scrap heap and re-purposed by hand for use as necklaces, bracelets and rings. When I wear one of my necklaces, I always end up having a conversation with someone about it, either about how they have a similar brooch from their Granny that they never wear or about how it looks like something designed today to look antique.”
Anna adds a touch of realism to my fancies.
For the enamel brooch she says,
“A bar brooch like this can easily be worn in your hair without any conversion to the piece. I would suggest using discreet bobby pins to place this in a simple updo. Because of the enamel it would be very tricky to solder additional bits onto it. If you want to attach a proper clip it would require a lot of skill and cost between $500-$1000. Enamel estate pieces are highly sought after and good ones are rare.”
For the Edwardian brooch,
“It would be gorgeous as a necklace with two jump rings soldered onto each end and a chain attached to each end, costing between $300-$400. This could also be attached to a hair comb using clear wire that would be virtually invisible and thus the brooch could be worn again as itself.”
So vintage pieces are out there. Conversion is doable. Duchesse wrote here about other etsy vendors who repurpose pieces.
You may have some brilliant ideas that prove impractical. Your artisan may surprise you. All of which is part of most Artsy Cousin efforts. And marriage, of course.
The cost of everything shown here is below. Note that Beladora is offering Privilege readers their own special and fairly significant discounts. I’m happy. Open the doors wide to High WASP style, as we try to do now with our families.
Pink sapphire brooch, $995, Beladora code SKYE1 for $100 off
Blue enamel brooch, $295, Beladora code SKYE2 for $45 off
Edwardian brooch, $595, Beladora code SKYE3 for $100 off
Emerald ring, $1550, Beladora code SKYE4 for $310 off
Edwardian diamond ring, Lang Estate and Antique Jewelry, $15,700
Aquamarine Bar Brooch Necklace, Anna Brown Lost And Found, $150
No compensation was received for this post. Beladora advertises with Privilege, but any thing more is at my discretion.