Thursday, August 7, 2008

ModernGear Women: message jewelry

I've been seeing a lot of jewelry with a message lately. And I'm not saying the figurative, "I love you but I am not quite ready to marry you" message of a promise ring, or the "Happy 60th birthday!" message in a pair of diamond earrings from a husband to wife, but a literal message, writ large across a usually unmarred silver or gold surface. And I'll tell you what - I like it.

Tiffany's is the company doing this who is perhaps the best-known, with their new Tiffany Notes collection. Now, I'm a big fan of Breakfast At Tiffany's the movie...what woman isn't?

But I am not sure I really love the store so much that I want the address of Tiffany and Co. on my jewelry, even if it is, as Tiffany describes it, "An elegant script, inspired by handwritten invitations."

This could backfire and work like an expensive dog tag, so if I'm found wandering around in a daze one day, the police might send me to the that wouldn't help! Perfect for Holly Golightly, not so perfect for me.

There's no doubt it's pretty...

round pendant in 18k gold, large $1750, small $800

round pendant in sterling silver, large $225, small $150

round earrings in sterling silver, $275

cuff in sterling silver, $500
cuff in 18k gold, large $5500, medium $5500

...but while I find myself loving the aesthetic and the effect, I just don't connect with the message.

What I do connect with, though, are the designs of Jeanine Payer. She's a San Francisco-based designer who puts poems down on silver and gold - in pendants, rings, bracelets and more. The result is delicate but ever-lasting - a message that the wearer connects with, shown in a beautiful way.

In her extensive collection, it's rather difficult to pick favourites but I'll show a few I have found to have a personal emotional resonance, with words from some of my most beloved poets.
Harlow 18k, $1100
Here is its message:

Peony, $575

Sycamore, $290
Lourdes bracelet $220

Luce bracelet $620

Lucas ring $265

Payer's collection is extensive - with styles for men and children, as well as objects like a bookmark, First Tooth Box, spoon, bowl and more...the only difficulty I'd have is choosing the design and words...but to be honest, that's a problem I wouldn't mind having! You can see a stores list (Asia, Canada, US and Europe) and also purchase online at

Instead of wearing your heart on your sleeve, wear your thoughts on your jewelry.


Anonymous said...

Shame on Tiffany's!

Just as I won't wear shirts (or any other article of clothing) that "advertises" the mercantile where it was purchased (i.e. Gap, Old Navy, etc.) I also will not wear jewelry that similarly advertises it's origin.

If Tiffany's wants to GIVE me that jewelery - that's different. Then, we have an agreement - you give me jewelry, and I wear it as your advertisement.

I do quite like the idea of Payer's work; selecting the poem might be the most difficult part!

Anonymous said...

Thimbelle, I agree with you. Same for those vile logo bags. But that's just me.