Okay, so Victorian mourning jewelry isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But some of it is prettttty cool. The Victorians were totally obsessed with death. Take Queen Victoria. After her hubby died, she wore black for the rest of her life, and slept with a cast of her husband’s arm. Yeah, not weird at all. Victorians commemorated their passed love ones in a variety of ways — through mourning photography (of you and your recently dead person!) and special mourning jewelry. The style of jewelry was created in part because Victorians thought it was uncouth to wear flashy jewels when you were in mourning, so much of the jewelry is simple and elegant, and made of unusual materials like celluloid and vulcanite. Sometimes, Victorians would snip lockets of their loved ones’ hair and incorporate it into the piece–which makes mourning jewelry the perfect accessory for watching “Beetlejuice” and listening to Smiths records.
Because of its unusual materials, mourning jewelry makes a definite statement. Check out 12 gorgeous pieces after the jump!
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Heishi beads are a traditionan African bead made from vulcanized rubber, which is why they’re often referred to as vulcanite beads. Although they come in more of a standard bead form, I’m particularly partial to these little disks. The vibrant colors are mega-cool and can serve to excite an otherwise kind of staid outfit. Plus, they’re really fun to play with absentmindedly while you’re reading or plotting your world domination or whatever. Check out 12 cool heishi bead pieces after the jump!
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I hate snakes (why no legs!?), but I love snake beads — they’re the actual name of those cool interlocking beads you’ve been seeing on a lot of jewelry lately. The beads have a rather troubling history: The decorative glass beads were used between the 16 and 20th centuries as a type of currency. They were used in exchange for goods and services, but also used to purchase slaves. The beads became especially pervasive as the European slave trade flourished, and the beads began to be manufactured across Europe, as a means of acquiring more slaves.
Soooo, there’s that.
But! Aside from their history as a trade item, they are really beautiful and colorful, and we’ve collected 12 awesome ways to wear ‘em. Keep reading »
Silver, gold, rose gold, brass, pewter — no matter the metal, we can’t get enough of slim, stackable rings. Seen on the hand of just about every celeb worth her style salt, there’s nothing like a helping of subtle metallic flair to finish off any outfit. Some are more intricate, others are bare-bones, but they all look good on everyone, with every outfit, for any occasion. Wear just one for a subtle statement, pile them on for a blingier finish, or order them a size small to wear mid-finger; the choice is yours. Here are 10 of our top picks…
It happened in slow motion; I couldn’t stop myself. It was like I watched from outside my body — NOOOOOOOOOOOOGGGHHH — as I reached into the seat pocket, pulled out my phone, and took an artsy photo of — STTTOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPPPP — my newly paired engagement ring and wedding band.
“It’s a six-hour flight to Hawaii,” I probably told myself. “What else am I going to do to pass the time?”
And then a force greater than myself caused my thumbs to move swiftly across the iPhone screen, open Instagram, and post the photo — tinted green, of course, to match my beautifully manicured, fir-colored fingernails and peridot-paired diamond, posed artfully above the mostly unreadable text of a Big Island guidebook — before I even knew what I was doing. Keep reading »
The other day, I listened to Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” on repeat for, like, seven hours. That song is so perfect. You know what other types of chains I enjoy? Necklaces! (Smooth segue, huh?) Layered, single-strand, or adorned with pearls or rhinestones, chains are an elegant accessory that pair perfectly with little black dresses or T-shirts and jeans. Want to add a pretty chain necklace to your jewelry box? I found 10 awesome options starting at just six bucks. Click on the gallery to check ‘em out!
Newark, New Jersey mayor Cory Booker has been leading an initiative to get illegal guns off the streets of the city with police seizures and gun buyback programs. So far, the Newark Police Department has collected and cataloged more than 250 firearms and countless shell casings found at crime scenes, and now they’ve come up with an innovative way to recycle the weapons: melt them down and turn them into a series of steel and brass bracelets called The Caliber Collection. “The result,” according to the website, “is a series of pieces that embody the gun’s transformation from a destructive weapon to a powerful symbol of renewal.” Each of the handmade bracelets (which are surprisingly lovely) are etched with the serial number of the gun it used to be, along with the word “Newark.” Prices start at $150, and proceeds from jewelry sales will be used to fund gun buyback programs to get even more guns off the streets. “This [buyback program] is not a cure-all,” Booker recently explained on The Rachel Maddow Show, “but everybody has the power to do something small to make a difference.” [Buzzfeed]
Maybe you can’t get to the zoo, but you can still enjoy a wealth of animal species by selecting a few of these animal-tastic rings. Details on where to buy after the jump! Keep reading »
At this point, New Year’s Eve could probably just be renamed “National Sequin Day,” and I, for one, have no problem with that. If you’re in the mood to get crafty this weekend and want to add some extra sparkle to your NYE outfit, check out these awesome cocktail rings made from wooden beads and sequin strings. For best results, pair your new sparkly jewelry with a sparkly dress and sparkling wine. [Martha Stewart]
A good, chunky, bold statement ring can make all the difference. Sometimes it just gives you an extra bit of confidence and sass to have a bright, heavy ring adorning your finger. So we’ve picked 12 gorgeous statement rings — all under a very reasonable $31 — to dress up your holiday outfits.
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