Days before the New Year, JCK’s editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky shared three predictions as to what the next decade will look like for all of us with in a stake in the jewelry industry.
Sustainability is going to be even more of a big deal in the 2020s, and one of many ways to jump on that bandwagon, according to Gomelsky, is “to support upcycling, the act of creatively transforming by-products, waste materials, or unwanted goods into new products. At the high end, jewelers like New York–based Brent Neale and Paris-based Elie Top have made upcycling a signature of their work, extracting valuable gems from clients’ fussy old jewels and placing them in new settings that actually get worn.”
I adore collecting jewelry, but, honestly, upcycling is my new M.O. I feel guilty about the pieces I rarely wear, the ones that enchanted me when I was in my 20s and 30s but seem lackluster now that I am routinely exposed to some of the best jewelry on the planet,
Until recently, I was in possession of a very retro triple-row angel skin coral beaded bracelet. I loved it, but I never wore it.
I sent a picture of it to Estelle Newman of Harry & Daughter, wondering if any of the designers she works with might be interested in the material.
She had a better idea: Take the beads, make them into stretch bracelets, and add a little something special to make them pop. So we added a vintage carved coral bead and two green beads (possibly jade) from Newman’s collection to each. I wanted to make them feel a little more glamorous, so we sourced some 14k gold beads in the Diamond District and attached a few gold charms from a charm bracelet I have (and also wear infrequently).
The final result:
And I love the moment below, captured at the 1st Dibs showcase during NYC Jewelry Week 2019, in which I’ve stacked the beaded bracelets with a couple of Mark Davis bangles made with vintage Bakelite. Just to tie a pretty little bow on the theme of reclaiming and reimagining vintage materials to create something shiny and new.
Top: Always be upcycling! I worked with @harryanddaughterjewels to reimagine an old bracelet into this fun stack of coral bead stretch bracelets.
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