When jewelry follows the calendar

Mar 25, 2020

Dear French readers, you will find below the translation of my article ” Mark the calendar“, originally published in Rapaport Magazine. The American version is only available in print.


An overview of this American jewellery that follows the great festive moments of life across the Atlantic.

For American consumers, all they have to do is look on Instagram or at shop displays to know which holidays are coming up. Orange and black-laden themes and ideas for spooky objects herald the arrival of Halloween; green and red decorations, candy canes and snowy images let you know that Christmas is only weeks away; and for the 4th of July, it’s all red, white and blue. Not to mention Thanksgiving or Super Bowl Sunday. American society lives by these seasonal events, celebrating them through food, fashion and home décor – so there’s no reason to leave jewellery on the sidelines. Here are some of the holiday-themed jewellery pieces that make up an American year!

1- Independence Day, Memerial Day & Veterans Day

From left to right: 1- Some patriotic brooches in platinum, diamonds, sapphires and rubies. Photo: Oscar Heyman; 2- A vintage American patriotic pendant in gold, diamonds, rubies and enamel. Photo: Lang Antiques; 3- A vintage Victory pendant in platinum, rubies, sapphires and diamonds for Veteran Day. Photo: Lang Antiques & 4- A patriotic brooch in platinum, diamonds, sapphires and rubies. Photo: Oscar Heyman

If there are three days that bring out the patriotic side of the American people, it is the 4th of July, when the United States celebrates Independence Day; Memorial Day, which honours fallen soldiers on the last Monday in May; and Veterans Day – November 11 – in honour of military veterans. On these holidays, it is traditional to display the national flag, and jewellery designers often use red, white and blue in custom-made brooches with rubies, colourless diamonds and sapphires. The vintage jewellery market sometimes shows rare pieces depicting the American eagle, the “V” for victory, or even small military vehicles. Oscar Heyman and Tiffany & Co. have both produced beautiful flag brooches and pendants that sparkle with national pride.


From left to right: 1- Design for a Halloween brooch. Photo: David Michael Jewels; 2- Gold, orange sapphires and diamond spider brooch. Photo: Eli Frei; 3- Gold and diamond pumpkin brooch. Photo: Michelle Ong Carnet Jewelry & 4- Gold ring set with tsavorites and a 12 ct tourmaline. Photo: Ricardo Basta

Let the jack-o’-lantern season begin! Pumpkins, ghosts, monsters, witches, spiders and bats are the main themes for Halloween jewellery, and designers such as Ricardo Basta, Cicada Jewelry and Michele Ong have created some remarkable pieces. Cicada Jewelry’s charming witch in gold, diamonds and sapphires is a good example, as is Carnet Jewelry’s gold and diamond pumpkin brooch or David Webb‘s coral rings. The younger generation of American jewellers also offers beautiful pieces depicting haunted houses, coffins and cemeteries after dark. As seen in the Haunted Mansion cuff by Chelsea Born(Appaloosa Designs). While orange is a favourite colour for Halloween, designers are not afraid to mix it up with others, adorning their jewellery with amethysts, purple sapphires, onyx, coral, emeralds and diamonds.

From left to right: 1- A gold “Witch” brooch with diamonds and sapphires. Photo: Cicada New York; 2- “Cemetery” silver cuff set with charoite. Photo: Chelsey Born Appaloosa designs & 3- A Spider secret glass pendant in gold with diamonds and sapphires. Photo: Alexandra Abramczyk

3- Thanksgiving

From left to right: 1- Turkey brooch. Photo: Oscar Heyman; 2- “Corn” pendant in silver, jasper and opal. Photo: Nicole Conklin Arrok Metal Studio; 3- 585 gold pendant. The yellow stone is made by melting resin and corn meal. Photo: Chris Chaney AgriJewelry; 4- Cranberry earrings in silver and garnets. Also available in gold. Photo: Judie Gumm Jewelry & 5- Gold turkey pendant. Photo: Chris ChaneyAgriJewelry

While Thanksgiving jewellery may be rarer than other holidays, it does exist. The traditional turkey makes an appearance in these designs, as do other Thanksgiving brooches, here depicting a cornucopia, a colorful ear of corn, and here, cranberries. Autumnal colours such as red, yellow, orange and brown feature prominently in the palette chosen by designers and jewellers. Designers such as Hemmerle, Chris Chaney of Agrijewelry and Nicole Conklin of Arrok Metal Studio are offering brooches and pendants featuring an extremely tempting precious corn. Tiffany & Co.’s “Cornucopia” brooches and Alaska-based jeweller Judie Gumm’s delicate “Cranberry” collection are also standouts.

4- Christmas

From left to right: 1- A “Christmas Wrealth” brooch in gold, diamond, ruby and emerald. Photo: Oscar Heyman; 2- A nutcracker brooch project. Photo: David Michael Jewels & 3- A Santa Claus brooch in gold, diamonds and rubies. Photo: Oscar Heyman

Colourful ornaments, falling snowflakes, gingerbread men, richly decorated wreaths: these symbols of the season find an ideal place in precious jewellery that is perfect for wearing at Christmas dinner or, as many do, throughout December. Diamonds, rubies and emeralds are among the common stones in these designs, in keeping with the classic Christmas colours. As Lewis Heyman of Oscar Heyman notes, “the festive season tends to inspire a lot of custom orders“.

Snowman brooch in gold, diamonds, rubies, sapphires and onyx. Photo: Oscar Heyman

5- Super Bown Sunday

From left to right: 1- A platinum pendant with diamonds and rubies set invisibly. Photo: Oscar Heyman; 2- “The Ravens” ring in white gold and diamond created in 2010. Photo: Jostens Inc. & 3- “The Philadelphia Eagles” ring in white gold and diamonds created in 2018. Photo: Jostens Inc.

The Super Bowl – the final showdown of the National Football League (NFL) championship – is one of the biggest sporting events in the United States. Millions of Americans gather in front of their televisions every year on the first Sunday in February to watch and support their respective teams. With millions of dollars worth of advertising and half-time shows featuring the biggest stars of the moment, it’s no surprise that the Super Bowl has inspired some extravagant jewellery. Especially the rings commissioned by the NFL for the winners. In 2015, each New England Patriots championship ring cost more than $36,000 and featured 205 diamonds totaling 4.85 carats. The leading manufacturer of Super Bowl rings is Jostens, which has produced more than 30 different editions since 1966. On the vintage market, some of them can exceed $100,000 – as at Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, a site specialising in these rare collectibles.

See you soon!


marie chabrol

Hello my name Is Marie. Speaker, consultant & teacher, I write with passion about the world of jewelry.

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