Posted by Erica Weiner on

I am very fortunate to come from a long line of jewelry magpies! So many of the more lovely pieces in my collection were passed down to me by my mother, and my mother's mother, my beloved Nana. I also grew up in London and went antique jewel and furniture hunting with my mother all through my youth, spending my weekends treasure hunting through Porabello and Lotts Rd. 

My Harem Ring - on my top right index finger- was given to me my parents on my 16th birthday. At the time I was very into Alanis Morisette, and only silver and turqoise jewelry. I remember declaring that I would NEVER wear that ring. Well- trick's on 16 yr old me because now I wear it every day. The middle ring originally had three pearls to match the rubies and emeralds, but as antique pearls tend to do when wore every day without care, they fell out. I am looking to replace them with a sturdier stone, perhaps sapphires- stay tuned!

My Victorian Garnet Cabochon was given to me by my grandmother- it was her Aunt's originally. Garnet is my birthstone and one of my favorite gemstones. Everyone loves diamonds, emeralds and sapphires, but I've always thought the earthy red of garnets is the most elegant. Antique garnet cabochons are called carbuncles- the old English word for blood blister, I love how weird the Victorians were!

On my right finger is first my mother's wedding band. It is a 4mm 14k yellow gold- just like the Classic Recycled Gold Bands we sell! I always use this one as an example to show how polished bands eventually get much more satiny with wear. Next to that ring is my Victorian Dearest Ring. It is an Acrostic that spells out dearest with the stones diamond, emerald, amethyst, ruby, emerald, sapphire and turquoise. This was one of my first purchases on Portabello Road back when I was a teen and used to go really early in the morning with my mother to get the best deals. In those days, it wasn't nearly as touristy as it is now, the price of gold was low and it the deal I got this for is crazy!


Opposite on the right middle finger is another a more recent Portabello Rd purchase- another  gold Victorian piece (are you sensing a theme?). I hate haggling, but I haggled the heck out of this guy because he had no karat stamp and three sizing marks. The third coral has fallen out and I won't replace antique coral because of the coral crisis so I have replaced it with an opal for now- and it has proved to be a happy accident as I truly like the asymmetry of it!

The ring on my left (it's actually my right ringer- still waitin for that left finger ring wink wink) is my PRIZED POSSESSION. I made Nana give this to me- she didn't think I should have such nice jewelry until I was married, so I turned on beyonce, read her some Roxanne Gay, and gently explained to her that that was bananas. It was her grandmother's, so my great-great-grandmother's, and now MY Victorian double headed diamond and emerald snake ring. I have never seen another with such detail in the skin and the faces. I recently learned that the strange pointy cabochon is called a 'sugar loaf cabochon'- a rare cut used mainly in emeralds, sometimes in sapphire that intends the stone to have a 'cat eye' effect.

Queen Victoria's engagement ring was an emerald snake ring, Snake hold so much symbolism: rebirth, transformation, immortality, and healing. This ring represents so much of what I love about jewelry- personal emotional ties, history, craftsmanship and rich symbolism.

I'm obsessed with our new Charm Base Necklace.  For this shoot I chose my Mad Money dollar bill charm. This was the first charm I bought myself from EWJ. I also have a baby ring my sister gave me on there. I am fascinated with my sweet little Seahorse charm! They are truly majestic creatures- the males have the babies (imagine), they can see backwards and forwards at the same time, they mate for life and then swim in their pairs with their tails hooked!