There’s so much to fine jewelry beneath those precious metals and artfully polished and cut stones. Underneath it all, the most celebrated crafters in the world see to it that each piece fills its wearer with a singular irreplaceable spirit. Something much more than 24-karat gold and starry diamonds defines the most exquisite pieces AZ Jewelry Appraisals has examined through the years.
Much like New York-based designer Pamela Love, we recognize and honor the art of jewelry that emboldens the soul with its presence. Her acclaimed decade-old Dagger collection’s demand rose to new heights after President Trump’s historically polarizing January inauguration, in no small part because the titular ferocious-but-subtle miniscule knives that dangle from necklaces and earrings exude strength beyond anything the sharpest of tailored power-suits could ever hope to evoke.
“Women want to feel tough,” she told The New York Times said. “They want something that reminds them they are tough, and they want something that shows the world they are tough. It’s not about violence. It’s about feeling strong and protected.”
Clothes make a fine shield, Love would say. It simply isn’t always “protection” one seeks when vulnerable, so much as a revival of influential fortitude and to be seen as one not to be reckoned with lightly. As AZ Jewelry Appraisals and our esteemed customers know very well, civilizations spanning centuries have cherished the potential for exemplary handcrafted jewelry to inspire unsurpassed bravery, resolve and connection to one’s heritage. Given America’s stormy socio-political climate since Trump’s stunning November 2016 victory to claim the Oval Office, it should come as no surprise that women across the country have turned to brandishing bold rings, pendants and earrings as an expressive response to feeling as though this controversial administration threatens the lives and liberties they hold dear.
In a sense, their jewelry transcends an element of beauty. It has become a carefully chosen means of girding themselves for a symbolic daily struggle to defend their rights as American citizens and human beings.
“Revolution and social protest have always sparked intense periods of creativity,” said Singapore native and New York-based artisan Lynn Ban. “Just look at the 1960s.”
When Ban received a commission requesting one of the armor rings that have graced her collection since 2011 to grace Rihanna’s finger for a W magazine photo set this past September, she was directed to envision the award-winning popstar as a postapocalyptic world’s last woman standing. By tapping into the tense cultural flux of our time, she conjured a vision of an articulated claw stretching the length of her finger and culminating in a pointed tip.
Though starkly different in presentation, one might suggest it shares a certain defiant kindred spirit with the silver or gold necklace Wendy Brandes designed to spell out “Nasty” after Trump famously labeled Democratic presidential opponent Hillary Clinton a “nasty woman” during their last televised debate. Her design became a fixture not only at the polls on Election Day, but at the Women’s March that coincided with Trump’s inauguration. To date, Brandes said, it remains her second-best-selling creation. A portion of the proceeds for every piece sold benefits Planned Parenthood.
“Customers tell me they’ll pass them down to their daughters,” Brandes said of her works, which also include an elegant Venus symbol and a beautiful-but-brazen raised fist. “People are now realizing that the fight for women’s rights and democracy doesn’t end.”
More than ever before, women are buying jewelry for themselves and selecting pieces for a statement more than shine. Though the trend may one day shift from social conscience back to sparkle and karats, creators such as Love have chosen to acknowledge a certain duty to the ramifications of our place in human history. Which ever type of jewelry you have Az Jewelry Appraisals will be there to help you.
“I’m not just a machine that makes jewelry,” said Love, an ACLU supporter whose 180,000 Instagram followers witnessed her participation in the Women’s March. “I’ve spent the last 10 years building a brand and a following, and if I don’t have the permission to use this voice, then what is the purpose of it?”