It probably won’t come as a surprise that since I have been writing for the wonderful antique and vintage jewellery company Lillicoco, I have become more than just a little bit obsessed with jewellery
I mean, it was going to happen at some point. Jewellery is, of course, the finishing touch of an outfit and another elegant way you can show your personal style.
Not to mention, since writing about jewellery has become my main financial source for my livelihood, I have become drunk on the knowledge – and trust me, there are lots. I could probably wax lyrical about how cool antique jewellery is, a far cry from any fussy associations and misconceptions people have.
But it has meant that I appreciate jewellery more than I ever have, and have been inevitably drawn towards numerous jewellery brands.
A point of interest that has developed within me in that last year or so is an interest in the classical world of the Romans and Greeks. That interest admittedly was always there, but I have nourished this fascinating past more in my spare time. And, do you know who also loved these ancient societies and as a result created a bunch of jewellery using ancient techniques, motifs and styles – the Victorians. In fact, in July or August, I am planning on exploring this further on the Lillicoco blog so I will spare you with that incessant babble… for now. But, below are my five favourite current jewellery brands which, coincidentally, have clearly taken design inspiration from ancient civilisations, societies that continue to seduce us with their captivating mythologies and omnipotent symbolism.
Stocked at Liberty and Co, Hermina Athens is a Greek jewellery brand creating timeless pieces that pay homage to Greece’s rich mythological and artistic heritage. From bejewelled medallion necklaces to shimmering plump baroque pearl earrings and Gold portraits of Goddesses, each piece is the perfect combination of a refined and polished look with the honesty and heart of handcrafted jewellery.
I first came across Hermina Athens through the wonderful world of Instagram explore. Captivated by their necklaces, bracelets and earrings, (not to mention they sell really cute bags too!), I was instantly transported to the cerulean waters and frothy sand beaches of the Greek islands.
I was lucky enough that I received one of their stunning pieces for my birthday this year from my dad! When he asked me what jewellery brands I liked prior to the big day, this one was the first I sent. I received the gorgeous Kressida pendant, which takes its origins from traditional ancient talismans. It wasn’t just the pendant that was gorgeous, but the lilac and blue packaging too was for me, a match made in heaven.
For me, there is nothing better than pieces that look expensive but are seriously affordable, and the Boutique Minimaliste does just that. Championed by style influencer Lorna Luxe (who I do inevitably plan on doing a “how to dress” like her blog post similar to my Jeanne Damas one), these pieces perfectly encapsulate the sensibilities of the modern woman.
Based in Lisbon, the brand focuses on creating jewellery that fuses the sleek aesthetic of geometry with the raw powers of nature. Oozing sophistication, each piece is infinitely wearable, adding a glowing touch to both a starchy white shirt or laissez-faire t-shirt.
One of the things that I love the most is that they have included an abundance of shells and baroque pearls into their creations too. Which not only celebrates mother nature’s talents but also it means that each piece will inevitably be unique in its own way.
Fierce and whimsical, Manom jewellery instantly evokes ethereal wonderlands and magical dreamscapes. Created by Japanese jewellery designer Mayo in her South London studio, Manom jewellery castes romantic narrative in Gold and Silver plated enamelled designs.
Since I love enchanting fairytales and magical realism, Manom’s creations speak to me quite literally on another plain. I long to feel the gracious Moon hoops swinging on my earlobes (also adorned by Kate Moss no less) and the sweet animal pendants are just the right amount of kitschy cuteness.
Also, as an antique jewellery aficionado, the Georgian and Victorian motifs like Lover’s Eye Jewellery is present in her Journey to Yoghulherp Forest collection.
All in all, the perfect way to add a touch of magic to your everyday wear.
I love it when brands have genuine stories and inspirations behind their craftsmanship, especially ones of literary and artistic meaning. This next brand, Aglihieri, does just that.
Founded in 2014, Aglihieri aims to create timeless modern heirlooms that can easily be passed from mother to daughter or father to son. Created in London’s Hattan Garden, the jewellery is inspired by Dante’s Aglihieri “Divine Comedy” an epic 14th-century poem exploring the realms of the afterlife in Catholic Europe. Plus, and a major plus in my eyes, during Covid-19 they are donating 10% of their profits to Refuge, a domestic abuse charity.
From haunty chunky signet rings to abstract molten gold, these pieces are incredibly animated, vibrant and esoteric, giving us a rare glimpse into Dante’s mind.
Launched in 2018, Wolf and Gypsy was created to make fine modern-day affordable heirlooms crafted from Sterling Silver, 14ct Gold and semi-precious gemstones. Featuring staples like coin medallions, t-bars, and dainty charms, these necklaces are the perfect accessory for both work and play.
Like the other jewellery brands in this curation, it’s hard not to see the Etruscan, Hellenistic and ancient Egyptian influences from the bust of Nefertiti pendant to a saturated Lapis Lazuli hugged by Gold Vermeil. When choosing a pendant, you can also choose a designed chain length too, so you can easily create a layered necklace look.
What’s more, their pretty collection of earrings are designed for multiple pierced ears, so like their necklaces, you can adorn and accessorise yourself to your heart’s content.
If you like to see more of my jewellery loves and my personal affections for everything sparkly, check out my “Little Things” Pinterest board!
Thank you for reading!