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You’ve been seeing chains everywhere lately. They’re on the runways, on television shows, on the news anchors and hanging out around the necks of women sitting next to us at the coffee bar. If you’re singing the unchained melody because you’re unsure How to Style your Antique Chains, this blog is for you! I’ve learned so much from the ladies of social media, that I’ve collected photos from some Queens of Style on Instagram to show you how it’s done.

DiamondsInTheLibrary is getting seriously lucky with the Niello chain finds. She recently found TWO MORE and pulled out this creative styling tip when I asked her to send me a pic. How about doubling one chain and clasping it through the spring ring ends of another chain? That’s why she is the Niello Queen.

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Nobody has style like Beth Bernstein. Nobody. The next time you don’t know what to do with a gorgeous chain, try these moves: Unclasp it, tie it in an orverhand knot (just put one side other the other) and use each end to hold multiple charms. It will look like a lariat with lots of great charms dangling from each side.

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…Or you can use an antique padlock and clasp to extend the length with flair!

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Layering is always a good idea. More really is more, especially when it all looks so good! My friend Leslie said that when she gets ready to leave the house, she will ask her husband, “Is this too much?” If he replies that it is, indeed, too much, she will go layer on more for good measure. She always looks great when I see her, so I’m going to say that her strategy is working!

Several people “layer” really well. Eden Daniels from The Eden Collective, Danielle (JasmineTea) and Lady Layer herself, Lenore Dailey.

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The layering doesn’t have to stop with your neck game. GemCircus shows us how to up our wrist action in this photo. Who said you always have to wear chains around your neck anyway? Why not wind them around your wrist and hook a pin through some links to use a chain and a brooch as a bracelet? She’s mixing modern and antique very well here, don’t you think?

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This next picture by TreasureGarland is what I like to call, “Three Ways to Wear Chains, While One Is Pearls.” Get out your strand of pearls and use it to hold a fabulous pendant like she’s done with the cross.

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This last one is a work of serious jewelry genius. LuckandLockets removed some length from a Victorian long chain and used it as a bracelet for a horseshoe conversion brooch. As you can see, it can be worn three ways: A single strand bracelet; a wrap bracelet; and clipped back into the chain itself for a layered necklace. Genius!

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I hope this blog gave you some great ideas. Styling antique chains is easy with a little know- how, some creativity, and a splash of boldness. I’d love to see how you style your antique chains. Send me a picture on Facebook or tag me on Instagram so I can see your own ingenuity at work!

If these ideas aren’t inspiring enough to break out your antique chains, head over to BejeweledMagazine’s recent article on chains for more styling tips!

It’s no surprise that I think about jewelry ALL THE TIME! I have to say that I go through phases of jewelry that I want depending on what I’m studying. When I’m writing about Georgian pieces, I want more Georgian Jewelry. When I’m studying the philosophy behind Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts, I want more Art Nouveau/Arts and Crafts jewelry. I’m sure that you’re the same way.

There are definitely some things that I want all the time though, regardless of what I’m studying or blogging about. This year, for Halloween, I decided to write about the jewels that just stay in my mind, smoldering there like hot coals, waiting for me to burn my hand and heart on them. These jewels are the ones that haunt me.

Bague Au Firmament Rings

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Yes, we all want to be a queen. I’m no exception. What could be a better option for feeling like a Queen than a type of ring made popular by Marie Antoinette herself? I’m talking about the Bague Au Firmament Rings. I’ve wanted one of these rings for a good decade. In fact, I guard this one so zealously, that I rarely ever post any to my Instagram or Facebook page because I don’t want other people to want them too and drive the prices up higher than they already are! The one above is from The Walter’s Art Museum. (You’re getting very sleepy. Your eyelids are closing. You are completely hypnotized. You HATE these rings and don’t ever want to buy one. Now wake feeling completely refreshed.)

Tiaras

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Speaking of being a queen (or Empress), you can bet your most sparkly diamond that I want a tiara. One in particular keeps me daydreaming for fleeting moments and wistful hours: The Empress Josephine Tiara that Faberge made circa 1890. Actually, no one is really sure that the briolettes in this tiara are the same ones that Josephine had in her diadem and that her son, Eugene, later mounted in the tiara that bears her name. It is, however, always better to have a catchy name and be attributed to a famous person. No one wants to call this the Eugene, Duke of Leuchtenberg, tiara after all. It simply doesn’t have the same ring. As far as I’m concerned, you can call it whatever you want once it’s on my head.

Mourning Jewelry

The amount of mourning jewelry I want is truly obscene. Neoclassical sepia brooches, gobs and gobs of rings, the list is endless. If I counted all the styles I want, you’d think there was something wrong with me so let me just say that these urn rings have haunted me for years!

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I finally got my own a few months ago. I have NO money left and simply pray to the jewelry gods that I make it through the next year unscathed, but I finally broke down and put one on my finger. Was it worth it? Yes. Did it satiate my desire? No. Now I want one with diamonds. Like I said, there is something seriously the matter with me. That’s why this is a blog about hauntings.

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Renaissance Jewels

Faust has nothing on me. If the devil wanted my soul in exchange for Renaissance Jewelry, I’d say, “Fine, but it’s going in our contract that I can take my jewelry to hell with me.”
This piece is the worth the price of admission in the underworld. I defy you to say you wouldn’t do the same. The good news; it IS a cross, so maybe that would ward off some minor demons, at least. (Video from the fabulous Art Adorned)

Big Iberian/Catalan Earrings. (I’m not picky- I want them all)

Every time I see a pair of these somewhere, my mind goes blank and I’m just consumed with desire. I can’t tell you the jewelry lust I experience over these. Here are some that have been taunting me (and haunting me) this past year. To make matters worse, I have been trying them on at shows (you know, because the dealers LET ME!) so now I just ACHE for a pair of these. (Clockwise from left: FD Gallery; The Spare Room Antiques; Lisa Kramer Vintage)
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There it is- the inner workings of a mind obsessed with antique jewelry. So tell me, what jewelry is haunting you?