Heavenly Vices is for dreamers and storytellers and romantics, for those of us who look at single objects and see the beguiling allure of lost secrets and true but forgotten love.
Each piece of Heavenly Vices jewelry starts with a love token.
These remarkable artifacts were once coins – actual legal currency – that have been scraped clean on one side and engraved with a lover’s initials, a treasured name, a phrase of significance, or other meaningful symbol. The altered coin would then have been gifted to a lover, friend, child, or parent; a tangible representation of enduring feelings presented before long separations, to commemorate anniversaries and engagements, or for no particular reason at all.
New Orleans-born Samantha Jackson has spent years amassing a huge collection of these love tokens and now her jewelry line, Heavenly Vices, is giving these remarkable objects new life.
Each Heavenly Vices jewel is a palimpsest, a piece of currency turned secret message turned artifact turned adornment. The love tokens are set in precious metal and wreathed in diamonds.
This one is particularly elaborate and bears the word “Doll” in rose gold. Was it an endearment? Someone’s name? We’ll never know, but it’s stunning to look at, especially in that rose gold setting.
This style of love token may date from as early as 1300’s England and peaked during the oh-so-sentimental Victorian era, when it was common to have love token stands set up shop at fairs: they’d customize your coins for you right on the spot. Each love is a tiny, tangible piece of someone’s story that history has left behind of us to find.
Many of the Heavenly Vices love tokens are very simple, but others are exquisitely elaborate. These two beauties fall into that second category: similar to the “Doll” above but even fancier, with swirling, elaborate monograms in multiple colors of gold with coordinating gold or rose gold settings and chains.
Some of the Heavenly Vices love token pieces feature stationary pendants on chains (like these two), others are charms that can go on anything for maximum versatility.
One of my very favorite things about the Heavenly Vices designs is that the back of the pendant is left open. The vast majority of the love tokens still look like a coin on the reverse, although a few special pieces have double-sided engravings.
Many of the coin sides bear the marks of time more than the engraved side; these two are a perfect example, with the ridges through the middle of the one on the left and the gentle, consistent wear of the one on the right.
This may seem like an unimportant aspect of the overall design of these jewels, but to me, the fact that Heavenly Vices shows such reverence for the history of the artifacts incorporated here makes all the difference to me.Read More