I’ve always liked vintage charms, but something about 2020 has really lit the charm fire in me. Charms are tiny, they’re pretty, they often have adorable secrets, and I suddenly can’t get enough of them.
I was discussing my newfound charm obsession with my buddies over at Wilson’s Estate Jewelry and they mentioned that they actually have a HUGE selection of top notch vintage charms, in addition to their glorious collection of vintage rings and other jewelry that I already know and love.
One thing led to another, and suddenly I was holding a big ol’ treasure trove of borrowed vintage charms and rings from Wilson’s Estate Jewelry to play with and photograph.
Let’s take a look.
My Wilson’s Wishlist: vintage charms and rings.
This picture is a perfect visual representation of why I love Wilson’s Estate Jewelry. Their eclectic collection spans a wide variety of styles, eras, and materials with one unifying factor: every single piece is remarkable.
Let’s break it down from left to right. First we have an Arts & Crafts era ring with a lush, foliate spray of leaves curling around a luminous moonstone. Next, a spectacularly substantial British Victorian snake ring with rows and rows of 18K gold with ruby and diamond details.
Third, we have my personal favorite ring of the whole batch, a 5 stone Victorian beauty with topaz, tourmaline, and diamonds that I will be dreaming of for the rest of my days. And finally, that gorgeous glowing cluster on my pinky is a Victorian era Mexican fire opal ring.
The first thing I did when I had these vintage charms in my clutches was to try to balance them all on my hand, so that’s how we’re going to start.
The little house on the left is actually a tiny chapel or church, with beautifully detailed windows and a tiny articulated roof that lifts to reveal an itty bitty enamel bride and groom kissing on the inside!
On the left, we have a teeny tiny model of a Greyhound bus. The top lifts open to reveal two rows of tiny gold passengers sitting quietly. This vintage charm is mid-century, from the 1950’s.
Shall we admire some rings next?
These two stunners share an elongated shape that’s one of my favorite styles. Both platinum with diamonds, the ring on the left is Art Deco era while the ring on the right is slightly earlier, from the Edwardian period.
The rings are lounging in a gorgeous specimen from Wilson’s Estate Jewelry’s collection of vintage and antique ring boxes.
Here are those two beauties along with a whole gang of platinum friends! Oh, this aesthetic slays me. There’s nothing like the color of old platinum, especially accented with diamonds and sapphires.
The rectangular dinner ring with the calibre cut sapphires is Art Deco, as you probably can tell from its quintessential Deco-ness. The very romantic ring below it is Edwardian era, with diamonds in platinum-topped gold.
The jaw-dropping star sapphire ring on my pinky is Art Deco as well, from the 1930’s. It was very hard to do justice to that spectacular stone in my photos, but you an almost see how it captures the light and reflects it back with an ethereal glow.
Back to the vintage charms! This one was a particular favorite of mine. It is German, circa 1905, and it shows a detailed cuckoo clock with articulated parts.
The best part? The little cuckoo clock’s tiny bird actually pops in and out when you pull on the chains. There is no way to truly capture this in a photo, so I’m going to be posting a video of it in action on my IG.
It is not possible to overstate the amount of time I spent balancing vintage charms on my fingers during this photoshoot. Then, of course, I texted all the pictures to my sister with astute commentary like “SMOL LIGHTHOUSE IS SMOL” and lots of crying emojis.
I’m trying to elevate the discourse from there but “omg so small” remains my primary reaction to this itty bitty Art Nouveau lighthouse charm. It’s SO small and so perfect!
Look at the delicate delineations of each brick in its walls, the dark sliver of invitation that is its very slightly open door, the contours of its fairy-sized window, the bewitching glimmers of light that reflect off of the lighthouse’s raindrop sized crystal light.
Here’s a life preserver to go with the lighthouse! This one is so sweet, with its dangling enamel heart. This Retro era vintage charm is a signed piece by Sloan & Co.
Most charms are figural, symbolic, or both. Meaning they’re appealing because they look like something that’s pleasant to remember, they look like something that has meaningful implications, or a combination of the two. This one obviously looks like an itty bitty life preserver but the meaning, that love will save you from drowning in the sea of life’s dangers, is even more appealing than the piece’s beauty alone.
Don’t these rings have such a wonderfully soulful, witchy vibe all together? They’re ethereal but not subtle, luminous in a substantial, unapologetic way.
You saw a few of these up above, but this stack adds several ravishing rings I haven’t shown yet. There’s the vibrant, sunflower-esque Retro topaz ballerina ring up top, the crystal ball beauty of the Victorian moonstone and ruby cabochon at the top of my pointer finger, and a gorgeous signed piece, the hexagonal David Webb gold and diamond stunner at the lower right of the photo. Yes, yes, and yes.
This ring needed a solo photo, because she is a diva and she does not need to share the spotlight. Wilson’s Estate Jewelry very fittingly refers to this piece as the Art Nouveau Empress ring, because to describe a figure this regal as anything less than an Empress would be a crime.
My favorite thing about this piece – besides its wonderful overall drama – is the careful details of the flowing locks of the Empress’ hair.
This Victorian era puffy heart charm was hard to photograph until I clipped it onto my own niello watch chain (personal collection) to keep it from flipping over. They look rather perfect together, don’t they?
This lovely little charm is engraved all over and features a pretty little turquoise trio on one side and a cabochon amethyst on the other.
That’s all for now, my darlings! Thanks to Wilson’s Estate Jewelry for making this photoshoot possible. If you’d like to see the recap from the time I visited Wilson’s IRL, click here.
This sponsored post is brought to you by Wilson’s Estate Jewelry.