What does one give to the best friend who has everything? My bestie and I call each other oinkers, as in piglets. I have no idea how this started, well actually I do but the story may not be fit for public consumption. Suffice to say that when one of us would hog the champoo (a.k.a. champagne and we always hogged it from others, not each other), had trouble fitting into the minuscule clothing sizes that stores stock in Shanghai, or sign both of us up for a 10 course white truffle tasting menu at the “it” restaurant of the season, we were being oinkers and so it stuck. I have often wondered what presents to get for my best piglet, she is notoriously picky, has everything and whatever she doesn’t have she makes a point of acquiring for herself tout de suite.
Jewelry is usually the perfect gift for a friend. I generally know what suits my friends and they appreciate receiving little gifts from me because they know that thought has gone into it–after all, I am slightly obsessed. In this case, I wanted a gift that was super personal that my bestie could participate in as well. So I came up with the idea of the charm necklace. Perhaps you thought you’ve outgrown them but the modern charm necklace is far from juvenile. Whether it’s long or short, the grown up charm necklace packs quite an accessory punch if done right. The idea is to collect charms for each other over a lifetime of birthdays, holidays and over the course of our travels.
I started out with a sterling silver long chain (approximately 24 inches) for me and a short chain (16 inches) for oinker bestie so that we don’t risk being too matchy-matchy. From there, I scoured my vintage jewelry sources and found two identical sterling silver pigs that are quite sizable–about 2 inches by 1.5 inches. The possibility of finding two identical vintage charms at completely different places is a feat only made possibly by modern technology (eBay). I am planning on engraving my name on her pig’s bum and hers on my pig’s bum. The engraving will be on the diagonal near the tail. Adorable!
Antique sterling silver pig pendant/charm.
This first piglet is quite large and more of a pendant than a charm but in order to revamp charm necklaces for the modern-day, I would advise a good range of sizes, colors and textures. This large pendant will ground the necklace and provide a focal point; once we add smaller additional charms there will be a lot of visual interest as a result. Don’t feel that you have to stick to the same material either, throw in some enamel pieces or perhaps some gold letters for your initials. The more eclectic the charms, the more interesting and personal it will feel.
For those who need a little
proof inspiration, here are some pret-a-porter charm necklaces that are just darling and yet far from juvenile.
Lanvin, oversized Swarovski crystal charm necklace. Available here.
Ben-Amun, toggle lariat charm necklace. Available here.
Meira T, multi-charm necklace. Available here.
Charm bracelets can be done as well. However, for bracelets I would suggest collecting pendants rather than charms to make a really clunky charm bracelet. Small charms on a bracelet will look dated, the best way to spruce it up is by using oversized charms for a funkier look.
Big Kiss and Bigger Diamonds,