There’s one type of re-gifting we applaud this Valentine’s Day—and that’s heirloom jewelry. Any schmuck with a credit card can buy bling. It’s a different realm of special to receive a gift with a Jane Austen-worthy backstory. Plus, using precious stones of yore preserves precious resources now.
The trend toward eco-conscious jewelry is happening across every social strata—from royals to grad students. Prince Henry presented Catherine Middleton with his mother’s engagement ring. And everyday people, like Columbia grad student Allidah Muller’s fiancé, proposed with his grandmother’s 1940s ring. Similarly, fashion blogger Kimberly Schisler and her fiancé came up with the creative idea to use a combination of heirloom stones from her parent’s rings to create a new and personal creation.
Don’t have a family matriarch willing to part with her baubles? No worries. The city is a treasure trove of pieces with history; and if you really want something new, there are retailers that offer ethical, sustainable options.
Pippin Vintage Jewelry
Find one-of-a-kind vintage pieces at this Chelsea boite.
112 & 112½ West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011, www.pippinvintage.com
This Red Hook destination carries two centuries worth of beautiful antique jewelry that appeals to modern New Yorkers.
388 Van Brunt Street, Brooklyn, New York 11231, www.eriebasin.com
Love Rocks NY
Designer Limor Senker crafts stunning pieces made from ethically sourced “micro-paved” diamonds. “I feel it’s my responsibility to educate customers about the source of diamonds,” the designer says, “and encourage them to ask the right questions to make thoughtful purchases.”
Williamson PR & Showroom, 119 Mercer Street, Suite 2S, New York, NY 10012, www.loverocksny.com
The Royal Jewel Setting Co.
If you have an older piece you’d like to redesign or a stone from grandma’s pendant necklace, try Royal Jewel Setting Co.
27 W 47th St Ste #2, New York, NY 10036, www.thejewelrysetter.com
The retailer is going to great lengths to make sure that gems packaged in their little turquoise boxes are mined sustainably with land conservation in mind. www.tiffanys.com