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Hierloom Jewels

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


A few weeks ago, my Aunt from Colorado was in town so we gathered at my grandma's house for pizza and hanging out. After dinner, Grandma, Aunt Robin and my mom presented me with this beautiful grey train case, filled with beautiful things that belonged to my Great Grandma Alma.

scarves: some are very old chiffon or silk scarves


 white gloves: Great Grandma didn't hang on to many old things so these white gloves must have been special to her. Grandma Alma was very petite so I'm thrilled that they fit my hands!


Grandma's vanity mirror: when I was a teenager, spending summer vacation with Great Grandma, I always admired this gorgeous vanity mirror. I was nearly brought to tears that they decided to pass it on to me.



Later in the evening, Grandma surprised us all by bringing out Great Grandma's jewelry boxes. Since all of us girls were present, she wanted us to sort through them and pick out what we wanted. My mom, aunt, sister and I all had the best time having our little jewelry party on the dining room table. We busted out the ancient family photos from the early 1900's and looked at pics of grandma as a girl. I fell in love with some of her outfits from the 30's and plan on re-creating them in the future.



I really do know how to spell, I promise!
As a side note, I hate to write the word "jewelry" or "jewellery" on my blog because it is spelled differently depending on where you're from. In the U.S., it's generally spelled with one "L" but the rest of the world generally spells it with two. What's up with that?! Since I'm in the US and my spell check says I should spell it with one "L" I'm going to stick with it but honestly, I think I like it more with two. Anyway, moving on.....

Hawaii in the 1940's
Great Grandma Alma moved to Hawaii in the 1940's. She packed up her life and her 3 small children (including my 6 month old Grandma) and traveled to California where she boarded a ship bound for Hawaii. She said that the ship was absolutely miserable. It was a VERY long trip and the ship was packed with mothers and their small children, all traveling to meet up with their husbands who went to Hawaii for work either with the military or some other branch of government. They lived in Hawaii for many years. During that time, my Great Great Grandma, Florence would come to visit every once in a while. During one of her trips, her and my Great Grandma picked up these matching sterling silver spoon brooches from Honolulu. When Great Great Grandma passed away, Grandma Alma inherited her spoon and now they have both been passed on to me. These silver tropical flower brooches and silver hand mirror brooch were also from Hawaii in the 40's.


Very Vintage Brooches
We don't know the history behind any of these brooches but some of them are quite old. My grandma remembers her mother having many of these in her jewelry boxes when she was a young girl. 





Precious Pearls and Gold 
Every year for Christmas, my Great Grandpa Pete bought her a really nice piece of jewelry. She kept them safely tucked away in a cream satin wallet. These brooches and pendants were passed on to me. The gold monogram pin has her initials, AVF (Alma Florence Leaver).  I keep these in a separate jewelry box so little hands don't get into them.
   Earrings Galore
 I think Great Grandma and I were the only people in my family to wear clip on earrings. She had a ton of them so I sorted through and picked these ones out for myself. I also found a few pairs of plastic or wooden ones for Olivia. She -loves- to wear my clip-ons so now she has some of her own.


We all had a lot of fun with our heirloom jewelry party. Most of all, I think it was good for all of us to be able to celebrate Grandma yet again. Her remains were cremated and we'll all be taking a trip to Springfield, MO to lay her to rest sometime soon when we can get the whole family back to St Louis again. I think we're all looking forward to partying and telling great stories about her again!

14 Responses to “Hierloom Jewels”

  1. Wow how wonderful to have all those heirlooms passed to you.I think its wonderful that they know how much you love it and wil look after it.Much beter than having it sold to someone who would most like resell it all again.So many peices there I would love too.

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  2. What a wonderful post, and such lovely heirlooms. I have one early 1900s italian micro-mosaic similar to the one you posted, only in blue, from my my great great grandmother, and I cherish it. Her initials are scratched onto the back by her husband followed by '11 , which i assume is the year.
    There is something so precious about a loved one's jewelry, Ive spent many hours throughout my life admiring jewelry of my mother and grandmother. Not so much the value, but the closeness and intimacy it shares with your loved one.

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  3. Love this post! What fun to be able to look at all the pretties and remember some wonderful women. I love those little spoons--I've seen many souvenir spoons but never in pin form! I also love the tropical flowers. So pretty!

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  4. How lovely that you got to come home with such lovely things that have such lovely memories! There's just something so extra-special about wearing an heirloom.

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  5. What a delightful and heartwarming post. Jewellery is the most special thing to wear - it holds so many memories.
    xx

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  6. What amazing gifts! I wish my family could pass things down between everyone with out a fight over who gets what!

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  7. Wow, I'm a vintage jewelry fiend and it's great that you inherited so many wonderful jewels from your great grandma! I have a similar gold rose pin & micro mosaic brooch inherited from my own grandmother.

    I enjoyed the Hawa'ii story as my name is Hawaiian and I spent part of my childhood in Maui.

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  8. ~ * ♥ * ~

    What a wonderful inheritance Brittany; it's so full of life stories, just like any vintage, but this time you know the history!

    xox,
    bonita of Depict This!
    ~ * ♥ * ~

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  9. Oh, aren't those lovely! People sure knew how to live back then.

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  10. How wonderful to have such precious treasures passed down to you. I am sure they will bring you much joy through the years. Your grandma obviously cared very much for her jewellery, it looks in wonderful condition. Although I own a lot of vintage jewellery I am always sad that none of it has a personal connection to me. I always wonder about the women who owned and wore it and why it was sold.

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  11. You won't believe this, but I have that silver Hibiscus pin with the stem, too! I picked it up at the Good Will for $1 about 5 years ago. I didn't know if it was vintage or not at the time, I just liked it and knew it would go with my Hawaiian dresses.

    So cool we have a piece of matching jewelry!

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  12. Such a lovely post featuring so many beautiful things and with a great story about living in Hawaii in the 40s. When the husband and I visited Hawaii in 2006, I saw the Aloha Tower in Honolulu. It is now a shoppingtourist attraction but before airline travel, the Aloha Tower was the place that greeted visitors who arrived on ships. I can only imagine how long that ship excursion must have taken! Wow! The plane ride from Dulles to Honolulu takes about 13 hours and that seemed like it took ages!! (We connected in Chicago)

    The jewelry is all so stunning! I love the white and goldtone set! Those gloves are gorg!!

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  13. What a lot of lovely vintage treasures, and you had a great time too. I will be looking forward to seeing you wearing these lovely pieces. :)

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  14. Nice picture of jewelry. I like you post and thanks for share it with us.

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