I hope you have all had a great Christmas alongside some fabulous presents; some jewellery maybe? If you have been lucky enough to be covered with jewels and lots of sparkly things you may be wondering: “Where am I going to keep all these beauties safe?” – “In your jewellery box” would be the logical and correct answer, but what if your jewellery box is already full, or even worse, what if you don’t have one yet? I just could not bear the thought of your jewellery just lying around in your bedroom with the risk of getting lost, dusty or else. Therefore, I shall tell you a little bit more about these beautiful objects and hopefully help you pick the perfect jewellery box.
As always, let’s start with a little bit of history …
Jewellery boxes have pretty much always been around, which makes sense considering jewellery itself is pretty ancient too. As a matter of fact such boxes were in common use as early as 5000 BC in Ancient Egypt, as at the time both men and women wore a lot of jewellery. Funny story – well it made ME smile for sure – during the Ming Dynasty in China (1368-1644) people used to hide their jewellery in some pillow-shaped jewellery boxes and they would sleep on them quite literally, in order to keep them safe. Now that’s what I call genius!
Jewellery boxes used to be seen as objects of great luxury, which makes sense considering jewellery used to be seen as such. Nowadays even though they still are very exciting presents to receive, jewellery boxes are a lot more common; so when was the turning point?
The Industrial Revolution, a turning point
Again, I feel like I’m stating the obvious here but I’m going to carry on and say it anyway… With the Industrial Revolution came the concept of mass production resulting in cheaper items; cheaper everything! So basically, pretty much all of what used to be considered as luxury items accessible to elite society only were made affordable to even the middle class.
In the USA the early 1900s marked the start of mail order selling with Sears’ catalogues and Marshall Field. Thanks to this new process, more people were able to purchase jewellery boxes. Jewellers embraced the trend too, to showcase their best pieces.
Jewellery boxes came in all different shapes and sizes and materials. At the time some of the most popular ones were silver, gold (often only plated), then ivory, enamel, tortoiseshell and ceramic examples were introduced. The most common and sought after linings would be satin, velvet or even faille or silk in some cases.
Here is a little review of what type of jewellery box you can find, what characteristics to take into consideration and what to look for depending on your “needs”.
What to choose? So much choice – Are you panicking? Don’t!
We have a preference for silver jewellery boxes here at AC Silver; they combine great convenience in addition to their innate aesthetic appearance. Such versatile pieces also retain their value (or in most cases even gain value) with the years and can become treasured heirlooms, passed down to your children and grandchildren. This Arts and Crafts box is a great example of its type, so nice!
Very pretty! I say go for it!
Although I am not a big fan of black leather boxes, I love cream or light pink coloured ones. I may be biased by the fact I own one, but I promise they are a great choice. Just be careful, they stain easily.
Very popular these days; these are just a win win. Very pretty, highly decorative AND you can see yourself whilst you’re putting your jewellery on. Only downfall, will need a lot of cleaning – damn you finger prints! If you are looking for one I would advise good old Marksies (Marks and Spencer), they have some fab ones there.
Ivory and Tortoiseshell:
Right, I do not agree with killing animals in the name of fashion, so I would not condone buying a brand new ivory or tortoiseshell box. Buying an antique example however is perhaps more acceptable…. Different days, different ways and all that….. Plus, these items are very pretty. Yep, I’m going with this! I mean, how sweet is this antique tortoiseshell and silver box?
Anything and everything:
Nowadays jewellery boxes can be made of anything (I even have one made of sea shells – Yes I have MANY jewellery boxes) so the world is your oyster, just go with your heart.
My preferred type of lining is dark velvet, it just makes everything even more sparkly and shiny and fabulous; navy velvet lining is just fantastic.
Silk is pretty fancy too, so yes if anything, I would advise to go for either of these options.
Features and size:
Obviously this depends on how much jewellery you own, but I would always advise to go for the next size up, your jewellery collection will only grow over the years, and you wouldn’t want to deprive anyone from the joy of buying you jewellery because of a lack of space in your box, that would just be rude!
This is pretty essential, especially if you are a ring lover, it will help you have your jewellery organised at all times. No mixing up, tangling of chains (everybody HATES this), a quicker decision made in the morning as the tidy overall view will help!
That’s if you don’t trust the people you live with, whoever they may be: housemates, boyfriend, husband, parents, children, sisters (sisters are THE worst for stealing your things, believe me!) Trust is overrated anyway. Only joking…
The little plus:
Here’s a feature I love: an integrated mirror – yes you are most likely to have a mirror on your dressing table anyway, but in case you don’t, or someone took it away from you (I may have trust issues) or if you just love mirrors, then this is what you need to look out for!
A box that keeps your jewellery safe AND plays music? Need I say more? Musical jewellery boxes are the way forward, especially for little girls, I received one as a child and it definitely was one of my best presents EVER.
So, jewellery boxes are not only pretty and convenient, they are essential.
What are you doing still reading this? Go and look for one right away, and if you do not want to move from your chair/sofa/ whatever – I’m not judging… – here is a link to our selection of jewellery boxes.
Marushka Frandgie – Sales Assistant / Digital Content Editor
Marushka joined AC Silver in 2014 bringing hands on experience in jewellery retail and management in addition to a Master’s Degree in Media and Journalism.