Publisher’s note: Mari Rodríguez Ichaso has been a contributor to Vanidades magazine for several decades. She is a specialist in fashion, travel, gastronomy, art, architecture and entertainment, a film producer and a style columnist for CNN en Español. The opinions expressed in this column are solely his own. Read more opinion pieces at cnne.com/opinion
(CNN Spanish) — A very curious (and beautiful) change in our lifestyle is the desire to wear symbolic jewelry. Pieces that we not only like for their beauty and design, but also because they mean something to us.
A piece that just touching it –or seeing it– excites us! It may be a ring that belonged to our grandmothers and was passed down from generation to generation in a very sentimental way. A bracelet that represents a special day, or a place where we bought it and it was a quintessential romantic moment. Or that first pearl necklace that many quinceañeras receive!
As a curious note, the wedding ring that Prince Charles gave Camila is from 1920 and belonged to her grandmother, the Queen Mother Elizabeth, and the one that Prince William gave Kate Middleton was her mother’s engagement ring, Princess Diana.
The great sentimental value of jewels has always been an important part of our lives and they are “pieces of life” and emotional “messages” that we treasure. And now in 2022 –when there is, without a doubt, a renaissance of spirituality–, we have learned to reflect more frequently –perhaps as a consequence of 2 years of the covid-19 pandemic, living more socially confined– everything that symbolizes something that It’s very important. Whether it’s a simple or very valuable piece of jewelry, the more meaning it has, the better. Satya, Foundrae, Aqua, Mejuri, and many other popular brands have ‘spiritual’ and ‘symbolic’ collections.
And following a good marketing idea, the big international jewelry stores and jewelry designers have managed to create their own symbols and have made them very fashionable. All kinds of initials, pendants with the names of the children (the Tous brand has several very beautiful symbolic collections), bracelets, almost like talismans, handmade, pendants with cameos or lockets with photos, everything symbolic is highly appreciated.
The Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra collection –created in 1968– is iconic for its 4-leaf clovers for good luck. And the famous brand had already launched the “Knock on Wood” collection in 1916, to ward off bad luck, including rings with precious stones set in wood.
Old symbols of jewelry have also been resurrected, such as the famous Cartier Love Bracelet, designed in 1969 and launched in the early 1970s. It was a design by the great Aldo Cipullo (I was at the launch party!), as symbol of indestructible love and could only be put on and taken off using a screwdriver. Well now it is more fashionable than ever with 41 variations of it. Something curious? When it was launched, according to an article from the time in the posh Town & Country magazine, Cartier sent it as a gift to famous 20th-century couples known for their great love, such as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, and Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti. What do you think?
In the same way, the classic Tiffany & Co engagement ring, created in no less than 1886 as a symbol of love and the beginning of a new life as a married woman, has never been more coveted, it was a symbolic piece that Tiffany he invented and first launched, becoming his legacy. The classic ring has a special platinum setting and the most perfect round diamond possible. Many famous brides have worn it – and continue to wear it – as a symbol of love, such as Mila Kunis, a gift from Ashton Kutcher (a diamond solitaire valued at US$250,000), and the
Priyanka Chopra, who received her huge diamond Tiffany ring the day Nick Jonas asked her to marry him.
Of course, each person has their symbolic jewel and that is the most beautiful of all. I have a drawer full of them and I adore them. And they include from a cloth heart made by my daughter when she was 4 years old, a pendant with a piece of a stone from the Berlin Wall, an old “widow’s ring”, made of onyx and silver from my grandmother, brought from Spain many years ago years and some earrings that I had made with two snails from the beach of Varadero, in Cuba, which –knowing my nostalgia for my lost homeland– brought me a good friend from the island. Nothing more symbolic and emotional for me!