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Why Do Millennials Love Vintage Jewelry So Much?

Millennial Vintage Jewelry BTG Blog Header

To speak the words “vintage trend” is, in a sense, to speak nonsense. Trends unfold in the present, while vintage things hearken back to the past. As a writer, I feel it falls to me to fathom the rationale behind such apparent malarkey. So I’m here to poke at the word “vintage” a bit. And much like the intricate vintage-inspired floral designs that fly off shelves, the word itself has twists and turns, and all of those meanings are relevant to the question at hand.

Why vintage?

People have always (and will always) look to the past in order to create meaning in the present. It’s how culture works. It’s how people work. Nostalgia sweeps us back into the past, but it also propels us forward, cuing powerful memories and associations that we build our identities around.

All of that being true, there’s no denying that so-called millennials have a pronounced fascination with styles of the past. Whether this manifests in your officemate’s brazenly grizzled beard and glistening pomaded hair, or your young cousin’s newest exciting pastime, knitting, the ways of the past are increasingly with us thanks to our beloved millennial co-workers, friends, family, and customers.

 

Here are three possible explanations:

1. Vintage culture provides a stable refuge from contemporary digital culture, which has no vintage

The appeal of vintage things isn’t just about their old-fashionedness. It’s that styles of the past had the chance to come to maturity, evolving a unique flavor and form. To attain a certain vintage. Today’s fast-paced digital culture leaves little time for authentic styles to evolve and flourish. Thus, vintage styles keep us grounded and help us find our footing.

2. Millennials want context and back-story

Perhaps this also derives from modern digital technology, which allows for rapid research about not only products, but about the businesses that produce those products. Millennials expect there to be a comprehensible story behind the things we buy. Vintage things are easy to contextualize, because their time has come and gone. Their context within history is easily comprehensible. They were born, they lived, and they expired. In other words, their story has been told. Vintage jewelry offers not only style, but also settled historical context and built-in narrative. For context-hungry millennials, this is an irresistible package.

3. The Internet provides easy access to a universe of niche products

The endless search for unique and curious items has made companies like Etsy and Ebay so wildly successful. Niche is the new norm in some ways, and generations that come of age online simply have easier access to the products and styles of past eras. Used to shopping across not only decades but often centuries, millennials expect choices that aren’t simply run-of-the-mill manufactured trends.

millennial vintage jewelry niche chart

Why should jewelers care about millennial vintage jewelry trends?

While millennials’ online shopping habits may cause understandable anxiety for brick and mortar retailers, I believe that independent jewelers have significant cause for hope. The jewelry business has tremendous built-in appeal that can and should attract vintage-crazed millennials. A few reasons why:

1. Millennials idolize DIY (do-it-yourself) culture and its associated values

Handcrafting is in vogue, whether this means increasingly popular maker fairs, home and micro brewing, or traditional domestic handcrafts like sewing and knitting. The jewelry business, of course, is already full of makers. In fact, the jewelry shop has been one of the most resilient bastions of skilled retail handicraft. There aren’t too many cobblers, blacksmiths, and bakers walking around these days. In other words, the bench jeweler remains—one of the last bastions of traditional tradesmanship left in Main Street retail.

The challenge is that most millennials probably don’t know the first thing about what a bench jeweler does. (And it doesn’t help that the bench jeweler may be hidden in the back of the shop.) But I guarantee you—put that grizzled and pomaded upper-middle-class millennial in the room with a real live bench jeweler, and you’ll have a jewelry fan for life.

2. Millennial nostalgia is directed toward the golden ages of jewelry

The eras of the prodigious beard are also the eras of fantastic and historic jewelry. The satirical TV show Portlandia nailed this, in a way, with the sketch, “The dream of the 90s,” in which Portland hipsters sing about how “the dream of the 90s is alive in Portland.” The joke is that “the 90s” they’re singing about aren’t even the 1990s, but the 1890s. This is good for big beards, as I said, but it’s also good for big, beautiful jewelry. The Victorians were obsessed with jewelry. Millennials are obsessed with Victorian-era sensibilities. It’s a win-win.

millennial vintage jewelry 1890s

3. Millennials seek out and expect a certain level of creative control over their goods

They don’t necessarily want branded items. They want to be able to self-brand, customize, and personalize everything. This doesn’t mean that they are highly original. It may just mean that they are rejecting the current mass-marketed product for something that conjures the quaint appeal of a less profane era. Jewelers can and should be able to accommodate them. By their nature, professional jewelers deal in precious, well-made, beautiful objects meant to stand the test of time. Part of the appeal of vintage goods is simply a belief (or realization) that things were made better in the old days. Independent jewelers have retained both a respect for the quality of handcrafted goods as well as an awareness of the importance of customization and personalization. Jewelers are well-equipped to create millennial vintage jewelry that cures the cravings for personal and individual goods.

4. Millennials can be self-absorbed

Don’t forget: They are also called the “Me Generation.” This is not to say that they are horrible people, just to note that their individualism and drive for personal expression also leads to self-adorning tendencies. In other words, they may be hipsters, but they aren’t hippies intent on jettisoning the things of the world in favor of communal living and mere flower bracelets. They often have strongly articulated personal styles, and they realize those styles by accessorizing accordingly. If we play our cards right, millennial vintage jewelry will be part of their rugged and carefully curated individualistic ensemble.

5. Millennials increasingly have money

The youngest millennials are entering their twenties. Yes, they may have spent their youth exploring their whimsy rather than building corporate empires and accumulating capital. BUT— adulthood has arrived; they are settling down and padding their wallets. They may even be contemplating the most novel proposition of all—matrimony! In other words, millennials will increasingly have adequate incomes, which should translate into satisfying outcomes for jewelers who can anticipate their needs and reach out and educate them about the world of jewelry. As they age, millennials will seek out more expensive hobbies and habits, with more sophisticated and adult tokens of their own vintages. When they start searching around for something more refined to take the place of retro video games and hand-woven iPad case covers, jewelers will have an opening.

millennial vintage jewelry halo style engagements

What more can be done?

The pieces are in place for a great generation of millennial vintage jewelry consumers. But what are the right steps to make this happen? This subject could be an entire article to come (stay tuned), but a few very quick thoughts:

1. Customization is a no-brainer

Millennials obviously want it. Be ready to give it to them. And yes, while they may dress like your grandparents, they are also, ironically, computer geniuses. Use the incredible customization tools now available to jewelers, such as the various customization software solutions (and yes, you guessed it, Stuller carries the best design software on the market). Guide them to the vintage halo wonderland that they never knew they were dreaming of.

2. Celebrate the bench jeweler

The bench jeweler is an unheralded hero of maker culture and an undiscovered millennial superstar. Sing his song. Tell her tale. Buy him a drink. Put your bench jewelers in the window instead of the darkened recesses of your shop.

3. Plumb the vintage depths

Sooner or later, halos may lose their halo effect. Subtle nods to classic vintage styles may not always be enough. Be ready to go deeper into rich and interesting, even odd, jewelry customs of yesteryear. For instance, if halos could be such a success, what about Victorian mourning rings, or fede or gimmal rings? Two-stone rings are suddenly all the rage, but why not obliquely ride the trend with a hip and vintage twin heart design? It could be the perfect thing for that well-dressed albeit heavily bearded young man who just can’t seem to find what he’s looking for.

Shop millennial vintage jewelry on Stuller.com

Enjoyed this post? Read more about vintage trends in Stuller’s all-new Beyond The Glass publication.

Beyond The Glass Spring 2018


What’s your take on millennial vintage jewelry? How do you bring these unique designs into the light? Let us know in the comments below.




Halloween Tricks and Jewelers’ Treats

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Without superstition, there would likely be no jewelry business. There’s nothing exactly rational, after all, about wearing a certain kind of ring to commemorate a life event. And of course, there’s no scientific link between our particular birthstone and our personality or character. Wearing jewelry is something we do for primarily cultural, rather than logical reasons. And in that sense, the foundational desire for jewelry really has more to do with the realm of superstition, magic, myth, and folklore than with the world of pure reason. Indeed, jewelry, like superstition, and like myth and legend, is often a way of dealing with things that logic and reason don’t quite fully solve for—the deeper mysteries of life, love, birth, death, those things that lie far beyond the bounds of our comprehension.

Despite the mostly efficient efforts of our brain to assure us that all is well understood and proceeding as planned, the universe remains a deeply mysterious and uncertain place, and it’s in these fissures of mystery that superstitions flourish. It’s in those same places that the rich symbolism of jewelry often finds a home. 

Take Halloween as a starting point

Halloween has its roots in the ancient Celtic festival Samhain. Samhain marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of Winter. For a pastoral, agricultural society, it meant, in effect, the end of the old year, and the beginning of the new. In Irish mythology and literature, it also marked a time when a portal opened between the normal world and the Otherworld—a fantastical realm of supernatural beings and the dead. At this mysterious time of year, denizens of the Otherworld were free to wander the earth. This belief was echoed in the Samhain practice of dressing and parading in oftentimes ghoulish or skeletal costumes. It’s also why you see the same practice in modern Halloween, and why the Catholic church celebrate All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day (celebrations of the dearly departed) during this same time frame. 

The larger point is that Halloween/Samhain/All Soul’s Day all mark an annual time of deep seasonal uncertainty and change—a time that is right at the threshold of one phase and another. Folklorists and anthropologists even have a word to describe this state: liminality. It’s in these liminal spaces betwixt and between the major stages of the year that uncertainty grows, that change and mystery arise, that superstitions find purchase and that we gather our loved ones around to celebrate the holiday and reinforce our collective understanding of things. And that makes perfect sense. In times of change and uncertainty, we do the natural thing and try to counteract the mystery with togetherness, shared folk beliefs, songs, and community.

What does any of this have to do with jewelry?

It’s a good question, but the answer is clear enough. Jewelry is a crucial part of our formula to counteract and master liminality. A significant element in our antidotes to existential disruption. Just think for a second about when jewelry is traditionally given and received and why.

Just like the holidays that stud the circle of our calendar year like bezel-set sapphires, jewels appear in our lives at the most liminal moments between life stages. At graduation, at birthdays, at weddings. Even in the case of death, jewelry of course has a place, most famously perhaps in the mourning jewelry of the Victorians. 

Another way of saying it is that jewelry is a tool of ritual, and ritual is our organized system for dealing with uncertainty, change, and mystery. Ritual is our magical way of managing liminality and ensuring a safe passage through to the next stage in the circle of life, or through to the next stage of the cyclical year. 

Jewelry is well-suited to the task. It is designed to tame disorder. Made of the most resilient materials on the planet, jewelry is built to resist entropy even at the physical level. At the emotional and personal level, its beauty is designed to spellbind and capture the attention, to drawn people in, rather than to disperse them to the four winds. 

Commonplace ritual jewelry

Built primarily around the circular form of a ring, jewelry is designed to bind, to surround, to enclose, and to protect. Not surprisingly, similar circles tend to crop up in rituals of all sorts, as universal symbols of the human bonds that shield us from the vicissitudes of existences. Like the eternal circle of the year, they place our transitions and our changes and uncertainties into a kind of form that we can understand and live within. 

In fact, the most famous scholar of rites of passage, French folklorists Arnold Van Gennep, describe ritual itself as having a cyclical structure. He explained that people undergoing a rite of passage undergo three phases: 1) a SEPARATION from a community and an old identity, 2) a liminal TRANSITION phase, and 3) a REINCORPORATION into a new role as, for instance, a wife or Amish teen after a wild Rumspringa. Rituals, you might say, are ring-like patterns within culture—meant to adorn and enshrine these most delicate and crucial transitions in our lives.

To bring this all back into the more comfortable realm of reason and the sweet solace of numbers, you need only turn to the statistical jewelry industry oracle of your choice. The most popular days for engagements almost always coincide with the winter holidays—the same days of ritual and magic that give rise to superstitions, particularly romantic superstitions. Halloween, of course, abounds with lore having to do with love and romance, and is usually listed as one of the most popular days of the year for engagements. It’s almost a bookend to the engagement season, which of course starts picking up in later October and tends to peak around Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day—all, like Halloween, holidays with ancient roots in myth, lore, and ritual. 

What does this all mean for jewelers?

The question should be: What doesn’t this mean for jewelers? It means everything. It means that jewelers are nothing less than wizards and magicians, sacred providers of the ritual tools we humans need to navigate the most crucial times of our lives. There are doctors for our physical ailments, accountants for our financial maladies, and scientists who will scan the furthest stars for their secrets. But who can bring the heart back into union with itself amidst the eternal, ever-unfolding mysteries of existence? 

No one but the poets, the musicians, the priests, the artists, and—yes—the jewelers. 

 

So with All Hallow’s Eve upon us, and the ancient cycles of seasons turning away from the warmth of the summer, the days will grow darker. But people will turn to each other for companionship, love, and light. And they will increasingly turn to us for those artifacts of enduring illumination that are our special gift to a world.  

In other words, with Halloween upon us and wandering souls out searching for nourishment, open your doors wide and welcome them. It’s your time to shine.


Looking for more Halloween stories? Find 6 Jewelry Superstitions and How to Use Them to Your Advantage here.   

Bibliography

Gennep, Arnold van. 2013. The Rites of Passage. Routledge.

Kunz, George Frederick. 1894. Folk-Lore of Precious Stones. Schulte Publishing Company.

Mahdi, Louise Carus, Nancy Geyer Christopher, and Michael Meade. 1996. Crossroads: The Quest for Contemporary Rites of Passage. Open Court Publishing.

Monaghan, Patricia. 2014. The Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology and Folklore. Infobase Publishing.

Napier, James. 2013. Yule, Beltane, And Halloween Festivals (Folklore History Series). Read Books Ltd.




STULLER’S GRAMMY TAKEOVER

Grammy Award Jewelry Trends Blog Header

One of the things you quickly realize about being nominated for something like a GRAMMY is that, while your project may be cool, artistically ambitious, and even culturally significant, there are things that are simply far more important to consider. Chief among these is the question that suddenly becomes very pressing: “What are you going to wear?”

GRAMMY stuller josh caffery Actually, let me rephrase that. I am a man. The question of utmost importance and indeed the driving force leading up to such an event is this: “What is your wife going to wear?”

For instance, consider this exchange:

“Mom, guess what? I’m nominated for a GRAMMMY. Me, your oldest son—your boy!”

“Wow, that is fantastic. But what is Claire going to wear? Does she have a dress? This is too exciting. Wait, you made a CD?”

Or this note, sent from my wife’s good friend. Let’s just say that, upon seeing a mention of the nomination on Facebook, she cut right to the chase:

“What is she wearing?”

These are the questions that try men’s souls—or at least their pocketbooks.

GRAMMY Josh and wife Claire Caffery

My wife, Claire and I

Luckily, however, we got some help in that department. In Lafayette, where Stuller is located, we’re fortunate to have an extremely supportive network of people in business, in government, and in the non-profit sector who support the music and culture that makes the area unique. A fundraising event was hastily organized, and the local nominees received grants from the city to help offset travel expenses, which in turn enabled us to find the right dress for my beautiful wife to wear down the red carpet.

Now, when you suspect that you could find yourself walking in line right behind J-Lo and just ahead of a rather hopped up Keith Urban (which we were, it turns out), you really have to take things to the next level. And we knew that one of the surest ways to do this would be with a bit of bling.

Fortunately, as a Stuller man, I had a connection or two on that front as well. With a bit of help from Stuller communications maven Randi Bourg, visual merchandising mastermind Elise Diaz, and Vice President of Merchandising (and Awesomeness) Maren Rosen, we were able to borrow two stunning cocktail rings (a Missoma and yellow gold freeform) for the red carpet, perfect complements to my wife’s elegant and minimalist black dress. I even joined in on the fun, wearing a simple yet smart silver tie bar, a black tungsten ring, and some silver fleur-de-lys cuff links in honor of our state’s French heritage.

GRAMMY Claire Caffery with Stuller ring GRAMMY Josh Caffery with his Stuller tie bar, ring, cufflinks

On the one hand, perhaps it seems a bit silly to fret so much about clothes and fine jewelry and these material things that take on such sudden and momentous importance. But the reality is that it does matter quite a bit.

In our finest and fairest moments, the ones we know—or hope we know—will sparkle through the years, we need splendid physical things. Objects that will live up to the radiant moment, framing it and refracting it into the unknowable future. We need bright things that will befit our most precious memories.

GRAMMY nomination medal stuller tiffany

The nomination medals by Tiffany&Co

And as it is with good songs, so it is with fine jewels: Creations of sound, light, passion, and craft, they are suitable vehicles for the soul.

Sitting here writing out this blog in longhand on the plane ride back from the City of Angels, we didn’t win the Grammy. But my wife’s sleeping head is resting gently on my shoulder, and the sun is setting over hundreds of miles of soft clouds. And I feel very lucky to live in a place and work for a place that helped me—when the simple yet overwhelming “what is she wearing?” question arose—to come up with the right answer.




Saint Patrick and His Jewelers

Saint Patrick’s Day means vastly different things to different people. For many of us here in the U.S., it’s Saint Paddy’s, a wild, Guinness-infused romp—a sort of Irish-American mini-Mardi Gras. For the more devout, it’s The Feast of Saint Patrick, a day of reverence and churchgoing.

But isn’t it time we in the jewelry industry ask some pertinent and pressing questions—who exactly was this Patrick, and, even more importantly, who were his jewelers?

That may sound like a very silly question. But it’s only partially silly.

The story of Saint Patrick actually intersects with the world of jewelry in a number of important and intriguing ways. And that’s what we’re here to talk about today: the Saint Patrick of history and legend, and the fascinating jewels and jewelers that are part of his story.

Bishops and Bling

First, let’s address the leprechaun in the room: who was this fellow?

As with all saints, what we know of his life is a mixture of fact and—very beautiful and meaningful—fiction. A few basic points:

Patrick was a fifth-century Christian missionary of Romano-British heritage, who later became one of the first bishops in Ireland and, eventually, Ireland’s most famous patron saint. He most probably spoke a form of British as his native language.

Kidnapped by Irish pirates at the age of 16, he spent years as a slave, herding cattle for an Irish overlord. Eventually, he escaped and returned to Britain, but not before thoroughly absorbing Irish language and culture and deciding to devote his life to spreading Christianity.

Although, once again, the border between history and legend remains murky, with Patrick considered the central figure in spreading Christianity in Ireland after converting thousands of people and founding hundreds of churches. In legend, he assumes supernatural proportions, performing a number of miracles, the most famous being the banishing of all snakes from Ireland.

But What About The Jewelry?

As anyone with a passing knowledge of historical jewelry knows, religions have engendered some of the world’s most glorious jewels. The Catholic Church is no exception, and jewels have always figured prominently in the regalia of upper-echelon prelates, such as bishops, archbishops, and, of course, popes. Anyone questioning the ecclesiastical appropriateness of jewelry or gemstones need look no further than the Old Testament, which is famously full of interesting ritual usages for gemstones and jewels (think of the golden rings cast for the Ark of the Covenant, or the bejeweled breastplate of the Hebrew high priests).

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The cross pattée: the cross most commonly associated with St. Patrick

Patrick, as a senior prelate, likely owned his fair share of ecclesiastical jewelry. Bishops and other upper clergy in the early middle ages wore pectoral crosses—large, ornate crosses worn on a chain across the chest (the ancestors of the tiny ones folks wear today). Patrick, in particular, is associated with a certain cross type, the so-called “cross pattée,” which features arms that flare outward as they extend from the center. It may be the case that Patrick himself wore a large, ornate, pectoral cross pattée of the sort that remains prominent in Irish iconography.

saint-patrick-gilded-crozier

A gilded crozier

Bishops also had ceremonial croziers, curved staffs with crooks, sometimes gilded and covered in jewels. According to legend, Patrick’s crozier was none other than the Bachal Isu, the Staff of Jesus, which he reputedly received from a hermit who had received it from Jesus himself. An ancient, bejeweled staff believed to be Patrick’s was housed for centuries at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin before being burned during the Protestant Reformation.

Saint Patrick Episcopal rings

Episcopal rings

Established churchmen also wore a variety of ecclesiastical rings. Bishops, in particular, when ordained by a cardinal, received a so-called episcopal ring (episcopal meaning ‘having to do with bishops’). Episcopal rings are and have been quite large gold rings, either stone-set or engraved for use as a signet. Bishops inherited the episcopal rings of their predecessors, and many beautiful and ancient rings were passed down this way through the centuries. 

Saint Patrick In The Jewelry Business

Saint Patrick, however, apparently had few predecessors and thus little in the way of glorious jewelry to inherit. As a missionary in a pagan land, where the Roman church had yet to build up a significant following, much less a store of ecclesiastical treasure, it fell to Patrick not just to convert souls, but to create the precious ritual equipment of Catholicism—the altars, the tabernacles, the bejeweled chalices and patens and pyxes for the bread and wine, the golden shrines for holding the fragile bound Gospels, not to mention the bells that would call the flock to worship.

To do this, of course, he needed jewelers. Or, at least, he needed the early medieval equivalent of jewelers—skilled goldsmiths, coppersmiths, and bellfounders who had the technical knowledge to create the items that a growing church would need. It comes as no surprise, then, that two of Saint Patrick’s best-known disciples, Saint Asicus and Saint Daig, were apparently highly skilled metalworkers.

Again, although their stories are a blend of folklore and fact, what they represent is important: the fusion of ancient Celtic and Scandinavian metalworking artistry into a creative vessel for Judeo-Christian history, religion, and culture. The result was a mighty artistic explosion that influences Irish art and culture to this day.

Saint Asicus

Often called Tassach or Tassac, we celebrate Saint Asicus as Patrick’s chief ironworker and coppersmith, also revered as the patron saint of coppersmiths. Converted to Christianity by Patrick, he receives credit for the original ecclesiastical ornaments in many of the early Irish churches, including the one in Elphin, Ireland, where Asicus later became the first bishop.

Saint patrick bell shrine

Saint Patrick’s Bell Shrine

Hagiographers (people who research and write about saints) point especially to Asicus’s reputation as a sought after bell-maker, or bellfounder. The expanding church needed church bells, and people with the necessary casting skills were in high demand.

So, it may have been Asicus who cast one of the most famous Irish relics, Saint Patrick’s Bell. Believed to have belonged to Patrick himself, the simple iron bell resides today in the National Museum of Ireland, accompanied by its magnificent gilded and bejeweled shrine. Jewelers will perhaps be most interested in the shrine, a beautiful example of hybrid Celtic/Scandinavian artistry, complete with filigreed gold patterns and large rock crystals cut en cabochon. Although they appear elsewhere in Christendom, Irish bell shrines are particularly famous—for their beauty, craftsmanship, abundance, and, of course, their unique Irishness.

Saint Daig

Saint Patrick Domnach Airgid

The Domnach Airgid

Another of the chief relics associated with Patrick is the Domnach Airgid, a shrine that once contained what was believed to be Patrick’s personal copy of the Gospels. Like bell-shrines, book-shrines combined beauty and functionality in the service of the expanding church, protecting parchment from Ireland’s notoriously damp climate. Although the Domnach Airgid was likely crafted hundreds of years after the death of Patrick, book shrines were extremely common in the early days of the church in Ireland as well.

In fact, we celebrate another of Patrick’s disciples, Saint Daig, as a fabricator of particularly beautiful and effective book-shrines. As Daig’s legend goes, he became trapped as a boy in a monastery fire and initially believed dead. When the fire finally subsided, however, he was discovered completely unharmed. The abbot, Saint Mochta, then prophesied that Daig (which means ‘great flame’) would become a celebrated craftsman in the service of the church. And the prophecy came true:

Afterwards Daig became a celebrated artificer. This holy man is said to have fashioned no less than one hundred and fifty bells, and one hundred croziers. He likewise made cases or covers for sixty Gospels—i.e., books containing the writings of the four Evangelists. Such is the O’Clerys account, and in confirmation of it they quote an Irish quatrain, of which the following is an English translation :—

“Thrice fifty bells, victorious deed,

With one hundred strong-ringed croziers,

With sixty perfect gospels,

By the hand of Daigh alone.”

Besides these, it is stated, that he manufactured shrines, cases, chalices, pyxes, dishes, altariola, baculi, crucifixes, and chrysmals. We are informed, moreover, that while some of these were plainly made, others were highly wrought with gold, silver and precious stones, which were added as ornaments to them. (Lives of the Irish Saints, Volume 8)

Why All This Matters For Us 

So the point of all of this is that we in the jewelry business have very good reasons to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day. The history of Irish metalworking is fascinating and deep, extending far into the reaches of pre-history, and it remains relevant to people today interested in expressing Irish identity through jewelry.

Whether today finds us piously revering the goodly saint by singing solemn hymns at mass in our parish church, or raucously celebrating the wild Irish spirit by singing bawdy ballads in the local pub, or both, jewelers can take heart in the fact that their medieval forefathers played a mighty role in the story of Ireland’s most famous holy man.

So let’s raise a glass and toast to them and all of the beautiful things they created. 


Ever wondered why we celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day? Find your answer here!

BIBLIOGRAPHY 

Brassington, William Salt. 1894. A History of the Art of Bookbinding: With Some

Account of the Books of the Ancients.

“Celtic Metalwork Art: History, Characteristics of La Tene, Hallstatt Cultures.” 2016.

Accessed March 14. http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/irish-crafts/celtic-metalwork-art.htm.

Colm. 2016. “The Domhnach Airgid, An Early Irish Book Shrine | Irish Archaeology.”

Accessed March 14. http://irisharchaeology.ie/2015/02/the-domhnach-airgid-an-early-irish-book-shrine/.

Freeman, Philip. 2004. St. Patrick of Ireland: A Biography. Simon and Schuster.

Hourihane, Colum. 2001. From Ireland Coming: Irish Art from the Early Christian to the Late Gothic Period and Its European Context. Princeton University Press.

Jones, Andy, James Gossip, and Henrietta Quinnell. 2015. Settlement and

Metalworking in the Middle Bronze Age and Beyond: New Evidence from Tremough, Cornwall. Casemate Publishers.

Lovett, Richard. 1891. Ireland Illustrated with Pen and Pencil. Hurst.

Marcella. 2013. “Omnium Sanctorum Hiberniae: Saint Daigh of Iniskeen, August 18.”

Omnium Sanctorum Hiberniae. August 18.

Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York. N.Y.) 1977. Treasures of Early Irish Art, 

1500 B.C. to 1500 A.D.: From the Collections of the National Museum of Ireland,

Royal Irish Academy, Trinity College, Dublin. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

O’Hanlon, John. 1873. Lives of the Irish Saints: With Special Festivals, and the 

Commemorations of Holy Persons. James Duffy.

Warren, Frederick Edward. 1881. The Liturgy and Ritual of the Celtic Church.

Clarendon Press.