Thinking about Monogram Jewelry?
here's a few tips to help you choose the perfect piece.
I came to jewelry from a design background, so the graphic aspect of monograms, coupled with their historical depth have always made them specially interesting to me. Also, I firmly believe that every piece of jewelry should have a story behind it, a significance given to it by the wearer, and monograms embody that idea perfectly.
Monograms have been a staple of jewelry makers for many centuries. Like Anne Boleyn’s B and pearls initial necklace, monograms were a way of representing your house, and affirming your sense of belonging to a family.
They had only receded when jewelry when from being custom made to mass produced by industrial jewelry brands. Even then, artisans were still making signet rings, and big brands fulfilling custom orders for customers who wished to honor their families’ histories and traditions. These heirlooms are treasured as they provide a tangible link to one’s family.
Many customers have now returned to these more traditional values. They want jewelry that is made specially for them, with pieces that represent who they are and that hold special meaning to them. After all, what should jewelry be about if not you?
Although there are traditions regarding the order of letters in monograms, it’s important to remember that these are only guidelines. When it comes to monogram jewelry there are no rules, you can do whatever you wish.
The most common type of monogram is the three-lettered one with the letters in the order first name / last name / middle name.
In the case of a monogram piece of jewelry made for a wedding, another type of three-letter combination is bride’s first name / new last name / groom’s first name.
When you order a three-letter monogram, especially online, it is important to avoid any possible confusion. It is therefore a good idea to avoid terms like “initials”, and write the letters in the exact order you wish them to appear on the monogram.
2-letter monograms look great too. In this case, you would usually have the first name and last name letters of a person, or the first name letters of lovers intertwined. You can also join the two letters with an ampersand.
I personally also make 4-letter monograms but not on the smaller sizes. The monogram has to be 1.25 inch wide minimum to include four letters.
One-letter pieces also look great when the letter is mirrored, as they used to be in many noble houses. In this case, another element can also be added, such as a crown. It is really a matter of taste, for some people readability is very important, whereas others will prefer a more intricate design.
Personally, I prefer monograms where the letters are slightly hidden in the design, such as when the letters are mirrored, or placed in an Art Deco design. A ⅝ inch monogram bracelet, or a mini monogram charm on a necklace worn together with another medallion is very subtle. Monograms also look great when they are mixed with other elements such as pearls and gemstones, which can increase the general vintage feel of a piece and make it more interesting.
When it comes to the metal used for the piece, it really depends on how you wear your jewelry. I make these in both 14K gold (yellow, white, and rose) and sterling silver, which I then plate in 18 yellow or rose gold, or rhodium for silver colour.
Solid gold allows you to wear your jewelry in water, coastal areas, etc, without it getting tarnished. Sterling silver, on the other hand, requires more care such as removing it before sleeping, swimming or showering, and keeping it in a closed vinyl bag when not worn. It is important to bear in mind that any silver piece will eventually tarnish. How long before it does will depend on your location and the care given to the piece.
In any case, if you wish your piece to become a heirloom item that you may pass down to a younger generation, only solid gold will allow you to do that.
Monograms make for great pieces of jewelry because there are so many ways of designing and wearing them. They can be used to make any type of jewelry, the letters can be exposed or slightly hidden, and they mix superbly with pearls and gemstones.
I hope that these few tips will help you find a piece that you will treasure.
Lastly, when looking at the monogram pieces I have in the shop, please keep in mind that you can mix various elements (such as a monogram and a symbol or a text quote pendant) to make a piece that will be totally unique.
If you have any question about making a monogram, feel free to contact me with the form below.