Styling Antique Baby Jewelry in 2022
While not as popular today, baby jewelry has been a gift option for newborns and young children for much of our history. Children from ancient civilizations were gifted jewelry made of materials such as shell and animal fur (for purposes anywhere from decoration to protection from evil spirits), while children in the late 19th and early 20th century were gifted gold and silver bracelets, rings, pins, and pendants (2). Some of the antique photos we have in our studio for prop photography purposes show evidence of these precious gifts and what they were often used for in the Victorian era: photoshoots!
Today, we are probably more concerned about the safety factor of baby jewelry than ever before, but that doesn’t mean these beautiful antique pieces are useless! It’s important to commit to never letting a child out of your sight when they are wearing baby jewelry, as most pieces are a choking hazard. These pieces should really only be used for a photoshoot, much like they were 100 years ago, and then taken off to prevent any accidents.
Above: Laura's son, Liam, modeling some antique baby rings, bracelets, and a necklace.
You may be asking “What’s the point? Why invest in a piece of jewelry that will only fit them for a couple weeks or months, and will probably only be worn once anyway?” There are, in fact, many ways to use baby jewelry as the owner grows up!
Depending on the original size, baby rings can often be worn as midi rings (between the first and second knuckles)! Midi rings add such a trendy extra layer to a ring stack, and baby rings are perfect for midi rings when baby grows up!
Baby rings make beautiful sentimental pendants to be worn on a chain around the neck. Of course, a child has to reach a certain age before they can wear a necklace unattended, but this is another way for a person to wear their baby ring regardless of the size of the ring.
Some antique baby bracelets are made in pairs that can be connected together to make one larger bracelet when the child grows older. Other bracelets might be better worn as anklets when they’ve become too small for the wrist!
Fine brooches with the word "baby" inscribed on them were popular pieces of jewelry in the early 20th century, and we regularly source pins like this to convert into necklaces for those of any suitable age to wear.
Baby jewelry is one way to gift someone a long-lasting sentimental item that they can use throughout their lifetime in multiple ways. Shop our children's jewelry for inspiration!