Some Like It Scot

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling, and Scottish Things

About fifteen years ago, I read a book called “Outlander” – written by Diana Gabaldon.  (I highly recommend it to any and all!)  It changed my life.  Not only did I fall in love with the series, but I also fell in love with all things Scottish – naturally, that included the jewelry.

Most of the Scottish pieces that we have at Joden are brooches, like the one pictured below.


This type of jewelry is often referred to as “Scottish Pebble Jewelry” – dubbed as such by Queen Victoria.  She and Prince Albert visited Scotland for the first time in 1842.  They were enchanted by the beautiful country.  After returning home, Victoria began gifting friends and family alike with tartans and Highland style gifts – primarily jewelry.  Most of this jewelry was constructed of intricately carved sterling silver set with the pebbles of Scotland…  also known as Agate.  These colorful stones were precisely fitted to the jewels made in the shape of Celtic knots, shields, crests, and dirks.

This (pictured below) is a silver agate Dirk brooch.  It was designed after a traditional dagger and sheath, and actually gives the appearance of three blades, each one accented on its hilt with a faceted round citrine.  The remainder of this piece is set with Bloodstone, Red Jasper, and Montrose Lace – all forms of agate, or Scottish Pebbles.  Circa 1890.


Another notable piece at Joden is this vintage Cloak pin (shown below).  The head of each pin is perfectly assembled from six different colors of carved and polished agate.  The two pins are then connected by a series of ten octagonal pieces of agate.  Its and explosion of color and texture.  Circa 1880.


Due to the huge demand, English jewelers began making pieces in the same style.  Initially, they stayed true to the Scottish motif, but over time, the jewelry began to take on a distinctly English feel.  The agate that was originally from Scotland was replaced with stones from other areas.  And while the spirit of the jewelry remained largely the same, the quality waned.  Pieces produced after WWII (like the ones pictured below), while lovely, do not exhibit the craftsmanship of the ones made during the Victorian era.


So, if you’re an Outlander fan like me, or if you love Scottish Pebble jewelry, come visit us at Joden.

“You can go to a museum and look, or you can come to us and touch.”

Written by Carrie Martin

Photos by Carla Leight

Think Inside The Box

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling, and Square Things

The corners have worn off the vintage red leather.  The ivory satin lining is tinged with age, rendering the gold lettering barely legible.  The crushed velvet is perfectly contoured to the piece it was created for. 

box-worn-edge     box-lining

Each box is nestled into the plush lining of the showcase; many of these boxes are as valuable as the heirlooms they hold.

The antique cases are juxtaposed with rows of sleek, modern black boxes; the Joden name is stamped in brilliant gold Copperplate lettering on the lid.  They are pristine in their newness, filling the shelves beneath the cases – waiting to be filled. 


Each of these boxes are an essential element of the Joden charm, meant to intrigue and delight customers, but neither is as critical to our business as the cardboard boxes.  If you have visited our shop, perhaps you know what I’m talking about.  Ordinary looking from the outside, each box has a handwritten label that identifies its contents: Bracelets, Pins, even Antique.  Virtually every one has been repaired time and again.  The paper coverings are worn to a soft patina…  the result of passing through our hands thousands of times.  These boxes are the heart of Joden Jewelers.

box-stack-3     box-stack

We encourage customers to sort through them…  “Dig in!”  It’s like sifting through your grandmother’s jewelry box.  Every piece is more appealing than the last, Victorian carved cameos, delicate filigree brooches, and hundred-year-old engagement rings.  It’s a miniature treasure hunt, a feast for the eyes.  Imagine stacks of cardboard boxes, splitting at the seams with fine antique and modern treasures.  Something is waiting for you to discover it.

box-contents-2     box-contents

“You can go to a museum and look, or you can come to us and touch.”

Written by Carrie Martin

It’s the Little Things

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling, and Converted Things

Gone are the days of women wearing suits to work every day.  Casual apparel has become commonplace.  As a result, brooches and pins have been abandoned to the bottom of jewelry boxes everywhere.

Many women mistakenly think that brooches are for dressing up…  Not true!  In fact, in the 1800’s, pins were worn every day, although they weren’t always visible.  Women’s undergarments have come a LONG way, but the basic structure is still very much the same – straps worn over the shoulders.  In Victorian times, these straps were secured with a tiny pair of decorative pins.  Lingerie pins, like these:


At Joden, we have several pair of lingerie pins…  and they are all enchanting.  There are Art Deco filigree styles with tiny sapphires, Edwardian designs with pearl centers, and Art Nouveau sets enameled in shades of pink, blue, and black.

With bar necklaces popping up all over the place, we decided to start converting our little pins into necklaces, two are pictured below.  Aren’t they are fabulous? In fact, they sold so quickly, we had to make more.


So, dig out those brooches, and get inspired!

“You can go to a museum and look, or you can come to us and touch.”

Written by Carrie Martin

Photos by Carla Leight

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