Pendants for Demi-pointe: Beyond the Bean

Demi-pointe wonders about buying a pendant:
"First, I am considering the Tiffany small bean necklace as an every day piece with round neck and v-neck "t-shirts" and dresses. I thought I remembered you made a suggestion regarding small pendants on silver chains as being a bit twee for the over 50 set... I am also thinking of the opposite look as in a long leather necklace with an edgy smallish pendant."

Dearest De
mi, think hard before buying any piece of jewelry typically given as a Sweet Sixteen, bat mitzvah or high-school graduation gift, and that is a frequent association: the Teen Bean. If a woman has a pretty little Bean from her past, she might give it to a young niece or attach it to a charm bracelet as a keepsake.

Original and interesting

If you desire a Tiffany piece, trade up to the Paloma Picasso Marrakesh pendant, womanly and graceful in silver on a black twist cord; price, $500.

Small pendants work as long as they aren't too bitsy for your build; if you fall for something tiny and you aren't, add more layers, such as a heavier-gauge chain.

A truly tiny pendant–such as a lone 4mm pearl–only flatters fine-boned women with swan necks. Even then, if the motif is girly (hearts, hugs and kisses), the effect is too junior.

Pyrrha, the Vancouver-based firm I've mentioned in my two posts on amulets, make sterling pendants that have a timeless quality, and they are not overexposed. On the web site, click Monograms to find this winged dove pendant, cast from an antique seal.

Price includes up to three initials engraved on the piece. Price, $210; includes an 18-inch cable chain.

Here's a Bean alternative: Etsy seller Elephantine offers a Thai origami bead just over a half-inch wide, on a silver chain (23 inches, but can be ordered any length); check photo showing it on a v-neck on the site.

I also see this layered with a string of pearls. Price, $38. (Thanks to commenter Veuve for her intro to this seller.)

I've been wearing pieces by Etsy seller Red Sofa since I met jeweler Joanna Szkiela at a local art show last summer. Her silver and bronze Roman Coin necklace is on my wish list thanks to its antique/modern feel. Three coins on a twenty-inch silver chain. Price, $75.

I also suggest gems as pendants, especially moonstones and pearls, which go with everything.

moonstone on a double-stranded silver and gold chain (included). Notice the detail around the 7/8-inch pendant: 18k wire wrapping and tiny squared silver beads. By Dana Kellin; price, $194 from Twist.

Check the pearl pendants at Kojima Company,
my favourite unusual pearl source. They have many varieties, some shown on a leather cord.

Choose a
superb pearl like this baroque Kasumi, $180 (now s/o but owner Sarah Canizzaro will send you photos of similar ones on request).

You said edgy?

What do you think of Etsy seller
Plante's trumpet shell with black pearl, Demi? Price, $100, pendant only, and available in various finishes.

Digby and Iona's Rakish Hand necklace ($320) is a 1 1/2 inch hand (wearing its own gold pinky ring set with a 1pt. diamond) on a sterling 28-inch chain. The folks at Catbird describes this piece as bad ass. Agreed.

You did not specify a budget, but if it hits four figures, Ileana Makri's Sea of Life charm in diamond and white gold, is a hip hit of glam. Hang from your own chain or silk cord. Price, $1,100 from Barneys. (I'm reluctant to show diamonds set in silver; precious stones are more vulnerable to loss set in soft metal.)

Perhaps an antique?

A 2-inch antique silver locket with blue enameling, monogrammed FZ, would hang from a long chain; antiques have more mystery than modern pieces. $295 from Etsy seller neederbug.

I wish you an adventure, Demi-pointe, looking for the piece that speaks to you. Good luck and please tell us what you choose!


Demi-ponte said…
Dear Duchesse,
I opened your site and gasped. Your kindness in directing such an extensively researched and thoughtful post to me is overwhelming. Thank you so very much.
I have walked away from the 'bean' and have been mulling over the Pyrrha amulets but then I read further into your post and smiled when I saw Amie Plante's trumpet shell. It speaks to me with it's handcrafted pearl and sea language! It may be just the piece to wear on a long leather cord.
I have found this picture of this actress wearing a piece that seems to have come from my mind's eye:
When I click on the photo I can enlarge it. Perhaps it is a piece found at large during a wonderful trip (those can be the best) perhaps it has been made for her and has a softly stenciled meaningful statement that winds around it. Perhaps that is what I am looking for. And perhaps if I come across it one day - it will look great with my trumpet shell and pearl.
Thank you again.
materfamilias said…
so many pretties! Thanks for such charming diversion and inspiration on a dreary morning . . .
Duchesse said…
Demi-ponte- Sorry to miswrite your name (must be my dance background): Glad you found some ideas. The trumpet shell is my favourite. You can always group pendants or put several on a ring and hang on a cord.
I enjoyed the hunt.
Frugal Scholar said…
I am breathing a sigh of relief. Last year, I saw a bean w/ Tiffany's blue box at Buffalo Exchange for under $20.00. I left it behind because it was so tiny--felt my daughter would be underwhelmed.

Thanks to you, I can let go of the guilt. Teen bean! Love it.
Demi-pointe said…
First post this morning I gasped and to your reply I just laughed and laughed!
You did not miswrite my name -- I did!! (Please insert red embarrassed face here)
It is Demi-pointe and it is my dance background to which I identify! (Definitely not my expertise in typing!)
Rubiatonta said…
Oh! That Digby & Iona pendant is right up my alley -- did you realize that the pinky MOVES? Want.

I'm also loving the Amie Plante pieces (plus she's a Rhody neighbor)...

Thanks for the goodies!
Duchesse said…
Frugal: LOL! Miss Em is spared.

Demi-pointe: At one time I used the pen name Rhonda Jambe.

Rubi: It's a truly special piece, intelligent, edgy, political. Too much jewelry is merely pretty.
I love the surrealist hand as well. Frida Kahlo, think it was, had earrings like that, but the pinky did not move.
Pyrrha has some great daughter has several.
I laughed out loud at the "teen bean" I do think the Tiffany too small for a grown woman.
Love your collection of beauties here...the coin charms look tempting...
diverchic said…
This is a great post and speaks to one of my pet peeves. Teen bean and other bitsy teeny necklaces on an older neck signal a woman who is still living in high school and longs to be less that what she is.
Duchesse said…
diverchic: So often I see mature women at craft shows exclaiming "How sweet!" or "How cute!" as they try on pieces. I t wish they would see a best-by date on those "cute" pieces.

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