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An Ode to Vintage: Finding the Best Storied Pieces + Mixing Old and New

An Ode to Vintage: Finding the Best Storied Pieces + Mixing Old and New

Shop this stack:


We’ve previously dabbled in vintage here and there… but I’m excited to say that Be On Park is now officially entering its vintage era. After poking my head into a vintage show in Vegas (for what felt like a few hundred times over the course of a few days), I’m thrilled to share some of the pieces we brought back home with us and all that I love about them. But how did I find them? And more importantly, how can YOU style them? The EDW guide to vintage jewels, coming right up.

Shop this layer-ready fringe:

Why Vintage? Glad You Asked.

My lifelong jewelry mantra is to choose pieces that speak to you, mean something to you, and tell a story. (Even if that story is simply, “OMG, I saw this and couldn’t leave without it!”) Jewelry is art — and while I’m certainly not opposed to trends or loving what’s popular, there’s something incredibly special about curating timeless pieces that are unique to you and your taste. What better way to do that than to look to the past?

Vintage pieces are simply magic — they’re like the one that got away, the one you can never quite replace (thankfully, when it comes to romance, I married “the one”... maybe that’s why I never want to let anything else special get away from me!). 

I’ve been a longtime vintage lover, but it’s finally time to bring even more old-school vibes into our space on Park Avenue…

Shop this ring, which features vintage stones from Fred Leighton: 

Flexing a New Muscle

We’re honored to work with some of our favorite jewelers to source items from their vaults (Interested? Ask away!), but the recent vintage show offered a unique opportunity to curate a collection of pieces without names or brands attached. Think of it as “Emily’s Vintage Picks” or my own capsule vault collection — whatever you want to call it, the fact remains that my vintage-hunting muscle has been stretched, and I can’t wait to flex it further. We’ll never stop working with our jeweler partners to bring you their iconic pieces of the past — but we hope you’ll join us in also appreciating the magic of a piece that transcends labels and shines on its own.

Shop this serpentine stunner:

Finding the Right Vintage Pieces

There are LOTS of amazing vintage pieces out there, and you’re probably wondering how to tell which are the same level of quality as your other beloved gems. The first trick is to visit only retailers you trust (wink wink). Many vintage sellers have been scouring and re-selling for decades, and you can’t beat word-of-mouth recommendations. The vintage show I visited was aligned with the Couture jewelry show (read more on that here), so it’s safe to say I felt more than comfortable with their wares. You can check the pieces themselves for stamps stating the type of metal they are — and that can tip you off to the type of quality you’re looking at. 

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions! Trust your gut and your judgment, and inquire about stones, metal types, and the history of the piece. Flaws give character, but you want to ensure you’re adding quality to your hard-earned jewelry box!

This cute frog began as a broach… What’s old can be new again!

Adding Vintage to Your Jewelry Wardrobe

As with layering, I’m all about the art of the mix. I find it so fun to add a vintage piece to a stack of brand-new baubles — in fact, it only brings texture and interest! Get creative and try different combinations and variations. At the end of the day, jewelry is all about having FUN, and adding vintage pieces allows you to do that while also telling a story and sharing a piece of history.
We turned this broach into a super-wearable necklace — and look how chic!

What About Those Heirloom Pieces?

Whether they were passed down to you or they’ve been yours for years and years, we all have those pieces we’ve either worn to death or can’t imagine wearing EVER. That doesn’t scare me — in fact, it excites me! I love to reimagine an old piece to give it a new life.

Oftentimes, people bring in an heirloom piece and ask us to deconstruct it (and we will, if you’re sure!) — but usually, the piece can be beautifully preserved with a bit of reinvention. A broach can easily (and cost-effectively) become a necklace or a ring, and a vintage gemstone can be refitted into a new setting. The possibilities are endless, so there’s simply no reason to let a piece sit unworn — no matter how old. When it comes to jewelry (as with women and wine), age is just a number.

Reimagining this vintage gem was as simple as selecting the stones to sit by its sides.

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