After Wednesday’s post about my protest jewelry purchase, I was curious about how jewelry has been used to make statements throughout history – beyond the plastic political pins we are all familiar with.
Reading more about jewelry and the suffrage movement, I found that women would advertise their cause with pins, rosettes, brooches, sashes, etc. I kind of already knew this thanks to the “Sister Suffragette” song in Marry Poppins. However, according to Vogue, wealthy women could buy “Suffragette Jewellery” from Mappin & Webb (high-end jewelry store in London). These pieces were gold brooches and pendants with emeralds, pearls, and amethysts – representing the official colors of the struggle, green (give), white (women), and violet (the vote).
In the 1950s-1960s, jewelry promoting political candidates was especially popular. However, a quick Google search will show plenty of jewelry pieces supporting more recent political figures.
I also found that jewelry was another way to show one’s allegiance to a political party.
Political jewelry is not just for women, men show their support with cufflinks and tie clips.
Jewelry has also been a way to show our pride and patriotism for our country. I remember seeing a lot of rhinestone American flag pins after 9/11. I also see a lot of red, white, and blue jewelry on the 4th of July.
When I think of statement jewelry, it’s usually in the context of a bold necklace, big earrings, or an awesome bracelet stack. With the current political environment and my resulting political activism, statement jewelry has taken a whole new meaning.