For Keeps

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“Men grow cold as girls grow old
And we all lose our charms in the end
But square cut or pear shaped
These rocks don’t lose their shape
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend”

— Marilyn Monroe as Lorelie Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

Who can forget an all vamped up Marilyn in her skin tight pink dress, all decked out in sparkling diamonds, all sultry and flirty as she promotes the significance of diamonds in a girl’s life? Her portrayal as Lorelie Lee in this show stopping number is probably one of her most timeless and iconic roles. This might be one of the most rousing endorsements for jewelry in the history of movies but it was not the first and I am sure it will not be the last. Man’s love affair with gems started a long time ago and shows no sign of waning. If anything, technological innovation and human creativity have created the perfect environment for new ways to craft more beautiful and intricate jewelry than ever. It has also allowed us to revisit some jewelry making techniques that we thought lost in time.

Jewelry is not just pretty, sparkling pieces. Beyond the exquisite aesthetic they are viewed as investment pieces and heirlooms to be passed on to the succeeding generations. This is why so much thought is given to the containers that house them. As a matter of fact, jewelry boxes can be considered works of art by themselves. Aside from its main function as a storage system, it can also be something more beautiful.

Jewelry boxes have probably existed for as long as there were jewels to keep. However, it wasn’t until the Victorian Era from (1873 – 1901) that jewelry boxes captured the popular imagination and became all the rage. The Victorians called them Trinket Boxes and were usually much smaller in size than the jewelry boxes we know today. Initially, these trinket boxes were designed with flowers, animals and sculptures of children but later on evolved to miniature replicas of common household furniture such as cabinets.

The advent of the Industrial Revolution was a boon to jewelry boxes since for the first time in history it made mass production possible. Mass production meant that more jewelry boxes were now produced at drastically cheaper prices. These mass produced jewelry boxes gave the middle classes a taste of the affluence that only the wealthier classes could enjoy in previous generations.

Nowadays the jewelry box still holds a special place in the hearts and vanity tables of women everywhere. In an age where trends come and go at the speed of light and online shopping has made it possible for us to browse all kinds of items at any hour of the day or night now more than ever we need jewelry boxes to keep our accessories and jewelry organized. Jewelry boxes now come in all shapes and sizes from the small and simple to large and elegant creations that can serve as one of the focal points of your vanity.

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