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What's in a Name?

Posted by Laurie Zeiden on

People love their own names and the names of their loved ones. Jewelry reflects that love in the form of name and initial jewelry and also via the personalized engraving of names, initials, dates and messages.

Names go in and out of fashion. So does jewelry. Many of today's most popular names are the same names that were popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s. So it's no surprise that Victorian name jewelry is collectible in today's market since many of the popular Victorian names are common once again. 


Here are several examples of Victorian name pins. Essentially they are bar pins. They were often worn at the collar, with a name front and center. 

Two Victorian pierced or open work name pins

This pin is a later example, probably around 1920. I suspect the jeweler had a number of components to mix and match.

Gold Hebrew name necklace reading Aliza

Personalized name cuff links from Swank

Carved plastic pin designed to mimic ivory

This Victorian BABY pin was badly damaged, so it  was repurposed into a necklace.


Two necklace slides

Two sterling silver initial pins

Blue glass and rhinestone initial pin

Lisner brooch. Is it a Q or a circle pin with a flourish?

Four pieces above are costume jewelry pins

Initial B snap cuff links


The two examples above are personalized by placing letters into a frame

Art Nouveau styling on this silver pin. Hard to read, but I believe the monogram is MHO


Love tokens or engraved coins often have names on them. These examples all date to the second half of the 19th century. For more examples and info, check out my Love Tokes blog dated 23 April 2016.


Four above are Seated Liberty Dime Love Tokens

Front and reverse of a quarter Love Token with applied gold letters and edge

14k gold pansy pin with date and initials on reverse

Christmas 1936

14k gold pin with initials and date

Two gold filled bangles with engraved initials

Fleur-de-Lis watch pin personalized for Peggy

Bracelet padlock personalized for Ginny



Three puffy heart charms with names hand-engraved on the reverse

What's in a name? Lots of history; lots of memories and jewelry helps tell the tale.

There are over 100 examples of name jewelry on my Pinterest page

Molly Garza, Sandy Campbell and Andrea Nellis for lending photos for this blog post

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  • Another interesting topic. Love your examples especially the Fleur-de-Lis watch pin. It’s a beauty!! Love the policeman heart with the “Yellow Kid” engraving on the back. Is that available for sale?

    Sandy W on

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