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Judge the Jewels: Meghan Markle’s Necklace Is a Reference to a 19th Century Love Poem

The 22k gold vermeil pendant with diamonds and rubies contains a coded message.

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Meghan-Markle
Photo from Instagram.

The sighting: Meghan Markle looked luminous at the Invictus games in an assortment of contemporary jewelry, including a vintage-inspired pendant that delighted this author.

The jewels: The piece that caught my eye when I scrolled past this photo on Instagram was Markle’s necklace. Made by Sophie Lis, the 22k gold vermeil pendant with diamonds and rubies contains a coded message that reads “+ qu’hier – demain.” It stands for “I love you today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow,” which is an excerpt from a 19th century French love poem by Rosemonde Gerard.

As Beth Bernstein explained in her article, the original version of this +/- medallion was created by Alphonse Augis in the early 1900s. Augis’ design, known as the Médaille d’Amour, has inspired many homage styles over the years, but this is the first time I’ve seen a contemporary demi-fine brand create a piece based on Augis’ concept.

Along with the necklace, Markle is also wearing Cartier diamond earrings, a Cartier watch and a Catbird Kitten Mitten, a delicate hand jewel from the Brooklyn-based store that is made from dainty gold chain bracelet with a loop that’s worn around the middle finger.

The trends: The Augis +/- medallion is already wildly popular among antique jewelry aficionados. Vintage versions of the medallion have been known to sell within minutes of being posted on Instagram. I’m very intrigued to see a contemporary designer reinterpreting this iconic design, and even more intrigued to see it on such a high-profile figure. Apparently, it’s not the first time she’s worn it, so it may be on its way to becoming a favorite of hers.

What do we think? I’m a huge fan of the original Augis vintage design, and while I think it’s extremely cool that this iconic motif is reaching a new generation of jewelry lovers, I would be a bit more excited if the new design were less similar to the classic. On one hand, the classic is incredible and remains compelling and beautiful. But on the other hand, why reimagine a classic if you’re not going to – you know – reimagine it?

That said, many other jewelers throughout history have come up with their own takes on the Augis +/- and it’s thrilling to see it born again, especially in a demi-fine iteration that will be financially accessible to a wider audience.

I love this assortment of classic and new jewelry on Markle. It’s beautiful styling, and the seamless combo of weighty Cartier with ethereal Catbird and vintage-inspired demi-fine feels very modern and fresh and perfect for her.

Judgement: 9/10! I love it, but think I’d love it a tiny bit more if this were a vintage Augis Médaille d’Amour.

What do YOU think?

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