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Celebrity Jewelry

The Classic Beauty of Kate Moss Is Ageless, but the Jewelry Isn’t

Kate Moss wore some of the most coveted antique jewelry styles at the 2022 Met Gala.




Kate Moss in Met Gala
Photo by Shutterstock.

IMAGINE IF YOU wrote a book and you featured two of your favorite jewelry styles: rivière necklaces and early 19th century day-to-night transformable earrings. And then all of a sudden, you see one of the classic beauties bring them to life on the red carpet. Well, during the 2022 Met Gala, Kate Moss, a rare and ageless beauty, appeared in A La Vieille Russie pieces that are in my new book, The Modern Guide To Antique Jewellery. The pieces were pure perfection for the theme of the gala, “The Gilded Age,” when old money ruled New York in the 19th century. Kate wearing them brought them into a modern context with her Burberry gown.

I was thrilled that A La Vieille Russie was chosen for Kate Moss. The shop goes back generations to Kiev in 1851, and fourth-generation owner Peter Schaffer runs the museum-quality antique and vintage jewelry store with a fifth generation just joining the team.

But back to Kate. Her jewelry predates New York’s Gilded Age by around 20 years, but the feeling of the old meeting the new money in her Burberry gown felt appropriate, whereas many of the other celebrities wore stunning, jaw-dropping pieces but didn’t quite mesh with how some of the guests translated the theme.

Kate is wearing a pair of old mine-cut pear-shaped diamond transformable pendant earrings set in silver and gold. The lower surrounding diamond cluster is removable, making a pair of simple, old-mine pear-shaped diamond drop earrings. They are English, circa 1860. Around her graceful neck is a rivière necklace composed of graduated old-mine diamonds set in silver and gold with an approximate 14 TCW of diamonds. The necklace is also English and is circa 1850.

The rivière of this time period is one of the most coveted pieces among collectors who prefer earlier authentic antique jewelry. The transformable earrings are one of the best pairs I have seen in a long time, and they are equally desirable. Both rivières and transformable earrings have been interpreted since the early to mid-19th century. Independent designers such as Nak Armstrong, Larkspur & Hawk, Jessica McCormack and a host of other designers are creating contemporary takes on the necklace, while pear-shaped diamond pendant earrings are showing up in a variety of collections.

These pieces Kate is wearing are truly collector’s items, but they can also be found in antique paste or rock crystal or colored gemstones, which are still high-ticket items but are hard to pass up when you find them intact and you are an antique jewelry aficionado. If you prefer to go with the newer spins on this style, you will be pleasantly surprised with how they work effortlessly with any style of fashion and are more accessible options in both sourcing and purchasing them.


Beth Bernstein is a published author of three books and jewelry and fashion expert with 18+ years experience. A broad knowledge of the history of jewelry and fashion coupled with a background in "the story", writing, trends, design concepts has earned Beth a proven track record.



When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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