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The charm bracelet, it seems, will never lose its charm: Generation after generation, women buy them, then add to them piece by piece. This bracelet clasps with an arrow through an open heart and features heart charms in order of age, starting with a Victorian piece at the top and working down to a puffy heart from the 1970s.
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The heart on this page is composed of more charms, as well as pendants and lockets from a span of more than a century.
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In the Victorian era, heart necklaces were diminutive and delicate in scale, but they grew bigger and bolder over the years. This bubbly silver heart necklace, second from bottom, was made in Mexico in the 1960s. It marries the artisanal look of traditional Mexican silversmithing with the aesthetics of Pop Art.
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Pins in all manner of metals and materials set collectors’ hearts aflutter. The brightest, cheeriest ones are made from red Bakelite and date to the 1930s and ’40s. Although they are not rare, they are very in demand, commanding high prices on the vintage market: A big pin in good condition could fetch as much as $1,000. (Time to mine your mother’s costume-jewelry drawer -- she may even have some fun earrings to go with them! )
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Rings and Bracelets
For decades -- possibly even millennia -- men have used jewelry as a way of saying “I love you” without actually having to utter the phrase. Rings, of course, do a lot of talking. And while a diamond solitaire translates to “Will you marry me?” a ring with a heart is more understated -- not to mention more affordable. The fifth ring down on the I is marcasite, which resembles pave diamonds. It was a popular material at the turn of the 20th century and during the Art Deco period. By the mid-20th century, enameled silver heart jewelry came into vogue, likely influenced by Danish silversmith Georg Jensen.