Giving Your Heirloom Jewelry an Update

Every piece of jewelry reveals something about the woman wearing it.

Every piece of jewelry reveals something about the woman wearing it. Perhaps it is a secret she is hiding in a heart-shaped locket or a sense of longing reflected in a delicately filigreed brooch. A woman’s jewelry is deeply rooted in the intimate, and her choices are clues that communicate in a language like no other.

A double strand of pearls is updated with an exquisite new clasp.

The designers at Van Atkins Jewelers in New Albany, Mississippi, are masterful interpreters of fine jewelry and its many facets, personalizing vintage, antique, and estate pieces with touches great and small. “Perhaps you have a beautiful piece in hand, but you want something new—a redesign or a little facelift of an old favorite. They are able to take your timeless gems and create a beautiful new masterpiece,” says one especially pleased client. A personal approach is part and parcel of the service, beginning with a lengthy vetting process that ultimately yields a one-of-a-kind necklace, pendant, ring, brooch, or bracelet, says designer Tracy Holton-Garrett. “Jewelry is a completely emotional thing—it has nothing to do with the mundane,” Tracy says. “Memories may fade, but jewelry is timeless—a permanent reminder of a favorite person, place, or period in the past. Our five senses are so strong, connecting us to our memories. I want that special diamond or that special stone to be a constant and sensory emblem of joy.”

Every piece of jewelry reveals something about the woman wearing it.

So many women inherit beautiful family pieces that may look a little dated. Tracey Holton-Garrett of Van Atkins Jewelers passes on her knowledge regarding the art of redesigning antiques in the video below. For more information on Van Atkins Jewelers’ custom designs, visit their site at



Text Stacey Norwood
“Cast Your Pearls” can be found on page page 94 of the January/February 2008 issue of Victoria.

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  1. My mother collected beautiful jewelry over the years which she ingeniously transformed into multiple uses – a simple earring into a brooch or decorative element for a hat.

    Her overall favourite was a set of Mikimoto opera-length pearls that my father bought her for their 10-year anniversary. She also loved cameo pins of which many I bought her during my travels to Italy

    My mother was indeed a ‘classic’ lady who loved simple elegance and never cared much for ‘bling’ like today’s culture. Less is More (with a twist) was her motto ! A set of pearls and a hint of Chanel No. 5 was all that was needed.

    I hope you ladies out there will appreciate your heirloom jewelry and use it on a daily basis – rather than keeping it locked up to hardly be worn or appreciated.

    Brandon Hartford
    Te Deum Cottage

  2. Love the quote about jewelry being priceless. It’s so true especially looking back to the choices of the 1940s some stunning designs there


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