The Old English rhyme “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” was intended to bring a bride luck in her marriage. Today, a bride likes to interpret this custom in her own unique way, often through distinctive choices in wedding jewelry. GIA offers some pointers, as well as points of inspiration, for the bride-to-be.

Something Old:

For many brides, vintage jewelry is the perfect ‘Something Old,’ especially with the rise in popularity of early 20th century jewelry designs. The romantic look of “garland style” jewelry from the Edwardian Era makes it well suited for a wedding day, while Art Deco jewelry can add drama and elegance to your wedding ensemble. Many jewelers have a selection of vintage or antique pieces to choose from or you can find an antique dealer or a jeweler who specializes in estate jewelry. Be sure to review GIA’s tips on how to shop for estate jewelry before you purchase.

Courtesy of a Private Collection.

An Edwardian inspired tiara would be a perfect accent for the bride walking down the isle. Courtesy of a Private Collection.

Something New:

How about a piece of jewelry that can be worn beyond your wedding day? Incorporating color is a major trend in wedding jewelry as well as in everyday jewelry, and a pop of color can add that desired touch of drama. Red, the color of passion, is a natural choice for a wedding, and ruby, red spinel or fire opal would add a dramatic touch. If your gown is simple, consider a statement necklace, such as one that is a choker or collar-style featuring colored gems, or if your hair will be in an updo, chandelier earrings are an exciting alternative. When going for dramatic impact, select only one larger piece to wear, rather than many.



A beautiful opal collar necklace accenting a lower cut bodice would definitely make a statement. Photo courtesy of Impressions Ltd.

Something Borrowed:

Borrowed jewelry can add an element of nostalgia and is also a way to incorporate family connections into your wedding ensemble. Look to your mother or grandmother for an heirloom piece; perhaps there is a pearl necklace in the family. If not, consider renting jewelry for your special day from your jeweler. And remember, when borrowing jewelry be sure to return it with a handwritten note; gratitude never goes out of style.

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Classic pearls can be worn in a number of ways on your wedding day. Don’t limit yourself to the tradition necklace, as pearl earrings or even a delicate bracelet can add the perfect touch.

Something Blue:

Whether your style is extravagant or simple, there are a variety of blue gemstones in jewelry to choose from. For a subtle look, try a small pair of blue tourmaline, sometimes sold in the trade as indicolite, earrings. Consider a brooch (yes, a brooch!) with an aquamarine or blue topaz. Try pinning it in your hair, on your bouquet, or even tucked away on your garter. One of the most popular blue stones is sapphire. Kate Middleton’s famous sapphire engagement ring continues to inspire jewelry designs that can make you feel like royalty on your wedding day.


A feminine touch of blue would sparkle under a veil or easily showed off with a classic updo. Courtesy of Platinum Guild International.

To learn more about these gems, and many more visit the online GIA Gem Encyclopedia.