zegelring Bonebakker Amsterdam

The creation of a Heirloom


Heirloom jewellery, cherished and timeless family pieces

A family heirloom is cherished because it represents a deep connection to the unique history of the family it was made for. Heirlooms are memories of beloved family members. At the same time, we are already thinking about the next generation to care for it after us. In this way, heirlooms form a link between our past and our future. The signet ring on your finger, the beautiful pearl necklace around your neck, the beautiful gemstones in the antique earrings that you wear … Maybe these are family heirlooms, too. Jewels that have been passed down from generation to generation and that you are now the proud keeper of.

High quality emeralds are rare. That is why this gemstone will almost certainly keep its value, which makes it a good investment for a family heirloom.

What makes a jewel an heirloom?

Family heirlooms come in countless forms; and they are not always jewelry, furniture or glassware are examples of heirlooms, too. Whatever the external form, the value lies in the emotional connection family members have with the heirloom. The stories and memories from the past tell the story about where we come from. It tells us who we are, and how we – the future generations – have been already been present in the minds of our ancestors.

This is often more precious than a popular photo; for example, an engagement ring can symbolize much more than just one relationship; it can embody generations of love, support, and devotion. Being an heirloom, the ring helps to continue traditions.

Brooch / pendant in garland style, circa 1900 by Bonebakker, in platinum and gold, fully set with rose-cut diamonds and two pear-cut diamond pendants. With detachable parts to create various possibilities to wear the jewel.

A platinum engagement ring with Asscher Cut diamond, surrounded by brilliant-cut diamonds, which also appear on the ring band itself. Created in the Bonebakker Atelier in 2012.

Cherished history

Some heirlooms symbolize overcoming a battle. Many of the most notable family heirlooms are those of refugees. They are surviving pieces of those who fled their homes in times of conflict and who could only take a few items: books, jewelry or medals perhaps?

In other cases, family heirlooms represent a history of status and wealth. The ultimate example of this is, of course, the crown jewels of the House of Orange, including the regalia and robes worn by kings and queens during their coronation. The Bonebakker company contributed greatly to this history by making the crown for William II in 1840.

In 2013 King Willem-Alexander wore the same crown at his coronation. These precious items symbolize two centuries of Dutch monarchy.

Queen Emma ordered four bracelets from Bonebakker every year between 1892-1897 during her stay at her summer palace ‘t Loo. Each matt golden bracelet was adorned with the initials W.E. and a Crown. The ‘W’ was set in ruby or sapphire, the ‘E’ and the Crown were set with brilliant-cut diamonds. The initials could also be worn as a brooch.

A modern Bonebakker jewel: 18ct monogrammed ring in pink gold with brown diamonds, made in 2014 .

How to create your own family heirloom?

When you get married or renew your vows, this is the perfect opportunity to make a piece of jewelry that family members from many generations to come can also wear during their wedding days. If you decide to choose a piece of jewelry as a family heirloom – a ring, bracelet, necklace, or even earrings – keep a few criteria in mind. For example, if you choose to honor your ethnic background, consider choosing a particular gem or precious metal that is traditional in the culture dear to you.

In addition, when making heirloom jewelry, consider quality, style, and durability. If you plan to pass the item on for generations, it should be able to stand the test of time. Certain colored gemstones – such as sapphire, ruby, spinel, garnet, and tourmaline – are more durable than others.

Ring with ruby and diamond in 18ct white gold from the Bonebakker Collection. The 1.4 crt ruby is unheated and was found in the Mogok mine in Birma. This ruby’s rarity and its hardness of 9 on the Moh scale makes it the perfect gem for an heirloom.

How will your heirloom be passed down?

Once you have chosen the jewel you want to pass on, think about the tradition with which you want to pass it down to future generations. Do you want the heirloom to pass from mother to daughter? From father to son? You have to feel comfortable with every choice you make.

If your daughter decides not to marry, can she pass the heirloom on to a nephew or niece? Establish the rules early on to avoid conflict within the family – after all, these items should bring your family together, not divide it.

Charm bracelet in 18ct yellow gold. A real gem with references to close friendships, special journeys and, often, secrets. A charm bracelet is a beautiful memory and relatively easy to divide between several heirs who you would each like to carry their family life story with them into the future.

Your heritage: how will you be remembered?

When you choose a precious item to commemorate your contribution to your family, you not only literally invest in a valuable item for your family, you also anchor the emotional bond and respect for family history in future generations.

If you are considering making an heirloom yourself, we invite you to talk to Bonebakker’s experienced jewelry experts. They can help you in your search for the perfect gemstone or the most unique design. We are happy to design and create your new family heirloom with you.

If you give the Key of Amsterdam to someone, you are giving a jewel full of symbolism. An ode to the city where you found love, where you were born or where you experienced other beautiful moments.

The Key of Amsterdam Collection which consists of various pendants, earrings and bracelet in which the entire key plays the main role. Other jewels of this line, such as this 18kt white and yellow gold ring with a deep green emerald, in which only the heart-shaped head of the key is incorporated in the beautiful filigree set with diamonds. The key is a subtle reference for future generations to a moment of happiness in Amsterdam of one of their ancestors.