History’s Gems: Anne Boleyn’s Monogram Necklace

History's Gems

Anne Boleyn Necklace by TreasuresForAQueen

If ever there was a divisive figure, it was Anne Boleyn.  Well educated, an excellent conversationalist, flirtatious and beautiful, King Henry the VIII of England was no match for her charms.  She fractured a religion, usurped a reigning Queen of England, influenced cultural and religious views, gave birth to one of the greatest monarchs of British history and had her head chopped off.  In addition to all of her troublemaking, Anne was also known for being a trend setter.  She scandalized the British royal court with her French fashions until all the other court ladies followed suit and adopted lower necklines and smaller hoods.  In the early half of the 16th century, monogramed jewelry was popular among women and men.  Henry VIII was thought to have a gold pin with his initials on it.  Anne had her own piece trend setting monogram jewelry.

Anne Boleyn
Anne Boleyn

 In her most well-known portrait, painted by John Hoskins, Anne is shown wearing a distinctive monogram necklace.  The famous necklace featured three teardrop pearls that hung from a gold “B” pendant on a strand of round pearls.  The “B”, of course, was for her surname, Boleyn.  The origins of the necklace are unknown, but it is likely that the necklace was a gift from Anne’s father, Tomas Boleyn.  There is no record of what happened to Anne’s necklace after her execution.  It is possible that the necklace was given to her daughter, Elizabeth, but there is no proof to substantiate that claim.  What is more likely, is that the necklace’s materials were repurposed to make new jewelry for Anne’s successor queen, Jane Seymour.

Natalie Dormer as Anne Boleyn, from Showtime's The Tudors.
Natalie Dormer as Anne Boleyn, from Showtime’s The Tudors.

What is remarkable is that Anne’s famous ‘B’ necklace is still influencing popular culture today!  The monogram jewelry trend still comes and goes every few years (I myself have a monogram necklace!).  In the many historical television shows and movies that have been made about the Tudors, Anne’s necklace always makes an appearance.  In the popular show, Ugly Betty, the title character wore a reproduction of Anne’s necklace.  And, you can even buy your own version of Anne’s necklace with your monogram from a variety of websites!  Even though she’s been dead for over 450 years, it’s safe to say that Anne Boleyn still has a small measure of influence on the fashion world.


Tutorial Tuesday: Layered Crystal Necklace

Tutorial Tueday

Swarovski Crystal Layered NecklaceFor the first Tutorial Tuesday, I’d like to show you all how to make my Layered Swarovski Crystal Necklace from last week’s Trend Watch post!  I’d love to see what you all create using this tutorial, so post your creations in the comments section below!  I hope you all enjoy and please don’t hesitate to comment with questions you might have.

Layered Crystal Necklace                                                       Time: Approx. 20 min

 Materials & ToolsMaterials & Tools

  1. Lobster Clasp                                   1
  2. ¾ in. Hoop                                         2
  3. 6mm Bicone Crystals                    3
  4. 5mm Jump Rings                           6
  5. 22g Silver Wire                                8”
  6. 5mm curb chain                             10”
  7. 2.5mm cable chain                        18”
  8. Flat Nose Pliers
  9. Round Nose Pliers
  10. Wire Cutters


1.  Cut your 5mm curb chain into two 5 inch pieces.

Step 22.  Take one piece of your 5-inch curb chain, and using your flat nose pliers, attach one end to your lobster clasp and the other end to your ¾ inch hoop. Repeat the process for the second piece of 5-inch curb chain, attaching to the second ¾ inch hoop and the tab end of your lobster clasp. At the end of this step, your pieces should look like the picture on the left.

3.  Cut your 2.5mm cable chain into six pieces. You will need two pieces of each length: 2-inch, 3-inch and 4-inch.

Step 44. Make three beaded, looped links using the 22 gauge wire and the 6mm bicone crystals. You can make basic loop-links or wire wrapped, closed links. If you are unsure how to make beaded looped and wire wrapped links, check out the great tutorials at artbeads.com

Step 55. Take your 2-inch pieces of cable chain and with your flat nosed pliers, attach one to each side of a beaded crystal link. Do the same with your 3-inch and 4-inch pieces of cable chain. At the end of this step, your pieces should look like the picture on the left.

Layered SC Necklace 16. Use your flat nose pliers to attach your shortest linked-chain and one of the ¾ inch hoops from step two using a 5mm jump ring. Attach the other send of the linked-chain to the second hoop using the same method.

7. Repeat step 6 with your medium length and longest linked-chains. As you attach the pieces, make sure the longer pieces are attached to the outside – this ensures that the layers hang properly and do not tangle.

Variations & Design Ideas

  • I chose to use Swarovski Crystals for a elegant look. But you can use this tutorial to make any style of layered necklace. By utilizing different beads and varying chain sizes, you can create a wide variety of layered necklace looks.
  • Try using chunky chains and no beads for an industrial, chic look!

Jewelry Makers’ Tips

  • Try using two sets of flat nose pliers. It makes the opening and closing of chains & jump rings a breeze!
  • If you’re like me and you make your own jump rings, don’t forget to work harden them with your pliers or with a dappling hammer.

Win a Farrah Pendant in the Spring Time Give Away!

Give Away

The Farrah PendantTo celebrate spring, I will be giving away one of my lovely Farrah Pendant Necklaces!  In the shape of a flower, this bead-woven necklace celebrates spring with beautiful Swarovski Crystals and iridescent Czech fire-polished glass beads.  The winner of this give-away will be able to select their preferred colour of Swarovski Crystals from 12 of the most popular Swarovski colours.

The Farrah Pendant How to Enter

  1. Visit the Posket’s Etsy Shop and find your favourite item.
  2. Comment on this post by (1) copy and pasting the link to your favourite Poskett’s item and (2) tell us why you like this particular piece of jewelry.
  3. Subscribe to this blog.

The Fine Print

  1. Only one entry per person.
  2. The Spring Time Give Away contest is open for entry from April 2, 2015 through May 29, 2015 (4/2/2015 – 5/29/2015).
  3. Winner will be chosen by randomized selection on May 30, 2015 (5/30/2015) and winner will be announced the same day.
  4. Give Away winner will have one week to claim prize by following instructions given in the winner announcement post. If Give Away winner does not claim their prize within the given week, a second, random winner, who will be subject to the same one-week claim rule, will be selected.

Trend Watch: Layered Necklaces

Trend Watch

Layered Necklaces1. Gold Layer Necklace with Green Amethyst by Landon Lacey.  2. Black Rainbows Beaded Layer Necklace by Unique Creations BB.  3. Black Statement Necklace by Get Noticed.  4. Long Beaded Necklace by Via Minimalist.  5. Gold Double Strand Necklace w/Blue Crystals by Alin Yerushalmi.

This spring, everywhere I look, I see layered necklaces.  These beautiful jewelry pieces run a wide gambit of styles.  Multiple thin chains and delicate pendants mixed together look beautiful and feminine.  Heavier beaded necklaces in bold colours make a bolder statement.  No matter what style you choose to go with, the layered look seems perfect for accentuating lower springtime necklines.  In the photo collage above, you can see some of my favourite layered necklaces from some amazing Etsy artisans!

I’ve made a couple of sample layered necklaces to add to my personal collection.  The first necklace is made from a variety of small glass beads in varying shades of blue.  It measures approximately 48 inches in length and can be worn in several layered styles, including as a bracelet!  The second necklace features Swarovski Crystals in a green ombre colour scheme on delicate silver chains.  Remember, any of Poskett’s lovely pendant necklaces would be a great addition to your layered necklace look!