Timeless Traditions and Treasures // Jewelry

by Caroline Marcello

Tradition runs deep in almost every aspect of southern living. Generations learn from previous generations. Things like recipes, stories, and family heirlooms are passed down to keep traditions alive. Even though these things don’t cost a lot, the sentimentality behind them make them priceless.

One common item passed down from earlier generations is jewelry. Briana Berthelot, the 22-year-old daughter of Vickie Berthelot, wears three rings every single day. Each ring is passed down from a different generation, one from her great-grandmother, one from her grandmother, and one from her mother. Even though each ring is from a different decade, the styles are cohesive but distinctly different.

Jeanne Gianelloni wears a ring that has been passed down four generations. The ring was given to her by her aunt, who had two boys. “It is a beautiful ring and I always admired it when my aunt wore it. I never thought that she would give it to me, but when she did I cried,” said Gianelloni. Even with it being over 100 years old, the ring is still in great condition.

Sydney Rutter also has many pieces of jewelry from her mother. Sydney said, “The pieces I have are necessarily very old but they all hold meaning to me and my mom. One she bought while traveling abroad during college, and another was given to her by my father.”

No matter if the ring is 100 years old or 10 years old the story behind them can be just as significant.

Women in South Louisiana hold tradition and family close to their hearts. If you ask most women they prefer something old rather than something new. These pieces of jewelry hold stories that can be passed down from generation to generation, and they are timeless and classic.

Jewelry Trends Through the Years


The 20s was best known for their Art Deco style jewelry. During this period, the common trends were geometric pendants, pearls and diamonds.

This Kappa Sigma Fraternity pin from Derwood Fulton, a 1928 initiate of the Beta chapter was handed down to his great nephew Tatum Gehbauer. After Fulton’s passing, his niece Barbra Joe Fulton found the pin and gave it to Tatum.

Tatum is a current member of Kappa Sigma on Nicholls campus and says his great uncle’s pin is his most prized possession.


This decade was dominated by glamour and diamonds. White and yellow gold, colorful stones and pearls, were also the signatures of the time.

This ornate necklace was given to Sydni Facheaux after her grandmother passed away. This beautiful peice reminds Sydni how her grandmother influenced her own style. “She was always a original person with her style and I think that is something that was passed down to me too,” says Sydni.


Darker colors stoned emerged in the 1970s and beaded jewelry became the next big thing. On the runways, large golden pieces were very popular.

This statement ring owned by Mallory Matherne is a perfect example of a 1970s cocktail ring. “I think it’s so funny how things come back in style. This was my mom’s ring from the 70s and I get asked all the time where I bought it,” said Mallory.


The past influences the trends of fashion in the present. Most jewelry seen today can be classified as a blend of new and old. Just like this engagement ring from 2014.

Designed special for Katie Callahan, the center diamond was from her grandmother. It was taken and redesigned to create this beautiful and modern engagement ring.