A bug to put on my wife's neck
June 20, 2012 10:06 PM   Subscribe

Help me find the perfect bug necklace for a girly tomboy

The Mrs.' birthday is coming up soon, and I've been searching around for an interesting but unexpected gift. Specifically, I'm looking for a necklace with some sort of insect. Mrs. had express interest in the idea before, particularly about either a spider or a scarab beetle locket on a chain (I can't recall with), but I'm open to recommendations. For some reason, a honeybee necklace is appealing to me. Etsy finds me lots of stuff, but I'm concerned about quality and flakiness. Wife is very allergic, so good metal or some non-allergic alternative would be important.
posted by Gilbert to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (21 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: One place to start looking would be Pinterest. Users collect links and photos of items they like, so it will give you a filtered set of things people liked. Use the search box, top left of the page, there - try seaching for eg "bee pendant" and other combinations of terms. (Note, users enter their own tags/captions for the items they pin, so the labeling can be inconsistent.) Once you find some you like, click on the image to get a link to the original page it's from.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:18 PM on June 20, 2012

It sounds like Etsy is the way to go, but be sure to have a back and forth with the seller about metal quality. You could get something suspended in resin, which shouldn't be a problem for your wife, only worrying about the metal bail, and then buy the chain separately at a normal jewelry store yourself. These look promising. As a bonus that means you can get her a really nice, lovely chain that will last her a lifetime and go with whatever pendants she may get over the years.
posted by Mizu at 12:01 AM on June 21, 2012

Oh, and I meant to say - talking to the seller on Etsy is a really good way to gauge for quality and flakiness. Obviously if they don't respond then don't buy their product. And if they can't provide really detailed information about materials then move on. A good seller will happily work with you to make something custom if they don't have hypoallergenic materials as a default.
posted by Mizu at 12:21 AM on June 21, 2012

Not sure how much you are willing to spend, but since you mentioned your wife was interested in scarabs: black silver plated scarab necklace

A bit less pricey: British designer Alex Monroe has several bumblebee designs available in sterling silver or gold plate over sterling silver.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:35 AM on June 21, 2012 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I love looking for crazy jewelry, though I do wish I had a budget to work with.

According to InsectArt Jewelry's blog, her work is devoted to preserving the natural form of the insect without casting it in resin. I like her designs quite a lot though I'm not sure which metals she's using as settings for her beetle pendants. If the metal she uses isn't desirable, perhaps she could be commissioned to make a piece backed by real silver/gold/other hypoallergenic material. She seems really concerned about durability and wearability as well.
posted by xyzzy at 1:58 AM on June 21, 2012

I am a big fan of Michelle Chang's jewellery - her Etsy shop id on vacation until the end of June. I like her style because it's simple, and cute without being cutesy and subtle enough that I'm wearing skulls (and hopefully soon, more snakes) without it being in your face. I wear the little skull earrings every day, and I'd have one of everything if I could. Considering she has a little Manta Ray necklace, and all her jewellery is handmade - it's possible she'd consider custom work. My husband surprised me with my gift after I admired them, and he said she was lovely to deal with and he was able to contact her and make the transaction without having to go through the Etsy rigamarole.
posted by peagood at 4:31 AM on June 21, 2012 [3 favorites]

Dolly bird design makes necklaces with preserved spiderwebs; it may not be quite what you're looking for, though.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 5:47 AM on June 21, 2012

I have a vintage scarab bracelet and I love it. It doesn't really have bugs in it though, just cabochons carved as bugs. My sister and I each have one and we call them our Bug Bracelets. Love!

Here's one you might like.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:18 AM on June 21, 2012

Seconding Michelle Chang. I've ordered several times from her and she was just really great as a seller. I had tons of questions and she answered all of them quickly. The quality of her work is outstanding...I ordered several bangle bracelets from my mom and they appeared so delicate when they arrived - I was worried that they might break upon repeated wearings. It's now 3 years later and the bangles have held up really well with daily wear (and my mom wears probably 20 bangles on one arm, so those babies are clanging around on each other all the time).

I'd contact her to see if she could do a custom bug themed piece for you.
posted by Gonestarfishing at 6:25 AM on June 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ugh. That should read, "several bangle bracelets for my mom".
posted by Gonestarfishing at 6:27 AM on June 21, 2012

Here's another honeybee necklace - etched copper plated in 14k gold. The Etsy seller has other bee options as well.
posted by ceramicblue at 7:23 AM on June 21, 2012

I have cold-bought a lot of things from Etsy without speaking to sellers and have never experienced flakiness. I trust that site and the sellers on it, but I second the suggestion to initiate a conversation on etsy, say, about shipping time or construction, with the seller of a piece you might like in particular to gauge their promptness.
posted by Sayuri. at 7:50 AM on June 21, 2012

(PS - by Etsy rigamarole, I meant that he didn't want to create an Etsy account or use PayPal - I don't know what arrangement he made.)
posted by peagood at 8:04 AM on June 21, 2012

I'd go with something from Evolution. They have a store in NYC and I have seen beetle and spider necklaces there, and though there don't appear to be any currently on the site, you can call the store and they'll try to help you find what you need. They do have some butterfly pendants that are pretty cool, though!
posted by bedhead at 8:22 AM on June 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

How about jewelry made by an insect? Wildscape offers necklaces, bracelets, and earrings made of caddisfly cases. Caddisfly larvae live in flowing water and assemble a protective case from stones, twigs and other elements of their environment. To make jewelry they're given semi-precious stones as building materials. I bought a pair of earrings made with coprolite (fossilized dinosaur poop) for my wife, and she loved them.
posted by rube goldberg at 8:42 AM on June 21, 2012 [3 favorites]

rube goldberg, that is incredibly cool.
posted by dlugoczaj at 9:12 AM on June 21, 2012

I actually have quite a few pieces of insect jewelry in plastic and I love them dearly. I got them at various gem & mineral shows around the area (weird, yes, but there you have it) so I can't vouch for any of these sellers but here are a couple sources that look a lot like the ones I have.
Small selection but seems reputable.
Bigger selection
Unfortunately they don't seem to have any bees - but if you are set on a bee, here's a paperweight.
posted by mygothlaundry at 9:15 AM on June 21, 2012

Here's a nice bee one and you can get it on a ribbon if you're worried about metal.
posted by fingersandtoes at 10:29 AM on June 21, 2012

Brittany Foster's stag beetle necklace, or her copper and silver beetle necklace. (Brittany is a friend and has done beautiful custom work for me.)
posted by FrauMaschine at 12:25 PM on June 21, 2012

(And I'm sure she would be glad to work with you on a custom bee necklace, if that's what you decide to go with.)
posted by FrauMaschine at 12:30 PM on June 21, 2012

Paxton Gate has a jewelry selection, although it doesn't have a lot of insect-specific pieces.
posted by gingerbeer at 9:26 AM on June 22, 2012

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