Shells Are The “Ugly” ’90s Jewelry Trend You Need To Bring Back

Glading Marteen 

Now that we’re (somehow) almost halfway through February, it’s time to start thinking ahead, toward fun jewelry trends that will get you in the springtime mood. First up? A ’90s staple that you may have thought you’d never see again.

Yes, that’s right: We’re talking about shell-inspired jewelry—be it puka shell necklaces, turbo shell earrings, or some combination strung around your wrist, the seaside-find-turned-high-fashion-favorite is back and better than ever.

Shell jewelry, though often associated with the ’90s, actually has a deep-seated history not only within individual cultures, but also in the world of high-fashion jewelry.

Verdura is an iconic brand in jewelry history, known for transforming everything from beach-found shells to Lion’s Paws purchased at New York’s Museum of Natural History gift shop into true works of art. They are set with gold, diamonds, and colored stones to accentuate the shell’s natural beauty. There’s also Seaman Schepps, one of the most popular jewelry houses to make constant use of shells. Its turbo shell earrings are instantly recognizable statement pieces.

Not to mention their showing up on the runways and celebrities, too. Prada’s Spring/Summer 2020 show featured statement-making shell strings on earrings, chokers and bracelets alike:

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Gigi Hadid chose a colorful ’90s take on the trend when she stepped out during Paris Fashion Week in a puka shell necklace with colorful beads:

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Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring/Summer 2018 show featured an under-the-sea theme, complete with gold shell-shaped jewels and hair accessories:

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And even Queen Elizabeth II has gotten in on the shell-inspired action, Her Courtauld Thomson Scallop-Shell Brooch was crafted in 1919 by the Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Co. in London and designed partly by Sir Courtauld Thomson. He left the iconic piece to his sister, Winifred, who then left it to the Queen Mum in 1944.

It is from her that Queen Elizabeth II inherited this diamond-studded stunner:

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No matter your style or budget, shell jewelry is a trend you are going to want to add to your rotation as temperatures begin to rise. The sun and sand are calling your name—even if you’re bound to your very own concrete jungle home.

Shop some shell-inspired jewelry for yourself, here.

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