Jewelry Trends

The Perfect Jewelry Boxes For Every Fine-Jewelry Collection

Whether you need to protect a flourishing collection or just a few precious pieces, discover the NET-A-PORTER designers crafting the most stylish jewelry boxes. By CHARLIE BOYD

In order of appearance: pink velvet jewelry box, Sophie Bille Brahe; gold drop earrings, Almasika; necklace with ‘eye’ pendant, Ileana Makri; gold and turquoise cuff, Amrapali; blue multi-stone earrings, Garrard. Earthenware jewelry box, Anissa Kermiche; necklace with ruby pendant, Pascale Monvoisin; blue circular earrings, David Morris; multi-stone bracelet, Fabergé; gold and enamel ring, Alice Cicolini. Green patterned jewelry box, Bea Bongiasca; gold bangle, Chopard; green drop earrings, Melissa Joy Manning; single diamond stud earring, Jennifer Meyer; gold ring, Cece Jewellery

When you start getting serious about fine jewelry, even with just a few special pieces in your collection, it becomes obvious that you need a dedicated place to store them. Modern-day jewels may feel contemporary, but many of the gems they feature date back billions of years and therefore require suitable caretaking. Cool, dark, soft spaces have been used to keep valuable treasures safe since Ancient Egyptian times – often with great adornment on the exterior to acknowledge the cherished goods inside. Of course, your needs will be dictated by your collection, whether you’re a magpie needing stacks of storage or a frequent flyer seeking a travel-friendly yet stylish solution in which to pack your precious cargo.

For those with an established collection, a jewelry box with segmented sections or stackable layers will allow you to create a space for various categories of jewels – from fine chains that tend to tangle, to small pockets where stud earrings can be scattered, plus padded rows where rings can gently nestle. Bea Bongiasca, renowned for her colorful, curling tendrils of vibrant enamel with color-pop gemstones, launched her jewelry-box collaboration with Wolf last year with an array of boxes ranging from petite and playful to larger styles, all inspired by the psychedelic ’70s. Embroidered suede, vibrant stitching and velour keeps jewels both safe and stylish, with handy removable trays. “I always have a lot of jewels at home, and I also travel with them, so it was a real necessity for me to design a fun jewelry box to put them all in,” explains Bongiasca. “Having a stylish jewelry box stops you from leaving jewels lying around, but it is also your treasure box – a place to store your most precious pieces, in both the literal and sentimental sense.” Smythson’s ‘Panama’ design offers similarly comprehensive options, ranging from a one-layer box to a three-layer leather chest – the ultimate haven for serious collectors.

Those maxing out on travel post-pandemic will be seeking something smaller, but similarly sturdy. “I started out designing our small velvet boxes because I wanted to have something I could travel with that would protect the jewelry as well,” says Sophie Bille Brahe, whose ‘Trésor’ design comes in a flurry of rainbow shades, each with an opulent tassel. Bille Brahe considered the design at length, originally inspired by a wind-up ballerina musical jewelry box she was given as a child. “The jewelry box is where you keep your most beloved belongings; it’s one’s dearest treasure. There is something utterly sentimental about it because the jewelry box is the keeper of your dreams,” she explains. “I tried to encompass this dreaminess when creating my boxes; I like using velvet because of its softness, but also because it conveys something nostalgic; it always brings back a memory,” she says. For those with a penchant for pearls (Bille Brahe’s specialty), these boxes are particulalrly well suited – pearls must be kept separate from other jewels to stop their natural luster from fading.

For something super-portable that can be slipped into a handbag, perhaps to hold a pair of statement earrings for an evening out after work, then L’Atelier Nawbar has the perfect solution. Its petite embroidered boxes feature bold heart motifs that lend a romantic feel. “Jewelry in itself is sentimental and nostalgic. Whether you’re gifted a piece by a loved one or buying for yourself, it is usually meant to mark a momentous occasion in a person’s life, so I think it’s important that the box it’s stored in reflects that,” says Dima Nawbar of L’Atelier Nawbar.

Jewelry boxes often need to align with our broader interior tastes, too, tending to take pride of place in bedrooms and dressing rooms, so, for many, it is important that the design they choose doesn’t clash with their decor. Lauren Rubinski offers chic and simple velvet trays in paintbox-bright colors – perfect for placing a few key pieces for easy access – while Suzanne Kalan has collaborated with Jonathan Adler to launch a range of trinket trays, ideal for keeping next to the sink. True interior aficionados will fall for Anissa Kermiche’s take on the jewelry box – in fact sculptural creations, crafted in ceramic and earthenware, are a chic solution to house smaller, daintier pieces; just be sure to pop a soft cloth inside to cushion any delicate gemstones.