Wham bam thank you Becky Stone of Diamonds in the Library for this myth-busting post about suffragette jewelry. It turns out that the oft-told story that suffragette-related jewelry in green, white, and violet stood for “Give Women the Vote” is just a story. Becky writes:
“At least one of the most popular suffragette groups – the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) did claim the colors purple, white, and green (in 1908). But not because it makes up an acronym; rather, because the WSPU felt that the three hues represented qualities that every suffragette had: nobility/dignity, purity, and hope.”
The WSPU, Becky adds, didn’t use the slogan “Give Women the Vote, but “Votes for Women.”
While there is a lot of antique jewelry in purple, white, and green, that doesn’t mean all of it should be called suffragette jewelry. Becky quotes from Lang Antiques’ Antique Jewelry University, which points out that there was another reason to use this color combination. It looks good! Lang says:
“Jewelry in this color combination was created long before the WSPU and is still popular today. Labeling EVERY Art Nouveau, Edwardian or Belle Epoque jewelry item in this color palette Suffragist jewelry is undoubtedly incorrect and any piece outside the years 1908 (WSPU declaring their colors) to 1914 (onset of war in Europe) absolutely incorrect.”
Makes sense to me, because I’m a big fan of purple and green.
Whatever your taste in jewelry, don’t forget to get out and vote on November 8. As Becky says:
“In a day and age when we must face the insult of this vomitous nonsense about repealing the 19th amendment, it’s more important than ever to remember that the right to vote was only ever a sure thing for men. White men, to be specific.
For the rest of us: our ancestors fought for the right to have our voices heard, and it’s the least we can do to get off our butts and exercise that hard-won privilege.”
If you exercise your voting privilege while wearing my new and very limited-edition VOTE stud earrings, even better!