November’s Jewel of the Month is my long-awaited safety pin earring in 18K yellow gold, set with 27 diamonds. It’s sold on my website as a single earring.
I introduced a platinum version of this earring in August 2016 as part of my Punk Platinum collection. As I said then, before I was in the jewelry business I desperately wanted a fine-jewelry version of a safety pin earring and couldn’t find one. Once I went into the jewelry business, I found too many! I was like, “I can’t make one because everyone else has already done it.” But then I started my Punk Platinum line in 2015, inspired by the idea of taking platinum in a less precious direction. My concept was “Never mind the engagement rings, here’s the barbed wire.” That made me realize there is always room in the world for one more version of a fancy safety pin — especially one in platinum, which I actually hadn’t been able to find.
Even though my Punk Platinum line is (obviously) a tribute to the particular properties of platinum, I don’t like leaving my gold-loving customers out of the fun. That’s why I recreate all my Punk Platinum pieces in 18K yellow gold. For every full-finger barbed wire ring in platinum …
… there’s a corresponding piece in gold.
#Repost from @jennifergandia, who tried on our full-finger ring at @metalandsmith! We love the idea that its armor for our #NASTY babes. ? < press play! > ・・・ I love me a hinged ring and this one by @wendybrandesjewelry is the perfect finger armor for this nasty woman. I'd like it fit for the middle though! #showmeyourrings #lovegold #jewelry #jewellery #boomerang #instavideo #metalandsmith #diamond #edgy #armor #tbt #finejewelry #highjewelry #bestdressed #fortheloveofjewelry #manicure #nailart #mani #18k #diamonds #fashion
However, the gold safety pin eluded me for a long time, because 18K gold is soft and I needed to find the right manufacturer to create a gold wire that wouldn’t easily bend out of shape. Also, let’s face it: I had other designs to do that were more pressing! When I’m working on custom engagement rings, things like safety pins get put on the back burner. But, at last, the gold safety pin came to be. You can see how it looks in real life on our lovely model Laura in this photo. (Sadly, I can’t claim credit for her other earrings.)
And here I am, wearing the gold and platinum safety pins next to each other in August.
Safety pins had a strange non-punk-related moment last November, immediately after the disastrous presidential election, as a symbol of support for people of color, immigrants, women and other marginalized groups who would be most threatened by the rise of fascism in the U.S. However, it quickly became obvious that this was just for show and that there were much more meaningful ways to resist, ranging from the Women’s March last January to groups like Indivisible that demand town halls from senators. Safety pins have mostly returned to their original jobs. One exception is Safety Pin Box, which developed as a reaction to the 2016 post-election pin fad. The Safety Pin Box website explains:
“Safety Pin Box is a monthly subscription box for white people striving to be allies in the fight for Black Liberation. Box memberships are a way to not only financially support Black femme freedom fighters, but also complete measurable tasks in the fight against white supremacy. With widespread national media coverage, two fierce activists at the helm, and the blessing of many in the Black Lives Matter movement, Safety Pin Box has changed the game of white allyship in response to the rise of the Alt-Right.”
It’s worth reading the Safety Pin Box FAQ to understand how the founders felt about the emptiness of the safety pin as a symbol of activism. The FAQ also makes it clear that the venture is a business, not a charity, because black women are too often called upon to educate would-be allies for free. Time is money, people! No one is required to be your free teacher when you have a passing whim to learn. So, while my safety pin earrings are a tribute to my love of 1970s punk rock, I do want to support the smart women behind Safety Pin Box. “Giving Tuesday” is a day of philanthropy scheduled for November 28, and Safety Pin Box is inviting people to give to its efforts to support black women directly, rather than through a large nonprofit. Therefore, from now through November 28, for each gold safety pin sold, I will donate $100 to Safety Pin Box in your name. There are only five pins available for immediate delivery, so don’t delay!
My platinum pins are excluded from the donation because they’re sold out. That said, if you act fast, you still have time to get one or two platinum pins made to order before the holidays. Once the gold safety pins are sold out, they won’t be restocked until the new year.
If you have any questions about ordering these or any of my other designs — especially in time for the holidays — holla at me at info at wendybrandes dot com.