Monday, March 28, 2011

Milagro Necklaces or Treasure Necklaces

Let's blog about milagro necklaces.  Stop here if this topic doesn't interest you.  (BTW, the word "milagro" means "miracle" in Spanish.)

In the 80's, and independent jeweler in Denver LoDo had a necklace in a store front display with gold attached charms.  The charms looked vintage, so after inquiries, the story was that the necklace was custom made for a client from her small mementos of previous years.  And the jeweler said the necklace was called either a milagro necklace or a treasure necklace.

Knowing my mother had always worn a charm bracelet from the 1950's and still had those charms, using them in a necklace would make a great surprise for her. That jeweler put me in touch with the woman who had made that necklace in the display, and she was the one who made my mother's piece.  A gift was born.  Mother was thrilled her charms were no longer tucked away in a box, and wore that necklace for many years.

More about milagro necklaces from ShopVilllager:
Milagros, Spanish for miracles, are small metal charms that represent the concerns of our hearts. Milagros are used in making and fulfilling vows or promises and are tangible symbols of such a promise. The boat is a symbol for a journey, the dove symbolizes peace, the eye is for insight, the heart to be aflame, the rabbit represents a leap of faith, the cup is fulfillment. The milagro cross also reminds us that each day is a miracle.
Here is a picture of my mom's fresh water pearl milagro necklace using most of her old charm bracelet dangles, with a few added pieces:

The gold oak leaf shown above is from my dad's naval service in WWII.  He is still living and is 92 years old.

Another of my favorite charms on my mother's bracelet was that of a pin that was my maternal grandmother's from Simmons College, now Hardin Simmons University in Abilene, Texas.  My grandmother, Beulah Burkett Howard, (we called her "MOM" Howard) graduated from Hardin Simmons in 1912, no mean feat for a woman of that generation!  She began college at the age of 16, and graduated at the age of 19, majoring in music and voice.  Mom Howard wrote the fight song for Hardin Simmons back in her day - a claim to fame! She used her educational background for the rest of her life, singing in choirs, as a solo vocalist, and as both pianist and organist for the churches where she and my grandfather were members.  In latter years, I remember her rocking the balcony with organ music from The Messiah at Christmas times.  Handel would have been proud of her.

But I digress.  This is the pin from 1912:

Two charms from my brother John's pins: one from A & M University and one from the Cattlemen's Assn.:

And this is my beaded pink wrist hospital birth identification bracelet (complete with misspelled name):

Oldest brother Mac's corporal insignia collar pin from Viet Nam will be added:

Because Mother liked her necklace so well, I then had a treasure necklace made from my old charms, along with turquoise nuggets.  Now my daughter Juliet has that one.

This is the turquoise milagro necklace that now belongs to Julie.  Her husband Jack took the pictures of it, along with some of the charms.  He did a great job of the pictures, especially the close-up shots.

Close-up of some of the charms:

(Sharon G., if you are looking at this, remember our old high school rings with that center blue stone?)

Just a little stroll down memory lane while looking at the milagro necklaces.


  1. Sweet memories and I love the jewelry that show off these memories! Much better than having all of this tucked away in a box:) Have a blessed day dear Nancy, HUGS!

  2. Nancy, this is a wonderful post. My twin and I had baby bracelets just like yours. Sadly it disappeared when my grandmother died. The necklaces and all the charms are so sweet. Great memories.

  3. Nancy, those are the best necklaces! Love all the charms and keepsakes from Texas. I've heard of Hardin Simmons and you're right-women weren't expected to make it thru college. What a great Grandmother with great accomplishments. Do they just string so many of the beads, add a charm or two, string some more beads and add like that? A lot of us have at least a few things that could be incorported into a necklace, or even bracelet. I would prefer the necklace tho. Such a wonderful story-I'm glad I stopped by. Thanks!

  4. It's so cool having all those lovely charms to remember important events and periods of life. Those necklaces must mean so much to you and your family.

  5. Hi,

    This Mexcican Milagro beaded necklace is sterling silver beads and toggle, along with pewter milagros, semi-precious beads. A large handmade silver cross pendant necklace created in the most unique way with delicate twists and turns to create a braided-like look. Exclusive, exotic Tibetan red coral and sterling silver necklace. The Tibetans handcraft these bold, beautiful large bicone beads from genuine red coral and wrap them with sterling silver. Thanks...


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