Toothy Jewelry – Beautifully Macabre

Happy New Year!!! So far, my 2014 has involved rad partying, and dental surgery.

My NYE ensemble!

My NYE ensemble! Lookin’ sassy!

Close up of my fab turban and super fun makeup!

Close up of my fabulous turban and super fun makeup!

Isn't she a beauty?? I can't wait to paint it and make it into some fab jewelry!

Here’s my wisdom tooth! Isn’t she a beauty?? I can’t wait to paint it and make some jewelry!

Obviously, I am a classy lady, and a bit of an opportunist, therefore, I fully intend to create a gorgeous necklace out of this, (hopefully) the only tooth I will have forcibly removed from my head. The results of a quick “googling” yield somewhat creepy celebrity jewelry lines and various grillz worn by the likes of Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. There are also super cool procedures you can purchase to bedazzle your teeth while they’re still in your mouth! What fun, and so elegant.

Rock that "Deco Dent," you hot chick with cool sunglasses!

Rock that “Deco Dent,” you hot chick with cool sunglasses!

Awkward tooth adornments aside, the wearing of teeth as jewelry dates back a long way, and was highly popular in the Victorian period. The trend was bolstered by the exchange of macabre gifts between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. In 2010, an exhibit called “Victoria & Albert: Art and Love” highlighted some of the beautiful baubles exchanged between the two royals, and included the below brooch and necklace.

It's such a gorgeous piece! Apparently this tooth is the first lost by Princess Victoria.

It’s such a gorgeous piece! Apparently this tooth is the first lost by Princess Victoria.

So gorgeous! Not human teeth though, but the teeth of a stag Prince Albert shot at Balmoral.

So gorgeous! Not human teeth though, but the teeth of a stag Prince Albert shot at Balmoral.

While wearing human teeth is still considered a bit odd (even though they fall out completely naturally all the time), people are much more likely to sport animal teeth, especially shark, alligator and other predators. Whether or not you look like more of a badass, these teeth are pretty awesome to behold. If you aren’t at a beachfront store, or on a swamp tour in Louisiana, you can still purchase toothy goodies on Etsy. If you’ve got some teeth lying around that you’ve been holding on to, this is also a great way to get DIY inspiration!

A statement shark tooth necklace!

A statement shark tooth necklace! Going to a party at a museum?? Wear this!

Super fancy, golden shark tooth necklace!

Super fancy, golden shark tooth necklace!

Human tooth rings!!!

Human tooth rings by bonejewelry!!!

Even earrings!

Even earrings!

If you're a way cool surfer dude, this necklace is just for you!

If you’re a way cool surfer dude, this necklace was made just for you!

I do not have any additional stray teeth, unfortunately. Although I’m really into painting stuff gold at the moment, I do have a pair of earrings I made out of doll’s eye charms, and they’re silver. Since I didn’t get all four wisdom teeth removed, these seem like the perfect co-accessory for my tooth necklace, so silver it is!

TJEyes

They totally blink, btw.

So, given the wide array of style options, and longstanding history of tooth jewelry, it makes a certain amount of sense that people continue to be intrigued/disgusted/delighted by the idea of these intimate body parts being worn as baubles. Western culture, especially in America, does not (usually) encourage “warrior jewelry,” which serves to display killing trophies, and our obsession with sex/youth diminishes our cultural acceptance of death and mortality. Despite this, I often prefer an emphasis of the macabre, and am curious about the more grisly aspects of the human experience, therefore, I embrace the beautiful dichotomy that is toothy jewelry!

Do you have any teeth/tooth jewelry in your collection? Would you wear human teeth? Do you know someone who does?? Are they painted, or simply cleaned? Have you seen any vintage and/or ancient examples that you thought were particularly interesting?

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