Plantation Jewels Captures a Part of Savannah’s History

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Plantation Jewels Captures a Part of Savannah’s History

Plantation Jewels has been an art vendor on River Street since 2002. Owners Paul and Jeanie Chance create jewelry from historical artifacts that have been excavated in Savannah. Jeanie started out doing arts shows by selling handmade purses with custom monograms. She began to notice other artists at festivals making jewelry out of different materials such as sea glass. Sea glass was exactly what her husband Paul had been excavating for years in downtown Savannah.

Paul and his twin brother started excavating historical artifacts when they were 10 years old. Their parents built a house in Richmond Hill and as the lot was cleared they found very old china shards. One day a gentleman came to the property with a metal detector and found Civil War bullets. He gave each of the boys a bullet and the rest was history. The next Christmas they got a metal detector to share. As houses were built around them they began hunting artifacts with their metal detectors. Years later they started scuba diving near shipwrecks which also lead to fossils in the local rivers and off shore.

Paul has always had an artistic eye. So his wife Jeanie thought it would be a great idea to make his “junk boxes” of broken artifacts into jewelry. The two began designing jewelry seven years ago. “When we shared the jewelry we had created with some of our friends they said that will never sell, but some were very excited and encouraged us,” Jeanie said. After coming to River Street and meeting so many people who come to Savannah for the rich history Paul and Jeanie realized they had to keep striving to make their product better. They began to study jewelry making techniques and purchased books on how to make jewelry. “The neatest part of our product is the creativity from our customers. They began suggesting that we make something for them and others began wanting it too,” said Jeanie. Paul and Jeanie’s favorite piece of art that they create is the embossed letters on the broken Savannah bottles from 1860 where they cut the “ANN” out of Savannah and make the piece into a necklace. Plantation Jewels has a location at River Street Market Place and can be found at First Friday & Saturday festivals in front of Washed Ashore and the River Street Riverboats.

Image courtesy of Plantation Jewels

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