Instead of safekeeping her grandparents’ old love letters in a ribbon-tied shoebox, Meghan Coomes turns them into heirloom accessories. The designer’s jewelry line, called "Forever Yours, Agnes," features glass baubles containing fragments of the couple’s World War II-era missives.
The line is named after—and inspired by—Coomes’s grandmother, Agnes. In 2010, the designer was working in the TV industry, which required constant travel. Coomes missed her family, so Grandma Agnes gave her an old letter she had written to her high school sweetheart, a soldier named Thomas, during the 1940s.
Agnes and Thomas eventually married, but before that, they were separated for three years as Thomas fought abroad. During this time, the couple exchanged thousands of letters; they wrote to each other every day, and even used secret codes to share Thomas’s locations.
Coomes decided to immortalize her grandparents' romance by turning the letter into a bracelet for herself, and into a ring for her grandmother. These projects became the basis of an entire jewelry line, featuring both her grandparents’ words and the letters of clients requesting a custom memento. Each item of jewelry contains a word or excerpt from a letter; some also feature metal wire, colored glass, and/or stones.
Both Grandma Agnes and Grandpa Thomas have passed away, but their words live on, thanks to Coomes. Visit her website for more information.
A version of this story ran in 2017; it has been updated for 2022.