Review: PiRATE PRiMiTiVE

Rating: ★★★½☆

It stands to reason that any pirate worth his or her salt will probably wear at least a little bit of jewelry from time to time. Generally this would mean either wearing some gold and silver pretties that were stolen from a Spaniard, or perhaps some skull&crossbone ornamentation for those who like to flaunt their proclivity for plundering. But what about the third option? That which is born of sailors spending their time on beaches in the Caribbean? Jewelry derived from the local beads of wood and glass combined with a swab’s natural talent for knot work? This is the question, and PiRATE PRiMiTiVE would appear the answer. Continue reading

Review: Pirate Ring

Rating: ★★★★★
Studio City Tattoo
(this ring found under merchandise, NOT jewelry)

To the starboard side, open gunports reveal the large mouth of a cannon preparing to fire. Just beneath is a second gunport, but this one is shut, the left door splintered from its hinge and hanging askew. The port side mirrors the starboard with its own eager cannon above, and closed gunport below, only this time a skeletal hand emerges from the door as if death itself were about to spring forth. The bow, as should surprise none, features a large grinning skull, his teeth gritted in fury and amusement at once – or perhaps it’s just a bloodlust. He sports an eyepatch and wears a captain’s hat, ostrich plumes cascading down to his cheekbone. This maniacal skull is naturally flanked by twin crossed cutlasses, their grips rough and aged, but their blades gleaming. Behind it all is a backdrop of oaken planks, their dark grain in stark contrast to the silvery jolly roger that glares up at you. And last, to the stern, are an assortment of letters, reading simply “”.

That the above paragraph describes a ring is astounding, but true. Studio City Tattoo – California’s #1 piratey tattoo shop – has long sported their own distinctive Jolly Roger by way of a logo. And Skinny Dog Designs – the very artisans that created many of the Pirates of the Caribbean rings and pendants available at the PotC Rides in the Disney Theme Parks – have brilliantly crafted this logo into a ring that is practically a pirate novel in itself. Continue reading

Review: Sword & Skull Pendant

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Mad Jack’s Pirate Jewelry
– no longer available –

Pirate jewelry is quite the tricky thing – nothing completes a look better, but also nothing is harder to find than that perfect little item for the right pirate.

If you’re wanting jewelry that’s overtly piratey – meaning skulls, crossbones, and whatnot – this can get trickier still. It’s a fine line between pirate, goth, and biker, and finding that proper death head that says “yarrr” is no small feat. This is where Mad Jack’s comes into play rather nicely – his sterling pendants have those nice little touches that make for a proper swashbuckling look.

Most of Mad Jack’s pendants are based on historical pirate flags – the common Rackham and England are nicely rendered, but so too is the less usual Avery, along with several piratey originals. It was one of these originals I chose for the purpose of this review. Continue reading

Review: “The Ring”

Rating: ★★★★☆
Ghost Pirate Ship

All too often, pirate-themed rings share one of three failings – they’re either too delicate looking, too biker, or too cliche (how many skull & crossbones rings can one pirate wear?)

Ghost Pirate has deftly foiled all these pitfalls with its sterling pirate ring. Featuring a large, robust skull, this ring is anything but dainty. And its eyepatch/bandana clearly mark this as a pirate accessory, while still dodging the “yet another jolly roger” trap. But more importantly, this is a ring with personality. The skull – with its partially open jaw, and equally open eye, nostrils, and temples – appears at once spectral yet material. Its highly 3-D structure is striking, yet clings closely to the finger enough to remain entirely comfortable.

This is an excellent pirate accessory. It’s sturdy, unique, and should fit right at home with any pirate outfit – be it period, fantasy, or modern.

Review: “Privateer” and “Ghost Pirate Ship” Pendants

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Ghost Pirate Ship

For any pirate looking to enhance their look with a piece of definitively nautical jewelry, Ghost Pirate Ship offers two tallship pendants that would be equally at home around the neck of buccaneer or law abiding merchant alike.

“Privateer” and “Ghost Pirate Ship” are both large sterling pendants, each over an inch and a half in height. Both are rugged, and feature a fixed loop on the back for affixing to a strap or chain. But aside from their definiteve similarities, each ship also boasts one striking difference.

“Privateer” is a squaremasted ship under full sail, complete with cannons along the bulkheads. It’s cast in sharp 3D relief, making it appear to be sailing directly out of your chest (but not in an “Alien” way.) “Ghost Pirate Ship” is nearly identical in concept and form, with the exception of its ragged sails, making it appear to hail straight from Davy Jones’ Locker itself. Ghost Ship also differs, less strikingly so, in that it features a small snippet of surf and waterline around the bottom of the hull (Privateer features no water.) Continue reading

Review: Bronze Pirate Bottle Opener/Medallion

Rating: ★★★★½
Marcus Cove Creations 

Yo yo ho – pirate bling is in the house!

Marcus Cove Creations has made a piece of pirate jewelry that’s fun, functional, and HUGE. This highly detailed medallion features a wild-haired skull clutching a dagger in its teeth while being impaled on an anchor. Across the face is a scroll reading “Surrender Thyne Ale.” Far from a simple 2-D image, this medallion is engraved with exceptional three dimensional details and textures. The top is designed to work as a bottle opener, so your throat should never be dry. The obverse side is a less detailed, but perfectly attractive, engraving of the western half of Hispaniola – in short, Haiti and Tortuga.

The crux of this piece is its size. It’s a full 2.5 inches across, and 3.5 high. That may not sound like much, but grab a ruler and you’ll quickly realize this is a monster. Cast from bronze, this is one huge – and heavy – piece of Continue reading

Review: Three Skull Pendant

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Celtic Jackalope

For any pirates wanting to accessorize with jewelry that differs from the typical jolly roger motif – while still remaining perfectly grim and swashbuckling – Celtic Jackalope has developed its Three Skull Pendant.

This sterling pendant features three grinning skulls atop the backdrop of a filagree-laden sword. Three fleur-de-lis surround the borders, accompanied by an iron-cross(ish) engraving just near the bezel. Nearly three inches tall, this is a commanding piece of swag that’s sure to garner many admiring comments. Consistent with Celtic Jackalope’s usual attention to detail, the back of this piece is nearly as detailed as the front, clearly showing the backs of the skulls, sword, and all other features. Despite the many tiny “appendages,” this casting is very solid. Each component is plenty robust to maintain its structural integrity, even if it gets roughed up a bit while you’re out skewering Spaniards.

A very gorgeous pendant. I think it will look particularly brilliant after it ages and tarnishes a bit for that proper piratey “weathered” effect.

Review: Large ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales’ Ring

Rating: ★★★½☆
Celtic Jackalope

Continuing on the fine tradition of its “Dean Men Tell No Tales” line of pirate jewelry, in which they offer various sterling accoutrements featuring a distinctive skull and crossed sabers, Celtic Jackalope has now created its new, jumbo sized coat of arms ring.

Celtic Jackalope’s previous ring that featured this design was fairly small and understated, perfect for those wishing to bear a subtle nod to their piratical inclinations while remaining fairly incognito. This new ring, however, is meant to command attention. The design is roughly twice the size of the earlier ring, boasts much more detail, and is complimented on each side by a fleur-de-lis design. Definitely a ring suitable for pirate royalty! Continue reading

Review: Hair Beads

Rating: ★★★★☆
Silhuettes Clothing Co.

Buy all the clothing you want – buy the $500 jacket, the $200 hat, the $300 boots. Honestly, do it 🙂

BUT – major clothing items only get you so far. In the pirate world, as in our own, accessories make the outfit. Earrings, finger rings, necklaces – the devil is in the details, and it’s these very details that turn a “person in a pirate costume” into a “PIRATE.”

Enter Silhouttes’ hair beads. Jack Sparrow certainly wasn’t the first pirate to dangle beads from his dreads, but he’s easily the most memorable. And with one or two Silhouttes’ bead strands hanging from your head, you too can add some significant zest to your pirate ensamble.

I inspected and test-drove two of these offerings, and found them surprisingly comfortable, once I got the hang of it (the trick is to clip them to a significant chunk of hair, so as to better distribute the weight.) As I’ve come to expect from Silhouttes, the materials are all of the best quality – not a single plastic bead was to be seen. Instead, each strand was a mixture of glass, metal, rock, wood, and even one that appeared to be bone. The string itself is metal wire, and while the clip is hardly period, it’s sturdy, effective, and shouldn’t be seen anyways. At the end of each strand is a coin – one from Denmark, and the other appears to be pakistani. The truly picky reenactor will note they’re a bit too well formed to be period (indeed, the Denmark coin clearly states it was minted in 1967.) But both appear quite old at a glance, and if you meet anyone critical enough to notice that they’re not “period,” you’d best throw the loper to the sharks before they cause any real trouble.

A wonderfully effective, and wonderfully affordable, way to add that extra “punch” to your outfit.

Review: Pirate Rings

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Pirate Jewelry by Peter Stone

I’m pleased to once again have the opportunity to review some fine swag from Pirate Jewelry. Last time I got a peak at some neckware, and this time I can get up close with some of their finger adornments.

As stated in my pendant review, Pirate Jewelry offers one of the largest selections of sterling pirate accessories around. Their styles range to suit a wide variety of interests (as long as it’s piratey.) As such I’ve selected three very different pieces in hopes of capturing a sense of the options available (but believe me, there are many more!) Continue reading