Romance in the Holy City…it is inescapable. Between two people, indeed it is not hard to fall in love when you are surrounded by so much beauty. Charleston is like a smaller Florence or Paris in this way. But, there is another romance we so often neglect to appreciate, one that is strictly individual. It is a relationship of spirit with the outside world, of eyes with the wide sea and mind with the architectural nuances scattered about town like letters from our ancestors.
One of my favorite signifiers of Charleston’s historic past is the wrought iron that trails along staircases, twists on windows and scrolls across gates throughout the city. The decorative iron gate is a French invention, as are many of the best features that dot our little peninsula. With intricate patterns, the iron workers, primarily artist Philip Simmons transformed a hard, heavy material into a delicate visual treat that has stood the test of time. If and when you visit Charleston, you won’t be able to miss the gates, but I’d go one step further to recommend that you do the “Gateway Walk” at some point during your stay… perfect for two lovers or a solo stroll. This self-guided walking tour will lead you on a winding path through historic Charleston, passing famous churches, graveyards, and best of all, ten of the most beautiful wrought iron gates the city has to offer.
This Valentine’s Day and throughout the rest of the year, Gold Creations celebrates the merging of the gift of jewelry with the heart and spirit of Charleston. The family-owned and operated local business envisioned the line of pendants I am wearing, calling it — quite appropriately– the “Gates of Charleston.”
Founders Vicki and Glenn Wolfe began Gold Creations in the Historic Charleston Market over 40 years ago and there the store has remained as a staple to this day. From the beginning, they emphasized the beauty of Charleston with iconic pieces like Charleston Rice Beads (chain I am wearing above), Sweetgrass Basket charms and the Gates of Charleston. Today, the jewelry has expanded to include over 1,000 14k Gold and Sterling Silver charms. From the Angel Oak tree to crystal pineapples, all visitors to the store can find the perfect little piece of the Lowcountry to give to their loved one or take home with them.
Photography by Joseph Landing