Elizabeth Henry is living her legacy of love, jewels, and brilliant artistry. It all began in a world of glittering gems and precious metals. The young Elizabeth grew up here, watching as her jeweler father fashioned his sparkling creations.
The beauty and art of jewelry always enthralled Elizabeth. “That’s what I fell in love with,” she says, “the art.” Through her designs, she challenges people to view jewelry not simply as decoration but as micro art pieces.
Fittingly, the jeweler’s daughter matured into a Graduate Gemologist and a gifted jewelry maker in her own right. But with a unique vision for her artistry, Elizabeth wants her bold creations to empower women with confidence and self-love. Through her craft, she encourages women to connect with her pieces and “reclaim the many facets of their selfhood.”
Love lies at the heart of the Elizabeth Henry collection. Inspired by ten historical eras, from the Ancient to the Modern, the jewelry exudes old-world romance. But the love it reflects is not romantic, but a woman’s love of self. “It is about freeing women from archetypes of beauty and romance and allowing them to be their authentic selves—authors of their own stories past and present,” Elizabeth explains. Her jewelry is meant to be wearable art showcasing a woman’s self-expression in a way that is true to her body and who she is inside.
The Era of You, where each era’s jewelry embodies a distinct persona, invites a woman to explore the epochs that speak to her. Henry believes that no woman is limited to a single era or type. “Women,” she says, “are many-faceted. We are one person, and then we are another, and that’s okay.” She adds, “We can shift our sense of self through these historical eras and constantly reimagine ourselves as we do. That’s a really freeing thought.”
Her gorgeous heirloom-inspired designs are spectacularly displayed at the Elizabeth Henry Collection in Portsmouth on Congress Street. Her showroom’s interior is reminiscent of a prestigious museum. Soothing music fills the air, swirling among the rich mahogany cases and the walls adorned with striking portraits of women draped in her finely crafted jewelry pieces, drawing you into the Elizabeth Henry world. These are not everyday pieces but true works of art.
Each piece of jewelry asserts a woman’s strength and individuality. Vividly colored gems in intricate settings project the wearer’s powerful aura. “A woman’s confidence,” proclaims Henry, “is her greatest adornment.” As if to prove the point, she wears her elegant self-confidence like a shimmering mantle. “How we carry ourselves through the world,” she says, “changes our outlook, and often our outcomes.”
Elizabeth Henry is unique among jewelers. Her love of history shines through her creations, each a reintroduction of heirloom pieces redesigned into the modern rarities on display. She brings this same love to her work, refurbishing and remodeling family treasures for her clients. “These reinterpreted pieces,” she says, “represent a reincarnation of one’s past and an expression of one’s present.”
This melding of past and present reflects Elizabeth’s journey as a woman and artist. “When designing within these historical timeframes,” she says, “I’m recreating the history and moments and then adding my own self to engage with the modern world.”
Beyond Henry’s formidable artistry and lofty goals lies a busy mother of four. While she loves being a mother, she admits, “Motherhood doesn’t leave much room for selfhood. I have to make sure that I am connecting with myself.” She adds, “Being a woman means so many things.”
As for the next chapter of her legacy, she says, “I hope to pass on a legacy of joy to my children. I also hope to pass on creation and self-awareness.” She smiles and adds, “There are many other things, but joy always comes out on top.”
"Women are many-faceted. We are one person and then we are another."
"That's what I fell in love with, the art."