The History of The Gates

Our jewelry does more than catch the eye, it catches the heart too.

Our jewelry has a simple elegance that we are proud to share. Steeped in a rich history and a beautiful reminder of your visit to the Lowcountry or a beacon of why you love this city, there is so much more behind our pieces than what meets the eye.

If you take a walk or guided tour close to Rainbow Row or the Battery, you will see beautiful multicolored dream homes that held so many dreams for their owners – and hold so much history for us today. Each is just as unique and beautiful as a fingerprint nestles next to the ocean. But what is the one thing that connects them all? Their gates. Their wrought iron gates. It’s not just our beautiful architecture that we’re proud of here. It’s the beautiful gates that keep it all safe that we boast about!

These beautiful gates guard and protect some of the most important pieces of history and their gardens that Charleston has to offer. These wrought iron gates can be found all over the downtown area. Their architecture has inspired numerous pieces of artwork and structures still created today. We are no strangers to this inspiration.

Traditionally – this type of iron wasn’t used to make these beautiful pieces of art. Iron was used for more practical things like grills for windows, spikes on top of fences, and boot scrapers. But come the 1800s and in ushered the Victorian style. This beautiful malleable metal started to decorate homes with beautiful flowers, leaves, and trees.

But Charleston owes much of its beautiful gate artistry to a man named Phillip Simmons. Who, after creating hundreds of these popular decorative gates, became known as the “Keeper of the Gates”. He was such an incredible craftsman that his pieces have survived the test of time. From some of the most influential homes to some of the most important buildings, you can find his work still standing tall and proud.

Simmons was born in Wando on Daniel Island near Mount Pleasant in 1912. His love of ironwork became a career and he moved into specialized ornamentation iron in 1938. This is when his beautiful gates were born. He was awarded the National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts in 1982 along with numerous other awards and achievements. His work has been displayed at many museums, including the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Simmons died at the age of 97 in 2009, leaving behind a stunning artistic legacy that will never die.

We are proud to honor Simmons and are we are inspired daily by his craftsmanship. We love his story. Just like the history of our beautiful city, we want our jewelry to connect to you and the stories you have to tell.

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