The ever-stylish Sharon Levy Pagan is a second generation BOI — that’s Born on the Island, for those new to the area. Pagan is a University of Texas alumni with a master’s degree in educational psychology. After working as a psychological associate, she studied to be a gemologist and ultimately took over the family business at Vic’s Estate & Fine Jewelry, 2413 Market St. in the island’s downtown. She is the granddaughter of the original founders who began the business 84 years ago.
She serves on the advisory board of the Galveston Arts Center, is on the Galveston Reads committee, is a yogi, a movie buff, a bird enthusiast and enjoys brisk walks.
She recently visited the Museum of Natural Science in Houston to see the Gems of the Medici exhibit.
“It was beautiful,” Pagan said. “It was a great opportunity to see some of the original cameos and learn how they were made.”
With a wardrobe of classic and trendy pieces, Pagan’s favorite colors are red and pink. Not favoring any particular designer, she likes to dress casually. She adores shoes, purses and, of course, jewelry.
“I am a big fan of the television show ‘Mad Men’ and love the fashion from that era,” Pagan said. “I have two beaded sweaters (one cashmere and the other lamb’s wool and angora) that belonged to my mother that I really enjoy wearing,” she said.
Another item near and dear to her heart is the mother-of-pearl clutch her father gave her mother.
Pagan has just returned from visiting her son in Tokyo. She splurged on a black Salvatore Ferragamo purse before heading back to the states.
Q: Tell me more about the vintage sweaters.
A: The beaded sweaters are hand-sewn and have hand-stitched lining. They are more than 60 years old and still in perfect condition. You just can’t get that kind of quality anymore. The attention to detail is unmatched.
Q: What other vintage items do you hold dear?
A: A sterling silver marcasite clip-on pin known as a lorgnette, which also belonged to my mother. It looks like a piece of jewelry but when you turn it over, it becomes a pair of opera glasses. I also have a large, gold locket from about 1915 with separate designs engraved on each side.
Q: Do you have gems from another country?
A: Yes, a Scottish agate bracelet with matching brooch from the Victorian period. It looks stunning when I wear them with anything brown because of the earth tones of the gems.
Q: Do you have certain signature items that you wear more than others?
A: Yes, my starburst pearl clip-on earrings with matching pin. I love estate pieces of jewelry that belonged to someone else because most have dates engraved on them.
Q: How old are some of the items and what are they?
A: I collect yellow-gold bangles. One gold bracelet is engraved with the date 7-4-11 (as in 1911) and another 12-25-26.
Q: I notice you have on a string of pearls. Do you think all women should have pearls in their wardrobe?
A: I do. There is a photo of Marilyn Monroe at my store that says, ‘Pearls are a girl’s best friend.’ The strand I have on is from 1983 (Japanese Akoya), and I like to wear them with a diamonds-by-the-yard necklace.
Q: Stud or dangle earrings?
A: I prefer dangle. I like the European leverbacks.
Q: What about hoop earrings?
A: They are a wardrobe “must-have.” They’re sexy and youthful.
Q: When going out for the evening, what do you wear?
A: I wear a lot of black. I have a favorite black silk dress with small polka dots. I also have a pink and aqua floral jacket that I wear with a long skirt or slacks. I have a black and white evening jacket that I pair with a hot pink shell and black kick-pleat skirt. I do a lot of mixing and matching.
Q: Is the Salvatore Ferragamo purse your new favorite handbag?
A: Actually, it’s a “gently used” handbag so I got a good deal on it, but it is flawless. Also, I love my older Gucci purse that belonged to my mother and my favorite everyday handbag is my Baggallini.
Q: Any other recent splurges?
A: Yes, my Michael Kors espadrilles. But I also buy a lot of Cole Haan.
Q: Which celebrity wears the most tasteful and exotic jewelry?
A: Jennifer Garner. But so does Sarah Jessica Parker.