Anyone who has studied history has wondered at some point what it would have been like to live among the subjects they were studying. Who has not imagined themselves as Helen of Troy or Cleopatra—or if you were a TV watcher in the 90’s as Xena the Warrior Princess? While times have changed it is hard to completely give up on certain styles.

Ancient Egypt and Greece were where Western culture began and flourished for centuries before spreading across the world. While philosophy, literature, and technology were developing, so was fashion. And while all of these areas have been built upon throughout the years, designer jewelry is an easy way to step into the more glamorous aspects of the past.

Ancient Grecian jewelry styles heavily incorporate gold, coins, organic motifs such as ivy and laurel leaves, as well as female figures. Jewelry that mimics these flat surfaces, feminine profiles, and leaves hold both classic and contemporary appeal. Similarly, Ancient Egyptian jewelry relies heavily on gold while also utilizing radiant jewels, but incorporates far more geometric patterns, and animal elements, such as birds.

Many of the elements that make these ancient styles classic—gold, curved lines, organic elements—also lend themselves to contemporary experimentation. One of the things that contemporary fashionistas may take issue with is the clunky nature of traditional Egyptian jewelry, but those same fashion mavens would revel in a sleek contemporary twist on a bejeweled bracelet.

Likewise, contemporary jewelry wearers might feel limited by the basic options of traditional Grecian styles— predominately gold, mostly flat surfaces, and layered coins. However, utilizing core elements of these exquisite antique styles is a fun way to feel regal without the responsibility of ruling an empire.

To put a contemporary twist on some classic Grecian styles, you could try incorporating some silver or bronze metal into the designs. Another option would be to incorporate a variety of organic designs, such as roses or snakes, into bracelets, arm circlets, and earrings. A way of modernizing Egyptian classics would be to opt for more minimalist versions of older designs. Instead of extremely ornate geometric patterns and a variety of colors, you could choose a stylized geometric pattern anklet or earrings.

However you choose to bring a little of the past into the present, be sure to channel your inner-empress.