One of my favorite aspects of estate and antique jewelry is the history and provenance behind it. It explains why I gravitate to the pre-loved pieces over the new, shiny, geometric, modern, things. I love to think about who wore that necklace, what her life was like when she received those earrings, what the pieces meant to them, and who gifted it to them.
When I started this blog I had a few different ideas. 1.) To share with you pieces that I absolutely love. 2.) Answer all of you, my lovely readers, questions; and 3.) Interview people about their most treasured jewelry possessions and of course share some of mine with you. Today is the debut of 3.
When I turned 21 my grandmother gave me a beautiful pearl necklace and earrings. I had just started dating my husband, but I think Grandma’s intuition she knew he was the one and wanted me to have it for my wedding. I still remember her handing it to me, all wrapped up in a cream silk satin pouch. A 16 inch lustrous strand of warm, rose-toned, pearls with a clasp studded with diamond chips, and a pearl dangling from it. Along with it were matching pearl and diamond ear clips.
It was one of the first significant pieces of jewelry I’d ever owned. Even more remarkable was the story of how my grandmother got them. When my father was being bar mitzvah’d money was obviously tight. After all, making a bar mitzvah is quite the financial undertaking. My grandfather was always very proud of my grandmother, he loved to show her off, she was really quite beautiful, and he especially loved to buy her jewelry. With money being tight he didn’t think he’d be able to buy her anything special to mark the occasion.
The day of the bar mitzvah came and there was my grandfather with this beautiful pearl necklace and earrings. Somehow he’d made it work and come through. Every time I wear these pearls, I’m reminded of their love and commitment, how important it was to my grandfather that my grandmother feel special and adored.
I make sure to take extra special care of them. Always keeping them in their original pouch, and ver spraying on perfume or hairspray when I have them on. I always thought that my love affair with all things jewelry started in my days at Lord and Taylor, but recalling this story reminds me that it was my grandmother who sent me down this path.
Do you have a lovely piece of jewelry with lots of sentimental meaning? I would love to hear it about it. Email me with deets; [email protected]