5.15.2010

If These Jewels Could Talk...

top: silver ring from israel, koi fish bracelet, meandro garnet bracelet middle: necklaces passed down from my grandmother's cousin, markus humer leather cuff last: snake twisty bracelet worn as an arm band, fake gold bangle

..they'd have many stories to tell. Since I was around 7 years old, my grandmother and I have had a tradition of playing "show and tell". She does more of the showing and telling, I listen, with my eyes "ooing and ahhing". We sit on her bed with a multitude of jewelry boxes-- a mix of beautifully lacquered ones with painted Japanese cherry blossoms, and freebie white boxes with Macy's logos and synthetic cotton-candy cushions. When I showed her my new crystal koi fish bracelet it ignited her childlike spirit. "Let's play!" she said. I've inherited from my grandmother a love of adornment. It doesn't matter if it's made of a rare gem stone or a piece of plastic, we get the same amount of pleasure. Value is measured by the uniqueness of the piece and all of the memories it triggers. My grandmother's philosophy of consumption is purely about what makes her happy. This also applies to what she eats. She loves everything she buys and enjoys rediscovering pieces in her closet. I've learned from her, that jewelry helps you remember things. Every single piece (going back to the 1940s), has a story for how she found it, where she bought it, or who gave it to her. As we went through she came across a gold choker necklace (not real gold, but some mystery metal). She said everyone thought it was real "It's all in how you carry it". She called it her "date necklace". My grandmother rarely parts with anything from her collection, but she decided I should have this one to bring me luck.

My favorite pieces of jewelry become a part of me the more I wear them, even though the piece may have had a completely unique life before it came to me. I've lost pieces of sentimental value over the years, but I try not to get too broken up, because I still have my memories. When I think of a piece that got lost or broken along the way, I know I really loved it.

52 comments:

Panda said...

This is a really lovely post. Plus, what awesome photos!
panda xx

Susan said...

oh what a sweet story... I would like to be a cool grandma when I get old! :)
have a fab week, xoxo

syd vicious said...

aw, i love sharing thing like that with my grandma. that's very sweet.

hélène said...

That snake cuff is amaaazing! You and your grandma are so right about jewelry evoking memories. I don't wear much of it, but the pieces that i do wear and that i hold near and dear are all sentimental to me in some way.

xxxx

J. said...

Beautiful story, so sweet! I wish my grandmothers were still alive so I could ask them about their collections...All I know is that my Dad's mother collected one piece of jewelry for each grandchild born, and I now have her sapphire studs...it would have been lovely to have more to the story from her...

Alecto said...

my great grandmother and i were like that. except add in tales about faeries & tea at noon. such a sweet sweet post...

apparellel said...

awww..... that is so sweet! and i love the photos. super sexy and mysterious.

xxx
t

Damsels said...

i like how you eexplain that history of your jewelry. i would love to have a necklace that i can tell a story about . i never wear to much jewelry though so i just dont form that sort of bond with them

Annemie said...

Thank you dear :).
I really love the photos above!

Cindy Whitehead said...

What a great tradition your grandma has with you and her jewelry. She sounds wonderful!

Taylor Sterling said...

great photos! I love your tradition!

*elv said...

wowowo.......great post! :D

thingsIlove said...

This is so lovely!

Keith said...

Hey there. I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Thanks for your comment on my latest post. Have a fantastic week ahead.

Wendy said...

the ring :D am so drooling over it now! The necklaces your grandma passed down to you are such amazing pieces. Im sure they meant/worth more than other jewelry you have now :)

Wendy said...

the ring :D am so drooling over it now! The necklaces your grandma passed down to you are such amazing pieces. Im sure they meant/worth more than other jewelry you have now :)

Cafe Fashionista said...

I absolutely love the history behind your jewelry - it makes the pieces even more fabulous! LOVING that koi fish bracelet!! :)

SabinePsynopsis said...

Your grandmother is so wise and I love her attitude towards life and enjoyment. The pictures are great, too!

K8 said...

I hear ya on jewelry becoming a part of you the longer you wear it. I have rings that I've found on the ground, the floors of bar bathrooms I've had to clean after a closing shift and they mean a lot to me just because of the way they feel on my hand.
And groupies...yes they fascinate me as well. Like I said, ever since I saw Almost Famous at age 13, I've been so interested in the lifestyle. But you're right, it's not necessarily sustainable. The most intensely fascinating women were ones who had their own thing going on whether it was art, modeling, acting, or singing, they had the intelligence to not only be a muse to someone, but become a creative themselves.
As for the modern groupie, I think you pretty much have to be around musicians as an equal creative. All of the musicians that I know pretty much hang with other creatives. I'm sure it's different in NY though.
Oh yeah, I love those necklaces in the second pic :)

Fashion X K8.blogspot.com

Mai said...

I need/want the first ring!

Kristin said...

Nothing equals heirloom pieces. Love the necklaces!

Style Porn said...

So well said, and so very true. Jewelry is easier to carry around with us as we age than clothing, and it carries along with it so many important memories.

Polo Shirts For Men said...

Great pictures! Love the necklace!

Ivania santos By DIAMOND said...

Great blog!
LOVE IT <3

Isabel said...

i love the neckalaces!

Walk of Fashion

Couture Carrie said...

Lovely pieces and story, darling!

xoxox,
CC

Iva said...

what a sweet tradition!

Absolutely Ladylike said...

Beautiful photos...j'adore the accessories!

Many thanks for the birthday message! Means a lot...

Cheers: Evi

F Blog said...

awww so sweet!

Fashion Tidbits said...

me too. my jewellery all have a history and meaning

closet obsessions said...

i'm super sentimental about my jewelry. i wear the same 10 pieces everyday, and i don't think i could every part with them... i would be so unbelievably upset if i lost any of them.

http://closetobsessions.blogspot.com

E said...

I love doing this with my mom and my grandmother. Not nearly as "formal" as what you and your grandmother do, just pulling things out when I want to borrow things and hearing the story behind them, but I love pieces with history behind them!

Nubiasnonsense said...

This is such a cute touching story... having items with stories behind them is very special.. I hope it brings you luck =)

Becca. said...

gorgeous jewellery!!


Thankyou for the comment on my blog :)
XOXO, BECCA
http://fashion-train.blogspot.com

Dandy Wellington said...

Ash we need to hang this weekend!! I got my camera fixed!!! STYLE BBQ NYC!!!

Haute World said...

I think there's a reason jewelry is seen as the perfect gift (regardless of its monetary value)... there's just so many memories you can link to them and I treasure all the pieces I own. That Koi fish bangle is fantastic!

michelle_ said...

great black and white photos !
have a great weekend !
GLISTERS & BLISTERS

Stéphane Malingue said...

I JUST DISCOVERED YOUR SITE, I LOVE, VERY SHARP SELECTION, STÉPHANE OF WWW.LUXE-ET-VANITES.BLOGSPOT.COM
DONT HESITATE TO SHARE WITH FRIENDS, I 'LL DO THE SAME...

MELISSA Z. said...

I've just discovered your blog and I love it so much! <3

www.abitoffashion.com

Adele said...

Loving the snake bracelet! Your header is real cool btw
- Adele
MOLTOCURIOSA.COM ♥

heart charlie said...

Such a beautiful story to go with such beautiful photos!

CCWai said...

The second picture really attracts me.
Would definitely like to see them up close.

Fabulous Finds Gal said...

I adore this post! Yes, I too would do this tradition with my Grandmother and Mother. Asking about the origins of certain peices told the tale of their lives that mesmerized me. Like why did my Mom still have a charm from a Man from Dallas on her charm bracelet? I never have had the guts to ask.

xo,
Christina

MELISSA Z. said...

I've just discovered your blog and I love it so much! You're so stylish!

www.abitoffashion.com

Shady said...

AWESOME jewelry! your beautiful
keep up the inspiration

APieceOfCrap said...

the ring was awesome! likelike!

Our brand new blog, and our first. Take a peek.
www.apieceofcrapdepartment.blogspot.com

best regards from Sweden

Style Remains said...

Great photos...very inspiring blog too - thanks for your comment

Style Remains

The Style Rawr said...

That bracelet is beautiful <3

www.thestylerawr.com

Raquel said...

really beautiful pictures! my favorite jewelry are rings! the more the better :)

Kim Neill said...

Awesome Jewls! Great blog I just came across it! I am your latest follower :-D
Keep in touch!
KimboxKimbox
xxxxxx

thesydneygirl said...

love the jewelry!! x

AR said...

You're right; these pieces breathe history. The dark, grainy photo style makes the jewelry pop. Very cool.