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.