My jewellery tells stories and holds many memories of places I’ve visited, people who’ve come and gone, events I’ve attended and gifts I’ve been given. I’m not talking about jewels of monetary value particularly, though of course there are a few, such as my mother’s and my own engagement rings and a diamond on a pretty white gold chain, my husband bought me in memory of his mother. …..No, I’m thinking more about a turquoise necklace bought from a beach-seller in Mauritius over thirty years ago, but still worn today, and an amber necklace haggled over in the souk in Marrakech, (both bought when I was in those countries working.)
There’s a yellow bangle given to me to play with by a great-aunt when I was 7. A tiny bird-like woman, she had a photo of herself wearing it around the top of her arm. I’m not sure I could get it up my arm even then! And I have strings of long beads in every colour and ropes of (fake) pearls all formerly owned by various family members and still brought out to wear from time to time. In fact, unless something is broken beyond repair, I rarely throw anything away as colours and shapes come back into fashion and I often bring them out again.
It’s my habit to buy a piece of jewellery wherever I go in the world; a bracelet from a mysterious artist in Carmel, California, a silver ring from beautiful Monevassia in Greece, a dainty gold bracelet with a sea-urchin shape and seed pearls from a recent trip to Italy, silver earrings with coloured stones from a Native American shop in Old Sacramento, I could go on. All these pieces are treasured for the memories of the experiences they trigger.
In a slightly OCD way I have a lot of my jewellery ‘colour coded’. 3 straw boxes sit on a wooden trunk in my bedroom, one contains beads and stones in reds, oranges and browns, another has blues and another greys and black. On my dressing table are glass jars, one with glittery bracelets and necklaces, another, chunky silver things. A few, more ‘special’ or delicate pieces, are in there own boxes and drawstring bags, including a much loved , Vivienne Westwood pendant and a diamanté collar from Zara, infamous to me as the Duchess of Cambridge was photographed wearing the same thing. (I couldn’t understand why she would choose to wear fake when she had access to the real thing!) Nevertheless she made a good choice as that collar has been worn over the last few years, to several ‘posh events’ not just by me, but several of my friends too.
In our throwaway world, jewellery can be a lovely way to make our history and I implore you to keep yours and help them make your own stories. A few months ago I visited the incredible Archeological Museum on Lipari, in the Aeolian Islands, off Sicily. The islands are volcanic and the preservation of artifacts found there is amazing. Amongst the many displays of pots and vases were some beautiful displays of jewellery, each piece over 3,000 years old. I’m not sure any of my “jewels” will still be around in 3,000 years time, but I like to think they can be part of my own personal history.
And below is my latest purchase, these lovely earrings just stole my hear!
Heart earrings £12.99 from: www.zara.com/uk/
NECKLACES / BRACELETS / RINGS / EARRINGS / JEWELLRY / FASHION / HANDMADE / ACCESSORIES / PENDANT / BIJOUX / GEMS / BEADS / HISTORY / JEWELRY / STYLE