“… it’s fun to wear, it has lasting value and it connects people across generations.”
Hmm. What could that describe? A top from H&M? The latest iPhone? An app, an antique end table or a even an exotic trip? Nope! It can only be jewelry.
Michelle Graff, the editor-in-chief of National Jeweler, wrote those words in a blog post a week after her mother’s mother died at age 98. Read “The Real Reason People Buy Jewelry” for Michelle’s thoughts about the emotional meaning of jewelry, as well as her grandmother’s somewhat sassy words of wisdom.
By the way, the longevity of jewelry doesn’t mean that — when buying for yourself in 2016 — you have to choose the same styles that grandma wore decades ago. If basics bore you, avoid them! Take inspiration from jewelry blogger Monica Stephenson of iDazzle, whose recent post for InStore Magazine was called “Redefining Heirloom.” As she wrote:
“… modern collectors are buying handmade designer jewelry with a very distinctive style. This is jewelry made with the care of what we have considered ‘important’ or ‘high’ jewelry, using rare and precious materials. It just doesn’t look like your grandmother’s jewelry box. These are the new jewelry heirlooms.”
You can see the type of careful craftsmanship that Monica refers to in this post about my Bull and Bullfighter Maneater ring. I documented all the steps necessary to create what I hope will be a museum-worthy design. Not only do I do work like that for my own line, but one of my specialties is redesigning old jewelry. Don’t be shy about changing grandmotherly pieces to suit your taste; I promise that the sentimental value will transfer to the new design. As Michelle Graff’s grandma would advise, “Have fun with it.”
Now, because there are so many references to grandmothers in this post, it seems like the perfect time to give a birthday shout-out to my father’s mother Tillie, who turned 100 years old last Sunday. The whole family got together to celebrate.
Wait … why does it look like Grandma is eyeing my jewelry in this photo?