It’s no secret that jewellery tells a story, so what do our best pieces say about us? I asked my family and friends: what are your favourite item and why? Here’s what they said:
Rebecca's Mom's Watch
I have always looked to my mom as an incredibly hard worker and a fashionable one too. This Cartier is living proof of that - a watch that she purchased with her first ever proper salary when she was 23, working as the head chef at Stephanie's in Hyde Park. She gave this watch to me on Valentine's Day when I was 18 and it is now my most cherished possession. It occasionally loses time and I often joke that is quite literally timeless.
Nana’s Engagement Ring
My favourite is my engagement ring. My husband was the most unromantic man! I had previously been engaged to a wealthy Frenchman who had given me a rather large solitaire diamond ring! So as a result, having been there and done that, I wasn't interested in another engagement ring, but Geoff had been pestering me to get one. So one day, in between his doctor’s consultations, I was whisked off to town to Murdocks to acquire one. Being the shiest man ever, he and I entered the shop with him with his head down, hands in pockets. To make him feel at ease, I pointed at a ring and said, ‘That's a lovely one’, to which he said to Mr. Murdock, ‘We’ll take that one!’ Astonished, Mr Murdock asked if we didn’t want to look further, but Geoff said ‘no, we are in a hurry.’ So he purchased this beautiful sapphire and diamond ring. On our way back, as we passed the hospital he said, ‘well, why don’t you put it on?’ So I dutifully took it out of its little velvet box and placed it on my finger! No bending on one knee or gazing into my eyes with swooping music in the background, I was officially engaged to the kindest, gentlest, honest gentle man. Then I lost the ring but that's another story!
Mom’s Gold Bracelet
This piece was not gifted to me. I created it myself having taken the idea from my best friend’s mom who had something similar. Each disk has the names and birth dates of my three children, as well as my wedding date with the names of my husband and I, Saint Christopher, and my maiden name. It’s a story to myself I suppose; one which gives me great comfort whenever I wear the bracelet.
I had an arsenal of copper bangles. I wore then in protest against gold! In fact my sister's and my boyfriends were distinguished by their gold versus copper gifting capacities. GOLD was bourgeois, pretentious, old-girls club. Copper was earthy, socialist, workers-of-the-world-unite. Once - my father came back from the corner shop on Kenilworth Main Road. From the shopping bags of milk, bread, newspapers and other corner shop staples he fished out a copper bangle wrapped in tissue paper. My father had never bought me anything. It was always my mother who picked and chose and wrapped. Still today when I consider that bangle it is imbued with the scent of samoosas and ginger beer and the knowledge that I alone had been in my father's mind.
Fiona’s Gold Bangle
My favourite piece of jewellery is a gold bracelet from my Nana, which she gifted me on my sweet 16th. She melted some of her own to create an octagonal golden bracelet with the date engraved into one of the sides - 07.01.08. Much too small, I almost crushed my palm shoving it on where it has since stayed. And still today 13 years later, a little reminder of my wonderful grandmother. When push comes to shove, there is always a way!
Katherine’s Engagement Ring
My friends always say I have quirky style and things like ‘only you could pull that off’ are banded around whenever I walk into a room with one too many tassels attached to my purple faux fur ensemble. My jewellery is the same. I go bold, something that I share with all of the women in my family. When it came to fantasising about an engagement ring, I just couldn’t imagine what would be unique and special enough for me to wear every day for the rest of my life... let alone imagine that I would ever get one. Then on Christmas Day, the one and only love of my life, got down on one knee and held out his hand. Nestled in a little purple velvet box was a ring that has evolved over 3 generations, without anyone even realising it. From my Nana’s sapphire, to my Mom’s Ruby, shining brightly between two rectangular diamonds, was one as black as the night sky. He chose a black diamond because it’s the rarest you can find, just like our love he explains. And of course, it’s not the most conventional, like either of us. I’m not sure whether it’s because it was chosen and designed so lovingly or because it is so perfectly me, but all I know is that I will forever look at this beautifully decorated finger of mine and feel like I shine even brighter than my forever diamonds.