I have to say I love costume jewellery and most of the time I wear items costing less that £5, mainly from Primark. However, I know that these items will not last for too long and eventually they will break and be thrown away. That is why I find it quite important to have a couple of pieces that I know will last for years and hopefully I can pass on to my daughters and granddaughters. One such example is this brooch, that I got from my grandmother myself, so it has already started on its way down the generations.
I normally would not have thought to post this item on the blog, as it's not something you will be able to find, but when the lovely people from Invaluable, an online auction marketplace where you can find anything from jewellery to antiques, asked me to share a special story about a piece of jewellery I knew this would have to be it.The brooch itself is gold with clear stones not diamonds or anything expensive (this is relevant to the story) and it's shaped as a bunch of freshly harvested wheat. The feel is quite Greek, reminiscent of the goddess Demeter, goddess of the harvest and agriculture. I really like it because it's unusual and to me quite unique.
Now on to the story... Back when my grandma was young, women would only wear real jewellery. Her mom had a diamond wedding ring that apparently my great grandfather went out of his way to have made and a pair of earrings to match. So when my grandma got engaged she expected the same from my grandfather. He did indeed buy her jewellery and she was quite pleased with them. It was several years later, when she had to get a clasp fixed, that she found out that everything my grandfather had bought her was only gold plated and none of the stones were real. She was quite shocked that my grandad had lied and embarrassed that she had been going round wearing fakes all this time.
I think this may be the reason she did not mind parting with some of that jewellery. My mom got most of it early on, and by the time I grew up there were only few pieces left for me. One of them was this brooch, that I remember my grandma having ever since I was little. As an adult, wearing this makes me feel stronger and more confident, because it feels like I have a piece of my grandma with me, like at my BA graduation, which was also the first time I wore it. In the photo below I'm there with my grandmother, who was very proud of me getting my degree. If I have an important meeting or special occasion, I'll make sure to wear it for good luck.
So you see, it's not important if a piece of jewellery is pure gold or gold plated, if the story behind it is a story of love or a lie that led to an awkward situation. In the end it's the person who gave it to you and the memories you have made with it. That's what you pass down to your loved ones, when the item has finally become a symbol. Making sure you have good quality pieces that will last the test time is important because you do need the physical item to be able to last for years, reminding you of the most special events in your life, and be something of yourself that your children will always treasure. So start finding some pieces you love and make some amazing memories. You will be glad you did.
Lots of love,