I love old things…antique furniture, vintage tea cups, and jewelry handed down through generations. If there are stories to accompany the pieces I am drawn to them even more.
These rings represent three generations of women. The diamond, the oldest in the set, belonged to my husband’s grandmother. It was set with two other diamonds but when we were engaged the set was divided; one diamond became my engagement ring you see here and the other two became earrings and given to my sister-in-law. The wedding band belonged to my mother who was married to my father for 15 years. She passed it on to me on my wedding day. Combined, this ring has carried two women through 44+ years of marriage. The thin band I made as a result of shortening a diamond bracelet my husband gave me on our tenth wedding anniversary. Wanting to repurpose the removed diamonds, I designed this thin band that contains the birthstones of my daughter (opal/tourmaline), my son (peridot) and husband (diamond). This ring I will hand down one day.
Several years back, unexpectedly I ran into a high school friend in a local jewelry store here in Charlottesville. After catching up, I learned that she was the creator of the very same pieces I was admiring. She told me how she travels all over in search of vintage watches, earrings, necklaces, and other jewelry pieces she can use for her business. She tools her creative magic repurposing what once was a gentleman’s 19th century watch fob into a bejeweled woman’s necklace boasting fresh water pearls and a mid-century embellishment. Her talent is a tasteful expression of delicate and ornate women’s statement jewelry that twinkles and sparkles and has history to boot! You can see Trish’s gorgeous works of art here on her GotRocksJewelry website.
After talking to Trish about her jewelry and the stories behind many of her repurposed pieces, I found most fascinating the history of the Victorian gifting of jewelry and the hidden meanings behind the gemstone colors. For example, a sentiment ring given with stones of (R)uby, (E)merald, (G)arnet, (A)methyst, (R)uby, and (D)iamond tells the recipient that she is highly REGARDED by the giver. A ring with an (A)methyst, (D)iamond, (O)pal, (R)uby, (E)merald, and (D)iamond tells you what? You are ADORED! It was in this fashion a gentleman courted his lady without tarnishing her reputation. This was of utmost importance in the the victorian era.
There was another unique necklace I saw in my friend’s collection last year. The pendant was special and I was attracted to the stones and intricate gold filigree design. Once again, Trish told me of the hidden meaning behind this historical piece no doubt worn by a strong, forward thinking woman living during the women’s suffrage movement. The colored stones (G)reen, (W)hite, and (V)iolet cleverly alerted fellow suffragettes the wearer supported the right to (G)ive (W)omen the (V)ote. There is also a wing motif within the design representing the freedom women would gain when finally they did earn the right to vote. I regret not buying that necklace when I saw it…
For my birthday this year my husband and children did give me this fabulous piece and I feel so lucky to have my own freshwater pearl and amethyst necklace designed by Trish. I wonder who once wore the original pendant and if she at one time handed it down to a daughter she (A)dored? Perhaps my family will build upon this love message by adding to my (A)methyst come next birthday? What better gift than an old bit of history fashioned by an old friend for lil’ ole me?
My response to The Daily Post’s daily challenge, Twinkle.