I like to think that some of the jewelry I create will become heirloom jewelry. Something special passed from one loved one to another. I know that I work hard to make jewelry that will last.
Some of my most treasured pieces of jewelry are from my paternal grandmother. I remember Grandma wearing the above earrings to church. The dangles would wiggle when she sang and that just made me so happy. Plus, she smelled like vanilla. Or Chanel No. 5. And she'd hand me a peppermint when I got squirmy. Sometimes, I got squirmy on purpose.
I wear Grandma's diamonds on the first day of every Fall semester. The thing that Grandma was the most proud of, besides her family, was teaching. She taught Sunday school for years. So I feel like she's with me, gracing me with her teaching ability when I wear these earrings. I don't wear the red amethyst earrings as often. Since they're on hooks, I'm afraid of losing them. And I don't remember Grandma ever wearing these. But they are stunning.
And some things are special because you've had them forever. The mother of pearl drops were the first nice pieces of jewelry I ever bought myself. I was living in Florida, probably 22, maybe 23. Making barely enough money to survive on, but on a daytrip to St. Augustine, I saw these and decided to splurge. I think I paid $20 for them. And ate Spam and macaroni and cheese for the next two weeks. But it was the first time I treated myself like a grown-up, like someone important. I wear these when I need that reminder.
The turquoise earrings with the Goddess and moon charms are some of the first earrings I ever made. I love wearing miss-matched earrings. Maybe it's being a Gemini. Maybe it's the need to not conform. Maybe it's just because it's fun.
All these earrings connect me to my past - to things I love or find important, to dreams and goals that I have. I think that, more than age, makes an heirloom. It's not the preciousness of the jewelry. It's the value of the love.