Lit from Within

It was our wedding anniversary. We were dining at a restaurant on the Brooklyn waterfront, the kind of place where everyone dresses well. A river view at sunset, beautiful flowers everywhere, a pianist playing inoffensively somewhere in back. The food was disappointing, but the evening was redeemed by a woman at a nearby table. She… Continue reading Lit from Within

Singing the Blues

In the 1970s, when I was in my twenties, I belonged to a spiritual community that, on balance, did me a lot of good. My boss was convinced it was a cult, and when 900 members of the Peoples Temple drank cyanide-laced Kool-Aid in Jonestown, Guyana, he begged me to leave my community before something… Continue reading Singing the Blues

Goldsmith at Work

I wasn’t shopping for jewelry. I was visiting my chiropractor. But she knew whose sacroiliac joints she was working on, and she said, ‘The daughter of a dear friend of mine makes the most gorgeous jewelry. She’s just launched her collection—you have to see it!’ I thought: I do not need more temptation at this moment.… Continue reading Goldsmith at Work

Mickey Bricks

This is all Kathi Jo’s fault. Kathi Jo, you may recall, is a dealer who knows more about Mexican silver jewelry than practically anyone, and I have bought many a piece from her—how many I’m not prepared to say. She knows every version of every hallmark; she can tell you whether a piece is authentic… Continue reading Mickey Bricks

Many Tanks

My friend Lily started this. She’s as mad for jewelry as I am, and perhaps even more dogged in its pursuit. She told me she’d been searching for years for a tank bracelet. I had no idea what that was, but it turned out to be something quite specific: French, from the 1940s, massive and… Continue reading Many Tanks

From Héctor, With Love

These are stressful times, and—I won’t lie to you—I an once again seeking consolation in jewelry. Not just any jewelry, but jewelry with substance: hefty, hand-wrought pieces from the distant past. Pieces that don’t seem old because they’re so beautifully designed and so well made. The pleasure I get from them is palpable. I’m holding… Continue reading From Héctor, With Love

The Ruby Brothers

My jeweler friend Nan has a knack for making me fall in love with jewelry I didn’t think I cared about. Pearls, for example. She once walked into my house dressed all in black, her hair upswept, wearing a long strand of large, luminous freshwater pearls. They reached well below her waist; you could double… Continue reading The Ruby Brothers