Carbon Taxed

Diamonds shouldn’t be confusing, but they are. Or at least the diamond market is confusing, a minefield of prevarication and hype. I know this because I’ve just been doing a little diamond shopping, more out of curiosity than the itch to buy. Though I do frequently have that itch. Diamond, my favorite gem, is made of… Continue reading Carbon Taxed

Mother’s Tourmalines

It was always hard to know what Mother wanted—though in certain respects she made her wishes clear, mostly having to do with cleaning up some mess or getting the hell out of her way. When I was a child following her around the kitchen, she’d say, sharply: ‘Get out from under my feet!’ She said it so… Continue reading Mother’s Tourmalines

A Familiar Ring

When I got engaged, sometime in the last century—1984, which really does seem like a distant era—I was presented with the requisite diamond solitaire ring, a one-carat stone in the plainest possible four-prong setting. I can’t show it to you because I eventually got tired of looking at it and had the stone reset. To go with… Continue reading A Familiar Ring

Oh Chalcedony!

In a poem that confused me in high school—many poems confused me in high school, and many still do—Edna St. Vincent Millay describes the pain of an old love affair as something ‘clear and diminished like a scene cut in cameo’: ‘O troubled forms, O early love unfortunate and hard Time has estranged you into a jewel… Continue reading Oh Chalcedony!

The Opal

I’ve always been a little afraid of opals. They’re temperamental: brittle, heat-sensitive, easily scratched. They contain water, and someone once told me they should be stored in damp cotton to keep them from cracking. (This is usually not necessary.) Oh, and it’s supposedly unlucky to wear opals if they’re not your birthstone. (Opals are October. I’m June: pearl, moonstone, alexandrite.)… Continue reading The Opal

Highland Bling

I am fairly sure I have not one drop of Scottish blood in my veins. It’s all Jewish, as far as I know. Had I been born in Aberdeen rather than Syracuse, New York, I would still consider myself a Jew and not a Scot, because we Jews have an inborn legitimate fear of getting kicked out… Continue reading Highland Bling

Trouble in Tahiti

Your blogger has been to Hawaii, where (predictably, after such a long plane ride) she contracted a massive sinus infection that knocked her down for the count. But not before a rogue wave knocked her over and made off with her vintage Persol sunglasses. Your blogger is not complaining. She—I—spent eight days in a part of the world so beautiful… Continue reading Trouble in Tahiti