Romanced by the Stone

Last summer, you may recall, I was congratulating myself on my ability to resist a certain turquoise pendant. It was huge, an eye-popper. The color just about knocked me over. But resist I did, because it was quite expensive, and because it seemed to exist in its own universe. It wasn’t a piece of jewelry;… Continue reading Romanced by the Stone

Solace

I had an enormous ginger Maine Coon cat named Beckett, and when he died at age 15 in 2011, the loss was enormous too. He’d had medical issues that required round-the-clock care, so I was both heartbroken and exhausted. I said to myself: “I need sapphires.” I was well aware that this was an outrageous statement. I could imagine Marie… Continue reading Solace

Fussy, Fussy

I had a cameo that needed a gold setting, back in the olden days when the price of gold didn’t make me clutch my chest. I brought it to my jeweler friend Blanche Hess. “The Victorians used to surround cameos with seed pearls,” she said. “I’d love to try that.” I thought this was a fine idea and told her… Continue reading Fussy, Fussy

Stop Me Before I Shop Again

A couple of posts ago I was crowing about how I’d resisted buying jewelry in Santa Fe this summer. My self-restraint went to hell near the end of the trip, when I snapped up a passel of pieces as blithely as if I’d been a buyer for a jewelry store. All turquoise, most of it rare, or at least rareish. After… Continue reading Stop Me Before I Shop Again

The Spoils of Santa Fe

It needs to be said: We go to Santa Fe to see the opera and not to buy jewelry. We’ve been going for the past nine years, during which time I have bought an absolute shitload of jewelry. Something comes over me in that rarefied air and preternaturally clear light: I become a woman possessed by turquoise, as though I… Continue reading The Spoils of Santa Fe

Great Scott!

I should be embarrassed to post this. I am embarrassed. Out with it: I own every bracelet in the photo at the top of this post. Count ’em yourself—seventeen. They were made by the lapidary artist and silversmith Scott Diffrient, and purchased in Santa Fe over a number of years. Reader, how can I admit this? I said in my… Continue reading Great Scott!

Late-Life Turquoise

There are some stones you’re drawn to, some you’re indifferent to, and some that actively repel you. For much of my life, turquoise repelled me. I noticed that the people who loved it almost worshipped it, wearing it as a talisman, a sacred stone with healing properties. Me, I looked askance at healing stones. Turquoise did have… Continue reading Late-Life Turquoise