The first hoop earrings I ever saw were worn by an infant—she can’t have been two. She was a neighbor’s child, and the neighbor was Italian-American. The ethnicity is relevant because her ears were pierced, and I had never seen anybody that young with pierced ears. My lobes were still intact, and I was nearly ten.… Continue reading Hoop Dreams
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
Have you ever elbowed your way through a crowded room and thought, ‘Who are all these people?’ That’s how I feel when I rummage through my jewelry drawers. Not only do I own pieces that I can’t figure out how to wear, I own pieces I can’t even identify. At some point in the distant past,… Continue reading Whatsis
I’ve been in France. Where I thought perhaps I might buy a bijou or two. There’s an antique jewelry store called Dary’s in the Rue Saint Honoré in Paris—one of the most expensive shopping streets in town—that I was determined to revisit. Fortunately for my budget, I got there at the end of July, just… Continue reading Just Looking
Here’s how it happened. I once said it would be nice to have a yellow diamond, or as they’re now called, a fancy yellow diamond. I say a lot of things, but my husband heard this one. With no prompting from me, he decided I should have yellow diamond earrings, and asked a wholesale dealer to… Continue reading The Normandie
For someone who owns a lot of jewelry, I wear pathetically little of it. I stalk it, I buy it, I swoon over it, I take it on a little honeymoon, and then I go on to the next infatuation. If I behaved the same way with men, I would be one tired and jaded… Continue reading But Will I Wear It?
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
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
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
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!