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

Love For Sale

Buying jewelry is like buying a car: the minute you drive it home, it’s worth substantially less than what you just paid for it. If you go to sell it, you will not get all your money back, or even most of your money back. You’ll get whatever pittance the market offers you. I’ve bought many… Continue reading Love For Sale

Geist

‘Geist’ is the German word for spirit, as in holy spirit. It also means ghost. It means soul. Some jewelry has Geist—an echo of the spirit of its maker or its past wearers. And some jewelry is soulless. The more soulless it is, quite often, the more it costs, as though paying more for a piece… Continue reading Geist

I Wear the Chain I Forged in Life

This is a story of swag, of jewelry acquired through sanctioned graft. It’s the story of a heavy silver bracelet, hotly desired and cunningly won—though now, decades later, it seems as clanky and cumbersome as the chain of my title, the one that got dragged around by Marley’s ghost in A Christmas Carol. The bracelet, shown at right and at the top of this… Continue reading I Wear the Chain I Forged in Life

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