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

Hello, Little Star

There are few things more satisfying than star sapphires. They’re not just beautiful, they’re entertaining—especially for people like me, who sneak peeks at their jewelry when the conversation gets boring. I can’t tell you how many meetings I’ve sat in where my attention was almost entirely on a ring or bracelet. Say you’re wearing a star… Continue reading Hello, Little Star

Love, Loss, and What I Bought

I’m not good at inheriting jewelry. Or rather, I’m not good at wearing the jewelry I inherit. There were things of my mother’s I coveted from earliest childhood—her scarab bracelet, for example, purportedly the first serious piece my father ever gave her. I’d sneak into her jewelry box to look at it. I’d play with it while she wore it,… Continue reading Love, Loss, and What I Bought

A Certain Spider

I can tell you exactly when I took it into my head that I wanted a lapis lazuli intaglio ring. Intaglio, as I’m sure you all know, is a carving incised into stone (as opposed to a cameo, which is a carving in relief). And lapis is the stone of my dreams, a blue so intense… Continue reading A Certain Spider

The Morals of Coral

“Don’t write about coral!” said my jeweler friend Nan, “You don’t know enough.” She’s right. What I don’t know about coral could fill a very large book. And what I do know can be boiled down to a few short sentences: I love the look and feel of it. I have acquired rather a lot of it… Continue reading The Morals of Coral

The Wearing of the Purple

I grew up thinking of amethysts as semiprecious stones—which, to my mind, meant starter stones, the kind you bought before you could afford really precious ones. Amethysts, after all, were mere quartz. True—but there are many respectable gems in the quartz family, including citrine, chalcedony and chrysoprase. Amethysts are the top of the line, one of the few… Continue reading The Wearing of the Purple

Matilde, Matilde, She Take Me Money

If the title of this post puts you in mind of Harry Belafonte, you may be old enough to have learned one of the tougher truths of jewelry buying: By the time you can afford an expensive necklace, you may no longer have the neck for it. This has happened to me, but it hasn’t stopped me. Dreamer… Continue reading Matilde, Matilde, She Take Me Money


This is a photo of a bracelet, one with more presence, and more mojo, than any piece of jewelry I’ve ever seen, let alone owned. It arrived just after Christmas 2015, having taken its sweet time getting to me. I bought it from my dealer friend Kathi Jo (see my last post), who’d sold it to another client years… Continue reading Hammered

Finally Getting It

My late friend Juliette used to say, “I don’t understand why you wear gold, when you could be wearing silver—the most beautiful, sensuous metal there is.” I disagreed. For me, silver, especially the Scandinavian Modern stuff she adored, was several degrees too cool. Whereas gold, yellow gold, was warm and rich—more flattering, I thought, to my… Continue reading Finally Getting It