Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Deeper meaning...

We all know that jewellery has always had symbolic meaning ever since it existed - be that religous and royal regalia or other spiritual, non secular icons or talismans. I'm sure you've all seen the ring below on a couple of occasions... (no royal baby yet btw) but according to Wikipedia 'engagement bands began in Ancient Egypt as the circle was used to symbolize a never ending cycle and the space in it as a gateway. Betrothal rings were used during Roman times, but were not generally revived in the Western world until the 13th century'.

But have you ever wondered if the jewellery your customers buy from you has any special significance to them...something of a more personal nature perhaps? The necklace below was the very first sale I made on Etsy and the customer e mailed me to say that she was buying it for her adult daughter who had just been diagnosed with a hole in the heart and that she would be amused by and love the personal significance of it. I guess I thought it a bit odd at the time but in hindsight and with a lot more experience I can see what she means.

Last year another customer bought this bracelet bar from me and told me that she was a cervical cancer survivor and every year she either bought or made herself a gift to celebrate another year of good health  and that 'the flowers on this bracelet bar represent "life" to me'. Aside from being incredibly flattered and moved I thought this was a fabulous idea and a wonderfully positive way to celebrate something so deeply meaningful.

When my mother died 12 years ago I inherited a lot of gold and silver jewellery that was either very dated, not to my taste or just didn't fit. There were pieces I was never going to wear and couldn't part with but it seemed such a shame for them to sit in a box never seeing the light of day.

While attending a jewellery show I bought a silver and ruby ring from an artisan who, it turned out lived not far from me. We got talking and she told me she did jewellery commissions for pieces made from recycled family jewellery which meant you could have a contemporary piece created but still retain the sybolism of inherited pieces. So of course I commissioned her to make me this ring...

The gold came from a very dated (and too short for me) necklace my father gave my mother for their 25th wedding anniversay and a very worn and bent ring which they gave me for my 18th Birthday. The Sapphires also came from this ring and the Diamonds came from ring which my father gave my mother on their 40th wedding anniversary - again too small for me. I would never have worn any of these pieces but this ring is pretty much a permanent fixture which embodies almost 40 years worth of my families life. I still have other pieces that I plan to do something with - when the time feels right.

So how about you..? Do you have a special piece of jewellery that has an unusual significance or have your customers shared their touching stories with you when buying your designs...If so I'd love to hear so do leave a comment.

The Gossiping Goddess


  1. What a beautiful post, Lesley! I got tears in my eyes reading this! I absolutley love your new "old" ring, and the sentiments it carries with it. When my father passed away 8 years ago, my mother could no longer bear to wear the wedding rings that donned her hand for over 50 years. She gave them to me. On the very rare occasion that I wear ANY jewelry, the rings don my hand and remind me of the their truly eternal love.

  2. Love these stories. And I love the ring you had made. We have some jewelry from my grandmother and aunt and want to remake some of it. This gives me inspiration.

  3. I got tears too! I love that you were able to find someone to create such a meaningful piece just for you!

  4. I have an antique 'spoon' bracelet that's been passed down through four generations of women in my family and it's incredibly special to me. It broke at one point after my mother passed it on to me in high school, because the side edges, right before the thicker part of the bracelet, had gotten brittle, and they snapped off. She took it to a silversmith in our local town, and he put it all back together again - and added a very thick layer of sterling to the back side of it to strengthen it. It's much heavier now, but all of the original design survived, and it's quite strong. I never ever take it off. Thanks so much for this post, I loved reading it, and I love your new amalgamated ring, too!!! I hope you wear it for a very long time. xxx


We would love to hear what you have to say, please leave a comment.