All that glisters is not gold…

My jewelry collection includes beach stones, spirit-filled levels, seaglass, arrowheads, washers and nuts from the hardware store, but not very much gold. I like gold jewelry, but I tend to lose things, and losing a gold bracelet is not a position I want to find myself in. The most valuable pieces I own are the least worn, out of fear. The most loved pieces I wear with pleasure. Since losing them would cause me more unhappiness than a losing costly piece, this is a bit difficult to explain.

I have tried various ways to manage my continually growing necklace collection. When I was ten, I had a pink box with a ballerina that popped up when I opened it, spinning to the tinny notes of the music box. Little one-inch square depressions covered in pink fuzz held my gold-plated Plymouth Rock, a tiny vial filled with mustard seeds, and a silver ballerina. All were suspended from delicate chains. The sturdier pieces were coiled and arranged in the larger area below the removable shelf of pink fuzzy squares. Fresh water pearls, a strand of silver beads, and a souvenir choker of small conch shells started out nestled side by side, but ended tangled and intertwined.

As I grew older, the boxes got bigger. At some point I graduated to multiple boxes. The dyed cocoa bean strands I liked in high school took up a lot of space. The three tiny brass bells on a leather strap were worn daily for almost two years before they disappeared from my locker. Finding a nicely divided box was not easy, and far too often I casually tossed my pieces into their box only to spend frantic minutes untangling them when I wanted to wear one.

As a young adult I had been given an amazing box of costume jewelry that my uncle Freddie won at bingo. A cigar smoking, beer drinking, concert pianist bachelor, he did not consider this a cherished prize. There were green plastic shells trimmed in brass and encrusted with purple glass and fake pearls, a three-inch circle of turquoise and cream colored something and a golden Cleopatra neck ring. I was astounded and grateful my older sisters passed on them.

Between the pieces from Uncle Freddie, and my own flea market acquisitions, the boxes were just not big enough. I bought tie holders at yard sales and mounted them on my wall. My necklaces hung visible, untangled and glistening. This was satisfactory for many years. I just kept buying more tie racks. These are often given as gifts to men who have one or two ties, and so are not unusual cast offs at yard sales. I choose only the all wood ones. The ones with hinged brass holders tended to fall apart.

When I moved to the old farmhouse I renovated in Otter Creek, my tie racks and necklaces came with me. My future husband eyed them. He had a lot of ties, and had never had a tie rack. I had been feeling my tie racks were inadequate.

“Those would be great for my ties,” he said. “You can have them if you help me make a necklace box,“ was my reply. “Of course,” he answered, and before his words had faded away I was unscrewing the tie racks and setting my necklaces on the bureau.

I drew up plans for a hinged box with pegs for necklaces. We mounted the tie rack and hung his ties. My jewelry languished. I put the jewelry boxes on Christmas lists, birthday lists, asked his contractor friend to help, and finally put my necklaces in a plastic bin. They were at least in ziplock bags so they did not get tangled, but I could never find the one I wanted. And ziplock bags in a plastic bin is not a way to celebrate my corals and tourmalines, chunky amber from Mexico, Brazilian topaz and Larimar from the Dominican Republic.

This Christmas a treasured gift was a pair of glistening, glittering gold boxes with pegs, built to the sketches I had made years ago. What delight to free my pieces from plastic and hang them. Many had been buried in that bin for years. Some I had not seen in years.

The plastic tub now stores off-season clothing in the attic, a big tote of used ziplock bags is out in the shed, and every morning I open a jewelry box door and look at them all. I stand still, admiring, until one calls, “Me, me, wear me today.”

I select a necklace to work with my outfit, and look at the mass of bracelets, and bowls of earrings. They are next.


Powered by Facebook Comments

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

210,072 Spam Comments Blocked so far by Spam Free Wordpress

HTML tags are not allowed.