Photo: Courtesy of Vale Jewelry.
My jewelry collection started well before I could fully appreciate it. Heck, it began before I could even multiply single digits, let alone comprehend the value of precious gems and 14-karat gold. Commencing when I was a wee little thing, my godmother, Mary, gifted me pieces for Christmas, birthdays, and special occasions — an emerald pendant necklace (my birthstone); a teensy, pearl-and-diamond ring for my Communion; and gray-pearl studs, to name a few — with the promise that one day I would get it. I took her beautiful sentiments with blind faith that one day I would.
Cut to eighth grade: I was in middle school when my parents divorced. My mom had her engagement ring made into a necklace and gave it to me, figuring I would find more meaning in the stone than she did. I clasped it around my neck and didn't take it off — not even for showers — until the chain broke during my freshman year at college. I had it promptly replaced with a new one. All in all, this represented a very important pivot for a girl that had never worn much jewelry with great affection.
While it'll sound silly to some, I'd be positively heartbroken to lose this particular necklace. I'm a sentimentalist at my core — I shamelessly cry during movies (it doesn't matter that most wouldn't even qualify as tearjerkers), and often read books with tissues on standby (damn you, John Green). So, it's little surprise my personal style would ultimately reflect this mindset. But truth be told, something about that diamond necklace changed the way I thought about all of my rings, earrings, and bracelets. If I was going to have a collection to rival Mary's, I decided it wouldn't be a mishmash of random, "statement" pieces I felt only semi-attached to and only wore every now and again.
Here's the thing: Buying for the sake of accessorizing doesn't interest me in the least. Admittedly, my collection is almost solely comprised of daily-wear items and isn't terribly expansive for this same reason. Yes, I'm a fashion editor, and I wear the same jewelry almost every day.
In high school and college, I began making a concerted effort to improve my jewelry acumen, regularly wearing Mary's gifted items I rarely donned in the past. I even had a few of my childhood rings resized to fit my now-adult hands. With that came more hand-me-downs from mom (specifically, a yellow-gold, heart-shaped locket), a few delicate stunners from my boyfriend, and indie-designer gems I felt my life would be amiss without. Every piece I own is linked to a memory, a story, a person — and, that's exactly the way I like it.
If you, too, get it, below I've credited a few of my personal items that are available to shop, as well as some dainty gems I'm currently obsessing over (and secretly hoping my boyfriend will see). I'm keeping my fingers crossed, kiddie rings and all.
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